Debating the historical Jesus
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11-03-2015, 11:24 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 11:30 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
At work but in regards to Jospehus and the interpolations, I need to dig in some more on the veracity of the claims on either side in order to attempt to come to a conclusion. However, one of the esteemed members on here (Un-named just in case he/she didn't want it advertised) provided me with an interesting link which I will provide below. Lots of thought provoking information that I need to verify from other scholarly sources before I redo my Josephus paper. But here is an excerpt:

The following passage is found in the extant Greek manuscripts of Josephus (Ambrosianus in the 11th century, Vaticanus in the 14th century, and Marcianus in the 15th century). This passage is quoted by Eusebius in the fourth century: in the Evangelical Demonstration 3.5, in the Ecclesiastical History 1.11, and in the Theophany.



Antiquities 18.3.3. "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day."

Here is the text in Greek.

Ginetai de kata touton ton chronon Iêsous sophos anêr, eige andra auton legein chrê: ên gar paradoxôn ergôn poiêtês, didaskalos anthrôpôn tôn hêdonêi talêthê dechomenôn, kai pollous men Ioudaious, pollous de kai tou Hellênikou epêgageto: ho christos houtos ên. kai auton endeixei tôn prôtôn andrôn par' hêmin staurôi epitetimêkotos Pilatou ouk epausanto hoi to prôton agapêsantes: ephanê gar autois tritên echôn hêmeran palin zôn tôn theiôn prophêtôn tauta te kai alla muria peri autou thaumasia eirêkotôn. eis eti te nun tôn Christianôn apo toude ônomasmenon ouk epelipe to phulon.

Opinion on the authenticity of this passage is varied. Louis H. Feldman surveyed the relevant literature from 1937 to 1980 in Josephus and Modern Scholarship. Feldman noted that 4 scholars regarded the Testimonium Flavianum as entirely genuine, 6 as mostly genuine, 20 accept it with some interpolations, 9 with several interpolations, and 13 regard it as being totally an interpolation. (note: it would be interesting to ascertain if these scholars had personal bias, as I am sure they all did, because everyone does, and how much that played into their opinion on the validity and accuracy of this excerpt, one would hope they were professional enough to make an informed opinion, and not an emotional or faith based opinion)

It is impossible that this passage is entirely genuine. It is highly unlikely that Josephus, a believing Jew working under Romans, would have written, "He was the Messiah." This would make him suspect of treason, but nowhere else is there an indication that he was a Christian. Indeed, in Wars of the Jews, Josephus declares that Vespasian fulfilled the messianic oracles. Furthermore, Origen, writing about a century before Eusebius, says twice that Josephus "did not believe in Jesus as the Christ."

Either the passage received a few glosses, or the passage was inserted here in entirety. Those who favor partial authenticity usually bracket the phrases "if it be lawful to call him a man," "He was the Christ," and "for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him." ( I concur these at the very minimum were interpolations, this is not the way Joesphus wrote, or even things he would say in regards to the Christ legend).

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/testimonium.html

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11-03-2015, 12:14 PM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 12:50 PM by Free.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  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.

No, prove "the later are indeed Gospels built upon the earlier ones."



Quote:
(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

Nice try to dodge, but can't let you do that. I gotta be me.

Again, you are using the opinions from scholars who claim the existing gospels were created from earlier ones; the same scholars who say Jesus existed.

Quote:
(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.

More dodging.

You trust the very same scholars who say that the existing gospels came from earlier gospels, yet do not trust those same scholars when they say Jesus existed.

Rather hypocritical IMO.

Quote:
(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. 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.

Denialism.

All this stands completely an unequivocally refuted by the collective of intelligence of world scholars.

Sorry dude, you do not get to make the rules on what constitutes evidence. The world will look at you like a fool.

Aside from the Gospels, Paul's letters offer evidence of a 1st century contemporary of Jesus attesting to the crucifixion of Jesus. Clement was also likely a contemporary and wrote in the 1st century. Although Josephus' estimated birth year is listed as AD 37, the textual evidence in his works indicates he was most likely a very young contemporary of Jesus.

History is always written "after the fact." You are employing the Presentism Fallacy of equating how modern history is chronicled when compared to how ancient history was chronicled.

The bottom line is that Jesus, who was called Christ, and who is the focus of the Christian religion, was executed by Pontius Pilate circa AD33.

And that is history.

Quote:
(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  Can you prove his sources were Christians?


The fact of the matter is, Josephus fails to provide evidence that they are not.

Dude, stay focused. We are talking about Tacitus mentioning Christians here, not Josephus.

Your entire response is now irrelevant.


Quote:
(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 histories treated the recording of history in the same light as a modern historian would; and you would be sadly mistaken.

Where did you ever get this idea? Absolutely incorrect.

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

An irrelevant and wrong assumption.

Quote: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 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)

Incorrect. The passage is virtually undisputed by mainstream scholars, with only a very small handful such as the Jesus Mythicists attempting to dispute it.

I challenge you to give me just 5 modern scholars alive today who dispute this text.

Big Grin

Quote:
(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?

More unproven assertions. No evidence. Bluster.

Dismissed.

Quote:
(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  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 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.

More of the Presentism Fallacy. Again, history doesn't work that way. Also, can you prove that the independent sources regarding Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon wrote it all down as the event actually happened?

