Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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07-07-2016, 04:18 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(07-07-2016 03:34 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(07-07-2016 03:06 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You have no clue what you're talking about. The Talmud wasn't "written" 500 years later. It was edited and transcribed later. The notes were WRITTEN at the time. Do try to take a class sometime from a real university.


Clearly you're the one who doesn't here.

Let's quote an actual scholar for you:

“The core of the Talmud is the “Mishnah, a collection of rabbinic teachings about the Jewish law, based on oral traditions that had long been in circulation, and written in the early third century, some two hundred years after Jesus would have died. Most of the Talmud, however, consists of a series of commentaries by later rabbis on the Mishnah, called the Gemara. There are two different sets of these commentaries, one produced in the fourth century by Jewish scholars who lived in Palestine, the other produced in the fifth century by scholars of Babylon. The latter is considered the more authoritative.

For a long time scholars treated the Talmud as if it presented historically accurate information about Jewish life, law, and custom from a “much earlier period, all the way back to the first century. Few critical scholars take that view today. In both its iterations, it is a product of its own time, even though it is based on earlier oral reports.

Jesus is never mentioned in the oldest part of the Talmud, the Mishnah, but appears only in the later commentaries of the Gemara.”

Excerpt From: Bart D. Ehrman. “Did Jesus Exist?.” HarperCollins, 2012. iBooks.

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Wrong.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talmud#Babylonian_Talmud
But thanks for demonstrating you have no clue what you're talking about.

Still waiting for you to clarify, in light of all your insulting remarks, what the boundaries of belief are, in light of this :
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1027414

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-07-2016, 04:31 PM
Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(07-07-2016 04:18 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(07-07-2016 03:34 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Clearly you're the one who doesn't here.

Let's quote an actual scholar for you:

“The core of the Talmud is the “Mishnah, a collection of rabbinic teachings about the Jewish law, based on oral traditions that had long been in circulation, and written in the early third century, some two hundred years after Jesus would have died. Most of the Talmud, however, consists of a series of commentaries by later rabbis on the Mishnah, called the Gemara. There are two different sets of these commentaries, one produced in the fourth century by Jewish scholars who lived in Palestine, the other produced in the fifth century by scholars of Babylon. The latter is considered the more authoritative.

For a long time scholars treated the Talmud as if it presented historically accurate information about Jewish life, law, and custom from a “much earlier period, all the way back to the first century. Few critical scholars take that view today. In both its iterations, it is a product of its own time, even though it is based on earlier oral reports.

Jesus is never mentioned in the oldest part of the Talmud, the Mishnah, but appears only in the later commentaries of the Gemara.”

Excerpt From: Bart D. Ehrman. “Did Jesus Exist?.” HarperCollins, 2012. iBooks.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Wrong.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talmud#Babylonian_Talmud
But thanks for demonstrating you have no clue what you're talking about.

Still waiting for you to clarify, in light of all your insulting remarks, what the boundaries of belief are, in light of this :
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1027414


Lol, what's that like the 10th time this week where you have been shown to be wrong and respond with nonsense and deflection.

Are you claiming that Ehrman is wrong about the dating of the Gemara portion of the Talmud?


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"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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07-07-2016, 05:48 PM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2016 06:06 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(07-07-2016 04:31 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(07-07-2016 04:18 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Wrong.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talmud#Babylonian_Talmud
But thanks for demonstrating you have no clue what you're talking about.


Still waiting for you to clarify, in light of all your insulting remarks, what the boundaries of belief are, in light of this :
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1027414


Lol, what's that like the 10th time this week where you have been shown to be wrong and respond with nonsense and deflection.

Are you claiming that Ehrman is wrong about the dating of the Gemara portion of the Talmud?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Still waiting for you to clarify and explain what you are even talking about.
Oh wait. Nuances are not something you are even aware of.
Still waiting for ONE paper on ANY subject, Mr PhD. LMAO.

Still waiting for you to clarify, in light of all your insulting remarks, what the boundaries of belief are, in light of this :
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...pid1027414

The quote I posted was from the Babylonian Talmud, idiot.
It PROVED you wrong.
The Sanhedrin NEVER once in all of history was called into session on Passover weekend, (Mr. I-need-no-Jebus-for-my-own-special-brand-of-Christianity)

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-07-2016, 07:34 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(07-07-2016 02:06 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(06-07-2016 09:40 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  There are heaps and heaps of questions that need to be answered, that's for a certainty. In fact, the question of whether or not Jesus actually existed may never be answered with any degree of conclusiveness.

