Historical Jesus

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24381  Postby Blood » May 06, 2012 8:40 pm

Corky wrote:

Then there is the assumption that there are true facts to be found in the Bible, when there isn't. The only truth about it is that over a period of several centuries a bunch of religious con-men made that shit up out of thin air. There was no Genesis flood, there was no tower of Babel, no Exodus from Egypt, no conquest of Canaan and last but not least, there was no "revelations" of a Jewish god-man and the ones who claimed to have witnessed a resurrection were liars.

Knowing that these people were lying about seeing a resurrection - why would anyone in their right mind believe any damn thing else they said? But Ehrman does - Ehrman thinks Paul is an honest man.


Indeed. By our modern standards, all Judeo-Christian literary theology is pure fiction invented by con artists. It may be true that, historically speaking, they viewed themselves as revelators and prophets and holy men getting direct transmission from God, but that really doesn't alter the fact that by modern standards, they were liars and con artists on a grand scale, Paul being the ancient world's equivalent of Benny Hinn.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24382  Postby Blood » May 06, 2012 8:42 pm

Rare footage of Paul's mission to the Gentiles c. 55 AD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPpjURtM5OI
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24383  Postby archibald » May 06, 2012 8:43 pm

Blood wrote:
T.S. Verenna is an amateur historian who has been researching the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods for seven years and the ancient Near East for five years. He is the author of the book Of Men and Muses: Essays on History, Literature, and Religion (2009) and his second book, 'Is This Not the Carpenter', co-edited with Th. L. Thompson, is in press and due out in 2011.


http://www.amazon.com/This-Carpenter-Co ... nskepti-20

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Thomas L Thompson:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_L._Thompson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_minimalism
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24384  Postby Cito di Pense » May 06, 2012 9:12 pm



Haven't you ever wondered why it is that people who do not wish to read the bible as God's Truth sometimes do not wish to read the bible as a piece of literature? It is traditional not to do so, I suppose. This tradition, that tradition. How to choose? Something without evident woo, perhaps. This might be called 'hiding in plain sight'.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24385  Postby archibald » May 06, 2012 10:29 pm

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wWkC ... in&f=false

Another philosopher enters the fray (ok, it was in 1991). The preview is fairly extensive. Chapter 2 is the relevant chapter.

The author, Michael martin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ma ... hilosopher)
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24386  Postby archibald » May 06, 2012 10:34 pm

proudfootz wrote: But it seems to me that perhaps we are witnessing something which might move the debate in new directions, and perhaps the indication that there is indeed the possibility of real and lively debate might bring fresh blood and fresh perspectives into the field.



I imagine a gradual process where the question is taken more seriously. Non-historical Jesus will take a place among the options, and everything else will pretty much move on as before. Possible non-Historicity of Buddha hasn't seriously affected Buddhism. I doubt, to use a phrase I last heard at RDnet, if the top of anybody's head will come off. :)
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24387  Postby proudfootz » May 06, 2012 11:02 pm

Blood wrote:Rare footage of Paul's mission to the Gentiles c. 55 AD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPpjURtM5OI


Where do we send the venomous snakes...?
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24388  Postby proudfootz » May 06, 2012 11:06 pm

archibald wrote:
proudfootz wrote: But it seems to me that perhaps we are witnessing something which might move the debate in new directions, and perhaps the indication that there is indeed the possibility of real and lively debate might bring fresh blood and fresh perspectives into the field.



I imagine a gradual process where the question is taken more seriously. Non-historical Jesus will take a place among the options, and everything else will pretty much move on as before. Possible non-Historicity of Buddha hasn't seriously affected Buddhism. I doubt, to use a phrase I last heard at RDnet, if the top of anybody's head will come off. :)


Yes, history 'lost' Abraham and Moses, and no nations were toppled nor have any continents sunk into the sea. :coffee:
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24389  Postby Corky » May 06, 2012 11:13 pm

Blood wrote:
Corky wrote:

Then there is the assumption that there are true facts to be found in the Bible, when there isn't. The only truth about it is that over a period of several centuries a bunch of religious con-men made that shit up out of thin air. There was no Genesis flood, there was no tower of Babel, no Exodus from Egypt, no conquest of Canaan and last but not least, there was no "revelations" of a Jewish god-man and the ones who claimed to have witnessed a resurrection were liars.

