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Still Waters

'Did Jesus Exist?' A Historian Makes His Case

176 posts in this topic

I've always figured that Jesus did exist in some form or another. Even if the Biblical Jesus is a myth, myths are usually based on reality. I've also considered Galatians to pretty much be implied proof of Jesus existance, but if the part about Paul staying with Peter and meeting James is an insertion....then I don't know.

Edited by TheNightOwl

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Tiggs

I have no issue with authority being evidence of belief. I have issue with authority being used as evidence of fact.

Then we disagree. If a question of fact is such that we may speak of evidence bearing upon its resolution, then expert opinion is a potential source of bearing evidence, in my opinion.

Especially if a couple of people with Ph.D's in the same field have just testified under oath that there's only 100

If I accept either the one expert's testimony or the two experts' testimony, then whichever authority I accept, I accept an expert opinion as evidence either way. So, your example really doesn't illustrate any principled rejection of expertise as a source of evidentiary weight.

I'm presuming that since Carrier isn't entitled to, then Ehrman doesn't have special permission to think differently and to complain that some hold a different opinion than his on this subject, either.

I said that Carrier was entitled to think differently. As in what you quoted from my post,

...
Carrier is entitled to think differently.
...
I'm not entirely sure how reasonable it is to ask for written eyewitness reports prior to the invention of the written word.

I am not sure what you're talking about. We have written stories about Jesus, Zeus, Odin and Osiris. Some of the stories about Jesus are different in kind from any of the stories about the others, stories that depict Jesus as a human contemporary of the author.

Do you mean the others had head starts on Jesus? If Jesus is said to have begun his life in historical time, and others are said to have lived before historical time, how is that not a bona fide difference between them with respect to historicity?

I'm also not entirely sure why Callisthene and Alexander/Zeus should be excluded, for example, whilst Paul and Jesus/God are not.

No actual once-living person is "excluded." Alexander the Great really lived, in my opinion.

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Then we disagree. If a question of fact is such that we may speak of evidence bearing upon its resolution, then expert opinion is a potential source of bearing evidence, in my opinion.

If I accept either the one expert's testimony or the two experts' testimony, then whichever authority I accept, I accept an expert opinion as evidence either way. So, your example really doesn't illustrate any principled rejection of expertise as a source of evidentiary weight.

I expect you would have accepted someone's opinion.

Personally, I'd have got 101 people and fingerprinted them.

Because, y'know - Science, and all.

I am not sure what you're talking about. We have written stories about Jesus, Zeus, Odin and Osiris. Some of the stories about Jesus are different in kind from any of the stories about the others, stories that depict Jesus as a human contemporary of the author.

Do you mean the others had head starts on Jesus? If Jesus is said to have begun his life in historical time, and others are said to have lived before historical time, how is that not a bona fide difference between them with respect to historicity?

I'm saying that it's akin to classifying Harry Potter's claim to historicity as unique because there are no videos of Christ.

No actual once-living person is "excluded." Alexander the Great really lived, in my opinion.

Then why does Callisthene not fit your Pauline criteria?

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Posted (edited)

Carrier has never, to my knowledge, used the insertion argument.

I, on the other hand, have and just did.

As regard that argument - I have no idea what you're talking about.

Irenäus and Tertullian make no mention of a solo visit by Paul to Jerusalem after 3 years. That's kind of the entire point.

I find it interesting that both arguments are mutually exclusive, are they not?

If one claims it is an insertion, then you cannot proceed to use any of the text to state that "Brother" means "a believer" rather than a physical flersh and blood "brother. On the the other hand if one claims the use of the text to argue a point, then they cannot turn around and claim it is an insertion... that was my point.

To do that could be construed as false scholarship, which in my opinion both these fellows display in abundance. But as I said, that is my opinion.

Irenäus and Tertullian make no mention of quite a number of things regarding Paul, not just a visit to Jerusalem after 3 years. Are we now to suppose that everything they didn't mention is now under suspicion of being an insertion? They used what was relevant in their discourses, not what was extraneous to their arguments.

Edited by Jor-el

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Tiggs

(Thank you for your kindness in your other thread...)

I'm saying that it's akin to classifying Harry Potter's claim to historicity as unique because there are no videos of Christ.

If Jesus (or his admirers) cheated by waiting for the written word to emerge, then that's too bad. All's fair in love, war, and creating the appearance of actually existing. Also, I didn't choose Jesus as the one to distinguish, nor did I choose the other figures from whom Jesus was to be distinguished.

Then why does Callisthene not fit your Pauline criteria?

