Historical Jesus

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

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43401  Postby THWOTH » Dec 26, 2022 10:16 pm

We'll just have to wait for the second coming and ask him.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43402  Postby Stein » Dec 29, 2022 5:04 am

THWOTH wrote:We'll just have to wait for the second coming and ask him.


Fortunately, today we have modern methods guided by academic standards and modern scholarship, so we don't have to wait for revelation and an unlikely afterlife to address any questions. Modern specialists weighing the data rigorously and establishing relative likelihoods professionally, rather than dogmatizing conspiratorial delusions, can proceed in arriving at a balanced conclusion reflecting the preponderance of data rather than crank preferences that make amateurs and fakes feel good.

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43403  Postby RealityRules » Dec 29, 2022 8:19 am


Was Jesus a myth?

On December 13, 1881, Abraham Dirk Loman entered the lectern of the Vrije Gemeente in Amsterdam – nowadays the pop temple Paradiso. A mixed audience of theologians and interested laymen was ready to listen to Loman's lecture, which had been announced under the title "The Oldest Christianity." It didn't take long before a commotion broke out in the room. Based on research on the New Testament, focusing on Paul's letters, Loman had concluded that Jesus Christ ("The Anointed One") had never walked the earth, let alone the Sea of Galilee. Jesus Christ was not a historical figure, but a myth. Loman was not a lone caller in the desert. He was part of a group of theologians who would become known as the Dutch Radical School. Among others, Allard Pierson, Willem Christiaan van Manen and Gustaaf Adolf van den Bergh van Eysinga were also part of the club.

In the nineteenth century, Nederland was still a thoroughly Christian country – albeit sharply divided. In addition to the fault line between Calvinism and the Church of Rome, there was another gap, namely that between intellectual biblical criticism and popular belief. For local priests and Christian laity, the message that their savior would be a fabrication was unpalatable; the radicals' findings were kept silent in the grave. Nevertheless, they attracted attention abroad.

In his Geschichte der paulinischen Forschung, Albert Schweitzer praised the Dutch radicals for their critical spirit, which in his view was rather lacking in mainstream theology. And as late as 1996, the German clergyman Hermann Detering published a paper on critical Dutch theologians, followed by an extensive article in the American journal, the Journal of Higher Criticism, entitled 'The Falsified Paul'.

Unfortunately, Detering died at a fairly young age in 2018 – it would have been worthwhile to exchange ideas with him about the Dutch radicals.

It is understandable that in the secularized Netherlands there is no interest in the remarkable history surrounding these theologians. It is different in the United States, where Christianity is still so influential that it cannot be ruled out that the country will slide into a theocracy. On the internet, the discussion about the historical Jesus has flared up. The stars of this discussion are Robert Eisenman, Robert M. Price (editor-in-chief of the Journal of Higher Criticism), Bart D. Ehrman and Richard Carrier – all Americans.

Epistles of Paul

A century and a half after the radicals, the discussion still largely revolves around the letters of the apostle Paul. The New Testament has fourteen. There is broad agreement among Bible experts that seven of them are authentic. That is, there are strong indications that they were written by the same person.

Paul is the most influential figure of early Christianity. Initially, he belonged to an extremist Jewish group that drove Christian Jews over the cliff. He later converted. There is a consensus that he never met Jesus in person, but only in a vision. Paul also says this in so many words in his first letter to the Christians of Corinth:

    The most important thing that I have passed on to you, I have also received in turn: that Christ died for our sins, as stated in the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was resurrected on the third day, as stated in the scriptures, and that He appeared to Kefas (Peter) and then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once, some of whom died, but most of whom are still alive today. Then He appeared to James and then to all the apostles. Only in the end did He also appear to me, misbirth that I was. For I am the least of the apostles, I am not worthy of the name apostle because I have persecuted God's church. But by his grace, I am now what I am.

The New Testament opens with the four Gospels and the Acts. Only then do the letters follow. These thus seem to be an explanation of the most important story, namely the death and resurrection of Jesus and the work of the apostles. In reality, the seven authentic epistles of Paul are the oldest texts of the New Testament. They do not explain the Gospels and Acts, but rather belong to their sources.

