Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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01-07-2016, 10:16 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 08:16 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 07:43 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  GoingUp - Where do you think Celsus and Lucian, born after the death of Jesus and writing their accounts in the 2nd century, got their information?

From Christians, telling stories.

Perhaps, and perhaps not. The one thing they DON'T do is make any kind of a claim that Jesus didn't exist at all, and in fact they and others poke fun at Christians for not recognizing this same Jesus as a mere man.

Quote:They are NOT independent confirmation of the existence of a historical Jesus. They are confirmation that the Christians talked about Jesus, and other people wrote down what they said (in various versions, some more hostile than others).

They are non-Christian resources attesting to the existence of Jesus as a mere human being who was crucified for sedition.

They add to the one commonality we find in numerous other texts, that Jesus existed as a man, and was crucified.

"The one thing they DON'T do is make any kind of a claim that Jesus didn't exist at all, and in fact they and others poke fun at Christians for not recognizing this same Jesus as a mere man."

Brilliant! Just brilliant!Facepalm

I now know the flying spaghetti monster really exists because I've never read anyone who says he doesn't. And pink unicorns. And pixies on Mars. And Alice in wonderland.

PS Even if your argument made sense, (which it doesn't,) you are wrong. The writings of the church fathers are littered with propaganda about how Jesus came in the flesh precisely because there were so many critics denying his historicity. Google it.
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01-07-2016, 10:24 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 10:16 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  PS Even if your argument made sense, (which it doesn't,) you are wrong. The writings of the church fathers are littered with propaganda about how Jesus came in the flesh precisely because there were so many critics denying his historicity. Google it.

As an atheist, why are you trusting fictional theistic writing over what GoingUp has provided?

You are basically supporting theism in order to denounce the very fact that GoingUp's claims have more accuracy in denouncing Christianity.
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01-07-2016, 10:33 PM (This post was last modified: 02-07-2016 12:59 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 10:24 PM)Foxen Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 10:16 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  PS Even if your argument made sense, (which it doesn't,) you are wrong. The writings of the church fathers are littered with propaganda about how Jesus came in the flesh precisely because there were so many critics denying his historicity. Google it.

As an atheist, why are you trusting fictional theistic writing over what GoingUp has provided?

You are basically supporting theism in order to denounce the very fact that GoingUp's claims have more accuracy in denouncing Christianity.

We are not understanding each other.

GoingUp has stated that no one historically questioned Jesus' historicity, therefore Jesus existed.

I have pointed out that many of the "church fathers" went to great pains to emphasise that Jesus was a man, not a spirit or a ghost. Literature that was anti Christian rarely survived the first few centuries of Christianity, yet we can still hear the critics' voices in these rebuttals from church fathers.

I hope I've made myself a little clearer.
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01-07-2016, 10:41 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 10:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  GoingUp has stated that no one historically questioned Jesus' historicity, therefore Jesus existed.

I have pointed out that that the church fathers went to great pains to emphasise that that Jesus was a man, not a spirit or a ghost. Literature that was anti Christian rarely survived the first few centuries of Christianity, yet we can still hear the critics' voices in these rebuttals from church fathers.

I hope I've made myself a little clearer.

I suppose I am still confused.

If you are admitting that Jesus could have been a historical figure, albeit a mortal rather than the divine son of god, how is that different than GoingUp advocating for Jesus having existed?
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01-07-2016, 10:59 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 10:41 PM)Foxen Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 10:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  GoingUp has stated that no one historically questioned Jesus' historicity, therefore Jesus existed.

I have pointed out that that the church fathers went to great pains to emphasise that that Jesus was a man, not a spirit or a ghost. Literature that was anti Christian rarely survived the first few centuries of Christianity, yet we can still hear the critics' voices in these rebuttals from church fathers.

I hope I've made myself a little clearer.

I suppose I am still confused.

If you are admitting that Jesus could have been a historical figure, albeit a mortal rather than the divine son of god, how is that different than GoingUp advocating for Jesus having existed?

I think a Yeshua may have existed. GoingUP is adamant there was an historical man Jesus, so there is some common ground. Yet who GoingUp thinks Jesus was, what this Jesus said and did, and his importance to GoingUp and the world, have not been made clear by him.

GoingUp has managed to piss some of us off because
-he is so cocksure of his own ideas, yet can't or won't explain himself, and
-because he doesn't have a nuanced understanding of the history, and
-because he promotes logical fallacies, and
-because he is so quick to denigrate other's ideas, which he most often just doesn't understand.
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02-07-2016, 12:56 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 09:00 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 08:10 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  I do not see how what Tacitus says, or what Josephus says regarding James, the brother of Jesus, as being in any way construed as an embellishment of anything.

Both of the authors were born in the 1st century, as close to contemporaries as can be. The lived virtually during the same period of time as Jesus did.

Tacitus constantly gives his sources throughout his works, so there is no reason to suspect he was merely using hearsay from the population.

Josephus is wring a history of the Jews for the Roman audience, and his 2nd mention of Jesus is not found in any other text, nor known as being of any degree of hearsay.

