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eight bits

Did Paul report meeting Jesus' brother?

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eight bits
26 minutes ago, MERRY DMAS said:

Doug the ring counter

God's work, Davros.

26 minutes ago, MERRY DMAS said:

Dr. Barbera Thiering. Would you please start a thread on the things from her that you find most convincing.

To bide the time until that happens, here's Robert M. Price's review of one of her books. It covers her ideas and hints at her methods. While not "supportive," it isn't completely dismissive, either. (By an amazing coincidence, how I look at her work :) ).

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

On 2/25/2019 at 5:19 PM, MERRY DMAS said:

I'm stuck with MD for 90 days.

Maybe they'll give you some time off for good behavior.

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MERRY DMAS
22 minutes ago, eight bits said:

To bide the time until that happens, here's Robert M. Price's review of one of her books. It covers her ideas and hints at her methods. While not "supportive," it isn't completely dismissive, either. (By an amazing coincidence, how I look at her work :) ).

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

No surprise R Price is not entirely dismissive. I see it more unto Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code.

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third_eye
4 hours ago, MERRY DMAS said:

Yes! Most insightful...

I appreciate the thought but I'd rather feel more comfortable with being well read on matters East and West along somewhat similar lines ...

~

4 hours ago, MERRY DMAS said:

 

Please pray tell what are my "prophecies", "questions", and "puzzles" that you gleam I have?

Can't say that I studiously keep track of the ideas you have presented ans so I'd refrain from going as far as commenting as though I know that much, all I know is that I see you have ideas that touches on much of Socrates' speech in Plato's Apologia

~

4 hours ago, MERRY DMAS said:

 

I do have a request that Doug the ring counter shot down. You being of like appreciation of the works of Dr. Barbera Thiering. Would you please start a thread on the things from her that you find most convincing. Please articulate beyond a quip and a link that many people around here looks to be a fan of. 

Thanks....

 

Alas, a quip is all that I can afford, I am in the process of moving residence and going on to a new job, a dragon fruit orchard, if things goes all so fingers cross'd

:yes:

~

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Will Due

 

Here's an interesting article:

 

Among scholars of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, though, there is little disagreement that he actually lived. Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science at Purdue University and author of a 2015 Biblical Archaeology Review article on the extra-biblical evidence of Jesus, notes that there was no debate about the issue in ancient times either. “Jewish rabbis who did not like Jesus or his followers accused him of being a magician and leading people astray,” he says, “but they never said he didn’t exist.”

 

https://www.history.com/news/was-jesus-real-historical-evidence

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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eight bits
3 hours ago, Will Due said:

notes that there was no debate about the issue in ancient times either.

That, like Einstein having called Bible stories "childish" in his letter to Gutkind, is simply fake news. "The issue" was exactly what divided ancient Simonians from others who called themselves Christians, according to those "others" themselves.

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

3 hours ago, Will Due said:

“Jewish rabbis who did not like Jesus or his followers accused him of being a magician and leading people astray,” he says, “but they never said he didn’t exist.”

The fatuity of the statement should be obvious: we don't have a comprehensive collection of what ancient counterapologists argued and claimed, especially not critiques from Jewish sources (although we have some fictive Jewish characters offering criticisms). What survives are Christian apologists' surrebuttals to formal debating points, from which we can "reverse engineer" what the counterapologists probably said in those specific cases. We have lost Porphyry's criticisms altogether, and much of Julian's formal work.

We have no formal counterapologies from earlier than 150 CE, although it is clear from Tacitus and Pliny that there was opposition to Christianity before the 110's. That is the late Gospel era, the earliest there would be fact claims about Jesus' life to discuss, and well into the divorce between Christianity and whatever Jewish following it ever enjoyed.

"Jesus did not exist" is a fact claim, not an argument. As such, there can be no suprise that it was not offered as an argument in formal debate, therefore was not subject to surrebuttal in formal debate, and so any discussion of it would be lost to us. We do know that there was informal criticism of Christian claims, because snippets survive from especially famous sources (e.g. Galen, Julian in correspondence).

The Simonian claims reach us because they are not arguments, but rather the tenets of a competing religious movement. "Debate," then, was the usual thing in religious controversy: adherents of the other religion were despicable, immoral, etc., and here's the silliness they believe - bingo! We learn that the Simonians taught that "Jesus" didn't exist, that instead he was a character Simon made up and portrayed in a touring magic show.

