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Old 19th August 2019, 06:47 PM   #281
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
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.
You're kidding, right? Walking on water? Feeding four thousand people with a couple of fishes? Resurrection? Being divine and the son of god?

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
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...
So? A good story teller weaves all kinds of details into his story. That Paul might write disagreements with others into his story doesn't mean that the story was true. Keep in mind that Paul cannot speak with any authority that there was a Jesus. Also, how do you know that Paul didn't coopt a fictional story?

I'm not saying there wasn't a flesh and blood Jesus. Only that concluding with certainty that there was seems like a gross exaggeration.
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Old 19th August 2019, 06:57 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You're kidding, right? Walking on water? Feeding four thousand people with a couple of fishes? Resurrection? Being divine and the son of god?
That would be the gospel Jesus, not the Historical Jesus.

Quote:
So? A good story teller weaves all kinds of details into his story. That Paul might write disagreements with others into his story doesn't mean that the story was true. Keep in mind that Paul cannot speak with any authority that there was a Jesus. Also, how do you know that Paul didn't coopt a fictional story?

I'm not saying there wasn't a flesh and blood Jesus. Only that concluding with certainty that there was seems like a gross exaggeration.
I guess this goes back to what Belz... has been arguing about how people so easily dismiss the professional opinions of experts in this field. I cited Michael Grant, a highly qualified and respected expert on Ancient History who wrote about the HJ, but yet you feel confident enough to disregard him on this topic.

Do you dismiss his work on any other aspect of Ancient History? If so why? IF not, why do you think you can dismiss him here?
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Old 19th August 2019, 07:09 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
That would be the gospel Jesus, not the Historical Jesus.
They're the same ******* person on paper.

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I guess this goes back to what Belz... has been arguing about how people so easily dismiss the professional opinions of experts in this field. I cited Michael Grant, a highly qualified and respected expert on Ancient History who wrote about the HJ, but yet you feel confident enough to disregard him on this topic.

Do you dismiss his work on any other aspect of Ancient History? If so why? IF not, why do you think you can dismiss him here?
I'm not dismissing him. I am just disagreeing that the historical standard for someone with all these mythological attributes should be evaluated the same as ordinary individuals.

I've made it clear that I think Ancient Historians have close to an impossible job determining the accuracy of the history they write about.
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Old 19th August 2019, 07:29 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
They're the same ******* person on paper.
Not to Historians.

Quote:
I'm not dismissing him. I am just disagreeing that the historical standard for someone with all these mythological attributes should be evaluated the same as ordinary individuals.
I'm pretty sure that people who study Ancient History professionally are aware of this problem. In fact, I think you will find that there were plenty of "ordinary individuals" about whom some pretty outrageous things were written.

Quote:
I've made it clear that I think Ancient Historians have close to an impossible job determining the accuracy of the history they write about.
And yet the academic discipline of the study of Ancient History continues in spite of your objections. Maybe these Ancient Historians know a bit more than you or I about the subject...
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Old 19th August 2019, 07:48 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I'm pretty sure that people who study Ancient History professionally are aware of this problem. In fact, I think you will find that there were plenty of "ordinary individuals" about whom some pretty outrageous things were written.
So? Let's say they conclude that some of these ordinary people were real, but who weren't. Who's going to care? If it wasn't Jesus, everyone would be yawning.

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
And yet the academic discipline of the study of Ancient History continues in spite of your objections. Maybe these Ancient Historians know a bit more than you or I about the subject...
I'm not objecting and I'm sure they do. That doesn't make it any less difficult to separate fact from fiction based on maybe a dozen writings about events and people decades later.
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Old 19th August 2019, 08:50 PM   #286
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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).

Oh my God! Michael Grant! That's a whole freaking person! That's makes four now! Since there are only six people thinking out Jesus that means there really is a consensus!
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Old 19th August 2019, 08:59 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
We see history being rewritten all the time.
That's a common cliche but it's actually not true. Mostly we get small additions to existing scholarship. Publishers have to promote and new historians have to get their name out, but once you actually read the stuff, there very rarely are major additions to our understanding of big events. The basic events and the motivations of major actors have been known for a long time concerning for example both world wars or decolonization or the French, American and Soviet revolutions etc.

