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Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 526 of 560 (621258)
06-24-2011 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 508 by PaulK
06-22-2011 1:54 AM


Re: Summary: Jesus Myther's and Creationists
I mentioned him in the context of Mythical Jesus proponents not knowing the arguments for a Mythical Jesus.

Nonsense, and a stupid claim, to boot. How would Mythical Jesus proponents not know the arguments for a mythical Jesus? How would they simultaneously make arguments and not know the arguments they were making?

At the time I wrote the Summary post, the answer was NO.

Then what on Earth is the relevance of a minor figure who appears only once by name on the Wikipedia entry for "Jesus myth theory"?

Prove to me that's not just an example of well-poisoning.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 508 by PaulK, posted 06-22-2011 1:54 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 529 by PaulK, posted 06-24-2011 5:06 PM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 527 of 560 (621260)
06-24-2011 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 514 by Modulous
06-24-2011 10:15 AM


Re: Does Paul actually support the existence of Jesus?
This gives us 'Yeshua' or 'Yeshoshua', if we translate this into English without going through Greek and Latin first it is 'Joshua'.

I don't think most people consider "Joshua" and "Jesus" to be the same name, frankly. Even in the Bible they're not the same name.

I'm just not finding this explanation very compelling. Obviously names can change in the retelling but there's no obvious connection between a historical figure named "Yeshua" and a religious figure named "Jesus." And all of that ignores that there's no evidence for this Yeshua, either.

the miraculous and the supernatural are not considered historical.

It's certainly considered historical by Christians, who constitute the bulk of "Historical Jesus" proponents. But, we recognize that this isn't your position.

But here's the problem. You don't have any explanation for how "Yeshua", who did no miracles, came to be revered as "Jesus", who did do miracles, except for that there was a great deal of fabrication, lying, mythmaking, and storytelling involved in the origin of Christianity and the Jesus mythology. But, once you've opened the door to fabrication, lying, mythmaking, and storytelling, there's no evidence to suggest where to draw the line about what parts are myth and what parts are history. So it's just as reasonable, probably more so, to draw the line behind a fully-mythical Jesus than to draw the line at a mostly-mythical Jesus with a whole lot of post-hoc rationalization for why there doesn't seem to be any evidence at all that he ever lived.

Don't get me wrong - post-hoc rationalizations can occasionally be right! It's just that they're not related to what is right. If they're ever right, they're right by accident, because post-hoc rationalization is just guessing. It's not actually evidence.

While their personhood is considered historical in many cases, the miraculous claims are not considered historical.

Its worth pointing out that they are considered historical by the Catholic Church, which actually has experts tasked with the purpose of determining which miracles are myths and which "actually happened." (I don't know how it works, either, but I'm guessing it has something to do with a lowered bar for evidence.) And it's worth pointing out that people who argue against the Historic Jesus aren't just arguing against people like you, who suppose a non-supernatural, non-miraculous "Historical Yeshua", but with genuine Christians who do argue on behalf of a truly Historical Jesus Christ who did everything ascribed to him in the Bible. Indeed there's a bit of a cottage industry of secular Jesus apologists who assume not only the existence of a Historical Jesus but that his various miracles actually did happen, or appeared to happen, as a function of natural processes not understood at the time or First Century techniques of illusion and misdirection.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 514 by Modulous, posted 06-24-2011 10:15 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 538 by Modulous, posted 06-26-2011 11:14 AM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 528 of 560 (621263)
06-24-2011 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 522 by Modulous
06-24-2011 3:54 PM


Re: Jesus and the technicolor evidence
Are you saying that the Gospels are original compositions

They certainly claim to be original compositions and no primary source that they could have been based on now exists. While it may be possible to interpolate between the Gospels the minimal aspects of a hypothetical primary source that would be necessary to parsimoniously explain the Gospels, it's not possible to use that interpolation to explain anything else. There's nothing about the Q source necessary to explain the Gospels that also necessarily provides evidence for the existence of Jesus; it's just that, the source being inaccessible to examination, it rather conveniently can be asserted to contain whatever "evidence" is necessary to corroborate the Historical Jesus, and oh, more's the pity it's not here for you to see!

It's a shell game, not evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 522 by Modulous, posted 06-24-2011 3:54 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

PaulK
Member
Posts: 12955
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 529 of 560 (621264)
06-24-2011 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 526 by crashfrog
06-24-2011 4:44 PM


Re: Summary: Jesus Myther's and Creationists
quote:

Nonsense, and a stupid claim, to boot. How would Mythical Jesus proponents not know the arguments for a mythical Jesus? How would they simultaneously make arguments and not know the arguments they were making?