I simply looked at all the evidence and all the arguments and concluded that the argument for historicity is a better argument than wholesale myth. I admit that the historicity argument doesn't prove that Jesus existed, and with the current evidence it never will. The best we can say is that the evidence indicates a reasonable possibility, but falls far short of a slam dunk for a certainty.

I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them. Those who claim that Jesus was a total myth are making a positive claim that requires at least some evidence to support it, but I see a lot of god-of-the-caps problems when a claim of evidence is made. I also see far too may accusations of interpolations that simply defy reason, and are not actually evidenced, aside from supplying conjecture which is not evidence at all.

Certainly the burden of proof is also upon those who make the positive claim of existence, but that burden is not nearly so heavy for those who agree that the available evidence indicates a reasonably good possibility. At least this position has some evidence to work with, and that evidence is good enough to warrant the possibility, and a better possibility than wholesale myth.


Hey GU, it appears as though you have yet to make your mind up about the historicity of Jesus.

The following two statements of yours are irreconcilable....

"The best we can say is that the evidence indicates a reasonable possibility, but falls far short of a slam dunk for a certainty."

ie Jesus probably existed

"I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them."

ie Jesus definitely existed.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

You need to reason, Mark. Consider this,

Just because "I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them," does not mean that Jesus is not a complete myth. It only means that "I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them."
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07-07-2016, 09:35 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(07-07-2016 02:25 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(06-07-2016 10:03 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Let me just give you something to ponder.

As you probably already know, many towns are so named after the people who settled the town. For example, Fort MacMurray is named after MacMurray, and so on.

Jesus was a Nazarene, not because he came from Nazareth, but because a sect known as the Nazarenes settle there, and the town became known as Nazareth because of them, long before Jesus was ever born. Therefore, Jesus did not spawn Nazarenism, but merely propagated it.

Judging by some statements accredited to Jesus in the gospel records, if true, we can see some startling similarities between those statements and the Essene as described by Josephus. This allows us to reasonably ponder if the Nazarene were a sub-sect of the Essene.

Start with that, Mark.

"Judging by some statements accredited to Jesus in the gospel records, if true, we can see some startling similarities between those statements and the Essene as described by Josephus. This allows us to reasonably ponder if the Nazarene were a sub-sect of the Essene.

Start with that, Mark."


Mmmmm. I find it rather odd that you obviously didn't bother to read my post (601) in this thread, that introduced this very topic. I'll reproduce it here in the hope that you bother to read it this time, or perhaps you won't find the time, as there is nothing you don't already know?


The Essenes
The third important group was the Essenes. We know a fair bit about them, not only from Flavius Josephus, (http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/josep...senes.htm) who may have been an Essene, but also from Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, and from the (probably) Essene Qumran community who hid the Dead Sea Scrolls.

They were a heterogeneous group, but some generalizations can be made about them. They were well respected amongst most Jews. Josephus numbered them at about four thousand, and writes they had a strong affection for each other, and lived in groups scattered throughout Judea. They preferred to wear white and were particular about certain bathing rituals, including baptism. Most were celibate, which was quite unusual, as most Jews considered it as living an incomplete life. They rejected the pursuit of pleasure, preached poverty, humility, chastity, loving one’s neighbor, and penitence. They believed in a war between the forces of good and evil, and in the need for God’s grace. They strove to speak gently and quietly, to never swear, and were strong believers in justice and that all Jews were equal. They rejected the accumulation of wealth, and shared all their possessions. They claimed to love the truth and to never steal. Unlike the other Jewish sects, they spurned animal sacrifice. They thought of themselves as healers, to be able to cast out demons and restore the dead to life. They were said to foretell the future and to have little fear of death. They were convinced that after death their souls were destined for paradise, provided they had been righteous.

They deeply resented the Sadducees, so set up their own priesthood separate to the temple. They mistrusted most of the Pharisees, regarding them as corrupt or hypocritical.

Josephus leaves out one important fact about them; that many of them were intensely anti-Roman. We know this from the Dead Sea scrolls. Many authors have unknowingly misled modern readers by stating that Essenes were pacifists, which is true, yet once they’d decided God justified a war —a holy war—they would fight. Josephus was writing for a Roman audience, and was trying to present his countrymen in the best possible light, so this omission is understandable.

Yeshua the Essene

I think Yeshua was an Essene, for the following reasons. (http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/018...sene.php).

