Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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24-07-2016, 10:06 AM (This post was last modified: 24-07-2016 10:10 AM by GoingUp.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(23-07-2016 09:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Once again, you're making up stuff about me. You cannot quote me once when I said that Paul's mention of the crucifixion was interpolated (in fact I said the very opposite) Nor can you quote me once saying that Paul's mention of James was interpolated...in fact I said the very opposite.


Here are some quotes from you on this forum:

Here you suggest that Paul's reference to James as a brother of Jesus was an interpolation:

' Wrote:Paul, who wrote in the 50’s CE, stated that he went to Jerusalem to

“...meet Peter and James, the brother of the Lord” (Gal. 1:19, NJB.)

This hinted at the important status of James and is a strong clue that there once was a living Jesus, although the modern reader should bear in mind the possibility that this could be an interpolation.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid782448

Listed below are two quotes of you that claim that when Paul mentions Jesus, Jesus, Christ, or Lord Jesus - WHICH HE DOES IN REFERENCE TO HIS CRUCIFIXION- you make the claim of interpolation:

Quote:Saint Paul, who probably appeared on the historical scene only fifteen years after Yeshua’s death, does repeatedly commend his Christ in his letters, although some scholars suspect that he refers to a different character and not to Yeshua. If this is so, his references to “Jesus” may be interpolations. Whether or not Paul’s Christ was Yeshua, his writings are remarkably deficient in facts about Jesus.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid823667


Quote:The hero of Marcion’s canon was Isu Chrestos - not Jesus or Yeshua. This is one of the reasons why, when Paul mentions ‘Jesus,’ ‘Lord Jesus’ or ‘Jesus Christ’, such references are probably interpolations, although this is impossible to prove or disprove.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ary?page=7

Hence, you are claiming that the following quote about Jesus Christ being crucified is an interpolation.

1Co_2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Quote:"You don't understand Gnosticism."

It is debatable whether Marcion was a Gnostic.

All the typical signs are there.

Quote:Yes, they believed a flesh and blood man named Jesus existed and was crucified.


Marcion did not believe this. Check your facts.

I have checked my facts. You simply don't understand the facts because you have no clue about Gnosticism.

Quote:"They split him in 2."

Who is "they?"

The Gnostics.
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24-07-2016, 10:15 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(23-07-2016 11:19 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(23-07-2016 10:19 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  The Christian church. You know, all the churches in various cities that Paul wrote all his letters to, and who Clement wrote to, and who other letter writers wrote to.

You know, the one Paul says existed at least by CE 50.

You know the one that Clement wrote to around CE 90, to the Corinthians.

You know, the one Justin was telling Trypho about around CE 140.

You know, the author of the Muratorian fragment that is dated around CE 170 and listed 4 Gospels, naming Luke and John, Paul Letters ext.

You know, the one Irenaeus keeps harping about around CE 175.

You know, Irenaeus listed the 4 gospel authors around CE 175.

You know, the one Tertullian won't shut up about around CE 200.

And if you have read closely, you will see a consistent chain of evidence demonstrating not only the existence of the early church, but the names of those who were involved, the formation of the canon, the naming of books in the early canon, and all of this done in an acceptable neat time-line showing HISTORY as it progressed.

Drinking Beverage

Oh. I see you are referring to what became the Roman Catholic church...the ones who wrote the history.

Except for the fact that everything I posted occurred between 125 - 200 years before the advent of Catholicism, and has nothing to do with Catholicism.

Instead, we call it "history."

Big Grin
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24-07-2016, 10:50 AM (This post was last modified: 24-07-2016 02:57 PM by GoingUp.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
Quote:
Quote:Yes, they believed a flesh and blood man named Jesus existed and was crucified.


Marcion did not believe this. Check your facts.

I have checked my facts. You simply don't understand the facts because you have no clue about Gnosticism. Here:

Hippolytus reported that Marcion's phantasmal (and Docetist) Christ was "revealed as a man, though not a man", and did not really die on the cross.

However, Ernest Evans, in editing this work, observes:

"This may not have been Marcion's own belief. It was certainly that of Hermogenes (cf. Tertullian, Adversus Hermogenem) and probably other gnostics and Marcionites, who held that the intractability of this matter explains the world's many imperfections."


