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Old 17th August 2019, 03:42 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
But the issue is that people who have a long expertise in a field can interpret the evidence better than you. That's why we have experts in the first place -- we can't each have all of that knowledge in all fields.

So what's the difference between these experts and others? You'll say that one has the evidence and the other not, but what makes you able to determine what evidence is enough if you are not, yourself, a historian, or a physicist? At some point you have to trust some authority on these topics.
Except all fields are not equal.

Religious historians are certainly experts on ancient script. I don't question their expertise on reading ancient Greek and Syrian Aramaic. But their ability to tell us the historicity of the people and events written on the script is severely limited. I'm not saying Jesus didn't exist. But I'm skeptical of even Ehrman when he claims certainty based on such scant evidence.
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Old 17th August 2019, 04:28 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Religious historians are certainly experts on ancient script. I don't question their expertise on reading ancient Greek and Syrian Aramaic. But their ability to tell us the historicity of the people and events written on the script is severely limited.
Why? Serious question.

Or, alternatively, who has that ability?
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Old 17th August 2019, 05:09 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Why? Serious question.

Or, alternatively, who has that ability?
What can they know other than there are writings and what is written?
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Old 17th August 2019, 05:38 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
What can they know other than there are writings and what is written?
I presume you've participated in discussions on this topic before, correct? You must be aware of the plethora of arguments for and against HJ? If so, why ask this?
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Old 17th August 2019, 06:05 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I presume you've participated in discussions on this topic before, correct? You must be aware of the plethora of arguments for and against HJ? If so, why ask this?
You asked me why I thought experts in ancient history are limited in determining the difference between legendary and historical figures. My question was rhetorical.
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Old 17th August 2019, 06:22 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I presume you've participated in discussions on this topic before, correct? You must be aware of the plethora of arguments for and against HJ? If so, why ask this?
Ummm. Personally, I find the notion that there might once have been itinerant rabbi in the levant who later became labelled "jesus" an entirely unremarkable circumstance.

Sadly, even considering such a mundane thing as a possibility causes an immediate outbreak of the war between the MJ/HJ camps.

I really don't much care either way, but the idea inspires much panty wadding for some reasons unidentified as if it somehow mattered. For anything.

But for some reason, the whole HJ/MJ thing evokes a visceral and frankly savage and irrational response from both sides, because....Why? I have no idea.
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Old 17th August 2019, 06:31 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
None of us have the time to be experts in everything.

You have not established that the experts have a consensus on this. A small group of people claim a consensus with no evidence.
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Old 17th August 2019, 06:40 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Ummm. Personally, I find the notion that there might once have been itinerant rabbi in the levant who later became labelled "jesus" an entirely unremarkable circumstance.

Sadly, even considering such a mundane thing as a possibility causes an immediate outbreak of the war between the MJ/HJ camps.

I really don't much care either way, but the idea inspires much panty wadding for some reasons unidentified as if it somehow mattered. For anything.

But for some reason, the whole HJ/MJ thing evokes a visceral and frankly savage and irrational response from both sides, because....Why? I have no idea.
I'm with you on this. While I'm skeptical of the historicity of Jesus, I'm not saying he didn't exist.

But it really doesn't matter. The whole story is either a total fabrication or a massive exaggeration. What difference does it make which one?
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Old 17th August 2019, 06:57 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
But their ability to tell us the historicity of the people and events written on the script is severely limited.

Some people are asking why some of care whether or not Jesus existed. I don't. The sentence you just quoted is the subject I care about. The whole "science" of hermeneutics was basically invented to give a veneer of science to the interpretation of the Bible. It's a "science" that can't be demonstrated to actually work and claims to extract information that simply isn't present in the documents. It's a flim-flam. They are no more "experts" than chiropractors or creationists.
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Old 17th August 2019, 07:16 PM   #170
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The thing about the alleged "consensus" is a giant red herring. Not only is there no sign that it's even true, but even if it is, it still wouldn't matter. The relevant question is not which side has more people on it, but which side has presented the better case.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
The following is the text from the works of Josephus that describes Jesus and mentions the crucifixion.
It is considered to be a falsification inserted by the early Christians. Obviously a hand written text could be fixed by scribes at any time in the approximately 1500 years the manuscript existed before printing was invented.
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
???????

Good one.
Do you object to the idea that it's forged? Or do you read the prepositional phrase at the end of that sentence as connected to the verb "considered" instead of the verb "inserted"? Or do you infer that the sentence after that is intended to be the basis for the idea that it's forged?

