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Author Topic:   The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 39 (659021)
04-11-2012 10:59 PM


I still have some pages left to go in Did Jesus Exist?, but I ordered this book from Amazon and have started reading it as I finish Ehrman's.

As I already posted over at FRDB, the very first two paragraphs of the introduction are leaving me with serious worries about the rest of the book. Have a look for yourself:

quote:
Earl Doherty in The Jesus Puzzle (2005):

Once upon a time, someone wrote a story about a man who was God.

We don't know who that someone was, or where he wrote his story. We are not even sure when he wrote it, but we do know that several decades had passed since the supposed events he told of. Later generations gave this storyteller the name of "Mark," but if that was his real name, it was only by coincidence. (p. 1)


Say what!?


Love your enemies!

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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5765
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 2 of 39 (659022)
04-11-2012 11:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
04-11-2012 10:59 PM


Explain your issues
Please link to your FRDb thread.

What is your issue with the lines you quote? Where is the problem?

Do we know who wrote it? Do we know where? Do we know when? Do you know his name is Mark?

Are you hoping Earl will school you or what?

Edited by Theodoric, : No reason given.


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

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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5765
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 3 of 39 (659027)
04-12-2012 1:20 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
04-11-2012 10:59 PM


oh wait I see you are getting your ass handed to you over there.

Your animosity toward Earl and mythicists is clouding your ability to reason.

http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=313884

You sound petty and vindictive


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

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PaulK
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Posts: 12778
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 4 of 39 (659028)
04-12-2012 1:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
04-11-2012 10:59 PM


I wasn't sure what bothered you about it until I saw the thread. And I think you're right. It's sort of worrying that the others in the thread have no idea of what "Son of God" might mean other than the view currently taken by Christians.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3500
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 5 of 39 (659032)
04-12-2012 3:36 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
04-11-2012 10:59 PM


What is it you object to about that exert?
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Kairyu
Member (Idle past 1069 days)
Posts: 162
From: netherlands
Joined: 06-23-2010


(1)
Message 6 of 39 (659042)
04-12-2012 8:14 AM


Wait, or somebody took his name as a username, or that forum has the actual writer of the book responding? Seems like a interesting place to join..

Still, I can see why Jon is troubled bit by it, exact correct wording is important as a scholar, even when doing a somewhat informal introduction. I can't say much though, as I do not know much about the NT on a scholar level, only their time of writing and the general audience for each gospel.


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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1290
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 5.8


(1)
Message 7 of 39 (659044)
04-12-2012 8:27 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Kairyu
04-12-2012 8:14 AM


Still, I can see why Jon is troubled bit by it, exact correct wording is important as a scholar, even when doing a somewhat informal introduction. I can't say much though, as I do not know much about the NT on a scholar level, only their time of writing and the general audience for each gospel.

Nor am I an expert, but from what little I remember from Bible classes in school 'Son of God' was used in Jewish writings for various significant and important people, like high priests and kings, without this meaning they themselves were gods themselves. Mark was generally considered the earliesyt gospel, and it is also the gospel in which Jesus is the least miraculous. The resurrection bit at the end is often considered a later addition.

By the time we reach John, the latest canonical gospel, there's all sorts of magic and hocus-pocus, and Jesus there is clearly God. But there's a school of thought that Mark was not about a literal son of God, but just a holy man. The story grew in the telling.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 15645
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 8 of 39 (659045)
04-12-2012 8:44 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Kairyu
04-12-2012 8:14 AM


Kairyu writes:

Still, I can see why Jon is troubled bit by it, exact correct wording is important as a scholar...

I'm not so sure Doherty can be considered a scholar, except in the loosest sense. The Wikipedia article on Earl Doherty says this about his education. This is the entire section:

Wikipedia writes:

Doherty has a working knowledge of Greek and Latin, which he has supplemented with the basics of Hebrew and Syriac.

And about his scholarship Wikipedia says:

Wikipedia writes:

R. Joseph Hoffmann considers that there are "reasons for scholars to hold" the view that Jesus never existed, but considers Doherty "A 'disciple' of Wells" who "has rehashed many of the formers views in The Jesus Puzzle (Age of Reason Publications, 2005) which is qualitatively and academically far inferior to anything so far written on the subject".

To refer to Jesus as the Son of God and then launch into a discussion of Mark seems an unlikely mistake for a true Biblical scholar.