I'm applying another poster's criteria, so it is entirely possible that I'm doing it wrong. As I understood what Keosen was getting at, for rebuttal we're looking for a human being who, in common with Jesus,

1 - is chiefly recommended to us as a person whose stature or accomplishments we find extravagant, mythological and supernatural, and

2 - for whom there is an author who plausibly lived around the time the extra-special person was reputed to live, whose work survives and who writes about this figure as a near contemporary, plausbly based on natural means of investigation.

Compare, as battle commanders, Alexander with Moses, who is very possibly mythological and satisfies point #1 above. Moses didn't use superior strategy and tactics worthy of a god, his God just swallowed up the Egyptian pursuers whole. Moses' victory transcends human ability. Alexander may define the limit of human military accomplishment, but he doesn't transcend it. There are plenty of toothsome incidents, but he is chiefly of interest for altogether human accomplishments and behavior. He doesn't satisfy point #1, despite Callisthene's enthusiasm.

Moses has no Callisthene, and so fails to satisfy point #2, but suppose we found an apparently ancient Egyptian temple inscription, "We're well rid of that pesky Moses, who drowned so many of my liege's soldiers, after mercilessly killing so many civilians, including my eldest son."

That's a hit. I believe that would satisfactorily distinguish Moses from purely mythological figures in the sense that concerned Keosen about Jesus. Note that the issue is not whether the distinction "proves" a historical Moses, or "proves" that Moses' God blessed him with special favors, only that it places Moses in a different category than he would otherwise inhabit.

The play will not be called back because Moses waited for Egyptians to figure out how to write on the walls :) .

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I find it interesting that both arguments are mutually exclusive, are they not?

Obviously.

If one claims it is an insertion, then you cannot proceed to use any of the text to state that "Brother" means "a believer" rather than a physical flersh and blood "brother. On the the other hand if one claims the use of the text to argue a point, then they cannot turn around and claim it is an insertion... that was my point.

Obviously. Again - no-one is actually doing that, Jor-el.

Irenäus and Tertullian make no mention of quite a number of things regarding Paul, not just a visit to Jerusalem after 3 years. Are we now to suppose that everything they didn't mention is now under suspicion of being an insertion? They used what was relevant in their discourses, not what was extraneous to their arguments.

Well - obviously.

I think everyone can at least agree that the negative is certainly true - that anything which Irenäus and Tertullian do mention certainly can not be an insertion.

So - let's take a look at what they did write:

"But with regard to the countenance of Peter and the rest of the apostles, he tells us that “fourteen years after he went up to Jerusalem,” in order to confer with them about the rule which he followed in his gospel, lest perchance he should all those years have been running, and be running still, in vain, (which would be the case,) of course, if his preaching of the gospel fell short of their method. So great had been his desire to be approved and supported by those whom you wish on all occasions to be understood as in alliance with Judaism!" - Tertullian

You'll note that the usual reading of Galatians 2:1 is "Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem". Nor is Tertullian's text the only instance where it would seem as if the fourteen year visit is the first time that Paul goes to Jerusalem.

There is also a 3rd century Latin version of the Galatians 2:1 verse which reads:

"Then after fourteen years, I went up to Jerusalem". You'll note the lack of "again", within the text.

Of course - it only makes sense to go up again, if you've already been at least once.

It should also be noted that Galatians 2, in and of itself, makes no sense in the context of a previous visit to James and Cephas, due to 2:

9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars,

Paul would already know who they were, if he'd met them previously.

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Posted (edited)

If Jesus (or his admirers) cheated by waiting for the written word to emerge, then that's too bad. All's fair in love, war, and creating the appearance of actually existing. Also, I didn't choose Jesus as the one to distinguish, nor did I choose the other figures from whom Jesus was to be distinguished.

I'm applying another poster's criteria, so it is entirely possible that I'm doing it wrong. As I understood what Keosen was getting at, for rebuttal we're looking for a human being who, in common with Jesus,

1 - is chiefly recommended to us as a person whose stature or accomplishments we find extravagant, mythological and supernatural, and

2 - for whom there is an author who plausibly lived around the time the extra-special person was reputed to live, whose work survives and who writes about this figure as a near contemporary, plausbly based on natural means of investigation.

Compare, as battle commanders, Alexander with Moses, who is very possibly mythological and satisfies point #1 above. Moses didn't use superior strategy and tactics worthy of a god, his God just swallowed up the Egyptian pursuers whole. Moses' victory transcends human ability. Alexander may define the limit of human military accomplishment, but he doesn't transcend it. There are plenty of toothsome incidents, but he is chiefly of interest for altogether human accomplishments and behavior. He doesn't satisfy point #1, despite Callisthene's enthusiasm.