Or ... will you show an ancient document that states as much, but written decades after the fact?

You just shot yourself in the foot here, because I already know the history of that crossing, and know it was written decades after the fact.

So should we now claim it didn't happen?

Wink

Quote:
Quote:uote='Free' pid='747977' dateline='1426084102']
Again, most everything in ancient history is hearsay, so eliminate tens of thousands of people just because it's hearsay?


Do those other thousand have religions built upon them? Not only that, but powerful religions who worshiped them, control 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.

All I see here is a bone to pick with Jesus. If we take away the entire bible, Christianity, and the 1st mention of Jesus in Josephus, and pretend that only Tacitus and Josephus' 2nd mention of Jesus was all that existed, do you think we would have any reason at all to doubt the existence of a Jesus, who was called Christ, and who was crucified by Pontius Pilate?

Imagine for a moment that Christianity did not survive past the 1st century, and today we discovered Josephus and Tacitus. Would we have any reason to think that the Jesus they mentioned did not exist?

I dare say we would not. We wouldn't even think twice about it.

So why do you think you have a point?

From what I can see, Jesus Mythicists- every last one of them I have ever encountered- have a bone to pick with Jesus and Christianity, and that bone turns them all into denialists instead of skeptics.

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


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

Your assertions demonstrate nothing. I haven't made a bad argument yet, but each and every one of yours are nothing but the rantings of a denialist.

Seriously, sit back and ask yourself if you are a denialist, or a real skeptic. Are you denying the existence of evidence, or employing rational skepticism towards it?

There is a distinct difference between a denialist and a skeptic. Basically, a denialist is one who takes his skepticism so far as to actually be lying. Problem is, most denialist do not understand- and cannot understand- that they actually are denialists.

Denialists can be compared to conspiracy theorists, in my opinion. The lack of rational skepticism exists in both.


Quote:
(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  This is denialism- common among Jesus Mythicists- and is not good skepticism.


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

No, it's denialism at its finest. You expect more evidence for Jesus than what is reasonable, and all evidence provided is either hand-waved away, or the goal posts are moved each and every time with the request for greater evidence than what is necessary for anyone else in antiquity.

You raise the bar for the existence of Jesus to unreasonable heights, and that is not skepticism, dude.

That is denialism.

Quote:
(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.

Again, you do not make the rules on how evidence is viewed or determined. The crucifixion of Jesus in the Gospels is corroborated by Tacitus, Paul, and dozens of non canonical texts.

And there's nothing you can do about it.


Quote:
(11-03-2015 08:28 AM)Free Wrote:  See above. Denying it exists can't help you.


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

All the evidence is there, and no amount of denialism can make it go away.

Big Grin


Quote:
(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.

Yet not one Mythicist has ever provided one stitch of evidence to support the non existence of Jesus.

None.

In antiquity we can find many examples of ancient people disputing the existence of the gods of other ancient cultures, therefore I challenge you to find one ancient text from the 1st - 2nd century that disputes the existence of Jesus, who was called Christ, and who was executed by the Romans.

You will be 100% unsuccessful.

And it requires minimal reasoning as to why.

So go ahead, find me one single stitch of tangible historical evidence that disputes the existence of this Jesus.

Drinking Beverage

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11-03-2015, 12:24 PM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 12:36 PM by Free.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 11:24 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  At work but in regards to Jospehus and the interpolations, I need to dig in some more on the veracity of the claims on either side in order to attempt to come to a conclusion. However, one of the esteemed members on here (Un-named just in case he/she didn't want it advertised) provided me with an interesting link which I will provide below. Lots of thought provoking information that I need to verify from other scholarly sources before I redo my Josephus paper. But here is an excerpt:

The following passage is found in the extant Greek manuscripts of Josephus (Ambrosianus in the 11th century, Vaticanus in the 14th century, and Marcianus in the 15th century). This passage is quoted by Eusebius in the fourth century: in the Evangelical Demonstration 3.5, in the Ecclesiastical History 1.11, and in the Theophany.



Antiquities 18.3.3. "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day."

Here is the text in Greek.

Ginetai de kata touton ton chronon Iêsous sophos anêr, eige andra auton legein chrê: ên gar paradoxôn ergôn poiêtês, didaskalos anthrôpôn tôn hêdonêi talêthê dechomenôn, kai pollous men Ioudaious, pollous de kai tou Hellênikou epêgageto: ho christos houtos ên. kai auton endeixei tôn prôtôn andrôn par' hêmin staurôi epitetimêkotos Pilatou ouk epausanto hoi to prôton agapêsantes: ephanê gar autois tritên echôn hêmeran palin zôn tôn theiôn prophêtôn tauta te kai alla muria peri autou thaumasia eirêkotôn. eis eti te nun tôn Christianôn apo toude ônomasmenon ouk epelipe to phulon.

