Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
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14-05-2012, 08:29 AM (This post was last modified: 14-05-2012 09:17 AM by ahoy.)
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
(12-05-2012 10:24 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar#Authentic_sayings.2C_as_determined_by_the_seminar


Interesting link. Top 5


1. Turn the other cheek (92%): Mt 5:39, Lk6:29a
2. Coat & shirt: Mt5:40 (92%), Lk6:29b (90%)
3. Blessed are the poor: Lk6:20b (91%), Th54 (90%), Mt5:3 (63%)
4. Second mile (90%): Mt5:41
5. Love your enemies:
Lk6:27b (84%), Mt5:44b (77%), Lk6:32,35a (56%) (compare to black rated "Pray for your enemies": POxy1224 6:1a; Didache 1:3; Poly-Phil 12:3; and "Love one another": John 13:34-35, Romans 13:8, 1 Peter 1:22

Note: the % indicates the weighted average of those in agreements that the saying are “red beads”

Red beads – indicated the voter believed Jesus did say the passage quoted, or something very much like the passage
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14-05-2012, 10:42 AM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
Sorry if I'm not contributing anything new to the discussion (I didn't read the entire thread), but judging by what I've learned at school, we can at the very least tell that a man called Jesus existed at that time. Credible sources for this are the historians Joseph ben Mathitjahu (37-100), Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56-117), Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (ca. 70–130) and the lawyer Gaius Caecilius aka "Pliny the Younger" (62-115). Despite being born after Jesus died, all of them mentioned him in one way or another. The reason why they're more credible than the four apostles is because none of them were connected to them in any way, meaning that they are independent from their reports. The second report of Jesus, written by Joseph, is considered to be legit by many historians.

Anyway, Since I didn't research into this any further, I can't guarantee the accuracy of this information. As I was saying, it's what I learned at school.

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14-05-2012, 10:49 AM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
(10-05-2012 04:53 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I'd be happy to take you up on that.

It appears that Jesus was a historical figure. The Gospels, despite their unreliability, are at least evidence that someone named Jesus existed. I'll grant you that there are several contradictions, and it seems undeniable that they are biased and filled with error. So are a lot of movies that are "based on a true story"... but just because practically nothing in these movies is in line with reality and are exaggerated so that they're interesting, that doesn't mean that nothing in them really happened. And in this example I brought up, what's the one thing that tends to at least be reliably accurate? The characters. That's where these stories tend to start. And if there was an original motivation for writing the gospels, it appears to be to tell a story about Jesus.

To discard the gospels entirely just because they have untruths within them is to commit the fallacy of composition. Now I'm not going to argue that this proves that your case is wrong (that's the fallacy fallacy), but just the mere fact that statements about Jesus are found surrounded in contradictions isn't good evidence that Jesus himself must also be false.

Plus there's a few contemporary references to Jesus outside the gospels. Take Tacitus. Now, he spoke of Jesus merely as the object of worship for the Christians, but he also mentioned Pontius Pilate as a real person holding a real position. If anything in the gospels was "based on a true story" it was the characters, and this is further evidence of that. Josephus not only wrote about Jesus but about John the Baptist, another famous character from the gospels.

Is this irrefutable proof? I doubt it. But I doubt you could irrefutably prove any historical figure. You have to filter what you have in writing through historical criteria of some sort, and the kinds that historians tend to use verify that --- if there's anything we know about Jesus --- Jesus existed. These other things you demand --- Jesus' birthdate, time of death, and ministry... I can't prove these and I don't think anyone can. You can't verify the first two points with the gospels even if we accepted them as fact. As to Jesus' ministry, I'd just be regurgitating Bart Ehrman's expert opinion on that, but again I don't think there's any way to prove it even given the gospels as "gospel".

But you could always just sub in any another religious character and you would get the same thing. Take the Buddha for example, obviously Jesus and the Buddha can't both have performed miracles, so what makes Jesus more real than the Buddha?

You say that just because there are a lot of contradictions, doesn't make the storys not true. But then you could say that Buddhism is the true religion, because, even though the storys of the Buddha may be contradictory or whatever, doesn't make them not true.