There are problems with using it to show that Jesus was a historical person anyway, even if one completely believes that the text is authentic, but I'll get that below. For now, some of the possible meanings that your minimalism could be hiding would call for some explanation of the forgery idea in response, and it's possible that some readers have never seen it spelled out, so:
  1. The writing style is not the usual for Josephus, not only in the way it heaps religiously adoring praise on its subject but also in its lack of explanation of things that would have been unfamiliar to his Roman audience, for whom he's known for giving detailed explanations of Israelisms in the rest of his writing.
  2. Elsewhere, he has a section listing several guys who wandered around that area preaching similar preachings, some of whom are even named Jesus... but the Jesus we're looking for is not among them. His paragraph of Josephus is far off somewhere else. If Josephus believed in that particular Jesus, he would have mentioned him there; even if he thought this one was different from the rest, he would have at least said how he's different.
  3. So, where did it end up instead, if it's not where it belongs, where it would have been if it were real? In the middle of a series of descriptions of other stuff that happened in Roman Palastine/Judea, completely from unrelated to anything about religion or prophets/preachers. (I might be misremembering, but for some reason I'm getting that one of them was a Roman politician sex scandal; most of it had to do with politicians, at least.) In fact, the very next thing after the Jesus paragraph begins "...And then another calamity/scandal/crime happened...". But the Jesus paragraph hadn't mentioned any such thing, so what was the preceding one that the word "another" takes off from? It can only be the last thing that had been mentioned before the Jesus paragraph. There's no way for this placement to make a speck of sense; the whole sequence only really works without the Jesus paragraph in it at all. This isn't just forgery, it's dim-wittedly amateurish forgery.
  4. Other commentators who quoted Josephus in their own manuscripts, and wrote about Jesus and earlier writings concerning Jesus themselves, and thus would be expected to have something to say about Josephus's mention of Jesus, don't seem to have noticed that paragraph's existence for a few hundred years. Then it finally starts getting quoted & referred to where it would be expected in later Josephus commentaries... almost as if that's when it got added.

As for its content, aside from the forgery issue:
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
The following text is from Flavius Josephus (c37-100AD)
The Antiquities of the Jews. Book 18.3.3

Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works,- a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principle men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
This does indeed express belief in the Jesus story, including some of the supernatural bits. Unfortunately, it does so in Rome in the year 93 or 94. At that time, he doesn't know the truth any better than anybody else who got the stories 200th-hand like he did. (And would we take any other Jew's belief in Jewish religious stuff as a sign that Jewish religious stuff must be true? No; it's just an example that lots of Jews believed it.) All this tells us is that the stories were being told. It could be entirely authentic and it would still be useless for establishing historicity of Jesus.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
From the annals of the Roman historian Tacitus. Annal 15:44

15.44.2. But, despite kindly influence, despite the leader's generous handouts, despite appeasing the gods, the scandal did not subside, rather the blaze came to be believed to be an official act. So, in order to quash the rumour, Nero blamed it on, and applied the cruellest punishments to, those sinners, whom ordinary people call Christians, hating them for their shameful behaviour.
15.44.3. The originator of this name, Christ, was sentenced to torture by Procurator Pontius Pilate, during the reign of Tiberius, but although checked for a moment, the deadly cult erupted again, not just in Judaea, the source of its evil, but even in Rome, where all the sins and scandals of the world gather and are glorified.
This does indeed express belief in some version of Jesus, without the supernatural parts of the story. Unfortunately, it only does even that limited version in the first couple of decades of the second century. At that time, he doesn't know the truth any better than anybody else who got the stories 200th-hand like he did. All this tells us is that the stories were being told.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Pliny the Younger
Pliny was the governor of the Roman province of Bithynia, in present-day Turkey. In about 112 AD, he wrote (in Epistles X.96) to the emperor Trajan, asking for advice on how to deal with the Christians in his province, because he was executing so many of them. Pliny wrote:

'They were in the habit of meeting before dawn on a fixed day. They would recite in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a God, and would bind themselves by a solemn oath, not to do any criminal act, but rather that they would not commit any fraud, theft or adultery, nor betray any trust nor refuse to restore a deposit on demand. This done, they would disperse, and then they would meet again later to eat together (but the food was quite ordinary and harmless.)
This doesn't even claim that Jesus was real. It just claims that Christians were. Around the end of the first century & beginning of the second.

