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  1. #61
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    There is really no excuse for this level of ignorance from the Christian community. I sincerely hope that this criticism is not taken as harshly as it sounds, as MT, at the very least, considers me a friend. The feeling is mutual.

    However, THE FACT is THAT THE STORY THEOPHILOS QUOTED IS A WELL-KNOWN BOGUS, FAKE, BS STORY.
    Indeed the feeling is mutual, sorry to hear your last words may have been written, but totally understand and best wishes.

    Now to the bogus story.

    Some context of the debate. - The verse is offered as support that Jesus was literate, or at least probably was literate.

    How it supports.
    The first way it supports the assertion that Jesus was literate is in the truth of the story itself. To which you have pointed out the serous doubt among scholars. That is a damaging point and I consider it to stand here. However I wish to show in the second point how it is not an all sufficient counter.

    The second way it supports is that it also represents a consensus understanding of Jesus. It is true that it isn't in the early manuscripts, but scholars chose to leave it for a reason, and that reason (in short) is that it is consistent with the Jesus of the Bible. So the verse still supports that Jesus is generally considered to be literate by the scholars.

    So, while your point is well taken, it doesn't really change the effectiveness of the support offered.

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    If you're paying attention, you should see by now that you can't really trust a Christian to give you reliable information. They simply don't have it. Notice the extraordinarily supercilious method in which the verses themselves are simply quoted, as if their veracity is so undeniably, irrefutably and unquestionably demonstrable and palpable that simply quoting them somehow means the verses speak for themselves. In reality, the opposite is true. At the very least, intellectual honesty requires that the reader is informed about the disagreement of scholarship on this issue.
    I have to disagree with this, at least to some extent. I mean this is highly dependent on what the context of a debate is. I personally don't believe the Gospel is complex at it's heart, so to say that A christian wouldn't posses the truth of say the salvation message seems ridiculous to me. If however your talking about the level of understanding of scripture of a scholar to be able to quote it at all, then you would also have to require a PHD for anyone to quote any scientific theory, or otherwise Or an economist to quote economics stats, etc. etc. In the end our daily lives are not made up of such detailed and authoritative understandings and we put ourselves at the mercy of other professionals.
    In the case of the bible, I feel we are still in good hands. Because the debate you pointed out, actually occurred and is noted in the bibles we have.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  2. #62
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Indeed the feeling is mutual, sorry to hear your last words may have been written, but totally understand and best wishes.
    Oh, I don't intend to retire yet. I was simply overwhelmed by how well Theo's post so unwittingly supports the Ultimate Strategic Goal of this thread. Perhaps if he continues to post, I won't have to, because he'll continue doing my work for me.

    Now to the bogus story.
    Yes, and for those who are not immune to the facts:

    Fact: The consensus of biblical scholarship is that the Christ story, as portrayed in the four gospels, is a complex blend of fact and fiction.

    Fact: The consensus of biblical scholarship is that Christ did not say most of the words that are attributed to him in the gospels.

    Fact: As stated on http://www.bible-researcher.com/adult.html, "Biblical scholars are nearly all agreed that the Story of the Adulteress (also known as the Pericope Adulterae or the Pericope de Adultera) usually printed in Bibles as John 7:53-8:11 is a later addition to the Gospel. On this page I present some extended quotations from scholarly works that explain the reasons for this judgment. On another page I give an extract from one of the few scholarly defenders of the passage. To give my own opinion, it seems clear to me that the story does not belong in the Bible. If despite its absence from the early manuscripts this passage is thought to be so edifying that it is worthy of being treated as Holy Scripture, we might with equal justice add any number of edifying ancient stories to the Bible. The Quo Vadis legend about Peter's martyrdom, for instance, might just as well be added to the canonical book of Acts. For more on this, see my essay, Quo Vadis?

    Some context of the debate. - The verse is offered as support that Jesus was literate, or at least probably was literate.
    Yes, and the verse is made up. Fictitious. Forged. Fake. False. Fraudulent. Phony (that's what happens when you rely on a communication method that resembles the game of telephone).

    This is the type of unreliable information upon which Christian beLIEfs are formed.

    How it supports.
    A fake, fraudulent, phony, B.S. story can't support anything.

    Bible Research put it perfectly: "If despite its absence from the early manuscripts this passage is thought to be so edifying that it is worthy of being treated as Holy Scripture, we might with equal justice add any number of edifying ancient stories to the Bible."

    The first way it supports the assertion that Jesus was literate is in the truth of the story itself. To which you have pointed out the serous doubt among scholars. That is a damaging point and I consider it to stand here. However I wish to show in the second point how it is not an all sufficient counter.
    This is exactly why I stated that I have more of an interest in the responses of anonymous, non-posting readers on this site. Any objective, rational viewer - without an ideological, mental straitjacket - can see clear as day that you can't use bogus stories to support any kind of point.

    ONE:The second way it supports is that it also represents a consensus understanding of Jesus. It is true that it isn't in the early manuscripts, but scholars chose to leave it for a reason, and that reason (in short) is that it is consistent with the Jesus of the Bible. So the verse still supports that Jesus is generally considered to be literate by the scholars.
    Support or retract the notion that there is a "consensus understanding of Jesus." Below, the contrary is supported.

    And, I'd like to point out, for the record, that your point is: The verse, which should not be in the bible in the first place, supports the "consensus understanding of Jesus." Again, the notion of a "consensus understanding of Jesus" is shown to be false (below).

    You've demonstrated ignorance of biblical scholarship's consensus before, in the non-belief thread. It's deeper here, and it only goes to show that you really just can't trust Christians with The Truth. Here, we have a very clear example of Christians unashamedly touting around story about, which is known to be false, to support a particular view about Jesus.

    That's not honest. It's dishonest. Hm. Thought not lying was a commandment?

    Dr. Richard Carrier, Proving History, Chapter 1

    THE PROBLEM

    All experts agree the Jesus of the Bible is buried in myth and legend. But attempts to ascertain the "real" historical Jesus have ended in confusion and failure. The latest attemtp to cobble together a method for teaing out the truth involved developing a set of criteria.

    But it has since been demonstrated that all those criteria, as well as the whole method of their employment, are fatally flawed. Every expert who has seriously examined the issue has already come to this conclusion. In the words of Gerd Theissen, "There are no reliable criteria for separating authentic from inauthentic Jesus tradition."

    Stanley Porter agrees. Dale Allison likewise concludes, "these criteria themselves are seriously defective" and "cannot do what is claimed for them." The growing consensus now is that this entire quest for criteria has failed. The entire field of Jesus studies has thus been left without any valid method."

    The quest for the historical Jesus has failed spectacularly. Several times. Historians now even count the number of times. With the latest quest (numbered "the third") and its introduction of criteria, the concept of Jesus we're supposed to belive existed is actually getting more confused and uncertain the more scholars study it, rather than the other way around.

    CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE

    Progress is supposed to increase knowledge and consensus and sharpen the picture of what happened (or what we don't know), not the reverse. Instead, Jesus scholars continue multiplying contradictory pictures of Jesus, rather than narrowing them down and increasing their clarity - or at least reaching a consensus on the scale and scope of our uncertainty and ignorance. More importantly, the many contradictory versions of Jesus now confidently touted by different Jesus scholars are all so very plausible - yet not all can be true. IN fact, as only one can be (and that at most), almost all must be false.
    MT, you seem to have a habit of glossing over information that so decisively repudiates your position. Here, try not to do so. Although the above quotation is brief, it is full of everything needed to demonstrate my ultimate point: Christians are ignorant of what scholarship actually has to say about their religion.

    I have to disagree with this, at least to some extent. I mean this is highly dependent on what the context of a debate is. I personally don't believe the Gospel is complex at it's heart, so to say that A christian wouldn't posses the truth of say the salvation message seems ridiculous to me.
    I never said that the Gospel is complex. I simply pointed out that scholars tell us that the gospels are a complex blend of fact and fiction. The complexity, as shown oh-so-clearly above, lies in figuring out the truth.

    If however your talking about the level of understanding of scripture of a scholar to be able to quote it at all, then you would also have to require a PHD for anyone to quote any scientific theory, or otherwise Or an economist to quote economics stats, etc. etc. In the end our daily lives are not made up of such detailed and authoritative understandings and we put ourselves at the mercy of other professionals.
    That's not what I'm saying at all.

    What I am saying is this: There is confusion surrounding what Christ said. There is confusion surrounding what Christ did. Relying on Christians who are unwilling or unable to present the truth in an intellectually honest fashion is a fool's endeavor. I'm simply pointing out that this is the case, and I've done so quite well.

    Jesus should have written. Or, perhaps, he should have made YouTube videos. After all, it is said that his greatest desire is to love us human, because he loves us. He loves us so much, in fact, that he committed suicide to save our souls from death.

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  4. #63
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    @son: Good post but MT's appeal to 'tradition' and 'authority' are also fallacious.

    @MT: You also have an outstanding challenge to link history with the Gospel stories - you cannot continue to use such arguments unless it is supported. You switch between actual history and religious fiction, e.g. when you make no distinction between biblical 'scholars' and scholars of history. So when you say it is in good hands, you mean the former whereas we atheists mean the latter; I trust it is an accident but you should try and clarify which world you mean. It should be noted that neither of us dispute your religious beliefs, those that you take on faith, we only dispute whether these things actually happened as a matter of historical record. It is not entirely honest to mix the two interchangeably.

  5. #64
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    Fact: The consensus of biblical scholarship is that Christ did not say most of the words that are attributed to him in the gospels.
    I do not accept this unsupported claim, but rather than debate it here I would rather stay on the very specific point of Literacy of Jesus.


    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    Yes, and the verse is made up. Fictitious. Forged. Fake. False. Fraudulent. Phony (that's what happens when you rely on a communication method that resembles the game of telephone).

    This is the type of unreliable information upon which Christian beLIEfs are formed.
    I'm afraid you may not be addressing the point I have made, one which I concede that the specific story is a fake.
    It would be fallacious to assume that ALL the information in the bible was likewise formed.

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    A fake, fraudulent, phony, B.S. story can't support anything.

    Bible Research put it perfectly: "If despite its absence from the early manuscripts this passage is thought to be so edifying that it is worthy of being treated as Holy Scripture, we might with equal justice add any number of edifying ancient stories to the Bible."
    Maybe, after all it's status is noted in many bibles. My bible has commentary printed alongside, which may contain the information you are referencing.

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    This is exactly why I stated that I have more of an interest in the responses of anonymous, non-posting readers on this site. Any objective, rational viewer - without an ideological, mental straitjacket - can see clear as day that you can't use bogus stories to support any kind of point.
    I disagree, because it depends on the point being made.
    Here we are making a very general point.

    If one were to ask if an historical person were brave, say Davy Crocket. The fact that he never actually killed a bear with his bare hands (supposing such a story existed) would not take away from the fact that the story existing supports the idea that he was held to be a brave man.

    In other words, even folk tales don't come about for no reason. As we are speaking to something equally as general of being brave (Ie literacy). We can still draw some reasonable conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    You've demonstrated ignorance of biblical scholarship's consensus before, in the non-belief thread.
    My memory is swiss cheese.. so I have no recollection

    Missing quote
    The quote you provide has no apparent relevance to the literacy of Jesus. I don't really see what it can be said to support.

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    I never said that the Gospel is complex. I simply pointed out that scholars tell us that the gospels are a complex blend of fact and fiction. The complexity, as shown oh-so-clearly above, lies in figuring out the truth.
    I have no contextual bearing in regards to your quote. I have no clue how specific or general they are speaking of.
    And I do not see how or in what way they are speaking to the point at hand, namely the literacy of Jesus.

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    That's not what I'm saying at all.

    What I am saying is this: There is confusion surrounding what Christ said. There is confusion surrounding what Christ did. Relying on Christians who are unwilling or unable to present the truth in an intellectually honest fashion is a fool's endeavor. I'm simply pointing out that this is the case, and I've done so quite well.
    I do not intend to misrepresent what you are saying.
    But confusion exists everywhere in the world. Confusion exists in every disipline of education.

    I think it is fallacious to think that confusion exists to a great extent on some very general things.

    Quote Originally Posted by SONOF
    Jesus should have written. Or, perhaps, he should have made YouTube videos
    Well, if you don't want to be serious Lets be honest.. he should have made his own PBS special, then all that would be left to debate is if airing it would violate the separation of church and state.

    I have to say, that if you are going to complain about Christians not being reasonable, you shouldn't undercut your own credibility by demanding and expecting excessively unreasonable things and assumptions.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

  6. #65
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    There is less evidence for Socrates or Aristotle directly than there is for Jesus.
    There is no verifiable evidence whatsoever for the Bible character called Jesus the Christ.

    We have two independent, non-Christian sources for Jesus' existence that are contemporary to his life.
    No we don't! To whom are you referring - Josephus and Tacitus presumably. In fact, they were not contemporaneous - neither were even born whilst this 'Jesus The Christ' is alleged to have been alive - and that doesn't even touch on the clear Christian interpolation with both those historians.

    We have four or five independent Christian sources for his life that range from AD 39 to AD 52.
    Who would that be - and btw, if they are 'Christian' sources they are not 'independent' are they.

    We have only one source for Socrates' life and none of that sources writings are directly from the source himself, but are copied versions in other works that have been pieced together.
    It is not claimed that Socrates was a god who performed miracles the like of which the world had not seen before or since or that Socrates was executed and came back to life.

    If the Bible stories of JC are to be taken as true then we can reasonably expect that his life would have garnered the attention of scholars and writers from far and wide - it didn't. Hell, even the blokes that are alleged to have lived alongside him for three years and who are supposed to have witnessed all the events described, couldn't even be bothered to write about it until decade after the event...and then they wrote differing accounts of what was supposed to have happened.

    To be honest JJ, there is far more discussion about whether or not Socrates actually existed than there is about whether or not Jesus did.
    Really! How many serious historians can you name who say that Socrates did not exist compared to historians that say Jesus The Christ didn't exist?

    ---------- Post added at 08:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:10 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    The belief that he exists permeates our historical understanding; that's no different from the belief of Thor permeates our historical understanding, or unicorns or fairies and witches and ghosts for that matter.
    Bravo!

