Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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25-07-2016, 07:36 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 07:16 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  And we're back to this "first century" bullshit, again. I've said repeatedly that I think it was there by the time the Gospel writers were writing their stories down. It may well have been there before the war against the Romans... it may even have been the actual hometown of Jesus... but there's no actual evidence to support this, and the Gospels don't work as evidence for this because they get so many (fairly major, in my opinion) elements about Nazareth wrong, which indicates to me that they knew of the place but didn't know much about it.

So there's no actual evidence to support it's existence in the first century, yet you believe that it was there by the time writers of the Gospel penned their stories, which was written in the first century.

Or to be more clear, there's no evidence in support of Nazareth existing at the time the writers of the Gospels penned their stories, yet you believe it did exist at the time they penned their stories?

Or in other words you think it did exist at the time, based on no actual evidence?

Quote:Next one of you who uses the phrase "first century", in a context that indicates anything other than acknowledgement that I also think it was there in the second half of the first century, gets ignored from that point forward.

Same goes for the next one of you who claims I'm saying that the Christians invented the town.

That's because you're all over the place.

Quote:Finally, FUCK YOU for repeating that antisemitic bullshit, asserting even for an instant that I think Jews are inherently different from any other people on the planet. Israel gets much of its support from the United States, largely because of the Evangelical Christians here who buy into that stuff. Without our continuing support, their chances of being "driven into the sea" (as some of the Muslims put it) go up quite a bit. That's in addition to the lure of simple tourism. They have a vested interest in promoting things that connect them to the stories of the Bible, period. I consider them no more greedy or self-interested than any other people on this planet, and I am certain I would behave the same way, were I in their political shoes.

I didn't accuse you of being antisemitic. I'm just saying it makes sense why the Jewish archaeologist would lie for the sake of money generated by the tourism industry. I mean you can't trust Jewish archaeologist, funded by the Israeli government, the same was we can trust American scientist funded by the government. Everybody knows that.

I'm not saying you blame their love of money on being Jewish, I'm just saying their love of money make sense because they're Jewish, working for the Jewish government, which cares more about the tourism industry, than conducting good archaeological research.

"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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25-07-2016, 08:20 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 05:33 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  So ... we have all these numerous archeologists all conspiring to intentionally misrepresent their data in an effort to increase tourism to Nazareth?

Really?

The only thing I am alleging intentionally misrepresented the data was the article-writer who put out the story that dominates the web, and about which we have primarily been speaking. I have not seen the definitive conclusions to which you keep alluding, in the works of "numerous" archaeologists.

Since you have no basis to support such an allegation, then all you are doing is lying.

Quote:
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  So you believe - without a shred of evidence- that the Jews sent a company of priests to some obscure virtually unheard of town, and this company of priests and their families would be a significant number as to increase the population enough to warrant the construction of a synagogue?

It's a "company of priests and their families", now? Neat. I thought it was one family name, which *might* have represented a group but most likely represented a single family-- perhaps a few brothers. And no, I think that a tiny but growing town that was expanding rapidly as a result of migrant influx due to the displacements common in a massive war would require some priests to be sent out, especially in the wake of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Dude, it's not a family name. None of them were family names. The names represent the 24 Priestly Courses as described in 1 Chronicles 24:1–19.

So yes, it's a company of priests and their families.

Quote:
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  You fail to understand Jewish culture. Priests do not build a synagogue for themselves. There must be enough people there to qualify a synagogue, and the reality is that there is no set amount of people needed to qualify the presence of a synagogue.

Okay... I didn't think there was some set number, but what does that have to do with Luke's claims of "multitudes" and a temple in which Jesus could argue against numerous priests about Isaiah (note the importance of which book: this is the main one that the early Christians used to draw the majority of their Messiah prophecies, often crudely, as I keep pointing out) and amaze them? That size does not in any way fit the details of early Nazareth being teased out by archaeology.

What did "multitude" mean in the days of Luke? 100? 300? 500? To me, it doesn't matter. I view most of the Gospels as embellishments as opposed to outright fabrications. In fact, most of the shit Luke and the others talk about likely didn't even happen.