That makes the letters very interesting. Take the passage above. Why does Paul repeatedly write "as it says in the scriptures"? According to some radicals, and today especially Richard Carrier, this indicates that the earliest Christians distilled the martyrdom and resurrection of Jesus from the ancient Jewish scriptures that would eventually form the Old Testament. "As it says in the scriptures" cannot refer to the Gospels, for they did not yet exist.

In ancient times there was the idea that heaven consisted of several layers, inhabited by gods, demons, angels and other beings. In one of those heavens (the original Greek text of the Lord's Prayer also uses this plural) God is said to have sacrificed his son and brought him back to life. By carefully reading all kinds of passages in the ancient Jewish scriptures, this story could be brought to light. Once discovered, Jesus began to appear to the earliest Christians, according to the American Carrier, among others. Thus, according to this theory, Jesus never walked the earth (nor walked across the Sea of Galilee).

This immediately explains why the seven letters contain absolutely no biographical information about Jesus. If Jesus had existed in person, wouldn't Paul want to know all about this special figure from the other apostles? And then certain biographical facts would be reflected by the letters, wouldn't they? But none of this. There is no more than above. Paul's Jesus does not perform any miracle. About his family, profession and appearance: not a word. Also, this Jesus is remarkably taciturn; Paul quotes him only once:

    For what I have received and passed on to you goes back to the Lord Himself. On the night the Lord Jesus was delivered, He took a loaf of bread, said the prayer of thanksgiving, broke the bread, and said, "This is my body for you. Do this, again and again, to remember me." So He took the cup after the meal, and He said, "This cup is the new covenant made by my blood. Do this, every time you drink from it, to remember Me."

Paul again does not refer to the Gospels here, but rather contributes a narrative element. And he doesn't say a word about other attendees, or about how Jesus spoils the atmosphere by saying that there is a traitor in the company. These story elements do not appear until decades later in the Gospel of Mark.

Curiously, Paul claims to have "received" this quote. This implies that he did not simply hear it from Kephas (Peter) or James, but that Jesus himself whispered it to him during a vision or dream. This is another indication that Paul is not talking about an earthly Jesus.

Forgery

Even outside the Bible, a historical Jesus is remarkably absent. However, the century in which Jesus is said to have lived is unusually well documented. This is mainly due to the historian Flavius Josephus. His two most important works, The Jewish War and The Ancient History of the Jews, describe in detail the events that would eventually lead to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. In these books, all kinds of figures that we also find in the Gospels and Acts are discussed extensively, including John the Baptist. But he hardly says a word about Jesus. Why?

According to Bart Ehrman, the most conservative of the modern radicals, this is probably because Jesus was much more obscure than Christians think. Yet early Christians seem to have been concerned about their hero's small role in Josephus. This is evident from a passage in The Ancient History that is as concise as it is curious:

    At that time Jesus, a wise man, lived as far as it is permissible to call him a man. He performed deeds that were considered impossible, and he was a teacher of people who joyfully took in the truth. And he brought many Jews as well as many of the Greeks to himself. He was the Christ. Even after Pilate had imposed the punishment of the cross on him at the direction of the first men with us, those who had first come to live in love did not give up. He had appeared to them on the third day, alive again. The divine prophets had said those things and countless other wonderful things about him. To this day, the group of Christians named after him has not disappeared.

This passage is known as the 'Testimonium Flavianum'. Josephus was not a Christian, that's for sure. What is certain is that Josephus would never have treated a seemingly influential figure so succinctly and vaguely. The fragment also forms a strange kink in the cable: remove the Testimonium, and the text runs much smoother. Almost everyone therefore thinks that the passage is a forgery. The perpetrator is eusebius of Caesarea, the house theologian of the first Christian emperor Constantine the Great and a notorious liar. In any case, without the Testimonium, only a shred of evidence remains in Josephus for the carnal existence of Jesus Christ.

For in the same book there is this passage: "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James." This is a remarkable parallel with Paul, who in his letter to the Galatians also mentions a "James, brother of the Lord."

