Historical Jesus

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

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

#4241  Postby Ian Tattum » Nov 18, 2010 12:01 am

Byron wrote:Soooo ... I see that this thread's stonewall agnostics have ditched the claim that readers of Josephus were such a bunch of incorrigible thickies -- who were incapable of extrapolating "the Messiah/the anointed" from the word "Christ" -- that a pan-European forgery ring headed up by the dastardly whiles of the Venerable Bidet was a likelier alternative.

Good call.

We now have a focus on one word from Tacitus that's so narrow that you have to rub yourself in butter before you set off. I'm seeing a pattern here. Debates over creationism and evolution boil down to the same minutiae, which is why I avoid them. A disinterested argument doesn't nit-pick in this fashion.

If you managed to prove (somehow) that Tacitus made an inexplicable error, reflected nowhere else in the Annales or his corpus, it's only one piece of the puzzle. It must be combined with other aspects of the evidence, such as a demonstration that the Latin clashes with contemporary usage, and that the content suggests a plausible motive for forgery.

Without these, the conservative inference is that Tacitus, in a rare moment of carelessness, cocked it up. Maybe he overdid the doormice that evening.

I don't think they have ditched it! In true biblical fashion in a short while we will see it again. :)
The attempts to undermine Tacitus are very strained- the attempt to argue that the Latin does not fit sounds like the past fashion to try to identify the non-Pauline bits of Paul's letters by pinpointing unusual vocabulary. Not realising that the same technique can be used to show that he didn't write any of them! But the biggest flaw in the argument is surely that the mysterious forger left all the anti-christian polemic in place.
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Re: Irony from TimONeill

#4242  Postby TimONeill » Nov 18, 2010 12:02 am

spin wrote:TimONeill is still confused about what is required of him here.


Who are you addressing spin/dysphemic? I’m right here and you’re replying to my post. Stop this silly addressing of the peanut gallery and reply to me. Everyone else here does so, so this arch “I will not deign to reply to him directly” shit is simply pompous and, it seems, deliberately rude.

I have put forward a clear argument:

The Tacitus passage wrongly refers to Pilate as a procurator.


Or uses an imprecise term because he wasn’t a precise about the terminology than you keep insisting.

Tacitus has had the personal experience in his long career to know the significances of the various administrative appointments.


No-one’s disputed this.

Tacitus shows he knows what the situation in Palestine was, when the role of procurator changed and under what conditions it changed. (Passages already cited.)


Or this.

It is inexplicable that Tacitus, having shown his complete knowledge in the issue, would make such a blatant error


And here’s where you are making a claim which requires substantiation. It’s “inexplicable”? No, actually, it’s not. It’s perfectly explicable if Tacitus knew all of the above and yet wasn’t as precise about using the exact terminology as you are assuming. It’s quite explicable that he was well aware that before Claudius the governors of Judea were technically Prefects rather than Procurators but still used “Procurator” to refer to someone like Pilate because that’s what such rulers were referred to in his time.

Of course, this may not be the case at all, and you seem to be insisting that it simply isn’t and somehow can’t be. Which is why it’s up to you to prove me wrong by producing that Tacitean usage of “Prefect” that shows I’m wrong and that Tacitus was scrupulously accurate in the usage of the titles as well as being aware of the technical distinctions.

You’ve consistently failed to do this and so you’ve failed to prove your argument. That Tacitus didn’t use these titles with the degree of technical precision you’re claiming explains the use of “procurator” in this passage and does so without recourse to the wild suppositions of your Odo the Wonder Monk theory. So those of us who respect Occam’s Razor will stick to the explanations that doesn’t require your crazy suppositions thanks.

Your argument has failed.

PS I notice this bit in your last post:

spin wrote:That Tacitus knew the ins and outs of the cursus honorum as well as anyone who had passed through most of its grades has never been disputed by anyone, least of all me.

Except in one effort when you tried to claim he simply got it wrong. :roll:


I did? Where? My position has always been that his use of the terms wasn't as precise as you're claiming and that he used an anachronistic term.


