Proof of Jesus?
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06-11-2012, 11:17 AM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2012 07:02 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Proof of Jesus?
Quote:3. The Josephus "evidence" is not reliable, and there is NO consensus that the statement in Chapter 18 is NOT a forgery, and the Chapter 20 reference is to James

Continues to assert "consensus' with not one shred of evidence. Consensus was FIRST introduced as standard by poster, as any review of prior posts will prove.
If Tacitus was so good, why did he call him "chrEstus". The failure of poster to deal with the "detail" proves he is no careful historian, and lacks detailed skills necessary for evaluation of ancient languages and especially the Pauline literature. Has no education in Scripture, or knowledge of Biblical Metaphor.

Whatever.
The seed of doubt is planted.
The reader will understand the issue is far from the settled matter the poster attempted to make it appear.
The Buckster is a current student, exposed to current issues. The poster is ancient and thinks scholarship is settled once he writes a term paper in the distant past.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein (That's a JOKE, ya idiot)
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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06-11-2012, 11:36 AM
RE: Proof of Jesus?
(06-11-2012 11:17 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(06-11-2012 11:14 AM)Free Wrote:  Really? Firstly, let's see your definition of "conditional/unconditional monumental logic flaw?"



Evidence has been supplied. No good argument against that evidence has been supplied. Assertions, arguments from silence, and the use of other logical fallacies do not constitute an argument against. Saying such things as "because Tacitus doesn't list the precise source of his statement regarding Christ, it must be mere hearsay" is not evidence to dispute what was written, it is mere unsupported assertion. Also, saying that Paul meant something else other than what the written words actually say is not evidence, as it merely means a philosophical viewpoint and nothing more.

Making claims against evidence without supporting those claims is not evidence. Using that kind of reasoning, anyone can make any claim they like against anything at all and it would be evidence.

Understand the need to provide evidence to support your assertions, and understand what evidence actually is, and what it is not.


He used the title to demonstrate how the Christians got to be called Christians. This is evident in the text. If they has been called "Jesusians," he likely would have used "Jesus."

The title of "Christus" represents a supposed "Messiah," and in Jewish tradition the Messiah would be a King. Tacitus is essentially stating that the Romans, namely, Pontius Pilate, killed a king of the Jewish people. This is hardly a statement about some peasant as you asserted.



There is no doubt whatsoever, in the context of the historicity of Jesus, that Paul positively claims the existence of Jesus as a human being. The argument is about whether or not Jesus existed, and Paul makes several positive claims that Jesus did indeed exist.



Since you mentioned consensus, the majority consesnus among world bible scholars and historians is that Josephus' version regarding Jesus being executed by Pilate is a partial interpolation, and not a full-scale forgery.

In regards to Josephus mention of James, it is virtually unanamous amoung world-wide scholars that it is 100% authentic. No good argument has ever been brought against it.

Prove it. bla bla bla
Continues to assert "consensus' with not one shred of evidence.
If Tacitus was so good, why did he call him "chrEstus".
Evidence has already been presented. As far as consensus is concerned, you yourself brought that into the conversation, or have you forgotten?

Chrestus/Christos/Christus ... all the same shit, different day. No one really has any kind of argument against it, not even hard-core mythers with their logical fallacies.

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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06-11-2012, 04:20 PM
RE: Proof of Jesus?
I got banned from the site ages ago.

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06-11-2012, 05:56 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2012 06:58 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Proof of Jesus?
(06-11-2012 04:20 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  I got banned from the site ages ago.
Not to worry. He appropriated the argument as his own.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein (That's a JOKE, ya idiot)
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18-11-2012, 04:01 PM
RE: Proof of Jesus?
(15-08-2012 04:25 PM)FSM_scot Wrote:  Is this the same forum that banned Hughsie for no reason a few months back? if so the mods will get sick of you and ban you for having a different opinion.
That's obviously going to happen anytime you enter the so called "Lions Den"......it's OK for them to come to a site like this and spread their garbage but you don't do it to them. I started to join the site but after reading the conformation bias BS I came back to earth.
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18-11-2012, 07:26 PM
RE: Proof of Jesus?
The passage in Josephus 18:3:3 is a rank forgery....not a single christian apologists of the time knew it even existed until Eusebius mentions it 4th Century.

