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Author Topic:   Did Jesus Exist? by Bart Ehrman
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1364
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 76 of 121 (848607)
02-12-2019 12:46 AM


My post 1664, in another thread, is vindicated?
See post 1664 and my Cambridge quote, plus my comments on the Jesus Family Dynasty.

https://www.evcforum.net/dm.php?control=page&t=19733&mpp=...

How is it vindicated as decent evidence for a historic Jesus?

Robert M. Price, himself, concluded a 20 page review of the issue in his 2011 book, by suggesting the "Caliphate of James" is a pretty powerful force to deal with.

quote:

THE CHRIST-MYTH THEORY AND ITS PROBLEMS
Robert Price
(2011, American Atheist Press Cranford, New Jersey)
p.351

And yet I must say I find the possible parallel to the case of Hong Xiuquan, the Taiping Messiah, the Younger Son of God, to be, almost by itself, proof that James being "the Lord's brother" need not prove a recent historical Jesus. We know it didn't in the one case, so we cannot be sure it did in the other. And the option of James' connection to a historical Jesus being a fictive link (like that of the twelve tribes to Jacob) seems to me by itself sufficient to obviate the whole problem.

And yet others may find none of the available options satisfactory. I should be quite willing to admit that the reconstruction of the Caliphate of James remains the strongest evidence that Jesus was not a mythic character subsequently historicized.

What I will not say is that it is the Achilles' Heel of the Christ-Myth theory. I do not grant that it is fatal to the theory.

Remember, we are not fundamentalists trying to settle arguments with authoritative prooftexts. Instead, we are scientific students of scripture, seeking to shape an interpretive paradigm and to lay it over the text to try it on for size.

If there are numerous points where the paradigm strikingly illuminates the data, the paradigm is not overthrown by the stubborn persistence of bits of anomalous data. The history of the progression of explanatory paradigms in science would rather suggest that sooner or later someone will come along who can expand a useful paradigm, making room for the hitherto-ill-fitting data alongside the rest.*

What we must guard against is a hell-bent adherence to a hobbyhorse of a theory. We must maintain only a tentative and provisional acceptance of any proposed paradigm (including the Christ Myth theory) until something better, maybe a better version of it, comes along. We only want to know what happened, not to know that a certain thing happened — or didn't.


Theodoric will likely keep up with his deceptive tactics (though in his defense, he seems to have little interest in the actual details, and he might have always been that way, despite his claimed "interest" in evidence), but those interested should not be decieved.

Price said this in the same work

quote:

pp.334-335

The hypothesis of a Caliphate of James is itself not lacking in radical implications, as witness the work of Robert Eisenman. But it functions as a thorn in the flesh for the Christ Myth theory, since the Christ Myth Jesus admits of no historical entanglements.

James the Just places Christ Myth theorists in a situation ironically quite similar to that of the Roman Catholics who used to agonize over James' relationship to Jesus on the one hand, and his possible identification, on the other, with James son of Zebedee or James of Alphaeus among the Twelve. Since Roman Catholic dogma affirmed the perpetual virginity of Mary, she can have had no other children, Mark 6:3's list notwithstanding. So who must these people be?

One theory (proposed by Helvidius) made these siblings the children of widower Joseph who had married young Mary simply for the sake of legal appearances, the result being that James and the rest were Jesus‟ step brothers and sisters, like the brothers and sisters on The Brady Bunch.

Another theory (that of Epiphanius) made them the half brothers and sisters of Jesus, Jesus being the son of Mary and the Spirit, while James and the others were the offspring of Joseph and Mary.

Finally, yet another schema (Jerome's) makes the "brothers and sisters" cousins.

At least the first and third, if not all three, are obviously desperate expedients, harmonizations begotten of the incongruity between the plain sense of New Testament texts and a theory imposed upon them. I say that the same texts pose the same problem and create the same embarrassment for the Christ Myth theory, which is likewise obliged to deny that Jesus had genuine siblings, though for a completely different reason. When I find myself considering the relative merits of harmonization strategies, I know I am in familiar territory. I spent a lot of time there as a fundamentalist and an apologist. I do not like the place and do not want to be there.


quote:

pp.331-332

The most powerful argument against the Christ-Myth theory, in my judgment, is the plausibility of what Ethelbert Stauffer called "the Caliphate of James." It is not merely that Galatians 1:19 refers to "James the Lord's brother," though that is powerful evidence that Jesus was a recent historical figure. It is not just that Mark 6:3 lists James and three more brothers and at least two sisters of a historical Jesus. One can also assemble divers hints from Galatians, Acts chapters 15 and 21, and the Pseudo-Clementines to imply that James was viewed in some manner as Jesus' vicar or vice-regent on earth, a successor to a deceased or occulted Messiah. Accordingly, the various gospel texts that seem to be taking trouble to show the brothers of the Lord in either favorable or unfavorable light would appear to be polemical shots between one leadership faction (the Pillars* or Heirs of Jesus) and another (the Twelve)


Price speaks of historians looking at a "Principle of Analogy, seeking historical parallels" to determine if the ancient texts' described situation is parallel to stories and situations legendary in nature or based on similar documented historical situations.