As far as the archeology is concerned, you are aware that as buildings crumble with time, newer ones are built on the same land? And you are aware that the Catholics currently have large churches built upon the oldest sections of Nazareth?

They have started new digs, and its only a matter of time before they start digging up house after house. But all they will manage to do is reconfirm what we already know.

Quote:
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  So where did you, or anybody else for that matter, get this crazy idea that in order for a community to have a synagogue that it had to be some kind of bustling metropolis of some sort?

Luke. That Gospel's descriptions indicate a town that is clearly more significant in Christian legend than what we find in the actual record.

What do you expect to find in an actual record? Every last house that was ever built there?

Quote:
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  All it takes is 1 solitary Jew to have a synagogue. Nazareth was obviously large enough to warrant the sending of a delegation of Jewish priests. It obviously preexisted CE 70.

Do you have evidence that this group is a large group, as opposed to a single priestly family... such as a set of brothers? I would imagine that they sent just as many priests to the area as was required to serve the influx of people coming into the Galilee:

Following the Temple's destruction at the end of the First Jewish Revolt and the displacement to the Galilee of the bulk of the remaining Jewish population in Judea at the end of the Bar Kochva Revolt, Jewish tradition in the Talmud and poems from the period records that the descendants of each priestly watch established a separate residential seat in towns and villages of the Galilee, and maintained this residential pattern for at least several centuries in anticipation of the reconstruction of the Temple and reinstitution of the cycle of priestly courses. Specifically, this Kohanic settlement region stretched from the Beit Netofa Valley, through the Nazareth region to Arbel and the vicinity of Tiberias.

This is part of why they can't tell if the "priestly courses" fragment describes an assignment in 70 CE or at the end of the revolt in 135 CE (I've been giving you the benefit of the doubt at 70 CE up to this point, on the "why not?" but I think I no longer shall), since even Christian groups admit the later date is the more probable:

"It is clear that these three fragments are part of a synagogue inscription that listed the twenty-four priestly courses and their Galilean settlements (after the fall of Jerusalem [A.D. 70], or, more probably, after the fall of Beth-Ther [A.D. 135])."

They go on to admit the absolute silence of the other sources on the existence of Nazareth during the years Jesus was there, but argue that the presence of tombs of the type used by Jews between 150 BCE and 150 CE means it must have been a Jewish town in the time of Jesus... again, playing fast-and-loose with the dating range. They also note the pottery and other stuff that you (and they) hang a hat upon, for this argument, but even in their description of the timing, they admit there's a wide range to the period under discussion:

In the silos some of the pottery found dates as far back as the Iron II (900- 539 B.C.) period. Other pottery found dates back to the Hellenistic (332-63 B.C.), Roman (63 B.C.-A.D. 324), and Byzantine (A.D. 324-640) periods.

Note the date ranges on that material. "Roman" pottery starts in 63 BCE but goes as far forward as 324, and does not provide direct evidence that the settlement was there at the early date of that range. As for their claim of Hellenistic-period pottery, it's simply not the case. There is one, repeat one fragment of pottery from the Hellenistic period that was found (the neck-piece of a jar), according to the archaeologist who uncovered that evidence, a Catholic priest named Bagatti. Even Bagatti does not claim that there are Hellenistic structures in that dig, despite a number of secondary writers claiming that he did. You keep asserting these things as if they are certain, as if they are the consensus, when they are not.

In Judaic teachings regarding priestly courses, the head of the family (priest) is the elder, and his family are all of his offspring. The elder could have sons who were also priests. This can represent a rather large extended family, that could include everybody from a Great Grandpa to a new-born.

A priestly course could be anything from 1 person to any reasonable number such as 40 or 50. But it could be more.

Quote:
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Still, you are assuming the authors knew nothing about Nazareth, and provide no evidence for this at all.

I am stating that the authors, who were not local, made statements about the legend of what occurred in Nazareth that demonstrate that they don't know what they're talking about. That's not the same thing as "knew nothing about Nazareth". When I point out that what they claim and what turns up in the digs don't seem to agree, I am providing evidence of this.