According to Richard Carrier, the most radical radical, Paul means by "brother of the Lord" that James was an ordinary believer, unlike the much more important apostle Kefas, who is also mentioned in this passage. After all, Paul addresses his fellow Christians all the time as brothers and sisters. In Josephus there are several figures with the name Jesus. The words "who was called Christ" may therefore have been added by a monk who copied the text. We must constantly realize that virtually all ancient texts have been handed down to us through an ecclesiastical filter.

Unsurprisingly, evangelical Christians in America do not so much reject these arguments as they completely ignore them. Influential religious YouTube channels, such as Southern Seminary, insist that the evidence for a historical Jesus is overwhelming, without going into it further. Evangelists are very vehement in the defense of creationism — the idea that the creation story should be taken literally. However, they rightly sense that the historicity of Jesus is much easier to defend, since even most secular historians still assume it by default.

et many evangelists understand that the evidence that their hero once lived is meager. That is why they focus, cleverly enough, on theories that the Jesus character is based on pre-Christian (half-) gods such as Horus, Dionysus, Sol Invictus and Mithras. These ideas are indeed popular among those who question the historicity of Jesus, but their arguments are notoriously speculative. Yes, the theme of resurrection from the dead is common in such cults. And all kinds of Christian symbols and motifs are also rooted in pagan times.

Fictional character

But as evangelical Christians rightly argue, none of this is proof that Jesus never existed. It only proves that Christianity originated within Greco-Roman culture. It can be proven that the traditional ecclesiastical image we have of Jesus is based on fabrications. That is entirely based on the four Gospels in the New Testament. Here we find a Jesus who hears echoing from heaven immediately after his baptism: "You are my beloved Son, in You I find joy." At least that's what it says in the Gospel of Mark, the oldest of the four Gospels. The rest of the story is well known. He brings the dead to life. He multiplies fish. He is crucified, after which his dead body mysteriously disappears. When three women enter the tomb with the intention of embalming Jesus, they find only a "young man dressed in white" who says that Jesus will reappear to his followers in Galilee.

Who wrote the Gospel of Mark is unknown. Some suspect that Ignatius of Antioch had a hand in the creation of the Jesus character as we know it. The motive: luring simple people to Christ with stories of miracles.

After Mark, other, more complete gospels appeared, in which it is described for the first time that Jesus was born by a virgin. However, early Christian writings on heretical movements show that not all Christians believed in this new Jesus-of-flesh-and-blood. They placed his life, suffering, and resurrection in the heavens. Theologians think that these so-called 'Gnostic' currents were a further development of the 'original' Jesus story, but according to the radicals it went the other way around. The reason that the 'earthly' version of Jesus ultimately triumphed is simple: from 380 onwards, it was strictly obliged to believe this throughout the Roman Empire.

Regardless of whether a pacifist rabbi has ever been crucified, as the American Robert Eisenman thinks, the Jesus of the Gospels is a fictional character loosely based on the epistles of Paul, the books of Josephus, and possibly other sources. The indications for this are numerous. The Gospels are Hellenistic fables, intended for an audience of Greekized Jews in the Roman Empire. Paul's Jesus has evolved into a man with qualities. Yet he never becomes fully human. In his collection De schrift betwist Maarten 't Hart writes:

    He never laughs, he never sings, he never whistles, he has no interest in the opposite sex, you never hear anything about interest in good food. Nothing human seems to be his own. In the afterword to the translation of the four Gospels, Mario Molegraaf says about Jesus' weeping at the tomb of Lazarus: "We find this the sympathetic moment of an otherwise unsympathetic personality." But Jesus is too shadowy to even be unsympathetic.

And yet this Jesus became the most famous person in history. The fact that the four Gospels contradict each other does not bother believers. Traditional theologians argue in defense that the Jesus story was handed down orally for at least forty years before anyone wrote it down. But in the first century, literacy was so great that people would have taken notes during Jesus' preaching. And if his followers had consisted mainly of illiterate fishermen, Christianity would never have broken through. For how could an illiterate fisherman who does not speak Greek impress educated Jews in Alexandria, for example? Apparently, the writer of Acts also struggled with this problem. A miracle brought an outcome: "All were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak loudly in foreign languages." Abraham Dirk Loman undoubtedly thought his own. Or to quote Maarten 't Hart: 'The greatest miracle is that there are still Christians around who believe these kinds of totally absurd stories.'