He says:

quote:

And with regard to the historical Jesus question, we cannot overlook a very powerful analogy of the latter sort at this point: the succession dispute we seem to glimpse in the New Testament between the Companions of Jesus (his ostensible disciples) and the Pillars, or relatives of Jesus (Ali‟s immediate kin were also called the Pillars) seems to ring true as a plausible historical scenario. And such a scenario presupposes a historical founder who has died or disappeared.

I should also add that this is a pre 70 A.D. piece of evidence.

Hegesippus was born around 110(?) A.D., and wrote 150-180.

He lived, perhaps during the time the "Caliphate" of Jesus Family Bishops of Jerusalem (or just a few years later?), and he wrote of them.

(Additionally, there is more than one piece of disputed, non-Christian, first century evidence surrounding a "James,son of Jospeh, brother of Jesus" or "brother of Jesus, called Christ" textual attestation)

This is evidence, just like the Paul's texts are evidence.

(The more likely reading of all of the textual evidence seems to indicate Jesus existed as a man, and one that was not born of a virgin)

Jesus Mythers have been forced to present a case for the unlikely interpretations (readings, definitions, meanings) of the early textual evidence.

(NOTE that Price's journal has Ethelbert Stauffer, "The Caliphate of James." Trans. by Darrell J. Doughty. Journal of Higher Criticism 4/2 (Fall 1997), pp. 120-143. It might be able to be read online, I need to check. Anybody remotely interested in the actual evidence must check)

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.


    
Pressie
Member
Posts: 1998
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 3.7


(3)
Message 77 of 121 (848613)
02-12-2019 7:23 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by LamarkNewAge
02-11-2019 8:29 PM


Re: Will Jesus Mythers be forced to drop the arguments from Paul (and do a total reboot)?
Your Gish gallops won't convince anyone with a working brain.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-11-2019 8:29 PM LamarkNewAge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-12-2019 7:27 AM Pressie has responded
 Message 80 by Theodoric, posted 02-12-2019 8:23 AM Pressie has not yet responded
 Message 82 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-13-2019 9:44 PM Pressie has not yet responded

    
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1364
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 78 of 121 (848614)
02-12-2019 7:27 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Pressie
02-12-2019 7:23 AM


Re: Will Jesus Mythers be forced to drop the arguments from Paul (and do a total reboot)?
We need a rule that posters need to demonstrate some knowledge of the issue they post on.

There has been nothing in the way of any substance, in the replies to my posts.

I even showed documented proof that 1( of the 3) leading Jesus Myther, said there is powerful evidence for the existence of Jesus. (in 2011 anyway)

Prove my last sentence wrong ANYBODY.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Pressie, posted 02-12-2019 7:23 AM Pressie has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Pressie, posted 02-12-2019 7:32 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

    
Pressie
Member
Posts: 1998
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 3.7


(2)
Message 79 of 121 (848615)
02-12-2019 7:32 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by LamarkNewAge
02-12-2019 7:27 AM


Re: Will Jesus Mythers be forced to drop the arguments from Paul (and do a total reboot)?
lamarkNewAge writes:

We need a rule that posters need to demonstrate some knowledge of the issue they post on.
There has been nothing in the way of any substance, in the replies to my posts.

I even showed documented proof that 1( of the 3) leading Jesus Myther, said there is powerful evidence for the existence of Jesus. (in 2011 anyway)

The rule should be that nobody is allowed to be posting Gish gallops.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-12-2019 7:27 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5911
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 80 of 121 (848619)
02-12-2019 8:23 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Pressie
02-12-2019 7:23 AM


Re: Will Jesus Mythers be forced to drop the arguments from Paul (and do a total reboot)?
The amazing thing to me, is the idea and presentation of the argument that the bible is self proving. If there are multiple mentions in the bible then that is treated as multiple attestations of evidence.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Pressie, posted 02-12-2019 7:23 AM Pressie has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-12-2019 6:49 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1364
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 81 of 121 (848666)
02-12-2019 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by Theodoric
02-12-2019 8:23 AM


Re: Will Jesus Mythers be forced to drop the arguments from Paul (and do a total reboot)?
quote:

The amazing thing to me, is the idea and presentation of the argument that the bible is self proving. If there are multiple mentions in the bible then that is treated as multiple attestations of evidence.

Take that up with one of the leading lights of the Christ Myther school (Robert Price).

I am awaiting a reply to his "powerful" evidence admission.

(The Gospel of Thomas was not mentioned by Price, but do you consider that to be "the bible". It has Jesus saying that people should go to James the Just for answers. But the question posed to Jesus was who would be the leader of the community after he was gone)

(I still feel that getting some real answer, on anything of substance, from ANYBODY on this thread will be bordering on the miraculous. An actual response, without the mention of Duane Gish, would be nice.)

And Price does (or did, since we are talking 2011) not see the "Biblical" documents as monolithic (especially when considering the earlier letters of Paul)

Here is his work I have been quoting.

quote:

P.298
22.a. True relatives (Mark 3:20b-21, 31-35) Mark 3:20b. And the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, "He is beside himself." […] 31. And his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you." 33. And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" 34. And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother."