    ---------- Post added at 08:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:40 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Right, reality, the world we live in shows that Jesus didn't write. Contrary to his skills and mission.
    Amazing isn't it -that the one person who was in a position to give a first-hand, truthful, fully detailed account of what happened - didn't bother to do so! LMFAO! One of the telling things about the existence of Jesus The Christ is not the odd writer or historian who allegedly mentioned him - but the deafening silence from the writers and historians who did not.

    I don't see anything remarkable about questioning the existence of deities - or human/deity hybrids - it's what atheists do! Unless, you're falling into the same trap that Mind Trap has in believing that there is a 'historical Jesus', you have no reason to be surprised about questioning the existence of a virgin-born human who happens to be a deity, who performed numerous miracles in front of thousands of eye witnesses, all of whom made no written record of them, AND who was executed AND came back to life!
    Quite!

    Is it more likely that none of the Bibles claims are true ...
    There you have it!

    ---------- Post added at 08:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:50 AM ----------



    ---------- Post added at 08:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:57 AM ----------

    If you want to talk about contemporaneous writers - Jesus The Christ is absent the works of Josephus (other than by Christian interpolation), Philo-Judaeus (15 B.C.–50 A.D.), Seneca the Younger (4 B.C.–65 A.D.), Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) and Marcus Fabius Quintilian (39–96 A.D.)

    Justus of Tiberias, a Jew and a contemporary of Jesus, lived near Capernaum (where Jesus was said to live) and wrote a history of the Jews beginning with Moses and extending into his own times, but never mentioned Jesus. If Jesus was a man of history, and if Jesus performed any miracles we would suppose many reports from contemporary historians. All accounts have been examined and none of them adequately supports the existence of any Jesus The Christ.

    ---------- Post added at 09:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:58 AM ----------

    How the hell do you make a new post on this forum without having it tagged on to what you have previously posted????

    ---------- Post added at 09:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:00 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    He is indeed noted by history ...
    Not by any verifiable evidence he isn't...and which 'Jesus' are you referring too anyway?

    I only argue that Jesus existed.
    ...but which one?

    You seem to be making an arbitrary ruling on his existence by ignoring the common held understanding (by historians) that Jesus did exist.
    There are no historians, other than bible historians (who have more interest in their Christian beliefs than they have in history) that claim that Jesus the Christ existed.

    See! It's done it again. I answer a different post and it tags my reply to my previous post!!! What am I doing wrong here? This has never happened on any other forum.

    ---------- Post added at 10:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 AM ----------

    "And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee." (Mark 1:18)

    ...and yet NOBODY bothered to write about it.

  7. #66
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    How the hell do you make a new post on this forum without having it tagged on to what you have previously posted???
    You don't. This forum is set up to auto merge posts when the same person continues to post before anyone else in the same thread. Been this way for years, here. We did it to keep the forums and post counts tidy. Just the way it is

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    You don't. This forum is set up to auto merge posts when the same person continues to post before anyone else in the same thread. Been this way for years, here. We did it to keep the forums and post counts tidy. Just the way it is
    So if I make a post and then someone else posts, my next post will be separate from anything else I've posted?

  9. #68
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    So if I make a post and then someone else posts, my next post will be separate from anything else I've posted?
    That's the idea, yes. We've always tried (with varying degrees of success) to keep the threads tidy; to keep them more or less uncluttered with some of the stuff you see in these types of forums. One of the ways we've tried to accomplish this is with the auto-merge feature. The idea is that, for example, if someone hops on a thread and responds to 30 different posts within that thread, that 30 new posts don't appear. It also helps (a little) with spambots that automatically post. It's certainly not perfect, but it's helped over the years.

    Also, we have a minimum post count in order to be allowed to create threads, so the auto-merge helps keep the post count genuine (because, let's face it, if I respond to two-dozen individual posts - when I could use the multi-quote feature - and no one else is posting, that's really just one huge brain dump). And again, spambots. Likewise posts made in non-debate forums don't count in your post count because of all of the above.

    Overall the site tries to enforce certain rules so that the content of the debate threads is generally decent quality. The goal is to make the debate forums worth the time and effort it takes to participate. You can read more about the rules here:

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/index.php?page=odnrules

    That said, I'm going to stop responding to these questions, because we're kind of dragging the thread off-topic. If you'd like to ask the staff about the auto-merge feature and other subjects, you can create the topic here:

    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/f...-Ask-the-Staff

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  11. #69
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    Not by any verifiable evidence he isn't...and which 'Jesus' are you referring too anyway?
    Well that is a problem with the topic of history, not a problem specific to Jesus.
    And neither is the "which one" question.

    History as a study has it's own set of issues and challenges, if you are like some in the thread and expected a Youtube video, then your expectations are unreasonable.
    If you want to act as though the questions and issues of history in general make Jesus' existence at all so questionable as to be deniable, then you will find that you have no access to any history past a few hundred years ago. Which is clearly more limited than the reasonable man accepts.

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    There are no historians, other than bible historians (who have more interest in their Christian beliefs than they have in history) that claim that Jesus the Christ existed.
    That is pretty much the hasty generalization fallacy of atheists here in the thread. It shows a stunning lack of knowledge for anything "historical".


    ------------------------
    Our understanding of history is flawed, it is incomplete, but it is not so incomplete and flawed that we can not know that Jesus Existed at all.
    Instead atheists here have lumped elements they don't think or believable and used that to label the whole issue, and that isn't something historians do.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well that is a problem with the topic of history, not a problem specific to Jesus.
    And neither is the "which one" question.
    The 'which one' question is extremely important. Saying that 'most historians don't deny that Jesus existed' is a bit disingenuous. Most historians will concede the possibility that an itinerant rebel rabbi named Yeshua could have existed but you will find very few serious historians that will concede the existence for Jesus The Christ - he of Bible fame. So it is important which 'Jesus' we are talking about because if you are claiming that most historians say that Jesus The Christ existed then I am going to call you on it. So which one are you referring to?

    History as a study has it's own set of issues and challenges, if you are like some in the thread and expected a Youtube video, then your expectations are unreasonable.
    No I don't expect a Youtube video but give me some names of historians that were contemporaneous to this Jesus that wrote about him because I don't know of any! One would have thought that at least ONE contemporaneous historian would have put pen to paper regarding someone that was wandering around Palestine walking on water, raising the dead, curing the sick, bringing dead people back to life, making blind people see and healing cripples. I mean, Jerusalem was far from a "backwater" area, and there were historians alive at the alleged time of JtC who were documenting the history of Jerusalem during the Roman occupation. They documented the unimportant minutiae of political and everyday life but failed to mention someone who could bring dead people back to life!

    Not one of the historians alive during the alleged time of JtC ever mentioned him. They don't mention any miracles performed by a "Jesus". Neither do they mention all these dead priests coming back to life and wandering the streets of Jerusalem when this JtC died. Don't you find it odd that JtC travelled from city to city, performing incredible miracles before crowd after crowd, for several years...and not one single witness to any of these events took the time to write it down, or paint a picture, or make a statue, or write to their friends about it? And please don't give me the "they were mostly illiterate" reasoning. There were plenty of literate priests, scholars, soldiers, etc, around who would have witnessed it.


