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markdohle

An atheist scholar viewpoint on Jesus

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markdohle

There are many posts presented on this site about Jesus, who he was, or even if he even existed, then, of course, the whole mythic veiw about Jesus.  This is written from the standpoint of an athiest scholar.  Long but worth the read for those interested in this kind of topic. 

http://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-1-of-2/

http://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-2-of-2/

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Mr. Sister Elle Sade Ai Ni

Can you share a thought or two from these selections, something that stands out for you, and I request others do the same.

I might read it later. Is this along the line of how even an atheist can know  and understand truth? if so is it presented as an apologetic aka in defense of our faith, Or does it commend atheists for having their own sense of spirituality.

A personal thought here from me on this overall topic,of  atheist and theists (of whatever stripe from -poly, -pan,,-heno, etc etc etc), I am starting to realize to claim as a believer that I believe is a huge, huge, ego trip for me as if I am that special.

Because when asked how to do the work of the kingdom the Jesus character said one must only believe.

So if I claim I am a believer then I am also saying I do kingdom work and am worthy. When I know I lack and desire to believe and thus do kingdom work aka bringing heaven about for it will not happen without the laborers of the field, and many have come, and many will come, to do that work, may I be forgiven if I have considered myself a laborer of that field when I was not...

tl;dr some believers are actually atheists without knowing it and some atheists are actually believers without knowing it. May others label us and may we still not say it is so, until, it is so. I just feel like the man who prays on the corner out loud or in the temple beating his chest..

Quote
Spoiler

38 And he said to them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, who like to walk about in long robes, and salutations in the marketplaces,

39 and first seats in the synagogues, and first places at suppers;

40 who devour the houses of widows, and as a pretext make long prayers. These shall receive a severer judgment.

41 And Jesus, having sat down opposite the treasury, saw how the crowd was casting money into the treasury; and many rich cast in much.

42 And a poor widow came and cast in two mites, which is a farthing.

43 And having called his disciples to [him] he said to them, Verily I say unto you, This poor widow has cast in more than all who have cast into the treasury:

44 for all have cast in of that which they had in abundance, but she of her destitution has cast in all that she had, the whole of her living.

 

Mark 12

 

 

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RabidMongoose
3 hours ago, markdohle said:

There are many posts presented on this site about Jesus, who he was, or even if he even existed, then, of course, the whole mythic veiw about Jesus.  This is written from the standpoint of an athiest scholar.  Long but worth the read for those interested in this kind of topic. 

http://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-1-of-2/

http://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-2-of-2/

Bible, Koran and Roman records all say he did.

Thats three documented sources.

Edited by RabidMongoose
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markdohle

Yes, of course, there is so much out there that is kind of nonsensical. 

Peace
mark

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markdohle
1 hour ago, I hide behind words said:

Can you share a thought or two from these selections, something that stands out for you, and I request others do the same.

I might read it later. Is this along the line of how even an atheist can know  and understand truth? if so is it presented as an apologetic aka in defense of our faith, Or does it commend atheists for having their own sense of spirituality.

A personal thought here from me on this overall topic,of  atheist and theists (of whatever stripe from -poly, -pan,,-heno, etc etc etc), I am starting to realize to claim as a believer that I believe is a huge, huge, ego trip for me as if I am that special.

Because when asked how to do the work of the kingdom the Jesus character said one must only believe.

So if I claim I am a believer then I am also saying I do kingdom work and am worthy. When I know I lack and desire to believe and thus do kingdom work aka bringing heaven about for it will not happen without the laborers of the field, and many have come, and many will come, to do that work, may I be forgiven if I have considered myself a laborer of that field when I was not...

tl;dr some believers are actually atheists without knowing it and some atheists are actually believers without knowing it. May others label us and may we still not say it is so, until, it is so. I just feel like the man who prays on the corner out loud or in the temple beating his chest..

 

 
 
8

No, not at all.  It is an atheist dealing with a lot of bad scholarship, as well as those with an agenda.  He is aware of a lot of theories that are common on the web and is trying to deal with it.   : I believe that all scholars have to be as objective as possible, which I admit can be difficult.  Then there are those who claim that he is just a myth, a rehashing of the ancient Gods, which most scholars have put to rest long ago, but have resurfaced on the web.
 

Quote

More recently the "Jesus Myth" hypothesis has experienced something of a revival, largely via the internet, blogging, and "print on demand" self-publishing services.  But its proponents are almost never scholars, many of them have a very poor grasp of the evidence, and almost all have clear ideological objectives.  Broadly speaking, they fall into two main categories: (1) New Agers claiming Christianity is actually paganism rebadged and (2) anti-Christian atheist activists seeking to use their "exposure" of historical Jesus scholarship to undermine Christianity.  Both claim that the consensus on the existence of a historical Jesus is purely due to some kind of iron-grip that Christianity still has on the subject, which has suppressed and/or ignored the idea that there was no historical Jesus at all.

 
 
 

The fact that the man is an atheist, might give him more creditability for some.   From my own experiences with my own agenda (yes post this is sort of part of an agenda), I know how hard it is to take anything in that goes against my own ideas.  Philosophy, politics, and religion and not based on hard facts like science is, so there is a lot to read and choose from.  Being a Christian, you can guess where I am on this issue:rolleyes:

Quote

The weaknesses of the Mythicist hypothesis multiply when its proponents turn to coming up with their own explanation as to how the Jesus stories did arise if there was no historical Jesus.  Of course, many of them don't really bother much with presenting an alternative explanation and leave their ideas about exactly how this happened conveniently vague.  But some realize that we have late first century stories that all claim there was an early first century person who lived within living memory and then make a series of claims about him.  If there was no such person, the Mythicist does need to explain how the stories about his existence arose and took the form they do. And they need to do so in a way that accounts for the evidence better than the parsimonious idea that this was believed because there was such a person.  This is where Mythicism really falls down.  

 
 
2

This is not a big issue with me, but there are intelligent people on this site who sometimes post things about Jesus and the latest 'Scholarly work" on who Jesus really is.  One of my favorites is Jesus being Ceasar cult, created by Rome for political reasons. 

In God's eyes, from what Jesus tells us, each is unique before God, so no one is special that way, but only in their inner life and their unique way that they love and become more Christlike.  For me, I start from the resurrection and work my way back.  I am the sort of person who would not be able to believe in an afterlife if there way no resurrection.  The praying over the stories in the New Testament is important, to enter into them and experience what they are about.   As we grow our understanding matures, but it hard to share, since, again, we are all unique in how we perceive things. 


Always a pleasure hearing from you, my friend.

 

peace
mark

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Imaginarynumber1
1 hour ago, RabidMongoose said:

Bible, Koran and Roman records all say he did.

Thats three documented sources.

Proof

 

Image result for spiderman comics

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eight bits

Ah, Mark.

Your post is the answer to a Mythical Jesus v. Historical Jesus Warrior's prayers. A current thread on my favorite S v, S topic!

Prelims: I'm about 3:2 in favor of a historical Jesus, so a real mythicist is apt to show up at any time. Just by rating HJ as truly uncertain, I'm far out of step with the consensus.

Religions: The religious affiliation of scholars is irrelevant to the merits of their arguments. If personalities must be dragged into it, Bart Ehrman's education in a fundamentalist Bible college "explains" his outlook far better than his agnosticism. Bad habits are hard to break.

And um, why be surprised that there are Jewish historicists? Jesus is easily the most admired Jewish hero in literature.

