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Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15631
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 241 of 560 (617835)
05-31-2011 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by Jazzns
05-31-2011 11:18 AM


Re: What are we trying to show here?
quote:

I most certainly not saying that we should pretend that the evidence does not exist.

Then why should we be talking about defaults, when they only apply in the absence of evidence ?

quote:

Let me try this another way. Absent any evidence do you believe that the null hypothesis should be that there was no historical Jesus?

I don't believe that the idea of the null hypothesis applies to history in the way it does in the experimental sciences. Rather, we start with the evidence and look for the best explanation.

quote:

Do you then believe that the gospels are enough evidence to invalidate that hypothesis?

If so why? Where do our standards of evidence come from that says that prima facie evidence is enough to push us into a new paradigm?


Obviously the existence of evidence is enough to push us into the different paradigm of looking for explanations rather than simply relying on default assumptions. But a historical Jesus isn't a new paradigm at all. There's nothing special in that hypothesis. So depending on which you mean, the answer is either that it is obvious, or that there is no new paradigm involved at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by Jazzns, posted 05-31-2011 11:18 AM Jazzns has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by Jazzns, posted 05-31-2011 5:08 PM PaulK has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 242 of 560 (617839)
05-31-2011 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 239 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 12:33 PM


Re: Execution records
Ok, well, now you're directly contradicting Jon who insists that there was no early Christian church until decades after Jesus's supposed death. (If the crucifixion was supposedly in 33AD, which is what I thought everybody accepted, then there's no way Paul could have converted to a religion that wouldn't have existed for two years in 31AD, or have persecuted any Christians beforehand.)

PaulK is using the term 'Christianity' to refer to the early Jewish sect of Jesus followers. This is pretty clear to anyone reading his posts.

So you keep saying, but I can't get you to show me any of it!

What is this evidence for the existence of Jesus? Please be specific.

The 100% revolution in Messianic thinking that arose in the Jesus movement is one bit. You've never offered a better explanation for this.

What evidence do we have for those things that leads us to believe that Paul really was persecuting Christians and really did convert?

Well, he said as much, and there's not much reason to doubt his claims. It is less probable that he is lying and more probable that he is telling the truth. Thus, historians stick with the more probable conclusion—like any reasonable person.

I've demonstrated that the mythical Jesus explains all of the available evidence of the existence of Jesus - to wit, that people in the first century were telling each other stories about a guy we would later call "Jesus".

No you haven't. Not at all. You haven't once demonstrated why your explanation is a better explanation, or why it is more probable.

I don't see how making up stuff to blame Jews somehow establishes the veracity of the Gospels in this regard.

Let's start with the fact that unlike most CCoI idiots today, early Christians were well aware of the fact that Jesus was a Jew.

I don't see how this follows, you'll have to elaborate.

Calling Jesus your savior and then telling everyone about how he failed to save you is a real unlikely thing, especially when you must then go quote mining and back tracking and Gish galloping around trying to prove that your claims are true.

There are such better and more obvious things to make up than a savior who doesn't save, a messiah that isn't a messiah, a king that doesn't rule. What on earth would prompt folk to just make up all this contradictory and unreasonable crap? And is such an explanation more likely than the explanation that there was some Jewish apocalyptic preacher who got executed by the Romans? We're aware of many cases of the latter. What cases of the former are there?

What makes Mythical Jesus more probable?

If there was no execution-specific or Judea-specific purge of Roman records, then all the records were lost coincidentally. And if it's all just a coincidence that all the records are gone, then there's no reason that the lack of execution records or records from Judea should imply that there may have been a Jesus execution record that also was lost - just as five heads in a row on a coin specified as "fair" doesn't imply anything about the result of a sixth toss, making a sixth heads result a complete coincidence.

No one has argued that the lack of records shows us that there may have been a Jesus execution record. The point that others have tried (failingly, it appears) to get across to you is that the lack of records doesn't show the lack of a crucifixion. If it did, we'd have to say that the Romans didn't crucify anyone in Judea at the time, which is just nonsense.

No. I'm arguing that the odds of the loss of a Jesus-specific execution record are unrelated to the number of documents that survive in total, once you've stipulated that there was no purposeful purge of execution-related or Judea-related (or any other characteristic-related) documents.

If there ever was a record created for Jesus' execution, how big do you suppose it would be?

That it's just a coincidence that both Jesus-specific and Jesus-nonspecific documents are missing, once you've stipulated that there was no effort made to purge those types of documents.

