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Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15640
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 181 of 560 (617207)
05-26-2011 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 179 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 3:16 PM


Re: Execution records
quote:

I don't get the sense that you're examining my arguments, because your posts have nothing to do with them.

I guess you missed the actual quotes from your posts then.

quote:

What's the evidence for the historic existence of Jesus? That's my only argument.

Well that isn't true either. You DID try to argue that the proposed historical Jesus was too different from the Biblical Jesus because - among other things - he wasn't called "Jesus Christ". Which is ignorant. You DID try to argue that the absence of an official record of the crucifixion was sufficient to conclude that it did not happen. And that is irrational, too.

And there are others, that I haven't touched on, for instance your idea that your fictional Jesus hypothesis should be taken as the default and has no burden of proof.

Crash, you've got yourself into a deep hole. It's past time you stopped digging.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 179 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 3:16 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 182 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 3:50 PM PaulK has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 182 of 560 (617210)
05-26-2011 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by PaulK
05-26-2011 3:32 PM


Re: Execution records
I guess you missed the actual quotes from your posts then.

No, I saw them. Why did you think those were part of an argument?

You DID try to argue that the proposed historical Jesus was too different from the Biblical Jesus because - among other things - he wasn't called "Jesus Christ".

But that's true, isn't it? Both you and Mod have made very compelling cases that, if the historic Jesus existed, he wasn't called "Jesus Christ", because, even though that's used as a name by Christians and by the Bible that's not actually a name. By the same token, the "real historic" Jesus Malverde certainly wasn't called Jesus Malverde because Malverde, too, is a title. (Also, there was no "real historic" Jesus Malverde.)

Well, ok. So you agree with me that, when we talk about the "historic Jesus Christ" we're not actually talking about a man named Jesus Christ. Even though we're all talking about the "historic Jesus" - see, it's even up there in the thread title - and not the "historic Joshua." Probably because there's also a guy named "Joshua" in the Bible. Did he and Historic Jesus share the same name? Just curious.

. You DID try to argue that the absence of an official record of the crucifixion was sufficient to conclude that it did not happen.

I did not at any time assert this. I'm just asking, what is the evidence that there was a "historic Jesus" who was crucified? The lack of any evidence is sufficient to conclude nothing but that there's a lack of evidence that there was a real Jesus who was crucified.

But "historic Jesus" proponents frequently try to turn the burden of proof around, and assert that because a lack of evidence might be consistent with a historic Jesus, it somehow disproves a mythical Jesus.

But that's not the case. A lack of evidence supports a mythical Jesus more than it supports a historic Jesus - it simply doesn't contradict a historic Jesus. It's a positive point for the mythical Jesus position but it has no effect at all on the case for the historic Jesus.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 3:32 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 183 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 3:55 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 184 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:03 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 221 by ramoss, posted 05-29-2011 12:47 PM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 183 of 560 (617211)
05-26-2011 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 182 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 3:50 PM


Re: Execution records
That said I always appreciate it when I attract the attention of the august PaulK. No, seriously.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 182 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 3:50 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15640
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 184 of 560 (617212)
05-26-2011 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 182 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 3:50 PM


Re: Execution records
quote:

No, I saw them. Why did you think those were part of an argument?

Because they were.

quote:

But that's true, isn't it? Both you and Mod have made very compelling cases that, if the historic Jesus existed, he wasn't called "Jesus Christ", because, even though that's used as a name by Christians and by the Bible that's not actually a name.

It's true but only in a very literalistic and misleading way. As I said it is entirely attributable to the conversion from Hebrew or Aramaic to Greek.

quote:

I did not at any time assert this

Oddly enough you haven't presented any other reason for your assertion that there was no crucifixion in your replies to my posts.

And this comes close enough (Message 147)


If there's no contemporary account, then there was no Roman state execution.

Or


There are all manner of Roman records from Judea, including a substantial amount of information about Pontius Pilate - yet there's no mention at all about Judea's most famous trial?

(which has other problems, too).

You obviously think that the entirely expected lack of Roman records is a problem. But why ?

