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  1. #241
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post


    Yet another wall of text!

    Right, listen up here because you're going to have an even bigger orgasm over this than you have over screaming 'Challenge' every other minute. Now read and take note of what I'm going to do here for you. In order to get away from the Squatch text wall of irreverences and hopefully encourage posts that do not resemble War and Peace - -

    *****JOSEPHUS WROTE ABOUT 'JESUS'*****

    How's that? Are you excited?

    Now then, how does Josephus writing about 'Jesus' prove the existence of Jesus son of Yahweh the Hebrew god of war as depicted in the Christian Bible, the one that walked on water, the one that fed thousands with little food and had more food left when he finished than when he started, the one that raised people from the dead, the one that cured the blind and healed the sick, the one that was killed and came back to life and now lives in 'Heaven'?

    That is the only Jesus we are dealing with here.

    Go for it.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 8th, 2015 at 06:23 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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  3. #242
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    So when he quotes stories in Book I of Antiquites of the Jews 1.15; 8.5.3; and 10.11.1., about Hercules and how he married Aphra's daughter and that they had a son that they called Diodorus - he was confirming that those characters from mythology really did exist????
    http://books.google.com/books?id=TVP...rcules&f=false
    Well, I'd like to point out, for starters, that Hercules had two wives (the mythological one at least) and their names were Megara (wife number 1) and later he married Deianira (wife number 2). So either Josephus is inventing new wives for a myth, OR, the more likely explanation, he's referring to a different person named Hercules who actually existed. I'm inclined to believe the latter.

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    When he writes about Jupiter -
    http://books.google.es/books?id=TVPr...upiter&f=false
    -you think this means that Jupiter is real - just because Josephus wrote about them???
    You're not reading your sources are you? The vast majority of references to Jupiter are about either a statue of Jupiter or a temple of Jupiter, the other references are Caius talking about Jupiter (Josephus notes it as such) and ONE reference to Aristeus talking to a king and Josephus, here as well, notes that it's part of a speech by Aristeus. Swing a miss. Strike two.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Because he mentions Mercury - Mercury is real???
    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...ercury&f=false
    ...you do realize that your own source is Josephus writing about how Caligula trying to make people believe he's Mercury, right?

    So here's where we are at this point.

    -You cited three sources and showed you didn't read ANY of them.
    -Showed a lack of familiarity with common mythology.
    -You mentioned Josephus writes about "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, named Jacob" as a separate instance from James both to me and Squatch, but such a claim was shown (with sources by me) to be 100% false as the passage in question (there's only one) is about James and that James and Jacob are the same name in different languages.

    You can do better than that. Ditch the confidence, read your sources, and come back with something worth responding to.
    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

  4. #243
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Well, I'd like to point out, for starters, that Hercules had two wives (the mythological one at least) and their names were Megara (wife number 1) and later he married Deianira (wife number 2). So either Josephus is inventing new wives for a myth, OR, the more likely explanation, he's referring to a different person named Hercules who actually existed. I'm inclined to believe the latter.
    Now pay attention lad. Josephus didn't say that Hercules married Aphra - he said that Hercules married Aphra's daughter.

    From Chapter 15 of the Complete Works of Josephus.


    CHAPTER 15. HOW THE NATION OF THE TROGLODYTES WERE DERIVED FROM ABRAHAM BY KETURAH.

    ABRAHAM after this married Keturah, by whom six sons were born to him, men of courage, and of sagacious minds: Zambran, and Jazar, and Madan, and Madian, and Josabak, and Sous. Now the sons of Sous were Sabathan and Dadan. The sons of Dadan were Latusim, and Assur, and Luom. The sons of Madiau were Ephas, and Ophren, and Anoch, and Ebidas, and Eldas. Now, for all these sons and grandsons, Abraham contrived to settle them in colonies; and they took possession of Troglodytis, and the country of Arabia the Happy, as far as it reaches to the Red Sea. It is related of this Ophren, that he made war against Libya, and took it, and that his grandchildren, when they inhabited it, called it (from his name) Africa. And indeed Alexander Polyhistor gives his attestation to what I here say; who speaks thus: "Cleodemus the prophet, who was also called Malchus, who wrote a History of the Jews, in agreement with the History of Moses, their legislator, relates, that there were many sons born to Abraham by Keturah: nay, he names three of them, Apher, and Surim, and Japhran. That from Surim was the land of Assyria denominated; and that from the other two (Apher and Japbran) the country of Africa took its name, because these men were auxiliaries to Hercules, when he fought against Libya and Antaeus; and that Hercules married Aphra's daughter, and of her he begat a son, Diodorus; and that Sophon was his son, from whom that barbarous people called Sophacians were denominated."

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/co...phra#highlight

    So We see above that Josephus writes about mythology.

    You're not reading your sources are you? The vast majority of references to Jupiter are about either a statue of Jupiter or a temple of Jupiter, the other references are Caius talking about Jupiter (Josephus notes it as such) and ONE reference to Aristeus talking to a king and Josephus, here as well, notes that it's part of a speech by Aristeus. Swing a miss.
    The point was supposed to show you that you are wrong when you say that as a historian, he wouldn't write about people that didn't exist. He did. That he mentions Jupiter in the context of temples or statues does not detract from the fact that he is referencing a mythical deity.

    you do realize that your own source is Josephus writing about how Caligula trying to make people believe he's Mercury, right?
    You missed it again didn't you? I'm not saying that he wrote about those gods in the sense that he accepts their existence but only that he mentions characters from mythology like Mercury, Apollo and Mars - which counters your claim that 'as a historian his credibility would fall if he wrote about people that did not exist.'

    Here he writes about Apollo and Zeus.
    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...Apollo&f=false

    You got the wrong end of the stick. I can see why and perhaps I could have made it clearer.

    You mentioned Josephus writes about "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, named Jacob" as a separate instance from James both to me and Squatch, but such a claim was shown (with sources by me) to be 100% false as the passage in question (there's only one) is about James and that James and Jacob are the same name in different languages.
    Josephus uses Jacob rather than James but you can have that one.

    I thought we had moved on from this. How does Josephus writing about Jesus prove the existence of JtC?
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  5. #244
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Now pay attention lad. Josephus didn't say that Hercules married Aphra - he said that Hercules married Aphra's daughter.
    And again: The mythical Hercules never had a son named Diodorus, nor did he marry any woman who's mother was named Aphra. So unless you can provide a source that says otherwise, then it remains that your claim: "That Josephus is writing about the mythical Hercules" is demonstrably false.

    So I'm formally Challenge to support a claim. you to provide evidence of your claim, that the mythical Hercules had a wife whose mother was named Aphra, and that he had a son named Diodorus. Otherwise retract the claim.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    The point was supposed to show you that you are wrong when you say that as a historian, he wouldn't write about people that didn't exist. He did. That he mentions Jupiter in the context of temples or statues does not detract from the fact that he is referencing a mythical deity.
    So because Josephus mentioned temples dedicated to Jupiter...that means he's writing about Jupiter? There is absolutely ZERO causal links between what was written and your conclusion. Either show something solid or withdraw the claim here too.
    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    You missed it again didn't you? I'm not saying that he wrote about those gods in the sense that he accepts their existence but only that he mentions characters from mythology like Mercury, Apollo and Mars - which counters your claim that 'as a historian his credibility would fall if he wrote about people that did not exist.'
    Same issue as above. He's not doing ANYTHING like you're claiming here. He isn't writing ABOUT Apollo or Mercury or Mars or Jupiter. He's writing about people who believed in those things. There's a big difference and I am absolutely flabbergasted that you don't grasp that.
    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

  6. #245
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    And again: The mythical Hercules never had a son named Diodorus, nor did he marry any woman who's mother was named Aphra. So unless you can provide a source that says otherwise, then it remains that your claim: "That Josephus is writing about the mythical Hercules" is demonstrably false.