Moses has no Callisthene, and so fails to satisfy point #2, but suppose we found an apparently ancient Egyptian temple inscription, "We're well rid of that pesky Moses, who drowned so many of my liege's soldiers, after mercilessly killing so many civilians, including my eldest son."

That's a hit. I believe that would satisfactorily distinguish Moses from purely mythological figures in the sense that concerned Keosen about Jesus. Note that the issue is not whether the distinction "proves" a historical Moses, or "proves" that Moses' God blessed him with special favors, only that it places Moses in a different category than he would otherwise inhabit.

The play will not be called back because Moses waited for Egyptians to figure out how to write on the walls .

Yet another for you then;

Harold the Fairhaired, son of Halfdan the black. Not only is a descendent of Fenrir--But this dude and his "besirkirs" pacified all of Norway (gd rebel southern kings), spoke with ravens and Valkyries, won giant navel battles and did all kinds of cool Norse mythological stuff.

Does he satisfy your criteria number 2? Well considering Harold loved the poets and afforded them the “second seat at his table” his deeds were sure to make it into the sagas by at least 2 contemporary poets (read the Hrafnsmál and a couple other saga fragments from the time).

Seems again, like the story isn’t unique in that regard. :P

Edited by Copasetic

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As I understood what Keosen was getting at, for rebuttal we're looking for a human being who, in common with Jesus,

1 - is chiefly recommended to us as a person whose stature or accomplishments we find extravagant, mythological and supernatural, and

2 - for whom there is an author who plausibly lived around the time the extra-special person was reputed to live, whose work survives and who writes about this figure as a near contemporary, plausbly based on natural means of investigation.

I believe that the Sea retreating from Alexander would count as supernatural.

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Tiggs

I believe that the Sea retreating from Alexander would count as supernatural.

As would George Patton having been the reincarnation of a succession of warriors stretching back to the Bronze Age. As would Abraham Lincoln touring in dream the White House where he sees his body lying in state, shortly before it was lying so.

High quality manure is sticky. Nevertheless, George Patton and Abraham Lincoln are not remembered primarily for their supernatural achievements, but for their natural ones.

One reason why this distinction is crucial to the discussion is that people who have natural achievements, like Alexander, Patton and Lincoln, are less likely to inspire doubt about their existence than those active exclusively in a different realm. We wouldn't be talking so much about whether or not Jesus existed if he had done something in the natural world. Zeus wouldn't come up so much in discussions of Jesus if Zeus were the sculptor, rather than the subject, of the monumental statue at Olympia.

Few doubt that Phidias existed, few believe that Zeus did. And yet, there are stories that the two met. That would explain why the statue was such a good likeness.

The Jesus hypothesis is what it is. It is productive to ask in what ways is it the same as the Hercules hypothesis, and in what ways is it different. If Jh is at all different from Hh, then that disposes of one claim, more rhetorical than fruitful: that the two hypotheses are indistinguishable.

It would be nice, I suppose, if the distinction were made on bases that also advanced our quest to resolve the Jesus hypothesis, such as removing Jesus from the world of myth rather than just as plausibly refining his place within it. That wasn't the task set before me, however. I wouldn't have volunteered to distinguish the cases if I couldn't point to all the differences that actually exist. I wouldn't have accepted if I needed to prove that Jesus wasn't a myth of any kind or in any respect whatsoever.

Copasetic

Yet another for you then

I'm still waiting for your first one.

There is no controversy that the storybooks are full of those who satisfy point 1, and the world is full of those who satisfy point 2. There is also no controversy that those whose memory lingers long enough in point 2 might find themselves in storybooks, too. See my reply to Tiggs above.

However, they don't then satisfy point 1, because they are not presented for our consideration primarily because of storybooks. Instead, they are in the storybooks because they were already well-established examples of point 2.

If someone posts "Jesus is just like Harold the Fairhaired," then he would, in my opinion, be making a different claim than "Jesus is just like Zeus." If you disagree, then I propose we accept that we have an irreconcilable difference about the task which has been set before us.

But full marks for beating to death the uncontroversial truth that prominent people are lightning rods for tales of woo. Nice job of making your strawman personal to me, as well.

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As would George Patton having been the reincarnation of a succession of warriors stretching back to the Bronze Age. As would Abraham Lincoln touring in dream the White House where he sees his body lying in state, shortly before it was lying so.

I don't recall either of those being worshiped as a Son of God, however.

The Jesus hypothesis is what it is. It is productive to ask in what ways is it the same as the Hercules hypothesis, and in what ways is it different. If Jh is at all different from Hh, then that disposes of one claim, more rhetorical than fruitful: that the two hypotheses are indistinguishable.

I think that arguing that Christ is a collage of mythical figures is pointless. He's the son of the Jewish God, and is thus a collage of the prophecies pertaining to the son of the Jewish God.

