Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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04-07-2016, 01:08 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2016 01:16 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 12:58 PM)SitaSky Wrote:  The writings you are referring to are weak examples of evidence, they were writingabout a man who was being worshiped at that time yet no accounts exist during his life time, there is no reason to believe he ever existed if that much time went by with no mention.

You said "The evidence for both sides would be the exact same evidence, the same writings by the same historians."

One side holds that he was historical, the other holds that he was not a historical person. You claimed the evidence for both of these sides is the exact same evidence.

So regardless of whether you think Tacitus and Josephus writings is weak or not, are you now taking back the suggestion that the writings are evidence of his non-existence, and would prefer to only label it as "weak evidence". I'll give you a moment to clarify this.

As far as I can tell, with the extreme skeptics here anything short of first hand non-christian accounts, or archaeological evidence, falls into the individual category of "weak" evidence.

Quote:If I showed you an historical document written a hundred years after Rama died and it stated clearly he was a real guy but nothing from the time he lived was ever written would you say it was strong evidence he was real or weak evidence? Also the writings about him are directly related to his religious status as a Hindu God. Would that make it less or more believable to you?

If we had the writing of the noted chronicler of that period, that lived shortly after he died, who was a contemporary of his brother, who wrote of his brother's death, indicating their relationship. If we had first hand accounts of those who met his brother and disciples. And other sources establishing that relationship. This would be very strong evidence. Also if this was further supported by historians shortly after that, who were highly regarded, and not a fan of that particular religion, or a believer, further establishing his death, at the hands of one of their procurators, that would be additional strong evidence.

"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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04-07-2016, 01:11 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2016 01:16 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 10:13 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Really? Look below:

Quote:Hardly. And I don't doubt that Tacitus is using records about the Emperor-related [Edit to Add: events] he is describing. As I've said. And will say again. So stop mentioning it.

One of the Emperor related events he is describing is the reign of Tiberius. Since you responded to my statement- which only mentions Tiberius- then what am I supposed to think? I clearly said "Tacitus is using a plethora of written official Roman records" within the same context as Tiberius, and you responded with "I don't doubt that Tacitus is using records about the Emperor-related [Edit to Add: events] he is describing."

No lied intended. It's what you said.

I don't doubt there was a record of the time period of Tiberius' reign (probably many such), and that a chronicler of the Emperors would be as familiar with those dates as a Presidential Historian today would be familiar with when Taft or Kennedy was President of the United States.

That is still a separate question from whether Tacitus is simply explaining that the Christians were people who claim their Lord was executed by Pilate during the reign of Tiberius (as it says in Luke), to which Tacitus would have said "sure, why not?" and simply recorded it that way because he had no reason to care about the specific detail of it, or whether he was working from an alleged document about the Crucifixion (one which somehow manages a major anachronism about rank that does not fit the timeline in question) written at the time of the Crucifixion. You continue to conflate these points.

"A plethora of documents" does not equal "he had record of the trial, recorded at the time of the trial, in Judea, and sent to Rome where Tacitus could read it".

(04-07-2016 10:13 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  No strawman whatsoever. You are indeed cherry picking one line of text, namely, "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus" all because of one single word within it;"Christ."

You have no problem with the rest of this massive tome of Annals, but this one line of text, and this one word of "Christ" absolutely requires an excessively and ridiculously high burden of proof by you.

That is not how history works, nor is how it is determined to be true. You do not place unreasonable standards of proof upon any part of the work than you do upon other parts, especially when this particular section begins with, and continues to include, a plethora of evidence demonstrating that Tacitus was indeed using written sources both historical and official.

Your expectation of evidence eg; nothing less than a precise footnote after the word Christ, is completely unreasonable and unacceptable.

What makes you think I have no other issues with the lines in Annals, other than the bit about Christ and the crucifixion? (Or that I would not, if we were discussing another section.)

You are trying to impugn my character here by stating that I have some bizarre anti-Christian bias (you Christians and your martyr complexes!) that makes me argue over it and no other. Hogwash.

But you're quite right about one thing-- reading only one text and considering only what that one text says is not how we determine history to be true. We compare what is known from all records, and from political affiliations/motives we suspect, and from things like the laws of physics (such as our knowledge of the positions of stars and comets, seasons, etc.), and develop an overall picture from many diverse elements.

