Historical Jesus

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

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42301  Postby tanya » Jun 15, 2017 6:17 pm

Thank you for the link Reality Rules.
Yup, Dr. Price is an excellent writer, and I am a fan of his many accomplishments. However, I do not agree with you, apparently, that Dr. Price's text addresses my question of how anyone knows anything about "Paul"?

Here is a quote from Dr. Price's book, from your link above,
Marcion’s father was an early Christian.


This statement to me, is nonsense. How can anyone attest to Marcion's father's beliefs? We know absolutely nothing, first hand, about Marcion, himself, yet, we supposedly know that circa 150 CE, his father was a Christian? Yes, Lucian of Samosata, circa 150 CE did write about extraterrestrial space travel, but does that demonstrate that the ancient Greeks understood the fundamentals of rocketry, and knew how to construct a vehicle that could escape the planet's atmosphere, land on the moon, without crashing, and then return to earth? How stupid would it appear, were I or anyone else to draw that conclusion, based on Lucian's celebrated work of fiction? Don't you think it would be fundamentally wrong, for someone to claim that, since the Chinese first exploited the combination of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate--"gunpowder", and since the Chinese traveled the Silk route, that therefore, the Greeks had a combustible fuel source for their nascent rocket program--ergo the claim that Lucian had collaborated with his contemporaries, Marcus Aurelius and Claudius Ptolemy, to create a secret launch capability, technically unsurpassed until 04 October 1957?

That's the way I interpret Dr. Price's statement:
It appears that Marcion’s writings got mixed up with Paul’s
"mixed up"? One phantom's notes confounded with another's ? Utterly absurd.

His opinion is pure conjecture, devoid of facts. Where's his evidence? How would Dr. Price know about Marcion's writings? No one knows Marcion's writings. They don't exist. But, P46 does exist. I renew my request for a response to my submission to the forum a couple days ago on this forum. Let's focus our energy analyzing things that do exist, instead of waxing prophetic about things that don't exist.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42302  Postby RealityRules » Jun 15, 2017 10:17 pm

tanya wrote:Thank you for the link Reality Rules.

You're welcome. Though it is only blog summary/book review by someone.

tanya wrote:Yup, Dr. Price is an excellent writer, and I am a fan of his many accomplishments. However, I do not agree with you, apparently, that Dr. Price's text addresses my question of how anyone knows anything about "Paul"?

Sure. We can only speculate about 'Paul' and the origins of the texts attributed to him.

In doing that it seems prudent to consider others' speculations, such as Price's.


tanya wrote:Here is a quote from Dr. Price's book, from your link above,
'Marcion’s father was an early Christian.'

This statement to me, is nonsense. How can anyone attest to Marcion's father's beliefs?

Sure. It would seem best to quickly dismiss things like that, and not not dwell on them.


tanya wrote:[re] Dr. Price's statement:
It appears that Marcion’s writings got mixed up with Paul’s
"mixed up"? One phantom's notes confounded with another's? Utterly absurd.

Sure. We currently can only try to look at these things through smokey lens. We need to be concurrently scrutinising Irenaeus, Tertullian, and other later chroniclers to see how pertinent the information in the tenuous information trail is.

tanya wrote:
But, P46 does exist. I renew my request for a response to my submission to the forum a couple days ago on this forum. Let's focus our energy analyzing things that do exist, instead of waxing prophetic about things that don't exist.

I think things like P46 should also be looked at in the context of other information from the period, and later.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42303  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 16, 2017 2:21 am

RealityRules wrote:
tanya wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
Ben C.Smith wrote:"that there was both an historical Jesus and a mythical Jesus. A shorthand way of putting this might be that there was an historical Jesus, but Paul did not know about him." http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3125

    Question: How does Ben, or anyone else know anything about “Paul”?

    ... who was “Paul” ? Where he is attested, apart from early patristic sources of dubious origin..


"In 'The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul'1 (2012) Robert M Price suggests that Paul is a composite of several historical figures, including Marcion of Pontos, Stephen the Martyr, Simon the Sorcerer, and [an] iconoclastic evangelist who was named Paul. His letters were actually written and edited by other people, including Marcion, and an early Church Father, Polycarp of Smyrna ...


