Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

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flash2015
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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#21 Post by flash2015 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:17 pm

Crazy Anglican wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:33 pm
My question for a mythicist would be when does it stop being myth?

Okay Jesus is a myth (never seen any evidence to make me believe this but for the sake of argument granted)
I think you are looking at it the wrong way. It is almost impossible to prove a negative (unless we found proof of someone admitting "I made it all up"). A mythicist is going to show that what you think is proof of Jesus existence may not be proof at all. But even mythicists like Carrier are not going to completely discount the possibility of Jesus existence, just that from his opinion he believes it more likely he didn't exist (he used to believe that he did).
Then his disciples would probably have to be myths as well since the stories about the me have them going across the known world preaching about Jesus and going to rather gruesome deaths without recanting (so it's easier if they are myths too because they probably aren't simply liars what would the motive be?)
There are lots and lots of stories in the Bible that are obviously myth. There are lots of Christian stories after Christ that are also myth. There are lots and lots of other mythical people/beings in the ancient world that had similar stories (e.g. resurrection/virgin birth). Why should I believe the Jesus stories any more than all the others?

I believe Ehlich made the argument that many real people have had mythical stories made about them (e.g. even people like George Washington), but what he didn't say is that there are real records of the non-mythical stuff for these people too. At least from my understanding of Carrier's argument, there are no non-mythical stories about Jesus life. The evidence that there were multiple sources for the Gospels, which is Carrier's opinion and which I more and more agree with, is at best speculative.
Then there is Paul (universally he seen as a real guy letters and all) So what? He hijacks a gnostic Jewish sect and invents a historical Jesus and his disciples (Who live concurrently with Paul and Paul interacts with them). Then you have the problem of the Sect of Thomas in India who Paul simply could not have had a hand in founding.
I think a lot of weight is put on Paul as "proof" of Jesus existence...but Carrier will argue this evidence isn't really there. For example (again I am paraphrasing my very limited understanding), his references to Jesus are largely through revelation, NOT real events. He never refers to Jesus ministry (I don't believe though they are saying that the people referred to as "apostles" are actually false). His references to the crucifixion are very mystical. The early church deliberately changed words in Paul's letters to make it sound more like Jesus was "born" rather than "created" (original Greek text) again to make Jesus more "real". In his videos he goes through many, many more specific texts and references in Paul.

Of course, I am not the best person to make the mythicist argument. I don't really have any skin in the game anymore (I am a former Catholic). I just like the intellectual stimulation of reading or watching videos about it. Richard Carrier has many, many videos on youtube...which if you have time to look at (which you may do now) and have an open mind (I know it is a charged topic), I would encourage you to take a look.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#22 Post by Crazy Anglican » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:47 pm

Again admittedly I was being tongue in cheek. Certainly if I want to believe badly enough that Jesus was not a historical figure, then discounting everything written about him (or anyone who knew him) as myth and later fabrications made to make him seem real would be a good place to start.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#23 Post by Puscherbilbo » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:17 pm

flash2015 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:24 am
Richard Carrier vs. Ehrman would be a much better debate (Richard Carrier much better explains the mythicist argument)...though perhaps there is too much bad blood between the two. He has a blow by blow rebuttal of the arguments Ehrman brought up in the debate here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kOu2s31xt4
i will watch it later.

In the meantime does he compare it to other instances of fictive memory with such a degree of detail and corroboration? Because there are none that come to my mind and there are quite a few ficticous elements in the writing of ancient (and medieval) history.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#24 Post by dipplayer2004 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:08 pm

I take an 18 month hiatus from this website, and I see that the same old arguments are still going on.
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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#25 Post by Puscherbilbo » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:09 am

Watched maybe half now. Seems like quite a bit willful misunderstanding of Ehrmans points.