But it's not a coincidence. The records are all linked. How massive and special do you think the Jesus execution record would have been?

But again, the fact that it is published as fiction is nothing but a reflection of the popular consensus - the argumentum ad populum - that the work is fiction. Similarly that a book is published as non-fiction reflects nothing but the popular consensus that the work is non-fiction.

What stupidity. What nonsense. LotR is clearly a work of fiction because an historical setting for it has never been demonstrated to exist. We can find no evidence of an age of trolls and dwarfs and elves and hobbits and all other such crazy critters.

The historical Jesus, however, fits perfectly into an established historical setting.

This should make it obvious why the latter cannot simply be discarded as fiction while the former can be.

Again, maybe you could kindly let Jon know? Since he's adamant that the "historic Jesus" didn't actually found Christianity. It's a little difficult to keep up with the arguments for the "historic Jesus" when you can't seem to agree amongst yourself what they actually are.

Lol. Really? I think we all know what PaulK is talking about, all of us but you.

The Gospels ARE evidence of a historical Jesus.

Already refuted.

A refutation that, ironically, appears as invisible and undetectable as your mythical Jesus.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 12:33 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 2:59 PM Jon has responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15631
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 243 of 560 (617842)
05-31-2011 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 238 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 11:57 AM


Re: Names and Roman Records
quote:

Well, no, none of this is accurate. Confucious was called Confucious, that just wasn't his name. Ghengis Khan was called Ghengis Khan. Charles IV was called Charles IV and when he became king that was his name. (Just like Prince William's name actually is "Prince William", and when he goes by "William Wales" or "William Mountbatten-Windsor to sound like a normal person, that's actually an alias.)

All of those people were called by those names either during their lives or in the period immediately following their deaths, so it's 100% inaccurate to say that they were not. But the proponents of the "historical Jesus" propose an individual who was not referred to as Jesus Christ until many centuries after his supposed existence.


You didn't check the facts, did you ? If you read the Wikipedia article on Confucius it will tell you that Confucius was born about 551 BC while the guy who first called him Confucius was a Jesuit who - if you follow the link for him - wasn't born until 1552 AD. That's 2000 years Crash.

Don't you see that you've fallen to the level of making shit up, all to try to cling to an argument that has already been refuted ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 11:57 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 246 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 2:36 PM PaulK has not yet responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 442 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 244 of 560 (617846)
05-31-2011 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 238 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 11:57 AM


Re: Names and Roman Records
Well, no, none of this is accurate. Confucious was called Confucious, that just wasn't his name.

He was first called Confucius 2,000 years after he was alive by an Italian.

Ghengis Khan was called Ghengis Khan.

And Yeshua was called Jesus Christ by English Christians and he was called Iesu by the Latin speakers. That's all we're saying. Just like the historical Santa Claus was called Nikolaos of Myra in his time, only acquiring the title 'Saint' posthumously (as is required).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 11:57 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 247 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 2:39 PM Modulous has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 245 of 560 (617857)
05-31-2011 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 240 by Jon
05-31-2011 1:35 PM


Re: Consequentially Jesus
Your position explains nothing.

What doesn't it explain? Be specific.

No. I never said Jesus wasn't viewed as the Messiah.

As far as I can tell you keep saying it:

quote:
As the messiah, which his followers claimed him to be, he was supposed to:

· Build an army.
· Be a king.
· Drive out the Romans.
· Reestablish Jewish rule in Palestine.

Instead he:

· Had a following of twelve peasant fishermen.
· Was a pauper.
· Was executed by the Romans without raising so much as a fist.
· Sat in his grave and rotted as the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 a.d.

His failure was such an embarrassment to anyone who knew anything about the Messianic hopes, expectations, and prophecies that the majority of the new converts came in not as Jews, like Jesus himself, but as Gentiles who knew nothing about Judaism or the actual beliefs regarding the Messiah—people who could be duped and never know it.


That's all from your first post in the thread. And then in a subsequent post you wrote:

quote:
As far as we know, prior to the early first century a.d. no one held the Christian views of the Messiah. The revolutionary redefinition of the Messiah can easily be explained by the existence of a man thought to be the Messiah in the traditional sense who then failed on that account but was instead executed by the Romans.

Your words or not?

Do you ever tire of misrepresenting people?