The story of Jesus as attested to by the Christian culture has many elements which are clearly fraudulent. For instance, there is no record made by people we'd expect to make such records (from anyone outside of the Christian cult) talking about a three-hour eclipse/darkness, the splitting of the veil, and the appearance of walking zombies from the graves of Jerusalem. We know that there is no record among Jewish documents about the trial and execution of Jesus, in which the Sanhedrin council was somehow illegally convened on the eve of a Sabbath for the first time in history.

These sorts of things place a very high bar on any claim to be made that it did indeed happen as related in the Bible, and I simply do not think that Tacitus counts as sufficient evidence to meet that bar.

(04-07-2016 10:13 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
Quote:I am convinced that Tacitus got the claims about Pilate's actions in executing Christ from the Christians,

And you have absolutely no supporting evidence of this whatsoever.

Therefore, this argument is dismissed.

You mean no evidence other than my proof, in his own words, that he was a member of a council whose job it was to investigate new cults coming to Rome, and keep track of them?

(04-07-2016 10:13 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  So you expect well learned people to believe- without evidence- that Tacitus used a few scribbles from some 50 year old parchment about some comments made by some hated Christians about Christ, Pilate, and Tiberius?

Is that about right?

"A few scribbles"? Heyyyyy, you're not trying to poison the well, there, are you?

And no. I expect him to have read what he could find about the arson trials he was writing about, and to be familiar with the scriptures and other claims of the cult he was writing about.

(04-07-2016 10:13 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Firstly, I'm not a Christian, nor do I have any faith in any kind of religion.

Secondly, again you are being completely unreasonable with your expectation of evidence.

Your position is rejected, not only by me, but virtually unanimously by the learned in the scholarly community.

And for good reason.

I disagree with your assertion that it is accepted "virtually unanimously" among scholars, especially if we ignore the ones with clear and outspoken bias, such as those among the conservative Christian theological circles, who bend over backward to claim everything in the Bible is literal and to back that with whatever they can throw at it. It is the reason I haven't/don't read the Mythicists... I don't trust their objectivity enough to do more than consider some of the arguments I hear of theirs, related in other contexts.

I also think you are a liar about not being a Christian. I can see no other reason you'd accuse me of anti-Christian bias, using the terms you did, instead of understanding (or accepting) my statement that I would not care if we were discussing claims about the historicity or Lord Krishna or the Buddha or Quetzalcoatl [Edit: or Robert Christ]. Or Attila the Hun, for that matter.

"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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04-07-2016, 01:21 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 01:11 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I disagree with your assertion that it is accepted "virtually unanimously" among scholars, especially if we ignore the ones with clear and outspoken bias, such as those among the conservative Christian theological circles, who bend over backward to claim everything in the Bible is literal and to back that with whatever they can throw at it. It is the reason I haven't/don't read the Mythicists... I don't trust their objectivity enough to do more than consider some of the arguments I hear of theirs, related in other contexts.

What rough percentage of scholars and historians overall do you think agree with your views here? A small minority of them? 10%? More, less?

"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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04-07-2016, 01:35 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 01:11 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  You mean no evidence other than my proof, in his own words, that he was a member of a council whose job it was to investigate new cults coming to Rome, and keep track of them?

That's interesting. I couldn't find where you quoted Tacitus, indicating that he was part of a such a council assigned to investigate new cults. Nor did my attempts at google search yield any particular results.

So can you site the relevant passage here? It could very well be the case, but judging the false information you tried to peddle on Philo, I just want to verify.

"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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04-07-2016, 01:40 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 01:08 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  You said "The evidence for both sides would be the exact same evidence, the same writings by the same historians."

One side holds that he was historical, the other holds that he was not a historical person. You claimed the evidence for both of these sides is the exact same evidence.

So regardless of whether you think Tacitus and Josephus writings is weak or not, are you now taking back the suggestion that it evidence of his non-existence, and would prefer to only label it as "weak evidence". I'll give you moment to clarify this.

As far as I can tell, with the extreme skeptics here anything short of first hand non-christian accounts, or archaeological evidence, falls into the individual category of "weak" evidence.

Why should I have to clarify this? I think it's pretty obvious, these writings are not contemporary, I can say as a skeptic that it proves nothing, he probably didn't exist, if a Christian says "Hey, that's proof that Jesus was real!" that would be the weaker position.

