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Old 05-24-2001, 12:42 PM   #11
Ulrich
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
You are aware that Josephus refers to John the Baptist aren't you? We aren't only talking about the New Testament here.

As for the Bible. John the Baptist appears in Mark, Q, and John. With Josephus that's at least 4 different sources. Even if you think John is completely dependent on Mark, that leaves at least 3.
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And I am sure that you are aware that Q is only a hypothetical document, and anything that it may have contained is pure speculation and reverse engineering of other, later documents. So that leaves only 2 sources, with Josephus being the more reliable. Of course in this particular case that is all we really need, as no one is claiming that JTB was a god, or even that he performed magic/miracles.

Nope, nobody is threatening me with hell if I don't believe that JTB existed, so his existence becomes less of a point of contention.
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Old 05-24-2001, 12:46 PM   #12
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ulrich:
And I am sure that you are aware that Q is only a hypothetical document, and anything that it may have contained is pure speculation and reverse engineering of other, later documents. So that leaves only 2 sources, with Josephus being the more reliable. Of course in this particular case that is all we really need, as no one is claiming that JTB was a god, or even that he performed magic/miracles.

Nope, nobody is threatening me with hell if I don't believe that JTB existed, so his existence becomes less of a point of contention.
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Very revealing. Because some Christians threaten you with hell for not believing in Jesus, the evidentiary burden for establishing his mere existence is higher than it is for those alleged historical figures that are not alleged to have a direct impact on your life.

Thank you.

Even so, many of JTB's followers did eventually claim he was the messiah.

Whether you call it "Q" or something else, there is a John the Baptist tradition distinct from Mark that is common to Matthew and Luke.


[This message has been edited by Layman (edited May 24, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Layman (edited May 24, 2001).]
 
Old 05-24-2001, 01:40 PM   #13
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Layman: To put it mildly, the more nutty the claim, the more proof required.

I can accept the existance or possible existance of JtB. I think its possible, but there is zero way to know. But no outrageous claims are being made about the man so its not such a huge issue.
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Old 05-24-2001, 01:46 PM   #14
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Lance:
Layman: To put it mildly, the more nutty the claim, the more proof required.

I can accept the existance or possible existance of JtB. I think its possible, but there is zero way to know. But no outrageous claims are being made about the man so its not such a huge issue.
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The mere existence of Jesus as a historical person is not an outrageous claim.
 
Old 05-24-2001, 02:19 PM   #15
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For another point of view, here is a paper by Robert Price, Was Jesus John the Baptist Raised from the Dead?

Price makes a pretty convincing case that Jesus was really the post-resurrection version of John the Baptist. And then, when you think there might be something to it, he reveals that it was all just a game:

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">New Testament scholarship has become a game where, using various exegetical moves, certain arguments or types of arguments, reasoning in unanticipated directions from accepted axioms, one can make a more or less plausible-sounding case for almost any notion. If the present paper be deemed a bit of sophistry, then at least allow it to have demonstrated that virtually all exegetical scholarship is engaged in the same type of endeavor. It is all a matter of what test-paradigms, theoretical tools, and methodologies one will bring to bear on the texts. It is almost like dropping sticks on the open page of the I Ching and seeing what oracle you can construe from the pithy but enigmatic signifiers ranged there. </font>
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Old 05-24-2001, 04:14 PM   #16
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Layman: And I'm not arguing that per say. All I've ever said on this subject is that I think its a possibility and we have no way to prove it conclusively one way or the other.

As a person at the bottom of the Christ-cult, likely.

Its when you start attaching the mythical exagerations that I draw the line and say "that crap is myth". In fact, I wouldn't be horribly surprised if the "real" Jesus wasn't 180 degrees different than what the Christian churches have blown him out to be. Again, provided there is a real person there.
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Old 06-08-2001, 01:08 PM   #17
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:

Even so, many of JTB's followers did eventually claim he was the messiah.
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This is something I've wanted to explore for some time. Does anyone know of any sources for this belief, and whether or not it persists?

Isaac
 
Old 06-08-2001, 03:30 PM   #18
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Feel free to doubt John the Baptist's existence all you want, I actually admire the consistency, if not the methodology.

The fact that Campbell considers the gospels to be mythological does not mean he considers them to be completely false. As Turton keeps reminding us, in Campbell's lingo, mythical does not mean false.
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You must have misunderstood. Campbell believes literal reading of myths to be both pointless and dangerous. I forget which book he says it in, but he says something like "those who take myths literally split nations asunder." As we have seen in history.

I believe "myth" doesn't necessarily mean "false." It just means that it is so churned up with tradition, invention, creativity, editing, and other processes that history isn't really recoverable. As we have seen with the Gospels.

I do not know which scholars Campbell was citing in that passage, which he also repeats in his Oriental Mythology in telescoped form.

BTW, Are you on any email lists, like Crosstalk, Layman? You might enjoy the scholarly debates over the historical Jesus.

Michael
 
Old 06-08-2001, 04:03 PM   #19
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
You must have misunderstood. Campbell believes literal reading of myths to be both pointless and dangerous. I forget which book he says it in, but he says something like "those who take myths literally split nations asunder." As we have seen in history.

I believe "myth" doesn't necessarily mean "false." It just means that it is so churned up with tradition, invention, creativity, editing, and other processes that history isn't really recoverable. As we have seen with the Gospels.

I do not know which scholars Campbell was citing in that passage, which he also repeats in his Oriental Mythology in telescoped form.

BTW, Are you on any email lists, like Crosstalk, Layman? You might enjoy the scholarly debates over the historical Jesus.

Michael
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Thank you for the reference, I would welcome scholarly debate over the historical Jesus.
 
 

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