Jesus myth
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24-01-2014, 05:03 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Interpolation is too convenient an escape.

An interpolation would have done better to mention Jesus than to mention Christ.
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24-01-2014, 05:10 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Quote:any record of Jesus' execution would NOT have identified him as Christus.

Why not?

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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24-01-2014, 05:14 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Oh come on. Really?
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24-01-2014, 05:17 PM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2014 05:21 PM by Free.)
RE: Jesus myth
(24-01-2014 04:46 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Surely there is a high probability the passage from Tacitus is an interpolation.

I found this at
http://www.fromchristtojesus.org/English...citus.htm.

"The founder of that name was Christus, who, in the reign of Tiberius,
was punished, as a criminal by the procurator, Pontius Pilate"

It is not quoted by the Christian fathers:
Tertullian
He was familiar with the writings of Tacitus, and his arguments demanded the citation of this evidence had it existed.
Clement of Alexandria
At the beginning of the third century, he made a compilation of all the recognitions of Christ and Christianity
that had been made by Pagan writers up to his time. The writings of Tacitus furnished no recognition of them.
Origen
In his controversy with Celsus, he would undoubtedly have used it had it existed.
Eusebius
In the fourth century, the ecclesiastical historian Eusebius cites all the evidences of Christianity obtainable from Jewish and Pagan sources, but makes no mention of Tacitus.
The silence in early Christian sources concerning this event is deafening.
It is not quoted by any Christian writer prior to the fifteenth century
The passage neither reflects Tacitus in tone nor in linguistic ability.
Just consider "auctor nominis eius Christus Tiberio imperitante
per procuratorem Pontius Pilatus supplicio adfectus erat".
Vocabulary
Tacitus clearly knows when Judea was administered by 'procurators',
yet this passage calls Pontius Pilate a 'procurator' when he should have been called a 'prefect',
and, given Tacitus's knowledge in the area, including when procurators received magistrate's powers,
this would be an incredible error for Tacitus.
Tacitus does not use the name 'Jesus' but 'Christus'
Tacitus assumes his readers know Pontius Pilate.
John Meier tellingly observes (without perceiving its significance):
"There is a great historical irony in this text of Tacitus;
it is the only time in ancient pagan literature that Pontius Pilate is mentioned by name
-as a way of specifying who Christ is. Pilate's fate in the Christian creeds is already foreshadowed
in a pagan historian,"- which could easily indicate Christian apologetic intervention.
Tacitus himself when dealing with this same period in his earlier work [Histories 5.9.2] gives no hint of this outrage. To the contrary, he says that in Palestine at this time "all was quiet".
It interrupts the narrative; it disconnects two closely related statements.
Eliminate this sentence, and there is no break in the narrative.

It is very hard to contemplate the veracity of such passages when they have been preserved by means of christian scribes
who have been known to interpolate and massage texts. Who controls the present controls the past. George Orwell

But that it existed in the works of the greatest and best known of Roman historians, and was ignored or overlooked by Christian apologists for 1,360 years, looks very suspicious.

And finally, even if genuine, it is too late and probably from Christians in Rome.
So the Myth theory can explain it very well.

Fallacious arguments from silence, each and every one.

You have no evidence, and nothing can be contributed when nothing has been said.

Mark i suggest you read my take on this that I dealt with a few years ago at the link below, as me being FathomFFI:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14157

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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24-01-2014, 05:18 PM
RE: Jesus myth
I'm putting out an APB on Free's skepticism. He seems to have misplaced it.
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24-01-2014, 05:22 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(24-01-2014 05:14 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Oh come on. Really?

Yes, really. Reasoning is exceptionally important in this field.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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24-01-2014, 05:42 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(24-01-2014 05:17 PM)Free Wrote:  
(24-01-2014 04:46 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Surely there is a high probability the passage from Tacitus is an interpolation.

I found this at
http://www.fromchristtojesus.org/English...citus.htm.