Parsimony (sometimes called Occam's Razor): is not much of a heuristic guide to truth. It is often useful to prefer "easy to test" hypotheses, but only in domains where hypotheses actually can be tested. (Being waterproof is genuinely useful, but less so in the desert.) There's not a lot of hypothesis testing in Jesus Studies ('cause almost all the evidence gets used up just formulating the hypotheses).

"Unconvincing" arguments

An argument is usually a fabric of individual considerations, not a single slam-dunk assertion (as nice as it is when that happens). Individual points are usually assessed for their relevance or irrelevance, not whether they could, each one by itself, resolve some controversy in a stroke.

Contemporary mention: This is relevant because if there were any undisputed contemporary mentions of Jesus, then the discussion would be over. The absence may not be "convincing," but it is a necessary condition for the myth hypothesis to be tenable.

The absence of contemporary mention is also fatal to the lesser problem (from a secular history perspective) of taking the Gospels literally as histories. Feeding thousands? Twice? Whole towns turning out with their sick and possessed? On and on ... No, the historical Jesus, if there was one, kept a low profile in life.

Josephus: Both those mentions are disputed. The longer "testimony" is a patent fake. Speculation whether there once was something genuine that was "improved" isn't evidence that there was such a thing, nor that if there was, it wasn't simply a notice that in 93 CE there were Christians who believed that Jesus had been a contemporary of Pilate.

That would still eliminate some "Second Century Origin" theories, but those aren't the top contenders, either.

Authenticating the higher-stakes shorter mention of James depends on the memory of Origen. He got everything else about Josephus' treatment of James wrong - why would we think he correctly remembered which Jesus was James' brother?

Letters of Paul: Many of the critics seem to me to have read them, but interpret them differently than your author. Personally, I am satisfied that Paul is writing about an earthly Jesus who has moved on to bigger and better things, but I also see the opposite point of view as coherent and tenable.

"Problems of Mythic Origin"

Jesus was a pagan amalgam: Read John lately? Its subtitle should be "Dionysus visits Judea."

Jesus was in outer space (Doherty +/-): I am with your author here. There is no evidence of the "final show down" between "celestial Jesus" and "earthly Jesus" adherents. That is a problem for theories that have a developed worship of Jesus as a celestial being.

Jesus was a Jewish allegory (Price - but not the famous one): I don't know this one ... perhaps if Robert M. Price were being discussed, we'd have more to talk about.

Jesus was a secular amalgam (Atwill): has very little constituency.

Part II

No ancient evidence of a mythic Christianity: Actually, Cyril of Jerusalem describes the Simonians as believing that "Jesus" was a magical performance by their Simon.

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/an-ancient-teaching-that-jesus-didnt-exist/

Historicity of the Gospels: People who find the absence of a baptism story in John to be a version of the baptism story shouldn't criticize others for tortuous logic.(Bald is a hair color, etc.)

The argument from "going to a lot of trouble" was popularized by Christopher Hitchens. It's mostly Luke who went to any trouble, and why he did is unclear. Micah can be fulfilled simply by being "David's descendant." Mark manages that by having one blind man say so, but Mark's Jesus also points out that Davidic descent isn't definitive (12:35ff). What problem is Luke trying to solve?

Crucifixion as unMessianic, absurd, etc.: Your problem is that Paul taught that it made sense. Some people must have agreed with him, and some people is all that is needed for the movement to continue. Nobody argues that "most Jews became Christians," and Paul wasn't even pitching to Jews. Christian Messianic is what Christians say it is. Not the same as Jewish Messianic? So what?

There is a modern fast-growing religion that is founded on a colorful character finding some gold plates in upsate New York, which have never been seen since, but they're out there, reburied. "Absurdity" isn't an indicator of historical truth

'Oh, that's too absurd to have been made up, it must really have happened.' Huh? But there's your author: "The most logical explanation is that it's in the story, despite its vast awkwardness, because it happened."

Non-Christian references: The references are all from 93 CE or later, and attest to the existence, beliefs, and practices of Christians ... that includes the reference to James, even on the assumption that it's what Josephus wrote, which is disputable.

Christians by the eve of the Second Century agreed on a historical Jesus. OK.

Pet peeve 1: Josephus doesn't report whether or not the sentence of the illegal court was ever carried out on James. Saying that Josephus wrote that James was killed improperly exaggerates the extent to which what is attributed to Josephus agrees with what Christian sources say about their James.

Pet peeve 2: Gamaliel is at least as good a candidate as Damenus for being the actual father of James. That said, I've never read anybody who has argued that Jesus ben Damneus was ALSO "called Christ," and your author doesn't say whom he has in mind. Pure straw, then.

Josephus: Even Richard Carrier doesn't allege Christian bad faith in following Origen, the probable (IMO) actual source of the "called Christ."

Your guy: "If this phrase was in the passage in Origen's time, then it was clearly original to Josephus." No, it was there in Origen's memory, and not on the page until then.

Tacitus: Of course it isn't what a Christian would say. Tacitus was a pagan priest. It says what a non-Christian religious leader would say, what a non-Christian religious leader did say, which would be the same regardless of from whom he heard the story.

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Mr. Sister Elle Sade Ai Ni
1 hour ago, markdohle said:

No, not at all.  It is an atheist dealing with a lot of bad scholarship, as well as those with an agenda.  He is aware of a lot of theories that are common on the web and is trying to deal with it.   : I believe that all scholars have to be as objective as possible, which I admit can be difficult.  Then there are those who claim that he is just a myth, a rehashing of the ancient Gods, which most scholars have put to rest long ago, but have resurfaced on the web.

Well I have dispelled the false Christ Mythers before and many found it online in general or in that one conspiracy theory film, Zeitgeist.

Quote

In modern scholarship, the Christ Myth Theory is a fringe theory, and finds virtually no support from scholars

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

But in doing so there does remain a whole series of men who died and were resurrected before Christ as well.Not part of the Christ Myth but part of the Dying-and-Rising god motif.

Quote

 

Examples of gods who die and later return to life are most often cited from the religions of the Ancient Near East, and traditions influenced by them including Biblical and Greco-Roman mythology and by extension Christianity. The concept of a dying-and-rising god was first proposed in comparative mythology by James Frazer's seminal The Golden Bough. Frazer associated the motif with fertility rites surrounding the yearly cycle of vegetation. Frazer cited the examples of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis and Attis, Dionysus and Jesus Christ.[6]

Frazer's interpretation of the category has been critically discussed in 20th-century scholarship,[7] to the conclusion that many examples from the world's mythologies included under "dying and rising" should only be considered "dying" but not "rising", and that the genuine dying-and-rising god is a characteristic feature of Ancient Near Eastern mythologies and the derived mystery cults of Late Antiquity

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dying-and-rising_god

This also has its detractors but to simplify it all even Osiris died, was resurrected, and gave many then before Christ, a hope that there was more after death and life continued, that death itself was conquered, that was done a few times over in various forms from Orpheus' love for Euyrdice  to Demeter's love for Persephone,

And as an addition to all this the suckling Horus and Isis statue is the same as the Baby Jesus and Mary statues. So I mention all this to state there is no competition between Christianity and paganism, other than cultural conflict, but what remains in common is sacred to all paths, and Christianity itself is quite pagan, or urban if considering the original pagans were the Dionysian Cult followers who lived in the wilds and once a year paraded down Greek lanes while all the others wondered who these crazed throwbacks were...this before Christianity was around, so what is pagan now was not pagan then, as pagan means rural.

Christianity indeed as well as other paths that predate it and that were contemporary or newer constructs or reconstructed paths are all made for urban dwellers.

