A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

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Jagella
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A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #1

Post by Jagella »

Some of you may be familiar with the argument from silence advanced by many mythicists in which it is claimed that the historians of the early first century never mentioned Jesus. If he really lived, then how could they have missed him? One person in particular who might be expected to have mentioned Jesus is Philo of Alexandria. Richard Carrier writes:
Philo made pilgrimages to Jerusalem and knew about Palestinian affairs and wrote about the Herods and Pontius Pilate. And Christians must have begun evangelizing the Jewish community in Alexandria almost immediately: it was the single largest population center, with a large and diverse Jewish Community, almost directly adjacent to Judea, along a well-established trade route well traveled by Jewish pilgrims. So it's not as if Philo would not have heard of their claims even if he had never left Egypt; and yet we know he did, having traveled to Judea and Rome. Moreover, Philo just happens to be one Jew of the period whose work Christians bothered to preserve. He would not have been alone. (1)
To counter this argument, historicists have come up with an ad hoc explanation: Jesus was a small-time preacher who would not have been noticed by historians like Philo. Although this argument might seem superficially convincing, it argues against another historicist claim: Jesus inspired the New Testament writers to make a god out of him decades after he died.

So will the real Jesus please stand up? Was Jesus so small-time that nobody bothered to write about him while he yet lived, or was he such a powerful, big-time figure that many years after his death he was deified?

(1) Carrier, Richard, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, Sheffield, Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014, Page 294

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #91

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 84 by rikuoamero]
What you missed in FtK's list of sources (Mark et al) is that he describes them as 'independent'...which is blatantly false. Matthew and Luke borrow heavily from Mark. Luke is of course linked to Paul, and mentions of Christianity in Josephus are considered suspect at best, last I heard.
I'm well aware that those sources are for the most part not independent. The New Testament is based on the commonly-held beliefs of those Christians who won the orthodoxy battles in the emerging church rather than on actual history. One of those commonly-held beliefs is that Jesus existed as a man in first-century Palestine. Real-Jesus apologists either are ignorant of this fact or are deliberately misleading people.

Even Tacitus and Josephus cannot be said to be truly independent. Although neither one of them was a Christian, they most likely got their "information" about Jesus from Christians. In any case, we don't know their sources and cannot with confidence say that their mentioning Jesus is independent corroboration.

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #92

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Jagella wrote: Then don't claim you know that a majority of Bible scholars believe Jesus existed.
I will continue to make claims that reflect what the subject matter experts in the field in question have gone on the record as saying. And I noticed that you completely GLOSSED over what I said when I made mention to the fact that you were provided sources as to where I obtained my information.

Again, if that ain't enough for you, then I can't help you any further.
Jagella wrote: The person in question makes no difference. If you claim that most historians believe Lincoln existed, then you shouldn't just assume that they believe he existed.
That's the point, I didn't just assume anything...I provided the source from which my claim is based upon, and I heard firsthand from a person who has spent 25+ years in the field (Bart Ehrman), and who would know what the general consensus is as it relates to the subject matter at hand.

It is ok, Jag, accepting that Jesus existed doesn't make you a Christian. You can still continue on with your disbelief. It is ok. You don't become a Christian by default by simply acknowledging that the historical evidence supports his existence.

And that is what the majority of scholars are about to do, biases aside.
Jagella wrote: Again, provide data for your claim. I'd like to see the results of a scientific poll that shows the proportion of reputable Bible scholars who believe Jesus existed. If you can't provide that data, then avow that you are just speculating.
Then Ehrman is speculating. I believe Ehrman, the subject matter expert, on the issue.
Jagella wrote: But I won't be too tough on you. I'll be generous and accept the assumption that most scholars believe Jesus existed.
Yeah, do that.
Jagella wrote: Hmmm--but don't you disbelieve in all gods except your own? In any case, if your god did exist, then yes I'd want to be separated from him. He's a monster. No sane person with a modicum of compassion would want the Bible god to exist.
You will get what you want.
Jagella wrote: If I really had free will, then I'd will myself to be freely enjoying the women in the Playboy Mansion.
*Mick Jaggers voice* You can't...always get...what you want...
Jagella wrote: Dawkins is a prime target for Christian apologists. They'd love to discredit him seeing that he's been such a powerful voice for rationalism. Dawkins has documented how apologists have lied to do so.
Which has nothing to do with him believing in the historical Jesus.
Jagella wrote: Really? Do you accept his conclusions that Jesus was misquoted and was made into a god by his followers? Or do you cherry-pick what he says to uphold your beliefs?
LOL. By saying that Jesus was misquoted, he is saying that Jesus existed, by default.
Jagella wrote: And you would never be one of those people.
I tend to like this particular outcome.

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #93

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Jagella wrote: I'm well aware that those sources are for the most part not independent.
Apparently, there are different views as to what "independent" means around here.
Jagella wrote: The New Testament is based on the commonly-held beliefs of those Christians who won the orthodoxy battles in the emerging church rather than on actual history.
Completely false. Thank goodness we have the letters of good ole' Paul, who said that he "received" the famous creed (1Cor 15:3-8), which is that Jesus died, was buried, raised, and seen post-mortem by his followers.

And what is remarkable is that 1 Corinthians was written BEFORE the Gospels and the belief in the Resurrection was held BEFORE the Churches were established. So, those MAIN, CORE beliefs of Christianity (Resurrection, Post Mortem) were not beliefs that were held decades and centuries down the line...they were held shortly after Jesus' death.

