Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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02-07-2016, 10:35 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(02-07-2016 09:54 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  So we agree that he is writing Roman history and not relating anything from the Christians such as hearsay?

It's not an either-or proposition. He's writing the actions of the emperors, to which the sect persecuted by one of those emperors would be a mere footnote.

Which is nonetheless, Roman history.

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(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  But that is not what Tacitus referred to him as being, is it? Those are your words and your thoughts from this century being imposed on a historical figure who existed some 2000 years ago. That practice is inappropriate in evaluating historical texts as it can easily skew the reality of what is actually there in the print.

It is entirely possible that Tacitus may have in fact known Pilate personally, as he was purportedly born a mere 20 years after Pilate left Judea for Rome, and both were from families of statesmen. it is certainly not unreasonable to accept as possible that they were, at the very least, contemporaries.

I referred to him as a distant regional governor because Judea was relatively minor and among the most distant and troublesome provinces. He was also governor nearly 80 years before Tacitus wrote Annals in 115 C.E.

Pilate would have had to be old enough to be Prefect/Governor in the year 26, placing him as born before the Common Era. Pilate was recalled to Rome a decade later, arriving there in 37 C.E.

Tacitus was born in 56 C.E., and would not have been an adult until Pilate was well into his seventies! So it's possible they met, at some point, I suppose, but they are not "at the very least, contemporaries" by any stretch of the imagination.

If they lived at the same time, that is the definition of contemporary in respect to living persons.


Quote:
(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  But Tacitus makes no mention of the theology of the Christians other than to claim they were hated for their abominations, and that they held some kind of a mischievous superstition, which could possibly be a reference to the resurrection story.

You are attempting to say that Tacitus was writing with the Christian audience in mind when you say such things as "Pilate is only seen as important to us because of his central place in Christian theology, which is what garnered him a mention in the section," but the text clearly contradicts that position as 1) He was writing Roman history for a Roman audience, and 2) he regards the Christians as a class who were hated.

It makes absolutely no logical sense for Tacitus- a proud Roman statesman and historian- to write the section for a Christian audience who he described as being hated and as being criminals.

WAY TO DESTROY THAT STRAWMAN! Clap

At no point did I claim the subject was written for a Christian audience. I am saying that people today, looking at Tacitus' writing through the lens of 1700 years of Christian-dominated culture, see the parts about the Christian sect as something important. I strongly doubt that would be the case for Tacitus or his Roman audience. You are trying to make me argue the opposite of what I am saying.

Tacitus had no reason to even suspect that the Christians would do anything but die out, as yet another weird cult, of which the city of Rome had hundreds, at the time... or as T put it: "where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular". All those other ones "found their center", became popular for a bit, and then died out. For the sake of future audiences who might not know what present Roman residents commonly knew about the people they called "Christians", it was necessary to provide some context for who the hell those people were, what they were doing in Rome, and why Nero went after this group. That's all it is: a footnote for future generations of (Roman) readers, or those who didn't live in Rome and might not be as familiar with Christians as a local was.

Allow me to quote you again, with the relevant parts in bold and underlined:

"Pilate is only seen as important to us because of his central place in Christian theology, which is what garnered him a mention in the section,"

You are clearly stating that the reason Tacitus wrote about Pilate was to "garnered him a mention in the section "because of his central place in Christian theology.

You have no grounds to support that statement at all, for Tacitus was not writing Roman history about Pilate because of Pilate's central place in Christian theology.

You are presenting Tacitus as if he is intentionally inserting Christian theology into his works with his mention of Pilate, as if that Christian perspective was also shared by a Roman audience.

The only audience that would apply to would be a Christian audience since, as you claim, [/i]"because of his central place in Christian theology."

Your remarks are crystal clear, and no strawman was made by me whatsoever.

Quote:
(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Do you see any indication of him actually doing anything that in the text? No.

Why should that be in the text? As I said before, we know that Tacitus had at LEAST the amount of "common knowledge" of the claims of the Christians as the people in Rome who gave them the nickname "Christians", just as you and I today know at least the most basic tenets of Islam, even if we don't necessarily have access to a Qur'an or any historical documents related to them.

My point is that you cannot draw that conclusion when there is absolutely no evidence in the text to support it.

