Jesus myth
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28-01-2014, 11:40 AM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 12:07 PM by TwoCultSurvivor.)
RE: Jesus myth
I'm glad someone else bumped this thread up so no one could say I did it. Smile

Is there evidence for this? I had not heard it before, and I consider Josephus' line about James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ to be of far greater value to the historicist position than the line in Tacitus. [The distinction being that, except for the TF, which is more likely than not an interpolation, Josephus does not document the execution of Jesus/Christ].

The mythicist arguments I have read that try to undermine the "brother of Christ" line in Josephus strike me as ad hoc, far-fetched and desperate.

The limit to the line in Josephus is that we have no reason to suspect he perused James' family records to confirm that Jesus was his brother. Ok, but so what? He appears to be working from solid information that this James person existed, was brought before the sanhedrin, etc, AND that James was the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. As a skeptic, the only nit I could pick is that, because we have no reason to believe Josephus took the extraordinary step of analyzing James' family record (why the hell would he?), the best we could say is James was identified or [i]believed to be[/b] the brother of Jesus. But even if one were to allow this sliver of doubt, it doesn't rise to the level of being very much doubt at all.

Why would James be considered or believed to be the brother of Jesus who was called Christ if Jesus was a pure myth? Some mythicists argue that "brother of Christ" or "brother of Jesus" could have meant something other than a biological relationship (like a holy order or something), but this raises the question -- where are the other members of this brotherhood?

On the Josephus line, unlike the Tacitus line, I do not find the mythicist arguments at all persuasive. I think brother meant brother, and if James existed, and he was Jesus' brother, then Jesus must have existed. [To be clear, I am not saying I have exhaustively researched every mythicist perspective on this line. I've read a bit, but I'm sure there's more. The door's not completely shut. I reserve the right to revise my opinion upon further research].

Deltabravo: I am not downplaying your comment, but I'd appreciate it if you would document it. [After posting this, I saw your other thread on the subject. Reading it now].
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28-01-2014, 03:36 PM
RE: Jesus myth
I have been following this daily, I am glad this thread has generated such interest....the more I dig, the more I am starting to believe the whole jesus thing was completely made up.....odd isn't it? The possibilities are mind blowing...a whole religion based on a singular concept of a man, which may have never even existed, the ultimate smoking gun...which is of course why the believers fight so hard to try to prove he existed..

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"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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28-01-2014, 04:09 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(28-01-2014 11:40 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Why would James be considered or believed to be the brother of Jesus who was called Christ if Jesus was a pure myth? Some mythicists argue that "brother of Christ" or "brother of Jesus" could have meant something other than a biological relationship (like a holy order or something), but this raises the question -- where are the other members of this brotherhood?

The general argument, is that all Christians referred to each other as 'brother', and James, being the head of the church, took on the special title 'brother of the lord', which we see him referred to in Paul's letters. This is the same argument the Catholic church has used for ...well forever, that 'brother of the lord' was a title reserved for those of rank in the church. So ultimately, we don't know if Josephus records James as the brother of Christ because he really was a blood brother, or because that;s what people called him.

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28-01-2014, 04:11 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(28-01-2014 03:36 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  I have been following this daily, I am glad this thread has generated such interest....the more I dig, the more I am starting to believe the whole jesus thing was completely made up.....odd isn't it? The possibilities are mind blowing...a whole religion based on a singular concept of a man, which may have never even existed, the ultimate smoking gun...which is of course why the believers fight so hard to try to prove he existed..

It's kind of fun to contemplate, but in the end, it really doesn't matter if there is some kind of historical grain of truth behind Jesus or not. If there was in some sense a historical Jesus, he still wasn't the god man worshipped by Christians.

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28-01-2014, 04:43 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(28-01-2014 04:09 PM)toadaly Wrote:  The general argument, is that all Christians referred to each other as 'brother', and James, being the head of the church, took on the special title 'brother of the lord', which we see him referred to in Paul's letters. This is the same argument the Catholic church has used for ...well forever, that 'brother of the lord' was a title reserved for those of rank in the church. So ultimately, we don't know if Josephus records James as the brother of Christ because he really was a blood brother, or because that;s what people called him.

Gotcha. So the title would be unique to him (which would help explain why no one else is referred to by that title specifically).

But that would not explain why he's the brother of Jesus who is called Christ (as opposed to the brother of Christ, which would make more sense from the mythical perspective).

I get what you're saying, but I think the simpler explanation is the more likely. That said, I agree with your overall perspective (in the post after the one I've quoted).
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28-01-2014, 05:30 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(28-01-2014 04:09 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(28-01-2014 11:40 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Why would James be considered or believed to be the brother of Jesus who was called Christ if Jesus was a pure myth? Some mythicists argue that "brother of Christ" or "brother of Jesus" could have meant something other than a biological relationship (like a holy order or something), but this raises the question -- where are the other members of this brotherhood?

The general argument, is that all Christians referred to each other as 'brother', and James, being the head of the church, took on the special title 'brother of the lord', which we see him referred to in Paul's letters. This is the same argument the Catholic church has used for ...well forever, that 'brother of the lord' was a title reserved for those of rank in the church. So ultimately, we don't know if Josephus records James as the brother of Christ because he really was a blood brother, or because that;s what people called him.

