Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 86 (8936 total)
31 online now:
Captcass, GDR, jar, RAZD, ringo, Tangle, Tanypteryx (7 members, 24 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: ssope
Post Volume: Total: 861,614 Year: 16,650/19,786 Month: 775/2,598 Week: 21/251 Day: 21/23 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Reconstructing the Historical Jesus
Modulous
Member (Idle past 358 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 466 of 560 (620891)
06-21-2011 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 464 by crashfrog
06-21-2011 2:27 PM


Re: Christianity without Jesus
But my point is that they look exactly like what they would look like if they were fabricated. Your point is that they don't look like what they would look like if they were fabricated to serve the agenda of the first Christians.

But I don't contend that the Jesus mythology was fabricated by the first Christians. The first Christians were simply the first ones to believe the fabrications - fabrications that may well have included "there are all these other Christians all over the place."

I'm not suggesting you do contend that. I'm just saying that it doesn't look entirely fabricated to me. Maybe if you could indicate who the proposed fabricators were; were they Jews, Greeks, someone else?

Determining the historical existence of Socrates is a subject for another thread.

The methods in investigating ancient figures is, however, a subject for this thread.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 464 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 2:27 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 468 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 3:19 PM Modulous has responded

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


(1)
Message 467 of 560 (620893)
06-21-2011 3:19 PM
Reply to: Message 463 by crashfrog
06-21-2011 2:25 PM


Re: Christianity without Jesus
Oh, I give in. There's more chance of a rational and honest discussion with Buzsaw. Not that there's a lot of difference.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 463 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 2:25 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 469 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 3:23 PM PaulK has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 468 of 560 (620894)
06-21-2011 3:19 PM
Reply to: Message 466 by Modulous
06-21-2011 2:58 PM


Re: Christianity without Jesus
Maybe if you could indicate who the proposed fabricators were; were they Jews, Greeks, someone else?

I don't know anything about the proposed fabricators, other than that they were people for whom it was in their interest to tell a story. Itinerant bards. Thirsty guys at the tavern saying "hey, buy me a drink and I'll tell you the news from Judea, and you won't believe it!" Creative types surrounded by a mob of children dying for the latest and greatest "Jesus, King of the Jews" story.

If the first Christians were people who, as children, had been raised on Jesus stories, that would go along way to explaining their apparent credibility in regards to the stories as adults. There's certainly time enough between Jesus's supposed ministry and the writing of the Gospels for the gospel writers to have been hearing Jesus stories as children.

Stories get told because it's the most human thing in the world to tell them. The idea that there always has to be an agenda for a story to be popular - that a popular story is always the result of calculated effort to make it popular - is mistaken. Harry Potter started out as bedtime stories for J.K. Rowling's children.

And the story of Jesus does look entirely fabricated to me, based on an appropriate understanding of what it means to be "entirely fabricated" or "based on a real historical person." A pot-boiler novel about a tough New York cop who doesn't play by the rules is entirely fabricated regardless of the fact that New York has always had a bunch of cops who don't play by the rules.

The fabricated Jesus, being a failed martyr who opposed the Romans, may have rung true for first century audience as a result of the fact that failed martyrs were thick on the ground. But none of that makes Jesus a real historical person or reduces the evidentiary burden for successfully connecting the Jesus mythology to a real, live person. The fact that a fictional character is also a plausible character isn't any evidence of their genuine historicity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 466 by Modulous, posted 06-21-2011 2:58 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 472 by Jon, posted 06-21-2011 4:00 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 473 by Modulous, posted 06-21-2011 4:06 PM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 469 of 560 (620895)
06-21-2011 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 467 by PaulK
06-21-2011 3:19 PM


Re: Christianity without Jesus
You know what?

Fuck you. I'm sorry that I'm not such a total fucking idiot that I'm prepared to accept the testimony of sources that don't even fucking exist. If you can't handle it that I'm not willing to suspend any pretense of rationality and swallow whatever bullshit you come up with next, go home and cry more about it. I don't give a shit.

I've spent more than a hundred posts, here, trying to get at the genuine, real historical evidence for the existence of Jesus, and all I've discovered is a thinly-sourced "expert consensus" that survives solely on the basis of directing ridicule at anyone who voices a disagreement.

Everybody's a creationist about something. I guess we've found out what PaulK is a creationist about.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 467 by PaulK, posted 06-21-2011 3:19 PM PaulK has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 470 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-21-2011 3:36 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 486 by Kapyong, posted 06-21-2011 5:47 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12787
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


(1)
Message 470 of 560 (620897)
06-21-2011 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 469 by crashfrog
06-21-2011 3:23 PM


Were It Anyone Other Than Jesus
What gets me is the fact that because and only because it is Jesus being discussed, emotions run at a fevered pitch. For some reason, people either worship the guy or hate the guy. Yes, hate. If it were an argument trying to prove or disprove the history of Ordinarius Maximus, normal citizen, the argument would scarcely draw a whimper were it proven either way. Given that it is Jesus Christ, man, myth, or legend that we are talking about, suddenly the outcome of such a debate assumes unreasonable importance.