They had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus. Some of the sayings attributed to Jesus are also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (yet his existence is never mentioned in them.) Jesus and his disciples pooled their funds, which were administered by a treasurer, a feature of Essene communities. Many scholars believe John the Baptist, who could have been Yeshua’s cousin, was an Essene. John baptized Yeshua, so Yeshua clearly had the same beliefs as him. (http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/jlgi/jlgi05.htm).

The Gospel’s writers and editors didn’t mention the existence of the Essenes even once. If it was suggested or implied that Yeshua and the disciples were Essenes, it would have meant they were too fundamentally Jewish and too anti Roman. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...nes.html).
One minor fact that doesn’t fit is that Yeshua and his disciples allegedly ate fish, and the Essenes were strict vegetarians.

There was a particular group of Essenes known as Nazarenes. I believe John, Yeshua, his family, and his disciples were all Nazarenes. Obviously, then, they were an important group, and I will discuss them shortly.

Zealots
Zealots were practitioners of armed military resistance against the Romans. They were a militant political, rather than a religious movement, but their ideals were inspired by their religion.

Galilee was the heartland of zealotry. Judas of Galilee (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, the disciple - who was also said to be a zealot) was an important zealot figure in 6 CE. This is part of what Josephus had to say about him.

“Judas the Galilean was the author of the fourth branch of Jewish philosophy. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of death, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man lord.” (http://www.livius.org/men-mh/messiah/mes...s04.html). Josephus didn’t document what happened to Judas, but the author of Acts did;

“And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he got killed too and all of his followers dispersed” (Acts 5:38, NJB.) The author didn’t mention that Roman soldiers killed Judas, I think because he didn’t want readers drawing parallels with Jesus. We know from other historians that most of Judas’ followers weren’t dispersed; they were killed in battle or captured and crucified.

Zealotry was an attitude that inspired action. There wasn’t one particular group known as “zealots.” Josephus described them as a group of rebels and outsiders who were distinctly separate from all other Jews, because he wanted his Gentile readers to think that most Jews were peace-loving people who were pleased to be part of the empire. In reality, I think most Jews, particularly the poorer ones, had a degree of zealotry in their hearts, but many of them were too afraid to practice it.

Zealots had significant support from sympathizers. In 66 CE, perhaps thirty odd years after Yeshua’s death, several large groups of zealots played the leading roles in a major revolt against the Romans. The uprising occurred throughout most of Judea and included the capital, Jerusalem. The Romans responded by routing Galilee. They then laid siege to Jerusalem in 70 CE, destroyed the temple and massacred an estimated one million Jews. (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsou...olt.html). Josephus quite rightly held zealots responsible for starting the war. Interestingly, he may have originally been a Galilean zealot who defected to the Roman side. If so, he was a traitor. He spent the rest of his life living in Rome and writing pro-Roman history.
It was during this war that Essene zealots at Qumran hid the Dead Sea Scrolls from the invading Roman army.

There are interesting similarities between the ancient zealots and the popular image of today’s al-Quada; a strong belief that they’re being oppressed by foreigners; a firm adherence to religious beliefs; a reckless disregard for personal safety; a preference for violence over peaceful negotiation; and a disregard for human life. Both groups have been willing to kill their countrymen who don’t agree with them. I’m referring to different religions in different eras, but the same self-righteous fanaticism inspired by belief.

The Nazarenes

Yeshua was a Nazarene, as stated in the bible: Acts referred to
“Jesus Christ the Nazarene” (Acts 2:22, 3:6, 4:10, 6:14, 22:8, 26:9, NJB.) Most Christians assume the term “Nazarene” referred to the fact that Jesus came from the village of Nazareth. This was, after all, what Matthew claimed, (Matt. 2:23) but Nazareth the place was probably not the real origin of the term. On (almost) every occasion that Jesus was referred to as being “of Nazareth,” the real meaning is “the Nazarene” (http://www.essene.com/What is a Nazarene.htm.) As mentioned, Nazareth the village probably didn’t exist in Yeshua’s time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxEJHO8KIXY). Calling him Jesus “of Nazareth” was a ploy to distract from his sectarian affiliations. The bible made it clear the term “Nazarene” referred to a sect, when in the book of Acts, Paul is accused of being a Nazarene.

“The plain truth is that we find this man a perfect pest; he stirs up trouble among Jews the world over, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.” (Acts 24:5, NJB.)

An important religious sect would not have been named after an obscure Galilean village!

