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.
Tags historical jesus , jesus

Reply
Old 29th June 2020, 04:49 AM   #2041
GDon
Graduate Poster
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,118
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
"Christians believing Jesus was divine does not disprove him existing historically" is indeed absolutely correct.

"And no Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth, not even the Gnostics" however is a non-sequitur. My highlight. And that's the part I was really addressing.

1. Belief is not evidence.
"No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" is a fact as far as I know. What early Christians believed is relevant. It's not proof of historicity, I'll grant you. But when trying to decide the better explanation for the origin of Christianity between HJ and MJ, it's an applicable fact to bring up, don't you think?

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
2. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, or not unless such evidence would be both unavoidable to happen and utterly impossible to miss. But certainly not at the other end of more than a millennium worth of monks actively destroying anything that wasn't supporting their story.
We have the writings of early anti-heresy apologists starting from the Second Century, with descriptions of many groups of heretics. We'd have to suppose that, out of all the heresies, the apologists decided to target the MJ heresies and not even record them. It's possible, I suppose. Is that what you think happened? I'm genuinely curious: in your opinion, does the existence of the anti-heresy writings play a part into deciding whether a HJ or an MJ is the better fit to explain the origin of Christianity? Or is such data irrelevant?

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
3. It applies verbatim to other gods, as I mentioned.
I agree, it does apply.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
E.g., I don't know of any Norse cults that DIDN'T believe that Thor walked on Earth at various points. I mean, stuff like his almost fishing the world serpent seems to be one of the most central myths.
I agree. If the argument is between whether there really was a Thor that walked the earth, vs there wasn't a Thor that walked the earth, all things being equal the stories of him walking the earth might well weigh into the debate.

But we have an understanding of the Thor stories that makes such a debate a non-starter, e.g. the length of time between the myth's origin and the recording of it. If there was sufficient information though, then stories of Thor walking the earth may well be relevant.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
E.g., I don't know of any cult of Inanna which DIDN'T believe that she did a lot of walking around the middle east.

E.g., I don't know of any cult of Mythras which DIDN'T place him on Earth.

Now granted, you could say that we probably don't know everything about those, but then see how that also fits point #2 above about Jesus.
I think we have enough data to conclude that a HJ is the better explanation over a MJ for the origin of Christianity, while such data is lacking with regards to Thor, Inanna and Mithras. Since "No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" adds to the evidence (even if not final proof), I don't see it as a non-sequitur.

Last edited by GDon; 29th June 2020 at 05:18 AM.
GDon 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 29th June 2020, 05:52 AM   #2042
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 92,208
Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
But isn't the MJ case that there was a Christian cult who worshipped a spiritual Jesus? I mean isn't that what Richard Carrier is all about?



Did anyone ever produce any evidence for these "Spirit Christ" believers who supposedly preceded the gospel writers. Doesn't carrier argue that the "earthly" aspects of Jesus were progressively added by later generations of scribes?



If so, noting the total absence of any such group in the historical records is a valid argument against the MJ case.



If not, just ignore me...
You seem to view this as if not making a claim is the same as making one.

For example I am more than happy to claim that the Jesus of the Christian religions has never existed, didn't exist 2000 years ago, doesn't exist today and will not exist tomorrow. And I'm sure that you will agree with my claim.

Then we have another claim about a "historical" Jesus, a real person that lived 2000 years ago that was the inspiration for the Christianity we recognise today.

At the moment I am of the mind that we have no evidence for such a character, the only evidence we have for Jesus back then is the Christian Jesus, which I am sure you will agree is a mythical Jesus.

Now unlike some others I do go a step beyond that and make another claim but at the heart of it is that those that claim a different* Jesus existed need to provide the evidence for their claim.


*I am assuming we all agree the mythical or perhaps another way to describe it the religious Jesus does not exist.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat 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 29th June 2020, 06:31 AM   #2043
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,525
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
"No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" is a fact as far as I know. What early Christians believed is relevant. It's not proof of historicity, I'll grant you. But when trying to decide the better explanation for the origin of Christianity between HJ and MJ, it's an applicable fact to bring up, don't you think?
As I was saying, in better informed days, in a poll 58% of the UK believed that Sherlock Holmes was real, and really lived at 221B Baker Street. Meanwhile 27% believed Florence Nightingale was myth, while about a fifth believed that WINSTON CHURCHILL is a fictional character.

And any of those numbers FAR outstrips the percentage of Xians in the first century. That should be more than enough reason not to base historicity on finding a group that BELIEVED something was real.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
We have the writings of early anti-heresy apologists starting from the Second Century, with descriptions of many groups of heretics. We'd have to suppose that, out of all the heresies, the apologists decided to target the MJ heresies and not even record them. It's possible, I suppose. Is that what you think happened? I'm genuinely curious: in your opinion, does the existence of the anti-heresy writings play a part into deciding whether a HJ or an MJ is the better fit to explain the origin of Christianity? Or is such data irrelevant?
I think you don't even need to find a Carrier-style MJ cult -- which idea I'm not particularly married to, either -- to be back at the problem that the only guys we have who claim to have ever talked to Jesus have done so in visions. One is Paul, and one is John of Revelation fame. Maybe they thought their hallucination of a divine Jesus in heaven was once a guy on Earth, or maybe they didn't, but it's still not the kind of evidence that would be admissible in any court these days.

People believing their hallucinations are real is quite mundane, and doesn't require anything historical.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 29th June 2020 at 06:32 AM.
HansMustermann 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 29th June 2020, 06:37 AM   #2044
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You seem to view this as if not making a claim is the same as making one.

For example I am more than happy to claim that the Jesus of the Christian religions has never existed, didn't exist 2000 years ago, doesn't exist today and will not exist tomorrow. And I'm sure that you will agree with my claim.

Then we have another claim about a "historical" Jesus, a real person that lived 2000 years ago that was the inspiration for the Christianity we recognise today.

At the moment I am of the mind that we have no evidence for such a character, the only evidence we have for Jesus back then is the Christian Jesus, which I am sure you will agree is a mythical Jesus.

Now unlike some others I do go a step beyond that and make another claim but at the heart of it is that those that claim a different* Jesus existed need to provide the evidence for their claim.


*I am assuming we all agree the mythical or perhaps another way to describe it the religious Jesus does not exist.
The problem is, you have no explanation for how such a character arose. You have to provide an alternative explanation for the origin of the Jesus tradition.

Last edited by Jerrymander; 29th June 2020 at 06:39 AM.
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 06:45 AM   #2045
Delvo
Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Tonawanda, NY
Posts: 8,628
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Christians believing Jesus was divine does not disprove him existing historically. And no Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth, not even the Gnostics.
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The problem with that kind of line of thinking is that it would make most gods ever worshipped need to be real.
No, it wouldn't. There was no claim that the Christians' belief that Jesus was real proved him real. There was only a counter to a false claim that Christians considered Jesus a spiritual entity.

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
But isn't the MJ case that there was a Christian cult who worshipped a spiritual Jesus? I mean isn't that what Richard Carrier is all about?