You must work with the evidence, not mere conjecture.

Quote:
(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Since he was a statesman with access to official Roman records and historical records, why would he need to do that? Since he was writing Roman history, why would he go to the Christians and use their version of their history as opposed to Roman history?

Ugh. Again? He was writing A GODDAMNED HISTORY OF THE EMPERORS. Simply explaining a common-knowledge item (for him and other residents of Rome, at least) about what this group of Christians believed and why they were in Rome would have been necessary for, say, a Roman citizen who was a resident of Londonium, Britannia, reading a copy of his book.

But that is not the sum total of your argument, as you are also implying that the mentions of Pilate, Tiberius, and Christ also come from the hearsay of Christians as opposed to what the textual evidence in Annals as a whole actually indicates.

Quote:
(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Your position on all this one I have seen many many times, but what you do not realize is that you are viewing all this exactly the same way a Christian would. You see something here about Christ and go about trying to explain it from a Christian perspective, despite the fact you are not a Christian.

No, you're twisting everything I say into a Christianity-centered perspective. I'm saying they're unimportant, to a guy like Tacitus, or his Roman audience, except as a matter of "who the fuck are these people, and why did Nero allegedly target them?" As you say in your next paragraph:

(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  But what Tacitus wrote has absolutely nothing to do with a Christian perspective, which was something he was far removed from according to who he was, his culture, and his pedigree.

Quite.

It would seem to me that here you are trying to imply that the mention of Pilate, Tiberius, Christ and the Christians is so unimportant that Tacitus wouldn't bother looking up any historical documentation on it, and would elect to rather use Christian hearsay.

Is that about right?

Quote:
(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  You are asking me accept that a proud, respected, and powerful Roman named Tacitus consorted with a hated sect of Christians for information on who they were, and what they believed when all that information was readily available to him from his very own trusted Roman resources.

Christians were considered to be enemies of the Roman Empire in Tacitus' time, as evidenced by his very own words, and also buy records we have from Pliny the Younger, who was Tacitus' friend.

Therefore, it is a massive illogical and unreasonable stretch to consider as plausible that this particular Roman would consort with a hated enemy for information to be included as part of Roman history.

Consorting? No. But I don't think it's remotely a stretch to say he may have interviewed one or several, at some point, or gathered the information as part of what I keep referring to as "common knowledge", the way you and I know about (for instance) the Branch Davidians or the Mormons. He may have conducted interrogations of the sort he mentions in the very next line of his text: "Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."

(Bold emphasis my own, of course.) It appears at least some of the information Tacitus gathered comes directly from Christians, does it not?

[Edit to Add: I am not claiming Tacitus interviewed the Christians killed under Nero's reign, of course, but that others did. He may well have read those reports. He may also have conducted similar interviews with Christians condemned in his own time. That's all.]

You need to understand the context here. The Christians we accused of starting the fires, so ...

"Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted ..."

"Upon their information" indicates that they were convicted based upon their information in regards to whether or not they started the fire. This cannot be used as some kind of information on their beliefs, Christ, Pilate, Tiberius, or anything else, as the context is rather quite clear.

Time's up.

Back later.
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03-07-2016, 12:51 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
Okay, now I'm sure you're being deliberately obtuse.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  If they lived at the same time, that is the definition of contemporary in respect to living persons.

Not in the context it was being used, as in "knew each other and could have confirmed the story". They are two generations removed.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Allow me to quote you again, with the relevant parts in bold and underlined:

"Pilate is only seen as important to us because of his central place in Christian theology, which is what garnered him a mention in the section,"

You are clearly stating that the reason Tacitus wrote about Pilate was to "garnered him a mention in the section "because of his central place in Christian theology.

You have no grounds to support that statement at all, for Tacitus was not writing Roman history about Pilate because of Pilate's central place in Christian theology.

You are presenting Tacitus as if he is intentionally inserting Christian theology into his works with his mention of Pilate, as if that Christian perspective was also shared by a Roman audience.

The only audience that would apply to would be a Christian audience since, as you claim, [/i]"because of his central place in Christian theology."

Your remarks are crystal clear, and no strawman was made by me whatsoever.

You are still making a strawman. As I explained in the last post, the reason we're even talking about Pilate as important is because of his central place in Christian theology, and the use of this passage to "confirm" Pilate's actions as being historical.