Belz made a good point about different methods and standards for natural science and study of history. To mind my that is unfortunate, as in principle both deal with the material world (of which humanity is a part) - maybe we can build testable models once true AI is developed and computers get way more powerful. But it seems that the amateurs here think that if we can't use the methods and criterions of natural science in the study of history, and especially in the study of antiquity, that it means that there are NO methods and criterions at all, that any random person is as qualified as distinguished and professional historians. And that is ridiculously and embarrasingly mistaken.
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:40 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Oh my God! Michael Grant! That's a whole freaking person! That's makes four now! Since there are only six people thinking out Jesus that means there really is a consensus!
And it took me all of two seconds to find him. Imagine if I'd been looking for years...

Do you see hundreds of Ancient Historians disagreeing with him? Because if there was anything controversial or unsupportable in his book there would be plenty of ambitious Academics out there making a name for themselves by tearing him down. Has that happened? The book was published in 1977, plenty of time for someone to publish a rebuttal.

Why are the only people who disagree with the HJ non-Historians?

Can you answer any of these questions?
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Old 19th August 2019, 09:44 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
So? Let's say they conclude that some of these ordinary people were real, but who weren't. Who's going to care? If it wasn't Jesus, everyone would be yawning.



I'm not objecting and I'm sure they do. That doesn't make it any less difficult to separate fact from fiction based on maybe a dozen writings about events and people decades later.
Of course it is difficult, that's why it takes years to learn how to be a Historian. It requires years of study to grasp the subject.

Googling "Richard Carrier" or "Jesus Myth" is not the same as getting a degree in History.
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Old 19th August 2019, 10:11 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
That's a common cliche but it's actually not true. Mostly we get small additions to existing scholarship. Publishers have to promote and new historians have to get their name out, but once you actually read the stuff, there very rarely are major additions to our understanding of big events. The basic events and the motivations of major actors have been known for a long time concerning for example both world wars or decolonization or the French, American and Soviet revolutions etc.

Belz made a good point about different methods and standards for natural science and study of history. To mind my that is unfortunate, as in principle both deal with the material world (of which humanity is a part) - maybe we can build testable models once true AI is developed and computers get way more powerful. But it seems that the amateurs here think that if we can't use the methods and criterions of natural science in the study of history, and especially in the study of antiquity, that it means that there are NO methods and criterions at all, that any random person is as qualified as distinguished and professional historians. And that is ridiculously and embarrasingly mistaken.
Basically you are right but that does not imply that the historian of antiquity does not have to be cautious with his sources. In general, academic history -- I'm not talking about the one that makes bestsellers -- tends to agree that authenticating particular facts is very difficult. Today, ancient historians tend to add "according to Diogenes Laertius" or "according to Plutarch" and move on to social and cultural movements, which offer more to hold on to. Therefore, the history of the "historical Jesus" sounds quite archaic in terms of methodology and object.
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Old 19th August 2019, 10:12 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
And it took me all of two seconds to find him. Imagine if I'd been looking for years...

Do you see hundreds of Ancient Historians disagreeing with him? Because if there was anything controversial or unsupportable in his book there would be plenty of ambitious Academics out there making a name for themselves by tearing him down. Has that happened? The book was published in 1977, plenty of time for someone to publish a rebuttal.

Why are the only people who disagree with the HJ non-Historians?

Can you answer any of these questions?
None of this has any relevance to anything I care about.
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Old 19th August 2019, 10:33 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
None of this has any relevance to anything I care about.
How about our very own Nick Terry?

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4#post11612554

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...2#post11616332

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...5#post11619195

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1#post11618151

Goes into quite some detail about the "Historical Method".
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Old 20th August 2019, 12:16 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I'm sure you would. The question is what would you consider as evidence, or rather, why you disagree on what constitutes evidence with either myself or the (so-called) experts on the matter?


Well it's actually not a reasonable request to ask any sceptics what they would propose as counting for credible evidence. Because you are then requiring them to invent a situation that did not exist, and where you can then poke holes in any invented scenario like that. It's also an attempt to reverse the burden of proof, which undoubtedly lays here with those who claim to have sufficient evidence to show reality for Jesus ...

... burden here is upon those who say that the evidence does exist to Jesus was probably real.

All that the sceptics have to do, the only burden they carry, is to explain why they are sceptical of the evidence that's been proposed by the "expert" believers.

And we have explained many times why the claimed evidence falls far short of what is required.

The bible is not credible (and therefore inadmissible) as reliable evidence, because it's every mention of Jesus is either to claim a miracle (where at that time everyone did believe that such miracles were a daily occurance, but where 2000 years later it has finally been shown by science that such miracle claims were only ever untrue myth-making), or else a setting of a story which then leads up to either a miracle performed by Jesus or else some miraculous prophetic insight produced by Jesus ... in the gospels there is really nothing about Jesus which is other than a claim of the miraculous ... and that constant repeating of lies in every mention of Jesus renders the gospels totally inadmissible as credible evidence for what it says about Jesus ...

