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eight bits

Ancient doubts that Jesus existed

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Philangeli

Well, if Jesus didn't exist, where does that leave Islam?

Jesus is mentioned in the Quran a lot more times than Mohammed, as a great messenger and prophet!

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eight bits

Phil

It is of course true that Islam has a religious commitment to the existence of a historical Jesus.

I am unsure where you're going with the number of mentions of Jesus compared with Mohammed. From a historicity point of view (I note your new nearby thread), being the first to recite a collection of sermons is more reassuring evidence about having really lived than being mentioned in such a collection about five hundred years on. Somebody first recited the Koran; we can simply define that person to be "the historical Mohammed."

Much of the Jesus-Isa material in the Koran shows influence by the non-canonical "infancy gospels" (searchable) of the Second Christian Century. The earliest surviving teaching that Jesus wasn't crucified is also Second Century and Christian (the "gnostic" Basilides of Alexandria, based on a strained reading of the canonical Mark). So, the mentions in the Seventh Century by Mohammed provide no real help at all with the problem of a knowable historical Jesus.

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Philangeli

Phil

It is of course true that Islam has a religious commitment to the existence of a historical Jesus.

I am unsure where you're going with the number of mentions of Jesus compared with Mohammed. From a historicity point of view (I note your new nearby thread), being the first to recite a collection of sermons is more reassuring evidence about having really lived than being mentioned in such a collection about five hundred years on. Somebody first recited the Koran; we can simply define that person to be "the historical Mohammed."

Much of the Jesus-Isa material in the Koran shows influence by the non-canonical "infancy gospels" (searchable) of the Second Christian Century. The earliest surviving teaching that Jesus wasn't crucified is also Second Century and Christian (the "gnostic" Basilides of Alexandria, based on a strained reading of the canonical Mark). So, the mentions in the Seventh Century by Mohammed provide no real help at all with the problem of a knowable historical Jesus.

Hi,

Re: the Gospels - I think it is accepted by Catholics that when they say the Book of Mark, for example, it means the Book according to Mark, which means he and his students/scribes put the book together, under his supervision, partly from other written accounts and partly from oral testimony.

Could not the Quran have been put together in the same way? The person who supervised that was not necessarily the figure called Mohammed whom the Muslims believed in. I am not saying there wasn't an historical figure called Mohammed, but he may have only been a merchant turned warlord and nothing else (the prophetic attributes having been ascribed to him by writers much later).

Mentioning the number of times the names Jesus and Mohammed occur in the Quran arises from two ideas:

1) If Muslims believe Mohammed to be historically true as related in the Quran (4 occurrences), then surely, they would certainly believe that Jesus definitely existed (whose name is mentioned many more times). If it turns out that Jesus did not exist, a lot of Muslims, as well as Christians, are going to be left with a lot of egg on their faces!

2) And this is more for the other thread (Historicity of Mohammed) - the name, Mohammed, means Praiseworthy or Praised One. It is only mentioned four times in the Quran, and it does not necessarily refer to the character who was supposedly receiving the 'dictation'. It might also refer to Jesus (or even Moses), who is spoken of in very high terms in the Quran as an exalted messenger and prophet.

But, I digress and am going off topic.

End of commercial break! Back to the thread.

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Stubbly_Dooright

DC

Thanks for the link. As I've said, the methodological flaws and wrong reference population of the Jewish homeland-only estimate preclude its use for the comparison to which you would apply it. (The Israeli link always worked fine, and the work is well-known.)

As I have also said before, regardless of why Jesus didn't write a book or letter, he didn't or else it doesn't survive. In contrast, somebody wrote The Republic. Therefore, Jesus is differently situated than Plato.

Neither is certain to have existed, both could have existed, at least one of them very probably did, I reckon. My opinions about neither involve "faith." This digression has nothing to do with whether or not ancient people doubted Jesus' existence, which is the topic of the thread.

If you have some problem with my posts, then report them.

Further thoughts about the Robinson "Jesus was two or three men" hypothesis

It is important to many modern Christians that Jesus literally existed as one single man. Ancient religious thinking could have been much different and less literal minded than modern habits.

An example of the frame-of-mind I am trying to explain is found in the charming 1993 film, Little Buddha.

The main plot is the search for the reincarnation of a deceased monk. The expectation is that he has returned as some one single child. In the end, there are three finalists, three very different children.