You failed to back up your claim that I said he "simply got it wrong". It seems you've mixed me up with someone else here. "Befuddled" I think is the word we've been using. Poor spin - not having a great day are you old son?
:thumbup:


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

#4243  Postby TheOneTrueZeke » Nov 18, 2010 12:04 am

Ian Tattum wrote:
But the biggest flaw in the argument is surely that the mysterious forger left all the anti-christian polemic in place.


Not only left it in place but contrived it all himself! The claim here seems to be that the entire passage is the work of our mysterious and far seeing Christian scribe who would stop at nothing to fabricate evidence for an historical Jesus. Even defaming his own religion!

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

#4244  Postby spin » Nov 18, 2010 12:17 am

Byron wrote:Soooo ... I see that this thread's stonewall agnostics have ditched the claim that readers of Josephus were such a bunch of incorrigible thickies -- who were incapable of extrapolating "the Messiah/the anointed" from the word "Christ"

People get meaning out of texts when they contain words used whose usage they are familiar with. κυριος has a clear meaning in classical Greek, which is the form of Greek familiar to the Romans. In one enclave within Koine Greek, a different form of Greek, the word κυριος developed a religiously laden meaning which is not transparent from the word, but which required the cultural baggage of the coiners. It is obvious that the audience of Josephus didn't have that cultural baggage and generally had no relations with the lower strata that used Koine Greek. We know from Tertullian, writing a century after Josephus, that Romans were unfamiliar with basic christian notions, yet the argument seems to be that despite the term being not classical Greek and requiring cultural baggage, Josephus could expect his audience to understand it. Do you think that if we translated the term as "messiah" his audience would understand it better? The notion itself is obscure and the readiness of modern people to overlook it is because they have learned its usage and so they retroject it onto the past. What exactly could a classical Greek as second language speaking wealthy Roman understand from the unexplained term "χριστος" that would make sense?

Byron wrote:-- that a pan-European forgery ring headed up by the dastardly whiles of the Venerable Bidet was a likelier alternative.

Good call.

We now have a focus on one word from Tacitus that's so narrow that you have to rub yourself in butter before you set off. I'm seeing a pattern here. Debates over creationism and evolution boil down to the same minutiae, which is why I avoid them. A disinterested argument doesn't nit-pick in this fashion.

If you managed to prove (somehow) that Tacitus made an inexplicable error, reflected nowhere else in the Annales or his corpus, it's only one piece of the puzzle. It must be combined with other aspects of the evidence, such as a demonstration that the Latin clashes with contemporary usage, and that the content suggests a plausible motive for forgery.

Without these, the conservative inference is that Tacitus, in a rare moment of carelessness, cocked it up. Maybe he overdid the doormice that evening.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#4245  Postby Byron » Nov 18, 2010 12:18 am

Ian Tattum wrote:I don't think they have ditched it! In true biblical fashion in a short while we will see it again. :)

:D
The attempts to undermine Tacitus are very strained- the attempt to argue that the Latin does not fit sounds like the past fashion to try to identify the non-Pauline bits of Paul's letters by pinpointing unusual vocabulary. Not realising that the same technique can be used to show that he didn't write any of them! But the biggest flaw in the argument is surely that the mysterious forger left all the anti-christian polemic in place.

Exactly.

The Josephus passage that we know to've been tampered is a fascinating comparison with the Tacitus. I've been calling the Josephus forged, but strictly speaking, we don't know that. It could've been a scribal cock-up: one scribe scribbles "corrections" in, another copyist incorporates them into the text, it snowballs from there. Regardless of intent, motive is clear: Josephus accepts Jesus as Christ. It's anachronistic in the extreme to think that the Christian interpolator/forger wanted to "prove" anything historical about Christ. Why'd they need an unbeliever for that? From their POV, it was manifestly true, and if you wanted documents, you had the gospels, from their POV the most reliable source. Taking the chance to demonstrate the spiritual truth of Christ is, though, understandable. Conversion is always good business.

