Jesus myth
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23-01-2014, 05:26 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 05:02 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Incorrect, Free. You established where Tacitus got his information about the great fires of Rome. It is an error to extrapolate that he got his information about the origin of Christianity from the same place, as the information would not BE in the same place.

Why wouldn't the information be in the same place? He describes how the Christians were blamed for starting the great fires of Rome and how they were strung up on crosses and burned in a mockery of Christ, which is directly relevant to the Great Fires of Rome. He tells us who was responsible for starting the Great Fires of Rome, so why wouldn't this information BE in the same place?

Explain the logic.

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23-01-2014, 05:29 PM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 05:40 PM by TwoCultSurvivor.)
RE: Jesus myth
The logic is simple: The information about the fires of Rome would not be in the same place as the information about the execution of Jesus for the same reason that the independent information about the execution of Ted Bundy is not located in the same place as the independent information about the Challenger explosion. And if the information WAS in the same place, that would place the information about Jesus' execution more than 30 years after the "fact" of his execution, which makes its relevance to this discussion moot!

Again, if Tacitus has here independently verified the crucifixion of Christ, where is "Jesus"?
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23-01-2014, 05:31 PM
RE: Jesus myth
By the way, I'm not wedded to my position on this. I WANT you to win this. But I'm not just going to let you. Wink
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23-01-2014, 05:47 PM
RE: Jesus myth
The moment Tacitus is relying on a source that tells us the condemned man's name is Christus and not Jesus, we know he is dealing with a secondary source and not a primary one. And if he is dealing with a secondary source, its value as history is significantly diminished. If our central question here is "did Jesus exist in history," you have to concede that Tacitus, by omission, does not provide anything close to sufficient evidence to authenticate the historic Jesus.

This is not to blame or discredit Tacitus. He was making a passing reference to the origin of the cult at the center of his story. It would be as though someone were writing about the Prophet Joseph Smith's discovery of the golden plates -- not to authenticate that it happened, or that Smith was really a prophet, but to relay the history that the LDS church asserts about itself.
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23-01-2014, 06:02 PM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 06:06 PM by TwoCultSurvivor.)
RE: Jesus myth
Forgive the serial posting, but let me clarify a point here before it gets lost: I do not count myself in the mythicist camp. I think the notion of a legend built around a historical figure accounts for the rise of Christianity better than the mythical story propounded by those who deny that any historical Jesus existed.

However, I am not willing to accept a throwaway line by a historian living a century later and writing about a totally different subject as substantive proof that the incident in question truly happened. It is, at best, a SHRED of evidence for the historical Jesus, and it is touted as conclusive to its own detriment. There are other explanation for Tacitus' throwaway line that fit the evidence better than the notion that he tracked down the official record of an obscure criminal to corroborate an origin story that, by the time he was writing, had already taken hold.
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23-01-2014, 06:28 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 05:29 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  The logic is simple: The information about the fires of Rome would not be in the same place as the information about the execution of Jesus for the same reason that the independent information about the execution of Ted Bundy is not located in the same place as the independent information about the Challenger explosion.

This argument fails for the following reasons:

False Analogy


The information about the Great Fires of Rome is directly related to the execution of Christ because Tacitus was explaining the origin of the Christians, who were blamed for starting the Great Fires of Rome.

The Information about Ted Bundy is in no way related to the Challenger explosion, therefore this analogy cannot be compared to Christ and the Great Fires of Rome.


Quote:Again, if Tacitus has here independently verified the crucifixion of Christ, where is "Jesus"?

Dead and buried, hopefully. Tongue

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23-01-2014, 07:49 PM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 07:58 PM by Free.)
RE: Jesus myth
(23-01-2014 05:47 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  The moment Tacitus is relying on a source that tells us the condemned man's name is Christus and not Jesus, we know he is dealing with a secondary source and not a primary one. And if he is dealing with a secondary source, its value as history is significantly diminished. If our central question here is "did Jesus exist in history," you have to concede that Tacitus, by omission, does not provide anything close to sufficient evidence to authenticate the historic Jesus.

This is not to blame or discredit Tacitus. He was making a passing reference to the origin of the cult at the center of his story. It would be as though someone were writing about the Prophet Joseph Smith's discovery of the golden plates -- not to authenticate that it happened, or that Smith was really a prophet, but to relay the history that the LDS church asserts about itself.

When you put yourself into the Roman mindset of the 1st and 2nd centuries- which can only be done through extensive study- you begin to gain a very detailed understanding of that ancient culture.

The Romans were conquerors, and they took great pleasure in conquering and oppressing the Jews. It was monotheism verses polytheism in all its glory, with the proud Romans exhibiting idols of their gods on almost every street corner.

Christus; what does it mean, and what does that mean to the Romans? It was well known that Christ & Messiah were one and the same thing, and they were actually titles. In Jewsih culture the title of Messiah and/or Christ had many connotations, but the one thing the Romans understood about it was that it denoted a kingship.

Therefore, Tacitus may very well have chosen the title of Chistus instead of the name of Jesus for his reference for the simple fact that it would demonstrate how the Romans had conquered and killed a purported Jewish king. He wouldn't even need to say that Christus was a king for the simple reason that the title of Christus itself denoted a king.

So, to the Romans, Jesus was not as important as his title was; King of the Jews.

Drinking Beverage

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23-01-2014, 09:03 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Speculation. The fact remains that if he was talking about the historic Jesus, he would have identified him by name. The fact that he didn't at least raises the possibility (in my view, the LIKELIHOOD) that he was relating the legend of Christ, not the history of Jesus.
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23-01-2014, 09:09 PM
RE: Jesus myth
We're talking past each other on the information regarding the execution of Christ. There is no indication that he relied on records of the crucifixion, because if such records existed, they would have named Jesus, not Christus. You're inventing reasons to apologize for the change, something you would not allow a theist to do.

The record of Jesus's crucifixion would have identified Jesus. Had Tacitus been relying on them, he would have named Jesus. He did not, so he did not. You cannot fault that logic, nor can you permit yourself to speculate the discrepancy away. At the very LEAST, I have raised reasonable doubt as to the source of Tacitus' information.

And I think that puts it in generous terms. It's more than reasonable. It is a more logical explanation.
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23-01-2014, 09:13 PM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2014 09:25 PM by Free.)
RE: Jesus myth
Quote:Speculation. The fact remains that if he was talking about the historic Jesus, he would have identified him by name. The fact that he didn't at least raises the possibility (in my view, the LIKELIHOOD) that he was relating the legend of Christ, not the history of Jesus.

Of course it is speculation, and evidenced within my statement. But yet you are saying "the fact remains" when the real fact is ... you cannot claim something as fact with no supporting evidence so ... who is speculating now?

Big Grin

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