“Now about
this time there lived
Jesus a wise man, if one ought to call
him a man
, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such
men as receive
the truth with pleasure. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon
hearing him accused by men of the highest standing [lit., the principal
men] among
us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who in the first place had
come to
love him did not forsake him. For he
appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the holy prophets had
predicted these and many other wonderful things about him.
And the
tribe of
the Christians, so called after him, continues to the present day.”

Bold highlight indicates the inserted passages by a forger....Josephus was not born until some 3 to 4 years after this jesus was strung up on a stick. Look at the passage above and below it. It has nothing to do with either its like he went off on a dream or something. Christians run into serious problems trying to use Josephus as a basis for an historical jesus
.
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18-11-2012, 07:40 PM
RE: Proof of Jesus?
(18-11-2012 07:26 PM)Kritter Wrote:  The passage in Josephus 18:3:3 is a rank forgery....not a single christian apologists of the time knew it even existed until Eusebius mentions it 4th Century.

“Now about
this time there lived
Jesus a wise man, if one ought to call
him a man
, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such
men as receive
the truth with pleasure. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon
hearing him accused by men of the highest standing [lit., the principal
men] among
us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who in the first place had
come to
love him did not forsake him. For he
appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the holy prophets had
predicted these and many other wonderful things about him.
And the
tribe of
the Christians, so called after him, continues to the present day.”

Bold highlight indicates the inserted passages by a forger....Josephus was not born until some 3 to 4 years after this jesus was strung up on a stick. Look at the passage above and below it. It has nothing to do with either its like he went off on a dream or something. Christians run into serious problems trying to use Josephus as a basis for an historical jesus
.


In the historical field, this is known as the Testimonium Flavium. It is almost universally accepted that it was indeed interpolated, but also, it is almost universally accepted that something about Jesus was written there.

This argument appears to insist that because there does not appear to be any uprising or tumultuous event occurring in the TF in contrast to the other paragraphs, then there is reason to doubt the TF was written in by Josephus. This is a very weak argument since we can find dozens of examples of even serenely peaceful events being sandwiched between paragraphs depicting raging wars throughout Antiquities and The Jewish Wars, far too numerous to mention. This is characteristic of the style of Josephus throughout his works, and by no means offers up any plausible argument that the Testimonium had been oddly inserted.

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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18-11-2012, 08:40 PM (This post was last modified: 19-11-2012 06:33 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Proof of Jesus?
(18-11-2012 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  
(18-11-2012 07:26 PM)Kritter Wrote:  The passage in Josephus 18:3:3 is a rank forgery....not a single christian apologists of the time knew it even existed until Eusebius mentions it 4th Century.

“Now about
this time there lived
Jesus a wise man, if one ought to call
him a man
, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such
men as receive
the truth with pleasure. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon
hearing him accused by men of the highest standing [lit., the principal
men] among
us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who in the first place had
come to
love him did not forsake him. For he
appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the holy prophets had
predicted these and many other wonderful things about him.
And the
tribe of
the Christians, so called after him, continues to the present day.”

Bold highlight indicates the inserted passages by a forger....Josephus was not born until some 3 to 4 years after this jesus was strung up on a stick. Look at the passage above and below it. It has nothing to do with either its like he went off on a dream or something. Christians run into serious problems trying to use Josephus as a basis for an historical jesus
.


In the historical field, this is known as the Testimonium Flavium. It is almost universally accepted that it was indeed interpolated, but also, it is almost universally accepted that something about Jesus was written there.

This argument appears to insist that because there does not appear to be any uprising or tumultuous event occurring in the TF in contrast to the other paragraphs, then there is reason to doubt the TF was written in by Josephus. This is a very weak argument since we can find dozens of examples of even serenely peaceful events being sandwiched between paragraphs depicting raging wars throughout Antiquities and The Jewish Wars, far too numerous to mention. This is characteristic of the style of Josephus throughout his works, and by no means offers up any plausible argument that the Testimonium had been oddly inserted.
Except in the earliest copy that exists, (in Milan), it's in a different scribe's hand, and different ink. The next paragraph says something about "the next calamity" or something which does not follow, from the TF. Also the earliest Christian writers were not aware of it, and they would have quoted it, if it had existed. All of Josephus was trying to knock down other claimants. The whole thing reeks, not just what was "bolded" above. Josephus was a client of Vespasian. He had a vested interest to NOT say anything positive about any of those seen as rivals to Vespasian.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein (That's a JOKE, ya idiot)
"And you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil rich - we're paying for some of their *squirmishes* that have been going on for centuries" - Sarah Palin
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18-11-2012, 09:16 PM
RE: Proof of Jesus?
(18-11-2012 08:40 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(18-11-2012 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  In the historical field, this is known as the Testimonium Flavium. It is almost universally accepted that it was indeed interpolated, but also, it is almost universally accepted that something about Jesus was written there.