"The founder of that name was Christus, who, in the reign of Tiberius,
was punished, as a criminal by the procurator, Pontius Pilate"

It is not quoted by the Christian fathers:
Tertullian
He was familiar with the writings of Tacitus, and his arguments demanded the citation of this evidence had it existed.
Clement of Alexandria
At the beginning of the third century, he made a compilation of all the recognitions of Christ and Christianity
that had been made by Pagan writers up to his time. The writings of Tacitus furnished no recognition of them.
Origen
In his controversy with Celsus, he would undoubtedly have used it had it existed.
Eusebius
In the fourth century, the ecclesiastical historian Eusebius cites all the evidences of Christianity obtainable from Jewish and Pagan sources, but makes no mention of Tacitus.
The silence in early Christian sources concerning this event is deafening.
It is not quoted by any Christian writer prior to the fifteenth century
The passage neither reflects Tacitus in tone nor in linguistic ability.
Just consider "auctor nominis eius Christus Tiberio imperitante
per procuratorem Pontius Pilatus supplicio adfectus erat".
Vocabulary
Tacitus clearly knows when Judea was administered by 'procurators',
yet this passage calls Pontius Pilate a 'procurator' when he should have been called a 'prefect',
and, given Tacitus's knowledge in the area, including when procurators received magistrate's powers,
this would be an incredible error for Tacitus.
Tacitus does not use the name 'Jesus' but 'Christus'
Tacitus assumes his readers know Pontius Pilate.
John Meier tellingly observes (without perceiving its significance):
"There is a great historical irony in this text of Tacitus;
it is the only time in ancient pagan literature that Pontius Pilate is mentioned by name
-as a way of specifying who Christ is. Pilate's fate in the Christian creeds is already foreshadowed
in a pagan historian,"- which could easily indicate Christian apologetic intervention.
Tacitus himself when dealing with this same period in his earlier work [Histories 5.9.2] gives no hint of this outrage. To the contrary, he says that in Palestine at this time "all was quiet".
It interrupts the narrative; it disconnects two closely related statements.
Eliminate this sentence, and there is no break in the narrative.

It is very hard to contemplate the veracity of such passages when they have been preserved by means of christian scribes
who have been known to interpolate and massage texts. Who controls the present controls the past. George Orwell

But that it existed in the works of the greatest and best known of Roman historians, and was ignored or overlooked by Christian apologists for 1,360 years, looks very suspicious.

And finally, even if genuine, it is too late and probably from Christians in Rome.
So the Myth theory can explain it very well.

Fallacious arguments from silence, each and every one.

You have no evidence, and nothing can be contributed when nothing has been said.

Mark i suggest you read my take on this that I dealt with a few years ago at the link below, as me being FathomFFI:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/14157

Yes, arguments from silence...which I find convincing. Here's some more facts which suggest the section may be an interpolation.(including the passage from Tacitus so everyone reading this knows what we're talking about...

"Nero, in order to stifle the rumor, ascribed to those people
who were abhorred for their crimes and commonly called Christians: These he punished exquisitely.
The founder of that name was Christus, who, in the reign of Tiberius,
was punished, as a criminal by the procurator, Pontius Pilate.
This pernicious superstition, thus checked for awhile, broke out again;
and spread not only over Judea, the source of this evil, but reached the city also:
whither flow from all quarters all things vile and shameful, and where they find shelter and encouragement.

At first, only those were apprehended who confessed themselves of that sect;
afterwards, a vast multitude were detected by them, all of whom were condemned,
not so much for the crime of burning the city, as their hatred of mankind.

Their executions were so contrived as to expose them to derision and contempt.
Some were covered over with the skins of wild beasts, and torn to pieces by dogs; some were crucified.
Others, having been daubed over with combustible materials,
were set up as lights in the night time, and thus burned to death.
Nero made use of his own gardens as a theatre on this occasion,
and also exhibited the diversions of the circus, sometimes standing in the crowd as a spectator,
in the habit of a charioteer; at other times driving a chariot himself, till at length those men,
though really criminal, and deserving exemplary punishment,
began to be commiserated as people who were destroyed,
not out of regard to the public welfare, but only to gratify the cruelty of one man."

Annals, Book XV, sec. 44

Now, let's LOOK CLOSER to the text:

The blood-curdling story about the frightful orgies of Nero reads like some Christian romance of the dark ages, and not like Tacitus. The dramatic and fantastic description of the tortures suffered by the scapegoats resembles the executions portrayed in later legendary Acts of Christian Martyrs.