Knowing that these people were lying about seeing a resurrection - why would anyone in their right mind believe any damn thing else they said? But Ehrman does - Ehrman thinks Paul is an honest man.


Indeed. By our modern standards, all Judeo-Christian literary theology is pure fiction invented by con artists. It may be true that, historically speaking, they viewed themselves as revelators and prophets and holy men getting direct transmission from God, but that really doesn't alter the fact that by modern standards, they were liars and con artists on a grand scale, Paul being the ancient world's equivalent of Benny Hinn.

Jesus doesn't say or do anything a real person would. He just does scripture and talks scripture - he never, ever does anything else. And Paul, he's more like Joseph Smith - while Paul's Jesus is more like the golden plates that only certain people ever saw. It takes a con artist to figure out a con artist's trick and Joseph Smith figured it out and instead of using a god-man to fool people, Smith used god-plates to do the same trick. And, look how quick he did it. In only a few weeks time and he had a holy book, witnesses of the non-existent god-plates and believers.
Faith is disdain for evidence, dismissal of reason, denial of logic, rejection of reality, contempt for truth.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24390  Postby proudfootz » May 06, 2012 11:27 pm

Blood wrote:This has just been published. The downside is that it costs $110, so nobody will read it, and it will have zero impact.

The co-editor is Thomas Verenna, described as an "amateur historian," so once again the orthodox brigade will get to dismiss this out of hand as more Archaya S styled nonsense.

Biography (Amazon.com)
T.S. Verenna is an amateur historian who has been researching the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods for seven years and the ancient Near East for five years. He is the author of the book Of Men and Muses: Essays on History, Literature, and Religion (2009) and his second book, 'Is This Not the Carpenter', co-edited with Th. L. Thompson, is in press and due out in 2011.

In addition to these collections, T.S. is also writing a monograph on the intertextuality of the Gospels and working on a new book project about the unreliability of ancient textual sources. T.S. is currently working on an undergraduate degree with a focus in history.


It doesn't seem to me the orthodox really care about 'credentials' - that's only a red herring anyway.

What university was Einstein teaching at when he published his world-shaking papers? No, he wasn't part of 'the academy' - he was merely an amateur. :crazy:

The key thing is whether the unasked questions about if there ever was such a person as this Jesus will effect young people entering the field. I doubt many of the generation that's already emotionally and professionally committed to assuming the existence of Jesus will ever change their minds no matter what. Hence the vicious and personal attacks on the scholars whose hypotheses they fear will make their own 'contributions' seem a mere dead end in history.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24391  Postby proudfootz » May 06, 2012 11:28 pm

Corky wrote:
Blood wrote:
Corky wrote:

Then there is the assumption that there are true facts to be found in the Bible, when there isn't. The only truth about it is that over a period of several centuries a bunch of religious con-men made that shit up out of thin air. There was no Genesis flood, there was no tower of Babel, no Exodus from Egypt, no conquest of Canaan and last but not least, there was no "revelations" of a Jewish god-man and the ones who claimed to have witnessed a resurrection were liars.

Knowing that these people were lying about seeing a resurrection - why would anyone in their right mind believe any damn thing else they said? But Ehrman does - Ehrman thinks Paul is an honest man.


Indeed. By our modern standards, all Judeo-Christian literary theology is pure fiction invented by con artists. It may be true that, historically speaking, they viewed themselves as revelators and prophets and holy men getting direct transmission from God, but that really doesn't alter the fact that by modern standards, they were liars and con artists on a grand scale, Paul being the ancient world's equivalent of Benny Hinn.