I do wonder why the God Squad bothers with this claim. Apart from its factual shortcomings, even if it were true, and even if somehow you could know that it was true, so what? Jesus retroactively poofs into existence if people wish hard enough and long enough for him to have really existed, and all that while, everybody else has other, more urgent objections to make against Christians?

 

Edited by eight bits
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third_eye

It is no secret that the JC movement was advantageous to the Jerusalem Central Committee of Jewish affairs with its humble beginnings, the fallout came after the the temple was no more, then things turned sour after JC was elevated and finally promoted to a position greater than YHWH and a temple was no longer relevant, then all hell broke loose and the compromise made that a temple is a must, now its a matter of yours or mine between them and they

~

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Will Due

 

Documentary evidence outside of the New Testament is limited.

The most detailed record of the life and death of Jesus comes from the four Gospels and other New Testament writings. “These are all Christian and are obviously and understandably biased in what they report, and have to be evaluated very critically indeed to establish any historically reliable information,” Ehrman says. “But their central claims about Jesus as a historical figure—a Jew, with followers, executed on orders of the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius—are borne out by later sources with a completely different set of biases.”

Within a few decades of his lifetime, Jesus was mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians in passages that corroborate portions of the New Testament that describe the life and death of Jesus.

 

Historian Flavius Josephus wrote one of the earliest non-biblical accounts of Jesus.

Although Josephus was not a follower of Jesus, “he was around when the early church was getting started, so he knew people who had seen and heard Jesus,” 

In one passage of Jewish Antiquities that recounts an unlawful execution, Josephus identifies the victim, James, as the “brother of Jesus-who-is-called-Messiah.” While few scholars doubt the short account’s authenticity, says Mykytiuk, more debate surrounds Josephus’s lengthier passage about Jesus, known as the “Testimonium Flavianum,” which describes a man “who did surprising deeds” and was condemned to be crucified by Pilate. 

 

Tacitus connects Jesus to his execution by Pontius Pilate.

Tacitus mentions that Emperor Nero falsely blamed “the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius.”

“When Tacitus wrote history, if he considered the information not entirely reliable, he normally wrote some indication of that for his readers,” Mykytiuk says in vouching for the historical value of the passage. “There is no such indication of potential error in the passage that mentions Christus.”

 

Additional Roman texts reference Jesus.

Shortly before Tacitus penned his account of Jesus, Roman governor Pliny the Younger wrote to Emperor Trajan that early Christians would “sing hymns to Christ as to a god.” Some scholars also believe Roman historian Suetonius references Jesus in noting that Emperor Claudius had expelled Jews from Rome who “were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus.”

Ehrman says this collection of snippets from non-Christian sources may not impart much information about the life of Jesus, “but it is useful for realizing that Jesus was known by historians who had reason to look into the matter. No one thought he was made up.”

 

https://www.history.com/news/was-jesus-real-historical-evidence

 

 

Corroboration is important. Biases being what they are, it seems to me that notwithstanding the records of such characters as "Simon the Magician" of Samaria, the Roman texts mentioned above are very interesting.

When it comes to other-than-biblical references to Jesus of Nazareth the arguement always centers around the name "Jesus". That there are many who were named "Jesus." Thus, as the story goes, how can anyone be sure this Jesus or that Jesus is the Jesus?

But it appears at least twice, Roman records made reference to "Christus" and "Chrestus" instead of "Jesus".

How interesting.

In my opinion this is certainly much more definitive. Using the term "Christ" instead of "Jesus".

I mean how many Jesus Christs would there have been?

This then adds to the preponderance of the evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was not just a character in a story but rather, a real historical person. The one who inspired the instigation of Paul's Christianity. 

 

 

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eight bits

@Will Due

Probably making affirmative arguments is better than an "argument from silence."

Unlike the rest of academic history, and even ancient history, Jesus Studies tolerates substituting interpretations of the evidence for the actual evidence, that which what was actually observed.

Example:

8 hours ago, Will Due said:

In one passage of Jewish Antiquities that recounts an unlawful execution, Josephus identifies the victim, James, as the “brother of Jesus-who-is-called-Messiah.”

That is a conclusion, not an observation. The pertinent observation is that all surviving source manuscripts, none earlier than the Eleventh Century (that is, about 900 years after Josephus died), include a mention of an unlawful trial of James, brother of Jesus called Christ.