Hugh Schonfield, who devoted his life to studying Judaism and Yeshua, claims Nazarenism was an ancient version of Judaism. (http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A”Hugh J.Schonfield” AND subject%3A”Nazarenes”). He thought the original founder of the Nazarene sect may have been a Jewish-Arabian prophet named Essa in approximately 400 BCE. So, if he was right, they were already well established in Jesus’ time.

Many eminent scholars have linked the Nazarenes with the Essenian sect at Qumran. One might consider the Nazarene sect a strongly developed messianic form of “Essenism.” (http://www.essene.com/History&Essenes/TrimmNazars.htm).

John the Baptist, Yeshua’s family, disciples and followers were all Nazarenes. The “pillars” Paul refers to (James, Peter, and John) in his second letter to the Galatians, were the leaders and key figures of this group after Yeshua’s death. They too were Jews, not Christians. They practiced circumcision, believed in baptism, and were strict about the Sabbath. They were vegetarians who didn’t approve of the slaughter of animals, either for food or sacrifice. They developed their own “Halacha,” which was their interpretation of the Torah. They were true believers in the power and glory of Israel, saw themselves as God’s chosen people, and were vehemently opposed to the Romans. I think they were zealots, willing to take the Romans on, which was why the Roman world considered a Nazarene “a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over.”

They considered the temple was the house of God, but were opposed to the Sadducees who they regarded as Roman collaborators. They had a broad base of support among Jews throughout Judea and much of the Roman Empire. Many ordinary Jews and Pharisees would have considered the Nazarenes brothers in the struggle against Rome.

Yeshua may have became their chief after John the Baptist’s death, and he remained in charge for (probably) a few years. Leadership was inherited from blood relations, which explains it passing from John the Baptist to Yeshua, and after Yeshua’s death, on to James, his brother.

James and the other Nazarenes didn’t think Yeshua was the son of God, or that he needed to die to save anyone from their sins (http://www.petahtikvah.com/Articles/nazarenes.htm). They believed he was a (human) prophet who they hoped could be Israel’s messiah.

We read very little about this group in the pages of history because mainly Gentiles wrote that history, and the early Christians ignored the Nazarenes, or wrote them off as heretics, or tried to claim that some of them believed in the divinity of Christ. I think the modern reader interested in Jesus should be interested in their story.

Quote:An important religious sect would not have been named after an obscure Galilean village!

Correct, and that is exactly why I said that the "obscure Galilean village" aka Nazareth, was so named after those people who settled there.

They were a sub-sect of the Essene, and they were a community of priests. The earliest non-Christian reference to Nazareth is an inscription on a marble fragment from a synagogue found in Caesarea Maritima back in 1962. The inscription dates to AD 300 and chronicles the assignment of priests that took place at some time after the Bar Kokhba revolt in AD 132-35. This inscription mentions Nazareth as the home of the priestly Hapizzez family. From the three fragments that have been found, the inscription seems to be a list of the twenty-four priestly courses with each course assigned its proper order and the name of each town or village in Galilee where it settled. Nazareth is not spelled with the "z" sound but with the Hebrew tsade (thus "Nasareth" or "Natsareth")

Also, An 8th-century AD Hebrew inscription, which was the earliest known Hebrew reference to Nazareth prior to the discovery of the inscription above, indicates the same thing.

The name "Nazarene" may find part of its origin coming from what is known in the ancient Hebrew bible as the "Nazirite," whom are described as being "holy unto God" (Numbers 6:8), and indicating an affiliation with priestly vows. This may suggest that the Essene may have adapted to some of the ancient Nazrite practices.

The idea that the Essenes were vegetarian is something not directly stated in Josephus or Philo, and is in fact contradicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls. In fact, in the Temple Scroll we find numerous, frequent, and obvious statements about animal sacrifice in the Temple Scroll. “At the beginning of your months you shall offer a burnt offering to the Lord,” “they shall offer to the Lord the right thigh (of the ram),” “and on the second day, he shall sacrifice twelve bulls,” etc. There is no suggestion that there’s anything wrong in principle with animal sacrifice, quite the contrary.

Sources, many.
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08-07-2016, 03:44 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(07-07-2016 07:34 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(07-07-2016 02:06 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hey GU, it appears as though you have yet to make your mind up about the historicity of Jesus.

The following two statements of yours are irreconcilable....

"The best we can say is that the evidence indicates a reasonable possibility, but falls far short of a slam dunk for a certainty."

ie Jesus probably existed

"I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them."

ie Jesus definitely existed.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

You need to reason, Mark. Consider this,

Just because "I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them," does not mean that Jesus is not a complete myth. It only means that "I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them."