So, the above paragraph coming from your fingertips is just completely wrong, sir.
Jagella wrote: One of those commonly-held beliefs is that Jesus existed as a man in first-century Palestine. Real-Jesus apologists either are ignorant of this fact or are deliberately misleading people.
So, real-Jesus apologists are ignorant of the fact that Jesus existed as a man in first-century Palestine? But I thought that was the case that we were advocating for?
Jagella wrote: Even Tacitus and Josephus cannot be said to be truly independent.
Um, both of them were HISTORIANS. Unless you are implying that one of the criterias of a historian is that you have to have been living/present at the time of historical event in question.

So, that being said, I guess there shouldn't be any Civil War historians, Ancient Egyptian historian, or Ancient Rome historians living today. Yet, there is..which means that your assessment below is completely bogus and not in touch with how historical methodology works.
Jagella wrote: Although neither one of them was a Christian, they most likely got their "information" about Jesus from Christians.
So, because they got their information about Jesus from Christians, that makes the information automatically invalid? This is a text book example of the genetic fallacy. Most people who don't know anything about historical methodology makes commits this fallacy.
Jagella wrote: In any case, we don't know their sources and cannot with confidence say that their mentioning Jesus is independent corroboration.
Both of them makes mention (or implies) Pontius Pilate...so I guess Pontius Pilate also isn't a historical figure.

Man, the hate on Jesus is real. That is ok, though. That is quite ok. LOL.

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Post #94

Post by Danmark »

[Replying to post 81 by For_The_Kingdom]

According to you, a generation lasts more than 2000 years and some of the disciples are still alive. "Soon" must mean "forever" for some Christian apologists who absolutely ignore the Bible whenever it is convenient for their theology. However, when it comes to magic miracles and the supernatural the plain meaning of words is accepted.

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #95

Post by Danmark »

For_The_Kingdom wrote:
Jagella wrote: In any case, we don't know their sources and cannot with confidence say that their mentioning Jesus is independent corroboration.
Man, the hate on Jesus is real.
:?:
How do you twist questioning a source into "hating Jesus?"
Do you use the same method you use to turn 2000 years into "soon." :P

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Re: A Major Conflict in Jesus Historicity

Post #96

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to For_The_Kingdom]
It is ok, Jag, accepting that Jesus existed doesn't make you a Christian. You can still continue on with your disbelief. It is ok.
Thanks, but I should point out that it's not like it used to be. Four centuries ago you would have tortured me and burned me at the stake. Oh, "give us that old-time religion!"
You don't become a Christian by default by simply acknowledging that the historical evidence supports his existence.
True, but accepting the evidence I've seen for a historical Jesus would make me a dope.
Then Ehrman is speculating.
I don't like Ehrman. Among other things he libeled DM Murdock. I don't generally make a practice of accepting the "expertise" of liars.
You will get what you want...
You can't...always get...what you want...
You contradicted yourself in two sentences. Care to do it in one?
By saying that Jesus was misquoted, he is saying that Jesus existed, by default.
Right, and you believe Ehrman saying Jesus existed and reject Ehrman when he says the gospels misquote Jesus. If anybody believes this kind of nonsense, then they are in dire need of a brain transplant.

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Post #97

Post by bjs »

[Replying to post 96 by Jagella]


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Post #98

Post by liamconnor »

Can anyone point to a moment in the gospels when it would be conceivable for Jesus to attract attention for the government? Did he ever gather and lead large groups of people towards large cities? Did he ever encourage the notion that he was a militant figurehead? Did he ever even retain crowds for more than a few days in the wilderness?

Or was he constantly keeping a low profile?

What evidence is there from the actual records (Paul, the biographies, canonical and non)?

The silence argument that has been enforced here is unhistorical.

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Post #99

Post by Danmark »

liamconnor wrote: Can anyone point to a moment in the gospels when it would be conceivable for Jesus to attract attention for the government? Did he ever gather and lead large groups of people towards large cities? Did he ever encourage the notion that he was a militant figurehead? Did he ever even retain crowds for more than a few days in the wilderness?

Or was he constantly keeping a low profile?
He wasn't exactly keeping a low profile when he turned over the money changers tables and when he entered Jerusalem on what is now celebrated as Palm Sunday, when crowds gathered around Jesus after he raised Lazarus from the dead. The next day the multitudes that had gathered for the feast in Jerusalem welcomed Jesus as he entered Jerusalem in triumph.

Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19

In Matthew 10:34 he said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Regardless of what he meant by that, it is reasonable to believe the government was concerned. His apocalyptic preaching about destruction may have made a bureaucrat or two nervous. Of course, it was the Jewish hierarchy that really whipped up the Romans. Just like today, special interest groups can have influence greater than their numbers.

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Post #100

Post by For_The_Kingdom »

Danmark wrote: According to you, a generation lasts more than 2000 years and some of the disciples are still alive.
Again, depends on how "generation" should be used in this context.
Danmark wrote: "Soon" must mean "forever" for some Christian apologists who absolutely ignore the Bible whenever it is convenient for their theology.
Actually, for us Christians in general, "soon" means "Christ will return whenever he damn well pleases". Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses, true Christians don't set time tables, we will just be ready whenever he gets here.
Danmark wrote: However, when it comes to magic miracles and the supernatural the plain meaning of words is accepted.
It all depends on context.

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