Some notes and thoughts.
- While i understand that historians of ancient and medieval history deal with differing degrees of certainty i find it strange to assign specific probabilities to certain variables. I am unaware of any meaningful historian doing this. I find it hard to imagine or just ignorant to ignore the observation bias necessarily introduced by such numbers. The weight assigned to each variable still is introduced by the oberserver. So using specific numbers suggests a level of certainty that is misleading.
- The Gospel of John used to be considered almost unanimously as independent of the synoptics. This view has become more nuanced and elaborated and i cannot speak to the current majority position. But painting Ehrmans position as obsolete or being held by only few academic outsiders is extremely misleading.
- Basically the same goes for "Q"-source with the exception that this hypothetical source was always more debated in scholarship (afaik).
- I did not here any mention on earlier sources of Paul and synoptics. Thse are also usually considered independent from each other.
- Carrier NEEDS to assume that all available sources are dependent on each other since he does not seem to contest the dating of the sources. This combination of necessary assumptions makes his overall position in this regard rather fringe (afaik). But it seems possible to hold to all of these views w/o reaching Carriers conclusion.
- Carrier points to other mythical figures such as Osiris or Hercules. To the best of my knowledge these figures are situated in a very distant (and fictive) past which is typical for such myths. From what i glean Carrier does not contest the historical framework of the gospels (Pilate, Caiaphas, John the Baptist etc.) but assumes an insertion into an historical framework by the next generation.
As i stated above i am unaware of any similar incident. The age of a story or person in this context is crucial for its legitimacy.
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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#26 Post by flash2015 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:29 am

Puscherbilbo wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:09 am
Watched maybe half now. Seems like quite a bit willful misunderstanding of Ehrmans points.
If you go to Carrier's and Ehrman's blogs (they have gone back and forth many times, there are a lot of such claims of misinterpreting/misrepresenting each other's points... :)

Note that the area of disagreement between Carrier and Ehrman is likely smaller than you think. Both believe that the Jesus stories are mostly myth (Carrier will even point to Ehrman's finding that Paul's letters were changed after the fact to make Jesus more "real"). The only difference is that Ehrman believes that Jesus still existed while Carrier believes that it is more than likely that he didn't.
Some notes and thoughts.
- While i understand that historians of ancient and medieval history deal with differing degrees of certainty i find it strange to assign specific probabilities to certain variables. I am unaware of any meaningful historian doing this. I find it hard to imagine or just ignorant to ignore the observation bias necessarily introduced by such numbers. The weight assigned to each variable still is introduced by the oberserver. So using specific numbers suggests a level of certainty that is misleading.
Perhaps I missed this but I don't remember him mentioning too much about this in the interview (if I remember correctly all he said was that he believed there was roughly 1 in 3 chance of Jesus being real). I can't really give an opinion on this because I haven't read his book to understand his methodology (perhaps I have to now :) ).
- The Gospel of John used to be considered almost unanimously as independent of the synoptics. This view has become more nuanced and elaborated and i cannot speak to the current majority position. But painting Ehrmans position as obsolete or being held by only few academic outsiders is extremely misleading.
- Basically the same goes for "Q"-source with the exception that this hypothetical source was always more debated in scholarship (afaik).
- I did not here any mention on earlier sources of Paul and synoptics. Thse are also usually considered independent from each other.
I believe Carrier will tell you that John has little if any historical validity...and after listening to him discuss it I am agreeing with him. Some of the most iconic stories of Jesus only occur in John (like the story of Lazaras and doubting Thomas). I just can't believe Matthew/Mark/Luke missing these (especially the Lazaras story - Carrier goes into great detail about this story). I would argue now that John borders on pure fantasy.

Even if you assume "Q" existed, the theory of "Q" only adds more parables and fables (e.g. like meeting the "Devil's temptation of Jesus" fable). This adds little if anything to the historicity of Jesus.
- Carrier NEEDS to assume that all available sources are dependent on each other since he does not seem to contest the dating of the sources. This combination of necessary assumptions makes his overall position in this regard rather fringe (afaik). But it seems possible to hold to all of these views w/o reaching Carriers conclusion.
You have got the argument completely backwards. Ehrman makes the argument that lots of sources prove Jesus. Carrier just says that this argument is weak because the evidence for the existence of these multiple sources is at best debatable. He isn't making the opposite argument at all.
- Carrier points to other mythical figures such as Osiris or Hercules. To the best of my knowledge these figures are situated in a very distant (and fictive) past which is typical for such myths. From what i glean Carrier does not contest the historical framework of the gospels (Pilate, Caiaphas, John the Baptist etc.) but assumes an insertion into an historical framework by the next generation.
As i stated above i am unaware of any similar incident. The age of a story or person in this context is crucial for its legitimacy.
What Carrier is saying is that there is really no historical record of Jesus apart from the mystical stories. I can ask the flipside of your assertion - what other historical figure can you think of that is like this (this is Carrier's point)? Note that there are mythical characters created after Jesus also placed into a historical context (e.g. King Arthur).

