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Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 378 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 271 of 560 (617964)
05-31-2011 6:05 PM
Reply to: Message 270 by Jon
05-31-2011 5:25 PM


Re: What are we trying to show here?
One thing that historians do is propose explanations for various historical phenomena. The early Christian beliefs and practices are such phenomena as require explaining.

I believe that there are many ways to explain these things, and I think any reasonable historian would agree with me that any phenomenon can be explained in pretty much any imaginable way. The issue for historical study, then, is to sift through the explanations offered and rank them according to their explanatory power (how much they explain) and their probability (how plausible they are and how many unevidenced assumption they might require).

One way of explaining some of the early Christians' peculiar beliefs and practices is to propose the existence of an historical Jesus*a real man likely named the Aramaic/Hebrew equivalent of Jesus or something similar whose followers believed to be the Messiah and who was executed by crucifixion or some very similar method.

Now, one could go further in to the probability and explanatory power of this explanation. But since no one has yet offered up an alternative explanation, then there isn't much reason to bother rating it, since it remains the best one by virtue of being the only one. I can certainly say that it is not at all unreasonable that such a person would have existed, and his existence serves to explain a good deal of early Christianity's most peculiar beliefs and practices.

No, there are always 2 explanations. That is the point that I am making. Science has progressed from Sherlock Holmes. Absent any evidence the default is that there was no Jesus. We then need to ask ourselves what evidence it would take to cause us to change that. Then we can apply the evidence we do have to see if it is up to par.

That is how, in the modern day and age, we investigate claims.

I am not claiming that this threshold for evidence has or has not been met. I am simply asking what the threshold should be.


If someone were to offer up a different explanation, then we could rank them according to their probability and explanatory power and attempt to judge which one might be the better explanation. Until that happens, though, the Historical Jesus hypothesis stands uncontested, and thus remains the most acceptable available explanation, and so is the one that reasonable people will accept (reasonable people accept that which is most acceptable*naturally).

Well, I think we already have 2 that we do in fact need to examine as I have stated above. It is simply not the case that there is only one choice.

In this sense, an historical Jesus actually is something of the 'default' position.

And I think that is exactly backwards.

Just because a homeopathic remedy performs .05% better than a placebo in one particular trial does not mean that "water memory" becomes the default to "no water memory". "no water memory" is clearly the default and has a VERY strong prior on it because of what we know about physics and chemistry. One would need to demonstrate a significant effect of any homeopathic preparation before that prior would budge.

That is the kind of reasoning I am claiming needs to be used in this circumstances. I am asking why a modern inductive procedure such as the above is not preferable in this case or if it really is, what are the parameters?


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. --Thomas Jefferson
This message is a reply to:
 Message 270 by Jon, posted 05-31-2011 5:25 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 10847
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 272 of 560 (617974)
05-31-2011 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 266 by Jazzns
05-31-2011 5:08 PM


Re: What are we trying to show here?
quote:

Because I am asking what amount and/or quality of evidence do we demand before we abandon the null hypothesis.

Well you haven't formulated a proper null hypothesis. Or explained why we should be using methods appropriate to experimental science for historical investigation which has limited evidence, often no way of making testable predictions and not solid statistical measures.

What's wrong with using inference to the best explanation in that case ?

quote:

Why not? Lets not get caught up in the terminology. Using a "null hypothesis" and applying evidence to it is how we rationally investigate every other aspect of the world. Why should we apply a different standard to history? Other historical sciences do not have this problem.

Really ? I don't think so. We certainly don't do statistical tests on most things. So really I am not sure what you mean - especially as you haven't even stated what your null hypothesis is. And I have to admit that I am puzzled by the idea that history would be considered a science.

Consider this:


We can never be sure what happened at a battle such as Salamis, when the sources n which any interpretation must depend manage to be simultaneously contradictory and full of holes: one might as well look to complete a half-broken Rubik's Cube. No matter how often the facts are studied, twisted and rearranged it is impossible to square them all; a definitive solution cannot be found.

