Historical Jesus

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

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42821  Postby dogsgod » Jun 19, 2019 10:32 pm

Stein wrote:
Svartalf wrote:Well, I do guess there was a Jewish agitator named Jesus who was indeed crucified by order of Pontius Pilatus... whether he was the religious leader the gospels describe is another question.

O.K., YOU tell ME: What else do YOU guess about this historical Jewish agitator? In addition to the Pilatus crucifying and the name, what else, if anything, do you guess is historical about this Jesus guy who was nailed?

(Fair Warning: I do NOT take kindly to magic stories about walking on water, feeding hundreds with crumbs, walking talking zombies and bla bla bla; I expect reasonable guesses about a normal historical human being based specifically on the most plausible data we have -- and this is addressed to you, no. one. else.)

Stein

Guessing is all that is left to do, like guessing whether or not we can say anything historical from reading religious texts that contain layers and layers of theology.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42822  Postby dejuror » Jun 20, 2019 6:29 am

Svartalf wrote:I don't believe in miracles either... which is why I wonder about the historical Jesus' status as a religious leader, either he was a master manipulator who arranged for fakery, or he was one big nothing who likely made a scandal in the temple by attacking the merchants there, and was arrested and executed as a seditious element.


It is not logical at all that because you don't believe in miracles that Jesus was "either a master manipulator who arranged for fakery, or he was one big nothing".

There is simple no historical evidence anywhere that an actual person named Jesus of Nazareth did anything or did live.

In addition, guessing that there was an historical Jesus is worthless because guessing does not even require evidence.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42823  Postby proudfootz » Jun 20, 2019 10:06 am

RealityRules wrote:
Stein wrote:And of course, virtually 90 % of the comments below that Ehrman/Price video...are in agreement that Price is totally owned by Ehrman throughout.

So, Price is not a good debater. And tends to have a unique discussion style.

Ehrman was quite arrogant at times and clearly had hardly read Price, if at all.

Stein wrote:But enjoy that Kool-Aid. I'm told it goes well with denialism and trollery.

err, the Kool-Aid is belief in a tangible Jesus-dude.


I highly doubt that 90% of the people who commented on this YouTube video hold teaching positions at accredited universities in their respective Religious Studies departments, hence their opinions are worth less than nothing. [/HJ]

If it so happened that commenters on YouTube were supportive of Price then they'd be Kool-Aid drinking denialist trolls rather than Earl Grey sipping scholars and gentlemen.

: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: Historical Jesus

#42824  Postby Owdhat » Jun 20, 2019 10:49 pm

Svartalf wrote:I don't believe in miracles either... which is why I wonder about the historical Jesus' status as a religious leader, either he was a master manipulator who arranged for fakery, or he was one big nothing who likely made a scandal in the temple by attacking the merchants there, and was arrested and executed as a seditious element.


Well, we all agree someone wrote the gospels and they mostly date from at least the second to first century and they all have common elements written by independent sources.

So this puts the evidence way above Boadicea and at least on a par with Alfred the Great (who all historians agree probably never burnt any cakes but never the less still existed). So the sensible conclusion is that there probably was a central figure at the heart of the Christian religion.... and lets leave it at that.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42825  Postby dogsgod » Jun 20, 2019 10:58 pm

Stein wrote:And of course, virtually 90 % of the comments below that Ehrman/Price video --

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzjYmpwbHEA

-- are in agreement that Price is totally owned by Ehrman throughout. But enjoy that Kool-Aid. I'm told it goes well with denialism and trollery.

:thumbup:

Stein

This is rich coming from someone that reads history into his Bible. The author of Mark could very well have had an itinerant preacher in mind when he wrote his gospel that was copied by later writers, but we have no real way of knowing anything about a real person, but of course, you do, because you know your Bible.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42826  Postby RealityRules » Jun 21, 2019 12:41 am

dogsgod wrote:... The author of Mark could very well have had an itinerant preacher in mind when he wrote his gospel that was copied by later writers, but we have no real way of knowing anything about a real person, but of course, you do, because you know your Bible.

R.G. Price's arguments in Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed are that, prior to the writing of the Gospels, Jesus was only or largely understood as a heavenly being. Price argues that

    (a) the-gospel-attributed-to-Mark is based on

      (i) Paul's epistles;
      (ii) the LXX version of the Jewish Scriptures; and
      (iii) aspects of the First Roman-Jewish War (in the late 60s and early 70 a.d.),
and, in turn,

    (b) Paul's epistles are [largely] based on the LXX version of the Jewish Scripture

[This Kirkus Review summary of R.G. Price's book says "the main character in Mark’s Gospel is modelled on a divine (but never human) messiah figure named Jesus who was worshipped by a small cult of apocalyptic Jews under the leadership of Paul of Tarsus. According to this understanding of the origins of Christianity, the teachings of Jesus (as readers think of them) are actually based on the precepts of Paul."