If I've misunderstood you, then I do apologize and I ask you to clarify the remarks you've quoted above. If I genuinely misunderstood you then I'm very eager for you to help me arrive at a better understanding of your remarks. But as near as I can tell your assertion seems very clear: you believe that the historical Jesus, unlike the Biblical Jesus, was not considered to be a Messiah - that his "messianism", if you will, was a later invention of the Gospels or something.

If that's an inaccurate characterization of your remarks then I invite you to set me straight. I'm most interested in refuting your position as accurately as possible, not in accidentally misrepresenting you.

There is evidence. The evidence has been presented.

What is it? Where was it presented? Name the post.

Otherwise I consider this statement another instance of the weird lacuna where "historical Jesus" proponents believe they've presented evidence even though they've simply waved their fingers over the keyboard without actually producing text.

Even if Jesus were a real person, the developmental time line for the Christian church would be what it was.

Well, no. It wouldn't. When real people produce religions based on their own philosophies, they quickly ossify and don't change substantially in the period after their death, don't spread rapidly after the leader dies, and so on. For instance, look at Scientology - almost all of its spread and growth occurred during the life of L. Ron Hubbard. When Hubbard died, the growth and evolution of Scientology died with him and decades after his death, it's almost the same religion with the same adherents as it was in 1986. Basing a religion on a real live human being is like anchoring it to a stone, and as soon as that person stops being able to change - because he's died within living memory - the religion does, as well. It takes centuries before a religion is able to overcome the retarding effects of having been based on the life and views of a real historical person.

Contrast that with early Christianity, which was in a period of enormous flux and geographic growth. That's most consistent, like South Seas cargo cults, with a formation based on legends about a fictitious person. Since the founder is a fiction, nobody's able to convincingly discount new stories, so they quickly become canon. The result is rapid growth, rapid adaptation to local culture, and the rapid splintering into heterodox or even competing sects, all of which characterized the growth of the early Christian church.

And this proves nothing.

Its not meant to prove anything. It's never been meant to prove anything; it simply highlights the incredible gulf between the Jesus of the Bible - the Jesus who is the central figure of Christianity - and the maximally suitable figure who could possibly have been a "historical Jesus." It's just an element of rhetoric, it's not an argument. It's never been one, which is why I'm surprised it's gathered so much attention.

Absolutely no proponents of the Historical Jesus hypothesis claim that the historical Jesus was named /ʤi.zəs kɹaɪst/ or any allophonic variation thereof.

I've never made any claim to the contrary. Rather, "historical Jesus" defenders have fallen all over themselves to tell me that Jesus Christ would not have been named /ʤi.zəs kɹaɪst/ (to copy and paste your phonetics) and I've done absolutely nothing but take them completely at their word about it.

The Mythical Jesus hypothesis explains nothing.

That is incorrect. What it explains is the rise of a major world religion based on the veneration of a figure for whom no independent, verifiable evidence of existence can be produced. And it does so much better and much more parsimoniously than the "historical Jesus" position which is so inconsistent with the evidence.

And I never claimed that he was the basis of a major world religion.

Then what makes the person you're talking about the "historic Jesus Christ"?

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 240 by Jon, posted 05-31-2011 1:35 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 250 by Jon, posted 05-31-2011 2:58 PM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 246 of 560 (617858)
05-31-2011 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 243 by PaulK
05-31-2011 2:08 PM


Re: Names and Roman Records
You didn't check the facts, did you ? If you read the Wikipedia article on Confucius it will tell you that Confucius was born about 551 BC while the guy who first called him Confucius was a Jesuit who - if you follow the link for him - wasn't born until 1552 AD. That's 2000 years Crash.

Then I apologize for my error. With the exception of Confucious, though, my argument stands (caffiene's statement is no more than 80% inaccurate.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 243 by PaulK, posted 05-31-2011 2:08 PM PaulK has not yet responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 247 of 560 (617860)
05-31-2011 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 244 by Modulous
05-31-2011 2:12 PM


Re: Names and Roman Records
He was first called Confucius 2,000 years after he was alive by an Italian.

Again, correction accepted and that's an error for which I apologize.

And Yeshua was called Jesus Christ by English Christians and he was called Iesu by the Latin speakers. That's all we're saying.

And I take that utterly at face value, since this is at least the tenth time I've been told so. The "historic Jesus Christ" was not called Jesus Christ. I don't understand why there's the persistent belief that I'm confused on this issue.

