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Old 19th August 2019, 06:25 AM   #241
IanS
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ian's been asking me both: evidence of a consensus, and evidence for HJ. The latter's outside of what I want to discuss here, and the former has been defined out of existence.



Well, there is some extra-biblical stuff, but not for Jesus directly. In oany case, that we individually are convinced or not about the evidence that exists, weak as it is, is irrelevant to the larger point I'm trying to make.
.


Re. the highlight - actually No!! ... check back and see if you can quote where I have ever asked you to a show a "consensus" ... because I don't think I have never asked you for that!

I am not interested in any "consensus". I am only interested in whether anyone has produced genuine compelling evidence to show Jesus was probably real. That's all.

But because it was you who said real “Historians” exist as what you called “the Experts” in this subject, I asked you to tell us who any of those individuals are and what they were using as their source for evidence sufficient to conclude that Jesus was real. And your response to that has been a total refusal to produce any of it.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:26 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
That's fair enough but you (and others) arrived at the conclusion that it is more likely than not. So it's a legitimate question to ask what sources of information you (and they) have used to reach that conclusion, true?
Yes, but that would send us into a weeks-long discussion and, to be frank, I've participated in numerous threads on the topic before so I know I don't want, right now, to get into it. And the other reason is that I know Ian isn't convinced by said evidence, and we both know what the evidence is, so there's no point in going through it again.

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Correct me if I am wrong, but the whole thing seems to collapse down to the fact that we can be pretty sure Christians existed around the time of Christ and it seems unlikely that they would have existed had there not been some kind of person that sort of fits the bill of Jesus?
That's part of the reasoning, sure. That from what we know of the time and of religions in general, a founder is more likely. More likely, that is, not certain by any means.

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No, we don't. And I just gave an example of where we don't. CAM.
I must've misunderstood your point, then. What's "CAM"?
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:26 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
This is one of the lines of reasoning for why Jesus probably existed. The Gospels are so clearly written to make seem like Jesus was fulfilling prophecy. If he were just fictional, it would have been a lot more....cohesive story. Things like the trip to Bethleham and the Roman census are mean to shoe horn a Nazerene into the old testament prophecies. If you were just going to make it up, you'd start with a family from Bethleham. There's some other stuff like that off course.
This is the kind of analysis that I find problematic as it is just guesswork about what a writer would do and nothing more. I mean you could just as easily argue that a clever writer would make it incoherent so as to make it appear not to have been faked.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:28 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post


I must've misunderstood your point, then. What's "CAM"?
Ah sorry that might be the confusion. Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:28 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
I am not interested in any "consensus".
Well, that's very unfortunate because that was the crux of my whole purpose here.

Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
This is one of the lines of reasoning for why Jesus probably existed. The Gospels are so clearly written to make seem like Jesus was fulfilling prophecy. If he were just fictional, it would have been a lot more....cohesive story. Things like the trip to Bethleham and the Roman census are mean to shoe horn a Nazerene into the old testament prophecies. If you were just going to make it up, you'd start with a family from Bethleham. There's some other stuff like that off course.
There's a school of thought that Jesus was first a mythical being who was then made into a man and then back into God incarnate. While that's certainly possible, we don't even have a narrative for that, and Occam makes short work of that hypothesis as a consequence.

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Re. the highlight - actually No!! ... check back and see if you can quote where I have ever asked you to a show a "consensus" ... because I don't think I have never asked you for that!
May have confused you with Yuppy.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:36 AM   #246
Archie Gemmill Goal
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post

That's part of the reasoning, sure. That from what we know of the time and of religions in general, a founder is more likely. More likely, that is, not certain by any means.
Is this true?

I mean we know there are Jews but we are fairly certain that there is no Moses, Abraham, etc

And how is this any different than saying that we know a historical Sherlock Holmes existed because there were detectives in London around 1900
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:38 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Ah sorry that might be the confusion. Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Ah, gotcha. Well, in this case we have other experts in the same fields telling us that CAM is wrong. It's not like you and I made the double-blind tests or anything. What other historical experts are contesting the HJ hypothesis?

Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
This is the kind of analysis that I find problematic as it is just guesswork about what a writer would do and nothing more. I mean you could just as easily argue that a clever writer would make it incoherent so as to make it appear not to have been faked.
Yeah but that's also guesswork that the writer would know what would be credible to historians 2000 years later. I think that in some cases, some of the things in the stories make more sense if there was an underlying truth to them. An obvious example is the birth in Bethlehem, and another is Paul's claim of clashing with the disciples over dogma. There's little reason for those twists in the story unless there was something already present at the time that the story's trying to match with.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:39 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Is this true?
I can only speak for myself, here.

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I mean we know there are Jews but we are fairly certain that there is no Moses, Abraham, etc
Do we? There are no writings from that time.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:47 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
First of all: inadmissible according to who?

Also:
Do you think that people who have spent decades studying and working professionally in a field know better than you or I what constitutes evidence in favour or against a hypothesis relating to that field?

"Inadmissible" to any neutral honest objective observer. Because the bible is discredited throughout by it's constant claims of the witnesses confirming all manner of impossible miracles.

Are you seriously trying to claim that the bible is a credible source of reliable factual evidence for the life of Jesus??

It took nearly 2000 years after the time of Jesus, before the advent/development of science got to the point of showing beyond all credible doubt that such miracles are simply untrue myth ... and the problem with the bible is that the people cited there as the witnesses to all that Jesus ever did, are the ones who are so totally unreliable as to have been making claims of constantly witnessing the impossible miracles. That makes all the gospels inadmissible by virtue of being proved to be filled from end-to-end with untrue accounts of Jesus.

Do you want me to explain to you yet again why the letters of Paul are also not admissible as evidence of a real living Jesus ever known to Paul or known to anyone else named in those Pauline Epistles?
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:53 AM   #250
Archie Gemmill Goal
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ah, gotcha. Well, in this case we have other experts in the same fields telling us that CAM is wrong. It's not like you and I made the double-blind tests or anything. What other historical experts are contesting the HJ hypothesis?
Well we have other experts in different fields. But there are many doctors who will concur that CAM works also. And by the methods of CAM and the experts within the field it possibly does. But we agree that we don't think those methods are credible and we have the double-blind test to provide a better method.

Is there a double-blind equivalent for the HJ hypothesis? I don't think there is.

And as I said earlier, yes I think the fact that there aren't many historians contesting the HJ hypothesis does suggest that at least there is no strong objection to it. But it could be also that they don't care.


Quote:
Yeah but that's also guesswork that the writer would know what would be credible to historians 2000 years later. I think that in some cases, some of the things in the stories make more sense if there was an underlying truth to them. An obvious example is the birth in Bethlehem, and another is Paul's claim of clashing with the disciples over dogma. There's little reason for those twists in the story unless there was something already present at the time that the story's trying to match with.
Yes, it's guesswork. But I think when you have competing sets of guesswork the correct conclusion is 'we don't know' rather than 'this guess seems more plausible to me'
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:55 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well, that's very unfortunate because that was the crux of my whole purpose here.

Well then perhaps you'd like to apologise to me!? Because as you now realise, I have never asked you (or anyone else) for, or about, any such "consensus", and you have spent the last however many pages trying to berate me for something that you now realise I have never said or done at all !!
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Old 19th August 2019, 07:01 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post

But we don't just accept the word of experts in other fields. I can find you a consensus of CAM experts to tell you it works and you won't believe them either. I think it's legitimate in that case to ask 'hmm... what do actual doctors think rather than those with a vested interest in the conclusion?' so when it comes to HJ I think its also valid to ask 'what do actual historians think rather than Theologians?'

If the response to the enquiry on CAM was 'why are you ignoring the consensus of the CAM experts in the field? You are defining away their expertise' would you take it seriously as a legitimate counter?
There's a fundamental difference. CAM practice interferes with regulated medicine. The theme of the historical Jesus functions outside the circuits of ancient history (to mention the closest part of normal history). And I tell you this because I know something about ancient history and the "historical Jesus". Do you think it would take a special branch of the history of Rome and specialized faculties to study the "historical Julius Caesar"? Just saying it sounds like laughter.

And, of course, the issue of consensus on the historical Jesus is almost an obligatory argument in articles and books about "it". It is something similar to the subject of the historicity of David's Kingdom. Historians who hold the sacred book in one hand and pretend to make history with the other. History and religion mixed. Bad marriage.

