Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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28-06-2016, 01:13 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(28-06-2016 12:50 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(28-06-2016 11:57 AM)Doddia Wrote:  Absolutely yes there were two. Josephus and Philemon, both historians of the period who weren't doing themselves any favours by recording Jesus' existence. I'm sure that if you google Josephus and Philemon you'll get something.

Josephus didn't write a "contemporary account" of Jesus. The interpolation in Chapter 18 is clearly a forgery, and the reference in Chapter 20 references a "brother" named James.
How about you link us to the writings of Philemon ?

I'm going to guess that she meant Philo.
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28-06-2016, 01:27 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(28-06-2016 10:08 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I think it's rather pointless pedantry on his part as well as argument for the sake of argument.

No, the claim that GoodwithoutGod, Rocketsurgeon, and Bucky supported is found on the internet and elsewhere, by individuals who deliberately lied in order to bolster the claims for a non-existing Jesus. Such as this lie: "Philo was living in or near Jerusalem when J.C.'s miraculous birth and Herod's massacre occurred. He was there when J.C. made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there for the crucifixion and all the world shattering events that followed", which GoodwithoutGod earlier endorsed.

What's interesting is the tendency for many atheists to readily swallow this sort of rubbish, without question, and fight tooth and nail to resist being held accountable for it when called out on it. It took RocketSurgeon this long, and begrudgingly it appears to confess that.

GoodwithoutGod on the other hand has responded with several posts, avoiding taking accountability for it. To me this says something about an individuals honesty, and ability to reflect and correct themselves, or to acknowledge that they were endorsing false information, that they believed unsupported claims found on the internet, from less than reputable sources.

"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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28-06-2016, 01:31 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(28-06-2016 12:18 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(28-06-2016 11:57 AM)Doddia Wrote:  Absolutely yes there were two. Josephus and Philemon, both historians of the period who weren't doing themselves any favours by recording Jesus' existence. I'm sure that if you google Josephus and Philemon you'll get something.

Heh. Yeah, those two are mentioned once or twice, further on in the thread. Big Grin

Ah cool, I haven't read the whole thread yet! Cool
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28-06-2016, 01:48 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(28-06-2016 01:27 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  What's interesting is the tendency for many atheists to readily swallow this sort of rubbish, without question, and fight tooth and nail to resist being held accountable for it when called out on it.

You would be the expert on that, wouldn't you?

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28-06-2016, 01:52 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(28-06-2016 01:10 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Sure that might make sense, if you never read Philo, and wanted to make shit up as you went along. Philo mentions going to Jerusalem once, and it wasn't in his Embassy to Gaius, but in his writing's On Providence. In fact he only mentions this in passing, to explain why he was in Syria, astonished by the number of pigeons there, stating he was there on his traveling to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish Festivals.

You need to back the fuck off and shove it up your ass. I have read Philo, largely in long snippets, as part of religious studies courses. I simply had not read Embassy, as it is mostly irrelevant to the courses I took. I knew only that A) he had gone to Jerusalem, and B) the one thing we can date in his lifetime is that he went to Rome in 40 C.E.

He does mention Jerusalem and the Temple "in passing", as part of a journey through that area, commenting on everything he saw. That, I read. And it made sense to me to think that he had taken the opportunity to drop by the Temple (to attend the festival and worship, as he says he did) on the way through to Rome. He made it clear that he had traveled through that region--as far as Syria, as even you admit. Why not, then, pass along the Roman roads through the province of Anatolia, etc, and on to Rome, as Paul did? But he didn't... I read enough to find that out, and corrected my view, as an honest person does.

Your claim that one error as to the path he took to Rome makes my entire assessment of his presence in the region at the time when he should have heard these stories of Jesus (prior to their circulation by 2nd- and 3rd-generation Christians) and the crucifixion, darkness, veil tearing, etc., invalid is disingenuous at best. Your continuing claim that we are too prejudiced to change our minds upon the presentation of good evidence is even worse, given that I just did.


