Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
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01-07-2013, 07:28 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(01-07-2013 06:00 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Daniel, I say it most definitely is remarkable that Paul doesn't mention hardly anything of what Jesus said or did, including the miracles. No description of his hero, no birthplace, no itinerary, no loaves and fishes, no cured lepers, no walking on water, no wise anecdotes. To suggest that the communities Paul visited already knew of these things, when no gospels had been written yet, is just wishful thinking.
Take a breath, forget your "consensus view" for a moment, and plant yourself in Paul's shoes. If he knew of a Jesus, he would have been promoting all of this because he was desperate to be believed.

The truth about this is obvious. Paul's Christ wasn't the Jeebus in the gospels.

The same can be said about James...

Many Christians aren’t aware that Yeshua’s brother may have his very own letter in the Bible. Yet it’s there, tucked inconspicuously under the thirteen letters attributed to Paul. The Catholic Encyclopedia seems to have no doubt who the author was:
“Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord’s brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; he exactly, and he alone, fulfils the conditions required in the writer of the Epistle.” Yet it’s surprising that the authors acknowledge James was Jesus’ brother here, when it’s denied elsewhere in the same publication by calling him a cousin. They call James a bishop, thereby implying he was a Christian, which he most definitely wasn’t. There’s never been a Jewish bishop. Nor did Christian bishops exist anywhere until (at earliest) the 90’s CE, thirty years after James died.

I don’t think we can be sure Yeshua’s brother wrote James’ letter, but even if he didn’t, it’s from an early Jewish source, so one probably close to Yeshua. Many scholars date it to about 60 CE, (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/james.html) although the Catholic Encyclopedia states “about A.D. 47.”
The letter is addressed to the twelve Jewish tribes of the dispersion, so was to be distributed outside Jerusalem. It has a mildly authoritarian tone, as one would expect from a leader.

The author doesn’t mention the word “church.” The communities he wrote to (outside Jerusalem) worshipped in synagogues:
“Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue…” (James 2:2, NJB).
James reveals nothing about his famous brother’s exploits. He doesn’t mention Jesus’ divinity, miracles, sacrificial death or resurrection. Let’s imagine ourselves in James’ sandals. If you thought your brother, or your close associate, was the son of God, and you knew he’d risen from the dead, there wouldn’t be much else worth talking about! Your correspondence would be laced with excited expletives about supernatural events. James’ letter isn’t, because he didn’t believe bullshit about Jesus.

James was a pious Jew. A central theme of the letter is that it’s important to obey “the Law.”
“You see, if a man keeps the whole of the Law, except for one small point at which he fails, he is still guilty of breaking it all” (James 2:10 JB).
“But the man who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and makes that his habit - not listening and then forgetting, but actively putting it into practice - will be happy in all that he does” (James 1:25 JB).

He was referring to the Jewish Law, which the Jerusalem Bible admits in a footnote. This is the opposite of Paul’s proposition that salvation is secured by releasing oneself from obedience to the Law, an admission also admitted in the Jerusalem Bible.

James wrote that faith was pointless without good works:
“Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty’, without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead” (James 2:14–17, NJB).
He emphasized the importance of action:
“If there are any wise or learned men among you, let them show it by their good lives, with humility and wisdom in their actions” (James 3:13, NJB). It’s obvious James had heard Paul’s preaching about faith, and quite rightly rebutted it as nonsense.

Consider the following:
“Remember this, my dear brothers, be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to rouse your temper, God’s righteousness is never served by man’s anger.” (James 1:19–20, NJB). James was cut from a different cloth to the self righteous, angry Paul, who rarely listened to others.

James wrote
“Above all, my brothers, do not swear by heaven or by earth, or use any oaths at all. If you mean ‘yes,’ you must say ‘yes;’ if you mean ‘no,’ say ‘no’. Otherwise you make yourselves liable to judgment” (James 5:12, NJB). This is refreshingly real, although one would hope to hear something more profound if James was the brother of the Son of God!

James believed in Jewish scripture. He didn’t tolerate hypocrisy. He probably had some humanist, almost socialist ideals, which one would expect from a pious Essene. Yeshua may have believed something similar.

There is nothing to suggest an anti-Roman stance, but the letter may have been edited. It’s also possible James knew that if any anti-Roman literature found its way into the government’s hands he’d suffer a similar fate to John and Yeshua.
James’ letter only just made it into the canon. In the fourth century, its status was disputed. Augustine and Jerome accepted it very reluctantly, so probably others at the time couldn’t ignore the connection with Yeshua.

