ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 10th December 2017, 07:26 PM   #241
Brainache
Nasty Brutish and Tall
 
Brainache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 17,026
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Lots of things. Richard Carrier for example is highly dismissive of much of the evidence that has been for a long time widely accepted as proof.

I'm not sure we can really know what scholastic opinion would be until the religion has been discarded by most like Zeus or Wotan. As long as the major scholars view the story so personally, I don't think we can reasonably say that their bias hasn't influenced the body of the opinions held.
Richard Carrier is highly dismissive of it? Oh well then... Let me know when someone agrees with him.

There are thousands of Secular Universities all over the world staffed by people who aren't Christian Scholars. They have departments of History with real Historians and everything: How many of them accept Richard Carrier's reasoning? (I'll give you a hint: It's a round number)
Brainache is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th December 2017, 07:31 PM   #242
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Richard Carrier is highly dismissive of it? Oh well then... Let me know when someone agrees with him.

There are thousands of Secular Universities all over the world staffed by people who aren't Christian Scholars. They have departments of History with real Historians and everything: How many of them accept Richard Carrier's reasoning? (I'll give you a hint: It's a round number)
Somehow, I think (But do not know) that you are exaggerating negatively the number of secular scholars that dismiss Carrier's opinion.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th December 2017, 07:33 PM   #243
RecoveringYuppy
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,627
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Most Classicists are viewing the world through lenses in which Greece and Rome were incredibly important too, so I'd say they'd be about equally biased with regard to the question of whether the Greeks or Romans existed.
That's not helping taking you seriously.
__________________
REJ (Robert E Jones) posting anonymously under my real name for 30 years.

Make a fire for a man and you keep him warm for a day. Set him on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th December 2017, 08:16 PM   #244
Brainache
Nasty Brutish and Tall
 
Brainache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 17,026
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Somehow, I think (But do not know) that you are exaggerating negatively the number of secular scholars that dismiss Carrier's opinion.
Well then it shouldn't be hard for you to find one who has published a favourable opinion of Carrier's work. Off you pop... A blog or a journal article will do, but make sure it's from a proper Historian, not one of those biased Classicists or something...
Brainache is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th December 2017, 08:42 PM   #245
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Well then it shouldn't be hard for you to find one who has published a favourable opinion of Carrier's work. Off you pop... A blog or a journal article will do, but make sure it's from a proper Historian, not one of those biased Classicists or something...
I haven't published a favorable opinion of Dr. Carrier's work. I admit that I'm mostly ignorant of this subject. I know that history of all kinds get distorted through political and personal lens. This isn't to say that is the case here. I'm merely engaging in a dialectic. I would question Dr. Carrier's work as very possibly biased as well. That he may simply acting provocative to promote himself. I don't know.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th December 2017, 08:52 PM   #246
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
That's not helping taking you seriously.
I know, the argument works so much better with a group you have a profound bias against, like Christians.
__________________
"The president’s voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesn’t exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 02:58 AM   #247
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,246
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Which death? Christian's claim two very different accounts of his death. If there were good evidence of his actual death I'd have though they've eliminated one of these by now.

Indeed, and iirc it's not unusual to find different versions for several of the biblical stories. I was just trying to be fair to those here/anywhere who believe there is actually some genuine evidence for the truth of anything in the NT bible, and admitting that I know far less about any evidence claimed for Paul's background (compared to Jesus) ... so perhaps there is some genuine evidence to show that Paul at least existed??
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 03:37 AM   #248
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,246
Just re. The opinion of those who have been described here as (for approx. example) "all the other secular historians working in university history dept's around the world" – afaik they rarely if ever have anything to do with teaching or researching Jesus and the bible. So what they all think about so-called “Jesus Historicity” is likely only to be a personal matter for any of them as individuals (if indeed they even bother to have any thoughts or interest in it at all) … those who are already practicing Christian's may of course be predisposed towards a belief that all the substantial things described in the bible are literally true … other non-religious historians probably have little idea or even less interest in whether any such disputes are taking place at all.

None of which changes the fact that writers on this subject, such as Bart Ehrman and Dominic Crossan (and hundreds of others) are Bible Scholars, not “Historians” in the usual and correct meaning of that title.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 04:39 AM   #249
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 3,071
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Lots of things. Richard Carrier for example is highly dismissive of much of the evidence that has been for a long time widely accepted as proof.
The problem is not well focused when we apply strong criteria of evidence -alike experimental sciences- to the study of ancient world in general. The problem is more acute when we are speaking of individual facts. And even more acute when we are trying to grasp something about religious leaders. And more and more acute when the leader in question is reputed to be a god.