Did anyone ever produce any evidence for these "Spirit Christ" believers who supposedly preceded the gospel writers. Doesn't carrier argue that the "earthly" aspects of Jesus were progressively added by later generations of scribes?
Carrier's mythical Jesus argument boils down to two components:

1. The six or seven legitimate Epistles came before the Gospels, so any differences between the beliefs represented in the Epistles and Gospels would indicate that the Epistle beliefs came first, and those make Jesus sound more spiritual than physical.

2. An extrabiblical book called "The Ascension Of Isaiah" depicts Jesus as an angel or other non-human supernatural entity, who gets sacrificed by evil angels/demons in one of the multiple layers of Heaven or The Heavens. This would then be shifted into a story of a human sacrifice on Earth, thus serving as an explanation for how anybody had ever believed a made-up human-but-still-supernatural Jesus (a sociological absurdity which other mythicists have never produced another way around that I know of).

But there are problems with this...

1a. The dating of these books is hazier than he allows for.

1b. As Carrier suggested, I read those Epistles. Jesus's physical presence in human form on Earth was, in fact, mentioned several times. It's sparse, but it's there. And the ghostly-sounding references fit just as well as describing the state he was in after leaving Earth, not necessarily the only state he was ever in. (Some posters here have repeatedly harped on the fact that Paul had visions of Jesus, but a person can have visions of a dead real person, so that's irrelevant, which is why Carrier doesn't bother with it.)

2a. TAOI seems to have been written about the same time as the Gospels or slightly later; an argument that it represents what the Gospel version of Jesus was derived from needs it to be earlier. To be fair, it could have longer oral history behind it, and he's not presenting TAOI itself as if it must be the original belief, but only as an example the kind of thing that the idea of Jesus could have come from without Jesus being real, as an answer to those who object to mythicism with "then where did the idea come from and how did anybody buy it". And for that purpose, merely the possibility that it could be old enough is sufficient, and it's better than the sociological absurdity "well, you could just make up something like that and people would believe you" that other mythicists have been coming up with. But still, without definitively being older than the human Jesus beliefs it's open to possibly being too late, as well.

2b. The fact that the character in TAOI has the common human name "Jesus" instead of an angelic name points to his having originally been a human who then got elevated to angelic status, not the other way around. (If it was originally about an angel and the name was replaced, that would indicate that there were already Jesus believers to do the replacing, whose Jesus beliefs did not come form TAOI.)

2c. The story has Jesus descending from the highest heaven through the lower ones toward Earth, stopping at each one along the way and taking the form of that level's angelic inhabitants. Different churches have written their own endings for it, with their own versions of the part where Jesus is on Earth, so, as Carrier points out, the original that can be backtracked from them has no known Earthly component. But that doesn't mean there wasn't one that got replaced, as opposed to not having one at all and then having it get added in later diverging versions. Carrier's argument seems to need the lowest heaven to be the last stop on the trip, but whether it was or there was one more stop on Earth is ambiguous. But if we follow the pattern, the pattern tells us that if he did come to Earth, he would have done so in the form of the Earth's inhabitants: a human body.

2d. One aspect of TAOI does actually look more consistent with Carrier's supernatural mythical Jesus than with a historical human one. Another part of the repeating pattern of this journey is that Jesus stops at the gates of each level and tells the guards a password. Being born as a baby from a human woman's body is not giving the guards a password at a gate. So if the pattern in TAOI would have held for its last iteration, Jesus would have entered Earth by means other than what real historical people have done. And this is consistent with the lack of baby/childhood stories in the earliest of the Gospels. But, without this part actually being included in what we know of the original TAOI, we don't know that the final iteration did follow the pattern. Maybe this is the only one where he would have originally entered a realm through a mother instead of by walking through a gate. There are, after all, other Gnostic traditions that have "Christ" as a spirit which possesses a human baby named "Jesus" at birth (which would seem to be be why at least one Gospel talks about the spirit leaving him when he died), for example.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
E.g., I don't know of any Norse cults that DIDN'T believe that Thor walked on Earth at various points. I mean, stuff like his almost fishing the world serpent seems to be one of the most central myths.

E.g., I don't know of any cult of Inanna which DIDN'T believe that she did a lot of walking around the middle east.

E.g., I don't know of any cult of Mythras which DIDN'T place him on Earth.
The issue for Jesus is not just whether physically existing on Earth as a human is among Christian beliefs at all or not, but whether there was also a separate Christian belief in a spiritual one, and, if so, which was first. If the spiritual version was first, it's easier to say that was entirely imaginary all along. If the physical version was first, it's easier to say that described a real person.

Question for those who say the spiritual version was first: is getting sacrificed a part of that? If so, how does that work, since spirits don't die and all previous Jewish temple sacrifices had been corporeal? If not, then why do the Epistles talk about him getting sacrificed?

Last edited by Delvo; 29th June 2020 at 06:46 AM.
Delvo 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 29th June 2020, 06:48 AM   #2046
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,525
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
The problem is, you have no explanation for how such a character arose. "They made it up" is not an answer.
Only if you want to be gullible at all cost. In reality "they made it up" is actually

1. exactly what they did with just about every bit of the story. Unless you want to believe that the turning water into wine, walking on water, resurrection, the great zombie invasion of Jerusalem, etc, are also historical, then in fact you have almost NOTHING about Jesus that's not part of such a made up scene.

2. exactly what people had no problem doing for other religions. "They made it up" works perfectly well for Alma The Elder of the Mormons, or for Xenu of Scientology, then it works perfectly well for Jesus too. Demanding that only Jesus works by different rules is a fallacy.

3. exactly the Occam-conform version. Anything being historical in the gospels needs extra entities. It needs an uninterrupted chain of people actually transmitting that faithfully between Jesus and, say, Mark. "They made it up" requires only the author.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann 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 29th June 2020, 06:56 AM   #2047
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Only if you want to be gullible at all cost. In reality "they made it up" is actually

1. exactly what they did with just about every bit of the story. Unless you want to believe that the turning water into wine, walking on water, resurrection, the great zombie invasion of Jerusalem, etc, are also historical, then in fact you have almost NOTHING about Jesus that's not part of such a made up scene.

2. exactly what people had no problem doing for other religions. "They made it up" works perfectly well for Alma The Elder of the Mormons, or for Xenu of Scientology, then it works perfectly well for Jesus too. Demanding that only Jesus works by different rules is a fallacy.

3. exactly the Occam-conform version. Anything being historical in the gospels needs extra entities. It needs an uninterrupted chain of people actually transmitting that faithfully between Jesus and, say, Mark. "They made it up" requires only the author.
Why would they make up a crucified messiah? Why would they make up that he was baptized by John Baptist (something Matt and Luke are clearly uncomfortable with)? Why if Jesus was a made-up god, does he only claim to be God in the latest gospel, John? Why does Josephus mention Jesus? Why is there no record of Jews and pagans disputing Jesus' existence?
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 06:59 AM   #2048
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,525
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Question for those who say the spiritual version was first: is getting sacrificed a part of that? If so, how does that work, since spirits don't die and all previous Jewish temple sacrifices had been corporeal? If not, then why do the Epistles talk about him getting sacrificed?
Now I'm not particularly married to Carrier's idea, but actually, the idea that spirits can't die is a very new one. People, even gods, could most certainly die in myths all over the Middle East.