This argument appears to insist that because there does not appear to be any uprising or tumultuous event occurring in the TF in contrast to the other paragraphs, then there is reason to doubt the TF was written in by Josephus. This is a very weak argument since we can find dozens of examples of even serenely peaceful events being sandwiched between paragraphs depicting raging wars throughout Antiquities and The Jewish Wars, far too numerous to mention. This is characteristic of the style of Josephus throughout his works, and by no means offers up any plausible argument that the Testimonium had been oddly inserted.
Except in the earliest copy that exists, (in Mialn), it's in a different scribe's hand, and different ink. The next paragraph says something about "the next calamity" or something which does not follow, from the TF. Also the earliest Christian writers were not aware of it, and they would have quoted it, if it had existed. All of Josephus was trying to knock down other claimants. The whole thing reeks, not just what was "bolded" above. Josephus was a client of Vespasian. He had a vested interest to NOT say anything positive about any of those seen as rivals to Vespasian.


A few years ago a few students and myself decided to try an experiment online to demonstrate some historicity to Jesus. We were challenged by a well-known atheist website at the time to present an argument. We accepted, and the result was that our argument was so well organized that the website refused to respond to it, and banned us for no apparent reason, calling us "theists".

The following is an excerpt from that conversation, which is relevant to your claim above.

Originally Posted June 6th, 2008 At Rational Responders:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
Quote:Far too often apologists and evangelicals bring up Josephus as a source for a historical Jesus. This is a continuing error among scholars, and it is fueled by secular scholars who are either persuaded by pseudo-scientific evaluations of the texts, or for reasons dealing only in their presuppositions, such as those discussed above. The Testimonium Flavium is generally brought up by both apologists and historical Jesus questers more than any other document. Although other supposed mentions of Jesus exist, the subject, so as to not seem as if an Argument from Silence is the only means at which one can attain the position held in this book, will be limited to the Testimonium due to its importance and scope of usage. For this reason, included here in this section is a specific refutation towards the use of this passage, as will be provided ample evidence for its entire dismissal as an interpolation.

Arguments for the interpolation of this passage consist of the following: (1) Problems of textual conformity between manuscripts, (2) peculiar placement in the text, (3) odd use of Josephan language, (4) the use of pro-Christian language, (5) lack of mention specifically in any other earlier Christian source including Justin Martyr and Origen, (6) the earliest attestation we have, that of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical Histories, he places the Testimonium after Josephus’ account of John the Baptist, and finally (7) Eusebius has an alternate version of the text himself in another work.

The problems of conformity of the manuscripts are a huge deal, although generally not touched upon by dissenters of the Josephan controversy over the Testimonium. The first attestation to this passage is found in the forth century, and even then it seems to not have been set in stone, as Steve Mason[1] cites that Jerome (p. 230) had a different version of the transcript in his Lives of Illustrious Men, and in the 10th century yet an additional manuscript is found in Agapius (ibid.). But it doesn’t stop there, as Michael, the Patriarch of Antioch quotes another variant text in the 12th century. So many alterations exist. Mason asks, “Where did such equivocal versions of Josephus’ account come from?” (p. 231) And not least of all, the fact that there are alternative translations which exist from Robert Eisler[2] and John P. Meier[3] spark additional questions. Why are there no copies of Josephus before Eusebius in the fourth century for scholarship to adequately translate? Perhaps Christians didn’t feel the need to preserve it beforehand, and that should raise additional red flags.