Therefore, I suggest a very modest conclusion about Paul's existence based on a modest criterion of evidence:

There are some indications that there was a certain Paul that wrote some epistles in the first century. Given that these epistles were subsequently modified, it is not easy to attribute its content to Paul himself. Some entire epistles and some particular statements that seem contradict the general corpus ought to be considered inauthentics.

Last edited by David Mo; 11th December 2017 at 04:40 AM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 05:25 AM   #250
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,469
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
... And even more acute when we are trying to grasp something about religious leaders. And more and more acute when the leader in question is reputed to be a god.

Therefore, I suggest a very modest conclusion about Paul's existence based on a modest criterion of evidence:

There are some indications that there was a certain Paul that wrote some epistles in the first century. Given that these epistles were subsequently modified, it is not easy to attribute its content to Paul himself. Some entire epistles and some particular statements that seem contradict the general corpus ought to be considered inauthentics.
That seems quite fair. I think we can discern a common authorship of some epistles, conveying a reasonably consistent message, and note some interpolations in these epistles, while rejecting others altogether as inauthentic.

The only clumsy part of your post is the bit about persons reputed to be gods. Nobody anywhere has reputed Paul to have been a god, so this has no relevance to Paul, only to Jesus.
Craig B is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 06:55 AM   #251
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 16,204
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
But if there were no real Paul letters there was no streetcar to hop on to. By the way, fads, genres and streetcars are three very different things. Which are you claiming the letters were?
If Paul was fictitious, yet letters attribute to a Paul existed AND were influential, then that genre constituted a streetcar that copycats and fans could hop on to advance their own fiction.
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)

Last edited by Oystein; 11th December 2017 at 07:00 AM.
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 07:33 AM   #252
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Just re. The opinion of those who have been described here as (for approx. example) "all the other secular historians working in university history dept's around the world" – afaik they rarely if ever have anything to do with teaching or researching Jesus and the bible. So what they all think about so-called “Jesus Historicity” is likely only to be a personal matter for any of them as individuals (if indeed they even bother to have any thoughts or interest in it at all) … those who are already practicing Christian's may of course be predisposed towards a belief that all the substantial things described in the bible are literally true … other non-religious historians probably have little idea or even less interest in whether any such disputes are taking place at all.

None of which changes the fact that writers on this subject, such as Bart Ehrman and Dominic Crossan (and hundreds of others) are Bible Scholars, not “Historians” in the usual and correct meaning of that title.
I can't say that I know enough to contradict this statement. However, how would you know that?
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 07:46 AM   #253
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The problem is not well focused when we apply strong criteria of evidence -alike experimental sciences- to the study of ancient world in general. The problem is more acute when we are speaking of individual facts. And even more acute when we are trying to grasp something about religious leaders. And more and more acute when the leader in question is reputed to be a god.

Therefore, I suggest a very modest conclusion about Paul's existence based on a modest criterion of evidence:

There are some indications that there was a certain Paul that wrote some epistles in the first century. Given that these epistles were subsequently modified, it is not easy to attribute its content to Paul himself. Some entire epistles and some particular statements that seem contradict the general corpus ought to be considered inauthentics.
I really should get the hell out of this thread. I engaged in it so I could help myself better understand the questions about both the historicity of Jesus and Paul. I less doubt the historicity of Paul because it seems the consensus that a single person almost certainly wrote about half of the epistles attributed to Paul. Jesus the man is significantly more difficult to believe. But in the end, whether there was an actual person, it wouldn't make the stories or his deity true. So really, it is kind of an irrelevant question.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 08:25 AM   #254
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 3,071
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post

The only clumsy part of your post is the bit about persons reputed to be gods. Nobody anywhere has reputed Paul to have been a god, so this has no relevance to Paul, only to Jesus.
I wanted to say that Paul's epistles add one more element of uncertainty because they refer to a character whom his followers considered divine.

These followers, in subsequent times, have added pressure and clouded confidence in the authenticity of the writings attributed to Paul. Even the manipulation of the history of Alexander the Great, who was powerful, would be comparable with Christians' power of tampering their own texts from the fourth century to the present day.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 08:39 AM   #255
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,469
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I wanted to say that Paul's epistles add one more element of uncertainty because they refer to a character whom his followers considered divine.

These followers, in subsequent times, have added pressure and clouded confidence in the authenticity of the writings attributed to Paul. Even the manipulation of the history of Alexander the Great, who was powerful, would be comparable with Christians' power of tampering their own texts from the fourth century to the present day.
It is not entirely clear that Paul, or his followers, already believed Jesus to be God.
Romans 1:3 concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead
Far from being God himself, he became God's son only after his death.
Craig B is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 10:15 AM   #256
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,246
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I can't say that I know enough to contradict this statement. However, how would you know that?

