Posted: May 05, 2012 5:28 am
by Blood
willhud9 wrote:
Tell me Corky, can you tell me the events surrounding the formation of Hannukah? Can you tell me the life that history knows of Judas Maccabeus? The events of the revolts of the Maccabees is well accepted by historians. Yet, the man history says started the revolt is only known in 2 sources. First Maccabees and Josephus. Just 2 bleeding sources for one man. Yet history does not challenge his existence. Why? Because there is no need to challenge his existence.

Once again, attestation is meaningless in assessing historicity. It is the nature of the sources that matter. Our sources for Judas Maccabeus don't describe him as the supernatural, pre-existent Son of God, the offspring of a ghost and a virgin, sent on a secret mission to be killed by the Jews so that the Gentiles could inherit the Jewish religion. If our sources said that about Judas Maccabeus, history would challenge his existence.

willhud9 wrote:
He doesn't matter in history. But you get this Jesus fellow. He is mentioned in several Roman documents (but they can be forgeries), he is mentioned in Jospehus' works (but they can be forgeries or mistranslated), he is mentioned in Paul's epistles (but he can be talking about a spirit or even better he could not exist and could be a 2nd century fabrication). This is at the core, what the MJ argument comes down to. But if we held the same level of scrutiny to other figures of antiquity we would find we can wipe out history books.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and thus must be held to extraordinary standards. We don't need to hold other figures to the same level of scrutiny because nobody is claiming they were the actual son of God.

willhud9 wrote:
Many of histories lesser figures, the people historians did not care about are mentioned in passages long obscure. Does this mean these people did not exist? Jesus was during the 1st century a back water preacher. Why should historians focus greatly on his life?

Because, according to Bart Ehrman for example, he was the most important figure in Western civilization.

willhud9 wrote:
Jesus, again, was a nobody. But yet we do have mentions of him, and Christ, we have mentions of Christians. We have Paul's letters which mention Jesus Christ. There is historical evidence that a Jesus existed. But to dismiss that evidence without proper historical scrutiny is superfluous. As I said, you can, inevitable do that to entire history books.

Paul's letters are evidence of letters written by somebody in the church. That's all they are. It is arguable whether they support a historical figure or a religious godman concept.

It turns out that historically speaking, there isn't much difference between a "nobody" and a religious concept that didn't actually exist. If Jesus existed, he died anonymously and the world didn't come to and end. He wasn't the Son of God and didn't come back from the dead. If Jesus did not exist, it was possible for him to do all of these things and more.