No, you are not providing evidence. You are citing a "lack of evidence" and attempting to present that which does not exist as evidence. Evidence is tangible, and you don't have any.

You are trying the old "Evidence of Absence," angle, and it might work if you could demonstrate that the evidence of the absence of tangible evidence can be regarded as positive evidence to support your positive claim that the negative evidence should be taken as positive evidence.

Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist.

However, since there exists positive evidence such as the house, artifacts, et al, then there is no evidence of absence.

Your complaint is only that you feel there isn't enough evidence to warrant a large town, but that argument is insufficient because we have no idea what would constitute a large town 2000 years ago, in an ancient culture. 100? 300? 500?

Quote:
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  I used the word "basically" to imply that your position is that Nazareth was a virtually desolate place, and these priests would increase the population significantly enough to warrant building a synagogue.

You think the arrival of priests is what I'm claiming increased the population? Then you haven't paid attention to a word I've said.

Yes, that is part of what you have been saying. Absolutely. I am aware of your "war displacement" theory as well.

Quote:
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Yes that is what, by necessity, is implied. Since we have no record of this event whatsoever in which any Christians seized upon the opportunity to interpolate the gospel records to include Nazareth in relation to Jesus of Nazareth/Nazarene, and we know it had to happen before CE 140 because we see Justin mentioning it in the Gospels to Trypho, then that means that there should be a record of this interpolation from at least 1 of the persons who did it, or from someone whp knows that it was done.

Since we see Nazareth in relation to Jesus in all 4 Gospels and in Acts, it would mean that the 4 Gospels and Acts that we currently have were all interpolated sometime after AD 70 and before CE 140 to include Nazareth. Yet, we know according to church fathers that there were several Christian churches in existence at the time.

What this means is that any and all of the numerous Gospels in any of these churches would have had to have been interpolated to include the Nazareth stuff, and since no one person could accomplish that feat, it means that it would require numerous people to conspire to do it.

Yet, we have no evidence for this at all despite the numerous people that would need to be involved.

Dude, this is fucked. Royally.

Wow. It sure is. I'd hate to argue that case! Do you know anyone who does?

Yep, YOU. Here are your own words:

Quote:I find Mark's contention about the Nazarenes to be pretty compelling, and suspect that they assigned Jesus the hometown of the new city of Nazareth, in the years it was growing post-Revolt and in which the Gospels were written, to disguise the fact that he was a Nazarene, not a resident of Nazareth.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1031641

Do you wish to now retract that statement?

Quote:
(25-07-2016 02:44 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  And if you saying the gospel writers wrote Nazareth into the gospels to make Jesus the Nazarene harmonize with them, then you still have at least 3 different writers conspiring here because Acts mentions it also.

Well, other than the fact that Luke and Acts are generally considered to be penned by the same author...

But I am saying that the term "the Nazarene" was easily modified, and that even in the written form it's of variable interpretation. But I am claiming that, in the almost 40 years that passed between the execution of Jesus and the writing of the first gospel, the story changed. There's no need to "interpolate" what has already entered the story, by the time you finally write it down. They had good reason to make such a shift, and were doubtless aware of the existence of this town by the time they started writing. Even so, both Jesus and Paul are called "Nazarenes" in several of the stories, and we don't see Nazareth mentioned as a place except where it's necessary to tell a tale of his preaching of Isaiah in his hometown, to demonstrate that he's cast out from among his own people for "Preaching The Truth™ They Didn't Want to Hear". (Nazar also has the connotation of being "set apart", along with holy and princely... are any of those themes you've heard mentioned along with the titles Christians attribute to Jesus?)

You do understand why I keep mentioning the motivations of the authors, who were trying to establish Old Testament connections that supposedly prophesied the coming of the Messiah, and make it fit their Jesus, right?

You speak of conspiracies... I speak of confluences of people with similar motivations, acting in what they believe is an honest interest in the truth but turns out to be counter to facts. This phenomenon is found in nearly ever cult ever examined, and I can't imagine anyone who isn't Christian trying to suggest that the early Christian cult was any different in this regard.

