Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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03-07-2016, 01:06 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 01:01 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(03-07-2016 12:14 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Anti-Christians are quite drawn to the idea of Jesus not existing, to the point that they'd lie on his behalf, ..... bla bla bla

No one is "anti-Christian" here.
We've already told it it make s no difference if he existed or not.

Ya know, Tomato, your constant anti-atheist bullshit is getting really old.

Those who intentionally lie to support the claim that Jesus did not exists, are anti-christian. They do so becomes they see at as mean of dismantling Christianity, a cause they see as so important they must lie in support of it, make up claims like the savior deity comparisons. If it wasn't anti-christian sentiment that drives it, than what is it?

"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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03-07-2016, 01:06 PM (This post was last modified: 03-07-2016 01:14 PM by Chas.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 10:13 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(03-07-2016 05:31 AM)Chas Wrote:  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.

Only in your imagination could it be called 'common'. Dodgy

Or is it common among some sub-group or particular interest group? Because in the references and usages I found, the terms 'textual analysis' and 'textual excavation' are not synonymous.

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03-07-2016, 01:20 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 12:14 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Anti-Christians are quite drawn to the idea of Jesus not existing, to the point that they'd lie on his behalf, as countless false claims they make to support it indicate. Apparently folks like Tacitus wouldn't have been? I would think the idea of non-existing messiah, even the faintest suggestion of it at the time, would have bee n of considerable interest to anti-christian sentiments at the time, just like now. But apparently we're suppose to believe there was no historical Jesus, and the early Christians were able to pull the wool over everyones eyes, even Roman historians, like Tacitus, who they not only fooled into believing he was a historical person, but into believing that he was crucified under their very own Pontius Pilate.

I'm curious to hear when do you think this conversion from non-historical Jesus to a historical Jesus happened? Clearly if Christians around the time believed he was crucified under Pilate, that they did see him as an actual historical person?

Prior to Paul's own writing?

Except we're not talking about the beliefs of the original Christians, but those of second-generation Christians, and in particular ones in the city of Rome who had never been to Judea. They would have had no idea if Jesus was an historical person, but would have had to take the early evangelists' word for it, as Christians do even today.

Like GoingUp, you're inserting your own objections into my ideas, where they are not present.

I have no idea what you're even getting at, with the vaguely-worded question about "Anti-Christians". I'm going to guess that you mean, as GoingUp asked, that those anti-Christian writers should have speculated about whether or not the Messiah the Christians followed was a real person or not? Every writer I have seen was not attacking or even addressing the claims of the Christians (they didn't seem to care about the details) on their cult's history, but attacking the practices of Christians, many of which were incorrect.

My claim is simple: the writers like Tacitus would not have cared whether Jesus was a real guy, or if he was killed by Pilate, as claimed by the Christians in his area. Whether it is wholly fabricated, rumor turned into dogma, or a real event is irrelevant to them (and to me). I am simply pointing out that you cannot use Tacitus as a means to document the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth.

Since you can't seem to get it through your thick skull that I AM NOT A MYTHICIST, I'll repeat for you one last time: I agree that the sum total of the weight of evidence seems to point to the simplest explanation being that there was a Yeshua/Jesus whose core followers watched their teacher being put to death, and came up with an expanded version of his deeds (over time and through the course of disbanding/relocating), sharing stories among small communities of the converted in order to continue spreading the teachings they lived by.

I think the modern narrative that grew up, in the wake of Paul's influence on those early churches, is not the same as the historical events, but that there is a core of secular truth in the stories. He was simply not God.

Like Tacitus, I really have no reason to quibble with the claims of the Christians about the origin of their Christ, only to doubt the miraculous and "man of great importance" details later assigned to him through the tradition that so rapidly grew up among the expanded church and was later cut back down into an Orthodoxy by vote among the bishops.

All I am doing here is dismantling the "historicity" argument attached to Tacitus' writing, which is not directly supportive of an historical Jesus, as claimed by believers today.

"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 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 01:06 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(03-07-2016 10:13 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  And you didn't explore it far enough to understand that it is merely a common term for textual analysis?

Okay.

Only in your imagination could it be called 'common'. Dodgy

Or is it common among some sub-group or particular interest group? Because in the references and usages I found, the terms 'textual analysis' and 'textual excavation' are not synonymous.

It is common among the learned in this genre. It's not some big mystery word recently invented, it's been in use for decades. I don't even give it a second thought when I use it.