As we know, the evangelizing Christians taught that Pilate was the executioner of their Lord. If relaying what the Christians were, one would mention major elements of their theology, including the fact that they claimed he was killed by a Roman provincial governor. If you want to call that "inserting Christian theology" into the passage, fine. I call it relaying the claims of the Christians, either from documents of the interrogations under Nero or interviews (or simply common knowledge) of the Romans of Tacitus' time, in describing in their own words/concepts who they are, just as you or I would do if mentioning the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Sikhs.

You apparently didn't read what I just wrote, as I explained who the audience for a commentary describing Christian beliefs would be, in a Roman history: people, mostly Romans, who were not in Rome and had consequently not heard of the events being described, or who wanted a more thorough explanation thereof. That is why I mentioned Londonium, Britannia, as an example.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  My point is that you cannot draw that conclusion when there is absolutely no evidence in the text to support it.

You must work with the evidence, not mere conjecture.

Evidence does not come only from this passage, when trying to parse the motives and meanings behind Tacitus' writing.

We can certainly make reasonable conjectures based upon what else we know about Tacitus, for instance considering the work he did on investigating cults in Rome for the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, a priestly college of which he was a member. Indeed, I would find it very shocking to learn (proved) that Tacitus did not have off-the-cuff knowledge of the Christians' beliefs, including their claim about Pilate executing their Christ. Since he held them in such contempt, as with all cultists, he would have had no reason to doubt that some distant regional governor killed the guy. It's not critical to the story he's telling about Nero's political machinations, but a mere footnote, as I have stated.

I have already pointed out that he did work as an investigator of cults, but you ignored it, claiming his Patrician snobbery would prevent it.

I would say that you'd have to come up with a pretty good reason why a member of the QSF would not be off-the-cuff familiar with the cults of Rome. It was literally his job, at one point in his life.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  But that is not the sum total of your argument, as you are also implying that the mentions of Pilate, Tiberius, and Christ also come from the hearsay of Christians as opposed to what the textual evidence in Annals as a whole actually indicates.

I don't see anywhere in the Annals where he states (as he does elsewhere) that he is working from documents about Pilate and the crucifixion. You are taking his practice of doing so when speaking of Emperors and expanding it into a different part of the narrative. It is an inference, and not a well-founded one. Again, it would be surprising if he did not know what the claims of the Christians were, from his own work. I am not the first person to point this out, and if you're really as into the scholarship as you claim to be, you would know that.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  It would seem to me that here you are trying to imply that the mention of Pilate, Tiberius, Christ and the Christians is so unimportant that Tacitus wouldn't bother looking up any historical documentation on it, and would elect to rather use Christian hearsay.

Is that about right?

Yes. He would use the claims of the Christians in describing their beliefs when describing them to others, just as I would do when describing a Christian to someone, today.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  You need to understand the context here. The Christians we accused of starting the fires, so ...

"Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted ..."

"Upon their information" indicates that they were convicted based upon their information in regards to whether or not they started the fire. This cannot be used as some kind of information on their beliefs, Christ, Pilate, Tiberius, or anything else, as the context is rather quite clear.

Now you're just being dishonest. It's interesting to note exactly where you placed the ellipses. Tacitus specifically says in the rest of that sentence that they weren't convicted for setting the fires, but for their criminal beliefs:

"Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."

They were interviewed about what they believed, and killed for it. Their beliefs were commonly known, by Tacitus' time, and certainly he knew what the beliefs of such a "pernicious" cult were, because of his career path.

Despite all your equivocation, there is no basis for any connection between Tacitus' Annals and a now-lost official Roman document, written at the time of the crucifixion in Judea and sent to Rome in 33 C.E., from which he was working in order to know about the claims the Christians made about the actions of Pilate.

"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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03-07-2016, 12:57 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
Oh... and I almost forgot. If we're to believe Eusebius, Pilate killed himself during the reign of Caligula, soon after leaving Judea... so there's that.

"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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03-07-2016, 01:37 AM (This post was last modified: 03-07-2016 02:00 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 12:57 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Oh... and I almost forgot. If we're to believe Eusebius, Pilate killed himself during the reign of Caligula, soon after leaving Judea... so there's that.