Which is why this Tacitus nit-picking is so absurd. The only motive I've seen offered for forging the text is spin's suggestion of a forger wanting to big-up martyrs. While its credible as far as it goes, the Tacitus text doesn't begin to reflect this aim. Forged-Tacitus ought to've been overawed by the martyrs' courage. He ought to have speculated about the truth of Christianity if it can lead people to such deaths. Instead: airy dismissal of it as a primitive superstition, which is exactly what you'd expect Tacitus to say.

A question for the Tacitus crowd. If the procurator "issue" were resolved to your satisfaction, would you accept the passage as genuine? Does its authenticity hinge on this one word? If not, this whole thing's just a red herring, and the conclusions presupposed.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#4246  Postby Ian Tattum » Nov 18, 2010 12:21 am

TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Ian Tattum wrote:
But the biggest flaw in the argument is surely that the mysterious forger left all the anti-christian polemic in place.


Not only left it in place but contrived it all himself! The claim here seems to be that the entire passage is the work of our mysterious and far seeing Christian scribe who would stop at nothing to fabricate evidence for an historical Jesus. Even defaming his own religion!

The Christian Hegemony™ is not to be taken lightly :naughty:

I am coming round to the idea that originally Tacitus only wrote the anti christian bit; maybe as a short satire to entertain his friends. Then the ingenious forger came along- probably a scotsman due to his fondness for anachronisms such as procurator- and having made one change decided to write a whole new history to disguise his work. Pelagius is my first choice!
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#4247  Postby Byron » Nov 18, 2010 12:25 am

spin wrote:People get meaning out of texts when they contain words used whose usage they are familiar with.

And when they don't. The word "coruscate" is currently shifting in meaning, from "gleam" to "give someone a bollocking". The first time I saw it I was puzzled for a sec, before I inferred the meaning from the context, tutted at the author's failure to use "excoriate", and moved on.
κυριος has a clear meaning in classical Greek, which is the form of Greek familiar to the Romans. In one enclave within Koine Greek, a different form of Greek, the word κυριος developed a religiously laden meaning which is not transparent from the word, but which required the cultural baggage of the coiners. It is obvious that the audience of Josephus didn't have that cultural baggage and generally had no relations with the lower strata that used Koine Greek. We know from Tertullian, writing a century after Josephus, that Romans were unfamiliar with basic christian notions, yet the argument seems to be that despite the term being not classical Greek and requiring cultural baggage, Josephus could expect his audience to understand it. Do you think that if we translated the term as "messiah" his audience would understand it better? The notion itself is obscure and the readiness of modern people to overlook it is because they have learned its usage and so they retroject it onto the past. What exactly could a classical Greek as second language speaking wealthy Roman understand from the unexplained term "χριστος" that would make sense?

Depends how well the reader spoke Greek, doesn't it? If they're reading a series of scrolls about the Jewish wars, they presumably speak it well, and can work out what "Christ" means even if they don't already know.

Of course, it's an assumption on your part that "Christ" was unknown at the time amongst Josephus' audience. You've yet to adduce a scrap of evidence to substantiate your claims. If you manage to, the conservative conclusion is "Josephus made an incorrect assumption about his audience", and not "Josephus' work is the victim of the Venerable Bidet and his marauding forgers".
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Irony from TimONeill

#4248  Postby spin » Nov 18, 2010 12:35 am

TimONeill wrote:
spin wrote:TimONeill is still confused about what is required of him here.
Who are you addressing spin/dysphemic?

I have just reported you for trolling over your misrepresentation of my name. You have been warned not to manipulate it. There is no way that one can construe your continuing efforts other than deliberate trolling.

TimONeill wrote:I’m right here and you’re replying to my post. Stop this silly addressing of the peanut gallery and reply to me. Everyone else here does so, so this arch “I will not deign to reply to him directly” shit is simply pompous and, it seems, deliberately rude.

This is further trolling. I direct statements to readers in general and I specifically direct comments to you. For example: "This should be simple enough for you, TimONeill."

TimONeill wrote:
I have put forward a clear argument:

The Tacitus passage wrongly refers to Pilate as a procurator.
Or uses an imprecise term because he wasn’t a precise about the terminology than you keep insisting.

Weaseling. When procurators didn't have the ability to govern provinces then it is the wrong use.