... that leaves the letters of Paul. But in those letters Paul makes very clear indeed that he had never met any such living person as Jesus. And when he talks about any other people who had "met" Jesus, he only ever says that they had "met" Jesus as a spiritual religious vision in the skies! And that, by the way, included "James" (the "Lords brother") who also was only ever said to have known Jesus from a religious vision. So there is no evidence in those letters of anyone who had ever met a real Jesus. In fact to the contrary, the letters explicitly emphasise that all of the believers, believed because they had known Jesus from their religious visions.

As for Tacitus and Josephus ... we have been over some of that here, and those two sources are absolutely absurd as claims to show any evidence for anyone there ever knowing Jesus.

And apart from that, all other mention of anything to do with Jesus, is actually far weaker even than Tacitus, Josephus, or the Bible!

So that leaves, what? Well, frankly, if we are to be honest about it, it leaves nothing remotely credible at all.
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Old 20th August 2019, 12:16 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
None of this has any relevance to anything I care about.
I'll take that as a "No".
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Old 20th August 2019, 12:33 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
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.

The answer is that anyone who looks closely at the claimed evidence can decide if that evidence is admissable or not.

And you just said (it's quoted directly below) that you had (already) agreed that the bible is not credible as evidence for Jesus. But that is what your experts are presenting as their evidence!

The people you have claimed as "experts" are Bible Scholars like Bart Ehrman, E.P.Sanders., J.D. Crossan, and they ARE presenting the bible as by FAR their main source of evidence (in fact, even their tiny few non-biblical sources almost certainly also derive from the bible!) ...

... so you are really now defeating your own question/position here by (a) agreeing that bible is not credible as evidence for Jesus, but where (b) the people you claim as experts ARE relying almost 100% of the Bible!



Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
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?


Well I just covered that question above - I don't recall where you already agreed that the Bible is not credible for Jesus. But if you agree to that, then you are really forced to agree that there is no other credible evidence for Jesus ... because the few miniscule mentions in a non-biblical writing, almost certainly are themselves using the bible as their source (or using the biblical preaching by Christians of the time).
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Old 20th August 2019, 12:41 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
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?


If you are claiming that it might be multiple "persons" that constitute Jesus, then that is not a claim of Jesus as any actual real person.

Multiple different persons, none of whom you know anything at all about, is not a claim for a historical Jesus.
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Old 20th August 2019, 02:41 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
That didn't help.
Because it's not clear or for some other reason?

Quote:
And how exactly would that help?
As stated prior, professionals are usually pretty good at determining how things work in their fields. Laymen, not quite as much.

Quote:
You're kidding, right? Walking on water? Feeding four thousand people with a couple of fishes? Resurrection? Being divine and the son of god?
Now come on, acbytesla. Surely you can uncouple the miracles from the more general idea of a prophet in 1st century gallilee. Insisting that you must either dismiss both or keep both is not how things work in history. Otherwise you'd have to accept that some historical figures spoke to the gods or had virgin births as well.

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.
And you know better because...?

Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Oh my God! Michael Grant! That's a whole freaking person! That's makes four now! Since there are only six people thinking out Jesus that means there really is a consensus!
See what I meant about the exaggerated reactions to the suggestion of HJ? Why are you so hyper about it?
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Old 20th August 2019, 02:51 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Well it's actually not a reasonable request to ask any sceptics what they would propose as counting for credible evidence.
Normally I'd agree with you. But given that you've discounted the evidence that's been presented already, I think it's a fair question: what DO you consider to be reliable evidence for an obscure historical person? Remember, he's not obscure NOW because of the legend built around him and the religion that sprung from his alleged life, but he sure was THEN.

Quote:
The bible is not credible (and therefore inadmissible) as reliable evidence
That's not the way it works, Ian. If I have a record of my bank transactions copied into Excel and I added a few spurious lines like "buying an elephant", it doesn't mean that the whole thing is wrong.

Your entire approach is to say "hey, look. The bible, being a work of mythology, is obviously wrong because it has magic in it." But that's not how historians work. You can glean from certain works some things that are more likely true than not, or vice versa. But it takes a certain experience in the field; decades of it. And you're also wrong that the bible is their only or main source of information. We've got plenty of data from that time period in that place. That's also part of trying to find the truth, here.

