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Author Topic:   Bart Ehrman on the existence of Christ
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 31 of 63 (431041)
10-28-2007 10:23 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Jon
10-28-2007 10:09 PM


Re: What is the problem here?
Something happened to cause these folks to change their definition of messiah.

What makes you think that it had to be a specific, identifiable "something"?

If a radical change in beliefs and perceptions is so hard to do, what makes you think that the execution of a heterodox rabbi as a political dissident would have been enough to do it?

What made the early 19th century American Mormons suddenly go against their religious teachings and suddenly believe that people die and become gods, and as gods they will marry lots of wives and have lots of children? Does the fact that they did so count as evidence that the prophet Mormon really existed, and that Mormonism wasn't just all made up?


Computers have cut-and-paste functions. So does right-wing historical memory. -- Rick Perlstein
This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Jon, posted 10-28-2007 10:09 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 63 (431046)
10-28-2007 10:38 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Chiroptera
10-28-2007 10:23 PM


Re: What is the problem here?
Great. All completely irrelevant, though.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Chiroptera, posted 10-28-2007 10:23 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

  
Legend
Member (Idle past 3114 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 33 of 63 (431138)
10-29-2007 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Phat
10-28-2007 5:04 PM


Re: the real Jesus
Phat writes:

We either would have to conclude that Paul was a supreme conman or that perhaps he was led to change his mind..(and heart?)

Jar's already answered that. Why do Christians' insist on presenting people with false dilemmas? "Jesus was either a liar or the son of God", they say. Erm, NO, there are dozens of other things he could be in-between, so think again.


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the bug and some days you'll be the windscreen."
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Legend
Member (Idle past 3114 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 34 of 63 (431140)
10-29-2007 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Chiroptera
10-28-2007 5:07 PM


Re: the real Jesus
Chiroptera writes:

And, to add an additional point to yours, there is the undisputed fact that the early Christian cult did have Jewish converts. It isn't necessary for a new cult to have immediate mass appeal -- it merely needs to attract enough followers to stay alive.


Fair point. That's why I said that: "Ehrman ignores - among other things..". There are dozens of reasons why a fabricated crucifixion wouldn't pose a problem.


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the bug and some days you'll be the windscreen."
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Legend
Member (Idle past 3114 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 35 of 63 (431141)
10-29-2007 3:01 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Jon
10-28-2007 6:37 PM


Re: the real Jesus
Legend writes:

Paul's ideas about the atonement sacrifice and the need for faith in Jesus's redemptive sacrifice are pretty consistent throughout his letter, IMO.


Jon writes:

Your opinion's wrong.


..errr.....ok......if you say so.

Legend writes:

Start with Rom 4:25, 5:8-10, Eph 5:2, 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Cor. 5:7, and we'll take it from there.


Jon writes:

Or better yet, let's actually start with his first writings... and then take it from there.


which are......?

Legend writes:

Ehrman's contention that a crucified Jesus would be unpalatable to potential converts is ludicrous.


Jon writes:

Nah... I think his contention is rather well-founded.

Is today "Unsupported Assertion Day" in the States??

You've ignored most other posts here, particularly Message 19. Do tell us why you think Ehrman's contention is well-founded, go on, don't be shy.


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the bug and some days you'll be the windscreen."
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Legend
Member (Idle past 3114 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 36 of 63 (431188)
10-29-2007 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Jon
10-28-2007 6:44 PM


this is the problem here!
Jon writes:

"Hey, let's say he was crucified" isn't a conclusion anyone would come to if they were trying to get converts—Jewish or Gentile—when there had never been a crucifixion.

so..you're suggesting that an audience immersed in greek culture would find the story about a divine man who's crucified as a result of his desire to benefit mankind with a unique gift, somehow unappealing ?!


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the bug and some days you'll be the windscreen."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Jon, posted 10-28-2007 6:44 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by EighteenDelta, posted 10-29-2007 10:24 PM Legend has responded
 Message 39 by Jon, posted 10-30-2007 4:38 AM Legend has responded

  
EighteenDelta
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 63 (431217)
10-29-2007 10:24 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Legend
10-29-2007 6:30 PM


Re: this is the problem here!
cough:::Prometheus:::cough
This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Legend, posted 10-29-2007 6:30 PM Legend has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Legend, posted 10-30-2007 3:02 PM EighteenDelta has not yet responded

  
taylor_31
Member (Idle past 4032 days)
Posts: 86
From: Oklahoma!
Joined: 05-14-2007


Message 38 of 63 (431228)
10-30-2007 12:24 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Legend
10-28-2007 4:54 PM


Re: the real Jesus
Ehrman's assuming that if the Jews fabricated the whole thing then the crucified Jesus would be a bad idea, therefore the Jews couldn't have fabricated the story, therefore Jesus did exist.