TimONeill wrote:
Tacitus has had the personal experience in his long career to know the significances of the various administrative appointments.
No-one’s disputed this.
Tacitus shows he knows what the situation in Palestine was, when the role of procurator changed and under what conditions it changed. (Passages already cited.)
Or this.
It is inexplicable that Tacitus, having shown his complete knowledge in the issue, would make such a blatant error

And here’s where you are making a claim which requires substantiation. It’s “inexplicable”? No, actually, it’s not. It’s perfectly explicable if Tacitus knew all of the above and yet wasn’t as precise about using the exact terminology as you are assuming. It’s quite explicable that he was well aware that before Claudius the governors of Judea were technically Prefects rather than Procurators but still used “Procurator” to refer to someone like Pilate because that’s what such rulers were referred to in his time.

Here you accept that it is not a matter of imprecision, but of "technical" error.

Given that fact, you are still arguing he made a mistake, no matter how you tart it up. He made a mistake. You claim that that mistake was due to his using the term anachronistically, "because that’s what such rulers were referred to in his time", despite his stated knowledge. Can you give one certain example of Tacitus using the term "procurator" anachronistically, when he is seen to be using it correctly generally? I thought not. (Egg still on face, smeared.)
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#4249  Postby spin » Nov 18, 2010 1:04 am

Byron wrote:
spin wrote:People get meaning out of texts when they contain words used whose usage they are familiar with.

And when they don't. The word "coruscate" is currently shifting in meaning, from "gleam" to "give someone a bollocking". The first time I saw it I was puzzled for a sec, before I inferred the meaning from the context, tutted at the author's failure to use "excoriate", and moved on.

This isn't directly related to what is being commented on. If a term is currently shifting in meaning, then the people of our time are aware of it, otherwise it would be shifting.

Byron wrote:
κυριος has a clear meaning in classical Greek, which is the form of Greek familiar to the Romans. In one enclave within Koine Greek, a different form of Greek, the word κυριος developed a religiously laden meaning which is not transparent from the word, but which required the cultural baggage of the coiners. It is obvious that the audience of Josephus didn't have that cultural baggage and generally had no relations with the lower strata that used Koine Greek. We know from Tertullian, writing a century after Josephus, that Romans were unfamiliar with basic christian notions, yet the argument seems to be that despite the term being not classical Greek and requiring cultural baggage, Josephus could expect his audience to understand it. Do you think that if we translated the term as "messiah" his audience would understand it better? The notion itself is obscure and the readiness of modern people to overlook it is because they have learned its usage and so they retroject it onto the past. What exactly could a classical Greek as second language speaking wealthy Roman understand from the unexplained term "χριστος" that would make sense?

Depends how well the reader spoke Greek, doesn't it? If they're reading a series of scrolls about the Jewish wars, they presumably speak it well, and can work out what "Christ" means even if they don't already know.

Although the LXX uses "χριστος" dozens of times, Josephus hasn't used one of them. He doesn't use it when dealing with Jewish prophecy and Vespasian. In fact, the only place "χριστος" is used is regarding to the reputed founder of christianity. That fact in itself needs explanation, for Josephus has clearly avoided using the term.

I have already pointed to the fact that precise knowledge of christianity was lacking even in the times of Tertullian, so it is hard to think that Josephus's readers had any more knowledge regarding christians than in the time of Tertullian. It's hard to see how a technical term in a religion that, if it was at all in Rome, was only among the lower classes could have filtered through to the upper classes. There is no preparation for its use in Josephus, yet it is quite esoteric.

I don't find this continued devil's advocate approach to understanding christianity anything other than self-determined failure to reach the goal.

Byron wrote:Of course, it's an assumption on your part that "Christ" was unknown at the time amongst Josephus' audience. You've yet to adduce a scrap of evidence to substantiate your claims. If you manage to, the conservative conclusion is "Josephus made an incorrect assumption about his audience", and not "Josephus' work is the victim of the Venerable Bidet and his marauding forgers".
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Spin's Bestselling Fiction!