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcionism...Christians


Gnosticism does not deny the physical person of Jesus, they simply understand it completely differently than we do. To them, the "real" Jesus was not human, but only imitated a human body. The "real" Jesus was not crucified, but instead only this imitated body was crucified.

To them, the "real" Jesus was not human at all, but rather was a spirit. This, despite the fact that they all agree that an "imitated" fleshly body was used by the spirit of Jesus to interact with people.

So according to them, the "real" Jesus was not a flesh and bone person, and did not die on the cross. Their position is that it would be impossible and ridiculous for an eternal spirit to have been born and to have died.

Therefore, they split Jesus into 2, flesh and spirit, but have absolutely no regard for the fleshly Jesus at all, as the flesh itself is completely irrelevant to their beliefs. Flesh is meaningless. Where Christians of the day- and even today- worship a man named Jesus, the Gnostics instead worshiped the spirit that existed within the man named Jesus.

And that is the fundamental difference between Christianity and Gnosticism.

The following text may give you a good understanding of what I am talking about:

The Apocalypse of Peter

And pay close attention to the following lines in the text above:

"The Savior said to me, "He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus. But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in his likeness. But look at him and me."

"And he said to me, "Be strong, for you are the one to whom these mysteries have been given, to know them through revelation, that he whom they crucified is the first-born, and the home of demons, and the stony vessel in which they dwell, of Elohim, of the cross, which is under the Law. But he who stands near him is the living Savior, the first in him, whom they seized and released, who stands joyfully looking at those who did him violence, while they are divided among themselves. Therefore he laughs at their lack of perception, knowing that they are born blind. So then the one susceptible to suffering shall come, since the body is the substitute. But what they released was my incorporeal body. But I am the intellectual Spirit filled with radiant light. He whom you saw coming to me is our intellectual Pleroma, which unites the perfect light with my Holy Spirit."

They separate the flesh from the spirit. That's how Gnosticism works, Mark.

And if you read Paul closely, you will see much of this same theme creeping into his theology. And that is exactly why Marcion chose the Gospel of Luke (after he edited it) and Paul's letters to form his canon. I strongly suspect that because Paul spent so much time away from the influences of Judaism due to him going to the Greeks, Romans, Gentiles etc, that although he was preaching his version of the Gospel he was also subjected to being taught by the Greeks and early Gnostics on how to understand his version of Jesus.

Paul uses the word "spirit" at least 145 times in his letters. But listed below are just a few of the many ones that can be compared to a Gnostic school of thought:

Rom_8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Rom_8:4 so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Rom_8:5 For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Rom_8:9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

Rom_8:10 And if Christ is in you, indeed the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Rom_8:13 For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die. But if you through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.

1Co_3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Col_2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.


His statement compares to the Gnostics quite nicely, and Paul may very well be the father of Christian Gnosticism, and his theology may very well be the source for the Gnosticism of Hermogenem, Cerdo, Marcion, and Valentinus among others.

More on the Gnostic Paul and also Gnosticism in The New Testament.

And finally, one more point about the Gospel of Luke and Marcion. The following is from Irenaeus - a contemporary of Marcion- circa CE 175, 15 years after Marcion's purported death and 30 years earlier than Tertullian.

Note the bold text below:

Quote:Marcion of Pontus succeeded him, and developed his doctrine. In so doing, he advanced the most daring blasphemy against Him who is proclaimed as God by the law and the prophets, declaring Him to be the author of evils, to take delight in war, to be infirm of purpose, and even to be contrary to Himself.

But Jesus being derived from that father who is above the God that made the world, and coming into Judæa in the times of Pontius Pilate the governor, who was the procurator of Tiberius Cæsar, was manifested in the form of a man to those who were in Judæa, abolishing the prophets and the law, and all the works of that God who made the world, whom also he calls Cosmocrator.

Besides this, he mutilates the Gospel which is according to Luke, removing all that is written respecting the generation of the Lord, and setting aside a great deal of the teaching of the Lord, in which the Lord is recorded as most dearly confessing that the Maker of this universe is His Father.


