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A Question about the historicity of Jesus

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A Question about the historicity of Jesus
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Without appealing to scholarly consensus, what do you find the most convincing evidence, or argument for the historicity of Jesus?

I've been reading up of the mythicist position lately, and feel a slight worry that my biases (as an atheist) are leaning me more in it's favour than someone completely impartial might be.

Of course I am not asking you to do my research for me, I have a backlog of articles saved on my phone, and I'm going to get some books on the topic when I am able.

The reason I am asking is mainly to generate a discussion, to see how well the evidence holds up and to see how well the counter arguments hold up...

I find this topic fascinating because of the glimpse it provides at the ancient world and the formation of a religion that has subsequently shaped our society and culture.

Edit: the reason I ask not to appeal to scholarly consensus, is because we know what the consensus is and therefore it does not progress the discussion to say "experts say he existed" I want to know why they are saying it, and what their best case for it is.
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:33 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Greetings,

Well, it's difficult to say why they hold the position they do without referencing the scholarly research...

For myself, I'm inclined to believe that a central character existed upon whom all the stories about "Jesus" have been hung - similar to there likely being a central character behind the legend of Robin Hood [(Sir) John (of) Locksley] upon whom other tales have been based.

Starting off with *someone* who existed, and then adding to it, would be a lot easier than having to make someone up from scratch.

Just my opinion.

Kindest regards,

James
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:54 pm
WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1184Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Starting off with *someone* who existed, and then adding to it, would be a lot easier than having to make someone up from scratch.


Carrier and other's point is the exactly opposite. There was a mythical character and then they created the character's "history".

I don't see how starting with a real person would be easier than creating a fictional character from scratch. Why would you pick one person over hundreds of other preachers/magic men?
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:10 pm
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

I think the scholarly consensus is a good reason for a non-expert to consider a position of agnosticism justified but not a fully mythicist position. You are right to be wary of claims you find personally appealing.
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:14 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Greetings,

WarK wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Starting off with *someone* who existed, and then adding to it, would be a lot easier than having to make someone up from scratch.


Carrier and other's point is the exactly opposite. There was a mythical character and then they created the character's "history".

I don't see how starting with a real person would be easier than creating a fictional character from scratch. Why would you pick one person over hundreds of other preachers/magic men?

Because there'd have been people at least already aware, if not followers, of a real preacher - like the one who existed a century before "Jesus" with a remarkably similar life/death.

Even Paul, who never met "Jesus", could call on others' "memory" of his having existed. If Paul made "Jesus" up from scratch, someone would have challenged him as to the existence of this alleged preacher.

Kindest regards,

James
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:18 pm
WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1184Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,


Even Paul, who never met "Jesus", could call on others' "memory" of his having existed. If Paul made "Jesus" up from scratch, someone would have challenged him as to the existence of this alleged preacher.


Interestingly, this is given as a reason why early Christians invented (according to the mythycist position) Jesus' history on earth i.e. to be able to say "yeah, I knew the guy, he really said what I'm telling you"

Carrier doesn't claim that Paul invented Jesus, rather he was a believer in a myth circulating in that area at that time. Does Paul explicitly say that Jesus was a real person on Earth?
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:33 pm
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Dragan Glas wrote:Because there'd have been people at least already aware, if not followers, of a real preacher - like the one who existed a century before "Jesus" with a remarkably similar life/death.

Even Paul, who never met "Jesus", could call on others' "memory" of his having existed. If Paul made "Jesus" up from scratch, someone would have challenged him as to the existence of this alleged preacher.

Kindest regards,

James

Carrier argues that Paul was talking about a celestial being already referenced within certain branches of Judaism and not talking about a historical person at all and that later people put this figure into a historical context (though even that may have initially not intended to be taken as anything other than allegorical).
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:37 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Greetings,

Although Paul was talking about a "Jesus" who'd died of whom he had a vision, in talking to those who had known a preacher (the disciples of "Jesus") he'd have to know enough about this preacher not to be called out on making up a purely imaginary character.