What this all adds up to for the historical Jesus is: nothing... actually, less than that, because it even adds one little thing going the other direction: a perfectly realistic alternative explanation for where the idea of Jesus would come from without Biblical Jesus having ever been real. Remember that some of those wandering preachers Josephus mentioned had one thing or another or more in common with Jesus, sometimes including his name. This does even more than just set up the idea of rebellious wandering preachers as a general concept in the background of the common psyche of that place & time, from which an individual fictional character could precipitate with a mix of various real people's details and fictional ones (which would fit the introduction of one of the Gospels, I think Luke, where it even tells you from the start that the author is not a witness but a guy trying to bring together a mess of contradictory stories that were floating around at his time and make a single more coherent explanation out of them). Josephus's vaguely-Jesusy-preacher-cloud also even shows that the name "Jesus" would be the single most likely name to get attached to such a coalescent construct, and gives us clear points of origin for some of the details the assembly would assimilate. And the one guy whose life story seems to fit Gospel-Jesus on the most points along the way (like getting arrested and giving the Romans cryptic non-answers instead of defending himself) was active in the 60s, which, while it's late enough to prove that he can't be "the Biblical Jesus" (along with the different father's name, place of birth, and cause of death), is still easily early enough for those fragments of his story to have been a part of the Jesus-cloud that the Gospels were drawing from. So one of the sources that Christians try to use to show that Jesus was real not only doesn't, but actually even clarifies a simple alternative for us without even trying to.

Whether the "Jesus was real" side has most of the unbiased pros on their side or not, they need to present a sound case for their conclusion. What they give us instead is, at best, only a case for the existence of Christians telling Christian stories and doing Christian rituals. (And the equivalent of that "but there are more of us!" gimmick has turned out the be a lie in the last few cases I've seen it tried on other subjects anyway.)
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Old 17th August 2019, 07:29 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Some people are asking why some of care whether or not Jesus existed. I don't. The sentence you just quoted is the subject I care about. The whole "science" of hermeneutics was basically invented to give a veneer of science to the interpretation of the Bible. It's a "science" that can't be demonstrated to actually work and claims to extract information that simply isn't present in the documents. It's a flim-flam. They are no more "experts" than chiropractors or creationists.
How do you evaluate the historicity of a mythology? All we really know is there were stories about an itinerant rabbi. Nothing else can be concluded honestly.
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Old 17th August 2019, 07:39 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
The following is the text from the works of Josephus that describes Jesus and mentions the crucifixion.
It is considered to be a falsification inserted by the early Christians. Obviously a hand written text could be fixed by scribes at any time in the approximately 1500 years the manuscript existed before printing was invented.
But that is no reason not to give it consideration.
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
???????

Good one.
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post

Do you object to the idea that it's forged? Or do you read the prepositional phrase at the end of that sentence as connected to the verb "considered" instead of the verb "inserted"? Or do you infer that the sentence after that is intended to be the basis for the idea that it's forged?
Do you see the irony in the the two highlighted passages? I did.
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Old 17th August 2019, 10:25 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post

The further the documents are away from the events in time and distance, the more questionable they become. When they are written 30, 50 100 a 1000 years later the more ridiculous they grow as a source. When people point to Josephus and Tacitus as proof, it really is ridiculous.
.
Please answer a simple question: Are Pliny, Tacitus or Plutarch's texts ridiculous for studying the history of Rome?

In ancient history texts are dated in other ways than by the date of their first manuscript.

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Old 17th August 2019, 10:41 PM   #174
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Under the Roman occupation, leaders who opposed the status quo were a-dime a-dozen: people yearned for someone to replace their collaborating leaders.
So no doubt you could find someone a bit like Jesus at the time (by using a TARDIS) - heck, you could probably find ten.
I find it far more likely that the NT Jesus is an amalgam of historical characters, events and wishful thinking made to fit an agenda.
Given how long after the supposed events the texts were written, accuracy is not something we can expect.
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Old 17th August 2019, 11:54 PM   #175
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To affirm that Jesus existed because there is a consensus among the experts is to resort to a false principle of authority because the consensus of those experts is not neutral.

To discredit by principle anyone who says that Jesus existed because he participates in that false consensus is dogmatic. It turns into an ad hominem argument. In this case it will be necessary to discuss whether the reasons given are valid.

For example: non-believing authors who claim that Jesus existed resort to the principle of difficulty or embarrassment. It is not plausible that a legend was formed about a divine man dying on the cross, because the cross was an infamous punishment reserved for ignoble people. In the facts early Christians don't represent the crucifixion until the fifth century or more.

This is what must be discussed and not the issue of consensus.
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Old 18th August 2019, 12:52 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Excuse me. YOU may not be talking about historians, but I've been talking about them exclusively. I'm sorry if you thought I was talking about some other group..

Which "historians" have you named (or quoted) here, who you say are claiming to have shown Jesus was real?

I don't recall you naming any such historians. Who are you are claiming to name?