Opinion on the authenticity of this passage is varied. Louis H. Feldman surveyed the relevant literature from 1937 to 1980 in Josephus and Modern Scholarship. Feldman noted that 4 scholars regarded the Testimonium Flavianum as entirely genuine, 6 as mostly genuine, 20 accept it with some interpolations, 9 with several interpolations, and 13 regard it as being totally an interpolation. (note: it would be interesting to ascertain if these scholars had personal bias, as I am sure they all did, because everyone does, and how much that played into their opinion on the validity and accuracy of this excerpt, one would hope they were professional enough to make an informed opinion, and not an emotional or faith based opinion)

It is impossible that this passage is entirely genuine. It is highly unlikely that Josephus, a believing Jew working under Romans, would have written, "He was the Messiah." This would make him suspect of treason, but nowhere else is there an indication that he was a Christian. Indeed, in Wars of the Jews, Josephus declares that Vespasian fulfilled the messianic oracles. Furthermore, Origen, writing about a century before Eusebius, says twice that Josephus "did not believe in Jesus as the Christ."

Either the passage received a few glosses, or the passage was inserted here in entirety. Those who favor partial authenticity usually bracket the phrases "if it be lawful to call him a man," "He was the Christ," and "for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him." ( I concur these at the very minimum were interpolations, this is not the way Joesphus wrote, or even things he would say in regards to the Christ legend).

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/testimonium.html

I suggest that everyone read this, as this is real rational skepticism being employed.

I know two of the scholars on that page. Steve Mason helped me a few years ago with something I was working on, and Alice Wheatly gives perhaps the greatest insight into the Josephus issue ever written in her book. It was Steve Mason who got me on to Alice Wheatly.

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11-03-2015, 01:03 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  What some people don't seem to realize is that there appears to be a large amount of evidence for the existence of Jesus as a historical person, for the simple reason that the most consistent element to support his existence is that he was crucified by the Romans.
It's a fact that Romans crucified people.

I don't however accept that Jesus was crucified is a fact.

Just because multiple people wrote that Jesus was crucified doesn't mean that it is true.

The story of Jesus was verbal at one time. All people who heard the story and wrote about it remembered the crucification bit.

There were no witnesses, no interviews with witnesses, no documents recording the event.
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11-03-2015, 01:04 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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.

No, prove "the later are indeed Gospels built upon the earlier ones."



Quote: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

Nice try to dodge, but can't let you do that. I gotta be me.

Again, you are using the opinions from scholars who claim the existing gospels were created from earlier ones; the same scholars who say Jesus existed.

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

More dodging.

You trust the very same scholars who say that the existing gospels came from earlier gospels, yet do not trust those same scholars when they say Jesus existed.

Rather hypocritical IMO.

Quote:No, your problem is that you have no tangible evidence. 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.

Denialism.

All this stands completely an unequivocally refuted by the collective of intelligence of world scholars.

Sorry dude, you do not get to make the rules on what constitutes evidence. The world will look at you like a fool.

Aside from the Gospels, Paul's letters offer evidence of a 1st century contemporary of Jesus attesting to the crucifixion of Jesus. Clement was also likely a contemporary and wrote in the 1st century. Although Josephus' estimated birth year is listed as AD 37, the textual evidence in his works indicates he was most likely a very young contemporary of Jesus.

History is always written "after the fact." You are employing the Presentism Fallacy of equating how modern history is chronicled when compared to how ancient history was chronicled.

The bottom line is that Jesus, who was called Christ, and who is the focus of the Christian religion, was executed by Pontius Pilate circa AD33.

And that is history.

Quote:The fact of the matter is, Josephus fails to provide evidence that they are not.

Dude, stay focused. We are talking about Tacitus mentioning Christians here, not Josephus.

Your entire response is now irrelevant.


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

Where did you ever get this idea? Absolutely incorrect.

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

An irrelevant and wrong assumption.

Quote: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 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)

Incorrect. The passage is virtually undisputed by mainstream scholars, with only a very small handful such as the Jesus Mythicists attempting to dispute it.

I challenge you to give me just 5 modern scholars alive today who dispute this text.

Big Grin

Quote: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?

More unproven assertions. No evidence. Bluster.

Dismissed.

Quote:But if you cannot establish independent sources, such as Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon being attested 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.

More of the Presentism Fallacy. Again, history doesn't work that way. Also, can you prove that the independent sources regarding Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon wrote it all down as the event actually happened?

Or ... will you show an ancient document that states as much, but written decades after the fact?

You just shot yourself in the foot here, because I already know the history of that crossing, and know it was written decades after the fact.

So should we now claim it didn't happen?

Wink

Quote:Do those other thousand have religions built upon them? Not only that, but powerful religions who worshiped them, control 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.

All I see here is a bone to pick with Jesus. If we take away the entire bible, Christianity, and the 1st mention of Jesus in Josephus, and pretend that only Tacitus and Josephus' 2nd mention of Jesus was all that existed, do you think we would have any reason at all to doubt the existence of a Jesus, who was called Christ, and who was crucified by Pontius Pilate?

Imagine for a moment that Christianity did not survive past the 1st century, and today we discovered Josephus and Tacitus. Would we have any reason to think that the Jesus they mentioned did not exist?

I dare say we would not. We wouldn't even think twice about it.

So why do you think you have a point?

From what I can see, Jesus Mythicists- every last one of them I have ever encountered- have a bone to pick with Jesus and Christianity, and that bone turns them all into denialists instead of skeptics.

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

Your assertions demonstrate nothing. I haven't made a bad argument yet, but each and every one of yours are nothing but the rantings of a denialist.

Seriously, sit back and ask yourself if you are a denialist, or a real skeptic. Are you denying the existence of evidence, or employing rational skepticism towards it?