SPOILER ALERT (rest of post)

The realization dawns that if the monk has come back (something which the judges assume to be true), then he has come back as all three children, simultaneously.

The state of mind which could accept a single personage animating three distinct people would be a state of mind that could know Robinson's construct of Jesus was true, and still accept this Jesus' two or three source personalities as the single Messiah, Savior or whatever their religion thought the Christ was supposed to be.

I think that that state of mind was accessible in ancient times. Most Protestants would faint dead away to imagine their Jesus like that, just as Richard Dawkins would collapse in laughter. The modern opponents think much alike, because they are modern thinkers.

This makes me wonder, reading yours and psyche's posts about this, in records, or written accounts of things such as this, and it has been known, ( I assume ) all of this time, why hasn't it been discussed more so during time up to today? Like kind of how most assume that the Santa Clause of today is add on's from a particular Saint from the past?

Well, if Jesus didn't exist, where does that leave Islam?

Jesus is mentioned in the Quran a lot more times than Mohammed, as a great messenger and prophet!

Now, this is just me, ( and I think this is a good question ) but I think Mohammed, ( from what I have come to understand ) that there is more evidence of Mohammed than of Jesus. I am going to know here, that this post of mine, probably doesn't make any big dent in answering it though. :yes: Sorry. :blush:

I like 8bit's answer. :yes:

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back to earth

I see you got that glass of wine you wanted :)

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Stubbly_Dooright

I see you got that glass of wine you wanted :)

And I didn't have to travel far. That's in my own state.

Would I disappoint you, Sweetcheeks?!?!

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Sherapy

And I didn't have to travel far. That's in my own state.

Would I disappoint you, Sweetcheeks?!?!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.....

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eight bits

Ms Mustard

This makes me wonder, reading yours and psyche's posts about this, in records, or written accounts of things such as this, and it has been known, ( I assume ) all of this time, why hasn't it been discussed more so during time up to today? Like kind of how most assume that the Santa Clause of today is add on's from a particular Saint from the past?

There isn't much connection between Santa Claus, the legally recognized secular symbol of Christmas*, and the historically real bishop. Nick was by all acounts a nice guy, but Francis of Assissi has more specific connection with Christmas and it celebration than Nick.

So, I don't think the modern Santa Claus does arise from centuries of accretions onto the original Nicholas. The (northern) winter solstice has long been associated with a man of a certain age. Americans tacked what they could pronounce of a Dutch title and name onto their version of "Father Christmas," and gave him a Coke - an iconic winter drink. No, wait...

As to Jesus, I think the modern rise of interest in the historical foundations of his legend coincides with the appearance of truly modern history in general. The first professional historian writing in English, with a recognizably modern "theory of history," could be as recent as William Stubbs, who died in 1901.

http://digitalcommon...ons/AAI3076706/

I think we the living take for granted that the focus of history should be "what really happened in the past" so far as we are able to estimate that. It was not always so, and a regularly self-propagating self-conscious commitment to that ideal (a "profession") is younger than the rise of exact natural science, IMO.

Historical focus on the facts about Jesus cannot be older than historical focus on the facts, period.

----------------------------------

* As is well known, Americans celebrate Christmas by taking their cities and towns to court over nativity displays which depict Mary and Jesus. However, the presence of a Santa Claus statue nearby "sanitizes" the display, making it a secularly purposeful promotion of seasonal retail sales. (Hey, you're in that business :) )

Now clearly, the geniuses of SCOTUS would not be so silly as to think that placing a sainted Christian bishop next to a baby Christ doll would constitute a secular message, would they? Nah. Santa Claus and the bishop have long since become detached, whatever little connection they ever had.

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Stubbly_Dooright

Ms Mustard

There isn't much connection between Santa Claus, the legally recognized secular symbol of Christmas*, and the historically real bishop. Nick was by all acounts a nice guy, but Francis of Assissi has more specific connection with Christmas and it celebration than Nick.

So, I don't think the modern Santa Claus does arise from centuries of accretions onto the original Nicholas. The (northern) winter solstice has long been associated with a man of a certain age. Americans tacked what they could pronounce of a Dutch title and name onto their version of "Father Christmas," and gave him a Coke - an iconic winter drink. No, wait...

:hmm: I wonder, is that where they have that iconic panting of him. It's so good!!! ;)

And yeah, good point.