Here are you words again:

Quote:I find Mark's contention about the Nazarenes to be pretty compelling, and suspect that they assigned Jesus the hometown of the new city of Nazareth, in the years it was growing post-Revolt and in which the Gospels were written, to disguise the fact that he was a Nazarene, not a resident of Nazareth.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1031641

You seem to have forgotten what you previously said. "Post-revolt" means after the Roman-Jewish war, and "in which the Gospels were written" also implies the time after the Roman-Jewish war of CE 70.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt by asking a simple question:

Have you changed your position since you made that statement?
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25-07-2016, 09:03 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 09:19 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(25-07-2016 08:29 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  You are making the claim about the strangeness of Paul only mentioning James as being the brother of Jesus just once, and then making a huge jump to suggest it was interpolated based upon that one lone entry. You are suggesting that it was interpolated because Paul only mentions it once. Using your reasoning, I guess we should consider everything as being an interpolation because, as you reason, thousands of things in Paul's letters were only mentioned once?

No?

Then what is your reasoning for singling out this one line of text then? Why does this have to be an interpolation and not everything else that only mentions people, places, and things just once?

Because other things that he mentions only once are pretty ordinary things. Meeting the brother of God incarnate (what Paul believed Jesus to be) is not an ordinary thing, and would seem to be worth more than a single passing mention in one of the letters. If I met God's brother, you couldn't get me to shut up about it. That's why it seems odd that he only mentions it once.

Exactly! Bowing
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25-07-2016, 09:07 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 08:29 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(25-07-2016 05:11 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Once again, you have completely misunderstood me. This is tedious.

You are making the claim about the strangeness of Paul only mentioning James as being the brother of Jesus just once, and then making a huge jump to suggest it was interpolated based upon that one lone entry. You are suggesting that it was interpolated because Paul only mentions it once. Using your reasoning, I guess we should consider everything as being an interpolation because, as you reason, thousands of things in Paul's letters were only mentioned once?

No?

Then what is your reasoning for singling out this one line of text then? Why does this have to be an interpolation and not everything else that only mentions people, places, and things just once?

I see right through you, Mark.

Anybody can.

"Using your reasoning, I guess we should consider everything as being an interpolation because, as you reason, thousands of things in Paul's letters were only mentioned once?"

This is piss poor. You should be embarrassed.
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25-07-2016, 09:17 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 09:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(25-07-2016 08:29 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  You are making the claim about the strangeness of Paul only mentioning James as being the brother of Jesus just once, and then making a huge jump to suggest it was interpolated based upon that one lone entry. You are suggesting that it was interpolated because Paul only mentions it once. Using your reasoning, I guess we should consider everything as being an interpolation because, as you reason, thousands of things in Paul's letters were only mentioned once?

No?

Then what is your reasoning for singling out this one line of text then? Why does this have to be an interpolation and not everything else that only mentions people, places, and things just once?

I see right through you, Mark.

Anybody can.

"Using your reasoning, I guess we should consider everything as being an interpolation because, as you reason, thousands of things in Paul's letters were only mentioned once?"

This is piss poor. You should be embarrassed.

Nothing piss poor about it at all.

The only reason you think it should be an interpolation is because it demonstrated that the Jesus whom Paul believed in was actually based upon a real man, proven by the existence of his brother, James.

I have read enough of your bullshit on this forum to know that you always believed that Paul's version of Jesus was wholly myth; something he invented in his own head.

But this little part where it shows that Paul's Jesus had a brother named James gives solid evidence that Paul did indeed base his vision of Jesus upon a historical man, and that fact utterly screws your entire position.

And that is exactly why you claim it to be an interpolation.

So fuck off.
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25-07-2016, 09:23 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 09:39 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(25-07-2016 09:19 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Because other things that he mentions only once are pretty ordinary things. Meeting the brother of God incarnate (what Paul believed Jesus to be) is not an ordinary thing, and would seem to be worth more than a single passing mention in one of the letters. If I met God's brother, you couldn't get me to shut up about it. That's why it seems odd that he only mentions it once.