Just check Wikipedia under each of their names to read a detailed list of all their educational and professional qualifications, their job titles, what their employment descriptions are, what organisations, committees and clubs etc. they have belonged to.

You will find that all of them (literally virtually every last one of them has a massive background in religious belief & religious studies, but little or no background or qualifications in any non-religious academic employment.

Here are some those details for Bart Ehrman, for example -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman

Bart Denton Ehrman (/bɑːrt ˈɜːrmən/; born October 5, 1955) is an American professor and scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is one of North America's leading scholars in his field, having written and edited 30 books, including three college textbooks. He has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman's work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

Ehrman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and attended Lawrence High School, where he was on the state champion debate team in 1973. He began studying the Bible and the Biblical languages at Moody Bible Institute, where he earned the school's three-year diploma in 1976.[1] He is a 1978 graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he received his bachelor's degree. He received his PhD and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He received magna cum laude for both his BA in 1978 and PhD in 1985.[2]

Ehrman has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He was the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope "Spirit of Inquiry" Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.

Ehrman currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs. Ehrman formerly served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press).

Last edited by IanS; 11th December 2017 at 10:21 AM.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 10:34 AM   #257
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Just check Wikipedia under each of their names to read a detailed list of all their educational and professional qualifications, their job titles, what their employment descriptions are, what organisations, committees and clubs etc. they have belonged to.

You will find that all of them (literally virtually every last one of them has a massive background in religious belief & religious studies, but little or no background or qualifications in any non-religious academic employment.

Here are some those details for Bart Ehrman, for example -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman

Bart Denton Ehrman (/bɑːrt ˈɜːrmən/; born October 5, 1955) is an American professor and scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is one of North America's leading scholars in his field, having written and edited 30 books, including three college textbooks. He has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman's work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

Ehrman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and attended Lawrence High School, where he was on the state champion debate team in 1973. He began studying the Bible and the Biblical languages at Moody Bible Institute, where he earned the school's three-year diploma in 1976.[1] He is a 1978 graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he received his bachelor's degree. He received his PhD and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He received magna cum laude for both his BA in 1978 and PhD in 1985.[2]

Ehrman has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He was the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope "Spirit of Inquiry" Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.

Ehrman currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs. Ehrman formerly served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press).
I thought Brainache's contention was that those that study this type of history were predominantly secular? Silly me. I am confused. I need to go to the Star Wars thread
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume

Last edited by acbytesla; 11th December 2017 at 10:36 AM.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 11:04 AM   #258
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,246
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I really should get the hell out of this thread. I engaged in it so I could help myself better understand the questions about both the historicity of Jesus and Paul. I less doubt the historicity of Paul because it seems the consensus that a single person almost certainly wrote about half of the epistles attributed to Paul. Jesus the man is significantly more difficult to believe. But in the end, whether there was an actual person, it wouldn't make the stories or his deity true. So really, it is kind of an irrelevant question.

Just on the highlight (mainly) - I think I may know how you feel reading some of the replies here, because as I think I probably said earlier, this is a subject that seems to bring out the worst in some peoples behaviour (all the previous HJ threads ended up with a lot of quite bitter personalised attacks and a mass of generally abusive remarks etc.). Although so far, this thread as been quite restrained (hurray!)

But I think this is actually a very important subject, because imho it's hard to see what credibility the current day Christian church would still have if it ever turned out that evidence became so strongly against a HJ that even the church leaders themselves had to admit to their congregations that the figure upon which their beliefs were built, might very well be just fictional after all ...

... I did actually raise that point here some years ago in one of the HJ threads, but surprisingly (at least I found it surprising) almost none of the many respondents here thought it was of any consequence at all for current day Christianity even if Jesus was accepted as fictional ... the overwhelming view seemed to be that the priests and bishops would still go on preaching the bible, and the congregation would still go on believing in God and biblical miracles, even if at the same time they were agreeing that evidence now showed that Jesus was probably just fictional after all. To me that would seem an absurd position for Christianity. But apparently that is what the majority here believed/believe.

Of course there was another poster (in this thread, in fact) who immediately tried to make mischief with the above by thereafter repeatedly claiming that I was thereby admitting that I was only claiming to have doubts about Jesus just in order to further an agenda of bashing the Church and bashing religion in general.

Last edited by IanS; 11th December 2017 at 11:07 AM.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 11:09 AM   #259
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,246
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I thought Brainache's contention was that those that study this type of history were predominantly secular? Silly me. I am confused. I need to go to the Star Wars thread

I doubt if I read what Brainache said .
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 11:09 AM   #260
Peregrinus
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,213
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Just check Wikipedia under each of their names to read a detailed list of all their educational and professional qualifications, their job titles, what their employment descriptions are, what organisations, committees and clubs etc. they have belonged to.