(28-06-2016 01:10 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  So no you're wrong all around here. He doesn't say anything of visiting scholars in Jerusalem during his trip either, just that he went to pray and make sacrifices.

Are you seriously contending that Philo, who was a well-respected Hebrew scholar of the time, whom even you admit was "primarily interest[ed] in penning his philosophical views" (and "theological"), went to the center of the Judaic religion during a major religious holiday and DIDN'T speak to other scholars or family members in that area?


(28-06-2016 01:10 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  As stated Philo lived several hundred miles away in Alexandria, and visited Jerusalem once, he's primarily interest was in penning his philosophical views. The subjects of pretty much each of his writings were theological. And there's no real reason to believe that he visited Jerusalem, during Jesus's short lived ministry there, before he met his untimely death.

So it's not really surprising why Philo wouldn't have mentioned Jesus, anymore so than it's surprising that he didn't mention any of the other Roman-Palestine area messiahs of the time.

Some people, and I believe you as well appealed to his supposed family connections, the letters they supposedly exchanged with each year. Yet even if Philo did write of Jesus based on these letters, the choir here would be crying as to how he wasn't an eye witness to the events he described, that it was based on hearsay, or an interpolation, like we do in regards to Josephus passage on James.

If Josephus isn't sufficient for these very reasons, I'm not sure while Philo would be.

Dishonesty everywhere. How do you do it?

One, there is no way we would dismiss genuine evidence. It doesn't change anything for us if he was a real person. I happen to THINK he was a real person, which you continue to ignore. But as you pointed out, random "Messiahs" were common enough in the region to not draw notice. What WOULD have drawn notice were the unprecedented events described in the Gospels (you know, those "documents" that proclaim Jesus was a magic man, God in the Flesh, and that the temple veil was torn asunder during the time of darkness and roving zombies?), which is our point. If you lose the "amazing stories" of the Gospels, then Jesus of Nazareth is just another roving apocalyptic preacher of the 1st century, of which there were many, and there would be no more reason for Philo to notice him than any of the others. But Philo and his social/academic circles would CERTAINLY have made notice of a gathering of the Sanhedrin for the purposes of questioning a blasphemer on the day of the Sabbath, for instance. Philo also died before the Christians had time to improve their stories to promote their leader/prophet/rabbi to "miracle man" and finally to God Incarnate status. Thus his silence on it is exactly what we would expect, given our basic hypothesis, here.

Two, we have repeatedly explained to you the reasons there are problems accepting the Josephus passage as referring to the Jesus/James of the Bible. It may well be that he's referring to them, but we must in honesty examine the possibility that it was not. Since it is not demonstrably the only possible explanation of that passage, then we are free (and correct) to dismiss it as being relevant evidence. Given the obvious interpolation in the other passage, there are even more reasons to be skeptical of claims that this is the James to whom he refers.

I think it is clear that your emotional bias in this issue is clouding your ability to rationally evaluate the evidence, and hold it as true only to the degree actually warranted.

"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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28-06-2016, 02:43 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(28-06-2016 01:27 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(28-06-2016 10:08 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I think it's rather pointless pedantry on his part as well as argument for the sake of argument.

No, the claim that GoodwithoutGod, Rocketsurgeon, and Bucky supported is found on the internet and elsewhere, by individuals who deliberately lied in order to bolster the claims for a non-existing Jesus. Such as this lie: "Philo was living in or near Jerusalem when J.C.'s miraculous birth and Herod's massacre occurred. He was there when J.C. made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there for the crucifixion and all the world shattering events that followed", which GoodwithoutGod earlier endorsed.

What's interesting is the tendency for many atheists to readily swallow this sort of rubbish, without question, and fight tooth and nail to resist being held accountable for it when called out on it. It took RocketSurgeon this long, and begrudgingly it appears to confess that.