I mean, the whole idea of giving people grave goods in Egypt or later the spells for the afterlife was precisely that, yes, you could jolly well die in the afterlife. Hell, without the proper rituals when embalming, your spirit might not even make it TO the afterlife.

Even in Judaism, the idea that there was a war in heavens, where angels fought and killed each other, is at least as old as the 1st century BCE.

So, you know, the idea that some archangel would be used as a perfect sacrifice isn't even that ridiculous. Now mind you, I'm not saying that that IS what the original story was, but it wouldn't particularly be incredible either.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann 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 29th June 2020, 07:16 AM   #2049
Delvo
Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Tonawanda, NY
Posts: 8,628
Ah, I was picturing this thing about Jesus the angel going down the layers and then back up again, and, even though that was depicted as a sacrifice, it really seemed more like just going from place to place than "dying".
Delvo 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 29th June 2020, 07:16 AM   #2050
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,525
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Why would they make up a crucified messiah?
Given that that's the story that WORKED, it seems to me like a rather silly objection. Why wouldn't they make up something that the audience lapped up?

Plus, given that it comes from Paul, I think you don't really understand how hallucinations work, if you expect them to only follow whatever logical patterns you wish.

Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Why would they make up that he was baptized by John Baptist (something Matt and Luke are clearly uncomfortable with)?
I don't think that was even a point of debate between MJ and HJ proponents. Scholars of both camps are agreeing that they wanted to legitimize themselves by making Jesus the successor of JTB.

Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Why if Jesus was a made-up god, does he only claim to be God in the latest gospel, John?
I'm not sure how that even follows. Each author is free to write the story as he sees fit, and how his skills allow.

Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Why does Josephus mention Jesus?
He doesn't. That Testimonium Flavianum passage was even agreed by biblical scholars that it's a BLATANT forgery, and we even have a pretty good idea who put it there. But since nobody was really challenging the HJ idea seriously, nobody needed it to be real either. It's only a VERY recent phenomenon that apologists try to argue it as totally the real deal.

Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Why is there no record of Jews and pagans disputing Jesus' existence?
Now that's getting downright nonsensical by now. By the same logic, Inanna would have to be real too, because we also have no records from that time arguing that she doesn't exist. And so would Osiris.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann 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 29th June 2020, 07:37 AM   #2051
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Given that that's the story that WORKED, it seems to me like a rather silly objection. Why wouldn't they make up something that the audience lapped up?

Plus, given that it comes from Paul, I think you don't really understand how hallucinations work, if you expect them to only follow whatever logical patterns you wish.
It was a huge stumping block for both Jews and gentiles. Crucifixion was the most shameful way to die and there are no traditions in Judaism of a crucified figure raised by God. The early followers really needed to sell it.


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I don't think that was even a point of debate between MJ and HJ proponents. Scholars of both camps are agreeing that they wanted to legitimize themselves by making Jesus the successor of JTB.
Jesus being baptized implies that he sinned. In addition, why does a mythological god need to be a successor to some hermit preacher?



Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm not sure how that even follows. Each author is free to write the story as he sees fit, and how his skills allow.
Not an answer.



Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
He doesn't. That Testimonium Flavianum passage was even agreed by biblical scholars that it's a BLATANT forgery, and we even have a pretty good idea who put it there. But since nobody was really challenging the HJ idea seriously, nobody needed it to be real either. It's only a VERY recent phenomenon that apologists try to argue it as totally the real deal.
FALSE. Most scholars agree that Josephus did originally mention Jesus without the resurrection claims.



Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Now that's getting downright nonsensical by now. By the same logic, Inanna would have to be real too, because we also have no records from that time arguing that she doesn't exist. And so would Osiris.
Mythological gods were not treated as humans. Jesus was. Opponents of Christanity felt the need to make all kinds of accusations about Jesus but not one claim he didn't exist.

Last edited by Jerrymander; 29th June 2020 at 07:40 AM.
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 07:50 AM   #2052
IanS
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5,008
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
"No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" is a fact as far as I know. What early Christians believed is relevant. It's not proof of historicity, I'll grant you. But when trying to decide the better explanation for the origin of Christianity between HJ and MJ, it's an applicable fact to bring up, don't you think?


We have the writings of early anti-heresy apologists starting from the Second Century, with descriptions of many groups of heretics. We'd have to suppose that, out of all the heresies, the apologists decided to target the MJ heresies and not even record them. It's possible, I suppose. Is that what you think happened? I'm genuinely curious: in your opinion, does the existence of the anti-heresy writings play a part into deciding whether a HJ or an MJ is the better fit to explain the origin of Christianity? Or is such data irrelevant?


I agree, it does apply.


I agree. If the argument is between whether there really was a Thor that walked the earth, vs there wasn't a Thor that walked the earth, all things being equal the stories of him walking the earth might well weigh into the debate.

But we have an understanding of the Thor stories that makes such a debate a non-starter, e.g. the length of time between the myth's origin and the recording of it. If there was sufficient information though, then stories of Thor walking the earth may well be relevant.


I think we have enough data to conclude that a HJ is the better explanation over a MJ for the origin of Christianity, while such data is lacking with regards to Thor, Inanna and Mithras. Since "No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" adds to the evidence (even if not final proof), I don't see it as a non-sequitur.

What "data" is that? I have never yet seen any such data (despite 12 years of probably 50,000 posts by HJ people) ... we are talking about evidence that genuinely shows Jesus was real ... not evidence of people' beliefs ... and not evidence cited from OT prophecy etc.

What is the data evidence of anyone at all every knowing a real human Jesus?

And those are genuine questions (ie, in the spirit of your previous post, and not as any kind of confrontation against you or against what you believe about a HJ)
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 29th June 2020, 07:56 AM   #2053
Lithrael
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,880
Just as a thought experiment, hypothetical, without getting into actual events.

Imagine youre a Joseph Smith type living in those times. Or someone more genuine but still cynical about people. You know about apocalyptic preachers claiming to be the expected messiah from the OT, getting followers and stuff, and you think, I can do better than that, but I dont want to actually try to play the messiah myself. That sounds like too much trouble. So Im going to play a follower instead, and recruit people to this messiah second-hand.

You figure step one is to put together a new apocalyptic preacher messiah, a convincing and compelling one, with a scriptural prophecy basis.

If you were really doing this from scratch at the time, what would you have pulled from OT scripture and called prophecy? What kind of character would you make, to try to appeal to the people at the time, and what audience would you be trying to capture?

Basically, if the HJ idea is that OT prophecies fulfilled were pulled at a stretch to justify a real person as messiah, then what do you think it would look like if it was the other way around and prophecies were hand picked to create an appealing messiah, with some excuse why you cant go meet them (they were here but they left, they were never here, you can only see them if Impossible Thing, it was a while ago, etc)

Or to put it more simply, imagining a definite MJ, what do you think would be different?
Lithrael 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 29th June 2020, 08:59 AM   #2054
dejudge
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,492
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Quit being literal. I meant that no Christian sect believed that Jesus didn't live among humans on earth and was part of history.
Again, what a ridiculous statement!!! Please, get familiar with the writings of antiquity.

Don't you understand that Christians of antiquity and even today believe characters can exist without a physical body??