Quote:
So that leaves, what?
The problem is that you're looking at it the wrong way. The rules of the game you're establishing are NOT the rules that historians use, even for other parts of the field.

Quote:
The answer is that anyone who looks closely at the claimed evidence can decide if that evidence is admissable or not.
So what's the point of having professions, then?

Quote:
If you are claiming that it might be multiple "persons" that constitute Jesus, then that is not a claim of Jesus as any actual real person.
Of course it is! Multiple people are still persons. What you just quoted is my definition of HJ!
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Old 20th August 2019, 04:57 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Or, alternatively, you hold them to a different standard.
I have to disagree with this.

If the questions are questions of fact they have to be held to the same standard as any other method. That they are not capable of meeting the standard is an issue with the method, not the standard.

You cannot allow fallacious reasoning to pass simply because you don't have any better methods.
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:01 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
I have to disagree with this.

If the questions are questions of fact they have to be held to the same standard as any other method.
Except that it isn't the way it works in that field, period.

In physics you can get a full picture because the evidence is always there. History's not like that. You pretty much always have an incomplete puzzle. So unless you want to torch almost every history book we have, you have to accept that most of it is actually informed guesses.

Quote:
You cannot allow fallacious reasoning to pass simply because you don't have any better methods.
It's not fallacious. Not in the context of that field. That's a fundamental thing that you have to grasp. If you want to apply scientific standards to history, then you have no history.
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:04 AM   #301
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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 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.


In case this helps (but cast it aside if you think otherwise) - it's very easy to see how the legend of Jesus could have arisen from entirely mythical beliefs.

In his letters Paul makes clear that he only came to believe in Jesus as the promised messiah because of a religious vision. That's a fact from his own letters.

Before that vision he says himself that he been vehement in preaching the traditional view of Jewish messiah belief, which was that God would send a princely/royal leader who would lead the Jewish people to a great military victory over all those who they had since 1000BC regarded as their bitter enemies and oppressors from other lands.

But as a direct result of that vision, Paul instantly changed his traditionalist messiah belief (promised since at least 500BC in the Old Testament) to belief in an apocalyptic messenger sent by God to gather the faithful in warning of God's now imminent day of the apocalypse.

However, that apocalyptic messiah belief was in fact the same belief found in the the Dead Sea Scrolls when they were discovered in that exact same region between 1946 to 1956. Those Scrolls are most often dated to have been written as an ongoing enterprise from about 200BC through to about 100AD.

If you read the book by Stephen Hodge (The Dead Sea Scrolls), he explains that by at least 100BC (if not earlier) preaching in that region had become very diverse, with people now preaching various versions of an apocalyptically religious messiah, as opposed to the earlier traditional Jewish belief in a princely leader taking the Jewish people to a great military victory.

IOW – Paul came to believe, from his vision, that people like the Essenes (who wrote the Scrolls) had been right in their interpretation of the promised messiah … Paul then began preaching exactly that same sort of apocalyptic view of a religious messiah.

So that, in brief, is a fairly clear explanation of how and why Paul was actually preaching about a spiritual Christ, and not a real living person.

And his letters say exactly the same for all the other people who he says were “in Christ before me” … when he describes all those people as “first Cephas, then the twelve, then more that 500 people at once, then all the apostles, and then James, and then last of all me “ … for all of those people, he only ever says that they too knew Christ from religious visions. And notice that group also includes the same James who was supposed to be “the Lords brother”, ie he too was only ever described by Paul as having met the Christ in a vision.


So just to summarise that - as far we actually know from Pauls letters -

(1) After his vision, Paul was preaching the same sort of Messiah as the Essenes and others in the same region. That appears to be a fact.

(2) Paul says that before his vision he persecuted people who were preaching against his earlier traditional Jewish belief of a princely military non-apocalyptic messiah. That also is a fact in the letters.

(3) Paul names all the people in the Church of God at Jerusalem as knowing Jesus only from visions (he never says or suggests anywhere that any of them had met a real living Jesus). That is also a fact in Pauls letters.

(4) In that scenario, Paul and the others inc. James are only known to have believed in Jesus as a spiritual leader of the far distant past who was written about from at least 200BC by the Essenes in that exact same small region. And that again apears to be a fact (if Pauls letters are to be believed, and if the usual interpration of the Dead Sea Scrolls is accepted).