--Percy


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 39 (659046)
04-12-2012 8:46 AM


Earl's Early Mistake(s)
I'm very glad to see that there are members here who not only are able to spot Earl's mistake but are also genuinely troubled about finding it in a supposedly serious piece of scholarship.

As to those who haven't spotted it yet, the issue is this: In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is not God.

At best this opening statement is a misrepresentation of Earl's sources; at worst it shows us that Mr. Doherty hasn't even bothered reading the texts he is reviewing.

Later in the intro Earl gives a definition of 'Christian' that rests on the very thing he is trying to prove:

quote:
Earl Doherty in The Jesus Puzzle (2005):

This book will continue to use the words "Christians" and "Christianity," but in that initial period before the Gospels bestowed a new meaning on them, such terms will refer to the wide variety of groups, Jewish and gentile, that believed in a Christ or a Son of God who was a divine Savior, but who was not yet regarded as having been on earth. (p. 3)


It would appear that with this definition, Mr. D's got himself quite the easy road ahead. All he'll have to do in the rest of the book is prove that there were early Christians living in 'that initial period' and he will, by definition, have proven that they did not believe in an historical Jesus.

I wish I could have gotten away with this kind of malarkey when writing papers in school. Man, life would have been good.

Jon


Love your enemies!

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 12778
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 10 of 39 (659047)
04-12-2012 8:47 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by caffeine
04-12-2012 8:27 AM


Also you should look into Adoptionism, and the Ebionites. But yes, the idea of Jesus as God is only clearly present in John. To say that it is in Mark is worrying, and quite possibly prejudicial.
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 39 (659048)
04-12-2012 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Percy
04-12-2012 8:44 AM


To refer to Jesus as the Son of God and then launch into a discussion of Mark seems an unlikely mistake for a true Biblical scholar.

Well; that might have been excusable. But Earl didn't just refer to Jesus as the 'Son of God'; he referred to him as 'God'; and this is inexcusable: Mark does not make such a declaration anywhere in his Gospel.

John does.

Many later Christians do.

Mark doesn't.

Earl's gotten his sources twisted and mangled (at best) or hasn't even read them (at worst).

Jon


Love your enemies!

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Kairyu
Member (Idle past 1069 days)
Posts: 162
From: netherlands
Joined: 06-23-2010


Message 12 of 39 (659062)
04-12-2012 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Percy
04-12-2012 8:44 AM


Thanks for the heads up. Maybe I'll ask for some fitting NT books in my Ibook topic then. (There's no need to do it here unless it's on-topic)
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 39 (659090)
04-12-2012 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Percy
04-12-2012 8:44 AM


Wait, what?
To refer to Jesus as the Son of God and then launch into a discussion of Mark seems an unlikely mistake for a true Biblical scholar.

Mark 1, Verse 1 writes:


The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way[c]
3 a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.

Mark 12, verse 35-37 writes:

While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, "How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." ' 37 David himself calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?" The large crowd listened to him with delight.

What is it I'm supposed to believe that Earl Doherty got wrong in Mark, again?


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 39 (659091)
04-12-2012 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jon
04-12-2012 8:46 AM


Re: Earl's Early Mistake(s)
As to those who haven't spotted it yet, the issue is this: In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is not God.

Except that, as I just showed, he is.

I anticipate the immediate formation of another evidence lacuna on your part, Jon, where you will think you've produced evidence that Jesus is not referred to as God in Mark, but you will not have actually done so.


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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1357 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 15 of 39 (659096)
04-12-2012 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jon
04-12-2012 8:46 AM


Re: Earl's Early Mistake(s)
I confess ignorance.

What is it about the divinity or lack of divinity of Jesus in Mark have anything to do with the historicity of Jesus?

If Jesus is god in Mark, how does that help Earl show the lack of historicity?

If Jesus is NOT god in Mark, how does that refute Earl or alternativly, show proof of historicity?


BUT if objects for gratitude and admiration are our desire, do they not present themselves every hour to our eyes? Do we not see a fair creation prepared to receive us the instant we are born --a world furnished to our hands, that cost us nothing? Is it we that light up the sun; that pour down the rain; and fill the earth with abundance? Whether we sleep or wake, the vast machinery of the universe still goes on. Are these things, and the blessings they indicate in future, nothing to, us? Can our gross feelings be excited by no other subjects than tragedy and suicide? Or is the gloomy pride of man become so intolerable, that nothing can flatter it but a sacrifice of the Creator? --Thomas Paine

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