Don't you understand the difference between spiritual and physical existence?

How many times must I show you that Christians themselves were arguing against one another for hundreds of years whether or not their Savior had a physical body?

Tertullian's On The Flesh Of Christ
Quote:
Let us examine our Lord's bodily substance, for about His spiritual nature all are agreed.

It is His flesh that is in question.

Its verity and quality are the points in dispute.

Did it ever exist?


Whence was it derived?

And of what kind was it
Christians believed without any doubt at all that their Savior was a SPIRITUAL being but argued whether of not he existed in the flesh.

Last edited by dejudge; 29th June 2020 at 09:02 AM.
dejudge 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 29th June 2020, 09:22 AM   #2055
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Again, what a ridiculous statement!!! Please, get familiar with the writings of antiquity.

Don't you understand that Christians of antiquity and even today believe characters can exist without a physical body??

Don't you understand the difference between spiritual and physical existence?

How many times must I show you that Christians themselves were arguing against one another for hundreds of years whether or not their Savior had a physical body?

Tertullian's On The Flesh Of Christ

Christians believed without any doubt at all that their Savior was a SPIRITUAL being but argued whether of not he existed in the flesh.
You still fail to show that any Christian sect did not consider him part of history and living among humans. Debates over the nature of his flesh are irrelevant.

Last edited by Jerrymander; 29th June 2020 at 09:31 AM.
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 11:04 AM   #2056
Brainache
Nasty Brutish and Tall
 
Brainache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 17,342
Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
Just as a thought experiment, hypothetical, without getting into actual events.

Imagine youre a Joseph Smith type living in those times. Or someone more genuine but still cynical about people. You know about apocalyptic preachers claiming to be the expected messiah from the OT, getting followers and stuff, and you think, I can do better than that, but I dont want to actually try to play the messiah myself. That sounds like too much trouble. So Im going to play a follower instead, and recruit people to this messiah second-hand.

You figure step one is to put together a new apocalyptic preacher messiah, a convincing and compelling one, with a scriptural prophecy basis.

If you were really doing this from scratch at the time, what would you have pulled from OT scripture and called prophecy? What kind of character would you make, to try to appeal to the people at the time, and what audience would you be trying to capture?

Basically, if the HJ idea is that OT prophecies fulfilled were pulled at a stretch to justify a real person as messiah, then what do you think it would look like if it was the other way around and prophecies were hand picked to create an appealing messiah, with some excuse why you cant go meet them (they were here but they left, they were never here, you can only see them if Impossible Thing, it was a while ago, etc)

Or to put it more simply, imagining a definite MJ, what do you think would be different?
If we're talking about Paul, I think the big difference would be that there would be no James or the other "Pillars of the Church" in Jerusalem with whom Paul had so many disputes.

Paul talks about how this group of "super Apostles" were involved with Jesus in the flesh before Paul came along. He would have to have invented them too. Maybe he paid some actors to come into town and force circumcision on his followers so he could complain about how horrible they were...

Not sure why he would do that though...
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 29th June 2020, 11:28 AM   #2057
IanS
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5,008
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
You still fail to show that any Christian sect did not consider him part of history and living among humans. Debates over the nature of his flesh are irrelevant.

You keep writing sentences in "double negatives", and that makes it very difficult for anyone to know what you mean.

If you mean that all Christians of that time (e.g. 1st century AD) believed Jesus to be quote "a part of history and living among humans", then that is not evidence of a real Jesus ... the fact that they believed all sorts of religious claims (from preaching and writing) is not any kind of evidence at all that such religious beliefs were actually true.

In fact, almost all religious beliefs about figures such as gods or messiahs, are now known to be untrue!

And all claims that were made about Jesus, wherever we have been able test or check them, have also now turned out be untrue!
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 29th June 2020, 11:49 AM   #2058
IanS
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5,008
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
The problem is, you have no explanation for how such a character arose. You have to provide an alternative explanation for the origin of the Jesus tradition.

That's not a problem at all. And anyone here can guess at how belief in Jesus could very easily arise without anyone knowing a real Jesus.

For a start it's a matter of universal knowledge that from at least as far back as 500BC OT prophecy promised the coming of a saviour from God for the people of Israel. So that's already the entire basis of it all right there.

But it's also a well known fallacy to say that because someone can't think up an answer that satisfies you, that must mean that what was said was wrong ... it's known as "the fallacy from personal ignorance or personal incredulity" ... i.e. ; just because you yourself cant think of how Jesus beliefs might have arisen without a real Jesus, does not mean Jesus must therefore be real ... and nor does it mean that anyone else must offer an explanation which you are willing to agree with.
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 29th June 2020, 01:24 PM   #2059
dejudge
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,492
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
You still fail to show that any Christian sect did not consider him part of history and living among humans. Debates over the nature of his flesh are irrelevant.
You suffer from amnesia or is being dishonest.

I did show that Jesus and the Devil had a history of being together in Jerusalem on the pinnacle of the Jewish Temple in the Gospels.

Matthew 4.
Quote:
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them
The Devil and Jesus had a history of being together on earth.

You don't seem to understand that there is no requirement for a character to physically exist to be regarded as figures of history in the Christian writings.

In the Christian Bible, the Jewish God, Satan, the angel Gabriel, the Holy Ghost and Jesus the son of the Ghost had a history of being on earth and talking to human beings.
dejudge 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 29th June 2020, 01:29 PM   #2060
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 92,208
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
The problem is, you have no explanation for how such a character arose. You have to provide an alternative explanation for the origin of the Jesus tradition.

No I dont.

The only Jesus that we have any evidence for is the religious/mythical Jesus and I would hope we all agree that Jesus never existed!
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat 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 29th June 2020, 01:31 PM   #2061
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You keep writing sentences in "double negatives", and that makes it very difficult for anyone to know what you mean.

If you mean that all Christians of that time (e.g. 1st century AD) believed Jesus to be quote "a part of history and living among humans", then that is not evidence of a real Jesus ... the fact that they believed all sorts of religious claims (from preaching and writing) is not any kind of evidence at all that such religious beliefs were actually true.

In fact, almost all religious beliefs about figures such as gods or messiahs, are now known to be untrue!

And all claims that were made about Jesus, wherever we have been able test or check them, have also now turned out be untrue!
You believe that Jesus was originally just a heavenly figure who did not live on earth, so show us as sect a Christianity that claimed that.

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
That's not a problem at all. And anyone here can guess at how belief in Jesus could very easily arise without anyone knowing a real Jesus.

For a start it's a matter of universal knowledge that from at least as far back as 500BC OT prophecy promised the coming of a saviour from God for the people of Israel. So that's already the entire basis of it all right there.

But it's also a well known fallacy to say that because someone can't think up an answer that satisfies you, that must mean that what was said was wrong ... it's known as "the fallacy from personal ignorance or personal incredulity" ... i.e. ; just because you yourself cant think of how Jesus beliefs might have arisen without a real Jesus, does not mean Jesus must therefore be real ... and nor does it mean that anyone else must offer an explanation which you are willing to agree with
There was nothing in the OT that predicts that the messiah will be killed and no Jew believed it before Christians. Its clearly ad hoc reasoning by early Christians. I'm not using incredulity I'm using Occam's razor.

