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  1. #261
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post

    The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Resurrecti.../dp/0830827196
    Michael R. Licona (Ph.D., University of Pretoria) is associate professor in theology at Houston Baptist University. He is the author of Paul Meets Muhammad (Baker, 2006) and coauthor with Gary Habermas of the award-winning book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Kregel, 2004). Licona is a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Institute for Biblical Research and the Society of Biblical Literature.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Resurrecti...=vglnkc7195-20

    Gary Habamas.
    Habermas is a Christian apologist

    So it's just same old same old. You present Christians apologist and Christian theologians as 'unbiased historians' that accept the existence of Jesus The Christ'.

    To quote a classic line from history....

    'Well he would say that wouldn't he.'
    -Mandy Rice-Davies.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 11th, 2015 at 07:43 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  2. #262
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    My problem is with the existence of Jesus The Christ and after all the hours of discussion on the subject you STILL don't appear to understand the difference between 'Jesus' and 'Jesus The Christ'.

    Well I usually say that there is no verifiable or reliable evidence but if I've said what you claim, I'm happy to retract that and replace it with 'no verifiable or reliable evidence. The Bible is evidence, Josephus is evidence, Tacitus is evidence - the problem is that it is not verifiable or reliable evidence.
    Okay, so it's not really Jesus you argue didn't exist, it's Jesus the Christ. And it's not that there's no evidence, it's that there's no verifiable evidence...

    Seriously? The argument regarding two different Jesi doesn't really have any bearing on a thread whose OP is predicated on the one Jesus (Bible-Jesus). So THAT argument is kind of a fruitless endeavor.


    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    There is, however, widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives,..

    Scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus, and historians tend to look upon supernatural or miraculous claims about Jesus as questions of faith, rather than historical fact.

    The sources for the historical Jesus are mainly Christian writings, such as the gospels and the purported letters of the apostles. The authenticity and reliability of these sources has been questioned by many scholars, and few events mentioned in the gospels are universally accepted.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus
    You left out the part of your source where it says there are two universally agreed upon events: His baptism and his crucifixion. That would, at the very least, be verifiable proof for the existence of Bible Jesus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    LMAO! If you argue against something not existing than you argue for it's existence.
    Not really, hoss. See, if you introduce an argument, and I argue against it, I'm not arguing -A is true, only that A is incorrect. It's important for you to understand that distinction.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  3. #263
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Okay, so it's not really Jesus you argue didn't exist, it's Jesus the Christ.
    Bingo! You've got it at last.

    And it's not that there's no evidence, it's that there's no verifiable evidence...
    Bingo again! Goodness Sir! Have you seen the light.

    Seriously? The argument regarding two different Jesi doesn't really have any bearing on a thread whose OP is predicated on the one Jesus (Bible-Jesus).
    The argument regarding the two stems from you and your team trying to take the non-divine itinerant rebel rabbi that historians accept existed and trying to turn him into Jesus The Christ. Will you now accept that the Jesus we are seeking verifiable evidence for is BibleJesus.

    You left out the part of your source where it says there are two universally agreed upon events: His baptism and his crucifixion. That would, at the very least, be verifiable proof for the existence of Bible Jesus.
    Nope! Well not unless you can prove that your Jesus The Christ was the only man in the whole history of the Roman Empire to have been executed by crucifixion. It is evidence that there are historians who believe that the character referred to as 'historical Jesus' died by means of crucifixion, a common means of execution. Its no evidence for BibleJesus at all.

    I suggest that you read the part headed 'Two widely accepted 'fact' of history'. Those that 'widely accept those two so called 'facts' are Bible scholars; Bible scholars are largely theologians, theologians are believers. Look at the names in that section:
    James Dunn - Theologian.
    W.R Hertzog - Theologian.
    J.P Mier - Theologian and priest.
    Dom Crossan - Theologian and ex-priest.
    Saunders -Theologian.
    Fredrikson - Theologian.
    Vermes - Theologian and ex-priest.

    So I set you the same challenge that I set Squatch. Give me twelve 'historians', as opposed to Bible scholars (theologians), who are not Christians, that believe that Jesus The Christ, son of Yahweh was a real character of history.

    I accept that there are very many people, whether they be historians or truck drivers, that have no problem with an itinerant rebel rabbi political/religious agitator called 'Jesus' but that Jesus is not the Jesus The Christ that YOU and the Bible scholars want to have existed.

    Do you accept the difference between the two?

    Not really, hoss. See, if you introduce an argument, and I argue against it, I'm not arguing -A is true, only that A is incorrect.
    Well I suppose you know what you're talking about.

    Nothing to say regarding the other points I made then??
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 12th, 2015 at 03:06 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  4. #264
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    So I set you the same challenge that I set Squatch. Give me twelve 'historians', as opposed to Bible scholars (theologians), who are not Christians, that believe that Jesus The Christ, son of Yahweh was a real character of history.
    Okay, before I even bother trying to make an attempt at this, I want to be absolutely clear on exactly what it is you're wanting. So to be clear, is the following your challenge:

    "Provide twelve non-Christian historians who agree that Jesus the Christ existed, was born of a virgin, the son of God, performed miracles such as raising the dead, and then resurrected after death and ascended into the heavens later after that."

    Because if it is, then I'm not going to bother trying to answer that one. The criteria is self defeating. Anyone that would accept those things about Jesus necessarily WOULD convert and become a Christian, rendering them unable to be used as an answer to your challenge. So unless you mean something else in what you're saying, you're asking for the equivalent of someone finding a square-circle or a married bachelor.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  5. #265
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Okay, before I even bother trying to make an attempt at this, I want to be absolutely clear on exactly what it is you're wanting. So to be clear, is the following your challenge:

    "Provide twelve non-Christian historians who agree that Jesus the Christ existed, was born of a virgin, the son of God, performed miracles such as raising the dead, and then resurrected after death and ascended into the heavens later after that."

    Because if it is, then I'm not going to bother trying to answer that one. Anyone that would accept those things about Jesus necessarily WOULD convert and become a Christian, rendering them unable to be used as an answer to your challenge.
    By Jove he's got it again!. You've actually understood the point I'm making in asking for that. I want to dispel this nonsense that your side is so keen on regurgitating which is - 'Historians are unanimous that Jesus The Christ existed, was born of a virgin, was the son of God, performed miracles such as raising the dead, and then resurrected after death and ascended into the heavens later after that.'

    What I'm trying to point out to you is that the only historians that think that are Bible scholars who are, by and large, theologians and Christians. The majority of historians (as opposed to Bible scholars) do not believe that Jesus The Christ (as described above) existed but they are happy to accept that Jesus the itinerant rabbi, the political/religious agitator existed and that this 'Jesus' was arrested and tried, probably for sedition, and was executed by way of crucifixion, which was the normal method (though not as described in the Gospels) of executing criminals, agitators and other such trouble makers.

    All I'm asking you to accept is that the 'Jesus' that 'most' historians accept existed is NOT the Jesus The Christ of the Bible. Do you agree? If you do not agree than please show who these non-Christian, non theologian historians (as opposed to Bible scholars) are. It's that simple mate - can you do it? Put up or shut up as the saying goes.

    So unless you mean something else in what you're saying, you're asking for the equivalent of someone finding a square-circle or a married bachelor.
    Oh I don't know! Squatch says that he is aware of more than a dozen NT historians that accept that 'Jesus' existed, was born of a virgin, was the son of God, performed miracles such as raising the dead, and then resurrected after death and ascended into the heavens later after that - but who are not believing Christians. I just thought that you might know them too. I'm keen to know who they are because I think the same as you. I don't think that any historian/NT scholar that believes that Jesus the Christ existed, was born of a virgin, was the son of God, performed miracles such as raising the dead, and then resurrected after death and ascended into the heavens - can be anything other than a Christian.

    Nothing to say regarding the other points I made in post #260 then??
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 12th, 2015 at 03:08 AM.
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  6. #266
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    I want to dispel this nonsense that your side is so keen on regurgitating which is - 'Historians are unanimous that Jesus The Christ existed, was born of a virgin, was the son of God, performed miracles such as raising the dead, and then resurrected after death and ascended into the heavens later after that.'
    I don't believe myself or anyone in this thread has actually made that claim that Historians agree on that while continuing to NOT be Christians. If I'm wrong, by all means, show me. But I dispute that such a claim has been forwarded.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Nothing to say regarding the other points I made in post #260 then??
    What other points? That the last part of Mark is an addition? My Bible notes that. I've been well aware of it for a while now. Other than that, I don't really see anything major that you brought up in that post.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  7. #267
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I don't believe myself or anyone in this thread has actually made that claim that Historians agree on that while continuing to NOT be Christians. If I'm wrong, by all means, show me. But I dispute that such a claim has been forwarded.
    Well the theist claim throughout this thread that it is the majority of historians agree that Jesus The Christ existed. I'm sure that the majority of historians can't all be Christians can they?

    What other points?
    They were all addressed to your replies to me. How did you miss them. Your text is in italics. Respond to what I said to you:

    Your reasoning has been, in order of the positions above:

    -The Bible is unreliable and written by existing CHristians propagating a story.


    Which it is. Look -

    There is, however, widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives,..

    Scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus, and historians tend to look upon supernatural or miraculous claims about Jesus as questions of faith, rather than historical fact.

    The sources for the historical Jesus are mainly Christian writings, such as the gospels and the purported letters of the apostles. The authenticity and reliability of these sources has been questioned by many scholars, and few events mentioned in the gospels are universally accepted.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -Those were either interpolations, or written by Christians propagating a story.

    Which is true as evidence by the many additions and subtractions in the Bible and you won't find many who will say that the Josephus and Tacitus have not been tampered with. How the hell can you claim that the Gospels are reliable as history when so many Gospels were rejected by the early Church because they didn't portray JtC in a way that the Church thought JTC should be? How do you know that the rejected Gospel Of Judas isn't the 'truth' rather than the Gospel Of Mark and Judas was really JtC right-hand man?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -That all or most scholars are Christians and therefore unreliable.

    Nope! I said no such thing. What I say is that the majority of Bible scholars are Christians. If you are going to quote me then quote what I said not what you would like me to have said. That's just intellectual dishonesty.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -Insisted that people would've seen it or talked about it and history would've recorded it.

    History would have recorded it. Are you seriously telling me that three hours of darkness and dead people walking around Jerusalem would have gone un-noticed? Are you seriously saying that, in a time of magik, miracles and superstition that contemporaneous sources would not have made a mention of some miracle-man that could walk on water, raise people from the dead, cure the sick, make the blind see and feed huge crowds of people with very little and then have more left than was started with?? You surely jest if you think that such things would have garnered nary a mention.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But you can, or should be able to, see the very clear flaw in your reasoning here, specifically with the last one. If someone witnessed a miracle or divine act, they very well may have converted. If they did, they would be CHristian.

    They may have, they may not have. Unless you can show that everyone that witnessed these miracles became a Christian your claim is just opinion. Your opinion is also debunked by the large-scale miracles. For example, the alleged darkness of the crucifixion would have been witnessed over most of the world, just like they are today. It would have been witnessed by people that had never even heard of JtC or Christianity - yet nobody mentioned it! Odd don't you think?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And you're not accepting CHristian writings because they're unreliable.

    I don't accept Christian writings because they have been PROVEN unreliable. For example; why should we accept as reliable, the stories of JtC appearing to his followers in the Gospel of Mark when it is known that the verses that deal with that (Mark 16:9-20) were added at a later date by Christian forgers in the 2nd century that didn't like Mark 16 ending without a 'resurrection' and miraculous appearance of JtC before his followers.
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/endmark.html
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So you can try to dismiss what Squatch, Mindtrap, or myself have posted here.

    LOL! ...and just what have you presented?? Two tiny suspect verses from two ancient historians that are accepted on both sides of the divide as having been tampered with; one tiny insignificant snippet from Mara bar Serapion that is so worthless that even Bible apologists don't bother to use it as evidence - and the Gospels which are accepted by anyone other than apologists as 'unreliable'.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





    That the last part of Mark is an addition? My Bible notes that. I've been well aware of it for a while now.
    So, as you seem to have agreed that the ending of Mark is a second century Church forgery, why should the Bible be considered 'trustworthy'?
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  8. #268
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Well the theist claim throughout this thread that it is the majority of historians agree that Jesus The Christ existed. I'm sure that the majority of historians can't all be Christians can they?
    I think I see where the defining aspect of Jesus is causing a problem for us in this thread. It's in the next part of your post here.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Your reasoning has been, in order of the positions above:

    -The Bible is unreliable and written by existing CHristians propagating a story.


    Which it is. Look -

    There is, however, widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives,..

    Scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus, and historians tend to look upon supernatural or miraculous claims about Jesus as questions of faith, rather than historical fact.

    The sources for the historical Jesus are mainly Christian writings, such as the gospels and the purported letters of the apostles. The authenticity and reliability of these sources has been questioned by many scholars, and few events mentioned in the gospels are universally accepted.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus
    And here we have it. You make the distinction that there is a "Historical Jesus" who most likely existed, and a "Biblical Jesus" who most likely either didn't exist, or is a blend of fact and fiction (like a historical figure who was mythicized over time). But your own source says the bulk (almost all) are Christian writings. This would mean that the bulk of writings about Jesus are ABOUT the "Biblical Jesus" and not the other definition of Jesus. Within that writing about the Biblical Jesus, scholars (again your own source) agree almost universally on two events: The Baptism by John the Baptist, and the Crucifixion. That the writings detailing the crucifixion are writing about the Biblical Jesus, and the Crucifixion is agreed to have occurred, wouldn't that count as evidence for the Biblical Jesus (as that's the one being written about)? I'm not sure how you can look at that and argue that "No, that's the historical Jesus, not the Biblical Jesus" because the gospel writers were clearly not writing about a non-divine rabbi. So I'd argue that what you and I are really discussing here isn't two differing Jesi (pronounced Jeez-eye for the plural of Jesus, and yes, I'm making up a new plural here). That instead, we're in agreement that Jesus existed, but you're denying his divine nature and asking for evidence of miracles. Would that be an accurate assessment at this point?
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    -Those were either interpolations, or written by Christians propagating a story.

    Which is true as evidence by the many additions and subtractions in the Bible and you won't find many who will say that the Josephus and Tacitus have not been tampered with. How the hell can you claim that the Gospels are reliable as history when so many Gospels were rejected by the early Church because they didn't portray JtC in a way that the Church thought JTC should be? How do you know that the rejected Gospel Of Judas isn't the 'truth' rather than the Gospel Of Mark and Judas was really JtC right-hand man?
    What you're talking about here is the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea. The problem here is that no one decided what should or shouldn't be in or compose the Bible.

    A number of erroneous views have been stated regarding the council's role in establishing the biblical canon. In fact, there is no record of any discussion of the biblical canon at the council at all.

    The development of the Bible took a long time, and a lot of the discussions hinged on whether the texts were Gnostic (considered heresy from the beginning), or had unconfirmed authors, etc. It's why several of Paul's letters were ultimately rejected. Some of his letters were gnostic in content (which disagrees with others letters that were not) and some were clear forgeries so they were discarded. In light of those aspects, would seem more reasonable to suggest that it was a conspiracy to forwarded an agreed upon narrative, or that these individuals, over the centuries, by and large were more concerned with ensuring that the information was accurate?

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    -That all or most scholars are Christians and therefore unreliable.

    Nope! I said no such thing. What I say is that the majority of Bible scholars are Christians. If you are going to quote me then quote what I said not what you would like me to have said. That's just intellectual dishonesty.
    In my defense, I did say "Or most" as a qualifier that if not all of them, then the majority of them, which IS what you said. So I wouldn't call it intellectual dishonesty.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    -Insisted that people would've seen it or talked about it and history would've recorded it.

    History would have recorded it. Are you seriously telling me that three hours of darkness and dead people walking around Jerusalem would have gone un-noticed? Are you seriously saying that, in a time of magik, miracles and superstition that contemporaneous sources would not have made a mention of some miracle-man that could walk on water, raise people from the dead, cure the sick, make the blind see and feed huge crowds of people with very little and then have more left than was started with?? You surely jest if you think that such things would have garnered nary a mention.
    So let's look at the crucifixion (since the majority of scholars agreed that it happened). Is there anything about an eclipse that would make it automatically inclusive of history? Is there anything about an earthquake? Those events TOGETHER would be noteworthy. But the only isolated aspect of the crucifixion you'd have a solid case for is the raising of the dead and for two reasons: That it's claimed many saw them, and that it's claimed many of them rose. Which would mean that in the whole city, there should've been at least ONE person who would've written down, "HOLY ****! JUST SAW A FREAKIN PARADE OF DEAD HOLY PEOPLE!" But even here we have an issue that stems from history itself, and that's that a LOT of documents don't survive the tides of time. It could very well be that someone DID write about it, and the information was lost or destroyed at some point. Jerusalem hasn't exactly been a center for peace for the past several thousand years. Hell, just the multiple crusades led to scores of temples being ripped down and rebuilt over and over and over again. The Bible itself mentions more than a dozen books that NO ONE has ever been able to find (The Wars of the Lord, the History of the Kings of Juda, the History of the Kings of Israel, etc).

