Jesus and the Early Church

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liamconnor
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Jesus and the Early Church

Post #1

Post by liamconnor »

This OP has a slightly different bent than my previous (historical evidence); but in truth, what follows was what I always intended for the other. I am guilty of falsely advertising that thread by the title. You will see the title of this thread is posed as a question, and the term "Resurrection" does not occur.

My proposal is that, applying basic historical methodology (which is a fancy term for common sense) to the relevant texts (canonical and non) we can gleam quite a bit about Jesus and the movement which followed his death.

NOte that I am not interested at all in defending the resurrection here; but I do think we need to be responsible in assessing the data. Even if you think ANY explanation is better than a MIRACULOUS one, still, surely you think some natural explanations are better than others, and that some are just plain silly?! It is my hope that the majority of members here have the intellectual honesty (and curiosity!) to weed out the more ridiculous ones.

(I should add, I have met only one member on this forum who proves the exception. He said, quite explicitly, that he did not care whether the explanation was good or bad, so long as there was even one; that was some time ago. If you fall into this class, then we are immediately at an impasse).

I quote, as a guiding principle for history, E.P. Sanders (an agnostic, and one of my favorite, if not my favorite, historians of the period) "One should begin with what is relatively secure and work out to more uncertain points."

I give what amounts to a consensus among scholars by quoting the eminent skeptic Bart Ehrman; I can give other names upon request. I then provide what theories these positions exclude.

“One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate.�
This means that, according to Ehrman and others, arguments against the historicity of Jesus are off the table.
“I don’t doubt at all that some disciples claimed (to have seen the risen Jesus). We don’t have any of their written testimony, but Paul, writing about 25 years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and I don’t think he is making it up. And he knew at least a couple of them, whom he met just three years after the event (i.e. the crucifixion)�
So then, according to Ehrman, Paul is 1) a historical person, 2) is not fabricating the entire list in 1 Cor. 15; perhaps he was tricked by some, but he was honest.

You see that Ehrman grants that Paul had visited the Jerusalem church, and met with at least Peter. I think we can infer with a very high degree of probability that something like that list in 1 Cor. 15 therefore goes back to 36 AD. It is highly doubtful that when Paul visited Peter, the two played craps. The term Paul uses in Galatians 1:18 ("Then, three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days" NAS) is ἱστο�έω pronounced historeo, from which is derived our term "History". It has the connotation of "inquire, investigate, search".
“There is no doubt that Paul believed that he saw Jesus’ real but glorified body raised from the dead.�
This means that Paul was not a fraud. Delusional, perhaps, but not a liar. It should also be noticed that Paul believed he saw Jesus' "glorified" body. Some on this forum talk of the resurrection as if it were mere revivification. This is not true. What the disciples preached was that what all Jews (well, the majority) believed their god would do at the end of times, he did for Jesus in the middle. The Jewish resurrection was into a new mode of bodily life.

I give a list of historians who concede an empty tomb, but do not believe in the resurrection: Dale Allison, Bostock, Carnely, Ehrman, Fisher Grant and Vermes. I am familiar with Vermes, Ehrman and Allison. The three others I have not read, but have found them cited in scholarly works.


So then, two questions:

Which of these conclusions do you agree/disagree with and why?

What else do you think we can infer from the data (and please back it up)?

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rikuoamero
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Post #91

Post by rikuoamero »

Danmark wrote: [Replying to post 81 by liamconnor]

What are your academic credentials that justify your attempts to issues orders about how to debate here and how to "do history?"
For the record, I have high school qualifications. I have never been to college. However, in my youth, I was a child prodigy who often read materials intended for those well above my physical age. In high school, I read Gibbons's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (not as part of a classroom curriculum, but simply because it was a big book I noticed one day in the library, it covered a topic I was fascinated in at the time and I took the sight of big books to be personal challenges). Of course Gibbons is 1700s and is outdated by today's standards, but this should show that I am not unfamiliar with the world of ancient Greece and Rome, as a certain someone on this thread impugns.
I may not have the benefit of a full formal education on the subject, never having had someone else actually teach me about ancient Greece and Rome, but I do know a fair bit about the topic, through my own self-study.
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Danmark
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Post #92

Post by Danmark »

rikuoamero wrote:
Danmark wrote: [Replying to post 81 by liamconnor]

What are your academic credentials that justify your attempts to issues orders about how to debate here and how to "do history?"
For the record, I have high school qualifications. I have never been to college. However, in my youth, I was a child prodigy who often read materials intended for those well above my physical age. In high school, I read Gibbons's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (not as part of a classroom curriculum, but simply because it was a big book I noticed one day in the library, it covered a topic I was fascinated in at the time and I took the sight of big books to be personal challenges). Of course Gibbons is 1700s and is outdated by today's standards, but this should show that I am not unfamiliar with the world of ancient Greece and Rome, as a certain someone on this thread impugns.
I may not have the benefit of a full formal education on the subject, never having had someone else actually teach me about ancient Greece and Rome, but I do know a fair bit about the topic, through my own self-study.
You are quite right to point out by implication that formal academic qualifications are not the only credentials for historical analysis and academic pursuit in general. You're also educated well enough to refrain from issuing orders to others about how to "do history" and how to debate.

Elijah John
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Post #93

Post by Elijah John »

liamconnor wrote: What boggles my mind is the lack of historical imagination that a comment like yours betrays. It is like you don't even care about what happened.
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My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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Talishi
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Re: Jesus and the Early Church

Post #94

Post by Talishi »

liamconnor wrote: The term Paul uses in Galatians 1:18 ("Then, three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days" NAS) is ἱστο�έω pronounced historeo, from which is derived our term "History". It has the connotation of "inquire, investigate, search".
Taken in context with his claim that he did not go straight to Jerusalem after his conversion but lived in Arabia for three years, as well as the fact that he keeps the list of other apostles he met short, it is clear that Paul's purpose is to establish that his "gospel of the uncircumcision" was "committed" to him independently of "James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars".

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Post #95

Post by dianaiad »

[Replying to post 94 by Kapyong]

Moderator removed nine one-line, non-contributing posts, from nine different threads. They weren't even one-line posts. They were one line quotes without response. Kindly refrain from making posts that contribute nothing to debate and/or simply express agreement / disagreement or make other frivolous remarks.

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