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Old 20th August 2019, 08:19 AM   #321
autumn1971
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Did you not ask them why they were making those two highlighted statements (1 and 2)? Because those two statements are incompatible with one another ...

... that is - you are saying that these bible scholars all told you (1) I am not convinced that a historical Jesus existed, but (2) I am convinced Jesus existed.

Are you saying that they were only convinced of a Jesus who somehow existed only as a spiritual figure of religious belief in the bible? Because that's not a real existing figure at all ... is it?
They were able to acknowledge that an academically rigorous search would reveal only the bare-bones of an historical figure unrecognizable as the Jesus of the Bible.
They had faith, however, that the Messiah was real. I guess in an Obi-Wan kind of way.
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Old 20th August 2019, 08:21 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
The conclusions are either true or false. That's the standard.
The standard is how you determine your conclusions, Archie. It may differ from one discipline to another. How is that controversial?

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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?
What are you talking about? There's a difference between claims that are physically impossible and mundane claims that are simply not well supported.

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Concluding that something is more likely to be true because it sounds more plausible to you is fallacious reasoning.
No, it's tautological. Tautologies are not very useful but they are not fallacious.

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Then why would we have to throw away what we know about Julius Caesar in your example if its corroborated by other sources?
From that source. I didn't say we could discard other sources. And if the quote is only attributable to that source, it has to be discarded, right?

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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.
But that's my point: you're over-simplifying.
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Old 20th August 2019, 08:27 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
How about our very own Nick Terry?

Goes into quite some detail about the "Historical Method".

So? I don't see anything about hermeneutics, nor do I see him arriving at certainty about particular events anywhere. He's properly applying the historical method from what I can see. That's nice, but what does it have to do with this conversation?
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Old 20th August 2019, 08:32 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I'll take that as a "No".
Which, of course, is a misrepresentation which is par for the course here.

BTW Your links don't show anything to indicate what relevance Michael Grant has to this conversation.

And, based on your suggestion, I'll be sure to add "absence of jumping jews" as one the key techniques of Bible Scholars.
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Old 20th August 2019, 08:34 AM   #325
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deleted, repeat.
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Old 20th August 2019, 08:54 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
That's a common cliche but it's actually not true.
It is true. Propaganda and biases are ingrained in history. From Columbus to stories about indigenous savages to the Reichstag fire to the USS Maine.
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:07 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
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.
You don't get it. I could care less about Carrier's mythicist position. But I don't believe you need to have a degree in history to understand history. I might have to trust a physicist or a chemist to decipher something in their field. I might need a historian to gather and even translate info. But I don't need a historian to tell me how to understand it.
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:10 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I could care less about Carrier's mythicist position.
You could?

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I don't believe you need to have a degree in history to understand history. I might have to trust a physicist or a chemist to decipher something in their field. I might need a historian to gather and even translate info. But I don't need a historian to tell me how to understand it.
That's true, you don't. But a historian knows more about the topic than you do, and they might understand how the evidence is collected, weighed and interpreted in the larger context far better than any of us here, and even all of us combined. So while you shouldn't trust said historian blindly, you shouldn't dismiss their expertise, either. And when we add all of them together...
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:39 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
As stated prior, professionals are usually pretty good at determining how things work in their fields. Laymen, not quite as much.
I agree. But even you have to admit that is a generality and varies greatly from one field to another.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
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.
Ahh this is the crux of the problem. Can we uncouple the miracles? It's also a fallacy to suggest that just because some other historical figures also had a miracle or two associated with them that their case is like Jesus. There is a very important distinction. The only reason Jesus is remembered is because of his divinity and miracles. He's not Alexander the Great

I have to wonder what we would be saying about Jesus if Constantine hadn't embraced the religion in the 4th century and the religion had died out? If I'm not mistaken, Josephus mentioned other Christ figures. Do we assume they were all real as well?
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:48 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I agree. But even you have to admit that is a generality and varies greatly from one field to another.
I'll give you that. I wouldn't trust homeopaths as far as I can throw them, for instance, but then we have other bodies of experts to keep those idiots in check.