He likewise persuaded his disciples that he himself was more worthy of credit than are those apostles who have handed down the Gospel to us, furnishing them not with the Gospel, but merely a fragment of it. In like manner, too, he dismembered the Epistles of Paul, removing all that is said by the apostle respecting that God who made the world, to the effect that He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also those passages from the prophetical writings which the apostle quotes, in order to teach us that they announced beforehand the coming of the Lord.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103127.htm

That is now 2 records that demonstrate that Marcion mutilated the Gospel of Luke, which is clear-cut evidence that the Gospel of Luke existed long before Marcion butchered it, as we now have a testimony of it all by a contemporary of Marcion.

And that is Gnosticism 101.

Good day.
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24-07-2016, 02:58 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(24-07-2016 07:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-07-2016 12:24 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Mark's position is that all 4 gospels and Acts are complete works of fiction that depict absolutely nothing of historical value at all. Therefore, according to him, Nazareth was an imaginary town in the Gospels, and later Christians conspired to create a real town and name it Nazareth to make it appear like it had always existed. Then, we are expected to believe that nobody noticed this invented town and said anything about it such as, "Hey, look at those fucking Christians! They actually created a town and called it Nazareth in an effort to make it look like the Nazareth that is in the Gospel actually existed!"

If that position isn't fucking weird, I don't know what is.

Consider

But, aside from all the evidence, the problem with his logic is obvious.

Despite the literary evidence demonstrating that Nazareth was mentioned as place of existence as early as CE 130, Mark also tries to make the claim that the written gospels didn't exist until nearly the middle of the 2nd century.

So the question is this:

How could early Christians invent a town called Nazareth as early as CE 130 to make it jibe with a written gospel record that didn't supposedly exist until CE 150?

Also, since we know the written Gospel of Luke existed long before CE 130 as per previous posts with evidence, and we know it mentions Nazareth, this just makes this conspiracy theory of his concerning Nazareth all the more bizarre.

No offense to anyone who thinks that Nazareth didn't exist in the 1st century, but I find anyone who subscribes to that view as to be kind of ... weird. It requires you to bend over backwards with really weird conspiracy theories that have no evidence for them at all, and also to defy all reason and logic, and then deny the existence of all available evidence.

People, I don't care what anybody says, but this is just too fucking weird for me. It's giving me the creeps.


Mark Fulton's position is that the early Christians had a severe schism with a supposed Nazarene sect, which Jesus was a part of. And these Christians edited half verses in the Gospels that had "the the Nazarene" in it, so that Jesus's association with that sect could be erased.

And how did they do that? By changing those verses to make it about a town called Nazareth that didn't come to exist till about the forth century, a town founded and inhabited by the same sect these later Christians were trying to dissociate themselves with.

Okay perhaps he won't say this is his positions, he'll say this "may have" been the case. Primarily because his thesis, and a shitty book he wrote on this, is dependent on it.

It should also be noted that Mark's not a mythicist, he holds to a very Jewish historical Jesus, who was a part of the Nazarene sect, which James and others were a part of. He's just hear defending certain mythicist positions not because he actually subscribes to any of em, but because no one really gives much credence to cockamamie views, like his whole take on Nazareth outlined above.

"Mark Fulton's position is that the early Christians had a severe schism with a supposed Nazarene sect, which Jesus was a part of. And these Christians edited half verses in the Gospels that had "the the Nazarene" in it, so that Jesus's association with that sect could be erased.

And how did they do that? By changing those verses to make it about a town called Nazareth that didn't come to exist till about the forth century, a town founded and inhabited by the same sect these later Christians were trying to dissociate themselves with."


You have sort of half got what I think. This is what I write in my book...

The Nazarenes
Yeshua was a Nazarene, as stated in the bible: Acts referred to
“Jesus Christ the Nazarene” (Acts 2:22, 3:6, 4:10, 6:14, 22:8, 26:9, NJB.) Most Christians assume the term “Nazarene” referred to the fact that Jesus came from the village of Nazareth. This was, after all, what Matthew claimed, (Matt. 2:23) but Nazareth the place was probably not the real origin of the term. On (almost) every occasion that Jesus was referred to as being “of Nazareth,” the real meaning is “the Nazarene” (http://www.essene.com/What is a Nazarene.htm.) As mentioned, Nazareth the village probably didn’t exist in Yeshua’s time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxEJHO8KIXY). Calling him Jesus “of Nazareth” was a ploy to distract from his sectarian affiliations. The bible made it clear the term “Nazarene” referred to a sect, when in the book of Acts, Paul is accused of being a Nazarene.