A fact, not nonsense. And it is easy to be unaware of arguments for your position, simply don't bother with doing the research. The same way that the average ID proponent fails to understand Dembski's CSI argument.

quote:

Then what on Earth is the relevance of a minor figure who appears only once by name on the Wikipedia entry for "Jesus myth theory"?

You mean what is the relevance of giving an example to support the point I was making ?
That should be obvious to anybody with a working brain. I told you it was a stupid question.

So all you are doing is proving that you are completely irrational. Making the initial mistake was bad enough, but to try to keep on going as if you were right for two further posts is just silly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 526 by crashfrog, posted 06-24-2011 4:44 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 530 by crashfrog, posted 06-24-2011 5:13 PM PaulK has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 530 of 560 (621267)
06-24-2011 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 529 by PaulK
06-24-2011 5:06 PM


Re: Summary: Jesus Myther's and Creationists
You mean what is the relevance of giving an example to support the point I was making ?

How is it in any way an example of the point you were making, and not an example of the point I was making about poisoning the well?

What's your evidence that Earl Doherty is anything but a minor figure in Jesus myth theory, instead of a voice so prominent that only an ignoramus would be ignorant of him?

And again - what's the relevance of playing "Who's Who Among Jesus Denyers" to the question of the evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 529 by PaulK, posted 06-24-2011 5:06 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 532 by Jon, posted 06-24-2011 5:39 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 534 by PaulK, posted 06-24-2011 5:40 PM crashfrog has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 531 of 560 (621270)
06-24-2011 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 524 by crashfrog
06-24-2011 4:41 PM


Re: Does Paul actually support the existence of Jesus?
Obviously Paul thinks that Jesus was a "real" person

I don't think this is a mix up. 'Real' people are ones who exist on Earth: they eat, breathe, shit, and sleep. But 'real' gods don't necessarily have any specific qualities. All the same, though:

but that doesn't mean that Paul claimed that Jesus was a historical person who had lived on Earth.

We don't know everything about what Paul thought of Jesus. His letters were written to deal almost exclusively with matters of contention, disagreement, and dispute in the churches. If there were any matters not in dispute, then it is unlikely that they would make it into his letters. When it comes to Jesus, a lot of the disputes seemed to revolve around the meaning of the crucifixion and its relationship to Law, the apocalypse and resurrection, and Jesus' relationship to the churches. So, not surprisingly, Paul's letters focus almost exclusively on these aspects of Jesus. When we add in Paul's own claims of focus (1 Cor 2:2), it is hard to imagine reasonably expecting much discussion of an historical Jesus.

But not to fear; as I cited in Message 496, Paul makes several statements that indicate him to believe Jesus to have been an historical person who lived on Earth. Here it is again:

quote:
Jon in Message 496:

What is the response to this interpretation? Where specifically does Paul claim that Jesus was a real man who really lived?

This argument is rather common in the ahistorical circles. It fails, though, to take into account the nature of Paul, his work, and his theology.

Everything we have from Paul is in the form of letters, written to people who are already followers of the Jesus movement. This makes it difficult to expect much discussion of matters early Christians would have considered undisputedone such matter could well have been the historicity of Jesus.

Paul admittedly doesn't care much about the life of Jesus:

quote:
1 Corinthians 2:2 (NRSV):

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.


So right here we have to question any arguments made based on Paul's silence about the life of Jesus. But if this isn't enough, we actually have good reason to believe that Paul thought Jesus an actual historical figure. That is, we don't actually have a full silence.

Dead things don't get killed; only living things do:

quote:
1 Thessalonians 2:1415 (NRSV):

For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone


More here:

quote:
Philippians 2:58 (NRSV):

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death
even death on a cross.


And here, where Paul indicates that Jesus' resurrection appearances were witnessed by people then still alive (strongly suggesting that Paul considered Jesus a recent figure):

quote:
1 Corinthians 15:37 (NRSV):

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.


This is pat of an the argument in 1 Cor 15, in which Paul uses the resurrection of Jesus to convince his audience that they too will be resurrected. This argument only makes sense if Paul is working from the premise that Jesus, like his audience, had at one time been a living creature walking the Earth.


Jon writes:

That is not the same as not having knowledge of whether Jesus lived or not.

What would be the source of this knowledge?

Other followers of the Jesus movement? Paul apparently knew the basics of their belief: man named Jesus was crucified as the Messiah and rose from the dead, etc.