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Can we uncouple the miracles?
In the case of Jeebus it's harder because there are no source outside of the bibble as far as his actual life is concerned. That doesn't mean we can't know anything, however. At the core is the fact that most sects have a founder of some sort. And I don't mean Paul.

I guess it would help if we could agree by what we mean by HJ. I've already posted my own definition.

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It's also a fallacy to suggest that just because some other historical figures also had a miracle or two associated with them that their case is like Jesus.
Wait a second, I didn't say that. What I said is that the presence of miracles doesn't mean the person didn't exist, just like other historical characters. That was my principal argument against Dejudge.

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I have to wonder what we would be saying about Jesus if Constantine hadn't embraced the religion in the 4th century and the religion had died out?
I often wish I could travel through different timelines to see the consequences of one change or another. That one would certainly make for an interesting read.

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If I'm not mistaken, Josephus mentioned other Christ figures. Do we assume they were all real as well?
I have no issue with the idea that plenty of people claimed to be prophets, especially in 1st century levant. Josephus is generally reliable.
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:49 AM   #331
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Wrong thread.
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:51 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
The standard is how you determine your conclusions, Archie. It may differ from one discipline to another. How is that controversial?
No, the method is how you determine your conclusions. The standard is how you judge whether those conclusions are good and reliable. In this case we are attempting to determine whether 'Thing X' is true. Then the standard has to be whether the method we are using gets us towards truth or not.

I'm quite happy to say that history uses methods that can't get us towards a definitive answer on whether things are true or false but can build plausible narratives. The problem is when these plausible narratives are held up as being 'true' because they are the conclusions of the best historical methods we have.

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What are you talking about? There's a difference between claims that are physically impossible and mundane claims that are simply not well supported.
No, there isn't any difference unless you have consistent standards. The fact that you admit there is a difference shows that you do apply these consistent standards to other disciplines.

So your argument is holed below the waterline, because you are quite happy to hold tell experts on theology they are wrong about God claims and you are quite happy to hold theologians to standards of rigour that their discipline doesn't meet.

And you are quite right to do so. So can we park the idea that you can't question experts or that history gets a pass on whether their conclusions are sound and robust and focus solely on whether the conclusions are sound and robust?

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No, it's tautological. Tautologies are not very useful but they are not fallacious.
That's not a tautology. That you find something plausible does not mean it is more likely to be true.

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From that source. I didn't say we could discard other sources. And if the quote is only attributable to that source, it has to be discarded, right?
You said we would have to discard large chunks of what we know about Caesar. Presumably those large chunks were in that one source otherwise why would we have to discard them?

If any quote is only attributable to one source and you want to know whether someone actually said it then I think you can't conclude that they did based on that evidence. If you think otherwise then I am going to write down that you owe me $10,000 and you damn well better conclude it's true and pay me.

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But that's my point: you're over-simplifying.
No, I'm not. The problem is you keep jumping between arguments. We are trying to drill down into some very simple things with some fairly simple arguments to help clear a path. Once that's done we will be able to see the wood for the trees.
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:58 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post

That's true, you don't. But a historian knows more about the topic than you do, and they might understand how the evidence is collected, weighed and interpreted in the larger context far better than any of us here, and even all of us combined. So while you shouldn't trust said historian blindly, you shouldn't dismiss their expertise, either. And when we add all of them together...
I'm not. I just believe there is history and there are stories. I also believe the religious factors complicate the matter far more than you or they are willing to entertain.

You and I joked about probability percentages a while back about the historicity of Jesus, While we both said it was more likely than not that he did, neither of us offered figures that were anywhere near the certainty that Grant and Ehrman have suggested. So what's the problem?
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:58 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
No, the method is how you determine your conclusions. The standard is how you judge whether those conclusions are good and reliable.
Aren't those BOTH used to determine conclusions? I don't see the difference.