It is possible and even likely such a Jesus character or versions of him are very similar to - or even the same as - the Christ or Jesus in Gnostic texts such as the The Secret Book [Apocryphon] of John as would be John.

One might wonder if such Gnostic and even so-called apocryphal texts or tenets also motivated these and other authors of the NT writings, as it is highly unlikely such Gnostic and apocryphal texts are post synoptic gospel writings as we have been led to believe.]
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42827  Postby dejuror » Jun 21, 2019 1:01 am

Owdhat wrote:
Svartalf wrote:I don't believe in miracles either... which is why I wonder about the historical Jesus' status as a religious leader, either he was a master manipulator who arranged for fakery, or he was one big nothing who likely made a scandal in the temple by attacking the merchants there, and was arrested and executed as a seditious element.


Well, we all agree someone wrote the gospels and they mostly date from at least the second to first century and they all have common elements written by independent sources.

So this puts the evidence way above Boadicea and at least on a par with Alfred the Great (who all historians agree probably never burnt any cakes but never the less still existed). So the sensible conclusion is that there probably was a central figure at the heart of the Christian religion.... and lets leave it at that.


It is quite illogical that because there are common elements in the fables called Gospels that there was an actual historical figure called Jesus of Nazareth.

There are always common elements in multiple versions of fables about non-historical characters.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42828  Postby dogsgod » Jun 22, 2019 5:17 am

RealityRules wrote:
dogsgod wrote:... The author of Mark could very well have had an itinerant preacher in mind when he wrote his gospel that was copied by later writers, but we have no real way of knowing anything about a real person, but of course, you do, because you know your Bible.

R.G. Price's arguments in Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed are that, prior to the writing of the Gospels, Jesus was only or largely understood as a heavenly being. Price argues that

    (a) the-gospel-attributed-to-Mark is based on

      (i) Paul's epistles;
      (ii) the LXX version of the Jewish Scriptures; and
      (iii) aspects of the First Roman-Jewish War (in the late 60s and early 70 a.d.),
and, in turn,

    (b) Paul's epistles are [largely] based on the LXX version of the Jewish Scripture

[This Kirkus Review summary of R.G. Price's book says "the main character in Mark’s Gospel is modelled on a divine (but never human) messiah figure named Jesus who was worshipped by a small cult of apocalyptic Jews under the leadership of Paul of Tarsus. According to this understanding of the origins of Christianity, the teachings of Jesus (as readers think of them) are actually based on the precepts of Paul."

It is possible and even likely such a Jesus character or versions of him are very similar to - or even the same as - the Christ or Jesus in Gnostic texts such as the The Secret Book [Apocryphon] of John as would be John.

One might wonder if such Gnostic and even so-called apocryphal texts or tenets also motivated these and other authors of the NT writings, as it is highly unlikely such Gnostic and apocryphal texts are post synoptic gospel writings as we have been led to believe.]
So Paul is our itinerant preacher, our historical Jesus all along, whowouldathunk? It makes sense, so there's one way of looking at it. I wouldn't go and formulate any beliefs on the topic but it does make sense.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42829  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 22, 2019 6:04 am

dogsgod wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
dogsgod wrote:... The author of Mark could very well have had an itinerant preacher in mind when he wrote his gospel that was copied by later writers, but we have no real way of knowing anything about a real person, but of course, you do, because you know your Bible.

R.G. Price's arguments in Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed are that, prior to the writing of the Gospels, Jesus was only or largely understood as a heavenly being. Price argues that

    (a) the-gospel-attributed-to-Mark is based on

      (i) Paul's epistles;
      (ii) the LXX version of the Jewish Scriptures; and
      (iii) aspects of the First Roman-Jewish War (in the late 60s and early 70 a.d.),
and, in turn,

    (b) Paul's epistles are [largely] based on the LXX version of the Jewish Scripture

[This Kirkus Review summary of R.G. Price's book says "the main character in Mark’s Gospel is modelled on a divine (but never human) messiah figure named Jesus who was worshipped by a small cult of apocalyptic Jews under the leadership of Paul of Tarsus. According to this understanding of the origins of Christianity, the teachings of Jesus (as readers think of them) are actually based on the precepts of Paul."