Translated into English from https://www.maartenonline.nl/was-jezus-een-mythe/ with Microsoft Edge

The Bible quotes come from the NBV21 of the Dutch-Flemish Bible Society. The Josephus quotes come from Against the Greeks, a translation by F. Meijer and M.A. Wes. The quotes of Maarten 't Hart come from his collection De schrift betwist.

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43404  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 31, 2022 9:36 am

A new agraphon from the writings of the last pagan emperor Julian

Agrapha (ἄγραφον; Greek for "non written"; singular ágraphon) are sayings of Jesus that are not found in the canonical Gospels. The term was used for the first time by J.G. Körner, a German Bible scholar, in 1776. The definition of agrapha posits that they must satisfy three conditions (SEE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrapha )

* They must be sayings, not discourses – works like the "Didascalia" and the "Pistis Sophia", that speak of Jesus, but do not quote him, are not considered agrapha
* They must be sayings of Jesus – agrapha are not sayings found in religious romances such as those found in apocryphal Gospels, the apocryphal Acts, or the Letter of Christ to Abgar, etc.
* They must not be in the canonical Gospels


Here then is the agraphon of Jesus preserved for us by Julian:

"He that is a seducer, he that is a murderer,
he that is sacrilegious and infamous,
let him approach without fear!
For with this water will I wash him
and will straightway make him clean.

And though he should be guilty
of those same sins a second time,
let him but smite his breast and beat his head
and I will make him clean again."


SOURCE: http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/Julia ... Kronia.htm
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

Emperor Julian (362 CE)
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43405  Postby dogsgod » Jan 01, 2023 6:32 pm

Stein wrote:
THWOTH wrote:We'll just have to wait for the second coming and ask him.


Fortunately, today we have modern methods guided by academic standards and modern scholarship, so we don't have to wait for revelation and an unlikely afterlife to address any questions. Modern specialists weighing the data rigorously and establishing relative likelihoods professionally, rather than dogmatizing conspiratorial delusions, can proceed in arriving at a balanced conclusion reflecting the preponderance of data rather than crank preferences that make amateurs and fakes feel good.

You're welcome.

Stein

If only NT scholarship would get on board.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43406  Postby Stein » Jan 02, 2023 5:44 pm

dogsgod wrote:
Stein wrote:
THWOTH wrote:We'll just have to wait for the second coming and ask him.


Fortunately, today we have modern methods guided by academic standards and modern scholarship, so we don't have to wait for revelation and an unlikely afterlife to address any questions. Modern specialists weighing the data rigorously and establishing relative likelihoods professionally, rather than dogmatizing conspiratorial delusions, can proceed in arriving at a balanced conclusion reflecting the preponderance of data rather than crank preferences that make amateurs and fakes feel good.

You're welcome.

Stein

If only NT scholarship would get on board.


The serious professional scholars already have. They don't accept the magic man of fundie Christians. Let me repeat that:

They do NOT accept the magic man of fundie Christians.

The professional historical model is finally the plausible entirely human being who is an itinerant rabbi and social commentator and died on a Roman cross.

Unfortunately, it's the mumbling Kool-aid-ed mythers who won't get on board and make up junk for them to feel good instead.

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43407  Postby RealityRules » Jan 03, 2023 4:07 am

Stein wrote:The professional historical 'model' is finally the 'plausible' entirely human being who is an itinerant rabbi and social commentator and died on a Roman cross.

    "model" and "plausible" give less-than-certain vibes
    (as does 'finally'; and the lack of a statement about actual definitive evidence)
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43408  Postby RealityRules » Jan 03, 2023 4:11 am

Stein wrote:
Fortunately, today we have modern methods guided by academic standards and modern scholarship, so we don't have to wait for revelation and an unlikely afterlife to address any questions. Modern specialists weighing the data rigorously and establishing relative likelihoods professionally...can proceed in arriving at a balanced conclusion reflecting the preponderance of data rather than crank preferences that make amateurs and fakes feel good.


