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'Did Jesus Exist?' A Historian Makes His Case


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#106    Leonardo

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:46 PM

View Posteight bits, on 21 April 2012 - 12:20 PM, said:

I understand what is at stake for the harder mythicists (harder than, say, Carrier, who cites Paul with apparent ease of mind in your link). Paul thinks the man he encountered in a vision was somebody who once lived during Paul's lifetime. That places Jesus in a different literary category from Zeus, Odin and Osiris.

Did he, eb?

Paul does relate, in Galatians, of "the revelation of Jesus Christ", but he also states that God revealed his Son "in me". One might take this that God /Christ revealed himself to Paul, or that Paul had a revelation which he later associated with Jesus of the Christians. In any case, Paul does not relate a vision of Jesus.

In Acts 9, it is only related that Paul heard a voice which claimed it was Jesus, there was no vision of Jesus. Furthermore, Acts is not in the first person and is dubious as to whether it is an accurate rendering, by another, of Paul's epiphany on the road to Damascus.

It appears the reports of Paul "having a vision of Jesus" are somewhat exaggerated.

Edited by Leonardo, 22 April 2012 - 12:47 PM.

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#107    eight bits

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:24 PM

Galatians is the usual indicator epistle for Paul because it contains both his name and autobiographical material. By secular methods of comparison, there are good reasons to believe that the author of Galatians is also the author of 1 Corinthians. That epistle's 9: 1 asks, rhetorically,

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

This would seem to justify my saying that Paul had a "vision" of Jesus. Whether it came down as Luke writes in Acts isn't really the topic here, nor did anything in my post rely on Acts.

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#108    Leonardo

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:21 PM

View Posteight bits, on 22 April 2012 - 02:24 PM, said:

Galatians is the usual indicator epistle for Paul because it contains both his name and autobiographical material. By secular methods of comparison, there are good reasons to believe that the author of Galatians is also the author of 1 Corinthians. That epistle's 9: 1 asks, rhetorically,

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

This would seem to justify my saying that Paul had a "vision" of Jesus. Whether it came down as Luke writes in Acts isn't really the topic here, nor did anything in my post rely on Acts.

Fair enough, eb.

Might be veering away slightly from the main theme of the thread, but what do you think of comparing Paul's 'vision' of Jesus, with Jung's 'vision' of Philemon?

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#109    eight bits

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:21 PM

Quote

Might be veering away slightly from the main theme of the thread, but what do you think of comparing Paul's 'vision' of Jesus, with Jung's 'vision' of Philemon?
Actually, the biggest difference is pretty squarely on topic, I think. Jung was always aware that Philemon came from within, and that his visions began at a time of unusual psychological stress. Jung never felt that Philemon was, or  was even "based on," an actual person.

Paul seems to have accepted the reality of his experiences, including that he was literally communicating with somebody who had died fairly recently.

Philemon never performed any "miracles," and I don't recall that Jung ever asked him to. Paul does seem to have some spooky stuff going on in his churches. I wouldn't be surpised if using Jesus' name during a satisfactory exorcism, for example, might have helped to reinforce the idea that it was really Jesus who inspired Paul's mission.

Conversely, Paul tells us that he scrupulously isolated himself from anybody who might provide a "reality check" (anybody who knew Jesus in life who might contradict something Paul's spectre said about Jesus' biography). Nevertheless, he has a recurring complaint about people seeking out him or his converts, and teaching "different gospels." They're just wrong, of course.

With Philemon, there was no publicity, no ontological status to check, and no hard facts to shield the psyche from lest factual lapses disturb the spectral experience.

Anyway, those are some of the differences that come to mind.

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#110    Tiggs

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:35 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 22 April 2012 - 08:43 AM, said:

That was inpart my point It becomes necessary for revisionists to dispute the existence of paul, to disprove the existence of jesus via his writings.
Then I'll rephrase:

Both Richard Carrier and Robert M Price are sterling examples of people  whom are both agnostic towards the existence of Jesus and have no  requirement whatsoever to dispute the existence of Paul.