It is possible and even likely such a Jesus character or versions of him are very similar to - or even the same as - the Christ or Jesus in Gnostic texts such as the The Secret Book [Apocryphon] of John as would be John.

One might wonder if such Gnostic and even so-called apocryphal texts or tenets also motivated these and other authors of the NT writings, as it is highly unlikely such Gnostic and apocryphal texts are post synoptic gospel writings as we have been led to believe.]


So Paul is our itinerant preacher, our historical Jesus all along, whowouldathunk? It makes sense, so there's one way of looking at it. I wouldn't go and formulate any beliefs on the topic but it does make sense.


I'm inclined to see Paul as a type of Biblo Baggins figure, writing letters and books, whereas Jesus is more like the figure of Gandalf the Grey who, after battling the Balrog and falling into the Pit of Moriah, returns to the scene and saves the day as Gandalf the White.

The authors of the NT canonical books appear to have been a literary school, busily copy/pasting from the Greek LXX into the Greek NT, and borrowing heavily from the wisdom literature of the Stoic and Platonist philosophers.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42830  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 22, 2019 8:58 am

Owdhat wrote:
Svartalf wrote:I don't believe in miracles either... which is why I wonder about the historical Jesus' status as a religious leader, either he was a master manipulator who arranged for fakery, or he was one big nothing who likely made a scandal in the temple by attacking the merchants there, and was arrested and executed as a seditious element.


Well, we all agree someone wrote the gospels and they mostly date from at least the second to first century and they all have common elements written by independent sources.


Yeah, but the independent sources are anonymous and don't have any sources of their own other than religious literature. There's nothing compelling in citing these as independent sources. If people studying this shit had more on the ball, they'd be more careful about how they toss around the concept of sources. So the strength of the Gospels as historical sources is limited and whenever that fact has to be confronted, the chatter ceases to be about the Gospels. Fictions are more easily copied than documents with, um, sources.
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: Historical Jesus

#42831  Postby RealityRules » Jun 22, 2019 9:03 am

dogsgod wrote:... The author of Mark could very well have had an itinerant preacher in mind when he wrote his gospel ...
RealityRules wrote:
R.G. Price's arguments in Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed are that, prior to the writing of the Gospels, Jesus was only or largely understood as a heavenly being. Price argues that

    (a) the-gospel-attributed-to-Mark is based on

      (i) Paul's epistles;
      (ii) the LXX version of the Jewish Scriptures; and
      (iii) aspects of the First Roman-Jewish War (in the late 60s and early 70 a.d.),
and, in turn,

    (b) Paul's epistles are [largely] based on the LXX version of the Jewish Scripture

[This Kirkus Review summary of R.G. Price's book says "the main character in Mark’s Gospel is modelled on a divine (but never human) messiah figure named Jesus who was worshipped by a small cult of apocalyptic Jews under the leadership of Paul of Tarsus. According to this understanding of the origins of Christianity, the teachings of Jesus (as readers think of them) are actually based on the precepts of Paul."

It is possible and even likely such a Jesus character or versions of him are very similar to - or even the same as - the Christ or Jesus in Gnostic texts such as the The Secret Book [Apocryphon] of John as would be John.

One might wonder if such Gnostic and even so-called apocryphal texts or tenets also motivated these and other authors of the NT writings, as it is highly unlikely such Gnostic and apocryphal texts are post synoptic gospel writings as we have been led to believe.
]
dogsgod wrote:So Paul is our itinerant preacher, our historical Jesus all along, whowouldathunk? It makes sense, so there's one way of looking at it. I wouldn't go and formulate any beliefs on the topic but it does make sense.

Aspects of Paul could have contributed to aspects of the narratives about the NT Jesus but I doubt Paul would be the sole basis for Jesus of Nazareth, and others have noted other potential characters from the texts of Josephus who the other NT authors could have based aspects of Jesus on, eg. Jesus ben Ananais, noted by Theodore Weeden1 and Craig Evans2; Jesus ben Saphat, noted by Frans J Vermeiren3; and the Egyptian, noted by Lena Einhorn4, 5

Interestingly, all these characters, including Paul, are represented as being active and significant in the period in the lead up to and even start of the First Roman-Jewish War.