So far in all the literally hundreds of thousands of posts that have been made on this subject on this forum and on two other forums (over more than 10 years), the only people that have been named are Bible Scholars. In fact there is only one who has been named by almost every poster who has ever claimed to believe Jesus to be real, and that is Bart Ehrman, and he is a Bible Scholar, not a "historian".


Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Then you honestly have no basis for your objection.

Ha, ha, what a joke that is – you are now claiming that I have no basis for criticizing Bible Scholars, because I have not criticised any actual Historians!! … well so far we have not had any hstorians cited here for us to criticise.

Do you want me to criticise your “historians”? OK, well produce some here, and we can decide if they should be criticised! …

… if they do what Biblical Scholars do and claim that the bible is evidence showing Jesus was “certainly” real and that all properly qualified “scholars” agree with that, then I will certainly critiicise them, and so should anyone else who cares about the honesty and truth of what people (your so-called “experts” who we must obey) claim.


Look, cut the crap now – you claim that Jesus is more likely to be real (60% likely), Right; so what is your evidence for that positive conclusion?

Just produce what you claim to be the evidence please.

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Old 18th August 2019, 02:19 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
So far in all the literally hundreds of thousands of posts that have been made on this subject on this forum and on two other forums (over more than 10 years), the only people that have been named are Bible Scholars. In fact there is only one who has been named by almost every poster who has ever claimed to believe Jesus to be real, and that is Bart Ehrman, and he is a Bible Scholar, not a "historian".
.
What is an historian? Why a Bible scholar cannot be an historian?

Historian
: someone who writes about or studies history.

HIstory: (the study of or a record of) past events considered together, especially events of a particular period, country, or subject.
(From the Cambridge Dictionary on line)

According that Bart Ehrman is an historian.
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Old 18th August 2019, 02:56 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Which "historians" have you named (or quoted) here, who you say are claiming to have shown Jesus was real?

I don't recall you naming any such historians. Who are you are claiming to name?
Who said anything about naming? You said you were talking about scholars. Are you therefore claiming to be naming them? That makes no sense.

Quote:
So far in all the literally hundreds of thousands of posts that have been made on this subject on this forum and on two other forums (over more than 10 years), the only people that have been named are Bible Scholars. In fact there is only one who has been named by almost every poster who has ever claimed to believe Jesus to be real, and that is Bart Ehrman, and he is a Bible Scholar, not a "historian".
Ok how do YOU distinguish the two? When does a scholar become an historian or vice-versa?

Quote:
Ha, ha, what a joke that is you are now claiming that I have no basis for criticizing Bible Scholars, because I have not criticised any actual Historians!!
No, that isn't what I said. I said that if you don't know if any actual historians exist, then you cannot say whether they are biased. Your claim would be based on ignorance.

Quote:
Look, cut the crap now
Gee, I wish you would.

Quote:
you claim that Jesus is more likely to be real (60% likely), Right; so what is your evidence for that positive conclusion?
Done to death in other threads. I suggest you go back and read those. As I indicated earlier I'm not going to retread all of that here. Not while we're focusing on the issue of consensus and expertise, anyway.
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Old 18th August 2019, 03:02 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
You have not established that the experts have a consensus on this.
Well, when posters here use ad hominems to make experts into non-experts or discount their conclusions because of their religion, sure, it's hard to find consensus among experts, since the experts no longer exist, almost by definition. It's a nice trick, I have to admit. But it's not really an argument.

Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
The relevant question is not which side has more people on it, but which side has presented the better case.
Indeed, but then who makes that determination? Laypeople?
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Old 18th August 2019, 05:08 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
1. Who said anything about naming? You said you were talking about scholars. Are you therefore claiming to be naming them? That makes no sense.



2. Ok how do YOU distinguish the two? When does a scholar become an historian or vice-versa?



3. No, that isn't what I said. I said that if you don't know if any actual historians exist, then you cannot say whether they are biased. Your claim would be based on ignorance.



4. Gee I wish you would



5. Done to death in other threads. I suggest you go back and read those. As I indicated earlier I'm not going to retread all of that here. Not while we're focusing on the issue of consensus and expertise, anyway.

First highlight 1. It was you who just claimed that you have been talking here about "Historians" who believe Jesus was real. I am asking you to name them and tell us what evidence they have used.

And you are apparently incapable of doing that.


Highlight 2. A historian is an academic lecturer & researcher who is employed in the history department of a genuine university, and who publishes results of his/her research in genuine neutral history journals.

That is not the case for bible scholars.


Highlight 3. A cascade of deception here from you - I did not say that I was unaware of any historians existing. I said that I was unaware of any that were properly independent/unbiased (i.e. not already Christian believers in Jesus) who were writing to say Jesus existed on the basis of evidence from the bible.