-- Tom Holland Preface to Persian Fire

Where is the room for "null hypotheses" here ?

It seems to me that the defaults relate more to parsimony and background assessment of likelihood. If I insist that there was a Jew named Yeshua alive in 30 AD, you would be a fool not to believe me. It was a common name for a Jew at that time.

So the question isn't about how much evidence it takes. The question is whether we assume that the Gospels contain some core of truth about the founding of Christianity or whether we dismiss them as total fiction. And it seems to me that if we can extract a plausible core from the Gospels - which are certainly poor sources, but in ways that we would expect them to be poor - we should tend to believe it. Why not ? Wouldn't it be more surprising for the origin of Christianity to be totally obscured by a fiction than for the account to be elaborated and exaggerated and acquire legendary encrustations (which it certainly would do if it were based in reality) ?

quote:

No it is not obvious at all. Keeping with an analogy to an experimental procedure, if there is a strong prior on the null hypothesis, it would take significantly more evidence to abandon the null hypothesis than it would with no prior.

Well, what is this null hypothesis if it has a strong prior ? A simple default assumption of non-existence cannot be it, unless we already have good grounds to consider the entity in question implausible. Which we do not, in this case.

quote:

If any tini tidbit of evidence should dramatically sway our conclusion, then we would have no basis in which to ground those conclusions. Are you familiar with Bayesian reasoning?

I've come across it, and I think it's pretty good as a basis for inductive reasoning, but pretty dubious when we cannot provide decent probability measures. (Such as attempts to "prove" the resurrection by Bayesian reasoning).

quote:

My point is that if we were starting from scratch, we would require a certain amount of evidence before we hold any particular conclusion other than non-existence. I don't think it is unreasonable to say that prima facie evidence is insufficient for abandoning the null hypothesis.

If the "null hypothesis" is founded on nothing more than parsimony, then it is weak and can easily be upset. So I really have to ask what your null hypothesis is and how it is strong enough to survive even weak evidence.

quote:

My question remains, why is it so abundantly clear to you that it should? Other than telling me that it is "obvious" I don't think you have addressed my concerns at all.

Maybe if you could state your concerns more clearly - for instance explaining what your null hypothesis is and explaining why you feel that it is strong, you can explain why you feel that it overrules inference to the best explanation, as you clearly feel that it does. So far I have seen nothing to justify such a position at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 266 by Jazzns, posted 05-31-2011 5:08 PM Jazzns has not yet responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 4128
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 273 of 560 (617976)
05-31-2011 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 271 by Jazzns
05-31-2011 6:05 PM


Re: What are we trying to show here?
No, there are always 2 explanations. That is the point that I am making. Science has progressed from Sherlock Holmes. Absent any evidence the default is that there was no Jesus. We then need to ask ourselves what evidence it would take to cause us to change that. Then we can apply the evidence we do have to see if it is up to par.

We really aren't even dealing with whether or not there was a Jesus. What we're dealing with is an explanation for a set of phenomena, namely the early Christians' peculiar beliefs and practices.

Whether there is contemporaneous evidence for an historical Jesus or not is completely irrelevant; if an historical Jesus is the best explanation for the current observation, then it is the explanation we should favor. It is precisely the same as Darwin proposing an ancient, unobserved, undocumented process as the explanation for his then-present observation of the peculiar features of some island birds.

Has the historical Jesus proposition been as well supported as Darwin's evolution? Hardly. But that does not change the fact that for the particular phenomena that the explanation was devised to explain it still remains the best explanation.

Does contemporaneous evidence help in supporting our explanation? Sure; but its existence (or lack thereof) is by no means make or break on the matter of an historical Jesus.

Well, I think we already have 2 that we do in fact need to examine as I have stated above. It is simply not the case that there is only one choice.

I would like to see what the second one is. So far I have only seen one in this thread (since I started participating).