There is a distinct difference between a denialist and a skeptic. Basically, a denialist is one who takes his skepticism so far as to actually be lying. Problem is, most denialist do not understand- and cannot understand- that they actually are denialists.

Denialists can be compared to conspiracy theorists, in my opinion. The lack of rational skepticism exists in both.


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

No, it's denialism at its finest. You expect more evidence for Jesus than what is reasonable, and all evidence provided is either hand-waved away, or the goal posts are moved each and every time with the request for greater evidence than what is necessary for anyone else in antiquity.

You raise the bar for the existence of Jesus to unreasonable heights, and that is not skepticism, dude.

That is denialism.

Quote: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.

Again, you do not make the rules on how evidence is viewed or determined. The crucifixion of Jesus in the Gospels is corroborated by Tacitus, Paul, and dozens of non canonical texts.

And there's nothing you can do about it.


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

All the evidence is there, and no amount of denialism can make it go away.

Big Grin


Quote: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.

Yet not one Mythicist has ever provided one stitch of evidence to support the non existence of Jesus.

None.

In antiquity we can find many examples of ancient people disputing the existence of the gods of other ancient cultures, therefore I challenge you to find one ancient text from the 1st - 2nd century that disputes the existence of Jesus, who was called Christ, and who was executed by the Romans.

You will be 100% unsuccessful.

And it requires minimal reasoning as to why.

So go ahead, find me one single stitch of tangible historical evidence that disputes the existence of this Jesus.

Drinking Beverage

Oh Free, a massive exercise in proving a negative. How trite.

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11-03-2015, 01:13 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 01:04 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  No, prove "the later are indeed Gospels built upon the earlier ones."




Nice try to dodge, but can't let you do that. I gotta be me.

Again, you are using the opinions from scholars who claim the existing gospels were created from earlier ones; the same scholars who say Jesus existed.


More dodging.

You trust the very same scholars who say that the existing gospels came from earlier gospels, yet do not trust those same scholars when they say Jesus existed.

Rather hypocritical IMO.


Denialism.

All this stands completely an unequivocally refuted by the collective of intelligence of world scholars.

Sorry dude, you do not get to make the rules on what constitutes evidence. The world will look at you like a fool.

Aside from the Gospels, Paul's letters offer evidence of a 1st century contemporary of Jesus attesting to the crucifixion of Jesus. Clement was also likely a contemporary and wrote in the 1st century. Although Josephus' estimated birth year is listed as AD 37, the textual evidence in his works indicates he was most likely a very young contemporary of Jesus.

History is always written "after the fact." You are employing the Presentism Fallacy of equating how modern history is chronicled when compared to how ancient history was chronicled.

The bottom line is that Jesus, who was called Christ, and who is the focus of the Christian religion, was executed by Pontius Pilate circa AD33.

And that is history.


Dude, stay focused. We are talking about Tacitus mentioning Christians here, not Josephus.

Your entire response is now irrelevant.



Where did you ever get this idea? Absolutely incorrect.


An irrelevant and wrong assumption.


Incorrect. The passage is virtually undisputed by mainstream scholars, with only a very small handful such as the Jesus Mythicists attempting to dispute it.

I challenge you to give me just 5 modern scholars alive today who dispute this text.

Big Grin


More unproven assertions. No evidence. Bluster.

Dismissed.


More of the Presentism Fallacy. Again, history doesn't work that way. Also, can you prove that the independent sources regarding Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon wrote it all down as the event actually happened?

Or ... will you show an ancient document that states as much, but written decades after the fact?

You just shot yourself in the foot here, because I already know the history of that crossing, and know it was written decades after the fact.

So should we now claim it didn't happen?

Wink


All I see here is a bone to pick with Jesus. If we take away the entire bible, Christianity, and the 1st mention of Jesus in Josephus, and pretend that only Tacitus and Josephus' 2nd mention of Jesus was all that existed, do you think we would have any reason at all to doubt the existence of a Jesus, who was called Christ, and who was crucified by Pontius Pilate?

Imagine for a moment that Christianity did not survive past the 1st century, and today we discovered Josephus and Tacitus. Would we have any reason to think that the Jesus they mentioned did not exist?

I dare say we would not. We wouldn't even think twice about it.

So why do you think you have a point?

From what I can see, Jesus Mythicists- every last one of them I have ever encountered- have a bone to pick with Jesus and Christianity, and that bone turns them all into denialists instead of skeptics.


Your assertions demonstrate nothing. I haven't made a bad argument yet, but each and every one of yours are nothing but the rantings of a denialist.

Seriously, sit back and ask yourself if you are a denialist, or a real skeptic. Are you denying the existence of evidence, or employing rational skepticism towards it?

There is a distinct difference between a denialist and a skeptic. Basically, a denialist is one who takes his skepticism so far as to actually be lying. Problem is, most denialist do not understand- and cannot understand- that they actually are denialists.

Denialists can be compared to conspiracy theorists, in my opinion. The lack of rational skepticism exists in both.



No, it's denialism at its finest. You expect more evidence for Jesus than what is reasonable, and all evidence provided is either hand-waved away, or the goal posts are moved each and every time with the request for greater evidence than what is necessary for anyone else in antiquity.

You raise the bar for the existence of Jesus to unreasonable heights, and that is not skepticism, dude.

That is denialism.