Just like the historical Santa Claus was called Nikolaos of Myra in his time, only acquiring the title 'Saint' posthumously (as is required).

But there is no "historic Santa Claus", just as there's no historic James Bond.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 244 by Modulous, posted 05-31-2011 2:12 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 258 by Modulous, posted 05-31-2011 4:02 PM crashfrog has responded

New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 248 of 560 (617863)
05-31-2011 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 228 by Modulous
05-30-2011 7:31 AM


Re: What are we trying to show here?
How about John Frum? ... (For the record, it's the basically-universal consensus that there was no such person as John Frum.)

Do you know the reason for that universal consensus?

No, what it is?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 228 by Modulous, posted 05-30-2011 7:31 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 259 by Modulous, posted 05-31-2011 4:02 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 15631
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 249 of 560 (617869)
05-31-2011 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 239 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 12:33 PM


Re: Execution records
I think that I will have to take this in pieces.

quote:

Does the existence of Great Britain prove that Casino Royale is a documentary? Surely not. Even Shakespeare knew to set his fiction in real places. I've been to Verona, Italy but that hardly lends historical veracity to Romeo and Juliet.

Pay attention to the arguments Crash. The fact that Christians got those things right proves that they didn't get everything wrong.

quote:

I don't see how this follows, you'll have to elaborate. I don't see how making up stuff to blame Jews somehow establishes the veracity of the Gospels in this regard. Isn't it just more likely that the Gospels are fiction that just happens to attack Jews? It wouldn't be the first time people have made things up to attack Jews.

It seems pretty simple to me. If they were making Jesus up and wanted to have the Jews kill him, then they can have the Jews kill him. No need to say that the Romans killed him, but really the Jews were to blame - no, really, honest guv! Obviously something constrained them to stick with a Roman execution. Which means that part of the story, at least, was fixed prior to the Gospels.

quote:

Well, but you are - you're asking me to accept the existence of a historical Jesus, which I've demonstrated is implausible to say the least.

You haven't demonstrated anything of the sort.

quote:

It's not right.

Well make your mind up ! Are you really going to dismiss a perfectly valid form of argument that you yourself have used just to avoid admitting a mistake or not ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 12:33 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 252 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 3:05 PM PaulK has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 250 of 560 (617871)
05-31-2011 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 2:35 PM


Re: Consequentially Jesus
LOL. This is too funny. Your own quote mines can't even support your misrepresentation of my position:

Jon writes:

No. I never said Jesus wasn't viewed as the Messiah.


As far as I can tell you keep saying it:
...
quote:
As far as we know, prior to the early first century a.d. no one held the Christian views of the Messiah. The revolutionary redefinition of the Messiah can easily be explained by the existence of a man thought to be the Messiah in the traditional sense who then failed on that account but was instead executed by the Romans.

Your words or not?

Emphasis added. You go through all this trouble to misrepresent me and then quote something of mine that clearly demonstrates that I do not hold to the view that you say I hold to.

Jesus was most certainly believed to be the Messiah by his followers. Jesus' followers viewed him as the Messiah. I never claimed otherwise.

you believe that the historical Jesus, unlike the Biblical Jesus, was not considered to be a Messiah - that his "messianism", if you will, was a later invention of the Gospels or something.

Nope. Never made such a claim. Were you any other member, I might believe your misrepresentation to be an honest mistake, but knowing you, Crash, I'm rather convinced you're just being a troll.

Otherwise I consider this statement another instance of the weird lacuna where "historical Jesus" proponents believe they've presented evidence even though they've simply waved their fingers over the keyboard without actually producing text.

Whatever, it's been mentioned over and over and over again. You even quoted it in the post I'm replying to. Just go and address it; stop being a troll.

When real people produce religions based on their own philosophies, they quickly ossify and don't change substantially in the period after their death, don't spread rapidly after the leader dies, and so on. For instance, look at Scientology - almost all of its spread and growth occurred during the life of L. Ron Hubbard. When Hubbard died, the growth and evolution of Scientology died with him and decades after his death, it's almost the same religion with the same adherents as it was in 1986.

Sorry, Crash, but you cannot use the spread of modern religious movements as a standard for interpreting the spread of past ones. Do try to stay relevant.

What's more, the nature of the early Christian movement predicts that no such records will be found. Thus, once again, you attempt to use something that can offer no evidence for your position because it is true whether you or your opponent is right.

... it's not an argument. It's never been one...

Then let's drop it and focus on something else.