The peculiar placement of the text is additionally odd. Looking at the text from a distance, without really comparing the accounts of the context around the Testimonium, it may seem possible that it fits. It does deal with Pilate, that is for sure, (1.)and certainly it contains accounts of followers of a [u]cult, referred to as a “tribe,”[/u] that Josephus didn’t hold to, much like those of the cult of Isis he discusses a section down. But further examination reveals a troubling reality. After Pilate arrives in Judea, Josephus follows with two incidents; (a) Pilate allows the Roman images into Jerusalem during the night, and (b) Pilate’s use of temple funds to build an aqueduct. Immediately following the Testimonium, © Josephus discusses the destruction of the temple of Isis and the crucifixion of Egyptian priests, (d) Jews are expelled from Rome because of Jewish troublemakers, and (e) Pilate destroyed the Samaritan movement and their settlement at Gerizim. Mason states that, “Like a tourist negotiating a bustling, raucous Middle-Eastern market who accidentally walks through the door of a monastery, suffused with light and peace, the reader of Josephus is struck by this sublime portrait.” (p. 227) (2.)Events (a), (b) and (e) involve incidents that look unfavorably upon Pilate, but the Testimonium blames the fiasco of the crucifixion not on Pilate—who seems more like a puppet being played—but on the “denunciation by the leading men among us.”

(3.)Every single event save for the Testimonium in Antiquities 18 is described as some form of outrage or uprising, yet there is no tumultuous event here, no uprising to speak of. Overall, Mason makes the observance that “he is pointing out the follow of Jewish rebels, governors, and troublemakers,” (ibid.) yet in the Testimonium, Josephus speaks highly of Jesus and his followers, a stark contrast to the rest of the context. Finally, Josephus starts the section concerning the Isis temple as “another outrage,” for which George A. Wells[4] and others have argued both events (b) and © to have originally been adjacent, leaving the probability for the Testimonium to have been inserted later.[5]

Aside from the fact that the above is an argument from silence, once again we see that the argument fails to take into account the numerous other considerations. Let us examine those other considerations carefully as we also review some of those early Christian writers.

Considering Trypho

The argument asserts that Justin Martyr's Dialog With Trypho had need to address the existence of Jesus, and that using the Testimonium would have benefited Justin Martyr. The Trypho argument would undoubtedly use the following quote from Chp 8 to substantiate the claim:


Quote:Trypho wrote:

1.)But Christ--if He has indeed been born, and exists anywhere--is unknown, and does not even know Himself, and has no power until Elias come to anoint Him, and make Him manifest to all.

2.)And you, having accepted a groundless report, invent a Christ for yourselves, and for his sake are inconsiderately perishing.


The proponents for non-existence extract the quote from the context and use the argument that the quote above has Trypho speaking of Jesus as though Jesus did not exist, and that this should provide Justin with an opportunity to prove the existence of Jesus by presenting the Testimonium Flavium.

However, what the proponents did not consider is that Trypho was an orthodox Jew who did not believe Jesus to be the Christ. Therefore, Trypho is not speaking of Jesus as being the Christ mentioned in the first part of the quote above, but of the Christ being someone other than Jesus. Yet, let us concern ourselves with the 2nd part of the quote.

Proponents for the non-existence of Jesus assert that the 2nd part of the quote above indicates that Trypho is saying that Jesus did not actually exist, but instead was an invention of the Christians. However, Trypho did not say that Jesus the man did not exist, but that a Christ was invented by the Christians.
The question that needs to be answered here is this:

Q: Was Typho saying that the Christians invented a Christ and named him Jesus?


To answer this question, let us examine the evidence. The following is another quote from Trypho in Chp 67:


Quote:Trypho wrote:

Then Trypho objected, "The quotation is not 'Behold a virgin will conceive and bear a Son,' but 'Behold a young woman will conceive and bear a son,' and so forth, as you quoted it. Furthermore, the prophecy as a whole refers to Hezekiah, and it can be shown that the events described in the prophecy were fulfilled in him. [2] Besides, in Greek mythology there is a story of how Perseus was born of Danae, while she was a virgin, when the one whom they call Zeus descended upon her in the form of a golden shower.

You Christians should be ashamed of yourselves, therefore, to repeat the same kind of stories as these men, and you should, on the contrary, acknowledge this Jesus to be a man of mere human origin. If you can prove from the Scriptures that He !is the Christ, confess that He was considered worthy to be chosen as such because of His perfect observance of the Law, but do not dare to speak of miracles, lest you be accused of talking nonsense, like the Greeks."


In the quote above, Trypho criticizes Justin and the Christians of misinterpreting prophecies from the Torah and applying them to Jesus. He also demonstrates how the Greeks had a myth of a child being born from a virgin. Trypho then lashes out at the Christians for assigning such similar tales to Jesus, and insists that instead they should acknowledge this Jesus to be a man of mere human origin. Trypho then challenges the Christians to prove that this Jesus was the Christ from the scriptures, and not according to the nonsense propagated by Greek mythology.

