Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
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16-04-2012, 11:06 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(16-04-2012 09:11 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  I am SOOOOO disappointed in this thread. Seven pages in and no one has provided the definitive evidence that is obvious.

Of course, Jesus existed.

But everybody knows that "NOBODY fucks with the Jesus."


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Beautiful. Fucking beautiful... Bowing

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17-04-2012, 01:10 AM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(12-04-2012 09:05 PM)Thomas Wrote:  Part man - part myth.
Crazy Rabbi who hated the Romans and any Jew who worked with them.
Started a bunch of trouble and was killed by the Romans with the Jewish religious leadership in agreement.
Not the son of god, not even a bastard step child of god.
More like a bastard son of a Roman soldier.
All of the "Jesus quotes" are most likely made up over the centuries.
Bullseye!!!!!!!!! Thomas, go straight to the top of the class!!!
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17-04-2012, 07:06 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(16-04-2012 07:46 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  And YOU have great difficulty sticking to the point at hand. I get the difference, and I understand the propaganda purpose of the gospels. But it might be possible to tease out , with literary critical/comparative methods, some of the probable historical events. If Jesus actually said he was the son of god, he would have been stoned. On the other hand, many many Jewish characters, kings, and leaders were called "sons of god". It was not a unique title. You keep mixing up the historical question at hand with the mythological Jesus, (which I totally agree with you about). You're actually refuting yourself here. What Jesus claims in Mark is NOT the point here. I don't care what Mark has him claiming many years later. The question was, yet once again ... was there an historical person, who actually existed, who set off the chain of events ? I suspect there was. And since I can't ask anyone to prove a negative, we're out of luck I guess. Have you listened to the Ehrman letures ? If so, what do you find faulty about his methodology ? We were NOT talking about the literary character, even though YOU keep insisting that we do so, and then using that strawman, to try to tell me what I'm saying, which is NOT what I'm saying. The ONLY thing I said, was that I think there might have been an historical Jesus. You have provided not one piece of documentation to suggest I should change my mind. I'd be very open to chinging my mind, if I saw some EVIDENCE.
When you said that Jesus never claimed he was the son of God, you're talking about the literary character.

We in fact have no other source for Jesus's supposed sayings outside of literature -- specifically, narrative theology.

Evidence? If there was any reliable evidence, this problem would have been solved thousands of years ago. We don't have any evidence for Jesus. We only have evidence of theological texts written anonymously in ancient times, i.e. what some people "believed." We have similar evidence for a million other religious beliefs and personages. It's only "evidence" for what people believed, not what actually happened in reality. People believe all sorts of crazy things.

This isn't an either/or question. We will never know if there was a Jesus. But, in my opinion, the nature of the sources don't allow us to make "he absolutely existed" the default position. The possibility that he was a total myth should be an option.

I've heard and read a lot of Ehrman. I admire a lot of his work and what he's doing. He has serious confirmation bias being a professor of NT studies at a large university. He knows little about mythology or mystery religion. Like most Christians or ex-Christians, he only passingly looks at those subjects mainly just to contrast them and show how Christianity can't possibly be related to them. He also displays little knowledge of Judaism in this period. He could be right about the apocalyptic Jesus. But people have made excellent arguments refuting that Jesus.
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17-04-2012, 07:26 PM (This post was last modified: 17-04-2012 07:30 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(17-04-2012 07:06 PM)Blood Wrote:  When you said that Jesus never claimed he was the son of God, you're talking about the literary character.

We in fact have no other source for Jesus's supposed sayings outside of literature -- specifically, narrative theology.

Evidence? If there was any reliable evidence, this problem would have been solved thousands of years ago. We don't have any evidence for Jesus. We only have evidence of theological texts written anonymously in ancient times, i.e. what some people "believed." We have similar evidence for a million other religious beliefs and personages. It's only "evidence" for what people believed, not what actually happened in reality. People believe all sorts of crazy things.

This isn't an either/or question. We will never know if there was a Jesus. But, in my opinion, the nature of the sources don't allow us to make "he absolutely existed" the default position. The possibility that he was a total myth should be an option.

I've heard and read a lot of Ehrman. I admire a lot of his work and what he's doing. He has serious confirmation bias being a professor of NT studies at a large university. He knows little about mythology or mystery religion. Like most Christians or ex-Christians, he only passingly looks at those subjects mainly just to contrast them and show how Christianity can't possibly be related to them. He also displays little knowledge of Judaism in this period. He could be right about the apocalyptic Jesus. But people have made excellent arguments refuting that Jesus.

I haven't read all of Ehrman's books, but he does spend a lot of time in the series talking about Jesus and how he DOES relate to mythology. For you there is only one Jesus. The theological Jesus. I can see that. But I still think it IS possible for a skeptic to attempt to discern from a use of comparative exegesis, some strands of possibly authentic historically acurate information. There are enough significant facts known about the intended audiences of the texts, and comparisons of them, to make probable conclusions about some things. I can't argue with your point that it's all just what people believed. But I just can't dismiss it all, especially when we KNOW that Paul and James, and Petey, and all the others fought like cats and dogs over the meanings of the events. Why would they make up disagreements, and make themselves look bad. There is just too much there to dismiss it all as a hoax. There has to be an historical kernal of something, somewhere in there.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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17-04-2012, 09:45 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(17-04-2012 07:26 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(17-04-2012 07:06 PM)Blood Wrote:  When you said that Jesus never claimed he was the son of God, you're talking about the literary character.