As to Jesus, I think the modern rise of interest in the historical foundations of his legend coincides with the appearance of truly modern history in general. The first professional historian writing in English, with a recognizably modern "theory of history," could be as recent as William Stubbs, who died in 1901.

http://digitalcommon...ons/AAI3076706/

I think we the living take for granted that the focus of history should be "what really happened in the past" so far as we are able to estimate that. It was not always so, and a regularly self-propagating self-conscious commitment to that ideal (a "profession") is younger than the rise of exact natural science, IMO.

Historical focus on the facts about Jesus cannot be older than historical focus on the facts, period.

I think is a good point. It was a lot longer. :yes: The fact, that a lot of biographers of royals halfway back then, have to really work hard to find anything, and historical fiction authors of that have to have 'educated maybe's ' when writing, I can see, that we really can be sure.

----------------------------------

* As is well known, Americans celebrate Christmas by taking their cities and towns to court over nativity displays which depict Mary and Jesus. However, the presence of a Santa Claus statue nearby "sanitizes" the display, making it a secularly purposeful promotion of seasonal retail sales. (Hey, you're in that business :) )

Now clearly, the geniuses of SCOTUS would not be so silly as to think that placing a sainted Christian bishop next to a baby Christ doll would constitute a secular message, would they? Nah. Santa Claus and the bishop have long since become detached, whatever little connection they ever had.

It really gets me that some think it's so simple, when it comes to this :rolleyes: .............. 'war'. I do believe that Clause and other added aspects of Christmas was added through the years, including the 'supposed' date of the birth. I have come to believe or learn in a way, that the tree came to England ( and then further west more likely ) by German relations to the British royal family. I always thought Prince consort Albert, but it could be an earlier German royal relation. http://www.historytoday.com/alison-barnes/first-christmas-tree

Anyways, here in the states, I can understand seeing nativity scenes in church and people yards, it's their right and that's good. Like I would expect my Jewish neighbors would put their lit menora in their window as well. ( I actually look forward to it ) But, I don't understand how those who try to push the 'spirit' of Christmas to everyone, when that shows definitely that they don't have it, by pushing it with anger.

( years ago, there was hoopla of the secular section of our town that wanted the secular or Atheist's message during that time of " Imagine there is no religion (from John Lennon ) with the picture of the two World Trade Center towers before they were destroyed along with Jewish and Christian holiday sets on the town's green at the holidays. I first cannot understand the use of 9/11 during the holidays, it seems so very sad to use. Plus, I think secular ways of celebrating like the winter solstice and the results of harvest. I don't know. *shrugs* ) Anyways, if it shouldn't be done, because in the end, their goal of just looking more important and that they have a right to prosetylize is evident. *shrugs*

I'm sorry, 8bits, I got carried away.

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DieChecker

This makes me wonder, reading yours and psyche's posts about this, in records, or written accounts of things such as this, and it has been known, ( I assume ) all of this time, why hasn't it been discussed more so during time up to today? Like kind of how most assume that the Santa Clause of today is add on's from a particular Saint from the past?

What I don't get most about the "Jesus was an amalgam of several people" theory is if this was true, then how did it so quickly and thoroughly get merged into one person by the second century? Sure, I understand that it was like 100 years later when the stuff we now have started to be written down, but even with 100 years, that seems fast to me, and to be so thorough that even the Gnostics didn't think there was multiple teachers involved?

It is almost at the Conspiracy theory level to believe all these guys across the Middle East, the Roman Empire, and Egypt all somehow got in contact and agreed to use just the one name "Jesus" as the figure for all the Christian mythos miracles and stories. Was mail so good back then that there wasn't anyone who used a different name, or told the stories different, and used several teachers?

If find the idea/theory to be lacking the ability to convince anyone who already isn't preconceived to the idea.

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Elsupremo

The Emperor Titus, his father Vespasian and Josephus, who is also the author of Pauls gospels created Chistianity. Thats right, it's a Flavian invention. Jesus was however fashioned after a real person in history according to some alternative historians.

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eight bits

Ms Mustard

I thought it was a great rant :) .

3rd eye

Maybe you posted something for the "Historicity of Mohammed" thread here by mistake?

DC

Here's what I think. A conspiracy requires two or more people. "Recent provocative Jewish sayings in Greek" only takes one person to compile. There was no intellectual property protection then. The cooperation of the people who originally said the sayings wasn't required.

No deception is required, either. In the OP of this thread, there is a link to a blog article. One of the items discussed there is Macarius' Apocriticus. Lots and lots of material there is attributed only to "the Greek." Is that one guy, many guys, somebody Macarius made up (as Celsus made up his Jewish character)? We don't know. All the text says is that "the Greek" said this, and "the Greek" said that.

