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Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
iano
Member (Idle past 283 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 31 of 560 (463904)
04-21-2008 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Grizz
04-21-2008 8:28 PM


It is a presupposition based on our twenty-first-century understanding of the Universe and its observed modes of operation. As we do not observe those miraculous events described in the religious literature of antiquity ocurring now, I see no rational or empirical reason to conclude they have occurred in the past.

This is weak, Grizz.

Firstly, the nature of miracles (as reported in the Bible at least) doesn't lend itself to empirical research. Miracles, as reported, seem to have been sporadic and unpredictable in terms of their happening. How so empirical investigation of the sporadic and unpredictable (other than to negate the claims of so-called miracle workers claiming a mode of miracle-operation other than reported)?

Secondly. If miracles occurred it is not unreasonable to suppose they occurred for a reason. Nor is it unreasonable to suppose that if the reason for their occurring (as reported in the past) is past, then so too the miracles themselves.

This is kindergaarten stuff, Grizz.

It seems you are broad-brushstroking your way through the simplest of objections so as make way for the philosophy-of-history-script you have in mind. I've no issue with that in itself - I'm sure there is a whole world of activity dedicated to ploughing this particular furrow and your posts are nothing if not well assembled.

But let's not pretend a spade is other than a spade huh? History is what happened. Stories are everything else. Yours included.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Grizz, posted 04-21-2008 8:28 PM Grizz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Grizz, posted 04-21-2008 9:42 PM iano has not yet responded

Grizz
Member (Idle past 3813 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 32 of 560 (463910)
04-21-2008 9:42 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by iano
04-21-2008 9:04 PM


Your opinion has been noted. As already stated, however, this thread is not about debating presuppositions, it is about how one goes about historical reconstruction, and more specifically, how does one go about reconstructing the historical Jesus. Presuppositions are mandatory, whether that presupposition is the existence of the miraculous, or it's denial.

If you wish to discuss the plausibility of the miraculous, please open up a new thread and I will be happy to discuss this issue there.

You are of course free to present your own reasoned historical argument based on your own presuppositions, or counter the inferences I make when presenting mine. But I will not debate this specific issue any further. As we will not aggree, it serves asbolutely no purpose whatsoever.

Edited by Grizz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by iano, posted 04-21-2008 9:04 PM iano has not yet responded

key2god
Junior Member (Idle past 4161 days)
Posts: 4
From: USA
Joined: 04-22-2008


Message 33 of 560 (463978)
04-22-2008 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Grizz
04-06-2008 10:03 AM


Jesus is clarity on Earth
Did you know in 2008 a book has been published.
New Holy Bible the way the light and the truth
Proof is abroad

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Grizz, posted 04-06-2008 10:03 AM Grizz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by AdminNosy, posted 04-22-2008 1:00 PM key2god has not yet responded

AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 34 of 560 (463984)
04-22-2008 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by key2god
04-22-2008 12:34 PM


Stick to the Topic please
Please do not spam threads.

You post is not on topic here. If you persist in attempting to proselytize you will have to be suspended.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by key2god, posted 04-22-2008 12:34 PM key2god has not yet responded

Grizz
Member (Idle past 3813 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 35 of 560 (464161)
04-23-2008 6:55 PM


Intermission
......................

Before I start with the 'juicy stuff', and in order to avoid conflict and confusion, I thought it would be prudent to pause for a moment and refer once again to the goal of this thread and the methods being employed.

Although we often use the word history as a synonym for past events, History as a discipline is the attempt to use plausible inductive inferences in response to the question, "What really happened?" The defining term here is "plausible", not "possible." It is certainly possible to construct any number of inferences and scenarios, whether rational or not, that represents a view of the past. Possible does not imply likely, however, nor does it imply certain. Certain is the last thing the History of Antiquity will ever be, regardless of the plausibility of our conclusions.

When attempting to offer plausible inferences regarding the Historical Jesus, I am doing so by appealing to the implicit skepticism which is at the heart of the historical method. In order to reconstruct the past with a necessary degree of objectivity, the Historian must approach any document or source with a degree of initial skepticism. Even when the veracity of a source has been accepted, one still needs to approach the claims contained therein with a questioning mind. It doesn't matter whether the claim is 'Washington Crossed the Potomac, or 'Moses parted the red sea', it is part of the job description of a Historian to be a skeptic. If you are not a skeptic, you are not doing your job.

In historical research, all sources, authors, and claims are assumed guilty until it becomes plausible to judge them innocent. It is only when we have no reason to doubt the veracity, plausibility, or accuracy of an authors testimony regarding a certain claim, should we admit the testimony into our pool of valid data that is used to form our inferences and opinions.