Therefore, if the skeptics of the historical Jesus bring up the issue of what an authentic historian is, it is because historian-theologians wield the supposed consensus as irrefutable argument. We act in self-defense.

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Old 19th August 2019, 07:06 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
"Inadmissible" to any neutral honest objective observer.
Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. Who determines what is admissible or not? Are you a neutral, honest and objective observer? Are any of us? If not, perhaps a body of experts on the subject of history would be better suited, no? That way their opinions would be averaged out.

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Are you seriously trying to claim that the bible is a credible source of reliable factual evidence for the life of Jesus??
Didn't you ask me that question yesterday? Did I not respond in the negative? Did I not point out that this is a misrepresentation of what constitutes evidence for HJ? So why do you ask again?
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Old 19th August 2019, 07:08 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Well then perhaps you'd like to apologise to me!? Because as you now realise, I have never asked you (or anyone else) for, or about, any such "consensus"
Some day you'll have to explain why you get so excited by such an academic discussion. It's like you have high stakes in it.

I already said that I probably had you confused with Yuppy. That's retraction enough.

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you have spent the last however many pages trying to berate me for something that you now realise I have never said or done at all !!
I _once_ stated this. That doesn't constitute many pages. Why misrepresent the facts?
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Old 19th August 2019, 07:11 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Well we have other experts in different fields. But there are many doctors who will concur that CAM works also.
Yes, but what is the general consensus of doctors and health pros on this?

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Is there a double-blind equivalent for the HJ hypothesis?
That... that wasn't my point. The point was that you and I are not knowledgeable much in the field of medecine. As such we might not recognise things that the experts see as evidence.

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Yes, it's guesswork. But I think when you have competing sets of guesswork the correct conclusion is 'we don't know' rather than 'this guess seems more plausible to me'
As stated earlier, history doesn't work like the hard sciences.
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Old 19th August 2019, 07:36 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, but that would send us into a weeks-long discussion and, to be frank, I've participated in numerous threads on the topic before so I know I don't want, right now, to get into it. And the other reason is that I know Ian isn't convinced by said evidence and we both know what the evidence is, so there's no point in going through it again.

I don't think you are “convinced by the said evidence” either, are you?

Rather, I expect you are probably taking the view that whilst no individual argument or piece of evidence is really “convincing”, nevertheless you find some of it (probably just a tiny minority of it?) that sounds credible as a description of a real person (i.e. Jesus), actually known to some of these biblical figures, is that right?

For example, see your following in reply to Archie Gemmill -

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post

Correct me if I am wrong, but the whole thing seems to collapse down to the fact that we can be pretty sure Christians existed around the time of Christ and it seems unlikely that they would have existed had there not been some kind of person that sort of fits the bill of Jesus?

That's part of the reasoning, sure. That from what we know of the time and of religions in general, a founder is more likely. More likely, that is, not certain by any means.

Here (above) you are not so much saying that there is anything actually “convincing”, but that you are really saying that you cannot think of a better explanation for the existence of people that came to be called “Christians” unless there was really a person such as Jesus as the founder, right? That's what your reply to Archie says there.

But, that (as I pointed out to Scorpion before), is a type of logical fallacy known as “The Argument from Incredulity”. That is – it's a known fallacious, i.e. mistaken and invalid argument, to say that just because you can't think of a better explanation, therefore you decide it's true that a real person was needed in order for people to form a religious group that were later called “Christians”.

And the reason that such arguments are a fallacy, is because there are numerous ways in which such religious groups could form around the idea of a completely mythical deity.

Do you want me to set those out for you? Can you not easily think of them yourself?

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Old 19th August 2019, 08:15 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
I don't think you are “convinced by the said evidence” either, are you?
I'm leaning towards bare historicity i.e. that a person or persons were the inspiration for the story, based on the sum total of what we know about said story, the period, the people, religion in general, humans, etc. You find that no credible evidence exists for that. Fair?

Quote:
But, that (as I pointed out to Scorpion before), is a type of logical fallacy known as “The Argument from Incredulity”. That is – it's a known fallacious, i.e. mistaken and invalid argument, to say that just because you can't think of a better explanation, therefore you decide it's true that a real person was needed in order for people to form a religious group that were later called “Christians”.
That's not really what the fallacy is about, however. Regardless, it's not that I can't find a better explanation -- after all, it's not for me to determine what explanations there may be -- but rather than it's the explanation that, to me, best fits the facts, if only by a relatively small margin.