For a very long time, the idea was popular that "the Greek" was Porphyry. Why? Because that would be so cool if it were true. No copy of Porphyry's Against the Christians survives. What if the sayings of "the Greek" were from the lost book? Heaven. Macarius has nothing to do with the attribution to Porphyry. People wanted it to be true, so many people convinced themselves that it was true.

The idea is not so popular any more. Why not? Because other work of Porphyry survives.

So, we can compare Porphyry to "the Greek," carefully and with modern technique. "The Greek" doesn't measure up. We can't do any compare and contrast with Jesus. All we have is stuff attributed to him in Greek by people who never heard him speak. Or them speak. Or whatever the correct pronoun is when the speaker is a fictional character.

Let me guess, you're going to play the "bad faith" card again.

Edited by eight bits
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back to earth

And I didn't have to travel far. That's in my own state.

Would I disappoint you, Sweetcheeks?!?!

Love the new pic, standing there looking almost defiant ; "This is my glass of wine .... and I am gonna drink it ! "

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.....

I think she means 'fuzzy cheeks' ?

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third_eye

@eight bits

thanks ... I guess I was more drunk than I thought ... I'll make a request to some kind mod for it to be moved ~

~

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Saru

I guess I was more drunk than I thought ... I'll make a request to some kind mod for it to be moved ~

Done. :tu:

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DieChecker

DC

Here's what I think. A conspiracy requires two or more people. "Recent provocative Jewish sayings in Greek" only takes one person to compile. There was no intellectual property protection then. The cooperation of the people who originally said the sayings wasn't required.

No deception is required, either. In the OP of this thread, there is a link to a blog article. One of the items discussed there is Macarius' Apocriticus. Lots and lots of material there is attributed only to "the Greek." Is that one guy, many guys, somebody Macarius made up (as Celsus made up his Jewish character)? We don't know. All the text says is that "the Greek" said this, and "the Greek" said that.

For a very long time, the idea was popular that "the Greek" was Porphyry. Why? Because that would be so cool if it were true. No copy of Porphyry's Against the Christians survives. What if the sayings of "the Greek" were from the lost book? Heaven. Macarius has nothing to do with the attribution to Porphyry. People wanted it to be true, so many people convinced themselves that it was true.

The idea is not so popular any more. Why not? Because other work of Porphyry survives.

So, we can compare Porphyry to "the Greek," carefully and with modern technique. "The Greek" doesn't measure up. We can't do any compare and contrast with Jesus. All we have is stuff attributed to him in Greek by people who never heard him speak. Or them speak. Or whatever the correct pronoun is when the speaker is a fictional character.

Let me guess, you're going to play the "bad faith" card again.

Ah, but my point was that we have multiple Epistles and Gospels that all use the Singular for Jesus. Even the Apocrypha books linked to Christianity (Which were thrown out of the Church Canon, state Jesus as being a singular being. So we would need the "Church" to go back and correct every document, even the ones they have thrown out, to cover their tracks.... Possible? Yes. Likely? No....

Your example is of a single unknown Greek who authored, or didn't, some text against Christianity. What is more likely to be made up.... A single source of unknown origin, or dozens of sources from a wide range of locations, which all agree over hundreds of years??

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eight bits

DC

Ah, but my point was that we have multiple Epistles and Gospels that all use the Singular for Jesus. Even the Apocrypha books linked to Christianity (Which were thrown out of the Church Canon, state Jesus as being a singular being. So we would need the "Church" to go back and correct every document, even the ones they have thrown out, to cover their tracks.... Possible? Yes. Likely? No...

There's no need to correct anything. "The" church never corrected "the letters of Paul" that were written by at least two different people. Paul is far more significant to living (Gentile) Christianity than Jesus. If Paul can be at least two people, with no problem and no revision, then Jesus can easily be three on the same basis. Or however many it takes.

BTW, The is in scare quotes, because the church is a great example of something that has for centuries been plural and yet is spoken of, even now, as a singular entity. And what does "it" believe in? One God who is three.

Counting isn't a major religious skill. Sorry if that sounds hostile, but that's just the way it is.

What is more likely to be made up.... A single source of unknown origin, or dozens of sources from a wide range of locations, which all agree over hundreds of years??