Martin Luther thought the letter had little doctrinal value because it so blatantly contradicted Paul’s teachings. Paul was Luther’s hero. He called it “an Epistle of straw.” (http://tquid.sharpens.org/Luther_ canon.htm). He clearly had a very limited understanding of the real history.

References:
Tabor, J. 2006 “The Jesus Dynasty”. Harper Collins. London.
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls”
http://www.thenazareneway.com/james_the_..._jesus.htm
http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/siljampe.htm
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/james.html
http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/2009/0...ebionites/
http://web.me.com/joehogarty1/A_History_...pe/rss.xml
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej_Z3sTZ6PM

thank you for writing this. It makes such sense. Paul (Saul of Tarsus)..didn't he base everything off a hallucination? I never understood how Christians hold him to such esteem. It's perfectly clear his letters are vague enough he could have been speaking about any messiah at or around that time.

In fact, I've come to believe that's what happened. Anyone could have fit that bill.

Even Mary (virgin) seems to forget that her child is supposed to be son of god. There are times she seems surprised or even taken aback by what he does or says to her.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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01-07-2013, 08:36 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
Thanks MSB! It's nice to know people read my sometimes too long posts! LOL

Yeah...I think Paul just made it all up. The road to Damascus hallucination story in Acts is a lie...here's why...

Paul’s Fictional Epiphany
The account in Acts of Paul’s abrupt, theatrical conversion to belief in Jesus on the road to Damascus is very familiar to most Christians. It’s a fabrication. In my opinion, Acts was written sometime at least eighty-plus years after this was supposed to have happened by someone (real identity unknown) who didn’t witness this alleged conversion, (if he did he would have said so.) The author never unambiguously claimed he’d met Paul.

Paul was a man eager to be believed and desperate to shore up his own credibility. If he’d experienced a visit from Yeshua’s ghost on the road to Damascus and been temporarily blinded, he undoubtedly would have mentioned it in his letters, and he doesn’t. I think the author of Acts was trying to make his readers believe that Paul had received his commission - and therefore his legitimacy - directly from Jesus (via Jesus’ ghost,) despite the fact that Jesus had died many years earlier.
Paul did decide that his Christ was an important character. This was an idea that I think he promoted after a deliberation over political issues. It was probably in the early 50s CE, roughly fifteen years after Yeshua’s death, that he launched a tale about his Christ designed to sell a new theology to an unexpecting world.
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01-07-2013, 09:18 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(30-06-2013 09:25 AM)maklelan Wrote:  
(29-06-2013 09:13 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Daniel, re "son of God"

Here is someone's idea that backs up mine about this...

http://www.haqq.com.au/~salam/earlychris...ongod.html

An article basing conclusions on fidelity to Islamic tradition?

(29-06-2013 09:13 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Thanks for the references to the three books, but in the real world, I'm not going to read them ( No disrespect, or cursory dismissal of your ideas intended.)

Can we cut through all the floss and get to the guts of the issue? Did the ancient Jews believe Yahweh had a son i.e. did they think that there was an entity separate to Yahweh but equal and related to him? I would say no, but am happy to be corrected.

Equal to him? No. A separate divine entity? Absolutely. The book of Enoch is likely the earliest witness to this tradition, but there are numerous other pseudepigraphical Jewish texts from the second and first century BCE that discuss a related figure. In 3 Enoch, there's even a figure called the "Little Yahweh."

(29-06-2013 09:13 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Did Paul think that Christ was literally God's son?

Literally? No. Obviously Paul didn't think that God had a wife with whom he had sex to sire Jesus. I doubt artificial insemination was in view, either. It's that whole wife thing that tends to get stuck in the early Jewish craw.

(29-06-2013 09:13 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I am less sure about this but I think the answer is yes. I will be very interested to hear your opinion.

Would the ancient Jews have been seriously pissed off by someone suggesting that their one and only God had a son?