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I'm quite happy to say that history uses methods that can't get us towards a definitive answer on whether things are true or false but can build plausible narratives. The problem is when these plausible narratives are held up as being 'true' because they are the conclusions of the best historical methods we have.
Well I don't hold them to be true. I hold them to be more probable than not.

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No, there isn't any difference unless you have consistent standards. The fact that you admit there is a difference shows that you do apply these consistent standards to other disciplines.
Well, I already said that. Different disciplines have different standards. I don't know why that's surprising to you. Also, as I stated in an earlier post, we have other bodies of experts that can contradict, say, homeopaths.

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And you are quite right to do so. So can we park the idea that you can't question experts or that history gets a pass on whether their conclusions are sound and robust and focus solely on whether the conclusions are sound and robust?
I don't know where you got that idea. Certainly not from me.

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That you find something plausible does not mean it is more likely to be true.
Ok, then. How do you know what's more likely to be true without determining what's more plausible to you?

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You said we would have to discard large chunks of what we know about Caesar. Presumably those large chunks were in that one source otherwise why would we have to discard them?
Even if that were true, what you said earlier does not follow from this. Furthermore, I meant that using the same standard, several sources would have to be ditched.

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The problem is you keep jumping between arguments.
I believe I've been very consistent. That's the reason why I didn't want to get into the meat of the evidence with IanS. Where do you think I've jumped arguments?
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:59 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You and I joked about probability percentages a while back about the historicity of Jesus, While we both said it was more likely than not that he did, neither of us offered figures that were anywhere near the certainty that Grant and Ehrman have suggested. So what's the problem?
Are you refering to a particular quote of theirs?
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:38 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Are you refering to a particular quote of theirs?
Both have concluded certainty of a historical Jesus and pooh pooh the possibility that there wasn't a real Jesus. I cited a quote from Grant earlier.
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:43 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Both have concluded certainty of a historical Jesus and pooh pooh the possibility that there wasn't a real Jesus. I cited a quote from Grant earlier.
Well if they're talking about 100% certainty I think they're exaggerating. I would be wary of any claim of certainty above 87.3%.
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Old 20th August 2019, 11:20 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well if they're talking about 100% certainty I think they're exaggerating. I would be wary of any claim of certainty above 87.3%.
I would be wary of any claim above 75%. But certainty is a red herring. I view Christianity as the most successful ongoing con game in history. Going on close to little evidence, it has taken in unfathomable sums and caused horrific suffering.
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Old 20th August 2019, 12:36 PM   #339
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
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.



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.



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.



So what's the point of having professions, then?



Of course it is! Multiple people are still persons. What you just quoted is my definition of HJ!

Multiple persons are a single HJ?? ... What?? …. multiple different people are certainly not a single individual ever known to anyone! I'll assume you just took temporary leave of your senses when you made that claim.

As for the rest of the above - the whole thing boils down to whether or not anyone accepts that the bible is a reliable source for a real Jesus.

But frankly, anyone who thinks it is a reliable source must "need their head looking".

Look - you have a source (the bible) which was for nearly 2000 years believed by almost everyone as actual fact, precisely because up until that time everyone did think miracles really happened, and hence they all believed that the miracles of Jesus were not a problem at all. In fact on the contrary, almost everyone in the Christian world believed that the miracle stories were THE part of the bible that completely convinced everyone that Jesus was indeed the true Son of God ...

... but then, the emergence of science slowly convinced everyone (well everyone except billions of current day theists! ... inc. Bible Scholars!) that none of those miracles stories could possibly have been true. So how did all those untrue Jesus stories ever get into all the gospels in the first place? The answer can only be that the gospel writers were simply inventing the stories, i.e. to put it bluntly they were lying. Lying repeatedly over & over again on virtually every page ...

... you cannot have writers like that as your source of evidence, and still claim that they are reliable for truthful evidence.


And that is apparently claimed by your experts as their very best evidence … a book filled with lies from end-to-end.