It would not be incorrect to state that if Trypho thought that Jesus did not exist, yet encourages the Christians to acknowledge this Jesus to be a man of mere human origin, that he would be contradicting himself, for it is completely illogical for Trypho to encourage Christians to recognize the human qualities of someone who did not physically exist.

Further evidence can be extracted from the quote below:


Quote:Trypho wrote:

You place your hope in a crucified man, and still expect to receive favors from God when you disregard His commandments.

In the quote above, in context relating to Jesus, Trypho positively claims that Jesus was crucified, otherwise he would be not accusing the Christians of placing their hope in him. And yet even more ...


Quote:Trypho wrote:

When I paused, Trypho objected, "Your quotations from Scripture prove that we must look forward to that glorious and great Messiah who, as the Son of Man, receives the everlasting kingdom from the Ancient of days. But, the one whom you call Christ was without glory and honor to such an extent that he incurred the last curse of God's law, namely, he was crucified."



Again in the quote above we see Trypho positively confirming that Jesus was crucified. There can be no doubt that he believed Jesus to have existed as a human being, otherwise his remarks of someone being crucified who didn't exist would be totally ridiculous.

It should be noted that Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho does not concern itself with whether or not Jesus existed. It is a discussion between a Christian (Justin) and a Jew (Trypho) over whether or not Jesus was the promised Christ of the Jews. Trypho postulated that the Christian gospel had embellishments of an actual person named Jesus, and accused the Christians of misinterpreting ancient scripture and borrowing from Greek myths to embellish the life of Jesus in an effort to present him as the promised Christ. Trypho took great offense to the idea that the promised Christ would be crucified, as the following quotes indicate:


Quote:Trypho wrote:

But we doubt whether the Christ should be so shamefully crucified, for the Law declares that he who is crucified is to be accursed.

But what we want you to prove to us is that He was to be crucified and be subjected to so disgraceful and shameful a death (which even in the Law is cursed). We find it impossible to think that this could be so."


The entire discussion revolved around Justin making an attempt to qualify Jesus as being the Christ to Trypho. Yet Trypho, although admitting that Jesus was crucified and therefore to have existed, accuses the Christians of creating myths around Jesus insomuch as the claims of the Gospel regarding Jesus were preposterous. Trypho accused the Christians of inventing a Christ; an invention created by embellishing the life of a "man of mere human origin."

Therefore, there would be no cause for the Testimonium Flavium to be used here by Justin Martyr, since his objective was not in proving that Jesus existed, but in only demonstrating to Trypho how Jesus was the Christ.



Considering Origen's Contra Celsum


This argument regarding Origen's lack of mention of the Testimonium Flavium must be acknowledged as yet another argument from silence. Yet again, as we did with Trypho, we will examine the facts surrounding the argument and present some counter-points in the interests of approximating the truth.

Once again the argument asserts that Origen had some dire need to use the Testimonium Flavium in his refutation of the previous works of Celsum. The counter-points shown below will show this argument to be demonstrated as false. Once again we must ask an important question:

Q: What was Origen trying to demonstrate with his Contra Celsum work?


Upon reading Origen's Contra Celsum we are struck by the writer's objective as being that which attempts to refute a previous work created by Celsum known as the "True Discourse." Judging by the quotes Origen presents from True Discourse, we can easily determine that Origen is attempting to refute Celsum's statements against the validity of the Christian religion, as well as refute his claims against the religion of the Jews.

Q: What was Origen not trying to demonstrate with his Contra Celsum work?


Again, judging by Origen's personal statements, as well as his quotes of Celsum, Origen was not trying to neither justify the existence of Jesus as a human being, nor that Jesus was crucified. It could be understood by the comments of Celsum that Celsum himself believed that Jesus existed, as the following statement by Celsum indicates:


Quote:Celsum wrote:

Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.


Obviously Celsum had his own view of the life of Jesus, and shows no doubts whatsoever as to the existence of Jesus as being nothing more than a mere human being who was proclaimed to be some kind of god. Therefore, the use of the Testimonium Flavium here would be of no effect in proving the existence of Jesus to Celsum, since; a) Celsum was dead, and b) Celsum's True Discourse showed that Celsum believed Jesus existed as an ordinary man.

Also, the Contra Celsum work shows absolutely no indication that Celsum disbelieved that Jesus was crucified, therefore again we have no need of the Testimonium Flavium. In fact, the following quote from Contra Celsum provides evidence that Celsum did indeed have knowledge of the crucifixion of Jesus.