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And the reason that such arguments are a fallacy, is because there are numerous ways in which such religious groups could form around the idea of a completely mythical deity.
I find that they are not all equally likely.
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Old 19th August 2019, 08:28 AM   #258
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The study of ancient history is actually bloody difficult: you have very sparse sources, you need to understand long dead languages often in very damaged forms and you have to use a very sophisticated methodology combining many specialities and fields of study. If you read papers and books on any particular ancient subject you will amazed at the skill and learning of historians. The scholarly consensus - as well as the common sense Occamist view - is that the mythological biblical Jesus is based on an actual charismatic preacher of whose real life and deeds very little is known. We mostly know the legend, not the life. I really wonder at the various amateurs who want to insist otherwise - I think they have somewhat irrational and unacademic motivations.
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:41 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I already said that 60% was NOT a hard figure arrived via calculations but just an expression of how my I leant towards that conclusion. Please don't give the impression that it means anything more. Hell, even acbytestla, who disagrees with me on this issue, is at 70%.
Yea, but admittedly I pulled that figure from my ass. There really is no way to set a probability. What we know is there are writings about someone named Jesus and nothing more.
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:45 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Yea, but admittedly I pulled that figure from my ass.
So did I. From my ass, I mean, not yours. Which is why I find it odd that it's brought up as if it were a hard number.
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:46 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
I really wonder at the various amateurs who want to insist otherwise - I think they have somewhat irrational and unacademic motivations.
With respect to said posters, I think perhaps they are trying to hold historians to the same threshold of certainty as scientists are, perhaps an artifact of their tenure on this forum and a force of habit. But the two disciplines are simply not the same.
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Old 19th August 2019, 10:20 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
The study of ancient history is actually bloody difficult: you have very sparse sources, you need to understand long dead languages often in very damaged forms and you have to use a very sophisticated methodology combining many specialities and fields of study. If you read papers and books on any particular ancient subject you will amazed at the skill and learning of historians. The scholarly consensus - as well as the common sense Occamist view - is that the mythological biblical Jesus is based on an actual charismatic preacher of whose real life and deeds very little is known. We mostly know the legend, not the life. I really wonder at the various amateurs who want to insist otherwise - I think they have somewhat irrational and unacademic motivations.
Says you.

Yes the study of ancient history is bloody difficult. The argument that the scholarly consensus which can never be separated from the religious consensus is mostly an ad populum or an appeal to an authority fallacy.

I've seen lots of innocent people go to jail based on far more persuasive evidence than what there is for a historical preacher named Jesus. I find it risible that people think that manuscripts by Tacitus and Josephus written 50 to 100 years later is credible. They are only credible in the sense that they were aware of stories about a Jesus figure.

I'd argue that the historicity of Jesus would have extreme difficulty passing a civil court room standard let alone a criminal standard.
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Old 19th August 2019, 10:22 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
OK, well firstly you do not need to lecture me about how academia works. I've spent a lifetime in academia as a theoretical physicist, so I'm well aware of what academia is like from the inside thank you.
You might be aware of how the academic side of theoretical physics works, but you just made it even more obvious that you don't understand how humanities works. I mean, your whole response to me was just repeating assertions I already told you were wrong and acting like that makes them even more valid. Because there's no point in replying to that with repeating myself when you don't want to listen, I won't.