“The plain truth is that we find this man a perfect pest; he stirs up trouble among Jews the world over, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.” (Acts 24:5, NJB.) An important religious sect would not have been named after an obscure Galilean village."

Now, for some reason, you jumped on the idea that I said Nazarene the place was interpolated into the gospels at a later date. While I accept that is a possibility, as we don't have any copies of the original versions of gospels, I have never promoted this idea... it was simply your interpretation of what I wrote. I think the gospels originally had Nazareth in them, and it was there as a ploy to distract from the term the Nazarene.

I hope that clears this up for you once and for all.

As far as Nazareth not existing is concerned, neither you or your mate have provided a single written reference from prior to about 140 CE confirming the existence of Nazareth, nor have you explained why no Christian ever visited Nazareth the place prior to the early fourth century. You can rabbit on for as long as you like about your shitty archaeological evidence and how you think this part of your gospels a true narrative of history, but the fact remains you're basing your ideas on extremely shaky grounds.
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24-07-2016, 03:09 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(24-07-2016 02:58 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  As far as Nazareth not existing is concerned, neither you or your mate have provided a single written reference from prior to about 140 CE confirming the existence of Nazareth, nor have you explained why no Christian ever visited Nazareth the place prior to the early fourth century. You can rabbit on for as long as you like about your shitty archaeological evidence and how you think this part of your gospels a true narrative of history, but the fact remains you're basing your ideas on extremely shaky grounds.

No.

Your entire position against the existence of Nazareth in the 1st century is based entirely upon an argument from silence that doesn't even have any evidence whatsoever to support it.

And therefore, your argument can be dismissed completely on that alone.
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24-07-2016, 03:23 PM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2016 05:09 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(24-07-2016 10:06 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(23-07-2016 09:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Once again, you're making up stuff about me. You cannot quote me once when I said that Paul's mention of the crucifixion was interpolated (in fact I said the very opposite) Nor can you quote me once saying that Paul's mention of James was interpolated...in fact I said the very opposite.


Here are some quotes from you on this forum:

Here you suggest that Paul's reference to James as a brother of Jesus was an interpolation:

' Wrote:Paul, who wrote in the 50’s CE, stated that he went to Jerusalem to

“...meet Peter and James, the brother of the Lord” (Gal. 1:19, NJB.)

This hinted at the important status of James and is a strong clue that there once was a living Jesus, although the modern reader should bear in mind the possibility that this could be an interpolation.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid782448

Listed below are two quotes of you that claim that when Paul mentions Jesus, Jesus, Christ, or Lord Jesus - WHICH HE DOES IN REFERENCE TO HIS CRUCIFIXION- you make the claim of interpolation:

Quote:Saint Paul, who probably appeared on the historical scene only fifteen years after Yeshua’s death, does repeatedly commend his Christ in his letters, although some scholars suspect that he refers to a different character and not to Yeshua. If this is so, his references to “Jesus” may be interpolations. Whether or not Paul’s Christ was Yeshua, his writings are remarkably deficient in facts about Jesus.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid823667


Quote:The hero of Marcion’s canon was Isu Chrestos - not Jesus or Yeshua. This is one of the reasons why, when Paul mentions ‘Jesus,’ ‘Lord Jesus’ or ‘Jesus Christ’, such references are probably interpolations, although this is impossible to prove or disprove.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ary?page=7

Hence, you are claiming that the following quote about Jesus Christ being crucified is an interpolation.

1Co_2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Quote:"You don't understand Gnosticism."

It is debatable whether Marcion was a Gnostic.

All the typical signs are there.

Quote:Yes, they believed a flesh and blood man named Jesus existed and was crucified.


Marcion did not believe this. Check your facts.

