Debating the historical Jesus
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11-03-2015, 08:28 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 09:13 AM by Free.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 07:53 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  1. All four Gospels have him crucified.

And if the later are indeed Gospels built upon the earlier ones? If you take one witness testimony and make 100 copies of it with a copy machine, do you have 100 witnesses or 100 copies of one witness? Rolleyes

Can anyone prove that? Or, are you using the opinions of the very same historians who say he existed? You agree with them one way, but not the other?

Can't have it both ways.

The tangible evidence shows the 4 gospels having him crucified, and opinions on this evidence will not change the tangible evidence.

And that's your problem.

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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  2. Tacitus has him crucified.

And considering when it was written (20 years after Josephus), his sources were Christians, and their sources were the Gospels; and once again, the Gospels are not reliable as they are decades (if not centuries) after the supposed events and not written by eye witnesses. It is not corroborative evidence.

Can you prove his sources were Christians? Have you considered the fact that Tacitus was writing Roman history and not Christian history? Why would a Roman who was writing Roman history go to the hated Jewish sect of Christians and write their history instead of Roman history?

Since he mentions Pilate- a Roman- don't you think it would destroy his credibility by using a high ranking Roman official if the event regarding Pilate never actually happened?

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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  3. Since the majority of scholars think that Josephus was altered and not completely interpolated, it shows him crucified.

Even if you take the interpolation at 100% face value, it's still not an eye-witness account. It too would come from other Christians, who's tale would come from the Gospels, and the Gospels are not reliable sources.

Ancient history is not solely dependent on eyewitness accounts. If that were the case, we could eliminate tens of thousands of ancient historical people from the record books and claim they never existed either.

It just doesn't work that way, dude.

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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  4. The letters in the NT show him being killed.

The gospels are not reliable sources. Everything is hearsay, and even that is rating it too highly.

Again, most everything in ancient history is hearsay, so eliminate tens of thousands of people just because it's hearsay?

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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  5. Many non canonical texts show him being killed.

See all above.

See all above. Smile


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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  All the arguments against this evidence are actually extremely poor.

The evidence itself is poor to nonexistent, and everyone would be in agreement about this, if it was anyone other than Jesus... Dodgy

This is denialism- common among Jesus Mythicists- and is not good skepticism.

The evidence of the death of Jesus is actually abundant, and most scholars are in agreement with this.


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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  All arguments are opinion based, and actually bring no tangible evidence.
How about math?

That "math" has been refuted as being wrong by actual mathematicians, including one who is an atheist. I mentioned this in this thread in an earlier post.

Bottom line; Carrier is no mathematician.


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(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  For me, it wouldn't matter if he didn't exist, but I accept he did exist because of the evidence.

What evidence?

See above. Denying it exists can't help you.


I find the Mythicist's position untenable, and doing more harm than good. Because of all the evidence demonstrating that Jesus was killed, it is a hopeless endeavor to try and convince the world he never existed.

The best way to demonstrate to Christians that Jesus was not some water-walking, dead-raising, sky-flying superman is demonstrate to them that he was merely a human being who failed as a Messiah and was crucified. This is something we can actually prove to them, but we have no hopes of proving that he was a total myth.

Mythicism is completely rejected by Christianity and almost all religious historians, and always will be. It is hopeless.

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11-03-2015, 08:37 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  Mythicism is completely rejected by Christianity and almost all religious historians, and always will be. It is hopeless.

It is not actually an either/or argument. The Jesus as described in the Bible is undoubtedly a myth; that there was or was not a person behind the myth is an interesting historical question.

For comparison, we know that George Washington existed. What we know is a myth is the George Washington that chopped down the cherry tree and threw a silver dollar across the Potomac. That George Washington never existed.

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11-03-2015, 08:46 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 08:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  Mythicism is completely rejected by Christianity and almost all religious historians, and always will be. It is hopeless.

It is not actually an either/or argument. The Jesus as described in the Bible is undoubtedly a myth; that there was or was not a person behind the myth is an interesting historical question.