On the other hand - I think any attempt to describe the evidence for his historicity as being unique leads to an unwinnable game of "No True Scotsman".

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Posted (edited)

On the other hand - I think any attempt to describe the evidence for his historicity as being unique leads to an unwinnable game of "No True Scotsman".

I agree. I'm only on the hook for distinguishing Jesus' case from a specified kind of unhistoricity, the non-starter type enjoyed by characters whom any poet felt free to work into whatever story the poet might have been writing at the time, with whatever detail or incident fit the metre. This is a curious kind of evidence for existence.

I am not on the hook for Jesus having a unique case for his historicity. On the contrary, Jesus' affirmative case plainly isn't unique. For example, I believe that there were two women who were Christian deaconesses in the Early Second Century near the Black Sea. Just as with Jesus, I am less interested in their names than their religious functions.

I have one mention of them in one business letter of one person who says he questionned them coercively. Despite what he says, I'm not so sure that it wasn't his staff who handled the wetwork. I don't know; I just can't picture Pliny with tongs and brands. My source may well never even have met either woman. But I believe they lived all the same, and held the offices attributed to them.

I understand that my source is probably operating on hearsay (even though he says he isn't, so I obviously don't think he's a detail man). The women may have said what their interrogator wanted to hear. The letter comes to me only through the hands of a chain of Christian scribes. One scribe could have faked the whole thing, or inserted this brief letter, or just the few lines involving the women, into genuine ancient material. Etc. Etc.

Nevertheless, I believe that the case for their historicity is different in kind from the case for Theano of Troy, although all three are mortal women remembered for their religious service. It goes without saying, then, I hope, that I find their case different in kind from Theano's deity, Athena, as well.

-

Edited by eight bits

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Posted (edited)

Obviously.

Obviously. Again - no-one is actually doing that, Jor-el.

Well - obviously.

I think everyone can at least agree that the negative is certainly true - that anything which Irenäus and Tertullian do mention certainly can not be an insertion.

So - let's take a look at what they did write:

"But with regard to the countenance of Peter and the rest of the apostles, he tells us that “fourteen years after he went up to Jerusalem,” in order to confer with them about the rule which he followed in his gospel, lest perchance he should all those years have been running, and be running still, in vain, (which would be the case,) of course, if his preaching of the gospel fell short of their method. So great had been his desire to be approved and supported by those whom you wish on all occasions to be understood as in alliance with Judaism!" - Tertullian

You'll note that the usual reading of Galatians 2:1 is "Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem". Nor is Tertullian's text the only instance where it would seem as if the fourteen year visit is the first time that Paul goes to Jerusalem.

There is also a 3rd century Latin version of the Galatians 2:1 verse which reads:

"Then after fourteen years, I went up to Jerusalem". You'll note the lack of "again", within the text.

Of course - it only makes sense to go up again, if you've already been at least once.

It should also be noted that Galatians 2, in and of itself, makes no sense in the context of a previous visit to James and Cephas, due to 2:

9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars,

Paul would already know who they were, if he'd met them previously.

No, it is not the only reading, the Aramaic version of Galatians also has the same reading...

Then after fourteen years, I went up to Jerusalem with Barnabbas and Titus also with me.

But as anyone can see , the word "again" is not a necessity for the text to hold together.

The Peshitta (aramaic) New Testament, does not use the term "again" within Galatians 2:1, but it still contains Pauls Visit to Jerusalem after 3 years. I'm betting that the 3rd century variant you quoted does exactly the same.

Also after perusing the textual variants on Galatians 2:1, I found something astounding.

Galatians 2:1:

TEXT: "after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem"

EVIDENCE: p46 S A B C D G K P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg

syr(p,h) cop(south)

TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV RANK: B

NOTES: "after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem" EVIDENCE: one lat cop(north)

TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: Although "again" is found both before and after "went up" in the manuscript evidence

favoring it, the evidence for its omission is so slight that it must be original.

How is it apossible that any textual critic worth his salt can state the above?

He finds one variant and by the simple rule that it is the only one with this reading, it MUST be the original reading? :w00t:

This field of study is truly unique, and I say that with all due sense of irony...

Now I would also like to address Galatians 2:9, which you quoted.

9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars,

I find that this is more a question of translation rather than any spurious insult, or slight on Pauls part. I would further add that the term does not mean at all that Paul did not know them personally.

Today we can infer a slight, insult or even a doubt by the terms use, that is not the case with the actual text.

For example I could say, The reputed gentleman, was a disappointment, when the moment of truth came upon us. Or.. That researcher is reputed to be the best in his field, but, he made a few mistakes in his thesis.