    So I'm formally Challenge to support a claim. you to provide evidence of your claim, that the mythical Hercules had a wife whose mother was named Aphra, and that he had a son named Diodorus. Otherwise retract the claim.

    So because Josephus mentioned temples dedicated to Jupiter...that means he's writing about Jupiter? There is absolutely ZERO causal links between what was written and your conclusion. Either show something solid or withdraw the claim here too.

    Same issue as above. He's not doing ANYTHING like you're claiming here. He isn't writing ABOUT Apollo or Mercury or Mars or Jupiter. He's writing about people who believed in those things. There's a big difference and I am absolutely flabbergasted that you don't grasp that.
    I'll do even better than that for you. I withdraw every post I have made in this thread so that we can get to where we need to be and start again from here.

    Is it your claim that Jesus The Christ (as described in the Christian Bible) existed?
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  7. #246
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    I agree that this presents a long post that perhaps is a bit overwhelming to deal with. May I propose a solution? I’ll try to summarize the relevant points here (above the line). And order them from most likely that we agree to least likely that we agree (as I understand it). If you have no objection to that statement you can simply ignore it and we can move on from there. For those that you do disagree on, why don’t you restate them from your position, and I will responds with the relevant argument to support the claim offered and you can respond with the relevant evidence to support the position you are taking.

    Summary

    1) Josephus Wrote about Jesus


    This agreement is based upon your most recent post and the references made earlier.
    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.



    3) Serpian references Jesus and independently conforms to substantive facts concerning the crucifixion and resurrection


    a) The source is non-christian and appears to draw from other non-christian sources.

    b) It’s account substantively agrees with details of the crucifixion and early theology, providing another independent source to the gospel’s veracity on this topic. In essence we have another non-christian source mentioning that other non-christians reported to him that these events had occurred.


    4) The Gospels represent at least four independent sources


    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.

    b) The sources of these accounts date back to between 37AD at the earliest to 56 AD at the latest, meaning that this account is unlikely to have undergone historical accretion and is established only a few years after Jesus’ death, well within the lifespan of the eyewitnesses.

    c) Factual points from the gospels (including many that were considered invented a century ago) enjoy a relatively widespread independent confirmation. Archeological discoveries confirm the existence of officials only known through the Gospels, Josephus confirms many of the landscape (people, events, organizational) details referenced in the Gospels, the author of Luke (whomever that might be) offers details that have an almost unparalleled level of independent confirmation amongst ancient authors. These independent detail accounts imply a greater accuracy of the biblical texts and is a standard tool of measurement amongst historians.

    d) There are no contemporary accounts differing from the Gospel narrative or objecting to them on the basis of other evidence or eyewitness accounts.






    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Link?

    Link?

    Link?
    Post 74 http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post542289

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Biblical scholars or atheist ones?
    Well first I should point out that these aren’t mutually exclusive terms. “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.

    Second, I should point out that you were talking about Josephus and Tacitus, so we are talking about Antiquities scholars, not Biblical scholars.

    I discussed this topic on several posts, but he best one to review is 226 http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post542733

    In that post you’ll notice that the leading scholar on Josephus is a secular Jew, who found that the consensus confirming Meirs version of the text is overwhelming. Peter Kirby (outspoken atheist) confirms this finding and adds that the consensus is increasing with virtually no dissenting articles published in the last ten years and quite a few supporting ones.

    I also reference a list of scholars who cover a wide background:
    We should also note that this widespread agreement noted by both Kirby and Feldman comes from scholars from all backgrounds. We have the Jewish scholars Geza Vermes, Louis H. Feldman, and Paul Winter as mentioned. We have secular scholars such as E.P. Sanders and Paula Fredrikson. Progressive historians such as Robert Funk, A.N. Wilson, and Dominic Crossan. (Paula Fredrikson, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, page 249)

    Finally, at the end of that post I cited two quotes from atheists, Richard Carrier and Bart Ehrman, both of whom find that the idea that these texts are complete fabrication to be ludicrous and that no accredited scholar today thinks them so.

    I trust that meets the scholarly consensus threshold and resolves any bias concerns you might have.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Right, you have not evidence that your deity existed other than in other people's minds - i.e. you have only shown that believers exist.
    You seem to misunderstand the argument. I’ve offered support for the reliability of the accounts using standard historiographical tools. Contemporary, independent, and validated accounts of these events indicate a historical event rather than widespread delusion. If we are going to invoke the latter explanation, as you seem to suggest, we would need to discount virtually all of history. Afterall, maybe Joan of Ark only existed in their minds. Perhaps Julius Caesar did as well for that matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by jj
    Nope - no need - your imaginary evidence for your imaginary Jesus is a joke enough as it is.
    I notice a response, but no support.

    Challenge to support a claim.
    Support or retract that I have “agreed with you that this Jesus is wholly in my imagination.”

    Side Note: I’ll give you one helpful piece of advice, the deductive argument you hint at here isn’t going to cut it. Separate thread, totally unrelated claim (the fact that I can prove something with that method doesn’t mean it is the only method or that the underlying claim exists only in that argument. I can prove Socrates was mortal through deductive reasoning, it doesn’t mean Socrates is only in my imagination.)
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  8. #247
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Historians academic view on Jesus not existing:

    Bultmann (1958): “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community.”

    Bornkamm (I960):“To doubt the historical existence of Jesus at all . . . was reserved for an unrestrained, tendentious criticism of modern times into which it is not worth while to enter here.”

    Marxsen (1970):“I am of the opinion (and it is an opinion shared by every serious historian) that the theory [‘that Jesus never lived, that he was a purely mythical figure’] is historically untenable.”

    Grant (1977): “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.’ In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus’—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”

    M. Martin (1991): “Well’s thesis [that Jesus never existed] is controversial and not widely accepted.”

    Van Voorst (2000): “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e., Jesus mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.”

    Burridge and Could (2004): “There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.”

    Allison (“Explaining,” 2005):[//B]No responsible scholar can find any truth in it.”

    Maier (2005): “the total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”

    R. J. Miller in Scott, ed. (Finding, 2008): “We can be certain that Jesus really existed (despite a few hyper-historical skeptics who refuse to be convinced).”

    Vermes (2008): “Let me state plainly that I accept that Jesus was a real historical person. In my opinion, the difficulties arising from the denial of his existence, still vociferously maintained in small circles of rationalist ‘dogmatists,’ far exceed those deriving from its acceptance.”

    C. A. Evans in Evans and Wright (2009): No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived
    in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”

    The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Resurrecti.../dp/0830827196
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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  9. #248
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I agree that this presents a long post that perhaps is a bit overwhelming to deal with.
    I know this isn't at me but goodness me, answering a wall of text with a slightly smaller wall of text is not really helping. Like our Muslim friend, you appear not to want to answer a direct question.





    Ah yes, the famed Q "source" that doesn't even yet exist beyond a hypothesis. Several accounts that pretty much boil down to 'Christians exist' or religious documents that are more focused on pushing a religion that factually reporting history. All were rejected earlier and they continue to be rejected.

    Biblical scholars or atheist ones?
    Well first I should point out that these aren’t mutually exclusive terms. “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.
    I agree that being a Biblical scholar doesn't imply being a theist - for example, a sociologist or psychologist or even a historian studying comparative religions wouldn't be doing so for religious reasons. However, when you say that a Biblical scholar is a historian, do you mean that they are studying the life of a deity and all the claims as if they were all true?