I think Eusebius claimed Pilate converted to Christianity too Facepalm

This is a fascinating article on all the nonsense that was written about Pilate http://www.basarchive.org/sample/bswbBro...rticleID=2

The early Christians, who in my opinion were Roman lackeys or the victims of Roman government propaganda, had to turn the Roman government representative (Pilate) into one of the good guys in the proceedings circa the crucifixion, and they then blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus. It's in all the gospels. As if that's not enough bullshit, then they turned this Pilate into a Christian. The propaganda is so transparent it is pathetic.
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03-07-2016, 02:11 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 12:51 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Okay, now I'm sure you're being deliberately obtuse.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  If they lived at the same time, that is the definition of contemporary in respect to living persons.

Not in the context it was being used, as in "knew each other and could have confirmed the story". They are two generations removed.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Allow me to quote you again, with the relevant parts in bold and underlined:

"Pilate is only seen as important to us because of his central place in Christian theology, which is what garnered him a mention in the section,"

You are clearly stating that the reason Tacitus wrote about Pilate was to "garnered him a mention in the section "because of his central place in Christian theology.

You have no grounds to support that statement at all, for Tacitus was not writing Roman history about Pilate because of Pilate's central place in Christian theology.

You are presenting Tacitus as if he is intentionally inserting Christian theology into his works with his mention of Pilate, as if that Christian perspective was also shared by a Roman audience.

The only audience that would apply to would be a Christian audience since, as you claim, [/i]"because of his central place in Christian theology."

Your remarks are crystal clear, and no strawman was made by me whatsoever.

You are still making a strawman. As I explained in the last post, the reason we're even talking about Pilate as important is because of his central place in Christian theology, and the use of this passage to "confirm" Pilate's actions as being historical.

As we know, the evangelizing Christians taught that Pilate was the executioner of their Lord. If relaying what the Christians were, one would mention major elements of their theology, including the fact that they claimed he was killed by a Roman provincial governor. If you want to call that "inserting Christian theology" into the passage, fine. I call it relaying the claims of the Christians, either from documents of the interrogations under Nero or interviews (or simply common knowledge) of the Romans of Tacitus' time, in describing in their own words/concepts who they are, just as you or I would do if mentioning the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Sikhs.

You apparently didn't read what I just wrote, as I explained who the audience for a commentary describing Christian beliefs would be, in a Roman history: people, mostly Romans, who were not in Rome and had consequently not heard of the events being described, or who wanted a more thorough explanation thereof. That is why I mentioned Londonium, Britannia, as an example.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  My point is that you cannot draw that conclusion when there is absolutely no evidence in the text to support it.

You must work with the evidence, not mere conjecture.

Evidence does not come only from this passage, when trying to parse the motives and meanings behind Tacitus' writing.

We can certainly make reasonable conjectures based upon what else we know about Tacitus, for instance considering the work he did on investigating cults in Rome for the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, a priestly college of which he was a member. Indeed, I would find it very shocking to learn (proved) that Tacitus did not have off-the-cuff knowledge of the Christians' beliefs, including their claim about Pilate executing their Christ. Since he held them in such contempt, as with all cultists, he would have had no reason to doubt that some distant regional governor killed the guy. It's not critical to the story he's telling about Nero's political machinations, but a mere footnote, as I have stated.

I have already pointed out that he did work as an investigator of cults, but you ignored it, claiming his Patrician snobbery would prevent it.

I would say that you'd have to come up with a pretty good reason why a member of the QSF would not be off-the-cuff familiar with the cults of Rome. It was literally his job, at one point in his life.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  But that is not the sum total of your argument, as you are also implying that the mentions of Pilate, Tiberius, and Christ also come from the hearsay of Christians as opposed to what the textual evidence in Annals as a whole actually indicates.

I don't see anywhere in the Annals where he states (as he does elsewhere) that he is working from documents about Pilate and the crucifixion. You are taking his practice of doing so when speaking of Emperors and expanding it into a different part of the narrative. It is an inference, and not a well-founded one. Again, it would be surprising if he did not know what the claims of the Christians were, from his own work. I am not the first person to point this out, and if you're really as into the scholarship as you claim to be, you would know that.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  It would seem to me that here you are trying to imply that the mention of Pilate, Tiberius, Christ and the Christians is so unimportant that Tacitus wouldn't bother looking up any historical documentation on it, and would elect to rather use Christian hearsay.