The conjecture that Paul is somehow related to Simon Magus is one subscribed to by Robert Price. The history of this conjecture AFAIK goes back to .... [from WIKI] ... "Ferdinand Christian Baur (1792–1860), founder of the Tübingen School, drew attention to the anti-Pauline characteristic in the Pseudo-Clementines, and pointed out that in the disputations between Simon and Peter, some of the claims Simon is represented as making (e.g. that of having seen the Lord, though not in his lifetime, yet subsequently in vision) were really the claims of Paul; and urged that Peter's refutation of Simon was in some places intended as a polemic against Paul. "

There is a problem with this conjecture in that Baur and all who followed him (including Harnack) presumed that the Clementine Literature was at least as old as the 3rd century because it was apparently cited by Origen. However since the turn of the 20th century, and particularly since the turn of the 21st century (often European) scholarship has understood that the citation in Origen was actually created by the editorial hands of Basil and Gregory in the later 4th century, and thus the first attestation to the Clementines is from Eusebius. Modern scholarship sees the Clementines as being authored by an Arian c.330 CE.

I have asked Robert Price (in his FB followers page - Bible Geeks) if this revised dating essentially demolishes any link between Simon and Paul, but have received no substantial response.

FWIW I believe there is good reason to investigate the conjecture that Arius of Alexandria authored the Clementine literature.
"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

#42304  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 16, 2017 2:36 am

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:

I am surprised to have to independently defend the claims of modern translators who must surely be regarded as the experts in the field on the question at issue.


You don't have to; as I said above, there's no obligation. But you shouldn't be surprised that someone asks you to defend what you think, no? Note that we've seen this issue is disputed in scholarship, so what reasons do you have for siding with one side over the other?


I started with the Loeb translator because that's not a bad place to commence.

https://www.google.com.au/search?as_q=t ... as_rights=

and then I looked at the most popular translation in recent times which was Gregory Hays, 2003.

That was the extent of it at the time.

You are quite entitled to point out a more complete review would have been better, and I'd agree. After all, how long is a piece of string? I would also be interested in reading Brunt's article on this because it could save quite a bit of time in summarising the various translators' opinions at the time Brunt wrote. I have had a look on JSTOR but cannot find the article.


So, given that you've been exposed to alternative views (in scholarship, I mean), would it be fair to say that you're no longer committed to the view that the text is ungrammatical or spurious? If you still are, again I wonder how you've chosen one position over the other.


I have made a study of all the Christian references in the classical literature (i.e. not sourced from Eusebius or the "Church") prior to the 4th century and my provisional conclusion is that the best explanation of these references is that all of them represent corruptions of the classical literature by the church organisation between the 4th century and the 15th century.

I am happy to post a summary of this position including the list of classical literature involved should you or anyone be interested. However it should be stated up front that I am treating the literary material of the church as either forged or corrupt. One of the core criteria of the historical method is that any given source may be forged or corrupt. I think there is sufficient reason to conjecture that the church organisation forged manuscripts in order to advance its historical integrity.

The interpolation of this Christian reference into Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations" is by no means alone.


Brunt's article isn't available on JSTOR, and only, as far as I know, in hard copy.


Thanks for that. I will check the University library next time I am there.
"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

#42305  Postby RealityRules » Jun 16, 2017 2:57 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:I have made a study of all the Christian references in the classical literature (i.e. not sourced from Eusebius or the "Church") prior to the 4th century, and my provisional conclusion is that the best explanation of these references is that all of them represent corruptions of the classical literature by the church organisation between the 4th century and the 15th century.

...I think there is sufficient reason to conjecture that the church organisation forged manuscripts in order to advance its historical integrity.

'...in order to advance an illusion of historical integrity'. ;)

By 'classical literature' I presume you're referring to Josephus' Antiquities and Tacitus' Annals +/- others.

    [Arthur Drews thought that Annals 15.4 reflects the 4th C. Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus]
    "We are therefore strongly disposed to suspect that the passage (Annals, xv, 44) was transferred from Sulpicius to the text of Tacitus by the hand of a monastic copyist or forger, for the greater glory of God and in order to strengthen the truth of the Christian tradition by a pagan witness."
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Witn ... /Section_2

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42306  Postby Tracer Tong » Jun 17, 2017 3:00 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:

You don't have to; as I said above, there's no obligation. But you shouldn't be surprised that someone asks you to defend what you think, no? Note that we've seen this issue is disputed in scholarship, so what reasons do you have for siding with one side over the other?