I am quite surprised at how many people in this conversation are so taken aback by it. It's not that big of a deal.
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03-07-2016, 01:45 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 01:37 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(03-07-2016 01:06 PM)Chas Wrote:  Only in your imagination could it be called 'common'. Dodgy

Or is it common among some sub-group or particular interest group? Because in the references and usages I found, the terms 'textual analysis' and 'textual excavation' are not synonymous.

It is common among the learned in this genre. It's not some big mystery word recently invented, it's been in use for decades. I don't even give it a second thought when I use it.

I am quite surprised at how many people in this conversation are so taken aback by it. It's not that big of a deal.

The 'big deal' is that the terms 'textual analysis' and 'textual excavation' are not synonymous.

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03-07-2016, 01:46 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 01:06 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Those who intentionally lie to support the claim that Jesus did not exists, are anti-christian. They do so becomes they see at as mean of dismantling Christianity, a cause they see as so important they must lie in support of it, make up claims like the savior deity comparisons. If it wasn't anti-christian sentiment that drives it, than what is it?

All presumptuous bullshit, for which you have not a shred of proof. What drives it, is that it's founders lied about so many things, and admitted that, that there is no way to tell what was true or not.

If, as we have repeatedly stated, it makes no difference if he existed, your nonsense is irrelevant. You do it as it makes you feel all self-righteous and superior. You have demonstrated that. "Warped" etc. Remember that crap ?

You have REPEATEDLY lied about why you are here.
Go peddle you bullshit somewhere it might matter. It doesn't here.
You said you were here to learn. Hahaha. You are here to insult.

First of all, you are not a "Christian" by any definition. YOU yourself do all that's necessary to "dismantle" it. You can't define it. You won't define it.
Secondly, there is nothing "true" or unique about it. It requires no one to "dismantle" it. It's a pile of festering dung, all by itself.

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03-07-2016, 01:47 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Obviously you don't understand the meaning of the word "contemporary."

We'll let the readers judge you on what they know to be true.

"The readers" will understand the difference between contemporary, when used to mean "lived in roughly the same time period" versus contemporary in the sense that you originally brought it up, meaning that Tacitus would likely have met Pilate.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  No, you clearly said "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)."

By the use of the word WHICH, you said that the reason Tacitus mentioned him in the section is because Pilate would be seen by US as being important because of his central place in Christian theology.


So yes, you said that Tacitus' motive for mentioning Pilate was because we here, 2000 years into the future, would see him as being important due to his central place in Christian theology.

You expect anyone with a clue to accept that crap? So, if that's the case, please show me how Caesar Tiberius was also a central figure in Christian theology, since he is also mentioned in the very same breath as Pilate.

Holy fuck are you dense! Tacitus mentions him because the Christians cite to him as the executioner of their Christ, and he is explaining to his Roman readers what a Christian is, including their belief that he was executed by Pilate. We consider Tacitus' mention of him important because of the domination of Christianity in our Western culture.

Your version of my statement would have me claiming that Tacitus left the reference in there because he somehow knew that Christianity would become the dominant religion of Rome and would leave a 2000-year legacy, which is ludicrous, and which I have expressly stated is not how he would have seen it.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  And please invest in a better shovel, because the one you are using to shovel this crap is broken.

Someone is certainly shoveling crap. As you said, I'll let the readers judge that one.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  No.

In my quote of him- and please look closely- Tacitus mentioned his WORK, meaning the Annals as a whole:

"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"

Taking stuff out of context, again. Naughty, naughty!

Read all of 4.11, where Tacitus explicitly states that the point of those two paragraphs (.10 and .11) is to put down rumors of that story and set the historical facts in light, as I already quoted him as saying. All who thereafter read HIS WORK detailing that story (meaning passages .10 and .11) would no longer be subject to "romanticized" versions. He is making a specific reference to a specific story. You are the one extrapolating that to mean he is referring to every line he ever wrote on any subject.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Stop trying to twist your way out of this because it isn't happening. You absolutely stated the following:

"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 said that in response to me saying:

"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."


The content was all about the ancient Roman written resources Tacitus was using as a whole to research for his Annals, and the abundance of it being pointed out to you. Then you respond with, "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."