Is that about right?

Yes. He would use the claims of the Christians in describing their beliefs when describing them to others, just as I would do when describing a Christian to someone, today.

(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  You need to understand the context here. The Christians we accused of starting the fires, so ...

"Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted ..."

"Upon their information" indicates that they were convicted based upon their information in regards to whether or not they started the fire. This cannot be used as some kind of information on their beliefs, Christ, Pilate, Tiberius, or anything else, as the context is rather quite clear.

Now you're just being dishonest. It's interesting to note exactly where you placed the ellipses. Tacitus specifically says in the rest of that sentence that they weren't convicted for setting the fires, but for their criminal beliefs:

"Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."

They were interviewed about what they believed, and killed for it. Their beliefs were commonly known, by Tacitus' time, and certainly he knew what the beliefs of such a "pernicious" cult were, because of his career path.

Despite all your equivocation, there is no basis for any connection between Tacitus' Annals and a now-lost official Roman document, written at the time of the crucifixion in Judea and sent to Rome in 33 C.E., from which he was working in order to know about the claims the Christians made about the actions of Pilate.

"Now you're just being dishonest. It's interesting to note exactly where you placed the ellipses. Tacitus specifically says in the rest of that sentence that they weren't convicted for setting the fires, but for their criminal beliefs:

"Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind." "
Thumbsup

Oops! You most definitely got your facts wrong there, goingup.

PS Did you get your name from your hoped for post mortem destiny, or from a lift boy?
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03-07-2016, 05:31 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(02-07-2016 04:58 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  So I read it, but I didn't understand it because I don't come to the same conclusion as you? Wow. "Textually excavate"... wow. Dodgy

Textual excavation is a procedure historians use. You can Google it and find out more.

It's a trained skill that allows historians to see more than what is just on the surface, hence "excavation."

Historians? It seems to be your own term and not anyone else's. Consider

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03-07-2016, 06:45 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 12:51 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  You are still making a strawman. As I explained in the last post, the reason we're even talking about Pilate as important is because of his central place in Christian theology, and the use of this passage to "confirm" Pilate's actions as being historical.

As we know, the evangelizing Christians taught that Pilate was the executioner of their Lord. If relaying what the Christians were, one would mention major elements of their theology, including the fact that they claimed he was killed by a Roman provincial governor. If you want to call that "inserting Christian theology" into the passage, fine. I call it relaying the claims of the Christians, either from documents of the interrogations under Nero or interviews (or simply common knowledge) of the Romans of Tacitus' time, in describing in their own words/concepts who they are, just as you or I would do if mentioning the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Sikhs.

You apparently didn't read what I just wrote, as I explained who the audience for a commentary describing Christian beliefs would be, in a Roman history: people, mostly Romans, who were not in Rome and had consequently not heard of the events being described, or who wanted a more thorough explanation thereof. That is why I mentioned Londonium, Britannia, as an example.

It's interesting how Philo by you gets treated as if he's an investigative reporter, even though he was not a historian, and was interested in penning his theological views, and yet you want to suggest that Tacitus, who was a a roman historian, and no particular fan of Christianity, was relaying information received by him from the Christian cult, regarding Jesus's death under Pilate, that he took at face value as true.

You also complain about Tacitus not citing his sources, if he derived them from other writings, yet Tacitus doesn't claim that he got that information from Christians, or that he was relaying information received by them, but this is your suggestion.

You say he was writing for Roman audiences, who had subsequently not heard about these events, and wanted to pass along thorough explanations, yet pass along false info regarding Jesus? Apparently Tacitus wasn't aware that Jesus didn't exist, it's only atheists 2000s year later who figured that out.

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03-07-2016, 09:40 AM (This post was last modified: 03-07-2016 09:57 AM by GoingUp.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 12:51 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Okay, now I'm sure you're being deliberately obtuse.

Incorrect, and that is just an unfounded accusation.

Quote:
(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  If they lived at the same time, that is the definition of contemporary in respect to living persons.

Not in the context it was being used, as in "knew each other and could have confirmed the story". They are two generations removed.