For comparison, we know that George Washington existed. What we know is a myth is the George Washington that chopped down the cherry tree and threw a silver dollar across the Potomac. That George Washington never existed.

I agree.

Muhammad is listed as performing more supposed miracles than Jesus, but his existence is ridiculous to dispute.

It was a common practice to embellish the life of an ancient folk hero.

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11-03-2015, 08:52 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
Personally I reckon it's reasonable to believe that King Arthur was a real historical figure because of the evidence documented in the Diary of Robin Hood.

Meanwhile, none of this is helping the OP.

Ocean, keep the focus on using 'Faith' as a reliable method of determining what is fact from fiction.

Challenge the basis of the epistemology not the outcome of it.

Smile

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11-03-2015, 09:05 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
Sorry all, I have been working late last two days, and buried in college homework Weeping Ocean I am at work, and my government computer system's firewall doesn't display pics or allow downloads so I cant see most of your original post. I will swing by when I get home and review what you are talking about, and hopefully be able to provide you with some ammo. I am not on facebook, nor will I ever be, so I cant jump in and eviscerate him for you. From what I can read so far, he isn't a serious contender to be honest.

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11-03-2015, 09:56 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 08:52 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Personally I reckon it's reasonable to believe that King Arthur was a real historical figure because of the evidence documented in the Diary of Robin Hood.

Meanwhile, none of this is helping the OP.

Ocean, keep the focus on using 'Faith' as a reliable method of determining what is fact from fiction.

Challenge the basis of the epistemology not the outcome of it.

Smile

He really wants to focus on josephus. I've given him my side and he keeps responding with this:

"39 scholars disagree with you out of 52 I gave you the Fieldman survey there's no credible position other than to except yes they were interpolations added to the existing tax. But Josephus clearly spoke of Jesus. Even if the larger passage didn't exist the small passage Jesus the brother of James has never been disputed."

It's really starting to get old.
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11-03-2015, 10:21 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 10:28 AM by Free.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 09:56 AM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 08:52 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Personally I reckon it's reasonable to believe that King Arthur was a real historical figure because of the evidence documented in the Diary of Robin Hood.

Meanwhile, none of this is helping the OP.

Ocean, keep the focus on using 'Faith' as a reliable method of determining what is fact from fiction.

Challenge the basis of the epistemology not the outcome of it.

Smile

He really wants to focus on josephus. I've given him my side and he keeps responding with this:

"39 scholars disagree with you out of 52 I gave you the Fieldman survey there's no credible position other than to except yes they were interpolations added to the existing tax. But Josephus clearly spoke of Jesus. Even if the larger passage didn't exist the small passage Jesus the brother of James has never been disputed."

It's really starting to get old.

Unfortunately for you, he is correct.

It is what it is.

Your best option is to not argue the actual history, but argue the myth about some water-walking sky-flying superman as not existing.

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11-03-2015, 10:33 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 09:56 AM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 08:52 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Personally I reckon it's reasonable to believe that King Arthur was a real historical figure because of the evidence documented in the Diary of Robin Hood.

Meanwhile, none of this is helping the OP.

Ocean, keep the focus on using 'Faith' as a reliable method of determining what is fact from fiction.

Challenge the basis of the epistemology not the outcome of it.

Smile

He really wants to focus on josephus. I've given him my side and he keeps responding with this:

"39 scholars disagree with you out of 52 I gave you the Fieldman survey there's no credible position other than to except yes they were interpolations added to the existing tax. But Josephus clearly spoke of Jesus. Even if the larger passage didn't exist the small passage Jesus the brother of James has never been disputed."

It's really starting to get old.

While it can be fun to argue history, it still would not make any god real or magic men real. Josephus was still way after the fact. But even if we suddenly found the bones of a guy named Jesus, it would only mean a mere man managed to start a new religion. It would not make virgin births or zombie god claims true.

We can rent a Superman movie and see the real cities in it, but it will never mean a man can fly like that.

The earth was not created in 6 days. Men do not magically pop out of dirt. Women do not magically pop out of a man's rib. Donkeys, snakes, and bushes do not talk. There is no such thing as a magic baby. You don't survive death.

