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Author Topic:   Did Jesus die before he was born?
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2102 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 31 of 91 (47289)
07-24-2003 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Brian
07-24-2003 5:41 AM


No rush, Brian. I'm only curious, not demanding.
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2102 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 32 of 91 (47294)
07-24-2003 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Percy
07-24-2003 10:38 AM


One piece of evidence for this is that Bishop Irenaeus, despite his familiarity with 1 Corinthians, never mentions the passage in his defense against charges by the Marcion church that the resurrected Jesus had never been observed by any but Paul. The only explanation is that this passage was not present in the copy of 1 Corinthians available to the bishop.

I found the following by searching the first volume of the Ante-Nicene Fathers (http://www.ccel.org/fathers2) for "rose again according to the Scriptures." It is in Irenaeus' Against Heresies, book III, chapter 18, paragraph 3:

quote:
He was likewise preached by Paul: "For I delivered," he says, "unto you first of all, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures."(9) It is plain, then, that Paul knew no other Christ besides Him alone, who both suffered, and was buried, and rose gain, who was also born, and whom he speaks of as man.

Irenaeus also mentions the passage without quoting it, saying:

quote:
And again, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, when he had recounted all those who had seen God after the resurrection, he says in continuation, "But whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed," acknowledging as one and the same, the preaching of all those who saw God after the resurrection from the dead.

That's in the same book, chapter XIII, paragraph 1. The "whether it were I or they, so we preach" quote is from 1 Cor 15:11, right after our passage in question.

Looking at the passage, it seems to me that the Marcionites were saying only Paul had knowledge of the truth, not that only Paul had witnessed the resurrection. So that passage didn't have to be the focus of Irenaeus' attention, anyway. He begins instead with Paul's comment about James and Peter being apostles to the circumcision. Then he goes right to the above referenced quote.

I couldn't find any earlier references to 1 Cor 15, but there's only so many writings prior to Irenaeus' gigantic book. Only Justin's Apology and his Dialogue with Trypho are of any length prior to Irenaeus. (Well, maybe The Shepherd of Hermas, but that's unlikely to have Scripture quotes.) I also haven't checked the ANF's index of Scripture reference's, although I do doubt I'll find an earlier reference. Too unlikely.

Anyway, I guess I don't think it's an interpolation. It fits in pretty well with the whole topic Paul is introducing in 1 Cor 15.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Percy, posted 07-24-2003 10:38 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Percy, posted 07-24-2003 9:53 PM truthlover has responded

  
Theologian63
Inactive Member


Message 33 of 91 (47308)
07-24-2003 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Percy
07-14-2003 5:35 PM


Ignorance Abounds
Paul DID know Jesus. Who do you think talked to him on the road to Damascus? Later, he was trained by Jesus in the wilderness. "Ye do err not knowing the scriptures." If you are going to use the Bible to support your views, you should make sure it SUPPORTS your views.

------------------
"Thy word is truth"


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18247
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 34 of 91 (47318)
07-24-2003 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Theologian63
07-24-2003 2:37 PM


Re: Ignorance Abounds
Hi Theo! Welcome aboard!

Theologian63 writes:

Paul DID know Jesus. Who do you think talked to him on the road to Damascus? Later, he was trained by Jesus in the wilderness. "Ye do err not knowing the scriptures."

You didn't quote any passage from me, so I can't imagine what you're replying to. Did you perhaps misread where I said, "Paul never knew the *living* Jesus"?

--Percy


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Souljah1
Inactive Member


Message 35 of 91 (47338)
07-24-2003 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Percy
07-24-2003 3:40 PM


Re: Ignorance Abounds
Well How about we all stop debating and find ourselves a time-machine so we can go back 2000 years to the time of Christ. Looks like thats the only way people are going to believe Christ was real. Oh nah lets not waste our time, even the ones who saw him rejected him. And they were the ones who had reason to believe only in what they could see.
And for those who say God does not Exist, give me a logical explanation for the design of our world. I know I have something that we can use as a law........"Something that inhabits design needs to have had a designer" Now that is Logic....no big bang, millions of years bambo-jambo.
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14715
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 36 of 91 (47339)
07-24-2003 7:35 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Souljah1
07-24-2003 7:23 PM


Re: Ignorance Abounds
It's amazing how creationists always think that we should just forget about the facts and simply believe what they say.

And might I say that the assertion that "Something that inhabits design needs to have had a designer" is not only not logical it is quite obviously false.