  1. Weeden (2003) 'Two Jesuses, Jesus of Jerusalem and Jesus of Nazareth: Provocative Parallels and Imaginative Imitation', Forum*, New Series 6, 2 (*Westar Institute academic journal)
  2. Evans CA (1998) 'Jesus in Non-Christian Sources', in Studying the Historical Jesus, eds. BD Chilton, CA Evans, pp. 475-77.
  3. Vermeiren, FJ (2015) A Chronological Revision of the Origins of Christianity and http://www.waroriginsofchristianity.com/
  4. Einhorn (2012) “Jesus and the 'Egyptian Prophet'.”
  5. Einhorn L (2016) A Shift in Time and via Amazon
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42832  Postby RealityRules » Jun 22, 2019 9:31 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:I'm inclined to see Paul as a type of Biblo Baggins figure, writing letters and books, whereas Jesus is more like the figure of Gandalf the Grey who, after battling the Balrog and falling into the Pit of Moriah, returns to the scene and saves the day as Gandalf the White.

The authors of the NT canonical books appear to have been a literary schoola, busily copy/pasting from the Greek LXX into the Greek NT, and borrowing heavily from the wisdom literature of the Stoic and Platonist philosophers.b

a The authors of the NT canonical books may have been in more than one literary school.

b They may have also borrowed from subsequent Jewish, and Greek and Egyptian attempts to claim such philosophers as theirs, and also, in turn, from various Jewish and Greek interpretations of such attempts at rewriting history as outlined by Charles William King in 1887 in The Gnostics and Their Remains.

Early Gnosticism is likely to be in the 'philosophical' mix, -

[Jewish philosophers and] teachers, following the example of a noted Rabbi, Aristobulus, surnamed the Peripatician, endeavoured to make out that all the wisdom of the Greeks was derived immediately from the Hebrew Scripture; and by means of their well-known mode of allegorical interpretation, which enabled them to elicit any sense desired out of any given passage of the Old Testament, they sought, and often succeeded, in establishing their theory. In this way they showed that Plato, during his sojourn in Egypt, had 'been their own scholar'; and still further to support these pretensions, the indefatigable Aristobulus produced a string of poems in the names of Linus, Orpheus, Homer, and Hesiod--all strongly impregnated with the spirit of Judaism. But his Judaism was a very different thing from the simplicity of the Pentateuch.

A single, but very characteristic, production of this Jewish Gnosis has come down to our times. This is the "Book of Enoch", of which the main object is to make known the description of the heavenly bodies and the true names of the same, as revealed to the Patriarch by the angel Uriel. This profession betrays, of itself, the Magian source whence its inspiration was derived. Many Jews, nevertheless, accepted it as a divine revelation; even the Apostle Jude scruples not to quote it as of genuine Scriptural authority. The "Pistis-Sophia", attributed to the Alexandrian heresiarch Valentinus (so important a guide in the following inquiry), perpetually refers to it as the highest source of knowledge, as being dictated by Christ Himself, "speaking out of the Tree of Life unto ΙΕΟϒ, the Primal Man."

Another Jewish-Gnostic Scripture of even greater interest (inasmuch as it is the "Bible" of the only professed Gnostic sect that has maintained its existence to the present day, the Mandaites of Bassora) is the textbook, the "Book of Adam." Its doctrines and singular application of Zoroastrism to Jewish tenets present frequent analogies to those of the Pistis-Sophia, in its continual reference to the ideas of the "Religion of Light" ...

"Gnosticism," therefore, cannot receive a better definition than in that dictum of the sect first and specially calling itself "Gnostics," the Naaseni (translated by the Greeks into "Ophites"), viz., "the beginning of perfection is the knowledge of man, but absolute perfection is the knowledge of God."

Gnosis [is] the knowledge of God and of Man, of the Being and Providence of the former, and of the creation and destiny of the latter ...

The heathen Gnostics, in fact, collected a Gnosis from every quarter, accepted all religious systems as partly true, and extracted from each what harmonized with their ideas. The Gospel, widely preached, accompanied by miracles, having new doctrines and enunciating new truths, very naturally attracted their attention.

The Kabbalists, or Jewish Gnostics, like Simon Magus, found a large portion of apostolic teaching in accordance with their own, and easily grafted upon it so much as they liked. Again the Divine power of working miracles possessed by the Apostles and their successors naturally attracted the interest of those whose chief mystery was the practice of magic. Simon the Magician was considered by the Samaritans to be 'the great Power of God;' he was attracted by the miracles wrought by the Apostles; and no doubt he sincerely 'believed,' that is, after his own fashion.