A history of making claims do not make the claims true. Otherwise the Egyptian gods would be real by proxy of 3,000 years of passing down those claims.

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11-03-2015, 10:54 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 01:01 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:53 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  And if the later are indeed Gospels built upon the earlier ones? If you take one witness testimony and make 100 copies of it with a copy machine, do you have 100 witnesses or 100 copies of one witness? Rolleyes
Can anyone prove that?


Prove what? That's they're not reliable eye-witness testimony? I'm sorry, if you want to claim them as reliable sources, it's up to you to prove they are reliable. I can say they are not reliable sources because you simply are not able to claim otherwise given the current state of the evidence (or lack thereof).

Good luck with that.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  Or, are you using the opinions of the very same historians who say he existed?


Oh, you meant pointing out the inconsistency of biblical scholars with a vested interest in Jesus actually existing not applying the same standards and making exceptions because it is Jesus? Sure, I'm doing that. Drinking Beverage



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  You agree with them one way, but not the other?

Can't have it both ways.


Since when did citing an expert require carte blanche acceptance of all of their opinions? Come on Free, you're smarter than that.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  The tangible evidence shows the 4 gospels having him crucified, and opinions on this evidence will not change the tangible evidence.

And that's your problem.


No, your problem is that you have no tangible evidence. What does it matter if it's mentioned in all four, if the Gospels where built upon each other in succession? Once again, does three copies of one source count as four separate and independent sources? Of course not. There is zero independent corroboration for the existence of Jesus or any of the stories relating to him or his existence within the Gospels. All extra-biblical mentions are decades or centuries after the fact, and even assuming they are not forgeries, all are hearsay and most probably came from Christians who they themselves would have just been quoting the Gospels because they too were not witnesses (regardless, they cannot be established as independent sources to be corroborated). The Gospels, and all latter mentions deriving from them, are not evidence for the Gospels themselves. Lets also not forget that the Gospels can't even agree with themselves.

There is simply nothing about Christianity or the Gospels that requires there to have been an actual Jesus. There could very well have been an actual person that served as the seed to germinate these ideas or stories, but even if that is the case, that person is so far lost to time and is simply unrecoverable given our current evidence. Likewise, an actual person is not needed to explain the evidence we do have.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:53 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  And considering when it was written (20 years after Josephus), his sources were Christians, and their sources were the Gospels; and once again, the Gospels are not reliable as they are decades (if not centuries) after the supposed events and not written by eye witnesses. It is not corroborative evidence.
Can you prove his sources were Christians?


The fact of the matter is, Josephus fails to provide evidence that they are not. You cannot just assume that they are independent corroborations, especially given that the existence of the Gospels predate the mention in Josephus by decades (and their appearance in his work by centuries). Josephus cannot be used as an independent corroboration of the Gospels, because it is very probable that his source of information (assuming it's not a forgery, something which is disputed) were Christians, who they themselves would have gotten their information from the Gospels.

Let's also not forget that for 500 years of Christian history, not one church father or writer mentions the Josephus passage, even though they quote him extensively elsewhere, like in regards to John the Baptist. It's not seen in the historical record until Eusebius of Caesarea, who is widely believed to have been the one responsible for the interpolation (especially considering that he inherited his copy of Josephus from Origen, who lamented Josephus not mentioning Jesus in his own writings!).


You cannot establish Josephus' writings as being independent from the Gospels, therefore it is useless for corroborating the Gospels.


You simply cannot use the Gospels to prove the Gospels.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  Have you considered the fact that Tacitus was writing Roman history and not Christian history? Why would a Roman who was writing Roman history go to the hated Jewish sect of Christians and write their history instead of Roman history?

1 - You're assuming that ancient historians treated the recording of history in the same light as a modern historian would; and you would be sadly mistaken.

2 - You've already forgotten what an interpolation is.

An interpolation, in relation to literature and especially ancient manuscripts, is an entry or passage in a text that was not written by the original author. -Wikipedia

3 - Having written about 20 years after Josephus, Tacitus is also unable to be established as an independent source from the Gospels; even assuming that his passage is authentic (which, just like Josephus, is disputed by mainstream scholars)



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  Since he mentions Pilate- a Roman- don't you think it would destroy his credibility by using a high ranking Roman official if the event regarding Pilate never actually happened?