Yeah okay.

Then everything else that Paul said that mentions this "God incarnate" only once- according to your reasoning- must also be an interpolation, right?

Big Grin

You have a profoundly poor understanding of humanity. Here is some dude, Paul, claiming he met the brother (James) of God. Yet Paul only devotes 1/2 a line to this, (in all his rambling about Christ,) and you don't find this remarkable? Paul even refers to James, John and Peter (the three "pillars") by writing "not that their importance matters to me" and "they have nothing to add to the good news I preach," or words to that effect.

If you swallow the "Paul's Christ=Jeebus" idea, these things written by Paul are BIZARRE.

You need a big wack from a reality stick.
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25-07-2016, 09:41 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 09:17 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(25-07-2016 09:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Using your reasoning, I guess we should consider everything as being an interpolation because, as you reason, thousands of things in Paul's letters were only mentioned once?"

This is piss poor. You should be embarrassed.

Nothing piss poor about it at all.

The only reason you think it should be an interpolation is because it demonstrated that the Jesus whom Paul believed in was actually based upon a real man, proven by the existence of his brother, James.

I have read enough of your bullshit on this forum to know that you always believed that Paul's version of Jesus was wholly myth; something he invented in his own head.

But this little part where it shows that Paul's Jesus had a brother named James gives solid evidence that Paul did indeed base his vision of Jesus upon a historical man, and that fact utterly screws your entire position.

And that is exactly why you claim it to be an interpolation.

So fuck off.

That's just lovely. So nice to have an intellectual conversation with a true scholar.

You are getting all worked up because people here are challenging your long held views of the way things are, and the cognitive dissonance is messing with your emotions.

Here is why I think Paul's version of Christ was wholly myth; something he invented in his own head. Paul told us so...

Paul Knew Almost Nothing of Jesus

Most Christians incorrectly assume Paul was restating Jesus’ teachings. Yet Paul never claimed he was inspired or influenced by Jesus or Jesus’ disciples. Paul held his messages came from God and were about his Christ. They were not from Jesus.
Paul’s Christ was clearly someone different from the wise teacher full of parables and anecdotes we think we know from the Gospels. Amazingly, in the twenty-first century, we know more about “Jesus” than Paul did!

Paul wrote,
“The fact is, brothers, and I want you to realize this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learned only through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You must have heard of my career as a practicing Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors. Then God, who had specifically chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his son in me, so that I may preach the Good News about him to the pagans” (Gal. 1:11–24, NJB.)

This is from one of his best-known letters. He specifically stated that the message he preached came not from human sources, but from God, “through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”

This was not the only occasion he said God inspired him;
“I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle” (1 Cor. 1:1, NJB) and
“But our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5 NKJB.)

What he meant was that he thought he had a God given talent enabling him to interpret scripture. That was, after all, the job description for a Pharisee. He bragged that his God, a character he thought he had a special relationship with, was the source of his “Good News.” That may have impressed naïve people two thousand years ago, but today we can read any number of over imaginative accounts from people who also claim, without evidence, that they’ve talked to God. Some of them are mentally unwell. Paul had no more credibility than them.

Paul took things one step further than his more traditional colleagues when interpreting scripture. He thought he alone had a divine mandate from God. Consider the opening lines of his letter to the Romans:

“From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus who has been called to be an apostle, and specially chosen to preach the Good News that God promised long ago through his prophets in the scriptures” (Rom. 1:1–3, NJB.) He promoted himself as a uniquely special interpreter of scripture, and he bad-mouthed anyone who happened to disagree with him
(see 1 Corinthians 15:1–3, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?sea...sion=KJV).

Yet Jewish scholars are adamant that Paul’s “good news” isn’t in scripture. (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articl...f-tarsus). Moreover, Paul often changed the meaning of scripture to suit himself.

Paul wrote,
“Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now” (2 Cor. 5:16, NJB.) What an extraordinary statement! It only begins to make sense if we realize that Paul was only interested in the idea of a resurrected spirit, his Christ figurehead. A “once human” Jesus, someone with a personality and ideas, was never a topic Paul was comfortable discussing.

