Historical Jesus

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

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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33841  Postby tanya » Aug 19, 2013 9:54 am

tanya, following up the suggestion of forum members, that it had proved instructive to read Ehrman's most recent publication, wrote:Where, in Ehrman's text, is the data exposed, to reveal the historicity of Jesus?

Try again. Can anyone point to a passage in the text, not found in the excerpt published in the spring, on the internet, for free, that reveals information pertinent to the historicity of Jesus--data that would have gone unrecognized, but for reading his entire book?

:)
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33842  Postby angelo » Aug 19, 2013 10:00 am

tanya wrote:
tanya, following up the suggestion of forum members, that it had proved instructive to read Ehrman's most recent publication, wrote:Where, in Ehrman's text, is the data exposed, to reveal the historicity of Jesus?

Try again. Can anyone point to a passage in the text, not found in the excerpt published in the spring, on the internet, for free, that reveals information pertinent to the historicity of Jesus--data that would have gone unrecognized, but for reading his entire book?

:)

You're right Tanya. The book is a complete waste of one's life, whatever time is spent reading it. This author as far as I'm concerned has no credibility left at all after that dismal failure.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33844  Postby angelo » Aug 28, 2013 6:50 am

And still no closer to a solution, except that daily the list of doubters is growing.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33845  Postby tanya » Aug 28, 2013 6:53 pm

Stein wrote:And here's this entire thread starting on the old Richard Dawkins forum on Nov. 22, 2006, 6 years, 9 months ago:

Thank you Stein. Very much appreciated.

It is a thankless task, to organize a thread. You have begun this arduous process. You deserve a nod of encouragement, and acknowledgement of your effort. Thanks.

I am thinking back to times of the Roman Empire, when the famous port city of Caesarea on the Eastern Mediterranean Coast was constructed. Two thousand years ago, it was the biggest port in the world. Think of Rotterdam, or New York, or Yokohama. HUGE. Yet, today, gone. Entirely gone. Destroyed by an earthquake. Think of the labor. Gone in 60 seconds.

This thread concerns evidence of an historical Jesus. I, and several other, more famous, and more skillful, members of this forum, deny that there exists any convincing evidence for an historical Jesus. To make this thread particularly useful, for future inquiries, then, it would be meritorious to have a list of the ten or twenty most intriguing, or most erudite, or most entertaining, or most instructive posts from within each of the several large collections, published by date of submission, highlighted above, grace a Stein's travail. ("merci").

So, we need some candidates from the past two years, for example. These would be the "top ten" threads, by number, with a one line description of the rationale for including that post, in the list of most "useful", or "entertaining", or "instructive". Of course, we will all disagree, this post is useless, that submission is no good, the other post is boring, that submission was written by a turkey, and so on.... Nevertheless, at the end of the day, we will have argued about something relevant to the question of "an historical Jesus". We will not be able to resolve the fundamental, underlying question, but, we could at least outline WHICH of the thousands of posts submitted to the forum, deserve a newcomer's appraisal. Our work, will surely be as helpful, to future inquiries, as was the gigantic construction of the port of Caesarea, home of Eusebius' scriptorium.

In the process of undertaking this Herculean travail, we may overlook a post of significance. We may despise an author, or a subject, or, simply, incorrectly assume that the author/subject offer no help in resolving the issue of importance: Is there believable evidence extant, of an historical jesus? In the process of debating which threads deserve acknowledgement as of utility to future inquiry, we may stumble upon a nuance or grossly obvious pattern, that had not hitherto been acknowledged, as relevant to the question. Each of us has our own pet subjects, favorite posts (authored by ourselves), and universally acknowledged prowess as masters of the universe. So, let us join Stein, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.

It is not an easy matter, to read a thousand posts, let alone 6 years, 9 months worth of posts, yet, the payoff could be significant. Which is more useful: Reading Bart Ehrman, or reading this forum?

:)
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33846  Postby proudfootz » Aug 29, 2013 3:06 pm

tanya wrote: Which is more useful: Reading Bart Ehrman, or reading this forum?

:)


This (and similar) forum would be more fruitful as many points of view and assessments get aired. Ehrman's take is just one perspective.

Since the evidence relevant to the historicity question is rather limited it would seem possible to do searches according to the specific topic (say Josephus, Origen, 'brother of the lord', Talmudic references, etc) and get a wide variety of arguments regarding the significance of each bit, with some real give and take.
"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: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33847  Postby dejuror » Aug 30, 2013 6:31 am

proudfootz wrote:
tanya wrote: Which is more useful: Reading Bart Ehrman, or reading this forum?