Ugh. I almost edited that because I was worried the poor syntax (on my part) would indicate to you that I was referring to some use elsewhere of such a record. I mean that while Tacitus does explicitly state where he is referring to records, there is no record he references in regard to the statement about the Christians and Pilate.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  So let me get this straight. Tacitus would have simply known the following:

1. Pilate was in Judea in Ad 28 - 36.

Where does he say that?

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  2. Christus was the father of Christianity.

That is what the Christians claimed, yes, and that is what he would have known as an investigator of cults, yes.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  3. The Christians were blamed for the fire.
4. The Christians were arrested and convicted.
5. The Christians were burned and tortured, serving as a light post in the night.
6. The Christians were torn apart by wild dogs.
7. The Christians were nailed to crosses to mock them.
8. Nero staged this entire event in the Gardens.

This is the part he likely got from records (what he calls "reports", which may have been records or simply writers who wrote down the events in Rome). It is not the same thing as his description of what a Christian is in the first place, as I have repeatedly tried to explain to you.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  In addition to all that, since it is just a small part of the events surrounding the great fires of Rome, I guess Tacitus just automatically knew everything about the Great Fires of Rome also? All the minute details about it was already known by him? No, we both know that is unreasonable. Therefore ...

If Tacitus was researching for information about the Great Fires of Rome and what Nero did, then all the information about that event including Pilate, Christus, Tiberius, and the Christians, would have been included as part of a previously written record.

I do suspect that the statements from the Christians being interviewed at the time of the executions would have been available, as records, to Tacitus. That is not the same thing as claiming that there is a document directly attesting to the actions of Pilate himself, 30 years prior.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  it is simply illogical and intellectually dishonest to expect Tacitus to have simply known all these minute details about the Christians, and since it is obvious that he would need previously written source materials to account for these details, that those source materials would also have included information on Christ and the Christians, Pilate and Tiberias, and all that followed.

You just can't cherry pick because it mentions Christ and make an illogical claim that Tacitus needed to use hearsay from the Christians about Pilate, Christ, Tiberius, and the Christians when the details in the text itself are so extensive as to warrant previously written source materials to chronicle the history.

You have no evidence of hearsay. You have no good supported reasoning for hearsay. And all the available evidence works against any position of hearsay.

All the available evidence can only point to Tacitus using previously written source materials, and none of it points to hearsay.

Your speculation accounts for nothing. It's worthless.

What part of "Tacitus was a religious cult researcher as part of a counsel of priests" do you not get? Of course he would have known what their claims were. Using source materials for the events under Nero and using official source materials for something alleged by the defendants to have happened in Judea are two different questions, yet you insist on conflating them. I am beginning to doubt your integrity.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  But the actions of the Emperors- in this case Nero- are exactly what this section is all about. This is all about what Nero did to the Christians. The mentioning of Pilate and Tiberius is critical to explaining to the Roman audience about who the Christians were, when they originated, and from where they originated.

Pilate is critical to the text to explain the time and place of origin of the Christian religion. In addition to that bit of history, Pilate is connected to Christus as being the person who executed Christ. But the entire point of Tacitus mentioning Pilate is not because of his place in Christian theology, nor about his execution of Christ, but rather for Tacitus to set the place and time-line of the origins of the Christians.

After he sets the place and time-line for the origin of the Christians via the mentioning of Pilate and Tiberius, he then goes on to great detail about the persecution of the Christians under Nero.

That is what you need to see here from the perspective of a historian, and not from the perspective of Christians or Christian influences.

I agree with you entirely, here. This is what I have been saying all along. He is explaining to Roman readers who the Christians were and how they got into Rome, and why Nero took such a disastrous interest in them as scapegoats. It does not indicate in any way that he got the information about their origins from official records from Judea, however, which is my point.

(03-07-2016 12:54 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  You have no basis to fortify your claim here. There's no evidence within the text to suggest that the Christians provided any information about their beliefs or anything else. You are completely pulling at straws here.

And in addition to that, if you think that they did provide information, then you must admit that that information was written down somewhere for Tacitus to see since the event occurred some 50 years previous to Tacitus writing Annals.

And that indicates a written source.

Yes, it does imply a written source. But that written source, written at the time of Nero's actions, is not the same thing as a direct source demonstrating that Pilate actually did what the Christians claimed he did. I consider it highly likely that their "information" was recorded during the interrogations (where they would likely "plead guilty" under torture), and that such records were easily accessible to Tacitus.