Again, you do not make the rules on how evidence is viewed or determined. The crucifixion of Jesus in the Gospels is corroborated by Tacitus, Paul, and dozens of non canonical texts.

And there's nothing you can do about it.



All the evidence is there, and no amount of denialism can make it go away.

Big Grin



Yet not one Mythicist has ever provided one stitch of evidence to support the non existence of Jesus.

None.

In antiquity we can find many examples of ancient people disputing the existence of the gods of other ancient cultures, therefore I challenge you to find one ancient text from the 1st - 2nd century that disputes the existence of Jesus, who was called Christ, and who was executed by the Romans.

You will be 100% unsuccessful.

And it requires minimal reasoning as to why.

So go ahead, find me one single stitch of tangible historical evidence that disputes the existence of this Jesus.

Drinking Beverage

Oh Free, a massive exercise in proving a negative. How trite.


It's not a massive exercise. Since Mythicists make a positive claim that Jesus did not exist then they need to prove the claim, or at least prove the claim as being valid.

It is a positive claim because it proclaims an underlying positive proposed truth to it; Jesus did not exist.

Therefore, I am asking for positive evidence from antiquity from someone who claimed that Jesus was not crucified by the Romans, and/or that he never existed at all.

It is a very reasonable request.

Big Grin

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11-03-2015, 01:25 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 01:03 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 07:18 AM)Free Wrote:  What some people don't seem to realize is that there appears to be a large amount of evidence for the existence of Jesus as a historical person, for the simple reason that the most consistent element to support his existence is that he was crucified by the Romans.
It's a fact that Romans crucified people.

I don't however accept that Jesus was crucified is a fact.

Just because multiple people wrote that Jesus was crucified doesn't mean that it is true.

The story of Jesus was verbal at one time. All people who heard the story and wrote about it remembered the crucification bit.

There were no witnesses, no interviews with witnesses, no documents recording the event.

I keep saying to people that nothing in ancient history is conclusive. What it all comes down to is ...

The best argument to explain the available evidence.

The Mythicist position doesn't explain anything at all. It has absolutely no evidence to work with at all. None. Nada. Ziltch. All it ever does is attempt to cast doubt on the available evidence via opinion only.

The Historicity argument has tons of tangible evidence to work with. It can be cross-referenced, verified, analyzed, excavated, translated, and collaborated.

And that's the big difference between the two positions. One is holding all the cards, while the other doesn't have a pot to piss in.

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11-03-2015, 01:40 PM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 02:48 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(10-03-2015 11:55 AM)Ocean theRAPIST Wrote:  So I've managed to get myself into a debate on FB,go figure. First it started off with the soft tissue found on the T-Rex then somehow a pastor jumped in and now it moved to what historians have said about Jesus. He made these nice yellow squares to prove his points.
I've used GWG's points. But as any good Christian would say "I've already seen all those points and you probably got them from some pagan atheist page".

My head hurts.

Oh my lawd, yeeeeeah, man I wish for once I was on facebook so I could put him through the blender, so much of that is fallacious. Most of this I have solidly debunked from a plethora of angles in my resource library. Solar eclipses last 7.5 mins, not 3 hours as per the story of the earth going dark "globally"...so we know that is another false assertion. Most of those people quoted were not even alive at the time of jesus, if not all of them. The funny thing is the odd silence from notable historians like philo and justus...not one mention of this world reknown messiah.

IN my opinion, it is a tough row to hoe to try to disprove a historical jesus, I am about 50/50 on it, but in the end, it doesn't matter if a historic guy named jesus existed, who proclaimed himself to be a messiah, like hundreds of others have, because we can disprove using reason, logic and history the magical events alleged to have been performed by him...and the testimony of such as the testimony, ALL OF IT, is hearsay, not one word written down about jesus is by a eyewitness. As DLJ suggested, and as per the book I recommended, chip away at the faith, here I will put a sample below....

If it is a literal word of god as per the bible theist, just pat them on the head and walk away. I have spent hours systematically dismantling this belief basis (bible) all just to get the GODDIDIT escapism excuse. UNLESS, you intend to debate him for the benefit of the audience, which is always my tactic. I know i have a snow ball chance in Girly's oven of a butt crack of getting a theist to "switch teams", but the audience who lurk and watch, can easily see the hollowness of his posits, and the smack of facts if properly laid out...which does more to deconvert theists, than any other method in my opinion.

I have however had a lot of success using the Manual for creating an atheist book's epistemology approach. You dont criticize the individual as that just makes them go defensive, you dont attack the religion itself as that just gets you dogged down with hours of discussion on how this and that proves or disproves the bible..which I enjoy doing, but it is a time suck. You focus on the faith..."why do you believe"....if they answer the bible says so, it is the true word of god....I play to their ego..."okay, well surely as an intelligent human being, you have put more thought into it than just basing your faith, which is the belief in something without evidence, on a book right? So think about it for a minute, why do you believe?"

If they say something like "well the complexity of the world, you know, it is impossible this all happened by accident"...then you go with "okay, well just for the sake of discussion, because a close minded person has stopped learning..lets say that if tomorrow science could answer all of your complexity questions...would you still believe? If they say yes, then you reply "great! so we have established that you don't believe based solely on complexity, just because science has not advanced enough yet to answer all the questions, so we can just take that off the table for the moment......so again, why do you believe..."

then you start whittling down the basis of faith more, gently discuss how using faith as a methodology for learning has been proven to be a failed epistemology. If a belief is based on insufficient evidence, than any further conclusion drawn from the belief will at best be of questionable value. This can not point one to the path of truth. The only thing faith can teach you, is faith itself.