Depends on whether the dozens are independent. Obviously, the ones that are centuries younger are either dependent on the earliest one(s) or not based on original firsthand information. If the earliest ones are made up and the later ones are copies-revisions-reimaginings, etc., then they are all equally certain to be made up.

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DieChecker

DC

There's no need to correct anything. "The" church never corrected "the letters of Paul" that were written by at least two different people. Paul is far more significant to living (Gentile) Christianity than Jesus. If Paul can be at least two people, with no problem and no revision, then Jesus can easily be three on the same basis. Or however many it takes.

BTW, The is in scare quotes, because the church is a great example of something that has for centuries been plural and yet is spoken of, even now, as a singular entity. And what does "it" believe in? One God who is three.

Counting isn't a major religious skill. Sorry if that sounds hostile, but that's just the way it is.

Isn't that a Fallacy? "Paul was two people, so Jesus was too". I admit that many of the writtings that attribute words to Jesus came from multiple sources or are hybrid writtings of multiple authors, but of Jesus himself, we don't see any indication of multiple Prophet/Teachers/Messiahs. At least not in anything that I've read.

Depends on whether the dozens are independent. Obviously, the ones that are centuries younger are either dependent on the earliest one(s) or not based on original firsthand information. If the earliest ones are made up and the later ones are copies-revisions-reimaginings, etc., then they are all equally certain to be made up.

This is true. If the very first writers all agreed to use just a singular teacher of Jesus, then that could easily have happened. However we don't have any evidence that is the case, as far as I know. Like I said, even the Apocrypha use a singular Jesus, so it can't be from editing by the Church, as the Church rejected and tried to eliminate those writings.

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eight bits

DC

Isn't that a Fallacy? "Paul was two people, so Jesus was too"

Yes, it is, Paul was more than one person, while Jesus may have been zero, one or many persons.

Alas your statement is a straw man. You proposed that if Jesus turned out to be more than one person, then it would be difficult to amend all the documents. I observed that Paul turned out to be more than person, and no amendment whatsoever was needed. So, I addressed the argument you made.

At least not in anything that I've read.

I did give a link to one well-known reader of the Q material who explains the basis for his proposal. There are others with different arguments, easily found. As I said somewhere along the way, "plural Jesuses" isn't my own favorite,

Like I said, even the Apocrypha use a singular Jesus, ...

Why "even," isn't the party line that the apocryphal material is derivative of the canonical? One Jesus in the canon, one Jesus in material that is derived from it. Not necessarily so, but not a big surprise, either.

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DieChecker

DC

Yes, it is, Paul was more than one person, while Jesus may have been zero, one or many persons.

Alas your statement is a straw man. You proposed that if Jesus turned out to be more than one person, then it would be difficult to amend all the documents. I observed that Paul turned out to be more than person, and no amendment whatsoever was needed. So, I addressed the argument you made.

It is believed that several of the Epistles that Paul is said to have written were pseudepigrapha. This is suspected mainly due to the differences in style and content from the epistles that are more probably attributable to Paul. So, there is evidence here.

The belief is that these documents were screened in the first or second century and deemed to fit into the Pauline teachings, and so were allowed to remain in the Canon as attributable to Paul.

I don't see any equal evidence for belief in a plural Jesus. That is why I ask if it is a Fallacious argument. Because one argument has evidence, and the argument being compared, and called equal in likelihood, has no evidence.

I did give a link to one well-known reader of the Q material who explains the basis for his proposal. There are others with different arguments, easily found. As I said somewhere along the way, "plural Jesuses" isn't my own favorite,

I'll go find that link and read it again. :tu:

Why "even," isn't the party line that the apocryphal material is derivative of the canonical? One Jesus in the canon, one Jesus in material that is derived from it. Not necessarily so, but not a big surprise, either.

This could be true, but again, I already stated that for this to be true, it would involve all the heads of the various "churches" around the world in the first and second centuries, when everything was written down, all coming together to make an agreement to hide the plurality of teachers. This isn't a straw man, it is a fact impossible to reconcile in my thoughts. It demands there be one canon, and the plurality, and differences, of the four Gospels points out that there was no definitive canon till Nicea, which was 300 years (plus or minus) after Jesus died.

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DieChecker
I did give a link to one well-known reader of the Q material who explains the basis for his proposal. There are others with different arguments, easily found. As I said somewhere along the way, "plural Jesuses" isn't my own favorite,

I think it was this one?

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcno1.htm

I note the end of his blog....