    If you want to act as though the questions and issues of history in general make Jesus' existence at all so questionable as to be deniable, then you will find that you have no access to any history past a few hundred years ago. Which is clearly more limited than the reasonable man accepts.
    There is one more fundamental principle for knowledge. The Negative Evidence Principle (NEP) states that:
    "A person is justified in believing that ‘A’ is false if:
    (1) All the available evidence used to support the view that ‘A’ is true is shown to be inadequate.
    (2) ‘A’ is the sort of claim such that if ‘A’ were true, there should be available evidence that would be adequate to support the view that ‘A’ is true.
    (3) The area where evidence would appear if there were any, has been comprehensively examined".

    People have been desperately searching for verifiable evidence for the existence of Jesus The Christ for 2000 years and none has been found. Logic reason and common sense leads anyone other than those that desperately want it to be true, to conclude that Jesus The Christ did not exist.


    Our understanding of history is flawed, it is incomplete, but it is not so incomplete and flawed that we can not know that Jesus Existed at all. Instead atheists here have lumped elements they don't think or believable and used that to label the whole issue, and that isn't something historians do.
    Historian look for verifiable evidence. There is none for the existence of Jesus The Christ. If you say that there is then produce it. There is no independent contemporary historian around the age of the supposed time of JtC that even mentions the man. The very few references to a JtC by Josephus are considered to be forgeries added much later in time by Eusebius. Nor is there any historical JtC at the core of the Gospels. From what I have researched, the Gospels are fabricated, consisting of scripture, legends, bits of oral tradition, anecdotes, stories, and mystical beliefs of existing Jewish cults. There also appears to be no evidence of a belief in an historical JtC that effected Christianity as a whole until near the end of the second century. Until then, Christians expressed a belief in a spiritual 'Son of God', influenced more by the theological groundwork laid down by Philo, which pre-dated the supposed time of a Jesus ministry. The mythical view seems also to fit in well with the historical record, or rather the lack of historical record as the case may be since no one wrote of a JtC during his supposed lifetime.

    Hell man! Even you believers can't make your mind up about your Jesus. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says: "Christians count one hundred and thirty-three contrary opinions of different authorities concerning the year the Messiah appeared on earth." Think of it -- one hundred and thirty-three different years, each one of which is held to be the year in which their Jesust came into the world. What magnificent certainty!
    Last edited by pladecalvo; December 29th, 2014 at 09:44 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post

    JJ: There are no historians, other than bible historians (who have more interest in their Christian beliefs than they have in history) that claim that Jesus the Christ existed.
    That is pretty much the hasty generalization fallacy of atheists here in the thread. It shows a stunning lack of knowledge for anything "historical".
    Says he who has posted zero links between the Bible and history! The challenge still remains and our new friend appears to have debunked your two Roman 'sources', neither of which mentioned this miracle worker.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    No I don't expect a Youtube video but give me some names of historians that were contemporaneous to this Jesus that wrote about him because I don't know of any! One would have thought that at least ONE contemporaneous historian would have put pen to paper regarding someone that was wandering around Palestine walking on water, raising the dead, curing the sick, bringing dead people back to life, making blind people see and healing cripples. I mean, Jerusalem was far from a "backwater" area, and there were historians alive at the alleged time of JtC who were documenting the history of Jerusalem during the Roman occupation. They documented the unimportant minutiae of political and everyday life but failed to mention someone who could bring dead people back to life!

    Not one of the historians alive during the alleged time of JtC ever mentioned him. They don't mention any miracles performed by a "Jesus". Neither do they mention all these dead priests coming back to life and wandering the streets of Jerusalem when this JtC died. Don't you find it odd that JtC travelled from city to city, performing incredible miracles before crowd after crowd, for several years...and not one single witness to any of these events took the time to write it down, or paint a picture, or make a statue, or write to their friends about it? And please don't give me the "they were mostly illiterate" reasoning. There were plenty of literate priests, scholars, soldiers, etc, around who would have witnessed it.
    You seem to have switched from historians of the time.. to anyone of the time.
    which is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    People have been desperately searching for verifiable evidence for the existence of Jesus The Christ for 2000 years and none has been found.
    What do you mean "non have been found"?
    And if none have been found, then why do so many historians accept that Jesus existed? (evidenced earlier in the thread).

    Sounds to me like you are drawing a vastly different conclusion about even the existence of evidence, much less the reasonable conclusion one can draw from it.

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    Historian look for verifiable evidence. There is none for the existence of Jesus The Christ. If you say that there is then produce it. There is no independent contemporary historian around the age of the supposed time of JtC that even mentions the man. The very few references to a JtC by Josephus are considered to be forgeries added much later in time by Eusebius. Nor is there any historical JtC at the core of the Gospels. From what I have researched, the Gospels are fabricated, consisting of scripture, legends, bits of oral tradition, anecdotes, stories, and mystical beliefs of existing Jewish cults. There also appears to be no evidence of a belief in an historical JtC that effected Christianity as a whole until near the end of the second century. Until then, Christians expressed a belief in a spiritual 'Son of God', influenced more by the theological groundwork laid down by Philo, which pre-dated the supposed time of a Jesus ministry. The mythical view seems also to fit in well with the historical record, or rather the lack of historical record as the case may be since no one wrote of a JtC during his supposed lifetime.

    Hell man! Even you believers can't make your mind up about your Jesus. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says: "Christians count one hundred and thirty-three contrary opinions of different authorities concerning the year the Messiah appeared on earth." Think of it -- one hundred and thirty-three different years, each one of which is held to be the year in which their Jesust came into the world. What magnificent certainty!
    I see no reason to take your word on any of your conclusions here.

    Speaking as a layman I respond- you say there is no evidence that he existed, then why do historians generally accept that He existed? Why is your opinion so different, and on top of that correct over theirs?

    It seems to me rather that you are using a different standard then they, and you should explain why it is superior.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Says he who has posted zero links between the Bible and history!
    False, I put to bed the consensus of historians speaking that Jesus existed.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    The challenge still remains and our new friend appears to have debunked your two Roman 'sources', neither of which mentioned this miracle worker.
    No clue what your talking about.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Can we refocus this thread? There seems to be a lot of meandering about but not a lot of discussion on the actual OP. If you want to make a case that Jesus didn't exist, by all means do so, but this probably isn't the right thread for that.

    So how about we get back on topic? I think Dionysus stated it best:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    So, before you and I start going back and forth in a discussion I was having with someone else, I think it would be good to understand what, exactly, you mean by "should have" and "because".

    If by "Jesus should have written" you mean "it is necessarily the case that Jesus WOULD have written" and by "because" you mean "due to "X" causal effect", then I need you to demonstrate how "Due to the deserving nature of Jesus' story, it is necessarily the case that Jesus would have written" is a necessarily true claim. Likewise, I need you to demonstrate how "Jesus did not exist" is necessarily the antithesis to that claim.

    But if you just mean that it's fishy that he didn't, then I agree. But a fishy observation does not a case make.

    In either case, the information contained in the opening post doesn't make a strong argument.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofnietzsche View Post
    Fact: The consensus of biblical scholarship is that the Christ story, as portrayed in the four gospels, is a complex blend of fact and fiction.

