Historical Jesus

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

Moderators: Blip, DarthHelmet86

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#81  Postby TimONeill » Feb 27, 2010 2:55 pm

Agrippina wrote:Did you happen to notice the second word in the forum title "skepticism."


No. I have my eye firmly fixed on it. But true scepticism has a rational focus.

So I'm sceptical of what people say, and I make up my own mind about what I want to believe,


Based on ... ?


and bullying tactics about 'evidence' are not going to work with me,


Real scepticism is based on EVIDENCE buddy. If you think the requirement that you should produce evidence amounts to "bullying tactics" then perhaps you would be more comfortable on some woolly-minded hippy forum. You sure as hell don't seem to fit in here with the rationalists.

I love the hippy reference BTW. Very funny.


Very apt, it seems. Now, enough shit - put up or shut up time for you pal. Do you have some EVIDENCE that Jesus was based on multiple people or are you just farting out your arse?

EVIDENCE now, please.
Last edited by TimONeill on Feb 27, 2010 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto
"I am human: nothing that is human is alien to me."

Publius Terentius Afer

History for Atheists - How Not to Get History ... Wrong
User avatar
TimONeill
 
Posts: 2221
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Did Jesus exist?

#82  Postby alienpresence » Feb 27, 2010 2:59 pm

TimONeill wrote:
alienpresence wrote:All written 'religio-historic sources' from such a distant depth in time must be considered suspect.

Anyone with anything more than a high school morons's grasp of the historical method knows that any source has to be considered "suspect" and handled appropriately. This is basic stuff. Can we please stop cluttering this thread up with this infantile crap.


I guess that means we've got no bones in this case?
To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty. - Maximillien Robiespierre

Image
alienpresence
 
Posts: 1669
Age: 56
Male

Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#83  Postby jerome » Feb 27, 2010 3:04 pm

Tim is right that I am not really a fan of Ehrmann - he's ok, but E.D Sanders and Geza Vermes are far better to my mind. Probably my largest influences are these books by James Dunn -

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unity-Diversity ... 838&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jesus-Remembere ... 958&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-Jerus ... 958&sr=8-2

and the second volume of Unity & Diverity whose title I forget. Any opinion on them Tim? Look out for roger Pearse of tertullian.org - great bloke - and Kirby's website Early Christian Writings...

j x
Yours sincerely, Jerome -- a threat to reason & science

I am an Anglican Prejudice declared - My blog: http://jerome23.wordpress.com/
User avatar
jerome
 
Name: CJ
Posts: 2047
Age: 51
Male

Country: UK
Denmark (dk)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#84  Postby TimONeill » Feb 27, 2010 3:05 pm

alienpresence wrote:
TimONeill wrote:
alienpresence wrote:All written 'religio-historic sources' from such a distant depth in time must be considered suspect.

Anyone with anything more than a high school morons's grasp of the historical method knows that any source has to be considered "suspect" and handled appropriately. This is basic stuff. Can we please stop cluttering this thread up with this infantile crap.


I guess that means we've got no bones in this case?


No, this means we have to work with the sources that any historian works with - ones that all have some kind of bias and all of which are to some extent "suspect". Welcome to the study of history. Sorry if that's not how your high school teacher explained things, but this is how grown-ups do it. Deal with it or go elsewhere.
Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto
"I am human: nothing that is human is alien to me."

Publius Terentius Afer

History for Atheists - How Not to Get History ... Wrong
User avatar
TimONeill
 
Posts: 2221
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#85  Postby Agrippina » Feb 27, 2010 3:11 pm

Apollonius wrote:
Agrippina wrote:..
This is not faith, it is merely observation of the evidence presented. I don't believe that a real person existed, any more than I don't believe the exodus or the flood or the creation happened, to me, from my own personal point of view, it's all the same kind of mythology.

You believe whatever your particular cult tells you to believe and I'll follow what my rational logic tells me.


Rational logic would lead to to conclude that Jesus the person was real. Rational historians have put a lot of scholarly work into this question and this is the best result they have.

I posted a short version a few pages back. Jesus as myth doesn't make rational sense.

If you are going to make up a story, you don't create problems for yourself.

People were expecting a messiah that delivered them from whatever, and this messiah would have great power and he would lead them to a new kingdom. The problem is that the Romans killed Jesus (who wasn't claiming to be the messiah anyway-he just said one was coming, just like others were saying). This resulted in a lot of nutty claims, and it's where we get the "he died for your sins" nonsense. No one had predicted this. It was a real problem for early believers and it caused them to split from Judaism.