You wrote

"Just because "[i]I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them, does not mean that Jesus is not a complete myth."


Mmmmmm. Interesting. You are effectively admitting that you may be wrong. I applaud you for that, yet it doesn't say much about the strength of your convictions.
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08-07-2016, 03:59 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(07-07-2016 09:35 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(07-07-2016 02:25 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Judging by some statements accredited to Jesus in the gospel records, if true, we can see some startling similarities between those statements and the Essene as described by Josephus. This allows us to reasonably ponder if the Nazarene were a sub-sect of the Essene.

Start with that, Mark."


Mmmmm. I find it rather odd that you obviously didn't bother to read my post (601) in this thread, that introduced this very topic. I'll reproduce it here in the hope that you bother to read it this time, or perhaps you won't find the time, as there is nothing you don't already know?


The Essenes
The third important group was the Essenes. We know a fair bit about them, not only from Flavius Josephus, (http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/josep...senes.htm) who may have been an Essene, but also from Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, and from the (probably) Essene Qumran community who hid the Dead Sea Scrolls.

They were a heterogeneous group, but some generalizations can be made about them. They were well respected amongst most Jews. Josephus numbered them at about four thousand, and writes they had a strong affection for each other, and lived in groups scattered throughout Judea. They preferred to wear white and were particular about certain bathing rituals, including baptism. Most were celibate, which was quite unusual, as most Jews considered it as living an incomplete life. They rejected the pursuit of pleasure, preached poverty, humility, chastity, loving one’s neighbor, and penitence. They believed in a war between the forces of good and evil, and in the need for God’s grace. They strove to speak gently and quietly, to never swear, and were strong believers in justice and that all Jews were equal. They rejected the accumulation of wealth, and shared all their possessions. They claimed to love the truth and to never steal. Unlike the other Jewish sects, they spurned animal sacrifice. They thought of themselves as healers, to be able to cast out demons and restore the dead to life. They were said to foretell the future and to have little fear of death. They were convinced that after death their souls were destined for paradise, provided they had been righteous.

They deeply resented the Sadducees, so set up their own priesthood separate to the temple. They mistrusted most of the Pharisees, regarding them as corrupt or hypocritical.

Josephus leaves out one important fact about them; that many of them were intensely anti-Roman. We know this from the Dead Sea scrolls. Many authors have unknowingly misled modern readers by stating that Essenes were pacifists, which is true, yet once they’d decided God justified a war —a holy war—they would fight. Josephus was writing for a Roman audience, and was trying to present his countrymen in the best possible light, so this omission is understandable.

Yeshua the Essene

I think Yeshua was an Essene, for the following reasons. (http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/018...sene.php).

They had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus. Some of the sayings attributed to Jesus are also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (yet his existence is never mentioned in them.) Jesus and his disciples pooled their funds, which were administered by a treasurer, a feature of Essene communities. Many scholars believe John the Baptist, who could have been Yeshua’s cousin, was an Essene. John baptized Yeshua, so Yeshua clearly had the same beliefs as him. (http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/jlgi/jlgi05.htm).

The Gospel’s writers and editors didn’t mention the existence of the Essenes even once. If it was suggested or implied that Yeshua and the disciples were Essenes, it would have meant they were too fundamentally Jewish and too anti Roman. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...nes.html).
One minor fact that doesn’t fit is that Yeshua and his disciples allegedly ate fish, and the Essenes were strict vegetarians.

There was a particular group of Essenes known as Nazarenes. I believe John, Yeshua, his family, and his disciples were all Nazarenes. Obviously, then, they were an important group, and I will discuss them shortly.

Zealots
Zealots were practitioners of armed military resistance against the Romans. They were a militant political, rather than a religious movement, but their ideals were inspired by their religion.

Galilee was the heartland of zealotry. Judas of Galilee (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, the disciple - who was also said to be a zealot) was an important zealot figure in 6 CE. This is part of what Josephus had to say about him.

“Judas the Galilean was the author of the fourth branch of Jewish philosophy. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of death, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man lord.” (http://www.livius.org/men-mh/messiah/mes...s04.html). Josephus didn’t document what happened to Judas, but the author of Acts did;

“And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he got killed too and all of his followers dispersed” (Acts 5:38, NJB.) The author didn’t mention that Roman soldiers killed Judas, I think because he didn’t want readers drawing parallels with Jesus. We know from other historians that most of Judas’ followers weren’t dispersed; they were killed in battle or captured and crucified.