These manuscripts unanimously disagree with the recorded recollections of Origen (Third Century) about what he read in Josephus' book in all respects except those few words, well known from the Gospel of Matthew. Eusebius' (Fourth Century) recorded recollections also claim a sighting of those few words in Antiquities, and finesse the issue about the rest of what Origen claims to have read. Jerome (Fourth into Fifth Century) concurs, according to his recorded comments. Our manuscripts of Antiquities without exception come through institutions which teach that Eusebius and Jerome are saints and recognize Origen as a patristic authority.

The misstatement of the evidence is material (that is, what we receive is a description of a capital trial resulting in conviction but without information about an execution, which possibly was prevented by appeals to governor and king based on the illegality of the trial itself). In order for Josephus' James to accord with the Christian hero James the Just, there needs to have been an execution. The problem is discussed by the commonly used English translator (Whiston) in his notes to the text. Your source, then, has simply read the desired execution into the received texts.

It is not the case that we have observed Josephus writing anything about James the Just, and what reports we receive about what he wrote don't contain what your source says. All in a day's work for the Jesus Guild.

We could pursue other issues, but the article is too flimsy to support much analysis. Chrestus was a perfectly fine name or nickname in its own right. Apparently there was confusion in a predominantly oral culture between chrestus and christus, which doesn't help us. However, the main problem with reports from the 90's and later (that is, all the reports we have from non-Christian sources) is that there is no basis for asserting that the reports are independent of Christian missionary activity.

Independent corroboration of anything about the origins of the Christian church would indeed be of great value, but we don't have that. Obviously, the existence of a church doesn't imply the existence of its focal object of worship nor the accuracy of the church's accounts of its own origins.

 

 

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jmccr8
On 2/22/2019 at 9:15 AM, eight bits said:

Mark is the earliest we hear about any disciples, and there do appear to be two aga strata: Peter is married and owns a house and Levi (the same character as Matthew elsewhere, the tax collector) has a job and his own place. The other two prominent loyal disciples, brothers James and John, were working for their father when Jesus recruited them; they could easily be schoolboy-age (in our terms, not so different from the age that one might begin religious studies in that culture). James and John also ask the stupidest question (a real distinction in Mark) about someday being seated with Jesus in some throne room, which comes across as immature.

All of the Twelve (including Judas) are presumably young-ish, since they live rough through much of the story and like it. Since they are paired off when they go on their training missions, even a young boy, paired with an older companion, would make a feasible preaching partnership. Jesus may occupy a third and the oldest stratum: at least in Mark, he seems to take vacations. That's why he's p***ed off at the pagan woman who wants an excorcism for her daughter: he's off the clock and she wants him to work.

Whether or not Mark has anything to do with history? He doesn't say. Tells a good story, though :)

 

About the same as you; a little tilted to historicist 55-45. Of course that's dramatically less than Guild Historicists like McGrath (who so enjoys tilting with Carrier) and Ehrman (who, I predict, will one day be a mythicist ... you heard it here first!). To hear them tell it, the game is over at Galatians 1:19, while at 50-50 or nearly so, the game has just begun.

 

Yes, and no explanation of who or what brought Peter, James and John (the reputed pillars) together for Paul first to persecute them (or who paid for that), then later to turn into a contribution-bundler for them (but calls them hypocrites when writing to the people he's hitting up for money to send to them).

Historicist or mythicist, Paul's letters raise more questions than they answer.

 

 

Okay Guys

I'm flying blind here as my like button appears to be inoperational at this time.:tu:

jmccr8

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jmccr8
On 2/22/2019 at 9:51 PM, Habitat said:

Amusing to watch grown men argue about the details of some bloke's life they think probably didn't even exist.

Hi Habitat

It's not like there are a lot of choices, it would seem that there are rules of engagement here and picking on real people is frowned upon.

jmccr8

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jmccr8
On 2/24/2019 at 8:02 AM, Alien Origins said:

Constantine was the first emperor to convert to christianity

hi Alien Origins

Yes, on his deathbed, but never lived as a Christian.

jmccr8

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Alien Origins
12 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

hi Alien Origins

Yes, on his deathbed, but never lived as a Christian.

jmccr8

 
Quote

Yes, on his deathbed, but never lived as a Christian.

Thanks for pointing this out I had forgotten that little tidbit...

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Habitat
1 hour ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Habitat

It's not like there are a lot of choices, it would seem that there are rules of engagement here and picking on real people is frowned upon.

jmccr8

I 'm not so sure about that, Mr Walker cops a bollocking around the clock, and he does exist.