If they say no, then there is light in the tunnel. "So you believe in a supernatural answer to the questions that science cannot answer ONLY because they havent been answered yet. I am confident you see that isn't a solid position on such an important question right? Surely you see this is not a valid way to comprehend the real world around us? There are far better methods of logic and reason that are backed up with empirical evidence that we can utilize to answer these important questions." Lets look at the basis of faith together...where we as humans got the idea of god in the first place, lets discuss the creation of jesus the son of god story, what greek myths it was based on, how the synoptic gospels were put together and by whom, how Luke took creative licence on his portrayal of jesus, the Census of Quirinius , Emperor Constantine, the life of constantine, the nicene council etc (this is when you start dismantling the belief system piece by piece without being overly helpful, lay the questioning attitude on them, bring up the subjects, let them take themselves down the path to the truth...then you plant seeds that grow into disbelief.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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11-03-2015, 02:07 PM
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
By the way people, just so you all know, although I do favor the historicity argument over the mythicist argument, it does not mean that the existence of Jesus is conclusively proven to me.

It only means that historicity provides a better argument.

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11-03-2015, 02:48 PM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 02:52 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Debating the historical Jesus
(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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.
No, prove "the later are indeed Gospels built upon the earlier ones."


Development and composition

John Riches states that, "Many scholars doubt that the Gospels were written by eye-witnesses as their attributions seem to suggest: there is too much evidence of reworking oral traditions and of straight borrowing from other Gospels to make this likely." For example, the vast majority of material in Mark is also present in either Luke or Matthew or both, suggesting that Mark was a source for Matthew and Luke.

The four canonical gospels "were probably all written by the end of the first century". But they did not yet at that time have a consistent narrative. "In 170 Tatian sought to find a solution by composing a single narrative out of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, with some additional oral material."

According to Linda Woodhead,

Christian gospels are also propaganda. They tell their readers (or hearers) that Jesus was something special, and they expect them to respond accordingly. No neutral stance is possible in relation to a gospel. Depending on your response, its message will turn out either to be good news for you – or bad.

The gospel passages themselves can be unclear, and some of the messages within are "straightforwardly ambiguous" and intended to be "metaphorical" or "poetic".

-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Development_and_composition



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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
Nice try to dodge, but can't let you do that. I gotta be me.

Again, you are using the opinions from scholars who claim the existing gospels were created from earlier ones; the same scholars who say Jesus existed.


Once again, you can accept some premises for reasons X and still reject other premises for reasons Y, even if both premises are accepted by other people. For's fuck's sake dude... Facepalm



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Since when did citing an expert require carte blanche acceptance of all of their opinions? Come on Free, you're smarter than that.
More dodging.

You trust the very same scholars who say that the existing gospels came from earlier gospels, yet do not trust those same scholars when they say Jesus existed.

Rather hypocritical IMO.


No, it's evaluating reasons and evidence a la carte, piece by piece. Nothing says that agreeing with other people's opinions is an 'all or nothing' affair. Well, no one except you it seems... Dodgy



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  No, your problem is that you have no tangible evidence. 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.
Denialism.

All this stands completely an unequivocally refuted by the collective of intelligence of world scholars.

Sorry dude, you do not get to make the rules on what constitutes evidence. The world will look at you like a fool.


Try skepticism. Also, do you have anything better than an Appeal to Authority?



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  Aside from the Gospels, Paul's letters offer evidence of a 1st century contemporary of Jesus attesting to the crucifixion of Jesus.


Notice however, that in comparison to the Gospels, the accounts in the Epistles (at least the mostly agreed upon authentic ones of Saul of Tarsis) are by and far the vaguest when it comes to any details about the supposed life of a living and breathing physical Jesus.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  Clement was also likely a contemporary and wrote in the 1st century. Although Josephus' estimated birth year is listed as AD 37, the textual evidence in his works indicates he was most likely a very young contemporary of Jesus.


"...the textual evidence in his works indicates he was most likely a very young contemporary of Jesus." - Citation needed. You cannot have an estimated birth years after the death of Jesus, as established by mainstream consensus, while simultaneously arguing that they are wrong and he was a "young contemporary of Jesus". Unlike my piece by piece evaluation, here you are directly contradicting not only your lavish adherence to the consensus, but also showing your willingness to contradict yourself so long as it's convenient for your argument. So which is it? Are you going to continue to agree with the consensus and drop your claim that Josephus was a young contemporary of Jesus? Or will you buck the consensus and provide evidence in favor of a much earlier estimated birth for Josephus?

Either way, stop talking out of both side of your mouth. Drinking Beverage

Clement of Alexandria? Or Clement of Rome? Because the previous was born around 150 CE, and the later was a Pope during the end of the first century. Neither would have been themselves eye witnesses, and even the chances of Clement of Rome possibly making contact with a supposed eyewitness (assuming the Crucifixion happened in 33AD) would be slim to none.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  History is always written "after the fact." You are employing the Presentism Fallacy of equating how modern history is chronicled when compared to how ancient history was chronicled.