    Second, I should point out that you were talking about Josephus and Tacitus, so we are talking about Antiquities scholars, not Biblical scholars.
    Point taken.

    I discussed this topic on several posts, but he best one to review is 226 http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post542733

    In that post you’ll notice that the leading scholar on Josephus is a secular Jew, who found that the consensus confirming Meirs version of the text is overwhelming. Peter Kirby (outspoken atheist) confirms this finding and adds that the consensus is increasing with virtually no dissenting articles published in the last ten years and quite a few supporting ones.
    Yes, I followed some of that but it really boils down to arguing about whether the person mentioned was really Jesus Christ the Messiah and all his miracles. A passing reference to some itinerant angry preacher who was also killed in hardly a unusual occurrence and if the same reference neglects to mention that this preacher came back to life along with a bunch of other people then I do not believe it is the same person in the Bible. No matter how similar the name is: names are not unique.


    I also reference a list of scholars who cover a wide background:
    We should also note that this widespread agreement noted by both Kirby and Feldman comes from scholars from all backgrounds. We have the Jewish scholars Geza Vermes, Louis H. Feldman, and Paul Winter as mentioned. We have secular scholars such as E.P. Sanders and Paula Fredrikson. Progressive historians such as Robert Funk, A.N. Wilson, and Dominic Crossan. (Paula Fredrikson, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, page 249)
    I'm sure that there are a lot of people that are really skirting the issue of what they are looking for. If they are looking for a human that may have said something that caused a religion to grow around him then that's one thing - but that is NOT the Jesus Christ that you believe exists in the Bible. They are two wholly different things that you are conflating together. Unless, these people are also looking for evidence of the miracles, then you cannot use any of these sources to justify the existence of your Bible Jesus.

    Finally, at the end of that post I cited two quotes from atheists, Richard Carrier and Bart Ehrman, both of whom find that the idea that these texts are complete fabrication to be ludicrous and that no accredited scholar today thinks them so.
    Erhman is an atheist who doesn't believe in the Bible - he only believes in a wholly human source to the religion of Christianity. That is NOT the same character that you are arguing exists and not what this thread is about.

    I trust that meets the scholarly consensus threshold and resolves any bias concerns you might have.
    I don't see any consensus on the Biblical Jesus.

    JJ: Right, you have not evidence that your deity existed other than in other people's minds - i.e. you have only shown that believers exist.
    You seem to misunderstand the argument. I’ve offered support for the reliability of the accounts using standard historiographical tools. Contemporary, independent, and validated accounts of these events indicate a historical event rather than widespread delusion. If we are going to invoke the latter explanation, as you seem to suggest, we would need to discount virtually all of history. Afterall, maybe Joan of Ark only existed in their minds. Perhaps Julius Caesar did as well for that matter.
    None of the accounts are of your deity. If you believe they are of your deity then you need to provide a direct link to the Bible character that performed miracles. If you cannot, then you need to drop them.


    [QUOTE]
    I notice a response, but no support.

    Challenge to support a claim.
    Support or retract that I have “agreed with you that this Jesus is wholly in my imagination.”
    [QUOTE]
    Please quote the entire sentence before you issue a challenge. Until you do, it will be ignored. You appeared to have mislaid an important word.

    Side Note: I’ll give you one helpful piece of advice, the deductive argument you hint at here isn’t going to cut it. Separate thread, totally unrelated claim (the fact that I can prove something with that method doesn’t mean it is the only method or that the underlying claim exists only in that argument. I can prove Socrates was mortal through deductive reasoning, it doesn’t mean Socrates is only in my imagination.)
    Not sure what you are referring to.

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  11. #249
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I agree that this presents a long post that perhaps is a bit overwhelming to deal with. May I propose a solution? I’ll try to summarize the relevant points here (above the line). And order them from most likely that we agree to least likely that we agree (as I understand it). If you have no objection to that statement you can simply ignore it and we can move on from there. For those that you do disagree on, why don’t you restate them from your position, and I will responds with the relevant argument to support the claim offered and you can respond with the relevant evidence to support the position you are taking.

    Summary

    1) Josephus Wrote about Jesus


    This agreement is based upon your most recent post and the references made earlier.
    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.
    From where do you deduce that Josephus is doing anything more than relaying myths, stories, beliefs from an earlier time? You need to show that Josephus is writing about actual events that were recorded in history rather than relating things that he has been told or relating things that Christians were claiming. How does Josephus writing about 'Jesus' prove the existence of a miraculous son of a god?


    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.
    From where do you deduce that Tacitus is doing anything more than relaying myths, stories, beliefs that were widespread amongst Christians at the time? How does Tacitus writing about 'Jesus' prove the existence of a miraculous son of a god?

    3) Serpian references Jesus and independently conforms to substantive facts concerning the crucifixion and resurrection

    a) The source is non-christian and appears to draw from other non-christian sources.

    b) It’s account substantively agrees with details of the crucifixion and early theology, providing another independent source to the gospel’s veracity on this topic. In essence we have another non-christian source mentioning that other non-christians reported to him that these events had occurred.
    Now how the hell did you deduce all that from the highlighted part in the following -

    "What else can we say, when the wise are forcibly dragged off by tyrants, their wisdom is captured by insults, and their minds are oppressed and without defense? What advantage did the Athenians gain from murdering Socrates? Famine and plague came upon them as a punishment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea and the Jews, desolate and driven from their own kingdom, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates is not dead, because of Plato; neither is Pythagoras, because of the statue of Juno; nor is the wise king, because of the "new law" he laid down

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing in that passage to support your claim that Serapion "...independently conforms to substantive facts concerning the crucifixion and resurrection" . Where does Serapion confirm that? He doesn't even mention any 'crucifixion' or 'resurrection'! There is no evidence that Serapion is writing anything other than stories from the past that he had heard about from various sources. Your 'Jesus' isn't even mentioned by name or even as 'Christ'. Socrates and Pythagoras are mentioned by name - why is there no 'Jesus' or Yeshua rather than a nameless 'wise king'? There is no indication that Serapion is speaking of JtC rather than one of the many Jewish Messianic pretenders in Judea at the time that may have been executed by the Romans?

    Regardless, there is no evidence in Serapion for a miraculous man-god as described in the Bible but there is a lot of evidence for your wishful thinking.

    4) The Gospels represent at least four independent sources
    Don't even go there. The Gospels are not independent nor are they reliable as historical fact.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...y/gospels.html

    "The gospels are not always independent of each other. Matthew and Luke, for example, probably had Mark's gospel sitting right in front of them when they were writing."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criteri...le_attestation

    Sorry - the Bible as verifiable and reliable evidence is out. The gospel authors were propagating religious beliefs not relating history.

    ...and what about all the 'Gospels' that were rejected by the Church fathers because they didn't fit the image of JtC that the Church wanted to portray.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...t-9849839.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...as-473141.html


    So still we have no evidence for a miracle performing man-god as described in the Bible. Couple of references to a 'Jesus' or 'Jesus Christ' from sources decades later which are not wholly reliable and that's about it. Where is the evidence for your miraculous Bible Jesus??

    Thanks btw for cutting down the wall of text. That one was just right. If we could now concentrate on evidence for BibleJesus rather than vague references to 'Jesus' from dodgy sources, that would be good.