 

BUT more importantly is that from your view Mark is that this atheist is attempting to clean his own house and that might be another nail in the coffin of New Atheism aka Militant Atheism which itself is just a part of the also debunked by modern scholarship, Draper White thesis, aka that science and religion are at odds.

And good on him for doing that, I shall now read in full to get ideas how to better do that in our house, but the cultural conflict over Draper-White thesis is mainly continued by New Atheists and Apologists, capital letters for they do it for revenue, that is they sell books and films and it is the gullible believer and atheist battling it out that have bought the proverbial snake oil from the modern hucksters.

Religion nor science benefits from the quarrels nor do they actually in their core mission and message even speak of it, the Bible and other sacred scriptures do not fault science, and science does not have opinions on faith, and while skeptics claim they are against scammers making money on our beliefs, some do that very thing and are suckers for militant atheism, and believers who claim peace and truth, also fall short of both, but balance will be restored naturally. Even our forums generate revenue from the conflict and I myself was a strong Christian-ist before opposed to much, yet grace is given and peace is finding a way in me thanks to some precious posters here including you Mark.

 

Quote

The fact that the man is an atheist, might give him more creditability for some.   From my own experiences with my own agenda (yes post this is sort of part of an agenda), I know how hard it is to take anything in that goes against my own ideas.  Philosophy, politics, and religion and not based on hard facts like science is, so there is a lot to read and choose from.  Being a Christian, you can guess where I am on this issue:rolleyes:

You are in the side of sense of peace my friend by assimilating all that is good from all systems as is the Catholic Church, which to the discredit of many, is actually a boon to science and progress. Of course I disagree with some of the still unedited opinions they still hold like birth control being a sin, when given it could help reduce aids transmission as well as allow less misery among unplanned families who are kept in the dark and in the void of resources, when the Church could do more to help, it will, in time, as many forget how much it has changed since Vatican II.

BTW Mark are you against the changes since then? Some in the church even have taken to opposing the pope.

Quote

This is not a big issue with me, but there are intelligent people on this site who sometimes post things about Jesus and the latest 'Scholarly work" on who Jesus really is.  One of my favorites is Jesus being Ceasar cult, created by Rome for political reasons. 

 

The latest scholarly works are usually done by New Atheists who have their own agenda outside of scientific inquiry which might affect their ability to remain within the the strict parameters of their professed discipline.

On the flip side an apologist with a pseudo-scholarly bent from time to time announces more proof. As if faith needs proof or science needs ano9ther soft revisit to the numerous historical revisions that tell us more of the current times such revisions were made and the revisionists themselves.

Although I have my own strong intuitive insights that are akin to newer revelations but again it says more of me and our times than the truth, yet keeps it current and meaningful to me, as an example Mary was quick to love many as friends and lovers for human design and increasing capacities will usually be more honest than the LAW, And the miracle to me was that Joseph accepted her regardless. Similar for Sara who could not procreate if left between her and Abram, thus the theophany and two angels, or helpers, who likely helped the process along, and again with Jacob/Israel who could not produce so "God made it so they could" and in all cases these men accepted these children they did not sire and as adopting them as their own, they not only were blessed, and were their seed blessed, but this is the process by which we have been adopted into the blessed and becoming children of the One True Deity.

I really need to write out a more thorough essay or libretto on these topics. But to recap for the confused it was not Sara's womb that was closed but Abram who could not sire, and it was not Jacob's wives who were at fault, but Jacob who just could not sire for one reason or another, but my strongest inclination is that he was made sterile when he wrestled the angel all night, and Mary was not a virgin, or raped, but chose love, and what made her a virgin is what makes us white as fleece from our own blemishes, forgiveness, love, and acceptance from others but of self too with a strong streak of functionalism be it from a more secular mindset or the mythos of faith or the Jungian concept of the unconscious mind which allowed the Abramic theophany scene, or the Jacob-into-Israel rite of passage, and the ability for Simeone knew Jesus would be born and was able to die, how Anna knew Jesus would be born and had spent her whole life in the temple for other reasons but that one too, how John the Baptist sang in the spirit from the womb of his mother Elizabeth who also knew and told.

This is still at work today in whatever system or path one subscribes to and follows and will win out in the end when conflict itself has conflicted with itself and hate has hated itself so that both no longer matter.

So Jesus was re purposed by Rome a few times for its own reasons in differing seasons, unsure what was created but I need to hear the theory you refer to that Rome created it all lol, sounds interesting, but a bit too much credit to Rome that might be. The Caesar being referred to might be an Augustus instead, if referring to Constantine whose conversion, which took place in a sacred grove of Apollo, and the sun sign he saw also was of Apollo as Apollo is the sun god, used the symbol of ankh and not Latin Cross, but more importantly was more influenced by his mother Helena. Most others down the line via Merovingian and Carolinian lines also had males who converted by the influence of a woman in their life, usually a wife.

 

Quote

 

In God's eyes, from what Jesus tells us, each is unique before God, so no one is special that way, but only in their inner life and their unique way that they love and become more Christlike.  For me, I start from the resurrection and work my way back.  I am the sort of person who would not be able to believe in an afterlife if there way no resurrection.  The praying over the stories in the New Testament is important, to enter into them and experience what they are about.   As we grow our understanding matures, but it hard to share, since, again, we are all unique in how we perceive things. 


Always a pleasure hearing from you, my friend.

..

Yes, indeed and full circle we return to the belief in the afterlife or that life itself continues and death has been conquered.

I never understood the crucifixion and resurrection but learning how other pre-Christian and non-Abrahamic faiths did this has clued me in better, I was given more proof that death has been conquered including the OT verse of the dead not being able to hear followed by the NT verse of the day is coming that even the dead will hear, is my main scriptural support, but I needed proof, I got it, there is more that is to come, and what happens between birth from flesh of a mother and return to the flesh of the earth, is but one phase, and many are not even alive now, and will only come to life in the next phase if even then for some will just be put onto the train of saints dead to come to when it returns here, for heaven is reached by the fullest potential of evolution, that is using our executive function and critical thinking of the prefrontal lobes, but also using them as groups, for the roads of gold were simply when we walked together and were in sync, but more so New Jerusalem shall come down from the sky and meet us here and now, and only then shall we all together as one exit the time and space continuum of this universe leaving behind all flesh of atom and matter.

The book is not even written but the claiming of all our generations as one and this world as one and we becoming one with all is the next stage neither pagan or urban but cosmic. It is written on our hearts or is being written, look there too Mark, you are so grounded in the softest and loveliest form of the Holy Spirit via Logos or how you write and create peace by doing so, that if you let insight bubble up outside of official doctrine that you can and will clue us in more succinctly than I could, and what more, it will be confirmed by the Word, which even every generation of the Church and all churches re purposes it, but I blame neither a Caesar or an Augustus but our own simple humanity which has "created Christ; for our own purposes, and when we are done, Christ will  repurpose us and create us into the same process and image you stated as:

.

Quote

but only in their inner life and their unique way that they love and become more Christlike

--Mark Dohl, among many things and paths and even official Order, is our U-M resident apostle who writes the message of the scripture for a modern audience that specifically needs healing, his words are not just inspired by the Spirit, but actually continue the primary mission of the Spirit, to heal and transform no matter how far or low we are.

 

 

Quote

peace

mark

shalom, waʿalaykumu as-salām, namaste and namaarie.

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Mr. Sister Elle Sade Ai Ni
1 hour ago, eight bits said:

Ah, Mark.

Your post is the answer to a Mythical Jesus v. Historical Jesus Warrior's prayers. A current thread on my favorite S v, S topic!