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 182 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 3:50 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 185 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 4:13 PM PaulK has responded
 Message 187 by hooah212002, posted 05-26-2011 4:28 PM PaulK has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 185 of 560 (617214)
05-26-2011 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 184 by PaulK
05-26-2011 4:03 PM


Re: Execution records
Oddly enough you haven't presented any other reason for your assertion that there was no crucifixion in your replies to my posts.

If there was no Jesus, then clearly Jesus could not have been crucified.

You obviously think that the entirely expected lack of Roman records is a problem.

There's not an "entirely expected" lack. There's just an explainable lack. There could have been records - there just aren't any.

The lack is more consistent with a mythical Jesus than a historical Jesus; parsimony says that when records are absent, it's more likely that they were never made than that they were made and then all were lost.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 184 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:03 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 186 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:20 PM crashfrog has responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15640
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 186 of 560 (617215)
05-26-2011 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 185 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 4:13 PM


Re: Execution records
quote:

If there was no Jesus, then clearly Jesus could not have been crucified.

It appears rather that your argument goes the other way. And since you don't have much of a case that there was no historical Jesus either, I don't see how you can get past agnosticism on that point.

quote:

There's not an "entirely expected" lack.

There isn't ? How many detailed records from Judaea, form that period do we have ? Not many, to the best of my knowledge. Certainly no official records of crucifixions.

quote:

The lack is more consistent with a mythical Jesus than a historical Jesus; parsimony says that when records are absent, it's more likely that they were never made than that they were made and then all were lost.

If the Romans did keep records, and we don't have them - and let me be absolutely clear I am not talking about records of Jesus, but of the records in general - it follows that the records are lost. You have argued that the Romans did keep records. So either we have them, or your argument is incorrect.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 185 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 4:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 190 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 4:47 PM PaulK has responded

hooah212002
Member (Idle past 161 days)
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 187 of 560 (617216)
05-26-2011 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 184 by PaulK
05-26-2011 4:03 PM


Re: Execution records
This is not particularly a topic I feel comfortable delving too far into, but to respond to this:

You obviously think that the entirely expected lack of Roman records is a problem. But why ?

Well, billions of people follow this fella's teachings, there is an entire religion based on it, wars were fought in his name, people died for this fella. You'd think that maybe, just maybe, someone around his era (perhaps when they were writing the story) would have bothered to corroborate the story in the event he actually existed. I mean, he was seemingly an important figure very shortly after his death, if not during his lifetime. He isn't touted as some random nobody.


"What can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof."-Hitch.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 184 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:03 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 188 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:39 PM hooah212002 has responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15640
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 188 of 560 (617217)
05-26-2011 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 187 by hooah212002
05-26-2011 4:28 PM


Re: Execution records
You think that because Jesus is important NOW, the Romans would have taken special care of the records relating to him ? Or that other people would have taken special note of him ? That's not rational. The contemporary reaction to Jesus would be based on his importance - to them - at the time. Add in the various destructions (notably the destruction of Jerusalem a few decades later) and the normal loss of records over time, and it's not surprising that relatively obscure figures would leave little trace.

Yes, the Gospels don't depict Jesus as insignificant, but let's face it, they're highly biased accounts. Exaggeration is to be expected. And we have very few true contemporary mentions of Socrates, a very controversial figure, whose execution was likely far more shocking than the crucifixion of one more anti-Roman agitator would have been in Judaea in the early 1st Century.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 187 by hooah212002, posted 05-26-2011 4:28 PM hooah212002 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 189 by hooah212002, posted 05-26-2011 4:45 PM PaulK has responded
 Message 192 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 4:53 PM PaulK has not yet responded

hooah212002
Member (Idle past 161 days)
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 189 of 560 (617218)
05-26-2011 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 188 by PaulK
05-26-2011 4:39 PM


Re: Execution records
So what you are saying is that he did not have a significant following very shortly after his death, the likes of whom would have been able or wanted to track down some sort of record of his existence?

{abe}
It would appear that individuals who are trying to start a new religion, who were writing a book about this fella, a book that is meant as an addition to the existing book, would find some sort of evidence corroborating his worth.

Edited by hooah212002, : No reason given.