GoodwithoutGod on the other hand has responded with several posts, avoiding taking accountability for it. To me this says something about an individuals honesty, and ability to reflect and correct themselves, or to acknowledge that they were endorsing false information, that they believed unsupported claims found on the internet, from less than reputable sources.

It does not change the fact that Philo should have written something about this alleged demi-god. The point still stands.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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28-06-2016, 02:51 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(28-06-2016 01:52 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Two, we have repeatedly explained to you the reasons there are problems accepting the Josephus passage as referring to the Jesus/James of the Bible. It may well be that he's referring to them, but we must in honesty examine the possibility that it was not

I went over the problems with these objections, such as Banjo claim that the passage makes better sense if we removed that portion all together, claims that it was referring to a James who was the brother of the high priest etc.. I also point out that, the James portion unlike the Testimonium is regarded as authentic, by scholars and historians. Yet people here are inclined to a minority view of their own, arguing it’s inauthenticity.

This sort of tendency indicates to me, that without a doubt, that even if Philo, heard of Jesus from secondhand sources, and wrote of him, what we’d have is individuals claiming that this was a christian interpolation, or that Philo got his information from hearsay. They’d be doing to Philo what they do with Josephus, and Tacitus, and etc… Because that’s the name of the game.

Quote:One, there is no way we would dismiss genuine evidence. I

No the tendency is what I refer to as doubt casting. Claiming this individual is not to be trusted, deemed as unreliable, suggestions that they could be lying. Suggest that Paul might be lying about meeting his brother and disciples. That the early church got rid of writings supportive of the mythicist position, etc..

That particular passage could be an interpolation. If you point out that historians and scholar deem a particular passage as authentic, they blame it on the christian strong hold on the scholarship here, that it’s a result of the particular scholars agenda.

I’m sure you, and others here deem all of this as a rational tendency, primary because it’s a common tendency among your fellow atheists in regards to historicity. But it’s not, it’s more psychological than rational. More akin to what takes place in my delusional cousin’s paranoias, or among birthers, and 9/11 conspiracy nuts.

Quote:Gospels (you know, those "documents" that proclaim Jesus was a magic man, God in the Flesh, and that the temple veil was torn asunder during the time of darkness and roving zombies?), which is our point

It’s not my point. I’m not the one speaking of zombies roving around, you and others seem to be obsessed with that part.

Quote:Are you seriously contending that Philo, who was a well-respected Hebrew scholar of the time, whom even you admit was "primarily interest[ed] in penning his philosophical views" (and "theological"), went to the center of the Judaic religion during a major religious holiday and DIDN'T speak to other scholars or family members in that area?

Philo just mentioned in passing that he was in Jerusalem, to explain why he was in Syria. He just may have met with scholars and family members in the area during his visit, but he didn’t tell us this, nor did he mention any part of the conversation he may or may not have had with them at the time. Nor can you place this visit in Jerusalem in the period in which your eager to, around the time of Jesus ministry and death. It’s more wishful thinking on your part, than anything else.

Quote:. I have read Philo, largely in long snippets, as part of religious studies courses. I simply had not read Embassy, as it is mostly irrelevant to the courses I took. I knew only that A) he had gone to Jerusalem, and B) the one thing we can date in his lifetime is that he went to Rome in 40 C.E.

Yet in the earlier thread, before you now admitted ignorance, you wanted to interject yourself when I corrected GoodwithoutGood on this point, claiming that his placement of Jesus at the time was correct. When I called out GoodwithoutGood about his placement of Philo in Jerusalem based on his Embassy of Gaius, you probably should have shut the fuck up, since you now admit to have not read the Embassy to Gaius. Your confidence, and endorsement at the time, was clearly not warranted.

But I’m not going to belabor the point any further, you admitted you were incorrect, and I’ll leave it at that.

"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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28-06-2016, 03:13 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(23-06-2016 11:50 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I decided to expand my understanding of what it means to preach to incorporate everything I do that might be interpreted as supportive of my religious beliefs as preaching.