    And even the assumption itself that someone WOULD have written has problems. As I pointed out in post 156, prior to the reliability of the printing press, oral tradition was the most reliable method of passing information. So even though people COULD write, at the time, it would've been more reliable for people to tell what they saw rather than write what they saw.

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    But you can, or should be able to, see the very clear flaw in your reasoning here, specifically with the last one. If someone witnessed a miracle or divine act, they very well may have converted. If they did, they would be CHristian.

    They may have, they may not have. Unless you can show that everyone that witnessed these miracles became a Christian your claim is just opinion. Your opinion is also debunked by the large-scale miracles. For example, the alleged darkness of the crucifixion would have been witnessed over most of the world, just like they are today. It would have been witnessed by people that had never even heard of JtC or Christianity - yet nobody mentioned it! Odd don't you think?
    Again, there's no overwhelming reason to accept that a written statement about it would be more preferable or acceptable.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    And you're not accepting CHristian writings because they're unreliable.

    I don't accept Christian writings because they have been PROVEN unreliable. For example; why should we accept as reliable, the stories of JtC appearing to his followers in the Gospel of Mark when it is known that the verses that deal with that (Mark 16:9-20) were added at a later date by Christian forgers in the 2nd century that didn't like Mark 16 ending without a 'resurrection' and miraculous appearance of JtC before his followers.
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/endmark.html
    And this does nothing to damage the information that ISN'T forged in Mark, just as the proposed interpolation in John does nothing to detract from John if it's withheld. And even if it does, that still leaves us with Matthew and Luke, and no supposition that either has been tampered with.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    So you can try to dismiss what Squatch, Mindtrap, or myself have posted here.

    LOL! ...and just what have you presented?? Two tiny suspect verses from two ancient historians that are accepted on both sides of the divide as having been tampered with; one tiny insignificant snippet from Mara bar Serapion that is so worthless that even Bible apologists don't bother to use it as evidence - and the Gospels which are accepted by anyone other than apologists as 'unreliable'.
    Well, if we're too continue in this way, would these count as references to some of the aspects of the crucifixion?

    And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles."
    ....
    He imagines also that both the earthquake and the darkness were an invention; but regarding these, we have in the preceding pages, made our defence, according to our ability, adducing the testimony of Phlegon, who relates that these events took place at the time when our Saviour suffered

    http://www.earlychristianwritings.co...origen162.html

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    So, as you seem to have agreed that the ending of Mark is a second century Church forgery, why should the Bible be considered 'trustworthy'?
    Because the insertions don't detract from the text when ignored or left out. If I can discount what we know to be an addition, and it doesn't affect the integrity of the text, then there's no reason for me to doubt the reliability of the text.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  9. #269
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I think I see where the defining aspect of Jesus is causing a problem for us in this thread. It's in the next part of your post here.

    And here we have it. You make the distinction that there is a "Historical Jesus" who most likely existed, and a "Biblical Jesus" who most likely either didn't exist, or is a blend of fact and fiction (like a historical figure who was mythicized over time). But your own source says the bulk (almost all) are Christian writings. This would mean that the bulk of writings about Jesus are ABOUT the "Biblical Jesus" and not the other definition of Jesus. Within that writing about the Biblical Jesus, scholars (again your own source) agree almost universally on two events: The Baptism by John the Baptist, and the Crucifixion. That the writings detailing the crucifixion are writing about the Biblical Jesus, and the Crucifixion is agreed to have occurred, wouldn't that count as evidence for the Biblical Jesus (as that's the one being written about)?
    Not unless you can show that JtC was the only person named Jesus to have been baptised by JtB and the only person to have been executed by crucifixion. I'd also say that the 'scholars' that agree on the crucifixion are probably theologians and believers.

    I'm not sure how you can look at that and argue that "No, that's the historical Jesus, not the Biblical Jesus" because the gospel writers were clearly not writing about a non-divine rabbi. So I'd argue that what you and I are really discussing here isn't two differing Jesi (pronounced Jeez-eye for the plural of Jesus, and yes, I'm making up a new plural here). That instead, we're in agreement that Jesus existed, but you're denying his divine nature and asking for evidence of miracles. Would that be an accurate assessment at this point?
    No not really because if we look at this definition of 'Historical Jesus' is, we can see that it is clear and unambiguous what the term means:

    "Historical Jesus refers to attempts to "reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth by critical historical methods, in contrast to Christological definitions ('the dogmatic Christ') and other Christian accounts of Jesus (‘the Christ of faith’)

    That is quite clear to me and I can't see why you Christians are not seeing it other than because you don't want to see it. It is saying that 'Historical Jesus' is a search or an attempt to reconstruct a Jesus that is in contrast to the Jesus that is depicted in Christianity. Two different "Jesi"!! It actually says that it is 'in contrast to' the Bible/Christian depiction of JtC. However, let's run with your assessment in order to prevent the thread getting bogged down and say that what is meant by 'Historical Jesus' is Bible Jesus minus the supernatural and miraculous claims. So, would you agree that if the evidence is such that historians agree that the supernatural and miraculous claims attributed to JtC in the Bible are not factual - then the Bible depiction of JtC can be dimissed?

    What you're talking about here is the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea.
    No I'm not actually. The Council of Nicea had naff all to do with what went into or what was taken out of the Bible. The Council of Nicea mainly discussed whether or not JtC was 'divine' or not.

    The problem here is that no one decided what should or shouldn't be in or compose the Bible
    Sure they did! The Council of Laodicea, the Council of Hippo and the Council of Carthage, all had a hand in deciding what was acceptable to be included in the Bible and what wasn't. Three events just off the top of my head when mortal men decided what or wasn't 'inspired' by their god.

    'The process of canonization was relatively long and remarkably flexible and detached; various books in use were recognized as inspired, but the Church Fathers noted, without embarrassment or criticism, how some held certain books to be canonical and others did not. Emerging Christianity assumed that through the Spirit the selection of canonical books was “certain” enough for the needs of the church.'
    http://global.britannica.com/EBcheck...f-canonization

    The development of the Bible took a long time, and a lot of the discussions hinged on whether the texts were Gnostic (considered heresy from the beginning), or had unconfirmed authors, etc. It's why several of Paul's letters were ultimately rejected. Some of his letters were gnostic in content (which disagrees with others letters that were not) and some were clear forgeries so they were discarded. In light of those aspects, would seem more reasonable to suggest that it was a conspiracy to forwarded an agreed upon narrative, or that these individuals, over the centuries, by and large were more concerned with ensuring that the information was accurate?
    I would argue that they were not concerned with what was accurate but more concerned with producing a product that appealed to them and more importantly, to the masses. Would you agree then that in view of the centuries of chopping, changing, altering, additions, subtraction and plain downright lies - the Bible is not a work we should be relying on for accuracy?

    So let's look at the crucifixion (since the majority of scholars agreed that it happened). Is there anything about an eclipse that would make it automatically inclusive of history?
    Well THIS particular one yes! Why? Because it happened at a time when an eclipse was not expected and star-gazers over most of the planet would be scratching their heads and saying - What the....., AND recording it.

    ...and look! Yet another alteration to make the story fit...

    "The majority of manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke have the Greek phrase "eskotisthe ho helios" ("the sun was darkened"), but the earliest manuscripts say "tou heliou eklipontos" ("the sun's light failed" or "the sun was in eclipse"), appearing to explain the event as an eclipse. This earlier version is likely to have been the original one, amended by later scribes to correct what they assumed was an error, since they knew that an eclipse was impossible during Passover."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_darkness

    Is there anything about an earthquake?
    One that was strong enough to do what the Bible said it did yes!

    Those events TOGETHER would be noteworthy.
    So why were they not noted and recorded?
    But the only isolated aspect of the crucifixion you'd have a solid case for is the raising of the dead and for two reasons: That it's claimed many saw them, and that it's claimed many of them rose. Which would mean that in the whole city, there should've been at least ONE person who would've written down, "HOLY ****! JUST SAW A FREAKIN PARADE OF DEAD HOLY PEOPLE!" But even here we have an issue that stems from history itself, and that's that a LOT of documents don't survive the tides of time. It could very well be that someone DID write about it, and the information was lost or destroyed at some point.
    Oh piffle and tish Sir! Pure apologetics and clutching at straws - not much better than the old Christian apologetics of "they were mostly illiterate back then" Jerusalem was far from a backwater village full of peasants. There were loads of historians, literate priests, scholars, soldiers around who would have borne witness; and it's not only the hundreds or even thousands that would have seen it that are silent about this monumental event, it is the silence from their friends and families and the friends and families of their friends and families and so on; politicians and military that would have taken it outside Jerusalem and told others who would have told thousands more; visiting traders from other lands who had heard about it in Jerusalem and taken the story back to their homes and told others etc, etc. In such days of magic and superstition, the story would have spread like wild-fire for far and wide, starting with a few hundred people and spreading to hundreds of thousands within a short space of time. To say that all those accounts have been lost is a bit of a non-starter. It has always amazed me that all the documents that Christians use to support their Christ miraculously survive the ravages of time yet anything that would deny their Christ gets lost or destroyed. You'll be claiming 'divine intervention next!! LOL!

    The Bible itself mentions more than a dozen books that NO ONE has ever been able to find.
    ...and you can bet your life that if they did come to light and they blew the Christian story apart, they would soon disappear again.

    And even the assumption itself that someone WOULD have written has problems. As I pointed out in post 156, prior to the reliability of the printing press, oral tradition was the most reliable method of passing information. So even though people COULD write, at the time, it would've been more reliable for people to tell what they saw rather than write what they saw.
    Bro! You're clutching at straws mate.

    And this does nothing to damage the information that ISN'T forged in Mark, just as the proposed interpolation in John does nothing to detract from John if it's withheld.
    That's not the point I was making. My point was that the Church added what wasn't there to make the story better. In other words alterations, additions and deletions to make the story more attractive do not make for reliable history.
    And even if it does, that still leaves us with Matthew and Luke, and no supposition that either has been tampered with.
    There is every indication that Matthew and Luke copied Mark. Lies and deceit in Mark gets transferred to Matthew and Luke. Matthew is almost an exact copy of Mark.

    Well, if we're too continue in this way, would these count as references to some of the aspects of the crucifixion?
    No, I'm afraid it wouldn't. All it would mean is historians of the future relate stories and beliefs of the past....but of course you are quite welcome to provide v/r evidence that shows that all those historians presented by your side that you claim are evidence for the Christian man-god, were writing from actual v/r historical document that recorded verifiable events - rather than just relating stories that they had heard down the pub or relating the beliefs of Christians.

    Because the insertions don't detract from the text when ignored or left out. If I can discount what we know to be an addition, and it doesn't affect the integrity of the text, then there's no reason for me to doubt the reliability of the text.
    I'm not specifically pinning it to the interpolation of the Mark ending but to the changes/alterations and untruths that we find in the Bible generally. Surely you can see that it is a work that portrays religious beliefs and not a work that reliably recalls the events of history.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 14th, 2015 at 06:38 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Not unless you can show that JtC was the only person named Jesus to have been baptised by JtB and the only person to have been executed by crucifixion.
    ...are you suggesting there could've been more than one "Jesus who was called Christ" who was crucified by order of Pontius Pilate?
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    I'd also say that the 'scholars' that agree on the crucifixion are probably theologians and believers.
    And is there any support for that, or I can treat this as another "Nah uh" kind of argument from you?
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    No not really because if we look at this definition of 'Historical Jesus' is, we can see that it is clear and unambiguous what the term means:

    "Historical Jesus refers to attempts to "reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth by critical historical methods, in contrast to Christological definitions ('the dogmatic Christ') and other Christian accounts of Jesus (Ďthe Christ of faithí)

    That is quite clear to me and I can't see why you Christians are not seeing it other than because you don't want to see it. It is saying that 'Historical Jesus' is a search or an attempt to reconstruct a Jesus that is in contrast to the Jesus that is depicted in Christianity.
    No. No. And no. You're completely misreading what was explicitly stated in your quote here. Look at the words, "In contrast to the Christological DEFINITIONS" meaning ONE guy, two different views OF that guy. They're talking about the same guy, but there's two different views. One that views him as a historical figure with no divine attributes, and one that views him as a historical figure with divine attributes. In both cases: it's the same guy, and he existed. That's why I asked if what you're really contending is that Jesus existed, but had no divine attributes. Because that's what scholars tend to agree on.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    So, would you agree that if the evidence is such that historians agree that the supernatural and miraculous claims attributed to JtC in the Bible are not factual - then the Bible depiction of JtC can be dimissed?
    No. Because they don't "agree it's not factual". They agree the claims made about him lack verification, which is a big difference. And while many would/do argue that as a result of that lack of verification, the story has probably been mythicized, that's a vastly different claim from what you have been presenting here so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Sure they did! The Council of Laodicea, the Council of Hippo and the Council of Carthage, all had a hand in deciding what was acceptable to be included in the Bible and what wasn't. Three events just off the top of my head when mortal men decided what or wasn't 'inspired' by their god.

    'The process of canonization was relatively long and remarkably flexible and detached; various books in use were recognized as inspired, but the Church Fathers noted, without embarrassment or criticism, how some held certain books to be canonical and others did not. Emerging Christianity assumed that through the Spirit the selection of canonical books was ďcertainĒ enough for the needs of the church.'
    http://global.britannica.com/EBcheck...f-canonization

    I would argue that they were not concerned with what was accurate but more concerned with producing a product that appealed to them and more importantly, to the masses. Would you agree then that in view of the centuries of chopping, changing, altering, additions, subtraction and plain downright lies - the Bible is not a work we should be relying on for accuracy?
    No, I wouldn't agree, because that's not what your source says. Your source doesn't say they intentionally produced a product that appealed to them and to the masses. That's your supposition of what they did and it's not supported by your source. At the time of Iranaeus, several of Paul's letters were considered NON-canonical. The reasoning given was that some were clear forgeries, and even the ones that looked authentic had gnostic teachings and as a result, those letters were left out. James was also excluded, as were 3rd John and 2nd Peter. If they were INTENTIONALLY trying to create a product that appealed to people, why would you exclude writings by people who explicitly stated that they saw the Christ firsthand? Your argument here doesn't hold water.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    ...and look! Yet another alteration to make the story fit...

    "The majority of manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke have the Greek phrase "eskotisthe ho helios" ("the sun was darkened"), but the earliest manuscripts say "tou heliou eklipontos" ("the sun's light failed" or "the sun was in eclipse"), appearing to explain the event as an eclipse. This earlier version is likely to have been the original one, amended by later scribes to correct what they assumed was an error, since they knew that an eclipse was impossible during Passover."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_darkness
    Again, that's a resounding no. They didn't alter it to make the story fit. Scribes believed Luke had made a mistake in his writing, and were attempting to correct what they held to be a mistake.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    ...and you can bet your life that if they did come to light and they blew the Christian story apart, they would soon disappear again.
    You're not familiar with those books, I'm guessing. The bulk of them (if not all) are Old Testament books. Such as the "Book of the Wars of the Lord" referenced in (IIRC) Joshua. Or the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah or the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel (both referenced in Chronicles and Kings). And the list goes on. Now granted, Peter references Paul's writing, and Jude quotes the Assumption of Moses and IIRC, there's even a reference in the Bible to the book of Enoch. And what does exist hasn't been erased by the Church (gospel of Mary Magdalene, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Thomas, gospel of Peter, etc).
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Bro! You're clutching at straws mate.
    Riiiiiiight, because that's a compelling argument against the mountains of anthropological support that oral tradition was widely viewed and practiced in preference to written record prior to the printing press due to its stronger reliability. You can't have it both ways here, Plad. You can't argue that someone would've written about it, and then point out all the ways that written record is flawed due to interpolation, forgeries, etc. You're defeating your own argument in doing so.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    That's not the point I was making. My point was that the Church added what wasn't there to make the story better. In other words alterations, additions and deletions to make the story more attractive do not make for reliable history.
    There is every indication that Matthew and Luke copied Mark. Lies and deceit in Mark gets transferred to Matthew and Luke. Matthew is almost an exact copy of Mark.
    Except that Luke and Matthew were written before the addition to Mark was made, meaning that inclusion didn't/doesn't affect Matthew and Luke.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    No, I'm afraid it wouldn't. All it would mean is historians of the future relate stories and beliefs of the past....but of course you are quite welcome to provide v/r evidence that shows that all those historians presented by your side that you claim are evidence for the Christian man-god, were writing from actual v/r historical document that recorded verifiable events - rather than just relating stories that they had heard down the pub or relating the beliefs of Christians.
    So a guy referencing a Greek historian who wrote about the VERY events you're asking for evidence for...doesn't count? How in the hell can you sit here and demand evidence and then go, "No it doesn't count" when someone SHOWS YOU THE EVIDENCE YOU'RE ASKING FOR!? It's not Phlegon writing about beliefs. Origen is referencing Phlegon SPECIFICALLY writing about an EVENT (the eclipse) that occurred! You asked for proof, and there it is. Another "Nah uh" argument from you isn't going to cut it here.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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  12. #271
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    From plad: Is it your claim that Jesus The Christ (as described in the Christian Bible) existed?
    Iím pretty sure that was a question to Mr. Hyde. Regardless, it is irrelevant. I put forward my argument in post 246 http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post543028

    That is the nature of the claims relevant to this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    It is still hypothetical and no document exists.
    So you would argue that Homerís Margites, Shakespeareís Cardenio, Melvilleís The Isle of the Cross, and all of Aristotleís exoteric works didnít exist? That they are only hypothetical? My point here is that I think you misunderstand the state of scholarship in ancient works. It is in no way a requirement to have an extant, direct copy to confirm something exists, or more importantly to have a good idea of what it said.

