Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
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30-06-2015, 08:33 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(30-06-2015 08:20 PM)Free Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 08:16 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Exactly. A title. The "anointed one". You know how many "anointed ones" were *recognized* as such during that period ?

A title to whom?

Perhaps to the Jews, a title indeed.

But to the Greco-Romans? As far as Tacitus was concerned, Christ was merely some Jewish religious leader who got his ass kicked by Tacitus' fellow Romans.

Tacitus mentions nothing of a title, and explicitly states that a person named Christ was executed by Pointius Pilate under the rule of Caesar Tiberias.

Well there were many "christs" executed during a rather short time there.
Just proves he had no real knowledge of what he was speaking.
He didn't name a "Jesus". Tacitus is NOT evidence for a "Jesus". You have no idea which "christ" he was talking about.

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30-06-2015, 08:59 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(30-06-2015 08:33 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Well there were many "christs" executed during a rather short time there.
Just proves he had no real knowledge of what he was speaking.
He didn't name a "Jesus". Tacitus is NOT evidence for a "Jesus". You have no idea which "christ" he was talking about.


Even with my limited schooling I would agree with Bucky here. So many deities at that time. Especially in Palestine.

As far as I can recall from reading all those ancient books, none of the Pagans mention a Jesus until Pliny in his letter to Trajan.

(On a side note. Both brother and nephew just visited and told me I should go to hospital as my head is extremely foggy and I look asleep. As a result it is best if I confine myself at this time to less scholarly subjects. I don't want to go to the hospital. Sick of the hospital. Thanks for putting up with me.)

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30-06-2015, 09:00 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(30-06-2015 08:29 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  To us, here in this time period, we recognize Christ as a title. However, can we speak for those of antiquity?

In this case, yes. We are accustomed to conflating Jesus with the annointed one. They were not. Using the title as a tile meant MORE to them than it does to us.

Yet the evidence from Tacitus is clear; it wasn't a title that was crucified, but rather it was a person named Christ.

Right or wrong?

Quote:
(30-06-2015 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  Imagine the Greco-Romans of the 1st and 2nd century. They learn of these "Chrestians" as a people who follow the teaching of someone called "Christus." They are not thinking about a title, but rather a person.

Irrelevant. A distinction with no difference. It doesn't matter. They did not know Jesus. All they knew is what they were told, and it could have all been invented.

Not irrelevant at all. A distinction with a clear difference, for one is a title and the other a person. Whether they knew or did not know the name of Jesus is irrelevant, for the evidence demonstrates that they knew a person named Christ was executed by the Roman government in Judea during the reign of Tiberias, and that Christ was leader of this sect of Chrestians.

As far as "invented" is concerned, no evidence supplied to support the assertion, so it is rejected as even being plausible until demonstrated otherwise.

Quote:
(30-06-2015 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  After all, Tacitus did not say that a "title" was crucified, which you will agree would be ridiculous. He spoke of the execution of a person known as Christ.

That he had heard tales about. No first-hand knowledge.

The interior evidence does not speak of anything Tacitus "heard," and on the contrary demonstrated that Tacitus was following the written consensus of previous Roman historians. Tacitus' use of consensus is also demonstrated here, just two chapters before his Christ/Chrestian story:

Tacitus 13:20: "Proposing as I do to follow the consentient testimony of historians,"

So here we have Tacitus from 2000 years ago adhering to the modern technique of using the consensus of his peers in his works.

Remarkable.

Quote:
(30-06-2015 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  I find this argument wanting.

1. Since Tacitus was a Roman historian writing Roman history ...

2. ... and is recording some history of high ranking Roman officials such Pontius Pilate and Casear Tiberias ...

3. ...and tells us right at the beginning of his history of the Great Fires of Rome (15:38) which includes Chrestians and Christus that he is using the works of previous writers ...

4 ... and is again seen accessing previous historical records in the very next paragraph following Chrestians/Christ/Pilate/Caesar in 15:45.

Therefore, Tacitus tells us twice within a span of 7 paragraphs- which includes the Chrestians/Christ account- that he is accessing the works of previously written Roman histories, and you and others think it's reasonable to say that we cannot know where he got his information from?

Yes. It is reasonable to question the whole thing. He heard about one of the christ (who may or may not be Jesus) figures and wants to blame the fires on an unpopular sect, or a sect to MAKE them unpopular.

Again, you keep insisting that he "heard" this thing, or that thing, but have yet to demonstrate any evidence that he heard anything at all.

Since I have demonstrated ad nausium that he was using the written consensus of Roman historians for his scholarship, I think it only fair that you then demonstrate evidence that he got his information orally propagated from the Greco-Romans.

Please provide this evidence so we can discuss it.

Tongue

Quote:
(30-06-2015 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  Do you think that a Roman historian, biased towards the Roman culture, would somehow think it would be necessary to add a specific footnote to the Chrestian/Christ line of text telling you specifically where he got that specific information when he already told you just previous to it, and immediately after it, that he was accessing previously written Roman histories for his information?