    Fact: The consensus of biblical scholarship is that Christ did not say most of the words that are attributed to him in the gospels.

    Can you support these "facts?" Before you simply lay out some random scholar, I'll note that you said that this was the consensus, consensus means that something like a super majority of scholars hold these positions. Can you support those claims or was this a bit of an overstatement?

    ---------- Post added at 07:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:06 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    There is no verifiable evidence whatsoever for the Bible character called Jesus the Christ.
    Can you support that claim? I know you are relatively knew here so let me quickly explain that ODN requires support for claims in our debate forums. If you make a statement it needs to be supported by external, reliable evidence and or a strong logical argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pladecalvo
    No we don't! To whom are you referring - Josephus and Tacitus presumably. In fact, they were not contemporaneous - neither were even born whilst this 'Jesus The Christ' is alleged to have been alive - and that doesn't even touch on the clear Christian interpolation with both those historians.
    Christian interpolation? Josephus is a Jew, a Jew who was, by all standards of modern scholarship contemporaneous with the early Church, he would have grown up as the Acts of the Apostles were being lived out and would have had first hand accounts from eye witnesses to Jesus' life. Further, textual analysis of Josephus' writing clearly indicates that he is drawing his details of Jesus from non-christian eye witnesses.

    I was not referring to Tacitus no, though he is considered a close contemporary and very reliable source for the historicity of Jesus. What I was actually referring to were the Jewish Rabbinic sources which account for Jesus's existence and a very brief summary of his teachings and which were recorded within a few years of his death.

    We could also add Mara bar Serapion who isn't contemporary, but who is a non-christian reliable source as well as quite a few other independent, non-christian sources as well. The idea that the existence of Jesus relies solely on Christian sources (more on them in a second) is an out of date idea that even atheists like Bart Ehrman reject. We could also reference archeological evidence to support biblical accounts, the tombs of Caiaphas and Annas and the inscriptions of Pilate being prime amongst those. http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Outside-.../dp/0802843689

    I would be remiss in not including the Christian sources as well. There are at least three and probably more like five independent sources for the Passion story that date between 37 and 53 AD, with the earliest source being just four years after Jesus' death. Now of course I fully expect to object to these sources because they are Christian, ignoring the fact that we don't dismiss Herodotus because he is a Greek telling about Greek events. Not to mention that many of these sources would have been available to people contemporary with the events, which should have been well known enough to cause surprise and rebuttals if they had been apocryphal.


    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo
    Who would that be - and btw, if they are 'Christian' sources they are not 'independent' are they.
    Why wouldn't they be independent? That term amongst historians means independent of each other. We don't dismiss Livy because he was a Roman nor do we discount Lafayette because he fought for the Americans. Multiple sources independent of each other that corroborate the same events increase the reliability of this events being historical, and as I pointed out, we have far more independent sources for the Passion story than Socrates, Plato, or Julius Caesar.

    1) We have Mark's source, which is the earliest and dates to just four years after the crucifixion. Rudolf Pesch, Das Markusevangelium, 2 vols., Herders Theologischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament 2 (Freiburg: Herder, 1976-77), 2: 519-20.

    2) We have Paul's letters, which were clearly written independent of the other sources and without the benefit of Mark's source and which contain complementary accounts of the last supper and the crucifixion. Several of these accounts (Corinthians) date to just five years following the crucifixion.

    3) We have Luke, who wrote both Luke and Acts. Luke was not an eye-witness, but clearly interviewed eye witnesses and was trained as a historian of the Herodotus tradition. His details in Acts has been considered the standard by Historians reviewing other Mediterranean sources, he correctly notes fleet departure times, local official names, and peculiur titles for officials in the Hellenistic Roman empire. Colin J. Hemer, The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History, ed. Conrad H. Gempf, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 49 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1989), chap. 4 and 5.

    4) We have the Q source with both Luke and Matthew draw upon and which is independent from the above named sources. This source is primarily related to earlier events in Jesus' life, but meshes well with Mark's accounts of Jesus' interactions with Mary and Martha for example. http://www.amazon.com/History-Early-.../dp/056708406X

    5) John of Zebedde, the leading contender for the Gospel of John uses both Mark's account, but is clearly an eye witness to these events as well. John's accounts of the time in Jerusalem are clearly independent of Mark from the literary criticism perspective and are most likely a personal or direct interview account of the events. http://www.mycrandall.ca/courses/New.../SOURCJOHN.htm


    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo
    It is not claimed that Socrates was a god who performed miracles the like of which the world had not seen before or since or that Socrates was executed and came back to life.
    And? The nature of the accounts about him are irrelevant to the validity of the sources. Unless you can show that he sources are otherwise unreliable, or come from a single source (reducing their strength as historical support), or that legendary accretion could have occurred dramatically faster than any other account in history, your opinion of the content doesn't dismiss the strength as determined by standard historiographical procedures.


    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo
    Really! How many serious historians can you name who say that Socrates did not exist compared to historians that say Jesus The Christ didn't exist?
    To be sure not many, which was my point. There aren't really any serious historians of antiquities that think there was no historical Jesus as well.

    ---------- Post added at 07:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:21 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofnietzsche View Post
    Let me help you out with Squatch for a quick second...

    "Wouldn't the same criticism be true of Socrates or Aristotle?"

    Lol. Oh, man.

    Hahaha...

    Dude, seriously. You know as well as I do that it doesn't really matter whether or not Aristotle or Socrates the men existed. Right?
    You seem to have missed my point here. I didn't say their existence mattered or not, I said there neither of those authors directly penned their own works either. Socrates even directly dismisses the idea in one of Plato's accounts. Given that they didn't directly write their own works and that they were, presumably, trying to spread a philosophical view point, shouldn't we doubt their existence as well? And if not, is it because there are third party sources? If so, given the scantness of those sources when compared to a historical Jesus why would that question anything about him?

    Of course you didn't seem to see my other points as well, which I recognize could come from the volume of responses, but a more direct response to your OP was in post 16.


    Quote Originally Posted by Son
    There is a reason The Master's work is taught at War Colleges, and why war scholars consistently refer to him in the History Channel's documentary on The Man Himself.
    Having some familiarity with the War College and the American (and British for that matter) professional development system, I can point out that Sun Tzu isn't taught at the War College or at West Point. He isn't on the Officer Professional Development Reading List http://www.history.army.mil/html/boo...5-5-1_2014.pdf nor on the Cadet Command reading list.

    I think he was an enjoyable read, but nothing really insightful imo. If you want a real good read, try Machiavelli's Art of War or On War by Carl von Clausewitz, probably the single best book on strategy every written. His principles of war (MOSSMOUSE) is standard teaching an analysis at all levels of military evaluation.

    Now, that aside:

    Quote Originally Posted by SON
    Vietnam are two particularly striking examples.
    This would be an interesting thread. I would be really interested in your take on it. I have a relatively different view of Vietnam than what is commonly held and I would be curious if you could highlight which of Sun Tzu's thoughts on war applied to that conflict and how you think that conflict came out in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by SON
    All is fair in love and war,
    Which is Shakespeare of course, not Sun Tzu. ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by SON
    And we don't even have the original copies.