What would a later Christian scribe, interested more in supporting his faith than intellectual honesty, care about the 'credibility' or a long dead Roman author?



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:53 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Even if you take the interpolation at 100% face value, it's still not an eye-witness account. It too would come from other Christians, who's tale would come from the Gospels, and the Gospels are not reliable sources.
Ancient history is not solely dependent on eyewitness accounts. If that were the case, we could eliminate tens of thousands of ancient historical people from the record books and claim they never existed either.

It just doesn't work that way, dude.


But if you cannot establish independent sources, such as Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon being attested to by his allies, enemies, and neutral parties (in addition to being historically dependent, as it was a necessary step in his well attested invasion of Rome), then you have to acknowledge just how tenuous that 'evidence' really is.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:53 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The gospels are not reliable sources. Everything is hearsay, and even that is rating it too highly.
Again, most everything in ancient history is hearsay, so eliminate tens of thousands of people just because it's hearsay?


Do those other thousands have religions built around them? Not only that, but powerful religions who worshiped them, controled national governments, and had a vested interest in forging evidence in their favor?

I'm fine with being skeptical about the existence of some random person of the past, but you also have to recognize that history has givens us very good reasons to be even more skeptical of the accounts of Jesus, especially considering the history of Christianity itself.

There were plenty of other wandering false prophets and messiahs wandering around first century Judea, and many of them with far less interesting stories managed to level their marks on history within their own lifetimes. How silly it is then that Jesus was unable to? Apollonius of Tyana managed to make it into the annals of history without the help of a powerful religion (who for centuries control most of the transmission of written knowledge), yet Jesus didn't.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:53 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  See all above.
See all above. Smile


Indeed, but I'm guessing you're not done making bad arguments. Undecided



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:53 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The evidence itself is poor to nonexistent, and everyone would be in agreement about this, if it was anyone other than Jesus... Dodgy
This is denialism- common among Jesus Mythicists- and is not good skepticism.


No, it's simply not having a double standard for Jesus.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  The evidence of the death of Jesus is actually abundant, and most scholars are in agreement with this.


What evidence? Remember that the Gospels are not reliable, and have zero independent corroboration. The death of Jesus has about as much evidence as the death of Anubis. So, once again, not having a double standard for Jesus would have us conclude that if it's reasonable to believe that Jesus actually died, it too is reasonable to believe that Anubis actually died.


I don't think that is reasonable at all. No



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:53 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  What evidence?
See above. Denying it exists can't help you.


See above. Claiming it exists without actually providing it gets you nowhere. Facepalm



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  I find the Mythicist's position untenable, and doing more harm than good. Because of all the evidence demonstrating that Jesus was killed, it is a hopeless endeavor to try and convince the world he never existed.


Mainstream scholars and mythicists both agree that even if Jesus existed, he was certainly not the divine son of god. Myhticists have simply looked at the evidence and concluded that an actual Jesus not necessary to explain the origins of Christianity. Some take it further like Richard Carrier and make a positive argument for a entirely mythical origin, while others like Robert M. Price are simply happy to be very skeptical of a real Jesus.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  The best way to demonstrate to Christians that Jesus was not some water-walking, dead-raising, sky-flying superman is demonstrate to them that he was merely a human being who failed as a Messiah and was crucified. This is something we can actually prove to them, but we have no hopes of proving that he was a total myth.


The problem is that those who go to seminary and actually learn this stuff, refuse to share that knowledge with their congregations. There is a huge gulf between academia and laypeople. It's why books like this already exist.


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It has, as of yet, not solved the systemic problem.



(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  Mythicism is completely rejected by Christianity and almost all religious historians, and always will be. It is hopeless.


The exact same thing was said about the Jewish Patriarchs. You know, until it wasn't... Drinking Beverage

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11-03-2015, 11:09 AM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
I googled the list of the 39 supposed supporters and it reads like a membership for an apologetics summer camp.
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