    ---------- Post added at 09:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:38 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic;543043[QUOTE
    ]Bultmann (1958): “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community.”
    Rudolf Bultmann was a theologian

    Bornkamm (I960):“To doubt the historical existence of Jesus at all . . . was reserved for an unrestrained, tendentious criticism of modern times into which it is not worth while to enter here.”
    Gunther Bornkamm was a theologian and a religious pastor.

    Marxsen (1970):“I am of the opinion (and it is an opinion shared by every serious historian) that the theory [‘that Jesus never lived, that he was a purely mythical figure’] is historically untenable.”
    ...another theologian.

    Grant (1977): “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.’ In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus’—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”
    Robert Grant is a theologian.

    M. Martin (1991): “Well’s thesis [that Jesus never existed] is controversial and not widely accepted.”
    Would that be M. Martin the theologian?
    Van Voorst (2000): “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e., Jesus mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.”
    Robert Van Voorst is a theologian.

    Burridge and Could (2004): “There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.”
    Would that be the Rev. Richard Burridge the Anglican priest?

    Allison (“Explaining,” 2005):[//B]No responsible scholar can find any truth in it.”
    James Alison the Christian theologian and priest perhaps?

    Maier (2005): “the total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”
    J.P Maier - American Roman Catholic priest

    R. J. Miller in Scott, ed. (Finding, 2008): “We can be certain that Jesus really existed (despite a few hyper-historical skeptics who refuse to be convinced).”
    Chair of Christian and Religious Studies at Juniata College in Pennsylvania. Theologian.

    Vermes (2008): “Let me state plainly that I accept that Jesus was a real historical person. In my opinion, the difficulties arising from the denial of his existence, still vociferously maintained in small circles of rationalist ‘dogmatists,’ far exceed those deriving from its acceptance.”
    Geza Vermes. Theologian and ex priest.

    C. A. Evans in Evans and Wright (2009): No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived
    in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”
    Theologian.

    So it's no surprise that the above say what they do. Like the majority of 'Bible historian/scholars' - they are all Christian believers before they even start.

    ---------- Post added at 10:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:22 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    “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.
    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?
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 9th, 2015 at 08:26 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    I'll do even better than that for you. I withdraw every post I have made in this thread so that we can get to where we need to be and start again from here.

    Is it your claim that Jesus The Christ (as described in the Christian Bible) existed?
    It's not MY claim that he existed. I already explained, several times, to JJ, that his existence is an underlying premise for the OP in the thread. You and JJ are the ones who introduced the claim that he didn't exist into this thread. Ergo, as YOU introduced the claim regarding his existed, the onus is on YOU to prove that he did not exist.
    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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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Like our Muslim friend, you appear not to want to answer a direct question.
    What question am I not answering?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Ah yes, the famed Q "source" that doesn't even yet exist beyond a hypothesis. Several accounts that pretty much boil down to 'Christians exist' or religious documents that are more focused on pushing a religion that factually reporting history. All were rejected earlier and they continue to be rejected.
    I’m guessing you don’t have a background in historiography or textual analysis. I should point out that the only scholarly dispute in this arena is really between the two source (with Q) and the four source (with two other independent sources besides Q). The question in debate is really whether or not Q accounts for the Matthew/Luke similarities or if there was something else as well.

    Let’s take a look at the basic historiographical argument and see how that strikes you.

    Premise 1: Matthew and Luke are composed independently of each other, the composers clearly were unaware of each others’ work. (Chapter 4, Part HI), please note that I am referencing an atheist scholar here to forestall bias questions).

    Premise 2: Matthew and Luke share common textual fragments, indicating reference of the same material.

    Premise 3: The source of this material can only be from either: existing known sources, coincidence, or an independent source.

    Premise 4: The source cannot be existing known sources (from 1).

    Premise 5: Coincidence is an insufficient explanation, there are significant numbers of large strings of text that are exactly identical, despite the two authors having different linguistic backgrounds and dialects. Farmer, William Reuben, The Synoptic Problem: A Critical Analysis (Pg 167)
    R. H. Stein, The Synoptic Problem: An Introduction (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1987).

    Conclusion: An independent source is the best explanation for the similarities between Matthew and Luke (from 5, 4, 2)

    I’ll leave off the “large scholarly consensus” argument for the moment, it will just be you and me shooting links at each other (unless you would rather do that, but you seemed to dislike it).


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    However, when you say that a Biblical scholar is a historian, do you mean that they are studying the life of a deity and all the claims as if they were all true?
    I’m saying they are approaching the documents from a standard historiographical framework, not with an assumption that God does or does not exist. They apply rigorous analysis that is submitted for critical review by other scholars. Like all historians they are attempting to measure the text’s origin, its reliability, its alteration over time, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Yes, I followed some of that but it really boils down to arguing about whether the person mentioned was really Jesus Christ the Messiah and all his miracles. A passing reference to some itinerant angry preacher who was also killed in hardly a unusual occurrence
    It is a bit more complex than that. First, Josephus relates that stories of this man performing wondrous miracles exist and that he was well loved by the people.

    Second, what is more important is that it serves as another independent indicator of gospel accounts. Just as if we were trying to verify Anne Frank’s story and we found a German newspaper noting the finding of a girl in an attic that matched the details of Anne Frank’s story. It doesn’t 100% validate every single piece of information in her diary, it serves as supporting evidence for her diary.

    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.

    To be clear, the argument is not, Josephus mentions Jesus, therefore Jesus walked on water, that seems to be the argument you are arguing against. 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. That would be like saying Tacitus’ Nero is not the same person as Gibbon’s Nero.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    None of the accounts are of your deity. If you believe they are of your deity then you need to provide a direct link to the Bible character that performed miracles. If you cannot, then you need to drop them.
    I already have JJ. I used these other sources as support for the reliability of a segment of the gospel accounts, along with a direct defense of their reliability via independent sourcing. IE the same argument that any historical analysis of a document in a peer-reviewed journal would use.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Please quote the entire sentence before you issue a challenge. Until you do, it will be ignored. You appeared to have mislaid an important word.
    You could have just made an argument about what word I left out and how that materially affects your claim, but if you would prefer to play reindeer games:

    Challenge to support a claim. Please support or retract: “Besides, you have practically agreed that this Jesus is wholly in your imagination, so you might as well concede that you are arguing for a position that only Christians believe in in the first place.”


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    From where do you deduce that Josephus is doing anything more than relaying myths, stories, beliefs from an earlier time?
    The relevant text is:
    For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin

    The argument I put forward was that:

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


    Can we agree that the quoted text at least supports that claim?


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    From where do you deduce that Tacitus is doing anything more than relaying myths, stories, beliefs that were widespread amongst Christians at the time?
    The relevant claim in question is: “
    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.”

    Correct?

    You seem to be objecting to some further conclusion I haven’t offered here yet. Remember, you asked for a simple, less lengthy argument. To prevent this from overwhelming you again, we need to at least agree on the basic premises, then we can debate any conclusions drawn from them.

    Do you specifically object to this premise? If so, on what basis?


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    There is nothing, absolutely nothing in that passage to support your claim that Serapion "...independently conforms to substantive facts concerning the crucifixion and resurrection" . Where does Serapion confirm that?
    This was the argument I initially laid out for the uses of Serapion as a validation source.

    Serapian references Jesus as “king of the Jews” at title not in use by Christians in the First Century AD, especially not Syrian Christians who would have been ever cognizant of Roman sensitivities concerning loyalty. This means his source for learning the story is likely a Roman source that could have used the term more pithily with fewer repercussions. At very least it must have been a non-christian source given that he is using terms and theology at odds with contemporary Christian teaching. (PG 450-461).