I have checked my facts. You simply don't understand the facts because you have no clue about Gnosticism.

Quote:"They split him in 2."

Who is "they?"

The Gnostics.

You write...

"Here you suggest that Paul's reference to James as a brother of Jesus was an interpolation:

' Wrote:Paul, who wrote in the 50’s CE, stated that he went to Jerusalem to

“...meet Peter and James, the brother of the Lord” (Gal. 1:19, NJB.)

This hinted at the important status of James and is a strong clue that there once was a living Jesus, although the modern reader should bear in mind the possibility that this could be an interpolation.

I wrote

" the modern reader should bear in mind the possibility that this could be an interpolation"

I was not, no matter how you look at it, being definitive. Why did I write that? Unless I'm mistaken this is the only place in all of Paul's writings that he talks about James as being the brother of "the Lord." That is quite remarkable if you think about it. Here we have Paul writing volumes and volumes about his Christ, yet "Paul" writes only half a line about him meeting Christ's brother. You have to admit there is something very very strange going on here, and therefore the question of interpolation must be admitted.
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24-07-2016, 03:34 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(24-07-2016 03:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  That is quite remarkable if you think about it. Here we have Paul writing volumes and volumes about his Christ, yet only half a line about him meeting Christ's brother. You have to admit there is something very very strange going on here, and therefore the question of interpolation must be admitted.

I see absolutely nothing strange about Jesus having a brother named James. But then again, I see the whole of this from the entirety of all available historical evidence, and not from any preconceived Christian or anti-Christian position.

I mean, what is so strange about a mere man having a brother?

That's how I see it.
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24-07-2016, 04:17 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(24-07-2016 03:34 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  I see absolutely nothing strange about Jesus having a brother named James. But then again, I see the whole of this from the entirety of all available historical evidence, and not from any preconceived Christian or anti-Christian position.

I mean, what is so strange about a mere man having a brother?

That's how I see it.

Respectfully, read my previous entry. It's easy to "buy in" to the story as it has been handed down, refined, and entered the academic language in such a way that the "odd" (outsider) position is to challenge, rather than uphold, it... a process that is relatively recent, and certainly very recent in terms of major challenges to the overall tale as presented to us by the later-generation Christians who developed the orthodoxy.

There's nothing strange about a man with a brother, but that's never been what we're talking about, here. We're talking about a story that has had a huge impact on our world (and continuing impact, given the amount of legislation and social pressure applied by "Christians" who believe this story), and which shows several signs of editing and evolving from some other origin into the story that we have, today.

We see a lot that tries very hard to confirm the "traditional story", the one handed down from those who established it up until this day, and which appears to have reached its "modern" form around 140 C.E., though the degree to which it changed between 27 C.E. to 50 C.E. (the legitimate writings of Paul) is difficult to know, as is what changed, was invented, or was congealed into a collective between 27 C.E. and 70 C.E., when the Gospels began to appear. [Edit to Add: Much of the discussion, as Mark pointed out, is therefore discussing differences between Paul and the Gospels, which misses the point pretty heavily.] In the past couple of centuries, some scholars have done a great deal to undermine the assumptions (presuppositions) made in support of the stories in the New Testament, but it is still dangerous to go "all-out" and challenge it.

Even we, who are not in academia, must withstand quite a bit of fire when we ask skeptical questions of the conclusions put forth by people who support the traditional version... look at all the names you alone have called us, let alone Tomasia's psychopathic rants.

As you are so fond of pointing out, nothing changes if there really is a Jesus who really did come from Nazareth; he still wasn't magical and there still is no god who had a mammalian offspring. What we're trying to do is come up with a more-plausible reason why the same people who invented tales about his magical deeds (except in Nazareth, where their disbelief kept him from being able to perform miracles, of course) would invent bad prophecy-fulfillment legends, and why they'd try so hard to eliminate competing sects' versions and to obfuscate evidence (most of which we only know about because we still have the writings of the bishops who complained about them, prior to their destruction) that might show that the version we so easily accept as orthodoxy is utter bullshit.