The story can be so readily understood as factional polemic aimed at the Heirs or Pillars in a succession dispute (which would, needless to say, be grossly anachronistic for the historical Jesus) that we would require some good reason to deem it anything else. 22.b. Hating father and mother (Luke 14:25-26/Matthew 10:37/Thomas 55, 101) Luke 14:25.


(And just when did Gish or Hovind get a quote of evolution-believing scientists saying that there was "powerful" evidence for Creationism? Forget the galloping quotations, just show me one example. Just one. ONE.)

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Theodoric, posted 02-12-2019 8:23 AM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1364
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 82 of 121 (848698)
02-13-2019 9:44 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Pressie
02-12-2019 7:23 AM


The Legions need to understand the historical methodology (before making claims).
quote:

Your Gish gallops won't convince anyone with a working brain.

Do you care to offer any parallel examples of Duane Gish's techniques?

(spend some time on demonstrating how Gish went about things, since you brought him and his practices up)

You like to make claims.

(I simply quoted Price - a very fertile author - who is, in my opinion, the "idea machine", among the small school of Jesus Mythers)

You did not respond to his historical methodology either.

Let me quote it again (for you to ignore).

quote:

pp.333-334

As historians of ancient religion trying to figure out just what
went on in early Christianity, we work by the Principle of Analo¬
gy, seeking historical parallels to either reported ancient claims or
modern reconstructions based on ancient evidence. If an ancient
account bears no analogy to experiences observed and verified
today, but is analogous to what all today agree are legends, then
we class the account among the latter, not the former. And if we
must reconstruct what happened in some situation, our hypothesis
will be deemed the more probable insofar as we can find actual,

documented cases analogous to the reconstruction we are posit¬
ing. And with regard to the historical Jesus question, we cannot
overlook a very powerful analogy of the latter sort at this point:
the succession dispute we seem to glimpse in the New Testament
between the Companions of Jesus (his ostensible disciples) and
the Pillars, or relatives of Jesus (Ali’s immediate kin were also
called the Pillars) seems to ring true as a plausible historical sce¬
nario. And such a scenario presupposes a historical founder who
has died or disappeared.

The hypothesis of a Caliphate of James is itself not lacking
in radical implications, as witness the work of Robert Eisenman. 1
But it functions as a thorn in the flesh for the Christ Myth theory,
since the Christ Myth Jesus admits of no historical entanglements.


There were notes on the bottom of page 333, between 333 and 334.

Price knows that the "earlier" letters of Paul present James in a very different light than the later Gospels.

(I believe Price now questions the existence of Paul, so his 2011 text could be outdated. I think he wrote a book attacking the idea of a historical Paul, called something like The Incredible Shrinking Apostle, but I need to study the issue)

quote:

And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your
brothers are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and
my brothers?’ And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, ‘Here are
my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and
sister, and mother’.” John 7:5, “For even his brothers did not believe in him.”

* Galatians 2:9, “James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to
be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should
go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.”


You just can't handle sound historical methodology, can you?

(I hope you engage the evidence eventually, otherwise the debate is never going to actually happen)

quote:

pp.339-342

It is the Lord who spoke with me: “See now the completion of my re¬
demption. I have given you a sign of these things, James, my brother.
For not without reason have I called you my brother, although you are
not my brother materially.” (1 Apocalypse of James 24:10-16) 1

I must admit, though, that the phrase “although you are not my brother
materially” might sound like an attempt to discount a prior tradition
whereby James and Jesus were blood brothers. The point of this text
might be to affirm that James was not merely hanging on the coattails
of his famous brother, but that he deserved his prominence on account
of his own holiness. The Caliph Ali had the same problem to deal
with. His partisans held that the office of Caliph ought to have been
kept within the Prophetic bloodline, but his opponents said there is no
such thing as a Prophetic bloodline. One does not inherit spirituality or
spiritual authority, as it is of God, not of the flesh. Thus Ali’s support¬
ers were obliged to point to the spiritual virtues of their Imam to show
he would make a good Caliph in any case. It is easy to imagine the
same in the case of James: physical relation, initially a strategic boon,
eventually proved insufficient, so James’ followers might have shifted
the emphasis, redefining “brother of the Lord.” We may even see this
process in motion in a pair of passages from 2 Apocalypse of James:

Once when I was sitting deliberating, [he] opened [the] door. That
one whom you hated and persecuted came in to me. He said to me,
“Hail, my brother; my brother, hail.” As I raised my [ face ] to stare
at him, (my) mother said to me, “Do not be frightened, my son, be¬
cause he said, ‘My brother’ to you. For you [both] were nourished
with the same milk. Because of this he calls me, ‘My mother.’ For
he is not a stranger to us. He is your [half-brother...].” Jesus said to
James, “Your father is not my father, but my father has become a
father to you.” (2 Apocalypse of James 50:6-23; 51:19-22) t

First we have the half-brother solution to the conundrum of Mary
having other children. Jesus and James share Mary as their moth¬
er. This implies a physical Jesus and a physical James. But a bit
later Jesus tells James that he deserves to be called his brother (at
least that seems to be the point) because, though they do not share
a common earthly father, they are equally sons of a Heavenly Fa¬
ther. Again, there is a mitigation of their fraternal link, a tendency
to redefine it, presupposing a prior literalistic understanding. And,
sure enough, the passage appears to be based upon the following,
better known, scene from the Gospel according to the Hebrews:

Now the Lord, when he had given the linen cloth to the servant of the
priest, went to James and appeared to him, for James had sworn that he
would not eat bread from that hour wherein he had drunk the Lord’s cup
until he should see him risen again from among those who sleep. And
he said to him, “Hail!” And he called to the servants, who were greatly
amazed. “Bring,” said the Lord, “a table and bread.” He took bread and
blessed and broke and gave it to James the Just and said to him, “My
brother, eat your bread, for the man has risen from those who sleep.” 8

The 2 Apocalypse of James passage implies the Jesus-James en¬
counter follows the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus, mentioned

in the immediate context, and that James is startled at seeing Jesus
because the last he knew, Jesus was dead. Likewise, we may won¬
der if his “deliberation” was not over what to do next, now that his
world had come crashing down. The passage has been rewritten as a
gloss upon the Gospel according to the Hebrews’ note that the Risen
Jesus addressed James as “my brother.” Mary explains the relation¬
ship of the two “brothers” in a manner acceptable to later dogma.

But it seems possible to trace a change in the meaning of these
terms in the opposite way, too! Richard Bauckham detects certain
polemical innuendoes that may possess wider implications than he
means to suggest. “James is also called ‘our Lord’s brother accord¬
ing to the flesh’ in Didascalia 24... ( cf. Ap[ostolic] Const[itutions]
8:35:1: ‘the brother of Christ according to the flesh’... In [such]
phrases ‘according to the flesh’ designates the realm of merely
physical relationships, by contrast with relationships ‘according to
the Spirit’ (cf Rom 1:3-4; Gal 3:23, 29; Philem 16). So, whereas
‘the Lord’s brother’ might indicate a special relationship with Je¬
sus not shared by other Christian leaders, ‘the Lord’s brother ac¬
cording to the flesh ’ relativizes that relationship as only a natural
relationship.”*

Let me make clear that I am going well beyond the
point Bauckham means to make, but it occurs to me that the same
logic might imply something quite different: might an attempt to
highlight the physicality of the fraternal relation to Jesus denote an
orthodox apologetical attempt to concretize an originally spiritual
fraternity with Jesus into a blood relation? The attempt would be
exactly analogous to that discerned in the Synoptic resurrection nar¬
ratives’ stress on the physical tangibility of the risen body of Jesus:
to defeat and co-opt Gnostic theologoumena. I readily admit that
texts which try to “clarify” for the reader that, despite appearances,
the fraternity of Jesus and James is only spiritual and abstract are
naturally (though not inevitably) read as “docetizing” an originally

physical conception that needs to be reconceived for a Gnostic con¬
text. But here we may see evidence of the opposite tendency. And
then it is pretty much up for grabs which tendency (and therefore
which conception of James’ brotherhood with Jesus) was first.

Big Brother Is Watching You

G. A Wells, following J.M. Robertson, has long held that James
as “the brother of the Lord” might simply denote his role as a lead¬
ing missionary, since there are indications in the New Testament
that such traveling preachers were called “brothers” or even “the
Lord’s brethren.”* The famous depiction of the Final Judgment in
Matthew 25:31-46* focuses on the class of Christian missionaries


I feel that attempts to present James as something other than a literal brother (in Paul or the Gospels) are very strained, since the plain reading is close to 100% clear.

Price knows that plain reading of the Biblical texts would be understood today if not for Catholic/Orthodox propaganda.

Price know this is a major problem for the Jesus Myther theory. But he considers this "powerful evidence" anomalous to a theory which, in his estimation, has strong evidence on all the other counts.

(the Jesus Myther evidence rests on the reading of Paul's extant texts, which completely lack the details in the Gospel narratives)

Again, understand the Jesus Myther school's arguments.

We can't begin to get anywhere towards an actual debate one the issue of Jesus's existence otherwise.

quote:

352

Does the Christ Myth Theory Require
an Early Date for the Pauline Epistles?

Epistles versus Gospels

One of the pillar arguments of the Christ Myth Theory as usually
put forth today is the absence from the Pauline Epistles of any gospel-
like teaching ascribed to Jesus. If the gospels’ Jesus Christ, Jesus of
Nazareth, the itinerant sage and thaumaturge, was well known, at least
among Christians, it would stand to reason that such a Jesus would
meet us throughout the apostolic letters by way of quotations and an¬
ecdotes. But we find no such material. Suddenly, however, such a Je¬
sus portrait appears in the gospels, written after the epistles, and the
explanation for this discrepancy, according to Mythicists, is that, be¬
tween the composition of epistles on the one hand and gospels on the
other, the popular - Christian imagination (as well as the inventiveness
of Christian scribes) “historicized” the originally suprahistorical, spiri¬
tual (mythical) savior of whom Paul and the rest had earlier written so
much of a dogmatic, but none of an historical-biographical nature. For
various reasons it had become desirable in some quarters to posit a re¬
cent historical Jesus of Nazareth to whom one could trace oneself and
one’s institutional claims of authority. And in this window of time be¬
tween epistles and gospels, various unnamed prophets (and borrowers
and tail-tale-tellers) supplied the many things this Jesus would have,
must have, done and said. Such a figure had not existed as far as the
epistolarians knew, and so of course there was no such material with
which to lard their epistles. But now that the newly-minted material
was available, it found the epistle genre altogether too confining and
called for a more appropriate format, that of the Hellenistic hero or
saint biography, and so the gospels were born.