Why does it really matter? If the guy may have existed, so what? whats the big deal??



'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.'
Lewis Carroll

* * * * * * * * * *
Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important.~T.S.Eliot

This message is a reply to:
 Message 469 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 3:23 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 475 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 4:22 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 471 of 560 (620898)
06-21-2011 3:37 PM
Reply to: Message 463 by crashfrog
06-21-2011 2:25 PM


Re: Christianity without Jesus
You can't possibly conclude that anything was copied "exactly" from the Q source unless you have the Q source text there with you to compare. What an absurdity - "clearly, it's an exact copy of something I've never seen!"

I believe PaulK was referring to the wording between Matthew and Luke for the material in question. They are exact enough to conclude that at least one of them is based on a written source. This, of course, gives us three possible scenarios:

  1. Matthew copied the material from Luke.
  2. Luke copied the material from Matthew.
  3. Luke and Matthew copied the material from a common source.
For (1) I can find no solid information, aside from the frequent mention that the argument for Matthew knowing Luke is hardly ever made.

For (2) we have this:

quote:
Stein in The Synoptic Problem (1987):

One of the strongest arguments against the use of Matthew by Luke is the fact that when Matthew has additional material in the triple tradition ("Matthean additions to the Markan narrative"), it is "never" found in Luke. (p. 91)


The only problem that faces (3), of course, is the fact that the document utilized does not exist. But this should not be reason for rejecting (3): it explains the current texts better than (1) or (2); it contains none of the faults of (1) or (2); it's likelihood is supported by the existence of other 'sayings' gospels (e.g., the gospel of Thomas). Hypothesis (3) is the better hypothesis.

Jon
__________
Stein, R. (1987) The Synoptic Problem: An Introduction. Michigan: Baker Books.


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 463 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 2:25 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 476 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 4:28 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 472 of 560 (620900)
06-21-2011 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 468 by crashfrog
06-21-2011 3:19 PM


Assumptions Run Wild
Itinerant bards. Thirsty guys at the tavern saying "hey, buy me a drink and I'll tell you the news from Judea, and you won't believe it!"

You have no evidence for this.

Creative types surrounded by a mob of children dying for the latest and greatest "Jesus, King of the Jews" story.

You have no evidence for this.

If the first Christians were people who, as children, had been raised on Jesus stories,

You have no evidence for this.

And the story of Jesus does look entirely fabricated to me

You have no evidence for this.

The fabricated Jesus, being a failed martyr who opposed the Romans, may have rung true for first century audience

You have no evidence for this.

Fact is: Your 'explanation' so far involves at least five times the amount of supposition as the historical Jesus explanation.

Your hypothesis reeks of 'may have's and 'seems so to me's. And through all this wild assuming, you've yet to adequately deal with any of the objections lodged by your opponents.

Perhaps if you even bothered once, Crash, to debate honestly, you wouldn't find yourself reduced to shouting 'fuck you' at any opponent who dares to question your reasonability.

But who am I kidding? Paul's right: You just another Buz.

Jon


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 468 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 3:19 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 477 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 4:34 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

Modulous
Member (Idle past 358 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 473 of 560 (620901)
06-21-2011 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 468 by crashfrog
06-21-2011 3:19 PM


foundations
You've put forward your case as to why you think the Jesus story was made up, and that seems to be that people make up stories about people.

The counter to this is that Jesus has some characteristics that seem unusual to have been created in this fashion.

Your counter is that he does not.

I don't see much merit in going around any further. Would you agree that it is not an extraordinary claim that the founding cause of a major world religion is a human being that the religion claims is the founding cause? I think we established to some reasonable degree that most 'personality cult' type major world religions do have a figure that is considered historical at their core and therefore postulating one at the heart of Christianity is far from controversial?

Or do you still contend that most major world religions with such a foundational figure are discussing fictional characters?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 468 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 3:19 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 478 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 4:42 PM Modulous has responded

GDR
Member
Posts: 4960
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 474 of 560 (620902)
06-21-2011 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 456 by frako
06-21-2011 12:08 PM


Re: Christianity without Jesus
frako writes:

Yea like those who followed David Koresh, or those who follow Scientology lol

The only reason they had was they where gullible.

I suppose we are gullible about some things.

The followers of David Koresh were few and presumably there are none left today.