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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Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:47 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

SpecialFrog wrote:I think the scholarly consensus is a good reason for a non-expert to consider a position of agnosticism justified but not a fully mythicist position. You are right to be wary of claims you find personally appealing.


The issue I have with consensus is when you get people like Bart Ehrman saying things like this:

These views are so extreme and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology.

Source


He appears to be saying that people who hold the mythicist position would put their careers at risk by holding the position.

Whilst I don't necessarily buy the mythicist arguments, it is clear that people such as Robert M Price, Richard Carrier and Earl Doherty do have credentials in ancient history etc., and make good arguments regardless of whether you agree with the conclusions. It's certainly not a position that is in any way analogous to creationism. At least not what these guys argue.

When you see the exchange that Ehrman had with Carrier, you get the impression that if anyone is arguing like a creationist or whack job it's Ehrman.

Should we trust the consensus where the New Testament is concerned given how you're not going to have a career in the field if you don't tow the historicist line? (Assuming what Ehrman states is correct)
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:55 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Well, it's difficult to say why they hold the position they do without referencing the scholarly research...

For myself, I'm inclined to believe that a central character existed upon whom all the stories about "Jesus" have been hung - similar to there likely being a central character behind the legend of Robin Hood [(Sir) John (of) Locksley] upon whom other tales have been based.

Starting off with *someone* who existed, and then adding to it, would be a lot easier than having to make someone up from scratch.

Just my opinion.

Kindest regards,

James


Mythicists would argue that Jesus is heavily derived from Jewish literature and combined with ideas about dying and rising saviour gods that were popular at the time. So not so much made up from scratch, but put together from ideas floating around in 1st century Judea.
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:00 pm
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Although Paul was talking about a "Jesus" who'd died of whom he had a vision, in talking to those who had known a preacher (the disciples of "Jesus") he'd have to know enough about this preacher not to be called out on making up a purely imaginary character.

Mythological isn't the same as imaginary. And Paul doesn't talk about Jesus preaching or having disciples. He talks about apostles like him who presumably also received information about Jesus via visions.

His writing predates the gospels though we have a tendency to interpret them in the context of the gospels.
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Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:01 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3319Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Laurens wrote:Without appealing to scholarly consensus, what do you find the most convincing evidence, or argument for the historicity of Jesus?


I believe the best case for there being a Yeshua that the Jesus myth was built around is his title and origin story. He is known as Jesus of Nazareth (even being called the Nazarene in some parts). The gospels have to than redcon where Jesus is born in order to fit what they thought was a bible prophecy. I could honestly see a "street preacher" from Nazareth named Yeshua getting people to believe he was the messiah. Later on, educated followers (who read the Greek Torah) realized he had to be from Bethlehem and made up the nativity narrative to fit the "prophecy."

If one were going to invent the Jewish messiah, why not make him Emanuel of Bethlehem? However, as a huge fan of comic books, and seeing how fictional characters are often redcon to a "better" origin story, I do not think this argument is the best and absolutely proves the historicity case. The stories of Jesus could have become popular, than later, educated followers (reading the Greek Torah) saw how the messiah was supposed to be from Bethlehem and made up the nativity story. It is an argument, and has never been properly addressed; although I hear Carrier addresses it in his latest book about Jesus.
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
Laurens wrote:Without appealing to scholarly consensus, what do you find the most convincing evidence, or argument for the historicity of Jesus?


I believe the best case for there being a Yeshua that the Jesus myth was built around is his title and origin story. He is known as Jesus of Nazareth (even being called the Nazarene in some parts). The gospels have to than redcon where Jesus is born in order to fit what they thought was a bible prophecy. I could honestly see a "street preacher" from Nazareth named Yeshua getting people to believe he was the messiah. Later on, educated followers (who read the Greek Torah) realized he had to be from Bethlehem and made up the nativity narrative to fit the "prophecy."