The term in this modern context would create the impression of a negative reading, that is not the case with Galatians 2:9.

To point this out I will quote Young's Literal Translation:

and having known the grace that was given to me, James, and Cephas, and John, who were esteemed to be pillars, a right hand of fellowship they did give to me, and to Barnabas, that we to the nations, and they to the circumcision may go,

As can be seen, the literal rendering does not give credance to the idea that there was some kind of doubt in Pauls mind, whether to their credentials or their right to lead, or even that he didn't know them personally. Rather the opposite is stated.

He is saying that they have a reputation as leaders and that these esteemed leaders stood by him and encouraged him to proceed in the path he had taken. This immediately contrasted with Peter, whom Paul opposed face to face in Antioch. There is noithing here that gives credence to the idea of an insertion.

Edited by Jor-el

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No, it is not the only reading, the Aramaic version of Galatians also has the same reading...

Then after fourteen years, I went up to Jerusalem with Barnabbas and Titus also with me.

But as anyone can see , the word "again" is not a necessity for the text to hold together.

The Peshitta (aramaic) New Testament, does not use the term "again" within Galatians 2:1, but it still contains Pauls Visit to Jerusalem after 3 years. I'm betting that the 3rd century variant you quoted does exactly the same.

Yes, it does.

You'll note that none of the later versions, however, do. The word "again" is present throughout all of them. Which indicates to me, at least, the possibility of an initial insertion within Galatians 1 and then a later harmonization of the insertion within Galatians 2.

Also after perusing the textual variants on Galatians 2:1, I found something astounding.

Galatians 2:1:

TEXT: "after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem"

EVIDENCE: p46 S A B C D G K P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg

syr(p,h) cop(south)

TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV RANK: B

NOTES: "after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem" EVIDENCE: one lat cop(north)

TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: Although "again" is found both before and after "went up" in the manuscript evidence

favoring it, the evidence for its omission is so slight that it must be original.

How is it apossible that any textual critic worth his salt can state the above?

He finds one variant and by the simple rule that it is the only one with this reading, it MUST be the original reading? :w00t:

This field of study is truly unique, and I say that with all due sense of irony...

...

Firstly - that sentence does not say that he found a single variant.

He found variations of the text where the word was found before the text "went up".

He found variations of the text where the word was found after the text "went up".

He found a variant of the text which didn't include the word, at all.

From there, he has concluded that due to the word only being excluded from one version of the text, then it was probably present within the original.

In short - whoever wrote that is agreeing with your position.

Now I would also like to address Galatians 2:9, which you quoted.

9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars,

I find that this is more a question of translation rather than any spurious insult, or slight on Pauls part. I would further add that the term does not mean at all that Paul did not know them personally.

Today we can infer a slight, insult or even a doubt by the terms use, that is not the case with the actual text.

For example I could say, The reputed gentleman, was a disappointment, when the moment of truth came upon us. Or.. That researcher is reputed to be the best in his field, but, he made a few mistakes in his thesis.

The term in this modern context would create the impression of a negative reading, that is not the case with Galatians 2:9.

To point this out I will quote Young's Literal Translation:

and having known the grace that was given to me, James, and Cephas, and John, who were esteemed to be pillars, a right hand of fellowship they did give to me, and to Barnabas, that we to the nations, and they to the circumcision may go,

Congratulations on being able to find an English translation of the Bible that agrees with your position.

Meanwhile - in the actual Greek:

οἱ δοκοῦντες στῦλοι εἶναι

οἱ - Those

δοκοῦντες - Reputed - to have an opinion, to seem

στῦλοι - Pillars

εἶναι - To be

δοκοῦντες or dokountes. From the root dokos (opinion)

As can be seen, the literal rendering does not give credance to the idea that there was some kind of doubt in Pauls mind, whether to their credentials or their right to lead, or even that he didn't know them personally. Rather the opposite is stated.

...

Did you even read Galatians 2?

6 As for those who were held in high esteem —whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism —they added nothing to my message.

There is noithing here that gives credence to the idea of an insertion.

Nothing? Au Contraire.

We have your "astounding discovery", for a start.

Variations of the text where the word "after" was found before the text "went up".

Variations of the text where the word "after" was found after the text "went up".

A variant of the text which doesn't include the word, at all.

Generally, when a word is found appearing in multiple different positions within a sentence and is also sometimes missing - then that's a fairly solid indication that something interesting is happening.

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Yes, it does.

You'll note that none of the later versions, however, do. The word "again" is present throughout all of them. Which indicates to me, at least, the possibility of an initial insertion within Galatians 1 and then a later harmonization of the insertion within Galatians 2.

