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Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

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Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2959Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Greetings,

leroy wrote:
Laurens wrote:Whilst you may be correct, would it not be fair to say that in context of rampant messianism before the rise of Christianity it might have been interpreted that way, by rabbis etc scanning the texts for any prophecies, just as it has been by Christians?

What about Daniel 9, which explicitly says the anointed one would be put to death?

Rabbis killed Jesus precisely because according to them, none of the signs of a messiah where fulfilled ..........this is why he was accused for blasphemy. \

this is an embarrassing truth that we Christians have to deal with, it would be much more confortable for us to say that Jesus fulfilled unambiguously all the prophecies.

Wrong.

Jesus was seen as a dangerous fire-brand by the Romans - that's why he was crucified.

During his trial, the Pharisees accused Jesus of claiming to be Yahweh - which was the worst blasphemy a Jew could commit.

Why don't you read Sorry, America, You’re Wrong, the Jews Did Not Kill Jesus.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:59 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1653Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Dragan Glas wrote:
Jesus was seen as a dangerous fire-brand by the Romans - that's why he was crucified.


Aye, both of the hegemonizing orthodoxies of the region: the Romans and the Pharisees hated him!

And it is indeed a disturbingly frequent phenomenon in the USA of Christians hating Jews because of Medieval 'logic'. Guess they didn't learn from WW2 because what affected them most was Japanese Imperialist aggression. They never saw that clear link between Christianity and hatred of Jews for magical bullshit reasons that were repeatedly sanctified by the church for eons.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:22 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 799Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Laurens wrote:
This is a big big issue in New Testament scholarship, assumptions and arguements that originated from apologists have crossed the line into mainstream scholarship.

The argument that "no one would ever make this stuff up" is bad apologetics.



I think a better question would be "Could someone have made this stuff up?" We know Pontius Pilate existed as a Roman Prefect over Judea in accordance with timeline given in the Bible.
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:07 pm
Gnug215ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2571Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

thenexttodie wrote:


I think a better question would be "Could someone have made this stuff up?" We know Pontius Pilate existed as a Roman Prefect over Judea in accordance with timeline given in the Bible.[/quote]


I'll answer this one:


Yes.


Now a question for you: Why couldn't someone have made this stuff up?
It's not surprising that there's actual facts mixed in with mythology. If you look at conspiracies and... other things we see today, there's always some truths mixed in there. Often, in the step by step explanations made by proponents of a given conspiracy (or something else), the first few steps will be facts that everyone agrees on. That will ensure that people don't jump off the wagon in the first sentence.
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:45 pm
Bango SkankPosts: 180Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:15 amLocation: Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Gnug215 wrote:It's not surprising that there's actual facts mixed in with mythology. If you look at conspiracies and... other things we see today, there's always some truths mixed in there. Often, in the step by step explanations made by proponents of a given conspiracy (or something else), the first few steps will be facts that everyone agrees on. That will ensure that people don't jump off the wagon in the first sentence.


Yeah, in christianity too there are plenty of forgeries. For example, letters of correspondence of Paul and Seneca the Younger, and Jesus letter to Abgar V. Those people existed, but it doesnt mean that these letters are real.
"There are those to whom knowledge is a shield, and those to whom it is a weapon. Neither view is balanced, but one is less unwise."
Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:03 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1653Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

thenexttodie wrote:I think a better question would be "Could someone have made this stuff up?" We know Pontius Pilate existed as a Roman Prefect over Judea in accordance with timeline given in the Bible.


Could someone have made up Game of Thrones, or Lord of the Rings?

Both these are complex like the content of the Bible, both have the same exact Hero's Journey structure as the Bible and all other mythical works, both have all the same story elements of human interactions and the protagonist overcoming dramatic odds. Of course, all set in a culturally distant past we have very little mental access to.

So yeah. Not only is it possible, it seems very likely if you care to read all the other myths and legends created around the same period.

Not only that, but it's full of errors that cannot be the result of a God (because we know firmly enough today that these are errors, so a God must have known this pittance when it was angellically orated. They do, however, seem to fit perfectly with the contextual knowledge of the cultures of that region and period, and their cultural history.

What's more interesting (as it jives better with empirical reality and doesn't need to posit sweeping metaphysical components to the nature of the universe and the very nature of being) is whether the Jews actually made it up.

Remember, YHWH used to be just one of a pantheon of gods.

For example, in Genesis 33:20, it reads: el elohe yisrael [ "El the God of Israel"] and the God El is in many other linguistic scripts under different religious traditional pantheons. For example there are texts in Ugaritic, Phoenician and other languages from the Iron Age near Middle East around the time of the first written parts that would become the Torah, with EL as the head of the traditional divine pantheon.