The early believers, starting with Paul, whose letters are documented, actually turned the religion OF Jesus (and others) into a religion ABOUT Jesus. They made up the parts about him being divine, about dying for sins, and eventually they thought he was always listening to them and answering prayers, whatever.

Historians can only come up with the best explanation they can, understanding that we do not and can not have access to enough documentation. The best and most rational explanation for the strange story of Jesus is that he was a real person that was saying certain things, he was killed, and his followers made up a lot of crazy shit, and you know the rest.


I'm not speaking as a historian, I'm speaking as just a person who didn't grow up with anything other than the idea that getting Israel to be free of Arabs would set the stage for the arrival of the Messiah being taught to me. I always thought that it was a stupid thing to hanker after and that while you were waiting for the Messiah and "next year in Jerusalem." life was passing you by, Then my mother got into some cultish type of Christianity that sounded like more nonsense to me and with the culture of Christian Nationalist being the policy of the government of the country, and my rebelliousness, in my middle teens I abandoned the idea of religion and decided that all the Jesus stories were just more mythology, and personally, for my own world view, I think that there was more than just a little mythology in the history that was written. And again personally, I don't really care. Jesus and God mean nothing to me so whether the whole thing was true, is neither here nor there, I just chalk it up to mythology, like all the other bible stories.

But from the point of view of reading the history, and having spent almost two decades reading ancient history, the evidence does seem to prove that he did actually exist but I always question everything I read, and I always look for more than one reference. The bible certainly doesn't make me confident that he did exist but the other sources quoted by Jerome here, certainly indicate that he was real. I just think that even though the history points to his existence, a lot of the history should be read with a certain amount of scepticism because of the bias of writers who were not subjected to peer review.

@ Tim, relax I'm just yanking your chain, you really do need to learn how to relax my friend. :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 36690
Age: 110
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#86  Postby Agrippina » Feb 27, 2010 3:13 pm

TimONeill wrote:
Very apt, it seems. Now, enough shit - put up or shut up time for you pal. Do you have some EVIDENCE that Jesus was based on multiple people or are you just farting out your arse?

Not nice! :naughty:
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 36690
Age: 110
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#87  Postby alienpresence » Feb 27, 2010 3:15 pm

TimONeill wrote:
No, this means we have to work with the sources that any historian works with - ones that all have some kind of bias and all of which are to some extent "suspect". Welcome to the study of history. Sorry if that's not how your high school teacher explained things, but this is how grown-ups do it. Deal with it or go elsewhere.


I think I'll visit the archeology department and get back to you. :cheers:
To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty. - Maximillien Robiespierre

Image
alienpresence
 
Posts: 1669
Age: 56
Male

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Did Jesus exist?

#88  Postby TimONeill » Feb 27, 2010 3:27 pm

Agrippina wrote:. I just think that even though the history points to his existence, a lot of the history should
be read with a certain amount of scepticism


No-one here is disagreeing with you. Me least of all.

@ Tim, relax I'm just yanking your chain, you really do need to learn how to relax my friend. :cheers:


And you need to understand that someone can ask for the level of evidence that this "scepticism" you keep extolling requires while still being totally relaxed. That scepticism means that if you make assertions like "Jesus was based on many different people" then those of us with a true grasp of what scepticism means will require you to back that up with evidence. And if you can't, you will be ridiculed. And we'll do all this while utterly relaxed with a Martini in one hand and a bong in the other.

Relaxed enough for you pal?

Now, are you going to back up your assertion about Jesus being based on many people with some evidence and cogent argument like a real sceptic or are you going to back away with more of this evasive "hey, relax man!" hippy bullshit?

I'm getting really tired of the latter. Try the former for a change or admit you've got nothing and back away.
Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto
"I am human: nothing that is human is alien to me."

Publius Terentius Afer

History for Atheists - How Not to Get History ... Wrong
User avatar
TimONeill
 
Posts: 2221
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#89  Postby TimONeill » Feb 27, 2010 3:30 pm

alienpresence wrote:
TimONeill wrote:
No, this means we have to work with the sources that any historian works with - ones that all have some kind of bias and all of which are to some extent "suspect". Welcome to the study of history. Sorry if that's not how your high school teacher explained things, but this is how grown-ups do it. Deal with it or go elsewhere.