Sorry, I'm not buying this. I'm not being confrontational, I'm just not buying it. First, Catholics don't argue that at all, they argue "brother" means cousin (which is refutable but doesn't make it any less true). They also try, as they always do, to manipulate the story that the brothers and sisters were Joseph's kids from a previous marriage, which is pure hogwash. They argue these things because they believe Mary remained a virgin forever.

As for the rank-in-church argument, again I will have to disagree. I don't have the time now to find the passages but it's clear when James is referred to (whenever it pertains to Jesus) he is called brother. Why aren't any other men in the church referred to as the lord's brother every time his name is mentioned? I wish I had more time to put up excerpts but I'm late for dinner. If someone else doesn't agree with me and put up examples for me, I'll do it later.

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28-01-2014, 06:44 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(28-01-2014 04:11 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(28-01-2014 03:36 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  I have been following this daily, I am glad this thread has generated such interest....the more I dig, the more I am starting to believe the whole jesus thing was completely made up.....odd isn't it? The possibilities are mind blowing...a whole religion based on a singular concept of a man, which may have never even existed, the ultimate smoking gun...which is of course why the believers fight so hard to try to prove he existed..

It's kind of fun to contemplate, but in the end, it really doesn't matter if there is some kind of historical grain of truth behind Jesus or not. If there was in some sense a historical Jesus, he still wasn't the god man worshipped by Christians.

exactly, even if a man named jesus existed, he wasnt the son of a mythical god who performed miracles that no one recorded outside of his fan club.....30+ years after his death...allegedly.

"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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28-01-2014, 08:44 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2014 09:18 PM by Free.)
RE: Jesus myth
(28-01-2014 11:40 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  I'm glad someone else bumped this thread up so no one could say I did it. Smile

Is there evidence for this? I had not heard it before, and I consider Josephus' line about James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ to be of far greater value to the historicist position than the line in Tacitus. [The distinction being that, except for the TF, which is more likely than not an interpolation, Josephus does not document the execution of Jesus/Christ].

I tend to once again agree with the scholars that the TF is a partial interpolation, and not a complete one. The reasoning is because it is quoted by at least 3 times, with none of the quotes containing the words "He was the Christ."

The following is one such varant that comes from around AD 950 from Agapius, Universal History.

Quote:Josephus the Hebrew spoke of this also in his books which he wrote about the wars of the Jews: "At that time there was a wise man named Jesus, whose life was perfect, his virtues were recognized, and many Jews and Gentiles became his disciples. And Pilate condemned him to death on a cross, and those who had become his disciples, preached his doctrine. They claimed that he appeared to them alive three days after his passion. Maybe he was the Messiah, about whom the prophets had spoken of miracles."

Agapius was a 10th century Christian who quotes the works of Josephus frequently, indicating he was very familiar with them.

And then there's Jerome's quote from On Illustrious Men from around AD 392:

Quote:In this same time was Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it be lawful to call him man. For he was a worker of wonderful miracles, and a teacher of those who freely receive the truth. He had very many adherents also, both of the Jews and of the Gentiles, and was believed to be Christ, and when through the envy of our chief men Pilate had crucified him, nevertheless those who had loved him at first continued to the end, for he appeared to them the third day alive. Many things, both these and other wonderful things are in the songs of the prophets who prophesied concerning him and the sect of Christians, so named from Him, exists to the present day.”

These different quotes of the TF seem to demonstrate that something very similar to what we see in the extant Antiquities was actually written there by Josephus.

Since the oldest extant copy of Antiquities we have is about 1000 years old, it would appear to me that some Christian who had the works of Church History of Eusebius-whom quotes the TF almost verbatim as the extant copies- may very well have used Eusebius' spiked version to "correct the doubt" that the original phrases of "was believed to be Christ" had.

I find it implausible that Eusebius would have fully interpolated the text himself since we have Jerome quoting something considerably different just a few years after Eusebius quotes it.

To me at least, the evidence seems to favor that something regarding Jesus was in the original manuscript since we have all these different variants kicking around.

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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28-01-2014, 10:56 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(28-01-2014 05:30 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  Sorry, I'm not buying this.

I don't have a dog in this fight, I'm just relaying what I've read elsewhere. If it's wrong, it won't bother me. But since you asked,

Galatians 1:19
I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.

...if we take such things literally, then Jude is also Jesus' brother, since he is a brother of James.

Jude 1:1
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,

...which is very odd, because why wouldn't the author instead refer to Jude as brother of Jesus?

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28-01-2014, 11:19 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(28-01-2014 10:56 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(28-01-2014 05:30 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  Sorry, I'm not buying this.

I don't have a dog in this fight, I'm just relaying what I've read elsewhere. If it's wrong, it won't bother me. But since you asked,

Galatians 1:19
I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.

...if we take such things literally, then Jude is also Jesus' brother, since he is a brother of James.

Jude 1:1
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,

...which is very odd, because why wouldn't the author instead refer to Jude as brother of Jesus?

Thanks, and you're right, I don't care either. I just still get pelted with the Catholic argument because I'm surrounded by Catholics. They always have to twist the hell out of the bible to align it with what they believe, which isn't surprising.

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