Uh no, I was actually pointing out that's exactly what you are doing, if you're going to attempt to argue that the Gospels are reliable sources of historical information rather than the propagandist faith literature that they apparently are.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  The bottom line is that Jesus, who was called Christ, and who is the focus of the Christian religion, was executed by Pontius Pilate circa AD33.

And that is history.


A history with no independent corroboration that can be established outside of later Christian source. It is a flimsy history indeed.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The fact of the matter is, Josephus fails to provide evidence that they are not.

Dude, stay focused. We are talking about Tacitus mentioning Christians here, not Josephus.

Your entire response is now irrelevant.

Nope. Tacitius also cannot be established as independent from the Gospels, seeing as he came 20 years after Josephus, who just happens to suffer from the same problem.

Neither can be counted as independent corroboration of the Gospels, simple as that.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  1 - You're assuming that ancient histories treated the recording of history in the same light as a modern historian would; and you would be sadly mistaken.
Where did you ever get this idea? Absolutely incorrect.


History of Roman historiography

Factionalized history

Often, especially in times of political unrest or social turmoil, historians re-wrote history to suit their particular views of the age. So, there were many different historians each rewriting history a little bit to bolster their case. This was especially evident in the 70s BC when the social wars were going on between the populists led by Marius, and the senatorials led by Sulla. Several authors wrote histories during this time, each taking a side. Gaius Lucinius Macer was anti-Sullan and wrote his history, based on Gnaeus Gellius in 16 books, from the founding of the city until the 3rd century BC, whereas Valerius Antias who was pro-Sulla, wrote a history in 75 books, from the founding of the city until 91 BC.

Overview

The historiography we most readily identify with the Romans, coming from sources such as Caesar, Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, and other minor authors, owes much to its early roots and Greek predecessors. However, contrary to the Greek form, the Roman form included various attitudes and concerns that were considered strictly Roman. As the recording of Roman history began to evolve and take shape, many characteristics came to define what we know today as Roman historiography, most notably the strong defense of and allegiance to the Roman state and its wide variety of moral ideals, the factional nature of some histories, the splitting of historiography into two distinct categories, the Annals and the Monograph, and the rewriting of history to suit the author’s needs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_histo...ed_history



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  2 - You've already forgotten what an interpolation is.
An irrelevant and wrong assumption.

The point being that there's no point hiding behind the author's authenticity, if we have reason to question or doubt the validity of a passage within a work. Mistakes were made, intentional and otherwise. You simply cannot hide behind the name of the author and assume it's inerrancy or authenticity.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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 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)
Incorrect. The passage is virtually undisputed by mainstream scholars, with only a very small handful such as the Jesus Mythicists attempting to dispute it.

I challenge you to give me just 5 modern scholars alive today who dispute this text.


How juvenile. Let's not consider the actual evidence, instead let's get into a dick measure contest by lining up the sheer number of supporters for each side to determine it's validity. Bravo chap, excellent work. *slow clap*


Tacitus on Christ - Authenticity and historical value

In 1885 P. Hochart had proposed that the passage was a pious fraud, but the editor of the 1907 Oxford edition dismissed his suggestion and treated the passage as genuine. Scholars such as Bruce Chilton, Craig Evans, Paul R. Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd agree with John Meier's statement that "Despite some feeble attempts to show that this text is a Christian interpolation in Tacitus, the passage is obviously genuine.” However in 2014 an article by Richard Carrier detailing the reasons to suspect the "Their founder, one Christ, had been put to death by the procurator, Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius" part in the passage is a Christian interpolation was published in Vigiliae Christianae some of which are highlighted in Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus where he also presents reasons that even if it is totally genuine there are reasons to suspect Tacitus is merely repeating a story told by the Christians themselves. Carrier also notes that there is a strange gap in the Annals of Tacitus for the period of middle 29 to middle 31: "That the cut is so precise and covers precisely those two is too improbable to posit as a chance coincidence." with Carrier citing Robert Drews suggesting that the period was cut because it provided no information regarding Jesus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_...ical_value


It is simply enough to be skeptical.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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?
More unproven assertions. No evidence. Bluster.

Dismissed.


It was in response to what you 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?"

Here you are tacitly assuming that the text must be authentic and taken at face value, then weighting that assumption against the speculated fear of his possibly tarnished credibility.

So if I'm not allowed to speculate, why do you get a pass?



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But if you cannot establish independent sources, such as Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon being attested 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.
More of the Presentism Fallacy. Again, history doesn't work that way. Also, can you prove that the independent sources regarding Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon wrote it all down as the event actually happened?

No, I cannot. However his crossing of the Rubicon is historically dependent, otherwise he would not have been in Rome for his own coup, and subsequently establishing his ruler-ship (and later, that of his adopted son Augustus) as the Empire's first Dictator. Does any part of Jesus' supposed life and death match this criteria? No, it does not.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  Or ... will you show an ancient document that states as much, but written decades after the fact?

You just shot yourself in the foot here, because I already know the history of that crossing, and know it was written decades after the fact.

So should we now claim it didn't happen?


Historically dependent.