Earlier, we see EL having been syncretized with other gods, not least the more martial character of the Old Testament YHWH in the ancient Canananite tradition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_C ... n#Pantheon

So is it more likely that they made it up than that your preferred notion of it being 'Judaeo-Christian'? Yes, quite likely, although there's no question whatsoever that the Jewish YHWH became its own thing once it had got its believers to engage in divine sectarianism. Thou shalt hath no other gods before me.

But is it also reasonably likely that whatever god EL had originally been, picking up new syncretisms through the many different ebbs and flows of the region's Bronze Age kingdoms, has quite a different tradition and characteristics than you, I, or anyone alive today knows, as oral history doesn't tend to last so long; it warps generation by generation... and becomes component pieces of later stories.

For example, a jealous murdering belligerent god of one book, can become the omnilover, the ultimate self-sacrificer, the one true altruist of the second book. ;)
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:34 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1653Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Incidentally, TNTD - if you question the above (which I am beginning to wonder if you actually will, as there seems to be a new direction for you) - you might want to wonder why you don't call the divinely granted land Israyahweh, but instead Israel.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:00 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 799Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

thenexttodie wrote:I think a better question would be "Could someone have made this stuff up?" We know Pontius Pilate existed as a Roman Prefect over Judea in accordance with timeline given in the Bible.


Sparhafoc wrote: Could someone have made up Game of Thrones, or Lord of the Rings?.


Couldn't some just have simply asked Pilate if Jesus existed?


Sparhafoc wrote: Both these are complex like the content of the Bible, both have the same exact Hero's Journey structure as the Bible and all other mythical works, both have all the same story elements of human interactions and the protagonist overcoming dramatic odds. Of course, all set in a culturally distant past we have very little mental access to.


This is a weak argument.

Sparhafoc wrote:Not only that, but it's full of errors that cannot be the result of a God (because we know firmly enough today that these are errors, so a God must have known this pittance when it was angellically orated. They do, however, seem to fit perfectly with the contextual knowledge of the cultures of that region and period, and their cultural history.


I am not sure I have ever heard this argument before. Can you give 1 or 2 examples and explain them to me if you have time?


Sparhafoc wrote:What's more interesting (as it jives better with empirical reality and doesn't need to posit sweeping metaphysical components to the nature of the universe and the very nature of being) is whether the Jews actually made it up.

Remember, YHWH used to be just one of a pantheon of gods.

For example, in Genesis 33:20, it reads: el elohe yisrael [ "El the God of Israel"] and the God El is in many other linguistic scripts under different religious traditional pantheons. For example there are texts in Ugaritic, Phoenician and other languages from the Iron Age near Middle East around the time of the first written parts that would become the Torah, with EL as the head of the traditional divine pantheon.

Earlier, we see EL having been syncretized with other gods, not least the more martial character of the Old Testament YHWH in the ancient Canananite tradition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_C ... n#Pantheon

So is it more likely that they made it up than that your preferred notion of it being 'Judaeo-Christian'? Yes, quite likely, although there's no question whatsoever that the Jewish YHWH became its own thing once it had got its believers to engage in divine sectarianism. Thou shalt hath no other gods before me.


So you are trying to show that the etimology(sp?) of the Aramaic word for "Gods" shows that God used the wrong word to describe Himself in the Bible? That is interesting. What word do you think God should have used?

Sparhafoc wrote:But is it also reasonably likely that whatever god EL had originally been, picking up new syncretisms through the many different ebbs and flows of the region's Bronze Age kingdoms, has quite a different tradition and characteristics than you, I, or anyone alive today knows, as oral history doesn't tend to last so long; it warps generation by generation... and becomes component pieces of later stories.

For example, a jealous murdering belligerent god of one book, can become the omnilover, the ultimate self-sacrificer, the one true altruist of the second book. ;)
Rhetoric.
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:12 pm
leroyPosts: 1795Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

thenexttodie wrote:
Laurens wrote:
This is a big big issue in New Testament scholarship, assumptions and arguements that originated from apologists have crossed the line into mainstream scholarship.

The argument that "no one would ever make this stuff up" is bad apologetics.



I think a better question would be "Could someone have made this stuff up?" We know Pontius Pilate existed as a Roman Prefect over Judea in accordance with timeline given in the Bible.



using the degree of skepticism that they are using one can not stablish the historical existence of Pontius Pilate, someone could have invented a fictional novel about a guy named Pontius Pilate, and somehow other authors like Tacitus erroneously represented his as a historical and real person.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:29 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 799Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Sparhafoc wrote:Incidentally, TNTD - if you question the above (which I am beginning to wonder if you actually will, as there seems to be a new direction for you) - you might want to wonder why you don't call the divinely granted land Israyahweh, but instead Israel.