"Virtually the same" is not the "was in the same time period". I was born in 1976, and thus anything I claim about the Civil Rights Movement would be hearsay, acquired from other sources which I cannot independently substantiate, only corroborate with other sources. The best we could do would be to check my sources for accuracy/agreement. Likewise, any information those writers received was from secondhand sources (Edit: meaning verbal accounts, not documentation). That makes it hearsay.

hear·say
ˈhirˌsā/
noun
1. information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate; rumor.

2.the report of another person's words by a witness, usually disallowed as evidence in a court of law.

See this Bucky Ball? Now THIS is an example of Presentism, and I will demonstrate why.

First, it's definition:

"In literary and historical analysis, presentism is the anachronistic introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Some modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they consider it a form of cultural bias, and believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter.[1] The practice of presentism is regarded by some as a common fallacy in historical writing"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentism..._analysis)

Your use of presentism is factual here, because you cannot use modern day examples of given situations as examples of what things should be like in the past.

Your birth in 1976 does in no way disqualify you from gathering factual information regarding the civil rights movement, and forcing you to use mere hearsay. Your definition of hearsay is correct, but in modern times there is more than enough factual documented evidence in abundance that the need for using hearsay is utterly ridiculous.

There is simply no comparison with modern day intelligence gathering and via readily available documents and what was available in ancient times.

But I am willing to ignore that fallacy and address the actual gist of your position, so let's see if/how the definition of hearsay relates to this situation. However, you will need to put something up here which you claim to be mere hearsay.


Quote:
(01-07-2016 08:10 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  This argument fails, and I will demonstrate why.

You claim that Tacitus should have used Prefect instead of Procurator, but he didn't because he was repeating what Christians claimed, that Pilate was entitled as Procurator.

Here's are your problems:

1. There is not one shred of evidence in any ancient Christian document that any early Christian ever regarded Pilate as a Procurator.

It doesn't even exist in the Bible. It's a badly researched assumption. Since there is no evidence whatsoever, it nullifies the assumption that Tacitus used Christian hearsay regarding this passage.

2. The Gospel records portray Pilate as a governor. When applied to governors, this term procurator, otherwise used for financial officers, connotes no difference whatsoever in rank or function from the title known as "prefect."

3. At the time Tacitus wrote his works, all governors of Judea had held the title of Procurator since Ad 41, for some 70+ years. Since Pilate had been the "Governor" of Judea, Tacitus would only assume him to have held the actual title of Procurator since that was indeed the title for governors of Judea at Tacitus' time.


It is most likely that the Pilate Stone was placed the moment Pilate became Prefect of Judea. However, the titles of Prefect or Procurator make absolutely no difference to the context depicting the execution of Christ by Pontius Pilate, and the claim of Tacitus using Christian hearsay due to his use of procurator is completely un-evidenced, with no traction whatsoever.

Nice dodge.

There's a difference between a dodge and a counter. You haven't been dodged; you have been addressed and countered.

Quote:The question I was asking, and which you apparently missed, is whether Tacitus might have been working from official Roman documents written at the time of the alleged execution of Jesus, rather than working from secondhand sources (testimony). You're quite right-- Tacitus would not have had a reason to quibble about whether the "governor" of Judea, as the Christians and Josephus called him, was titled a Prefect or a Procurator... but any documents written at the time, from which one might allege Tacitus to be reading and thus reporting the event, would have gotten it correct, as it was not yet legal for a Procurator to be governor of Judea. This nullifies any claims that Tacitus had direct evidence of these events.

Actually, Tacitus informs us several times throughout his works in regards to his sources. He explicitly tells us that he relies strongly on the consensus of the works of previous historians as I will demonstrate below.

Annals 13.20

"Proposing as I do to follow the consentient testimony of historians ..."

Also ...

Annals 4.11

"My object in mentioning and refuting this story is, by a conspicuous example, to put down hearsay, and to request all into whose hands my work shall come, not to catch eagerly at wild and improbable rumours in preference to genuine history which has not been perverted into romance."

Furthermore, as Tacitus begins to relate the history of the fires of Rome which leads into the section regarding Christ, Pilate and the Christians, he begins the story with the following:

Annals 15.38

"A disaster followed, whether accidental or treacherously contrived by the emperor, is uncertain, as authors have given both accounts,"

And finally, the Christ section can be found in Annals 15.44, and immediately after that section in the very next paragraph of 15.45, we see Tacitus again using written historical sources:

Annals 15.45

"According to some writers, poison was prepared for him at Nero's command by his own freedman ..."

The evidence against Tacitus using mere hearsay is abundant in his own words and works, with him explicitly telling us how he is disgusted by hearsay and prefers genuine history. In fact, in the very first paragraph of Annals, Tacitus sets the standard of excellence by which he intends to write his works by stating the following:

Annals 1.1

"Hence my purpose is to relate a few facts about Augustus - more particularly his last acts, then the reign of Tiberius, and all which follows, without either bitterness or partiality, from any motives to which I am far removed."

So here we have Tacitus telling us that he will be relating facts about the Caesars right from the first paragraph of Annals, and then we see him telling us he is using the consensus of previous historians, and then again he is using previous authors directly in the context of the section on Christ, and again in the very next paragraph after Christ he is using the written works of previous authors again.