Last edited by Jerrymander; 29th June 2020 at 01:54 PM.
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 01:33 PM   #2062
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
No I dont.

The only Jesus that we have any evidence for is the religious/mythical Jesus and I would hope we all agree that Jesus never existed!
Its anti-intellectual to claim that we can't reconstruct a historical figure with supernatural powers attributed to him.
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 01:35 PM   #2063
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
You suffer from amnesia or is being dishonest.

I did show that Jesus and the Devil had a history of being together in Jerusalem on the pinnacle of the Jewish Temple in the Gospels.

Matthew 4.

The Devil and Jesus had a history of being together on earth.

You don't seem to understand that there is no requirement for a character to physically exist to be regarded as figures of history in the Christian writings.

In the Christian Bible, the Jewish God, Satan, the angel Gabriel, the Holy Ghost and Jesus the son of the Ghost had a history of being on earth and talking to human beings.
Show me were Satan is treated like a historical figure.

Last edited by Jerrymander; 29th June 2020 at 01:37 PM.
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 02:05 PM   #2064
dejudge
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,492
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Show me were Satan is treated like a historical figure.
What absurdity!!!

The same Christian writings that state their Jesus was born of a Ghost admitted the Devil was with Jesus on earth in Jerusalem.

Both the Devil and Jesus were treated as characters who actually existed by Christian writers.
dejudge 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 29th June 2020, 02:09 PM   #2065
GDon
Graduate Poster
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,118
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
As I was saying, in better informed days, in a poll 58% of the UK believed that Sherlock Holmes was real, and really lived at 221B Baker Street. Meanwhile 27% believed Florence Nightingale was myth, while about a fifth believed that WINSTON CHURCHILL is a fictional character.

And any of those numbers FAR outstrips the percentage of Xians in the first century. That should be more than enough reason not to base historicity on finding a group that BELIEVED something was real.
Oh c'mon, no-one here is BASING it on that AFAICS. That's ridiculous. But in a cumulative case about whether a HJ or MJ is the better explanation for the origin of Christianity, "No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" is a relevant piece of data.

BASING it. Sheesh.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I think you don't even need to find a Carrier-style MJ cult -- which idea I'm not particularly married to, either -- to be back at the problem that the only guys we have who claim to have ever talked to Jesus have done so in visions.
Do you see that as a valid piece of data adding to a cumulative case supporting the idea that MJ is a better explanation than HJ for the origin of Christianity? Because I do.

Last edited by GDon; 29th June 2020 at 03:28 PM.
GDon 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 29th June 2020, 02:23 PM   #2066
GDon
Graduate Poster
 
GDon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,118
Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
You figure step one is to put together a new apocalyptic preacher messiah, a convincing and compelling one, with a scriptural prophecy basis.

If you were really doing this from scratch at the time, what would you have pulled from OT scripture and called prophecy? What kind of character would you make, to try to appeal to the people at the time, and what audience would you be trying to capture?
You know, 50 years ago one argument against the Gospel Jesus was that the OT prophecies were so DIFFERENT to what we see fulfilled in the Gospels, that the Gospel Jesus wasn't the Messiah, and largely a made-up character. For example, Psalm 22.

Nowadays, the argument against the Gospel Jesus is that the OT prophecies are so SIMILAR to what we see fulfilled in the Gospels, that the Gospel Jesus is a completely made-up character. For example, Psalm 22.

Lithrael, it's an interesting thought experiment. The messiah figure in the OT appears to be a suffering servant from the line of David. But the truth is that the Bible contains so many wild and contradictory ideas, that you could probably make up any figure you wanted (within reason) and still have it conform to whatever messiah figure you wanted to make.

Last edited by GDon; 29th June 2020 at 02:38 PM.
GDon 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 29th June 2020, 02:42 PM   #2067
dejudge
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,492
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Most scholars agree that Josephus did originally mention Jesus without the resurrection claims.
Your statement appears to be baseless and deliberately mis-leading. You have no idea of the actual amount of Scholars who agree about anything on the passage in Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3.

Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Mythological gods were not treated as humans. Jesus was. Opponents of Christanity felt the need to make all kinds of accusations about Jesus but not one claim he didn't exist.
How ridiculous can you be!!!

How could a person who believed that the Lord Savior was only a spiritual being also claim he did not exist?

Don't you understand the difference between a spiritual and physical being?

Christians themselves argued that their Savior was only a spiritual being similar to Jewish, Greek and Roman Gods [unbegotten]

Those Christians who claimed their Savior was both a spiritual and physical being invented a fiction story that he was born of a Ghost and a Virgin.

There is no historical evidence anywhere at all that NT Jesus physically lived at anytime anywhere up to today.
dejudge 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 29th June 2020, 02:52 PM   #2068
dejudge
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,492
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
You know, 50 years ago one argument against the Gospel Jesus was that the OT prophecies were so DIFFERENT to what we see fulfilled in the Gospels, that the Gospel Jesus wasn't the Messiah, and largely a made-up character. For example, Psalm 22.

Nowadays, the argument against the Gospel Jesus is that the OT prophecies are so SIMILAR to what we see fulfilled in the Gospels, that the Gospel Jesus is a completely made-up character. For example, Psalm 22.

Lithrael, it's an interesting thought experiment. The messiah figure in the OT appears to be a suffering servant from the line of David. But the truth is that the Bible contains so many wild and contradictory ideas, that you could probably make up any figure you wanted (within reason) and still have it conform to whatever messiah figure you wanted to make.
It is already known the Bible is not a credible historical source to determine an historical Jesus.

It is already known that multiple Christian cults in antiquity did not require an historical Jesus.

It is already known that there are no historical sources of antiquity which mention any historical character called Jesus of Nazareth.

We can't be going over the same facts over and over.

The HJ argument is dead in the water.
dejudge 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 29th June 2020, 03:04 PM   #2069
IanS
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5,008
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
There was nothing in the OT that predicts that the messiah will be killed and no Jew believed it before Christians. Its clearly ad hoc reasoning.

Also, you believe that Jesus was originally just a heavenly figure who did not live on earth, so show us as sect a Christianity that claimed that.

Someone else here may be be able to cite the various passages, though I am not in the habit of reading the OT .. BUT - we did discuss this some years back and iirc I think the OT does actually say in several places, in terms (most of the OT is written in obscure phrases like that), that the messiah will be harmed and/or rejected etc.

In Psalm 22 (5th Cent. BC for the following parts) for example it says

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_h...ds_and_my_feet


Text of Psalm 22:16 (21:17)
This verse, which is Psalm 22:17 in the Hebrew verse numbering, reads in the Masoretic Text as: כארי ידי ורגלי, which may be read literally as "like a lion my hands and my feet". The full verse of the Masoretic text reads: כִּ֥י סְבָב֗וּנִי כְּלָ֫בִ֥ים עֲדַ֣ת מְ֭רֵעִים הִקִּיפ֑וּנִי כָּ֝אֲרִ֗י יָדַ֥י וְרַגְלָֽי (K sĕḇāḇn kĕlāḇm 'ăḏaṯ mĕrē'm hiqqpn kā'ăr yāḏay wĕraglāy).