Nope. Prior to the rise of rabbinic ideology in the first and second centuries CE, there were all kinds of lesser divine figures flitting through the universe. Christianity happens to arise right at the point of transition. This can be seen in the two allusions to the "sons of God" from the Hebrew Bible. Jesus refers to Ps 82, identifying the "gods" there as the Jews at Sinai who had received Torah and became immune to death. This reflects the new view of the "sons of God" as humans, but 2 Pet 2:4-5 reflects the view of the "sons of God" from Gen 6:2-4 as angels, which is the older view. Around the turn of the era it was decided that angels couldn't possibly have sex with humans, or be disobedient, so the sons of God must be reinterpreted to refer to humans. Psalm 82 provided the interpretive key for that view, and Gen 6:2-4 was never looked at the same again. The New Testament preserves both views. I discuss this in part in an SBL paper I gave on Psalm 82 in the LDS and the Bible section. You can find it here, in my presentation formatting. Another good paper on the topic is Philip Alexander's JJS paper (citation here).

(29-06-2013 09:13 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think the answer is yes, and I suspect this is one of the reasons Paul had so many fights with Jews all around the Empire. It was blasphemy, and Jews believed that if one of their own was blaspheming against God their whole community would be punished.

Another good book to read on this topic and particularly the conflict is Two Powers in Heaven.

OK Daniel. Thanks for the info re "sons of God."

I wonder what Bucky, our resident OT scholar thinks about the son of god issue?
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01-07-2013, 09:48 PM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2013 09:51 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(30-06-2013 09:06 AM)maklelan Wrote:  
(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Daniel, thank you for your reply.

I suggest we both cut out the ad hominems. It is boring for other people to read and our discussion can degenerate into a battle of egos, which is tiring for both of us.

I will try to stick to stick to a discussion of history.

Your thesis topics are interesting and relevant to some of the things we can discuss. I haven't read your thesis yet, but will get around to it.

I find it fascinating that you're studying the rise of Jesus as a Divine figure in the Jewish monotheistic world. The Jews today do not consider that Jesus was divine. I have always considered it highly unlikely that the original followers of Jesus, and in fact Jesus himself, the real person that is, thought he was in some sense divine. I would value your comments about this. I note that the book you recommend is talking about the concept of Divinity in the Roman world. I would say that this has little to do with what the historical Jesus, if he ever existed, would have thought.

There's no real way to know exactly what he would have thought, but it discusses Mark's christology, and Mark's gospel was the earliest. Additionally, the book digs into Greco-Roman period Judaism and Christianity's development within that context.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Was Jesus not a peasant Jewish farmer from the backwater of Gallilee, which was barely inhabited by Gentiles, particularly in rural areas? I can't imagine that Jesus was influenced by the philosophy of the Greek or Roman world. Can you?

You say that "what Paul thought is inaccessible." I think you must be referring to what Paul thought about Jesus' birth place, because we have realms of Paul's ramblings which are obviously a direct product of his thoughts. I strongly suspect, but can't prove, that they have been interpolated in places. It's generally accepted, I think, that the letters have been edited. I wonder do you not find it remarkable that Paul barely mentioned what the historical Jesus said or did?

I do not find it remarkable. The genre and rhetorical goals of his letters make it unremarkable. He is writing paraenesis for communities of believers who already know the details of the historical narrative. His goal is to exhort them to certain behaviors based on the ethical dynamics of the gospel. There is no reason to expect him to be repeating the narrative to them.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul Knew Almost Nothing of Jesus
Most Christians assume Paul was restating Jesus’ teachings, but Paul never claimed he was inspired by Jesus or Jesus’ disciples. Paul held his message came from God and was about his Christ. It was not from Jesus.
Paul's Christ was someone different from the miracle-working preacher in the Gospels, the Jesus we think we know.

And the Christ of each gospel is different from the Christs of the other gospels. Paul was also writing an entirely different genre and was a much different person.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Amazingly, in the twenty-first century, we know more about “Jesus” than Paul did!
Paul (or an interpolator) wrote,
“Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now” (2 Cor. 5:16, NJB.) He was only interested in the idea of a resurrected spirit, his Christ figurehead.
Someone passing himself off as Paul wrote that “Christ” was a mystery, one that he had a particularly good understanding of:
“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4, KJV,) and
“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds” (Col. 4:3, KJV.)
Paul didn't give a fig tree about the life or teaching of a once living human Jesus. The only thing that mattered to him was that a Christ was crucified and resurrected. He rambled on and on about the supposed significance of Christ's death and resurrection, not his life.