#4250  Postby TimONeill » Nov 18, 2010 1:09 am

Ian Tattum wrote:
I don't think they have ditched it! In true biblical fashion in a short while we will see it again. :)


You can bet your bottom dollar. It’s like Creationists and the old Second Law of Dynamics malarky. It doesn’t matter how many times you argue them into the dirt over that, up they pop with it again.

The attempts to undermine Tacitus are very strained- the attempt to argue that the Latin does not fit sounds like the past fashion to try to identify the non-Pauline bits of Paul's letters by pinpointing unusual vocabulary.


It’s actually worse than that. If spin was working from indicators of Late Latin or Medieval Latin vocabulary, syntax or grammar he’d be on solid ground with his Odo the Wonder Monk thesis (it was not the Venerable Bidet, what poppycock!). But he seems curiously reticent about “getting his hands dirty with the Latin”, despite the fact that this would be a clear indication of possible later interpolation. No, he’s making a far more subjective argument based on style. Which is scuppered by the fact that the later books of the Annals have been acknowledged to have had a less restrained style for over a century and a half.

But the biggest flaw in the argument is surely that the mysterious forger left all the anti-christian polemic in place.


And there’s the question of why Odo the Wonder Monk felt the need to insert a mention of Jesus and Christians in this story at all. What apologetic purpose did it serve? No-one was disputing that Jesus existed or that he was executed by Pilate, so what’s the point of inserting those details? And the highly unflattering tone of the passage doesn’t exactly do Christianity any favours, so to claim this vitriol is there to disguise the forgery makes little sense when the forgery serves no clear purpose in the first place. It also smacks of a typical conspiracist argument: “Ah, but you see the very fact that it doesn’t look like a deception is just more proof of what a fiendishly clever deception it is!” Er, yup.

But the similarity of spin’s methodology to crank theorists like Baigent, Leigh et al of Holy Blood Holy Grail fame has got me thinking. Rather than writing up all his suppositions, interpolations, reinterpretations and hypotheses about Odo the Wonder Monk and the rest of the Hegemonic Conspiracy as non-fiction, I think this would make a great Dan Brown-style thriller.

Imagine our brave hero, a polymathic genius called … say … Dr Spin Dysphemic. Tall, square-jawed and fit, he looks a little like a forty something Harrison Ford and has a penchant for tweed jackets worn over turtleneck sweaters. While attending a conference for experts on palaeography, Late and Medieval Latin syntax, nuclear physics and primatology (at which he is the keynote speaker) he is startled by a phone call informing him that a colleague of his has been found dead, seemingly pummelled to death by heavy sarcasm.

Racing to the scene of the murder, Dr Spin is assisted by the victim’s beautiful daughter, a brilliant codicologist named Magdalene Bimbeau who, despite being brilliant, serves mainly as a source of dumb questions and the life support system for a heaving bosom. Applying his brilliant mind, Dr Dysphemic and Mme Bimbeau embark on a dizzying race across various European tourist spots, on the trail of a killer known only as “the Bully” who seems to be working for a sinister Christian conspiracy called “the Hegemony”.

By uncovering interpolations in key texts that only he can detect, our hero discovers the chilling secret – that the Hegemony was established by a Ninth Century evil genius called Odo the Wonder Monk who discovered that there was no evidence for Jesus, foresaw the rise of agnostics on the matter and set out to seed key texts with fiendishly clever interpolations to prop up Christianity. Our brave hero exposes the plot, defeats “the Bully” in a verbal duel (in a thunder storm, on top of Notre Dame) and Christianity collapses utterly, leaving Dr Dysphemic to ride into the sunset on Mme Bimbeu’s heaving bosom.

It’s a sure-fire bestseller I tell ya! :lol:
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#4251  Postby Byron » Nov 18, 2010 1:14 am

spin wrote:Although the LXX uses "χριστος" dozens of times, Josephus hasn't used one of them. He doesn't use it when dealing with Jewish prophecy and Vespasian. In fact, the only place "χριστος" is used is regarding to the reputed founder of christianity. That fact in itself needs explanation, for Josephus has clearly avoided using the term.