You were the one who claimed such historians exist - well, so name them please, and tell us what their claimed evidence is.

As far as your claim of ignorance is concerned - I already pointed out to you that so far all the claims of "experts" have cited only Bible Scholars and not independent historians ... so far neither you nor anyone else here has produced any of your claimed "historians"!

Highlight 4. You cut out your crap and just produce the evidence which you say makes it 60% likely that Jesus was real …

… where is your 60% evidence? So far you have produced precisely NONE!

Highlight 5. Right, so you have no evidence to produce at all ! Nothing, not a single word.

How did you get to 60% with zero evidence? You can only do that on blind faith!


You have talked enough complete crap here now – JUST PRODUCE YOUR EVIDENCE OF JESUS

… where is the evidence that you are relying upon?

Just produce the evidence please.

Don't try anything else, just provide that which you claim as the evidence of Jesus (because nothing short of real evidence will do here).

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Old 18th August 2019, 05:45 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post

Originally Posted by*Delvo*
"The relevant question is not which side has more people on it, but which side has presented the better case".


Indeed, but then who makes that determination? Laypeople?

The answer as to “who makes that determination?”, is that it depends on who the claimed “experts” are -

- practitioners in all sorts of faith-healing offer themsleves as experts in what they do & what they claim (Reiki, Crystal Healing, Homeopathy ...), anyone with any sort of education has more than enough right & qualifications to question them as self-proclaimed experts and to ask them to produce genuine evidence for the claims they make …

… the Pope claims every year that various deceased Catholics have been actually proven to have worked miracles, and he even has a team of properly qualified scientists advising him that such miracles are indeed true … the Pope and his scientific team are vastly more expert on all those individual cases than you or I, or indeed than any actual scientists … so does that mean we should accept the Popes claims (he says it's proof) of those miracles? …

… religious preachers in general, e.g. priests, bishops, cardinals etc., claim all sorts of knowledge for the reality of God. They claim it from deep study of the bible, they claim it from personal experience, they claim it from the truth of known miracles etc etc., … they also know vastly more about all those personal experiences than anyone here … does that mean all of us here should accept what they say as the truth of God?

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Old 18th August 2019, 07:42 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
First highlight 1. It was you who just claimed that you have been talking here about "Historians" who believe Jesus was real.
Which in no way implies that I've got any of them to name, just like you mentioning scholars as a group doesn't imply that you've got any to name.

Quote:
And you are apparently incapable of doing that.
Ian, I've already explained why I am not discussing the evidence right now. I'm discussing the consensus and your claims about it. You know that. Focus. Stop personalising the argument, remember?

Quote:
Highlight 2. A historian is an academic lecturer & researcher who is employed in the history department of a genuine university, and who publishes results of his/her research in genuine neutral history journals.
This is an interesting wording -- including "genuine" and "neutral" -- which would allow you to dismiss any example of historians supporting the aforementioned consensus. To begin with any of them who is a Christian is automatically disqualified.

Quote:
I did not say that I was unaware of any historians existing. I said that I was unaware of any that were properly independent/unbiased (i.e. not already Christian believers in Jesus) who were writing to say Jesus existed on the basis of evidence from the bible.
Well I wasn't talking about Joan of Arc historians, was I? Obviously I was talking about those which you describe above. Making a point is not the same thing as scoring points, Ian.

Quote:
You were the one who claimed such historians exist
Well that was before you renamed them "scholars", allowing you to safely dismiss anyone with any expertise on the subject and follow entirely your own intuitions.
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Old 18th August 2019, 07:58 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Please answer a simple question: Are Pliny, Tacitus or Plutarch's texts ridiculous for studying the history of Rome?

In ancient history texts are dated in other ways than by the date of their first manuscript.
Maybe. Particularly if the writings are about events 100 years before.

Imagine writing about Nathan Bedford Forest today and having nothing but oral stories? How much are you likely to get right? Tacitus, etc are just the last players in a 100 year game of telephone.
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Old 18th August 2019, 08:40 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Which in no way implies that I've got any of them to name, just like you mentioning scholars as a group doesn't imply that you've got any to name.

Certainly does require you to name the people you are referring too as "historians" ... it was you who claimed to be talking about historians who had provided the evidence for you to get to 60% probability ... so it's you who must now back up your own claim by telling us who are these historians that YOU claimed!

And by the way I have already named 5 or 6 prominent Bible Scholars here. One in particular who almost all HJ believers rely upon repeatedly.



Ian, I've already explained why I am not discussing the evidence right now. I'm discussing the consensus and your claims about it. You know that. Focus. Stop personalising the argument, remember?