    So, what is the 'preponderance of data'? and the resulting 'balanced conclusion'?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43409  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jan 03, 2023 11:28 am

The 'preponderance of data' is massive copy/pasted Greek LXX material and the resulting 'balanced conclusion' is that we are dealing with an historical / theological fiction story book.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43410  Postby archibald » Jan 04, 2023 8:40 pm

We'll never know, but all things considered, it's more likely he existed than not, imo. Mythicism, on close examination, seems a stretch. Carrier is unconvincing. Don't even mention that fool Doherty.

For starters, the extant epistles clearly (including in Koine Greek) refer to a religious man who had been alive in Judea, but who died (was killed it seems), apparently quite recently to the time of writing.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43411  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jan 05, 2023 2:18 am

Physically extant epistles explode in the 4th century. The test results for C14 dated NT related manuscripts are from the 4th century. The letter exchange between Paul and Seneca was prefaced to the literature of Seneca by the 4th century Christian church industry and in such an inconvenient position, as part of the Christian education system, it remained for over a thousand long dark years. Fraud, forgery, conspiracy? We are not dealing with a "Divine Institute" we are dealing with an utterly corrupt, extremely powerful and influential church industry with a business model. The turnstiles are still clicking over for the cult of the Saints and Martyrs and the "Holy Relic trade".


WHY THE HISTORICITY OF PAUL IS A PROPOSITION NOT A FACT

Many people treat the historicity of Jesus as a fact. Carrier treats it as an historical proposition. He calculates the truth value of the proposition to be less than 50%. When we turn to the historicity of Paul Carrier treats this as a fact. It is not a fact. It too (IMHO) is just another historical proposition. There are no independent extra-biblical historical sources that mention the existence of Paul. Except for one which we'll get to below [1]. We know that at least half of the so-called Pauline letters were not written by Paul. Many scholars assert that the remaining "Magnificent Seven" and "Genuine Letters" of Paul are legit. But this is not a fact. Again it is a proposition. We have no manuscript copies of Paul from the early centuries. We have no evidence.

I am aware that Carrier has written on "The Historicity of the Apostle Paul" (2015) [2] with particular attention to Hermann Detering's views. But I am also aware that (the late) Hermann Detering has responded to Carrier's critique (2016) [3]. Bruno Bauer, Abraham Dirk Loman, Rudolph Steck, Willem Christiaan van Manen, G. A. Bergh van Eysinga, Hermann Detering, Robert Price and other scholars have proposed that all of Paul’s letters are 2nd century forgeries and that Paul was not a 1st century historical figure. To these scholars the historicity of Paul is not a fact. It is a proposition. And one which they reject.

Some arguments against the proposition of a non historical Paul invoke this proposition as requiring the support of a conspiracy theory. In the 4th century the Christian regime commenced the circulation of the writings of the Stoic philosopher and Roman stateman Seneca. These writings of Seneca were prefaced with the (forged) letter exchange between Paul and Seneca. For more than a thousand years this forged letter exchange was accepted as factual within the Christian education system. If Carrier were to have written anytime between the 4th and the 15th century then he could have written that the historicity of Paul is supported by his letter exchange with Seneca. But times change. We all now know that the 4th century Nicene church industry indulged in a conspiracy to pass off this forged correspondence as legitimate. In the 4th century every literate person knew about Seneca. Few if any were aware of Paul. A brazen conspiracy by the Nicene church industry solved this problem for a thousand years. Support for the belief in the historicity of Paul was kick-started by the forged letter exchange with Seneca.

[1] https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Apoc ... ment_(1924)/Epistles/The_correspondence_of_Paul_and_Seneca

[2] The Historicity of Paul the Apostle, Richard Carrier, June 2015 https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/7643

[3] Richard Carrier on The Fabricated Paul, by Dr. Hermann Detering, Edited and translated by René Salm
http://www.mythicistpapers.com/2016/06/ ... er-pt-1-2/
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43412  Postby proudfootz » Jan 05, 2023 1:21 pm

archibald wrote:We'll never know, but all things considered, it's more likely he existed than not, imo. Mythicism, on close examination, seems a stretch. Carrier is unconvincing. Don't even mention that fool Doherty.