When translated into English, the syntactical form of this Hebrew phrase appears to be lacking a verb. In this context the phrase was commonly explained in early Rabbinical paraphrases as "they bite like a lion my hands and my feet".

The Septuagint, a Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek made before the Common Era, has "ὤρυξαν χεῗράς μου καὶ πόδας" ("they dug my hands and feet"), which Christian commentators argue could be understood in the general sense as "pierced". This reading was retained by Saint Jerome in his translation from the Greek Hexapla into the Latin of his Gallican Psalter (Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos) which was incorporated into both the Vulgate and the Divine Office.

Aquila of Sinope, a 2nd-century CE Greek convert to Christianity and later to Judaism, undertook two translations of the Psalms from Hebrew to Greek. In the first, he renders the verse "they disfigured my hands and feet"; in the second he revised this to "they have bound my hands and feet".

The Jewish Publication Society translates the phrase a "Like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet".


English translations
Some English language translations, primarily those translated by or for Christian communities, render the text as: "They have pierced my hands and my feet" although English translations are not uniform in this rendering. Versions translated outside of Christian circles, such as the Jewish Publication Society and The Judaica Press, use different English renderings based on the Hebrew text rather than the Greek.

In the book of Daniel (2nd century BC), it says this -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Te..._New_Testament

Daniel 9:24-27
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;


The book of Isaiah says this -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Te..._New_Testament

Isaiah 53:5
Main article: Isaiah 53

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 (King James Version)

"But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed." Isaiah 53:5 (JPS The Judaica Press Tanakh with Rashi's commentary

Isaiah 53 is probably the most famous example claimed by Christians to be a messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. It speaks of one known as the "suffering servant," who suffers because of the sins of others. Jesus is said to fulfill this prophecy through his death on the cross.[41] The verse from Isaiah 53:5 is understood by many Christians to speak of Jesus as the Messiah.


I'm also pretty sure that somewhere in the OT it talks of the Messiah, or someone very like a Messiah, being "Hung on a Tree" (and I think that's also repeated in the NT Book of ACTS) ... but someone who is more familiar with reading the OT can probably dig that one out.


Also in Psalm 22 is the following -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalm_...mposition%20(v.
Christianity[edit]
Christians[who?]*contend that "They have pierced my hands and my feet"*(Psalm 22:16), and "I can count all my bones"*(Psalm 22:17)*are prophecies indicating the manner of Jesus's crucifixion: that he would be nailed to a cross*(John 20:25)*and, per the Levitical requirement for a sacrifice, that none of his bones would be broken*(Numbers 9:11-13). (Christians view Jesus as an*atoning*sacrifice.)
Some Christian commentators, such as E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes,[15]*and H A Ironside*[16]*a point out that the word use for worm in 'I am a worm and not a man'*(Psalm 26)*is 'tola'*[17]*a middle eastern worm that lives in a tree and is crushed for its red dye, also translated crimson. It is also the word used in*(Isaiah 41:14)*in the*servant songs*of Isaiah. This would be consistent with the view of the suffering person being an atoning sacrifice, dying on a tree.[18]


In the NT book of ACTS, it also says this -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_1

Verses 2122

39And we are witnesses ('martyres') of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God,
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 29th June 2020, 03:16 PM   #2070
Delvo
Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Tonawanda, NY
Posts: 8,628
Problem 1 with the con artist scenario: no profit. Some founders of religions do get rich, but that doesn't seem to apply to this case.

Problem 2: the con artist would need to somehow get Josephus to write from an outsider's perspective about a couple of guys who seem suspiciously similar to the con artist's fictional character, but not exactly identical or identified by name, for no apparent reason.

Problem 3...

From the point of view of somebody in that time & place, a future messiah is believable, a present messiah who isn't done messiahing yet is believable, and a past messiah is entirely impossible. The real messiah, after having already messiah'd, would have brought either the forceful ejection of the Romans or the end of the whole world. People would have noticed. Somebody you didn't notice because he didn't change the world isn't the messiah. A con artist trying to invent a new religious con would get nowhere trying to use a messiah who was already gone as the starting point.

A different starting point for the con job, with the messiah still alive and not done with his work yet but just located somewhere else at the moment, OR no messiah-based claims being made at all, would also get nowhere for different reasons. People would mix up the con artist's boss who isn't there with some other guy who actually is there and making the same claim for himself, and shift over to that guy because getting it first-hand is more compelling. If the con artist got it through to them that that other guy over there is a fake, the next subject would be where to go find the real guy, followed by why they haven't heard any such news from anybody else over there lately and why they should believe someone who's only talking about someone else instead of doing something himself. These are exactly the kinds of complications that con artists avoid, not invite. This isn't saving yourself trouble at all but multiplying it.

Con artists do like to take advantage of what people already think, though, so, as soon as people raised the subject of some other guy they knew of who made similar claims about himself, the con artist might piggyback onto that. But then we'd be talking about a movement that's based on a real historical person, not somebody the con artist made up. And the best move of all might be to eliminate the idea of having to choose which of two or more other preachers somewhere out there was real by combining them and telling the audience that the rumors they'd heard about a few different guys were actually all talking about one guy. But then we'd be talking about an amalgam of real historical figures, which is still closer to one real historical figure than it is to pure imagination.

This merging in with the real guys would be so easy, even so difficult to avoid, given the lack of a real figurehead to make the con artist's story distinct from them, that it would happen whether the con artist deliberately went along with it or not.
Delvo 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 29th June 2020, 03:17 PM   #2071
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Someone else here may be be able to cite the various passages, though I am not in the habit of reading the OT .. BUT - we did discuss this some years back and iirc I think the OT does actually say in several places, in terms (most of the OT is written in obscure phrases like that), that the messiah will be harmed and/or rejected etc.

In Psalm 22 (5th Cent. BC for the following parts) for example it says

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_h...ds_and_my_feet


Text of Psalm 22:16 (21:17)
This verse, which is Psalm 22:17 in the Hebrew verse numbering, reads in the Masoretic Text as: כארי ידי ורגלי, which may be read literally as "like a lion my hands and my feet". The full verse of the Masoretic text reads: כִּ֥י סְבָב֗וּנִי כְּלָ֫בִ֥ים עֲדַ֣ת מְ֭רֵעִים הִקִּיפ֑וּנִי כָּ֝אֲרִ֗י יָדַ֥י וְרַגְלָֽי (K sĕḇāḇn kĕlāḇm 'ăḏaṯ mĕrē'm hiqqpn kā'ăr yāḏay wĕraglāy).

When translated into English, the syntactical form of this Hebrew phrase appears to be lacking a verb. In this context the phrase was commonly explained in early Rabbinical paraphrases as "they bite like a lion my hands and my feet".

The Septuagint, a Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek made before the Common Era, has "ὤρυξαν χεῗράς μου καὶ πόδας" ("they dug my hands and feet"), which Christian commentators argue could be understood in the general sense as "pierced". This reading was retained by Saint Jerome in his translation from the Greek Hexapla into the Latin of his Gallican Psalter (Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos) which was incorporated into both the Vulgate and the Divine Office.

Aquila of Sinope, a 2nd-century CE Greek convert to Christianity and later to Judaism, undertook two translations of the Psalms from Hebrew to Greek. In the first, he renders the verse "they disfigured my hands and feet"; in the second he revised this to "they have bound my hands and feet".