A pet mouse may inhabit a cage - are we to conclude that the mouse is designed from that ?

As for the "design" of our world I'll offer a simple and logical explanation. There is no design of the world. If you wish ot argue otherwise then it is up to you to support your claim.


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zephyr
Member (Idle past 2593 days)
Posts: 821
From: FOB Taji, Iraq
Joined: 04-22-2003


Message 37 of 91 (47341)
07-24-2003 8:07 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Souljah1
07-24-2003 7:23 PM


Re: Ignorance Abounds
quote:
Well How about we all stop debating and find ourselves a time-machine so we can go back 2000 years to the time of Christ. Looks like thats the only way people are going to believe Christ was real. Oh nah lets not waste our time, even the ones who saw him rejected him. And they were the ones who had reason to believe only in what they could see.
Yeah, let's not attempt to use the minds we have to discover the truth through exploration of the natural world... let's just believe what you were taught! And they say faith and reason are compatible?

If you think debating is pointless, you're rejecting the use of an ability that you would say God gave us. Why do we have brains if we're not supposed to use them?


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18247
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 38 of 91 (47352)
07-24-2003 9:53 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by truthlover
07-24-2003 12:51 PM


Hi, TL!

I was incorrect to say that Paul didn't know about rising on the third third. And I garbled the allegations of the Marcionites - you're correct that they were alleging that only Paul knew the truth of the resurrection, not that only Paul had witnessed the resurrected Jesus. But Paul didn't know about the ascension, nor the appearances to the crowds in Jerusalem, to James, and to the apostles.

It is the passage you found in Against Heresies that tells us that Irenaeus was well aware of the passage from 1 Corinthians. Irenaeus quotes this part:

1 Cor 15:3-4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

And there he stops. He never cites the following portion:

1 Cor 15:5-8 ...and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

You argue that Irenaeus is referring to the above passage when he says this:

Against Heresies 3:13:1 And again, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, when he had recounted all those who had seen God after the resurrection, he says in continuation, "But whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed," acknowledging as one and the same, the preaching of all those who saw God after the resurrection from the dead.

But this can't be referring to Corinthians 15:5-8, because the reference is to seeing God, not Jesus, after the resurrection. And had Ireneus been aware of this passage he would have used it to great effect in answering the Marcionites charge.

But even if the supposed later interpolation is accepted as reliable, the epistles of Paul are still notable for their nearly complete lack of information about the living Jesus, who was a supposed contemporary of Paul. Paul presumably would have talked and exchanged information about Jesus with those who knew him first hand, like Peter and James, so how could he write so many letters without expressing anything about the life of Jesus? The answer that I arrive at is that Paul knew nothing of the living Jesus because Jesus had died at least a century before Paul had his vision on the road to Damascus.

It is only with the much later gospels that Jesus's life is described, and the obvious suspicion is that the stories were developed in and by devout Christian communities of the Jewish diaspora.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by truthlover, posted 07-24-2003 11:39 PM Percy has responded

    
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2102 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 39 of 91 (47364)
07-24-2003 11:39 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Percy
07-24-2003 9:53 PM


You argue that Irenaeus is referring to the above passage when he says this:

Against Heresies 3:13:1 And again, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, when he had recounted all those who had seen God after the resurrection, he says in continuation, "But whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed," acknowledging as one and the same, the preaching of all those who saw God after the resurrection from the dead.

Yeah, it seems to me that "when he had recounted all those who had seen God after the resurrection," is a clear reference to 1 Cor 15:5-8, because the "continuation" he gives is 1 Cor 15:11. Irenaeus is late enough that using God and Jesus interchangeably is not too surprising. I guarantee you I could find several other instances where he does that. (Not that Irenaeus was late enough to be a trinitarian, but he would be more prone to using "God" to refer to Jesus.)

And had Ireneus been aware of this passage he would have used it to great effect in answering the Marcionites charge.

That is what he is doing in that passage, and I think it was pretty effective.

By the way, my ANF index says Irenaeus referenced 1 Cor 15:5-8 four other times. I didn't look them up, and there were no earlier references.

But even if the supposed later interpolation is accepted as reliable, the epistles of Paul are still notable for their nearly complete lack of information about the living Jesus, who was a supposed contemporary of Paul.

Well, somewhat contemporaries. I'm not denying the lack of information about Jesus' life in Paul's letters, and the lack of quotes from Jesus. The only quote by Paul of Jesus is found in Acts, not Paul's letters--I think. He does seem to have heard a version of the last supper (1 Cor 11).

