Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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20-07-2016, 09:00 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 08:15 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 08:01 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  A few hundred people? That must have been a big-ass farm.


Following this line of reasoning, next time we find a few fossils for an extinct species several thousand years old, we should assume only the few fossilized creatures existed at the time.

Stupid false analogy.

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20-07-2016, 09:01 AM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2016 09:04 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 08:29 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 08:04 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  What brother? Christians -- never mind atheists, I'm talking about Christians here -- can't even agree on whether or not Jesus had any brothers. The Roman Catholic church taught me in no uncertain terms that he did not. Why do you keep ignoring this point?


Yes, catholics in their desire to preserve the perpetual virginity of Mary, still hold to James being the brother of Jesus, just a step-brother, rather than biological one. A child of Joseph from a previous marriage or something.

No. They don't say that, and they don't say "something" (else).
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm

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20-07-2016, 09:23 AM
Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 08:45 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 08:15 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Following this line of reasoning, next time we find a few fossils for an extinct species several thousand years old, we should assume only the few fossilized creatures existed at the time.


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Fossils require very special conditions, and as a result, the vast majority of dead organisms do not get fossilized. However, in fossil beds where the conditions were right, paleontologists find thousands upon thousands of fossils.

Likewise with towns and buildings. Towns have buildings -- multiple buildings -- and if conditions are such that buildings would be preserved, you would expect to find more than one. If conditions were not right, the farm wouldn't be there either. If the farm was preserved and was part of a town, other buildings should have been found. They were not.

What part of "a farm is not a town" do you not understand?


lol, your suggestion here might be somewhat valid if the area in question remaining untouched for 2000 years, rather than built upon, pillaged, etc. for a number of centuries. In fact the only reason we have the remains of the farm is a result of that particular area remaining undeveloped.

We have pottery, coinage, graves etc.. around that area to indicate that it was inhabited by more than just a single farm.

And please leave you anachronistic semantics reserved for someone else, if we're arguing of the English meaning of town, cities, farms it's irrelevant.


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"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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20-07-2016, 09:36 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 08:51 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 08:29 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Yes, catholics in their desire to preserve the perpetual virginity of Mary, still hold to James being the brother of Jesus, just a step-brother, rather than biological one. A child of Joseph from a previous marriage or something.


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...or not a brother in the modern sense at all.

Or it does mean a brother in the same modern sense. When we look at the Gospel records, they list Jesus' entire family, and lists James among them.

Quote:There is at least one passage in the Gospels that refers to "brothers" (plural) of Jesus.

Yes, and we see that he is shown to have brothers along with his mother several times:

Mat_12:46  But while He yet talked with the people, behold, His mother and His brothers stood outside, desiring to speak with Him.

Mat_12:47  Then one said to Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers stand outside, desiring to speak with You.

Mat_13:55  Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brothers, James and Joses and Simon and Judas,

Mar_3:31  Then His brothers and His mother came. And standing outside, they sent to Him, calling Him.

Mar_3:32  And the crowd sat about Him, and they said to Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking for You.

Luk_8:19  And His mother and His brothers came to Him. And they could not come near Him because of the crowd.

Luk_8:20  And it was told to Him by some, who said, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside desiring to see You.

Joh_2:12  After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples. And they did not stay there many days.

Act_1:14  these all were continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.


In all instances above, each verse demonstrates "brothers" in the sense of family unity.


Quote:Maybe, maybe not, but if Jesus had a biological brother at all, he had more than one. That makes him (and his mother) a little less special than his fanboys like to pretend.

The internal evidence indicates he had several, with 4 listed.
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20-07-2016, 09:37 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 08:33 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 08:03 AM)natachan Wrote:  There are also Roman writers who write of Romulus and Remus as factual people, although we know they are not. There are instances of historians exaggerating events. it happens. As such by itself I don't find this credible as a source for the historicity of Jesus.

Now if you want to know what I DO find compelling, that's another issue.

Your opinion of what is credible is irrelevant as opposed to the opinions of virtually all experts in the field, including mine. The reason is that there is absolutely no reason to doubt the credibility of this source in Tacitus.

You must demonstrate a reason as to why you do not find it credible, and the only way you can do that is by providing an argument supported by evidence in an effort to diminish the importance of this text.

But be forewarned, many have tried over the years, and all have gotten egg on their face. So be careful what you try to present as being reasonable, and be certain any evidence you bring forth is actually evidence.