Just because a homeopathic remedy performs .05% better than a placebo in one particular trial does not mean that "water memory" becomes the default to "no water memory". "no water memory" is clearly the default and has a VERY strong prior on it because of what we know about physics and chemistry. One would need to demonstrate a significant effect of any homeopathic preparation before that prior would budge.

I think that in the absence of any other evidence on homeopathic and placebo treatments to favor the treatment that shows better results is absolutely the most reasonable position to take. The only reason we don't take that stance after a fluke increase in cure rates from homeopathics is because of the other evidence available. In the case of an historical Jesus, however, we don't have any evidence that tells us he shouldn't have existed. This isn't Lord of the Rings (to use an analogy already presented) where we have evidence pointing to the implausibility of the scenario. An historical Jesus is an entirely plausible character, and there is no reason to reject such a proposition if it explains our observations, unless...

... there is a better explanation available. Since no alternative explanation has even been offered, then we're pretty much stuck with just the one: historical Jesus.

I am asking why a modern inductive procedure such as the above is not preferable in this case or if it really is, what are the parameters?

But a modern inductive procedure is exactly what is being used. Someone offered up 'historical Jesus' as an explanation for our current observations. An historical Jesus is entirely feasible and not at all out of place in the supposed time period and region. Since no other explanation has been offered, and since there is no reason to reject the explanation that has been offered, we are left with only one thing: historical Jesus.

Jon

Edited by Jon, : clarity


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 271 by Jazzns, posted 05-31-2011 6:05 PM Jazzns has not yet responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 10847
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


(1)
Message 274 of 560 (617985)
05-31-2011 7:11 PM
Reply to: Message 239 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 12:33 PM


Re: Execution records
The continuation...

quote:

Not at all. You are, by implication.

If there was no execution-specific or Judea-specific purge of Roman records, then all the records were lost coincidentally. And if it's all just a coincidence that all the records are gone, then there's no reason that the lack of execution records or records from Judea should imply that there may have been a Jesus execution record that also was lost - just as five heads in a row on a coin specified as "fair" doesn't imply anything about the result of a sixth toss, making a sixth heads result a complete coincidence.


Let us be clear. You say that the records existed. You agree that one exist now. You say that without a specific purge some should still exist. Those premises logically entail a purge.

I take a different view. We would expect the records to be stored in one place, and thus they would be subject to all being lost in a single disaster. Or by an indiscriminate attack aimed at other records in the same place. Or old records might be regularly destroyed, without singling out execution records. None of these involves any real coincidence.

quote:

No. I'm arguing that the odds of the loss of a Jesus-specific execution record are unrelated to the number of documents that survive in total, once you've stipulated that there was no purposeful purge of execution-related or Judea-related (or any other characteristic-related) documents.

Since there is no reasonable way to estimate that probability WITHOUT taking into account the proportion of surviving documents your claim is clearly wrong (a frequentist would argue that counting the proportion of surviving records is the ONLY way to determine that probability). And when we do take that into account the probability of the record being lost is very, very close to 1. Therefore the absence of the record is insignificant since it is expected to a very high degree whether Jesus existed or not.

quote:

By definition that's true, PaulK. The only way that the lack of documents in general would lend support to the lack of documents specific to Jesus is if the two are somehow related - by a specific purge. But you keep insisting that there was no purge. You keep insisting that it's a coincidence.

If crucifixion records are likely to survive then it would be a massive coincidence to have lost them all. If they are so very unlikely to survive that we should expect to have none then certainly we cannot claim that any specific record should have survived.

The only relationship needed is that the record of Jesus' execution (if there was one) would be one of the crucifixion records of that time, kept with the rest, not singled out for special treatment. And if you wish to deny that, then is is you that needs to provide the evidence.

quote:

But again, the fact that it is published as fiction is nothing but a reflection of the popular consensus - the argumentum ad populum - that the work is fiction. Similarly that a book is published as non-fiction reflects nothing but the popular consensus that the work is non-fiction.