Prelims: I'm about 3:2 in favor of a historical Jesus, so a real mythicist is apt to show up at any time. Just by rating HJ as truly uncertain, I'm far out of step with the consensus.

Religions: The religious affiliation of scholars is irrelevant to the merits of their arguments. If personalities must be dragged into it, Bart Ehrman's education in a fundamentalist Bible college "explains" his outlook far better than his agnosticism. Bad habits are hard to break.

And um, why be surprised that there are Jewish historicists? Jesus is easily the most admired Jewish hero in literature.

Parsimony (sometimes called Occam's Razor): is not much of a heuristic guide to truth. It is often useful to prefer "easy to test" hypotheses, but only in domains where hypotheses actually can be tested. (Being waterproof is genuinely useful, but less so in the desert.) There's not a lot of hypothesis testing in Jesus Studies ('cause almost all the evidence gets used up just formulating the hypotheses).

"Unconvincing" arguments

An argument is usually a fabric of individual considerations, not a single slam-dunk assertion (as nice as it is when that happens). Individual points are usually assessed for their relevance or irrelevance, not whether they could, each one by itself, resolve some controversy in a stroke.

Contemporary mention: This is relevant because if there were any undisputed contemporary mentions of Jesus, then the discussion would be over. The absence may not be "convincing," but it is a necessary condition for the myth hypothesis to be tenable.

The absence of contemporary mention is also fatal to the lesser problem (from a secular history perspective) of taking the Gospels literally as histories. Feeding thousands? Twice? Whole towns turning out with their sick and possessed? On and on ... No, the historical Jesus, if there was one, kept a low profile in life.

Josephus: Both those mentions are disputed. The longer "testimony" is a patent fake. Speculation whether there once was something genuine that was "improved" isn't evidence that there was such a thing, nor that if there was, it wasn't simply a notice that in 93 CE there were Christians who believed that Jesus had been a contemporary of Pilate.

That would still eliminate some "Second Century Origin" theories, but those aren't the top contenders, either.

Authenticating the higher-stakes shorter mention of James depends on the memory of Origen. He got everything else about Josephus' treatment of James wrong - why would we think he correctly remembered which Jesus was James' brother?

Letters of Paul: Many of the critics seem to me to have read them, but interpret them differently than your author. Personally, I am satisfied that Paul is writing about an earthly Jesus who has moved on to bigger and better things, but I also see the opposite point of view as coherent and tenable.

"Problems of Mythic Origin"

Jesus was a pagan amalgam: Read John lately? Its subtitle should be "Dionysus visits Judea."

Jesus was in outer space (Doherty +/-): I am with your author here. There is no evidence of the "final show down" between "celestial Jesus" and "earthly Jesus" adherents. That is a problem for theories that have a developed worship of Jesus as a celestial being.

Jesus was a Jewish allegory (Price - but not the famous one): I don't know this one ... perhaps if Robert M. Price were being discussed, we'd have more to talk about.

Jesus was a secular amalgam (Atwill): has very little constituency.

Part II

No ancient evidence of a mythic Christianity: Actually, Cyril of Jerusalem describes the Simonians as believing that "Jesus" was a magical performance by their Simon.

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/an-ancient-teaching-that-jesus-didnt-exist/

Historicity of the Gospels: People who find the absence of a baptism story in John to be a version of the baptism story shouldn't criticize others for tortuous logic.(Bald is a hair color, etc.)

The argument from "going to a lot of trouble" was popularized by Christopher Hitchens. It's mostly Luke who went to any trouble, and why he did is unclear. Micah can be fulfilled simply by being "David's descendant." Mark manages that by having one blind man say so, but Mark's Jesus also points out that Davidic descent isn't definitive (12:35ff). What problem is Luke trying to solve?

Crucifixion as unMessianic, absurd, etc.: Your problem is that Paul taught that it made sense. Some people must have agreed with him, and some people is all that is needed for the movement to continue. Nobody argues that "most Jews became Christians," and Paul wasn't even pitching to Jews. Christian Messianic is what Christians say it is. Not the same as Jewish Messianic? So what?

There is a modern fast-growing religion that is founded on a colorful character finding some gold plates in upsate New York, which have never been seen since, but they're out there, reburied. "Absurdity" isn't an indicator of historical truth

'Oh, that's too absurd to have been made up, it must really have happened.' Huh? But there's your author: "The most logical explanation is that it's in the story, despite its vast awkwardness, because it happened."

Non-Christian references: The references are all from 93 CE or later, and attest to the existence, beliefs, and practices of Christians ... that includes the reference to James, even on the assumption that it's what Josephus wrote, which is disputable.

Christians by the eve of the Second Century agreed on a historical Jesus. OK.

Pet peeve 1: Josephus doesn't report whether or not the sentence of the illegal court was ever carried out on James. Saying that Josephus wrote that James was killed improperly exaggerates the extent to which what is attributed to Josephus agrees with what Christian sources say about their James.

Pet peeve 2: Gamaliel is at least as good a candidate as Damenus for being the actual father of James. That said, I've never read anybody who has argued that Jesus ben Damneus was ALSO "called Christ," and your author doesn't say whom he has in mind. Pure straw, then.

Josephus: Even Richard Carrier doesn't allege Christian bad faith in following Origen, the probable (IMO) actual source of the "called Christ."

Your guy: "If this phrase was in the passage in Origen's time, then it was clearly original to Josephus." No, it was there in Origen's memory, and not on the page until then.

Tacitus: Of course it isn't what a Christian would say. Tacitus was a pagan priest. It says what a non-Christian religious leader would say, what a non-Christian religious leader did say, which would be the same regardless of from whom he heard the story.

If the recurrent topic of the historicity of Christ has shown its head once more then may you be commended for playing it as well as a game of billiards with you running the table from break to win without giving any opponent of the actual game going on here on the forum, and in the world at large, a chance to post as you covered it all, some may agree with their own personal insight, the but the topic is beyond a Roman cycle of feast hall and vomitarium and back to feast hall. The vultures have picked this one clean I fear. What more can be said but for all players to balance the pros and cons without adopting either stance as truth for that always lies in the middle where synthesis occurs.

And just to quote Tacitus for those who need more insight, and because it is a favorite of mine beyond this mere reference, from Book 15 of the Annals:

Quote

44

Such indeed were the precautions of human wisdom. The next thing was to seek means of propitiating the gods, and recourse was had to the Sibylline books, by the direction of which prayers were offered to Vulcanus, Ceres, and Proserpina. Juno, too, was entreated by the matrons, first, in the Capitol, then on the nearest part of the coast, whence water was procured to sprinkle the fane and image of the goddess. And there were sacred banquets and nightly vigils celebrated by married women. But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed.

BTW my own personal insight 8-bits is that even in the time of Yeshua Ben-Yosef, if that was his name, as Jesus Christ is a title meaning Yaweh is Salvation (Jesus) and Messiah or Anointed One aka Divinity within a Human (Christ), but even during that era many considered it a hoax regarding crucifixion, even many Jews, who themselves saw the Way as it was called as a false path led by a false prophet, if Jesus even rose the the notoriety of prophet, as many false messiahs came and went and most were outside of respectable society, so it is no surprise this is still debated when it should just be set aside once and for all, if you believe do not try and convince others, if you don't let it be, there are more pressing matters to debate now, like personal and family matters.,

And again by the narrative or the scriptures, the followers of Christ did not even believe in the end and totally did not understand the purpose or mission of Jesus of Nazareth, and if I got this right, the birth of the path formed from him and his followers, many female, formed in Syria Palestina plus the other provinces of Rome, but many Christians themselves overlook the Orthodox Church of Antioch, the rest of Oriental Orthodoxy, maybe the believers themselves for the sake of their own balance should solicit and/or heed what they are saying and doing now for the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox pretend to share the whole world, while Protestants pretend to own the whole world, until we return to fellowship we are less than whole and again once unified we must return to fellowship with all paths and humanity with the primary missions of feeding the poor, taking care of the widow, protecting the foreigner, and adopting the orphan.