(5) All these people including Paul himself, believed in Jesus from claiming a religious vision. It was a vision which matched what was being preached in that same region by various people at the time, and which was written about extensively in the Dead Sea Scrolls as the central belief since at least 200BC. Again that is apparently a fact (if we accept the standard dating for the Dead Sea Scrolls).

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Old 20th August 2019, 05:06 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Belz made a good point about different methods and standards for natural science and study of history. To mind my that is unfortunate, as in principle both deal with the material world (of which humanity is a part) - maybe we can build testable models once true AI is developed and computers get way more powerful. But it seems that the amateurs here think that if we can't use the methods and criterions of natural science in the study of history, and especially in the study of antiquity, that it means that there are NO methods and criterions at all, that any random person is as qualified as distinguished and professional historians. And that is ridiculously and embarrasingly mistaken.
It's not about using the methods of natural science to study history, it's that if the methods used by historians to determine conclusions are not as reliable as those used by natural science then you can't hold the conclusions to the same level of confidence and should be careful in how you communicate those conclusions.

'There is an academic consensus that a historical Jesus is a fact' is a very different statement to 'most people who study this carefully seem to think that it is plausible that there was a person or persons on which the mythology of Jesus is based but they can't really say for sure because there is no evidence to confirm that hypothesis reliably.

Now perhaps academics know that they mean the latter when they say the former but it seems often that the former statement is taken and run with as if it is equivalent to a scientific 'fact' rather than educated guesswork.
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:11 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
It's not about using the methods of natural science to study history, it's that if the methods used by historians to determine conclusions are not as reliable as those used by natural science then you can't hold the conclusions to the same level of confidence and should be careful in how you communicate those conclusions.
Exactly, but them's the breaks. That's what they have to deal with, so that's what they do. They simply don't have enough information to be as certain as physicists are. Did Caesar really say "alea jacta est"? We have no clue, actually. It's reported by one dude, possibly for propaganda. Ergo not reliable, right? Well, let's throw away all of that source since it's not credible. Oops, there goes a chunk of what we know about Julius!
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:22 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Except that it isn't the way it works in that field, period.
Yes, they don't have methods able to give the same degree of certainty. That's fine. The problem is that the conclusions cannot be held with the same degree of certainty then. The standard is the same.

Quote:
In physics you can get a full picture because the evidence is always there. History's not like that. You pretty much always have an incomplete puzzle. So unless you want to torch almost every history book we have, you have to accept that most of it is actually informed guesses.
Which, again is fine. But there are some things of which we are surer than others, and for which there is better evidence than others. It's fine to come up with narratives and informed guesses, never said otherwise. But these should not be presented as being otherwise.

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It's not fallacious. Not in the context of that field. That's a fundamental thing that you have to grasp. If you want to apply scientific standards to history, then you have no history.
Fallacies don't rely on context. That's what you have to realise. You are getting dangerously close to accepting religious apologetics because the standards of theology are different to those of science.

I don't have a problem with the methods of history but I have a problem with people trying to use the conclusions of those methods to express a certainty beyond which the methods are capable of providing.
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:30 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Yes, they don't have methods able to give the same degree of certainty. That's fine. The problem is that the conclusions cannot be held with the same degree of certainty then. The standard is the same.
Well, no. The degree of certainty would not be acceptable in hard sciences. That's a different standard, by definition.

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Fallacies don't rely on context. That's what you have to realise. You are getting dangerously close to accepting religious apologetics because the standards of theology are different to those of science.
History, not theology. The so-called scholars that Ian dismisses to a person discount the miracles and focus on history.

Regardless, they are not fallacies. They are uncertain, that's not the same thing.
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:33 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Exactly, but them's the breaks. That's what they have to deal with, so that's what they do. They simply don't have enough information to be as certain as physicists are. Did Caesar really say "alea jacta est"? We have no clue, actually. It's reported by one dude, possibly for propaganda. Ergo not reliable, right? Well, let's throw away all of that source since it's not credible. Oops, there goes a chunk of what we know about Julius!
Hang on, what can you 'know' about anyone from a single unreliable source? That's the problem right there.
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:38 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Hang on, what can you 'know' about anyone from a single unreliable source? That's the problem right there.
Haven't we already been through this? The bible is not their only source. I believe I said that this morning already.
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:40 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well, no. The degree of certainty would not be acceptable in hard sciences. That's a different standard, by definition.
No, its not a different standard. It's achieving a different level on the same standard.

Quote:

History, not theology. The so-called scholars that Ian dismisses to a person discount the miracles and focus on history.
But the reasoning is exactly the same. Theology can be held to a different standard therefore we should accept the religious apologetics of the theological experts. If you disagree you are going to have to tell me how you differentiate the two.