Frankly, you don't just need vastly better evidence, you are in even more dire need of vastly better more objective independent “experts”.

The bottom line here is that your whole case boils down to an appeal to authority. Well, that is a known fallacious argument to begin with. But if you do want to say that we should believe the people who you call “experts”, then it's absolutely essential that we examine what those experts are offering as their evidence. And offering us the bible falls a million miles short of what any educated honest person should accept as a source of their evidence.

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Old 20th August 2019, 01:03 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Multiple persons are a single HJ?? ... What?? …. multiple different people are certainly not a single individual ...

<<SNIP>>
Posts like this are the reason why Bart Ehrman compares Mythicists to Holocaust deniers. Throughout the years you have just kept repeating the same thing over and over again. And as evidenced from your exchange with Brainache above, in all those years, you've never bothered to look anything up - another HD'er trait. Sad.
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Old 20th August 2019, 01:51 PM   #341
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm not. I just believe there is history and there are stories. I also believe the religious factors complicate the matter far more than you or they are willing to entertain.

You and I joked about probability percentages a while back about the historicity of Jesus, While we both said it was more likely than not that he did, neither of us offered figures that were anywhere near the certainty that Grant and Ehrman have suggested. So what's the problem?

Indeed (and it's actually the entire crux of this whole dispute) -

- if the claimed "experts" were merely saying that after looking at all the evidence, they tentatively concluded that Jesus might very well have existed, whilst cautioning that none of the evidence was very reliable, then nobody here would be arguing about it!

But that is NOT what the people claimed as the “experts” have said. What they have said is that the evidence shows it to be “certain” that Jesus was a real living person.

And just to remind Belz and others about that – I already quoted numerous statements from Ehrman where he repeatedly insists that “it is certain that he (Jesus) lived”.

that
And further on that point – Ehrman very specifically makes a point of telling his readers that “almost all properly trained scholars" agree with him.

And just to avoid any other possible doubt about Bart Ehrman – he is by far the best known academic publishing on this precise topic of Jesus Historicity, and he is also by far the "expert" most often cited by people on these forums who say they agree with & rely upon the "experts" for the reality of Jesus.

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Old 20th August 2019, 02:16 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
Posts like this are the reason why Bart Ehrman compares Mythicists to Holocaust deniers. Throughout the years you have just kept repeating the same thing over and over again. And as evidenced from your exchange with Brainache above, in all those years, you've never bothered to look anything up - another HD'er trait. Sad.

OK, well that probably just explains why you believe in God & Jesus.
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Old 20th August 2019, 02:45 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I just showed with links to primary sources that you were totally wrong.

I guess it was stupid of me to think you would acknowledge that.
You cited a source that claims to be getting information from aliens.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Biblioteca_Pleyades
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Old 20th August 2019, 02:50 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Which, of course, is a misrepresentation which is par for the course here.

BTW Your links don't show anything to indicate what relevance Michael Grant has to this conversation.

And, based on your suggestion, I'll be sure to add "absence of jumping jews" as one the key techniques of Bible Scholars.
You talk about "misrepresentation" and then post this. Great.

I don't know what conversation you are reading, but I was in a conversation with people saying things like "the only people who accept the HJ are Theologians and Christian Bible Scholars" (paraphrased). I showed that that is not true; Michael Grant was a respected expert on Ancient History, not a Theologian.

Instead of thinking about "jumping Jews" you could think about the lack of any controversy among Historians about HJ. Not all Historians are practising Christians, some are Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu, or Atheist, or...
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Old 20th August 2019, 02:52 PM   #345
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
You talk about "misrepresentation" and then post this. Great.

I don't know what conversation you are reading, but I was in a conversation with people saying things like "the only people who accept the HJ are Theologians and Christian Bible Scholars" (paraphrased). I showed that that is not true; Michael Grant was a respected expert on Ancient History, not a Theologian.