Yes, I think that was what he was saying.

So, even if Paul had made the whole Jesus thing up out of thin air the crucifixion wouldn't be a bad idea at all, it would be a rather good one. So the Jesus tale could still have been fabricated without offending the intended audience, Ergo Ehrman's argument is flaky.

I think this makes sense; thanks for explaining it for me. What is your personal opinion of the crucifixion story? Where did it come from, and why was it used?

I've decided that I'm going to reserve my opinion on the existence of Christ until I take some religious studies classes, and also until I have a chance to talk to some professors. You shouldn't dismiss Ehrman, however, based solely on what I've written; he didn't go into many details, and it was an off-the-cuff answer anyway. (And besides, I'm relaying the information, which is not a terribly direct source. :p) I've heard that he is an eminent scholar on the origins of Christianity, so I hope that you check out some of his works. In fact, judging by your knowledge of this area, you might know more about him than I do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Legend, posted 10-28-2007 4:54 PM Legend has responded

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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 63 (431245)
10-30-2007 4:38 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Legend
10-29-2007 6:30 PM


Re: this is the problem here!
so..you're suggesting that an audience immersed in greek culture would find the story about a divine man who's crucified as a result of his desire to benefit mankind with a unique gift, somehow unappealing ?!

Read what I post, please, it will benefit you.

EARLY CHRISTIANS DID NOT EXPLAIN JESUS' CRUCIFIXION AS BEING A SACRIFICE/DESIRE TO BENEFIT ALL MANKIND

Also; Paul was only ONE of the Christians out there. There's evidence in his writing that the main core of Christians—direct followers of Jesus—likely thought he was nuts, and even moreso, probably thought he was completely wrong in most everything he said.

There would have been others who developed beliefs similar to Paul, but there were some who did not. Some thought that his death was merely in order that he could be resurrected, thus demonstrating to have high standing with God. So, not all Christians agreed on the same meaning for the crucifixion, but they ALL agreed that it happened.

If it were the reasons that had begotten the story, then you would expect different groups to form different stories. Some might say, "the Messiah was supposed to die for sins"... "oh, let's say he did die... by crucifixion." Or, "the Messiah was supposed to fight off the Romans..." "let's say he died in a struggle as a martyr"... etc.

Instead, we see them with the same story, which likely indicates that it was different groups finding different meaning for the same story.

For the large body of Christian converts later on, it may have been easier for people such as them to understand Jesus in those terms: the man who sacrificed himself for all humanity as opposed to the king who didn't end up being much of a king. Especially, since it wasn't obvious that he actually was coming back from heaven any time soon.

Jon

By the way: did you not want to look at Paul's first letters then?


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 Message 36 by Legend, posted 10-29-2007 6:30 PM Legend has responded

Replies to this message:
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Legend
Member (Idle past 3114 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 40 of 63 (431343)
10-30-2007 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by EighteenDelta
10-29-2007 10:24 PM


Re: this is the problem here!
quote:
cough::: Prometheus:::cough

you'll have to cough louder, Jon's still not getting it!

Edited by Legend, : spelling


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the bug and some days you'll be the windscreen."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by EighteenDelta, posted 10-29-2007 10:24 PM EighteenDelta has not yet responded

  
Legend
Member (Idle past 3114 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 41 of 63 (431345)
10-30-2007 3:06 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by taylor_31
10-30-2007 12:24 AM


Re: the real Jesus
taylor_31 writes:

What is your personal opinion of the crucifixion story? Where did it come from, and why was it used?

I don't think it was a made-up story, after all crucifixion was quite common at the time.

You have to bear in mind that the Jesus thing started as a Jewish messianic cult. Throughout the gospels Jesus talks about the imminent establishment of the kingdom of god, he even tells his disciples to prepare for its arrival (Matt 24).

The Romans didn't take kindly to the establishment of new kingdoms in their provinces and had him crucified. Paul, years later, decided that he could still apply the messianic concept, albeit in a more indirect, spiritual sense targeted to his Gentile flock. The crucified Jesus wouldn't pose any problems at all to Paul's audience -after all he was still the (spiritual) Messiah- and, on the contrary, it would be a familiar figure (see Prometheus) to a hellenized audience.