The Jewish Publication Society translates the phrase a "Like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet".


English translations
Some English language translations, primarily those translated by or for Christian communities, render the text as: "They have pierced my hands and my feet" although English translations are not uniform in this rendering. Versions translated outside of Christian circles, such as the Jewish Publication Society and The Judaica Press, use different English renderings based on the Hebrew text rather than the Greek.

In the book of Daniel (2nd century BC), it says this -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Te..._New_Testament

Daniel 9:24-27
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;


The book of Isaiah says this -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Te..._New_Testament

Isaiah 53:5
Main article: Isaiah 53

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 (King James Version)

"But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his wound we were healed." Isaiah 53:5 (JPS The Judaica Press Tanakh with Rashi's commentary

Isaiah 53 is probably the most famous example claimed by Christians to be a messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. It speaks of one known as the "suffering servant," who suffers because of the sins of others. Jesus is said to fulfill this prophecy through his death on the cross.[41] The verse from Isaiah 53:5 is understood by many Christians to speak of Jesus as the Messiah.


I'm also pretty sure that somewhere in the OT it talks of the Messiah, or someone very like a Messiah, being "Hung on a Tree" (and I think that's also repeated in the NT Book of ACTS) ... but someone who is more familiar with reading the OT can probably dig that one out.


Also in Psalm 22 is the following -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalm_...mposition%20(v.
Christianity[edit]
Christians[who?]*contend that "They have pierced my hands and my feet"*(Psalm 22:16), and "I can count all my bones"*(Psalm 22:17)*are prophecies indicating the manner of Jesus's crucifixion: that he would be nailed to a cross*(John 20:25)*and, per the Levitical requirement for a sacrifice, that none of his bones would be broken*(Numbers 9:11-13). (Christians view Jesus as an*atoning*sacrifice.)
Some Christian commentators, such as E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes,[15]*and H A Ironside*[16]*a point out that the word use for worm in 'I am a worm and not a man'*(Psalm 26)*is 'tola'*[17]*a middle eastern worm that lives in a tree and is crushed for its red dye, also translated crimson. It is also the word used in*(Isaiah 41:14)*in the*servant songs*of Isaiah. This would be consistent with the view of the suffering person being an atoning sacrifice, dying on a tree.[18]


In the NT book of ACTS, it also says this -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_1

Verses 21–22

39And we are witnesses ('martyres') of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God,
Again, all you did was provide ad hoc interpretations by Christians. The idea that the early Jesus followers could construct a narrative based on these vague cherrypicked verses as opposed to interpreting them later to match a real executed person fails Occam's razor.

The "Suffering Servant" was never interpreted to be the Messiah before Jesus and the text clearly identifies the servant as Israel.

Last edited by Jerrymander; 29th June 2020 at 03:23 PM.
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 04:41 PM   #2072
Roger Ramjets
Illuminator
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,681
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
It was a huge stumping block for both Jews and gentiles. Crucifixion was the most shameful way to die and there are no traditions in Judaism of a crucified figure raised by God. The early followers really needed to sell it.

Jesus being baptized implies that he sinned. In addition, why does a mythological god need to be a successor to some hermit preacher?

Most scholars agree that Josephus did originally mention Jesus without the resurrection claims.

Mythological gods were not treated as humans. Jesus was. Opponents of Christanity felt the need to make all kinds of accusations about Jesus but not one claim he didn't exist.
All good points, but the mythicists will find some way to deny them.

Originally Posted by Brainache
If we're talking about Paul, I think the big difference would be that there would be no James or the other "Pillars of the Church" in Jerusalem with whom Paul had so many disputes.

Paul talks about how this group of "super Apostles" were involved with Jesus in the flesh before Paul came along. He would have to have invented them too. Maybe he paid some actors to come into town and force circumcision on his followers so he could complain about how horrible they were...
It doesn't makes sense, but that is exactly what some here are arguing - even as they believe Paul when it suits them.

But why? Why are MJers so invested in 'proving' that a historical Jesus could not have existed, even to the point of evangelism? For some it may just be a debating game, while others may have unwisely chosen a position which they have to defend to save face. But I think there may be more to it than that. In our Christian societies most atheists were at least nominally believers, and so have an ongoing need to defend their position. So it's not surprising that some are willing to discard facts and logic. It's just a bit sad to see people who consider themselves to be 'rational' and 'skeptical' being anything but when beliefs that they have an emotional need to hold onto are questioned.

I was in the 'mythical Jesus' camp until I realized that I took this position more to counter religious claims than to be historically accurate. But stripping away the religious element is easy (even if we had mountains of irrefutable proof that Jesus did exist, it still wouldn't make their supernatural claims true). The problem comes when you try to deny the 'mundane' parts. Not only do you have to go against the historical consensus, putting your self above those who are experts in their field (never a good sign), you also have to make peculiar arguments that go against what we know about human behavior. This is disturbing close to the tactics of conspiracy theorists.

In their efforts to repudiate pervading religious mumbo jumbo, some atheists are falling into the same trap. Lying for not-Jesus is no better than lying for Jesus, even if it is for a good cause - and even if you are only lying to yourself. True skeptics also question their own beliefs, and don't dogmatically stick to a position when it is not rational.
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.

Last edited by Roger Ramjets; 29th June 2020 at 04:42 PM.
Roger Ramjets 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 29th June 2020, 05:17 PM   #2073
Jerrymander
Muse
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 507
Originally Posted by dejudge View Post
Your statement appears to be baseless and deliberately mis-leading. You have no idea of the actual amount of Scholars who agree about anything on the passage in Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3
Since you quoted Wikipedia

Quote:
The extant manuscripts of the book Antiquities of the Jews, written by the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus around 9394 AD, contain two references to Jesus of Nazareth and one reference to John the Baptist.[1][2]

The first and most extensive reference to Jesus in the Antiquities, found in Book 18, states that Jesus was the Messiah and a wise teacher who was crucified by Pilate. It is commonly called the Testimonium Flavianum.[1][3][4] Almost all modern scholars reject the authenticity of this passage in its present form, while the majority of scholars nevertheless hold that it contains an authentic nucleus referencing the execution of Jesus by Pilate, which was then subject to Christian interpolation and/or alteration.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction remains unclear, however.[11][12]
Josephus also mentions Jesus in another passage.

"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned"
Jerrymander 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 29th June 2020, 09:48 PM   #2074
dejudge
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,492
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Since you quoted Wikipedia

The extant manuscripts of the book Antiquities of the Jews, written by the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus around 93–94 AD, contain two references to Jesus of Nazareth and one reference to John the Baptist.[1][2]

The first and most extensive reference to Jesus in the Antiquities, found in Book 18, states that Jesus was the Messiah and a wise teacher who was crucified by Pilate. It is commonly called the Testimonium Flavianum.[1][3][4] Almost all modern scholars reject the authenticity of this passage in its present form, while the majority of scholars nevertheless hold that it contains an authentic nucleus referencing the execution of Jesus by Pilate, which was then subject to Christian interpolation and/or alteration.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction remains unclear, however.[11][12]
Since you quoted Wikipedia. The passage is not authentic so has no credibility. Assumptions about its original content is worthless.