If one were going to invent the Jewish messiah, why not make him Emanuel of Bethlehem? However, as a huge fan of comic books, and seeing how fictional characters are often redcon to a "better" origin story, I do not think this argument is the best and absolutely proves the historicity case. The stories of Jesus could have become popular, than later, educated followers (reading the Greek Torah) saw how the messiah was supposed to be from Bethlehem and made up the nativity story. It is an argument, and has never been properly addressed; although I hear Carrier addresses it in his latest book about Jesus.


Forgive me for being imprecise but from what I recall Carrier's rebuttal is that there are sources of Jewish prophecy which state that the Messiah would be from Nazareth.

If I can find the source I will post it.

Again, sorry to be vague

EDIT:

I think this might be what he is referencing:

" . . . and being warned by God in a dream, he [Joseph] departed for the regions of Galilee, and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene,'" (Matt. 2:22,23).


As I understand it the gospels try to hit as many prophetic nails on the head, and often signpost these in a similar manner as the above. So it would seem that there was a prophecy of some kind about Nazareth.

One source states that it may be a reference to Isaiah 11:1

"Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit."


The Hebrew word for branch being 'netzer' the letters of which 'NZR' could be interpreted as NaZaReth.
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:29 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Greetings,

SpecialFrog wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Although Paul was talking about a "Jesus" who'd died of whom he had a vision, in talking to those who had known a preacher (the disciples of "Jesus") he'd have to know enough about this preacher not to be called out on making up a purely imaginary character.

Mythological isn't the same as imaginary.

True - but any additions to what's "known" would be obvious to others.

Paul's main problem was that he had to go elsewhere to find followers amongst those who knew little-to-nothing about Jewish customs and laws.

SpecialFrog wrote:And Paul doesn't talk about Jesus preaching or having disciples. He talks about apostles like him who presumably also received information about Jesus via visions.

That's not the case.

In Gal 1:11-20, he refers to having briefly met Cephas and James:

11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[a] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

You're assuming that the apostles had not known the person behind the "Jesus" myth, and only received "revelations", like Paul, through "visions".

Paul acknowledged that there were apostles before him here, and elsewhere in his writings - although his apostleship is self-appointed - who knew a preacher upon whose teachings he implies his own are based, albeit post-mortem. Paul speaks of "Jesus Christ" without mentioning anything about the man on whom he's based his own made-up - and contradictory to this preacher's - teachings.

SpecialFrog wrote:His writing predates the gospels though we have a tendency to interpret them in the context of the gospels.

Agreed.

Kindest regards,

James
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:09 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Paul doesn't seem to explicitly provide any biographical details about Jesus that imply he definitely was a historical person, each hint that we do have could equally describe a celestial being (as is argued by mythicists). At best we can say that Jesus being a living person in recent history is unimportant to him and the people he is corresponding with.

He doesn't implore people to go on pilgrimages to talk to people who knew Jesus or see where his deeds took place like you might imagine he would if the cult was overly concerned with an actual person. The absence of any unambiguous historical details doesn't argue that Jesus is mythical but does leave room to make that claim and for it to not seem wildly implausible.


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Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:46 pm
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

SpecialFrog wrote:And Paul doesn't talk about Jesus preaching or having disciples. He talks about apostles like him who presumably also received information about Jesus via visions.

Dragan Glas wrote:That's not the case.

In Gal 1:11-20, he refers to having briefly met Cephas and James:

But who were Cephas and James? The Gospels say things about Cephas but even the scholarly consensus agrees that almost nothing in the Gospels is reliable and that they post-date Paul.

11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

Not sure how "not from any man" points to a historical person.

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[a] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

All this shows is that other people were preaching Christianity. He calls them apostles -- not disciples -- and the only other example we have of an apostle in his writing is himself.

The "Lord's brother" bit could point to an actual human Jesus but in some contexts all baptized Christians are "brothers of Christ" so it is at best inconclusive.