Jesus doesn't say or do anything a real person would. He just does scripture and talks scripture - he never, ever does anything else. And Paul, he's more like Joseph Smith - while Paul's Jesus is more like the golden plates that only certain people ever saw. It takes a con artist to figure out a con artist's trick and Joseph Smith figured it out and instead of using a god-man to fool people, Smith used god-plates to do the same trick. And, look how quick he did it. In only a few weeks time and he had a holy book, witnesses of the non-existent god-plates and believers.


Sure beats making tents for a living! :cheers:
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24392  Postby proudfootz » May 06, 2012 11:51 pm

archibald wrote:http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wWkC4dTmK0AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Case+Against+Christianity++By+Michael+Martin&hl=en#v=onepage&q=The%20Case%20Against%20Christianity%20%20By%20Michael%20Martin&f=false

Another philosopher enters the fray (ok, it was in 1991). The preview is fairly extensive. Chapter 2 is the relevant chapter.

The author, Michael martin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ma ... hilosopher)


Couldn't read what Martin himself said about the historicity of Jesus, but here's a response by his evangelical critics which might give us clues (rather like how we only have vague clues about why people in ancient times rejected early christian claims):

Michael Martin's chapter on "The Historicity of Jesus" wisely observes that "(t)he assumption that Jesus was an actual historical figure is basic to all forms of Christianity." [36] None of the other beliefs of the Christian faith serve much purpose without the historical figure of Jesus. This is the first and last point of Martin's chapter that I find agreeable, and it is the very first sentence of his chapter.

One would expect from the ultimate "case" against Christianity in this regard something far more professional, even from a non-historian; but one finds rather what amounts to a summary report of the case presented by G. A. Wells, so much so that Martin probably ought to remove his name from the chapter and attribute authorship to Wells directly. Of the 98 footnotes, quite half of them are fully or in part attributed to one of Wells' works. (This is rather ironic as well inasmuch as that by 2003, Wells had abandoned his thesis that Jesus never existed.)

Not that it gets any better beyond that half: Coming in second place with about 10 cites is a privately-published myth-thesis by Robert Tanguay (of whose credentials, we are told nothing); after that, token appearances are made by Gordon Stein, Bruno Bauer (c. 1850), John M. Robertson (c. 1910), the Dead Sea Scroll conspiracy scholar John Allegro, and a select host of unknowns...

http://www.tektonics.org/lp/martincac2.html


Note the typical disparagement of the sources, the 'professionalism', etc.

All the familiar defenses of the TF and 'the brother of Jesus Christ, James' passages ensue. Likewise the alleged 'darkness at Jesus's crucifixion' story supposedly from Thallus also is defended. I didn't notice if the earthquake was also defended as 'historical'...
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24393  Postby james1v » May 07, 2012 12:46 am

Making a living, by poncing off the local population, has always been popular with a certain class. If you had a dim witted son in those and the middle ages, you sent him to a religious educational establishment, to be trained into making a living. Without tilling the fields, or risking life and limb in battle.

Much better to send the imbecile to study religion, the seasons. He could at least be a "Mystic Meg" who was paid to tell the ignorant when spring, or winter was approaching. Festivals! They need a holy see! Who must study! And reap the results of his (its always, his) master (a priest).


Its a fucking living, with a salesman's fucking guide book on how to con the local population, Nothing less.


The bible, is to all intents and purposes, a salesman's guide to making a living, by those more educated than their victims/clients.

Its a product. Many have lived well off of it, even when the locals have starved to death.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24394  Postby Blood » May 07, 2012 3:37 am

archibald wrote:http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wWkC4dTmK0AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Case+Against+Christianity++By+Michael+Martin&hl=en#v=onepage&q=The%20Case%20Against%20Christianity%20%20By%20Michael%20Martin&f=false

Another philosopher enters the fray (ok, it was in 1991). The preview is fairly extensive. Chapter 2 is the relevant chapter.