Shucks and here I was getting so confident... ^_^

As I said, the actual word itself is unnecessary either as an insertion or as an original reading. It does not change the text. If it is an insertion, it is superfluous.

Firstly - that sentence does not say that he found a single variant.

He found variations of the text where the word was found before the text "went up".

He found variations of the text where the word was found after the text "went up".

He found a variant of the text which didn't include the word, at all.

From there, he has concluded that due to the word only being excluded from one version of the text, then it was probably present within the original.

In short - whoever wrote that is agreeing with your position.

I did not take it that way. When the text skips words, changes their order or substitutes one word for another similar word, we have a variant reading. It is a sign of sloppy copywork, even when the result is negligable in terms of final meaning.

Since the author is publishing variants, of which this is part of, it stands to reason that he is not agreeing with the majority reading.

COMMENTS: Although "again" is found both before and after "went up" in the manuscript evidence favoring it, the evidence for its omission is so slight that it must be original.

Since the author is clearly contrasting the majority evidence with this unique reading (although), he is also demonstrating that (in my view), the lesser reading must be the original.

Congratulations on being able to find an English translation of the Bible that agrees with your position.

Meanwhile - in the actual Greek:

οἱ δοκοῦντες στῦλοι εἶναι

οἱ - Those

δοκοῦντες - Reputed - to have an opinion, to seem

στῦλοι - Pillars

εἶναι - To be

δοκοῦντες or dokountes. From the root dokos (opinion)

The problem is not with the root of the word, it is specifically in the grammatical form it is used. It happens one other time, in Mark 10:42...

Mark 10:42

Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. (NIV)

Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. (NASB)

2. intransitive, to seem, be accounted, reputed: Luke 10:36; Luke 22:24; Acts 17:18; Acts 25:27; 1 Corinthians 12:22; 2 Corinthians 10:9; Hebrews 12:11;

οἱ δοκοῦντες ἄρχειν those that are accounted to rule, who are recognized as rulers, Mark 10:42;

οἱ δοκοῦντες εἶναι τί those who are reputed to be somewhat (of importance), and therefore have influence, Galatians 2:6 (9) (Plato, Euthyd., p. 303 c.); simply,

οἱ δοκοῦντες those highly esteemed, of repute, looked up to, influential, Galatians 2:2 (often in Greek writings as Euripides, Hec. 295, where cf. Schafer; (cf. Winer's Grammar, § 45, 7)).

By way of courtesy, things certain are sometimes said δοκεῖν, as in Hebrews 4:1 (cf. Cicero, offic. 3, 2, 6ut tute tibi defuisse videare); 1 Corinthians 11:16 (but cf. Meyer at the passage); cf. Winer's Grammar, § 65, 7 c.

See: δοκοῦντες and STRONGS NT 1380: δοκέω

Did you even read Galatians 2?

6 As for those who were held in high esteem —whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism —they added nothing to my message.

Yeah, we can see a pout there... I wonder what upset him for him to say the above? Maybe they weren't convinced that he was on the right path... What it doesn't mean is that he had no knowledge of them, which is essential to the argument of an insertion.

Nothing? Au Contraire.

We have your "astounding discovery", for a start.

Variations of the text where the word "after" was found before the text "went up".

Variations of the text where the word "after" was found after the text "went up".

A variant of the text which doesn't include the word, at all.

Generally, when a word is found appearing in multiple different positions within a sentence and is also sometimes missing - then that's a fairly solid indication that something interesting is happening.

Yeah it does, it is an indication of shoddy copyists, many of whom could not even read what they were copying.

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As I said, the actual word itself is unnecessary either as an insertion or as an original reading. It does not change the text. If it is an insertion, it is superfluous.

Utter rubbish.

The use of "Again" implicitly presumes a previous visit. In it's absence, no such visit is implied.

I'm also amused by your apparent view that if the sentence still makes sense without the word in it - then that is a reason to discount later insertion.

Pretty much the opposite, I think you'll find.

Since the author is publishing variants, of which this is part of, it stands to reason that he is not agreeing with the majority reading.

COMMENTS: Although "again" is found both before and after "went up" in the manuscript evidence favoring it, the evidence for its omission is so slight that it must be original.

Since the author is clearly contrasting the majority evidence with this unique reading (although), he is also demonstrating that (in my view), the lesser reading must be the original.

Keep reading it. Let us all know when you finally work it out.

The problem is not with the root of the word, it is specifically in the grammatical form it is used.

Or, y'know. The tense of the verb that follows it,.

Yeah, we can see a pout there... I wonder what upset him for him to say the above? Maybe they weren't convinced that he was on the right path... What it doesn't mean is that he had no knowledge of them, which is essential to the argument of an insertion.

