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


Message 16 of 39 (659107)
04-12-2012 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by crashfrog
04-12-2012 12:09 PM


Re: Earl's Early Mistake(s)
Jon writes:

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.

You showed no such thing. Don't be ridiculous.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 39 (659108)
04-12-2012 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Jazzns
04-12-2012 12:16 PM


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?

It has to do with the quality of Earl's scholarship and his misuse of sources.

Mark does not talk about Jesus as being God. Earl needs to do a better job evaluating and analyzing the information in his sources.

A first good step would be to actually read them.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Jazzns, posted 04-12-2012 12:16 PM Jazzns has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Jazzns, posted 04-12-2012 2:07 PM Jon has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 15912
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 18 of 39 (659111)
04-12-2012 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by crashfrog
04-12-2012 12:06 PM


Re: Wait, what?
I misspoke. I meant equating Jesus to God, but your Mark 12 quote is interesting. Do you really see the equating of Jesus with God as deriving from Mark, though?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Jazzns
Member (Idle past 1440 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 19 of 39 (659116)
04-12-2012 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Jon
04-12-2012 1:31 PM


A few more questions...
It has to do with the quality of Earl's scholarship and his misuse of sources.

Are you claiming that he is misusing Mark or other sources of scholarship about Mark?

Mark does not talk about Jesus as being God. Earl needs to do a better job evaluating and analyzing the information in his sources.

I think I understand why many critical scholars have this view of Mark and based on what I have read I agree. The problem I am having is understanding why this has anything to do with the issue. Some people DO believe that Mark points to Jesus' divinity and on those terms is is very much a theological issue.

A first good step would be to actually read them.

Are you making the claim that he hasn't read Mark or that he hasn't read the critical scholarship about Mark?

You seem to be rather incensed that he doesn't have his ducks in a row for a reason that doesn't seem at all obvious. Even if he is wrong about Mark, what does that have to do with anything regarding his scholarship other than that he is being sloppy on this one issue. Sloppyness seems to be something that is common for people who wade into this arena.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Jon, posted 04-12-2012 1:31 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 39 (659121)
04-12-2012 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Jazzns
04-12-2012 2:07 PM


Re: A few more questions...
You seem to be rather incensed that he doesn't have his ducks in a row for a reason that doesn't seem at all obvious. Even if he is wrong about Mark, what does that have to do with anything regarding his scholarship other than that he is being sloppy on this one issue. Sloppyness seems to be something that is common for people who wade into this arena.

I'm merely pointing this out.

I'm not claiming that sloppiness is unique to Doherty. The Mythicist camp, however, does seem rife with it. Earl's mistake here doesn't help their image.

Some people DO believe that Mark points to Jesus' divinity and on those terms is is very much a theological issue.

People can believe what they want to believe. But the text still says what it says and doesn't say what it doesn't say. The mental gymnastics required are just too much for taking the position seriously.

Yet even taking all of that into consideration, we must still conclude that Earl has assumed as fact something that is highly debatable; making this is D- scholarship at best.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1341
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 21 of 39 (659163)
04-13-2012 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by crashfrog
04-12-2012 12:06 PM


Re: Wait, what?
You seem to be confusing yourself by assuming that the words 'Christ' and 'Messiah' refer to God. In Christian beliefs, the Christ is, indeed, God. This is not the case in Jewish messianic beliefs though. Calling Jesus the Christ, or the Messiah, doesn't establish that he's supposed to be God.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by crashfrog, posted 04-12-2012 12:06 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 39 (659174)
04-13-2012 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Percy
04-12-2012 1:48 PM


Re: Wait, what?
I don't see that it's inconsistent with Mark, where Jesus is referred to by the divine appellation "Lord." Obviously the later gospels do much more to flesh out Jesus's divinity but you can't say that a seed of the idea isn't present in Mark. It's right there at the beginning - the whole gospel is the story of how the "way was laid" for "the Lord"; I.e. God in the person of Jesus.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Percy, posted 04-12-2012 1:48 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Percy, posted 04-13-2012 8:07 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 26 by Jon, posted 04-13-2012 10:50 AM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 39 (659175)
04-13-2012 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by caffeine
04-13-2012 3:49 AM


Re: Wait, what?
It's the word "Lord" that refers to God, and in Mark "Lord" is twice used to refer to Jesus.