Yeshua ben Nazareth died realizing that his kingdom would never be established (Matt 27:46), little did he know that Paul would later think otherwise.

taylor_31 writes:

You shouldn't dismiss Ehrman, however, based solely on what I've written; he didn't go into many details, and it was an off-the-cuff answer anyway. (And besides, I'm relaying the information, which is not a terribly direct source. ) I've heard that he is an eminent scholar on the origins of Christianity, so I hope that you check out some of his works

I appreciate that the quote might have been given out of context. I'm only familiar with Ehrman's work in passing, I've never read any of his books in its entirety. I'd whole-heartedly recommend you also have a look at Geza Vermes's books in order to get a cultural and historical perspective on the Bible, the "Passion" and "Jesus the Jew" in particular.

Happy searching :)


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the bug and some days you'll be the windscreen."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by taylor_31, posted 10-30-2007 12:24 AM taylor_31 has not yet responded

  
Legend
Member (Idle past 3114 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 42 of 63 (431350)
10-30-2007 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Jon
10-30-2007 4:38 AM


Re: this is the problem here!
Jon writes:

EARLY CHRISTIANS DID NOT EXPLAIN JESUS' CRUCIFIXION AS BEING A SACRIFICE/DESIRE TO BENEFIT ALL MANKIND


First, Paul and his followers WERE the early Christians.
Second, how the Jewish followers of Jesus (that's what I think you mean by 'early Christians') explain Jesus's crucifixion is irrelevant in the context of this thread. It wasn't they who spread and preached Christianity to the gentiles, it was Paul. If Paul wanted to fabricate the whole thing from scratch, the crucifixion would be a good idea, not a bad one.

Jon writes:

Also; Paul was only ONE of the Christians out there. There's evidence in his writing that the main core of Christians—direct followers of Jesus—likely thought he was nuts, and even moreso, probably thought he was completely wrong in most everything he said.


I think you may be referring to his differences with James and Peter. Again, that's irrelevant here. It doesn't matter what James and Peter thought, Paul wasn't preaching to them. What matters is what his target audience would have thought!

Jon writes:

So, not all Christians agreed on the same meaning for the crucifixion, but they ALL agreed that it happened.


so what does that mean, other than that the crucifixion was probably a historical event, which bears no weight on Ehrman's argument anyway?

Let's focus on what this topic is about: You (and Ehrman) are making the assumption that *only* the Jews could have manufactured the Jesus story and *only* for a Jewish audience, in which case it might arguably not make much sense to have the main hero crucified.

What I'm saying is that this is a false assumption. If the Jesus story was manufactured it's much more likely to have been done by Paul and his followers, in which case a fabricated crucifixion would be a nice twist. You (and Ehrman) are discarding this possibility.

Jon writes:

By the way: did you not want to look at Paul's first letters then?


I'm still eagerly awaiting for you to tell me which ones they are! As far as I'm concerned his earliest letter is 1 Thess. Are you aware of earliest ones ? If so, please share them with the rest of the world


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the bug and some days you'll be the windscreen."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Jon, posted 10-30-2007 4:38 AM Jon has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Byron Marchant
Junior Member (Idle past 3685 days)
Posts: 10
From: Raleigh NC USA
Joined: 12-19-2008


Message 43 of 63 (491661)
12-19-2008 2:42 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Legend
10-30-2007 3:27 PM


Is it possible?
I have heard it claimed that Josephus wrote Matthew, Mark, Luke and John plus the writings of Paul. In other words, Josephus and Paul were the same person. Has Bart Ehrman ever discussed this possibility?
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14818
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 44 of 63 (491662)
12-19-2008 3:09 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Byron Marchant
12-19-2008 2:42 AM


Re: Is it possible?
I haven't heard that one. It seems pretty unlikely, to the point where I would be surprised if a serious scholar bothered to spend much time on it.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Byron Marchant, posted 12-19-2008 2:42 AM Byron Marchant has not yet responded

    
Byron Marchant
Junior Member (Idle past 3685 days)
Posts: 10
From: Raleigh NC USA
Joined: 12-19-2008


Message 45 of 63 (491667)
12-19-2008 8:38 AM


Here is a link on it:
PaulK,

Here is one such claim:

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread206916/pg1&colorshift=yes

There are others.

Of course, there are still others who have claimed that Jesus Christ never lived.


Replies to this message:
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 Message 62 by Admin, posted 12-20-2008 5:39 PM Byron Marchant has responded

  
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