    And scholars speculate about a mysterious "Q" document, which, apparently is the true source of the real story... and we don't have that obviously...

    Am I the only one sensing a big, massive, gaping, POTENTIALLY FATAL wound in the story here?
    My guess is that your understanding of biblical scholarship is relatively limited given your response. As I pointed out to another debater there are multiple, independent sources for the aspects of Jesus' life. Q is just one source in five. The "most of the words.." comment is an invention of someone from the Jesus seminar, someone who wasn't a historian and was making a relatively off the cuff statement in response to a question.

    And I'm guessing you didn't read my other post since it dealt directly with the objections you raised. I'm not sure why would have expected Jesus to spend his time writing his account during his two year ministry given that means he wouldn't have been preaching or interacting or healing. Jesus' account means almost nothing if there aren't an initial following of Christians who understand the message and are willing to spread it. It doesn't serve Jesus very well to have a full manifesto if he has no one to spread the ministry. The Chruch is the group of believers, not the book.






    You do realize that Prof. Ehrman doesn't doubt the existence of an historical Jesus right?
    "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 MindTrap028 View Post



    False, I put to bed the consensus of historians speaking that Jesus existed.
    No you haven't - you've made an unsupported statement that you later contradicted.

    No clue what your talking about.
    I mean you haven't proven that any of the 'history' is talking about the same Jesus Christ who performed miracles. Until you can do this, you cannot make the claim that there are ANY historians that spoke that Jesus existed. For all we know, there could have been a man with the same name but didn't perform any miracles; in which case, you most certainly cannot connect the two.

    ---------- Post added at 06:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Can we refocus this thread? There seems to be a lot of meandering about but not a lot of discussion on the actual OP. If you want to make a case that Jesus didn't exist, by all means do so, but this probably isn't the right thread for that.
    Um, don't you think that existing would be a minimal requirement for him writing anything at all?

    Besides, if you're going to accept that Jesus existed, then you see where that leads you:

    1. He was too busy! So apparently the deity that created the universe couldn't spare the time to write something down.
    2. Jesus was not literate - the passage is faked. Which again makes no sense if Jesus is a deity.
    3. He has his own reasons, aka '... because God'.

    So basically, if Jesus existed and he didn't write anything down first hand, then it pretty much boils down to '... because God'; which is where too many religious arguments end up. This is because the lack of real evidence forces theists into that very corner - it's the equivalent of "I don't know", which would be a better answer in most cases.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    You seem to have switched from historians of the time.. to anyone of the time. which is it?
    Either. It doesn't matter to me whether they are historians, butchers, bakers, or candle-stick makers. Just give me some contemporaneous sources that mention JtC....!

    What do you mean "non have been found"?
    I mean that no verifiable evidence for JtC has ever been found.

    And if none have been found, then why do so many historians accept that Jesus existed? (evidenced earlier in the thread).
    They don't. The 'historians' that say that JtC existed are Bible 'historians' and by default, are Christians or 'believers'. As I said earlier - it is disingenuous to claim that 'historians say that Jesus existed'. A certain section of historians say that JtC existed and that section are inevitably Christian Bible historians. Those historians that are not Bible historians are happy to say (as am I) that there is a possibility that there may well have been some itinerant rebel rabbi wandering around the desert in smelly sandals, speaking out against the establishment. There were no doubt many such people and there were no doubt some named 'Yeshua'

    Sounds to me like you are drawing a vastly different conclusion about even the existence of evidence, much less the reasonable conclusion one can draw from it.
    What evidence?? You speak about this 'evidence' a lot but you have yet to produce it. Lets see it. I'm happy to concede the existence of JtC is you can produce verifiable evidence for him. I don't think you can.

    I see no reason to take your word on any of your conclusions here.
    Well you don't have to do you? You can actually shut me up and convert me to Christianity by providing verifiable evidence for your man-god. I'm not asking you to take my word for it. You could always research the subject yourself from sources other that Bible apologist web-sites.

    Speaking as a layman I respond- you say there is no evidence that he existed, then why do historians generally accept that He existed?
    As previously stated, you are being disingenuous in saying that. Bible historians say that JtC existed. Serious historians that work with verifiable evidence rather than the Bible say no such thing.

    Why is your opinion so different, and on top of that correct over theirs?
    ...because my opinion is based on verifiable evidence and verifiable evidence will beat 'a desperate need to believe that something is true' any day of the week.

    It seems to me rather that you are using a different standard then they, and you should explain why it is superior.
    The 'standard' I use is verifiable evidence- and that will always be superior to a need to believe. The standard that Bible historians use is the Bible. Bible 'archaeologists' dig, find something and then try to connect what they find to what the Bible says, Bible historians do the same thing. Their conclusions are based on what they can find in the Bible to connect with their findings. Their evidence is made to fit the Bible when it should be the Bible that fits to the evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Can we refocus this thread? There seems to be a lot of meandering about but not a lot of discussion on the actual OP. If you want to make a case that Jesus didn't exist, by all means do so, but this probably isn't the right thread for that.
    I think it could be argued that discussing the existence or non-existence here is relevant. After all, if the non-existence of JtC could be shown, then that would explain why he didn't write anything.[COLOR="Silver"]

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Can you support that claim? I know you are relatively knew here so let me quickly explain that ODN requires support for claims in our debate forums. If you make a statement it needs to be supported by external, reliable evidence and or a strong logical argument.
    I already have supported it. I presented the Negative Evidence Principle

    Christian interpolation? Josephus is a Jew, a Jew who was, by all standards of modern scholarship contemporaneous with the early Church, he would have grown up as the Acts of the Apostles were being lived out and would have had first hand accounts from eye witnesses to Jesus' life. Further, textual analysis of Josephus' writing clearly indicates that he is drawing his details of Jesus from non-christian eye witnesses.
    My friend. You are on a hiding to nothing with this Josephus nonsense. It is accepted that the passage in 'Antiquities' is a Christian forgery. As you say, Josephus was a Jew yet the passage refers to Jesus as 'Christ' Josephus would never have written that; as a Jew he would not have called anyone 'Christ' other than his own 'Messiah'. Also, the passage is clumsily inserted between two unrelated events, it reads like the work of a Christian believer, which Josephus wasn't - but the real stumper is that nobody in the early Christian Church mentions the passage until 300 years after Joe died. Josephus's works was known to the earlier church fathers but there is no reference to the passage in support of JtC until the time of that celebrated Christian forger Eusebius, well into the fourth century. Origen says that Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah ... an unlikely statement, if the passage existed during Origen's time, not to mention that if the passage had been there the early Church fathers would have jumped on it like starving beasts and shouted it from the roof-tops as evidence for their man-god. Why would Joe write a passage mentioning 'Christ' when, as a Jew, he wouldn't have believed that the Messiah/the Christ had come?

    If we consider the above, along with the obviously Christian wordings of the paragraph in Antiquities, we really should conclude that the passage in Antiquities is an early Christian insertion. In short, pious forgery. This should not surprise you; it is definitely not the only case in history we have of Christians altering the contents of documents to support their faith.