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Mr. Sister Elle Sade Ai Ni
3 hours ago, Imaginarynumber1 said:

Proof

 

Image result for spiderman comics

This and Superman plus X-Men were all just like the Christian character of Jesus, created and penned by Jews.

Wonder Woman on the other hand is grounded in the minds of scholars and should be reclaimed instead of allowing it to become a movie franchise now whose lead is an Israeli...not that I have anything against Gadot but there is a bit of international controversy now over her playing the main character.

I still think of Linda Carter and hoped an American-Canadian would have won the role but it is what it is and thank the stars she is not concealing an English accent, horrid for Wonder Woman akin to Dr. Who hiding a Brooklyn or Bronx accent. Think about it, that is heretical, not your post, which is very insightful and meaningful, especially as comics have continued the spiritual evolution of generations now, but the current franchise tied in to Hollywood and merchandise is the end of that!

And even if Jesus was a mere character so be it, as most characters are all composites of others who did live, for we are all imaginary number 1, we might all be characters, but we are, like you, we are also you and you are us, that is my prime takeaway of Christianity and other assorted wisdom that I have put in my personal collage to reinforce it, but the belief is Biblical (John 14 and other books and chapters), but neither you and most Christians would agree, that we are all one, and for me that puts you and them much closer and in the same boat, than the one others like myself are in, but gangway, the jolly roger is now hoisted, and we are boarding your boat now. Join OR ehh take your time.

Quote

The greatest illusion is that you are there and I am here.

--ancient proverb

To get there fast go alone, to get to the end go together.

--ancient proverb

Are there any modern proverbs? If none come to mind then from mind bring one to us.

--modern proverb

 

Edited by I hide behind words
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davros of skaro
14 hours ago, markdohle said:

There are many posts presented on this site about Jesus, who he was, or even if he even existed, then, of course, the whole mythic veiw about Jesus.  This is written from the standpoint of an athiest scholar.  Long but worth the read for those interested in this kind of topic. 

http://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-1-of-2/

http://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-2-of-2/

I've read this before, but will check it out again. Tim O'neil is an amateur historian. Just because someone is an Atheist does not mean they are automatically smart to me.

http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/9991

I'm still working on my Jesus thread. I have so many notes for the conclusion that I'm taking my time editing it together. 

My perspective is that Mark is a total fabrication, and the other Gospels just borrow, and put their own spin on it. The nonbiblical mentions of Jesus are either interpolations, or just repeating what Christians believed.

The key is Paul. I'm going to show that the preGospel Christians were taking select verses of the OT and seeing a Son of God Jesus that crucified sinful flesh to atone mankinds iniquity. This was in the 3rd Heaven partly because this is where Jesus's intermediary posting for mankind is located. Christian Theology is in the ancient scripture.

You have your faith.

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eight bits

IHB Words

(I like your new avvie... very elegant)

Quote

...this is still debated when it should just be set aside once and for all, if you believe do not try and convince others, if you don't let it be, there are more pressing matters to debate now, .

There is great puzzle value, though. I doubt that the Question of Jesus itself will ever be resolved on secular grounds, but it provides a focal point for other related investigations where some progress may occur.

For example, I think the recovery of Mark to its rightful place as a great and seminal Western myth, on a par with the Arthurian legends, is a worthwhile project. It is in some ways beside the point whether there was or wasn't some locally controversial Jewish vagabond at the turn of the Era, just as it's a side issue whether or not some specific late ancient British warlord really styled himself a king.

My sense is that, except in their dreams, antitheists don't seriously believe that their counterfantasies will "bring down Christianity" (or Islam, which has a derivative commitment to a historical Jesus). It is just too obvious that "Jesus was only a myth" gives some anti's a platform to stand on while they do what they most enjoy: talk trash against those who hold a different opinion than theirs. That goes nowhere, which deters them not at all, because it's just so much fun to pretend that the opponent is a fool.


davros

Well, I did predict that a real mythicist would show up :) . Glad to hear that you're still working on your thread.

Edited by eight bits
Let the smiley shine forth!
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DieChecker
19 hours ago, markdohle said:

There are many posts presented on this site about Jesus, who he was, or even if he even existed, then, of course, the whole mythic veiw about Jesus.  This is written from the standpoint of an athiest scholar.  Long but worth the read for those interested in this kind of topic. 

http://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-1-of-2/

http://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-2-of-2/

From first link....

Quote

More recently the "Jesus Myth" hypothesis has experienced something of a revival, largely via the internet, blogging, and "print on demand" self-publishing services.  But its proponents are almost never scholars, many of them have a very poor grasp of the evidence, and almost all have clear ideological objectives.  Broadly speaking, they fall into two main categories: (1) New Agers claiming Christianity is actually paganism rebadged and (2) anti-Christian atheist activists seeking to use their "exposure" of historical Jesus scholarship to undermine Christianity.  Both claim that the consensus on the existence of a historical Jesus is purely due to some kind of iron-grip that Christianity still has on the subject, which has suppressed and/or ignored the idea that there was no historical Jesus at all.

I've found this to generally be true. Many of the most aggressive anti-Christians online individuals are almost completely ignorant about anything except what they've been spoon fed. The often come across as complete Conspiracy nutcases.

Thanks, for this thread.

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markdohle

I do think there are many threads of thought on Jesus, the Gospels, the history of it all, etc.  Lots of opinions, some well thought out, others kind of crazy.  Like the "Jesus being the leader of a Mushroom Cult that came out in the 70's I believe.

Is the NT reliable?  I think it is.  A document sharing the early experience of the early Church with the Risen Lord.  If your answer is no, then other avenues of study and theory have to be explored. 

Perspective is everything, we all have perspective and from there we start.  Did Jesus actually rise from the dead?  I would say yes and that explains the explosive coming on the scene of the beginning of the Church. 

I don't think atheist are smarter than anyone else, or more rational, they are human.  Some are more interesting than others.......

Peace
Mark

 

 

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eight bits

mark

Quote

... Jesus being the leader of a Mushroom Cult that came out in the 70's ...

The 70's were a great time for mushrooms :) .

Quote

Did Jesus actually rise from the dead?  I would say yes and that explains the explosive coming on the scene of the beginning of the Church.

In all seriousness, what would Jesus' actually having done that add to the inclination of, say, an ordinary Corinthian Gentile to join Paul's new church? The Corinthian cannot verify what Paul tells his listeners.

Something else is needed, and it isn't unreasoanble to think that the "something else" (for example, believing what Paul believes, but doesn't actually know in any natural way) might be sufficient for explaining the early success of the churches.

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rod64

You got to love this continued selective assault on Christianity I have a question douchebag did Muhammad exist

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davros of skaro
20 hours ago, DieChecker said:

From first link....

I've found this to generally be true. Many of the most aggressive anti-Christians online individuals are almost completely ignorant about anything except what they've been spoon fed. The often come across as complete Conspiracy nutcases.

Thanks, for this thread.

I somewhat recently came across online two guys that believe Jesus to be based on Horus. They acted not unlike 9/11 truthers. Their method was akin to taking a round peg hammering it into a square hole, qoute mining experts to cover the visible corners then calling it proper scientific methods. 