I started with the Loeb translator because that's not a bad place to commence.

https://www.google.com.au/search?as_q=t ... as_rights=

and then I looked at the most popular translation in recent times which was Gregory Hays, 2003.

That was the extent of it at the time.

You are quite entitled to point out a more complete review would have been better, and I'd agree. After all, how long is a piece of string? I would also be interested in reading Brunt's article on this because it could save quite a bit of time in summarising the various translators' opinions at the time Brunt wrote. I have had a look on JSTOR but cannot find the article.


So, given that you've been exposed to alternative views (in scholarship, I mean), would it be fair to say that you're no longer committed to the view that the text is ungrammatical or spurious? If you still are, again I wonder how you've chosen one position over the other.


I have made a study of all the Christian references in the classical literature (i.e. not sourced from Eusebius or the "Church") prior to the 4th century and my provisional conclusion is that the best explanation of these references is that all of them represent corruptions of the classical literature by the church organisation between the 4th century and the 15th century.


That's a strange view, but it doesn't represent an answer to my question. You know now that the genuineness of the reference in the Meditations is disputed in scholarship, so how have you judged between the two positions?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42307  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 6:30 am

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:

I started with the Loeb translator because that's not a bad place to commence.

https://www.google.com.au/search?as_q=t ... as_rights=

and then I looked at the most popular translation in recent times which was Gregory Hays, 2003.

That was the extent of it at the time.

You are quite entitled to point out a more complete review would have been better, and I'd agree. After all, how long is a piece of string? I would also be interested in reading Brunt's article on this because it could save quite a bit of time in summarising the various translators' opinions at the time Brunt wrote. I have had a look on JSTOR but cannot find the article.


So, given that you've been exposed to alternative views (in scholarship, I mean), would it be fair to say that you're no longer committed to the view that the text is ungrammatical or spurious? If you still are, again I wonder how you've chosen one position over the other.


I have made a study of all the Christian references in the classical literature (i.e. not sourced from Eusebius or the "Church") prior to the 4th century and my provisional conclusion is that the best explanation of these references is that all of them represent corruptions of the classical literature by the church organisation between the 4th century and the 15th century.


That's a strange view, but it doesn't represent an answer to my question. You know now that the genuineness of the reference in the Meditations is disputed in scholarship, so how have you judged between the two positions?


I have considered how much other literary material the church has corrupted and forged and on the basis of this, have decided that those translators who have judged that the Christian reference in Aurelius' work is an interpolation are IMHO closer to the historical truth.
"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

#42308  Postby Tracer Tong » Jun 17, 2017 11:21 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:

So, given that you've been exposed to alternative views (in scholarship, I mean), would it be fair to say that you're no longer committed to the view that the text is ungrammatical or spurious? If you still are, again I wonder how you've chosen one position over the other.


I have made a study of all the Christian references in the classical literature (i.e. not sourced from Eusebius or the "Church") prior to the 4th century and my provisional conclusion is that the best explanation of these references is that all of them represent corruptions of the classical literature by the church organisation between the 4th century and the 15th century.


That's a strange view, but it doesn't represent an answer to my question. You know now that the genuineness of the reference in the Meditations is disputed in scholarship, so how have you judged between the two positions?


I have considered how much other literary material the church has corrupted and forged and on the basis of this, have decided that those translators who have judged that the Christian reference in Aurelius' work is an interpolation are IMHO closer to the historical truth.


OK: so you've arrived at the conclusion the reference in the Meditations is spurious not on the basis of any particular analysis of that reference, but from (i) the fact certain scholars reject it and from (ii) the alleged fact that all other references to Christians in classical literature are spurious. But presumably somewhere along the line you've engaged in analysis of specific passages, if not this one. So which ones are these?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42309  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 12:29 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:

I have made a study of all the Christian references in the classical literature (i.e. not sourced from Eusebius or the "Church") prior to the 4th century and my provisional conclusion is that the best explanation of these references is that all of them represent corruptions of the classical literature by the church organisation between the 4th century and the 15th century.