None of that addresses the basic contention that the events in Rome, and the description of Christians (which included their theological outlook and claimed problems with Pilate), are not the same thing as an official Roman record from Judea about what Pilate actually did. Without that link, all we have here are the claims of Christians and their executioners about the events under Nero. It's not enough to demonstrate that the Roman Christians were aware of an historical Christ, or that a record of Pilate's actions existed.

Try to work on your critical thinking skills, and stop straw-manning my arguments, please.

"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, 01:53 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 01:45 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(03-07-2016 01:37 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  It is common among the learned in this genre. It's not some big mystery word recently invented, it's been in use for decades. I don't even give it a second thought when I use it.

I am quite surprised at how many people in this conversation are so taken aback by it. It's not that big of a deal.

The 'big deal' is that the terms 'textual analysis' and 'textual excavation' are not synonymous.

Yes, they are. They are exactly the same thing.
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03-07-2016, 01:54 PM (This post was last modified: 03-07-2016 05:14 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 12:14 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Clearly if Christians around the time believed he was crucified under Pilate, that they did see him as an actual historical person?

You have no evidence that anyone named Paul wrote anything. You have letters ... some of which we know were not written by the same guy as the others.

You don't know what the JEWS around the time of a "Jesus" (if he existed), and remained JEWS for at least a century thought about this "Jesus", as there are no objective records of what they thought. Paul already had moved his "Christ" to the mythological "exalted" realm ... of hero status. Apparently a lot of them thought all sorts of DIFFERENT things. If they were "Christians", why would the Jewish High Priest need to require the "expulsion curses" be read in all the synagogues at the END of the First Century. Why would, in the year 400 CE, St. John Chrysostom STILL be telling his congregation (Christmas sermon) to stop going to synagogue ?
The "divine status" in each gospel is very different. So, you can drop you simpleton "what they believed". They obviously all had all kinds of crazy notions.
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Christianiti...0195182499

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03-07-2016, 02:03 PM (This post was last modified: 03-07-2016 02:11 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(03-07-2016 01:20 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Except we're not talking about the beliefs of the original Christians, but those of second-generation Christians, and in particular ones in the city of Rome who had never been to Judea. They would have had no idea if Jesus was an historical person, but would have had to take the early evangelists' word for it, as Christians do even today.

But we are talking about the "original Christians". Since any suggestion of a non-existing Jesus would have to formulate an explanations with them in mind as well. You don't get to make suggestions, and ignore the absurdity that comes along with it, when it's implications are considered, such when did the not historical Messiah, become a historical one.

You seem to not want us not to think this far, while at the same time wanting us to take your suggestions seriously, to see them as reasonable. An explanation might appear reasonable when though myopically, but one that unravels when given a broader thought and consideration, is begging absurdity.

You want to suggests that it's reasonable to assume Jesus didn't exist, though you are not inclined to endorse this position yourself, but you seem to lack the ability to consider the implications. You'd have a non-historical messiah claimant, who quickly become a historical one. Because clearly by Paul's writing he was already seen as historical, judging his claims of meeting his brother and disciples, and etc....

So I want to see you put that thinking cap to good use here, I want here you offer you reasonable explanation, as to when non-historical messiah became a historical messiah, even if you don't subscribe to this position yourself.

Quote:Like GoingUp, you're inserting your own objections into my ideas, where they are not present.

That's because you speak out of both sides of your mouth. You want to have it both ways, you want to subscribe to the existence of historical Jesus, while at the same time asking that we take the non-existent position serious, see at as reasonable.

Quote:My claim is simple: the writers like Tacitus would not have cared whether Jesus was a real guy, or if he was killed by Pilate, as claimed by the Christians in his area. Whether it is wholly fabricated, rumor turned into dogma, or a real event is irrelevant to them (and to me). I am simply pointing out that you cannot use Tacitus as a means to document the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth.

No writers like Tacitus would have cared. You didn't see him treat the resurrection as it was a historical event, in fact he labeled it a as "mischievous superstition". He clearly didn't take the word of Christians on that one, yet you imagine he would have taken their word on Jesus killed by a fellow Roman, procurator. Rather than label it as a made up claim by Christians, if there was hint of it being a fiction, like he did with the resurrection.

Quote:Since you can't seem to get it through your thick skull that I AM NOT A MYTHICIST,

No, you just like to defend it as a reasonable position, ain't that right?

"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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