Zealotry was an attitude that inspired action. There wasn’t one particular group known as “zealots.” Josephus described them as a group of rebels and outsiders who were distinctly separate from all other Jews, because he wanted his Gentile readers to think that most Jews were peace-loving people who were pleased to be part of the empire. In reality, I think most Jews, particularly the poorer ones, had a degree of zealotry in their hearts, but many of them were too afraid to practice it.

Zealots had significant support from sympathizers. In 66 CE, perhaps thirty odd years after Yeshua’s death, several large groups of zealots played the leading roles in a major revolt against the Romans. The uprising occurred throughout most of Judea and included the capital, Jerusalem. The Romans responded by routing Galilee. They then laid siege to Jerusalem in 70 CE, destroyed the temple and massacred an estimated one million Jews. (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsou...olt.html). Josephus quite rightly held zealots responsible for starting the war. Interestingly, he may have originally been a Galilean zealot who defected to the Roman side. If so, he was a traitor. He spent the rest of his life living in Rome and writing pro-Roman history.
It was during this war that Essene zealots at Qumran hid the Dead Sea Scrolls from the invading Roman army.

There are interesting similarities between the ancient zealots and the popular image of today’s al-Quada; a strong belief that they’re being oppressed by foreigners; a firm adherence to religious beliefs; a reckless disregard for personal safety; a preference for violence over peaceful negotiation; and a disregard for human life. Both groups have been willing to kill their countrymen who don’t agree with them. I’m referring to different religions in different eras, but the same self-righteous fanaticism inspired by belief.

The Nazarenes

Yeshua was a Nazarene, as stated in the bible: Acts referred to
“Jesus Christ the Nazarene” (Acts 2:22, 3:6, 4:10, 6:14, 22:8, 26:9, NJB.) Most Christians assume the term “Nazarene” referred to the fact that Jesus came from the village of Nazareth. This was, after all, what Matthew claimed, (Matt. 2:23) but Nazareth the place was probably not the real origin of the term. On (almost) every occasion that Jesus was referred to as being “of Nazareth,” the real meaning is “the Nazarene” (http://www.essene.com/What is a Nazarene.htm.) As mentioned, Nazareth the village probably didn’t exist in Yeshua’s time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxEJHO8KIXY). Calling him Jesus “of Nazareth” was a ploy to distract from his sectarian affiliations. The bible made it clear the term “Nazarene” referred to a sect, when in the book of Acts, Paul is accused of being a Nazarene.

“The plain truth is that we find this man a perfect pest; he stirs up trouble among Jews the world over, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.” (Acts 24:5, NJB.)

An important religious sect would not have been named after an obscure Galilean village!

Hugh Schonfield, who devoted his life to studying Judaism and Yeshua, claims Nazarenism was an ancient version of Judaism. (http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A”Hugh J.Schonfield” AND subject%3A”Nazarenes”). He thought the original founder of the Nazarene sect may have been a Jewish-Arabian prophet named Essa in approximately 400 BCE. So, if he was right, they were already well established in Jesus’ time.

Many eminent scholars have linked the Nazarenes with the Essenian sect at Qumran. One might consider the Nazarene sect a strongly developed messianic form of “Essenism.” (http://www.essene.com/History&Essenes/TrimmNazars.htm).

John the Baptist, Yeshua’s family, disciples and followers were all Nazarenes. The “pillars” Paul refers to (James, Peter, and John) in his second letter to the Galatians, were the leaders and key figures of this group after Yeshua’s death. They too were Jews, not Christians. They practiced circumcision, believed in baptism, and were strict about the Sabbath. They were vegetarians who didn’t approve of the slaughter of animals, either for food or sacrifice. They developed their own “Halacha,” which was their interpretation of the Torah. They were true believers in the power and glory of Israel, saw themselves as God’s chosen people, and were vehemently opposed to the Romans. I think they were zealots, willing to take the Romans on, which was why the Roman world considered a Nazarene “a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over.”

They considered the temple was the house of God, but were opposed to the Sadducees who they regarded as Roman collaborators. They had a broad base of support among Jews throughout Judea and much of the Roman Empire. Many ordinary Jews and Pharisees would have considered the Nazarenes brothers in the struggle against Rome.

Yeshua may have became their chief after John the Baptist’s death, and he remained in charge for (probably) a few years. Leadership was inherited from blood relations, which explains it passing from John the Baptist to Yeshua, and after Yeshua’s death, on to James, his brother.

