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eight bits

Hoping that Bart Ehrman will turn

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eight bits

New at the Uncertaintist blog:

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/when-bart-ehrman-pulled-an-origen/

Just about the best available evidence that Jesus existed is from Josephus who supposedly reports that Jesus' brother James was sentenced to death in Jerusalem during the summer of 62 CE.

Authentication that Josephus called James' brother Jesus called Christ and not something else is therefore critical to the historical Jesus agenda. Authentication mostly comes from Origen who, in the third century (+/- 750 years before any surviving manuscript of Josephus that contains the trial) said that he'd read "Jesus called Christ."

Alas, Origen also says that he read a lot of other things about James in Josephus that simply aren't there. Outside the "guild," criitical thinkers wonder if Origen got so much else wrong, then why the smug confidence that he got these two crucial words right?

Bart Ehrman, in his book Did Jesus Exist?, committed something similar to Origen's gaffe. Working from memory, Ehrman misremembered what are really two different letters written by Pliny the Younger, one about a proposed fire brigade and the other about the Christian problem, as one single letter about both fire brigades and Chrisitans.

In addition to smushing the two letters into one, Ehrman makes Pliny into a witness to a fictitious event that appears in neither real letter: fires spreading across the villages  of Pliny's jurisdiction. No, Pliny wrote about one fire in one city. But Pliny did specifically state that something was spreading through those villages: the "superstition" of Christianity.

Calling attention to this mistake has two purposes. The first is to document a modern example of what can happen when a scholar works from unaided memory. Because it is a modern example, we can compare the texts that Ehrman was using with the texts he'd imagined to identify the errors he made. With Origen, we'll never know for sure whether, as far fetched as it would be, he actually did get that one thing right, that James was the brother of Jesus Christ, and so little else. But we can know for sure that Origen's memory was capable of making up called Christ just as Ehrman's memory made up those burning villages.

The other reason is that Bart Ehrman is an unusual intellectual. Over the course of his career, he has come a long way. He broke free of an initial fundamentalism to proclaim how little anybody can know about a historical Jesus from the surviving textual record and how corrupted that textual record is. In the process, he has become one of the most famous guild members, a celebrity of historical Jesus scholarship.

If there were one guild loyalist who might turn someday, it would be Ehrman. If there was a guild member whom a skeptic would most like to see turn, it would be Ehrman.

Edited by eight bits
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Tiggs
12 minutes ago, eight bits said:

If there were one guild loyalist who might turn someday, it would be Ehrman. If there was a guild member whom a skeptic would most like to see turn, it would be Ehrman.

I think that's fair.

But on the other hand -- I don't think I would wish that on anyone, right now.

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Davros of Skaro
21 hours ago, eight bits said:

New at the Uncertaintist blog:

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/when-bart-ehrman-pulled-an-origen/

Just about the best available evidence that Jesus existed is from Josephus who supposedly reports that Jesus' brother James was sentenced to death in Jerusalem during the summer of 62 CE.

Authentication that Josephus called James' brother Jesus called Christ and not something else is therefore critical to the historical Jesus agenda. Authentication mostly comes from Origen who, in the third century (+/- 750 years before any surviving manuscript of Josephus that contains the trial) said that he'd read "Jesus called Christ."

Alas, Origen also says that he read a lot of other things about James in Josephus that simply aren't there. Outside the "guild," criitical thinkers wonder if Origen got so much else wrong, then why the smug confidence that he got these two crucial words right?

Bart Ehrman, in his book Did Jesus Exist?, committed something similar to Origen's gaffe. Working from memory, Ehrman misremembered what are really two different letters written by Pliny the Younger, one about a proposed fire brigade and the other about the Christian problem, as one single letter about both fire brigades and Chrisitans.

In addition to smushing the two letters into one, Ehrman makes Pliny into a witness to a fictitious event that appears in neither real letter: fires spreading across the villages  of Pliny's jurisdiction. No, Pliny wrote about one fire in one city. But Pliny did specifically state that something was spreading through those villages: the "superstition" of Christianity.

Calling attention to this mistake has two purposes. The first is to document a modern example of what can happen when a scholar works from unaided memory. Because it is a modern example, we can compare the texts that Ehrman was using with the texts he'd imagined to identify the errors he made. With Origen, we'll never know for sure whether, as far fetched as it would be, he actually did get that one thing right, that James was the brother of Jesus Christ, and so little else. But we can know for sure that Origen's memory was capable of making up called Christ just as Ehrman's memory made up those burning villages.

The other reason is that Bart Ehrman is an unusual intellectual. Over the course of his career, he has come a long way. He broke free of an initial fundamentalism to proclaim how little anybody can know about a historical Jesus from the surviving textual record and how corrupted that textual record is. In the process, he has become one of the most famous guild members, a celebrity of historical Jesus scholarship.

If there were one guild loyalist who might turn someday, it would be Ehrman. If there was a guild member whom a skeptic would most like to see turn, it would be Ehrman.

I did not read DJE, but from what I heard he says in it that the concept of resurrection is exclusive to Christianity, or rather the first to come up with it. That's a gaff of awful proportions if true. He even said to Robert Price in their debate that Christians would have never heard of Persian/Zoroasterian theology, or ideas.

I like his books I did read. But I doubt he will ever see Jesus as possibly being a myth, and even if he did would not admit it. I don't care if he turned anyway, because his works favors mythicism anyway. LOL!

Yes. It's not certain that Josephus mentioned a James who was a brother of the Jesus from the Gospels. That evidence got fudged up.

 

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