Of course, you are wrong here. The decision to publish as fiction or non-fiction is made by the publisher, before enough of the public are aware of the book to form a consensus view.

quote:

So the classification of a book is not in any way a reliable guide to the truth or falsity of the claims made therein. Thus the fact that the Gospels claim that there was a real Jesus who existed is not a prima facie case for anything; it's only evidence that the claims have been made, not evidence that they are true.

Yet another irrational argument. You seem to confuse a prima facie case with "conclusive evidence". Would you not agree that most fiction books are really fiction and most non-fiction books are not ? And that is before we get into the other evidence...

And so your argument fails, not even fully dealing with my case for considering LotR fiction.

quote:

By which I mean, only, that when the individual under discussion was greeted in the street, nobody uttered the words "Jesus Christ, it's Jesus Christ!" when doing so.

In other words you mean it in a way that is utterly useless for your case.

quote:

Clearly I've not quoted any of it because none has been presented.

Unfortunately for you, Crash you DID quote it. Here it is again:


(something that the Gospel writers clearly were uncomfortable with, since they go out of their way to try to blame the Jews - so far as we can tell, falsely - and exonerate the Romans).

Why would the Gospel writers need to make up excuses to exonerate the Romans when - if they were just making things up - they don't need to have the Romans execute Jesus anyway ? It doesn't make sense. Of course, if Jesus really was executed by the Romans it's very unlikely that the Gospel writers would have the opportunity to deny that. It would be established too early for them to tamper with it more than they did.

quote:

Of course it's valid to point out that you're engaged in an argument from ignorance, arguing that because a lack of evidence doesn't eliminate the possibility of a historical Jesus, it lends support to the possibility of a historical Jesus.

Of course it would be false to do so. My criticisms of your arguments AGAINST the existence of Jesus are not and never were intended to be a case that Jesus did exist. And I do not make them out to be anything more than a weakness in your case.

quote:

Already refuted.

Where ? I certainly haven't seen it. Bu then i haven't seen you demonstrate a lot of things you claim to have demonstrated. It's like arguing with Buzsaw.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 12:33 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 10847
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 275 of 560 (617986)
05-31-2011 7:33 PM
Reply to: Message 252 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 3:05 PM


Re: Execution records
quote:

I never said that they got everything wrong or that if they did, that would be proof of the non-existence of Jesus.

You asked:


Why does the existence of Jesus have to be the one thing the early Christian church didn't make up?

I pointed out that it wasn't. And then you tried to spin that as an attempt to prove that Jesus didn't exist.

quote:

My contention - and please pay attention to it this time - is that getting some things right doesn't lend them any veracity.

Of course I never made the argument that getting somethings right made anything else they said right. I was responding to your argument, which I repeat:


Why does the existence of Jesus have to be the one thing the early Christian church didn't make up?

And you tell me to pay attention ? When you can't even read the quotes to work out which point I was responding to ?

quote:

Maybe that Jews don't crucify people? Wouldn't that be even more unrealistic?

That would still require death by crucifixion to be established prior to the Gospels. And who says that the Jews would never crucify anyone ? And if not the Jews in general, why not the hated Herodians who were more Idumaean than Jewish anyway.

quote:

But that doesn't lend veracity to the story. Not in any way. For all you know, the Gospels adapt, to blame the Jews, a story that was already widely known that blamed the Romans. Certainly the Gospels present a kind of "forget what you heard, here's the real story" kind of tone.

Which assumes that such a story existed. Again predating the Gospels and associated with Jesus strongly enough that the Gospel writers couldn't just ignore it in favour of their own inventions.

You see, even your suggestions assume at least part of the story predates the Gospels and is solidly established, so that the Gospel writers cannot simply ignore it.

quote:

Jesus, Paul, it's been in all these posts you keep replying to!

No, it isn't.

quote:

I did. I've never contended that your argument was anything but wrong.

You agreed that the form was valid, and you used an argument with the same form yourself. And your other "criticism" was that you were arguing that Jesus did not exist is even sillier because the argument that you are denying IS an argument that Jesus did not exist.