No! Absolutely not! We most definitely are discussing evidence. I've discussed it extensively already. You have claimed to have evidence from historians (who, thus far, you cannot or will not name) who give you 60% probability for Jesus. So what is the evidence that you have got from these "historians"?




This is an interesting wording -- including "genuine" and "neutral" -- which would allow you to dismiss any example of historians supporting the aforementioned consensus. To begin with any of them who is a Christian is automatically disqualified.


NO! If we are going to talk about "Historians" (or Bible Scholars, or any other academics), then they need to be neutral investigators, and not for example people who already believed in Jesus as a matter of religious faith.

As for the word "genuine” in relation to academics and their research publications, then we need to be sure they are employed in that role at real internationally recognised universities (not at some religiously funded privately owned religious/theological institute), and publishing their work in the genuine worldwide research journals (and not just publishing it in some fake self-invented journals of the kind we now find so often from religious "experts" like Willian Lane-Craig and the many thousands like him).



Well I wasn't talking about Joan of Arc historians, was I? Obviously I was talking about those which you describe above. Making a point is not the same thing as scoring points, Ian.


Nope ... it was most definitely YOU who claimed to be following the people who YOU called "the experts" and who YOU stated to be "Historians". It's your claim, and it's your job to tell us who these historians are and what they have claimed as the evidence that convinces you to 60%.



Well that was before you renamed them "scholars", allowing you to safely dismiss anyone with any expertise on the subject and follow entirely your own intuitions.


It was not me who renamed them "scholars" - that is their official employment title. Bart Ehrman for example is officially a "New Testament Scholar" (he is not employed or paid as a "History Professor/Lecturer").


Just produce the evidence please. Do nothing else. Stop the time wasting. Just produce the evidence of Jesus.

It is you who has claimed to know "experts" who are claimed by you to be "historians" who you claim have provided evidence of Jesus convincing you that Jesus was more like than not at 60% likelihood ... please produce that evidence.... do you have it? where is it (for the 4th time!)??
.........

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Old 18th August 2019, 09:50 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
According that Bart Ehrman is an historian.
Yeah, but that doesn't mean all historians agree with him or that he can speak for them. Nor does it mean that all his techniques would be used by other historians. Look up "hermeneutics". Virtually all sources identify it as a technique focused on analyzing the bible and, occasionally, other religious texts. Look at organizations promoting it and you get more churches than universities, and by a wide margin.
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Old 18th August 2019, 09:51 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Well, when posters here use ad hominems to make experts into non-experts or discount their conclusions because of their religion, sure, it's hard to find consensus among experts, since the experts no longer exist, almost by definition. It's a nice trick, I have to admit. But it's not really an argument.?
Oh ********. Cite the consensus you are claiming. ETA: Note that the one bit of evidence already cited for it in this thread has already been exposed as a complete crock.
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Old 18th August 2019, 09:58 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Certainly does require you to name the people you are referring too as "historians"
Why does me refering to a group of people require me to name them? You're not making any sort of sense, here.

Quote:
No! Absolutely not! We most definitely are discussing evidence.
For some reason we seem to each be having a different conversation. I talk about historians and you insist on talking about non-historians; I talk about the consensus and you insist on talking about the evidence. I don't get why you want to talk about something different than what I'm talking about.

Quote:
Nope ... it was most definitely YOU who claimed to be following the people who YOU called "the experts" and who YOU stated to be "Historians".
Again, I was obviously talking about the historians you defined as such, since I was responding to your post. This is the second time that I tell you this. Can we move on?

Quote:
Just produce the evidence please. Do nothing else. Stop the time wasting. Just produce the evidence of Jesus.
I AM NOT DISCUSSING THE EVIDENCE.

What part of that eludes you?
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Old 18th August 2019, 10:04 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Oh ********.
Could you please make a modicrum of effort to understand the points I put forth and address them? When theists come here and discredit scientists by claiming that they're just as "religious" as they are, their only goal is to eliminate their opposition from the discussion so as to set their unecidenced claims as "credible". They are defining scientists as unreliable so they can ignore their findings. It makes it impossible to cite scientific literature because it is suspect by their definition.

That's what's going on here, claiming that experts on this topic are not actuall experts so as to ignore their findings. It's the same difference. Only this time we're talking about Jesus so it's an acceptable strategy. I get it. I'm an atheists and at first the idea was Jeebus was entirely mythical was appealing, but not because it was correct; because it discredited the people I disagreed with. It wasn't proper when I did it, so I'm sure as hell not going to tolerate it from others.