I find both the scholars you mention to be persuasive.

I don't understand how it's a stretch that a mythos chock-a-block with made up heroes couldn't have one more as the Final Boss.

I'm open to there having been some street preacher whose words or deeds could have contributed to the fan fiction churned out in the early days of the christian cult explosion. What exactly that contribution might be is unclear, as there are few confirmed facts that even HJers agree on.

For starters, the extant epistles clearly (including in Koine Greek) refer to a religious man who had been alive in Judea, but who died (was killed it seems), apparently quite recently to the time of writing.


It doesn't seem abundantly clear to me. No reminisces among these people about having seen, heard, or met Jesus during his career.

"Remember when he fed that big crowd? I was amazed!"

"What really freaked me out was when he withered that fig tree. Boy was that farmer angry!"

"We nearly got lynched when we drowned all those pigs."
Last edited by proudfootz on Jan 05, 2023 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43413  Postby proudfootz » Jan 05, 2023 1:27 pm

dogsgod wrote:
Stein wrote:
THWOTH wrote:We'll just have to wait for the second coming and ask him.


Fortunately, today we have modern methods guided by academic standards and modern scholarship, so we don't have to wait for revelation and an unlikely afterlife to address any questions. Modern specialists weighing the data rigorously and establishing relative likelihoods professionally, rather than dogmatizing conspiratorial delusions, can proceed in arriving at a balanced conclusion reflecting the preponderance of data rather than crank preferences that make amateurs and fakes feel good.

You're welcome.

Stein

If only NT scholarship would get on board.


That would undermine the whole Jesus Industrial Complex forcing a lot of people to seek real jobs.
"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

#43414  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jan 05, 2023 11:45 pm

proudfootz wrote:
dogsgod wrote:
Stein wrote:
THWOTH wrote:We'll just have to wait for the second coming and ask him.


Fortunately, today we have modern methods guided by academic standards and modern scholarship, so we don't have to wait for revelation and an unlikely afterlife to address any questions. Modern specialists weighing the data rigorously and establishing relative likelihoods professionally, rather than dogmatizing conspiratorial delusions, can proceed in arriving at a balanced conclusion reflecting the preponderance of data rather than crank preferences that make amateurs and fakes feel good.

You're welcome.

Stein

If only NT scholarship would get on board.


That would undermine the whole Jesus Industrial Complex forcing a lot of people to seek real jobs.



Roman political propaganda in the New Testament
supports the whole Jesus Industrial Complex



(1) Pay tax to Caesar;

(2) Give Caesar whatever TF he asks for;

(3) In all Judea it is the centurion who has greatest faith;

(4) Go the extra mile carrying the Roman soldier's pack;

(5) Be compliant and turn the other cheek;

(6) Support the Roman military industrial complex and go out and buy a sword (or two);

(7) Serious business. Great fear over the management of money, property and tithing for the church industry (Acts 5.1-11) [1]

(8) the massive proliferation of the abbreviation of "sacred names" (nomina sacra) is a characteristic which is neither Jewish or Greek, but distinctively Roman;

(9) Codex media which becomes popular in the 4th century was used for the earliest physical Christian manuscripts. This was very expensive exercise (The Roman Martial mentions?)

(10) Greek "episkopos" (bishop) also means "spy". (particularly relevant in the 4th century)

(11) SETTING: NT supposedly written within the Roman empire (Palestine) - ruled by Rome.

(12) Christianos: Etymology. The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos), meaning "follower of Christ", comes from Χριστός (Christos), meaning "anointed one", with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.

(13) Obsessive COPY/PASTE from greek LXX to greek NT (literary school) ??