No such luck for Jesus.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Do those other thousand have religions built upon them? Not only that, but powerful religions who worshiped them, control 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.
All I see here is a bone to pick with Jesus. If we take away the entire bible, Christianity, and the 1st mention of Jesus in Josephus, and pretend that only Tacitus and Josephus' 2nd mention of Jesus was all that existed, do you think we would have any reason at all to doubt the existence of a Jesus, who was called Christ, and who was crucified by Pontius Pilate?


That depends on whether or not we had reasons to suspect the historical record. Maybe on account of an incredibly powerful religion that controlled a huge amount of the passing down of literature and knowledge for centuries? One that had shown itself more concerned with the amusing of power than the preservation of truth, and could be shown to have lied and misrepresented the past for it's own benefit?



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  Imagine for a moment that Christianity did not survive past the 1st century, and today we discovered Josephus and Tacitus. Would we have any reason to think that the Jesus they mentioned did not exist?


Assuming that a mention had survived, without the interference of centuries upon centuries of church interference with a vested interest in either protecting or fabricating such passages? Sure. Drinking Beverage

But that is not the state we find ourselves in, now is it? No



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  I dare say we would not. We wouldn't even think twice about it.

So why do you think you have a point?


Because I have reasons to doubt the consensus that you accept unquestionably. And I do say unquestionably, as you seem more concerned with counting heads than arguing reasons.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  From what I can see, Jesus Mythicists- every last one of them I have ever encountered- have a bone to pick with Jesus and Christianity, and that bone turns them all into denialists instead of skeptics.


Right...

Please quote the part where I absolutely and positively deny the existence of a historical Jesus. Go on, I'll wait. Drinking Beverage



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Indeed, but I'm guessing you're not done making bad arguments.
Your assertions demonstrate nothing. I haven't made a bad argument yet, but each and every one of yours are nothing but the rantings of a denialist.

Seriously, sit back and ask yourself if you are a denialist, or a real skeptic. Are you denying the existence of evidence, or employing rational skepticism towards it?


Considering that I'm the one who is actually questioning authority, how about you tell me?

Oh right, you've already made up your mind; like a true skeptic I guess?



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  There is a distinct difference between a denialist and a skeptic. Basically, a denialist is one who takes his skepticism so far as to actually be lying. Problem is, most denialist do not understand- and cannot understand- that they actually are denialists.


Right. So are you done name calling, or does the fact that I think that I have good reasons to doubt the proposition 'Jesus was a historical figure' just get too under your skin?



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  Denialists can be compared to conspiracy theorists, in my opinion. The lack of rational skepticism exists in both.


Except that I've been presenting reasons for my skepticism, each of which you've summarily dismissed with a Call to Authority and the cry on 'consensus'. So, you know, there is that...



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  No, it's simply not having a double standard for Jesus.
No, it's denialism at its finest. You expect more evidence for Jesus than what is reasonable, and all evidence provided is either hand-waved away, or the goal posts are moved each and every time with the request for greater evidence than what is necessary for anyone else in antiquity.


No, it's a realization that the supposed evidence for Jesus is so slim, that being skeptical of his historicity is a reasonable position to hold.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  You raise the bar for the existence of Jesus to unreasonable heights, and that is not skepticism, dude.

That is denialism.


It would be, if (and that's a big if) I didn't apply my skepticism uniformly.

All this arguing for a historical Jesus, and you still seem unable to parse the difference between being skeptical of his historicity, and positively claiming he is entirely mythical!

That would almost be cute, if it wasn't so stupid... Drinking Beverage



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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.
Again, you do not make the rules on how evidence is viewed or determined. The crucifixion of Jesus in the Gospels is corroborated by Tacitus, Paul, and dozens of non canonical texts.

And there's nothing you can do about it.


Tacitius - Disputed, possibly just recounting other Christians, cannot be independently established beyond a reasonable doubt.

Saul of Tarsus - Authentic letters are so vague as to be almost meaningless, and also biased.

Dozens of others?

Josephus/Pliny/Suetonius - Cannot be independently established, some passages are disputed, not eye-witnesses, born after the supposed events, most likely just recounting information from Christians and their Gospels.



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  See above. Claiming it exists without actually providing it gets you nowhere.
All the evidence is there, and no amount of denialism can make it go away.

Big Grin


Is there an opposite to denialism? Maybe credulity? Consider



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-03-2015 10:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  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.
Yet not one Mythicist has ever provided one stitch of evidence to support the non existence of Jesus.

None.


Ye olde proving a negative, again?

How well does that fly over whenever theistic apologists try to pull that shit here on these forums? Oh right... Rolleyes



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  In antiquity we can find many examples of ancient people disputing the existence of the gods of other ancient cultures, therefore I challenge you to find one ancient text from the 1st - 2nd century that disputes the existence of Jesus, who was called Christ, and who was executed by the Romans.


So you want me to find evidence of an independent, antagonistic, source for Jesus?

If I had that, I wouldn't be so skeptical of his supposed historicity! For fuck's sake... Facepalm



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  You will be 100% unsuccessful.


No shit! Why do you think I doubt his historicity? Facepalm



(11-03-2015 12:14 PM)Free Wrote:  And it requires minimal reasoning as to why.

So go ahead, find me one single stitch of tangible historical evidence that disputes the existence of this Jesus.

Drinking Beverage


[Image: Paris_Tuileries_Garden_Facepalm_statue.jpg]


You wouldn't know 'reason' if it jumped up and bit you in the ass...

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
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