I guess I have a question for you - What historical incident(s) would you actually hold your hat on for Jesus? For example, look at the famous story of the Census though which Luke places Jesus in Bethlehem. Herod existed, there was a census...but the dates for Jesus, the Census and Herod do not line up at all. You can design complicated theories to make it all make sense...but the most likely explanation would suggest that this was just made up long after the fact. Another example - Carrier will go into detail to show how the authors of the Gospels obviously knew little about the geography of Israel...meaning that the Gospels were likely written by people that had never visited there. At best you have the story of the crucifixion...but Carrier notes that Paul mentions none of the detail (e.g. Pilate, Barrabas etc.). Isn't this weird that Paul mentions none of these details and only describes the cricifixion in mystical terms (i.e. suggesting these details may have been filled in at a later point too)? I am just scratching the surface of all the discrepancies. In his many youtube videos, Carrier goes into great detail about them. I would mention more of them but my memory really isn't too good :).

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#27 Post by Puscherbilbo » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:01 pm

You are missing my point.

If Jesus-figure were an invention somebody had to invent him. So there has to be a single point of origin. If you think John and synoptics are indepent than there is no explanation why they chose the same name for a mythical figure.

I will try to adress other points later but this seems like a crucial misunderstanding.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#28 Post by Puscherbilbo » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:35 pm

If you go to Carrier's and Ehrman's blogs (they have gone back and forth many times, there are a lot of such claims of misinterpreting/misrepresenting each other's points... :)
Carrier seems to view this debate-format as some sort of sportive event that he can win despite representing a potentially wrong position by employing certain rethoric techniques. I have no interest in this aspect and do not share this view. Let´s just leave it at that maybe.

Perhaps I missed this but I don't remember him mentioning too much about this in the interview (if I remember correctly all he said was that he believed there was roughly 1 in 3 chance of Jesus being real). I can't really give an opinion on this because I haven't read his book to understand his methodology (perhaps I have to now :) ).
I just said that i am unaware of any historian employing this method. There may be some cases of course but it is not accepted practice in the field.
This at least should be a warning sign for this methodology.

I believe Carrier will tell you that John has little if any historical validity...and after listening to him discuss it I am agreeing with him. Some of the most iconic stories of Jesus only occur in John (like the story of Lazaras and doubting Thomas). I just can't believe Matthew/Mark/Luke missing these (especially the Lazaras story - Carrier goes into great detail about this story). I would argue now that John borders on pure fantasy.
This is certainly the majority view of John. But it does not bear in the least on this discussion. If you do not challenge the independency of John (and all other similar sources like Q or Pauline letters) than you have to argue that there are two (or more) points of origin for the fictive Jesus but both naming their fictive person "Jesus" (and also inventing all other commonalities). This is due to the fairly little time (30 or so years) that is usually assumed between the first and last relevant source for our discussion. So if you do not challenge independeny the only other viable alternative i can come up with is to challenge the dating of John arguing that the myth had already been so widespread that there is no direct connection but John is just drawing on stories already floating around in his time.
Even if you assume "Q" existed, the theory of "Q" only adds more parables and fables (e.g. like meeting the "Devil's temptation of Jesus" fable). This adds little if anything to the historicity of Jesus.
By definition "Q" does not add any stuff. And again the historicity of the account does not bear on our discussion. There is also a difference in saying that a specific source like "Q" ever existed and saying there are no independent earlier sources at all. As i understand it Carrier does the latter although i may be wrong here.

You have got the argument completely backwards. Ehrman makes the argument that lots of sources prove Jesus. Carrier just says that this argument is weak because the evidence for the existence of these multiple sources is at best debatable. He isn't making the opposite argument at all.
Ehrman says the existence of multiple, immediate and independent attestation is the prove in itself. I tried to make the same argument. And this is the methodological standard. I very much doubt Carrier challenges these criteria. He argues Ehrmann did not meet the burden of proof showing the independency. And I think here he is willfully misleading because while most (or all) independencies have been challenged individually i am not so sure challenging the existence of all prior independent sources simultaneously is a common position. So while his position on a particular source may not be as fringe as i thought his overall position still might be.

What Carrier is saying is that there is really no historical record of Jesus apart from the mystical stories. I can ask the flipside of your assertion - what other historical figure can you think of that is like this (this is Carrier's point)? Note that there are mythical characters created after Jesus also placed into a historical context (e.g. King Arthur).
Well given his presumptive low social status we cannot realistically expect other sources like coinage or inscriptions.
There are only so many other sources in which Jesus realistically could have been mentioned. Some of them do.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sources_f ... y_of_Jesus

I understand that Carrier challenges Josephus but this once again is a minority position at best.