If there was a "vast multitude" of Christians in Rome at that date, why don't we know more about them?

The integration of the passage with the story:
Tacitus has just written a beautifully vicious but subtle attack on Nero over the fire,
yet the passage in question which naturally enough follows immediately on the fire,
is a gross piece of sensationalism which changes the focus from Nero's presumed responsibility for the fire, to the horrendous treatment of the christians who earn the sympathy of the crowd, a sensationalism quite uncharacteristic of Tacitus.

Chapters 11-16 of the Annals derive from a single manuscript dated to the eleventh century. This copy, therefore must have been copied and recopied many times, by generations of Christian scribes. So there were certainly many opporunities to modify what Tacitus originally wrote. As this single copy was in the possession of a Christian the insertion of a forgery was easy.

It is admitted by Christian writers that the works of Tacitus have not been preserved with any considerable degree of fidelity. In the writings ascribed to him are believed to be some of the writings of Quintilian.

Tacitus said: "commonly called Christians", but 'Christian' was not a common term in the first century.

And it does not appear that Christians were separated very much from Jews in the mid first century, so it is not clear how Nero's agents would have identified them to make them scapegoats.
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24-01-2014, 05:59 PM (This post was last modified: 24-01-2014 06:03 PM by TwoCultSurvivor.)
RE: Jesus myth
(24-01-2014 05:22 PM)Free Wrote:  
(24-01-2014 05:14 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Oh come on. Really?

Yes, really. Reasoning is exceptionally important in this field.

Why on earth would the primary record identify Jesus as Christus? It was not his name. Note: any answer you give is extrapolating without evidence, and begs the question*. It makes no sense that the record of Jesus' execution would refer to him as Christus. Christus was not his name. Sure, you can make up an explanation, but you'd be making it up. Again, my position makes fewer unwarranted assumptions.

*If you argue that the record says "Christus," you are only doing so because Tacitus relied on a record that said Christus, and thus you are using Tacitus to describe the record so that the record is consistent with Tacitus. That's begging the question, and you would eviscerate a theist who tried to pull that one over on you.
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24-01-2014, 06:19 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(24-01-2014 05:59 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  
(24-01-2014 05:22 PM)Free Wrote:  Yes, really. Reasoning is exceptionally important in this field.

Why on earth would the primary record identify Jesus as Christus? It was not his name. Note: any answer you give is extrapolating without evidence, and begs the question*. It makes no sense that the record of Jesus' execution would refer to him as Christus. Christus was not his name. Sure, you can make up an explanation, but you'd be making it up. Again, my position makes fewer unwarranted assumptions.

*If you argue that the record says "Christus," you are only doing so because Tacitus relied on a record that said Christus, and thus you are using Tacitus to describe the record so that the record is consistent with Tacitus. That's begging the question, and you would eviscerate a theist who tried to pull that one over on you.

No need to "make up" an explanation when evidence is available to demonstrate the point.

The title of "Christ" is from the Roman-Grecian, not from the Hebrew. Textual evidence indicates that Tacitus loathed the Jews and everything about their culture. How much did he loath them?

Here are some facts:

1. Tacitus did not name one single Jew in ANY of his works.
2. Tacitus mentions the Jews as a tribe only 3 times in all of his works.

Therefore, Tacitus used the Roman-Grecian word of "Christ" to denote the leader of the Christian sect for the simple reason that he refused to give any Jew his due by actually putting a name to any of them.

Tacitus wouldn't give a fuck who Jesus was, for to him all that mattered was the Christ- a purported Jewish king- had been conquered and crucified by the Romans.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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24-01-2014, 06:27 PM
RE: Jesus myth
You now give even less reason to suppose that Tacitus would have independently verified the execution of a lowly Jewish criminal for the sake of documenting a throwaway line about the origin of the Christian sect. If he had such a contempt for Jews (and I'll take your word for it on that), there is less reason to suppose he independently verified that Christus was, in fact, executed on Pilate's orders and more likely that he was relying on a secondary record or on what was commonly known about Christians. It defies logic that he would independently investigate the truth claim of a sect he did not respect for the sake of authenticating the crucifixion story at the heart of that very sect.
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