I'm going to give some thought to the timing of Jesus' life as you've thrown out. I saved the two links mentioned earlier, but I haven't had time to read them yet. Still covering for a co-worker till early August and pulling long days.

At this point, though, I don't think I personally am ready to grant you anything but that Paul might not have heard a lot of stories of Jesus' life. He wasn't around the other apostles very much, and when he was, there were some other pressing matters to discuss.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Percy, posted 07-24-2003 9:53 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Percy, posted 07-25-2003 8:56 AM truthlover has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18247
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 40 of 91 (47391)
07-25-2003 8:56 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by truthlover
07-24-2003 11:39 PM


TL writes:

Yeah, it seems to me that "when he had recounted all those who had seen God after the resurrection," is a clear reference to 1 Cor 15:5-8, because the "continuation" he gives is 1 Cor 15:11. Irenaeus is late enough that using God and Jesus interchangeably is not too surprising.

Well, perhaps, but the footnote to usage of the word "God" says:

222 All the previous editors accept the reading Deum without remark, but Harvey argues that it must be regarded as a mistake for Dominum. He scarcely seems, however, to give sufficient weight to the quotation which immediately follows.

In other words, you're not alone in your interpretation, but neither are you amongst a large number. At any rate, the evidence either way seems so thin that I can't see how either of us could insist on our own interpretation. I find the intertwining inconsistencies of the NT and other early Christian writings to be a vast and likely irresolvable puzzle. There is so much written that one can always find numerous details supporting any position.

What primarily persuades me is a very small amount of evidence, the complete lack of any contemporaneous record of Jesus. He made a far greater hubbub than John the Baptist in early 1st century Palestine, but no contemporaneous record nor reference to one survives. The facts of Jesus's life seem to spring out of the gospels spun from whole cloth.

There are, of course, other possibilities. For instance, there could have been contemporaneous accounts, but they may have contained information inconvenient for the early Christian church and so have not survived due to active weeding out by the church itself. In fact, the existence of such documents might explain some of the puzzling accounts in the Bible. For example, in Matthew Jesus says that the law will not weaken one iota until all is fulfilled, and one reason for its presence could be that Jesus was actually recorded somewhere as saying just that. So while I can accept the existence of problematic accounts (for the early church), I can't accept the possibility that contemporaneous accounts broadly supportive of the gospel accounts would not have survived.

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14715
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 41 of 91 (47392)
07-25-2003 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Percy
07-25-2003 8:56 AM


Of coure the lack of strictly contemporary accounts could be because Jesus did not cause too great a hubbub in Judaea. It's not what the Gospels say, but then you'd expect them to exaggerate Jesus' impact.
This message is a reply to:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2102 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 42 of 91 (47394)
07-25-2003 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Percy
07-25-2003 8:56 AM


222 All the previous editors accept the reading Deum without remark, but Harvey argues that it must be regarded as a mistake for Dominum. He scarcely seems, however, to give sufficient weight to the quotation which immediately follows.

I don't know that this applies much. Previous editors accept the reading Deum, which is God, without remark. Harvey wants to change it back to Dominum, or Lord, so that Irenaeus isn't found calling Jesus God. That's probably important to all the theologians that are debating the Trinity, but I don't see how it has any application at all to whether or not Irenaeus was quoting 1 Cor 15:5-8.

Anyway, he refers to that passage several other times as well.

Further, if he's not referring to that passage, then what is he referring to when he says Paul recounted those who saw God after the resurrection? Surely Paul didn't recount a list of people who saw anything at all after the resurrection other than in 1 Cor 15, did he?

For example, in Matthew Jesus says that the law will not weaken one iota until all is fulfilled, and one reason for its presence could be that Jesus was actually recorded somewhere as saying just that. So while I can accept the existence of problematic accounts (for the early church), I can't accept the possibility that contemporaneous accounts broadly supportive of the gospel accounts would not have survived.

I was a little lost here.

What does "one reason for its presence could be that Jesus was actually recorded somewhere as saying just that" mean? Are you saying that the compiler of Matthew's Gospel had a source for that statement, but not any others?

Actually, just tell me what you meant. I'm not following what you were trying to say.

The last part, I interpret to mean: "Percy believes that if there were accounts that were made of Jesus' life in the early first century, then those accounts must have been against mainstream Christianity's perception of Jesus. If the accounts had been supportive, then the church surely would have preserved them."