    In Matthew and Luke there is clearly text taken from Mark (phrases and sections that match the Markian text identically). There are also sections that match each other identically, but we know they couldnít have used each other for a source. As I pointed out, that would either be spectacular coincidence or keys to an original source both referenced.

    The latter is clearly the more likely, and that is why it is generally accepted that Matthew and Luke draw from at least two sources (mark and q), if not more.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Stories don't mean anything. We could have a similar situation with Harry Potter in a couple of thousand years where people discover some fan-fiction, pointing to some source - this would be your Q and all of your passing references depending on what survives. None of this is anywhere near the existence of a real person, never mind a deity.
    Except that Q would need to have been written within a decade of Christís death. As I pointed out, the relevant section of Mark is written within four years of Christís death.

    Your analogy would need a bit of re-writing to fit these facts.

    Someone writes a fan fiction in 2001. In 2020, David McCullough, a reputable historian (lets remember, that is what Josephus is), finds this internet work and then writes a scholarly article in which he says: ďthere was a man, Harry Potter, who they called a wizard, who was said to have done amazing feats and who the people eagerly accepted.Ē

    Remember, Josephusí writing would have been open to the Jews, who clearly could have and would have made some counter argument if what he was referring to was solely ďfan fiction.Ē

    The fact that Josephus is referring to Jesus and is noting that contemporary accounts of these events are widely spread amongst the people who would have been best positioned to know the historical veracity of them is not really a matter of scholarly debate, as Iíve pointed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    People relaying 'stories' mean nothing - it just means that believers exist. I don't disagree that believers exist.
    What you are conceding here is a bit more than that. You are conceding that there are independent sources for the ďstoriesĒ (meaning they werenít independently invented, but find their source in an original event of some sort) and that those people who were best positioned to know the truth of the events relayed were widely circulating and accepting those stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    It all depends on whether your evidence is people describing things, which appears to be the case.
    Wait, are you saying that testimony cannot be used for historical accounts? If so, we have virtually no evidence for the details of any event prior to 1800. Iím sure that canít be what you are actually meaning here.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    There is no other relevant one, including a preacher that bears a passing resemblance to Jesus Christ. A man that shares a few minor similarities with history (assuming they are actual histories and not 'stories' or second or third hand tales) is not Jesus Christ without further proof of the miracles.
    This is a categorical error. You are implying that because two different accounts differ in some detail that they are therefore discussing two separate events. That is incorrect. If two witnesses to a car accident disagree as to whether a motorist ran a read light. Heck, they could even disagree on the motoristís race, that doesnít mean they are talking about two different accidents, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Exactly what is the link.
    Iíve already laid out an argument in post 74 and in post 246 (amongst others).

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Right, I said 'practically agreed' when you said ' Why would something supernatural be, by definition, unable to elicit an effect in the natural world?' (#218). Since Jesus is supernatural then he must be imaginary
    Do you know what this symbol means, ď?Ē Iím asking a question, not putting forward a statement.

    Even more relevantly, me asking why the concept of a supernatural object eliciting an effect in the natural world would be incoherent (IE asking someone to explain their position) is completely unrelated to me saying it is imaginary.

    Letís assume that it wasnít a question for a second. How does limiting their ability to affect the natural world mean they are imaginary?

    I think Iíve clarified what should have been, and likely was to every other reader here, a clear point. Given that, do you agree that I never even hinted that they were imaginary?





    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    They ARE two different characters. The 'historical Jesus' of your scholars is suspected to have been an itinerant rebel rabbi,
    This comment tells me you seem to not understand the argument laid against you. I am not making a personal distinction argument, that is your invention. I am making a textual reliability argument. The argument of the kind you are making is fallacious, as I pointed out to JJ. Actually, your argument is even weaker. You arenít saying the differ on facts, you are saying they differ on their personal conclusions. We wouldnít say that two witnesses were seeing two different accidents if they had differing opinions on the meaning of that accident. If one said ďI think driver A was at faultĒ while the other said ďI think driver B was at faultĒ we wouldnít then argue they are talking about two differing events.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Yes, I understand what you are saying. I'm asking you how you have deduced that Josephus is doing anything other than quoting what he has heard from stories, from Christian claims, from seeing it when he was perhaps perusing the Bible for something
    Again, this seems to completely miss the argument being laid down. I think you are arguing against a construct of what you think Iíll argue rather than what Iíve actually laid down. Nothing about your objection is at all related to the initial premises I laid down in post 246.

    a) We agree that Josephus references Jesus twice.

    b) Josephus says that he is being called ďChristĒ by his followers. He says this both in T.F. and in his reference to Jamesí execution.

    c) Josephus relates that there are contemporary accounts of Jesusí ďstartling deeds.Ē

    d) Josephus confirms the biblical account in so much as Jesus is executed by Pilate at behest of religious leaders despite a widespread popularity with the people.


    Which specific premise is your argument rebutting and how?

    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    You are against the same wall as you are against with Josephus. Tacitus does not divulge his source so please show that Tacitus is relating historical fact rather than snippets he has heard 'through the grapevine' as it were.
    You seem to be objecting to premise (a) below, not (b) in that you questioning the independence.


    a) Tacitusí reference supports the early biblical accounts in so far as he references a basic belief set similar to the ones the Gospels relate, but he offers it independent of their texts.

    b) Tacitus writes about this belief probably in the late 90s AD, meaning that it was widespread amongst Christians by sixty years after Jesusí death, indicating that it was likely a contemporary belief to Jesusí death given that insufficient time for legendary accretion had occurred.


    Again, that would only be relevant if you were saying that Tacitus is using one of the other sources I referenced as his source for the discussion. Since no scholar Iíve linked to makes that claim, rather several have noted that he was likely using only Roman sources given the phrasing of his work, your objection is an appeal to ignorance. I have offered sources as to Tacitusí independence of sources. If you wish to dispute premise (a) by arguing he is using the same sources as Iíve referenced elsewhere then please present an argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Yes...all very interesting, if somewhat wishful thinking but the fact remains that there is absolutely nothing in that passage that supports your claim that Serapion"...independently conforms to substantive facts concerning the crucifixion and resurrection" .
    This is nothing more than a ďnu-uhĒ denial. You offer no specific criticism of my argument or the argument laid out by my original source. Until you can offer some kind of material objection, I canít see that youíve rejected the premise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Show that Serapion could not have got the reference to the "king of Jews" from the Gospel of Mark 15:26.
    Please see my original argument and source. Serapion is clearly not familiar with Markís source (the entire book of Mark was compiled after this letter was written in 73AD) given the description of Jesus he lays out. If he had simply read the Markian story of the crucifixion he wouldnít have called Jesus their king since that text makes the phrase part of the Pharisaical plot to kill Jesus, not Jesusí actual self-claim. He clearly wouldnít have mentioned Jesus living on in his teaching since nothing in Markís passion section makes that kind of reference. He likely wouldnít have claimed Jerusalem was destroyed because of Jesusí death, that wasnít a Mark, or early Christian idea. Finally, if his source is Christian in origin, it is unlikely he wouldnít have referenced Jesusí name directly, as he did with his other examples. Certainly Markís source references Jesusí name. The lack of direct name is a strong, strong indication of a Roman source that likely had travelled through Jerusalem hearing the contemporary accounts rather than a Jewish or Christian source.



    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    I'll give it to you again because I'm not getting into a text war again.
    Repetition is not argument. Since I already offered a clear rebuttal of the links you offered, it is not incumbent upon you to show that they support your argument.

    Challenge to support a claim. Please show where in the links you offered the authors state that the accounts from Jesusí entry to Jerusalem to the empty tomb are not independently derived between Mark, Paul, and John.


    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    Mark had no knowledge of the events. Mark wrote down what Peter had told him about who Jesus was
    This is an odd objection for someone who claimed (correct) that there was no such author a few posts ago.

    I am not referring to Mark. I am referring to Markís source.

    Letís assume Markís source (commonly called M source) was Peter personally. So what?

    If it is Peter that doesnít really affect the premises Iíve laid out at all.

    We would still have four independent sources: Peter (via M source), Q, John, and Paul. How does that affect the premise?

    I should note that virtually no scholar holds that Peter is M source. While they note a similar event structure between the two, there are important differences in the linguistics and content highlights. Virtually all NT scholars believe that M source is a written account of eye-witnesses given the phrasing and jargon use. http://jaar.oxfordjournals.org/conte....full.pdf+html



    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Paul never met Jesus. He only claims to have met Jesus in a 'vision'
    And? [Side Note: it wasnít a vision of Jesus Paul reports having seen, it is quite clear from his letters that he notes it as a bodily appearance. Not relevant to this debate, but it should be noted]. I didnít claim Paul knew because he met Jesus. Paul references quite a few of the events in his first letter to the Corinthians, which is usually dated to about 5 years after Jesusí death.

    The structure of his events is clearly (both from textual structure and context in the passage) recitation of a very early homily concerning Christian theology. It differs significantly from Markís phrasing and detail structure meaning that he isnít aware of Mark (more likely it indicates that Markís source isnít Peter, and that Paul is actually referencing Peter or Peterís church), or at least that he and Mark are drawing on different sources for their respective versions.


    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    Then they copied.
    No argument. They likely copied/incorporated that specific sequence of events from Markís source. The problem you seem to be overlooking is that they also include other events during that sequence that Mark does not have, but with both Matthew and Luke have in common. Matthew is not a Pauline follower and is clearly written independent of Luke (they are too contemporary to draw on each other), so textual similarities point to a second source they are both drawing on.

    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    The Gospel of John is the ranting of a lunatic.
    Ad hom fallacy. I assume you simply wrote this because you didnít want to add to the text string, but we should note that this isnít a valid objection. If you object to Johnís independence from the other sources referenced then please present an argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    Identify them.
    As I noted above, this is completely irrelevant to the claim. The fact that they believe/donít believe is irrelevant to the scholarship they are undertaking.

    Without distracting from the topic too much, Iíll simply point to this list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor...lical_scholars) as evidence that there are a Christian Biblical Scholars. Given that there are also non-Christian Biblical Scholars as well, and that both sides seem to agree with the premises Iíve laid out above, it would seem a safe bet that we should, at least, agree on those premises and move on.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    ...are you suggesting there could've been more than one "Jesus who was called Christ" who was crucified by order of Pontius Pilate?
    Who mentioned 'Christ'? The historians don't mention 'Christ'. They are talking about a 'historical Jesus' who was crucified. There isn't even any mention of Pilate. You're making it up again to fit your agenda.

    And is there any support for that, ....
    Only in that most scholars that study the subject are theologians and Bible scholars who are invariably believers. The challenge is still open to you if you'd like to have a go.

    No. No. And no. You're completely misreading what was explicitly stated in your quote here. Look at the words, "In contrast to the Christological DEFINITIONS" meaning ONE guy, two different views OF that guy. They're talking about the same guy, but there's two different views. One that views him as a historical figure with no divine attributes, and one that views him as a historical figure with divine attributes. In both cases: it's the same guy, and he existed. That's why I asked if what you're really contending is that Jesus existed, but had no divine attributes. Because that's what scholars tend to agree on.
    Well didn't I agree in my last post to accept that definition so that we could avoid getting bogged down with it?

    No. Because they don't "agree it's not factual".
    LOL! And here comes the double standards of believers. When 'historians' say that Jesus existed or that he was crucified, we are expected to believe that it means 'consensus' of historians. When 'historians' say that the supernatural and miraculous claims are not factual, we are expected to accept that it's not the 'consensus' but that it means that some believe it and some don't! Double standards or what??


    They agree the claims made about him lack verification, which is a big difference.
    No, they agree that supernatural or miraculous claims about Jesus are questions of faith, rather than historical fact.


    And while many would/do argue that as a result of that lack of verification, the story has probably been mythicized, that's a vastly different claim from what you have been presenting here so far.
    The claim is that the supernatural and miraculous claims of Christianity are not seen as fact. That means that they are not true.

    No, I wouldn't agree, because that's not what your source says. Your source doesn't say they intentionally produced a product that appealed to them and to the masses.
    Another reading of what isn't there from you. Nobody said that is what the source is saying so please stop putting words into my mouth. I actually said that THAT is what I would argue.

    At the time of Iranaeus, several of Paul's letters were considered NON-canonical. The reasoning given was that some were clear forgeries, and even the ones that looked authentic had gnostic teachings and as a result, those letters were left out. James was also excluded, as were 3rd John and 2nd Peter. If they were INTENTIONALLY trying to create a product that appealed to people, why would you exclude writings by people who explicitly stated that they saw the Christ firsthand?
    Well one reason might be that there were things in those accounts that didn't gel with what they wanted to produce.

    Your argument here doesn't hold water.
    Oh but it does! By your own admission there were hundreds of years of chopping and changing, adding and deleting.

    Again, that's a resounding no. They didn't alter it to make the story fit. Scribes believed Luke had made a mistake in his writing, and were attempting to correct what they held to be a mistake.
    Nope they altered it because Luke was saying it was an eclipse and they knew that there couldn't have been a at that time; an as for Luke making a 'mistake', I would really love to know how someone that is being guided by 'god' makes a mistake. This is again pure apologetics trying to make the textual problems go away.

    You're not familiar with those books, I'm guessing. The bulk of them (if not all) are Old Testament books. Such as the "Book of the Wars of the Lord" referenced in (IIRC) Joshua. Or the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah or the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel (both referenced in Chronicles and Kings). And the list goes on. Now granted, Peter references Paul's writing, and Jude quotes the Assumption of Moses and IIRC, there's even a reference in the Bible to the book of Enoch. And what does exist hasn't been erased by the Church (gospel of Mary Magdalene, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Thomas, gospel of Peter, etc).
    Wiggle away brother but you are not going to alter the fact that the Bible is religious belief and not historical fact and that there have more alterations than we could ever list.

    Riiiiiiight, because that's a compelling argument against the mountains of anthropological support that oral tradition was widely viewed and practiced in preference to written record prior to the printing press due to its stronger reliability.
    Politicians and political commentators didn't use word of mouth, the Roman army didn't use word of mouth, contemporaneous historians like Philo-Judaeus, Seneca the Younger, Pliny the Elder, Marcus Fabius Quintilian , and Plutarch didn't use word of mouth and nor did Justus of Tiberias (a Jew himself) use word of mouth when he wrote a history of the Jews beginning with Moses and extending into his own times, a work that failed to make one single mention of a miracle doing JtC. One would have thought that if anyone had evidence for a miracle performing Jew it would have been a Jewish historian, writing a history of the Jews just a short time after the alleged events took place - but nope, not even a mention!

    You can't have it both ways here, Plad. You can't argue that someone would've written about it, and then point out all the ways that written record is flawed due to interpolation, forgeries, etc.
    I'm not asking for it all ways. All I'm asking you to do is supply one, just ONE verifiable extra biblical (or other religious texts) contemporaneous account to support the miracles attributable to JtC. Come on fella - all those large scale miracles like darkness of the sky lasting 3 hours, zombies wandering around Jerusalem, feeding of thousands on two occasions with little food and having more left than he started with, events that would have been witnessed by THOUSANDs and in the case of the eclipse MILLIONS of people.....and I'm not even holding you to all the other miracle like raising the dead and walking on water.

    Except that Luke and Matthew were written before the addition to Mark was made, meaning that inclusion didn't/doesn't affect Matthew and Luke.
    I've already told you - whether it affected the story or not is irrelevant, that is not my point. My point, as well you know, is that the addition to the end of Mark is a clear indication that certain sources are not above making alterations to get the story that they want and if they do that, and clearly they do - what other alterations might they have made to make the story fit.

    So a guy referencing a Greek historian who wrote about the VERY events you're asking for evidence for...doesn't count?
    Not unless you can show that he's writing from documents that verify recorded events of history rather than copying Christian beliefs/stories.

    How in the hell can you sit here and demand evidence and then go, "No it doesn't count" when someone SHOWS YOU THE EVIDENCE YOU'RE ASKING FOR!?
    I'm asking you for evidence that is verifiable and reliable. You haven't supplied any such evidence.

    It's not Phlegon writing about beliefs.
    Well no, it isn't actually. We don't have any work by Phlegon - not a scrap. What we do have is Julius Africanus quoting Phlegon mention of an eclipse. After quoting Phlegon's words he goes on to ridicule Phlegon's account of an eclipse, calling it - 'an absurdity, as, according to Phlegon it occurred at full moon.

    Origen is referencing Phlegon SPECIFICALLY writing about an EVENT (the eclipse) that occurred!
    Yeeeeesssss! At a full moon according to Phlegon. LMAO!

    You asked for proof, and there it is. Another "Nah uh" argument from you isn't going to cut it here.
    No, it isn't proof. At the very best, what you have is no better than you have with Josephus and Tacitus....a small mention of a Jesus. Now, your insurmountable task is to show that he was talking about a verifiable historical event and not a story from history, Christian beliefs/stories. Good luck with that.