His notion of Holy Baptism was probably an initiation into a new mystery with a higher Gnosis than he possessed before, and by which he hoped to be endued with higher powers; and so likewise many of those who were called Gnostic Heretics by the Christian Fathers were not Christians at all, only they adopted so much of the Christian doctrine as accorded with their system.


The consideration of the local and political circumstances of the grand foci of Gnosticism will serve to explain much that is puzzling in the origin and nature of the system itself. Ephesus was, after Alexandria, the most important meeting-point of Grecian culture and Oriental speculation. In regard to commerce and riches, although she yielded to the Egyptian capital, yet she rivalled Corinth in both, which city in truth she far surpassed in her treasures of religion and science. Her richness in theosophic ideas and rites had from time immemorial been manifested in her possession of Diana, "whom all Asia and the world" worshipped--that pantheistic figure so conformable to the genius of the furthest East; her College of "Essenes" dedicated to the service of that goddess; and her "Megabyzae," whose name sufficiently declares their Magian institution.

Hence, also, was supplied the talisman of highest repute in the antique world, the far-famed "Ephesian spell," those mystic words graven upon the zone and feet of the "image that fell down from Jupiter;" and how zealously magic was cultivated by her citizens is apparent from St. Luke's incidental notice of the cost of the books belonging to those that used "curious arts" (τὰ περίεργα, the regular name for sorcery and divination), destroyed by their owners in the first transports of conversion to a new faith. Such converts, indeed, after their early zeal had cooled down, were not likely to resist the allurements of the endeavour to reconcile their ancient, far-famed wisdom with the new revelation; in short, to follow the plan invented not long before by the Alexandrian Jew, in his reconciliation of Plato with Moses and the Prophets.

"In Ephesus," says Matter, "the speculations of the Jewish-Egyptian school, and the Semi-Persian speculations of the Kabbala, had then recently come to swell the vast conflux of Grecian and Asiatic doctrines; so there is no wonder that teachers should have sprung up there, who strove to combine the religion newly preached by the Apostle with the ideas so long established in the place. ... [the] First Epistle to Timothy enjoins 'Paul' to warn certain persons to abstain from teaching 'strange doctrines,' those myths and interminable genealogies that only breed division. These same 'myths and genealogies' apply, without any doubt, to the theory of the Emanation of the Æons-Sephiroth, and to all the relations between the Good and Bad Angels that the Kabbalists had borrowed from the religion of Zoroaster."

Again, after condemning certain doctrines concerning the obligation to complete asceticism, adopted literally from the Essenes, the Apostle adds, "Keep safe the precious charge entrusted to thee, avoiding profane novelties and the antitheses of the knowledge, falsely so-called, of which some making profession have gone astray from the faith of Christ."

It was assuredly not the mere fables by which the new converts sought to enrich and complete the Christian doctrine (such as we still have samples of in the...Apocryphal Gospels), such things as these were certainly not the "false knowledge," which set itself up against the "true knowledge," that is, Revelation itself, as something superior to that Revelation.


[Paul's] Epistle to the Church at Ephesus...entreats his flock not to be seduced by "vain discourses," or "new-coined appellations" (as one reading has it, and which applies forcibly to the Gnostic nomenclature), nor by human doctrines that have no more solidity in themselves than the wind, whereof no one knows whence it cometh, or whither it goeth. Nay more, he even employs the very terminology of Gnosticism, as when he says, "Ye were dead in error and in sins: ye walked according to the Æon of this world, according to the Archon who has the dominion of the air," that is, the Demiurgus Ildabaoth.


The later Gnosticism is, in fact, as Chiflet has well expressed it, "the spirit of Asiatic antiquity seeking to assert its empire over the soul of Man by insinuating itself into the Christian Church."

The Ophites, even in the early times of Hippolytus, boasted that they of all men were the only real Christians, because they alone comprehended the real nature of the Saviour. At the same time, they diligently attended the celebration of all the ancient Mysteries, notably the Eleusinian and the Phrygian, declaring that through their knowledge they had gotten the key to the hidden meaning of the whole ceremonial, which by types and figures foreshadowed the coming of the Christ.

... [I]ndeed, Gnosticism, in its primitive form, had almost supplanted, by spiritualizing it, the beautiful materialism of the early Greek and Latin mythologies. Catholicism, through its unity and greater simplicity, in the end triumphed over the conflicting Gnostic philosophies, which became extinct as a professed religion in the sixth century,

https://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/gar/gar04.htm
.