Because,  as they stand - the writings which people claim to have been written by  Paul in no way supports an historical existence for Jesus.

Quote

That is why i wrote any "legitimate" writings of paul. Increasingly one  needs a conspiracy mindset if one is to believe that jesus the man never  existed, because one has then to believe that his existence was a  conspiratorial fabrication created some time later.
In my experience, religion and fabrication tend to go hand in hand.

Unless, of course, you're telling me that Europa really did sleep with Zeus?

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That is just  silly because of the historical evidences of churches  worshipers and  roman references to christians well before such a plot could have been  constructed. ie at least from  50 ad to 100 ad and probably earlier (if  one accepts roman historical references to christian cultists, and  separates them from the refernces to jewish cultists.)  Its pretty clear  that by about 50 AD the romans were distinguishing between, and  discriminating against, both these groups, for similar reasons.

The  roman histories of nero, from about AD 55 to 68, demonstrate the  widespread and increasing numbers of christians by that time. Nero saw  them as a considerable threat (or at the very least as scapegoats) and  thus persecuted them, along with other "jewish" people, who had long  been persecuted in rome, but who were in open revolt against rome from  66 AD to about 72-73 AD, ending with the seige of masada.
Firstly - there is no generally accepted archaeological evidence for Christianity in Rome prior to 72 AD. Or actually anywhere, for that matter. The earliest confirmed church is from the Third Century AD, for example.

Secondly - the earliest extant piece of Christian Papyrus is generally thought to be P52, a fragment from the Gospel of John, which dates to the early half of the second century. So there's no physical written evidence, either.

Thirdly - In terms of Roman history - Suetonius and Tacitus's reports, at absolute best, indicates that a movement called Christianity existed.

Proof of people worshiping Christ does not equal proof of Christ. Just as proof of people worshiping Thor does not equal proof of Thor.


#111    Tiggs

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:03 AM

View PostJor-el, on 22 April 2012 - 11:39 AM, said:

I'm Sure you don't but I don't take personally.
Which veil am I at?

None. Because the veils are just another figment of your imagination.

Edited by Tiggs, 23 April 2012 - 07:04 AM.


#112    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:16 AM

View PostThe Silver Thong, on 21 April 2012 - 08:22 PM, said:

The difference is that nothing was written about Jesus till 90 years after his death. Romans are well known for there record keeping.
I think you'll find several of Paul's writings about Jesus date to 20 years after Jesus' death (possibly as few as 15 years, if you believe some historians).  And if the Q Hypothesis is right, then the text on which three of the four gospels are based is about the same age - 20 years after Jesus.  I'm not sure where you get your 90-year gap, because even if you are only referring to the gospels, Mark can be dated to approximately 40 years after Jesus (circa 65-80 AD).

Edited by Paranoid Android, 23 April 2012 - 06:17 AM.

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#113    Jor-el

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:53 PM

View PostTiggs, on 23 April 2012 - 05:35 AM, said:


Firstly - there is no generally accepted archaeological evidence for Christianity in Rome prior to 72 AD. Or actually anywhere, for that matter. The earliest confirmed church is from the Third Century AD, for example.

Secondly - the earliest extant piece of Christian Papyrus is generally thought to be P52, a fragment from the Gospel of John, which dates to the early half of the second century. So there's no physical written evidence, either.

Thirdly - In terms of Roman history - Suetonius and Tacitus's reports, at absolute best, indicates that a movement called Christianity existed.

Proof of people worshiping Christ does not equal proof of Christ. Just as proof of people worshiping Thor does not equal proof of Thor.

Incorrect and you know it.

There is ample evidence of christianity in Jerusalem, all predating 72 AD.

Everybody has heard of it, it is the polemic Jesus tomb and associated tombs, all of which are christian and date to the mid 1st century. People can argue all they want if it is or isn't the Jesus family tomb, to me, it merely shows a christian tomb.