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jmccr8
1 minute ago, Habitat said:

I 'm not so sure about that, Mr Walker cops a bollocking around the clock, and he does exist.

Hi Habitat'

If you show up wearing a ball glove and a bat at the game then it's on and I guess that the boys will play into the ninth inning, maybe more.:tu:

jmccr8

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Doug1o29
On 2/26/2019 at 5:13 PM, MERRY DMAS said:

I do have a request that Doug the ring counter shot down. You being of like appreciation of the works of Dr. Barbera Thiering. Would you please start a thread on the things from her that you find most convincing. Please articulate beyond a quip and a link that many people around here looks to be a fan of. 

Thanks....

About Barbara Thiering:  she is evidence only that there could be another version of the Jesus story that makes sense.  If that is so, then there is the possibility that he really lived, that the stories are not just faerie tales.  But over the centuries, the data have become so corrupted they are unreliable.  Besides, there was never very much of it to begin with.

I work with weather records containing upwards of 40,000 observations.  That's enough data that estimates are very close to the absolute values.  We don't really need statistics.  I am not dismissing the statistical methods you told me about, but I am asking:  how can you produce accurate results with, at most, a half-dozen observations?  That's not enough to overcome finite sample bias.

While I do occasionally count rings, mostly I measure them.  I am currently studying the Dust Bowl and the four droughts we have had since then, looking for the reason that eastern red-cedar is encroaching on the plains.  If eastern red-cedar and post oak respond to drought differently, then I might have an explanation for encroachment.  What I do is hard science.  I measure things and run tests, getting yes or no answers.  Most of the time a statistical outcome has less than one chance in 10,000 of producing error.  In fact, if I get a one-in-5000 chance, I start thinking there's a mistake in there.

Without solid evidence, your guesses as to what is and isn't true about the Bible are just that:  guesses.  I can't prove Barbara Thiering's hypothesis.  Can you disprove it?

Doug

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eight bits
6 hours ago, Doug1o29 said:

We don't really need statistics.

Which is the truth: it is not "statistics" that persuades (forms opinions, changes previously formed opinions, coordinates opinions among people), but rather evidence. With enough independent relevant evidence, regardless of the method chosen for analyzing it, the final conclusion will be the same for nearly all observers.  We say that the data result in interocular trauma: the correct conclusion hits you between the eyes.

So long as we are free to ask questions, however, we will ask some questions for which there are insufficient data for interocular trauma. For them, there is only the best estimate of the truth, possibly leading to the acceptance of a small number of hypotheses as better founded than a large number of rejected alternatives. Other times, we'll just be stumped.

Historians accept going in that they will quickly run through their interocular trauma questions (did Winston Churchill participate in WW II?), and the easily decideable questions which a few accessible data will answer (did Winston Churchill ever compare Islam to rabies? Yes, as a young man, in the first edition of his The River War), and then onto the questions that are bigger than the available data, some of them not even posed as purely yes-or-no (How much did Churchill foresee that he would eventually regret his wartime accommodations to Stalin?). Plus, the data spigot runs dry at some point: WW II is over, there may never be new data about it, or what new information there is will come with a story to it (Churchill's secretary's mother kept a diary which turned up in a garage sale...) .

Your postings suggest that you have chosen your field well; it apparently suits your personality. Well posed questions meet voluminous data to arrive at definite answers. Great. Great for you personally, and great for all of us that some of our questions have that crisp quality.

Ancient history isn't going to be like that. Religiously charged ancient history even less so.

7 hours ago, Doug1o29 said:

About Barbara Thiering:  she is evidence only that there could be another version of the Jesus story that makes sense.  If that is so, then there is the possibility that he really lived, that the stories are not just faerie tales.  But over the centuries, the data have become so corrupted they are unreliable.  Besides, there was never very much of it to begin with.

I'd say it was deeper than that. It isn't just that the "other" version "makes sense," but that Thiering arrived at her version by methods similar with those used by other scholars. The methods are similar because Thiering's preparation was conventional for her field.

As to the rest, with or without Thiering, there is (and probably always will be) the possibility that some version of Jesus really lived. Her niche in the alternative-Jesus world is that she preserves a great deal of the substance of Gospel Jesus: Thiering's Jesus was somebody; notice was taken of him by literate people, he coulda been a contender. And she presented some evidence as a foundation for that view.

7 hours ago, Doug1o29 said:

Without solid evidence, your guesses as to what is and isn't true about the Bible are just that:  guesses.  I can't prove Barbara Thiering's hypothesis.  Can you disprove it?