Note the emphasis on Ephesus.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42833  Postby Owdhat » Jun 22, 2019 5:57 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Owdhat wrote:
Svartalf wrote:I don't believe in miracles either... which is why I wonder about the historical Jesus' status as a religious leader, either he was a master manipulator who arranged for fakery, or he was one big nothing who likely made a scandal in the temple by attacking the merchants there, and was arrested and executed as a seditious element.


Well, we all agree someone wrote the gospels and they mostly date from at least the second to first century and they all have common elements written by independent sources.


Yeah, but the independent sources are anonymous and don't have any sources of their own other than religious literature. There's nothing compelling in citing these as independent sources. If people studying this shit had more on the ball, they'd be more careful about how they toss around the concept of sources. So the strength of the Gospels as historical sources is limited and whenever that fact has to be confronted, the chatter ceases to be about the Gospels. Fictions are more easily copied than documents with, um, sources.


You want so many sauces you'd ruin a good meal.

The fact remains that somebody at sometime thought this shit was worth writing down. And so did another person. And that's quite a lot for a nondescript area of nothing much. Who cares if somebody else got hold of it and ran with the tale - not me.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42834  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 22, 2019 7:17 pm

Owdhat wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
Owdhat wrote:
Svartalf wrote:I don't believe in miracles either... which is why I wonder about the historical Jesus' status as a religious leader, either he was a master manipulator who arranged for fakery, or he was one big nothing who likely made a scandal in the temple by attacking the merchants there, and was arrested and executed as a seditious element.


Well, we all agree someone wrote the gospels and they mostly date from at least the second to first century and they all have common elements written by independent sources.


Yeah, but the independent sources are anonymous and don't have any sources of their own other than religious literature. There's nothing compelling in citing these as independent sources. If people studying this shit had more on the ball, they'd be more careful about how they toss around the concept of sources. So the strength of the Gospels as historical sources is limited and whenever that fact has to be confronted, the chatter ceases to be about the Gospels. Fictions are more easily copied than documents with, um, sources.


You want so many sauces you'd ruin a good meal.

The fact remains that somebody at sometime thought this shit was worth writing down. And so did another person. And that's quite a lot for a nondescript area of nothing much. Who cares if somebody else got hold of it and ran with the tale - not me.


Well, there are people who understand how to read ancient literature in ancient languages that seem closer to the er, source, to try to find out something about ancient cultures and peoples, using the techniques accepted and used by academic ancient historians. And then there are the people who were forced to read a lot of bible stories as kids and as adults are trying to make all that seem like not quite such a colossal waste of time. So they read popular books by popular authors who re-interpret the bible stories for them. Give some thought to which category you really want to plump for.
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: Historical Jesus

#42835  Postby dejuror » Jun 22, 2019 9:44 pm

dogsgod wrote:So Paul is our itinerant preacher, our historical Jesus all along, whowouldathunk? It makes sense, so there's one way of looking at it. I wouldn't go and formulate any beliefs on the topic but it does make sense.


It makes no sense that the character called Paul was the historical Jesus.

The quest for the historical Jesus is to determine if a supposed character called Jesus of Nazareth who was claimed to be crucified under Pilate c27-37 CE did exist as written in the NT and Christian writings.

The character called Paul in the NT is another character [ a Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin] who was claimed to have been alive after Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and who was believed to have died in the time of Nero sometime around c 66-69 CE.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42836  Postby RealityRules » Jun 22, 2019 11:06 pm

Owdhat wrote:The fact remains that somebody at sometime thought this shit was worth writing down. And so did another person. And that's quite a lot for a nondescript area of nothing much. Who cares if somebody else got hold of it and ran with the tale - not me.

The fact people thought this shit was worth writing down doesn't mean they were writing shit down on the back of factual sources, or the shit we have been served up is factual. There is increasing commentary that many of the characters or events in the New Testament (and closely related texts) overwhelmingly just reflect interpretations and rewrites of charters and events of the Jewish scriptures and Josephus' War and Antiquities, among other texts.

For example, read Thomas Brodie's The Birthing of the New Testament (2006).