(04-07-2016 01:08 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  If we had the writing of the noted chronicler of that period, that lived shortly after he died, who was a contemporary of his brother, who wrote of his brother's death, indicating their relationship. If we had first hand accounts of those who met his brother and disciples. And other sources establishing that relationship. This would be very strong evidence. Also if this was further support by historian shortly after that, who were highly regarded, and not a fan of that particular religion, or a believer, further establishing his death, at the hands of one of their procurator, that would be additional strong evidence.

Ok so all you need is someone who spoke to Rama's brother who never actually knew him or was a contemporary of him but wrote of his brother's death so we know they knew each other? So for the record this is now a second hand account, not a first hand account unless the brother wrote this shit down himself.

Also you are saying "shortly after"? We are talking 100 years later, I don't think a century would be considered a "short" amount of time when we're talking about historical people here.

Also why does the writer inspire more trust when they don't like the religion? If I said "Yeah these fucking Christians with their fucking messiah Jesus who was killed by Pilate...I mean they're so dumb right?" Does that make me more believable?

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04-07-2016, 01:46 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2016 01:50 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 01:35 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-07-2016 01:11 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  You mean no evidence other than my proof, in his own words, that he was a member of a council whose job it was to investigate new cults coming to Rome, and keep track of them?

That's interesting. I couldn't find where you quoted Tacitus, indicating that he was part of a such a council assigned to investigate new cults. No did my attempts at google search yield any particular results.

So can you site the relevant passage here? It could very well be the case, but judging the wrong information you trying to peddle on Philo, I just want to verify.

I cited exactly that. He was a member of the priestly "Council of Fifteen", which in Latin is the quindecimviri sacris faciundis (quindecim is "fifteen"), as he stated in the passage I cited, in Annals, with a link.

According to Wikipedia,

In ancient Rome, the quindecimviri sacris faciundis were the fifteen (quindecim) members of a college (collegium) with priestly duties. Most notably they guarded the Sibylline Books, scriptures which they consulted and interpreted at the request of the Senate. This collegium also oversaw the worship of any foreign gods which were introduced to Rome.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quindecimv..._faciundis

Edit to Add: my original citation is here:

[11.11] It was during this consulship, in the eight hundredth year after the foundation of Rome and the sixty-fourth after their celebration by Augustus that the secular games were exhibited. I say nothing of the calculations of the two princes, which I have sufficiently discussed in my history of the emperor Domitian; for he also exhibited secular games, at which indeed, being one of the priesthood of the Fifteen and praetor at the time, I specially assisted. It is in no boastful spirit that I mention this, but because this duty has immemorially belonged to the College of the Fifteen, and the praetors have performed the chief functions in these ceremonies.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/tacitu...als11.html

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1025545

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04-07-2016, 01:49 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 01:11 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  We know that there is no record among Jewish documents about the trial and execution of Jesus, in which the Sanhedrin council was somehow illegally convened on the eve of a Sabbath for the first time in history.

They illegally convened to execute James as well, according to Josephus, so it wasn't the first time they illegally convened.

"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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04-07-2016, 01:50 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 12:47 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-07-2016 12:33 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Yeah, you would think an omnipotent, omniscient god would have thought about that. Go figure.

Thought about what, how to convince folks like yourself in his existence?

A personal experience that was also verified by other trusted, living persons as well as by testable, repeatable, verifiable scientific evidence.

Although, it's rather moot, isn't it? If bible-god existed, not only could he make me believe, but he could make you not believe.

See what happens when you start thinking?

So what would it take to convince folks like you that god did not exist?

(04-07-2016 12:47 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:Like why a god would need to sacrifice himself to himself to loophole the rules he created.

To convey a moving story, I mean why else?

That's pretty fucking sick.

See, an omnipotent god could have written the perfect, and I mean abso-fucking-lutely perfect book. A tome surpassing anything that man could ever have conceived. A book that explained everything that man needed to do for salvation, explained why man needed salvation in the first place and told everyone how to live righteously. A book that appeared to every person when they were old enough to comprehend it.

Instead god tortured himself, crucified himself then had himself buried alive...

That's not omnipotence, that's fucked up.