There is some evidence of this merging of the stories of separate individuals. The Gospel of Q, appears to be the oldest surviving gospel. It was written in sections over time. The first section describes the sayings of a Greek cynic philosopher; the second section describes sayings of an apocalyptic teacher. Meanwhile, many of Yeshua's teachings, as found in the synoptic Gospels, closely match those of Hillel except on matters of divorce where Hillel was more liberal.

Between about 40 CE and 100 CE, when the Gospel of Q, the three synoptic canonic Gospels, and the Gospel of Thomas were first written, the teachings of these multiple teachers were merged and attributed to a single individual: Yeshua of Nazareth. The rest is history.

I stress that these are my personal hunches. They are shared by few if any theologians. They are certainly heretical when compared to modern-day Christian beliefs.

The problem with using the Q Document to show a second Jesus teacher is that the Q Document doesn't exist and might never have existed. So, I'm not sure how Mr Robinson can say with authority that part was written by a Greek cynic and part by a apocalyptic Jew.

Thus I'm not sure why I should believe him. Seems like highly unsubstantiated personal opinion. Not even an educated guess really.

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regeneratia

It is often alleged that doubt that Jesus really existed is peculiarly modern. I have never been able to understand why apologists say that, or how it helps their case. Even if it were true that ancients accepted Jesus' existence without complaint, what does it matter when a hard question was first asked?

But is it even true? Very little serious counterapologetics survives from the first four Christian centuries, none of it from the First Century. Except for some brief snide remarks about Christians (e.g. Marcus Aurelius or Galen) and for some letters of Emperor Julian (~ 362 CE), all we have is the Christian reply to the critic, not the unimproved criticism itself.

A survey and assessment of what survives was recently blogged here,

https://uncertaintis...storical-jesus/

Ancient critics aggressively attacked the supposed factual basis of Christianity. Although no surviving work says "Jesus was made up," it sure looks like "Everything you say about Jesus was made up" was actuallly argued.

I think Jesus was a conglomeration of various people. One cannot tell for certain anything about Jesus from the mainstream christian bible we have today. IT has been altereed and adjusted so so so many times. I have always questioned the use of a torture device like the cross as a symbol for the church. But then that is par for the course, isn't it?

Edited by regeneratia
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eight bits

DC

The problem with using the Q Document to show a second Jesus teacher is that the Q Document doesn't exist and might never have existed. So, I'm not sure how Mr Robinson can say with authority that part was written by a Greek cynic and part by a apocalyptic Jew.

Here's the tricky part. The Q document may never have existed before the canonical Gospels. The Q contents plainly do exist, however. They are more less by definition the Greek sayings attributed to Jesus which are nearly identical in Matthew and Luke but which aren't found in Mark. So, the dating of Q is debatable (although it cannot be younger than Matthew, which isn't thought to be much younger than Mark), but the contents are readily available.

That's why Robinson went with Q, I think. If not the Q material, then what for a selection of Jesus' sayings? Even Thomas, another "sayings gospel" and a candidate for having its "core" be relatively early has a lot of Q content (similar sayings, but we don't have a near full length version of Thomas in Greek).

Edited by eight bits
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third_eye

The great leap of faith would be to expect that nothing was 'corrupted' or 'altered' through the lengthy period of the formation of the Early Churches where the WOrds were rendered through the changes from Aramaic / Hebrew, Greek, Syrian / Coptic, Latin, through the evolution of English till the rendition it is expressed today ~

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DieChecker

DC

Here's the tricky part. The Q document may never have existed before the canonical Gospels. The Q contents plainly do exist, however. They are more less by definition the Greek sayings attributed to Jesus which are nearly identical in Matthew and Luke but which aren't found in Mark. So, the dating of Q is debatable (although it cannot be younger than Matthew, which isn't thought to be much younger than Mark), but the contents are readily available.

That's why Robinson went with Q, I think. If not the Q material, then what for a selection of Jesus' sayings? Even Thomas, another "sayings gospel" and a candidate for having its "core" be relatively early has a lot of Q content (similar sayings, but we don't have a near full length version of Thomas in Greek).

I'd agree with that analysis, but Thomas, I've read, was thrown out at Nicea due to it having Gnostic leanings. I think Thomas was written by someone who knew the Q material, but added his own Gnostic vision to it. Thus, I'm not convinced that the Q material would necessarily be Greek in origin, much less from a Greek cynic.

Edited by DieChecker

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