God is often competing with other gods in the Bible. God says people will take a piece of wood and they will use part of it to make a fire and the other part to make an idol. God says this is stupid.
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:47 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 799Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

leroy wrote:using the degree of skepticism that they are using one can not stablish the historical existence of Pontius Pilate, someone could have invented a fictional novel about a guy named Pontius Pilate, and somehow other authors like Tacitus erroneously represented his as a historical and real person.



The last time I heard anything about Richard Carrier he had no job, his wife left him and he could not win a debate against a paper bag. He also proclaimed to have a "semen fetish". He seems to think the "semen fetish" thing is somewhat witty.
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:20 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1653Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

thenexttodie wrote:Couldn't some just have simply asked Pilate if Jesus existed?


Not really a logical way to address the contradiction I raised, but ok... yes, they could have, and maybe they did, and maybe it wasn't recorded - we don't think for a moment that we have a perfect historical knowledge of the 1st century anywhere in the world, let alone there.

Instead, if you read what I wrote, you said that no one could have 'made this up', and I said they could in the same way as they made up other complex story lines.

I didn't actually say that it is all made up as I personally believe the primary events happened and see no reason to doubt them. There was a dude called Yeshua with all the relationships with other humans, he did preach a Jewish heresy, and this resulted in him being killed by the Romans with the support of the Pharisees. Given the tensions between the Romans and the Jews, and given the nature of Judaism, and given the large number of recorded self-declared prophets.... I don't personally see anything incredible or extraordinary to any of these claims.

It's the myths laid on top which I think are clearly made up.



thenexttodie wrote:This is a weak argument.


So weak that you didn't even bother to debunk it, right? :)

That's amusing. I saw this used to be your discoursive strategy, but I thought you'd stopped this folly. If you want to claim an argument is weak, you show it, you don't declare it so.

Regardless, because it's actually your argument, you are debunking your own implication regarding whether it can have been made up.



thenexttodie wrote:I am not sure I have ever heard this argument before. Can you give 1 or 2 examples and explain them to me if you have time?


/scratchy head emoticon

Well, fine. Take Genesis 30:39

Did God not know how genetics works? Looking at a red envelope while copulating is not going to result in a red haired child, is it TNTD? Even a school child today knows more about how traits are passed to offspring than the knowledge of the people of the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age, so we wouldn't expect to see any knowledge of genetics from them. We would, however, expect an all-knowing God to ensure that the content of his supposedly singular text sent to instruct the mortals wouldn't make such obvious mistakes.

In fact, if God had dictated this book, we humans should have been mining it for centuries, making discoveries about the nature of 'his' Creation, leading us to a much greater understanding of the world around us. But no. There are no revelations when it comes to empirical reality, and such declarations as there are contradict what we know today.

So, two options:

1) God exists, had this document written, allowed it to be full of errors because 'he' didn't care about such things, or /apologetics on/ didn't want to freak the humans out with knowledge about reality etc. etc, etc,

2) The OT is a collection of late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age oral tales handed down through generations reflecting the knowledge and musings of these people, and as such would be expected to reflect their limited knowledge.

For me, 2 is a much more compelling factor as it explains the errors in the Bible, whereas excuses have to be made for 1.

Incidentally, this isn't a heathen attack on Christianity. I 'discovered' this while I was still a Christian, and I am sure I annoyed the various priests I queried about it no end. None of them seemed able to answer the questions of a 12 year old.




thenexttodie wrote:So you are trying to show that the etimology(sp?) of the Aramaic word for "Gods" shows that God used the wrong word to describe Himself in the Bible? That is interesting. What word do you think God should have used?


No, that's not what is in the text. Please read it again:

el elohe yisrael

The term for the category of 'gods' there is 'elohe', whereas El is the name of that god. El elohe yisrael = God (name) god (title) of Israel.

It's not etymology - it's the same pantheon as its Canaanite predecessors, with syncretized components from the passage of time.



thenexttodie wrote:Rhetoric.



Firstly, it's clearly not 'rhetoric' - it's clearly a logical argument.

Secondly, you might want to try processing it rather than just dropping a word to dismiss it.

Bear in mind that it's not for other people I wrote that, and I am not using rhetoric to defeat you, but rather making an argument to prod you to think. Most people here already know all the above. However, you presumably want to engage in ideas here, TNTD, but you've just dismissed that one without consideration.