As the Historian has found through experience, and an appeal to common sense would indicate, religious documents are by their very nature notoriously unreliable conveyers of factual information as they are notoriously biased with a specific goal that typically involves proselytization, rather than historical accuracy. When examining them, our approach should be tempered with extreme caution and an extra dose of skepticism.

Unfortunately, It always happens when presenting plasuible obective inferences derived from religious documentation, that after an inference is put forth that contradicts an orthodox interpretation of the texts, someone will come forth, jumping up and down screaming, "That's Wrong !!! Look over here -- I have an argument that shows .....".

Presenting an argument that shows something is possible is not the same as showing how and why it should be accepted as more plausible and more likely than the position being deemed false.

Furthermore, it is not the job of the defense to establish the plausibility of the prosecution. If you disagree with some of my inferences, that is fine, but just don't tell me why, please supply what you believe is the more plausible inference. Only then will we have something substantial to discuss. If you simply say I am wrong without presenting your own possibility, I have no way of judging whether your possibility is more plausible. Do not fall prey to the grievous error of assuming that if one is successful in finding holes in the inferences derived by others, that ones own position is entitled to victory by default.

I am not basing my approach to the subject on my ability to refute other specific claims or inferences, nor should you. If you expend all of your energy in attack mode, you will succeed in nothing but coming across as insecure and reactionary.

Finally, the default accusation, as has already been employed, might be -- "You're just making up a story !" Of course I am; however, I am not naive enough, nor bold enough, to proclaim that my inductive inferences can be assigned the status of truth or historical fact. Everything I am about to offer could be entirely wrong. In fact, I would be quite shocked if all of my inferences turned out to represent the reality that is the past. I am simply offering what I believe to be the most plausible inferences that I can derive from the source material in relation to the our understanding of the social, religious, and political environment of the period under scrutiny.

I can prove nothing. The question to be answered by you, the reader, is not whether my story is true or false. The question to be answered is, after divorcing yourselves from any emotional baggage or sentimental attachments to existing stories, and when evaluated objectively, is the story I am creating more plausible than other possible alternatives? That is for you to judge. There are no absolute right or wrong answers.


Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Buzsaw, posted 04-25-2008 9:23 PM Grizz has responded

Grizz
Member (Idle past 3813 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 36 of 560 (464319)
04-24-2008 7:15 PM


I don't have much time at the moment to work more on the thread, but thought I would add some quick historical trivia:

Linguistics scholars have traced the Anglican rendering of the name Jesus back to the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic word Yeshua, which itself is an Aramaic derivative of the Hebrew word Yehoshua. Yehoshua obviously is what we know today in English as Joshua and was a fairly common name in first-century Judea.

Yehoshua(Joshua) in Biblical Hebrew means 'the salvation of Yahweh.'

The original authors of the Gospel manuscripts used koine Greek, and the Aramaic proper name 'Yeshua' was phonetically transliterated to Greek as lēsous. Early translators of the Greek texts into Latin then phonetically translated the Greek 'lēsous' into the Latin 'lesus'. This name has made its way through many transliterations in various forms, first in the Middle Ages as the Anglican 'Jesu', then today in modern English as 'Jesus'.

So, does Jesus mean Joshua? It may seem a bit confusing, but remember that obviously English was not in existence at this time. Today, the translation of the Hebrew Yehoshua into English is, of course, Joshua. The word Jesus has arrived to us through a large phonetic chain, but ultimately, both names can be traced to the appearance of the Aramaic in the first NT texts. In a dis-ambiguous sense, they refer to the same thing.

We don't use Yeshua(Joshua) today to refer to Jesus of the NT because obviously this is how the name has been presented to us in the literature.

My primary source for this information was:

Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary, Abingdon Press; Sep, 1971. P212,214

There is also a very cursory mention of the translation on Wikipedia.
The Name Jesus


Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 560 (464355)
04-25-2008 12:06 AM


Hi Grizz. I've spent the last hour or so on your articulate multiple post attempt to reduce the Lord of Lords and soon coming King of Kings, supreme judge to be of all to the status of long time dead charlatan/impostor/opportunist/liar/blasphemer/hoax figure/false prophet/ etc for which you've received your reward, i.e. a POM from fellow secularists. Humanly speaking, nice job, as seen in the eyes and mindset of secularists who also abhor the possibility of accountablility to a higher authority.

The problem I see with your research and your thesis of what there is out there to search out is all the data which you failed to enter into the study, such as:

1. Specific prophecies relative to the birth, life and crucifixion of Jesus; prophecies written centuries before the fact by OT prophets like Isaiah and King David.