    You know brother, I really can't understand why you believers keep at this nonsense apologetic tripe that keeps taking you round and round in ever decreasing circles until you disappear up your own backsides. Why, why, why don't you just be honest with us and above all with yourself and admit that you just don't have any verifiable evidence for your man-god and that your belief that he existed is nothing more than a desperate 'need' for it to be true that is kept afloat on a sea of faith.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  14. #273
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    Post Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I
    It is still hypothetical and no document exists.

    So you would argue that Homer’s Margites, Shakespeare’s Cardenio, Melville’s The Isle of the Cross, and all of Aristotle’s exoteric works didn’t exist? That they are only hypothetical? My point here is that I think you misunderstand the state of scholarship in ancient works. It is in no way a requirement to have an extant, direct copy to confirm something exists, or more importantly to have a good idea of what it said.
    In Matthew and Luke there is clearly text taken from Mark (phrases and sections that match the Markian text identically). There are also sections that match each other identically, but we know they couldn’t have used each other for a source. As I pointed out, that would either be spectacular coincidence or keys to an original source both referenced.

    The latter is clearly the more likely, and that is why it is generally accepted that Matthew and Luke draw from at least two sources (mark and q), if not more.
    Q is still an hypothesis with no actual document per your own link to the Amazon review. That this is sufficient to draw conclusions doesn't change that.

    The fact that Josephus is referring to Jesus and is noting that contemporary accounts of these events are widely spread amongst the people who would have been best positioned to know the historical veracity of them is not really a matter of scholarly debate, as I’ve pointed out.
    Nevertheless, there is still the possibility that these accounts are untrue assuming they really are contemporaneous to Jesus. And if they are why do they neglect to mention the very special of things about Jesus or any of the amazing events around him?


    JJ: People relaying 'stories' mean nothing - it just means that believers exist. I don't disagree that believers exist.
    What you are conceding here is a bit more than that. You are conceding that there are independent sources for the “stories” (meaning they weren’t independently invented, but find their source in an original event of some sort) and that those people who were best positioned to know the truth of the events relayed were widely circulating and accepting those stories.
    Sure - lots of people can relay the story of Harry Potter with slight differences. It still doesn't make Harry Potter exist because that universe doesn't correlate with the one we know.

    S:That it is referencing the same person as is referenced in the gospels is, again, a matter beyond dispute. You might argue that the gospels relate incidents or characteristics of that person that Josephus does not, that would be a valid point, but to say they aren’t the same person is not a defensible claim given the scholarly consensus laid out here.

    JJ: It all depends on whether your evidence is people describing things, which appears to be the case.
    Wait, are you saying that testimony cannot be used for historical accounts? If so, we have virtually no evidence for the details of any event prior to 1800. I’m sure that can’t be what you are actually meaning here.
    It all depends on what is being testified - when we're talking about the supernatural world, then there is very good reason to be suspicious. More so if said 'testimonies' are written to promote and likely exaggerate someone in order to start a religion. So that's at least two reasons to distrust the gospels.


    JJ:There is no other relevant one, including a preacher that bears a passing resemblance to Jesus Christ. A man that shares a few minor similarities with history (assuming they are actual histories and not 'stories' or second or third hand tales) is not Jesus Christ without further proof of the miracles.

    This is a categorical error. You are implying that because two different accounts differ in some detail that they are therefore discussing two separate events. That is incorrect. If two witnesses to a car accident disagree as to whether a motorist ran a read light. Heck, they could even disagree on the motorist’s race, that doesn’t mean they are talking about two different accidents, right?
    No, I am saying because two accounts differ, the one with the most extraordinary (or miraculous) claims can be distrusted and therefore, rejected as being a true person in its entirety even if portions are independently verified.

    For example, if one witness claimed his long dead grandmother was in the back of the car, causing the accident, then one should be instantly suspicious of that account. The dead coming back to life is hardly 'some detail' - it is practically larger than the crash itself if a dead person did indeed come back to life! If that first witness's statements in does not confirm the witness' extraordinary claims there is no reason to believe his events. If that first witness made no mention of even a person in the car, which you'd expect him to since he witnessed the whole thing, then there is no corroborating evidence for that grandmother at all.

    And that is what is happening when J&T are used to confirm the Bible. I would think that Historians use the Bible to confirm other non-miraculous sources or at least provide additional evidence for such events. Which makes sense - with the paucity of surviving materials, something is better than nothing.

    Where things go wrong is when Christians flip things around and use J&T in order to bolster their Bible, which they can do for some of the non-miraculous claims. However, without additional evidence for the miracles, the character of Jesus Christ, who depends on those miracles, has no corroborating evidence for his existence.

    The Jesus of the Bible may bear some similarities with J&T's Jesus but since J&T (and AFIAK no other independent source) has confirmed the miracles at all, one has to conclude that those Biblical claims are unsubstantiated and unverified and there is no reason to belief he exists.

    I think I’ve clarified what should have been, and likely was to every other reader here, a clear point. Given that, do you agree that I never even hinted that they were imaginary?
    I see where I made a mistake quoting that - sorry. Here were my relevant thoughts from #218 where you had said:

    ...
    Finally, I certainly agree with you that supernatural beings do not physically exist, that is why they are called super natural.

    Why would something supernatural be, by definition, unable to elicit an effect in the natural world?
    If supernatural beings do not physically exist then Jesus Christ, a supernatural being consisting of a human-deity hybrid, could not have physically existed either. That is, he exists as a imaginary being much like the model of atoms. Jesus Christ exists as a bunch of exaggerations by his supporters who wanted to promote a new religion. He is the Vampire Hunter Lincoln to the actual Lincoln.

    That's pretty much the line of thought that Eye had brought up where she also confirmed that Historians will take the truth of the miracles as an individual personal choice, again confirming the imaginary nature of them (and Jesus Christ).

    And I think that the supernatural can affect the natural world - much in the same way that other imaginary beings (e.g. Harry Potter) can affect the natural world.

    In summary, there is no evidence of the human-deity Jesus Christ other than what is imagined by Christians.

  15. #274
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Again, this seems to completely miss the argument being laid down. I think you are arguing against a construct of what you think I’ll argue rather than what I’ve actually laid down. Nothing about your objection is at all related to the initial premises I laid down in post 246.

    a) We agree that Josephus references Jesus twice.

    b) Josephus says that he is being called “Christ” by his followers. He says this both in T.F. and in his reference to James’ execution.

    c) Josephus relates that there are contemporary accounts of Jesus’ “startling deeds.”

    d) Josephus confirms the biblical account in so much as Jesus is executed by Pilate at behest of religious leaders despite a widespread popularity with the people.
    Now you can do one of two things.
    1. Show that Josephus mentioning JtC proves that JtC existed.
    2. Show that Josephus could not possibly be writing accounts of what he had gleaned from other sources such as stories spoken of by Christians.

    a) Tacitus’ reference supports the early biblical accounts in so far as he references a basic belief set similar to the ones the Gospels relate, but he offers it independent of their texts.
    Now you can do one of two things.
    1. Show that Tacitus mentioning JtC proves that JtC existed.
    2. Show that Tacitus could not possibly be writing accounts of what he had gleaned from other sources such as stories spoken of by Christians.
    Tacitus writes about this belief probably in the late 90s AD, meaning that it was widespread amongst Christians by sixty years after Jesus’ death, indicating that it was likely a contemporary belief to Jesus’ death given that insufficient time for legendary accretion had occurred.
    There you have it by your own hand. I'm happy to accept that Tacitus was writing about the 'beliefs' of Christians. Christians believing in JtC does not make JtC real.

    Again, that would only be relevant if you were saying that Tacitus is using one of the other sources I referenced as his source for the discussion.
    He could have been reading anything! Just like Josephus could have been reading anything. We have absolutely no idea what their sources were. So if you are going to shout that Josephus and Tacitus prove that JtC existed you had better come up with something better than 'Josephus and Tacitus mentioned them'. That is about as useful when it comes to verifiable evidence for existence as is an ashtray on a motorbike! It means nothing. Tacitus mentioned Jesus - so what. Whilst I am perfectly happy to accept that Homer's mention of Troy assisted Schlieman in finding the ruins of Troy, that doesn't mean that I have to accept that the cyclops Polyphemus threw rocks at passing ships from the slopes of Mount Etna. No sir! Josephus/Tacitus mentioned JtC - means nothing other than Josephus and Tacitus mentioned JtC. It is YOUR task to show that J&T mentioning JtC proves the existence of JtC. Good Luck with that!

    Since no scholar I’ve linked to makes that claim, rather several have noted that he was likely using only Roman sources given the phrasing of his work, your objection is an appeal to ignorance.
    You are clutching at those old apologetic straws again. All Tacitus proves is the existence of Christians who believed in a Christ. That Christians existed is not in dispute; that they believed in a 'Christ' who they thought was the son of Yahweh is also not disputed. What we are disputing is that the 'Christ' that they believed in did actually exist - and the lack of verifiable evidence to support that he did is reason enough to conclude that he did not. You are positing the existence of a supernatural, miraculous man-god and it is you that has to provide the verifiable evidence for such a being. So far you have failed miserably. You posit the existence of miraculous man-god who, for three years, performed miracles the like of which the world had never seen before or since, who's fame spread far and wide throughout the land, who preached before masses of people, who went on public trail and was publicly executed and then miraculously came back to life - and yet all you have produced, all any of you Christians have produced in the past 2000 years is two tiny mentions in the works of historians who lived well after the alleged events which historians on both sides of the fence agree have suffered tampering to a greater or lesser degree; one mention by another writer that is so useless as evidence that nobody but the most desperate apologists bother to use it; and the gospels a collection of self-serving documents that have no corroborating evidence outside of itself. You need to do better - much better.

    This is nothing more than a “nu-uh” denial. You offer no specific criticism of my argument or the argument laid out by my original source. Until you can offer some kind of material objection, I can’t see that you’ve rejected the premise.
    The criticism of your argument is simple - that you have not shown that J&T mentioning JtC is proof that JtC existed. That is your task and should be your only task. Show how J&T mentioning JtC shows that JtC actually did exist. It's as simple as that my friend and I don't know why we keep getting into these text wars. J&T mentioning JtC is no more evidence that JtC was a real live miraculous man-god come to Earth than a modern-day historian mentioning Ganesha proves a real live Ganesha exists.

    Please see my original argument and source. Serapion is clearly not familiar with Mark’s source (the entire book of Mark was compiled after this letter was written in 73AD)
    Nope. It is accepted that the G of Mark was competed sometime in the 40's but certainly no later than 70 CE. Note the following from the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

    "The date of the Gospel is uncertain. The external evidence is not decisive, and the internal does not assist very much. St. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Tertullian, and St. Jerome signify that it was written before St. Peter's death. The subscription of many of the later unical and cursive manuscripts states that it was written in the tenth or twelfth year after the Ascension (A.D. 38-40). The "Paschal Chronicle" assigns it to A.D. 40, and the "Chronicle" of Eusebius to the third year of Claudius (A.D. 43). Possibly these early dates may be only a deduction from the tradition that Peter came to Rome in the second year of Claudius, A.D. 42 th (A.D. 64 or 67)....

    ....From internal evidence we can conclude that the Gospel was written before A.D. 70, for there is no allusion to the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, .... "

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09674b.htm

    "Acts is attributed to the author of the Gospel of Luke, which is believed to have been written before Acts, and therefore would shift the chronology of authorship back, putting Mark as early as the mid 50s. Here are the dates given in the modern NIV Study Bible:

    Matthew: c. 50 to 70s
    Mark: c. 50s to early 60s, or late 60s
    Luke: c. 59 to 63, or 70s to 80s
    John: c. 85 to near 100, or 50s to 70"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Dating


    In addition. Scroll down this article until you get to the part about Serapion.
    http://infidels.org/library/modern/j...5.html#phlegon

    Even if we give the latest date possible for the composition of Mark as 70CE, that still leave Serapion writing after the completion of Mark and leaves open the possibility that Serapion got the reference to 'King of the Jews' from reading Mark. So your task remains - to show that there is no possible way that Serapion could not have got it from Mark or from listening to a Christian or two. Interesting too that throughout this thread you have been arguing for an early composition of the Gospels but now you want to place the earliest of them into the 70's! Will you apologists stop at nothing?

    However at the bottom line your task is the same as your task for Josephus and Tacitus - to show how tiny, much disputed passages from some historian is evidence that JtC did exist as a real person.

    Please show where in the links you offered the authors state that the accounts from Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem to the empty tomb are not independently derived between Mark, Paul, and John.
    Whether they are independently derived or not is totally irrelevant unless you can show that the sources they were derived form are true - your challenge is returned to where it came from and I hope it's not too painful there.

    This is an odd objection for someone who claimed (correct) that there was no such author a few posts ago.
    No it isn't odd to anyone that should have enough intelligence to see that I am referring to it by that name because that is the name it is known by. It saves having to write out 'the anonymous author of the Gospel of Mark' every time you want to mention that particular book...but then, you knew that but your desperate need to 'score a point' leads you to scrape the barrel.

    I am not referring to Mark. I am referring to Mark’s source.

    Let’s assume Mark’s source (commonly called M source) was Peter personally. So what?

    If it is Peter that doesn’t really affect the premises I’ve laid out at all.

    We would still have four independent sources: Peter (via M source), Q, John, and Paul. How does that affect the premise?
    ...because 'Q' does not exist, it is no more than an 'idea', Matthew is almost a complete copy of Mark....and above all, none can be shown to be anything other than religious beliefs. When you can show that the Gospels are relating historical fact rather than religious beliefs you will be getting somewhere but until you can, presenting the Gospels as verifiable evidence for a miraculous son of a god is futile, especially when those historians you love so much are saying that the supernatural claims and miracles attributed to JtC in the gospels are nothing more than wishful thinking (faith) rather than fact. I deal in fact. Don't give me mythology.

    No argument. They likely copied/incorporated that specific sequence of events from Mark’s source.
    Glad you agree. So let's have no more tripe about 'independent'.

    As I noted above, this is completely irrelevant to the claim. The fact that they believe/don’t believe is irrelevant to the scholarship they are undertaking.

    Without distracting from the topic too much, I’ll simply point to this list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor...lical_scholars) as evidence that there are a Christian Biblical Scholars. Given that there are also non-Christian Biblical Scholars as well, and that both sides seem to agree with the premises I’ve laid out above, it would seem a safe bet that we should, at least, agree on those premises and move on.
    Oh no you don't pal! I'm not doing your work for you. You claimed that you were aware of 'more than a dozen' historians that believed that Jesus was the son of a god, born of a virgin, walked on water, raised the dead, healed the sick, was killed and resurrected three days later and ascended to heaven - but who were NOT Christian believers. Identify them.

    So in summary, you are no further forward today than you were on the first day of the thread in that all you have produced is two mentions of JtC that historians on both side of the divide concede are likely to have been tampered with. You have one mention from Serapion that goes nowhere not even apologists use it - well not reliable ones anyway...and you have the Gospels, written by unknown authors and clearly designed to promote religious beliefs rather than relay verifiable history. You really haven't got a lot have you?

    ...and as we are getting into a text war again, please be advised that all I'm interested in is you explaining why the tiny unreliable mention of JtC by Josephus and Tacitus is verifiable evidence that JtC existed. As for your gospels, I'm not particularly interested in self-serving documents that were written to promote a religious belief - unless perhaps you can provide verifiable evidence for the miracles attributed to your man-god in the Gospels. Can you do that?



    ---------- Post added at 08:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:11 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Nevertheless, there is still the possibility that these accounts are untrue assuming they really are contemporaneous to Jesus.
    They are not contemporaneous to JtC, Josephus wrote Antiquities around 95-100CE and Tacitus wrote Annuls in the early second century CE.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 15th, 2015 at 05:58 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  16. #275
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Q is still an hypothesis with no actual document per your own link to the Amazon review.
    AndÖ? There is sufficient evidence to say that it is more likely than not that some source did exist, I cited a review of scholars that found that virtually no antiquities scholar argues it doesnít exist, the only question really is whether Q is one whole source, or the compilation of two separate sources.

    No one seriously discussing this issue would argue that dozens of identical passages in two independent works would have been an accident. Is that your position? That the shared text between these two works was just created by accident?


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Nevertheless, there is still the possibility that these accounts are untrue assuming they really are contemporaneous to Jesus.
    It is possible, but this goes to the same question above. Are you really maintaining that multiple sources that couldnít have informed each other all happened to invent the same story? That kind of chance would seem to strain credibility.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Sure - lots of people can relay the story of Harry Potter with slight differences. It still doesn't make Harry Potter exist because that universe doesn't correlate with the one we know.
    You spectacularly missed the point here. Nothing I said was about differences, I was pointing out that if someone were to put forward a Harry Potter story as history today (IE within the lifetimes of people who would have been eye witnesses) we should expect a negative response and counters to that person. Youíll see the same thing all over the ancient world, especially the Roman world, where counter accounts of battles or political campaigns or even family histories are prevalent.

    What we have here is a well known historian mentioning wonderous deeds by Jesus and doing so within the lifetime of people who would have known better. Yet we donít see them counter, we donít see Josephus discredited, we see his book widely accepted amongst the Jewish population that would have the best information as to its credibility.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    It all depends on what is being testified - when we're talking about the supernatural world, then there is very good reason to be suspicious. More so if said 'testimonies' are written to promote and likely exaggerate someone in order to start a religion. So that's at least two reasons to distrust the gospels.
    Why does the claim being supernatural mean that it starts out as untrustworthy? That is a well known species of begging the question fallacy. Just because a claim is outside of your expectations does not mean that it is automatically untrustworthy, that is letting your confirmation bias override your ability to analyze evidence.