And you think I am being deliberately obtuse when you do this bullshit? They do not need to know each other, nor even have heard about each other, to be contemporaries.

Quote:
(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Allow me to quote you again, with the relevant parts in bold and underlined:

"Pilate is only seen as important to us because of his central place in Christian theology, which is what garnered him a mention in the section,"

You are clearly stating that the reason Tacitus wrote about Pilate was to "garnered him a mention in the section "because of his central place in Christian theology.

You have no grounds to support that statement at all, for Tacitus was not writing Roman history about Pilate because of Pilate's central place in Christian theology.

You are presenting Tacitus as if he is intentionally inserting Christian theology into his works with his mention of Pilate, as if that Christian perspective was also shared by a Roman audience.

The only audience that would apply to would be a Christian audience since, as you claim, [/i]"because of his central place in Christian theology."

Your remarks are crystal clear, and no strawman was made by me whatsoever.

You are still making a strawman. As I explained in the last post, the reason we're even talking about Pilate as important is because of his central place in Christian theology, and the use of this passage to "confirm" Pilate's actions as being historical.

Ummm no? That is not what you said in your previous post at all. Here again is what you said, and how it is understood. Emphasis mine:

"Pilate is only seen as important to us because of his central place in Christian theology, which is what garnered him a mention in the section (of Annals by Tacitus),"

Your quote clearly said that the reason Tacitus mentions Pilate in this section of Annals is because Pilate has a central place in Christian theology.

The connotation of your statement infers that if Tacitus' reason for mentioning Pilate in this section of Annals was because of Pilate's place in Christian theology- and the Roman population was not Christian- then then only one's who would read and fully understand this particular part of Annals would be a Christian audience, since a Roman audience would not be privy to the understanding regarding Pilate's inclusion into this section.

Is there some other way that anyone is supposed to understand what you said? Because if so, then you will need to be far more careful of the words you choose in the future because there is simply no other way to view what you said considering the way you said it.

Quote:
(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  My point is that you cannot draw that conclusion when there is absolutely no evidence in the text to support it.

You must work with the evidence, not mere conjecture.

Evidence does not come only from this passage, when trying to parse the motives and meanings behind Tacitus' writing.

We can certainly make reasonable conjectures based upon what else we know about Tacitus, for instance considering the work he did on investigating cults in Rome for the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, a priestly college of which he was a member. Indeed, I would find it very shocking to learn (proved) that Tacitus did not have off-the-cuff knowledge of the Christians' beliefs, including their claim about Pilate executing their Christ. Since he held them in such contempt, as with all cultists, he would have had no reason to doubt that some distant regional governor killed the guy. It's not critical to the story he's telling about Nero's political machinations, but a mere footnote, as I have stated.

I have already pointed out that he did work as an investigator of cults, but you ignored it, claiming his Patrician snobbery would prevent it.

I would say that you'd have to come up with a pretty good reason why a member of the QSF would not be off-the-cuff familiar with the cults of Rome. It was literally his job, at one point in his life.

No one is saying that Tacitus would not be off-the-cuff familiar with the cults of Rome, for all I am saying is that there is no evidence whatsoever that his remarks about Pilate and Tiberius particularly were off-the-cuff- remarks.

He is mentioning two very high-standing Roman persons- one an Emperor- here in this passage, and you think it's plausible that his remarks about them would be merely off-the-cuff?

Considering Tacitus' fact checking habits- which in this very chapter of 15 with the fires, Pilate, Christ, et al, demonstrates him accessing the previous works of Roman historians, the Acta Diurna, and the Acta Senatus among other literature, then this is direct evidence supporting Tacitus' preference for ensure that he was writing genuine history rather than mere rumors. In fact, in regards to mere rumors, Tacitus has this to say:

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."


The position that Tacitus used rumors and/or off-the-cuff remarks considering high ranking Roman officials is not only wholly unsupported, illogical, and unreasonable, but it is also hotly contested by his very own words in the text which demonstrate a continuous utilization of all available previously written historical Roman literature at his disposal.

You are pulling at straws here with not so much as even a meager hope.

Quote:
(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  But that is not the sum total of your argument, as you are also implying that the mentions of Pilate, Tiberius, and Christ also come from the hearsay of Christians as opposed to what the textual evidence in Annals as a whole actually indicates.

