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Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
PaulK
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Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 4 of 560 (462657)
04-06-2008 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Blue Jay
04-06-2008 4:11 PM


Re: The Four Gospels
...are not independent. John MIGHT be independent of the other three, but the Synoptics include a good deal of copying. Contrary to your claims the words are too often the same for it to be otherwise.
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PaulK
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Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 13 of 560 (462706)
04-07-2008 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by iano
04-07-2008 10:48 AM


quote:

Is that an example of the way in which textual criticism is carried out? That is, is it the case that Jesus' being reported as remarking on future temple destruction would be taken as evidence for dating the gospel of Mark post-AD70?

It's one argument that some people use. Just as others argue that Mark must have been written before 70 AD because he doesn't come out and state that the destruction had actually happened.

Neither argument is taken as decisive and the mainstream dating for Mark covers a range around 70 AD. Before and after.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


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


quote:

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

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

quote:

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

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


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Replies to this message:
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PaulK
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Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


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


Re: Blind Assertions
quote:

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

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

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

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

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


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 46 of 560 (464519)
04-26-2008 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Buzsaw
04-26-2008 8:31 AM


Re: Blind Assertions
The thread for reporting problem posts is a thread for requesting administrator action.
My responses are not such a request.
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PaulK
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Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 59 of 560 (465546)
05-08-2008 1:09 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by GDR
05-07-2008 6:30 PM


Re: Different view points
quote:

Nobody is able to come to this completely objectively. As I mentioned earlier. Borg, Crossan etc. start out assuming that the miraculous is an impossibility.

Do you have any evidence that this is the case ? Or is it like the case where critics of the book of Daniel "assume that prophecy is impossible" ?


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Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 61 of 560 (465556)
05-08-2008 2:16 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by GDR
05-08-2008 2:02 AM


Re: Different view points
quote:

Here is information on the "Jesus Seminar". It doesn't say that they had decided from the outset of their quest that they had ruled out the miraculous, but it is clear from their findings that this was the case.

In other words, you made it up - but you think it's OK to do that because they came to conclusions you don't like.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 63 of 560 (465563)
05-08-2008 3:54 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by GDR
05-08-2008 3:02 AM


Re: Different view points
So, you can't find any evidence that either of them beleive that miracles are impossible yet you contend that you didn't make it up ?

Come off it. Either produce real evidence or admit that it is your invention.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 70 of 560 (465623)
05-08-2008 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by GDR
05-08-2008 10:57 AM


Re: Different view points
quote:

All that I am saying is that prior to discussions such as what were held in the "Jesus seminar" both Crossan and Borg had already come to the conclusion that the miraculous couldn't occur.

I know that. That is what I am asking you to provide evidence for. So far I haven't seen any.

quote:

Paul did you even bother to read the links I put together?

You've been here long enough to know that you are not meant to rely on bare links. Nevertheless I looked them over and saw no indication that Crossan or Borg assumed that miracles could not happen.

quote:

The only evidence available is what we have recorded by those who witnessed it.

Except that we don't have that.

quote:

As I said earlier, if we are theistic we believe that the miraculous occured at least once with creation billlions of years ago.

Crossan and Borg are theists. Therefore you contradict yourself.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by GDR, posted 05-08-2008 7:48 PM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 78 of 560 (465665)
05-09-2008 1:38 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by GDR
05-08-2008 7:48 PM


Re: Different view points
Well I'm glad that you have accepted that I was right about Crossan and Borg. In future try not to indulge yourself in "poisoning the well".

quote:

In the case of Paul's experience on the road to Damasus we do.

Perhaps you can cite my Paul's own account then. Although even if you do, it refers to events after the Resurrection and the Ascension and thus does not qualify as an eyewitness account of the Resurrection itself (which, of course, was not witnessed).

quote:

He also had direct contact with the first disciples

And says very little about the Resurrection as a historical event. Surprisingly little, in fact given its theological importance. There is no mention of the empty tomb, nor are there any details to the list of "appearances".

quote:

There is much speculation about how close the writers of the 4 gospel accounts were to the witnesses of the resurrection.

Yet if they were not witnesses their accounts were not "recorded by those who witnessed it".

quote:

There were certainly enough people around at the time Mark was written to be able to refute that particular gospel if it didn't represent what happened accurately.