We in fact have no other source for Jesus's supposed sayings outside of literature -- specifically, narrative theology.

Evidence? If there was any reliable evidence, this problem would have been solved thousands of years ago. We don't have any evidence for Jesus. We only have evidence of theological texts written anonymously in ancient times, i.e. what some people "believed." We have similar evidence for a million other religious beliefs and personages. It's only "evidence" for what people believed, not what actually happened in reality. People believe all sorts of crazy things.

This isn't an either/or question. We will never know if there was a Jesus. But, in my opinion, the nature of the sources don't allow us to make "he absolutely existed" the default position. The possibility that he was a total myth should be an option.

I've heard and read a lot of Ehrman. I admire a lot of his work and what he's doing. He has serious confirmation bias being a professor of NT studies at a large university. He knows little about mythology or mystery religion. Like most Christians or ex-Christians, he only passingly looks at those subjects mainly just to contrast them and show how Christianity can't possibly be related to them. He also displays little knowledge of Judaism in this period. He could be right about the apocalyptic Jesus. But people have made excellent arguments refuting that Jesus.

I haven't read all of Ehrman's books, but he does spend a lot of time in the series talking about Jesus and how he DOES relate to mythology. For you there is only one Jesus. The theological Jesus. I can see that. But I still think it IS possible for a skeptic to attempt to discern from a use of comparative exegesis, some strands of possibly authentic historically acurate information. There are enough significant facts known about the intended audiences of the texts, and comparisons of them, to make probable conclusions about some things. I can't argue with your point that it's all just what people believed. But I just can't dismiss it all, especially when we KNOW that Paul and James, and Petey, and all the others fought like cats and dogs over the meanings of the events. Why would they make up disagreements, and make themselves look bad. There is just too much there to dismiss it all as a hoax. There has to be an historical kernal of something, somewhere in there.
Well, you have a lot more certainty and faith in the NT than I do. The bit about Paul, Peter, and James is also of a theological nature. It's not blatant narrative theology like the gospels, but when you have a bunch of letters credited to them that even conservatives admit are not written by them, then we are once again floating out in a lonely sea without a compass. I agree that there could be historical kernels in the theology, absolutely. But how do we determine the wheat from the chaff? Ehrman and company are confident that we can do that by just sifting out all the obviously mythological dross and if we keep panning, eventually at bottom we'll find a fact shining like gold. Well, that method works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't. Where I disagree is, Ehrman seems to think it works 100% of the time.

Imagine if nearly all that was known about early Mormonism was contained in the Book of Mormon. That's kind of how I feel about the NT. The NT says what the people who wrote it wanted it to say. It contains the "history" that they wanted, regardless if it was actually historical. Where does the theology end and history begin? I don't know. The fact that their own "history of the church," Acts of the Apostles, is made up bullshit myth through and through speaks volumes about how serious these people were.
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17-04-2012, 09:59 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
Does anyone else feel the irony of two hardcore atheists fighting over whether Jesus existed or not? Argue

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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17-04-2012, 10:29 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(17-04-2012 09:59 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Does anyone else feel the irony of two hardcore atheists fighting over whether Jesus existed or not? Argue

'specially since I already ate him. Blush

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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17-04-2012, 11:00 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
Did you get a chocolate Jesus for Easter too? Aren't those amazing?

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It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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17-04-2012, 11:10 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(17-04-2012 09:59 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Does anyone else feel the irony of two hardcore atheists fighting over whether Jesus existed or not? Argue


That thought has been in the back of my mind the whole time. Tongue But for me, one of the things that led to my position, was the recognition that historical events had been totally "spun". I have no "faith" in the NT. But the historical people ... James, Peter, Paul are known to have existed. When you see what they were up to, the lights go on. It just not a leap for me to think that other guy existed too. Almost everything that was made up about him was wildly exaggerated, and it's fairly obvious where they got the stuff they did, and why, and how it "fits" into that culture, and trends. The difference with Mormonism, is we KNOW that it was one guy who made that up. It was communities of people who generated the christian positions, and myths, (which is why I hold that actually Mormonism is not really "christian", simply from historical criteria). But that's for another day.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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18-04-2012, 06:26 PM
RE: Educate me. Was there a Jesus?
(17-04-2012 11:10 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  But the historical people ... James, Peter, Paul are known to have existed. When you see what they were up to, the lights go on.
No, they're not. The only one we have extra-biblical support for is James, via Josephus. And that might have been a different James. It was as common a name as Jesus. The NT writers might have just used Josephus as a source for their "James," just as they used Josephus for Acts.

As for the practice of pseudepigraphy, it could be that the NT writers were self-consciously trying to imitate the OT with their prophetic books, but since these guys were supposedly writing after Jesus, the only prophecy they could come up with was Jesus's perousia. Why the pretense of writing letters to churches, I have no idea.

That leaves us a few options. Peter et al. were real people who either wrote nothing, or wrote things that were no longer relevant to second century church theology. Another possibility is that there never was a Peter, Paul, James, and John (or Jesus) -- JC and the supposed apostles were invented long after they supposedly lived to give the proto-orthodox church street cred and legitimacy. They could just be names or figures pulled out of Josephus and other sources long lost to time. Why would they do this? Because their actual church early days were void of drama or Great Men.

There are lots of possibilities. History doesn't have to make sense.
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