:)


This (and similar) forum would be more fruitful as many points of view and assessments get aired. Ehrman's take is just one perspective.

Since the evidence relevant to the historicity question is rather limited it would seem possible to do searches according to the specific topic (say Josephus, Origen, 'brother of the lord', Talmudic references, etc) and get a wide variety of arguments regarding the significance of each bit, with some real give and take.


There are thousands of writings which document the history of Jesus of Nazareth.

In fact, Jesus of Nazareth, was documented probably more than ALL the Roman Emperors, and Procurators of the Roman Empire.

Jesus is mentioned thousands of time in writings of antiquity--it is ONLY the father of Jesus, a Myth God, that may have been mentioned more times that Jesus, the Son of God, born of a Ghost and virgin, Messianic ruler and God Creator.

The history of Jesus of Nazareth is secure.

There were THOUSANDS of witnesses even Angels.

Jesus was Publicly declared to be born after his mother found PREGNANT by a Ghost.

The Angels had a 'Birthday Party' celebration with the Shepherds.

Luke 2
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field , keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo , the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid . 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold , I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes , lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying , 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


The Jesus story is pure unadulterated mythology derived from the myth fables of the Jews, Greeks and Romans.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33848  Postby angelo » Aug 30, 2013 6:47 am

We can safely discount the biblical n/t water walking Jesus as a fable. That Jesus never had an existence. We have to search elsewhere for the historical figure [if any] behind that fable. What we do have Tacitus and Josephus are too easily explained away as hearsay at best. In the case of Josephus most scholars at least agree it was tampered with in part. Not many have dared put forward the hypothesis that perhaps the whole sentence of the Testemoniom could be a later fabrication by christians trying to bolster their cult.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33849  Postby RealityRules » Aug 30, 2013 10:25 pm

Both passages in Josephus are increasingly seen as dubious to the point they are worthless.

The Testimonium Flavianum (the testimony of Flavius [Josephus]) - the name given to the passage allegedly "found" in Antiquities Bk 18. Chapter 3, 3; 63–64 - has recently been described thus

Both the language and the content have close parallels in the work of Eusebius of Caesarea, who is the first author to show any knowledge of the text. Eusebius quotes the Testimonium in three of his extant works: the Demonstration of the Gospel 3.5.106, the Ecclesiastical History 1.11.8, and the Theophany 5.44. The most likely hypothesis is that Eusebius either composed the entire text or rewrote it so thoroughly that it is now impossible to recover a Josephan original.

Ken Olson, “A Eusebian Reading of the Testimonium Flavianum,”
in Eusebius of Caesarea: Tradition and Innovations [Harvard University Press, 2013], pp. 97-114;

available here http://www.academia.edu/4062154/Olson_A_Eusebian_Reading_of_the_Testimonium_Flavianum_2013


Richard Carrier has had a peer reviewed article published about the Josephus passage in Antiquities 20

“Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200”
the Journal of Early Christian Studies 
(vol. 20, no. 4, Winter 2012), 
pp. 489-514.

Analysis of the evidence from the works of Origen, Eusebius, and Hegesippus concludes that the reference to “Christ” in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200 is probably an accidental interpolation or scribal emendation and that the passage was never originally about Christ or Christians. It referred not to James the brother of Jesus Christ, but probably to James the brother of the Jewish high priest Jesus ben Damneus.


Carrie blogs about it here http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2946 and makes reference to another article that negates the Testimonium Flavium:

G.J. Goldberg, “The Coincidences of the Testimonium of Josephus and the Emmaus Narrative of Luke,”
in the Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha (vol. 13, 1995), pp. 59-77.

Goldberg demonstrates nineteen unique correspondences between Luke’s Emmaus account and the Testimonium Flavianum, all nineteen in exactly the same order (with some order and word variations only within each item). There are some narrative differences (which are expected due to the contexts being different and as a result of common kinds of authorial embellishment), and there is a twentieth correspondence out of order (identifying Jesus as “the Christ”). But otherwise, the coincidences here are very improbable on any other hypothesis than dependence.

Goldberg also shows that the Testimonium contains vocabulary and phrasing that is particularly Christian (indeed, Lukan) and un-Josephan. He concludes that this means either a Christian wrote it or Josephus slavishly copied a Christian source, and contrary to what Goldberg concludes, the latter is wholly implausible (Josephus would treat such a source more critically, creatively, and informedly).