James and the other Nazarenes didn’t think Yeshua was the son of God, or that he needed to die to save anyone from their sins (http://www.petahtikvah.com/Articles/nazarenes.htm). They believed he was a (human) prophet who they hoped could be Israel’s messiah.

We read very little about this group in the pages of history because mainly Gentiles wrote that history, and the early Christians ignored the Nazarenes, or wrote them off as heretics, or tried to claim that some of them believed in the divinity of Christ. I think the modern reader interested in Jesus should be interested in their story.

Quote:An important religious sect would not have been named after an obscure Galilean village!

Correct, and that is exactly why I said that the "obscure Galilean village" aka Nazareth, was so named after those people who settled there.

They were a sub-sect of the Essene, and they were a community of priests. The earliest non-Christian reference to Nazareth is an inscription on a marble fragment from a synagogue found in Caesarea Maritima back in 1962. The inscription dates to AD 300 and chronicles the assignment of priests that took place at some time after the Bar Kokhba revolt in AD 132-35. This inscription mentions Nazareth as the home of the priestly Hapizzez family. From the three fragments that have been found, the inscription seems to be a list of the twenty-four priestly courses with each course assigned its proper order and the name of each town or village in Galilee where it settled. Nazareth is not spelled with the "z" sound but with the Hebrew tsade (thus "Nasareth" or "Natsareth")

Also, An 8th-century AD Hebrew inscription, which was the earliest known Hebrew reference to Nazareth prior to the discovery of the inscription above, indicates the same thing.

The name "Nazarene" may find part of its origin coming from what is known in the ancient Hebrew bible as the "Nazirite," whom are described as being "holy unto God" (Numbers 6:8), and indicating an affiliation with priestly vows. This may suggest that the Essene may have adapted to some of the ancient Nazrite practices.

The idea that the Essenes were vegetarian is something not directly stated in Josephus or Philo, and is in fact contradicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls. In fact, in the Temple Scroll we find numerous, frequent, and obvious statements about animal sacrifice in the Temple Scroll. “At the beginning of your months you shall offer a burnt offering to the Lord,” “they shall offer to the Lord the right thigh (of the ram),” “and on the second day, he shall sacrifice twelve bulls,” etc. There is no suggestion that there’s anything wrong in principle with animal sacrifice, quite the contrary.

Sources, many.

Thanks for that post. You have left a lot to be explained.

Where is your evidence Nazareth was occupied by Nazarenes at the supposed time of Jesus?

Who "started" the Nazarene sect?

What is your evidence the "Temple scroll" was associated with the Nazarenes?

Tell us about John the baptist? Was he a Nazarene?

If "jesus" was a Nazarene, he couldn't have been a "Christian." Do you agree?

Was James a Nazarene?

Was James a brother of "Jesus?"
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08-07-2016, 07:41 AM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(08-07-2016 03:44 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(07-07-2016 07:34 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  You need to reason, Mark. Consider this,

Just because "I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them," does not mean that Jesus is not a complete myth. It only means that "I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them."

You wrote

"Just because "[i]I find the arguments for a complete myth lacking any evidence at all to support them, does not mean that Jesus is not a complete myth."


Mmmmmm. Interesting. You are effectively admitting that you may be wrong. I applaud you for that, yet it doesn't say much about the strength of your convictions.

All it says is that the current available evidence favors existence over myth because myth has either none, or a very insignificant amount, of evidence.
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08-07-2016, 08:04 AM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2016 02:49 PM by GoingUp.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(08-07-2016 03:59 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Where is your evidence Nazareth was occupied by Nazarenes at the supposed time of Jesus?

It's merely a plausible theory based upon what we know in regards to how towns and territories were named throughout history.

Bethlehem, for example, is named after "house of bread." Judea was named after the tribe of Judah, and so on.

Quote:Who "started" the Nazarene sect?

Unknown.

Quote:What is your evidence the "Temple scroll" was associated with the Nazarenes?

I never said it was. However, since many assign the Temple Scroll with the Essene, and we both agree on the connection the Essene have with the Nazarene, then we can reasonably postulate that the Temple Scroll may also be adhered to by the Nazarene.

Quote:Tell us about John the baptist? Was he a Nazarene?

Unknown. He may have been an Essene, however.

Quote:If "jesus" was a Nazarene, he couldn't have been a "Christian." Do you agree?

Does that question even need to be asked?

Quote:Was James a Nazarene?

I believe he was. In fact, all of Jesus' family were likely Nazarenes.

Quote:Was James a brother of "Jesus?"