David Fitzgerald researching his new book "Jesus Mything in Action" called up schools of learning for NT studies. Most of them require an oath of faith in order to teach there.

Don't forget that Mark is symbolic allegory, and literary artifice. This is not history which the other Gospels are based off of.


Mark 1:16-17

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

"16 And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” "

Jeremiah 16:16

"16 “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, says the Lord, and they shall catch them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks."

Ezekiel 47:10

"10 Fishermen will stand beside the sea; from En-ge′di to En-eg′laim it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea."

Mark 4:35-41

"35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” 41 And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” "

Jonah 1:1-17

Jonah Tries to Run Away from God

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6 The captain came and said to him, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.”

7 The sailors[a] said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this calamity has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Tell us why this calamity has come upon us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 “I am a Hebrew,” he replied. “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were even more afraid, and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so.

11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great storm has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, O Lord, we pray, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life. Do not make us guilty of innocent blood; for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

17 But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

Psalm 107:23-29

"23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the mighty waters;
24 they saw the deeds of the Lord,
his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their calamity;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunkards,
and were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out from their distress;
29 he made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed."

Mark 9:48

"48 where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched."

Isaiah 66:24

"24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

Mark 10:13-14

"13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs."

2 Kings 4:26-27

"26 run at once to meet her, and say to her, Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child all right?” She answered, “It is all right.” 27 When she came to the man of God at the mountain, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi approached to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone, for she is in bitter distress; the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.” "

Mark 7:28-29

"28 But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” "

2 Kings 8:13-14

"13 Hazael said, “What is your servant, who is a mere dog, that he should do this great thing?” Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you are to be king over Aram.” 14 Then he left Elisha, and went to his master Ben-hadad, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me that you would certainly recover.” "

Mark 5:1-20 (NRSV)

Jesus Heals the Gerasene Demoniac

"5 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. 3 He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; 4 for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; 7 and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; 12 and the unclean spirits begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.

14 The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus[d] to leave their neighborhood. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 But Jesus[e] refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed., to the country of the Gerasenes.[a] 2 And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. 3 He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; 4 for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; 7 and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; 12 and the unclean spirits[c] begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.

14 The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus[d] to leave their neighborhood. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed."

Philo, In Flaccum

"VI 36 There was a certain madman named Carabbas, afflicted not with a wild, savage, and dangerous madness (for that comes on in fits without being expected either by the patient or by bystanders), but with an intermittent and more gentle kind; this man spent all this days and nights naked in the roads, minding neither cold nor heat, the sport of idle children and wanton youths;"

Isaiah 65:1-5

"1 I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask,
to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, 'Here I am, here I am',
to a nation that did not call on my name.
2 I held out my hands all day long
to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
following their own devices;
3 a people who provoke me
to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
and offering incense on bricks;
4 who sit inside tombs,
and spend the night in secret places;
who eat swine's flesh,
with broth of abominable things in their vessels;
5 who say, 'Keep to yourself,
do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.'
These are a smoke in my nostrils,
a fire that burns all day long."

Psalm 107:4-7 :10-14

"4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
7 he led them by a straight way,
till they reached a city to dwell in."

"10 Some sat in darkness and in gloom,
prisoners in affliction and in irons,
11 for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
12 Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor;
they fell down, with none to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
14 he brought them out of darkness and gloom,
and broke their bonds asunder."

1 Kings 17:18

"18 And she said to Eli′jah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!” "

Exodus 14:27-28

"27 So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the Lord routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained."

Mark 11:12-21 (NRSV)

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

"12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it."

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

"15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; 16 and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?
But you have made it a den of robbers.”

18 And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. 19 And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city."

The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree

"20 In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” "

Hosea 9 (NRSV)

Punishment for Israel’s Sin

"9 Do not rejoice, O Israel!
Do not exult as other nations do;
for you have played the whore, departing from your God.
You have loved a prostitute’s pay
on all threshing floors.
2 Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them,
and the new wine shall fail them.
3 They shall not remain in the land of the Lord;
but Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
and in Assyria they shall eat unclean food.
4 They shall not pour drink offerings of wine to the Lord,
and their sacrifices shall not please him.
Such sacrifices shall be like mourners’ bread;
all who eat of it shall be defiled;
for their bread shall be for their hunger only;
it shall not come to the house of the Lord.
5 What will you do on the day of appointed festival,
and on the day of the festival of the Lord?
6 For even if they escape destruction,
Egypt shall gather them,
Memphis shall bury them.
Nettles shall possess their precious things of silver;
thorns shall be in their tents.
7 The days of punishment have come,
the days of recompense have come;
Israel cries,
“The prophet is a fool,
the man of the spirit is mad!”
Because of your great iniquity,
your hostility is great.
8 The prophet is a sentinel for my God over Ephraim,
yet a fowler’s snare is on all his ways,
and hostility in the house of his God.
9 They have deeply corrupted themselves
as in the days of Gibeah;
he will remember their iniquity,
he will punish their sins.
10 Like grapes in the wilderness,
I found Israel.
Like the first fruit on the fig tree,
in its first season,
I saw your ancestors.
But they came to Baal-peor,
and consecrated themselves to a thing of shame,
and became detestable like the thing they loved.
11 Ephraim’s glory shall fly away like a bird—
no birth, no pregnancy, no conception!
12 Even if they bring up children,
I will bereave them until no one is left.
Woe to them indeed
when I depart from them!
13 Once I saw Ephraim as a young palm planted in a lovely meadow,
but now Ephraim must lead out his children for slaughter. 
14 Give them, O Lord—
what will you give?
Give them a miscarrying womb
and dry breasts.
15 Every evil of theirs began at Gilgal;
there I came to hate them.
Because of the wickedness of their deeds
I will drive them out of my house.
I will love them no more;
all their officials are rebels.
16 Ephraim is stricken,
their root is dried up,
they shall bear no fruit.
Even though they give birth,
I will kill the cherished offspring of their womb.
17 Because they have not listened to him,
my God will reject them;
they shall become wanderers among the nations."

Psalm 37:35-36 (NRSV)

"35 I have seen the wicked oppressing,
and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
36 Again I passed by, and they were no more;
though I sought them, they could not be found."

Zechariah 14:21 (NRSV)

"21 and every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be sacred to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and use them to boil the flesh of the sacrifice. And there shall no longer be traders in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day."

Isaiah 56:7 (NRSV)

"7 these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples."

Jeremiah 7:11 (NRSV)

"11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the Lord."

Jeremiah 26:8 (NRSV)

"8 And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die!" "

Psalms 1:1-6

"1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; 2 but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. 3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish."

 

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markdohle
On 6/11/2017 at 0:42 PM, eight bits said:

mark

The 70's were a great time for mushrooms :) .

In all seriousness, what would Jesus' actually having done that add to the inclination of, say, an ordinary Corinthian Gentile to join Paul's new church? The Corinthian cannot verify what Paul tells his listeners.

Something else is needed, and it isn't unreasoanble to think that the "something else" (for example, believing what Paul believes, but doesn't actually know in any natural way) might be sufficient for explaining the early success of the churches.

 

Paul was a Pharisee of high standing, a true believer in his Jewish faith, strict and willing to kill anyone who went against that.....which he did, Stephen was only one, perhaps

the first.  Then on the road to Damascus, from one literal second to the next he was totally changed by his encounter with the Risen Lord.  Also, when Paul spoke of the 500 witnesses he wanted people to seek them out, which I have no doubt did happen.   Becoming Christian was not a step up, but a step down in the social structure of that time.  Paul gave up a lot to become a Christian, not something he would have done if he did not believe.  People will die for what they believe in, even if false, but people will not die for a lie. 