    The motives of the writers is irrelevant to the argument made as well. They can have all the bias in the world, that doesnít change the fact that independent inventions of a story for which there is no cultural history is beyond the realm of pure chance.

    Really, what you are arguing is that four witnesses, none of whom knew each other, all saw a car crash. They all said that it was caused by a mysterious black Plymouth that sped off after the incident. Your argument is that they all, by pure chance, made up the same details and that the black Plymouth didnít exist. There is a reason no jury in the world would buy that.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    No, I am saying because two accounts differ, the one with the most extraordinary (or miraculous) claims can be distrusted and therefore, rejected as being a true person in its entirety even if portions are independently verified.
    Please highlight these difference s and how they are mutually exclusive. Remember, if the only difference you note is that they donít highlight the same things, you are simply pointing out that authors focus on different details, not all that surprising or suspicious. What you are arguing is that the accounts contradict each other. Please show that the accounts I offered do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    If supernatural beings do not physically exist then Jesus Christ, a supernatural being consisting of a human-deity hybrid, could not have physically existed either.
    This is why it is hard to take you seriously as a debater JJ. This is quite possibly the least plausible explanation of what I meant that you could have come to and here you are. No serious atheist came to that conclusion and it makes it hard to believe you are being serious here.

    Literally, in the next sentence Iím asking why a supernatural entity (IE the person of Jesus Christ) couldnít elicit a physical effect (the man of Jesus of Nazareth). Clearly Iím indicating some connection between the two that makes their existence not ďimaginary.Ē

    That you would argue that I have agreed with you otherwise is grandstanding of the poorest form, the kind even Zhavric would have neg repped you for.





    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Now you can do one of two things.
    As I pointed out in my last post, those are unrelated to the specific premises I stated earlier. When I tried to initially post the entire argument, you complained about text walls. When I tried to limit the argument initially to the initial premises in order to limit the post length you try and derail the thread.

    Nothing you are offering here is an objection to my premises.

    a) We agree that Josephus references Jesus twice.

    b) Josephus says that he is being called ďChristĒ by his followers. He says this both in T.F. and in his reference to Jamesí execution.

    c) Josephus relates that there are contemporary accounts of Jesusí ďstartling deeds.Ē

    d) Josephus confirms the biblical account in so much as Jesus is executed by Pilate at behest of religious leaders despite a widespread popularity with the people.

    AND


    a) Tacitusí reference supports the early biblical accounts in so far as he references a basic belief set similar to the ones the Gospels relate, but he offers it independent of their texts.

    b) Tacitus writes about this belief probably in the late 90s AD, meaning that it was widespread amongst Christians by sixty years after Jesusí death, indicating that it was likely a contemporary belief to Jesusí death given that insufficient time for legendary accretion had occurred.


    If you have a specific objection to any of these premises (as opposed to objections about what you think the next step in my argument is) lets hear it. If you donít, then lets agree, for the purposes of this debate to these premises and move the discussion along.


    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    He could have been reading anything! Just like Josephus could have been reading anything. We have absolutely no idea what their sources were.
    Well that isnít quite true. I laid out in earlier posts who those sources were limited to from a categorical sense. And in both instances, the idea that they would have drawn from the other sources Iím referencing is all but ruled out. Which is the main point. Unless we have reason to believe that these authorsí sources are the other independent sources, their exact identity is irrelevant. Nothing about them being anyone else means anything to the premises offered unless they contaminate the independence of the other sources.

    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    Even if we give the latest date possible for the composition of Mark as 70CE, that still leave Serapion writing after the completion of Mark and leaves open the possibility that Serapion got the reference to 'King of the Jews' from reading Mark.
    Great, Iíll concede that Mark was compiled prior to Serapion, in the contemporary lifetime of eye witnesses.

    But that wasnít my argument, you cherry picked one side note (hence the parentheses).

    My actual argument was that Serapion is clearly not familiar with Markís source given the description of Jesus he lays out. If he had simply read the Markian story of the crucifixion he wouldnít have called Jesus their king since that text makes the phrase part of the Pharisaical plot to kill Jesus, not Jesusí actual self-claim. He clearly wouldnít have mentioned Jesus living on in his teaching since nothing in Markís passion section makes that kind of reference. He likely wouldnít have claimed Jerusalem was destroyed because of Jesusí death, that wasnít a Mark, or early Christian idea. Finally, if his source is Christian in origin, it is unlikely he wouldnít have referenced Jesusí name directly, as he did with his other examples. Certainly Markís source references Jesusí name. The lack of direct name is a strong, strong indication of a Roman source that likely had travelled through Jerusalem hearing the contemporary accounts rather than a Jewish or Christian source.

    Do you have any response to the defense I actually laid out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Whether they are independently derived or not is totally irrelevant unless you can show that the sources they were derived form are true - your challenge is returned to where it came from and I hope it's not too painful there.
    You have the argument backward, which is why, to avoid the wall of text you are so concerned with, I suggest that we stick with the premises offered. Once agreed upon we can move to the argument structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    No it isn't odd to anyone that should have enough intelligence to see that I am referring to it by that name because that is the name it is known by. It saves having to write out 'the anonymous author of the Gospel of Mark' every time you want to mention that particular book...but then, you knew that but your desperate need to 'score a point' leads you to scrape the barrel.
    Again, it is humorous to hear the argument I made a few posts ago come from you, but this time you accept it. Interesting how that works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    ...because 'Q' does not exist, it is no more than an 'idea', Matthew is almost a complete copy of Mark....
    Hmm, this tells me you arenít actually familiar with this argumentís basis. I would recommend reviewing the argument laid out earlier in thread. No one is arguing that Matthew and Mark are independent. Matthew and Luke are independent, but clearly share at least two sources. One of those sources is Markís source. The other is called Q source, just as Markís source is called M source. It is a standard labeling convention for literary or textual analysis.

    As I pointed out earlier, there is wide concurrence amongst scholars that there is something like a Q source out there. The current debate is whether it was a single source they used or a compilation of two or three sources. We can delve into that debate if you want, I donít really have a horse in that race. Sufficed to say that if you are going to maintain that Matthew and Luke donít share a source beyond Mark, you are going to have to show how two independent sources share multiple lines of identical text by accident.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Glad you agree. So let's have no more tripe about 'independent'.
    Again, you seem confused about the nature of the premises Iíve made. Iím not arguing, nor have ever said that Matthew is independent from Mark. That is a straw man.

    Do you have any coherent and supported objection to the following premise?

    a) For the core account from the entrance to Jerusalem to the Empty Tomb we have four independent sources, Markís source, Paul, John, and Matthew/Lukeís shared source, each telling essentially the same account who are known to have not referenced each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    You claimed that you were aware of 'more than a dozen' historians that believed that Jesus was the son of a god, born of a virgin, walked on water, raised the dead, healed the sick, was killed and resurrected three days later and ascended to heaven - but who were NOT Christian believers. Identify them.
    That was not a claim I made. What you said was:

    Granted - but how many 'biblical scholars' can you cite who believe and accept that 'Jesus' was the divine son of Yahweh, walked on water, raised people from the dead, made blind people see, lame people walk, healed the sick, fed thousands with little food, was killed and came back to life after three days and is now in 'Heaven' - and are NOT theologians and who are NOT already believers?

    I pointed to a list that included biblical scholars who were not theologians. Your insistence that they be ďnot alreadyĒ believers (which I took to mean, apparently mistakenly, werenít believers when they joined the profession) was irrelevant. What you seemed to have actually meant was who both believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but who arenít Christians. That is a nonsensical criteria. I might as well ask someone to show me a list of Americans born of African descent who arenít African-Americans.

    Not only is your comment a truism, it isnít relevant to any point Iíve made in the entire thread, it is a red herring fallacy. Lets remember, my point is:

    ďBiblical scholarsĒ are historians that study the bible, just like ďGilgamesh scholarsĒ are scholars that study that epic. Being a biblical scholar doesnít imply being a theist.

    Once we accept that point, we can get past the nonsensical ad hominem dismissal of scholars just because they have a belief system. Just as we wouldnít dismiss Stephen Hawking because he believes in the model he has put forward.

    Do you have any coherent arguments about their scholarship?




    Additionally, you missed what I consider a relatively major challenge to the only evidence youíve offered on the Gospels in thread. Given that this is the only actual argument youíve made in the last two dozen posts, it is pretty central to your position. I would appreciate if you could take some time to address it.

    Challenge to support a claim. Please support or retract that in the links you offered the authors state that the accounts from Jesusí entry to Jerusalem to the empty tomb are not independently derived between Mark, Paul, and John.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  17. #276
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    AndÖ? There is sufficient evidence to say that it is more likely than not that some source did exist, I cited a review of scholars that found that virtually no antiquities scholar argues it doesnít exist, the only question really is whether Q is one whole source, or the compilation of two separate sources.

    No one seriously discussing this issue would argue that dozens of identical passages in two independent works would have been an accident. Is that your position? That the shared text between these two works was just created by accident?
    Ah, so the gospels are a second-hand copy of another document (or documents) that hasn't been found. Got it - there appears to be multiple layers of copying and fabrications and inventions. Sounds like the whole thing is riddled with problems of authenticity and plagued with inventions from the writers.

    It is possible, but this goes to the same question above. Are you really maintaining that multiple sources that couldnít have informed each other all happened to invent the same story? That kind of chance would seem to strain credibility.
    No but they clearly got their information from clearly unreliable sources, or they tweaked things. Who knows.


    You spectacularly missed the point here. Nothing I said was about differences, I was pointing out that if someone were to put forward a Harry Potter story as history today (IE within the lifetimes of people who would have been eye witnesses) we should expect a negative response and counters to that person. Youíll see the same thing all over the ancient world, especially the Roman world, where counter accounts of battles or political campaigns or even family histories are prevalent.

    What we have here is a well known historian mentioning wonderous deeds by Jesus and doing so within the lifetime of people who would have known better. Yet we donít see them counter, we donít see Josephus discredited, we see his book widely accepted amongst the Jewish population that would have the best information as to its credibility.
    That's if you trust the chain of custody of the early Church to not insert information (which they have done) or destroy opposing information or any number of ways to keep their story consistent. They've had a couple of thousand years to do so - there is no reason at all to trust their honesty on the matter.


    Why does the claim being supernatural mean that it starts out as untrustworthy? That is a well known species of begging the question fallacy. Just because a claim is outside of your expectations does not mean that it is automatically untrustworthy, that is letting your confirmation bias override your ability to analyze evidence.
    Well, most, if not all, supernatural claims either have no evidence, proven to be false, not proven to be true, full of fraudsters or otherwise unbelievable except to those that are part of the religion. It's not an uninformed position.

    The motives of the writers is irrelevant to the argument made as well. They can have all the bias in the world, that doesnít change the fact that independent inventions of a story for which there is no cultural history is beyond the realm of pure chance.
    And a bunch of people hearing the same story is a big deal, how?

    Really, what you are arguing is that four witnesses, none of whom knew each other, all saw a car crash. They all said that it was caused by a mysterious black Plymouth that sped off after the incident. Your argument is that they all, by pure chance, made up the same details and that the black Plymouth didnít exist. There is a reason no jury in the world would buy that.
    Yet, we have thousands of people flock to claims of stigmata or weeping Mary's or pictures of Jesus toast. How believable are they? Besides, you are on the one hand saying that the gospel writers were far apart yet came up with the same story: that tells me that they probably heard the same story from different people - i.e. we have a game of Chinese Whispers and religious exaggerations.


    Please highlight these difference s and how they are mutually exclusive. Remember, if the only difference you note is that they donít highlight the same things, you are simply pointing out that authors focus on different details, not all that surprising or suspicious. What you are arguing is that the accounts contradict each other. Please show that the accounts I offered do so.
    Well, if one witness claims to have seen an old woman who is dead and the other didn't see anyone in the back. Then which would you believe? Who is the more plausible? The one who isn't embellishing the story with supernatural claims or the one that is?


    This is why it is hard to take you seriously as a debater JJ. This is quite possibly the least plausible explanation of what I meant that you could have come to and here you are. No serious atheist came to that conclusion and it makes it hard to believe you are being serious here.

    Literally, in the next sentence Iím asking why a supernatural entity (IE the person of Jesus Christ) couldnít elicit a physical effect (the man of Jesus of Nazareth). Clearly Iím indicating some connection between the two that makes their existence not ďimaginary.Ē

    That you would argue that I have agreed with you otherwise is grandstanding of the poorest form, the kind even Zhavric would have neg repped you for.
    You misunderstand my point:

    1. You said that supernatural things do not physically exist.
    2. Jesus is supernatural and therefore cannot physically exist.

    That's the first point - you are saying that Jesus Christ doesn't physically exist.

    Next, you ask why couldn't Jesus Christ (not existing, being supernatural) couldn't elicit a physical effect. I answered that question by saying supernatural things such as 'ideas' can indeed elicit physical effects on the person believing in them. If Jesus Christ is an 'idea' then of course it can elicit physical effects. The connection is that the man of Jesus of Nazareth imagined himself being the person of Jesus Christ and people believed him.

    Or 'person of Jesus Christ' as you put it is really the 'personality of Jesus Christ', one of possibly many considering he also spoke to 'God' and 'Satan' and goodness knows what else. Are you possibly suggesting that Jesus of Nazareth is schizophrenic?

    Another possibility Jesus of Nazareth exists as a physical man and Jesus Christ exists as an idea or a delusion or illusion. They both 'exist' but I would still say that Jesus Christ is in Jesus of Nazareth's imagination. Calling it 'supernatural', a word which still hasn't been defined yet here and still under debate after two weeks, is clearly just smoke and mirrors to hide what you seem to be saying plainly that Jesus Christ is largely a figment of a single man's imagination and the imaginations of those that followed him.

    Hence the lack of evidence or support for JC and his miracles. Makes sense, right?

  18. #277
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    a) We agree that Josephus references Jesus twice.

    b) Josephus says that he is being called “Christ” by his followers. He says this both in T.F. and in his reference to James’ execution.

    c) Josephus relates that there are contemporary accounts of Jesus’ “startling deeds.”

    d) Josephus confirms the biblical account in so much as Jesus is executed by Pilate at behest of religious leaders despite a widespread popularity with the people.[/i]
    Yes - we already agreed this days ago so that the thread could move on. We have moved on to:

    How does Josephus mentioning JtC confirm that JtC existed?


    a) Tacitus’ reference supports the early biblical accounts in so far as he references a basic belief set similar to the ones the Gospels relate, but he offers it independent of their texts.

    b) Tacitus writes about this belief probably in the late 90s AD, meaning that it was widespread amongst Christians by sixty years after Jesus’ death, indicating that it was likely a contemporary belief to Jesus’ death given that insufficient time for legendary accretion had occurred.
    I have no problem with Tacitus mentioning the beliefs of Christians but how do the beliefs of Christians prove that JtC existed.

    This is the bit you don't appear to understand. You seem to think that just because Josephus and Tacitus mentioned JtC then that is sufficient to conclude that JtC existed. It isn't! It is no evidence for existence at all. It is evidence that J&T had heard about the Christian stories from sources unknown - that's it! You don't need a wall of text to show just how in the world you have deduced that two suspect snippets from two non-contemporaneous historians is proof of the existence of JtC.

    Well that isn’t quite true. I laid out in earlier posts who those sources were limited to from a categorical sense.
    Oh wow! This should be interesting! The entire academic world has no idea about the sources that J&T used - but you do? Pray tell Sir and stand by for the applause from academia.

    Unless we have reason to believe that these authors’ sources are the other independent sources, their exact identity is irrelevant.
    No Sir, not irrelevant at all - because if their sources were Christian, like the Bible or Christian stories that were circulating, we have no proof that they were doing anything other than repeating the beliefs of Christians. However, we are still left with the only question that really has any relevance:

    How does J&T mentioning JtC prove the existence of JtC? I put it to you that J&T mentioning JtC is no more evidence for the existence of JtC than Homer's mention of Polyphemus throwing rocks at passing ships is evidence for the existence of Polyphemus.

    Great, I’ll concede that Mark was compiled prior to Serapion,...
    Then that is enough to conclude that Serapion could well have got it from reading Mark...and Serapion is of no importance anyway.Comes under the same heading as Josephus and Tacitus. Move on.

    You have the argument backward,....
    No, I have it spot on. You want to use self-serving documents to prove the existence of someone that those documents were specifically intended to prove the existence of. To put it simply - you want to use the Gospels to prove that the Gospels are true. Dismissed!

    Again, it is humorous to hear the argument I made a few posts ago come from you, but this time you accept it. Interesting how that works.
    Well if you don't understand how it works I'll explain it to you. The author of the Gospel of Mark is unknown but the work is commonly known as the Gospel According to Mark. That is why I refer to it by that name of 'Mark'. It saves having to write out 'the anonymous author of the Gospel According To Mark' every time I want to mention that particular book. I doesn't mean that I'm contradicting myself by saying that 'Mark' does not exist and then referring to the 'Gospel of Mark'. Do you get it now? If not - go ask your Dad.