Quote:Contra Celsum wrote:

And in addition to the above, this Jew of Celsus afterwards addresses Jesus: "What need, moreover, was there that you, while still an infant, should be conveyed into Egypt? Was it to escape being murdered? But then it was not likely that a God should be afraid of death; and yet an angel came down from heaven, commanding you and your friends to flee, lest ye should be captured and put to death! And was not the great God, who had already sent two angels on your account, able to keep you, His only Son, there in safety?" From these words Celsus seems to think that there was no element of divinity in the human body and soul of Jesus, but that His body was not even such as is described in the fables of Homer; and with a taunt also at the blood of Jesus which was shed upon the cross, he adds that it was not "Ichor, such as flows in the veins of the blessed gods." - Chp LXVI


In the above quote, we see Origen quoting Celsum as Celsum is quoting a Jew. Yet what is important about the above quote is that at the very end, we see Origen stating the Celsum was taunting the death of Jesus on the cross. This is a clear and concise indication that Celsum knew that Jesus had been crucified, therefore we have another reason as to why there was no need to quote the Testimonium Flavium in his Contra Celsum.

Yet, there is still another argument put forth by those who disbelieve in the existence of Jesus. This argument is again put forth in the form of a question:

Q: Why did Origen say that Josephus was not believing in Jesus as the Christ?

This question does indeed offer evidence that Origen indicates that the traditional Testimonium Flavium is not what he was reading in Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, for the traditional reading has Josephus stating clearly that Jesus was the Christ. Yet, the question asked above absolutely begs the need to ask another question:

Q: How could Origen determine that Josephus was not believing in Jesus as the Christ?

Since we have Origen referring to the Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, then it is only reasonable that Origen could determine that Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Christ from the works of Josephus himself. But where?

Let's begin to answer that by looking at Jerome:


Quote:Jerome wrote:

“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.”


Jerome's quote of Josephus above does not show Josephus as one who professes Jesus to be the Christ. In fact, in the quote above we see Josephus merely expressing the views of others who believed that Jesus was the Christ. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to ascertain that Origen's statements regarding Josephus' state of disbelief could come from a similar transcript of the Testimonium above, since the above variant does not show Josephus as expressing any personal belief whatsoever that Jesus was the Christ.

In fact, Jerome's Testimonium- although showing a great deal in common with the traditional extant versions- lends credence to the Arabic variant which states the following:

Quote:Arabic Testimonium Flavium wrote:

"At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon their loyalty to him. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive. Accordingly they believed that he was the Messiah, concerning whom the Prophets have recounted wonders"


Even in the Arabic variant we see that Josephus was not stating any personal beliefs, but like in the Jerome version Josephus is expressing the views of many others. An argument also exists that the Arabic version is merely paraphrasing a previous copy, and is not actually quoting verbatim from a previous source. Yet, what we have demonstrated so far is that evidence exists which permits a reasonable hypothesis to support Origen's statement as to why Josephus himself was not showing any sign of belief that Jesus was the Christ.

Yet we are not finished yet, for when we further examine Antiquities of the Jews we noticed that the 2nd passage concerning Jesus states the following:


Quote:Josephus wrote:

Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James,


Once again we see Josephus referring to Jesus as someone who was called the Christ. Here, Josephus is not expressing any personal beliefs, but clearly demonstrating what others referred to Jesus as being; the Christ. This quotation lends even more credence to the possibility that the Jerome and Arabic versions of the Testimonium Flavium were the reasons why Origen made his statement, for in all 3 examples provided so far we do not see Josephus making any positive statement that Jesus was the Christ, but rather he is expressing the views of others.

One thing that must be acknowledged is the question of how Origen could determine that Josephus was not believing that Jesus was the Christ. Since all available evidence shows that Origen was intimately familiar with the Antiquities of the Jews, then the only reasonable conclusion we can arrive at according to the evidence is that Origen made this determination from both passages on Jesus in the Antiquities of the Jews.

So what does this prove? Nothing is conclusive, however the evidence indicates that total interpolation is very unlikely given the fact that we have 3 different variants of the Testimonium Flavium from 3 different sources. This evidence strongly indicates partial interpolation, with the focus resting directly on the differences between the positive claim of "He was the Christ" in traditional manuscripts, verses "He was believed to be the Christ" from records further back in history. The commonalities between the different versions also help to challenge the likelihood of total interpolation, since almost all variants share almost all the following:

1. Jesus was regarded to be the Christ.
2. Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate.
3. Jesus had many followers from the Jews and other peoples.
4. Jesus was a wise man, meaning he was well versed in his school of thought.
5. Jesus' followers did not abandon him after his death.
6. Jesus was regarded as one who fulfilled the prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah.