Parenthetically, it is worth pointing out that we possess two strik¬
ing analogies for the rapid generation of “filler” sayings and stories.

353

The Christ Myth Theory And Its Problems

Think of the imaginative fabrication of episodes of the child Jesus
preserved in the well-known apocryphal infancy gospels (attributed
to Thomas, Matthew, James, and others); as soon as Christians came
to believe that Jesus had not merely been adopted (as an adult) as
God’s Son, but that he had been bom divine, they went to work fill¬
ing in the imagined gap: what super-deeds must the divine child have
been doing during those years? Secondly, after the promulgation of
the Koran, a swelling flood of spurious hadith, stories of the words
and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, burst the levees of historical
probability to correct and supplement the teaching of scripture. It is
by no means far-fetched to suggest, then, that all the gospel stories of
a mortal Jesus walking the earth swiftly arose to fill the newly dis¬
cerned gap once such a Jesus was posited. It is no stretch to imagine
Christian scribes and prophets supplying what their new earthly Jesus
would have said, either. If it sounded good, Jesus said it.

This understanding of the epistles as preceding the gospels
grounds the arguments of the two greatest Christ Myth theorists
of our day, George A. Wells and Earl Doherty. Their views differ
significantly at many points, but they agree here. Let me quote the
venerable Wells.

It is generally agreed that the NT epistles addressed to the Romans,
Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and
Thessalonians were written before the gospels... These early
epistles exhibit such complete ignorance of the events which were
later recorded in the gospels as to suggest that these events were not
known to Paul or whoever it was who wrote the epistles.’

Doherty agrees:


I need to deal with the legions of internet folks who want to be Jesus Myther cheerleaders.

I am not so much offering evidence ("powerful" though - as Price admits - it is when a sound historical methodology is used), as trying to get the legions ( should I say The Legions) of internet followers up to speed on the actual issues.

The Legions want to say "There is no evidence for a historical Jesus", but they don't want to learn the details of the debate.

Educating The Legions is a task.

That is my first challenge.

(Forget the "powerful evidence" part that comes from the historical methods Jesus Mythers use)

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5911
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 83 of 121 (848713)
02-14-2019 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by LamarkNewAge
02-13-2019 9:44 PM


Re: The Legions need to understand the historical methodology (before making claims).
Kind of funny that someone actually used Duane Gish in a gallop. First time I have seen that.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-13-2019 9:44 PM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 16128
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 84 of 121 (848718)
02-14-2019 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by LamarkNewAge
02-13-2019 9:44 PM


Re: The Legions need to understand the historical methodology (before making claims).
LamrkNewAge writes:

I am not so much offering evidence ("powerful" though - as Price admits - it is when a sound historical methodology is used), as trying to get the legions ( should I say The Legions) of internet followers up to speed on the actual issues.


Maybe you're not the right person for the job.

But if you insist on continuing, why not start slooooooooowly? Instead of trying to bury us in an avalanche of text, pick a point and DISCUSS it.


And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-13-2019 9:44 PM LamarkNewAge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-14-2019 6:57 PM ringo has responded

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1364
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 85 of 121 (848782)
02-14-2019 6:57 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by ringo
02-14-2019 12:02 PM


Re: The Legions need to understand the historical methodology (before making claims).
quote:

Maybe you're not the right person for the job.
But if you insist on continuing, why not start slooooooooowly? Instead of trying to bury us in an avalanche of text, pick a point and DISCUSS it.

The "right person" is ANYBODY who has actually read a tiny bit of the actual Jesus Myther arguments.

The small amount I have read seems to be way beyond what the Jesus Myther cheerleaders have begun to look over. (I am thinking not only of the ones that can only mumble about Duane Gish, but The Legions, on the web, that can't contain their goose-pimples at just the thought of a Jesus Myther school, and it is just that kind of a "feel-good" kinda moment that STAYS JUST THAT BUT IS CONSTANTLY RE-LIVED while never leading to actual study of the issue in a critical way).

Where to start?

(since the important evidence gets ignored, perhaps I should ignore it like The Legions?)

(I think I might just do that, and I am not saying it is a good decision)

My new try:

This whole topic came about from one of Bart Ehrman's books.

He wrote two at close to the same time.

When Jesus Became God was written about the same time as the one caused this thread to start.

Ehrman talked about the fact that the man Jesus gradually evolved into a divine God from the beginning of eternity.

FIRST, he was a natural born man

SECOND, he was exalted into a type of Godhood (such as after his death or perhaps during the transfiguration)

THIRD, he was adopted (at the Baptism)

NEXT comes INCARNATIONAL Godhood. (virgin birth)

LASTLY, he was eternally (past, present future) God. He was that before he was born. Gopel of John second century (or slightly earlier in the late first) stuff.

That is Ehrman's chronology.

What about the Jesus Mythers? What do they say?

(Understand, The Legions fancy Myther views, but I am referring to the actual historians like Price, Doherty, etc.)