It's the claim of the documentary that Paul doesn't specifically claim the genuine historical existence of Jesus, only that Jesus is a genuine spiritual entity.

Well; it is a debatable manner. I think the evidence and sensibility point to Paul believing Jesus to have been a genuine historical figure; whether or not we can say he made any specific claims to this effect is a slightly different matter.

That, at the very least, is further reason not to give Paul any particular consideration as another source that can corroborate the existence of Jesus.

I am unsure as to how well Paul's statements can support the existence of an historical Jesus; any such argument would certainly be shaky. I'd certainly never use Paul's writings to serve as solid evidence of an historical Jesus; they are, at best, weakly circumstantial.

I'm sorry. I don't want to give the impression that I don't care. I was interested in them, but mostly as an aside, and you did me a great favor by addressing them. Very interesting! Not saying I'm convinced but thank you for replying to them.

I've started a debate over at Debate.org; some interesting things might come up. It could be worth following:

Paul Believed in a (recent) Historical Jesus

Jon


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 524 by crashfrog, posted 06-24-2011 4:41 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 532 of 560 (621275)
06-24-2011 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 530 by crashfrog
06-24-2011 5:13 PM


Mythicism Dust
How is it in any way an example of the point you were making, and not an example of the point I was making about poisoning the well?

Paul said that no ahistoricists had yet presented anything by Doherty. You asked who Doherty was and why he was being brought up.

It isn't too hard to follow this. Paul's right and you're right: You never brought up Doherty. But that's precisely Paul's point. Why not bring some relevant arguments to the table from prominent ahistoricists?

And again - what's the relevance of playing "Who's Who Among Jesus Denyers" to the question of the evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus?

Because most modern ahistoricists have abandoned the argument from silence. They have finally come to accept the fact that they need to provide an alternative explanation and that it is not simply good enough to continue arguing from silence. Some less-informed ahistoricists, however, continue to beat around with that same old argument from silence PRATT, despite it having been largely abandoned by the mythicist movement.

It's kind of like those 14 year old Creationists who are still going on about Moon dust.

Jon


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 530 by crashfrog, posted 06-24-2011 5:13 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 535 by Theodoric, posted 06-24-2011 5:42 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

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


Message 533 of 560 (621276)
06-24-2011 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 525 by Jon
06-24-2011 4:44 PM


Re: Jesus and the technicolor evidence
I guess we could say the same about information on Socrates or Pontius Pilate.

There are multiple independent primary and secondary sources for Pontius Pilate. Scholarship is starting to question the historicity of Socrates.

Jesus would not be the only figure from the past about whom we've nothing but written records.

Are you deliberately misrepresenting my argument. Written documents are what is lacking for Jesus. Try using the word contemporary.

That we have nothing but written accounts of someone from antiquity isn't reason to dogmatically assert that such a person didn't exist; at least, it isn't when it concerns anyone other than Jesus...

Who has argued this?


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 525 by Jon, posted 06-24-2011 4:44 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 536 by Jon, posted 06-24-2011 5:42 PM Theodoric has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12955
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 534 of 560 (621277)
06-24-2011 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 530 by crashfrog
06-24-2011 5:13 PM


Re: Summary: Jesus Myther's and Creationists
quote:

How is it in any way an example of the point you were making, and not an example of the point I was making about poisoning the well?

The point I was making is that you, and Panda and the rest had little knowledge of the arguments that had been put forward for a mythical Jesus, and Earl Doherty is one - just one - of the writers you might have cited. I chose him as an example since he seems to be rather more popular than many of the others. But again, he is only an example. If and been citing any of the more respectable writers, like Price, or Ellegard I would have not made the claim in the first place.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 530 by crashfrog, posted 06-24-2011 5:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 539 by crashfrog, posted 06-27-2011 1:24 AM PaulK has responded

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


Message 535 of 560 (621279)
06-24-2011 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 532 by Jon
06-24-2011 5:39 PM


Re: Mythicism Dust
But alas, you still present no evidence.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 532 by Jon, posted 06-24-2011 5:39 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 536 of 560 (621280)
06-24-2011 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 533 by Theodoric
06-24-2011 5:39 PM


Re: Jesus and the technicolor evidence
There are multiple independent primary and secondary sources for Pontius Pilate.

Such as what?