    Its also important that he lays the blame for Jesus’ death at the feet of the Jews, “they reject their wise king” which has not only a distinctly Roman feel to it, but would be unlikely from a Jew or Christian source to say in the early 70s AD. (Pg 54)

    So we have a him relating the account coming from a Roman (likely, or at least a non-christian) confirming that the crucifixion was not driven by the Romans. That at the point of the crucifixion there is a reference to him being king of the Jews. And that there is some discussion of his resurrection, even if Serapion takes it as a resurrection via his legacy. Serapion’s doubt is irrelevant to the fact that this is relating the discussions taking place in Jerusalem just after the crucifixion.

    Quote Originally Posted by plad
    Don't even go there. The Gospels are not independent nor are they reliable as historical fact.
    Again, this is a straw man fallacy. You seem to be arguing two unrelated points. That they are not impartial and that sections of them are informed by each other.

    The first is irrelevant, I’m not implying they are impartial, no historical account prior to the 1940s was supposed to be impartial. I’m arguing that they are independent, ie that they draw their accounts from sources other than each other. Like interviewing two witnesses who don’t know each other. They both might agree with the defendant, but if they don’t know each other, their accounts are independent of each other.

    And you’ll notice that I’m specifically limiting that independence for now to the timeline between the entry into Jerusalem to the empty tomb.

    You should have read the next sentence in your wiki link:

    The criterion of multiple attestation focuses on the sayings or deeds of Jesus that are attested to in more than one independent literary source such as Apostle Paul, Josephus, Q and/or the Gospel of the Hebrews. The force of this criterion is increased if a given motif or theme is also found in different literary forms such as parables, dispute stories, miracle stories, prophecy, and/or aphorism


    You also seem unaware of what the four independent sources I’m noting are, so I’ll clarify.

    1) Mark. Mark’s account of the relevant period, as noted dates to 37AD. We’ve had quite a bit of data on this already so I won’t spam this with more.

    2) Paul. Paul relates specific accounts of the relevant timeline in his letters to the early Churches and did so prior to any widespread access to the gospels would have occurred. I haven’t seen much objection to this source being independent of the other three, so I’ll stay concise for now.

    3) Matthew/Luke. You are correct that the authors of these sources likely did have Mark in front of them, but they also detail information not found in Mark, but found in both Matthew and Luke, which are certainly independently written from each other. That indicates a third source was present that they drew on that is separate from Mark since it has differing accounts. I detailed quite a few sources above in my response to JJ and I’ll again note that the current scholarly debate is concerning whether there are one or three independent sources underlying the similarities in Matthew/Luke.

    4) John. John is also largely considered to have been completely independently developed from the other sources. The fact that we find no textual fragments in common with the other sources indicates that copying/inclusion didn’t occur. Its origin and timeline also make its reference to the other texts highly unlikely. I haven’t covered this at all, so I’ll add a source here for verification. Paul Barnett has a PhD from the University of London, which I’ll note to forestall complaints as to him begin an Anglican. I’ll also add Pg 83 John’s independent source is pretty well agreed upon so I am happy to provide any further verification requested.


    So given that clarification of the claim, what specific objection to you have to the modified:

    4) The account from the entry to Jerusalem to the Empty Tomb are drawn from four independent sources when the Gospels were compiled.


    a) These sources are: John, Mark, Matthew/Luke’s separate source (sometimes called Q, though other options are out there), and Paul.

    b) 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. It is exceedingly improbable that we would have four independent sources giving the same testimony absent an event.

    c) The sources of these accounts date back to between 37AD at the earliest to 56 AD at the latest, meaning that this account is unlikely to have undergone historical accretion and is established only a few years after Jesus’ death, well within the lifespan of the eyewitnesses.

    d) Factual points from the gospels (including many that were considered invented a century ago) enjoy a relatively widespread independent confirmation. Archeological discoveries confirm the existence of officials only known through the Gospels, Josephus confirms many of the landscape (people, events, organizational) details referenced in the Gospels, the author of Luke (whomever that might be) offers details that have an almost unparalleled level of independent confirmation amongst ancient authors. These independent detail accounts imply a greater accuracy of the biblical texts and is a standard tool of measurement amongst historians.

    e) There are no contemporary accounts differing from the Gospel narrative or objecting to them on the basis of other evidence or eyewitness accounts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Plad
    Granted - but how many 'biblical scholars' can you cite who believe and accept that 'Jesus' was the divine son of Yahweh
    I’m not sure, probably more than a dozen. I have specifically discounted them here due to your early response. I would further point out that their belief is irrelevant to the case I’m putting forward. That Hawking doesn’t agree with the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is irrelevant to the factual nature of a book he is reviewing based on that concept. What’s more, it certainly has no relevance as to whether the Copenhagen interpretation actually exists.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -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 Squatch347 View Post
    What question am I not answering?
    From plad: Is it your claim that Jesus The Christ (as described in the Christian Bible) existed?



    I’m guessing you don’t have a background in historiography or textual analysis. I should point out that the only scholarly dispute in this arena is really between the two source (with Q) and the four source (with two other independent sources besides Q). The question in debate is really whether or not Q accounts for the Matthew/Luke similarities or if there was something else as well.

    Conclusion: An independent source is the best explanation for the similarities between Matthew and Luke (from 5, 4, 2)
    It is still hypothetical and no document exists. That is the only point I made - that you neglected to mention that. It doesn't provide support for M&L other than that they are clearly fictions since both M&L don't tell the same exact story.


    I’m saying they are approaching the documents from a standard historiographical framework, not with an assumption that God does or does not exist. They apply rigorous analysis that is submitted for critical review by other scholars. Like all historians they are attempting to measure the text’s origin, its reliability, its alteration over time, etc.
    I'm sure that people can draw certain conclusions based upon this kind of analysis. We are only interested in the existence of a man-deity - if they are not and do not then they are largely irrelevant to this thread and thus rejected.

    JJ: Yes, I followed some of that but it really boils down to arguing about whether the person mentioned was really Jesus Christ the Messiah and all his miracles. A passing reference to some itinerant angry preacher who was also killed in hardly a unusual occurrence

    It is a bit more complex than that. First, Josephus relates that stories of this man performing wondrous miracles exist and that he was well loved by the people.
    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.

    Second, what is more important is that it serves as another independent indicator of gospel accounts. Just as if we were trying to verify Anne Frank’s story and we found a German newspaper noting the finding of a girl in an attic that matched the details of Anne Frank’s story. It doesn’t 100% validate every single piece of information in her diary, it serves as supporting evidence for her diary.
    People relaying 'stories' mean nothing - it just means that believers exist. I don't disagree that believers exist.

    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.
    It all depends on whether your evidence is people describing things, which appears to be the case. And any such references missing the miracles is insufficient evidence to point to the person in the Bible.

    To be clear, the argument is not, Josephus mentions Jesus, therefore Jesus walked on water, that seems to be the argument you are arguing against. 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. That would be like saying Tacitus’ Nero is not the same person as Gibbon’s Nero.
    There is only one Jesus we are discussing, the Jesus Christ of the Bible. 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.

    JJ:None of the accounts are of your deity. If you believe they are of your deity then you need to provide a direct link to the Bible character that performed miracles. If you cannot, then you need to drop them.
    I already have JJ. I used these other sources as support for the reliability of a segment of the gospel accounts, along with a direct defense of their reliability via independent sourcing. IE the same argument that any historical analysis of a document in a peer-reviewed journal would use.
    Exactly what is the link.
    .