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Regardless, they are not fallacies. They are uncertain, that's not the same thing.
If they are fallacies they remain fallacies. That doesn't mean all the methods are fallacious but it certainly seems like some of the arguments put forward here certainly are.
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:46 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Haven't we already been through this? The bible is not their only source. I believe I said that this morning already.
Wait. We were talking about Julius Caesar. Not the Bible.

Do we agree that if a single source says something then the information contained on that source cannot be relied on as accurate?

And that if it's unreliable we can't use it as evidence for the things it claims in order to come to reliable conclusions?

And that no amount of arguing that history is different to science can change that?

And even if what it claims seems plausible or likely to us, that doesn't make the conclusion more reliable?
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Old 20th August 2019, 05:58 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
No, its not a different standard. It's achieving a different level on the same standard.
Well sorry but I have no idea what you think a standard is, then.

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But the reasoning is exactly the same.
HJ does not violate the laws of physics. I think that's a pretty big distinction.

Quote:
If they are fallacies they remain fallacies.
They're not. That's my point.

Quote:
Wait. We were talking about Julius Caesar. Not the Bible.
And? There's not just a single source about him either.

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Do we agree that if a single source says something then the information contained on that source cannot be relied on as accurate?
Depends. Sources don't usually exist in a vacuum, as discussed earlier.

Quote:
And that if it's unreliable we can't use it as evidence for the things it claims in order to come to reliable conclusions?

And that no amount of arguing that history is different to science can change that?
No. We've been through this already.
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:20 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
In case this helps (but cast it aside if you think otherwise) - it's very easy to see how the legend of Jesus could have arisen from entirely mythical beliefs.

In his letters Paul makes clear that he only came to believe in Jesus as the promised messiah because of a religious vision. That's a fact from his own letters.

Before that vision he says himself that he been vehement in preaching the traditional view of Jewish messiah belief, which was that God would send a princely/royal leader who would lead the Jewish people to a great military victory over all those who they had since 1000BC regarded as their bitter enemies and oppressors from other lands.

But as a direct result of that vision, Paul instantly changed his traditionalist messiah belief (promised since at least 500BC in the Old Testament) to belief in an apocalyptic messenger sent by God to gather the faithful in warning of God's now imminent day of the apocalypse.

However, that apocalyptic messiah belief was in fact the same belief found in the the Dead Sea Scrolls when they were discovered in that exact same region between 1946 to 1956. Those Scrolls are most often dated to have been written as an ongoing enterprise from about 200BC through to about 100AD.
Paul's Christ is nothing like the Messiah(s) of the DSS. Where are you getting this from?

Quote:
If you read the book by Stephen Hodge (The Dead Sea Scrolls), he explains that by at least 100BC (if not earlier) preaching in that region had become very diverse, with people now preaching various versions of an apocalyptically religious messiah, as opposed to the earlier traditional Jewish belief in a princely leader taking the Jewish people to a great military victory.

IOW – Paul came to believe, from his vision, that people like the Essenes (who wrote the Scrolls) had been right in their interpretation of the promised messiah … Paul then began preaching exactly that same sort of apocalyptic view of a religious messiah.
That just isn't true. Look at this Dead Sea Scroll:
https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/s...adioses02a.htm
Quote:
(1) For the In[structor, the Rule of] the War. The first attack of the Sons of Light shall be undertaken against the forces of the Sons of Darkness, the army of Belial: the troops of Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the [Amalekites],
(2) Philistia, and the troops of the Kittim of Asshur. Supporting them are those who have violated the covenant. The sons of Levi, the sons of Judah, and the sons of Benjamin, those exiled to the wilderness, shall fight against them
(3) with [...] against all their troops, when the exiles of the Sons of Light return from the Wilderness of the Peoples to camp in the Wilderness of Jerusalem. Then after the battle they shall go up from that place
(4) a[nd tile king of; the Kittim [shall enter] into Egypt. In his time he shall go forth with great wrath to do battle against the kings of the north, and in his anger he shall set out to destroy and eliminate the strength of
(5) I[srael. Then the]re shall be a time of salvation for the People of God, and a time of dominion for all the men of His forces, and eternal annihilation for all the forces of Belial.
The Qumran Community were all about the coming war against the forces of darkness (ie: everyone who wasn't a fundamentalist Jew).