    Hmm, this tells me you aren’t actually familiar with this argument’s basis. I would recommend reviewing the argument laid out earlier in thread. No one is arguing that Matthew and Mark are independent. Matthew and Luke are independent, but clearly share at least two sources. One of those sources is Mark’s source. The other is called Q source, just as Mark’s source is called M source. It is a standard labeling convention for literary or textual analysis.
    It doesn't matter. Using the Gospels to prove that the Gospels is true is not on! They cannot be trusted as being true. In fact, we know that there have been additions and alterations to them down through the ages; we know that there are some discrepancies in them.; they are not a reliable source; they are not history. I repeat once again. The gospel authors were projecting religious beliefs not recording history.

    As I pointed out earlier, there is wide concurrence amongst scholars that there is something like a Q source out there.
    Well when they find it we might revisit your claim but until they do, it remains speculation.

    Again, you seem confused about the nature of the premises I’ve made. I’m not arguing, nor have ever said that Matthew is independent from Mark. That is a straw man.

    Do you have any coherent and supported objection to the following premise?

    a) For the core account from the entrance to Jerusalem to the Empty Tomb we have four independent sources, Mark’s source, Paul, John, and Matthew/Luke’s shared source, each telling essentially the same account who are known to have not referenced each other.
    Yet again. It is irrelevant. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul were promoting religious beliefs not history. When you have proof that what the Gospels say is truthful and verifiable history then come back but until you do, all you are harping is - Jesus The Christ existed because it says so in the Gospels and the Gospels are true because the people who wrote them say they are true and they were honest and truthful people. Sorry brother! That might works for the simpering acolytes of Christianity. For those of us that are able to think outside the box it means nowt.

    That was not a claim I made. What you said was:

    Granted - but how many 'biblical scholars' can you cite who believe and accept that 'Jesus' was the divine son of Yahweh, walked on water, raised people from the dead, made blind people see, lame people walk, healed the sick, fed thousands with little food, was killed and came back to life after three days and is now in 'Heaven' - and are NOT theologians and who are NOT already believers?
    Sorry but it was the claim you made. Your answer to my question was - "I’m not sure, probably more than a dozen." So then, who are they.

    I pointed to a list that included biblical scholars who were not theologians.
    ...and you want me to go through the list rather than support your claim? You go through the list not me. I can save you the trouble of going through A and B as I looked at those. Everyone on A and B is a theologian - and giving a list that include historians from the 16th century is not what I was looking for.

    Your insistence that they be “not already” believers (which I took to mean, apparently mistakenly, weren’t believers when they joined the profession) was irrelevant. What you seemed to have actually meant was who both believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but who aren’t Christians. That is a nonsensical criteria. I might as well ask someone to show me a list of Americans born of African descent who aren’t African-Americans.
    Exactly! Now you're getting it just like brother Hyde got it. This all stemmed from theists here continually sprouting off about 'historians' saying that JtC existed. I was trying to point out that the only 'historians' that believe that JtC existed would be ones that were already Christians. So the claim that 'historians' accept that JtC existed doesn't really amount to much. It comes down to - they would say that wouldn't they.

    Not only is your comment a truism, it isn’t relevant to any point I’ve made in the entire thread, it is a red herring fallacy. Lets remember, my point is:
    “Biblical scholars” are historians that study the bible, just like “Gilgamesh scholars” are scholars that study that epic. Being a biblical scholar doesn’t imply being a theist.
    Yet when 'eye' made the same claim and supplied a list of 'biblical scholars' to support her claim, every one of them was a theologian - and the fact that you cannot back up your claim is...well, no matter.

    Additionally, you missed what I consider a relatively major challenge to the only evidence you’ve offered on the Gospels in thread. Given that this is the only actual argument you’ve made in the last two dozen posts, it is pretty central to your position. I would appreciate if you could take some time to address it.

    Challenge to support a claim. Please support or retract that in the links you offered the authors state that the accounts from Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem to the empty tomb are not independently derived between Mark, Paul, and John.
    I already have addressed it. It's in post #274 - where it says:

    'Whether they are independently derived or not is totally irrelevant unless you can show that the sources they were derived form are true - your challenge is returned to where it came from and I hope it's not too painful there.'

    Now can we please move on to what is important. I would love to know how J&T mentioning JtC is proof that JtC really did exist.

    ---------- Post added at 08:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:11 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post

    ...there appears to be multiple layers of copying and fabrications and inventions. Sounds like the whole thing is riddled with problems of authenticity and plagued with inventions from the writers.

    That's if you trust the chain of custody of the early Church to not insert information (which they have done) or destroy opposing information or any number of ways to keep their story consistent.
    Now ain't THAT the truth! Chop here, clip there, add here, delete there. I find it incredible that people actually put forward the Gospels or the Bible as a whole as 'reliable evidence'!!! Perhaps they've never heard of that old Christian villain Eusebius. The following looks at one of Christianity's most celebrated 'Liars for Jesus'.


    Eusebius wrote, "the names of Jesus and Christ were both known and honoured by the ancients" (Hist. Eccl. lib. i. ch. iv). Eusebius, who is Christianity’s chief guide for the early history of the Church, confesses that he was by no means scrupulous (giving careful attention to what is right or proper), to record the whole truth concerning the early Christians in the various works that he has left behind him. (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., ch.8 p. 21).

    The book "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire" states that: "Eusebius indirectly confesses that he had included stories that would do credit to the glory of Christianity and he had suppressed all that could tend to discredit Christianity. The carefulness of the historian has exposed his own character of censorship" (Eusebius and the Christian Martyrs, Chapter 16, pg. 197).

    Edward Gibbon, speaking of Eusebius wrote:

    "The gravest of the ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses that he has related what might rebound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace, of religion. Such an acknowledgement will naturally excite a suspicion that a writer who has so openly violated one of the fundamental laws of history has not paid a very strict regard to the observance of the other; and the suspicion will derive additional credit from the character of Eusebius, which was less tinctured with credulity, and more practiced in the arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries" (Gibbon, Rome, vol. ii., Philadelphia, 1876).

    Gibbon also wrote:

    "It must be confessed that the ministers of the Catholic Church imitated the profane model which they were impatient to destroy. The most respectable bishops had persuaded themselves that the ignorant rustics would more cheerfully renounce the superstitions of Paganism if they found some resemblance, some compensation, in the bosom of Christianity. The religion of Constantine achieved in less than a century the final conquest of the Roman empire; but the victors themselves were insensibly subdued by the arts of their vanquished rivals"
    (Gibbon, Rome, vol. iii. p. 163).

    Dr. Robert L. Wilken, first Protestant scholar to be admitted to the staff of Fordham University recently wrote:

    "Eusebius wrote a history of Christianity in which there is no real history. Eusebius was the first thoroughly dishonest and unfair historian in ancient times". (The Myth of Christian Beginnings, History's Impact on Belief, Chapter III: The Bishop's Maiden: History Without History, p73, p57)

    Another scholar, Joseph Wheless charged that Eusebius was one of the most prolific forgers and liars of his age in the church, and a great romancer; in his hair-raising histories of the holy Martyrs, he assures us "that on some occasions the bodies of the martyrs who had been devoured by wild beasts, upon the beasts being strangled, were found alive in their stomachs, even after having been fully digested"! (FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY: A Documented Record of the Foundations of the Christian Religion, 1930; quoted Gibbon, History, Ch. 37; Lardner, iv, p. 91; Diegesis, p. 272)

    After reading the above, one should ask two questions:

    1. Just how genuine/honest are the writings in the New Testament? And

    2. Are Christians following just another man-made Abrahamic Derivative Religion (ADR)?

    Paul L. Maier (1999) wrote:

    “They cannot deny their crime: the copies are in their own handwriting, they did not receive the Scriptures in this condition from their teachers, and they cannot produce originals from which they made their copies. Some have even found it unnecessary to emend the text but have simply rejected the Law and the Prophets, using a wicked, godless teaching to plunge into the lowest depths of destruction. They have not been afraid to corrupt divine Scriptures, they have rescinded the rule of ancient faith, they have not known Christ, they ignore Scripture but search for a logic to support their atheism. If anyone challenges them with a passage from Scripture, they examine it to see if it can be turned into a common syllogism. Abandoning the holy Scripture of God, they study "geometry" [earth measurement], for they are from the earth and speak of the earth and do not know the One who comes from above.” (Eusebius: The Church History, from Book 5 section 28)

    After reading how the Church Historian, Eusebius altered early writings to fit his own idea and concept of how he believed Jesus was, could the Christian truly believe that Jesus said all the things credited to him? Are Christians willing to put their souls on the line? Those who will never question what has been written and use “blind faith” as their logic will always dismiss any claims, evidence and facts that have been produced to show that this religion is faulty and could never had happened in the way the New Testament presents it. Like the old saying goes: “Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind's already made up!" Are you one of them?

    Paul Maier continues:

    “Many manuscripts are available because their disciples zealously made copies of their "corrected" ― though really corrupted ― texts. This sinful impudence can hardly have been unknown to the copyists, who either do not believe the Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit and are unbelievers or deem themselves wiser than the Holy Spirit and are possessed.”

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, published with the imprimatur of the Roman Catholic authorities, tell us that the decision to have four gospels instead of just one is credited to the early church father St. Irenaeus, who was the first writer to mention the four gospels by name.

    St. Irenaeus wrote:

    "It is not possible that the gospels be either more or fewer than they are. For since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principle winds, while the Church is scattered throughout the world and the pillar and ground of the Church is the gospel, it is fitting that we should have four pillars breathing out immortality on every side" (Catholic Encyclopedia vol. VI, pg. 659).

    As for the writings of Paul, the Encyclopedia Biblica states categorically:

    "With respect to the Canonical Pauline Epistles, none of them are by Paul. They are all, without distinction, pseudographia (false writings). The group (ten epistles) bears obvious marks of a certain unity, of having originated in one circle, at one time, in one environment, but not of unity of authorship" (Encyclopedia Biblica III pg. 3625-26).

    The father of Christianity appears to be Paul and the father of the history of the Christian Church appears to be Eusebius. Both never knew or walked with Jesus ― according the Christian scriptures, but primarily because there was no real Jesus. The Jesus man-god character is simply fictitious. Yet, Christians today believe everything these two men ― Paul and Eusebius ―want them to believe. Christians believe every word they read and hear to be the words from God ― their Invisible Friend in the Sky!
    http://www.christianity-revealed.com...theforger.html

    The great religious historian, Eusebius, ingenuously remarks that in his history he carefully omitted whatever tended to discredit the church, and that he piously magnified all that conduced to her glory”
    {Robert Green Ingersoll. "The Ghosts". (1877).}

    The gravest of the ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses that he has related whatever might redound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace, of religion. Such an acknowledgment will naturally excite a suspicion that a writer who has so openly violated one of the fundamental laws of history has not paid a very strict regard to the observance of the other; and the suspicion will derive additional credit from the character of Eusebius, which was less tinctured with credulity, and more practised in the arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries.
    {Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 3 (1776).}

    "That it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such a mode of treatment"
    {Eusebius. The title for chapter 32 of the twelth book of Evangelical Preparation}

    In a book where Eusebius is proving that the pagans got all their good ideas from the Jews, he lists as one of those good ideas Plato's argument that lying, indeed telling completely false tales, for the benefit of the state is good and even necessary. Eusebius then notes quite casually how the Hebrews did this, telling lies about their God, and he even compares such lies with medicine, a healthy and even necessary thing. Someone who can accept this as a 'good idea' worth both taking credit for and following is not the sort of person to be trusted.
    {Richard Carrier, Footnote 6 from "The Formation of the New testament Canon"}


    ....and our friends here want us to accept the gospels as reliable 'evidence'
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 16th, 2015 at 08:56 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  19. #278
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Ah, so the gospels are a second-hand copy of another document (or documents) that hasn't been found. Got it - there appears to be multiple layers of copying and fabrications and inventions.
    Which, as Iíve pointed out, is true of virtually every document pre-1800. If this is the standard you are going to set for historical research, original, first hand copies, then I should point out that we have no references to:

    Aristotle
    Plato
    Livy
    The Persian Invasion of Greece
    The Peloponnesian war
    Alexander the Great
    Charlemagne
    Alfred the Great, or the Viking invasion of England

    By JJís (and apparently Pladís) point of view, you are saying that we should reject all these figures because the information we have on them are from second hand sources where the originals havenít been found?

    Look, you canít throw the bathwater here without throwing out the baby. The tools being used for basic textual analysis as described are the same tools all historians and antiquarians use to evaluate historic texts (and for that matter more contemporary, digital ones). If you really want to argue the point you seem to be making that is fine, you just have to be honest about being on the opposite side of virtually every scholar of any historical period. These are basic techniques taught in 400 level undergrad history classes (usually labelled Historiography). They are the techniques we use to analyze which parts of Gilgamesh are original, and which come from later Persian editions (even if we canít find the original texts, which is common.)

    And Iím more than happy to take specific critiques of the techniques themselves, they are pretty reliable and defensible (which is why they are so widely adopted), but the empty appeal to unreliability you are offering isnít a valid rebuttal.

    Do you have a specific critique of the documents themselves or of the analysis offered?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    No but they clearly got their information from clearly unreliable sources, or they tweaked things. Who knows.
    What evidence or analysis do you base that on? Please be specific, it looks, at first blush, like you are just begging the question (they appeal to things you donít believe in so they must be false, therefore we shouldnít believe in the actions mentioned), which is clearly fallacious. Assuming you have a better argument you didnít offer, please do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    That's if you trust the chain of custody of the early Church to not insert information (which they have done) or destroy opposing information or any number of ways to keep their story consistent. They've had a couple of thousand years to do so - there is no reason at all to trust their honesty on the matter.
    I agree, youíll notice I havenít offered any kind of argument about chain of evidence, nor (to my knowledge) do many scholars. Iím offering a direct analysis of the text. We are talking about tools invented for textual analysis nearly 1800 years after any of these documents were written or compiled and more than 1700 years after the initial copies we have.

    I know you arenít suggesting that the Church fathers were smart enough to fool a textual analysis that wouldnít be invented for almost two more millennia. Clearly they werenít aware of the kinds of textual trends and phrasing analysis pioneered in the 1930s so that they could fake text that would fool all modern scholars on the subject. That kind of argument would be a bit silly.

    Do you have any direct reason to argue that any specific section of text from the sections I mention was a latter addition?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Well, most, if not all, supernatural claims either have no evidence, proven to be false, not proven to be true, full of fraudsters or otherwise unbelievable except to those that are part of the religion. It's not an uninformed position.
    So do most financial claims over history. How many hucksters, con-men, fools, and down right liars exist and have existed in the financial industry? Does that mean that all financial claims are false? Does that mean we can automatically dismiss all financial analysis without ďextraordinaryĒ evidence?

    The same argument could be made for physics. Virtually all physical theories have been proven false. The remaining wants exist by the virtue of having not been proven false. Should I dismiss all physical claims? Or do we accept some, and reject others, based on analysis of the individual claim and the arguments and evidence offered to support it?

    The point, which I think you can clearly see here, is that we canít coherently reject claims based solely on the categories they fall into. We reject claims based on their individual arguments and evidence, anything less is just intellectually lazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    And a bunch of people hearing the same story is a big deal, how?
    If they were actually all just hearing the same story from the same place you would be right. But that isnít what independent means. I offered a clear explanation to Plad, who also seems to struggle with this concept (which I admit is a little bit of a technical term in history), a few posts ago. Independent (and lets remember we have a plethora of evidence in this thread from both theist and atheist historians who consider the four sources I mention above to be independent) sources come from different accounts of an event. We can tell that these accounts are independent either by the difference in vocabulary and grammar particular to a specific background (Peter and Paul have dramatically different backgrounds and you can see that difference in their writing style, while Luke not a Jew of palestine has vocabulary and structure unique to his upbringing), because of different lines of evidence structures (Johnís account is drawn from eye-witnesses who fled early in the new Christian movement and developed independently away from Peter and Paulís churches), or because of logical impossibility (Matthew and Luke write at the same time in two far removed places).

    These are the basic arguments laid out by people like Bart Ehrman (if you think he is biased towards Christianity Iím not sure anything could convince you otherwise) and they are the arguments that would need to be addressed if we are to drop the independence premise I laid out.



    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Yet, we have thousands of people flock to claims of stigmata or weeping Mary's or pictures of Jesus toast.
    How is that at all related to the argument laid forth? This seems to be a red herring.

    Are you arguing that these people independently developed the same account of a particular event? IE that two people saw a picture of Mary weeping, but they had no contact with each other? Is that your argument? That there are other examples of independently sourced accounts turning out to be false?


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Well, if one witness claims to have seen an old woman who is dead and the other didn't see anyone in the back.
    Those would be mutually exclusive accounts (more or less). Do you have an example of that occurring that is relevant to this argument?


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    1. You said that supernatural things do not physically exist.
    2. Jesus is supernatural and therefore cannot physically exist.

    That's the first point - you are saying that Jesus Christ doesn't physically exist.
    Sigh. Jesus, the physical body is a physical manifestation of a supernatural cause (Jesus the son of God). Regardless of your adherence to that belief or rejection of it, anyone arguing intellectually honestly agrees that is, at least, the claim.