"What can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof."-Hitch.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 188 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:39 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 191 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:49 PM hooah212002 has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 190 of 560 (617219)
05-26-2011 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 186 by PaulK
05-26-2011 4:20 PM


Re: Execution records
And since you don't have much of a case that there was no historical Jesus either

Well, but I do have a case for there being no historical Jesus - there doesn't seem to have been a historical Jesus.

The burden of proof, here, is on the historic Jesus position. I've already demonstrated how the mythical Jesus would be completely consistent with other observed instances of myth formation. But if "historical Jesus" is actually true, then it's a completely one of a kind event.

How many detailed records from Judaea, form that period do we have ?

As many as there are! It's not like there was some kind of purposeful purge of documents from Judea, such that we would predict, a priori, that the execution record of Jesus would be gone.

It just happens to be gone, if indeed it ever existed at all. And therefore the explanation that it never existed is more parsimonious than the explanation that it did at one time exist, but coincidentally was also lost. (But, somehow, the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross, half a tablet that says "INRI", somebody kept those, but nobody thought to hang on to Jesus's execution writ, or anything he actually wrote? Absurd.)

If the Romans did keep records, and we don't have them - and let me be absolutely clear I am not talking about records of Jesus, but of the records in general - it follows that the records are lost.

But it doesn't follow from that that Jesus's execution writ was among those lost. It's a non-sequitur to go from one to the other. We have just as many Roman records as we have, and any record at all of Jesus - his life, his times, his actions, something must have gone on the record at some point - are not among them.

That does contradict the "historic Jesus" hypothesis. It's like in a spy movie, when they run a background check and nothing suspicious comes up. But then they look a little closer and still nothing suspicious comes up - literally, nothing. No parking tickets or even any record he owned a car. No bad credit or any indication of any credit activity. Nothing.

It's usually at that point in the movie that they realize they've been had; they're looking at the background of a fictional person. For some reason, "historical Jesus" proponents never come to the same obvious realization. I guess it's too hard for some people to admit that they're being hoodwinked by the same religion they think they're too smart for.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:20 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 194 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 5:07 PM crashfrog has responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15640
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 191 of 560 (617220)
05-26-2011 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 189 by hooah212002
05-26-2011 4:45 PM


Re: Execution records
I think that his following was relatively small, and certainly not interested in official records that they could not even get access to (and why would they need to ? Has anyone asked for official records of L Ron Hubbard or Joseph Smith's lives to prove that they existed ?). Besides the world was ending soon - or so they thought. It's generally accepted that the early Christian relied on oral accounts because there was no need to write it all down - the end was coming real soon now.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 189 by hooah212002, posted 05-26-2011 4:45 PM hooah212002 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 193 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 4:56 PM PaulK has responded
 Message 200 by hooah212002, posted 05-26-2011 6:21 PM PaulK has not yet responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 192 of 560 (617221)
05-26-2011 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 188 by PaulK
05-26-2011 4:39 PM


Re: Execution records
You think that because Jesus is important NOW, the Romans would have taken special care of the records relating to him ?

Sure! They gambled for his clothes, didn't they? Don't we have the spear that pierced his side, the nails and the cross that killed him, the shroud he was buried in? Didn't they keep the cup he drank from at the Last Supper? I mean, if we're talking legends and stories at face-value, now, you have to believe that all that happened, too.

So why didn't someone keep his writings? The writings about him? Recall how quickly the early church spread - in the space of a handful of years people were obsessed with this Jesus guy, even unto martyrdom.

Nobody thought to hang on to any records, but they sold his underwear? Really? In the greatest paper bureaucracy of the age?

Absurd.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 188 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:39 PM PaulK has not yet responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 193 of 560 (617222)
05-26-2011 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 191 by PaulK
05-26-2011 4:49 PM


Re: Execution records
Has anyone asked for official records of L Ron Hubbard or Joseph Smith's lives to prove that they existed ?

No, because there's already a record that L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith existed. There's reams of evidence such that you would have to be an imbecile to deny it. Hubbard was frequently photographed and we have hundreds of his writings, both professional and personal. Smith sat for dozens of paintings and we have his own writings, too.