The Resurrection was not a resuscitation of the body, but something different.  Paul called it a Spiritual Body,  I understand non-belief on this subject, but like I said, it all turns on whether one accepts the NT as a document to be trusted, or not.

Jesus rose from the dead.  If one does not believe that, or an atheist, well yes an alternate explanation will have to be found ;-). 

Thanks, my friend always good hearing from you.

 

Peace

Mark
 

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davros of skaro

A reply to Tim O'neal's article 1&2:

"Scholars who specialize in the origins of Christianity agree on very little, but they do generally agree that it is most likely that a historical preacher, on whom the Christian figure "Jesus Christ" is based, did exist.  The numbers of professional scholars, out of the many thousands in this and related fields, who don't accept this consensus, can be counted on the fingers of one hand."

This is an appeal to the majority. What if the Geocentric model was never challenged because majority rules?

"But it is generally regarded as the best and most parsimonious explanation of the evidence and therefore the most likely conclusion that can be drawn."

That's a complete lack of scrutiny for said evidence. Might as well say the Epic of Gilgamesh was historical. 

"(2) anti-Christian atheist activists seeking to use their "exposure" of historical Jesus scholarship to undermine Christianity.  Both claim that the consensus on the existence of a historical Jesus is purely due to some kind of iron-grip that Christianity still has on the subject, which has suppressed and/or ignored the idea that there was no historical Jesus at all."

I see this as a reference to Dr. Richard Carrier. He does not need a mythical Jesus because he did an outstanding job discrediting Christianity while he trusted the consensus. It's when fans requested him to research the Jesus question did he find that NT studies is problematic. 

There's no doubt that religion holds a privileged status in society. Do you think that even if someone like Bart Ehrman came out for ahistoricity he wouldn't face problems (like a brick through his car windshield)?

"Unconvincing Arguments for a Mythic Origin for Jesus"

1 & 2; I agree that an argument of silence is not evidence of absence. It is strange giving the picture painted in the Gospels of Jesus's growing fame especially if the theological aspect was true.

As for the Testimoniam:

http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/7437

3; I will show what these mean coming soon in my "Temple Cleansing Fiction" thread, including who Jesus's mother was according to Paul (not Mary).

"The Problems with a "Mythic" Origin to the Jesus Story"

1; I agree people like Achrya S have become parallel-o-maniacs with the pagan stuff. Jesus is very much Jewish, but there's elements of syncretism.

2; Doherty opened the door, but he was missing/overlooked pieces of the puzzle. O'neil fails to realize that there's a 1st century curtain. 

3; What we have today is from the winning sect hence the 1st century gap in knowledge. The allegorical Mark is what transformed Christianity into the 2nd century.

The Dead Sea Scroll community had a dying, and rising Messiah in the Melchizadek Scroll.

http://www.gnosis.org/library/commelc.htm

Note how they used select OT verses for their theology. I will show how we get Jesus using the same technique.

4; These are just stretched parallel-o-mania though embarrassingly at one time I found Carrota's work compelling. At least the experience taught me to be more critical. 

"If a whole branch of Christianity existed that claimed just this, why did it pass totally unnoticed by these critics? Clearly no such earlier "mythic Jesus" proto-Christianity existed - it is a creation of the modern Jesus Mythicist activists to prop up their theory."

What if gnostic Christianity is a syncretism of the Gospel Jesus, and an original foundational celestial Jesus? In other words what was a revelatory being was combined with the Gospels pushed as history. By the 2nd century and beyond the original belief was scrubbed out leaving only traces easily overlooked?

"The main reason non-Christian scholars accept that there was a Jewish preacher as the point of origin of the Jesus story is that the stories themselves contain elements that only make sense if they were originally about such a preacher, but which the gospel writers themselves found somewhat awkward."

This is the criterion of embarrassment argument. Mark is just taking John the Baptist (written about by Josephus), and handing over it's cult authority to Jesus (God anointing Jesus) with the stroke of a pen. Then O'neil points out how the other Gospels switch things up yet not realizing the myth building. 

"If, however, there was no historical Jesus then it is very hard to explain why an insignificant town like Nazareth is in the story at all."

Because they were creating narratives using the OT as if fulfilling prophecies. 

"The closest Matthew can come, via punning exegesis, to providing a prooftext for Jesus having become known as “the Nazarene” would seem to be Judges 13:7, “The boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth.” He knew Jesus must be born in Bethlehem yet was called “Jesus of Nazareth,” so he cobbled together a story whereby Jesus was born in Mary and Joseph’s home in Bethlehem, only to relocate in Nazareth (after Egypt) to avoid the wrath of Archelaus (Matthew 2:22-23). Luke, on the other hand, working with the same two assumptions, contrived to have Mary and Joseph live in Nazareth but to be in Bethlehem for the census when the time came for Jesus to be born. In both cases, exegesis has produced narrative."

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/art_midrash1.htm

"The concept of a crucified Messiah, therefore, was totally bizarre and absurd."

In the Book of Daniel it mentions an anointed one will be cut off (the Melchizadek Scroll uses this passage). The Attis cult members would castrate themselves in public (Attis was castrated) so a crucified God does sound better.

"But the gospels don't reference other parts of the same passage which don't fit their story at all, such as where it is said this figure will "prolong his days and look upon his offspring"."

You'd be surprised at what made sense to these people. Besides looking at it you can see a reference to immortality, and those that follow in faith of the salvatory act.

"And given that there was no precedent for a crucified Messiah, it's almost impossible to see this idea evolving out of earlier Jewish traditions.  The most logical explanation is that it's in the story, despite its vast awkwardness, because it happened."

It's in the OT with no actual Jesus needed. 

"The arguments of the Jesus Mythicists, on the other hand, require contortions and suppositions that simply do not stand up to Occam's Razor  and continually rest on positions that are not accepted by the majority of even non-Christian and Jewish scholars.  The proponents of the Jesus Myth hypothesis are almost exclusively amateurs with an ideological axe to grind and their position is and will almost certainly remain on the outer fringe of theories about the origins of Christianity."

If Tim O'neil gets to be called an historian,  then I'm one too.

The Gospels and Acts are fiction. Paul is talking about a Jesus that crucified sin in the flesh in the OT. Stay tuned.

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DieChecker
On 6/11/2017 at 11:21 PM, davros of skaro said:

 

 

I find that people who give such lectures are often only "Preaching to the Choir".

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DieChecker
11 hours ago, davros of skaro said:

A reply to Tim O'neal's article 1&2:

"Scholars who specialize in the origins of Christianity agree on very little, but they do generally agree that it is most likely that a historical preacher, on whom the Christian figure "Jesus Christ" is based, did exist.  The numbers of professional scholars, out of the many thousands in this and related fields, who don't accept this consensus, can be counted on the fingers of one hand."

This is an appeal to the majority. What if the Geocentric model was never challenged because majority rules?

Except the Geocentric model has since had lots of hard evidence, such as astronauts in space, against it. There is no such countering information for the existance of Jesus, so therefore the majority should be the recognized best explanation. 

If I said I don't believe in Darwinian evolution, regardless that the majority of experts believe it to be true, does that make my opinion valid? You are trying to pull a Fallacy argument, but it is you who are being Fallacious.

Quote

"But it is generally regarded as the best and most parsimonious explanation of the evidence and therefore the most likely conclusion that can be drawn."

That's a complete lack of scrutiny for said evidence. Might as well say the Epic of Gilgamesh was historical. 