You will find that all of them (literally virtually every last one of them has a massive background in religious belief & religious studies....
This can lead to problems such as (from your example) the potential implication that the Moody Bible Institute and the Princeton Theological Seminary are somehow equivalent. There are those who do or who would accidentally consider them equivalent. Comparing those two institutions is very much like Mark Twain's distinction between a lightning bug and an actual bolt of lightning.
Peregrinus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 11:20 AM   #261
RecoveringYuppy
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,627
Originally Posted by Peregrinus View Post
This can lead to problems such as (from your example) the potential implication that the Moody Bible Institute and the Princeton Theological Seminary are somehow equivalent. There are those who do or who would accidentally consider them equivalent. Comparing those two institutions is very much like Mark Twain's distinction between a lightning bug and an actual bolt of lightning.
Could you elaborate on the problems that might cause? BTW and FWIW I don't see that the citation implies they are equivalent.

I think there is some talking past each other going on here.
__________________
REJ (Robert E Jones) posting anonymously under my real name for 30 years.

Make a fire for a man and you keep him warm for a day. Set him on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 11:27 AM   #262
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,469
Originally Posted by Peregrinus View Post
This can lead to problems such as (from your example) the potential implication that the Moody Bible Institute and the Princeton Theological Seminary are somehow equivalent. There are those who do or who would accidentally consider them equivalent. Comparing those two institutions is very much like Mark Twain's distinction between a lightning bug and an actual bolt of lightning.
I've never seen that quip from Twain. It's very good indeed.

I suppose some people would think Moody and Princeton equivalent because they both specialise in religious studies. According to some commentators, because these studies are about non-existent subject matter, they are therefore rubbish, and one rubbish heap is to all intents and purposes much like another, these commentators perhaps think.
Craig B is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 11:51 AM   #263
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Just on the highlight (mainly) - I think I may know how you feel reading some of the replies here, because as I think I probably said earlier, this is a subject that seems to bring out the worst in some peoples behaviour (all the previous HJ threads ended up with a lot of quite bitter personalised attacks and a mass of generally abusive remarks etc.). Although so far, this thread as been quite restrained (hurray!)

But I think this is actually a very important subject, because imho it's hard to see what credibility the current day Christian church would still have if it ever turned out that evidence became so strongly against a HJ that even the church leaders themselves had to admit to their congregations that the figure upon which their beliefs were built, might very well be just fictional after all ...

... I did actually raise that point here some years ago in one of the HJ threads, but surprisingly (at least I found it surprising) almost none of the many respondents here thought it was of any consequence at all for current day Christianity even if Jesus was accepted as fictional ... the overwhelming view seemed to be that the priests and bishops would still go on preaching the bible, and the congregation would still go on believing in God and biblical miracles, even if at the same time they were agreeing that evidence now showed that Jesus was probably just fictional after all. To me that would seem an absurd position for Christianity. But apparently that is what the majority here believed/believe.

Of course there was another poster (in this thread, in fact) who immediately tried to make mischief with the above by thereafter repeatedly claiming that I was thereby admitting that I was only claiming to have doubts about Jesus just in order to further an agenda of bashing the Church and bashing religion in general.
Where do I start? There seems to be a level of emotion that some people invest in their personal religious mythology that borders on rabid. Me, I love engaging in arguments and personal attacks directed at me never ruffle my feathers. In fact, usually, I find them funny. I love arguing because I found it to be one of the best ways to learn. I will play the devil's advocate on pretty much every issue taking stands I often don't believe to see if I can make a good argument for the opposite side.

But as I said, this argument seems to make sane people insane. Last year, I was arguing very politely with a Christian about the fact that the Gospels were anonymous. This man had up until I said this to be the very model of civility, even gentlemanly. All of sudden, he kind of went stark raving mad. Called me a 'lying piece of filth'.

But unlike you, I'm not sure how 'important this is. Because I doubt you could ever disprove it enough to satisfy the believers. Take the example of Moses. It seem the overwhelming consensus that the Exodus story is mythical. If Moses wasn't real, then it goes to reason that none of that follows is real. Yet, here we are.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 11:54 AM   #264
Brainache
Nasty Brutish and Tall
 
Brainache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 17,026
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Just on the highlight (mainly) - I think I may know how you feel reading some of the replies here, because as I think I probably said earlier, this is a subject that seems to bring out the worst in some peoples behaviour (all the previous HJ threads ended up with a lot of quite bitter personalised attacks and a mass of generally abusive remarks etc.). Although so far, this thread as been quite restrained (hurray!)