I have yet to see any argument against it whatsoever that doesn't employ a massive amount of special pleading insomuch as to make the argument against look like a joke, and then dismissed upon that alone.

I don't doubt that Tacitus wrote it. What I doubt is that this is evidence of the historical person Jesus. So, again, I'll back up why I think that.

"Whose founder, Chrestis, received the ultimate penalty under Pontius Pilate..."

This is the phrase we are concerned with. This was written in 119 AD, well enough after for all relevant witnesses to be long dead. This doesn't mention the name of the deceased or the reason for his conviction or trial, nor does it give any concrete dates. It is simply a statement of origin for this group. It would read the same if this group simply made this claim. As such it is not compelling by itself.

Note that I am not a "no original person started this cult" person. I happen to think, for other reasons, that there was a person who started an apocalyptic personality cult that eventually became Christianity. I think it is possible that this person was crucified by Pilate. I just don't think this passage is compelling.
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20-07-2016, 10:04 AM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2016 10:15 AM by Tomasia.)
Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 08:51 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 08:29 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Yes, catholics in their desire to preserve the perpetual virginity of Mary, still hold to James being the brother of Jesus, just a step-brother, rather than biological one. A child of Joseph from a previous marriage or something.


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...or not a brother in the modern sense at all.

It's interesting you mentioned the modern sense, because the term brother is frequently used figuratively and literally n the modern sense as well, as is common in the black community. The context in which the term is used often helps us distinguish when someone is using the term figuratively or literally. When we introduce someone, as someone else's brother, we tend to understand that person to mean literal brother in such instances.

Paul, uses "the brother of Lord" in regards to James to distinguish who James is, he doesn't say James is my brother, but the lord's brother, as distinguished from Cephas in the same passage.

And this literal relationship is confirmed independently , in two of the Gospels as well and by Josephus who wrote of his death.

So in regards to the James/Jesus relationship we have multiple sources, a first hand account, and a contemporary historians accounts.

Yet for our dishonest atheists the various things they ask for when it comes to Jesus, gets hand-waved away when it comes to James.

And what these discussions about historicity indicates to me, is that for our atheists here, the belief that Jesus didn't exist, or lack of belief in his existence, is not about the things commonly appealed to. It's not about first hand accounts, contemporary historical accounts, non-Christian references, or even archaeological evidence, but something else that motivates it, more pathological than reason driven.





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"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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20-07-2016, 10:08 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 09:37 AM)natachan Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 08:33 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Your opinion of what is credible is irrelevant as opposed to the opinions of virtually all experts in the field, including mine. The reason is that there is absolutely no reason to doubt the credibility of this source in Tacitus.

You must demonstrate a reason as to why you do not find it credible, and the only way you can do that is by providing an argument supported by evidence in an effort to diminish the importance of this text.

But be forewarned, many have tried over the years, and all have gotten egg on their face. So be careful what you try to present as being reasonable, and be certain any evidence you bring forth is actually evidence.

I have yet to see any argument against it whatsoever that doesn't employ a massive amount of special pleading insomuch as to make the argument against look like a joke, and then dismissed upon that alone.

I don't doubt that Tacitus wrote it. What I doubt is that this is evidence of the historical person Jesus. So, again, I'll back up why I think that.

"Whose founder, Chrestis, received the ultimate penalty under Pontius Pilate..."

This is the phrase we are concerned with. This was written in 119 AD, well enough after for all relevant witnesses to be long dead. This doesn't mention the name of the deceased or the reason for his conviction or trial, nor does it give any concrete dates. It is simply a statement of origin for this group. It would read the same if this group simply made this claim. As such it is not compelling by itself.

And that's exactly why this works against you. Christians would be proclaiming the name of JEEEESUSSSS loud and clear and if Tacitus would have said "Jesus" THEN you would have more reason to be suspicious, and so would I. So would anybody.

The precise reason- I believe- that Tacitus used "Christ" is because of what the word "Christ" actually means. Yes, the standard understanding is that it refers to a savior of the Jews, but in Judaic theology a Messiah will also be a king.

Tacitus is saying "Christ" because at that time the Christians were still considered to be a sub-sect of the Jews as far as the Romans were concerned, and with the constant wars between the Romans and Jews, Tacitus was telling the Roman audience that the Romans had conquered and killed a Jewish king.


Quote:Note that I am not a "no original person started this cult" person. I happen to think, for other reasons, that there was a person who started an apocalyptic personality cult that eventually became Christianity. I think it is possible that this person was crucified by Pilate. I just don't think this passage is compelling.