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04-07-2016, 02:14 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2016 02:36 PM by GoingUp.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 01:11 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(04-07-2016 10:13 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  Really? Look below:


One of the Emperor related events he is describing is the reign of Tiberius. Since you responded to my statement- which only mentions Tiberius- then what am I supposed to think? I clearly said "Tacitus is using a plethora of written official Roman records" within the same context as Tiberius, and you responded with "I don't doubt that Tacitus is using records about the Emperor-related [Edit to Add: events] he is describing."

No lied intended. It's what you said.

I don't doubt there was a record of the time period of Tiberius' reign (probably many such), and that a chronicler of the Emperors would be as familiar with those dates as a Presidential Historian today would be familiar with when Taft or Kennedy was President of the United States.

That is still a separate question from whether Tacitus is simply explaining that the Christians were people who claim their Lord was executed by Pilate during the reign of Tiberius (as it says in Luke), to which Tacitus would have said "sure, why not?" and simply recorded it that way because he had no reason to care about the specific detail of it, or whether he was working from an alleged document about the Crucifixion (one which somehow manages a major anachronism about rank that does not fit the timeline in question) written at the time of the Crucifixion. You continue to conflate these points.

"A plethora of documents" does not equal "he had record of the trial, recorded at the time of the trial, in Judea, and sent to Rome where Tacitus could read it".

You seem to have put your argument into the position that you are insisting that the only way to conclusively prove where Tacitus got his information from is if an officially signed Roman document detailing the events surrounding the death of Christ, and signed by Pontius Pilate, is produced.

That is not necessary. We do not require such extensive documentation to arrive at the plausible conclusion that Tacitus' sources were other official documents, as well as the works of other historians, especially since the internal evidence demonstrates that he employed such practices throughout his works. Even if a document was presented detailing the death Christ and signed by Pilate, anybody could just as easily question it's authenticity as well, and round and round we go again.

This argument would not stop regardless of how much evidence is provided, because the standard would continue to rise above what is required even more due to the fact that people just don't like the idea that Jesus may actually have existed as a mere man. The only ones I ever see who argue against this are almost always people with strong bias against religion. This indicates to me that their bias makes it impossible to be honestly impartial.

The evidence that is currently available is considered to be more than good enough for the vast majority of highly skilled professional historians to accept that Christ actually did exist, albeit, at the very least as a mere man.

As for me, I have reviewed all the evidence, and come to the same conclusion as the professional historians. Your mileage may vary, but your argument for hearsay is not convincing for the simple fact that you have no evidence to support it. It's quite simply conjecture.

And then we get the hard-core denialists who attempt such things as "interpolation," or "that's not evidence" when it really is evidence, or "the whole thing is a 13 century forgery," or some other laughable position that they cannot possibly support. Those types of people are viewed as anti-Christian conspiracy theorists who will bend over backwards to deny anything in regards to Jesus. They don't even seem to care how utterly stupid they make themselves appear to be, for all that matters is they will do whatever it takes to make the issue of the existence of Jesus go away.

But the reality is, the historians don't actually give a fuck what you, me, or anybody else says. They reached their consensus based upon the historical method, and they came to a well educated conclusion that Jesus did exist as an ordinary man, and that the Tacitus text is absolutely, without question, genuine history. And that is good enough for me.

So I am going to end this discussion because, quite frankly, it actually bores the fuck out of me.

Enjoy whatever it is you choose to believe.
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04-07-2016, 02:16 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2016 02:21 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(04-07-2016 01:46 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  [11.11] It was during this consulship, in the eight hundredth year after the foundation of Rome and the sixty-fourth after their celebration by Augustus that the secular games were exhibited. I say nothing of the calculations of the two princes, which I have sufficiently discussed in my history of the emperor Domitian; for he also exhibited secular games, at which indeed, being one of the priesthood of the Fifteen and praetor at the time, I specially assisted. It is in no boastful spirit that I mention this, but because this duty has immemorially belonged to the College of the Fifteen, and the praetors have performed the chief functions in these ceremonies.

I figured it was this passage, after reading it in the Annals.

Tacitus here doesn't seem to be claiming that he was one of the priesthood of the fifteen, but emperor Domitian, a point made clearer by the fact that he was speaking of someone who was also praetor at the time, which Emperor Domitian was.

He claims to have assisted him in this particular tasks of his regarding secular games.

I could be wrong here, since I'm only becoming acquitted with this, but perhaps you can counter these points.

NVM... I'll just concede the point, wiki of Tacitus seems to support your reading, and I'll take it as accurate.

"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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