It's at least a seed of the notion of the full divinity of Jesus. I don't see how that can be disputed. Biblical scholarship has to start with, you know, reading your Bible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by caffeine, posted 04-13-2012 3:49 AM caffeine has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by caffeine, posted 04-16-2012 6:09 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 15912
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 24 of 39 (659177)
04-13-2012 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by crashfrog
04-13-2012 7:55 AM


Re: Wait, what?
crashfrog writes:

Obviously the later gospels do much more to flesh out Jesus's divinity but you can't say that a seed of the idea isn't present in Mark.

You're right, I agree that the seed of the idea is there.

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

Then he said that person was "Mark." If anyone wrote a story about a man who was God, it was "John."

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by crashfrog, posted 04-13-2012 7:55 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 39 (659182)
04-13-2012 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Percy
04-13-2012 8:07 AM


Re: Wait, what?
But Doherty wrote, "Once upon a time, someone wrote a story about a man who was God."

Then he said that person was "Mark."

And, what? You're surprised that an editorial turn of phrase that begins with "once upon a time" doesn't reflect complete and accurate academic accuracy?

People are grasping at straws to impeach Doherty, it looks like. Next, I suppose, will be Jon's contention that Jesus can't be a puzzle, because he's not a wood or cardboard image cut into interlocking shapes, he's a person, and how stupid of Doherty not to notice the difference.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Jon, posted 04-13-2012 11:25 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 39 (659194)
04-13-2012 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by crashfrog
04-13-2012 7:55 AM


Re: Wait, what?
I don't see that it's inconsistent with Mark, where Jesus is referred to by the divine appellation "Lord." Obviously the later gospels do much more to flesh out Jesus's divinity but you can't say that a seed of the idea isn't present in Mark. It's right there at the beginning - the whole gospel is the story of how the "way was laid" for "the Lord"; I.e. God in the person of Jesus.

Mark keeps Jesus and God separate. Nowhere does he identify them as one and the same, and at times he even draws attention to their distinction. Here are two clear examples:

quote:
Mark 1:24 (NRSV):

and he cried out, 'What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.'


quote:
Mark 13:32 (NRSV):

'But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.


quote:
Mark 14:62 (NRSV):

Jesus said, 'I am; and
"you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power",
and "coming with the clouds of heaven." '


In all of these instances Jesus is clearly set apart from God as being a separate entity; first he is the 'Holy One of God'; second he is the 'Son' who, being independent of the 'Father', does not know the time of the apocalypse; third Jesus is the 'Son of Man' sitting separately at the 'right hand of Power [= God]'. Nowhere in Mark is Jesus equated with God and in many places (such as those I quoted) he is clearly described as a separate entity.

No wonder repeated requests here and at FRDB for evidence that Mark wrote about a Jesus who was God have been met with nothing but silly excuses and apologetics of a quality below even the most insane fundamentalists.

Jon

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by crashfrog, posted 04-13-2012 7:55 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by crashfrog, posted 04-13-2012 3:01 PM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 39 (659197)
04-13-2012 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by crashfrog
04-13-2012 8:59 AM


Re: Wait, what?
And, what? You're surprised that an editorial turn of phrase that begins with "once upon a time" doesn't reflect complete and accurate academic accuracy?

Earl's apparently been in trouble over this already, as he admits:

quote:
EarlDoherty in The Jesus Puzzle thread at FRDB:

I'm not saying that it's a slam-dunk exactly what Mark had in mind for his Jesus character. I've also taken flak from a couple of others, notably James McGrath, for my opening sentence. It was basically meant to be "pithy" as one supporter suggested. But as a general statement (hardly meant to identify Jesus as identical with God), I maintain it's valid if you don't insist on trying to take it apart on uncertain technicalities. The very fact that we're debating the point here at length, shows that it's not a clear-cut case.