And it does so much better and much more parsimoniously than the "historical Jesus" position which is so inconsistent with the evidence.

You seem confused as to the meaning of the word 'parsimony'. The proposition of inventing something wholesale such as the early Christian movement requires more assumptions than the alternative proposition that such a figure as Jesus actually did exist.

Perhaps if you can show how early Christian beliefs and practices might have developed in the absence of an historical Jesus, then we can address your argument. Until you do this, however, your repeated assertion that there was no Jesus is not an explanation. And it never can be because it consists of nothing: It specifically makes an assertion that there was nothing of some sort, and so can never have any explanatory power. Asserting there was nothing explains just as much: nothing.

You need to explain the facts with an hypothesis that doesn't involve an historical Jesus. If you do, we can address your argument. If you don't want to, then that's fine too; we'll just learn to deal with the fact that you have nothing to support your unreasonable position. It wouldn't be the first time that such an allowance were made for you.

Jon

Edited by Jon, : clarity


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 2:35 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 253 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 3:22 PM Jon has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 251 of 560 (617873)
05-31-2011 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 242 by Jon
05-31-2011 2:03 PM


Re: Execution records
PaulK is using the term 'Christianity' to refer to the early Jewish sect of Jesus followers.

Ok, but what's the evidence that there's an early Jewish sect of Jesus followers?

That's kind of the point. If this is really what PaulK meant then he's engaged in a sleight of hand where evidence for the early Church - after the supposed death of Christ makes it possible to say "we know there was Christianity in the First Century" which is not at all contentious, and then that's equivocated to mean that we somehow have proof of an early Jewish set of Jesus followers and by transitive property, Jesus.

But we don't. We have evidence for an early Christian church sometime in the mid-first century. We don't have anything before that for a "early Jewish sect of Jesus followers." If we did, I would accept that as evidence for a historical Jesus so I invite you to present it.

The 100% revolution in Messianic thinking that arose in the Jesus movement is one bit.

How is that evidence for Jesus? This seems like evidence against Jesus as the leader of a "early Jewish sect of Jesus followers" since why would they follow him if they didn't meet any criteria of the Jewish messiah?

The fact that the Christian Jesus has never been considered by Jews to be the Jewish messiah is evidence against his existence and for his fabrication, not against it. You consider it evidence against only because you assume that Jews would be the ones to fabricate Jesus but why would that have been the case?

Well, he said as much, and there's not much reason to doubt his claims.

Well, we do. We have two reasons - his claims are self-serving and there's no evidence that supports them.

You haven't once demonstrated why your explanation is a better explanation, or why it is more probable.

I have explained. As I explained, the "mythical Jesus" position explains more than the historic Jesus position: it explains why there's a Christianity, why it spread and grew in a way consistent with other observed examples of religions based on fictional individuals, why Jews don't recognize him as the Jewish messiah, and why there's no evidence for the historical existence of Jesus. And additionally it's more parsimonious than the historical Jesus position because it doesn't propose the existence of the unnecessary entity "Jesus" (or whatever his name was.)

So, merely from that basis it's both more probable and more parsimonious. You're free to disagree but that will require actually grappling with the argument, not just pretending it hasn't been made.

Let's start with the fact that unlike most CCoI idiots today, early Christians were well aware of the fact that Jesus was a Jew.

Again I don't see how that demonstrates the veracity of the Gospels. Can you elaborate?

There are such better and more obvious things to make up than a savior who doesn't save, a messiah that isn't a messiah, a king that doesn't rule.

But Christians don't believe in "a savior who doesn't save, a messiah that isn't a messiah, a king that doesn't rule." They believe that Jesus did save, that he was the messiah, that he was the King of Kings. And the Jesus that they made up was all of those things; the Gospels say so.

It's Jews who don't believe that stuff, but Jesus isn't the considered the messiah of Jews, he's considered the messiah of Christians. All that indicates is that Jesus wasn't invented by Jews for Jewish purposes, he was invented by Christians for Christian purposes. Proving that Jews didn't invent Jesus doesn't prove that nobody invented Jesus or that Jesus was historically real. You seem to be under the misapprehension that it does but it's completely unrelated to that.

No one has argued that the lack of records shows us that there may have been a Jesus execution record.

I've not asserted that anybody has. PaulK has attempted to assert that the lack of Jesus execution records is insignificant, but he's wrong in that view as I've demonstrated.

But it's not a coincidence. The records are all linked.