That's a strange view, but it doesn't represent an answer to my question. You know now that the genuineness of the reference in the Meditations is disputed in scholarship, so how have you judged between the two positions?


I have considered how much other literary material the church has corrupted and forged and on the basis of this, have decided that those translators who have judged that the Christian reference in Aurelius' work is an interpolation are IMHO closer to the historical truth.


OK: so you've arrived at the conclusion the reference in the Meditations is spurious not on the basis of any particular analysis of that reference, but from (i) the fact certain scholars reject it and from (ii) the alleged fact that all other references to Christians in classical literature are spurious. But presumably somewhere along the line you've engaged in analysis of specific passages, if not this one. So which ones are these?


The passages are listed in this thread:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... 54277.html
"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

#42310  Postby Tracer Tong » Jun 17, 2017 12:47 pm

OK. But I asked about the ones which you've analysed, or "made a study of", in your terms. Or have you analysed all of them (the Meditations reference excepted)?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42311  Postby Stein » Jun 18, 2017 1:45 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:OK. But I asked about the ones which you've analysed, or "made a study of", in your terms. Or have you analysed all of them (the Meditations reference excepted)?

:popcorn: :coffee:

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42312  Postby proudfootz » Jun 18, 2017 11:55 pm

Some kerfuffle involving another character from bible stories: May Magdalen has her defenders!

Here’s who Mary Magdalene was: one of Jesus Christ’s original followers, the last to stay with him while he was nailed to the cross and, Christians believe, the first to see his empty tomb and his resurrection.

Here’s who she wasn’t: a reformed or forgiven prostitute.

Yet on Easter Sunday, Christianity’s holiest day, that’s exactly how she will be described in some sermons and how she continues to be portrayed in much of popular culture.

The woman dubbed in the Bible the “Apostle of the Apostles” has spent two millennia being reduced to a seductress. In some ways, Mary Magdalene’s story is the story of modern women everywhere.

From the relentless focus on the looks of female leaders to the nude photos being circulated of female Marines, women who dare to work among men as equals get sexualized and marginalized.



http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/13/i ... th-to-end/
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42313  Postby Tracer Tong » Jun 19, 2017 12:15 am

proudfootz wrote:Some kerfuffle involving another character from bible stories: May Magdalen has her defenders!


What sort of character do you think she is? Do you mean like in a novel?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42314  Postby proudfootz » Jun 19, 2017 12:48 am

Tracer Tong wrote:
proudfootz wrote:Some kerfuffle involving another character from bible stories: May Magdalen has her defenders!


What sort of character do you think she is? Do you mean like in a novel?


We only know of her from some stories - not from herself or anyone that knew her.

So in a way, a person who may well have actually lived and breathed, spoke and acted, may very well be compared to a character in a novel.

God help us if Lincoln: Vampire Hunter becomes the basis for future historical recreations of Abraham Lincoln.

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42315  Postby RealityRules » Jul 15, 2017 9:05 am

.
Christian Mythology – I Beg to Differ with C.S. Lewis

The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.” – C.S. Lewis

Introduction

The purpose of this essay is to provide the reader with a cursory understanding of not only what constitutes myth proper, but of how the narratives which form the basis of the Christian religion fit into this category we call myth...

https://michaelsherlockauthor.wordpress ... c-s-lewis/

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42316  Postby proudfootz » Jul 15, 2017 3:11 pm

RealityRules wrote:.
Christian Mythology – I Beg to Differ with C.S. Lewis

The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.” – C.S. Lewis

Introduction

The purpose of this essay is to provide the reader with a cursory understanding of not only what constitutes myth proper, but of how the narratives which form the basis of the Christian religion fit into this category we call myth...

https://michaelsherlockauthor.wordpress ... c-s-lewis/

.


I am rather taken with the discussion of how the myth is 'remote' from its audience. While I do appreciate the aspect of how 'remote in time' can be very different for an illiterate audience as opposed to what 'remote in time' means to us who have books, magazines, photographs, films, audio which brings the world of half a century ago into a sense of immediacy for us.