With this in mind, I decided that the best way to explain what I'm doing here, is to say that I'm here to preach.

Is that honest enough for you? Can I continue with my preaching?


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You don't have to redefine what the word "preach" means in order to be preaching:
deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, typically in church.
"he preached to a large congregation"
synonyms: give/deliver a sermon, sermonize, address, speak More
publicly proclaim or teach (a religious message or belief).
"a church that preaches the good news"
synonyms: proclaim, teach, spread, propagate, expound
"he preached the gospel to them"
earnestly advocate (a belief or course of action).
"my parents have always preached toleration and moderation"
synonyms: advocate, recommend, advise, urge, teach, counsel
"they preach toleration"

So trying to claim that you are redefining what it means to preach so that you can avoid the fact that you are actually preaching, is a dishonest move.

Your dishonesty goes even deeper than that too, because you want to try and have it both ways. You want to preach your bullshit, but only from vague points and literally refuse to expand on what you mean or believe when pressed but you reserve the right to demand specifics from others to preach against. Hypocrisy and dishonesty.

For instance:
"I don't believe in whatever you likely think it means for Jesus to be the messiah, or God, or divine. And don't have the patience to deal with all the fundie baggage that gets flung in these parts.

Judging that I made no claims here for the miracles of Jesus, or his divinity, and have stated that I have no problem with a Jesus who was lunatic, that didn't perform a single miracle, there's not any particular points of yours relevant to address, and are perhaps better reserved for those who actually make and desire to defend such claims."


You make claims about your Jesus and your god, but you keep those claims vague so that you don't believe you have to defend them. This is a dishonest tactic. And you are just straight-up lying too. Because YOU point to the gospels as evidence of your Jesus. And guess what? The NT makes MANY miracle claims. Either the NT is full of shit and it doesn't speak any facts about your Jesus that are reliable, or its stories are facts about your Jesus. You can't have it both ways to selectively pick out what you want.

"No, I hold that Jesus did exist, and that either it requires ignorance or delusion to believe otherwise."

You hold that belief, but can't deliver actual evidence to support it. You point to two sources external to the gospels (Paul's letters and Josephus) and hold them up as evidence to corroborate your Jesus. Except (as has been pointed out numerous times) Paul is (at best) an unreliable source (the man as much as admitted to experiencing hallucinations) and is certainly not unbiased. Whatever his sources are or whatever/whoever his sources claim to be, there is literally 0 evidence to corroborate that either. As for Josephus' reliability on this subject, others have already pointed out the issues in detail there.

Why? Because there exists NO contemporary evidence of your Jesus. There almost certainly was a person named Yeshua alive at that time, but that does not mean that the Jesus of the NT is real. Why? Because the Jesus of the NT is a person to whom fantastical stories are attributed. He is a man-god. But then you pull this shit:
"Have I at any point claimed that 500 dead people walked the streets of Jerusalem? No I didn't. So reserve your questions to someone who made that claim, because I never did. I don't argue for claims that I didn't make, regardless of how badly you want me too so you can avoid the beating you've been getting. "

That is a claim the NT makes. That is supposed to be a FACT about your Jesus. Instead of admitting that this fact is a lie and it did not happen, you simply special plead it away. "Well, I don't necessarily believe that every story attributed to him is true." Then your Jesus didn't exist. Many human beings existed at that time, and several were certainly named Yeshua. But if you want to hedge your bets and claim that he existed but didn't perform the miracles, then a human existing named Yeshua literally provides no support for your religious delusions. You can't honestly point to the Gospels for support of your argument when its convenient and then special plead it away when it damns your argument. That's intellectually dishonest. Too much brain washing.

But even still, the historical records and the non-fantastical stories attributed to Jesus aren't substantiated either. So even a guy named Yeshua who served as the basis for Christianity being crucified isn't supported.