He could have got it from anywhere. We know there were all sorts of christ figures. There is really no way to be sure which one he had HEARD about.

You keep insisting that he could have gotten it from anywhere, yet fail to provide any evidence of this "anywhere he could have gotten it."

I have provided good solid evidence twice within the very context that he got it from the consensus of previous Roman historians. Please provide better evidence than mine, and remember, asserting he may have gotten it from here or there is not evidence of anything at all ... aside of it being evidence of mere assertion.

Big Grin

Quote:
(30-06-2015 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  This is evidence: Tacitus got his information from previously written Roman historical accounts, and says so twice within the context. It is completely unreasonable to expect a 1st/2nd century historian to assign footnotes and citations to a single line of text in anticipation of what we may think some 2000 years later.

But it's all smoke and mirrors. There is no *information* there. The use of a common title proves NOTHING with respect to a specific person named Jesus.

He did not use Christus in the context of a title, but rather in the context of a person who was executed.

You cannot defeat this fact with assertion.

Quote:
(30-06-2015 07:40 PM)Free Wrote:  Sorry, but history doesn't work the way you want it to. It is what it is, and that's all ya get.

And what we get from Tacitus, from beginning to end, is actually quite remarkable with, or without, the Chrestians and Christ.

But no real actual *evidence* for a person named Jesus, even though you keep asserting it is. If *Christ* was an invention of Paul, everything Tacitus and you say could STILL be true. There is no *there* there ... in what you claim to be "arguments".

Okay, well then other than Jesus, find me another person called Christ of whom the Chrestians and Christians were named after, and who was executed by Pontius Pilate according to Tacitus.

Good luck.

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30-06-2015, 09:08 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(30-06-2015 08:59 PM)Banjo Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 08:33 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Well there were many "christs" executed during a rather short time there.
Just proves he had no real knowledge of what he was speaking.
He didn't name a "Jesus". Tacitus is NOT evidence for a "Jesus". You have no idea which "christ" he was talking about.


Even with my limited schooling I would agree with Bucky here. So many deities at that time. Especially in Palestine.

As far as I can recall from reading all those ancient books, none of the Pagans mention a Jesus until Pliny in his letter to Trajan.

(On a side note. Both brother and nephew just visited and told me I should go to hospital as my head is extremely foggy and I look asleep. As a result it is best if I confine myself at this time to less scholarly subjects. I don't want to go to the hospital. Sick of the hospital. Thanks for putting up with me.)

But here's the problem.

Find one ancient record of anyone other than Jesus being recorded in writing as being referred to as Christ.

Examples:

John Christ
James Christ
Simon Christ

You know, the best way to learn if someone is right or wrong is to get down and get dirty investigating the claims they make.

Therefore, can you find me an ancient record of anyone actually being called Christ, other than Jesus?

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30-06-2015, 09:12 PM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 08:29 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  In this case, yes. We are accustomed to conflating Jesus with the annointed one. They were not. Using the title as a tile meant MORE to them than it does to us.

Yet the evidence from Tacitus is clear; it wasn't a title that was crucified, but rather it was a person named Christ.

Right or wrong?

Wrong. It was only his misunderstanding that it was a name and not a title.

He knew nothing else about this Christ, so which one was it?

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-06-2015, 09:21 PM (This post was last modified: 30-06-2015 10:29 PM by Free.)
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(30-06-2015 09:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  Yet the evidence from Tacitus is clear; it wasn't a title that was crucified, but rather it was a person named Christ.

Right or wrong?

Wrong. It was only his misunderstanding that it was a name and not a title.

And this assertion is supported with what evidence?

Hmmm?

You are asserting without evidence; assuming without support.

You know better, Chas.

Quote:He knew nothing else about this Christ, so which one was it?

What he knew was that this Christ was executed by Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberias. What he knew was that the Chrestians/Christians were named after this Christ. What else he knew is that immediately after the execution of this Christ, a "mischievous superstition" broke out in Judea, which could reasonably be understood as being the resurrection of this same Christ. And that is what he knew and what else he knew.

And what we know is that what Tacitus knew is consistent with what we know from other sources.

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01-07-2015, 02:53 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
I'm not a historian.

For various reasons, which I have no wish to go into at this time, I am an atheist and therefore suffer from confirmation bias.

That said, if someone was wandering around Galilee performing miracles left, right and centre and preaching to crowds of 5,000, one would have expected that someone would have documented it AT THE TIME. Afaik, no one did.

If we omit the bible, the first text to mention jesus appeared in 93/94 AD courtesy of one Josephus. Josephus mentions jesus twice. Afaik, it is agreed amongst scholars that one of the entries is an insert by early christians. jesus was supposedly crucified in 33 AD. That's a gap of 60 years.

Why the 60 year gap between the supposed crucifixion and the first mention of jesus outside of the bible?