    I was not referring to Tacitus no, though he is considered a close contemporary and very reliable source for the historicity of Jesus. What I was actually referring to were the Jewish Rabbinic sources which account for Jesus's existence and a very brief summary of his teachings and which were recorded within a few years of his death.
    Are you referring to the Torah?

    ...and no, Tacitus is not considered reliable evidence. The work that I suspect you are referring to is considered. like that of Josephus, to have been tampered with. Tacitus, who was an Imperial Roman historian, is unlikely to have given Pilate a title that he didn't ever have.

    Other evidence that indicates that Tacitus was the victim of Christian forgery can be found here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UgO8fAJVVM

    We could also add Mara bar Serapion who isn't contemporary, but who is a non-christian reliable source ...
    As you say...not contemporaneous and his reference to "king of Jews" is most likely gained from Christian inscriptions and depictions of their hero's crucifixion. It is not reliable and like all the other 'historians that mentioned Jesus', Serapion is repeating Christian stories.

    The idea that the existence of Jesus relies solely on Christian sources (more on them in a second) is an out of date idea that even atheists like Bart Ehrman reject. We could also reference archeological evidence to support biblical accounts, the tombs of Caiaphas and Annas and the inscriptions of Pilate being prime amongst those. http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Outside-.../dp/0802843689
    I haven't read it so can't comment other than to say that the author is a rabid evangelical Christian and, from what I have read of his works, is entirely biased due to his unwavering belief that JtC existed...

    Biography
    Robert Van Voorst pursued doctoral study in religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York City while he served as a minister in the Reformed Church in America. In 1989 he became a professor of religion at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania. In 1997 he was a visiting professor in the University of Oxford, where he researched and lectured on the relationship of Christianity and Judaism.

    Now a professor at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, Dr. Van Voorst researches and teaches primarily in the New Testament and early Christianity, and secondarily on world religions. He writes frequently in a variety of scholarly journals and has contributed articles to leading reference works, including the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (Abingdon Press). In the spring of 2012 he was interviewed for a Discovery Channel documentary on Jesus, and in December of 2012 he was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) on the birth of Jesus. He is the author or co-author of twelve books, including textbooks in religious studies drawing on his teaching experience...


    http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Outside-...=vglnkc7195-20

    I would be remiss in not including the Christian sources as well.
    You can include them all you want but we must always bear in mind that they are going to be biased. It would be like arguing the non-existence of God by quoting Dawkins. LOL!

    There are at least three and probably more like five independent sources for the Passion story that date between 37 and 53 AD, with the earliest source being just four years after Jesus' death. Now of course I fully expect to object to these sources because they are Christian, ...
    Spot on!

    ...ignoring the fact that we don't dismiss Herodotus because he is a Greek telling about Greek events.
    We don't dismiss anyone as long as the claim can be supported by verifiable evidence. There is not a lot of reason to question a Greek speaking of Greek event unless the events are of an extraordinary nature - as in the case of JtC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Why wouldn't they be independent? That term amongst historians means independent of each other. We don't dismiss Livy because he was a Roman nor do we discount Lafayette because he fought for the Americans. Multiple sources independent of each other that corroborate the same events increase the reliability of this events being historical, and as I pointed out, we have far more independent sources for the Passion story than Socrates, Plato, or Julius Caesar.

    1) We have Mark's source, which is the earliest and dates to just four years after the crucifixion. Rudolf Pesch, Das Markusevangelium, 2 vols., Herders Theologischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament 2 (Freiburg: Herder, 1976-77), 2: 519-20.

    2) We have Paul's letters, which were clearly written independent of the other sources and without the benefit of Mark's source and which contain complementary accounts of the last supper and the crucifixion. Several of these accounts (Corinthians) date to just five years following the crucifixion.

    3) We have Luke, who wrote both Luke and Acts. Luke was not an eye-witness, but clearly interviewed eye witnesses and was trained as a historian of the Herodotus tradition. His details in Acts has been considered the standard by Historians reviewing other Mediterranean sources, he correctly notes fleet departure times, local official names, and peculiur titles for officials in the Hellenistic Roman empire. Colin J. Hemer, The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History, ed. Conrad H. Gempf, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 49 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1989), chap. 4 and 5.

    4) We have the Q source with both Luke and Matthew draw upon and which is independent from the above named sources. This source is primarily related to earlier events in Jesus' life, but meshes well with Mark's accounts of Jesus' interactions with Mary and Martha for example. http://www.amazon.com/History-Early-.../dp/056708406X

    5) John of Zebedde, the leading contender for the Gospel of John uses both Mark's account, but is clearly an eye witness to these events as well. John's accounts of the time in Jerusalem are clearly independent of Mark from the literary criticism perspective and are most likely a personal or direct interview account of the events. http://www.mycrandall.ca/courses/New.../SOURCJOHN.htm
    ...and tell me. Would you consider Hindu references to Ganesh to be reliable sources for the existence of Ganesh? Would you accept Homer to be a reliable source for the existence of Scylla and Charybdis, or accept as truth that the cyclops Polyphemus threw rocks at passing ships from the slopes of Mount Etna? I doubt it somehow.

    And? The nature of the accounts about him are irrelevant to the validity of the sources. Unless you can show that he sources are otherwise unreliable, or come from a single source (reducing their strength as historical support), or that legendary accretion could have occurred dramatically faster than any other account in history, your opinion of the content doesn't dismiss the strength as determined by standard historiographical procedures.
    They are unreliable because they come from biased sources and the claims are not supported by verifiable evidence. It doesn't matter how many 'independent' sources you have that say that Ganesh has the head of an elephant...it's still nonsense!

    To be sure not many, which was my point. There aren't really any serious historians of antiquities that think there was no historical Jesus as well.
    Ah well, this is where this thread keeps going around in circles isn't? There appears to be no consensus about WHO we are discussing. That is why I have asked in quite a few posts 'Which 'Jesus' are you talking about. I'm talking about Jesus The Christ of Bible fame, son of a god, worker of amazing miracle who dies and came back to life three days later and who now resides in a place call 'Heaven' and sits at the right hand of a god called Yahweh; but now you are referring to the 'historical Jesus' which is an entirely different animal. Which 'Jesus' are we looking for here??[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofnietzsche;542249[QUOTE
    Hm. Thought not lying was a commandment?
    Oh no...even the Christian man-god 'Jesus The Christ' deliberately lies in the Bible.

    I suppose it could be argued (not by me btw) that JtC didn't write anything down due to the prevalence of orality over writing in ancient society- which presents yet another problem. How the hell did people who never even met JtC, succeed in writing down, even to the extent of quoting verbatim, what was said half a century earlier? I'm 65 years old and I'm damned if I could quote verbatim what I discussed with my mates during a walk in the park when I was fifteen years old.

    ---------- Post added at 01:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:53 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I mean you haven't proven that any of the 'history' is talking about the same Jesus Christ who performed miracles. Until you can do this, you cannot make the claim that there are ANY historians that spoke that Jesus existed. For all we know, there could have been a man with the same name but didn't perform any miracles; in which case, you most certainly cannot connect the two.
    Exactly! That's why I keep asking 'Which Jesus are you talking about.' We need to ascertain which one. There would probably not be any argument from anyone that an itinerant rabbi was pi**ing off the religious establishment in the 1st century CE. That he was the son of a god who performed amazing miracle and came back to life after being killed is another animal.