Dragan Glas wrote:You're assuming that the apostles had not known the person behind the "Jesus" myth, and only received "revelations", like Paul, through "visions".

You are right in that we shouldn't assume that is what he means but certainly his writings are consistent with that interpretation.

Dragan Glas wrote:Paul acknowledged that there were apostles before him here, and elsewhere in his writings - although his apostleship is self-appointed - who knew a preacher upon whose teachings he implies his own are based, albeit post-mortem.

The passage you cite says nothing of Jesus preaching and only possibly means that James was biological kin to a man named Jesus.

Are there other passages in Paul that talk about Jesus preaching?

SpecialFrog wrote:His writing predates the gospels though we have a tendency to interpret them in the context of the gospels.

Dragan Glas wrote:Agreed.

And yet it seems you are doing this to some extent in your interpretation of be above passage.
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:15 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Greetings,

As I've said elsewhere, Paul was what would today be referred to as a "wannabe" in America - someone who's desperate to be part of the group (Jewish Christians) but whose ideas, claims, teachings, etc, were in contradiction to what "Jesus" and his disciples taught.

Paul never met "Jesus" - except for in his alleged visions of which he is the sole arbiter.

In other books besides the gospels - such as James - Jewish traditions are upheld by "Jesus" and his teachings. This is clearly contradicted by Paul's teachings, which he claims to have had from "Jesus" in his revelatory visions. Paul dismisses Peter (Cephas) and James, along with their teachings, despite these having been from a "Jesus", whom they knew, according to Paul (Gal 2, and 1 and 2 Cor).

For Paul, according to him, he was following the true "Jesus (Christ)", whereas "the twelve" were following a false one.

It is clear that there was a preacher of whom Peter, James, John, et al were followers with whose teachings (the apostles') Paul disagreed. As a Pharisee, he followed the oral Talmud, rather than the Torah, which is what the apostles (and their "Jesus") taught.

This suggests that there was a "real" person, known as "Jesus" or some version of that name, of whom Peter, etc, had been followers and were preaching his teachings. Paul, in his attempts to be a "apostle" like them, usurped their authority and teachings, claiming to be an apostle of "Jesus".

Kindest regards,

James
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:23 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

As I've said elsewhere, Paul was what would today be referred to as a "wannabe" in America - someone who's desperate to be part of the group (Jewish Christians) but whose ideas, claims, teachings, etc, were in contradiction to what "Jesus" and his disciples taught.

Paul never met "Jesus" - except for in his alleged visions of which he is the sole arbiter.

In other books besides the gospels - such as James - Jewish traditions are upheld by "Jesus" and his teachings. This is clearly contradicted by Paul's teachings, which he claims to have had from "Jesus" in his revelatory visions. Paul dismisses Peter (Cephas) and James, along with their teachings, despite these having been from a "Jesus", whom they knew, according to Paul (Gal 2, and 1 and 2 Cor).

For Paul, according to him, he was following the true "Jesus (Christ)", whereas "the twelve" were following a false one.

It is clear that there was a preacher of whom Peter, James, John, et al were followers with whose teachings (the apostles') Paul disagreed. As a Pharisee, he followed the oral Talmud, rather than the Torah, which is what the apostles (and their "Jesus") taught.

This suggests that there was a "real" person, known as "Jesus" or some version of that name, of whom Peter, etc, had been followers and were preaching his teachings. Paul, in his attempts to be a "apostle" like them, usurped their authority and teachings, claiming to be an apostle of "Jesus".

Kindest regards,

James


Could you refer us to the passages that specifically refer to Jesus has having been a teacher?

All I can see is references to "Jesus other than the Jesus we preached" (2 Cor 11:4) - which isn't saying 'teachings other than those Jesus preached', it is saying they are preaching a different version of Jesus. This is at best ambiguous and doesn't refer to a flesh and blood person specifically, if anything it refers to Jesus as something that is preached, rather than the preacher.

I've had a cursory read of the texts you mention (although I've skipped the parts under headings that look like they won't be relevant, but I concede I may have missed something).