Well, ok. That's something you and PaulK clearly disagree about. You believe that somebody or some thing specifically expunged Judean execution records.

Well, ok. What's the evidence for that view beyond the fact that the records are gone? And, I'd just like to point out, a Judea-specific or execution-specific redaction or purge of Roman records is one more unnecessary entity that the "historical Jesus" position proposes, and the "mythical Jesus" position does not. Ergo that's another example where my position is more parsimonious than yours.

What nonsense. LotR is clearly a work of fiction because an historical setting for it has never been demonstrated to exist.

You're right. And Christianity is clearly a work of fiction because its main character has never been demonstrated to exist.

The historical Jesus, however, fits perfectly into an established historical setting.

So do James Bond and Romeo and Juliet. Verona, Italy is a real place, Jon. I've been there! I've been to James Bond's Great Britain as well. Yet that provides no veracity to either Shakespeare's greatest romantics or the world's sexiest secret agent.

The presence of a real historical setting in a work of fiction is nothing more than tradecraft. It's nothing but an indication that the storyteller wants a claim to authenticity. It doesn't present a requirement that we provide it.

A refutation that, ironically, appears as invisible and undetectable as your mythical Jesus.

Not at all undetectable. You read it, quoted it, and were unable to rebut it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 242 by Jon, posted 05-31-2011 2:03 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 254 by Jon, posted 05-31-2011 3:45 PM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 252 of 560 (617878)
05-31-2011 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 249 by PaulK
05-31-2011 2:55 PM


Re: Execution records
The fact that Christians got those things right proves that they didn't get everything wrong.

I never said that they got everything wrong or that if they did, that would be proof of the non-existence of Jesus.

My contention - and please pay attention to it this time - is that getting some things right doesn't lend them any veracity. It's the most common thing in the world for works of fiction to contain elements of truth. Many of Shakespeare's plays refer to real places. It's possible to go to nearly every location in the James Bond books because those are real places. But they lend no veracity to the inventions of either Shakespeare or Ian Fleming.

All that it indicates is good storytelling.

If they were making Jesus up and wanted to have the Jews kill him, then they can have the Jews kill him. No need to say that the Romans killed him, but really the Jews were to blame - no, really, honest guv! Obviously something constrained them to stick with a Roman execution.

Maybe that Jews don't crucify people? Wouldn't that be even more unrealistic?

And isn't it possible that all the "blame the Jews" stuff is a later invention by Christians who really did want to blame Jews? We know that things were added and subtracted from the Gospels.

Which means that part of the story, at least, was fixed prior to the Gospels.

But that doesn't lend veracity to the story. Not in any way. For all you know, the Gospels adapt, to blame the Jews, a story that was already widely known that blamed the Romans. Certainly the Gospels present a kind of "forget what you heard, here's the real story" kind of tone.

You haven't demonstrated anything of the sort.

Jesus, Paul, it's been in all these posts you keep replying to!

Well make your mind up !

I did. I've never contended that your argument was anything but wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 249 by PaulK, posted 05-31-2011 2:55 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 275 by PaulK, posted 05-31-2011 7:33 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 253 of 560 (617885)
05-31-2011 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 250 by Jon
05-31-2011 2:58 PM


Re: Consequentially Jesus
You go through all this trouble to misrepresent me and then quote something of mine that clearly demonstrates that I do not hold to the view that you say I hold to.

I've not gone to any trouble to misrepresent you, and again, if I've done so unintentionally then by all means, please explain how I've misinterpreted your remarks. It's my utmost desire to correctly understand your argument not flail about with straw-men. That doesn't do either of us any good.

Please - I'm doing you the courtesy of trying to put forth my arguments as clearly as I can, and correct your misunderstandings where they arise. It would be nice for you to return the favor, not simply construe my mistakes and subsequent efforts to rectify them as bad-faith efforts to mislead.

Jesus was most certainly believed to be the Messiah by his followers. Jesus' followers viewed him as the Messiah.

That's certainly the case. So what's the relevance of the fact that Jews don't think he's the messiah, if Christians do? Doesn't it make sense that Christians would invent a messiah for Christians and not for Jews?

Never made such a claim. Were you any other member, I might believe your misrepresentation to be an honest mistake, but knowing you, Crash, I'm rather convinced you're just being a troll.

Oh, I see. So this is actually personal for you.