As I stated earlier, I want to avoid a circular argument, but for some reason you refuse to address my points. For some reason this topic seems to hit a nerve, even though it's completely academic.
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Old 18th August 2019, 10:06 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Please answer a simple question: Are Pliny, Tacitus or Plutarch's texts ridiculous for studying the history of Rome?
No. But there are quite a few places where you can't arrive at certainty for quite a lot of specific points.

As far as I can tell only the Biblical subset of scholars resorts to hermeneutics to read in certainty where it doesn't exist. As far as I can tell most other historians just live with uncertainty.

Recent example I came across is the wikipedia article on Zeno, the author of several paradoxes. It simply cites alternative understandings of his life at points and uses "maybe" like words a lot. Biblical scholars go for the blood in the turnip.
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Old 18th August 2019, 10:23 AM   #190
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ
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Old 18th August 2019, 10:31 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Why does me refering to a group of people require me to name them? You're not making any sort of sense, here.



For some reason we seem to each be having a different conversation. I talk about historians and you insist on talking about non-historians; I talk about the consensus and you insist on talking about the evidence. I don't get why you want to talk about something different than what I'm talking about.



Again, I was obviously talking about the historians you defined as such, since I was responding to your post. This is the second time that I tell you this. Can we move on?



I AM NOT DISCUSSING THE EVIDENCE.

What part of that eludes you?


Yeah, I'm sure you do not want to discuss the evidence. Because you have not got any lol!

You have been claiming that expert "historians" have provided evidence and that we should all bow to their expertise and accept what they say. You said that you have decided that Jesus most probably lived and that you regard that as 60% most likely ... well what evidence did you use to arrive at your 60% opinion?

What evidence are you claiming to have come from the people you claim to be "expert historians"?

This entire subject, and every discussion about it, depends totally and completely upon the so-called "evidence" ....

... if you have no evidence for what yourself have been claiming to believe, then you should not have been posting here at all!
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Old 18th August 2019, 11:08 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Yeah, I'm sure you do not want to discuss the evidence. Because you have not got any lol!
No, I don't want to discuss the evidence for the reasons I've already mentioned. Namely, that all said evidence has already been discussed to death, that it would take too long to rehash, and that in any case I already know that the evidence doesn't convince you, so what would be the point? Remember that evidence that you find unconvincing is still evidence.

All I'm interested in is what constitutes an expert, or consensus, or even evidence, on this topic, and what the relationship between the three is. I don't disagree with you on principle, as I've already told you before.

Quote:
You have been claiming that expert "historians" have provided evidence and that we should all bow to their expertise and accept what they say.
No, I've never said this. In any way, in any form.

Seriously, I've put quite a bit of effort to keep this relatively civil but you're not making it easy. Why do you persist in lying about what I post? Are you deliberately trying get into a flame war, here? What's your objective, exactly?
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Old 18th August 2019, 11:21 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
All I'm interested in is what constitutes an expert, or consensus, or even evidence, on this topic, and what the relationship between the three is.
I don't believe you. I showed you an example of well established consensus (the climate change consensus) and a bad example (the claim to a consensus on the certainty of the existence of Jesus) and you danced right past it.

Until you have evidence this consensus of experts actually exists and who exactly they are, you're are just repeating lies.
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Old 18th August 2019, 11:34 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I don't believe you.
Even though I've consistently focused on that exact point since the beginning?

Quote:
I showed you an example of well established consensus (the climate change consensus) and a bad example (the claim to a consensus on the certainty of the existence of Jesus) and you danced right past it.
I didn't dance right past it. I asked specific questions about the distinction and you ignored them. There's still plenty of time for you to answer those if you want.
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Old 18th August 2019, 11:45 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
No, I don't want to discuss the evidence for the reasons I've already mentioned. Namely, that all said evidence has already been discussed to death, that it would take too long to rehash, and that in any case I already know that the evidence doesn't convince you, so what would be the point? Remember that evidence that you find unconvincing is still evidence.

All I'm interested in is what constitutes an expert, or consensus, or even evidence, on this topic, and what the relationship between the three is. I don't disagree with you on principle, as I've already told you before.



No, I've never said this. In any way, in any form.

Seriously, I've put quite a bit of effort to keep this relatively civil but you're not making it easy. Why do you persist in lying about what I post? Are you deliberately trying get into a flame war, here? What's your objective, exactly?

Do you have any evidence to support your belief that Jesus probably existed?

You have repeatedly claimed that "experts" who are "historians" have provided evidence to show that Jesus was real... can you provide the evidence to backup your claims about these "expert historians", where are they? ...

... it's your claim of having expert historians with the evidence, so the "burden of proof" is definitely upon you to tell us who those individuals are and tell us what they are claiming as the evidence for Jesus.