Instead of thinking about "jumping Jews" you could think about the lack of any controversy among Historians about HJ. Not all Historians are practising Christians, some are Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu, or Atheist, or...
You seem completely lost.
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Old 20th August 2019, 03:03 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
You cited a source that claims to be getting information from aliens.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Biblioteca_Pleyades
Which one was that? I bookmarked a bunch of links to various translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls a long time ago, I didn't check who was hosting them.

They can probably be found elsewhere. For the record, the Scrolls I quoted were: 1QM The War Scroll (The War Of The Sons Of Light...), 1QS The Community Rule (Manual of Discipline) and 5 QD The Damascus Covenant (Zadokite Document).

I apologise for linking to a bunch of loonies who host the scrolls on their weirdo website.
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Old 20th August 2019, 03:06 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
You seem completely lost.
I guess I am. I was hoping for an honest discussion. Thank you for disabusing me of that notion.
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Old 20th August 2019, 03:12 PM   #348
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Just to keep the conversation honest & straight (difficult job here) - it has not been said (as someone here just claimed) that the only people who believe Jesus was real are theologians and Bible Scholars (I don't recall any sceptics here who have said that) ...

... all sorts of people believe Jesus was real. Christians in particular almost must believe Jesus was real, because without that their Christian faith diminishes to zero.

But the people who are claimed by the HJ supporters as the "consensus of experts", are Bible Scholars, almost all of whom are practising Christians who already believed Jesus was certainly real before they ever became academics.

No doubt many people with History degrees (and more) also believe Jesus was real. But then ... no doubt the majority of those believers are also practising Christians.

There are many scientists, especially in the USA, who are practising Christians who believe completely in the existence of God ... no doubt most of them also believe Jesus was real.

There's no shortage of Christians who believe Jesus was real. The only question at all in this subject is -

- what is their evidence for saying Jesus was real?


And the answer to that is overwhelmingly that the Bible is their evidence.

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Old 20th August 2019, 03:28 PM   #349
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Just to keep the conversation honest & straight (difficult job here) - it has not been said (as someone here just claimed) that the only people who believe Jesus was real are theologians and Bible Scholars (I don't recall any sceptics here who have said that) ...

... all sorts of people believe Jesus was real. Christians in particular almost must believe Jesus was real, because without that their Christian faith diminishes to zero.

But the people who are claimed by the HJ supporters as the "consensus of experts", are Bible Scholars, almost all of whom are practising Christians who already believed Jesus was certainly real before they ever became academics.

No doubt many people with History degrees (and more) also believe Jesus was real. But then ... no doubt the majority of those believers are also practising Christians.

There are many scientists, especially in the USA, who are practising Christians who believe completely in the existence of God ... no doubt most of them also believe Jesus was real.

There's no shortage of Christians who believe Jesus was real. The only question at all in this subject is -

- what is their evidence for saying Jesus was real?


And the answer to that is overwhelmingly that the Bible is their evidence.
So we are just going to blow right past your complete failure on the subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the idea of a Messiah in 2nd Temple Judaism.

OK, I guess, but everyone can see these posts and decide for themselves who is being "honest & straight" and who is not.
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Old 20th August 2019, 03:51 PM   #350
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Look, can we at least all agree that Jesus was definitely a blonde-haired Caucasian?
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:56 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
What was "daft" about it? He was exactly the kind of expert that you claimed didn't exist. Once again your claim was wrong.
No one can tell that from the links you provided. He's a historian who wrote a book with Jesus in the title. That's what we can tell from the links you provided.

Based on what I see from googling this guy, you should think twice about citing this guy. He appears to be the dead guy that lying Christians cite to make it appear that historians agree with them, when really he's anomaly or maybe doesn't even agree with them at all.
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Old 20th August 2019, 07:44 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
No one can tell that from the links you provided. He's a historian who wrote a book with Jesus in the title. That's what we can tell from the links you provided.