The author, Michael martin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ma ... hilosopher)


Martin says Wells cited D.E. Nineham's Commentary on the Gospel of St. Mark (1972) in support of his skepticism. I've never heard of that, but there are cheap copies to be had at Amazon. I just bought one.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24395  Postby Blood » May 07, 2012 3:56 am

james1v wrote:Making a living, by poncing off the local population, has always been popular with a certain class. If you had a dim witted son in those and the middle ages, you sent him to a religious educational establishment, to be trained into making a living. Without tilling the fields, or risking life and limb in battle.

Much better to send the imbecile to study religion, the seasons. He could at least be a "Mystic Meg" who was paid to tell the ignorant when spring, or winter was approaching. Festivals! They need a holy see! Who must study! And reap the results of his (its always, his) master (a priest).
Its a fucking living, with a salesman's fucking guide book on how to con the local population, Nothing less.

The bible, is to all intents and purposes, a salesman's guide to making a living, by those more educated than their victims/clients.

Its a product. Many have lived well off of it, even when the locals have starved to death.


Houses of well known televangelists:

http://preesi.lefora.com/2010/10/25/the ... angelists/
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- Aristotle, Physics I, 185a
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24396  Postby Blood » May 07, 2012 4:15 am

archibald wrote:
proudfootz wrote: But it seems to me that perhaps we are witnessing something which might move the debate in new directions, and perhaps the indication that there is indeed the possibility of real and lively debate might bring fresh blood and fresh perspectives into the field.



I imagine a gradual process where the question is taken more seriously. Non-historical Jesus will take a place among the options, and everything else will pretty much move on as before. Possible non-Historicity of Buddha hasn't seriously affected Buddhism. I doubt, to use a phrase I last heard at RDnet, if the top of anybody's head will come off. :)


I think that Mythicism will eventually become part of the mainstream. The world is growing increasingly more secular by the day, and the only way for religion to hold on and try to stay relevant is to continue shedding ever more of its myths and legends. This process has been going on for 300 years now. Where else can it go?

It used to be that Christ was the divine Savior of Mankind. This was accepted as fact. Then the Enlightenment came along, and he was downgraded to merely the perfect moral messenger with unsurpassed wisdom. Then the German Protestants went to work, and he was downgraded to an apocalyptic false prophet forever trapped in first century Galilee. Then Bultmann came along and said we cannot really know anything at all about the historic Jesus. Then Wells, Price and others said we can't even know he was historic. Ehrman and company have to publicly put them down, but deep in the back of their minds there is the fear that they are right, and the future of Jesus studies in any kind of academic environment is imperiled.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24397  Postby dogsgod » May 07, 2012 4:54 am

proudfootz wrote:
archibald wrote:http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wWkC4dTmK0AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Case+Against+Christianity++By+Michael+Martin&hl=en#v=onepage&q=The%20Case%20Against%20Christianity%20%20By%20Michael%20Martin&f=false

Another philosopher enters the fray (ok, it was in 1991). The preview is fairly extensive. Chapter 2 is the relevant chapter.

The author, Michael martin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ma ... hilosopher)


Couldn't read what Martin himself said about the historicity of Jesus, but here's a response by his evangelical critics which might give us clues (rather like how we only have vague clues about why people in ancient times rejected early christian claims):

Michael Martin's chapter on "The Historicity of Jesus" wisely observes that "(t)he assumption that Jesus was an actual historical figure is basic to all forms of Christianity." [36] None of the other beliefs of the Christian faith serve much purpose without the historical figure of Jesus. This is the first and last point of Martin's chapter that I find agreeable, and it is the very first sentence of his chapter.

One would expect from the ultimate "case" against Christianity in this regard something far more professional, even from a non-historian; but one finds rather what amounts to a summary report of the case presented by G. A. Wells, so much so that Martin probably ought to remove his name from the chapter and attribute authorship to Wells directly. Of the 98 footnotes, quite half of them are fully or in part attributed to one of Wells' works. (This is rather ironic as well inasmuch as that by 2003, Wells had abandoned his thesis that Jesus never existed.)