Basically, both religions can't both be right.
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14-05-2012, 01:28 PM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
(14-05-2012 10:42 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Sorry if I'm not contributing anything new to the discussion (I didn't read the entire thread), but judging by what I've learned at school, we can at the very least tell that a man called Jesus existed at that time. Credible sources for this are the historians Joseph ben Mathitjahu (37-100), Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56-117), Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (ca. 70–130) and the lawyer Gaius Caecilius aka "Pliny the Younger" (62-115). Despite being born after Jesus died, all of them mentioned him in one way or another. The reason why they're more credible than the four apostles is because none of them were connected to them in any way, meaning that they are independent from their reports. The second report of Jesus, written by Joseph, is considered to be legit by many historians.

Anyway, Since I didn't research into this any further, I can't guarantee the accuracy of this information. As I was saying, it's what I learned at school.
One by one:

Josephus: Doesn't mention one word about Jesus. His TF is a forgery and the Jamesian Reference is talking about a different Jesus. Anyone who claims there is an "authentic core" to the TF must offer evidence to support that claim.

Tacitus: Doesn't mention Jesus by name. His second century oblique reference in his Annals only says that Christians get their name from "Christos" which means "the anointed one". His reference is so by-the-way and so late (100 years later) as to be something he heard from the Christians.

Seutonius: Mentions a "Chrestus" ("the good one") who stirred up trouble in Rome during the reign of Claudius (circa 50 AD). This is not our boy and even apologists generally acknowledge this.

Pliny the Younger: He writes of Christians in the 2nd century, not of Christ and not of Jesus. Why is this considered evidence for a historical Jesus at all?

In sum:
  • Josephus: nothing
  • Tacitus: shaky at best
  • Seutonius: nothing
  • Pliny the Younger: nothing

"An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral and the advance of (humanity's) knowledge over time is a greater miracle than all the sticks turning to snakes and the parting of the waters."
-Henry Drummond, "Inherit the Wind"
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14-05-2012, 01:33 PM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
(14-05-2012 01:28 PM)DeistPaladin Wrote:  One by one:

Josephus: Doesn't mention one word about Jesus. His TF is a forgery and the Jamesian Reference is talking about a different Jesus. Anyone who claims there is an "authentic core" to the TF must offer evidence to support that claim.

Tacitus: Doesn't mention Jesus by name. His second century oblique reference in his Annals only says that Christians get their name from "Christos" which means "the anointed one". His reference is so by-the-way and so late (100 years later) as to be something he heard from the Christians.

Seutonius: Mentions a "Chrestus" ("the good one") who stirred up trouble in Rome during the reign of Claudius (circa 50 AD). This is not our boy and even apologists generally acknowledge this.

Pliny the Younger: He writes of Christians in the 2nd century, not of Christ and not of Jesus. Why is this considered evidence for a historical Jesus at all?

In sum:
  • Josephus: nothing
  • Tacitus: shaky at best
  • Seutonius: nothing
  • Pliny the Younger: nothing

Thanks for the response. I should print it and show it to my religion teacher.

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14-05-2012, 06:45 PM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
(14-05-2012 01:28 PM)DeistPaladin Wrote:  
(14-05-2012 10:42 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Sorry if I'm not contributing anything new to the discussion (I didn't read the entire thread), but judging by what I've learned at school, we can at the very least tell that a man called Jesus existed at that time. Credible sources for this are the historians Joseph ben Mathitjahu (37-100), Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56-117), Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (ca. 70–130) and the lawyer Gaius Caecilius aka "Pliny the Younger" (62-115). Despite being born after Jesus died, all of them mentioned him in one way or another. The reason why they're more credible than the four apostles is because none of them were connected to them in any way, meaning that they are independent from their reports. The second report of Jesus, written by Joseph, is considered to be legit by many historians.

Anyway, Since I didn't research into this any further, I can't guarantee the accuracy of this information. As I was saying, it's what I learned at school.
One by one:

Josephus: Doesn't mention one word about Jesus. His TF is a forgery and the Jamesian Reference is talking about a different Jesus. Anyone who claims there is an "authentic core" to the TF must offer evidence to support that claim.

Tacitus: Doesn't mention Jesus by name. His second century oblique reference in his Annals only says that Christians get their name from "Christos" which means "the anointed one". His reference is so by-the-way and so late (100 years later) as to be something he heard from the Christians.

Seutonius: Mentions a "Chrestus" ("the good one") who stirred up trouble in Rome during the reign of Claudius (circa 50 AD). This is not our boy and even apologists generally acknowledge this.