Someone passing himself off as Paul wrote that “Christ” was a mystery, one that he had a particularly good understanding of:

“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4, KJV,) and

“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds” (Col. 4:3, KJV.)

Paul didn’t give a fig tree about the details of Jesus’ life, family, miracles or his teachings.
(http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamin...not-much/, http://www.sonofman.org/paul1.htm).

The only thing that mattered to him was that a Christ was crucified and resurrected. Paul rambled on and on about the supposed significance of Christ’s death and resurrection, not about the details of Christ’s life. Consider Galatians:

“Then god who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans. I did not stop to discuss this with any human being nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were already apostles before me, but I went off to Arabia at once and later went straight back from there to Damascus. Even when after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him for fifteen days, I did not see any of the other apostles; I only saw James, the brother of the Lord, and I swear before God that what I have just written is the literal truth” (Gal. 1:15–20, NJB.)

After God “called” him, he more or less snubbed Yeshua’s family and supporters by shooting off to Arabia for three years. If he’d thought Yeshua was the son of God, surely he would have jolted to Jerusalem to meet James, Jesus’ brother, and Peter and Mary, two of his close associates. He should have been anxious to meet the other Mary, Yeshua’s mum, the mother of God! Yet he very obviously wasn’t. Something more important enticed him to Arabia. In fact Paul never expressed any genuine pleasure in associating with Yeshua’s family or followers. Three years later, he visited Jerusalem again, and there is definitely something very odd about the way he casually downplays the fact he met James and Cephas, Yeshua’s brother and one of his important disciples. I think this is strong circumstantial evidence that Yeshua never was Paul’s Christ.

The Gospel stories are sadly short of genuine historical facts about Jesus. Things could have been different. Paul, who was educated and literate, could have saved much of the painstaking guesswork of historians over the last three hundred years (Jesus’ historicity has only been seriously studied in this time) by jotting down some facts about Jesus as related by his family and disciples. Paul should have outshone the Gospels and made them redundant. He didn’t. Instead, he wrote about things he thought were important: his own Christ, and his own ethics. I suspect this wasn’t a deliberate omission on Paul’s part; he was obviously totally unaware that people in the future might care to know about Yeshua. Interestingly, the author of the epistle of James, who may have been Jesus’ brother, also neglected to document a single fact about Jesus. Neither Paul nor James knew Jesus was going to become a hero-figure - because the Gospels hadn’t been written yet, so Jesus’ status as a legendary character hadn’t been created.

Who then, was Paul’s Christ? It was someone who Paul thought had existed in heaven since the beginning of time, yet only revealed to the world via his own peculiar interpretation of Jewish scripture. Douglas Lockhart (http://douglaslockhart.com/) and a number of other scholars (http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/BkrvEll.htm) think it could have been the “Teacher of Righteousness” written about in the Dead Sea Scrolls. There are many theories as to who this character was, one of which is that he was an Essene leader, a priest, who lived perhaps a hundred years before Yeshua, who had disapproved of the Hasmonean high priest.

In the Gentile world of the time there was competition from many dying and rising gods such as Mithras. Those gods often didn’t have a mortal life that was remembered, just like Paul’s Christ. It was only the myth of them dying and rising again that gave them significance, just like his Christ. His Christ, real identity uncertain, was a Judaic myth invented to compete with these other cults. The idea that his Christ would one day be equated with Yeshua may not ever have been on Paul’s radar. (http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/parttwo.htm).

It is true that “Paul” mentions “Jesus” many times, yet “Jesus” may have been edited into Paul’s writings, where he had written only “Christ.” I can’t prove this happened, yet it’s a distinct possibility given that there was a culture that encouraged “pious fraud” amongst Christians in the second, third and fourth centuries. Or, it could be that Paul was using the (very common) name to represent a spirit, not a person. “Paul” does say, once, in 1 Tim 6;13, that Pontius Pilate crucified Jesus, yet this wasn’t written by Paul. “Paul” does talk about what Christ allegedly said on the night he was betrayed, in the first letter to the Corinthians, but this whole passage is unique in that regard and therefore it too is suspiciously “unPauline.”