It's generally accepted that the early Christian relied on oral accounts because there was no need to write it all down - the end was coming real soon now.

Nonsense - there's too many early church writings for that have been the case. That's a clearly absurd and self-serving post-hoc rationalization about early Christians.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 191 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 4:49 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 195 by PaulK, posted 05-26-2011 5:16 PM crashfrog has responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15640
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 194 of 560 (617223)
05-26-2011 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 4:47 PM


Re: Execution records
quote:

Well, but I do have a case for there being no historical Jesus - there doesn't seem to have been a historical Jesus.

That's just an assertion.

quote:

The burden of proof, here, is on the historic Jesus position. I've already demonstrated how the mythical Jesus would be completely consistent with other observed instances of myth formation. But if "historical Jesus" is actually true, then it's a completely one of a kind event.

It is ? That's odd. Seems to me that there were plenty of Jewish cult leaders and not a few modern ones.

quote:

As many as there are! It's not like there was some kind of purposeful purge of documents from Judea, such that we would predict, a priori, that the execution record of Jesus would be gone.

So you THINK we have lots of official records of Roman executions in JUdaea, but you haven't bothered to investigate it. Or taken into consideration the effects of the Jewish revolts, or all the other upheavals and events that would cause records to be lost. But OK, show me evidence that we have official records of at least 10% of the executions of Pontius Pilate. Just one in ten, not the huge majority you seem to expect - and I'll concede that you might have a point. MIGHT have a point. There'd still be a 90% chance that if there was a real record, it would have been lost.

quote:

It just happens to be gone, if indeed it ever existed at all. And therefore the explanation that it never existed is more parsimonious than the explanation that it did at one time exist, but coincidentally was also lost. (But, somehow, the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross, half a tablet that says "INRI", somebody kept those, but nobody thought to hang on to Jesus's execution writ, or anything he actually wrote? Absurd.)

Oh come on, you know that most "relics" are fakes. At one point the "fragments of the True Cross" added up to much, much more than one Roman cross ! And again, your argument only makes sense if we have the majority of the records - but YOU DON'T KNOW THIS, and you haven't bothered to find out.

quote:

But it doesn't follow from that that Jesus's execution writ was among those lost.

I don't claim that it does. What I am claiming is that your argument is irrational because it assumes - without the slightest evidence - that enough of the records survived that the loss of any specific record would be surprising. If we have lost virtually all of them (as far as I know we have NONE) then it is not surprising at all, and your argument fails.

quote:

It's a non-sequitur to go from one to the other. We have just as many Roman records as we have, and any record at all of Jesus - his life, his times, his actions, something must have gone on the record at some point - are not among them.

We don't have the records of the 6 AD Census, carried out when the Romans annexed Judaea. Are you suggesting that the Romans went to all that bother of doing a census - for tax purposes and didn't make records ? Absurd ! But we don't have them so they must have been lost.

THe point is simple. Either we have the records, the Romans did not keep records, or they were lost. You assume that we have the records - but the burden of proof for that is on you. And you've produced not one shred of evidence for it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 190 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 4:47 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 196 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 5:32 PM PaulK has responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15640
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 195 of 560 (617226)
05-26-2011 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 193 by crashfrog
05-26-2011 4:56 PM


Re: Execution records
quote:

No, because there's already a record that L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith existed. There's reams of evidence such that you would have to be an imbecile to deny it. Hubbard was frequently photographed and we have hundreds of his writings, both professional and personal. Smith sat for dozens of paintings and we have his own writings, too.

But who goes into that before concluding that they existed, at least provisionally ?

quote:

Nonsense - there's too many early church writings for that have been the case. That's a clearly absurd and self-serving post-hoc rationalization about early Christians.

Only a few date from before 60 AD, though, and those lack detailed accounts of Jesus' life and teachings, being written for other purposes
(and by Paul, more interested in promoting his views, and organising the gentile churches than Jesus life and teachings)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 193 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 4:56 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 197 by crashfrog, posted 05-26-2011 5:40 PM PaulK has responded

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