The evidence indicates he was.
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08-07-2016, 03:16 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(08-07-2016 08:04 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(08-07-2016 03:59 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Where is your evidence Nazareth was occupied by Nazarenes at the supposed time of Jesus?

It's merely a plausible theory based upon what we know in regards to how towns and territories were named throughout history.

Bethlehem, for example, is named after "house of bread." Judea was named after the tribe of Judah, and so on.

Quote:Who "started" the Nazarene sect?

Unknown.

Quote:What is your evidence the "Temple scroll" was associated with the Nazarenes?

I never said it was. However, since many assign the Temple Scroll with the Essene, and we both agree on the connection the Essene have with the Nazarene, then we can reasonably postulate that the Temple Scroll may also be adhered to by the Nazarene.

Quote:Tell us about John the baptist? Was he a Nazarene?

Unknown. He may have been an Essene, however.

Quote:If "jesus" was a Nazarene, he couldn't have been a "Christian." Do you agree?

Does that question even need to be asked?

Quote:Was James a Nazarene?

I believe he was. In fact, all of Jesus' family were likely Nazarenes.

Quote:Was James a brother of "Jesus?"

The evidence indicates he was.

I can flesh out the discussion on John the Baptist, who I think was a zealot and the leader of the Nazarenes prior to Yeshua...

Brothers in Arms…John and Yeshua


According to James Tabor, in The Jesus Dynasty, John the Baptist started a messianic movement, well before Yeshua arrived on the scene. John was probably a charismatic Essenian teacher, a man who created excitement. The people considered him a prophet; someone qualified to tell them what God expected. He had the credentials to be a legitimate priest, as he was said to be a descendant of Aaron (see Luke 1;5.) He obviously refused to respect the temple hierarchy in Jerusalem, as he never associated with them. Instead, he went into the wilderness to proclaim to the people that the coming of the messiah was close at hand, which meant only one thing to poor Jews: a war was on the horizon. John baptized believers and told his brethren to repent and get ready for the beginning of a new world order in which they wouldn’t be poor and oppressed. His message may have been well received, as the bible boasts he attracted big audiences. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpWNL1vyQz0).

The site on the River Jordan where John baptized people is only three miles from Qumran, the home of a large Essene community that hid the Dead Sea Scrolls a few decades later. No one knows if he associated with them, but it’s probable.
The Gospels claim that John and Jesus held each other in high regard, and that they were cousins. John, in his own time, was a better-known figure than Yeshua, as he’d already preached for a number of years, and had a contingent of followers before Yeshua cropped up. The Gospel writers couldn’t imply that Yeshua played a subordinate role, so each strove to make Jesus seem more senior than John. Yet they couldn’t conceal the fact that John baptized the novitiate. In reality John was the more established and authoritative instructor, and Yeshua was his protégé.

Yeshua’s stature grew as time went by. The two of them might have planned that once they had established political power in Palestine, John, the heir of Aaron, was to be the new high priest and Yeshua, the descendent of David, the new king of Israel.

I think they parted ways to double the capacity of their campaign, which involved telling carefully selected, disgruntled groups of Jews about their plan to wage a war. I suspect the two young men used religion to excite and galvanize large numbers of poor patriotic Jews. Baptizing people with water was a symbolic re-enactment of the ancient Jews’ (fictitious) crossing of the Red Sea to freedom. The two friends were offering Jews a new freedom, a freedom from Rome.

James Tabor states that by the end of 27 CE, the messianic movement started by John recognized two types of Jews in Palestine, those who’d responded by being baptized, and those who hadn’t. This was no small-scale backyard scheme; it was a serious shift in the peasant population towards militancy.

Herod Antipas, the Romans’ puppet king, must have been watching John like a hawk. Any Galilean prophet preaching to the public was presumed to be a zealot. He had John arrested and killed. This is how Josephus described John’s murder:

“…what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness toward one another, and piety toward God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away of some sins, but for the purification of the body: supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now, when many others came in crowds about him, for they were greatly moved by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do anything he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it should be too late. Accordingly, he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death.” (Antiquities 18.5.2 116-119.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus).

Herod was wary of a coup commanded by John, so had him killed. The Gospel authors deliberately didn’t detail the real reason for John’s death, because it didn’t fit with their invented image of John and Jesus as pacifist evangelists. Josephus also points out that John had criticized Herod for marrying his brother’s wife, which wouldn’t have endeared him to Herod.

John’s death in early 28 CE must have been a serious setback.
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