Quote:
So that, in brief, is a fairly clear explanation of how and why Paul was actually preaching about a spiritual Christ, and not a real living person.
But it is totally wrong.

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And his letters say exactly the same for all the other people who he says were “in Christ before me” … when he describes all those people as “first Cephas, then the twelve, then more that 500 people at once, then all the apostles, and then James, and then last of all me “ … for all of those people, he only ever says that they too knew Christ from religious visions. And notice that group also includes the same James who was supposed to be “the Lords brother”, ie he too was only ever described by Paul as having met the Christ in a vision.
Nope. Wrong again. Paul describes those "Pillars" as knowing Jesus in the flesh, but he considers his vision of a "spirit" Jesus to be superior to their mundane flesh Jesus.
Quote:
So just to summarise that - as far we actually know from Pauls letters -

(1) After his vision, Paul was preaching the same sort of Messiah as the Essenes and others in the same region. That appears to be a fact.
Nope. Paul's Jesus is nothing like the Messiah of the DSS.

Quote:
(2) Paul says that before his vision he persecuted people who were preaching against his earlier traditional Jewish belief of a princely military non-apocalyptic messiah. That also is a fact in the letters.
No. Paul said he persecuted followers of "The Way". Want to know what "The Way" was? Let's check the DSS again: http://www.essene.com/History&Essenes/md.htm
Quote:
...Until the coming of the prophet and of both the priestly and the lay Messiah, these men are not to depart from the clear intent of the Law to walk in any way in the stubbornness of their own hearts. They shall judge by the original laws in which the members of the community were schooled from the beginning...
For this is the time when 'the way is being prepared in the wilderness', and it behooves them to understand all that is happening. It is also the time when they must needs keep apart from all other men and not turn aside from the way through any form of perversity...
Quote:
(3) Paul names all the people in the Church of God at Jerusalem as knowing Jesus only from visions (he never says or suggests anywhere that any of them had met a real living Jesus). That is also a fact in Pauls letters.
No it isn't. He specifically describes Jesus as a flesh and blood human descended from Abraham and King David.

Quote:
(4) In that scenario, Paul and the others inc. James are only known to have believed in Jesus as a spiritual leader of the far distant past who was written about from at least 200BC by the Essenes in that exact same small region. And that again apears to be a fact (if Pauls letters are to be believed, and if the usual interpration of the Dead Sea Scrolls is accepted).
Nope. Wrong again.

Quote:
(5) All these people including Paul himself, believed in Jesus from claiming a religious vision. It was a vision which matched what was being preached in that same region by various people at the time, and which was written about extensively in the Dead Sea Scrolls as the central belief since at least 200BC. Again that is apparently a fact (if we accept the standard dating for the Dead Sea Scrolls).
Wherever you're getting your DSS info, it's wrong. Here's another one of those pesky scrolls:http://www.essene.com/History&Essenes/cd.htm
Quote:
...But inasmuch as He hates and abominates all that 'build a rickety wall', His anger has been kindled against them; and all who reject His commandments and forsake them and go on walking in the stubbornness of their own hearts will be visited with such judgment as has been described...

All those that entered into the new covenant in 'the land of Damascus' but subsequently relapsed and played false and turned away from the well of living waters shall not be reckoned as of the communion of the people nor inscribed in the roster of it throughout the period from the time the teacher of the community is gathered to his rest until that in which the lay and the priestly messiah [anointed] assume their office...
If there is one thing those Qumran blokes really hated it was people like Paul going around telling folks that they could ignore the Law of Moses. Paul was their enemy.
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:51 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Not to Historians.
This is the whole problem.

The "Historical Jesus," you are saying, it not Jesus of the Gospels.

I agree with that, to an extent. But that just begs the question, so what? I mean, if the claim is that there was a real person who inspired fictional gospel stories, then, ok, but at that level, it is also true that there was a real person, Dorothy, who inspired the character of The Wizard of Oz stories. What's the significance of it?

It doesn't mean that "Jesus was real" or validate anything written in the bible. And from a historical perspective, it doesn't mean anything more than the historical Robin Hood or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

I don't call Jesus a myth, but it certainly is a legend, right up there with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:55 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
This is the whole problem.

The "Historical Jesus," you are saying, it not Jesus of the Gospels.

I agree with that, to an extent. But that just begs the question, so what? I mean, if the claim is that there was a real person who inspired fictional gospel stories, then, ok, but at that level, it is also true that there was a real person, Dorothy, who inspired the character of The Wizard of Oz stories. What's the significance of it?
Well, it's of historical significance. It puts the birth of Christianity in a historical context.
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Old 20th August 2019, 07:02 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well, it's of historical significance. It puts the birth of Christianity in a historical context.
But in that respect, it's no more significant than say, the destruction of Jerusalem, or the Council of Nicea or lots of other things.