Most Christians I have talked to about this are perplexed, and with good reason, because Paul’s lack of commentary on Jesus undermines the account about Jesus being an inspiring, miracle working individual, someone with real feelings, empathy for his fellows, and charisma, who preached wise anecdotes that had so impressed his disciples and the crowds. This is an image created by churchmen using the Gospels. Paul knew none of this. Outside of Jewish scripture he only ever acknowledged one source of wisdom—himself. An authoritative Yeshua, even one recently deceased, would have focused the limelight on someone more significant than himself, and I don’t think he would have liked that.

Just who Paul thought his Christ was is a difficult concept to grasp, and in my opinion it’s not worth spending too much time on. It helps to remember that the sources of Paul’s ideas are obscure; that his writings have been tampered with; that original meaning is often lost in translations; that the Jesus stories we know so well only finished being cobbled together in the fourth century, and Paul had never read them; that Paul had an overactive imagination, and he was a very peculiar man.
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25-07-2016, 09:57 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 05:57 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(25-07-2016 03:00 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "The argument from silence doesn't provide any positive evidence whatsoever to support the argument."

Well I think a man named Mr Ford built a spaceship that went to Mars in 1920. You have no evidence that he didn't...the argument from silence doesn't provide any positive evidence whatsoever to support the argument.

And there's exactly the same amount of evidence for your position on Nazareth as there is for Mr. Ford building a spaceship that went to Mars in 1920.

0

No. Zero is the amount of evidence you have for a Jeebus in a Nazareth.
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25-07-2016, 10:04 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 08:20 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Dude, it's not a family name. None of them were family names. The names represent the 24 Priestly Courses as described in 1 Chronicles 24:1–19.

So yes, it's a company of priests and their families.

The "priestly courses" were Levites, who generally consisted of families that preserved the line of priesthood, supposedly going back to Aaron and his sons. It was a heritable office.


(25-07-2016 08:20 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  What did "multitude" mean in the days of Luke? 100? 300? 500? To me, it doesn't matter. I view most of the Gospels as embellishments as opposed to outright fabrications. In fact, most of the shit Luke and the others talk about likely didn't even happen.

But when it comes to Nazareth... this one is definitely how they portrayed it, eh? They really thought it was important to portray the perfect historical record, in this one instance? They couldn't have had another (more likely) motive to assign characteristics to their Jesus the Annointed One which made the Christ into the prophesied Messiah, which his followers had thought he was during his lifetime, by tacking on extra "evidence"?

(25-07-2016 08:20 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  As far as the archeology is concerned, you are aware that as buildings crumble with time, newer ones are built on the same land? And you are aware that the Catholics currently have large churches built upon the oldest sections of Nazareth?

Holy crap! How do we ever find anything!?

But yes, that's why one of the primary archaeologists who has worked on the subject of Nazareth is a Catholic.

(25-07-2016 08:20 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  They have started new digs, and its only a matter of time before they start digging up house after house. But all they will manage to do is reconfirm what we already know.

And that will be cool. And that will be evidence. However, I don't think it will happen, and I think the evidence is sparse but clear enough to me, at this point, to show that the Luke passages are mythology rather than history.

(25-07-2016 08:20 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  In Judaic teachings regarding priestly courses, the head of the family (priest) is the elder, and his family are all of his offspring. The elder could have sons who were also priests. This can represent a rather large extended family, that could include everybody from a Great Grandpa to a new-born.

A priestly course could be anything from 1 person to any reasonable number such as 40 or 50. But it could be more.

All true. But we have no reason to suspect your "horde", and there is no positive indication that they were sent there in the year 70, as opposed to the later revolt, let alone that there were large numbers of them. The Hapizzez (18th Course) line was not a wealthy/famous one like the 17th Course was, the Hezir line, for instance, where we could expect larger numbers.