So what exactly is wrong about it that is not wrong about your own argument (noting that form and conclusion are the same and you have not raised any other objection) ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 252 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 3:05 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
caffeine
Member (Idle past 148 days)
Posts: 872
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


(2)
Message 276 of 560 (618052)
06-01-2011 6:42 AM
Reply to: Message 238 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 11:57 AM


Re: Names and Roman Records
crashfrog writes:

Well, no, none of this is accurate. Confucious was called Confucious, that just wasn't his name. Ghengis Khan was called Ghengis Khan. Charles IV was called Charles IV and when he became king that was his name. (Just like Prince William's name actually is "Prince William", and when he goes by "William Wales" or "William Mountbatten-Windsor to sound like a normal person, that's actually an alias.)

All of those people were called by those names either during their lives or in the period immediately following their deaths, so it's 100% inaccurate to say that they were not. But the proponents of the "historical Jesus" propose an individual who was not referred to as Jesus Christ until many centuries after his supposed existence.

Later in the thread you conceded Confucius, but argued I was still 80% wrong. Let's see

Mencius is a Latinisation of a Chinese name too, and the first knowledge about him in Europe was bought by the same Christian missionaries as brought knowledge of Confucius - again, this is a name first used well over a thousand years after the death of its bearer.

The exact provenance of 'Ghengis Khan' seems unclear, but it's a later, European version of his name, possibly via a Persian transliteration. The original Mongol name should probably have begun with a 'ch' sound, and there is no harsh 'k' in the 'Khan' title.

Charlemagne is a later Gallicisation of the Latin 'Carolus Magnus' - Charles the Great or Charles the Strong. I'm unsure whether he attained this title in life, or only later, but they weren't calling him 'Charlemagne' in the 8th century.

Charles IV would have been known by a variety of names by his subjects and contemporaries, including 'Karel', 'Karl' and 'Carolus' (or similar - what I know of central European medieval languages could be written on a postage stamp). He certainly wouldn't have been known by the modern English 'Charles'.

'Zoroaster' is a Hellinised version of an old Persian name, dating to about 1,000 years after he was believed to have lived.

Tamerlane would have been known as Timūr Gurkānī when ruler of his empire, but Persian sources often refer to him as Tīmūr-e Lang, meaning 'Timur the Lame'. This was later changed to 'Tamerlane; by Europeans who heard of him via the Persian accounts - not sure exactly when, but I don't think it was during his lifetime.

Jesus Christ, if he existed, was called Jesus Christ within decades of his death at the latest, not centuries. We keep talking about this to make it clear that the names given to most historical figures are not what they would have been known as to people in their day. Names are translated, transliterated, misunderstood, and adorned with posthumous titles and regnal numbers all the time.

So then there's even less evidence for the historical existence of Jesus Christ than I thought!

How can you guys not be getting this? A lack of evidence lends support to my position, not to yours. If the only way there's "evidence" for the existence of Jesus is to turn the normal rules of evidence on their heads, then there's no evidence for Jesus Christ. After all, by that basis there's the same amount of evidence that "Life of Brian" was a documentary. Who says there can't have been a Jewish Cynic who was executed by the Romans after he was briefly captured by aliens?

The point is that this sort of evidence doesn't exist for historical figures from this period in general. Are we then to decide that the best hypothesis is that almost nobody existed in 1st century Judaea at all, since few are supported outside of the Bible and Josephus? This seems a strange way of building a historical picture, and not at all consistent with how historians (or you, I would expect) approach any other historical figure.

You seem very confused about this. Nobody is arguing for any purge. No purge is required to explain the absence of any records. It's just a fact that there are no official records of any kind because these things are perishable, and are not carefully preserved as works of literature or religious significance are. We have to build our picture of the past as best we can knowing that there will be no official records of anything at all.