2. Fulfillment of the prophecies of Jesus himself concerning the fall of Jerusalem to occur after his death, the Gentile occupation and the restoration of Israel subsequent to the Gentile occupation of the city.

3. The prophecies of Jesus and the OT prophets of the eventual world wide gospel of messiah being proclaimed including all of the modern tech required for this to be realized.

4. The fact that you quote mined out only specific prophetic scriptures of mine, neglecting to cite those relative to the gathering of all nations into the region of the restored nation of Israel which until modern times has never been fulfilled.

So Grizzly Bear, you've masterfully and painstakenly picked and chosen out of history and current events only what secularizes the articulately prophesied historical Jesus/messiah/lord/coming king/judge, depicting the lord of you and me, very son of Jehovah god, supreme ID majesty of the universe as a lying impostor.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by PaulK, posted 04-25-2008 1:35 AM Buzsaw has responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15658
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 38 of 560 (464362)
04-25-2008 1:35 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Buzsaw
04-25-2008 12:06 AM


quote:

Hi Grizz. I've spent the last hour or so on your articulate multiple post attempt to reduce the Lord of Lords and soon coming King of Kings, supreme judge to be of all to the status of long time dead charlatan/impostor/opportunist/liar/blasphemer/hoax figure/false prophet/ etc for which you've received your reward, i.e. a POM from fellow secularists. Humanly speaking, nice job, as seen in the eyes and mindset of secularists who also abhor the possibility of accountablility to a higher authority.

Who is this higher authority and why would he/she or it object to an honest and objective attempt to get to the truth ?

quote:

The problem I see with your research and your thesis of what there is out there to search out is all the data which you failed to enter into the study, such as:

Sine your assertions are all false, they obviously have no place in an honest and objective assessment of the evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Buzsaw, posted 04-25-2008 12:06 AM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Buzsaw, posted 04-25-2008 7:00 PM PaulK has responded

Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 560 (464474)
04-25-2008 7:00 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by PaulK
04-25-2008 1:35 AM


Blind Assertions
PaulK, you keep on chirping blind assertions relative to my assertions being false or that certain ones have been falsified, but too often all we get of substance from you is your secularist POV regarding them without having falsified them.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by PaulK, posted 04-25-2008 1:35 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Grizz, posted 04-25-2008 8:00 PM Buzsaw has responded
 Message 44 by PaulK, posted 04-26-2008 3:13 AM Buzsaw has responded

Grizz
Member (Idle past 3813 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 40 of 560 (464482)
04-25-2008 8:00 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Buzsaw
04-25-2008 7:00 PM


Re: Blind Assertions
Hi Buzz,

Please don't derail this thread. If you wish to offer scholarly objections to any of the background material presented to this point, please do so; but please give posters the courtesy of waiting until they have actually offered an opinion on the subject before you get worked up and start objecting to conclusions that have yet to be presented.

Regarding your specific objections, I am not even going to address them at this point as they are quite premature and I have not yet even offered my argument. You will also find there is no need to bring them up again later, as my answers will be made implicitly clear in the arguments that are forthcoming.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Buzsaw, posted 04-25-2008 7:00 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Buzsaw, posted 04-25-2008 8:35 PM Grizz has responded

Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 41 of 560 (464485)
04-25-2008 8:35 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Grizz
04-25-2008 8:00 PM


Re: Blind Assertions
Grizz writes:

Please don't derail this thread. If you wish to offer scholarly objections to any of the background material presented to this point, please do so; but please give posters the courtesy of waiting until they have actually offered an opinion on the subject before you get worked up and start objecting to conclusions that have yet to be presented.

What?? My reply was to one of three succesive very long messages, one in which you cited quote mines out of my textual data of another thread; quote mines which obfuscated the context excluding pertinent end time data to advance your POV.

Are you trying to tell me that those three long messages weren't enough of your opinion for a reply?

How did I derail the thread, which is about the historical Jesus. I cited prphecies of and by him which have been fulfilled. How is this off topic so as to derail this thread? You quote mined out of my data so as to skew the prophecies I cited. How was my response to that off topic to this thread?

Grizz writes:

Regarding your specific objections, I am not even going to address them at this point as they are quite premature and I have not yet even offered my argument. You will also find there is no need to bring them up again later, as my answers will be made implicitly clear in the arguments that are forthcoming.

Debate is two way, give and take. You presented your lengty thesis on your POV and now you're moaning about my response to it. What do you mean, you haven't even offered your argument?