I'm with Belz on this: the anti-academic posters in this thread really seem to be ignorant of how studies of humanities and ancient history operate, and are making the mistake of trying to apply scientific certainty in a place where it doesn't apply. It also looks like that might have a lot to do with the kid of bias they're accusing the biblical scholars of.
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Old 19th August 2019, 10:35 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
With respect to said posters, I think perhaps they are trying to hold historians to the same threshold of certainty as scientists are, perhaps an artifact of their tenure on this forum and a force of habit. But the two disciplines are simply not the same.
I don't think you can hold them to the same standards. And for that very reason, you have to take historians findings far more skeptically. And I believe the religious implications complicates the matter much more.
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Old 19th August 2019, 11:09 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I don't think you can hold them to the same standards. And for that very reason, you have to take historians findings far more skeptically.
Or, alternatively, you hold them to a different standard.
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Old 19th August 2019, 11:36 AM   #266
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according to the superior spirits ... Jesus really existed ... he is the spiritual ruler of the earth!
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Old 19th August 2019, 11:46 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
according to the superior spirits ... Jesus really existed ... he is the spiritual ruler of the earth!
Sorry, I'm going to have to ask you for the superior spirits' expertise on these matters. Who are they, and what are their credentials? Have they published anything on the matter in peer-reviewed works?
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Old 19th August 2019, 11:46 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
according to the superior spirits ... Jesus really existed ... he is the spiritual ruler of the earth!
Did the spirits make you yawn or make your finger twitch and that's how you know Jesus is the spiritual ruler of the earth?
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Old 19th August 2019, 12:05 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Says you.

Yes the study of ancient history is bloody difficult. The argument that the scholarly consensus which can never be separated from the religious consensus is mostly an ad populum or an appeal to an authority fallacy.

I've seen lots of innocent people go to jail based on far more persuasive evidence than what there is for a historical preacher named Jesus. I find it risible that people think that manuscripts by Tacitus and Josephus written 50 to 100 years later is credible. They are only credible in the sense that they were aware of stories about a Jesus figure.

I'd argue that the historicity of Jesus would have extreme difficulty passing a civil court room standard let alone a criminal standard.

.. and as I have pointed out previously, there is more evidence for the existence of Robin Hood than there is of Jesus Christ. At least in the former, we have contemporaneous writings and official documents pertaining to the man who is thought to be the basis for the legend, the outlaw Roger Godberd, who, with his fugitive accomplices, lived in Sherwood Forest for four years defying the authorities before he was caught by Reginald de Grey (the Sheriff of Nottingham) in 1272. Godberd was tried and found guilty, but immediately pardoned by King Edward I in 1274 on the king's return from the 8th Crusade.

We have no such contemporaneous documentary evidence for HJ or anyone he might be based on. All we have is later writings using unreliable oral legends as their only sources.

http://theconversation.com/weighing-...al-jesus-35319
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Old 19th August 2019, 12:11 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Or, alternatively, you hold them to a different standard.
I'm not sure what that means. My issue with this argument is where and how do you begin? And how you can have confidence in the standard?

On one hand, it doesn't matter if there was a flesh and blood Jesus. It doesn't mean this person performed miracles or that he was divine.

But it matters very much if there wasn't a Jesus because that would destroy a 2000 year old religion. And there is a question here about the value of study and scholarship. I hold these scholars with great respect. But I seriously doubt their abilities is separating history and legend.

Nobody argues that Caligula or Augustus or Marcus Aurelius were actual people. But these were Emperors of Rome. JC was a peasant carpenter. No royal scribe was writing about him. But we also don't really care if these other historical figures were real or not.

The historicity problem with all events and people are complicated by politics and biases. We see history being rewritten all the time. Even current events are constantly being spun so much it's challenging to separate fact from fiction.

My guess is propaganda wasn't invented in the 20th century.
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Old 19th August 2019, 12:17 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
according to the superior spirits ... Jesus really existed ... he is the spiritual ruler of the earth!
Would those superior spirits be Wild Turkey or Jack Daniels?
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Old 19th August 2019, 12:22 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm not sure what that means.
Literally what it means: that evidence in a historical academic setting is not the same thing as it is in a scientific one; idem for the threshold for a conclusion; idem for a consensus; idem for skepticism.

Quote:
My issue with this argument is where and how do you begin? And how you can have confidence in the standard?
I suggest we ask historians on this. Oh, right!

Quote:
On one hand, it doesn't matter if there was a flesh and blood Jesus. It doesn't mean this person performed miracles or that he was divine.
Exactly! This is why I don't understand why the suggestion bothers some people so much.
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Old 19th August 2019, 12:30 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Would those superior spirits be Wild Turkey or Jack Daniels?
Neither.... Famous Grouse!
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Old 19th August 2019, 12:47 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Literally what it means: that evidence in a historical academic setting is not the same thing as it is in a scientific one; idem for the threshold for a conclusion; idem for a consensus; idem for skepticism.
That didn't help.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I suggest we ask historians on this. Oh, right!
And how exactly would that help?