One of the greatest authorities if not the greatest authority on religion in the Roman empire has this to say, -
... In outlining a simple biographical schema, replete with current anecdotes and quotations —here I am following the increasingly mooted, even if still radical position of a second-century date for the canonical gospels and the Acts of the Apostles— Marcion’s portrayal of the life of an apocalyptic visionary and peripatetic preacher, from his first emergence to his rather unusual execution, could be seen as the model of a life turning away from Judaism. He thus orchestrated a rupture that he relocated a century into the past, carefully keeping his narrative free of [then] contemporary references.
------------
Marcion’s opponents reacted immediately with a weighty intellectual exchange of the sort that a metropolis like Rome made possible; and, as was usual in historiography, they reacted with competing versions ... The author of the text that most plagiarized Marcion was identified a little later, by Marcion himself, as Luke, in an edition that featured the gospel along with some of Paul’s letters. It concentrated on correcting Marcion’s fundamental break with Judaism. With their narratives of Jesus’s childhood, both Luke and Matthew demonstrate how familiar the biographical character of the template was, and also how scant the source background was as soon as one wanted to move beyond that template.

Marcion, for his part, criticized their compositions (and that of Mark) as lying close to his own text.

Writings competing with Marcion’s edition of the 140s AD, which was prefaced by his “Antitheses,” could now only continue to accumulate. AD 160 saw a counter-edition that established the core of the future New Testament. The late addition of Luke’s 'Acts of the Apostles' rescued the philosophical core represented by Paul and took a direction that, while no longer avoiding the gray zones of Jewishness, also provided this orientation with a patron. Within the same movement, however, spokesmen such as Luke (in 'Acts of the Apostles') and Justin (in his Apology) —and perhaps earlier the writer of the 'Epistle of Barnabas'— persisted with the genealogy of exclusion, insisting that the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 was a consequence of the crucifixion of the “anointed one.”

Still others in this same period, such as the author of the Gospel of Peter, did not shrink from obvious anti-Judaism and fawning to the Roman authorities ...

This now historiographically constructed collective, this genealogy of Christ’s apostles, had no basis in any historical reality ...

... the new gospels gave rise to no text-based communities. The only exception was Marcion’s group, founded by a typical, religious, small-scale entrepreneur: a well-travelled merchant, an organizer, an arriviste (at least by virtue of his move to Rome), and more successful with his money than with his writings. Beyond this group and the intellectual conversation circles (in which Marcion, at least since Justin’s attack on him, was fully involved at a literary level), “God’s people’s assembly” (ekklēsia) had no lasting institutional basis: no one precisely knew where Peter and Paul had died, to say nothing of where their graves might be ...

..Christianity had thus been invented historiographically [in the 2nd century] by means of the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles complemented by collections of letters. There was as yet no actual community.

Rüpke, Jörg. Pantheon: A New History of Roman Religion, 2018, pp. 355-358. Princeton University Press.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42837  Postby dejuror » Jun 23, 2019 4:15 am

Owdhat wrote:

The fact remains that somebody at sometime thought this shit was worth writing down. And so did another person. And that's quite a lot for a nondescript area of nothing much. Who cares if somebody else got hold of it and ran with the tale - not me.


Plutarch and Tacitus wrote about Romulus so he must have been a significant figure of history.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42838  Postby Stein » Jun 23, 2019 6:33 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Owdhat wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
Owdhat wrote:

Well, we all agree someone wrote the gospels and they mostly date from at least the second to first century and they all have common elements written by independent sources.


Yeah, but the independent sources are anonymous and don't have any sources of their own other than religious literature. There's nothing compelling in citing these as independent sources. If people studying this shit had more on the ball, they'd be more careful about how they toss around the concept of sources. So the strength of the Gospels as historical sources is limited and whenever that fact has to be confronted, the chatter ceases to be about the Gospels. Fictions are more easily copied than documents with, um, sources.


You want so many sauces you'd ruin a good meal.

The fact remains that somebody at sometime thought this shit was worth writing down. And so did another person. And that's quite a lot for a nondescript area of nothing much. Who cares if somebody else got hold of it and ran with the tale - not me.


Well, there are people who understand how to read ancient literature in ancient languages that seem closer to the er, source, to try to find out something about ancient cultures and peoples, using the techniques accepted and used by academic ancient historians. And then there are the people who were forced to read a lot of bible stories as kids and as adults are trying to make all that seem like not quite such a colossal waste of time. So they read popular books by popular authors who re-interpret the bible stories for them. Give some thought to which category you really want to plump for.


Bear in mind that you are neither category.

Oh, and neither is Owdhat -- nor me. But this is all something that you know perfectly, perfectly well, of course -- just perish the thought that you might actually acknowledge as much. "You're not programmed to respond in that area."

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42839  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 23, 2019 6:57 pm

Stein wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
Owdhat wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:

Yeah, but the independent sources are anonymous and don't have any sources of their own other than religious literature. There's nothing compelling in citing these as independent sources. If people studying this shit had more on the ball, they'd be more careful about how they toss around the concept of sources. So the strength of the Gospels as historical sources is limited and whenever that fact has to be confronted, the chatter ceases to be about the Gospels. Fictions are more easily copied than documents with, um, sources.