But I think this is actually a very important subject, because imho it's hard to see what credibility the current day Christian church would still have if it ever turned out that evidence became so strongly against a HJ that even the church leaders themselves had to admit to their congregations that the figure upon which their beliefs were built, might very well be just fictional after all ...

... I did actually raise that point here some years ago in one of the HJ threads, but surprisingly (at least I found it surprising) almost none of the many respondents here thought it was of any consequence at all for current day Christianity even if Jesus was accepted as fictional ... the overwhelming view seemed to be that the priests and bishops would still go on preaching the bible, and the congregation would still go on believing in God and biblical miracles, even if at the same time they were agreeing that evidence now showed that Jesus was probably just fictional after all. To me that would seem an absurd position for Christianity. But apparently that is what the majority here believed/believe.

Of course there was another poster (in this thread, in fact) who immediately tried to make mischief with the above by thereafter repeatedly claiming that I was thereby admitting that I was only claiming to have doubts about Jesus just in order to further an agenda of bashing the Church and bashing religion in general.
Good luck with your crusade to bring down Christianity using the work of Richard Carrier...

The point was not that Christians wouldn't care that Jesus was a myth, the point was that they would never accept the premise. You are talking about people who believe in the virgin birth, walking on water, raising the dead etc. Do you really think that Richard Carrier is going to convince them that Jesus never existed, based on his strange reading of Paul?

You continue to characterise everyone who accepts a historical Jesus as some kind of religious sheep, but there really are many secular Scholars in Universities throughout the world who study the Ancient Near East and none of them appear to accept Carrier's idea. Some of these Scholars might even be Jewish, why haven't they jumped on the Mythical Jesus donkey train?

Can someone quote this for IanS so that he can reply?
Brainache is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 12:19 PM   #265
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Good luck with your crusade to bring down Christianity using the work of Richard Carrier...

The point was not that Christians wouldn't care that Jesus was a myth, the point was that they would never accept the premise. You are talking about people who believe in the virgin birth, walking on water, raising the dead etc. Do you really think that Richard Carrier is going to convince them that Jesus never existed, based on his strange reading of Paul?

You continue to characterise everyone who accepts a historical Jesus as some kind of religious sheep, but there really are many secular Scholars in Universities throughout the world who study the Ancient Near East and none of them appear to accept Carrier's idea. Some of these Scholars might even be Jewish, why haven't they jumped on the Mythical Jesus donkey train?

Can someone quote this for IanS so that he can reply?
Can you be specific?

I agree, Christianity isnt going to come crashing down by Richard Carrier's work. It will come down not based on whether there was an actual Jesus but based on the massive absurdity of the theology. Eventually people won't need that particular security blanket.

But I remain unconvinced that a historical Jesus is a fact. I also question whether that those arguing that he was and who have been dismissing the mythicist position haven't been swallowed up traditional dogma.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 02:08 PM   #266
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,246
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post

But unlike you, I'm not sure how 'important this is. Because I doubt you could ever disprove it enough to satisfy the believers. Take the example of Moses. It seem the overwhelming consensus that the Exodus story is mythical. If Moses wasn't real, then it goes to reason that none of that follows is real. Yet, here we are.


Oh, sure ... that's indeed the problem - at this distance in time even the greatest sceptic or most committed "mythicist" is unlikely to discover anything really convincing to show that Jesus was indeed fictional (if a smoking gun was there, then we'd probably have discovered it by now) ... and of course it would take absolutely massive and utterly overwhelming evidence ever to make committed theists accept that the biblical stories were just myth ...

... as an example of how resistant theism is - it's now over 150 years since Darwin virtually "proved" that humans must have evolved from earlier related species, and hence could not have been made directly by God as almost everyone had believed up until that time. But even today, after that theory of evolution has been confirmed in the most exacting and extensive detail, where we can now be as sure as we are ever likely to be that Man evolved from earlier apes, still a vast number of Christians and Muslims (to take the two most widespread and numerous religions) refuse to accept that evolution is true in the case of humans ...

... or else if they do say they accept it must be true, then you get an absurd excuse and a shifting of the goalposts from the church leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope and their direct senior colleagues, saying "evolution, it's a perfectly good theory..." (that's a quote of what Archbishop Rowan Williams said when asked about evolution by Richard Dawkins), but they say "however, God still created the whole thing and caused evolution to happen as his way to create mankind, by creating the entire universe as his special planned intention....etc.".

So, if 150 years after Darwin the church can still proceed as if evolution had never been discovered, and continue to act as if God really was the intending intelligent architect of Mans creation, then, yes, of course virtually nothing can dissuade religious authorities from continuing to claim that of course Jesus was indeed everything that is said of him the the bible.