(14) Earliest references to "Christians" (excluding TF) are (supposedly) all Roman = emperor Trajan, statesman Pliny, historian Tacitus

(15) Pray for Romans ("your enemies") on your way to them watching you being fed to the lions

(16) Matt 6:6 - "How to Pray"? Jesus borrows instructions from Roman Stoic philosophy - Epictetus. [2]

(17) Christ? CHI RHO on Greek inscriptions used as an abbreviation of ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(centurion);

(18) Mark 15:39 (NIV) - It was the astute Centurion who was first person on planet Earth to wake up to the fact that they'd just snuffed out the son of god. (And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”)

(19) Rom 13 - "People should be subject to the government - which is appointed by God.

(20) Rom 13 - "Obey these agents of God on earth". (Romans 13 gives rise to the "Divine Right of Kings". The first example of a ruler using this "Divine Right" was given as Louis XIV. But is there any reason to pass over the divine rule of the Emperor Constantine? )
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

Emperor Julian (362 CE)
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43415  Postby archibald » Jan 06, 2023 7:30 pm

proudfootz wrote:I find both the scholars you mention to be persuasive.


Imo Doherty is appallingly bad and best jettisoned. Carrier better, but still deeply unconvincing to me, although to be fair I haven't read much by him lately. But purely non-earthly Jesus (or from the vague and dim and distant past Jesus) does not persuade me, at all, nor seem to fit with the content of the epistles, because (a) the text suggests he died recently and (b) the current followers/readers are being encouraged to expect him to return very soon.

proudfootz wrote:I'm open to there having been some street preacher whose words or deeds could have contributed to the fan fiction churned out in the early days of the christian cult explosion. What exactly that contribution might be is unclear, as there are few confirmed facts that even HJers agree on.


Cool.

Going by the information in the epistles.... he would have been a Jewish man, in Judea, around that time (ie not long prior to the epistles being written), fringe religious side to him (possibly not even mainly a street preacher, but he could also have been more militant than that) who died (was killed it seems). Had some followers at the time of his death, some of whom seem (from the descriptions given) not to have given up on following him afterwards.

Beyond that. I would not readily speculate. Even that is speculation, but imo, in the end, it seems more likely than that he never existed.

The writer of the epistles doesn't seem to have met the man he's writing about while he was alive, or know much about him. Writer of the epistles is imo an unreliable narrator and a chancer.

Exist? Not exist? In my estimation overall balance of reasonable probabilities favours the first, rather than the second.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43416  Postby dogsgod » Jan 07, 2023 5:46 am

archibald wrote:
proudfootz wrote:I find both the scholars you mention to be persuasive.


Imo Doherty is appallingly bad and best jettisoned. Carrier better, but still deeply unconvincing to me, although to be fair I haven't read much by him lately. But purely non-earthly Jesus (or from the vague and dim and distant past Jesus) does not persuade me, at all, nor seem to fit with the content of the epistles, because (a) the text suggests he died recently and (b) the current followers/readers are being encouraged to expect him to return very soon.

proudfootz wrote:I'm open to there having been some street preacher whose words or deeds could have contributed to the fan fiction churned out in the early days of the christian cult explosion. What exactly that contribution might be is unclear, as there are few confirmed facts that even HJers agree on.


Cool.

Going by the information in the epistles.... he would have been a Jewish man, in Judea, around that time (ie not long prior to the epistles being written), fringe religious side to him (possibly not even mainly a street preacher, but he could also have been more militant than that) who died (was killed it seems). Had some followers at the time of his death, some of whom seem (from the descriptions given) not to have given up on following him afterwards.

Beyond that. I would not readily speculate. Even that is speculation, but imo, in the end, it seems more likely than that he never existed.

The writer of the epistles doesn't seem to have met the man he's writing about while he was alive, or know much about him. Writer of the epistles is imo an unreliable narrator and a chancer.

Exist? Not exist? In my estimation overall balance of reasonable probabilities favours the first, rather than the second.


It was Doherty's book, The Jesus Puzzle, that convinced Carrier that the earliest Christians, the pre-gospel epistle writers, believed in a mythical Christ. Post-gospel Christianity is a different story. So, did Christianity begin with a mythical Christ? It has been cause for discussion, that much is certain.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43417  Postby proudfootz » Jan 09, 2023 1:08 pm

dogsgod wrote:
archibald wrote:
proudfootz wrote:I find both the scholars you mention to be persuasive.