Edit: You also say that the twelve were following a false Christ, how does that fit with the idea Christ was a person? Were they following the wrong person? Were they following false teachings? If so why doesn't Paul correct them with what Jesus actually said? He doesn't seem to do so, he seems to refer to them as following the wrong being, and the fact that there is no discourse with regards to correcting what this being actually preached, we don't get much of a sense that he refers to a preacher and not a celestial being.
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:13 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3319Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Laurens wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:I believe the best case for there being a Yeshua that the Jesus myth was built around is his title and origin story. He is known as Jesus of Nazareth (even being called the Nazarene in some parts). The gospels have to than redcon where Jesus is born in order to fit what they thought was a bible prophecy. I could honestly see a "street preacher" from Nazareth named Yeshua getting people to believe he was the messiah. Later on, educated followers (who read the Greek Torah) realized he had to be from Bethlehem and made up the nativity narrative to fit the "prophecy."

If one were going to invent the Jewish messiah, why not make him Emanuel of Bethlehem? However, as a huge fan of comic books, and seeing how fictional characters are often redcon to a "better" origin story, I do not think this argument is the best and absolutely proves the historicity case. The stories of Jesus could have become popular, than later, educated followers (reading the Greek Torah) saw how the messiah was supposed to be from Bethlehem and made up the nativity story. It is an argument, and has never been properly addressed; although I hear Carrier addresses it in his latest book about Jesus.


Forgive me for being imprecise but from what I recall Carrier's rebuttal is that there are sources of Jewish prophecy which state that the Messiah would be from Nazareth.

If I can find the source I will post it.

Again, sorry to be vague

EDIT:

I think this might be what he is referencing:

" . . . and being warned by God in a dream, he [Joseph] departed for the regions of Galilee, and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene,'" (Matt. 2:22,23).


As I understand it the gospels try to hit as many prophetic nails on the head, and often signpost these in a similar manner as the above. So it would seem that there was a prophecy of some kind about Nazareth.

One source states that it may be a reference to Isaiah 11:1

"Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit."


The Hebrew word for branch being 'netzer' the letters of which 'NZR' could be interpreted as NaZaReth.


I have to say that what you have presented appears like a very weak rebuttal to Jesus's title. I could buy that, but I was hoping there would be a better rebuttal for such an obvious problem from the mythosist's prospective. It also does not address why his name is Yeshua and not Emanuel. As I said, one would think if one were to create a Jewish messiah, than the name of the created messiah would be Emanuel. One would think if one was trying to hit as many prothetic nails on the head, getting the name of the messiah correct seems like a big one to hit.
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:37 pm
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: A Question about the historicity of Jesus

Greetings,

Paul makes no mention of Jesus - his or the twelve's - having been a teacher. He makes no mention of any earthly life of Jesus, nor does he name any who might have known Jesus in real life. His reference to Peter, etc, are only as apostles earlier than himself.

He steers clear of stating any actual life events and/or teaching of Peter's Jesus, quite possibly lest he be called-out by those who may have known more about Jesus, whether as a real person or his actual teachings. Given his knowledge of "Jesus" is only through revelatory "visions", it's clear that any real person (if they existed) of that name would have to be already dead.

Equally, he can't correct the twelve's teachings since he knew nothing of Jesus' teachings himself - as he indicates (indeed, boasts about) in Gal 1:11-20 - only what he claims are Jesus' teachings through his self-styled "revelations". He casts aspersions on Peter, etc, as an attempt to spread his own "Christianity".

The main point is that Jewish-Christianity existed prior to Paul's conversion - this was a Jewish sect led by John (the Baptist), after whom "Jesus" became the leader, aka rabbi (teacher), of whose group Peter and others were senior members, and effectively named as Jesus' emissaries.

Paul's "Christianity", which came later (and came to supersede it), is not the Jewish-Christianity of John/Jesus - it's what's now called (Pauline) Christianity.

Kindest regards,

James
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