That really depends on when Mark was written - and more importantly on its early circulation. It does not matter who might have been available to refute it, if they never saw it. It is generally accepted that Mark was written after Peter's death, not in Judea and even the earliest mainstream dates do not put it long before the Jewish war, which would have had a major effect on the availability of witnesses.

quote:

Not at all. That was my point. As Theists they must believe that something miraculous happened to cause there to be something instead of nothing. That is why I wonder why it is so difficult for them, or any other Theist, to not accept the possibility of occurrences that defy natural law occurring at other points in human history.

However your point was that they absolutely denied the possibility of miracles. Then you say that they believe in a miracle. That IS a clear-cut contradiction. As I have observed before logic is not your strong point,


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PaulK
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Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 85 of 560 (465900)
05-11-2008 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by GDR
05-11-2008 10:37 AM


Re: Different view points
So the only actual bias you can suggest is that they didn't believe that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet.

That's not really relevant to the question of the Resurrection, is it ?


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PaulK
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Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 88 of 560 (466083)
05-13-2008 1:37 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by GDR
05-12-2008 10:23 PM


quote:

Without the resurrection Jesus is just another failed messiah. It is in my view the most reasonable answer for the complete turnaround of the disciples, as well as Paul, after the crucifixion. The fact that it spread as rapidly as it did is another question altogether

Two problems here. Firstly, Paul's according to the Bible, Paul's alleged turnaround has nothing to do with the resurrection as such. Secondly all the alleged turnarounds come from the Bible, mostly from the Gospels and Acts. We can't know how accurate they are on that point.

All we can really say is that the early Christians made some sort of turnaround, focussing their messianic expectations on a resurrected Jesus after the living Jesus failed and died. Do we really have sufficient information to assert that that was impossible without a literal resurrection ? Maybe the odds were such that we could expect one group to survive - and Christianity was the lucky sect.

The Jehovah's Witnesses have been recently forced to reinterpret their prophecies again. The early Christians also saw their apocalyptic expectations fail. Failure and disappointment are not certain killers of any religious movement.

quote:

I realize I'm repeating myself but it does largely depend on whether the historian in question is able to accept the possibility of the miraculous. That won't predetermine is final conclusion but if you are like those from the "Jesus Seminar" and had already discounted that possibility then it does largely influence the outcome. By the way, I agree that Wright did early on accept that the miraculous was a possibility which certainly influences his findings. As I said, none of us are completely objective.

You've not shown that the Jesus Seminar had any such bias. You've not given any reason to believe it. The fact that you feel the need to resort to such tactics clearly illustrates the fact that you have no real case.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 91 of 560 (466129)
05-13-2008 7:44 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by GDR
05-13-2008 2:20 AM


quote:

I can't prove how accurate they are. How can you prove how accurate Josephus or any other ancient text is? I

You'd consider the author's agenda, biases, sources and agreement with other data. Unfortunately we have very little that would let us do that very well with the Gospels.

quote:

Actually if you think about it, if the resurrection is not historical then it is obvious that the writers weren't inspired. If however the resurrection is an actual historic event it isn't a stretch at all to believe that the writers were inspired by God.

Which just shows how much your assumption that the Gospels are the "inspired word of God" biases your evaluation of the data.

quote:

It is clear from the texts that they had no messianic expectations after the crucifixion. They just went back to their fishing etc. Most of them didn't even hang around for the crucifixion.

Eh ? All the Gospels pretty much agree that they remained in Jerusalem. Matthew has them going to Galille under Jesus' (post-resurrection) instructions, relayed by Mary Magdalene. Luke leaves out this instruction and doesn't have them going further than Emmaus until they see Jesus - and they don't go to Galilee at all. John has Jesus appearing to them in Jerusalem and only later are they fishing in Galilee. The only way to get your version would be to ignore Matthew, Luke and chapter 20 of John. Is that how you treat the "inspired word of God" ?

quote:

Most of the apocalyptic expectations seem to have resolved around the destruction of the temple.

You're kidding, right ? It's in Matthew, Luke and Revelation - all written after the destruction. 2 Peter (maybe as late as 160 AD) indicates that the idea was becoming embarrassing, but obviously it was still believed enough that it was necessary to argue that "soon" didn't really mean "soon".

quote:

Nobody as far as I know was suggesting any particular day or year.