Or he didn't consider its use to be appropriate in the context. Or it was, by the AD 90s, associated primarily with the personality cult that surrounded Jesus of Nazareth, so Josephus uses it when referring to said cult to avoid confusion. No great knowledge, precise or otherwise, of a group's beliefs is needed to catch a reference to a group. I have very little precise knowledge about Scientology, and am happy to keep it that way. It has no bearing on my ability to recognize the name. We know from Tacitus that Christians had already copped attention over the Fire of Rome ... oh yeah, you're claiming that was forged as well. :D

Even if your stack of assertion and supposition held, you'd end up with some learned reader going, "Oh, that's funny, never heard that term before." *Shrug* "Oh well, back to the politics of the priests." It's not the big issue you're making it out to be, since Jesus was of startlingly little importance to Josephus and the 'Antiquities'. A few brief references in passing is exactly what you'd expect, and exactly what we've got.
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#4252  Postby GakuseiDon » Nov 18, 2010 1:14 am

David Deas wrote:I think one thing you also have to remember is how unremarkable Christianity was from certain standpoints. God-men stories, wandering preachers, and multitudes of different budding religions were fairly pervasive. To a writer like Tacitus, Christianity was only one of several superstitions floating around within his view. And by "superstition", which is the word Tacitus uses, Tacitus means merely to indicate a foreign religion or practice rather than what we think of today colloquially as superstition. His descriptive phrases, although seemingly extraordinary as we view them at present, were indeed not at all.

IIRC the word "superstition" was a pejorative one. I agree that a wandering preacher performing miracles, even one that some claimed ascended to heaven, was not overly remarkable for those times. So we need to look elsewhere for the hostility towards the early Christians.

David Deas wrote:So what did Christianity look like? The answer to that question reveals why Christianity was viewed in such a largely negative light by pagans. Christians were secretive social groups that likewise held their meetings very secretively. This secrecy is primarily what aggravated the Romans. The Romans were predisposed to suspecting the integrity of any social movement or social group which seemed to operate in secrecy since about 200 C.E. (the Bacchanalia). It was not easy for the Romans to understand the harmless nature of Christian assemblies or their doctrines, which is why certain misanthropic intentions and evils were attributed to them. The common practice of fraternalism within these groups, and the failure of Christians (and Jews for that matter) to participate in social gatherings and popular amusements is primarily where the charges such as 'hatred of humanity' and so forth extend from rather than any actual revolting acts committed by Christians.

Yes, agreed. Early Christians did seem to stand apart. Not withstanding worshiping a crucified man and indulging in barbarian 'love feasts', Christians didn't participate in sacrifices, and didn't give due respect to the gods. That's the source of the accusations of atheism and 'hatred of humanity' directed against Christians.

David Deas wrote:From these writings (Tacitus, Pliny, etc..) we cannot glean highly specific historical facts or information because early Romans show a lack of historical accuracy through their comments on this then new "superstition." But what we can glean, evidenced by the brevity and tone of their descriptions, is the natural contempt that seems to be throughout notably because people who took their religion so seriously were fairly alien.

Here is Tacitus, Suetonius and Pliny the Younger from http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/.

Tacitus:

"Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace... a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."

Suetonius:

"Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition."

Pliny the Younger:

"They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust... it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food... Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition."

Pliny, after finding out about "the truth" -- which he acknowledges is an oath to do good -- nonetheless condemns Christianity as being "depraved, excessive superstition". and feels justified to deliver the death sentence against anyone who "stubbornly" refuses to denounce Chrisitianity even after torture.

Trajan's response is apparently this:

"... [Christians] are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance..."

The common criticism here is "excessive/depraved superstition", though the only sticking point according to Trajan seems to be the worshiping of Roman gods. I suspect that Paul's praise to the Roman community in Rom 1:8 on "your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world" may be related to that point, since he goes on to write:

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

That last verse appears to be directed towards the Roman and Egyptian gods, so I wonder if the Roman Christians gained fame by resisting giving homage to those gods, and in fact elevating a crucified man and his God above the Roman gods. And this became the basis of the charge for which Christians became known for and condemned.
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Re: Spin's Bestselling Fiction!