    So basically, if Jesus existed and he didn't write anything down first hand, then it pretty much boils down to '... because God'; which is where too many religious arguments end up. This is because the lack of real evidence forces theists into that very corner - it's the equivalent of "I don't know", which would be a better answer in most cases.
    ...and certainly a more honest one - not that there are many theists that interested in honesty when it comes to their 'beliefs'.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; December 30th, 2014 at 06:59 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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  22. #77
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    Um, don't you think that existing would be a minimal requirement for him writing anything at all?

    Besides, if you're going to accept that Jesus existed, then you see where that leads you:

    1. He was too busy! So apparently the deity that created the universe couldn't spare the time to write something down.
    2. Jesus was not literate - the passage is faked. Which again makes no sense if Jesus is a deity.
    3. He has his own reasons, aka '... because God'.

    So basically, if Jesus existed and he didn't write anything down first hand, then it pretty much boils down to '... because God'; which is where too many religious arguments end up. This is because the lack of real evidence forces theists into that very corner - it's the equivalent of "I don't know", which would be a better answer in most cases.
    The OP puts the case forward that if Jesus existed then he should have "written it down". That is the subject of this thread. As a result, arguments regarding the historicity of Jesus are largely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    What actually happened of course is that the OP was used as merely a segway into "Jesus didn't exist", with no supporting argumentation. Like I already mentioned, if you want to discuss the historicity of Jesus, this probably isn't the thread for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo
    I think it could be argued that discussing the existence or non-existence here is relevant. After all, if the non-existence of JtC could be shown, then that would explain why he didn't write anything.
    I disagree for the above-stated reasons. (Welcome to ODN!)

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    The OP puts the case forward that if Jesus existed then he should have "written it down". That is the subject of this thread. As a result, arguments regarding the historicity of Jesus are largely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    What actually happened of course is that the OP was used as merely a segway into "Jesus didn't exist", with no supporting argumentation. Like I already mentioned, if you want to discuss the historicity of Jesus, this probably isn't the thread for it.
    It was inevitable that the thread would progress to a question of existence.

    Q. Why didn't JtC write anything?
    A. Because he didn't exist.....

    Stands to reason!


    (Welcome to ODN!)
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    Jesus is unbelievable!

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo
    It was inevitable that the thread would progress to a question of existence.
    Perhaps you're not catching the distinction. Whether that's a product of me not being clear or on your part, I'll leave for you to discern, but I'll do what I can to clarify:

    The OP introduces what can be classified as an informal, deductive argument in that there are premises that lead to a conclusion / assertion of truth. We agree that the conclusion is "Jesus didn't exist".

    There are major problems however with the premises that lead to that conclusion, which is what others here have already pointed out. The ancillary discussion surrounding the question "Did Jesus exist?" has no impact on nor relevance to the strength or weakness of the OP's argument, as the argument stands or falls on its premises. If we can get past the problems with the premises, then we can revisit the conclusion. At that point the discussion might turn to reasons to doubt the existence of Jesus, but again that is a separate topic altogether from this thread IMO and if you would like to make the case that Jesus did not exist, then start a new thread.

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    The OP puts the case forward that if Jesus existed then he should have "written it down". That is the subject of this thread. As a result, arguments regarding the historicity of Jesus are largely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    What actually happened of course is that the OP was used as merely a segway into "Jesus didn't exist", with no supporting argumentation. Like I already mentioned, if you want to discuss the historicity of Jesus, this probably isn't the thread for it.
    As I pointed out earlier, we had already done that and moved on. All theists have been able to point out here is 'because God'. The point of his existence is also important not least because we actually have three possibilities there:

    1. He didn't exist and therefore couldn't have written anything - he was just a character of sorts.
    2. He did exist but was not literate - the Biblical quote shouldn't be taken as true because it isn't an independent history; the literacy claim is could be on the same level as the miracles claim. Plus the section was exposed as a fake.
    3. He did exist and was literate but 'because God'.

    We've explored the third possibility to its limits since 'because God' does that to discussions. Yes, he's (somehow) "too busy" or "didn't want to" or "other deities didn't" are perfectly valid responses but they are not explanatory responses and merely repeat the OP - we already know there are no direct works from Jesus, we want to know why!

    Jesus' literacy is also dependent upon the Bible, which we now know from Son's work is fraudulent, as is the Josephus reference exposed too as a fraud. And no one has linked that the 'historical Jesus' and the Biblical Jesus are one and the same anyway since no histories provide support for the miracles.

    So we appear to be at where there is no support on Jesus' literacy, which deals with our second option (and my first response, I might add); and we are left the third choice to clean up -- that he didn't exist. Which is the OPs ultimate point if one reads between the lines: why didn't Harry Potter write anything first hand, he was literate and smart and could perform magic - there is no reason why his amazing rise to power, saving the world would have left no personal legacy or wisdom. The only answer to that is that Harry Potter doesn't exist.

    At that point the discussion might turn to reasons to doubt the existence of Jesus, but again that is a separate topic altogether from this thread IMO and if you would like to make the case that Jesus did not exist, then start a new thread.
    And here we are - if you have nothing to add then you should let the discussion take its course - it has already led us to the point because the others have been exhausted. If all theists have here are 'because God' and have no backing for their support for the actual existence of their human/deity then we will have our answer: He didn't exist. Let's see what happens.

    ---------- Post added at 08:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:31 AM ----------

    Exactly! That's why I keep asking 'Which Jesus are you talking about.' We need to ascertain which one. There would probably not be any argument from anyone that an itinerant rabbi was pi**ing off the religious establishment in the 1st century CE. That he was the son of a god who performed amazing miracle and came back to life after being killed is another animal.
    Unfortunately, theists either have to fall back on '...because God' or try and glom onto science or other independent sources to support their claims. It doesn't matter that this itinerant preacher is only noted for annoying the establishment and not his more amazing miracles, it only matters that there is a link between the fiction and reality. It's almost a God of the Gaps retreat, the non-mention of miracles being one such gap: no doubt some enterprising theist will fill it with some 'because God' argument.

    It's also a bit like the 'wedge' arguments such as the "First Cause" wherein a little bit of truth is expanded into proving that God and Jesus exists:

    T: Oh, see, there was a preacher that was hanged -- therefore Virgin Birth, miracles and Resurrection and Fire & Brimstone!
    A: Yes, but there is no mention of those in the histories
    T: Of course there is, the Bible
    A: But the Bible isn't history
    T: Of course it is, it is supported by history, there was a preacher that was hanged -- therefore Virgin Birth, miracles and Resurrection and Fire & Brimestone!



    Which reminds me: @Squatch:

    Your reference to Q has a review that:

    a) Q, that hypothetical source behind the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
    b) Clearly Tuckett believes that Q existed even if there is no actual manuscript evidence for it

    Yet you describe it as if it were real:

    We have the Q source with both Luke and Matthew draw upon
    Please accurately describe your sources and not attempt to give them more credibility than they deserve. You cannot layer hypotheticals on top of hypotheticals in order to prove your case.

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