Carrier has also commented on the Luke and Josephus
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33850  Postby RealityRules » Aug 30, 2013 10:30 pm

Ken Olsen has also commented further recently -

http://historicaljesusresearch.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/the-testimonium-flavianum-eusebius-and.html

He notes
In his 2012 review article on the Testimonium, [Louis] Feldman comes to the conclusion that Eusebius is likely to be the author of the extant text:
In conclusion, there is reason to think that a Christian such as Eusebius would have sought to portray Josephus as more favorably disposed toward Jesus and may well have interpolated such a statement as that which is found in the Testimonium Flavianum.” (p. 28).

citing
Louis H. Feldman, “On the Authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum Attributed to Josephus,”
in New Perspectives on Jewish Christian Relations, edited by Elisheva Carlebach & Jacob J. Schechter (Leiden: Brill, 2012) 14-30.


Olsen provides other commentary on scholarly views about interpolation in the TF.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33851  Postby RealityRules » Aug 30, 2013 10:45 pm

It is interesting that Carrier notes, at the end of this blog-post - the relationship between Origen and Euebius, through Origen's devotee & successor -and Eubebius's teacher - Pamphilus of Caesarea.

Carrier also says
all present copies of Josephus derive from the copy Eusebius held in his library, which was Pamphilus’s library, inherited from Origen
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33852  Postby Kapyong » Aug 31, 2013 3:05 am

Gday angelo,

angelo wrote:
The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John's gospel dated in the year 125-135


Where did you get that dating from?
It seems everytime P52 is mentioned, it's date becames more and more definite.

I've seen it dated :
100-150
100-200
145-195

Where did 125-135 come from ?

Kapyong
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33853  Postby tanya » Aug 31, 2013 6:55 am

Kapyong wrote:Gday angelo,
angelo wrote:The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John's gospel dated in the year 125-135

Where did you get that dating from?
It seems everytime P52 is mentioned, it's date becames more and more definite.
...


Brent Nongbri, "The Use and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth Gospel," HTR 98.1 (2005): 23-48
:)
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33854  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 01, 2013 1:27 pm

dejuror wrote:
proudfootz wrote:
tanya wrote: Which is more useful: Reading Bart Ehrman, or reading this forum?

:)


This (and similar) forum would be more fruitful as many points of view and assessments get aired. Ehrman's take is just one perspective.

Since the evidence relevant to the historicity question is rather limited it would seem possible to do searches according to the specific topic (say Josephus, Origen, 'brother of the lord', Talmudic references, etc) and get a wide variety of arguments regarding the significance of each bit, with some real give and take.


There are thousands of writings which document the history of Jesus of Nazareth.

None of them contemporary.
And the 'of Nazareth' is circumspect as well.

dejuror wrote:In fact, Jesus of Nazareth, was documented probably more than ALL the Roman Emperors, and Procurators of the Roman Empire.

That there is much written about person X proves nothing about the historicity of X.

dejuror wrote:Jesus is mentioned thousands of time in writings of antiquity--it is ONLY the father of Jesus, a Myth God, that may have been mentioned more times that Jesus, the Son of God, born of a Ghost and virgin, Messianic ruler and God Creator.

The history of Jesus of Nazareth is secure.

Except that it isn't or it wouldn't be discussed among historians.

dejuror wrote:There were THOUSANDS of witnesses even Angels.

Jesus was Publicly declared to be born after his mother found PREGNANT by a Ghost.

The Angels had a 'Birthday Party' celebration with the Shepherds.

Luke 2
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field , keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo , the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid . 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold , I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes , lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying , 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


The Jesus story is pure unadulterated mythology derived from the myth fables of the Jews, Greeks and Romans.

:what:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33855  Postby proudfootz » Sep 01, 2013 3:18 pm

tanya wrote:
tanya, following up the suggestion of forum members, that it had proved instructive to read Ehrman's most recent publication, wrote:Where, in Ehrman's text, is the data exposed, to reveal the historicity of Jesus?

Try again. Can anyone point to a passage in the text, not found in the excerpt published in the spring, on the internet, for free, that reveals information pertinent to the historicity of Jesus--data that would have gone unrecognized, but for reading his entire book?

:)


The book is tedious.

So far nothing especially new.

Ehrman tries to multiply the gospel tales into a lucky seven independent sources like Jesus multiplying loaves and fishes.

Could have saved a lot of ink and paper by just printing the same old shop worn proof-texts on a postcard.

The replies to the book have been a lot more interesting to read, and a lot more meat to the arguments.
"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: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33856  Postby angelo » Sep 02, 2013 7:05 am

Kapyong wrote:Gday angelo,

angelo wrote:
The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John's gospel dated in the year 125-135


Where did you get that dating from?
It seems everytime P52 is mentioned, it's date becames more and more definite.