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#114    Tiggs

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

View PostJor-el, on 23 April 2012 - 05:53 PM, said:

Incorrect and you know it.

There is ample evidence of christianity in Jerusalem, all predating 72 AD.

Everybody has heard of it, it is the polemic Jesus tomb and associated tombs, all of which are christian and date to the mid 1st century. People can argue all they want if it is or isn't the Jesus family tomb, to me, it merely shows a christian tomb.
A shape to align tomb lids does not a Christian tomb make.


#115    Jor-el

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 06:15 PM

View PostTiggs, on 23 April 2012 - 06:07 PM, said:

A shape to align tomb lids does not a Christian tomb make.

We shall have to wait and see if your position is borne out over time.

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#116    Tiggs

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:13 PM

View PostJor-el, on 23 April 2012 - 06:15 PM, said:

We shall have to wait and see if your position is borne out over time.
Given it's current reception, It's got about as much chance of acceptance by the Archaeology mainstream as an orange crayon drawing of Jesus on a Raptor, dated 17 AD.

I'm only interested in mainstream accepted archaeology, as undertaken by actual archaeologists. As opposed to the Ron "I have a Red Sea chariot wheel to sell you" Wyatt variety.


#117    Jor-el

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

View PostTiggs, on 23 April 2012 - 07:13 PM, said:

Given it's current reception, It's got about as much chance of acceptance by the Archaeology mainstream as an orange crayon drawing of Jesus on a Raptor, dated 17 AD.

I'm only interested in mainstream accepted archaeology, as undertaken by actual archaeologists. As opposed to the Ron "I have a Red Sea chariot wheel to sell you" Wyatt variety.

I'm not interested in the fact that it isn't "The Jesus Family Tomb"... great surprise. I'm interested in the fact that it is a christian tomb. Please let us not confuse the facts here. The "current reception" link doesn't address the issue.

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#118    barnsey

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:20 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 21 April 2012 - 07:58 PM, said:

Just curious, but stepping back 2000 years, how many people living during that time could be said to adhere to the criteria you require for Jesus?  I think if you are honest you will find that 99.99% of all ancient people fail your criteria.  So I'm not really sure what you're trying to prove by saying we have no artefacts attributed to Jesus, or works of carpentry (what, did he sign all his works with "J.C" just to make sure we all knew who he was).... Only a small elite can be directly traced through the historical records.  Even those who allegedly wrote things themselves have no original documents to prove it was them.  

Just saying,

~ PA

True to a point! But most historical accounts of individuals come from others who at least there at the claimed to and lifespan of accounted for person.
The most "authoritative" accounts of a historical Jesus come from the four canonical Gospels of the Bible. Note that these Gospels did not come into the Bible as original and authoritative from the authors themselves, but rather from the influence of early church fathers, especially the most influential of them all: Irenaeus of Lyon who lived in the middle of the second century. Many heretical gospels existed by that time, but Irenaeus considered only some of them for mystical reasons.
Not only do we not know who wrote them, consider that none of the Gospels existed during the alleged life of Jesus, nor do the unknown authors make the claim to have met an earthly Jesus. Add to this that none of the original gospel manuscripts exist; we only have copies of copies.


#119    Tiggs

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:41 AM

View PostJor-el, on 23 April 2012 - 08:22 PM, said:

I'm not interested in the fact that it isn't "The Jesus Family Tomb"... great surprise. I'm interested in the fact that it is a christian tomb. Please let us not confuse the facts here. The "current reception" link doesn't address the issue.
Then feel free to provide evidence that the consensus of Mainstream Archaeology is that it's a Christian tomb.


#120    Jor-el

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:37 PM

View PostTiggs, on 24 April 2012 - 12:41 AM, said:

Then feel free to provide evidence that the consensus of Mainstream Archaeology is that it's a Christian tomb.

The consensus as far as I know is that it isn't the "Jesus Family Tomb" which is what some have been trying to demonstrate, I don't think there is a doubt that the tomb contains visible evidence of christian usage.

But I will get back to you on that tonight.

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