    You could have just made an argument about what word I left out and how that materially affects your claim, but if you would prefer to play reindeer games:

    Challenge to support a claim. Please support or retract: “Besides, you have practically agreed that this Jesus is wholly in your imagination, so you might as well concede that you are arguing for a position that only Christians believe in in the first place.”
    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

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    It's not MY claim that he existed. I already explained, several times, to JJ, that his existence is an underlying premise for the OP in the thread. You and JJ are the ones who introduced the claim that he didn't exist into this thread. Ergo, as YOU introduced the claim regarding his existed, the onus is on YOU to prove that he did not exist.
    Oh right! I foolishly assumed that as you had just spent the past week arguing for his existence, you were making the claim that he did exist.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Oh right! I foolishly assumed that as you had just spent the past week arguing for his existence, you were making the claim that he did exist.
    Well at least you admitted you made a mistake. That's the first step on solving a problem: admitting there was/is one. Here's what's happened, Plad.

    In the OP, the existence of Jesus is an unspoken (smuggled) premise. Once JJ and yourself began the argument that Jesus never existed...well I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but you guys introduced and forwarded a claim. That means you have the burden of proof. I don't have to prove that Jesus existed. His existing wasn't a claim I made. So I don't have a claim I actively have to support or defend. All I have to do is piece apart your arguments until there's nothing left.

    So I'll ask you: Do you want to CONTINUE making the claim that Jesus never existed? Or do you wish to concede?
    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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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    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.
    They ARE two different characters. The 'historical Jesus' of your scholars is suspected to have been an itinerant rebel rabbi, a political/religious agitator that upset the authorities of the time, was arrested, probably for sedition, was executed and stayed dead. He was not divine and performed no miracles. Jesus The Christ of the Bible is alleged to have been the divine son of the Hebrew war god Yahweh, who came to Earth with a mission to save mankind from itself. He is alleged to have performed amazing miracle the like of which the world had not seen before or sivce. He was executed but came back to life after three days and appeared to his followers. He ascended to 'Heaven' and now rules there.

    If you can't see the difference between the two then further dialogue is rather pointless. If you are arguing that they are both the same man then provide extra-biblical verification for all the amazing miracles that JtC performed in front of thousands.

    The relevant text is:
    For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin

    The argument I put forward was that:

    c) Josephus relates that there are contemporary accounts of Jesus’ “startling deeds.”
    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. In other words, unless you have Josephus' source of information then you don't know whether he is writing about what he has heard through stories and hearsay or whether he was quoting from some historical document.

    Can we agree that the quoted text at least supports that claim?
    All we should be agreeing on is that Josephus made a passing comment about 'Jesus' that is disputed. That he does so in no way indicates that he was relating factual history or that Jesus The Christ existed.

    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.”
    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 some further conclusion I haven’t offered here yet.
    Your 'conclusion' is and always has been that Jesus The Christ existed. I'm asking you to provide the evidence for that. All you have done so far is show that a unreliable sources mentioned a 'Jesus'.

    Do you specifically object to this premise? If so, on what basis?
    The objection is that you are unable to show that either Josephus or Tacitus were writing historical fact. Whilst I am happy to move the discussion on by accepting that both Josephus and Tacitus made a passing reference to a character called 'Jesus', I have no reason to accept that they were doing anything other than writing about the beliefs of Christians. So unless you are able to identify the actual sources that they used then we are stuck there.

    This was the argument I initially laid out for the uses of Serapion as a validation source.

    Serapian references Jesus as “king of the Jews” at title not in use by Christians in the First Century AD, especially not Syrian Christians who would have been ever cognizant of Roman sensitivities concerning loyalty. This means his source for learning the story is likely a Roman source that could have used the term more pithily with fewer repercussions. At very least it must have been a non-christian source given that he is using terms and theology at odds with contemporary Christian teaching. (PG 450-461).
    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" . He does nothing of the sort - your back is still against the wall. Show that Serapion is relating factual history about a miracle-man son of a god rather that relating a story from the past.


    Its also important that he lays the blame for Jesus’ death at the feet of the Jews, “they reject their wise king” which has not only a distinctly Roman feel to it, but would be unlikely from a Jew or Christian source to say in the early 70s AD. (Pg 54)
    Show that Serapion could not have got the reference to the "king of Jews" from the Gospel of Mark 15:26.

    So we have a him relating the account coming from a Roman (likely, or at least a non-christian) confirming that the crucifixion was not driven by the Romans. That at the point of the crucifixion there is a reference to him being king of the Jews. And that there is some discussion of his resurrection, even if Serapion takes it as a resurrection via his legacy. Serapion’s doubt is irrelevant to the fact that this is relating the discussions taking place in Jerusalem just after the crucifixion.
    You are clutching at straws with Serapion. If he was a valid source for evidence then apologists would use him; they rarely do. Your task remains. Show that Serapion is doing anything other than relating stories that he heard. Show that he didn't get 'king of the Jews' from reading Mark 15:26

    Again, this is a straw man fallacy. You seem to be arguing two unrelated points. That they are not impartial and that sections of them are informed by each other.
    I'll give it to you again because I'm not getting into a text war again.

    The Gospels are not independent nor are they reliable as historical fact.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...y/gospels.html

    "The gospels are not always independent of each other. Matthew and Luke, for example, probably had Mark's gospel sitting right in front of them when they were writing."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criteri...le_attestation

    ...and what about all the 'Gospels' that were rejected by the Church fathers because they didn't fit the image of JtC that the Church wanted to portray.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...t-9849839.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...as-473141.html

    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

    I repeat - the Bible as verifiable and reliable evidence is out. The gospel authors were propagating religious beliefs not relating history and if you think that - a book, edited in the 17th century from 16th century translations of 8000 contradictory copies of 4th century documents that claim to be copies of lost letters that were written in the 1st century - is reliable then I give you too much credit.

    You also seem unaware of what the four independent sources I’m noting are, ....
    You told me what they were in post 246 - "The Gospels represent at least four independent sources..."

    so I’ll clarify.
    The only thing you need to clarify is why we should accept that documents that have been proven to be not a lot more than fable, fiction and fraud should be considered 'reliable'. You keep harping on about your 'historians'. Well your historians think that the authenticity and reliability of your sources is questionable and that few events mentioned in the gospels are true. You are more than happy to accept the word of your historians when they say that 'Jesus' existed so show some intellectual honesty and accept what they say when they tell you that your sources are not reliable.

    Mark’s account of the relevant period, as noted dates to 37AD.
    Mark had no knowledge of the events. Mark wrote down what Peter had told him about who Jesus was, what he did, where he went and what happened. Mark's gospel is therefore Peter's account, written down by Mark. Please show that:
    1. Peter was telling the truth to Mark.
    2. Mark wrote down verbatim, reliably, truthfully and without embellishment - every word that Peter spoke.

    Paul relates specific accounts of the relevant timeline in his letters to the early Churches and did so prior to any widespread access to the gospels would have occurred.
    Paul never met Jesus. He only claims to have met Jesus in a 'vision'
    Matthew/Luke. You are correct that the authors of these sources likely did have Mark in front of them, ...
    Then they copied.
    Luke was not a follower of Jesus, he was a follower of Paul. Luke interviewed people who claimed to have known your man-god. So the Gospel of Luke is nothing more than second hand stories from people who claimed to have know this Jesus. Please show that the people Luke interviewed were telling the truth and please show that Luke truthfully relayed what he heard. Matthew heavily plagiarised Mark.
    Do you realise that nobody knew anything about any gospels until the 2nd Century?

    John ....
    The Gospel of John is the ranting of a lunatic.

    Enough Bible nonsense now. It's getting long again. The Bible is rejected as unreliable.

    I’m not sure, probably more than a dozen.
    Identify them.