Jon


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 533 by Theodoric, posted 06-24-2011 5:39 PM Theodoric has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 537 by Theodoric, posted 06-24-2011 5:50 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

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


Message 537 of 560 (621282)
06-24-2011 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 536 by Jon
06-24-2011 5:42 PM


Re: Jesus and the technicolor evidence
This is a thread about Jesus not Pontius Pilate. Do your own research.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 536 by Jon, posted 06-24-2011 5:42 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 542 by deerbreh, posted 07-05-2011 4:58 PM Theodoric has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7415
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 538 of 560 (621493)
06-26-2011 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 527 by crashfrog
06-24-2011 5:00 PM


miracles and names
I don't think most people consider "Joshua" and "Jesus" to be the same name, frankly. Even in the Bible they're not the same name.

Oh well, now you mention most people's view of etymology of an ancient Aramaic name that has been translated into Greek and then into Latin before being put into English, it all becomes clear! We all know how most people are a reliable source of information about such things....

Jesus only appears in modern translations of the Bible (abe: there is a Yeshoshua in the Bible, but in English editions he is called Joshua, in Latin this is written as Iosue compare this with Jesus who is Iesu in the Latin (further edit, in the Greek Septuagint the Joshua of the Old Testament is called ιησους which is Iēsous, which is Jesus). It isn't in the original manuscripts. You might as well say that most people can't see the connection between the name Confucius and K'ung-tzu, and it would have the same rhetorical weight. Indeed, many people don't think there is any link between the name 'Ian' and the name 'John' but there is.

The Arabs call him Isa, and they refer to Ibrahim. The Jews don't refer to a guy called Moses. The HNV tells us about the children of 'Yisra'el,' and some guy called 'Moshe'.

But here's the problem. You don't have any explanation for how "Yeshua", who did no miracles, came to be revered as "Jesus", who did do miracles, except for that there was a great deal of fabrication, lying, mythmaking, and storytelling involved in the origin of Christianity and the Jesus mythology.

As there are saints that are considered historical by secular historians but are given supernatural powers by the religious. The explanation is quite simple: People imbue mundane people with supernatural powers. He became revered as 'Jesus' when the Greeks, who do not have the same character set as the Aramaics translated his name so they used using their 'I' and the Latins followed suit. This was then transformed into a 'J' in later translations to be pronounced presumably as 'Y' in the same sense that Jehovah is a modern translation of Yahweh.

...there's no evidence to suggest where to draw the line about what parts are myth and what parts are history.

Yeah, history is kind of like that. But there are arguments as to why some things can be considered historical and other things can be dismissed.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 527 by crashfrog, posted 06-24-2011 5:00 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 540 by crashfrog, posted 06-27-2011 1:28 AM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 539 of 560 (621575)
06-27-2011 1:24 AM
Reply to: Message 534 by PaulK
06-24-2011 5:40 PM


Re: Summary: Jesus Myther's and Creationists
The point I was making is that you, and Panda and the rest had little knowledge of the arguments that had been put forward for a mythical Jesus, and Earl Doherty is one - just one - of the writers you might have cited.

Cited for what? The case for the mythical Jesus is nothing more than the fact that there's no rational case for a historical Jesus.

It hardly requires name-dropping Earl Doherty, or anybody else, to make that case. Again it's just well-poisoning. You're not able to produce even a single example of evidence in support of the historical position, so it's necessary to attack us personally by equating us with "Creationists", even though personal attacks in lieu of evidence is the number one tactic of creationists.

It's hard for me to imagine, now, a time when I had any respect for you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 534 by PaulK, posted 06-24-2011 5:40 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 541 by PaulK, posted 06-27-2011 2:11 AM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 540 of 560 (621576)
06-27-2011 1:28 AM
Reply to: Message 538 by Modulous
06-26-2011 11:14 AM


Re: miracles and names
As there are saints that are considered historical by secular historians but are given supernatural powers by the religious.

And presumably that's on the basis of some kind of evidence, not merely on taking First Century claims at face value. If it's on the basis of no more evidence than for the historicity of Christ, then there's reason to re-evaluate that conclusion of historical existence for those saints, as well.

Frankly, the more you try to make the case that it's common for secular historians to assume the real existence of historical figures on the basis of no evidence, the more you only prove to me that the state of modern historical scholarship is very dysfunctional, indeed. The only rational basis on which to assert the real historicity of any putative individual is on the basis of evidence. If there is none, conclusions of historicity aren't supportable.

But there are arguments as to why some things can be considered historical and other things can be dismissed.

Unless the argument is "on the basis of the evidence" the argument is irrelevant. There are no valid reasons to believe anything, except on the basis of the evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 538 by Modulous, posted 06-26-2011 11:14 AM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

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