In the end, Jesus and/or Nazareth may or may not exist. Who cares? But the positions are worth considering, rather than being dismissed out-of-hand and mocked. We are neither stupid nor uneducated. Our ideas are endlessly straw-manned and falsely lampooned, even when we're simply pointing out for instance that there's zero evidence of Nazareth existing at the time it's claimed by the Gospels (written after it definitely DID exist) to be there... including archaeological finds that try to sell tourists a pipe dream, even though there's nothing there to indicate the sort of Nazareth portrayed by Luke. It's not an argument from silence, it's "the evidence should clearly be right there, if this claim is true, and it is not there".

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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24-07-2016, 04:49 PM (This post was last modified: 24-07-2016 05:36 PM by GoingUp.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(24-07-2016 04:17 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  In the end, Jesus and/or Nazareth may or may not exist. Who cares? But the positions are worth considering, rather than being dismissed out-of-hand and mocked. We are neither stupid nor uneducated. Our ideas are endlessly straw-manned and falsely lampooned, even when we're simply pointing out for instance that there's zero evidence of Nazareth existing at the time it's claimed by the Gospels (written after it definitely DID exist) to be there... including archaeological finds that try to sell tourists a pipe dream, even though there's nothing there to indicate the sort of Nazareth portrayed by Luke. It's not an argument from silence, it's "the evidence should clearly be right there, if this claim is true, and it is not there".

The problem that me, the scholars, and the educated layman have is that the argument against has a common theme:

1. An argument from silence.
2. Denial that the available evidence is in fact evidence at all.
3. Completely implausible and wholly unsupported conspiracy theories.

a) The argument from silence doesn't provide any positive evidence whatsoever to support the argument. The lack of positive evidence is what qualifies it as a fallacious argument.

b) The argument that there is no archeological or historical evidence has been demonstrated as false, and that is not according to my mere opinion, but it's the opinion of all qualified experts who are all well trained in the subject. This is a consensus of professionals, and not merely a couple guys bickering on the internet.

c) The very notion that early Christians somehow conspired to create the town of Nazareth sometime after the 1st century in some effort to make it harmonious with the gospel record is not only completely lacking evidence for support, but is so incredibly implausible as to warrant ridicule.

d) The idea that Nazareth didn't exist in the 1st century can be traced as originating from a couple people such as Ken Humphrey's and Rene Salm- both of whom have absolutely no qualifications in any relevant field- and further investigation into their character reveals that they harbor extremist views against the religion of Christianity. This totally demonstrates excessive bias which is unsuitable to warrant credibility.

The absolute truth may never be known, but the absolute truth about virtually anything may never be known. But what we don't do is deny evidence when it certainly does exist, and contest a consensus of experts when we are not qualified, especially when we don't have a pot to piss in as a means of contesting them.

Anyone who contests a consensus of experts while they have no evidence or solid reasoning to contest them absolutely deserves ridicule. If you are going to claim that Nazareth didn't exist in the 1st century, or even claim that it POSSIBLY didn't exist, then you are required to provide evidence to support that position.

If you cannot provide any, then it is mere unsupported assertion, and nothing more.
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24-07-2016, 06:47 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(24-07-2016 04:49 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  The problem that me, the scholars, and the educated layman have is that the argument against has a common theme:

1. An argument from silence.

Except it's not an argument from silence, as I explained to you. There are good reasons to expect certain things to be there, in the places already examined, which should be obvious if the tale (as told, for instance, in The Gospel According to Luke) was true as told. If the tale is not true as told, then it is just a tale, and we have good reason to doubt the rest of the account's basis in fact.


(24-07-2016 04:49 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  2. Denial that the available evidence is in fact evidence at all.

Utter misrepresentation of what we're doing. We're questioning the interpretation of the evidence, or its application. For instance, when you say, "We have found Nazareth", we say, "No, you have found a single, small dwelling where a city supposedly large enough to house a temple with a library should be, and we have no evidence whatsoever that the people who lived in that house called that place Nazareth, or that they lived in the community that would (later?) be named Nazareth."

(24-07-2016 04:49 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  3. Completely implausible and wholly unsupported conspiracy theories.