Also the gospels are not mythical texts but belong to the literary genre of biographies. So the authors adhere to typical conventions of this particular genre. While this highly stylized genre makes it hard to determine if a specific aspect is historically or not the genre certainly allows for factual historical information.
The difference between King Arthur and Jesus is that the former is placed in a distant past (migration age vs 12th century) while the latter in the previous generation.
Also i think you may mix "ficticious" and "mythical". I think the latter is applied to figures with some claim to divinity. Arthur does not fit there.
I guess I have a question for you - What historical incident(s) would you actually hold your hat on for Jesus? For example, look at the famous story of the Census though which Luke places Jesus in Bethlehem. Herod existed, there was a census...but the dates for Jesus, the Census and Herod do not line up at all. You can design complicated theories to make it all make sense...but the most likely explanation would suggest that this was just made up long after the fact. Another example - Carrier will go into detail to show how the authors of the Gospels obviously knew little about the geography of Israel...meaning that the Gospels were likely written by people that had never visited there. At best you have the story of the crucifixion...but Carrier notes that Paul mentions none of the detail (e.g. Pilate, Barrabas etc.). Isn't this weird that Paul mentions none of these details and only describes the cricifixion in mystical terms (i.e. suggesting these details may have been filled in at a later point too)? I am just scratching the surface of all the discrepancies. In his many youtube videos, Carrier goes into great detail about them. I would mention more of them but my memory really isn't too good :).
I do not claim expertise in the least. In general i find the methodology used to differentiate between factual and ficticious parts in the gospels quite convincing. I would lean towards a fairly minimalistic approach to be sure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_dOhg-Fpu0

Pauls letters are internal documents with an immediate goal and audience so some basic assumptions shared with the audience may not have been worth mentioning and did not need explanation/elaboration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQaOlxh ... E0&index=5

i hope this was helpful. If you need me to elaborate/explain i certainly will but i do not think i can add too much more to our discussion than what i already said so i will bow out of any further fundamental discussions and refer you to the scholarly literature on the topic. Debates and yt-vids only go so far and my knowledge on the specific topic basically ends there. My field of expertise used to be the post-Roman world.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#29 Post by Fluminator » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:46 am

So I've read a ton of history books on the matter, and I come from a Christian faith (although far away from a fundamentalist and many Christians wouldn't consider me one.)
I think it was flash who I talked about this a year ago where we went back and forth on the gospels.

I don't really have time to check all the links, but I have to ask, what was the motive behind spreading legends if no one had any real evidence he existed. It's very reasonable to say things were exaggerated, but... what was the endgoal for these people.
Until Constantine, it was very dangerous to be a Christian.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#30 Post by Puscherbilbo » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:43 am

Not sure what position Carrier holds here. But if you consider the early Jesus-movement as an expression of Jewish separatism and anti-Rome and could make sense. This would entail the whole apocalyptic movements but goes beyond those.
The persecution of Christians in the early days tends to be exaggerated by christian sources as martyrdom was an ideal at those times.
There were only locally limited persecutions until the 3rd century afaik. And those are a result of a change in the type of government which tried to legitimize the rule of emperors and some christian practices were seen as a challenge to this legitimization.
Overall the orthodox christianity was fairly successful in terms of spread precisely because it was more accomodating towards gentiles and the elite in particular compared to Judaism.
Personally i think modern christianity ows much more to Paul´s teachings than to thoase of the historical Jesus. But that certainly depends which parts of the gospels you accept as historical which is of course hotly debated.

For your concerns i recommend parts 3+4,13,18-20 and 23-24
but i find the whole thing highly enjoyable and informative
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtQ2TS1 ... 55C51E75E0.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#31 Post by flash2015 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:47 pm

The Historical Jesus was better than Ehrman's argument in the debate. He gave specific instances of things he thought may be true:

- "the king of the Jews" (IMRI) on the Cross - arguing it went against type to be made up and arguing the difference in wording in John vs. Synoptics on this suggested multiple sources
- the Apostles being armed when Jesus was arrested - Jesus was supposed to be a pacifist so he argues this also went against type
- being baptized by John the Baptist - arguing that there was no reason to put this in. I have heard other reasons why John the Baptist was tied to Jesus so this is less convincing to me.

Ehrman in the debate was more "I say there were lots of sources therefore Jesus existed, QED" and made up strawman mythicist arguments to debunk (I haven't heard the "Nazareth didn't exist so Jesus didn't exist" argument). Perhaps that was the nature of the debate...but again I don't believe those are convincing arguments which I think Carrier quite rightly took apart. Interestingly of course the instructor mentioned that their textbook is by Ehrman. Small world...