    ---------- Post added at 09:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:56 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Well at least you admitted you made a mistake. That's the first step on solving a problem: admitting there was/is one. Here's what's happened, Plad.

    In the OP, the existence of Jesus is an unspoken (smuggled) premise. Once JJ and yourself began the argument that Jesus never existed...well I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but you guys introduced and forwarded a claim. That means you have the burden of proof. I don't have to prove that Jesus existed. His existing wasn't a claim I made. So I don't have a claim I actively have to support or defend. All I have to do is piece apart your arguments until there's nothing left.

    So I'll ask you: Do you want to CONTINUE making the claim that Jesus never existed? Or do you wish to concede?
    That's not my claim. My claim is that there is no evidence for the existence of Jesus the Christ as described in the Bible. The claim is supported by the fact that, in the past 2000 years, not one single scrap of evidence for a BibleJesus has been presented and as such, it is reasonable to assume that none exists. If no evidence for something exists then the default position should be that it does not exist. This position is accepted when it comes to the existence of all other supernatural/mythological entities and there is no reason that we should make exceptions for the particular mythology found in Christianity.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 10th, 2015 at 01:15 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Well at least you admitted you made a mistake. That's the first step on solving a problem: admitting there was/is one. Here's what's happened, Plad.

    In the OP, the existence of Jesus is an unspoken (smuggled) premise. Once JJ and yourself began the argument that Jesus never existed...well I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but you guys introduced and forwarded a claim. That means you have the burden of proof. I don't have to prove that Jesus existed. His existing wasn't a claim I made. So I don't have a claim I actively have to support or defend. All I have to do is piece apart your arguments until there's nothing left.

    So I'll ask you: Do you want to CONTINUE making the claim that Jesus never existed? Or do you wish to concede?
    There was no argument forwarded - you are wrong on that point. We were going through the possible reasons why Jesus wrote nothing - too busy and not literate were ruled out and the notion that he didn't exist arose. Theists then did their usual song and dance about T&J, which is what we are currently debunking. When you do this then the onus is on you to prove that T&J are evidence for his existence since it is you putting that claim forward. We did not introduce T&J or historical evidence that Jesus existed - you did.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    It's not MY claim that he existed..
    I think that it is an understandable assumption that if a person spends a week putting up arguments to support the existence of something then that person is making a claim of existence. However, your point is noted and I'll assume that you will be withdrawing all of your posts in this thread where you are arguing for the existence of BibleJesus and that any further posts where you argue for the existence of BibleJesus can be ignored. Thank you for clarifying your position.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    I think that it is an understandable assumption that if a person spends a week putting up arguments to support the existence of something then that person is making a claim of existence.
    Ah, I see the problem. You actually don't understand how debate works. So here's what happened, JJ had been arguing that because there was references to Jesus being literate* that illiteracy wouldn't excuse having not written and that if he were truly divine, being too busy wouldn't have made sense and that if he were truly divine he would have actively chosen to write because it is the most trustworthy method of passing on and maintaining information (in my last post to him I demonstrated this point to be false)

    *The contention over the veracity of Jesus' literacy is funny to me because the passage cited was rejected but the insistence that he would have to be literate was maintained (by JJ) in spite of him repeatedly refusing to accept any demonstrations of it going so far as to suggest that an adult can know how to read and not know how to write.

    So then you come in and begin trumpeting JJ's claim that Jesus could not have existed. Your support for this was the claim that there exists ZERO evidence to prove his existence. But here's the problem with that claim: You've committed and a priori fallacy. You've reached the conclusion by automatically rejecting all things disagreeable to that conclusion. And I can cite you your own statements from prior posts here, in context, to demonstrate it. You have:

    -Rejected all references from the Bible about his existence
    -Rejected all extra biblical references (Josephus, Tacitus, Serpion, etc)
    -Rejected all scholarly views that he existed
    -Insisted on proof for things no one has argued there wouldn't be evidence for, like walking on water.

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

    -The Bible is unreliable and written by existing CHristians propagating a story.
    -Those were either interpolations, or written by Christians propagating a story.
    -That all or most scholars are Christians and therefore unreliable.
    -Insisted that people would've seen it or talked about it and history would've recorded it.

    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. And you're not accepting CHristian writings because they're unreliable. You've literally built in a logical-rejection-loop into your stance here. The very evidence you're demanding to see you've already rejected. My arguing that he would/did exist isn't me forwarding the claim. It's me disputing your claim that he didn't or that there's no evidence. So you can try to dismiss what Squatch, Mindtrap, or myself have posted here. But all you're doing is showing us, and every member and lurker that engaging you is 100% worthless. And before you insist that you're dismissing the three of us, here's your exact words: "The claim is supported by the fact that, in the past 2000 years, not one single scrap of evidence for a BibleJesus has been presented and as such, it is reasonable to assume that none exists." And you said this in the EXACT same [merged] post where you were disputing evidence presented by Squatch!

    So either there is ZERO evidence, or you dispute the strength of existing evidence. You can't claim both things simultaneously. Either the four gospels aren't evidence (which seems odd since they're biographical texts about the very subject we're debating) and I'd be impressed if you could show that with something other than a continued "Nah uh". Or they ARE evidence and you don't believe they're strong evidence, but are willing to accept them AS existing evidence, in which case your claim that "There exists no evidence" is defeated as is the argument that "Jesus never existed" since evidence (even if it's weak) still supports the position that he DID exist.
    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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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Robert Van Voorst is a theologian.
    Correction: most of these men are/where professors and scholars in their field.

    Bultmann (1958): was not a theologian; he was a New Testament scholar and professor
    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/...udolf-Bultmann
    “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community.”

    Bornkamm (I960): was not a theologian; was a German New Testament scholar and professor
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BCnther_Bornkamm
    To doubt the historical existence of Jesus at all . . . was reserved for an unrestrained, tendentious criticism of modern times into which it is not worth while to enter here.”

    Marxsen (1970): was not a theologian; He was a NT scholar and professor
    https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress...willi-marxsen/
    I am of the opinion (and it is an opinion shared by every serious historian) that the theory [‘that Jesus never lived, that he was a purely mythical figure’] is historically untenable.”

    Grant (1977): was not a theologian; He was an English classicist, numismatist, and author of numerous popular books on ancient history.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grant_%28author%29
    “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.’ In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus’—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”

    M. Martin (1991): is not a theologian. He is a professor and NT scholar
    http://www.lcu.edu/majors-programs/b...d41b7e5ca.html
    “Well’s thesis [that Jesus never existed] is controversial and not widely accepted.”

    Van Voorst (2000): is a NT professor and a theologian
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Van_Voorst
    “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e., Jesus mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.”

    Burridge and Could (2004): is not a theologian; he is a Professor of Biblical Interpretation and a Rev.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard...dge_%28dean%29
    “There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.”

    Allison (“Explaining,” 2005):[//B] is not a theologian; his is Professor and Chair of the History Department - Suffolk University
    https://www.udemy.com/u/robertjallison/
    “No responsible scholar can find any truth in it.”

    Maier (2005): is not a theologian; he is Emeritus, Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University
    http://wmich.edu/history/directory/emeritus/maier.html
    “the total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”

    R. J. Miller in Scott, ed. (Finding, 2008): “ Miller is not a theologian but a scholar and skeptical historian about Jesus
    http://www.depts.drew.edu/jhc/millerbw.html
    We can be certain that Jesus really existed (despite a few hyper-historical skeptics who refuse to be convinced).”