Your other excuses are all exhausted (long ago) -

Who are these expert historians, and what is their evidence?
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Old 18th August 2019, 11:52 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Do you have any evidence to support your belief that Jesus probably existed?
I am no historian but I think the persecution of Christians by Nero in 64ad is documented.

Christians could recant and be spared, but they chose to die rather than do so, and this was within living memory of the time of Jesus. How could a cult so strong in belief have existed at that time if there never was a Jesus?
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Old 18th August 2019, 11:55 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Even though I've consistently focused on that exact point since the beginning?

You've ignored all the actual evidence on this point. And I mean the evidence to support your claims that people are experts and part of a consensus.
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Old 18th August 2019, 12:47 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
How do you evaluate the historicity of a mythology? All we really know is there were stories about an itinerant rabbi. Nothing else can be concluded honestly.

Just out of passing interest - have you seen the book by Randel Helms (Gospel Fictions)?

In that book, Helms (who is a serous academic) shows numerous examples of where the gospel writers had taken messiah prophesies written hundreds of years before in the Old Testament, and re-written them as the stories of Jesus.

That's a pretty damning discovery, showing that the gospel writers (especially the two earliest and most important ones, g.Mark and g.Matthew) were using the OT as source to create stories of Jesus.


Randel helms, Gospel Fictions, Prometheus Books, New York, 1988

Who is Randel Helms? See this wiki link -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randel_Helms

“Randel McCraw Helms*(born November 16, 1942 in*Montgomery, Alabama)[1]*is an American professor of English literature, a writer on*J. R. R. Tolkien*and critical writer on the Bible. “


There is also a book by Dennis R MacDonald, who is himself a Biblical Studies professor in the USA (see link and quote below), called Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark, in which MacDonald attempts to show that almost everything written in g.Mark was in fact taken from the two works written by Homer around the 7th century BC (i.e. the Iliad and the Odyssey).

I'm less convinced by the examples in that book, since the parallels with what is written in g.Mark seem to be less clear, but it is in any case another example where an academic actually in the field of teaching Biblical Studies, claims to find what he describes as almost a complete source for all of the contents of g.Mark -


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_MacDonald

"Dennis Ronald MacDonald*(born 1946) is the John Wesley Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the*Claremont School of Theology*in*California.

MacDonald proposes a theory wherein the earliest books of the*New Testament*were responses to the Homeric Epics, including the*Gospel of Mark*and the*Acts of the Apostles. The methodology he pioneered is called*Mimesis Criticism. If his theories are correct then "nearly everything written on [the] early Christian narrative is flawed."[1]*According to him, modern biblical scholarship has failed to recognize the impact of Homeric Poetry.[1] "
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Old 18th August 2019, 12:47 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't want to discuss the evidence...

All I'm interested in is what constitutes an expert, or consensus, or even evidence, on this topic, and what the relationship between the three is.
You don't want to talk about evidence of Jesus. But you're making a claim on a separate subject (the historical consensus). So you need evidence for that.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I am no historian but I think the persecution of Christians by Nero in 64ad is documented.

Christians could recant and be spared
According to whom?

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
How could a cult so strong in belief have existed at that time if there never was a Jesus?
Why not? Religious/cult beliefs have never needed to be tied to anything real in any other case.
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Old 18th August 2019, 01:07 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I am no historian but I think the persecution of Christians by Nero in 64ad is documented.

Christians could recant and be spared, but they chose to die rather than do so, and this was within living memory of the time of Jesus. How could a cult so strong in belief have existed at that time if there never was a Jesus?

With respect (truly!), that really does not show evidence of Jesus at all. It's a type of argument known as the "Fallacy of Argument from Incredulity". See link below -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity

Argument from incredulity, also known as*argument from personal incredulity*or*appeal to common sense,[1]*is a*fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition must be false because it contradicts one's personal expectations or beliefs, or is difficult to imagine.

Arguments from incredulity can take the form:

1. I cannot imagine how F could be true; therefore F must be false.
2. I cannot imagine how F could be false; therefore F must be true.[2]

Arguments from incredulity can sometimes arise from inappropriate emotional involvement, the conflation of fantasy and reality, a lack of understanding, or an instinctive 'gut' reaction, especially where time is scarce.[3]*This form of reasoning is*fallacious*because one's inability to imagine how a statement can be true or false gives no information about whether the statement is true or false in reality.[4]



People get extremely fanatical about their religious beliefs. History is (afaik) littered with examples of the faithful dying for their beliefs. If you captured members of IS or the Taliban today, and asked them to recant belief in the miracles claimed for Muhammad, or else be executed, it's clear most if not all of them would rather be executed than renounce their beleifs about Muhammad.
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