    No one is arguing that all aspects of Jesus are supernatural and if you had actually read my argument rather than cherry picking a quote out of it you would have seen that the entire thrust of the argument was that the supernatural could well affect and have a presence in the natural world, but that its existence wasnít contingent on a physical manifestation. A ball that doesnít occupy space or time doesnít exist, the same is not considered true for supernatural entities in philosophy.

    The fact that you still consider ideas supernatural also tells me you couldnít be bothered to read even the basic background literature on abstract objects (which ideas are, and which are causally effete, which derails your point as well). That indicates you arenít really serious about debating the issue, you are appealing to the stands as it were.






    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Yes - we already agreed this days ago so that the thread could move on.
    Great, I appreciate that. Once we resolve the matter of the underlying premises, we can discuss the logical structure. Again, Iím trying to avoid the text wall you were so unhappy about.



    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Oh wow! This should be interesting! The entire academic world has no idea about the sources that J&T used - but you do?
    Iím not sure where you get that first idea. The categorical limitations I laid out were supported by academic work. I think you premise here might be flawed. You do realize there is a difference between not know who a source is and not knowing anything about a source right? For example, for decades people knew that the source Deepthroat was an insider at the FBI, but they didnít know who he was. We might not have been able to say the name of the informant there, but we could say he wasnít a State Department official. I hope that clarifies the difference between what you seem to think my argument is and what my argument actually is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    No Sir, not irrelevant at all - because if their sources were Christian, like the Bible or Christian stories that were circulating, we have no proof that they were doing anything other than repeating the beliefs of Christians.
    Which I understand is emotionally distasteful to you, but it is irrelevant to the claim made. You seem to have some unstated objection to the fact that many of these accounts originate in the eyewitness group contemporary to the event. Iím not sure why that would be an objection, independent sources for Roman wars both come down to the accounts of eyewitnesses on the battlefield. It doesnít make their testimony unreliable. Unless you are arguing that there was a vast conspiracy of thousands of people to invent a story and an even vaster complicity of non-believers to not object. Clearly that canít be your argument though, it would be just silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Then that is enough to conclude that Serapion could well have got it from reading Mark...and Serapion is of no importance anyway.
    Iím afraid not. Timelines are insufficient to establish causality. I had a cup of coffee before you wrote that argument, it doesnít mean that drinking that cup of coffee caused your argument.

    The fact that Serapionís account differs from Markís source dramatically is sufficient to point out that Serapion was unaware of that account. It would be like arguing that because the second gunman theory was circulated prior to the warren commission that therefore that was the source of their findings. The fact that they differ radically in what they are saying seems to have been overlooked by you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    To put it simply - you want to use the Gospels to prove that the Gospels are true.
    Not really. Again, you seem to think you have the argument understood before Iíve even presented it. I would suggest you buy a lottery ticket since you think you are psychic, except for the fact that you have my argument wrong.

    My argument is that we use facts about the gospels to evaluate the potentiality for them being mutually supported legendary accretion vs being accounts of an event. My argument is that we avoid the taxicab fallacy you seem willing to employ by using the same tools we use on every single other historical document on these sets of historical documents.

    You seem to want to take academiaís tool set with you until it finds something inconvenient, that is the taxicab fallacy. As I pointed out to JJ, either we accept the tool set historians use for every historical or contemporary document in existence or reject the vast, vast bulk of history and historians as unreliable. I am, of course, open to you arguing how I apply those tool sets, but the wholesale rejection of them is unwarranted.


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    It doesn't matter.
    Iím not sure how material facts about a premise are irrelevant to the truth value of the premise. This doesnít seem to be a defensible objection to my premise.

    Do you have any direct refutation of the premise I laid out?

    a) For the core account from the entrance to Jerusalem to the Empty Tomb we have four sources, each telling essentially the same account who are known to have not referenced each other. This decreases the likelihood of invention since independent invention of the same historical details is highly improbable. As I noted a few posts ago, in statistics we measure extraordinary events by what the probability is that we would have the evidence if the event did not occur. (http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...s_of_testimony). It is exceedingly improbable that we would have four independent sources giving the same testimony absent an event.


    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    Well when they find it we might revisit your claim but until they do, it remains speculation.
    Youíve offered no reason why a physical ownership of this document is necessary. Youíve indicated in earlier posts that such physical possession of source documentation isnít necessary for other historical events (see my post to JJ above with a list of historical events and figures you seem to be ready to dismiss as fiction), but you mysteriously invoke it here, with no clear indication why.

    Unless you can show why physical possession is a requirement for this source when it isnít a requirement for any of the other historical sources Iíve mentioned, your objection here lacks warrant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Yet again. It is irrelevant. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul were promoting religious beliefs not history.
    Herodotus was promoting Greek independence. Josephus was promoting Jewish identity. Livy was an unabashed Julian. None of those facts mean we canít sort out the difference between independently confirmed events and the authorís spin on them. None of those facts means we canít use standard historical analytical tools on their writings right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Sorry but it was the claim you made. Your answer to my question was - "Iím not sure, probably more than a dozen." So then, who are they.
    Please see my last explanation. I have already clarified my claim and supported that clarification. I am sorry you misunderstood, but clearly Iíve offered the justification for the clarification offered.


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    ...and you want me to go through the list rather than support your claim? You go through the list not me.
    Certainly. First let me remind you that this line of argument is moot since the positions I offered were supported by both theist and atheist scholars as noted more than a dozen posts ago. Iíll add this for the sake of transparency, but if you want further explanation, youíll have to offer why it is relevant to the premises under discussion. Especially, youíll need to explain why we should reject any practicing theologians when scholars (such as Ehrman and others) do not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    I can save you the trouble of going through A and B as I looked at those. Everyone on A and B is a theologian
    Iím also not sure how you arrived at this idea that you looked through both the As and Bs and found they were all theologians. Do you think all priests are theologians?



    As for the list, all these members are noted Roman catholics (hence the title of the original list), none of them are professors of theology or expound on theological matters directly:

    Harold W. Attridge,

    Marie-…mile Boismard

    Adela Yarbro Collins

    John J. Collins

    Celia Deutsch

    Bonifatius Fischer

    Joseph Augustine Fitzmyer (Does have a degree in theology, but has never published a theological work or practiced theological interpretation)

    Daniel J. Harrington

    Hans-Josef Klauck

    James Kleist

    Marie-Joseph Lagrange (Side note: this guy was one of the early pioneers of textual criticism and his work is standard reading even in secular historiography classes to this day)

    Michael Lattke

    Joseph Lilly

    Roland E. Murphy

    Bernard Orchard

    Anne-Marie Pelletier

    …mile Puech


    I added a few more than the requisite 13 in case you had any heartburn over a particular name.


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Yet when 'eye' made the same claim and supplied a list of 'biblical scholars' to support her claim, every one of them was a theologian - and the fact that you cannot back up your claim is...well, no matter.
    Regardless of Eyeís argument, I did supply more than just theologians, correct? I supplied both theist and atheist biblical scholars who supported the premises Iíve offered. Hence, your objection to that line of argumentation is fallacious. We know that Biblical Scholarship includes both believers and non-believers and that both categories accept the premises Iíve laid out (and which Iíve supported with almost exclusively non-believing scholars) such that the argument that this is just a Christian invention rings a bit hollow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    I already have addressed it. It's in post #274 - where it says:

    'Whether they are independently derived or not is totally irrelevant unless you can show that the sources they were derived form are true - your challenge is returned to where it came from and I hope it's not too painful there.'

    Now can we please move on to what is important. I would love to know how J&T mentioning JtC is proof that JtC really did exist.
    Iím afraid that that doesnít directly address the claim unless you are retracting it. Is that your point (Iím sorry if I misunderstood this response), that your claim that those links said the works I mentioned were not independent is retracted since, in your mind, it is moot?











    For clarityís sake, lets keep a running tab on the agreed upon premises so we can see how close we are to moving to the next step in this discussion;


    1) Josephus Wrote about Jesus

    a) We agree that Josephus references Jesus twice.

    b) Josephus says that he is being called ďChristĒ by his followers. He says this both in T.F. and in his reference to Jamesí execution.

    c) Josephus relates that there are contemporary accounts of Jesusí ďstartling deeds.Ē

    d) Josephus confirms the biblical account in so much as Jesus is executed by Pilate at behest of religious leaders despite a widespread popularity with the people

    2) Tacitus Referenced Jesus Christ

    a) Tacitusí reference supports the early biblical accounts in so far as he references a basic belief set similar to the ones the Gospels relate, but he offers it independent of their texts.

    b) Tacitus writes about this belief probably in the late 90s AD, meaning that it was widespread amongst Christians by sixty years after Jesusí death, indicating that it was likely a contemporary belief to Jesusí death given that insufficient time for legendary accretion had occurred.






    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.Ē -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  20. #279
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Which, as I’ve pointed out, is true of virtually every document pre-1800. If this is the standard you are going to set for historical research, original, first hand copies, then I should point out that we have no references to:

    Aristotle
    Plato
    Livy
    The Persian Invasion of Greece
    The Peloponnesian war
    Alexander the Great
    Charlemagne
    Alfred the Great, or the Viking invasion of England

    By JJ’s (and apparently Plad’s) point of view, you are saying that we should reject all these figures because the information we have on them are from second hand sources where the originals haven’t been found?
    You are more than welcome to try to convince the world that those events didn't happen or those people didn't exist. Good Luck. Are you aware of any serious historians that deny those people existed or those events did not take place?

    Great, I appreciate that. Once we resolve the matter of the underlying premises, we can discuss the logical structure. Again, I’m trying to avoid the text wall you were so unhappy about.
    The only thing we need to resolve is how you deduce that a extremely minor mention of someone by two historians is proof that the person mentioned actually existed. Tell us.

    I’m not sure where you get that first idea. The categorical limitations I laid out were supported by academic work. I think you premise here might be flawed. You do realize there is a difference between not know who a source is and not knowing anything about a source right? For example, for decades people knew that the source Deepthroat was an insider at the FBI, but they didn’t know who he was. We might not have been able to say the name of the informant there, but we could say he wasn’t a State Department official. I hope that clarifies the difference between what you seem to think my argument is and what my argument actually is.

    Which I understand is emotionally distasteful to you, but it is irrelevant to the claim made. You seem to have some unstated objection to the fact that many of these accounts originate in the eyewitness group contemporary to the event. I’m not sure why that would be an objection, independent sources for Roman wars both come down to the accounts of eyewitnesses on the battlefield. It doesn’t make their testimony unreliable. Unless you are arguing that there was a vast conspiracy of thousands of people to invent a story and an even vaster complicity of non-believers to not object. Clearly that can’t be your argument though, it would be just silly.

    I’m afraid not. Timelines are insufficient to establish causality. I had a cup of coffee before you wrote that argument, it doesn’t mean that drinking that cup of coffee caused your argument.

    The fact that Serapion’s account differs from Mark’s source dramatically is sufficient to point out that Serapion was unaware of that account. It would be like arguing that because the second gunman theory was circulated prior to the warren commission that therefore that was the source of their findings. The fact that they differ radically in what they are saying seems to have been overlooked by you.

    Not really. Again, you seem to think you have the argument understood before I’ve even presented it. I would suggest you buy a lottery ticket since you think you are psychic, except for the fact that you have my argument wrong.

    My argument is that we use facts about the gospels to evaluate the potentiality for them being mutually supported legendary accretion vs being accounts of an event. My argument is that we avoid the taxicab fallacy you seem willing to employ by using the same tools we use on every single other historical document on these sets of historical documents.

    You seem to want to take academia’s tool set with you until it finds something inconvenient, that is the taxicab fallacy. As I pointed out to JJ, either we accept the tool set historians use for every historical or contemporary document in existence or reject the vast, vast bulk of history and historians as unreliable. I am, of course, open to you arguing how I apply those tool sets, but the wholesale rejection of them is unwarranted.

    I’m not sure how material facts about a premise are irrelevant to the truth value of the premise. This doesn’t seem to be a defensible objection to my premise.

    Do you have any direct refutation of the premise I laid out?

    a) For the core account from the entrance to Jerusalem to the Empty Tomb we have four sources, each telling essentially the same account who are known to have not referenced each other. This decreases the likelihood of invention since independent invention of the same historical details is highly improbable. As I noted a few posts ago, in statistics we measure extraordinary events by what the probability is that we would have the evidence if the event did not occur. (http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...s_of_testimony). It is exceedingly improbable that we would have four independent sources giving the same testimony absent an event.
    I'm sure this is all very interesting to the simpering acolytes of Christianity who desperately want it all to be true and as such, lap up the dross of Bible apologetics - but what does any of it do to prove that your man-god existed?

    You've offered no reason why a physical ownership of this document is necessary.
    'Physical ownership'!! It doesn't even exist. It is a hypothetical concept to explain how the authors of Matthew and Luke might have got their material. Documents that do not exist are not verifiable evidence and verifiable evidence is what we need to look at.

    You’ve indicated in earlier posts that such physical possession of source documentation isn’t necessary for other historical events (see my post to JJ above with a list of historical events and figures you seem to be ready to dismiss as fiction), but you mysteriously invoke it here, with no clear indication why.
    Look. This tripe about Alexander etc is nothing but the sort of rubbish vomited out by places like 'Answers in Genesis' and other historically/scientifically illiterate apologist websites. If you want to prove to the world that those people didn't exist or those events didn't happen then you go for it. Comparing your JtC with Alexander is the sort of thing done by Christian teenagers I come across. They lap it from the apologist website and throw it at us as if we've never heard it before. If you want to compare your man-god's existence with Alexander - how many cities did JtC have named after him?

    Unless you can show why physical possession is a requirement for this source when it isn’t a requirement for any of the other historical sources I’ve mentioned, your objection here lacks warrant.
    Unless you can show that the Q source exists you are clutching at straws.


    Herodotus was promoting Greek independence. Josephus was promoting Jewish identity. Livy was an unabashed Julian. None of those facts mean we can’t sort out the difference between independently confirmed events and the author’s spin on them.
    Then go and tell history that they were all wrong.

    None of those facts means we can’t use standard historical analytical tools on their writings right?
    'Historical analytical tools' HAVE been used on your gospels and it has resulted in historians saying that the supernatural and miraculous claims made for JtC in the Bible are 'faith not fact'.

    .. you’ll need to explain why we should reject any practicing theologians when scholars (such as Ehrman and others) do not.
    Theologian are rejected because they are a biased source. I'm sure that if every source I threw at you to destroy your JtC claims, came from atheist web-sites then you'd soon be shouting about it. ...and none of it is relevant to whether or not JtC existed anyway. Historians are happy to accept that a historical Jesus existed. They do not accept the supernatural/miracle claims of Christianity for this man. I am in the same boat as them. It for you to show that our boat is leaking - and so far you have failed miserably. You have produces two suspect scraps from non-contemporaneous historians and the Gospels, a work that we know is not trustworthy (see post 277).

    You are putting forward historians to support your claim for JtC and those very historians are telling you that the Christian claims for the man-god are nonsense. Why do you persist? Why can't you just accept, as do most other believers, that there is no verifiable evidence for your JtC and your belief relies on faith and the desperate need for it to be true? For 2000 years your side have desperately searched for ANYTHING that would lend credence to your JtC and finding none, you have invented it. Why do you think that the Church demands that you rely on 'faith' in your belief? It's simple! It's because there is NO VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE to determine that JtC was a real person. If there was then there would be no need for 'faith' would there - because you would have the proof to support the claim and faith when you have verifiable proof is simply not required. So perhaps you could present such verifiable evidence for your man-god that would lead the Church to conclude that their adherence to 'faith' over the past 2000 years has been a waste of effort because the verifiable evidence that their beliefs are true has been right under their noses all the time!

    I’m also not sure how you arrived at this idea that you looked through both the As and Bs and found they were all theologians. Do you think all priests are theologians?
    They certainly fit the definition of the word and I don't know about where you are but here they have to study at theological colleges and universities and get qualifications in theology....and even if they were not theologians, do you think they would come under the heading of 'unbiased'???

    As for the list, all these members are noted Roman catholics (hence the title of the original list), none of them are professors of theology or expound on theological matters directly:
    ...and yet as Roman Catholics they are all believers and what we are looking for is the dozen or so historians that you say you know of that believe that Jesus was the son of Yahweh the Hebrew god of war, who was born of a virgin, performed miracles and who, after being executed, came back to life and ascended to heaven - and who are not Christian believers.

    Regardless of Eye’s argument, I did supply more than just theologians, correct?
    What we are looking for is the dozen or so historians that you say you know of that believe that Jesus was the son of the Hebrew god of war, who was born of a virgin, performed miracles and who, after being executed, came back to life and ascended to heaven - and who are not Christian believers.

    I supplied both theist and atheist biblical scholars who supported the premises I’ve offered.
    I would really REALLY love you to identify an atheist that believes that Jesus was the son of the Hebrew god of war, who was born of a virgin, performed miracles and who, after being executed, came back to life and ascended to heaven. This really would be a first. Please identify this miracle.