So you keep saying; I don't think they're implausible or wholly unsupported at all, nor do I consider them conspiracy theories. We're talking about the motives of a religious cult, a cult we know manufactured and edited/censored a great deal of their own literature, and even if we didn't know they did this, I don't see how their example would be any different from the behavior of other religious cults we see in operation today (and throughout history). The implausible thing is to take them at their word on how it all happened.

(24-07-2016 04:49 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  b) The argument that there is no archeological or historical evidence has been demonstrated as false, and that is not according to my mere opinion, but it's the opinion of all qualified experts who are all well trained in the subject. This is a consensus of professionals, and not merely a couple guys bickering on the internet.

The problem is you're not telling the whole truth, here. The archaeological evidence you have cited is not definitive, nor is it yet accepted as unassailable. There remain unexplained elements, and elements which you are applying incorrectly-- such as the "first century" crap, when as I have explained (and you have ignored) there is a world of difference between 1921 and 1970... yet you would describe them both as "in the twentieth century", as if that covered it. None of the evidence presented indicates, definitively, a turn-of-the-millennium dwelling, and all of the positive evidence points to a post-70-C.E. community.

Likewise, there's a great deal of scholarly debate over whether the assumptions that must be made in order to date things like the Gospels, the writings of Paul (and whether they're really by Paul at all), and which parts of them are and aren't interpolation (such as the final passages in Mark, for instance, or 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16). Presenting it as though there is a solid consensus, and further stating that the interpretations used to form that consensus cannot be challenged, is not an honest approach... it certainly is undeserving of the level of derision which you apply here.

(24-07-2016 04:49 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  c) The very notion that early Christians somehow conspired to create the town of Nazareth sometime after the 1st century in some effort to make it harmonious with the gospel record is not only completely lacking evidence for support, but is so incredibly implausible as to warrant ridicule.

Are you not reading what we're writing? Or are you just being less-than-honest in your assessments of what we're saying? No one is saying that the Christians conspired to create the town of Nazareth. We're saying they attempted to hide Jesus' Nazarene sect beliefs by attributing them to the same name as that town, likely also named after those Nazarenes, or just so named because it's their word for Prince and/or Sanctified... there are, as I'm sure you know, also some "fit the prophecies" motivations, here, similar to the bad translation of Isaiah "alma = virgin" thing, among others.

So you're right... to state that the second-generation Christians made up the town itself would be deserving of ridicule. If anyone comes along who's actually saying that, I'll help you mock them.

(24-07-2016 04:49 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  d) The idea that Nazareth didn't exist in the 1st century can be traced as originating from a couple people such as Ken Humphrey's and Rene Salm- both of whom have absolutely no qualifications in any relevant field- and further investigation into their character reveals that they harbor extremist views against the religion of Christianity. This totally demonstrates excessive bias which is unsuitable to warrant credibility.

Um, okay. Have I said Nazareth didn't exist in the 1st century? Have I not said repeatedly that I think it was formed during the great upheaval (diaspora) around the time of the Roman-Jewish War? Please try to keep up with my actual arguments-- flailing away at straw men just wears you out and doesn't really help this conversation. I'm a little tired of repeatedly saying "that has never been what I said".

(24-07-2016 04:49 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  The absolute truth may never be known, but the absolute truth about virtually anything may never be known. But what we don't do is deny evidence when it certainly does exist, and contest a consensus of experts when we are not qualified, especially when we don't have a pot to piss in as a means of contesting them.

Anyone who contests a consensus of experts while they have no evidence or solid reasoning to contest them absolutely deserves ridicule. If you are going to claim that Nazareth didn't exist in the 1st century, or even claim that it POSSIBLY didn't exist, then you are required to provide evidence to support that position.

If you cannot provide any, then it is mere unsupported assertion, and nothing more.

Nice rant. Too bad it has nothing to do with anything I'm claiming.

Now can we deal with the real question, which is "Does the evidence fit the claims of the Gospel writers?" and "Do we have any evidence that the town was there pre-70 C.E., when they claim it was, especially in the form they claim it was (with local temple and hills to throw Jesus off, etc.), since that bears heavily on the mythology of the life of Jesus-of-Nazareth?" I have seen nothing presented by any archaeologist which demonstrates those questions, unless given a massive degree of post-hoc presumption.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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