Scientology is largely a self help group that has some supernatural beliefs but as far as I know doesn't worship any particular deity.

The Islamic faith has the same Abrahamic roots as Christianity, recognizes Jesus as a prophet and as the Jewish Messiah. (Which incidentally is another document that attests to the historical nature of Jesus.) It is my belief that Mohamed misconstrued the faith in much the same way as the people who preach the "prosperity gospel" as Christianity do today.

frako writes:

So you are saying a person who rose from the dead, preformed miracles... would not peak the interest of any scholar?

It seems that it did in the writers of the books of the NT. There is no reason at all for others that weren't followers to write about Him. Read Josephus in which Jesus only gets a passing reference. It is all about war and power struggles. Jesus' followers were about peace, love and forgiveness. Not really newsworthy.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 456 by frako, posted 06-21-2011 12:08 PM frako has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 475 of 560 (620907)
06-21-2011 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 470 by Thugpreacha
06-21-2011 3:36 PM


Re: Were It Anyone Other Than Jesus
If it were an argument trying to prove or disprove the history of Ordinarius Maximus, normal citizen, the argument would scarcely draw a whimper were it proven either way.

Well, yeah. Presumably, if the subject were Ordinarius Maximus, nobody would open a threat to impugn the rationality and mental health of those who voiced anything but the most full-throated support for his existence.

You're right that the stakes are a little higher in this case, but is that a fucking surprise? We're talking about someone you venerate as the Son of God.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 470 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-21-2011 3:36 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 476 of 560 (620910)
06-21-2011 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 471 by Jon
06-21-2011 3:37 PM


Re: Christianity without Jesus
For (2) we have this:

quote:
Stein in The Synoptic Problem (1987):
One of the strongest arguments against the use of Matthew by Luke is the fact that when Matthew has additional material in the triple tradition ("Matthean additions to the Markan narrative"), it is "never" found in Luke. (p. 91)

So you have an utterly unintelligible claim (seriously, "triple tradition"?) with unspecified relevance to the point of contention. In fact, doesn't it outright contradict the notion that Matthew and Luke are based on a third "Q" source to point out that Matthew has stuff that Luke doesn't? If Matthew and Luke both plagarized Q, which it is implied is where the "extra" stuff Matthew has came from, then why wouldn't Luke have plagarized it, too?

I just don't see how Q can possibly be put forward as an independent source of information about Jesus when the problem is that Q doesn't exist and therefore can't be put forward at all.

The only problem that faces (3), of course, is the fact that the document utilized does not exist. But this should not be reason for rejecting (3):

It may or may not be, but it's certainly a reason for rejecting any reasoning based on the assumed content of Q, which is what PaulK was doing. You can't base an argument off of the content of a work that has no known content. Lost books can't substantiate anything simply as a result of being themselves insubstantial.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 471 by Jon, posted 06-21-2011 3:37 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 479 by Jon, posted 06-21-2011 5:02 PM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 477 of 560 (620912)
06-21-2011 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 472 by Jon
06-21-2011 4:00 PM


Re: Assumptions Run Wild
Your 'explanation' so far involves at least five times the amount of supposition as the historical Jesus explanation.

Wrong. The evidence that these things existed in the First Century is that they have existed in all human cultures since the dawn of history. Assuming that something that applies universally will apply in any specific case isn't by any means a leap of logic or an extraordinary claim. It's not even an ordinary or mundane claim - it's not even a claim; it's a tautology.

And through all this wild assuming, you've yet to adequately deal with any of the objections lodged by your opponents.

An utter lie. I've addressed every objection raised by the three or four people I'm single-handedly debating on the subject. And then when you ignored the rebuttals and repeated the objections, I addressed them again. And then a week later when you yet again ignored the rebuttals and repeated the objection, I addressed it yet again.

How many times do I have to point out that your side is confusing claims with evidence and imagination with actual sources before it sticks? Before you stop lying about it? Apparently three or even four times isn't enough, so I eagerly await the next person to remind me that the Historical Jesus Christ wouldn't have actually been called Jesus or Christ, as though I didn't know that (or hadn't already been told a half-dozen times.)

Perhaps if you even bothered once, Crash, to debate honestly

All I've been is honest. The problem is, I'm arguing with liars like you and Paul.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 472 by Jon, posted 06-21-2011 4:00 PM Jon has acknowledged this reply

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 478 of 560 (620915)
06-21-2011 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 473 by Modulous
06-21-2011 4:06 PM


Re: foundations
Would you agree that it is not an extraordinary claim that the founding cause of a major world religion is a human being that the religion claims is the founding cause?

No, I would disagree. I would say that it is an extraordinary claim, based on the characteristics and qualities of religion.