------------------

Elsewhere in the thread you claimed that religions based around a real figure rapidly solidify and stop spreading shortly after the death of their founder, using the example of Scientology. I don't know too much about the history of Scientology, but this doesn't bear up when examining other religions. Assuming you accept the historicity of Buddha, the first split in his followers was druing his lifetime, and within a short period of his death Buddhism had fragmented into dozens of sects. Islam schismed immediately upon the death of Mohammed over disagreements about his successor. Both religions continued to expand rapidly.

-------------------

Regarding Messiahship and Jon's argument: I'm not sure if I agree with Jon entirely, but I wanted to explain his argument because I think you've missed the point.

There were several Jews knocking about before the destruction of the temple who claimed to be Messiahs (at least according to Josephus, who is the source of most of our documentary knowledge about this time and place). Jon's position is that Jesus was likely one of these. His followers, like the followers of the other Messiahs, would have expected him to bring about a new Messianic age and restore the glory of Israel. However, like all the other Messiahs, he failed and was executed by the Romans. His followers, having seen their predictions fail, needed to come up with a post-hoc explanation for this, and create the new idea of the resurrection, the second coming and the impending kingdom of God, a theology which, whilst it gained little traction with the Jews, proved popular amongst Gentiles and spread rapidly.

Jon's point is that the story of a Messiah who died before achieving much is unlikely to have been invented by Jews, since it's contrary to the traditional Jewish view of the Messiah. If Christianity was created by spreading the views of an obscure Jewish sect to gentiles where they found a happy reception, then we wonder why the Jews invented a Messiah that wasn't a Messiah. It makes more sense, on this view, that their Messiah was originally supposed to be one, but actual reality got in the way and he was killed. If Christianity was not really based on the teachings of an obscure Jewish sect, then we're left trying to explain why it pretends to be. Why make Jesus a Jew?

Edited by caffeine, : I forgot about Zoroaster in my list of names.

Edited by caffeine, : Edit2: And I also forgot Ghengis Khan, it appears!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 11:57 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Jon
Member
Posts: 4128
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 277 of 560 (618102)
06-01-2011 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 276 by caffeine
06-01-2011 6:42 AM


Re: Names and Roman Records
caffeine writes:

His followers, having seen their predictions fail, needed to come up with a post-hoc explanation for this, and create the new idea of the resurrection, the second coming and the impending kingdom of God, a theology which, whilst it gained little traction with the Jews, proved popular amongst Gentiles and spread rapidly.

I find it interesting that the synoptics mention a belief in Jesus as a resurrected John the Baptist or prophet (Mk 6:1416; Lk 9:7919; Mt 14:12). In addition, the gospels state the inability of Jesus' followers to recognize his physical form post-resurrection (Lk 24:1316, Jn 20:1417). It may be the case that the disciples didn't invent anything, but rather were victims of an identity heist: someone who claimed to be the resurrected Jesus knowing that no one expected resurrected folk to resemble their pre-death form. (Now my money is on a friend of that Joseph character, who only the 'women' and some nobody named Nicodemus are said to have seen put the body in some tomb.)

It might be worth saying more on that, but perhaps in a different thread, like the one I started long ago.

Speaking of which, time to do some resurrecting of my own.

Jon


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
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ramoss
Member
Posts: 2809
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 278 of 560 (618343)
06-02-2011 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 225 by crashfrog
05-29-2011 11:50 PM


Re: Execution records
There have been a number of people named Jesus who were considered Annointed. Every high priest that was named Jesus was one.

On the other hand, there is no Jesus that was an preacher out from Galilee that is recorded as being in existence from this time period.

On the other hand, as I mentioned before there was a messianic type figure who, in 36 c.e. was executed by Pilate, as recorded in Antiquities of the Jews.

The name of this figure is not recorded though.. nor the method of execution. It was likely to have been crucifixion .. and Jesus was a very common name.. so it is not beyond a reasonable speculation that this figure might have inspired later stories.