Imo Doherty is appallingly bad and best jettisoned. Carrier better, but still deeply unconvincing to me, although to be fair I haven't read much by him lately. But purely non-earthly Jesus (or from the vague and dim and distant past Jesus) does not persuade me, at all, nor seem to fit with the content of the epistles, because (a) the text suggests he died recently and (b) the current followers/readers are being encouraged to expect him to return very soon.

proudfootz wrote:I'm open to there having been some street preacher whose words or deeds could have contributed to the fan fiction churned out in the early days of the christian cult explosion. What exactly that contribution might be is unclear, as there are few confirmed facts that even HJers agree on.


Cool.

Going by the information in the epistles.... he would have been a Jewish man, in Judea, around that time (ie not long prior to the epistles being written), fringe religious side to him (possibly not even mainly a street preacher, but he could also have been more militant than that) who died (was killed it seems). Had some followers at the time of his death, some of whom seem (from the descriptions given) not to have given up on following him afterwards.

Beyond that. I would not readily speculate. Even that is speculation, but imo, in the end, it seems more likely than that he never existed.

The writer of the epistles doesn't seem to have met the man he's writing about while he was alive, or know much about him. Writer of the epistles is imo an unreliable narrator and a chancer.

Exist? Not exist? In my estimation overall balance of reasonable probabilities favours the first, rather than the second.


It was Doherty's book, The Jesus Puzzle, that convinced Carrier that the earliest Christians, the pre-gospel epistle writers, believed in a mythical Christ. Post-gospel Christianity is a different story. So, did Christianity begin with a mythical Christ? It has been cause for discussion, that much is certain.


I went ahead and purchased Doherty's Jesus: Neither God Nor Man for the full argument and it is immensely useful for an exploration of all the relevant evidence.

Compared to that Ehrman's Jesus book is weak sauce.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43418  Postby dogsgod » Jan 09, 2023 4:50 pm

proudfootz wrote:

I went ahead and purchased Doherty's Jesus: Neither God Nor Man for the full argument and it is immensely useful for an exploration of all the relevant evidence.

Compared to that Ehrman's Jesus book is weak sauce.


I bought a used copy of Erhman's book for $5 and even at that it was very disappointing. I wanted an argument for an historical Jesus that went beyond hypothetical sources such as Aramaic texts about Jesus that don't exist, but that was all he offered. He left those arguing for an HJ with nothing.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43419  Postby RealityRules » Jan 10, 2023 11:07 am

dogsgod wrote: So, did Christianity begin with a mythical Christ?

I don't think so. I think Christianity began with a nebulous, conceptual Christ-Saviour in Paul's letters (the long form of Iesous/Yeshua, Y'hoshua, meant YHWH saves).

That Christ-Iesous/'Jesus' was first anthropomorphised and personified by Mark and then more so by Matthew and Luke, with their genealogies and birth narratives, etc (other, apocryphal texts and perhaps even the so-called catholic epistles likely had a role, too ie. not all would have been post-Gospel).

That was when the literary, 'human' Jesus became mythical ie. after being anthropomorphised in the literature, but without good contemporaneous accounts about Him.

archibald wrote:The writer of the epistles doesn't seem to have met the man he's writing about while he was alive, or know much about him. Writer of the epistles is imo an unreliable narrator and a chancer.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43420  Postby proudfootz » Jan 10, 2023 12:31 pm

dogsgod wrote:
proudfootz wrote:

I went ahead and purchased Doherty's Jesus: Neither God Nor Man for the full argument and it is immensely useful for an exploration of all the relevant evidence.

Compared to that Ehrman's Jesus book is weak sauce.


I bought a used copy of Erhman's book for $5 and even at that it was very disappointing. I wanted an argument for an historical Jesus that went beyond hypothetical sources such as Aramaic texts about Jesus that don't exist, but that was all he offered. He left those arguing for an HJ with nothing.


Yes, Ehrman's book was very poor. The hysterical tone by itself was very off-putting.

But it did include some revealing admissions about the weakness of the proof texts generally used by the HJ lobby.
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