Based on what I see from googling this guy, you should think twice about citing this guy. He appears to be the dead guy that lying Christians cite to make it appear that historians agree with them, when really he's anomaly or maybe doesn't even agree with them at all.
There you have it folks, a genuine Historian who wrote extensively on many different aspects of Ancient History can be dismissed as an expert because some Christians somewhere also recognised his expertise.

This guy:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grant_(classicist)
Quote:
Michael Grant CBE (21 November 1914 – 4 October 2004) was an English classicist, numismatist, and author of numerous books on ancient history.[1] His 1956 translation of Tacitus's Annals of Imperial Rome remains a standard of the work. Having studied and held a number of academic posts in the United Kingdom and the Middle East, he retired early to devote himself fully to writing. He once described himself as "one of the very few freelancers in the field of ancient history: a rare phenomenon". As a populariser, his hallmarks were his prolific output and his unwillingness to oversimplify or talk down to his readership. He published over 70 works.
Over 70 works on Ancient History and he still is not considered to be qualified... Bizarre.
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Old 20th August 2019, 07:52 PM   #353
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This thread is making me feel an urge to go back through Paul's legitimate letters in order again... and I found them annoying & tiresome the first time!
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Old 20th August 2019, 08:00 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
There you have it folks, a genuine Historian who wrote extensively on many different aspects of Ancient History can be dismissed as an expert because some Christians somewhere also recognised his expertise. ..

Over 70 works on Ancient History and he still is not considered to be qualified... Bizarre.
How much he's written is irrelevant. But also I know of no reason to reject him as a source anyway. But the claim that needs defending is not about any one person, but about the number of others like him. This calls for a survey, not an example.
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Old 20th August 2019, 08:08 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
There you have it folks, a genuine Historian who wrote extensively on many different aspects of Ancient History can be dismissed as an expert because some Christians somewhere also recognised his expertise.

I did not dismiss him as an expert. He appears to be an expert. Do you realize you haven't even told me why I care about this guy? What would I even be dismissing his expertise on??
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:51 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post

Do we agree that if a single source says something then the information contained on that source cannot be relied on as accurate?
It depends on what is the source and what is the information.

A single testimony may be admissible if it is first-hand and its impartiality has been established.

Generalizing too much is dangerous in the human sciences. Exceptions to the universal rule must be taken into account. That is a difference with the sciences of nature.
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:19 PM   #357
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An impartial summary of five days debate:

A consensus composed of 90% of confessional authors cannot be accepted as an authoritative argument.

This does not imply that one should a priori discard the reason that each of them have to admit the existence of a certain Jesus the Galilean.

If we analyze these arguments, the only consistent one we are going to find is the argument of difficulty or embarrassment. This is not very much, but it is some consistent point to discuss.

Your debates have been very interesting but you have ended up losing sight of these basic facts.
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Old 20th August 2019, 11:50 PM   #358
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According to Wiki, Michael Grant completed an undergraduate degree in Classics, but thereafter concentrated with a PhD on the subject of Numismatics (ie a study of old coinage and money etc.). Here is the brief bit that's given in Wiki -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grant_(classicist)

Grant was born in London, the son of Col. Maurice Grant who served in the*Boer War*and later wrote part of its official history. Young Grant attended*Harrow*and read classics (1933–37) at*Trinity College, Cambridge. His speciality was academic*numismatics. His research fellowship thesis later became his first published book –*From Imperium to Auctoritas*(1946), on Roman bronze coins. Over the next decade he wrote four books on Roman coinage; his view was that the tension between the eccentricity of the Roman emperors and the traditionalism of the Roman mint made coins (used as both propaganda and currency) a unique social record.

As early as the 1950s, Grant's publishing success was somewhat controversial within the classicist community. According to*The Times:

Grant's approach to classical history was beginning to divide critics. Numismatists felt that his academic work was beyond reproach, but some academics balked at his attempt to condense a survey of Roman literature into 300 pages, and felt (in the words of one reviewer) that "even the most learned and gifted of historians should observe a speed-limit". The academics would keep cavilling, but the public kept buying.[4]




That's nowhere near being a specialist academic “historian” focused as an "expert" on the origins of the New Testament and the Historicity of Jesus.