This opening statement is a troubling thing to see in a scholarly work about early Christianity.

Doherty's claim that "it's valid if you don't insist on trying to take it apart on uncertain technicalities" is just a copout for "I did a sloppy job and don't want to admit it".

In a work such as this, nobody wants to read stuff that "doesn't reflect complete and accurate academic accuracy"; the audience isn't looking for poetic language or turns of phrase or any other such nonsense. The author is expected to be straight and unambiguous with his claims; and if he fails to do this he must suffer the consequences from his critics.

'Poetic license' is never an excuse for a factual error in a piece of academic writing.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by crashfrog, posted 04-13-2012 8:59 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 39 (659229)
04-13-2012 3:01 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Jon
04-13-2012 10:50 AM


Re: Wait, what?
Mark keeps Jesus and God separate.

Not throughout. Again, Mark 1:

quote:
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way
3 a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camels hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.


There's a clear equivocation drawn here between the passage in Isaiah about preparing the way for the Lord, for God, and John the Baptist's mission to prepare the way for Christ. The clear implication, which you've already ignored once now, is that Jesus is Lord.

and he cried out, 'What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.'

I don't see the separation.

'But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

I don't see the separation. God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit are the three aspects of the Triune Christian God. That doesn't mean that they're in any way separate from each other.

Obviously it's not as explicit as it is in later gospels, but you simply can't deny that the divinity of Jesus isn't present in the gospel of Mark. That's idiotic.

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Jon, posted 04-13-2012 10:50 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Jon, posted 04-13-2012 11:36 PM crashfrog has responded
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 29 of 39 (659230)
04-13-2012 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Jon
04-13-2012 11:25 AM


Re: Wait, what?
I'm not saying that it's a slam-dunk exactly what Mark had in mind for his Jesus character. I've also taken flak from a couple of others, notably James McGrath, for my opening sentence. It was basically meant to be "pithy" as one supporter suggested. But as a general statement (hardly meant to identify Jesus as identical with God), I maintain it's valid if you don't insist on trying to take it apart on uncertain technicalities. The very fact that we're debating the point here at length, shows that it's not a clear-cut case.

I find this explanation completely satisfying. What am I supposed to object to?

In a work such as this, nobody wants to read stuff that "doesn't reflect complete and accurate academic accuracy"; the audience isn't looking for poetic language or turns of phrase or any other such nonsense.

Say what? This is at least as disqualifying of your scholarship and intellect as you claim the reference to Mark is of Doherty's. What's your evidence that florid turns of phrase are completely out of bounds in historical writings? I think you'll find such prose in historical annals from Heterodotus to Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Again, you're just seizing nits to pick. The claim of the Jesus historicist is that only historicists are accurately applying "mainstream" methods of historical inference, but the more they try to attack the mythicist case, the more they show how completely false that is. Jesus historicism is based on a mode of "inference" that turns rational skepticism on its head - taking propaganda at face value, treating inferred sources as though they exist, and above all, name-calling when people don't fall in line.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Jon, posted 04-13-2012 11:25 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
Huntard
Member
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 30 of 39 (659235)
04-13-2012 3:47 PM


Perhaps....
Perhaps Doherty simply used the phrase "a man who was God" to refer to the idea that most Chirstians hold of Jesus. He then proceeds to talk about Mark, because Mark is the earliest Gospel we know about.

That Mark himself might not explicitly refer to Jesus as "God" is of course irrelevant (god, I'm using that word a lot lately). Most Christians think of Jesus as "God" and most (if not all) Christians know (or should know) that Mark is the earliest of the Gospels.

{ABE}:So, what I am saying: "A man who was God" is a poetic way of saying "Jesus". And really, can we object to poetic (but not inaccurate, given the bigger picture) language?

Edited by Huntard, : Clarification


    
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