I've seen it dated :
100-150
100-200
145-195

Where did 125-135 come from ?

Kapyong

Hi. Can't remember exactly where I got that particular dating, but i also have seen a wide rang of dates for it. The important point to remember is that either date still doesn't prove anything as it's not the original but perhaps one of an earlier copy.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33857  Postby Blood » Sep 02, 2013 8:07 pm

Was there an historic Till Eulenspiegel?

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

"General opinion now tends to regard Till Eulenspiegel as an entirely imaginary figure around whose name was gathered a cycle of tales popular in the Middle Ages," Ruth Michaelis-Jena observes. "Yet legendary figures need a definite background to make them memorable and Till needed the reality of the Braunschweig landscape and real towns to which he could travel—Cologne, Rostock, Bremen and Marburg among them—and whose burghers become the victims of his pranks."

According to the tradition, Eulenspiegel was born in Kneitlingen near Brunswick around 1300. He travelled through the Holy Roman Empire, especially Northern Germany, but also the Low Countries, Bohemia, and Italy. His mobility as a Landfahrer ("vagrant") implicitly surpasses the constitution and consciousness of the Late Middle Ages.Since the early 19th century, many German scholars have made attempts to find historical evidence of Till Eulenspiegel's existence. In his 1980 book Till Eulenspiegel, historian Bernd Ulrich Hucker mentions that according to a contemporary legal register of the city of Brunswick one Till van Cletlinge ("Till from/of Kneitlingen") was incarcerated there in the year 1339, along with four of his accomplices, for highway robbery.

While he is unlikely to have been based on an historic person, by the sixteenth century, Eulenspiegel was said to have died in Mölln, near Lübeck and Hamburg, of the Black Death in 1350, according to a gravestone attributed to him there, which was noted by Fynes Moryson in his Itinerary, 1591. "Don't move this stone, let that be clear – Eulenspiegel's buried here" is written on the stone in Low German.


Fascinating. Can somebody forward this info to our leading Bible scholars? They might actually learn something relevant to their own field. I found this observation particularly noteworthy:

"Yet legendary figures need a definite background to make them memorable."
"One absurdity having been granted, the rest follows. Nothing difficult about that."
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33858  Postby angelo » Sep 04, 2013 7:08 am

:this:
Exactly what the historical Jesus character lacks.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33859  Postby Zwaarddijk » Sep 05, 2013 10:41 am

Blood wrote:Was there an historic Till Eulenspiegel?

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

"General opinion now tends to regard Till Eulenspiegel as an entirely imaginary figure around whose name was gathered a cycle of tales popular in the Middle Ages," Ruth Michaelis-Jena observes. "Yet legendary figures need a definite background to make them memorable and Till needed the reality of the Braunschweig landscape and real towns to which he could travel—Cologne, Rostock, Bremen and Marburg among them—and whose burghers become the victims of his pranks."

According to the tradition, Eulenspiegel was born in Kneitlingen near Brunswick around 1300. He travelled through the Holy Roman Empire, especially Northern Germany, but also the Low Countries, Bohemia, and Italy. His mobility as a Landfahrer ("vagrant") implicitly surpasses the constitution and consciousness of the Late Middle Ages.Since the early 19th century, many German scholars have made attempts to find historical evidence of Till Eulenspiegel's existence. In his 1980 book Till Eulenspiegel, historian Bernd Ulrich Hucker mentions that according to a contemporary legal register of the city of Brunswick one Till van Cletlinge ("Till from/of Kneitlingen") was incarcerated there in the year 1339, along with four of his accomplices, for highway robbery.

While he is unlikely to have been based on an historic person, by the sixteenth century, Eulenspiegel was said to have died in Mölln, near Lübeck and Hamburg, of the Black Death in 1350, according to a gravestone attributed to him there, which was noted by Fynes Moryson in his Itinerary, 1591. "Don't move this stone, let that be clear – Eulenspiegel's buried here" is written on the stone in Low German.


Fascinating. Can somebody forward this info to our leading Bible scholars? They might actually learn something relevant to their own field. I found this observation particularly noteworthy:

"Yet legendary figures need a definite background to make them memorable."

Yet loads of memorable legendary figures don't have a definite background.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#33860  Postby angelo » Sep 05, 2013 11:11 am

Not too many legendary figures are regarded as historical today either. Take Robin Hood for example, William Tell, King Arthur.
Plato is regarded as a historical figure but his tale of a lost continent of Atlantis is not historical as far as we are aware.
The problem with this tale is that Paul's are the very first christian writings and he tells the tale of a resurrected exalted god, not a historical man who was recently walking around the dusty streets of down town Jerusalem.
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