I think I'll visit the archeology department and get back to you. :cheers:


When the "archeology" (sic) department explain to you that they can't put anything they find into context without the work of the history department, you can get back to us and admit that your childishly simplistic view of how history is studied has been totally shattered and you are now ready to learn how grown-ups do it.

Then we might get somewhere.
Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto
"I am human: nothing that is human is alien to me."

Publius Terentius Afer

History for Atheists - How Not to Get History ... Wrong
User avatar
TimONeill
 
Posts: 2221
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#90  Postby Agrippina » Feb 27, 2010 3:33 pm

TimONeill wrote:
Agrippina wrote:. I just think that even though the history points to his existence, a lot of the history should
be read with a certain amount of scepticism


No-one here is disagreeing with you. Me least of all.

@ Tim, relax I'm just yanking your chain, you really do need to learn how to relax my friend. :cheers:


And you need to understand that someone can ask for the level of evidence that this "scepticism" you keep extolling requires while still being totally relaxed. That scepticism means that if you make assertions like "Jesus was based on many different people" then those of us with a true grasp of what scepticism means will require you to back that up with evidence. And if you can't, you will be ridiculed. And we'll do all this while utterly relaxed with a Martini in one hand and a bong in the other.

Relaxed enough for you pal?

Now, are you going to back up your assertion about Jesus being based on many people with some evidence and cogent argument like a real sceptic or are you going to back away with more of this evasive "hey, relax man!" hippy bullshit?

I'm getting really tired of the latter. Try the former for a change or admit you've got nothing and back away.


Come on Tim, smile. No I'm not going to even pretend that I have evidence because I agree with you. The historical evidence does point to a real person, I'm merely saying that my disbelief in religion makes me not believe in him. It's perhaps confusing coming from a history student but I think that it would be great to be able to go back in time and prove it once and for all. And yes, I'm an old hippie, I prefer to relax, and you'll find out eventually I like to make jokes, especially when people get too excited. Just look at what happened to all the clever posts all of you clever people made over the past years, just because someone couldn't take a joke and saw the old forum as a blight on the face of the internet. Hell, those people who work for Dawkins need a whole bottle of 'chill pills' (I should explain it's a colloquialism, I thought English people understood that, a metaphor for 'chill out,' 'calm down,' 'take a breather.'
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 36690
Age: 110
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#91  Postby Apollonius » Feb 27, 2010 4:31 pm

Agrippina wrote:..
But from the point of view of reading the history, and having spent almost two decades reading ancient history, the evidence does seem to prove that he did actually exist but I always question everything I read, and I always look for more than one reference. The bible certainly doesn't make me confident that he did exist but the other sources quoted by Jerome here, certainly indicate that he was real. I just think that even though the history points to his existence, a lot of the history should be read with a certain amount of scepticism because of the bias of writers who were not subjected to peer review.

..


The sources I read/listen to, such as Erhman, already approach it with a great deal of skepticism. Just because a lot of theists are full of shit and they just look for what they want to believe, it does not follow that skeptical historians do not exist.

There is a lot of work done on this. It's called textual criticism.
Healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead since the first century...
User avatar
Apollonius
 
Posts: 762
Male

Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#92  Postby jerome » Feb 27, 2010 4:44 pm

Yep, Biblical Criticism: I was trained in Form Criticism, Source Criticism, Literary Crit (narrative mainly), and Reaction Criticism. Lots of good tuff out there - I recommend http://www.sbl-site.org/ membership highly: if i had an income I would subscribe agaiin immediately

j x
Yours sincerely, Jerome -- a threat to reason & science

I am an Anglican Prejudice declared - My blog: http://jerome23.wordpress.com/
User avatar
jerome
 
Name: CJ
Posts: 2047
Age: 51
Male

Country: UK
Denmark (dk)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#93  Postby Agrippina » Feb 27, 2010 4:57 pm

Apollonius wrote:
Agrippina wrote:..
But from the point of view of reading the history, and having spent almost two decades reading ancient history, the evidence does seem to prove that he did actually exist but I always question everything I read, and I always look for more than one reference. The bible certainly doesn't make me confident that he did exist but the other sources quoted by Jerome here, certainly indicate that he was real. I just think that even though the history points to his existence, a lot of the history should be read with a certain amount of scepticism because of the bias of writers who were not subjected to peer review.