My answer is that I am not totally sure what they all say, and frankly, even if you confine "the viewpoint" (or The View) to a single individual Jesus Myther, the arguments are a constantly moving target. This is a new school and one in search of a solid theory (a bit more on that later).

I just quoted Robert M.Price.

We know that the Jesus Myther theory rests heavily on the Epistles of Paul, which have no knowledge, on Paul's part, of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and which can be read (when one explains away "born of a woman" and "brother" words, plus sees "human" and "crucified" as not reflecting a human life/lifetime in the Roman Empire) to indicate a Jesus that "lived" & "died" on a place outside earth and time, like the primeval dragon.

Jesus was some type of Titan (or whatever) from the start, according to the Mythers.

Paul had Jesus the (non earthly space/spiritual creature) Titan become exalted to God, I suppose (Philippians 2:6-11)?

But the Mythers see the Gospel of Mark as offering the first written evidence of the belief in an earthly Jesus, and it is one with an Adoptionist Christology (baptism adoption makes Jesus a God).

Next comes the Incarnational (virgin birth) stuff.

There is a Jesus Myther chronology that agrees with some of Ehrman's chronology.

Here is Robert M. Price

quote:

p.353

Think of the imaginative fabrication of episodes of the child Jesus
preserved in the well-known apocryphal infancy gospels (attributed
to Thomas, Matthew, James, and others); as soon as Christians came
to believe that Jesus had not merely been adopted (as an adult) as
God’s Son, but that he had been born divine, they went to work fill¬
ing in the imagined gap: what super-deeds must the divine child have
been doing during those years?


The Gospel of Luke also has infancy stories, and they are admitted, by all, to be late first century inventions.

(The Gospel also, ironically, has a fictional familial relationship between John The Baptist and Jesus)

Now the question will be whether the Jesus Mythers see their Jesus as "divine from the start" (as they seem to generally do so). If we say, "yes", then we would not be saying anything too-much contrary to their theories, because they seem to be saying Paul's Epistles indicate such (though the devil's details are in the chronology I suppose, and the Jesus Myther theories are a constantly moving target).

Again, the Jesus Mythers accept that between Paul and Mark, was a transition from Non Historical Jesus to a Historical Man Jesus, and Mark has an Adoptionist God-man Jesus.

The agreement with Ehrman's chronology certainly starts around the time (just before the writing of) of The Gospel of Mark.

70 A.D. on is general agreement (though Mythers try to play around with the dates of the Gospels and Paul's Epistles)

The debate seems to be based on what the evidence is from the texts in the decades before 70.

Ehrman is attacked (especially by The Legions) for saying Jesus simply existed as a real human being.

But (almost)none of Ehrman's critics, among The Legions, will deny that there were texts from around 70 AD that describe Jesus as an existing human. Everybody generally agrees with the post 70 AD evidence.

The disagreement is what was described before (and the - much debated - evidence will only exist as far back as a few decades before 70).

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by ringo, posted 02-14-2019 12:02 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by ringo, posted 02-15-2019 10:43 AM LamarkNewAge has responded

    
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1364
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 86 of 121 (848797)
02-15-2019 9:40 AM


This whole "Did Jesus exist" debate centers around when he became "God".
The Legions very clearly don't know that very fact(nobody who posted on this thread, Jon included, seems to actually get it, see posts 41-45/47 for very relevant proof of that).

This short post will just offer some notes of caution.

What came first, based simply on EXISTING TEXTS, is fraught with outright problems.

Jesus Mythers really have this problem when attempting to date texts from their mythological concordances (the pagan stories are hard enough to find and demonstrate at all, and I am not saying they aren't existing, just that finding and presenting them is a massively tough undertaking)

quote:

First, as Dr. Robert M. Price notes, “It is a fundamental
methodological error to assume that a phenomenon must
have arisen just shortly before its earliest attestation.”

http://robertmprice.mindvendor.com/JHC/jhcvol13no1_2018.pdf


(Price probably make this quote to support his theory of Christianity being a borrowing of Zoroastrian type of theology or something along those lines. He even sees baptism itself as originally coming from Zoroastrians!)

(I am applying it to the Christology concepts, which probably isn't going to please his theory, which places a heavy weight on Paul's letter's Christology having a major priority)

Ehrman is attacked, by The Legions, but he wrestles with the chronology of beliefs.

quote:

Bart (Ehrman)
December 14, 2015

By the time of Paul, the followers of Jesus were already saying that the messiah was a cosmic, supernatural being (the exalted Jesus); that’s what it meant for them to believe in the resurrection/exaltation of Jesus.

https://ehrmanblog.org/...stroyed-jesus-vision-of-the-future


quote:

I have read, pondered, researched, taught, and written about the writings of Paul for forty years, but until recently there was one key aspect of his theology that I could never quite get my mind around. I had the hardest time understanding how, exactly, he viewed Christ. Some aspects of Paul’s Christological teaching have been clear to me for decades – especially his teaching that it was Jesus’ death and resurrection that makes a person right with God, rather than following the dictates of the Jewish law. But who did Paul think Christ was exactly?