Who then, was Paul’s Christ? It was someone who Paul thought had existed in heaven since the beginning of time, yet only revealed to the world via his interpretation of scripture. Douglas Lockhart (http://douglaslockhart.com/) and a number of other scholars (http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/BkrvEll.htm) think it could have been the “Teacher of Righteousness” written about in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

And those scholars are laughably wrong. There's absolutely nothing to commend the notion that the Qumran "Teacher of Righteousness" was Jesus. The two figures are irreconcilably distinct according to their two corpora. Please read that article to which I linked you on parallelomania.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  There are many theories as to who this character was, one of which is that he was an Essene leader, a priest, who lived perhaps a hundred years before Yeshua who had disapproved of the Hasmonean high priest. The community this teacher inspired may have been a sect that believed the teacher of righteousness would soon return from the dead. Lockhart also believes this sect may well have been the same sect Paul set out to persecute, yet ended up trying to join, and he may have spent some time in Arabia learning their teachings.

This explains Paul’s complete ignorance of the Jesus we think we know.

You're confusing "not mentioning" with "not knowing about" again.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  In the gentile world of the time there was competition from many dying and rising gods such as Mithras. Those gods often didn’t have a mortal life that was remembered, just like his Christ. It was only the myth of them dying and rising again that gave them significance, just like his Christ.

Frazer's old notion of a "dying and rising god" hasn't had currency in the scholarship since before J. Z. Smith's Drudgery Divine, and for good reason. Mark Smith's book The Origins of Biblical Monotheism also has a chapter discussing the numerous problems with that category of deity.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul’s Christ was probably his own Judaic myth invented to compete with these other cults. The idea that Christ would one day be equated with Yeshua may not ever have been on Paul’s radar. (http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/parttwo.htm).

The authors and editors of the Gospels may have superimposed Paul’s “Christ” into the biographies of Jesus in the gospels. They might also have edited “Jesus” into Paul’s writings where he had written only “Christ.” Paul does say that Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate, yet this would have been an easy interpolation for a second century Christian to insert. I can’t prove this happened; yet I think it likely.

The fact that such a thing is possible is certainly not evidence that any such thing ever happened. You're stacking assumption upon assumption on top of each other and then trying to point to the height of the argument as evidence of its likelihood.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Most Christians I have talked to about this are perplexed, and with good reason, because Paul’s lack of commentary on Jesus undermines the account about Jesus being an inspiring, insightful individual that had so impressed his disciples, someone with amazing charisma who preached wise anecdotes. This is an image created by churchmen using the gospels. Paul knew none of this.

Again, an argument from silence.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Outside of scripture he only ever acknowledged one teacher of wisdom—himself. An authoritative Yeshua, even though recently deceased, would have focused the limelight on someone more significant than himself, and I don’t think he would have liked that.

Just who Paul’s Christ was is a difficult concept to grasp, and in my opinion it’s not worth the effort. It helps to remember that the sources of Paul’s ideas are obscure; that his writings have been tampered with; that original meaning is often lost in translations; that the Jesus stories we know so well only finished being cobbled together in the fourth century, and Paul had never read them; and that Paul had an overactive imagination and was just odd.

Fourth century? What is your evidence for that?

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I would greatly value your expert comments on the above.

I hear what you say about James Tabor. I will look at what he's been saying about the fish ossary. I did read his book the "Jesus Dynasty" many times and was very influenced by it.

I'm interested that you say there is no evidence for an early sect of Jews known as the Nazarenes. Gosh, I've got multiple authors who talk about them. I'll have to go back and look at the evidence. I'll get back to you on that one.

I hope the following isn't an ad hominem. I've asked you for some evidence that Jesus was of Nazareth prior to the 70s, and you reply by asking me to produce evidence that he wasn't!

Yes. Your theory is based on the notion that Nazareth didn't exist before then, and that that relationship was just concocted out of thin air once there actually was a Nazareth there. Correct? Given that the evidence quite securely extends Nazareth's existence back to the first century BCE, on what do you now base this notion that Jesus wasn't "of Nazareth" until after 70 CE? If you want to make an assertion, you have to be able to back it up. It's not like the first person to make a claim gets to have his claim be the default position unless someone else can prove him wrong. You're making the claim that Jesus wasn't "of Nazareth" until after 70 CE, so the burden of proof rests squarely with you. So far all I can see is that you believe Paul to be the only person writing before 70 CE, and he doesn't mention Nazareth. That's another incredibly weak argument from silence that ignores the genre of the Pauline corpus, so you need to have something else up your sleeve.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  This reminds me of William Lane Craig, who, if I remember correctly, provides evidence for Jesus's miracles in debates by asking his opponents to prove that the miracles didn't happen!