The next text to mention jesus appeared in 116 AD courtesy of Tacitus. That's a gap of 83 years.

If we use biblical evidence, depending on whether we take the first gospels to have been written as early as 50 AD or as late as 70 AD, we have a minimum gap of 17 years.

Why the gaps in the first place? This is a question posed by Carrier. I'm not aware that it has been answered.

Could it have been because then, all the people that could have known jesus would be dead and therefore not in a position to refute the claim that jesus existed. Note. The average life span in those days was 48 years.

OK, a conspiracy theory perhaps. But then, we need to see it against other claims about jesus:

1. He was the son of god.
2. He rose from the dead.
3. He was born of a virgin.
4. He performed miracles.

Seen against this kind of backdrop, creating a mythical jesus doesn't seem so unreasonable, does it?

I hold my hands up. I have no proof. But then, let's face it, what proof is there that jesus was the son of god, did come back to life, was born of a virgin and did perform miracles? It makes a lot more sense that jesus was a mythical creation.

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01-07-2015, 03:41 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(30-06-2015 09:21 PM)Free Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 09:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  Wrong. It was only his misunderstanding that it was a name and not a title.

And this assertion is supported with what evidence?

Hmmm?

You are asserting without evidence; assuming without support.

You know better, Chas.

Oh, bullshit. "Christ" is a label, not a name.
You claim he thought that that label referred to a particular person of that name. If he did, he was mistaken.

If he wasn't mistaken, your argument falls apart.

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01-07-2015, 04:51 AM
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(01-07-2015 03:41 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 09:21 PM)Free Wrote:  And this assertion is supported with what evidence?

Hmmm?

You are asserting without evidence; assuming without support.

You know better, Chas.

Oh, bullshit. "Christ" is a label, not a name.
You claim he thought that that label referred to a particular person of that name. If he did, he was mistaken.

If he wasn't mistaken, your argument falls apart.


I looked it up on a Hebrew website. Christ literally means messiah. Hardly a name.

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01-07-2015, 07:30 AM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2015 08:06 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Richard Carrier On the Historicity of Jesus
(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  Yet the evidence from Tacitus is clear; it wasn't a title that was crucified, but rather it was a person named Christ.

You can repeat this until you're blue in the face THERE WAS NO *PERSON* "named christ". You seem to NEED to think there was. The *person* we are talking about evidence for historicity of, was *named* Yeshua (Jesus). If he existed, it appears that the fact (or the *claim*) that he was a christ was an evolving-"dawning" realization. He wasn't "named" or even "called" a christ yet at the time of his execution. Calling him a "christ" is a staement of religious faith and a buy-in to the culture of Hebrew traditions. Tacitus had NO REASON to do that, and it appears he didn't even *get it*. So WRONG.


(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  Not irrelevant at all. A distinction with a clear difference, for one is a title and the other a person. Whether they knew or did not know the name of Jesus is irrelevant, for the evidence demonstrates that they knew a person named Christ was executed by the Roman government in Judea during the reign of Tiberias, and that Christ was leader of this sect of Chrestians.

No. What they (apparently) *knew* was that someone with the title of "christ" (and there were many) was executed. There is no way to know if they meant Jesus.

(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  The interior evidence does not speak of anything Tacitus "heard," and on the contrary demonstrated that Tacitus was following the written consensus of previous Roman historians. Tacitus' use of consensus is also demonstrated here, just two chapters before his Christ/Chrestian story:

Tacitus 13:20: "Proposing as I do to follow the consentient testimony of historians,"

In fact we have no clue what that "concensus testimony" is based on.

(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  Remarkable.

Totally unremarkable. And considering the historicity in question concerns a *person* who may have come to be one of the most important figures in human history, it's downright paltry.

(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  Since I have demonstrated ad nausium that he was using the written consensus of Roman historians for his scholarship, I think it only fair that you then demonstrate evidence that he got his information orally propagated from the Greco-Romans.

You have never once provided even one piece of reliable evidence concerning the reliability of your "concensus". We have not a clue what it was based on. The fact that you claim there may have been a concensus at a time when the very nature of what it meant to even discuss "history" (at all) makes me wonder how you can accept "concensus" when "writing history" was one of the things Tacitus actually had under active discussion.

(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  He did not use Christus in the context of a title, but rather in the context of a person who was executed.

Irrelevant YOU and he did not know who the person was, who HAD the title. There were many.


(30-06-2015 09:00 PM)Free Wrote:  well then other than Jesus, find me another person called Christ of whom the Chrestians and Christians were named after, and who was executed by Pontius Pilate according to Tacitus.

Good luck

I don't *need luck*. YOU have to PROVE the assertion about Pilate. There is no record of that claim, and the fact that gospels claim it happened on Passover weekend is 99.999 % evidence to doubt it ever happened. The Sanhedrin was never once in all of Jewish history convened on Passover weekend.


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