The monomyth exists independently of the Bible, TNTD... what I am saying is that the NT bears the same component quantities as other myths humans have made. The story structure appeals to us psychologically and emotionally. It is what we humans do.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:29 am
SparhafocPosts: 1653Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

thenexttodie wrote:The last time I heard anything about Richard Carrier he had no job, his wife left him and he could not win a debate against a paper bag. He also proclaimed to have a "semen fetish". He seems to think the "semen fetish" thing is somewhat witty.



Not a fan of Carrier either, but I still think your ad hominem reflects only on you.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:30 am
leroyPosts: 1795Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

does anyone disagrees with this statement?


using the degree of skepticism that they are using one can not stablish the historical existence of Pontius Pilate, someone could have invented a fictional novel about a guy named Pontius Pilate, and somehow other authors like Tacitus erroneously represented his as a historical and real person.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:46 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1653Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

leroy wrote:does anyone disagrees with this statement?


using the degree of skepticism that they are using one can not stablish the historical existence of Pontius Pilate, someone could have invented a fictional novel about a guy named Pontius Pilate, and somehow other authors like Tacitus erroneously represented his as a historical and real person.



I disagree.

Not least because the sentence is garbled bollocks, and therefore is innately impossible to agree or disagree with.

Coherence is a requirement for honest people's agreement.

Try writing your simplistic ideas in simple language.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:03 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1653Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Image

Look! Fake rock! Because Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiible must be true, therefore call everything into question, muddy all waters, obfuscate everything - only when ignorance and stupefaction reigns can there be any chance of my idea competing on equal grounds.


Yep, fake rock, but books cannot possibly be changed as they're re-written thousands of times, and translated into dozens of languages of cultures centuries apart. Well, other books can, of course, except the Qur'an Bible.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:05 pm
Bango SkankPosts: 180Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:15 amLocation: Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Sparhafoc wrote:Image

Look! Fake rock! Because Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiible must be true, therefore call everything into question, muddy all waters, obfuscate everything - only when ignorance and stupefaction reigns can there be any chance of my idea competing on equal grounds.


Yep, fake rock, but books cannot possibly be changed as they're re-written thousands of times, and translated into dozens of languages of cultures centuries apart. Well, other books can, of course, except the Qur'an Bible.


One could argue that this is a simply a carving based off fictional character. I bet there are rocks similar to this about clearly fictional characters. Does it make more believable that character is mentioned on stone instead of scroll/book?

For a record, i believe in historical Pontius Pilate and historical Jesus of Nazareth.
"There are those to whom knowledge is a shield, and those to whom it is a weapon. Neither view is balanced, but one is less unwise."
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:41 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1653Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Bango Skank wrote:One could argue that this is a simply a carving based off fictional character. I bet there are rocks similar to this about clearly fictional characters. Does it make more believable that character is mentioned on stone instead of scroll/book?


Indeed, but as I mentioned somewhere above, it's what seems most likely given the historical context, it just seems reasonable. When you take into account all the various aspects of the period like the political and cultural structures, the situation at large, some things just seem perfectly reasonable with no real serious reason to question them. It's not that I am sure X happened, there's just no real reason to doubt it. If it wasn't Yeshua, maybe it was what happened to someone else, or to many other people, but I don't see as that solves anything and just makes it unnecessarily more complex.

Which is why....

Bango Skank wrote:For a record, i believe in historical Pontius Pilate and historical Jesus of Nazareth.


I agree with you.

I see no real reason to doubt either of their existence.

What we do know of independent of these characters in the NT makes their inclusion and the events of their inclusion seem in keeping with the time and location, and with its history, beliefs, political structure etc. etc. - it fits without standing out like a sore thumb, so I see no reason to doubt it.

But a stone tablet written about someone else, found in a particular location corroborating other elements is better evidence, in my opinion, than a story that also includes fantasy mythology.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:36 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3347Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

leroy wrote:using the degree of skepticism that they are using one can not stablish the historical existence of Pontius Pilate, someone could have invented a fictional novel about a guy named Pontius Pilate, and somehow other authors like Tacitus erroneously represented his as a historical and real person.


:facepalm:

I keep telling you to get a refund on those mind reading classes.
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Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:05 am
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VisakiUser avatarPosts: 778Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus

Bango Skank wrote:One could argue that this is a simply a carving based off fictional character. I bet there are rocks similar to this about clearly fictional characters. Does it make more believable that character is mentioned on stone instead of scroll/book?

For a record, i believe in historical Pontius Pilate and historical Jesus of Nazareth.

We have a lot of examples of writings, carvings and even statues of fictional characters. What I do think lends some credence to that Pilate carving would be that it's so mundane, a fragment of a tribute from a prefect in a backwater province to Tiberius.
Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:45 am
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