All 6 of the commonalities listed above are found in all versions of the Testimonium Flavium. Since we have 3 different variations from 3 different sources, then the evidence strongly indicates that an original paragraph regarding Jesus existed in Antiquities of the Jews in the 18th Book, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3, and that paragraph contained all the commonalities aforementioned.

What this demonstrates is that when using only the commonalities between the variants as evidence, then Origen's comments regarding Josephus' state of disbelief is justified due to Josephus not expressing any personal belief that Jesus was the Christ, but rather the text indicating Josephus only expressing the views of others. If Josephus had not expressed a positive claim that Jesus was the Christ as evidence indicates, then this non-expression justifies Origen's remarks about him when we also consider that Origen undoubtedly regarded Josephus as an orthodox Jew.

Therefore, the view we can take of Origen is that he also was reading a different version of the Testimonium Flavium, otherwise there would be no reference for him elsewhere in Antiquities of the Jews from which he could draw the conclusion that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Christ.

To summarize Origen, we have demonstrated that there was no need for him to quote the Testimonium Flavium in his Contra Celsum work, because; a) Celsum knew a man named Jesus existed, b) Celsum knew this Jesus had been crucified, and c) the original Testimonium Flavium may not have had Josephus making the positive claim of Jesus being the Christ, as evidenced by the variants. Indeed also, the contents of Contra Celsum do not indicate it was any kind of refutation against any claim of Celsum regarding the non-existence or non-crucifixion of Jesus, but rather a refutation against Celsum's attacks on the religions of Christianity and Judaism.


Considering Porphyry

Of all the arguments from silence, this is by far the largest presented. "Against the Christians" was written by the Roman pagan Porphyry circa 280 and was an educated man's studied attack on Christian theology. An exceedingly powerful and successful work, it and commentaries on it were condemned by the imperial church in 448 and burned. Only remnants which were contained in books that were primarily about other matters have survived until the present. Counter-treatises were written by Eusebius of Caesarea, Apollinaris of Laodicea, Methodius of Olympus, and Macarius of Magnesia, but all these are lost.

Of all the fragments of Porphyry we have examined, we can again conclude that there was simply no reason whatsoever anyone would need the Testimonium Flavium to refute anything said by Porphyry. The fragments indicate that Porphyry, like Trypho and Celsum, knew that Jesus had physically existed and was crucified. His objective was not in doubting the existence and crucifixion of Jesus, but in ridiculing the Christian theology.

Therefore, any reason why Porphyry would be presented as an argument against the Testimonium Flavium is a complete mystery, since there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone at any time ever needed the Testimonium Flavium to refute anything he said.

This concludes the critique of using Trypho, Origen, and Porphyry against the Testimonium Flavium.

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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19-11-2012, 05:22 AM
RE: Proof of Jesus?
(18-11-2012 08:40 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(18-11-2012 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  In the historical field, this is known as the Testimonium Flavium. It is almost universally accepted that it was indeed interpolated, but also, it is almost universally accepted that something about Jesus was written there.

This argument appears to insist that because there does not appear to be any uprising or tumultuous event occurring in the TF in contrast to the other paragraphs, then there is reason to doubt the TF was written in by Josephus. This is a very weak argument since we can find dozens of examples of even serenely peaceful events being sandwiched between paragraphs depicting raging wars throughout Antiquities and The Jewish Wars, far too numerous to mention. This is characteristic of the style of Josephus throughout his works, and by no means offers up any plausible argument that the Testimonium had been oddly inserted.
Except in the earliest copy that exists, (in Mialn), it's in a different scribe's hand, and different ink. The next paragraph says something about "the next calamity" or something which does not follow, from the TF. Also the earliest Christian writers were not aware of it, and they would have quoted it, if it had existed. All of Josephus was trying to knock down other claimants. The whole thing reeks, not just what was "bolded" above. Josephus was a client of Vespasian. He had a vested interest to NOT say anything positive about any of those seen as rivals to Vespasian.
Was going to respond but it seems the quote button is screwed up...I see why now. Mybb, gag.
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