In point of fact, Jon, you don't know me, you don't know anything at all about me, and if my protestations of innocence can only convince you that I'm even more guilty than I submit that you're not here to pursue a rational discussion, but to pursue a personal vendetta. I get it - I'm the big fish around here, sometimes, and people think I'd make a good trophy.

Smarter men than you have tried and failed, Jon. Regardless, thank you for finally admitting what this is all about.

Whatever, it's been mentioned over and over and over again.

You're right. Over and over and over and over, "historical Jesus" proponents keep talking about all the evidence they've presented.

Only one problem: they never present any of it. They just say they're about to, and then say that they did. It's really very astounding.

Sorry, Crash, but you cannot use the spread of modern religious movements as a standard for interpreting the spread of past ones.

Why? They're not different.

What's more, the nature of the early Christian movement predicts that no such records will be found.

Well, no. A prediction is what you do when, before something happens, you state that it will happen. What you're doing - what "historical Jesus" proponents are doing when they try to explain why there are no contemporary records of the life of Jesus - is a post-hoc rationalization of a fact that is disconfirming to the "historical Jesus" hypothesis.

It's certainly the case that Christians have, in the past, either believed that contemporary historical records existed, or believed that they would certainly be found. So it's hardly a "prediction" from Christianity that there would be no records - indeed, Christians frequently hold up this or that as a contemporary record of Jesus. For instance, the James Ossuary which was widely celebrated as a contemporary record of Jesus and his family until it was revealed to be a complete forgery. Contrary to your statement what Christians actually predict is that we should be hip-deep in relics, records, and other contemporary evidence for Jesus. Indeed the majority of them believe we already are!

Perhaps if you can show how early Christian beliefs and practices might have developed in the absence of an historical Jesus, then we can address your argument.

By the same way that they developed in the presence of the historical Jesus you're defending, the one about whom almost nothing in the Gospels and epistles accurately recounts: complete and utter invention.

I mean, you either have a historical Jesus about whom nearly everything Christians believe is a fabrication, or you have a mythical Jesus about whom everything Christians believe is a fabrication. In either case, the explanation for the development of early Christian beliefs and practices is identical: invention.

You need to explain the facts with an hypothesis that doesn't involve an historical Jesus.

I have - it's the "mythical Jesus" position that I've been advocating.

Until you do this, however, your repeated assertion that there was no Jesus is not an explanation. And it never can be because it consists of nothing

It hardly consists of "nothing." It consists of everything that is in the "historical Jesus" explanation, minus a historical Jesus.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 250 by Jon, posted 05-31-2011 2:58 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 256 by Jon, posted 05-31-2011 3:56 PM crashfrog has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 254 of 560 (617897)
05-31-2011 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 251 by crashfrog
05-31-2011 2:59 PM


Re: Execution records
We have evidence for an early Christian church sometime in the mid-first century. We don't have anything before that for a "early Jewish sect of Jesus followers."

You should familiarize yourself with some of the historical documents in play here. For example, if you read the letters of Paul, you will see repeated mention to the Jewish origin of the Jesus movement. Top this off with the fact that Jesus is referred to as the Messiah—a title used by Jews to describe some of their kings and the hoped-for future ruler of Judea—and the case is pretty solid: the Jesus movement was first and foremost Jewish.

Why else would Paul imply Jesus to be a Jew? It certainly didn't make his conversion processes go any smoother, a fact he was well aware of.

This seems like evidence against Jesus as the leader of a "early Jewish sect of Jesus followers" since why would they follow him if they didn't meet any criteria of the Jewish messiah?

Because they believed he was the Messiah. How many times must this be repeated? His followers gathered around him hoping he would deliver on their beliefs of his messiahship and overthrow the Romans and re-establish Jewish rule in Palestine.

They can believe he is the Messiah well before he actually performs any messianic functions, just like parents can believe their children are presidential material well before they are even eligible to run for that office. This really isn't too difficult.

As I explained, the "mythical Jesus" position explains more than the historic Jesus position: it explains why there's a Christianity, why it spread and grew in a way consistent with other observed examples of religions based on fictional individuals, why Jews don't recognize him as the Jewish messiah, and why there's no evidence for the historical existence of Jesus. And additionally it's more parsimonious than the historical Jesus position because it doesn't propose the existence of the unnecessary entity "Jesus" (or whatever his name was.)

Again, it explains nothing. Your explanation does not offer up anything at all. Nothing. You do not propose an origin for the early Christian beliefs and practices. You do not propose an origin for the early Christian stories. You simply say that such and such wasn't real; and this cannot ever explain anything because it is, by definition, void of content.