Considering that it is a non-Christian non-Jewish account of the crucifixion of Christ by the Romans from the Roman perspective, this passage is unassailable in terms of compelling and credibility.
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20-07-2016, 10:21 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 10:08 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 09:37 AM)natachan Wrote:  I don't doubt that Tacitus wrote it. What I doubt is that this is evidence of the historical person Jesus. So, again, I'll back up why I think that.

"Whose founder, Chrestis, received the ultimate penalty under Pontius Pilate..."

This is the phrase we are concerned with. This was written in 119 AD, well enough after for all relevant witnesses to be long dead. This doesn't mention the name of the deceased or the reason for his conviction or trial, nor does it give any concrete dates. It is simply a statement of origin for this group. It would read the same if this group simply made this claim. As such it is not compelling by itself.

And that's exactly why this works against you. Christians would be proclaiming the name of JEEEESUSSSS loud and clear and if Tacitus would have said "Jesus" THEN you would have more reason to be suspicious, and so would I. So would anybody.

The precise reason- I believe- that Tacitus used "Christ" is because of what the word "Christ" actually means. Yes, the standard understanding is that it refers to a savior of the Jews, but in Judaic theology a Messiah will also be a king.

Tacitus is saying "Christ" because at that time the Christians were still considered to be a sub-sect of the Jews as far as the Romans were concerned, and with the constant wars between the Romans and Jews, Tacitus was telling the Roman audience that the Romans had conquered and killed a Jewish king.


Quote:Note that I am not a "no original person started this cult" person. I happen to think, for other reasons, that there was a person who started an apocalyptic personality cult that eventually became Christianity. I think it is possible that this person was crucified by Pilate. I just don't think this passage is compelling.

Considering that it is a non-Christian non-Jewish account of the crucifixion of Christ by the Romans from the Roman perspective, this passage is unassailable in terms of compelling and credibility.

When was this passage first written?
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20-07-2016, 10:32 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
I disagree. Christ is a title, and as you note was often used for a good number of those in antiquity. All this says is that they believe their anointed one was killed by Pilate. There are no details to tie this to an actual event except the name Pilate. It would read exactly the same if this was just a story put around by Christians. As such I don't find it credible. But then again, I have no dog in this fight. I don't care.

This passage is flimsy. It is the ne phrase that can be read as simply a statement of what this sect believed. And this is THE BEST extra-biblical evidence of this person. It's lousy.

I think that there was an originator. Contemporaries, poets and observers, note that there were apocalyptic preachers in this area at the time. In fact it appears they were common. I remember a piece, I can't remember which poet wrote it, about the frequency of these preachers. We also know of several messianic Jewish preachers around this time. Some of their stories bear parallels to the Jesus story, including that of John the Baptist.

I find it likely that the person who we will call Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher. I think it is likely that he either met, or was in some way associated with the sect that was around John the Baptist. It is possible that he was crucified by Pilate. Pilate was not a nice man and was known for killing people for little or no reason. I think his story was then embellished and exaggerated.
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20-07-2016, 10:36 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(20-07-2016 09:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(20-07-2016 08:45 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Fossils require very special conditions, and as a result, the vast majority of dead organisms do not get fossilized. However, in fossil beds where the conditions were right, paleontologists find thousands upon thousands of fossils.

Likewise with towns and buildings. Towns have buildings -- multiple buildings -- and if conditions are such that buildings would be preserved, you would expect to find more than one. If conditions were not right, the farm wouldn't be there either. If the farm was preserved and was part of a town, other buildings should have been found. They were not.

What part of "a farm is not a town" do you not understand?


lol, your suggestion here might be somewhat valid if the area in question remaining untouched for 2000 years, rather than built upon, pillaged, etc. for a number of centuries. In fact the only reason we have the remains of the farm is a result of that particular area remaining undeveloped.

We have pottery, coinage, graves etc.. around that area to indicate that it was inhabited by more than just a single farm.

And please leave you anachronistic semantics reserved for someone else, if we're arguing of the English meaning of town, cities, farms it's irrelevant.


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Ummm... This is what happens when you excavate a town that has been "built upon, pillaged, etc. for a number of centuries":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho

They found a lot more than one farm and some pottery. They found evidence of at least 20 separate settlements, and were able to distinguish them from each other. And this is older than Nazareth.
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