#4253  Postby Byron » Nov 18, 2010 1:19 am

TimONeill wrote:It’s actually worse than that. If spin was working from indicators of Late Latin or Medieval Latin vocabulary, syntax or grammar he’d be on solid ground with his Odo the Wonder Monk thesis (it was not the Venerable Bidet, what poppycock!).

The vanity presses are primed, prepare to feel their wrath! (Just as soon as the cheques stop bouncing. :waah: )
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#4254  Postby spin » Nov 18, 2010 1:20 am

Ian Tattum wrote:But the biggest flaw in the argument is surely that the mysterious forger left all the anti-christian polemic in place.

First, if Tacitus didn't write the material, do you expect an interpolator to totally dismiss the context and not attempt to make the interpolation fit in? You'll note though that the passage still gets to put in the basic facts witnessing to Jesus and that the martyrdom elicits sympathy from antagonistic people.

Second, can you tell me who wrote any of the interpolations in the christian literature? Who interpolated Mark to create the gospels of Matthew and Luke (and how do you know)? Who interpolated the long ending of Mark? Who wrote the adultress scene in John? Who wrote the famous trinitarian interpolation in 1 John? Who wrote the pastoral letters? Who wrote Paul's letter to the Laodiceans or 3 Corinthians? Who wrote the correspondence between Jesus and Abgar? The correspondence between Paul and Seneca? Who wrote the second and third recensions of the letters of Ignatius? And a sea of other examples of interesting but anonymous christian scribal activities. Being anonymous is par for the course. Referring to the person responsible for the material as "mysterious" is simply ingenuous. To refer to them as a "forger" is a retrojection of your own literary morals. Both parts of this reference "mysterious forger" are inappropriate.
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Re: Irony from TimONeill

#4255  Postby TimONeill » Nov 18, 2010 1:21 am

spin wrote:
TimONeill wrote:
spin wrote:TimONeill is still confused about what is required of him here.
Who are you addressing spin/dysphemic?

I have just reported you for trolling over your misrepresentation of my name.


Oh for fuck’s sake stop being so pathetic. You wanted me to stop putting inverted commas around your pseudonym/s and so I did. What I can’t draw attention to the fact that you’re the same “dysphemic” who got banned from RD.net? A bit sensitive about that are we? What next – I have to address you as “sir” and avert my eyes when you enter the room. Get down off yourself.

TimONeill wrote:I’m right here and you’re replying to my post. Stop this silly addressing of the peanut gallery and reply to me. Everyone else here does so, so this arch “I will not deign to reply to him directly” shit is simply pompous and, it seems, deliberately rude.

This is further trolling.


That is laughable shit.

And you’ve failed for about the sixth or seventh time to prove Tacitus was as precise in his usage of “Prefect” and “Procurator” as you keep asserting. So we’ll chalk that one up as spin falling on his arse, shall we? Jolly good.

:lol:


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

#4256  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Nov 18, 2010 1:22 am

What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?


That he was historical?
"Things don't need to be true, as long as they are believed" - Alexander Nix, CEO Cambridge Analytica
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Re: Spin's Bestselling Fiction!

#4257  Postby Byron » Nov 18, 2010 1:24 am

TimONeill wrote:Imagine our brave hero, a polymathic genius called … say … Dr Spin Dysphemic. Tall, square-jawed and fit, he looks a little like a forty something Harrison Ford and has a penchant for tweed jackets worn over turtleneck sweaters. While attending a conference for experts on palaeography, Late and Medieval Latin syntax, nuclear physics and primatology (at which he is the keynote speaker) he is startled by a phone call informing him that a colleague of his has been found dead, seemingly pummelled to death by heavy sarcasm.

Racing to the scene of the murder, Dr Spin is assisted by the victim’s beautiful daughter, a brilliant codicologist named Magdalene Bimbeau who, despite being brilliant, serves mainly as a source of dumb questions and the life support system for a heaving bosom. Applying his brilliant mind, Dr Dysphemic and Mme Bimbeau embark on a dizzying race across various European tourist spots, on the trail of a killer known only as “the Bully” who seems to be working for a sinister Christian conspiracy called “the Hegemony”.