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Exactly! This is why I don't understand why the suggestion bothers some people so much.
It doesn't bother me. But what I don't care for is the arrogance in the certainty that many have in it's historicity. Based on the evidence I've seen, such certainty is risible.
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Old 19th August 2019, 02:32 PM   #275
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criter..._embarrassment

One of several examples to demonstrate that the techniques employed by Bible Scholars are not those employed in general across historians. It's a hermeneutic technique primarily applied by Bible Scholars.

Quote:
The crucifixion of Jesus is an example of an event that meets the criterion of embarrassment. This method of execution was considered the most shameful and degrading in the Roman world, and advocates of the criterion claim this method of execution is therefore the least likely to have been invented by the followers of Jesus.
Now how ******* stupid is that? To match the so called prophecies he had to be oppressed/betrayed/defeated/executed in an embarrassing way.

https://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/...christ-faq.htm
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Old 19th August 2019, 03:57 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criter..._embarrassment

One of several examples to demonstrate that the techniques employed by Bible Scholars are not those employed in general across historians. It's a hermeneutic technique primarily applied by Bible Scholars.


Now how ******* stupid is that? To match the so called prophecies he had to be oppressed/betrayed/defeated/executed in an embarrassing way.

https://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/...christ-faq.htm
I think you'll find, if you look at Jewish sources as opposed to Christian apologetics, that prophecies of a "Messiah" were about a great leader who would unite the Jewish people and rule as a great leader. The "Suffering Messiah" is a later Christian invention based on Paul's idea of a "Spiritual Messiah". Like the "virgin birth" and other things, it turns out that these "Prophecies" were not part of Jewish belief regarding the Messiah.

Even so, where are all the Jewish Scholars jumping up and down about the non-existence of Jesus? They should be easy to find if the HJ was just a product of biased Christian apologetics.

As pointed out by others, the methods Historians use to determine the historicity of ancient individuals are the same for Jesus as for anyone else. Things like the number of sources, their proximity to his lifetime, the cultural context, etc etc, all lead to the conclusion that a HJ is more likely than not. That's as good as it usually gets in Ancient History. It is almost never 100% certain about anyone or anything.

If you want to change the way Historians study the ancient world, have at it. I look forward to the day when everything in Ancient History is known with 100% certainty. What are you waiting for? Glory awaits the great History reformers!

ETA: After about two seconds of googling I found this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grant_(classicist) a bona fide Historian who had no problem with the HJ. He even wrote a book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1755805.Jesus
Quote:
...Michael Grant looks at these Gospels with an historian's eye, treating them in exactly the same way as he would any other works of ancient literature capable of yielding historical information. The picture of Jesus which emerges is in some respects a new and unfamiliar one...

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Old 19th August 2019, 04:12 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I think you'll find, if you look at Jewish sources as opposed to Christian apologetics, that prophecies of a "Messiah" were about a great leader who would unite the Jewish people and rule as a great leader. The "Suffering Messiah" is a later Christian invention based on Paul's idea of a "Spiritual Messiah". Like the "virgin birth" and other things, it turns out that these "Prophecies" were not part of Jewish belief regarding the Messiah.
Who cares? The point is that the story appeals to a couple billion people so the justification of embarrassment is total crap.

Quote:

Even so, where are all the Jewish Scholars jumping up and down about the non-existence of Jesus? They should be easy to find if the HJ was just a product of biased Christian apologetics.

I don't see what this has to do with anything I said.


Quote:
As pointed out by others, the methods Historians use to determine the historicity of ancient individuals are the same for Jesus as for anyone else.
As claimed by others. I just showed otherwise. Biblical scholars employ techniques not generally used by historians at large.

Quote:
Things like the number of sources, their proximity to his lifetime, the cultural context, etc etc, all lead to the conclusion that a HJ is more likely than not. That's as good as it usually gets in Ancient History. It is almost never 100% certain about anyone or anything.

Yes, I agree on that. But most of aren't talking about historians who leave it at that. We're talking about the people who claim certainty based on dubious techniques.