Which is basically what you're doing to me. He is making a claim and then demanding his opponents prove him wrong. You're making a claim and demanding I prove you wrong. The one making the claim has the onus of proof.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I think the fact of the matter is that we have no evidence for "Jesus" until the gospels appear in the 70s. Whether Paul knew of an historical flesh and blood once living character called Jesus is debatable.

No, it's not. You only feel it's debatable because your assumptions have concocted this non-Jesus version of Christ that you've read into Paul. That's not evidence of anything.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul says almost nothing of the birth or life or sayings or miracles of a Jesus. He does talk about what a Jesus allegedly said and did at the Last Supper, although this could well be an interpolation and is absolutely obviously non historical.

So you reject the evidence that proves you wrong on the grounds that it (1) might be wrong, and (2) even though it would prove you wrong, it obviously never happened (and so doesn't count?). The fact that it is a tradition that is probably not historical has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not Paul knew of it, and the possibility that it was interpolated is in no way evidence that it was interpolated.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If Paul thought Jesus had been born in Nazareth surely he would have said so,

More evidence based on a priori assumption. There is no reason to insist Paul could not have known about it if he didn't say it.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  and he doesn't. So I think my argument remains unrefuted; there is no evidence anyone one knew Jesus came from Nazareth until the gospels were written.

I think you've got to work on your methodologies. Your arguments are constructed entirely upon assumptions and argument by assertion.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Just to make my position clearer, I'll say that I do believe there probably was once a living flesh and blood Jesus. It's possible that some of the events of his life are loosely incorporated in the Gospels, but I maintain that the Jesus we know so well didn't exist until the gospels were written.

I hear you about your definition of what constitutes a Christian. Obviously being a Christian means different things to different people. I would say that if someone is a Jew, they do not believe in the divinity, in any sense, of Christ, and are therefore not Christian. For example there are Jews and Islamists today who believe that Jesus was a wise teacher, but they wouldn't call themselves Christians.

I maintain the essential tenet of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus, which confirmed his divinity.

I think that the original family, followers and disciples of Jesus, if he ever existed, were never Christians according to my definition.

With respect to you, I find your statement that the communities Paul wrote to needed no introduction about Jesus, to be remarkable. How, do you think, people around the Roman empire in the 50s and 60s would have known of Jesus?

You are aware, aren't you, that Paul was writing to communities he had personally preached to? Additionally, it is widely held that the gospels existed in oral form for years prior to being written down (in competition with the gnostic texts). There are many ways they could have known of Jesus.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  There was no mass media. Most of them couldn't read or write, so Paul's letters would have been read out loud to them by whoever could. The gospels hadn't been written yet. There were no churches, other than the loose congregations that Paul tried to set up. "His" communities met in synagogues or in people's houses.

To my mind the obvious reality of the situation is that Paul knew almost nothing of the life, sayings or miracles of Jesus, and neither did the communities he wrote to. What mattered to Paul and them was his crucified and resurrected son of God Christ figure, who, at this stage, was not a flesh and blood once living historical character.

Thanks for filling me in about the Hebrews letter I hear it that the author never claims to be Paul. I didn't know that. The fact is that traditionally it's been accredited to Paul.

Re "The question of the parting of the ways" is a complicated one, and I've not committed myself to a particular position at this point."

I'll give you my opinion on this. There never was a parting of the ways. John the Baptist, Jesus, his family and his disciples were all Jews and were never Christians, other than in the sense of your definition of Christianity in that they believed Jesus was a wise teacher.

That's not quite my definition of Christianity. I believe Buddha was a wise teacher, but that neither makes me a follower of Buddha nor a Buddhist.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Christianity was, in fact, an invention of the pagan or Gentile world, and the original Jews were fundamentally opposed to that world.

"In fact"? What are the facts that indicate this?

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Jesus, if he ever existed, was a fundamentalist Jew

A fundamentalist Jew would not be out there trying to change Jewish law into something it had never been.

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  who tried to start a war with Rome and got crucified for his efforts.

What? Where are you getting this?

(29-06-2013 08:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  He was only one of many failed messsiahs. The Romans crucified Jesus twice; once in real life on a cross, and secondly by lying about his legacy. Christianity was invented by the Roman government to undermine the messianic expectations of Jews. The Romans had defeated the Jews militarily in the first Jewish War of 66 to 70 and the Flavian government created Christianity by writing the gospels to try to convince the Jews that their Messiah had already been and gone. They were trying to water-down militaristic Judaism and dilute it with Gentiles. This explains why Christianity became centred in Rome, not Jerusalem!

