Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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19-07-2016, 11:59 AM (This post was last modified: 19-07-2016 12:02 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 11:53 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Gulliver's Travels, Moby-Dick, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are all "first-hand accounts", and even contain names of real places and references to real historical events of those time periods. Can I conclude that everything in those books is historical fact?

No, they're not first-hand accounts, they're first person fictional narratives, written respectively by Swift, Melville , and Twain. The first-person aspect is used by these authors as a literary device in their fictional works.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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19-07-2016, 12:01 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 11:44 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  No the Gospels, the NT writings are evidence for a variety of things, they include first hand accounts, like that of Paul, and support of a variety of historical happenings, and people in that period.

I understand atheists here have their own rules here, that historians and scholars of the ancient world would likely roll their eyes at.

According to Bart Erhman the gospels (good news) were meant to convey the "good news" about Christianity. They were not meant to convey history. Early Christians believed that the end times were upon them. They did not need historical records. They needed to convince their fellows to accept salvation.

The need for orthodoxy and historical accuracy only came later, decades later, when the end times didn't happen.

As far as being historically accurate, the gospels are not. They have points of accuracy, but there are also glaring discrepancies. (earthquakes, zombie invasions, etc.)

The fact that the bible is accurate on some points doesn't mean that it is accurate on all points. In other words, the fact that the bible is correct when it talks about Pontius Pilate being Prefect of Judea, doesn't mean that we should assume it is correct when it assigns divinity to a deluded preacher.

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19-07-2016, 12:04 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 11:59 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(19-07-2016 11:53 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Gulliver's Travels, Moby-Dick, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are all "first-hand accounts", and even contain names of real places and references to real historical events of those time periods. Can I conclude that everything in those books is historical fact?

No, they're not first-hand accounts, they're first person fictional narratives. Written respectively by Swift, Melville , and Twain.

And how do we know the epistles are not first person fictional narratives written by "Paul" (whoever he was)?

Paul's writings are mainly first-hand accounts of his own theology, anyway. Very little real narrative there. And there are no first-hand accounts of Jesus himself. All 4 Gospels are hearsay (or fiction), written many years later by people who never knew Jesus.
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19-07-2016, 12:04 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
Quote: Early Christians believed that the end times were upon them.


Yep. And that bullshit didn't work out so well for them.

In fact, another bunch of fools claims the end will come on July 29th. Such a death cult is jesusism. Fuck them all.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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19-07-2016, 12:04 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 12:01 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The fact that the bible is accurate on some points doesn't mean that it is accurate on all points. In other words, the fact that the bible is correct when it talks about Pontius Pilate being Prefect of Judea, doesn't mean that we should assume it is correct when it assigns divinity to a deluded preacher.

Strawman. I never claimed that the bible is accurate on all points, some points suffice.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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19-07-2016, 12:10 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 12:04 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  And how do we know the epistles are not first person fictional narratives written by "Paul" (whoever he was)?

Because I possess basic reading skills, though my grammar and spelling could use some work.

Quote:Paul's writings are mainly first-hand accounts of his own theology, anyway. Very little real narrative there.

Well, there goes one answer to your previous question, there's little to no narrative there, ruling out "first person fictional narrative". They contains letters which are first hand accounts of meeting Jesus's brother, and disciples as well.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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19-07-2016, 12:22 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 12:10 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(19-07-2016 12:04 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  And how do we know the epistles are not first person fictional narratives written by "Paul" (whoever he was)?

Because I possess basic reading skills, though my grammar and spelling could use some work.

Quote:Paul's writings are mainly first-hand accounts of his own theology, anyway. Very little real narrative there.

Well, there goes one answer to your previous question, there's little to no narrative there, ruling out "first person fictional narrative". They contains letters which are first hand accounts of meeting Jesus's brother, and disciples as well.

OK, I'll grant that Paul met some people who were (or at least claimed to be) disciples of Jesus, and wrote about it. I'll even grant that this Jesus existed. I have no beef with any of that. I am not a mythicist. And I don't particularly care whether or not Nazareth existed in the early first century, although I have seen no convincing evidence that it did.

I concede that Jesus probably existed. But in my opinion, the Jesus of the Gospels bears about as much resemblance to the real Jesus as "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" does to the real Abraham Lincoln. No divinity, no miracles, no resurrection, etc. However, since this thread is not about any of that, I am going to quietly fade away.

One final note: I continue to be amused by all these references to James the "brother" of Jesus, when many Christians (the Catholic church, for sure) strenuously insist that Jesus had no brothers, since his mother Mary was "ever virgin".
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19-07-2016, 12:27 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 12:04 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(19-07-2016 12:01 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The fact that the bible is accurate on some points doesn't mean that it is accurate on all points. In other words, the fact that the bible is correct when it talks about Pontius Pilate being Prefect of Judea, doesn't mean that we should assume it is correct when it assigns divinity to a deluded preacher.

Strawman. I never claimed that the bible is accurate on all points, some points suffice.

Some points do not suffice when you are claiming divinity.

How do you know which points are accurate and which aren't?

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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19-07-2016, 01:07 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 12:27 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Some points do not suffice when you are claiming divinity.

How do you know which points are accurate and which aren't?

I didn't make any claims regarding divinity.

By considering any particular point on its own, and what conclusions are more likely than not. Whether their supportive of historical points or not, and which overall explanation as to what happened in that period that gave rise to the Christian movement as a whole , is more likely.

Where the suggestion of the greatest conspiracy theory ever known to man, is more likely than Jesus being historical person.

For those who are members of the lack of belief crowd, such thinking is perhaps foreign to them, I don't know.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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19-07-2016, 01:25 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(19-07-2016 12:22 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  \
OK, I'll grant that Paul met some people who were (or at least claimed to be) disciples of Jesus, and wrote about it. I'll even grant that this Jesus existed. I have no beef with any of that. I am not a mythicist. And I don't particularly care whether or not Nazareth existed in the early first century, although I have seen no convincing evidence that it did.

I concede that Jesus probably existed. But in my opinion, the Jesus of the Gospels bears about as much resemblance to the real Jesus as "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" does to the real Abraham Lincoln. No divinity, no miracles, no resurrection, etc. However, since this thread is not about any of that, I am going to quietly fade away.

Jesus is a bit more than his divinity, miracles, or resurrection. One read of the earliest Gospel, Mark, divinity is at best only vaguely hinted at, the miracles are downplayed. Jesus heals a man and advises him not to tell anyone, and the resurrection occurs out of scene in Marks original ending.

And reading all four Gospels, even in the highly spiritualized rendition of Jesus in John, reveal the same underlying person. There's not much to support that the real Jesus, minus any fanciful attributes associated with him, was a different sort of person than the ones portrayed in the Gospels, embodied in overall teachings and message.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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