One reason for my perplexity was that Paul is highly allusive in what he says. He does not spell out, in systematic detail, what his views of Christ are. Another reason was that in some passages Paul seems to affirm a view of Christ that – until recently – I thought could not possibly be as early as Paul’s letters, which are our first Christian writings to survive. How could Paul embrace “higher” views of Christ than those found in later writings such as Matthew, Mark, and Luke? Didn’t Christology develop from a “low” Christology to a “high” Christology (using these terms that I am no longer fond of) over time? And if so, shouldn’t the views of the Synoptic Gospels be “higher” than the views of Paul? But they’re not! They are “lower.” And I simply did not get it, for the longest time.

But I get it now. It is not a question of higher or lower. The Synoptics simply accept a different Christological view from Paul’s. They hold to exaltation Christologies and Paul holds to an incarnation Christology. And that, in no small measure, is because Paul understood Christ to be an angel who became a human.

https://ehrmanblog.org/...stroyed-jesus-vision-of-the-future


The Philippians 2 text says Christ pre-existed (unpackaged the divinity), then came down to men, then was exalted to Godhood. If I remember correctly, but the devil is in the details.

Carrier admitted, in 2002, that early Christian texts are missing.

quote:

As the threat of death, prison, or dispossession was used to eliminate opponents, "disapproved" texts were collected and burned, or simply never copied and thus left to disintegrate, never to be read again. And thus, though we know there were radically variant sects even in Paul's day, we have not a single text from them.

....

Thus, if there is any true Holy Spirit, it was more likely inspiring the first believers, none of whose literature survives, and those souls who turned the other cheek to the "orthodoxy's" bullying and machinations rather than fight back. And so true Christianity could well have died a silent death.


The relevant chronological & DATE OF ORIGIN implications are obvious.

(THIS BELOW MIGHT BE SEEN AS IRRELEVANT TO MY POST,BUT BARE WITH ME)

Robert Price and the Jesus Mythers are forced to argue that Christianity BORROWED history & theology from pagans to justify a non-historic Jesus.

quote:

And this brings me to Bart’s lambasting my suggestion that the story of Jesus’ baptism might have been rewritten from that of the Persian prophet Zoroaster. Ehrman has two cheap shots to fire here. First, he complains that I can’t get my story straight, since elsewhere I claim all the gospel narratives were worked up from Old Testament originals. But I clearly state that there were other sources, too.

....

Second, he, like apologists, likes to seal off the sphere of biblical culture from the adjacent religious world. I can understand that bias on the part of conservatives who want to see Christianity flowing directly out of the Old Testament, without other tributaries, for theological reasons. But Bart allegedly no longer cares to defend such interests. Then why does he ignore the massive influence of Zoroastrianism on Pharisaic Judaism? Many scholars believe Jews derived belief in an end-time resurrection, the apocalyptic periodization of history, the notion of a virgin-born future savior, the idea of an evil anti-God, and an elaborate angelology from Zoroastrianism. The rabbis thought that Zoroaster was the same man as Baruch the scribe of Jeremiah! That means they were trying to legitimatize the Jewish assimilation of Zoroastrian themes during and after the Exile. T.W. Manson[8] suggested that the traditionalist Sadducees (“Syndics, Councilmen”) resisted these borrowings and labeled those who accepted them as “Pharisees” (i.e., “Parsees, Persians, Zoroastrians”) because of it. (Later the Pharisees redefined the term to make it a badge of honor: “Perushim” now denoting “Separatists, Puritans.” Am I such a nut for suggesting possible Zoroastrian influence on the baptism story?

What I have just mentioned is an example of synchronic comparison: tracing possible influence from one phenomenon to another close to it in time and space. Bart gives me hell for my invocation of the fact that Hong Xiuquan, the 19th-century Taiping messiah in China, called himself “the younger brother of Jesus” as a possible parallel to the use of “brother of the Lord” for James the Just. Across so many centuries? Far-fetched, right? How can Bart not recognize a diachronic comparison (a comparison of analogous phenomena across time)? As I say quite clearly, the Taiping messiah obviously could not have been claiming to be the blood brother of Jesus unless he was Mel Brooks’s character the 2,000 Year Old Man. No, he used the title to mean he was the earthly manifestation of another hypostasis of the Godhead, just as Jesus had been. Such a title need not at all imply its holder was the brother of a historical Jesus, either in the first century or the 19th. I don’t see what’s so funny about that.

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/...paradigm-policeman


The relevance to this Price post, to my post, is this:

Jesus Mythers seem to be seen (by The Legions) as offering "proof" that Jesus did not exist, when they find (or TRY to find POSSIBLE parallels) parallel stories in the pagan concordances. Actually, much of CURRENT New Testament scholarship admits that the Gospel stories are full of endless fictional (non-historic) content. Perhaps 99% is pure fiction (some mainstream-ish historians go that far anyway while numerous others come close). Mythers might require endless pagan parallels for THEIR theory to work, but mainstream historians have no beef with fictional Jesus history in the Gospels. The existence, of fictional history in the Gospels, deals no genuinely fatal blows to the idea that Jesus existed, really.

Jesus Mythers do a great service in their painstaking look at all possible pagan stories, but it ends up only being extremely limited (to put it kindly) in being ACTUAL PROOF that "Jesus did not exist as a human". The Legions don't understand that.

Plus, much (close to all) of the "evidence" is based on extremely late material.