It's not essential at all. The only thing which is essential is that there's no evidence of Paul having met them before - which clearly - there is not.

Yeah it does, it is an indication of shoddy copyists, many of whom could not even read what they were copying.

Or, y'know, Not.

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Utter rubbish.

The use of "Again" implicitly presumes a previous visit. In it's absence, no such visit is implied.

I'm also amused by your apparent view that if the sentence still makes sense without the word in it - then that is a reason to discount later insertion.

Pretty much the opposite, I think you'll find.

Keep reading it. Let us all know when you finally work it out.

Or, y'know. The tense of the verb that follows it,.

It's not essential at all. The only thing which is essential is that there's no evidence of Paul having met them before - which clearly - there is not.

Or, y'know, Not.

Tiggs, my friend,

Have you ever considered that you might be wrong?

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Tiggs, my friend,

Have you ever considered that you might be wrong?

Literally - almost every time before I say or type anything.

How about you? Ready to confess yet that in the sentence - "the evidence for its omission is so slight that it must be original" - the "it" can only refer to one thing - the word "again"?

I'm guessing probably not.

Because if you do, then you'd also have to confess that the prior part of that sentence "Although "again" is found both before and after "went up" in the manuscript evidence favoring it" shows that a word moving around in the text is generally held to be good evidence that the word may have been inserted.

And that would destroy your entire "sloppy copy" apologetic, right?

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Literally - almost every time before I say or type anything.

How about you? Ready to confess yet that in the sentence - "the evidence for its omission is so slight that it must be original" - the "it" can only refer to one thing - the word "again"?

I'm guessing probably not.

Because if you do, then you'd also have to confess that the prior part of that sentence "Although "again" is found both before and after "went up" in the manuscript evidence favoring it" shows that a word moving around in the text is generally held to be good evidence that the word may have been inserted.

And that would destroy your entire "sloppy copy" apologetic, right?

Oh I admit that we have insertions in the New Testament text, but I do not agree that we are dealing with one here. To me it is still a matter of sloppy copying. Some of those scribes included margin notes that were not part of the original text. It was everything but scientific. I'm amazed that we don't have even more versions of the text laying about.

But even with all that, this has very little to no evidence for an insertion. Alot of supposition and suspicion, yes, but no evidence. We usually don't condemn the suspect without evidence.

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Oh I admit that we have insertions in the New Testament text, but I do not agree that we are dealing with one here. To me it is still a matter of sloppy copying. Some of those scribes included margin notes that were not part of the original text. It was everything but scientific. I'm amazed that we don't have even more versions of the text laying about.

Marginal gloss's will never cause words to change position within the text.

But even with all that, this has very little to no evidence for an insertion. Alot of supposition and suspicion, yes, but no evidence. We usually don't condemn the suspect without evidence.

As always - there's a difference between "no evidence" and "no evidence that Jor-el is willing to accept".

I believe that the evidence for this being an insertion is generally as strong as the evidence for any early insertion can be, without written contemporary evidence of an outraged external witness saying "These lines were inserted!".

You claim otherwise.

I say black, you say white.

Which is why, in general, these discussions are pointless and I'm calling this conversation to an end. I have better things to do with my time, quite frankly.

I will, however, leave you with this to consider:

It has been a known problem within Pauline studies for some time, that the accepted date of the events in Galatians 2, being 46 AD, minus the 14 years and the 3 years, would mean that Paul's conversion takes place in 46 - 17 = 29 AD.

Which is problematic. Given that it's generally accepted that Jesus was still alive at that point.

Generally, the only viable explanation is that Paul must have included those first 3 years when counting the later 14 years.

Unless...

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Marginal gloss's will never cause words to change position within the text.

As always - there's a difference between "no evidence" and "no evidence that Jor-el is willing to accept".

I believe that the evidence for this being an insertion is generally as strong as the evidence for any early insertion can be, without written contemporary evidence of an outraged external witness saying "These lines were inserted!".

You claim otherwise.

I say black, you say white.

Which is why, in general, these discussions are pointless and I'm calling this conversation to an end. I have better things to do with my time, quite frankly.

I will, however, leave you with this to consider:

It has been a known problem within Pauline studies for some time, that the accepted date of the events in Galatians 2, being 46 AD, minus the 14 years and the 3 years, would mean that Paul's conversion takes place in 46 - 17 = 29 AD.

Which is problematic. Given that it's generally accepted that Jesus was still alive at that point.

Generally, the only viable explanation is that Paul must have included those first 3 years when counting the later 14 years.

Unless...

I have to ask... and I'm not being in any way facetious here...

Where and what is the evidence that allows them to date the Letter to 46 A.D.?

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I have to ask... and I'm not being in any way facetious here...