And I didn't say that they had a prediction to the day or even year. But they were expecting it in the near future - within the lifetime of at least some of the Disciples. And as 2 Peter reminds us - it didn't happen.

quote:

Here is the web site of "The Jesus Seminar". You can make up your own mind whether or not it had a liberal bias from the outset.

You're moving the goalposts. You specifically said that thety were biased against miracles. Liberal Christians simply lack a strong bias in favour of Christian miracles. Not the same thing at all.


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Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 93 of 560 (466202)
05-13-2008 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by GDR
05-13-2008 10:48 AM


quote:

Wouldn't that be the same with any ancient text?

No, we often have a better idea of who the author is.

quote:

Nobody writes without bias.

SInce I explicitly listed the author's biases as something that should be included when assessing the reliability of the text I wonder what your point is.

quote:

If you want to learn about Jesus it seems to me that you learn about Him from those who knew Him. I know that the disciples didn't write the books themselves but they were the sources for the information.

However, it's far from clear to what degree they were sources or how directly. And that is something we would want to know. We've got some important disagreements between the Gospels (e.g. Luke's account of the post-Resurrection appearances versus Matthew's) which don't seem to be consistent with both coming directly from people who were there. Let alone with both being the product of some "Divine Inspiration" that guarantees reliability.

quote:

Just as you have your bias. I was agnostic until my mid 30's so my bias changed. Tio be honest, after reading both sides of the argument I have an even stronger bias. So what?

Bias makes your conclusions unreliable. I resist mine. You seem to embrace yours.
(And I can certainly agree that your bias is likely to have got stronger - it would probably need to). And it is certainly not valid to baselessly accuse others of bias just to discredit their conclusions as you have done repeatedly in this thread..

quote:

I was only referring to the time between the crucifixion and the resurrection.

That was less than 72 hours. None of the Gospels say that the Disciples did anything much in that time, and even Mark implies that they were still in Jerusalem at the end of that time. Given that John 21 (which INCLUDES a post-Resurrection appearance) is the only thing that suggests anything similar it looks as if my initial assessment is more accurate.

quote:

In my initial post I agreed that there was a belief that time as we know it would end within a generation. Why quote me out of context?

I didn't quote you out of context. Here's the whole paragraph as proof.


Most of the apocalyptic expectations seem to have resolved around the destruction of the temple. I think that Paul believed that "New Creation" would happen in the relatively near future but Jesus made the point that no one would know the hour or the minute. Nobody as far as I know was suggesting any particular day or year.

The additional text does not contradict my reading. It reaffirms and emphasises it. It does not admit that the belief that the end would come within a generation persisted for any length of time after the destruction of the Temple. By associating such beliefs with Paul (who is believed to have died some time before the destruction) - and Paul alone - it only emphasises your assertion to the contrary. Thus your accusation that I quoted you out of context is an obvious falsehood.

(In fact the word "generation" appears in exactly one of your previous posts - in a quote of Grizz).


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15370
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 98 of 560 (468226)
05-28-2008 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by GDR
05-28-2008 10:44 AM


Of course you're doing exactly what Wright does - specuilate about what people would do. However, if you listened to the discussion between Wright and Crossan (and you obviously didn't) you would know that even Wright was forced to weaken his arguuments by appealing to there being something "special" about Jesus which caused the authors to act atypically.

It is easy to concoct motivations. For instance given Paul's tensions with the Jerusalem church maybe it was desirable to make the disciples look bad - to make Paul (andd Jesus) look better in comparison.

But why put such speculations above what the texts actually tell us ? Isn't it more important that Paul tells us almost nothing about the post-Resurrection appearances, Matthew places them in Galilee and Luke places them in and around Jerusalem. John tries to have it both ways, which contradicts Luke and Matthew. Doesn't this suggest a shortage of reliable information ?

Before we jump to conclusiosn about why Mark has women as witnesses shouldn't we note that he tells us that they told nobody what they had seen ? Isn't that more puzzling - and therefore interesting. Is it at least not possible that Mark is explaining why the story was not taught by the disciples ? Paul doesn't mention it, or even the existence of a tomb. Isn't it as likely that the stories we have are tales that grew up to fill a near-vacuum of information.

And if you are relying on stories that grew up to obscure the unimpressive real events, how can you come to a reliable conclusion ?


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