You want so many sauces you'd ruin a good meal.

The fact remains that somebody at sometime thought this shit was worth writing down. And so did another person. And that's quite a lot for a nondescript area of nothing much. Who cares if somebody else got hold of it and ran with the tale - not me.


Well, there are people who understand how to read ancient literature in ancient languages that seem closer to the er, source, to try to find out something about ancient cultures and peoples, using the techniques accepted and used by academic ancient historians. And then there are the people who were forced to read a lot of bible stories as kids and as adults are trying to make all that seem like not quite such a colossal waste of time. So they read popular books by popular authors who re-interpret the bible stories for them. Give some thought to which category you really want to plump for.


Bear in mind that you are neither category.

Oh, and neither is Owdhat -- nor me. But this is all something that you know perfectly, perfectly well, of course -- just perish the thought that you might actually acknowledge as much. "You're not programmed to respond in that area."

Stein


That's fair enough: neither isn't so bad, but it doesn't give you much purchase. Don't forget that the authors of these popular books on HJ you might enjoy reading are authored by people who are actually both. On the one basis, they have the expertise to read the ancient documents, or so we might hope. On the other basis, they have a predisposition to read them in a certain way, due to some conditioning they might have experienced. The authors in general are on the faculties of religious studies programs or hold jobs in seminaries, and have very strong reasons for investigating the matter in the first place. The biggest hurdle any of them faces is getting religious studies taken seriously by someone not predisposed to do so.

I have never heard a serious academic treatment of the problem from the HJ perspective that did not start by presenting Jesus as a historical person, preparing the ground for the reader or class attendee before actually digging into why he or she thinks so.

Anyone is more than welcome to buy their conclusions hook, line and sinker, and that's actually what we see among those who have decided on a particular course. The ones who have the necessary tools and really want to research the problem because they want to know don't have the time to scat back and forth between themselves and the skeptics.

Tracer Tong comes closest among participants here to have something like a tool-set, and the closest he came was asking somebody if he could really read an ancient inscription instead of accepting a given translation. That's the level it gets to, here. The rest of the discussion I am not at all inclined to take seriously, because it's just a bunch of people who like to snark at each other. And then there's you, Stein, fulminating about the intellectual crimes that are being perpetrated. Oh, my stars and garters! Merciful heavens!
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: Historical Jesus

#42840  Postby dejuror » Jun 24, 2019 1:40 am

RealityRules wrote:
Aspects of Paul could have contributed to aspects of the narratives about the NT Jesus but I doubt Paul would be the sole basis for Jesus of Nazareth, and others have noted other potential characters from the texts of Josephus who the other NT authors could have based aspects of Jesus on, eg. Jesus ben Ananais, noted by Theodore Weeden1 and Craig Evans2; Jesus ben Saphat, noted by Frans J Vermeiren3; and the Egyptian, noted by Lena Einhorn4, 5

Interestingly, all these characters, including Paul, are represented as being active and significant in the period in the lead up to and even start of the First Roman-Jewish War....


The so-called Epistles of Paul had nothing whatsoever to do with the fabrication of fables about the character called Jesus of Nazareth.

In fact, it was the reverse. The so-called Epistles of Paul were invented by unknown writers who used already existing known and circulated fables of Jesus and attempted to historicise them claiming to be witnesses of events in the Jesus stories that could not have happened.

The elements for the construction of the alleged Jesus of Nazareth the supposed Messiah were directly lifted from Hebrew Scripture or Septuagint and as a result of the Fall of the Jewish Temple c 70 CE.

Even, Acts of the Apostles shows that the so-called Pauline Epistles had no influence whatsoever on the fables of Jesus and that Saul/Paul is essentially a by product of non-historical events found in the Gospels.

RealityRules wrote:.....Interestingly, all these characters, including Paul, are represented as being active and significant in the period in the lead up to and even start of the First Roman-Jewish War....


The character called Paul in the NT is unknown by writers who mentioned events in the time of Tiberius and Claudius. Writings attributed to Philo, Plutarch, Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger show no historical evidence of a supposed Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin who asked people in the Roman Empire to worship a dead Jew, a crucified criminal, as a God and the Creator.

Please, do not forget that the NT cannot be used as a credible historical source to show when characters were active. The devil, angels and a resurrected being were active in the time of NT Paul.
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