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Grizz, posted 04-25-2008 8:00 PM Grizz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Grizz, posted 04-25-2008 9:04 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Grizz
Member (Idle past 3813 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 42 of 560 (464487)
04-25-2008 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Buzsaw
04-25-2008 8:35 PM


Re: Blind Assertions
Buzz,

I haven't even begun to present my conclusions regarding my views on the Historical Jesus. Everything I have offered to this point is simply background material leading up to the main argument.

You have jumped the gun and put words in my mouth. I am not sure where in this post you see that I have characterized the historical figure of Jesus as a charlatan, fraud, or liar. Again, feel free to offer scholarly objections to the specific background material I have already presented, but please wait until I construct the entire argument before claiming what I have formed.

There is nothing stopping anyone from presenting their own coherent arguments that lead to a reconstruction of the Historical Jesus, but I will not respond to objections unless they are presented within the context of material already offered.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Buzsaw, posted 04-25-2008 8:35 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 560 (464488)
04-25-2008 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Grizz
04-23-2008 6:55 PM


Plausables and Probables
Grizz writes:

Although we often use the word history as a synonym for past events, History as a discipline is the attempt to use plausible inductive inferences in response to the question, "What really happened?" The defining term here is "plausible", not "possible." It is certainly possible to construct any number of inferences and scenarios, whether rational or not, that represents a view of the past. Possible does not imply likely, however, nor does it imply certain. Certain is the last thing the History of Antiquity will ever be, regardless of the plausibility of our conclusions.

The oldest manuscripts of the eye witnesses should be the most plausable. Much of your messages 38 to 40 were possibilities relative to the eye witness acounts. My citation of the prophetic scriptures of Isaiah, Psalms, etc were cited to lend plausibility/credibility to the eye witness accounts as per the oldest manuscripts of those accounts relative to the historical Jesus.

Furthermore, the messianic fulfillment of Jesus's prophecy on the Mt of Olives relative to the Gentile occupation of Jerusalem to become a reality soon and to be ended as and end times event which was largely fulfilled in the 1967 six day war, clearly as prophesied in Luke 21:24 lends greatly to the plausibility/credibility that the Jesus who uttered this prophecy was indeed historical.

When attempting to offer plausible inferences regarding the Historical Jesus, I am doing so by appealing to the implicit skepticism which is at the heart of the historical method. In order to reconstruct the past with a necessary degree of objectivity, the Historian must approach any document or source with a degree of initial skepticism. Even when the veracity of a source has been accepted, one still needs to approach the claims contained therein with a questioning mind.

But you're skeptical thesis on this amounted to mostly possibilities from one who has a secularist agenda and from one far removed from the eye witnesses of the historical Jesus's times. I'm not sure how objective your POV is, given that you appear to be reluctant to include all of the evidence supportive to the historical Jesus.

Furthermore, you appear to show hostility to the data which those of us who hold to the eye witness accounts as the most plausable try to introduce into the discussion.

It doesn't matter whether the claim is 'Washington Crossed the Potomac, or 'Moses parted the red sea', it is part of the job description of a Historian to be a skeptic. If you are not a skeptic, you are not doing your job.

But then there comes the skeptical generation who regard political correctness above factuality as we find happening in the history classes of our times. As a result it can be documented that history students today know little about the historical George Washington and other founders of the Republic and much of which they do get can be proven to be false. The same applies relative to the Jesus skeptics to the point that the Historical Jesus Book is outlawed in the schools.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Grizz, posted 04-23-2008 6:55 PM Grizz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Grizz, posted 04-27-2008 12:08 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15658
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 44 of 560 (464502)
04-26-2008 3:13 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Buzsaw
04-25-2008 7:00 PM


Re: Blind Assertions
quote:

PaulK, you keep on chirping blind assertions relative to my assertions being false or that certain ones have been falsified, but too often all we get of substance from you is your secularist POV regarding them without having falsified them.

If you bother to look back in this thread YOU made assertions without evidence. In countering them, I need no more.

Secondly as you know full well we HAVE discussed your claims in other threads and I have offered substantive criticisms. Which you have often failed or even refused to address.

Thirdly as you also know, you have a record of repeatedly making unsubstantiated assertions and running away without producing any substantial arguments.

Unlike you I am not going to run away. Start a thread for any of your assertions you made in


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Buzsaw, posted 04-25-2008 7:00 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Buzsaw, posted 04-26-2008 8:31 AM PaulK has responded

Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 45 of 560 (464514)
04-26-2008 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by PaulK
04-26-2008 3:13 AM


Re: Blind Assertions
PaulK, all I can suggest is that when you encounter problematic input by me that you cease from your habit of bringing them up in the threads but take them to the proper forum and thread for complaints so as for admins to address.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by PaulK, posted 04-26-2008 3:13 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by PaulK, posted 04-26-2008 11:04 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

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