..


The sources I read/listen to, such as Erhman, already approach it with a great deal of skepticism. Just because a lot of theists are full of shit and they just look for what they want to believe, it does not follow that skeptical historians do not exist.

There is a lot of work done on this. It's called textual criticism.


Yes I know about textual criticism; one of the worst offenders when it comes to reporting history is of course the Father of History, Herodotus, although his Histories is a wonderful read, what he's reported there is always taken with a big helping of skepticism but it's fun to point out to believers that it probably has more truth that the bible.

Then we also have to deal with subjectivity.
One of the things that I learned from my years at university and of course from writing on the internet is that people find it very difficult to read and interpet without subjectivity. It's easy to say that the words used mean something specific, but even then do words always mean the same thing to all people. With dead languages such as Latin and Ancient Greek, and the biblical languages, where the meanings don't change it is probably possible but when you talk about modern languages it becomes very confusing. Take a word like 'cool' or 'gay' for instance. The first time a child comes across old literature where the words are used in their original sense, he/she might be confused between the modern use that is generally accepted today and the use in older literature. For instance Noddy was 'gay' meaning that he was happy. A modern child seeing an original Noddy could say, "look proof that he was homosexual." I know that is a ridiculous analogy and not realistic but just to make a point, did this sort of thing happen in ancient times? We think not. And it seems that we can trust what we know of 'dead' languages but who's to say that an obscure word might have had a different meaning to people living in Cyrene to what it had in Ephesus and yet another meaning in Rome. (Just an example Tim, don't get worked up please).

I've noticed that even among people who speak and write English, some words are interpreted differently in different parts of the world, take for example my comment about the term "take a chill pill." To Tim it meant a literal pill and possibly "use some drugs" whereas a South African would laugh and understand what I meant.

But I digress. If I'm asked about the truth of historical works, for instance Suetonius, I always say that he should be viewed like a tabloid newspaper, some truth, but a lot of it also hype and sensationalism. And then how much of the rest of them are that way? This is why you can't base history on the words of one book, and one author only. and is the real problem with the bible. If there were other books that offered some sort of verification for the biblical stores, maybe non-believers wouldn't be sceptical, but there isn't so we are.
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
 
Posts: 36690
Age: 110
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: RESOURCE: Historical Sources for Jesus

#94  Postby Monkey's Nephew » Feb 27, 2010 9:30 pm

TimONeill wrote:
Monkey's Nephew wrote:Ok, one last try, then I'm (really) out for the night.

What you have is a handful of old documents that all seem to talk about the same character, but no other evidence.



Pretty much what we have for most figures in ancient history.

So say "what we have here is a handful of documents that seem to point to the existence of this character. We're going to run with the hypothesis that they're correct for now, and see where that takes us."


That's an eminently sensible thing to say. It's what we say about most such figures. So far so good ...

That would be a perfectly legitimate, and intellectually honest, way to carry out the job of a historian.


Quite. There's no good reason to doubt the indications he existed. That makes sense.



"This guy existed, and I'm going to go on believing that until you show me solid evidence to the contrary" is not so much.


What?


Do you really not see that?


No, I don't. If we have references that indicate he existed, and there's no good reason to doubt them, then it's reasonable to accept he existed. You just said that. So where is this unwarranted scepticism coming from? What is its rational basis?

If nothing else, it ignores the established fact that an enormous proportion of all published work is fiction.


What? This is nonsense. You've suddenly decided that "an enormous proportion" of our evidence is "fiction"?! What the fuck? And "published work"? What?

Your whole argument has become bizarre. What the hell are you trying to say?


OK, you either suffer from a serious reading comprehension problem, or you're deliberately misunderstanding simple statements in order to score cheap rhetorical points.

I've said my piece. I'm out.
Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them.
-- Thomas Jefferson
Monkey's Nephew
 
Posts: 49
Age: 40

Print view this post

Re: RESOURCE: Historical Sources for Jesus

#95  Postby TimONeill » Feb 27, 2010 9:46 pm

Monkey's Nephew wrote:
TimONeill wrote:
Monkey's Nephew wrote:Ok, one last try, then I'm (really) out for the night.

What you have is a handful of old documents that all seem to talk about the same character, but no other evidence.



Pretty much what we have for most figures in ancient history.