    Hence, your objection to that line of argumentation is fallacious. We know that Biblical Scholarship includes both believers and non-believers and that both categories accept the premises I’ve laid out
    No, they don't support you at all. The only ones that support you are Christian believers. All the other say that supernatural or miraculous claims about JtC are faith, rather than historical fact

    I’m afraid that that doesn’t directly address the claim unless you are retracting it. Is that your point (I’m sorry if I misunderstood this response), that your claim that those links said the works I mentioned were not independent is retracted since, in your mind, it is moot?
    I'm saying that it is irrelevant whether or not they are independent unless you can show that the 'independent sources' you are putting forward are verifiable and reliable....and we know that the gospels certainly are not and neither are the writings of Paul.
    See here.
    http://api.viglink.com/api/click?for...theforger.html

    ...and anyway. Apparently, according to Freund, all I have to do is introduce the 'possibility' for doubt and your argument is destroyed.


    For clarity’s sake, lets keep a running tab on the agreed upon premises so we can see how close we are to moving to the next step in this discussion;

    [indent] [i]
    1) Josephus Wrote about Jesus

    a) We agree that Josephus references Jesus twice.

    b) Josephus says that he is being called “Christ” by his followers. He says this both in T.F. and in his reference to James’ execution.

    c) Josephus relates that there are contemporary accounts of Jesus’ “startling deeds.”

    d) Josephus confirms the biblical account in so much as Jesus is executed by Pilate at behest of religious leaders despite a widespread popularity with the people

    2) Tacitus Referenced Jesus Christ

    a) Tacitus’ reference supports the early biblical accounts in so far as he references a basic belief set similar to the ones the Gospels relate, but he offers it independent of their texts.

    b) Tacitus writes about this belief probably in the late 90s AD, meaning that it was widespread amongst Christians by sixty years after Jesus’ death, indicating that it was likely a contemporary belief to Jesus’ death given that insufficient time for legendary accretion had occurred.
    ...but you are not answering the question that I keep asking. How does the above prove the existence of JtC??

    Josephus Wrote about Jesus
    Ok. How does that prove the existence of JtC?
    Tacitus Referenced Jesus Christ
    OK. How does that prove the existence of JtC?

    THIS is what we should be concentrating on because all of your apologetics can be condensed down to nothing more than -

    1. Josephus and Tacitus mentioned JtC so that means that JtC existed.
    2. Jesus The Christ existed because self-serving documents that were written solely to promote the belief that Jesus The Christ existed says Jesus The Christ existed.

    Can we concentrate on that please because all the rest is really just padding that achieves nothing other that taking up our time and going back over old ground already discussed ad nauseum.

    So what have you presented as 'evidence' so far?

    1. The Gospels: The Gospels are self-serving documents that were established for no other reason than to convince people that JtC existed and was the supernatural and miracle divine son of Yahweh the Hebrew god of war. In addition to that we know that they have been subjected to forgery and trickery down through the ages. In addition to that we know that historians do not accept the supernatural and miracle claims attributed to BibleJesus by the Gospels. On these grounds, the Gospels must be rejected as being not only highly biased but also unreliable.

    2. Tacitus: The passage that apologists draw on is mainly concerning a riotous act carried out in Rome allegedly by a group of trouble-makers known as 'Christians' who derived their name from a 'Christus'. There is no evidence here that Tacitus was doing anything other than relating a story about Christians that believed in a Christ. . Tacitus shows no indication that the 'Christus' that the Christians believed in was a real person. In fact, quite the opposite is true because Tacitus refers to Christianity as - "a most mischievous superstition" - he would hardly refer to Christianity a 'superstition' if he knew that JtC existed as a real person. You yourself say that Tacitus is talking about 'beliefs'. In addition, there is ample verifiable evidence that Tacitus too has been the subject of Christian 'Liars for Jesus'. On these grounds, Tacitus must be rejected as reliable evidence for the existence of Jesus The Christ. Tacitus is nothing more than evidence for Christians that believed in a 'Christ'.

    3. Josephus: The Testimonium Flavius is agreed by serious historians to have been tampered with and the references to JtC added at a later date and as such should be dismissed as being unreliable.

    4. Josephus: A second tiny mention of JtC that is also suspected of being tampered with - but allowing that this passage is authentic, it does nothing to show that the JtC mentioned was a real person nor is there any indication that Josephus, like Tacitus, is doing anything other than repeating stories that have been passed down. Whilst I could accept that it is at least plausible that Josephus made some references to Jesus in the original Antiquities of the Jews, the extent of these references is very uncertain, and clear evidence of textual corruption does exist and as such, they should be rejected.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 17th, 2015 at 09:47 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  21. #280
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Which, as I’ve pointed out, is true of virtually every document pre-1800. If this is the standard you are going to set for historical research, original, first hand copies, then I should point out that we have no references to:

    ...

    By JJ’s (and apparently Plad’s) point of view, you are saying that we should reject all these figures because the information we have on them are from second hand sources where the originals haven’t been found?
    This is wrong on three counts:

    1. I have never denied the existence of a normal human preacher. I am disputing the claims of evidence for the existence of a miracle-worker preacher.
    2. None of your examples, I believe, have had supernatural claims made of them.
    3. If they did, I would be consistent in saying that those supernatural events never took place, or that supernatural version of that person doesn't exist. (e.g. Vampire Hunter Lincoln doesn't exist)

    You are smuggling supernatural and unfounded and unproven claims on top of real history. This is a common technique among the religious to bolster their lack of evidence for their other, more outlandish, claims by precariously linking them to real things that happened. However, you have neither provided a link to your miracle-performing Jesus and the Jesus found in T&J.

    This line of argument is a tu-quoque and adds absolutely nothing towards your argument that there is evidence for Jesus Christ.


    Look, you can’t throw the bathwater here without throwing out the baby. The tools being used for basic textual analysis as described are the same tools all historians and antiquarians use to evaluate historic texts (and for that matter more contemporary, digital ones). If you really want to argue the point you seem to be making that is fine, you just have to be honest about being on the opposite side of virtually every scholar of any historical period. These are basic techniques taught in 400 level undergrad history classes (usually labelled Historiography). They are the techniques we use to analyze which parts of Gilgamesh are original, and which come from later Persian editions (even if we can’t find the original texts, which is common.)

    And I’m more than happy to take specific critiques of the techniques themselves, they are pretty reliable and defensible (which is why they are so widely adopted), but the empty appeal to unreliability you are offering isn’t a valid rebuttal.

    Do you have a specific critique of the documents themselves or of the analysis offered?
    It is one thing to use textual analysis to come to conclusions and another to make the claim that what those documents say are true. I say this to ensure that the truth value of ALL these religious documents is still under dispute here.

    Particularly in the case of Q:
    This reconstructed Q is notable in that it generally does not describe the events of the life of Jesus: Q does not mention Jesus' birth, his selection of the 12 disciples, his crucifixion, or the resurrection. Instead, it appears to be a collection of Jesus' sayings and quotations.
    Source

    Interesting that - the only non-supernatural and non-exaggerated source is no longer found. And since you must know this, how is it you can claim that the Gospels are reliable at all as evidence that Jesus performed any miracles at all! Even in your own universe of documents these miracles are suspect.

    Challenge to support a claim. This is a formal challenge since Q puts the very claims we are talking about, namely the miraculous acts in question. How are the Gospels reliable accounts if their 'source' document doesn't contain them.

    Secondly, if Q exists then the Gospels are suspect anyway - they's not original and unique stories at all, only convenient documents chosen at the time because the fit the narrative the originators of the Bible wanted to tell. Thirdly, I find that there is also a two-source hypothesis and even a four-source-hypothesis, so all of it is really up in the air. And although Q does feature in all three, there is disagreement as to whether it exists (source).

    My final point is not to discuss the merits of Q but to raise the complaint that you originally listed it as evidence without any reference to its hypothetical nature or its contented nature. It isn't to reject a very difficult and legitimate scholarly study to discover Christianity's origins.

    JJ: No but they clearly got their information from clearly unreliable sources, or they tweaked things. Who knows.
    What evidence or analysis do you base that on?
    See challenge regarding Q above. If indeed the miracles are additions by the Gospel writers on top of the non-miraculous Q then that is good evidence for at least tweaking things.


    JJ: That's if you trust the chain of custody of the early Church to not insert information (which they have done) or destroy opposing information or any number of ways to keep their story consistent. They've had a couple of thousand years to do so - there is no reason at all to trust their honesty on the matter

    I agree, you’ll notice I haven’t offered any kind of argument about chain of evidence, nor (to my knowledge) do many scholars. I’m offering a direct analysis of the text. We are talking about tools invented for textual analysis nearly 1800 years after any of these documents were written or compiled and more than 1700 years after the initial copies we have.
    I never said you are arguing that there is a reliable chain of evidence, I am pointing out that it is suspect.


    I know you aren’t suggesting that the Church fathers were smart enough to fool a textual analysis that wouldn’t be invented for almost two more millennia. Clearly they weren’t aware of the kinds of textual trends and phrasing analysis pioneered in the 1930s so that they could fake text that would fool all modern scholars on the subject. That kind of argument would be a bit silly.
    No, but it is well within their means to destroy information that is contradictory to what they're trying to do. Clearly, if Q contains no miracles and the Gospels clearly false retellings of an original story, it proves they are not smart enough to fool textual analysis. It certainly raises the question as to whether the chain of evidence is to be trusted. The early Church could have destroyed or hidden Q because it doesn't support the claims of the miracles.

    Do you have any direct reason to argue that any specific section of text from the sections I mention was a latter addition?
    See Q challenge above.


    So do most financial claims over history. How many hucksters, con-men, fools, and down right liars exist and have existed in the financial industry? Does that mean that all financial claims are false? Does that mean we can automatically dismiss all financial analysis without “extraordinary” evidence?
    Given the financial crash due to an immoral (and probably illegal) spread of risk through mortgage-backed tranches, I would be very suspicious indeed. So yes, I do believe there should be financial regulation. Even more so because there are many millions of lives and down stream effects when these things go wrong. Also, I am not saying "all financial analyses", I am saying "extraordinary financial analyses" - please quote my words and not your convenient straw man arguments.

    The same argument could be made for physics. Virtually all physical theories have been proven false. The remaining wants exist by the virtue of having not been proven false. Should I dismiss all physical claims? Or do we accept some, and reject others, based on analysis of the individual claim and the arguments and evidence offered to support it?
    This is a horribly misleading statement about science. Usually physical theories are couched in precise terms including conditions where they are true. For example, Newton's theory of motion remain true to this day - all of these laws work within a certain range of preciseness! Just because it doesn't work for the atomic scale, that doesn't make it false for planets. Just because new ideas about gravitation provide a more accurate model of the universe, it doesn't make Newton's laws false under conditions whether those effects are negligible - it makes them true for a smaller set of conditions.

    Challenge to support a claim. Just for grins since you're making this claim please prove that "Virtually all physical theories have been proven false."

    The point, which I think you can clearly see here, is that we can’t coherently reject claims based solely on the categories they fall into. We reject claims based on their individual arguments and evidence, anything less is just intellectually lazy.
    Yes we can. Here's a bunch of categories:

    1. The category of 'fabricated documents' can be rejected.
    2. The category of documents already shown to be doctored can be outright rejected or deemed suspicious until proven otherwise.
    3. The category of claims of 'people likely to invent things to make their leaders more powerful and attractive' or claims that 'promote a new movement (religious or political)' would have to go under more scrutiny because those claims likely are put there to attract followers.
    4. The category of claims of 'things that are impossible given what we understand of the universe' can be in the reject pile until a means of bring them back in is discovered.
    5. The category of claims with no physical evidence for physical events can be rejected until there is actual evidence.
    6. The category of claims that are only believed by those within a certain religion or belief system can be rejected on the basis they are unconvincing and likely circular (you need to be in the religion to believe in the religion's premises).
    7. The category of claims where their believers try to link them to real history, but without proof or convincing arguments.
    8. The category of claims that rely on obfuscation and sophistry to support.

    The more categories these claims fall into, the less likely they are true. I am not saying arguments can't be made, but none of them have ever been convincing to anyone outside of Christianity. Thus far, you have answered zero questions of either plad or myself. Indeed, you have cast more suspicions on none of it being true. And we have both been intellectually honest and hard-working to get to a point where it appears that you really have no evidence, you now claim that it is not possible to have physical evidence and appear to be saying all of this is in your own mind.

    JJ: And a bunch of people hearing the same story is a big deal, how?

    These are the basic arguments laid out by people like Bart Ehrman (if you think he is biased towards Christianity I’m not sure anything could convince you otherwise) and they are the arguments that would need to be addressed if we are to drop the independence premise I laid out.
    How it on the one hand, you're claiming them to be independent but on the other they draw from Q, which doesn't contain the miracles? How did the virgin birth come about then if they came upon the idea independently?

    JJ: Yet, we have thousands of people flock to claims of stigmata or weeping Mary's or pictures of Jesus toast.
    How is that at all related to the argument laid forth? This seems to be a red herring.
    These are many mistaken eye witness accounts.

    S: Your continued distinction between “bible jesus” and “historical jesus” as if we are talking about two different people is unrelated to the argument being laid against you.

    JJ:There is no other relevant one, including a preacher that bears a passing resemblance to Jesus Christ. A man that shares a few minor similarities with history (assuming they are actual histories and not 'stories' or second or third hand tales) is not Jesus Christ without further proof of the miracles.

    S: This is a categorical error. You are implying that because two different accounts differ in some detail that they are therefore discussing two separate events. That is incorrect. If two witnesses to a car accident disagree as to whether a motorist ran a read light. Heck, they could even disagree on the motorist’s race, that doesn’t mean they are talking about two different accidents, right?

    JJ: No, I am saying because two accounts differ, the one with the most extraordinary (or miraculous) claims can be distrusted and therefore, rejected as being a true person in its entirety even if portions are independently verified.

    S: Please highlight these difference s and how they are mutually exclusive. Remember, if the only difference you note is that they don’t highlight the same things, you are simply pointing out that authors focus on different details, not all that surprising or suspicious. What you are arguing is that the accounts contradict each other. Please show that the accounts I offered do so.

    JJ: Well, if one witness claims to have seen an old woman who is dead and the other didn't see anyone in the back.

    Those would be mutually exclusive accounts (more or less). Do you have an example of that occurring that is relevant to this argument?
    This is relevant - both people saw the back of the car. One person saw nothing, and the other saw a ghost of his grandmother; they're not different 'details' - they are contradictory claims.

    All you are doing is using T&J to falsely support your BibleJesus whereas it is the opposite, that your BibleJesus minus supernatural claims and religion supports T&J. The only believable part is that a preacher existed since those accounts overlap. You appear to believe that the grandmother's ghost actually happened for some unspecified reason, just as you have not specified why you believe that Jesus Christ existed, absent of any evidence.


    Sigh. Jesus, the physical body is a physical manifestation of a supernatural cause (Jesus the son of God). Regardless of your adherence to that belief or rejection of it, anyone arguing intellectually honestly agrees that is, at least, the claim.
    I am not disagreeing with your claims here. I am entirely agreeing with this interpretation: supernatural causes are imaginary and the physical manifestation of this imagination is in the believer's minds. Are you suggesting that my interpretation is contradicting yours? I think I've gone to great pains to show that Jesus was likely a victim of schizophrenia with a Messiah complex, yet charismatic and influential. He persuaded other people his imaginations were true and they went on to imagine other things. Are you challenging whether imaginations are supernatural or not?

    What you are appearing to be saying is no more special than I am a physical manifestation of Liberal ideas or you are a physical manifestation of an American Conservative. Jesus is a physical manifestation of his delusions of being the son of God.

    Perhaps what you need to do is explain what 'physical manifestation' means and how that is different from the political manifestations above? And how does this 'physical manifestation' produce so many fish, allow Jesus to walk on water and cure people and raise people from the dead, yet still produce no corroborating evidence!

    No one is arguing that all aspects of Jesus are supernatural and if you had actually read my argument rather than cherry picking a quote out of it you would have seen that the entire thrust of the argument was that the supernatural could well affect and have a presence in the natural world, but that its existence wasn’t contingent on a physical manifestation. A ball that doesn’t occupy space or time doesn’t exist, the same is not considered true for supernatural entities in philosophy.
    Interesting we go from actual physical events of the miracles to "supernatural entities in philosophy". It appears that you are agreeing with me that this 'supernatural Jesus' is purely in the minds of believers: a philosophical entity and something that does not physically exist.

    I think the class of other things that are ideas and not physically exist are called 'imaginary things'. Things created by our minds. So do you agree that Jesus Christ was created in the minds of early Christians and maintained in the minds their believers? That the miracles never actually happened but only imagined or believed on faith to have happened?


    The fact that you still consider ideas supernatural also tells me you couldn’t be bothered to read even the basic background literature on abstract objects (which ideas are, and which are causally effete, which derails your point as well). That indicates you aren’t really serious about debating the issue, you are appealing to the stands as it were.
    My only point is that what you're claiming to be supernatural (i.e. has no physical presence and is an entity in philosophy) is largely a product of human minds and imagination and ingenuity.

    If you have other arguments to present then you pretty much have to present them, I haven't read the literature because it's not my argument to make (whatever argument it is anyway, I still have no idea - abstract objects and supernatural entities are still human creations). There is nothing you have said thus far that Jesus isn't a figment of your imagination: everything you have said points to him only existing in your mind and the minds of other Christians.
    Last edited by JimJones8934; January 17th, 2015 at 08:50 AM.

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