Except there are good records and logical deductions regarding Jesus, as outlined in those links. And nothing for Gilgamesh, because Gilgamesh's story occurred millennia before Jesus walked the Earth. 

Do you doubt that Muhammad walked the Earth? Why not?

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eight bits

DC

Quote

 

There is no such countering information for the existance of Jesus, so therefore the majority should be the recognized best explanation.

If I said I don't believe in Darwinian evolution, regardless that the majority of experts believe it to be true, does that make my opinion valid? You are trying to pull a Fallacy argument, but it is you who are being Fallacious.

 

The cases are very different. "Jesus" is a much less well-defined hypothesis than evolution by natural selection or radical geocentrism. Also, we have a "Jesus of the gaps" problem: if he existed at all, then he didn't do much, and the more we've learned about the First Century (e.g. finding the Dead Sea Scrolls), the less distinctive "Jesus" has become.

Another difference is the amount and quality of the evidence. The evidence for ExNS and against GCism is staggering. Around that evidence, majorities spontaneously form because the people involved aren't morons.

There's very little evidence in the Jesus problem, quite a bit of it obviously tampered with, and there was also considerable suppression of potential evidence. Majorities couldn't spontaneously form around a record like that, and there's nothing spontaneous about the majority we observe. As davros reminds us, many "scholars" swear in advance to uphold the churches' position, either that or they'll need to find a real job. They're not morons, either, so they sign and they toe the line.

Imagine a court case where a bought-off "expert" witness gets up on the stand to present doctored evidence. Nobody would put up with such a thing, the judge wouldn't go along with it. Why are we supposed to "recognize" just that sort of testimony in the case of Jesus?

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davros of skaro
On 6/13/2017 at 1:41 PM, DieChecker said:

I find that people who give such lectures are often only "Preaching to the Choir".

The Choir being people that question things, and follow the evidence. This is for who the link is for. You are not interested in seeing that Mark follows literary structure reminiscent of Greek epics.

On 6/13/2017 at 1:50 PM, DieChecker said:

Except the Geocentric model has since had lots of hard evidence, such as astronauts in space, against it. There is no such countering information for the existance of Jesus, so therefore the majority should be the recognized best explanation.

There was theological pushback at first due to what the Bible said. You are enjoying Christian privilege otherwise it would be well known that Jesus's historicity is not proven to be so.

On 6/13/2017 at 1:50 PM, DieChecker said:

If I said I don't believe in Darwinian evolution, regardless that the majority of experts believe it to be true, does that make my opinion valid? You are trying to pull a Fallacy argument, but it is you who are being Fallacious.

I would ask for your evidence to review it. You are the one ignoring evidence that I present. I do not expect you to look at it because you go by what you want to believe. 

If Christians kept what they want to believe to themselves I would not post so much to counter them.

On 6/13/2017 at 1:50 PM, DieChecker said:

Except there are good records and logical deductions regarding Jesus, as outlined in those links. And nothing for Gilgamesh, because Gilgamesh's story occurred millennia before Jesus walked the Earth. 

Very questionable records riddled with illogical premises show very mythic origins such as for Gilgamesh. 

Remember...You want to believe with plenty of people willing to feed this hunger wether they believe themselves, or not.

On 6/13/2017 at 1:50 PM, DieChecker said:

Do you doubt that Muhammad walked the Earth? Why not?

I don't know, and have not looked into it much. I'm still making fascinating discoveries with the Jesus myth without starting over learning a separate history. Besides the more people learn about how Jesus less likely existed, the more less credible the Quran is (not that it has any credibility with me from what I do know).

Btw. Thanks for being part of my 6666th post. I can only imagine how scary it would be living a life of superstition.

Your Lord can rain fire down from the sky to light me up before I make my damaging post in my Jesus thread anytime now.

I have more editing to do. It's not about you, but what you are spreading. 

borg-jesus.jpg?w=300&h=198

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DieChecker
On 6/14/2017 at 4:17 AM, eight bits said:

DC

The cases are very different. "Jesus" is a much less well-defined hypothesis than evolution by natural selection or radical geocentrism. Also, we have a "Jesus of the gaps" problem: if he existed at all, then he didn't do much, and the more we've learned about the First Century (e.g. finding the Dead Sea Scrolls), the less distinctive "Jesus" has become.

Another difference is the amount and quality of the evidence. The evidence for ExNS and against GCism is staggering. Around that evidence, majorities spontaneously form because the people involved aren't morons.

There's very little evidence in the Jesus problem, quite a bit of it obviously tampered with, and there was also considerable suppression of potential evidence. Majorities couldn't spontaneously form around a record like that, and there's nothing spontaneous about the majority we observe. As davros reminds us, many "scholars" swear in advance to uphold the churches' position, either that or they'll need to find a real job. They're not morons, either, so they sign and they toe the line.

Imagine a court case where a bought-off "expert" witness gets up on the stand to present doctored evidence. Nobody would put up with such a thing, the judge wouldn't go along with it. Why are we supposed to "recognize" just that sort of testimony in the case of Jesus?

Fine.... Regardless... Are you saying that Davros's implied statement that just because the majority of scholars (Religious and Secular) believe Jesus probably was real, is no reason to believe that Jesus was real?

Do we discount a majority of experts, because we don't like what they have said?

Using your example of a court case. What if 99 experts were presented and all agreed, but the defense still said... "That proves nothing." Does it actually prove nothing??

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DieChecker
On 6/14/2017 at 1:59 PM, davros of skaro said:

The Choir being people that question things, and follow the evidence. This is for who the link is for. You are not interested in seeing that Mark follows literary structure reminiscent of Greek epics.

Yes... Sure.. People that question things. Evidence is what people believe it is. It can be accepted or rejected based on individual opinions. 

I find that people such as in your video pick their evidence very carefully, and present it equally carefully.

Quote

There was theological pushback at first due to what the Bible said. You are enjoying Christian privilege otherwise it would be well known that Jesus's historicity is not proven to be so.

I;m not aware of any significant numbers of people who called themselves Christians who denied that Jesus existed. Is that what you are suggesting?

Regardless, I follow the Message of Jesus. I find the teachings to be worthy, and if Jesus was real or not is irrelevant. 

Quote

I would ask for your evidence to review it. You are the one ignoring evidence that I present. I do not expect you to look at it because you go by what you want to believe. 

If Christians kept what they want to believe to themselves I would not post so much to counter them.

In religion one will always have to go by what you believe, rather then what is evidenced.

I'm assuming you mean Christians not on UM. I've not seen much Evangelizing here, and I believe actually it is against the conditions of usage.

Quote

Very questionable records riddled with illogical premises show very mythic origins such as for Gilgamesh. 

Remember...You want to believe with plenty of people willing to feed this hunger wether they believe themselves, or not.

Actually, if there were no records at all, I'd feel and act the same way. 

If Gilgamesh was full of good morals/ethics/answers to social problems of today, I'd be in favor of forming it into a religion.

Quote

I don't know, and have not looked into it much. I'm still making fascinating discoveries with the Jesus myth without starting over learning a separate history. Besides the more people learn about how Jesus less likely existed, the more less credible the Quran is (not that it has any credibility with me from what I do know).

You should look into it, to have religious comparisons.

Quote

Btw. Thanks for being part of my 6666th post. I can only imagine how scary it would be living a life of superstition.

Your Lord can rain fire down from the sky to light me up before I make my damaging post in my Jesus thread anytime now.

I have more editing to do. It's not about you, but what you are spreading. 

You are welcome. People have been trying to tear down Christianity since Day One, so I don't have fears that you will bring it down. :tu:

The love of the Lord and all Christians be with you. 

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