This is direct textual documented evidence that the sources that Tacitus used were previously written Roman historical records, and this completely invalidates any claims of "mere hearsay."

Not only is the hearsay angle completely refuted, but the hearsay angle hasn't got a shred of evidence to support it. None whatsoever.

What say you?
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02-07-2016, 01:16 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
Please. You did not "counter", you dodged. Simple as that. You avoided the issue I had raised, as shown by the fact that you have to separately address it, now. But since you did, I will address that.

Yes, I have seen this claim by apologists, many times.

A Senator of Rome when working as a documentarian was of course careful to use only documented historical references when talking about the actions of emperors, and to specify when he was using only report (as in the case of "some people think he set the fires, others don't think it had anything to do with the emperor"). However, that's not what he's doing when describing what a Christian is, for the purpose of the audience. There's no need to cite to a document for an item so trivial to him, or to the audience, during the course of a mere description; it is enough for him to explain what the Christians claimed to believe-- namely, that their Lord was crucified by Pilate, etc. And that is exactly what we see in that passage.

In order to state that Tacitus was using official documents of the Roman Empire, you'd have to allege that either the person sending the report (at the time of the trial) to Rome about Pilate got his title wrong, and not just wrong but in a way that would have made Pilate's rank/position illegal for another decade, or that Tacitus (the guy we can see is so careful about his documentation) made a mistake in writing down the wrong rank.

It is also well-known that Tacitus held the Christians (and all other cults) in deep contempt, and part of his work was dedicated to understanding the claims of cultists throughout Rome. To assert that he expended the same amount of documentary care when simply rattling off the beliefs of one of those cults as he would expend on telling the tale of the actions of Emperors and statesmen is more than a stretch.

The simplest explanation is that Tacitus had talked to Christians, knew what their claims were, and wrote it down while in the much broader story of Nero's political machinations.

"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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02-07-2016, 01:18 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
Hey GU,

this will be the fourth time I've asked you this.

Let's say "Jesus" existed. So what? What does that mean to you? I hope you don't think that what some anonymous writer wrote Jesus said or did means it is true? And so what if it is?

Why are YOU so interested in "his" existence or not? He has no meaning in your life, as far as I can tell. What's your agenda? Why are you here?
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02-07-2016, 01:22 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(02-07-2016 01:16 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Please. You did not "counter", you dodged. Simple as that. You avoided the issue I had raised, as shown by the fact that you have to separately address it, now. But since you did, I will address that.

Yes, I have seen this claim by apologists, many times.

A Senator of Rome when working as a documentarian was of course careful to use only documented historical references when talking about the actions of emperors, and to specify when he was using only report (as in the case of "some people think he set the fires, others don't think it had anything to do with the emperor"). However, that's not what he's doing when describing what a Christian is, for the purpose of the audience. There's no need to cite to a document for an item so trivial to him, or to the audience, during the course of a mere description; it is enough for him to explain what the Christians claimed to believe-- namely, that their Lord was crucified by Pilate, etc. And that is exactly what we see in that passage.

In order to state that Tacitus was using official documents of the Roman Empire, you'd have to allege that either the person sending the report (at the time of the trial) to Rome about Pilate got his title wrong, and not just wrong but in a way that would have made Pilate's rank/position illegal for another decade, or that Tacitus (the guy we can see is so careful about his documentation) made a mistake in writing down the wrong rank.

It is also well-known that Tacitus held the Christians (and all other cults) in deep contempt, and part of his work was dedicated to understanding the claims of cultists throughout Rome. To assert that he expended the same amount of documentary care when simply rattling off the beliefs of one of those cults as he would expend on telling the tale of the actions of Emperors and statesmen is more than a stretch.

The simplest explanation is that Tacitus had talked to Christians, knew what their claims were, and wrote it down while in the much broader story of Nero's political machinations.

Your words are like a breath of fresh airBowing
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02-07-2016, 04:53 AM (This post was last modified: 02-07-2016 06:01 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(02-07-2016 12:56 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Presentism, and I will demonstrate why.

First, it's definition:

"In literary and historical analysis, presentism is the anachronistic introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Some modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they consider it a form of cultural bias, and believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter.[1] The practice of presentism is regarded by some as a common fallacy in historical writing"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentism..._analysis)

I know what it is, dumbass. And it's EXACTLY what you're doing, and what you have been called out about.

You're not doing very well here, gramps. YOU are interpreting the situation in Salem as "superstition". A situation the RELIGIOUS people of the day did NOT consider superstition. You think you can do you deny deny deny and smoke and mirrors here ? Bullshit. EVERYONE here can see what you're doing. Educated people of the day, .... THE BEST educated people of the day, said they had evidence for witches. THAT evidence is BETTER than for Jesus ... and you refuse to accept that evidence. Therefore, there is NO reason to accept YOUR so-called evidence for Jebus. You have a dishonest double standard, and you have demonstrated it for the world to see. You're such an amateur you didn't even recognize what you're doing until you were told. It shows religious people could accept anything and call it "evidence".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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