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 4568
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 279 of 560 (618354)
06-02-2011 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 278 by ramoss
06-02-2011 7:47 PM


Re: Execution records
The authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum is highly contested. That he did it write seems very questionable
http://en.wikipedia.org/...onium_Flavianum_.28Koine_Greek.29
http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/supp16.htm


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 10847
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 280 of 560 (618381)
06-03-2011 1:40 AM
Reply to: Message 279 by Theodoric
06-02-2011 8:40 PM


Re: Execution records
Ramoss is not talking about the Testamonium Flavianum - read his Message 220. He's talking about a Samaritan leader.

(The Testamonium itself seems to me to be unquestionably Christian to the point where I cannot accept it as fully authentic. But it may have an original core, which would be significant extra-Biblical evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus. Antiquities 18 is also worth reading for it's description of Pilate's behaviour. He was hardly one to give in to Jewish pressure, and was quick to resort to violence.)


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 4568
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 281 of 560 (618398)
06-03-2011 8:28 AM
Reply to: Message 280 by PaulK
06-03-2011 1:40 AM


Josephus
On the other hand, as I mentioned before there was a messianic type figure who, in 36 c.e. was executed by Pilate, as recorded in Antiquities of the Jews.

Where else in Antiquities is the above talked about besides the Testamonium?


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
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 Message 280 by PaulK, posted 06-03-2011 1:40 AM PaulK has responded

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PaulK
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Posts: 10847
Joined: 01-10-2003
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Message 282 of 560 (618402)
06-03-2011 8:42 AM
Reply to: Message 281 by Theodoric
06-03-2011 8:28 AM


Re: Josephus
Did you read the quote Ramoss offered, and see the reference there ? Did you not recognise that it is not the Testamonium ? Isn't the fact that it is about an unnamed Samaritan enough to tell you that ?
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 Message 281 by Theodoric, posted 06-03-2011 8:28 AM Theodoric has responded

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caffeine
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Posts: 872
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


(1)
Message 283 of 560 (618408)
06-03-2011 9:18 AM
Reply to: Message 282 by PaulK
06-03-2011 8:42 AM


Re: Josephus
To clarify, this is the Testimonium Flavianum:

quote:
3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, 9 those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; 10 as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

and this, three paragraphs later, is the portion quoted by ramoss:

quote:
1. But the nation of the Samaritans did not escape without tumults. The man who excited them to it was one who thought lying a thing of little consequence, and who contrived every thing so that the multitude might be pleased; so he bid them to get together upon Mount Gerizzim, which is by them looked upon as the most holy of all mountains, and assured them, that when they were come thither, he would show them those sacred vessels which were laid under that place, because Moses put them there 12 So they came thither armed, and thought the discourse of the man probable; and as they abode at a certain village, which was called Tirathaba, they got the rest together to them, and desired to go up the mountain in a great multitude together; but Pilate prevented their going up, by seizing upon file roads with a great band of horsemen and foot-men, who fell upon those that were gotten together in the village; and when it came to an action, some of them they slew, and others of them they put to flight, and took a great many alive, the principal of which, and also the most potent of those that fled away, Pilate ordered to be slain.

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Theodoric
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Posts: 4568
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 284 of 560 (618409)
06-03-2011 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 282 by PaulK
06-03-2011 8:42 AM


Re: Josephus
My confusion is by Ramoss's use of "messiah like". This passage mentions nothing about messiah like.

The name of this figure is not recorded though.. nor the method of execution. It was likely to have been crucifixion .. and Jesus was a very common name.. so it is not beyond a reasonable speculation that this figure might have inspired later stories.

This whole line seems to be unrelated to the whole passage.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 282 by PaulK, posted 06-03-2011 8:42 AM PaulK has not yet responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 4568
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 285 of 560 (618410)
06-03-2011 9:23 AM
Reply to: Message 283 by caffeine
06-03-2011 9:18 AM


Re: Josephus
I am familiar with both passages. I was confused by Ramoss's characterization of the second passage. There is no mention of messiah, crucifixion or a Jesus. I am confused how this can be used at all as evidence for a historical Jesus. Now this could be partial basis for the mythical Jesus.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
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