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

(25-07-2016 08:20 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Yep, YOU. Here are your own words:

Quote:I find Mark's contention about the Nazarenes to be pretty compelling, and suspect that they assigned Jesus the hometown of the new city of Nazareth, in the years it was growing post-Revolt and in which the Gospels were written, to disguise the fact that he was a Nazarene, not a resident of Nazareth.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1031641

Do you wish to now retract that statement?

Why? Your version does not encompass my argument. Assigning this town, in writing, to be Jesus' hometown during the years in the immediate aftermath of the rebellion, when Matthew and Luke were written, would have indeed happened in the years it was growing, following the upheavals of the revolt. We have no doubt the Jesus-legend was growing rapidly during the years prior to the writing of the Gospels, and we see the tale grow taller, the later the year of authorship of the Gospel (to the point that John doesn't even mesh completely with the theme of the first three, prompting the term "synoptic" for the non-John Gospels).

(25-07-2016 08:20 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Here are you words again:

Quote:I find Mark's contention about the Nazarenes to be pretty compelling, and suspect that they assigned Jesus the hometown of the new city of Nazareth, in the years it was growing post-Revolt and in which the Gospels were written, to disguise the fact that he was a Nazarene, not a resident of Nazareth.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1031641

You seem to have forgotten what you previously said. "Post-revolt" means after the Roman-Jewish war, and "in which the Gospels were written" also implies the time after the Roman-Jewish war of CE 70.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt by asking a simple question:

Have you changed your position since you made that statement?

Changed my position? What?

I'm really not sure what you're getting at, here. The legend grew, and the philosophy of what Jesus represented changed (evolved) as the story spread. Various versions were written, some of which were preserved and others of which were rejected as heretical. Dozens of stories emerged about the supposed life of Jesus, and in the end, the philosophical group that became the Catholic church got to call the tune as to which was which. In any case, no serious scholar claims the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written prior to the dates I have put forward, here. I'm not really sure, therefore, what your objection is, or what you find so odd about my statement, above.

However, I put no more stock in the tales of the Gospel of Luke than I do in the tales of the Gospel of Thomas, for instance. The only parts of the Jesus-story that appear to be based in "very old" manuscripts are those about the Sermon on the Mount (and other things found in the hypothetical Q Document), collections of sayings by a wise teacher in the Galilee.

My entire point in having this discussion is that I do not think the Jesus of the "Q Document" had even a fraction of the adventures/stories that were placed into the Gospels we read, today. I still think that by the time of the revolt, the Christian cult was gaining momentum enough to begin committing its myriad teachings to writing, and they put effort into demonstrating that their Jesus was actually the Messiah... one of the ways they did this was to write into those Gospels a number of claims that (badly) assigned Old Testament prophecies to the life of Jesus. One of those handy shifts was to turn him from a member of the sect of the Nazarenes into a resident of Nazareth, in part because they misread that section of prophecy-- that's why I keep pointing to the alma/betulah (virgin) thing, which is a similar example of badly applying Old Testament writing and an indication that the writers of the Gospels had a poorer grasp of Judaism than they claimed.

"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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25-07-2016, 10:17 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(25-07-2016 07:36 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I didn't accuse you of being antisemitic. I'm just saying it makes sense why the Jewish archaeologist would lie for the sake of money generated by the tourism industry. I mean you can't trust Jewish archaeologist, funded by the Israeli government, the same was we can trust American scientist funded by the government. Everybody knows that.

I'm not saying you blame their love of money on being Jewish, I'm just saying their love of money make sense because they're Jewish, working for the Jewish government, which cares more about the tourism industry, than conducting good archaeological research.

In neither case am I accusing the archaeologists themselves of anything, but rather the writers of the popularizing articles about what the archaeologists found... findings which, if you read them directly, are much less definitive about what they've found than is being claimed here (often in the same wording I see in the IAA article). If you can't grasp that the IAA has a vested interest, here, then you're either blind or stupid.

So you're either being a sarcastic little bitch, or you're an actual racist.

Either way, I have no more interest in speaking to you. Piss off.

"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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