I am also glad to see how there is also a sense of 'remote in location' which is another aspect discussed here. IMO much of the literature appears to be aimed at an audience not only a generation or two removed in time, but also remote in language, culture, and place.

But it also makes me think there may be a further sense of 'remote in location' because of the stories are about a turning point in history: the world before the messiah is changed to the world after the messiah; the 'old covenant' is replaced with a 'new covenant'; a new 'tribe of christians' supplants the old 'tribes of Israel'; and so on. The stories are set in a world remote in the sense that the rules that applied then are no longer applicable to the contemporary world (even if 'contemporary' only means 2nd century). This is a lot like the 'Golden Age' myths or in christian terms the 'Age of Miracles'.

The bit about the 'intellectual remoteness' was also an interesting observation:

But what if, as a storyteller, you localized your fiction? You could subtract the dreamlike state of a remote and fantastic ancient earth and replace it with a more recent yet localized supernatural event, one which could not be easily observed. You could set the tale as far back in time as necessary to separate the audience from the time of the tale’s alleged occurrence. You could say that the miracles occurred around one little obscure man, a “blip on the screen,” in an equally small and obscure location. This way your tale would be relatively safe from immediate dismissal and refutation. Finally, you could initially relay it to the meek, unlearned and illiterate masses, people prone, through no fault of their own, to credulity – whose hopes could be easily fanned by flagrant fantasies – those who would not know that Quirinius could not have been governor of Syria at the same time as Herod the Great’s rule. You could sell your tale, not only upon the grounds of remoteness as it applies to both the location and the obscurity of a single insignificant figure, but also, upon the basis of the intellectual remoteness of your audience. This is precisely how I see the element of remoteness as it applied to the development and propagation of the Christian myths.


Thanks for the link to this essay!
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42317  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jul 16, 2017 12:48 am

proudfootz wrote:
RealityRules wrote:.
Christian Mythology – I Beg to Differ with C.S. Lewis

The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.” – C.S. Lewis

Introduction

The purpose of this essay is to provide the reader with a cursory understanding of not only what constitutes myth proper, but of how the narratives which form the basis of the Christian religion fit into this category we call myth...

https://michaelsherlockauthor.wordpress ... c-s-lewis/

.


I am rather taken with the discussion of how the myth is 'remote' from its audience. While I do appreciate the aspect of how 'remote in time' can be very different for an illiterate audience as opposed to what 'remote in time' means to us who have books, magazines, photographs, films, audio which brings the world of half a century ago into a sense of immediacy for us.

I am also glad to see how there is also a sense of 'remote in location' which is another aspect discussed here. IMO much of the literature appears to be aimed at an audience not only a generation or two removed in time, but also remote in language, culture, and place.

But it also makes me think there may be a further sense of 'remote in location' because of the stories are about a turning point in history: the world before the messiah is changed to the world after the messiah; the 'old covenant' is replaced with a 'new covenant'; a new 'tribe of christians' supplants the old 'tribes of Israel'; and so on. The stories are set in a world remote in the sense that the rules that applied then are no longer applicable to the contemporary world (even if 'contemporary' only means 2nd century). This is a lot like the 'Golden Age' myths or in christian terms the 'Age of Miracles'.

The bit about the 'intellectual remoteness' was also an interesting observation:

But what if, as a storyteller, you localized your fiction? You could subtract the dreamlike state of a remote and fantastic ancient earth and replace it with a more recent yet localized supernatural event, one which could not be easily observed. You could set the tale as far back in time as necessary to separate the audience from the time of the tale’s alleged occurrence. You could say that the miracles occurred around one little obscure man, a “blip on the screen,” in an equally small and obscure location. This way your tale would be relatively safe from immediate dismissal and refutation. Finally, you could initially relay it to the meek, unlearned and illiterate masses, people prone, through no fault of their own, to credulity – whose hopes could be easily fanned by flagrant fantasies – those who would not know that Quirinius could not have been governor of Syria at the same time as Herod the Great’s rule. You could sell your tale, not only upon the grounds of remoteness as it applies to both the location and the obscurity of a single insignificant figure, but also, upon the basis of the intellectual remoteness of your audience. This is precisely how I see the element of remoteness as it applied to the development and propagation of the Christian myths.