Pliny the Younger: He writes of Christians in the 2nd century, not of Christ and not of Jesus. Why is this considered evidence for a historical Jesus at all?

In sum:
  • Josephus: nothing
  • Tacitus: shaky at best
  • Seutonius: nothing
  • Pliny the Younger: nothing
Actually, I do take the Suetonius reference to Chrestus seriously, but it doesn't help the case for either the historical OR mythical Jesus. He says that Nero expelled the Jews from Rome because of the instigator Chrestus in 49 AD. So, if this is Christos (and it would be an incredible coincidence if somebody else with an almost identical name was causing problems amongst the Jews), then it puts a historic Jesus in Rome in 49 AD. Conservatives tell us that can't be, but they base their case on the mythos of the gospels who was crucified in Judea blah blah.

So we have some conflicting data that doesn't make sense. Welcome to Ancient History 101.
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14-05-2012, 09:31 PM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
The time of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain….

Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later….
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha


The teachings of Jesus as well the teachings of Buddha cannot exist without a historical teacher behind them.

Jesus existed in the same manner that Buddha has followers… they are historical figures that left behind a significant body of teaching.

Kids today are smarter… but adult people in the past are not that “simple and easy” either.
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14-05-2012, 10:22 PM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
(12-05-2012 07:42 PM)DeistPaladin Wrote:  You then whined I was asking for all kinds of unreasonable superfluous details. I said I wasn't assuming the burden of proof and you tried to shove the burden of proof onto me.

See, this is just exactly what I was talking about. Another ridicule word (whined) that could be used about literally anyone in any argument, and then a misrepresentation of my "burden of proof" rebuttal (or just ignoring it) in an attempt at self-justification

Just get over yourself. You're an atheist, not a rational thinker. You don't think critically of your own arguments, and probably never will.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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14-05-2012, 11:20 PM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
(14-05-2012 10:22 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(12-05-2012 07:42 PM)DeistPaladin Wrote:  You then whined I was asking for all kinds of unreasonable superfluous details. I said I wasn't assuming the burden of proof and you tried to shove the burden of proof onto me.

See, this is just exactly what I was talking about. Another ridicule word (whined) that could be used about literally anyone in any argument, and then a misrepresentation of my "burden of proof" rebuttal (or just ignoring it) in an attempt at self-justification

Just get over yourself. You're an atheist, not a rational thinker. You don't think critically of your own arguments, and probably never will.
Your pathetic attempt at a parting shot strikes me as psychological projection. My advice is you spend more time worrying about your own rationality and less on whether or not someone else is. If I am as irrational as you say, you could have let our exchange stand on its own and let others come to their own conclusions. I suspect on some level, you know better.

Good luck.

"An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral and the advance of (humanity's) knowledge over time is a greater miracle than all the sticks turning to snakes and the parting of the waters."
-Henry Drummond, "Inherit the Wind"
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14-05-2012, 11:27 PM
RE: Open Debate Challenge: Historical Jesus
(14-05-2012 06:45 PM)Blood Wrote:  Actually, I do take the Suetonius reference to Chrestus seriously, but it doesn't help the case for either the historical OR mythical Jesus. He says that Nero expelled the Jews from Rome because of the instigator Chrestus in 49 AD. So, if this is Christos (and it would be an incredible coincidence if somebody else with an almost identical name was causing problems amongst the Jews), then it puts a historic Jesus in Rome in 49 AD. Conservatives tell us that can't be, but they base their case on the mythos of the gospels who was crucified in Judea blah blah.

So we have some conflicting data that doesn't make sense. Welcome to Ancient History 101.
Just to clarify, are you suggesting that "Chrestus" ("the good one") was a misspelling or misunderstanding of the Christians' "Christos" (or "the anointed one")?


There were actually many "Christos"-es among the ancient Jews. It's not a name but a title. Christos = the anointed one = Messiah. The Jews, chaffing under Roman rule, had many pretenders to that throne. I do know that John the Baptist had a following that persists to this day that insist he was the promised Messiah.

I'm not entirely sure what "Chrestus" means apart from translating as "the good one" so would someone more knowledgeable of ancient history let us know?

"An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral and the advance of (humanity's) knowledge over time is a greater miracle than all the sticks turning to snakes and the parting of the waters."
-Henry Drummond, "Inherit the Wind"
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