Where and what is the evidence that allows them to date the Letter to 46 A.D.?

The date is for the visit detailed in Galatians 2, rather than the date that the letter itself was written.

The dating argument is as follows:

  1. The visit in Galatians 2 corresponds to the visit in Acts 11, where Paul and Barnabas stayed in Jerusalem for a year.
  2. The premonition of the coming great famine within Acts 11 is identified explicitly as being during Claudius' reign, placing it between 41 and 54 AD
  3. That great famine corresponds to the great famine which overlapped the procuratorships of Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Julius Alexander - which ran between 44-46 and 46-48 AD, reported by Josephus, giving us an exact point (46 AD) when the famine would have been in place, and hence establishes the latest date for Paul's visit.

To a far lesser extent, the reported death of Herod in Acts 12, said to be "at around this time" and generally accepted as AD 44, confirms that we're within the right sort of ballpark, date wise.

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The date is for the visit detailed in Galatians 2, rather than the date that the letter itself was written.

The dating argument is as follows:

  1. The visit in Galatians 2 corresponds to the visit in Acts 11, where Paul and Barnabas stayed in Jerusalem for a year.
  2. The premonition of the coming great famine within Acts 11 is identified explicitly as being during Claudius' reign, placing it between 41 and 54 AD
  3. That great famine corresponds to the great famine which overlapped the procuratorships of Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Julius Alexander - which ran between 44-46 and 46-48 AD, reported by Josephus, giving us an exact point (46 AD) when the famine would have been in place, and hence establishes the latest date for Paul's visit.

To a far lesser extent, the reported death of Herod in Acts 12, said to be "at around this time" and generally accepted as AD 44, confirms that we're within the right sort of ballpark, date wise.

Hmm thank you.

I'm thinking that something doesn't jive here.

According to the above, the famine existed for a number of years. At least 3 to 4 years in all. It wasn't just in the year 46. The famine lasted the whole time of both the procuratorships.

Then came Tiberius Alexander as successor to Fadus; he was the son of Alexander the alabarch of Alexandria, which Alexander was a principal person among all his contemporaries, both for his family and wealth: he was also more eminent for his piety than this his son Alexander, for he did not continue in the religion of his country. Under these procurators that great famine happened in Judea, in which queen Helena bought corn in Egypt at a great expense, and distributed it to those that were in want, as I have related already.

Josephus, Antiquities, Book XX, Chapter 5, par. 2

This means that the latest date would of necessity be 48 AD, not 46 AD.

Another interesting aspect here in regards to Herod Agrippa Is' death, which occured in 44 AD. This is part of chapter 12 right, so what is Paul doing in Jerusalem in chapter 9 of Acts?

If his 1st visit was 14 years after his conversion, what is he doing in Jerusalem sometime in the decade of 30 AD, long before there was ever a famine?

Another aspect to think of, there is nothing connecting Pauls visit to Jerusalem in the period of the famine to his visit in in Galatians 2. And there is evidence to actually think otherwise.

Acts 11:29

29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

It is probably more accurate to associate his visit of Galatians 2 to Acts 15 and the Council of Jerusalem.

Naturally this will not please a number of people, but I see no problem with it. Paul didn't exactly have the greatest of relationships with the Jerusalem church after this.

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I'm thinking that something doesn't jive here.

Colour me surprised.

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Colour me surprised.

Well I'll give you points for consistency and perserverence. :tu:

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Posted (edited)

Well I'll give you points for consistency and perserverence. :tu:

I've kind of given up, to be honest.

  • I could point out that Acts 11 concerns a prophecy via the Holy Spirit of the upcoming famine, which occurred whilst Paul and Barnabas were in Jerusalem. Most people not called Jor-el would probably conclude that the prophecy event occurred prior to the actual famine itself. Due to it being a prophecy, and all.
  • I could point out that if the famine crosses the rule of both procurators - then the one time that it must absolutely be in force is in the crossover year between the two of them - 46 AD. Basic geometry, and all.
  • I could point out that if you combine those two pieces of information, then there's only one logical conclusion.
  • I could point you to a fifth century historian that also states that the famine occurred in 46 AD. Just for giggles.
  • I could point out that Paul's second visit in Galatians was in response to a revelation. Or as they're known in the trade - a prophecy.

And so on, and so forth.

Even if I did do all of that - the end result, however, would be exactly the same as it is now - you'd find something else, somewhere, with which you'll patch together some sort of apologetic possibility for why it might not be so.

I'm happy that I've demonstrated that a reasonable case can be made for there having been a possible insertion. Others opinions may vary.

I say black. You say white. It's impossible to definitively prove either.

Hence, Meh.

Edited by Tiggs

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