(I can attest, as somebody who researched the issue, that Zoroastrian "Parallels", for example, are often super-late 10th century A.D. stuff, though the Gathas have some early stuff).

The Jesus Mythers have a much bigger problem in demonstrating their theories about Paul (especially when they need to - almost - literally airbrush out parts they don't like, and I am being slightly facetious), to which their ENTIRE "Jesus Did Not Exist" enterprise - quite definitely! - rises and falls based on their success.

(One always has bend over backwards to even make the Jesus Myther argument even possible. One must go ahead and grant the UNLIKELY idea that Josephus' Antiquities Book XX "brother of Jesus called Christ" was added into the text, for the Myther theory to even have a chance. One also has to ignore/mangle non-Gospel/Acts historical details in Paul's epistles to allow the Mythers to claim that there is "no chronology outside the Gospels/Acts of Apostles" to date the relative time of Jesus. Lots of unlikely hoods are required to even make the theory tenable)

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by caffeine, posted 02-15-2019 5:27 PM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 16128
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


(3)
Message 87 of 121 (848804)
02-15-2019 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by LamarkNewAge
02-14-2019 6:57 PM


Re: The Legions need to understand the historical methodology (before making claims).
LamarkNewAge writes:

The "right person" is ANYBODY who has actually read a tiny bit of the actual Jesus Myther arguments.


No. The "right person" is somebody who knows the meaning of the word "discuss". You make the same mistake in this post, galloping off in all directions.

Pick a point. State it simply. Then shut the @#$% up and let people respond to it. Then you can respond to their responses.


And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-14-2019 6:57 PM LamarkNewAge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Theodoric, posted 02-15-2019 10:59 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply
 Message 90 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-16-2019 1:07 AM ringo has responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5911
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 88 of 121 (848805)
02-15-2019 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by ringo
02-15-2019 10:43 AM


Re: The Legions need to understand the historical methodology (before making claims).
LMN has no desire to discuss. All they want to do is proselytize and evangelize.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by ringo, posted 02-15-2019 10:43 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply

    
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1591
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 89 of 121 (848812)
02-15-2019 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by LamarkNewAge
02-15-2019 9:40 AM


Re: This whole "Did Jesus exist" debate centers around when he became "God".
The problem, I think, is that you spend very little talking about what people say to you, and a lot of time talking about what you've read 'Jesus mythers' say.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-15-2019 9:40 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1364
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 90 of 121 (848826)
02-16-2019 1:07 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by ringo
02-15-2019 10:43 AM


Re: The Legions need to understand the historical methodology (before making claims).
quote:

Pick a point. State it simply.

My point is people were not even discussing the relevant issues in the debate.

(that is, up until my arrival, ushered in by Phat)

People were only debating circumstantial issues (and I am being kind to Jesus Myth-Supporters by presenting it in such mild terms).

(that is issues that are only important AFTER the Jesus Myth-Supporters actually have a circumstance built around a demonstration WITH evidence which would make their theory LIKELY TRUE first)

This whole Jesus Myther theory needs a debate around the important support for their theory.

The issue of Jesus being divine from the start is a requirement for the "Jesus never existed" crowd.

quote:

Bart (Ehrman)
December 14, 2015

By the time of Paul, the followers of Jesus were already saying that the messiah was a cosmic, supernatural being (the exalted Jesus); that’s what it meant for them to believe in the resurrection/exaltation of Jesus.

https://ehrmanblog.org/...stroyed-jesus-vision-of-the-future


Ehrman's quote might offer some (potential?) support for the Jesus Myther theory.

(It is a small opening anyway)

These are the issues that Jesus Myther supporters need to wrestle with if they want to make a case.

(The issue of trying to air-brushing away non-Christian historical evidence - like the Josephus, Ant. Book XX, reference to "brother of Jesus called Christ" - is admittedly a necessary requirement for the "Jesus did not exist" theory, though one wonders how this type of Myther special pleading can be presented as somehow a burden on mainstream historians since it is of small importance to the big historical picture EVEN IF THE SPECIAL PLEA IS GRANTED)

(I am at an even bigger loss as regards the big fuss people were making over the Nero reference in Tacitus. As well as the Pilate texts. This is so unimportant to mainstream historian's mountain of evidence for the Historical Jesus existing, that I wonder how people in this thread could keep a straight face and think Ehrman should care too much anyway about these petty issues. I admit that it is important to the Jesus Myther theory, but the "Jesus did not exist" crowd has so much work to do demonstrating their unlikely fringe theory that one wonders why so much time was spent on this one. I suppose it was the confusion, among everybody in this thread, that this is somehow something Ehrman should care about anyway, as his Historical Jesus theory doesn't even come close to needing the historical references to Pilate and Nero. It is evidence that could be fatal to the Jesus Myther theory, admitted.)

This discussion has just been totally wack.

Ehrman, no doubt, hopes (in the sense of "best wishes") the Mythers can actually make a decent case, but one can hardly see anything but confusion among the Myther's followers.

Ehrman gave the Jesus Myther crowd attention and some press, so they got respect.

The Mythers need to do a better job outlining what the important issues are to their followers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by ringo, posted 02-15-2019 10:43 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by ringo, posted 02-16-2019 10:50 AM LamarkNewAge has responded

    
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