Josephus could not have written Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3 since he already stated that the Jews expected their Messianic ruler c 66-70 CE and Vespasian was indeed the Messianic ruler predicted in Hebrew Scripture.

See Wars of the Jews 6.5.4.

Josephus, a captured prisoner in Rome, would have been a complete suicidal idiot to declare a dead Jew was the Messianic ruler of the Roman Empire instead of a Roman Emperor who defeated the Jews.

Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Josephus also mentions Jesus in another passage.

Quote:
"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned"
That passage Antiquities of the Jews 20.9.1 does not refer to Jesus of Nazareth.

The Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews 20.9.1 was alive in the time of Albinus c 64 CE and was the son of Damneus.

Jesus the son of Damneus was called Christ because he was a High Priest.

High Priest were called Christ by Jews.

The word Christ simply means "anointed".

High Priest were anointed with oil when installed.

Jesus of Nazareth would not ever be called the Christ [the anointed] by Jews since he was never a High Priest or King of the Jews.

Jesus of Nazareth had no human father.
Jesus of Nazareth was born of a Ghost and never ever had any history.

Last edited by dejudge; 29th June 2020 at 09:53 PM.
dejudge 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 29th June 2020, 10:23 PM   #2075
dejudge
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,492
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post

I was in the 'mythical Jesus' camp until I realized that I took this position more to counter religious claims than to be historically accurate. But stripping away the religious element is easy (even if we had mountains of irrefutable proof that Jesus did exist, it still wouldn't make their supernatural claims true). The problem comes when you try to deny the 'mundane' parts.
Please, there are no mundane parts in the Jesus story. Even Ehrman admitted that non-supernatural elements in the Jesus story are implausible.

The baptism story is complete fiction with the voice from heaven and the Holy Ghost bird and in addition the baptism by John could not be for remission of sins.

Jews must sacrifice to their God for remission of sins.

Jews believed that baptising or bathing in the river Jordan was for cleansing or healing of the body.

The trial by Pilate is also implausible when it is claimed Pilate found no fault yet still asked the Jews to determine his fate.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Not only do you have to go against the historical consensus, putting your self above those who are experts in their field (never a good sign), you also have to make peculiar arguments that go against what we know about human behavior. This is disturbing close to the tactics of conspiracy theorists.
Never a good sign to put experts above evidence. Your so-called experts have no historical evidence for their claims about their Jesus.

You seem to want to be a follower of the crowd instead of follower of the evidence.

Perhaps you don't know that many of the Bible experts who claim their Jesus exist are bishops of the Church.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
In their efforts to repudiate pervading religious mumbo jumbo, some atheists are falling into the same trap. Lying for not-Jesus is no better than lying for Jesus, even if it is for a good cause - and even if you are only lying to yourself. True skeptics also question their own beliefs, and don't dogmatically stick to a position when it is not rational.
Who is lying?

It is stated in the NT that Jesus of Nazareth was born of a Ghost and a Virgin.

Who says Jesus of Nazareth was human?

The people who are lying.

Last edited by dejudge; 29th June 2020 at 10:24 PM.
dejudge 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 29th June 2020, 10:49 PM   #2076
IanS
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5,008
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Oh c'mon, no-one here is BASING it on that AFAICS. That's ridiculous. But in a cumulative case about whether a HJ or MJ is the better explanation for the origin of Christianity, "No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" is a relevant piece of data.

BASING it. Sheesh.


Do you see that as a valid piece of data adding to a cumulative case supporting the idea that MJ is a better explanation than HJ for the origin of Christianity? Because I do.

GDon, your replies are getting quite ridiculous. I thought you said you were going to be sensible about this and try to genuinely consider why HJ-sceptics here are putting to you points, explanations, and in fact a huge mass of evidence that shows your belief in a real HJ is probably misplaced/wrong.

You are talking about "data", when you should be talking about actual "evidence", and you are taking a sentence that someone just invented above where they said "No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" , and you are calling that "Data" which you then treat as evidence of a HJ !! ... that's absurd and a completely erroneous piece of faulty reasoning from you ...

... it's not "data" (or "evidence") simply because one of your fellow HJ believers here writes "No Christian sect believed that Jesus never walked the earth" ... apart from it being a horrible gobbledygook double-negative sentence in mangled English, it's not data or evidence just by someone saying (and I'll unscramble the double-negative) "all Christians believed that Jesus walked the Earth" ...

first of all, neither that poster or you or any of us, know what all Christians believed about Jesus, that's an absurd and very nave remark to begin with. But completely irrespective of that - just because Christians believed that Jesus was a real person on Earth, is not any kind of evidence at all that the belief was true it's precisely Zero evidence of a real Jesus.

Can we please stick to genuine evidence, and stop claiming that 1st century religious belief is itself evidence to show Jesus was real.
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 29th June 2020, 11:15 PM   #2077
dejudge
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,492
What is most amusing is that since the 3rd century attempts were made by skeptics to historicise Jesus but were called liars by Christian writers.

Origen "Against Celsus" 1
Quote:
But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera; and let us see whether those who have blindly concocted these fables about the adultery of the Virgin with Panthera, and her rejection by the carpenter, did not invent these stories to overturn His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost

for they could have falsified the history in a different manner, on account of its extremely miraculous character, and not have admitted, as it were against their will, that Jesus was born of no ordinary human marriage.

It was to be expected, indeed, that those who would not believe the miraculous birth of Jesus would invent some falsehood.
The claim that Jesus of Nazareth had a human father is a falsehood - an invention by those who do not believe Jesus of Nazareth was born of a Ghost and a Virgin.

There was never any historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus of Nazareth was a always a Ghost story.
dejudge 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 29th June 2020, 11:20 PM   #2078
IanS
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 5,008
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Again, all you did was provide ad hoc interpretations by Christians. The idea that the early Jesus followers could construct a narrative based on these vague cherrypicked verses as opposed to interpreting them later to match a real executed person fails Occam's razor.

The "Suffering Servant" was never interpreted to be the Messiah before Jesus and the text clearly identifies the servant as Israel.

Well it's all there in undeniable black-&-white with the full references. And you still can't admit the truth ...

... You are truly a faithful believer. May your God go with you, Amen!
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 30th June 2020, 12:30 AM   #2079
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 92,208
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
You believe that Jesus was originally just a heavenly figure who did not live on earth, so show us as sect a Christianity that claimed that.



There was nothing in the OT that predicts that the messiah will be killed and no Jew believed it before Christians. Its clearly ad hoc reasoning by early Christians. I'm not using incredulity I'm using Occam's razor.
No. IanS is of the opinion that you need to provide evidence for a real Jesus rather than the mythical Jesus (we all agree there is overwhelming evidence for that Jesus) and that there is pretty much zilch evidence from any time around when your real Jesus is meant to have lived (according to the evidence for the mythical Jesus).
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat 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 30th June 2020, 12:33 AM   #2080
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 92,208
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Its anti-intellectual to claim that we can't reconstruct a historical figure with supernatural powers attributed to him.
It might be but that position has nothing to do with the discussion in this thread.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat 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 09:54 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, 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.