Of course the instructor admits that the Jesus birth stories were likely made up and of course the stories about Jesus trial and interacting with Pilate and Caiaphas are also most likely false (who was there to record it?)...so a lot of the name dropping of historical figures in the Bible (Herod, Caiaphas, Pilate) were added in later.

The video was interesting but again still points to the evidence to Historical Jesus being thinner than popular or many theological scholars would suggest. Mythicists like Carrier may still have a hill to climb...but I don't think you can dismiss them out of hand.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#32 Post by Deeply_Dippy » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:14 pm

No.

Moving on...

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#33 Post by Puscherbilbo » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:26 pm

flash2015 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:47 pm
The Historical Jesus was better than Ehrman's argument in the debate. He gave specific instances of things he thought may be true:

Ehrman in the debate was more "I say there were lots of sources therefore Jesus existed, QED" and made up strawman mythicist arguments to debunk (I haven't heard the "Nazareth didn't exist so Jesus didn't exist" argument). Perhaps that was the nature of the debate...but again I don't believe those are convincing arguments which I think Carrier quite rightly took apart.
If you specify what exactly you found unconvincing about the multiple sources perhaps i can help explain.

The methodology used to recreate "Q" is sound from my PoV(in the sense that the same methods and arguments are frequently used to reconstruct lost texts from ancient and medieval history) and (most) scholars accept the limitations and problems of this theory because there are also considerable problems with other theories.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#34 Post by Puscherbilbo » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:28 pm

Deeply_Dippy wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:14 pm
No.

Moving on...
True. At least if you consider the phrasing of the threadtitle.
There is no hint of that whatsoever. To my knowledge there is also no ancient source questioning Jesus´existence. I think that aspect came up in the debate.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#35 Post by flash2015 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:40 pm

Puscherbilbo wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:28 pm
Deeply_Dippy wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:14 pm
No.

Moving on...
True. At least if you consider the phrasing of the threadtitle.
There is no hint of that whatsoever. To my knowledge there is also no ancient source questioning Jesus´existence. I think that aspect came up in the debate.
That is probably a stretch. Carrier will argue that 2 Peter 1:16/2 Peter 2 suggest there were people at the time that believe Jesus never existed.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#36 Post by flash2015 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:05 am

Puscherbilbo wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:26 pm
flash2015 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:47 pm
The Historical Jesus was better than Ehrman's argument in the debate. He gave specific instances of things he thought may be true:

Ehrman in the debate was more "I say there were lots of sources therefore Jesus existed, QED" and made up strawman mythicist arguments to debunk (I haven't heard the "Nazareth didn't exist so Jesus didn't exist" argument). Perhaps that was the nature of the debate...but again I don't believe those are convincing arguments which I think Carrier quite rightly took apart.
If you specify what exactly you found unconvincing about the multiple sources perhaps i can help explain.

The methodology used to recreate "Q" is sound from my PoV(in the sense that the same methods and arguments are frequently used to reconstruct lost texts from ancient and medieval history) and (most) scholars accept the limitations and problems of this theory because there are also considerable problems with other theories.
I am not sure what there is to explain. If Ehrman is going to claim Jesus existed and furthermore suggest that the mythicist arguments can be dismissed out of hand he can't just wave hands and say "multiple sources".

Given that at best most of the things written about Jesus were made up, that at least most of it is myth (lots and lots of other reasons why the Bible is unreliable), then to prove Jesus exists you actually have to make the case for what you believe is actually true specifically and back that up with reasoning. Then we can have a proper debate about whether these specific things are real (or not)...and thus whether Jesus actually existed.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#37 Post by Puscherbilbo » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:45 am

Ok i think i am zeroing in on your misunderstanding.

You keep missing the point that those multiple sources are supposedly independent from each other. So by this logic any overlap in any specifics would have to be accidental or otherwise explainable. The factual basis is an entirely different matter and irrelevant for your question.

E.g.: While both narratives of the birth of Jesus from Luke and Matthew are commonly considered fictional and the majority view is that neither did know the writing of the other they both share one factual detail. The location of birth in Jerusalem. So on first glance the most logical explanations would be that our assumption of independence is wrong or that this is what actually happened.