I agree with that, I guess. I think we are generally agreed that there were no accounts, pro-traditional or anti-traditional.

How much contemporaneous record is there of John the Baptist? Is he mentioned by a contemporary more than once?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Percy, posted 07-25-2003 8:56 AM Percy has responded

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Percy
Member
Posts: 18247
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 43 of 91 (47475)
07-25-2003 7:57 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by truthlover
07-25-2003 9:24 AM


TL writes:

I don't know that this applies much. Previous editors accept the reading Deum, which is God, without remark. Harvey wants to change it back to Dominum, or Lord, so that Irenaeus isn't found calling Jesus God. That's probably important to all the theologians that are debating the Trinity, but I don't see how it has any application at all to whether or not Irenaeus was quoting 1 Cor 15:5-8.

Okay, I guess we disagree. This does not seem to me an important issue, and so I'm going to move on. If you feel differently and believe this should be addressed then let me know and I'll respond.

Further, if he's not referring to that passage, then what is he referring to when he says Paul recounted those who saw God after the resurrection? Surely Paul didn't recount a list of people who saw anything at all after the resurrection other than in 1 Cor 15, did he?

If you're asking me to offer and support a strong opinion I don't think I can do that. I think I'm already on record as stating that I find the mileau of 1st century Christian writings very inconsistent. Valid arguments can be offered in support of any number of different opinions. It is only when you consider the writing as a whole and note the paucity of information about the living Jesus that the incongruity of it becomes so apparent.

About the part you found confusing, sorry I wasn't more clear. I think you got it right, though. I can believe that 1st century accounts of Jesus's life that were odds with where the church found itself in later centuries might not have survived. And if they actually existed then it might explain some of the more puzzling passages in the gospels. For example, why would Matthew quote Jesus as saying that the law wouldn't weaken one iota (eg, dietary laws) when Paul was so clear that the old law no longer applied (eg, circumcision) unless Matthew had a source, no longer extant, that quoted Jesus saying precisely that? In other words, puzzling passages like this one can be considered indirect evidence of 1st century writings that did not survive.

What I find very difficult to believe is that 1st century accounts of Jesus's life largely congruent with the gospels would not have survived had they existed. They would have been too incredibly important to the early church to have somehow become lost.

How much contemporaneous record is there of John the Baptist? Is he mentioned by a contemporary more than once?

You keep catching me in errors. I shouldn't have used the word contemporaneous. The earliest accounts of Jesus and John the Baptist are from the gospels and Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews. Leaving the gospels aside as biased Christian accounts, John the Bapist receives a long and detailed treatment from Josephus, while Jesus rates two scarce mentions widely believed to be later Christian interpolations. How does it make any sense that Josephus knew so much about John and probably nothing about Jesus, unless Jesus didn't live in the 1st century, if at all? And I should mention the possibility raised by PaulK, that Jesus lived in the 1st century but was far more obscure than the gospels make him out to be. In either case, the gospels must be fictions.

--Percy


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18247
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 44 of 91 (47524)
07-26-2003 2:32 PM


In order to facilitate the discussion (more truthfully, to somehow forestall a continuance of my string of errors - I blame truthlover for bringing these errors to light - if my recollection is correct, truthlover at one point wanted to change his ID, but I'm sure everyone would agree this would be a mistake ), I have gone through the Pauline epistles that are widely agreed genuine and extracted everything they contain regarding Jesus's life and death. The relevant epistles are:

Romans
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
Galations

Following is a list of what Paul knew about Jesus's life and death as revealed in the above epistles. It is important to keep in mind that this list is not just a brief summary, not just a mere encapsulation of points on which Paul expounded at greater length. For the most part, this list provides all the information Paul provided. For example, the point that says, "He had brothers" provides all the information provided by Paul in 1 Cor 9:5: ...the brothers of the Lord.... Also, this list accepts everything Paul says at face value and disputes nothing:

  1. He was the Son of God. (Rom 1:3-4, Rom 8:3, 2 Cor 5:16, Gal 4:4)
  2. He was a descendant of David by way of the flesh. (Rom 1:3-4, Gal 4:4)
  3. He was rich. (2 Cor 8:9)
  4. He was meek and gentle. (2 Cor 10:1)
  5. He had brothers. (1 Cor 9:5)
  6. He had a brother James. (Gal 1:19)
  7. He was a preacher. (Rom 16:25)
  8. He had apostles. (1 Cor 9:5)
  9. Cephas was not an apostle. (1 Cor 9:5)
  10. He ministered to the Gentiles. (Rom 15:8)
  11. He suffered. (Rom 8:17, Rom 15:3, 2 Cor 1:5)
  12. He was betrayed. (1 Cor 11:23-26)
  13. There was a supper the night of the betrayal in which Paul quotes Jesus providing the instructions behind the eucharist. (1 Cor 11:23-26)
  14. He was crucified on the cross. (1 Cor 1:17, 1 Cor 1:23, 1 Cor 2:2, Gal 2:20, Gal 6:12, Gal 6:14)
  15. He was killed by the Jews. (1 Thes 2:14-15)
  16. He died for our sins. (Rom 14:15, 1 Cor 5:7, 1 Thes 4:14)
  17. He was buried. (1 Cor 15:3-8)
  18. He was raised from the dead. (Rom 6:4, Rom 6:9, Rom 7:4, Rom 8:11, Rom 8:34, Rom 14:9, 1 Cor 6:14, 1 Cor 15:20, 2 Cor 4:14, 1 Thes 1:10, 1 Thes 4:14)
  19. He rose on the third day, appearing to Cephas, the twelve, 500, James and finally Paul. (1 Cor 15:3-8)
  20. He is at the right hand of God. (Rom 8:34)

Feedback, corrections, additions, etc, are all welcome.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2102 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 45 of 91 (49712)
08-10-2003 8:52 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Percy
07-26-2003 2:32 PM


I've finally had a little bit of time (at 5:30 on a Sunday morning) to peruse one of the web sites mentioned in this thread (The Bible and Christianity). Since this thread was started in somewhat of a casual discussion mode, I'd like to comment on the web site in the only way I can--casual discussion mode. I'm not up on any of this stuff enough to do more.

One, the guy writing the web page seems terribly unfamiliar with the material other than the two books he's apparently summarizing. For example, he mentions "Galatians I and II" as accepted letters of Paul. It looks to me like he read "...Galatians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Corinthians..." and turned it into "Galatians I and II, Thessalonians I and II, and Corinthians." He's also unaware of the passage in 1 Cor 15 that's been discussed.

He spends some time trying to discredit a sentence in Gal 1:9, but he doesn't even address 1 Cor 15, which is more pertinent to the things he said. Thus, I assume he's quite unaware of it, as I would expect from someone who doesn't know there's no I and II Galatians.

Further, his discrediting of Gal 1:9 mainly includes questioning Paul's use of "Lord" there, which he says wasn't in vogue until later. This isn't true, unless he wants to discredit Paul's 43 uses of it in Romans as well, which he says is a genuine Pauline letter. I know from debates with Christians back when Christian doctrine mattered to me that Paul is very consistent about using God to refer to the Father and Lord to refer to Jesus, so he uses it a lot.

Two, surely none of this is as simple as he describes. If his focus is only on the Dead Sea Scroll's "Teacher of Righteousness," then, okay, that's interesting (and I want to look at the $8 book Amazon carries rather than the $35 book the web site recommends), but there seems to be an immense amount of speculation about the development of Judaism. The general outline doesn't seem hard to believe, and that's probably because the book he read was written by someone much more familiar with the subject. (I'd be interested in Brian Johnston's opinion of the scholarship of Karen Armstrong's "History of God"). The details do seem hard to believe. People just sat down and worked out how to amalgamate Yahweh and El? Israel and Judah were forced to live together, so they casually said, "Hey, it looks like we have two different Gods. Why don't we figure out how to put them together?" That's not normally how it works.

And the author kept saying "it's very clear" and "clearly shows" and other such terminology. I'd be curious to know whether we really know as much about the Hyksos and their tie to the Hebrews as he suggests. I've seen the Hyksos discussed before, but I've never heard anyone be so conclusive about what happened to them.

Oh, and the web site's description of Josephus "extensive" coverage of John the Baptist seems like quite an exaggeration to me. As far as I can tell from surfing the web, Josephus has about three paragraphs broken up in two places on John the Baptist. That's a far cry from what the web site implies when he says Josephus "regularly gives two or three pages on the trial of a common thief" and has extensive coverage on John the Baptist, from which I would infer that John must get at least a whole chapter. I doubt, however, that Josephus regularly gives two or three pages to the trial of a common thief. I'll be he did it once and the web page author took it from there.

I'm just bringing up things I saw. It will take me a bit to have time to get a couple books and read them, because this "teacher of righteousness" thing intrigues me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Percy, posted 07-26-2003 2:32 PM Percy has responded

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