Though that is a pretty sad state of affairs if in the 21st century even the most overwhelming evidence is still not good enough for religious people to stop believing in 2000 year old superstitious myths.

Nevertheless, I think it's certain that if really strong evidence was ever found to show Jesus was only ever mythical, the church and it's leaders and followers would be getting an extremely hard time from the worlds news media as well as from academics teaching in universities all around the world, and I expect they would quite quickly become rather a laughing stock if they just tried to pretend that they could carry on preaching the truth of the bible and the words of Jesus to their congregation every Sunday, whilst effectively ending each sermon by saying (unspoken perhaps) ”but of course all that I've just told you about Jesus is untrue, because he never existed!”.

Last edited by IanS; 11th December 2017 at 02:11 PM.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 02:52 PM   #267
Peregrinus
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,213
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I've never seen that quip from Twain. It's very good indeed.
Twain used the comparison in pointing out the difference between the almost right word and the right word.

Quote:
I suppose some people would think Moody and Princeton equivalent because they both specialise in religious studies. According to some commentators, because these studies are about non-existent subject matter, they are therefore rubbish, and one rubbish heap is to all intents and purposes much like another, these commentators perhaps think.
Some (in my acquaintance at least) do think them equivalent; some even seem to place Answers in Genesis or MBI above the Smithsonian and the British Museum. So far as Ehrman is concerned with regard to this particular thread, careful, critical study of existing manuscripts - or even fragmentary remains thereof - is hardly "non-existent subject matter."
Peregrinus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 03:29 PM   #268
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by Peregrinus View Post
Why does tubba sound so very much like a certain other god-botherer seen betimes in these threads?
I'm an atheist.
__________________
"The president’s voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesn’t exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 04:03 PM   #269
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Oh, sure ... that's indeed the problem - at this distance in time even the greatest sceptic or most committed "mythicist" is unlikely to discover anything really convincing to show that Jesus was indeed fictional (if a smoking gun was there, then we'd probably have discovered it by now) ... and of course it would take absolutely massive and utterly overwhelming evidence ever to make committed theists accept that the biblical stories were just myth ...

... as an example of how resistant theism is - it's now over 150 years since Darwin virtually "proved" that humans must have evolved from earlier related species, and hence could not have been made directly by God as almost everyone had believed up until that time. But even today, after that theory of evolution has been confirmed in the most exacting and extensive detail, where we can now be as sure as we are ever likely to be that Man evolved from earlier apes, still a vast number of Christians and Muslims (to take the two most widespread and numerous religions) refuse to accept that evolution is true in the case of humans ...

... or else if they do say they accept it must be true, then you get an absurd excuse and a shifting of the goalposts from the church leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope and their direct senior colleagues, saying "evolution, it's a perfectly good theory..." (that's a quote of what Archbishop Rowan Williams said when asked about evolution by Richard Dawkins), but they say "however, God still created the whole thing and caused evolution to happen as his way to create mankind, by creating the entire universe as his special planned intention....etc.".

So, if 150 years after Darwin the church can still proceed as if evolution had never been discovered, and continue to act as if God really was the intending intelligent architect of Mans creation, then, yes, of course virtually nothing can dissuade religious authorities from continuing to claim that of course Jesus was indeed everything that is said of him the the bible.

Though that is a pretty sad state of affairs if in the 21st century even the most overwhelming evidence is still not good enough for religious people to stop believing in 2000 year old superstitious myths.

Nevertheless, I think it's certain that if really strong evidence was ever found to show Jesus was only ever mythical, the church and it's leaders and followers would be getting an extremely hard time from the worlds news media as well as from academics teaching in universities all around the world, and I expect they would quite quickly become rather a laughing stock if they just tried to pretend that they could carry on preaching the truth of the bible and the words of Jesus to their congregation every Sunday, whilst effectively ending each sermon by saying (unspoken perhaps) ”but of course all that I've just told you about Jesus is untrue, because he never existed!”.
I can't imagine the strong evidence that could ever be produced to prove Jesus was a myth. Especially when you view the almost entire absence of evidence that is offered to prove he was real. What you are suggesting is pretty much comparable to proving a null hypothesis.

I heard Bart Ehrman speak about the Gospels. Not a mythicist, a former Fundamentalist pastor and scholar, but now an atheist discussing the absurdity of believing the inerrancy of scripture. Ehrman says that the earliest copy of Mark that historians are able to view dates to about 220AD. And this is a partial copy. Still historians estimate that the original Gospel of Mark was written in about 65AD.