This post has gone on long enough. I will respond to other comments you've made in another post. Regards, Mark

Daniel, you write
"You're making the claim that Jesus wasn't "of Nazareth" until after 70 CE, so the burden of proof rests squarely with you."
This is really quite a bizarre statement.
I'm saying Jesus became "of Nazareth" when the first gospel was written (probably in the 70's) because there is NO EVIDENCE for a Nazareth/Jesus connection prior to this time. You're asking me to prove there's no evidence. Huh?

Surely the burden of proof is on your shoulders to produce the evidence. You are doing a William Lane Craig and asking me to ""prove the miracles didn't happen." Get it?
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01-07-2013, 11:05 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
This is what Bart Ehrman has to say...

"The phrase "Jesus of Nazareth" appears in quotations because in the "original" Greek of the Bible (Textus Receptus) the term often translated as "of Nazareth" in actuality reflects three different Greek words. Although the phrase "Jesus of Nazareth" appears 29 times in the King James Bible, the original Greek phrase is "Jesus the Nazarene" the majority of the time. In fact, the Greek word for "Nazareth" (Strong's G3478) appears 11 times total in the gospels: three times in Matthew, once in Mark, five times in Luke and twice in John. The word for "Nazarene, Nazarite" or "Nazarite"—Nazaraios (G3480)—appears in the Greek 15 times, but it is only translated as such twice, the remaining 13 rendered as "of Nazareth." Another version of "Nazarene, Nazarite"—Nazarenos (G3479)—appears four times but is always translated as "of Nazareth." This fact is significant in that it seems the term "Nazareth"—which was not much of a place for people to inhabit, if it even existed at the time—was used, as stated at Matthew 2:23, to make Jesus a "Nazarene." Rather than being inhabitants of a particular town, the Nazarenes or Nazarites were members of a certain sect, to which the Old Testament hero Samson likewise belonged. It is possible that the mistranslations occur in order to cloak the fact of this pre-Christian sect that contributed much to Christianity."- Who Was Jesus?, page 103

That bloody Bart...he's been reading my book! LOL
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01-07-2013, 11:29 PM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
This is an interesting, informative blog....that just happens to agree with me LOL...
http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com.au/200...pauls.html
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27-01-2014, 08:45 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
Very interesting thread. I've only been reading and listening to Robert Price for about 6 months or so, and became interested in Rene Salm because Price mentions him. I'm still not sure what to make of Salm. It appears he could be completely biased and is defending his myth of Nazarath theory against mounting evidence to the contrary. I've got his book The Myth of Nazareth on my Kindle, but haven't started reading it, yet. His website states that he is coming out with a new book later this year. "My second book dealing with the controversial archeology of Nazareth has been accepted by American Atheist Press for publication in the summer of 2014. The book continues where The Myth of Nazareth left off, namely, with developments since 2006."
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27-01-2014, 09:21 AM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2014 09:37 AM by Phil Hill.)
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
Why is there argument about this? Nazareth and Nazarene are both mistranslations made by the semi literates who wrote the new testament. It is proof that the authors were not too familiar with written hebrew. Looking at Isaiah 11:1 you'll find a word translated as branch and the word is netzer. Nazareth as well as Nazarene were mistranslations. It's a red herring to ask if Nazareth existed (it did but was unoccupied till after 70-135 CE) because there are plenty of other reasons Christianity is false and even that Jesus didn't exist. For example (although I am not claiming this is conclusive evidence) where was the veneration of the sites Jesus performed his miracles before the third century? Throughout the gospels Jesus was in and out of synagogues preaching yet archeology has shown there were no synagogues in the -Galilee until the second century. The Nazareth debate is a red herring that only serves to hide the real topic.

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27-01-2014, 09:43 AM
RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
Robert Price makes a very convincing argument suggesting that Nazareth and the sect of the Nazarenes have no connection.

Has anyone actually read Rene Salm's book?
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27-01-2014, 09:47 AM
Re: RE: Of Nazareth or the Nazarene?
(27-01-2014 09:43 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  Robert Price makes a very convincing argument suggesting that Nazareth and the sect of the Nazarenes have no connection.

Has anyone actually read Rene Salm's book?

I've read bits of it. Wish I had the ebook. But as I said above the Nazareth argument is really unnecessary.

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