I don't see anywhere in the Annals where he states (as he does elsewhere) that he is working from documents about Pilate and the crucifixion.

Now this is what we call "moving the goalposts," and any atheist here can see it, albeit, but will by no means acknowledge it to aid me.

Evidence has been abundantly provided which demonstrates that even within the very 15th chapter which includes Pilate, Tiberius, Christ, and the Christians et al, Tacitus is using a plethora of written official Roman records.

Yet now, you expect that for just a small couple of lines of text he must explicitly place a footnote for his sources of just a few words? Considering what we have already proven about Tacitus' fact checking habits, this is most definitely a fallaciously excessive expectation of evidence.

Using your logic, because Tacitus doesn't place a footnote for every line of text in Annals then we must conclude it is all hearsay and not a record of Roman history!

Ridiculous.


You are cherry-picking a couple of lines of text and demanding an unrealistic expectation of evidence for just those couple lines, all because it mentions Christ. If it mentioned someone named "Robert," you wouldn't bat an eyelash at it or even consider demanding any more evidence. You would simply accept it.

But no, because it mentions Christ, it must not be genuine, right? That is a dishonest approach to history.

Facepalm

Quote:
(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  It would seem to me that here you are trying to imply that the mention of Pilate, Tiberius, Christ and the Christians is so unimportant that Tacitus wouldn't bother looking up any historical documentation on it, and would elect to rather use Christian hearsay.

Is that about right?

Yes. He would use the claims of the Christians in describing their beliefs when describing them to others, just as I would do when describing a Christian to someone, today.

Yet, within the very text he mentions Caesar Tiberius in which he dedicates an entire chapter and more beginning in chapter 4, in which he goes into great detail chronicling his life.

So instead of using his own source material- which he obviously already possessed- you somehow expect people to believe that he would completely disregard his readily available written Roman records in preference to a consultation with the enemy of the Christians in an effort to get some Roman history from them?

Seriously?

Big Grin

Quote:
(02-07-2016 10:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  You need to understand the context here. The Christians we accused of starting the fires, so ...

"Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted ..."

"Upon their information" indicates that they were convicted based upon their information in regards to whether or not they started the fire. This cannot be used as some kind of information on their beliefs, Christ, Pilate, Tiberius, or anything else, as the context is rather quite clear.

Now you're just being dishonest. It's interesting to note exactly where you placed the ellipses. Tacitus specifically says in the rest of that sentence that they weren't convicted for setting the fires, but for their criminal beliefs:

No, it does not state that they were convicted because of their criminal beliefs, you are misrepresenting the text again. Here it is:

"Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."

It clearly says that they were arrested because they pleaded guilty to starting the fires of Rome. Then, upon the information they provided, they were convicted not so much (meaning, not just because of) the crime of starting the fire, but also because of their (or Neros) hatred towards mankind.

It says absolutely nothing about them volunteering any information about their beliefs, but rather it clearly says they were arrested because they pleaded guilty to starting the fires.

Facepalm
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03-07-2016, 09:49 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 01:37 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think Eusebius claimed Pilate converted to Christianity too Facepalm

This is a fascinating article on all the nonsense that was written about Pilate http://www.basarchive.org/sample/bswbBro...rticleID=2

The early Christians, who in my opinion were Roman lackeys or the victims of Roman government propaganda, had to turn the Roman government representative (Pilate) into one of the good guys in the proceedings circa the crucifixion, and they then blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus. It's in all the gospels. As if that's not enough bullshit, then they turned this Pilate into a Christian. The propaganda is so transparent it is pathetic.

How dare you question my boy Eusebius ? Weeping

... the 32nd Chapter of his 12th Book of Evangelical Preparation:
"How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived."

"We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity."
Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 8, chapter 2

I demand an apology. Big Grin

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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03-07-2016, 10:13 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 05:31 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(02-07-2016 08:38 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Textual excavation is a procedure historians use. You can Google it and find out more.

It's a trained skill that allows historians to see more than what is just on the surface, hence "excavation."

Historians? It seems to be your own term and not anyone else's. Consider

And you didn't explore it far enough to understand that it is merely a common term for textual analysis?

Okay.
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