Not that it gets any better beyond that half: Coming in second place with about 10 cites is a privately-published myth-thesis by Robert Tanguay (of whose credentials, we are told nothing); after that, token appearances are made by Gordon Stein, Bruno Bauer (c. 1850), John M. Robertson (c. 1910), the Dead Sea Scroll conspiracy scholar John Allegro, and a select host of unknowns...

http://www.tektonics.org/lp/martincac2.html


Note the typical disparagement of the sources, the 'professionalism', etc.

All the familiar defenses of the TF and 'the brother of Jesus Christ, James' passages ensue. Likewise the alleged 'darkness at Jesus's crucifixion' story supposedly from Thallus also is defended. I didn't notice if the earthquake was also defended as 'historical'...


Wells didn't abandon his thesis that Jesus never existed entirely.

"My present standpoint is: this complex is not all post-Pauline (Q in its earliest form may well be as early as ca. AD. 40), and it is not all mythical. The essential point, as I see it, is that what is authentic in this material refers to a personage who is not to be identified with the dying and rising Christ of the early epistles." wiki

"He argues, for example, that the story of the execution of Jesus under Pilate is not an historical account." wiki

Only a "myther scum" would make such statements.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24398  Postby IgnorantiaNescia » May 07, 2012 7:36 am

archibald wrote:
Blood wrote:
T.S. Verenna is an amateur historian who has been researching the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods for seven years and the ancient Near East for five years. He is the author of the book Of Men and Muses: Essays on History, Literature, and Religion (2009) and his second book, 'Is This Not the Carpenter', co-edited with Th. L. Thompson, is in press and due out in 2011.


http://www.amazon.com/This-Carpenter-Co ... nskepti-20

Image

Thomas L Thompson:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_L._Thompson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_minimalism


What is your point about Thompson? He is not anything of a relevant authority on the New Testament (nor on ancient Levantine archeology).
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24399  Postby angelo » May 07, 2012 8:03 am

Corky wrote:
dogsgod wrote:
The possibility that Jesus is mythical should not be ruled out by the likes of Ehrman and his followers, but they do rule it out. It's no surprise though, after all, we are discussing a religious figure from The Bible, and we know how passionate and superstitious people can be when it comes to The Bible, as if there is a rule that it must contain some truth about history and its characters that play a role in the stories.

Trying to explain how a mythical Jesus could arise while not being able to read the minds of the con-men preachers who invented him is the reason Jesus is historical - it's easier to explain that way.

Then there is the assumption that there are true facts to be found in the Bible, when there isn't. The only truth about it is that over a period of several centuries a bunch of religious con-men made that shit up out of thin air. There was no Genesis flood, there was no tower of Babel, no Exodus from Egypt, no conquest of Canaan and last but not least, there was no "revelations" of a Jewish god-man and the ones who claimed to have witnessed a resurrection were liars.

Knowing that these people were lying about seeing a resurrection - why would anyone in their right mind believe any damn thing else they said? But Ehrman does - Ehrman thinks Paul is an honest man.

Occam's Razor would suggest that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. MJ seems the simplest explanation when looking at the hard evidence or facts. There are no eyewitnesses, but the HJ supporters will say there are no eyewitnesses for most of the ancient mythical heroes. But this Jesus was no ordinary ancient world hero, he was said to have come back from the dead, walked on water, healed the sick and lame, turned water into wine, in short, the son of God. The most famous non entity ever. The disturbance he created in the Temple which got him arrested should have been noted by Philo of Alexandria who wrote extensively about Pilate, yet nothing about putting to death the king of the Jews.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#24400  Postby angelo » May 07, 2012 8:14 am

archibald wrote:http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wWkC4dTmK0AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Case+Against+Christianity++By+Michael+Martin&hl=en#v=onepage&q=The%20Case%20Against%20Christianity%20%20By%20Michael%20Martin&f=false

Another philosopher enters the fray (ok, it was in 1991). The preview is fairly extensive. Chapter 2 is the relevant chapter.

The author, Michael martin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ma ... hilosopher)

My word this guy makes a lot of sense doesn't he?
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