"We have first hand accounts of an individual who met his brother and disciples. "

We have A first hand account from Paul where he CLAIMS to have met his brother and disciples. But his claim is corroborated by what exactly? His word? The reality is that YOU take it on faith that Paul was telling the truth because you have NO evidence to substantiate it. It's called "faith" because it isn't "evidence" or "proof."

Speaking of proof:
"Judging that I stated previously I don't deal in absolutes, or proofs, but in likelihood it goes without saying that I'm speaking about a level or probability. "

Bullshit. You are certain your Jesus existed in spite of the arguments contra to it. You even special plead to accommodate your religious faith-based opinion.

But back to this drudgery:
"We have the writing of Josephus writing of his brother's death, Tacitus writing of him being crucified under Pilate, not to mention the plethora of NT texts from multiple writers, using sources both written and oral earlier than their own writings, how anyone can reasonably infer from all this that Jesus did not exist, is beyond me. It requires some 9/11 truther like thinking. Which wouldn't be surprising really, since the alternative to Jesus not existing would be the mother of all conspiracy theories. "

We have people who lived decades after Jesus writing about stories they have heard from other people with 0 evidence to substantiate any of it. You compare skepticism of NT Jesus' existence with 9/11 conspiracy, not realizing you're the one yelling "jet fuel can't melt steel beams!!!!" The rest of us are pointing out the flaws in your bullshit and where you are technically correct (a human named Yeshua existed) from where you have erroneously extrapolated into bullshitland (the same Yeshua is the character Jesus from the NT and the stories from it are rooted in fact).

Which brings me back to this question you avoided:
And just to clarify, are any of the gospels or any part of them first-hand accounts?



"Complain about a lack of corroborating CONTEMPORARY non-Christian sources.

When non-Christian sources THAT ARE NOT CONTEMPORANEOUS AND/OR ARE UNBIASED BUT ARE UNRELIABLE AND ARE ALL BASED ON HEARSAY are provided, complain about them not being there to observe the events they write of first hand. "


CAPITALIZED, ITALICIZED, AND UNDERLINED are additions by me into the straw man you made so that it accurately reflects the critiques given to you.

"No they're sources. They're not firsthand sources, but sources nonetheless "

They are sources but sources of what? They are NOT sources that substantiate the claims of NT Jesus. They are sources that substantiate claims that stories about magic Jews were being told at the time. People make stories up or stories are embellished or stories and words are attributed to people that didn't do or say them because of various bullshit (like politics or personal feuds or literally any reason a human conceives of, even to make a story sound better).

"Not if it's an account based on one's personal experience it's a first hand account."

Word games to avoid what is actually being pointed out. Paul's writings are first hand accounts...of his own life but they are NOT first hand accounts of Jesus'. And his stories and claims about Jesus are also NOT first hand accounts of Jesus' either. That CLAIM would require additional evidence/proof to corroborate it. Additional unsubstantiated claims (Hi, I'm Jesus' brother or Hi, I was Jesus' disciple) are not enough to substantiate their stories. (and as has also already been pointed out to you, Paul divines much of his opinions of Jesus from a fucking hallucination. How exactly does one review the authenticity of a fucking hallucination?)







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28-06-2016, 03:14 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
Since you keep ignoring it, might as well keep posting it Drinking Beverage

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28-06-2016, 03:16 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(28-06-2016 02:51 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  This sort of tendency indicates to me, that without a doubt, that even if Philo, heard of Jesus from secondhand sources, and wrote of him, what we’d have is individuals claiming that this was a christian interpolation, or that Philo got his information from hearsay. They’d be doing to Philo what they do with Josephus, and Tacitus, and etc… Because that’s the name of the game.

Now you're claiming what we "would" do?

Why don't you start your own thread? You can argue both sides, and tell everyone what both sides think, and even refute your own points. Maybe you'd wiggle there too, who knows?

On another note:

Has it sunk into your pompous head what you are not hearing?

It probably hasn't, so I'll fill you in:

No one is wiggling. The point was acknowledged, accepted and the arguments are being revised and reconsidered.

That's the name of the game.

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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