Thanks for the link to this essay!



Yes its a good read!!

Of course those who assembled the fabrication of Christ and the Christians needed interfaces into historical reality in order to weld connections to their fabulous 4th century [Eusebian] fairy tale. Enter the letter exchange between the otherwise unknown "Paul" and the extremely well known Roman statesman and philosopher and "man of letters" Seneca. The Christian regime which Julian legally renamed to the "Galilaeans" circulated the works of Seneca prefaced with the letter exchange with this otherwise unknown "Paul".

Between Christian mythology and historical reality falls the shadow of Christian forgery.

Or if you prefer the words of Gibbon ...
    "The scanty and suspicious materials of ecclesiastical history
    seldom enable us to dispel the dark cloud
    that hangs over the first age of the church".
"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

#42318  Postby laklak » Jul 16, 2017 4:12 pm

proudfootz wrote:
I am rather taken with the discussion of how the myth is 'remote' from its audience.


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Re: Historical Jesus

#42319  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jul 18, 2017 1:38 am

On the myth being 'remote' from its audience.

Jesus ascends through the cloud banks over Jerusalem to the Father Ship.
Paul travels to the third heaven - did he get a date with Venus?
The Good News of God's [Heavenly] Kingdom Is Proclaimed by Luke Skywalker 16:16
Everyone Is Forced into It -

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, Eusebius is setting out down that long and lonely path ...


    Book I.

    Chapter I. The Plan of the Work.


    1 It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Saviour to our own; and to relate the many important events which are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_History_(Eusebius)
"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

#42320  Postby RealityRules » Jul 19, 2017 12:04 am

proudfootz wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
Christian Mythology – I Beg to Differ with C.S. Lewis

The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.” – C.S. Lewis

Introduction

The purpose of this essay is to provide the reader with a cursory understanding of not only what constitutes myth proper, but of how the narratives which form the basis of the Christian religion fit into this category we call myth...

https://michaelsherlockauthor.wordpress ... c-s-lewis/
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I am rather taken with the discussion of how the myth is 'remote' from its audience. While I do appreciate the aspect of how 'remote in time' can be very different for an illiterate audience as opposed to what 'remote in time' means to us who have books, magazines, photographs, films, audio which brings the world of half a century ago into a sense of immediacy for us.

I am also glad to see how there is also a sense of 'remote in location' which is another aspect discussed here. IMO much of the literature appears to be aimed at an audience not only a generation or two removed in time, but also remote in language, culture, and place.

Yes, good points (I haven't had a chance to fully digest it, I was too tired when I posted).


proudfootz wrote:
But it also makes me think there may be a further sense of 'remote in location' because of the stories are about a turning point in history: the world before the messiah is changed to the world after the messiah; the 'old covenant' is replaced with a 'new covenant'; a new 'tribe of christians' supplants the old 'tribes of Israel'; and so on. The stories are set in a world remote in the sense that the rules that applied then are no longer applicable to the contemporary world (even if 'contemporary' only means 2nd century). This is a lot like the 'Golden Age' myths or in christian terms the 'Age of Miracles'.

The bit about the 'intellectual remoteness' was also an interesting observation:

But what if, as a storyteller, you localized your fiction? You could subtract the dreamlike state of a remote and fantastic ancient earth and replace it with a more recent yet localized supernatural event, one which could not be easily observed. You could set the tale as far back in time as necessary to separate the audience from the time of the tale’s alleged occurrence. You could say that the miracles occurred around one little obscure man, a “blip on the screen,” in an equally small and obscure location. This way your tale would be relatively safe from immediate dismissal and refutation. Finally, you could initially relay it to the meek, unlearned and illiterate masses, people prone, through no fault of their own, to credulity – whose hopes could be easily fanned by flagrant fantasies – those who would not know that Quirinius could not have been governor of Syria at the same time as Herod the Great’s rule. You could sell your tale, not only upon the grounds of remoteness as it applies to both the location and the obscurity of a single insignificant figure, but also, upon the basis of the intellectual remoteness of your audience. This is precisely how I see the element of remoteness as it applied to the development and propagation of the Christian myths.

Thanks for the link to this essay!

You're welcome! Thanks for your comments.
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RealityRules
 
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