And this is typical of the other Gospels as well. Yet I bet 99 percent of Christians are totally unaware of this fact. And 99 percent that are aware, just don't care as I found out in a discussion with a Baptist minister.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume

Last edited by acbytesla; 11th December 2017 at 04:30 PM.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 04:12 PM   #270
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I can't imagine the strong evidence that could ever be produced to prove Jesus was a myth. Especially when you view the almost entire absence of evidence that is offered to prove he was real. What you are suggesting is pretty much comparable to proving a null hypothesis.

I heard Bart Ehrman speak about Gospels. Not a mythicist, a former Fundamentalist pastor and scholar, but now an atheist discussing the absurdity of believing the inerrancy of scripture. Ehrman says that the earliest copy of Mark that historians are able to view dates to about 220AD. And this is a partial copy. Still historians estimate that the original Gospel of Mark was written in about 65AD.

And this is typical of the other Gospels as well. Yet I bet 99 percent of Christians are totally unaware of this fact. And 99 percent that are aware, just don't care as I found out in a discussion with a Baptist minister.
And anyone who is unaware but familiar with ancient manuscripts would be shocked that they are so close in time to their writing, compared to most ancient manuscripts.
__________________
"The president’s voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesn’t exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 04:27 PM   #271
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
And anyone who is unaware but familiar with ancient manuscripts would be shocked that they are so close in time to their writing, compared to most ancient manuscripts.
Not sure that is true. But still, that kind of evidence is pretty pathetic. You act as if fictional stories weren't written at the time.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume

Last edited by acbytesla; 11th December 2017 at 04:29 PM.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 08:00 PM   #272
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Not sure that is true.
What would convince you? Because that the mss we have are remarkably close in time to when they were written relative to most ancient works is an elementary fact.

Quote:
But still, that kind of evidence is pretty pathetic. You act as if fictional stories weren't written at the time.
Genre analysis. Genre analysis. GENRE ANALYSIS.
__________________
"The president’s voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesn’t exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 08:03 PM   #273
Peregrinus
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,213
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
And anyone who is unaware but familiar with ancient manuscripts would be shocked that they are so close in time to their writing, compared to most ancient manuscripts.
This thread is not about "most ancient manuscripts."
Peregrinus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 08:10 PM   #274
RecoveringYuppy
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,627
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Genre analysis. Genre analysis. GENRE ANALYSIS.
You've presented some truly pathetic arguments in this thread. Repeating and shouting them doesn't help.

If you've got some truly good evidence, why not just show it??????
__________________
REJ (Robert E Jones) posting anonymously under my real name for 30 years.

Make a fire for a man and you keep him warm for a day. Set him on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 08:38 PM   #275
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
You've presented some truly pathetic arguments in this thread. Repeating and shouting them doesn't help.

If you've got some truly good evidence, why not just show it??????
The evidence has been shown. You are simply refusing to accept it out of anti-religious prejudice and wilful ignorance. I stopped taking this discussion seriously a good while ago.
__________________
"The president’s voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesn’t exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 09:33 PM   #276
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7,711
We can look at ancient history and prehistory as a kind of black box and throw up our hands and say there's precious little we know or ever can know because someone may have made it all up. But scholars can still analyze text to find internal consistencies or inconsistencies, apply knowledge of classical languages to see how translation might have affected meaning, or use reasoning and detective work to maximize insight into a handful of letters written 2,000 years ago. What modern-day Christians believe the Bible says does not nullify the sleuthing of people who have no need for the Bible to be literal history, so why is this relevant?
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 09:39 PM   #277
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
We can look at ancient history and prehistory as a kind of black box and throw up our hands and say there's precious little we know or ever can know because someone may have made it all up. But scholars can still analyze text to find internal consistencies or inconsistencies, apply knowledge of classical languages to see how translation might have affected meaning, or use reasoning and detective work to maximize insight into a handful of letters written 2,000 years ago. What modern-day Christians believe the Bible says does not nullify the sleuthing of people who have no need for the Bible to be literal history, so why is this relevant?
No, you see, at some point every source we have was probably handled by a Christian. Christians being frauds who believe in fairytales they would instantly have altered it to make it look like Jesus existed. Therefore nothing can be known about Jesus. Also because religion and fiction are 100% equivalent that means any religious text belongs to the fiction genre and everything in it is made up SO THERE.
__________________
"The president’s voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesn’t exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 09:41 PM   #278
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18,450
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post

Genre analysis. Genre analysis. GENRE ANALYSIS.
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
You've presented some truly pathetic arguments in this thread. Repeating and shouting them doesn't help.