Similarly, it's an extraordinary claim to claim that a madman is right about something. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but the fact that we're talking about a person (or, in the case of religion, a system of knowledge) that is best characterized as being completely decoupled from reality means that any particular success of the knowledge system at arriving at something true is, at best, utter coincidence.

Imagine that I showed you a computer program that produced sentences by assembling random words. It would truly be an extraordinary claim to claim that any particular sentence produced by this system also happened to be a real fact about the world, and it would require substantially more evidence than "hey, it could be, we don't know for sure" to conclude that the claim was correct.

I think we established to some reasonable degree that most 'personality cult' type major world religions do have a figure that is considered historical at their core and therefore postulating one at the heart of Christianity is far from controversial?

When did we establish that? Out of the cherry-picked five you presented, two-and-a-half were based on fictional characters. To that I add the cargo cults of John Frum and the narcotics cult of Jesus Malverde, and that's 4.5 to 2.5 out of all the religions put forth for consideration. Religions based on real figures are a minority, not a majority.

Or do you still contend that most major world religions with such a foundational figure are discussing fictional characters?

Obviously, since that's a true claim that has not been rebutted.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 473 by Modulous, posted 06-21-2011 4:06 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 480 by Jon, posted 06-21-2011 5:09 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 494 by Modulous, posted 06-21-2011 6:31 PM crashfrog has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 479 of 560 (620920)
06-21-2011 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 476 by crashfrog
06-21-2011 4:28 PM


Q
So you have an utterly unintelligible claim (seriously, "triple tradition"?) with unspecified relevance to the point of contention.

Huh? The only thing unintelligible is this sentence of yours.

In fact, doesn't it outright contradict the notion that Matthew and Luke are based on a third "Q" source to point out that Matthew has stuff that Luke doesn't?

This, of course, is only one of the arguments against Luke knowing Matthew. There are others. Another, for example:

quote:
Stein in The Synoptic Problem (1987):

The thesis that Luke obtained the Q material from Matthew cannot explain why Luke would have rearranged this material in a totally different and "artistically inferior" format. Furthermore, if Luke obtained the material of the triple tradition from either Mark or Matthew and if he followed the narrative order of his source as carefully as he did in this area, why would he deliberately choose to make sure that all the sayings material that he obtained from Matthew would appear in a different order in his Gospel? (p. 95)


I could give more; or, you could investigate the matter through some Googling.

On top of this, there are peculiarities in all of the synoptic gospels. If peculiarities alone were enough to argue against the notion of any of them knowing of the other(s), then we would have to conclude that all of the writers wrote independently.

If Matthew and Luke both plagarized Q, which it is implied is where the "extra" stuff Matthew has came from, then why wouldn't Luke have plagarized it, too?

That's not an accurate understanding of the hypothesized Q document. The Q material is the material in common between Matthew and Luke that isn't in Mark; the Q document is one of the things hypothesized to explain these agreements against Mark in Matthew and Luke (see my previous post for the other two hypotheses). By definition, the only thing we can propose to have been in Q is the stuff that Matthew and Luke have in common against Mark.

I just don't see how Q can possibly be put forward as an independent source of information about Jesus when the problem is that Q doesn't exist and therefore can't be put forward at all.

It doesn't matter the nature of the sources; their number will still be the same. There is Mark; there is the source of Q (whatever that may be); there is the source of Matthew-specific information; and there is the source of the Luke-specific information.

Which, if any, of these sources goes back to Jesus is a debatable matter; but these multiple sources do exist.

Lost books can't substantiate anything simply as a result of being themselves insubstantial.

It depends on what you're trying to substantiate.

Jon

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 476 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 4:28 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 482 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 5:28 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 480 of 560 (620922)
06-21-2011 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 478 by crashfrog
06-21-2011 4:42 PM


Re: foundations
Out of the cherry-picked five you presented, two-and-a-half were based on fictional characters.

Caffeine also presented a list. And if you're not happy with those lists, present one of your own.

Similarly, it's an extraordinary claim to claim that a madman is right about something. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but the fact that we're talking about a person (or, in the case of religion, a system of knowledge) that is best characterized as being completely decoupled from reality means that any particular success of the knowledge system at arriving at something true is, at best, utter coincidence.

Imagine that I showed you a computer program that produced sentences by assembling random words. It would truly be an extraordinary claim to claim that any particular sentence produced by this system also happened to be a real fact about the world, and it would require substantially more evidence than "hey, it could be, we don't know for sure" to conclude that the claim was correct.

Is this even at all related to the arguments in Mod's posts?

Jon


Love your enemies!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 478 by crashfrog, posted 06-21-2011 4:42 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019