So say "what we have here is a handful of documents that seem to point to the existence of this character. We're going to run with the hypothesis that they're correct for now, and see where that takes us."


That's an eminently sensible thing to say. It's what we say about most such figures. So far so good ...

That would be a perfectly legitimate, and intellectually honest, way to carry out the job of a historian.


Quite. There's no good reason to doubt the indications he existed. That makes sense.



"This guy existed, and I'm going to go on believing that until you show me solid evidence to the contrary" is not so much.


What?


Do you really not see that?


No, I don't. If we have references that indicate he existed, and there's no good reason to doubt them, then it's reasonable to accept he existed. You just said that. So where is this unwarranted scepticism coming from? What is its rational basis?

If nothing else, it ignores the established fact that an enormous proportion of all published work is fiction.


What? This is nonsense. You've suddenly decided that "an enormous proportion" of our evidence is "fiction"?! What the fuck? And "published work"? What?

Your whole argument has become bizarre. What the hell are you trying to say?


OK, you either suffer from a serious reading comprehension problem, or you're deliberately misunderstanding simple statements in order to score cheap rhetorical points.

I've said my piece. I'm out.


Since he's run away, can anyone else make sense of his argument?
Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto
"I am human: nothing that is human is alien to me."

Publius Terentius Afer

History for Atheists - How Not to Get History ... Wrong
User avatar
TimONeill
 
Posts: 2221
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Did Jesus exist?

#96  Postby Emil » Feb 27, 2010 9:58 pm

Tim O'Neill asked
Since he's run away, can anyone else make sense of his argument?

Not me. Seems like an example of skepticism in defiance of logic.
Emil
 
Posts: 39

Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#97  Postby klazmon » Feb 28, 2010 2:49 am

I'm surprised angelo hasn't turned up in this thread or maybe he has a new nym.
User avatar
klazmon
 
Posts: 2030
Age: 111
Male

New Zealand (nz)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#98  Postby jerome » Feb 28, 2010 3:02 am

I saw him over on the JREF. I'll send him a pm. I like angelo a lot - totally disagree with his myther iews, but genuinely nice bloke.

j x
Yours sincerely, Jerome -- a threat to reason & science

I am an Anglican Prejudice declared - My blog: http://jerome23.wordpress.com/
User avatar
jerome
 
Name: CJ
Posts: 2047
Age: 51
Male

Country: UK
Denmark (dk)
Print view this post

Re: RESOURCE: Historical Sources for Jesus

#99  Postby crank » Feb 28, 2010 3:34 am

TimONeill wrote:Oh fuck. Now this is stickied this thread will never die. Every baby Myther, drive-by Myther wannabe and diehard Myther fanatic will now swarm to this thread like flies to shit. Gird your loins folks, the pseudo historical torrent begins here ...

Thank you for the info in your previous post, I've been impressed with Ehrman's writing, read 9 or 10 of his books, but not Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (it's on the list). As you say, they make so much sense, and he was an Evangelical literalist at the start of his education, his biases slowly eaten away as he got deeper into his studies of the myriad manuscripts and the social, cultural, and religious context of the era.

Your prescience is in evidence, shit, I've been away and this thread exploded, I hope it's not all my fault. I will try to join the discussion later, after getting through the subsequent posts here and some other threads I am attempting to track. Soon, this will be "Did Jesus Exist? Part XIII.
“When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat.”
-George Carlin, who died 2008. Ha, now we have human centipedes running the place
User avatar
crank
RS Donator
 
Name: Sick & Tired
Posts: 10413
Age: 6
Male

Country: 2nd miasma on the left
Pitcairn (pn)
Print view this post

Re: Did Jesus exist?

#100  Postby angelo » Feb 28, 2010 6:34 am

Although Doherty and Carrier and some I can't remember just now, are criticized for some of their claims. One who I have yet to see any criticism about is R. G. Price's book........Jesus, A Very Jewish Myth where the claim is made and very well researched is that the whole scenario and story of Jesus is wholly taken out of the O/T. The similarities from the new to the old scriptures from Isiah to Zechariah to the writings of Paul and the gospels cannot be ignored.
The book examines a vast array of evidence and both shows why the evidence contradicts the existence of Jesus, as well as offering explanations for how it came to be believed that the Jesus character was believed to be a historical person.
User avatar
angelo
 
Name: angelo barbato
Posts: 22513
Age: 72
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Christianity

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 6 guests