However in this specific case both draw on a Jewish tradition about Jewish messianic kingship that the future King of Israel/Messiah will be born in Jerusalem.
And while early Christians reinvent the meaning of Messiah they locate Jesus´ birth in Jerusalem precisely because of this tradition in order to strengthen their claim that he actually is the Messiah.

And while Carrier seems to be making the claim that naming this specific person "Jesus" actually can be explained in a similar way this is where he leaves the trail of scholarship.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#38 Post by Deeply_Dippy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:38 pm

Puscherbilbo wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:28 pm
Deeply_Dippy wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:14 pm
No.

Moving on...
True. At least if you consider the phrasing of the threadtitle.
There is no hint of that whatsoever. To my knowledge there is also no ancient source questioning Jesus´existence. I think that aspect came up in the debate.
You have to consider the phrasing of the thread title.

If you don't then you aren't answering the question asked.

Closed question; closed answer.

Anyone who provides more than that is speaking to their own agenda.

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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#39 Post by flash2015 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:04 pm

Puscherbilbo wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:45 am
Ok i think i am zeroing in on your misunderstanding.

You keep missing the point that those multiple sources are supposedly independent from each other. So by this logic any overlap in any specifics would have to be accidental or otherwise explainable. The factual basis is an entirely different matter and irrelevant for your question.

E.g.: While both narratives of the birth of Jesus from Luke and Matthew are commonly considered fictional and the majority view is that neither did know the writing of the other they both share one factual detail. The location of birth in Jerusalem. So on first glance the most logical explanations would be that our assumption of independence is wrong or that this is what actually happened.

However in this specific case both draw on a Jewish tradition about Jewish messianic kingship that the future King of Israel/Messiah will be born in Jerusalem.
And while early Christians reinvent the meaning of Messiah they locate Jesus´ birth in Jerusalem precisely because of this tradition in order to strengthen their claim that he actually is the Messiah.

And while Carrier seems to be making the claim that naming this specific person "Jesus" actually can be explained in a similar way this is where he leaves the trail of scholarship.
IMHO I am missing exactly zero points. Didn't you read why I found the other argument more convincing? Because in the other video the professor identified specific things that were common between John and the Synoptics and explained how those specific things may be true. This is the same argument you are making here. And at least from my memory it is Bethlehem, not Jerusalem Jesus is supposed to be born in (Micah 5:2 indicates this, King David was born in Bethlehem which again ties Jesus back to David). And Matthew/Luke (especially Matthew) were written around the time of the schism with Judaism so it makes sense that they made up things to show that Christianity really is the true continuation of Judaism.

In many areas of scientific research and historical scholarship, you can often put faith in the majority view. But I don't know whether that really applies to Bible scholarship. The large majority of those doing research into the Bible have been Christian funded by Christian sources. Whilst a small subset of them may be open to a more metaphorical/allegorical understanding of the Bible (like the professor in the video, we also learnt about this Bible interpretation in Catholic High School, Ehrman supposedly isn't a Christian though), I have seen no Christian make the case that if Jesus didn't exist at all that their religion could continue. As the old maxim goes "It Is Difficult to Get a Man to Understand Something When His Salary Depends Upon His Not Understanding It".

This doesn't mean of course that many past mythicists weren't just crackpots with agendas (the idea that the Roman's made him up to subjugate the Jews is just crazy), but again the majority cultural starting assumption in all this has been that Jesus existed...because of the power of the Christian church over two millennia in Western culture. While it may be true that Jesus existed, I am not going to start with that assumption and I will give mythicist views like Carrier's a fair hearing.

Puscherbilbo
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Re: Do Roman records prove Jesus' existence was a hoax?

#40 Post by Puscherbilbo » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:56 pm

IMHO I am missing exactly zero points. Didn't you read why I found the other argument more convincing? Because in the other video the professor identified specific things that were common between John and the Synoptics and explained how those specific things may be true.
Well i thought most Mythicists postulate that John knew synoptics and that is where he got those similarities from.
As i said it is something entirely different to discuss any particulars of Jesus´life and to question his existence as a historical person altogether.
This is the same argument you are making here. And at least from my memory it is Bethlehem, not Jerusalem Jesus is supposed to be born in
You are right. Silly mistake from me.

In many areas of scientific research and historical scholarship, you can often put faith in the majority view. But I don't know whether that really applies to Bible scholarship. The large majority of those doing research into the Bible have been Christian funded by Christian sources.
That might be the case in the US specifically (although i personally think that persons holding more radical views on these topics are more outspoken and there are plenty of statefunded universities too) but i very much doubt you find something in that regard back here in Europe.

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