Yet, we haven't seen major repetitive threads on the Council of Nicea or insistence that we have to accept some facet of those meetings. It's like there is a special pleading about the significance of the HJ.

And the reason is because these discussions aren't about the "Historical Jesus and its relationship with historical context of Christianity."
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Old 20th August 2019, 07:15 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
But in that respect, it's no more significant than say, the destruction of Jerusalem, or the Council of Nicea or lots of other things.
True.

Quote:
Yet, we haven't seen major repetitive threads on the Council of Nicea or insistence that we have to accept some facet of those meetings. It's like there is a special pleading about the significance of the HJ.
Oh, there's special pleading about MJ as well.

Quote:
And the reason is because these discussions aren't about the "Historical Jesus and its relationship with historical context of Christianity."
Of course they are. What else would they be about?
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Old 20th August 2019, 07:28 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well sorry but I have no idea what you think a standard is, then.
I have no idea what you think a standard is either then.

Quote:

HJ does not violate the laws of physics. I think that's a pretty big distinction.
Why are you applying the standards of science to theology?

Quote:
They're not. That's my point.
Some of them clearly are. And if they are they are still fallacious whether they are being used in science, theology or history. Right?

Quote:

And? There's not just a single source about him either.
Your example was of a single source. We can't rely on that source right?

Quote:
Depends. Sources don't usually exist in a vacuum, as discussed earlier.
No, it doesn't depend. This is idiocy.

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No. We've been through this already.
Then you are simply arguing white is black.
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Old 20th August 2019, 07:28 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post

Of course they are. What else would they be about?
Serious?

Go back and read the OP. You think that is about the context of early Christianity?
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Old 20th August 2019, 07:31 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Serious?

Go back and read the OP. You think that is about the context of early Christianity?
The OP's a hit-and-run. Who cares about him?
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Old 20th August 2019, 07:36 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
I have no idea what you think a standard is either then.
It's a set of criteria that's used to draw conclusions, in this case. If the criteria are lower or higher, or different, than in another field, it's a different standard.

Quote:
Why are you applying the standards of science to theology?
I'm not. What are you talking about?

Quote:
Some of them clearly are.
We'll have to agree to disagree.

Quote:
Your example was of a single source. We can't rely on that source right?
No, my example was about one source. I didn't say no other source existed. Come on.

Quote:
No, it doesn't depend.
Of course it does! Do you think the bibble exists in its own world? It was composed in a historical context by people who lived in a certain area and had a certain culture, etc. and etc. What we know about said context can inform our interpretation of various parts of the works. This isn't controversial.

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Then you are simply arguing white is black.
No, you're simply wrong about your inference because you're ignoring a number of elements.
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Old 20th August 2019, 08:05 AM   #320
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It's a set of criteria that's used to draw conclusions, in this case. If the criteria are lower or higher, or different, than in another field, it's a different standard.
The conclusions are either true or false. That's the standard.

Quote:
I'm not. What are you talking about?
Then you must be willing to accept that in theology breaking the law of physics is not a problem. So do you agree with the consensus of theologians that God exists? If not, why do you think you know better than experts in the field? And why are you not willing to accept the standards of theologians in determining whether their conclusions are sound or not?

Quote:
We'll have to agree to disagree.
Concluding that something is more likely to be true because it sounds more plausible to you is fallacious reasoning. It's still fallacious reasoning if its done in history.

Quote:
No, my example was about one source. I didn't say no other source existed. Come on.
Then why would we have to throw away what we know about Julius Caesar in your example if its corroborated by other sources? All I said is that we cannot rely on a single source. If your counter argument is that we can if its not the only source then you have missed the point.

Quote:

Of course it does! Do you think the bibble exists in its own world? It was composed in a historical context by people who lived in a certain area and had a certain culture, etc. and etc. What we know about said context can inform our interpretation of various parts of the works. This isn't controversial.
It can inform a lot of things, what it can't tell you is whether the things only contained in a single source are true.

Quote:
No, you're simply wrong about your inference because you're ignoring a number of elements.
I'm asking you a simple question that has a simple answer and you are trying to muddy the waters by introducing new elements that are unnecessary and failing to answer straight questions. I am not trying to catch you out just get a base agreement on things that are simple.
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