Speaking for myself and not for @MERRY DMAS, of course not. We can never get at the ground truth of what factor(s) caused "reputed pillars" Peter, James and John to gather at Jerusalem in the 30's of the first Christian century. One category of explanation is that they had a charismatic religious teacher in common, who somehow didn't participate in the apostolic generation (30's through 60's). The Gospels kill him off; Thiering has him marginalized as a wanderer.

 

 

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DieChecker
14 hours ago, Doug1o29 said:

... looking for the reason that eastern red-cedar is encroaching on the plains.  If eastern red-cedar and post oak respond to drought differently, then I might have an explanation for encroachment. 

Question? Do you wait till you have 50,000 data points to come to a working conclusion, or might you form a conclusion at 10,000, or 1000, data points  and then collect the rest to be sure?

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DieChecker
6 hours ago, eight bits said:

Which is the truth: it is not "statistics" that persuades (forms opinions, changes previously formed opinions, coordinates opinions among people), but rather evidence. With enough independent relevant evidence, regardless of the method chosen for analyzing it, the final conclusion will be the same for nearly all observers.  We say that the data result in interocular trauma: the correct conclusion hits you between the eyes.

I think one problem with pinning down if Jesus was real pivots on if the supernatural is real. If it is, then the data points of Jesus being real goes through the roof. If we assume there is no supernatural... no God... then what is the point of the discussion of if Jesus was real or not?

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Doug1o29
15 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

Question? Do you wait till you have 50,000 data points to come to a working conclusion, or might you form a conclusion at 10,000, or 1000, data points  and then collect the rest to be sure?

I have 32 post oak series, containing roughly 250 observations.  I also have 32 eastern red-cedar series, containing about 130 observations.  These together make up two chronologies.  I expect to need more data, so I have available a 700-year eastern red-cedar chronology and a 600-year eastern red-cedar chronology, together containing about 60 series.  I also have 15 post oak chronologies containing roughly 500 series.  To calibrate this I have the 40,000 temperature observations and about 20,000 precipitation observations.

Series is the measurement unit.  The problem is that series are time-series and behave by a different set of rules.  Consecutive observations lack independence, so they don't contribute to confidence as much as if they were completely separate.

Could I form a valid conclusion with fewer data points?  Probably.  I am trying to determine how post oak's response to drought differs from eastern red-cedar's.  There are about six droughts per century and my data goes back seven centuries, so I'll have about 40 droughts to consider.

The problem with fewer data-points is that one has less confidence in the result.  If confidence drops below 95%, then the test fails to confirm the null hypothesis.  In that case, the hypothesis may be true, but I can't show that.

But, even on a bad day, I have ten times as much data as a typical Bible student.

Doug

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eight bits
36 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

I think one problem with pinning down if Jesus was real pivots on if the supernatural is real. If it is, then the data points of Jesus being real goes through the roof. If we assume there is no supernatural... no God... then what is the point of the discussion of if Jesus was real or not?

Personally, I think the question of a historical Jesus can be separated from the question of the supernatural. John the Baptist, Mohammed, Joseph Smith ... these are historical figures, all of them religious innovators, and none of them performed "miracles" to any large extent. Admirers of them have some supernatural stories to tell, but the figures themselves didn't establish themselves that way.

Christianity is the largest religious movement in the world today, and a historical Jesus is held (based on adherence to a religion that teaches that) by a majority of living people. Under the circumstances, it's difficult for me to see how a discussion of Jesus' existence (or not) could be strictly pointless. But of course, some people will be more interested in some questions than in others.

 

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third_eye

If I remember it correctly, it was pointed out to me that if Paul did meet James, then James would be a dead Jew, and if James did meet Saul, then Saul would be the dead Jew

~

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Doug1o29
7 hours ago, eight bits said:

Which is the truth: it is not "statistics" that persuades (forms opinions, changes previously formed opinions, coordinates opinions among people), but rather evidence. With enough independent relevant evidence, regardless of the method chosen for analyzing it, the final conclusion will be the same for nearly all observers.  We say that the data result in interocular trauma: the correct conclusion hits you between the eyes.

What I meant by not needing statistics is that an estimated average differs from the true average only in the fifth or sixth decimal place.  We don't usually need accuracy that great; the second or third place is usually more than good enough.