Afaik, Classics is a quite general degree combining such things as the history, languages, philosophy, and archeology of the ancient Greek & Roman empires.

The link also suggests that Grant was a freelance author for most if not all those 70 popular-level books on Roman coinage and Roman history etc. That is – he was not writing from the position of a tenured university academic researcher. He was just making a living as a freelance writer with an interest in that area of Classics, particularly Numismatics.


I don't say any of that to denigrate Grant or to rubbish the career he made for himself as a writer of books on classical History, but the above is nowhere near being an “expert” academic on the historicity of Jesus and the veracity or otherwise of the Biblical writing. It also seems from the above that he wrote only that one single book on the Gospels ... and as far as I know that book is not cited by anyone as worthwile evidence for Jesus.

If that's the level of “Historian” that can be named as “the expert consensus” showing that Jesus was real, then that level is close to zero.

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Old 21st August 2019, 12:02 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
According to Wiki, Michael Grant completed an undergraduate degree in Classics, but thereafter concentrated with a PhD on the subject of Numismatics (ie a study of old coinage and money etc.). Here is the brief bit that's given in Wiki -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Grant_(classicist)

Grant was born in London, the son of Col. Maurice Grant who served in the*Boer War*and later wrote part of its official history. Young Grant attended*Harrow*and read classics (1933–37) at*Trinity College, Cambridge. His speciality was academic*numismatics. His research fellowship thesis later became his first published book –*From Imperium to Auctoritas*(1946), on Roman bronze coins. Over the next decade he wrote four books on Roman coinage; his view was that the tension between the eccentricity of the Roman emperors and the traditionalism of the Roman mint made coins (used as both propaganda and currency) a unique social record.

As early as the 1950s, Grant's publishing success was somewhat controversial within the classicist community. According to*The Times:

Grant's approach to classical history was beginning to divide critics. Numismatists felt that his academic work was beyond reproach, but some academics balked at his attempt to condense a survey of Roman literature into 300 pages, and felt (in the words of one reviewer) that "even the most learned and gifted of historians should observe a speed-limit". The academics would keep cavilling, but the public kept buying.[4]




That's nowhere near being a specialist academic “historian” focused as an "expert" on the origins of the New Testament and the Historicity of Jesus.

Afaik, Classics is a quite general degree combining such things as the history, languages, philosophy, and archeology of the ancient Greek & Roman empires.

The link also suggests that Grant was a freelance author for most if not all those 70 popular-level books on Roman coinage and Roman history etc. That is – he was not writing from the position of a tenured university academic researcher. He was just making a living as a freelance writer with an interest in that area of Classics, particularly Numismatics.


I don't say any of that to denigrate Grant or to rubbish the career he made for himself as a writer of books on classical History, but the above is nowhere near being an “expert” academic on the historicity of Jesus and the veracity or otherwise of the Biblical writing. It also seems from the above that he wrote only that one single book on the Gospels ... and as far as I know that book is not cited by anyone as worthwile evidence for Jesus.

If that's the level of “Historian” that can be named as “the expert consensus” showing that Jesus was real, then that level is close to zero.
He also wrote a book about Paul. The point is that he was a Historian using the standard techniques used by Ancient Historians to research Ancient History. If he was a Bible Scholar you would dismiss him as biased.

Apparently I can't win this game of yours.

Carry on.

Any more thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls you'd like to share?
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Old 21st August 2019, 12:15 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
He also wrote a book about Paul. The point is that he was a Historian using the standard techniques used by Ancient Historians to research Ancient History. If he was a Bible Scholar you would dismiss him as biased.
This seems to me like discussing the sex of angels.
The fact that an author is a historian does not mean that he applies the historical method in everything he writes. The question is: what are Michael Grant's reasons for asserting that Jesus the Galilee existed?

See that: https://vridar.org/2013/02/25/the-hi...erdition-pt-1/

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