Quote:

If you want to change the way Historians study the ancient world, have at it. I look forward to the day when everything in Ancient History is known with 100% certainty. What are you waiting for? Glory awaits the great History reformers!
Could you please get a clue what the conversation is about.
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Old 19th August 2019, 04:30 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Who cares? The point is that the story appeals to a couple billion people so the justification of embarrassment is total crap.




I don't see what this has to do with anything I said.



As claimed by others. I just showed otherwise. Biblical scholars employ techniques not generally used by historians at large.

Yes, I agree on that. But most of aren't talking about historians who leave it at that. We're talking about the people who claim certainty based on dubious techniques.

Could you please get a clue what the conversation is about.
I know what the conversation is about. It is about the spurious idea that only Christian Theologians think HJ existed.

See my ETA above about Michael Grant, just one example of an actual Historian who wrote extensively about HJ (amongst other things).
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Old 19th August 2019, 05:47 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I know what the conversation is about. It is about the spurious idea that only Christian Theologians think HJ existed.

See my ETA above about Michael Grant, just one example of an actual Historian who wrote extensively about HJ (amongst other things).
I DON'T recall anyone saying anything remotely like what you're saying. Bart Ehrman is an atheist and he's been referenced many times.

I also think it can not be denied that a successful fabrication is going to resemble to at least some degree a real person.

Grant makes the following remark about the historicity of Jesus.

Quote:
..if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned.
My response would be, "so"? There is a reason no one questions very much the historicity of pagan historical figures. They are not extraordinary. OTOH, EVERYTHING about Jesus is extraordinary. Most of us in this forum don't believe the supernatural claims about Jesus. If that is a fabrication, why it wrong to doubt it all? Yes, it can be a gross exaggeration about a historical figure. But I don't see how it's really any harder to make the entire story out of whole cloth.

The personage of Jesus is integral to the whole con. I was listening to the Atheist Experience yesterday and the caller was convinced because of details in the resurrection story that it must be true. I laughed about this because it demonstrates that his logic is flawed or he doesn't read much. The best stories and novels are filled with details. It doesn't make the story true. Whether it is Dickens and the Tale of Two Cities or Clancy and The Hunt for Red October, it is the details wove into the story that makes it interesting and somewhat believable.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:23 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I DON'T recall anyone saying anything remotely like what you're saying. Bart Ehrman is an atheist and he's been referenced many times.

I also think it can not be denied that a successful fabrication is going to resemble to at least some degree a real person.

Grant makes the following remark about the historicity of Jesus.



My response would be, "so"? There is a reason no one questions very much the historicity of pagan historical figures. They are not extraordinary. OTOH, EVERYTHING about Jesus is extraordinary. Most of us in this forum don't believe the supernatural claims about Jesus. If that is a fabrication, why it wrong to doubt it all? Yes, it can be a gross exaggeration about a historical figure. But I don't see how it's really any harder to make the entire story out of whole cloth.
The problem is that nothing about the HJ is extraordinary. What would be extraordinary is the non-existence of such a figure, given what we know about early Xtianity.

Lets start with Paul's letters. Paul spends a lot of time talking about the "Church" in Jerusalem and its leadership with whom he disagrees. Did Paul invent these people? He says he used to persecute them, then had an epiphany and started preaching his "Christ Jesus" which was apparently in conflict with the teachings that the Jerusalem group were following. According to Paul that Jerusalem group was comprised of people who knew the flesh and blood Jesus. Paul claims that he knows Jesus better because he had a vision. Personally I think Paul was full of crap, but we can glean facts about the existence of a group of Jewish Jesus followers by reading Paul's rants against them.

We have seen (in other threads on this topic) people argue that Paul never existed, that the whole thing was forged centuries later, but that view is not shared by many...

Quote:
The personage of Jesus is integral to the whole con. I was listening to the Atheist Experience yesterday and the caller was convinced because of details in the resurrection story that it must be true. I laughed about this because it demonstrates that his logic is flawed or he doesn't read much. The best stories and novels are filled with details. It doesn't make the story true. Whether it is Dickens and the Tale of Two Cities or Clancy and The Hunt for Red October, it is the details wove into the story that makes it interesting and somewhat believable.
The fact that Jesus became central to a later religion based on Greco-Roman ideas of demi-gods, heaven and hell, magical virgins etc, says nothing about whether or not a HJ existed. You appear to be arguing against the consequences here.
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