If you've got some truly good evidence, why not just show it??????
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
The evidence has been shown. You are simply refusing to accept it out of anti-religious prejudice and wilful ignorance. I stopped taking this discussion seriously a good while ago.
I have to agree with Yuppy. Just because the Gospels aren't written in dactylic hexameter like the Illiad doesn't make them non-fiction. Keep in mind that these stories include, the raising of the dead, walking on water, a virgin birth and turning water into wine.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 10:26 PM   #279
davefoc
Philosopher
 
davefoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: orange country, california
Posts: 9,402
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
And anyone who is unaware but familiar with ancient manuscripts would be shocked that they are so close in time to their writing, compared to most ancient manuscripts.
Is your point that the Gospels are a reliable source of history?

Have you read them with an eye to trying to find what is reliable in them?

Do they read like history or do they read like fiction to you? Are authors identified? Does the text identify how the authors came to have knowledge of the information they are reporting?

If the texts are read with the idea that supernatural part of the story is true it is not much of a leap to believe the authors supernaturally acquired the information they are reporting. If the texts are read with the idea that the supernatural part of the story is false it is a big leap that the authors could have known what they claim to have known.

And when the texts are known to depict historical events and geography inaccurately, to contain substantial contradictory information between them and to be completely dependent on Mark for the core part of their story it seems like a slam dunk conclusion that at least Matthew, Luke and John are not reliable enough to be used to as a source of history.

Perhaps your point is that the fact that many ancient copies of the Gospels exist provides credibility to them? Of course you are aware that the dating of the extent copies of the Gospels is difficult and you are probably also aware that most of the copies we have today date from around the time of Constantine when the Roman government began pushing Christianity and suppressing other religions. Copies of the Gospels that date from the time of Constantine aren't proof of much except that the Roman government was trying to instill a statewide religion.

Who do you think wrote the Gospels? Where do you think they were written? When do you think they were written? What group did the Gospel writers belong to? Maybe Hellenized Jews? Maybe Gentiles that were following some form of Judaism? Maybe Mithra followers that were converting to some form of Christianity who decided that some good Jesus stories would have a lot of traction? Does the fact that the answers to none of these questions is known to any degree of reliability make you question how reliable the Gospels are?
__________________
The way of truth is along the path of intellectual sincerity. -- Henry S. Pritchett

Perfection is the enemy of good enough -- Russian proverb

Last edited by davefoc; 11th December 2017 at 10:28 PM.
davefoc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2017, 10:54 PM   #280
davefoc
Philosopher
 
davefoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: orange country, california
Posts: 9,402
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm pretty sure Eusebius wrote that Paul was beheaded and Peter crucified in Rome. And the Catholic Church says their tombs are under the Vatican
I know something about the issue of Peter. I edited the article* on Peter's tomb in Wikipedia and I became somewhat associated with the issues then.

The first St. Peter's Basilica was built around the time of Constantine. The nave of the Basilica was built over a small monument (called an aedicula) that may have been designed to be meant to memorialize Peter or even mark his grave. The aedicula was dated to about 160 AD. The St. Peter's Basilica that stands today was built over the site of the Basilica that was built in Constantine's time. And the nave of the new Basilica is roughly where the nave of the original basilica was.

Archeology digs were conducted between 1939 and 1949. They discovered some bones in the floor that the aedicula sat on that were a mix of animal and human bones. The assumption was initially that the bones were those of St. Peter however after it was discovered that there were bones from multiple people and animals** and none of the bones were appropriate for a 60 year old man the claim was withdrawn. Then in the 1960's bones were discovered that were claimed to have been removed from a niche in a wall near the aedicula by a priest that had overseen the archeology. The bones were tested and they were found to be consistent with a first century 60 year old man and the Pope declared that Peter's bones had been found and I think the view of the Catholic church today is that it is not proven but the bones seem to be the bones of Peter. One of the archeologists that had worked on the project disagreed with the conclusion and one of them supported it (the same one that had found the bones).

I was unaware of the fact that Paul is said to be buried under a different church just outside the Vatican walls. There are recent claims that bones have been found that are confirmed to be those of Paul. I looked around for a scholarly article on the claim. All I found were articles in regular publications that just repeated the Vatican's claims on this.

*Mostly I just edited the opening paragraph and complained about the article a bit. Some of the stuff I complained about was fixed but mostly I think the article is confusing and I lost enthusiasm for the effort.

**Animal bones mixed with human bones apparently was a pagan practice and in addition to the alleged St. Peter's grave St. Peter's Basilica is over a Pagan necropolis.
__________________
The way of truth is along the path of intellectual sincerity. -- Henry S. Pritchett

Perfection is the enemy of good enough -- Russian proverb
davefoc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:43 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.