    Vermes (2008): was not a theologian but a British professor and scholar of Jewish Hungarian origin
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9za_Vermes
    “Let me state plainly that I accept that Jesus was a real historical person. In my opinion, the difficulties arising from the denial of his existence, still vociferously maintained in small circles of rationalist ‘dogmatists,’ far exceed those deriving from its acceptance.”

    C. A. Evans in Evans and Wright (2009): is not a theologian; he is a professor and scholar of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University,
    http://www.craigaevans.com/
    No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Correction: most of these men are/where professors and scholars in their field.

    Bultmann (1958): was not a theologian; he was a New Testament scholar and professor
    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/...udolf-Bultmann
    “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community.”

    Bornkamm (I960): was not a theologian; was a German New Testament scholar and professor
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BCnther_Bornkamm
    To doubt the historical existence of Jesus at all . . . was reserved for an unrestrained, tendentious criticism of modern times into which it is not worth while to enter here.”

    Marxsen (1970): was not a theologian; He was a NT scholar and professor
    https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress...willi-marxsen/
    I am of the opinion (and it is an opinion shared by every serious historian) that the theory [‘that Jesus never lived, that he was a purely mythical figure’] is historically untenable.”

    Grant (1977): was not a theologian; He was an English classicist, numismatist, and author of numerous popular books on ancient history.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grant_%28author%29
    “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.’ In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus’—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.”

    M. Martin (1991): is not a theologian. He is a professor and NT scholar
    http://www.lcu.edu/majors-programs/b...d41b7e5ca.html
    “Well’s thesis [that Jesus never existed] is controversial and not widely accepted.”

    Van Voorst (2000): is a NT professor and a theologian
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Van_Voorst
    “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [i.e., Jesus mythers] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.”

    Burridge and Could (2004): is not a theologian; he is a Professor of Biblical Interpretation and a Rev.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard...dge_%28dean%29
    “There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more.”

    Allison (“Explaining,” 2005):[//B] is not a theologian; his is Professor and Chair of the History Department - Suffolk University
    https://www.udemy.com/u/robertjallison/
    “No responsible scholar can find any truth in it.”

    Maier (2005): is not a theologian; he is Emeritus, Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University
    http://wmich.edu/history/directory/emeritus/maier.html
    “the total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”

    R. J. Miller in Scott, ed. (Finding, 2008): “ Miller is not a theologian but a scholar and skeptical historian about Jesus
    http://www.depts.drew.edu/jhc/millerbw.html
    We can be certain that Jesus really existed (despite a few hyper-historical skeptics who refuse to be convinced).”

    Vermes (2008): was not a theologian but a British professor and scholar of Jewish Hungarian origin
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9za_Vermes
    “Let me state plainly that I accept that Jesus was a real historical person. In my opinion, the difficulties arising from the denial of his existence, still vociferously maintained in small circles of rationalist ‘dogmatists,’ far exceed those deriving from its acceptance.”

    C. A. Evans in Evans and Wright (2009): is not a theologian; he is a professor and scholar of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University,
    http://www.craigaevans.com/
    No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”
    Do you actually understand what a theologian is?? It doesn't appear so!

    The study of gods and the religious beliefs associated with them is called 'THEOLOGY'
    One who studies gods and the religious beliefs/documents associated with them are THEOLOGIANS.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de...glish/theology

    Thus - people who study the Bible such as NT scholars are THEOLOGIANS. All the above people are THEOLOGIANS. In addition to that:
    Burridge is a priest.
    Vermes is an ex priest - how does that not make them theologians??

    Just take the first one on the list and check him out -

    Rudolf Karl Bultmann was a German Lutheran theologian and professor of New Testament at the University of Marburg.
    https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl...olf%20bultmann

    ...now do the same for the others on your list and you'll see that I'm right. Here I'll give you a start....

    Willi Marxsen (* 1 September 1919 in Kiel , † 18 February 1993 in Münster , Westphalia ) was a Protestant theologian and professor of New Testament Introduction Science and theology at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster .
    http://translate.google.co.uk/transl...en&prev=search

    Robert McQueen Grant (November 25, 1917 – June 10, 2014) was an American academic theologian
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_...8theologian%29

    You even got the list from a Bible apologetics blog here -
    http://www.toughquestionsanswered.or...jesus-existed/

    Keep away from apologist sites. They deal in emotion not fact.

    Sorry but my debunking of your sources stand. Each and every one of them are theologians as is every other NT 'scholar'. How would you define a theologian??

    ---------- Post added at 07:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:05 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    So then you come in and begin trumpeting JJ's claim that Jesus could not have existed.
    Well now lad - this is where you consistently fall on your face isn't it. If you can find anywhere where I have made the claim that "Jesus could not have existed" then I will happily withdraw it. On the contrary, my position now is as it has been throughout this thread and that is that I have no problem with the existence of 'Jesus'. 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'.

    Your support for this was the claim that there exists ZERO evidence to prove his existence.
    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.

    But here's the problem with that claim: You've committed and a priori fallacy. You've reached the conclusion by automatically rejecting all things disagreeable to that conclusion. And I can cite you your own statements from prior posts here, in context, to demonstrate it. You have:

    -Rejected all references from the Bible about his existence
    -Rejected all extra biblical references (Josephus, Tacitus, Serpion, etc)
    -Rejected all scholarly views that he existed
    -Insisted on proof for things no one has argued there wouldn't be evidence for, like walking on water.
    I didn't 'automatically' reject them. I gave you a reasoned argument as to WHY they should be rejected.

    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

    My arguing that he would/did exist isn't me forwarding the claim. It's me disputing your claim that he didn't or that there's no evidence.
    LMAO! If you argue against something not existing than you argue for it's existence.

    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'.

    But all you're doing is showing us, and every member and lurker that engaging you is 100% worthless.
    Ah yes - a typical ad hominem reaction of the apologists that we encounter on a regular basis. When you can no longer refute the mountain of evidence that says you are wrong - just claim that your opponent is 'unreasonable' or 'closed- minded' and run. Look fella. I am not aware of any rule here that says that discussion is compulsory. If you don't want to discuss any more then don't!

    And before you insist that you're dismissing the three of us, here's your exact words: "The claim is supported by the fact that, in the past 2000 years, not one single scrap of evidence for a BibleJesus has been presented and as such, it is reasonable to assume that none exists."
    Again, I'm happy to retract that and qualify it with 'verifiable' or 'reliable'....and I think that if you were to be intellectually honest with yourself you would concede that, in most cases, I have qualified with 'verifiable' or 'reliable'.

    So either there is ZERO evidence, or you dispute the strength of existing evidence.
    I would normally qualify that with 'verifiable' or 'reliable'. If I haven't then I will hold my hands up to it and state here that any future reference I make to 'evidence' means evidence that is verifiable or reliable. Having said that, most people would argue that if the only evidence you have is unreliable then , in effect what you have IS zero evidence.

    Either the four gospels aren't evidence (which seems odd since they're biographical texts about the very subject we're debating)...
    They are evidence - just not verifiable or reliable evidence and verifiable and reliable evidence is the only evidence we should be concerned with.

    ...and I'd be impressed if you could show that with something other than a continued "Nah uh".
    I have done. Perhaps you'd like to read back a few posts. There are a load of links about the unreliability of the Gospels

    ... in which case your claim that "There exists no evidence" is defeated ...
    More than happy to retract that if I have failed to qualify it - but this a rather trivial argument isn't it, pulling people up just because they omitted a word that they normally include. It only bogs the thread down and detracts from the fact that STILL, after all these pages, there has been no verifiable, reliable evidence presented to support the existence of BibleJesus.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; January 11th, 2015 at 03:59 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

 

 
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