In my study of Moses, I noticed that when one is on the right track, one begins seeing the answers to questions that one didn't ask.  In Barbara Thiering's work, the question of why other contemporary writers didn't know about Jesus is answered:  if Jesus was at Qumran, not Jerusalem, people in Jerusalem wouldn't know about him.  Of course, one needs more than one question to have any real confidence in the result, but then, I haven't actually studied Thieran's work, only perused it.

There is a discrepancy between the date Thiering puts on the great earthquake (31 AD, based on the reigns of kings) and the geological date (33 AD, based on varves).  A two-year discrepancy in either date would not be surprising.  We discussed this before and at the time I wondered why there wasn't evidence of that earthquake in Jerusalem.  There is evidence of it at Qumran.  The obvious explanation is that the epicenter was located closer to Qumran than to Jerusalem.  Thus, the lack of mention of a great earthquake in other writings is not surprising.  This tends to argue in favor of Jesus story having occurred in Qumran, or at least, being recorded by people who were familiar with Qumran.  I haven't done a study of earthquake decay rates, so I'm not sure how strong a quake that was 6.8 in Qumran would have been in Jerusalem.  It would have been 3.0 or less for people to have missed it.  Such a study would show whether this idea is feasible.

Got to go.  See you later.

Doug

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Phaeton80
On 20-2-2019 at 4:50 PM, Liquid Gardens said:
Quote

In Galatians and 1 Corinthians Paul uses the word brother or sister fifty times. In every one of those other forty-eight uses, the word designates a non-familial relationship, a co-religionist or a distinguished kind of co-religionist.

Interesting stuff.  The above seems to me to kinda gut this 'brother' reference though, it seems to be more along the lines of Paul met even more apostle-likes/followers of Jesus. I guess it can't hurt the historical position as you note, but doesn't seem to move the needle much, since to me it is the possibility of a literal familial relationship that increases the evidence quotient more significantly.


Ironically, thesame can be said about the term 'Son of G*d', as it has been used on numerous occasions in the Old Testament referring to those who were close to G*d, acting in line with what was taught beforehand, 'a good servant'. Certainly, certainly not meaning the literal Son of G*d as part of 'the Trinity'; 'G*d incarnate', which is a later invention.

I would be quite happy to bet my left both my nuts on the notion early Christians did not regard Yeshua as G*d incarnate, or were familiar with the Trinity concept for that matter. Christ was a Messiah, a Holy Prophet endowed by G*d, but who could do nothing of himself lest by leave of G*d, was send by G*d to spread The Word, but was certainly not G*d Himself (which I regard as blasphemy). This conclusion is strongly supported by the Old- as well as the New Testament, the Trinity concept / Yeshua as G*d can only be maintained by mental gymnastics, play of words, disregarding countless explicit statements while passionately focussing on implicit 'mystery' content.

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DieChecker
3 hours ago, eight bits said:

Personally, I think the question of a historical Jesus can be separated from the question of the supernatural. John the Baptist, Mohammed, Joseph Smith ... these are historical figures, all of them religious innovators, and none of them performed "miracles" to any large extent. Admirers of them have some supernatural stories to tell, but the figures themselves didn't establish themselves that way.

I think that would be my point. Those people didn't do tons of miracles like die and be resurrected, to fulfil their roles. Jesus did. For most people who care Jesus is the supernatural. Those other people were just humans.

Jesus was, according to scripture, a faucet of God. John, Joseph and Muhammad, were all special, but human.

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eight bits
9 hours ago, third_eye said:

If I remember it correctly, it was pointed out to me that if Paul did meet James, then James would be a dead Jew, and if James did meet Saul, then Saul would be the dead Jew

Tell me more; I've never heard this.

 

5 hours ago, DieChecker said:

I think that would be my point. Those people didn't do tons of miracles like die and be resurrected, to fulfil their roles. Jesus did. For most people who care Jesus is the supernatural. Those other people were just humans.

Jesus was, according to scripture, a faucet of God. John, Joseph and Muhammad, were all special, but human.

Well, Muslims care, and while they are fewer than Christians, they are nevertheless numerous and profess that Jesus was human.

The only thing that would count for or against historicity is what Jesus may have done up to the point he died. Any activity after that is purely a religious matter.(And for the record, one of the sources that says Jesus rose from the dead says that Herod Antipas said that John the Baptist rose from the dead - why would I believe Mark about Jesus, but not believe Antipas about John, based on what Mark tells me about Antipas?)

As to miracles before death, so too did the apostles work wonders according to Christian sources. Why would I think Jesus is a facet of God and not Paul or Barnabas?

 

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