You have nothing because you are making an argument for nothing. It really is that simple.

But Christians don't believe in "a savior who doesn't save, a messiah that isn't a messiah, a king that doesn't rule." They believe that Jesus did save, that he was the messiah, that he was the King of Kings. And the Jesus that they made up was all of those things; the Gospels say so.

It's Jews who don't believe that stuff, but Jesus isn't the considered the messiah of Jews, he's considered the messiah of Christians. All that indicates is that Jesus wasn't invented by Jews for Jewish purposes, he was invented by Christians for Christian purposes. Proving that Jews didn't invent Jesus doesn't prove that nobody invented Jesus or that Jesus was historically real. You seem to be under the misapprehension that it does but it's completely unrelated to that.

You need to learn more about the religious environment in first century Palestine. Your claims here reek or ignorance; they just downright stink.

PaulK has attempted to assert that the lack of Jesus execution records is insignificant, but he's wrong in that view as I've demonstrated.

No he's not, and no you haven't. Stop being a troll.

You believe that somebody or some thing specifically expunged Judean execution records.

No I don't, and I never said I did. But this is all irrelevant, so there's little reason to go further on the matter.

And, I'd just like to point out, a Judea-specific or execution-specific redaction or purge of Roman records is one more unnecessary entity that the "historical Jesus" position proposes,

It doesn't propose such a thing. If it did, all of the historicists in this thread would be claiming it. They aren't; it is neither important nor relevant to the Historical Jesus hypothesis. So just stop misrepresenting people and get on with presenting your argument already.

You're right. And Christianity is clearly a work of fiction because its main character has never been demonstrated to exist.

Good thing I never said that. Too bad you don't understand what an historical setting is.

So do James Bond and Romeo and Juliet. Verona, Italy is a real place, Jon. I've been there! I've been to James Bond's Great Britain as well. Yet that provides no veracity to either Shakespeare's greatest romantics or the world's sexiest secret agent.

The presence of a real historical setting in a work of fiction is nothing more than tradecraft. It's nothing but an indication that the storyteller wants a claim to authenticity. It doesn't present a requirement that we provide it.

These things are all irrelevant. They merely tell us that we must look at other things to determine historical reliability of the claims. And this is why no one has argued that the fact that some of the gospels got some things right is evidence of an historical Jesus.

Not at all undetectable. You read it, quoted it, and were unable to rebut it.

Your hypothesis proposes nothing. Thus, it can explain nothing.

Put some meat into the thing and then we can work on eating it. But none of us have come to the restaurant to stare at your empty plates.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 251 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 2:59 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 257 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2011 4:00 PM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 262 by Theodoric, posted 05-31-2011 4:12 PM Jon has responded

Modulous
Member (Idle past 442 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 255 of 560 (617901)
05-31-2011 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 235 by Jazzns
05-31-2011 11:30 AM


Re: What are we trying to show here?
Well, maybe we should be more specific. I mainly consider the gospels to be the books that are relevant to this discussion. It was my understanding that scholars believe that Mark was first, Matthew and Luke derived from Mark + Q and perhaps a document of parables. I can't recall of the top of my head what I remember about John but I do remember some discussion about it also being derived.

That seems to be about right. So something that appears in both Mark and Q (and/or John, which is sometimes considered independent I believe - though less reliable for many reasons) can be said to be multiple attestation from independent sources.

What do you mean when you said, "not the consensus view of scholars"? Are you talking about other books of the NT?

The five gospels and Paul are thought to represent more than a single source.

Hardly a nugget is right. Should we not be skeptical of someone who outright admits never to have met a historical Jesus?

It seems like a plausible claim - why would be skeptical of it? Of course, we should treat secondary sources as secondary sources, but I'm not presenting Paul as a primary source so I'm not sure why you stress this. Yes we should be skeptical. Our conclusions remain tentative etc etc.

I sense that I very well could be missing something here but I don't see how Paul is a very good source for a historical Jesus at all.

I'm not suggesting he's a very good source for a historical Jesus, just that he is a source for a historical Jesus.

I am curious about this part. What sources are those?

The five Gospels and Paul.

Who contemporary to Jesus writes about him counter to his agenda?

Nobody whose writings survive and have been found.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by Jazzns, posted 05-31-2011 11:30 AM Jazzns has not yet responded

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