By uncovering interpolations in key texts that only he can detect, our hero discovers the chilling secret – that the Hegemony was established by a Ninth Century evil genius called Odo the Wonder Monk who discovered that there was no evidence for Jesus, foresaw the rise of agnostics on the matter and set out to seed key texts with fiendishly clever interpolations to prop up Christianity. Our brave hero exposes the plot, defeats “the Bully” in a verbal duel (in a thunder storm, on top of Notre Dame) and Christianity collapses utterly, leaving Dr Dysphemic to ride into the sunset on Mme Bimbeu’s heaving bosom.

It’s a sure-fire bestseller I tell ya! :lol:

:D

It sounds a fuck sight better than Dan Brown's Marty Stu-ing! :thumbup:
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Re: What Can We Reasonably Infer About The Historical Jesus?

#4258  Postby Byron » Nov 18, 2010 1:27 am

spin wrote:First, if Tacitus didn't write the material, do you expect an interpolator to totally dismiss the context and not attempt to make the interpolation fit in?

You mean like the Josephus insertions? You mean like that?

:think:

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

#4259  Postby Byron » Nov 18, 2010 1:30 am

Ah! Epiphany! The obviously fake guff in Antiquities was put there deliberately to throw us off the scent of the real forgery, done at hand of the Venerable Bidet and his minions (the vanity war is coming, and being based entirely on assertion, shall be a war without end ... or profit).
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Re: Irony from TimONeill

#4260  Postby spin » Nov 18, 2010 2:16 am

TimONeill wrote:
spin wrote:
TimONeill wrote:Who are you addressing spin/dysphemic?

I have just reported you for trolling over your misrepresentation of my name.


Oh for fuck’s sake stop being so pathetic.

:coffee:

TimONeill wrote:You wanted me to stop putting inverted commas around your pseudonym/s and so I did.

This is deliberate, inaccurate and provocative. As I said,

    "My username doesn't have quotes around it nor is it "spin"/"dysphemic". If you have trouble using my username as is, try using italics, or not using it at all. Otherwise I will continue to take it as an attempt to belittle or offend."

Note the second part of the first sentence: nor is it "spin"/"dysphemic". This is clearly a distinct issue from the quotes. You are well aware of this. You were trolling.

TimONeill wrote:What I can’t draw attention to the fact that you’re the same “dysphemic” who got banned from RD.net?

You can do whatever you like when you don't break the rules, which includes not trolling. If you hadn't made the fact clear a fortnight ago, you would never have done so. Your prolonged use of this is only endemic of your persistent and willful attempts to circumvent the rules of the forum in order to attack people, ie to troll.

TimONeill wrote:A bit sensitive about that are we?

What has sensitivity got to do with your trolling?

TimONeill wrote:What next – I have to address you as “sir” and avert my eyes when you enter the room.

It is normal to use a poster's username.

TimONeill wrote:Get down off yourself.

Perhaps you should show the way. Walk the talk.

TimONeill wrote:
TimONeill wrote:I’m right here and you’re replying to my post. Stop this silly addressing of the peanut gallery and reply to me. Everyone else here does so, so this arch “I will not deign to reply to him directly” shit is simply pompous and, it seems, deliberately rude.

This is further trolling.

That is laughable shit.

Actually it's calling you out on your bad behaviour.

TimONeill wrote:And you’ve failed for about the sixth or seventh time to prove Tacitus was as precise in his usage of “Prefect” and “Procurator” as you keep asserting.

I am still waiting for you to explain the use of "procurator" in the Tacitus passage without gormlessly falling back on "it was a mistake", when Tacitus demonstrated he knew the situation and all your squirming to avoid your responsibilities won't change that. The one-trick avoidance response: the Bullwinkle manoeuvre, ie "look, nothing up my sleeve".

Ans, see, you can get my name right:
TimONeill wrote:So we’ll chalk that one up as spin falling on his arse, shall we? Jolly good.

:lol:

It's time to quote a few gems for TimONeill from an expert at friendly gems:

"Try to make some fucking sense kid."

"Yes, keep dreaming kid."

"Fuck off and leave this thread to those of us who actually understand how history is analysed."
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