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Old 02-06-2001, 10:30 AM   #11
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"The Higher Critics have always considered Jesus' historical nature a serious question."

"Higher Critics" like who? John P. Meier? Raymond E. Brown? E.P. Sanders? Marcus Borg? Dominic Crossan? N.T. Wright? Graham Stanton? Wayne Meeks? Bruce Metzger? Paula F.?
 
Old 02-07-2001, 05:19 AM   #12
Bede
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John,

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The Higher Critics have always considered Jesus' historical nature a serious question.</font>
I think the point of Layman's post is that a centrepiece of the Higher Critics' (whoever they may be) case is that Paul is supposed to be silent on the historical Jesus when he clearly isn't. You get as much on Jesus' earthly minstry from Paul as you do from Tacitus and (perhaps) Josephus.

I've always seen the idea that Jesus doesn't exist as rather silly but here we see even one of its central planks kicked away. Taken together these statements by Paul make it impossible to allege that Paul thought Jesus had not been a real man.

Yours

Bede

[http://www.bede.org.uk]Bede's Library - faith and reason[/url]
 
Old 02-07-2001, 06:35 AM   #13
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Layman:
[B]Nomad,

I agree with you that the discussion of the actual existence of Jesus is a silly one. I find it hard to believe that there are, purportedly, educated skeptics out there who don't realize that Josephus really did refer to Jesus, even though a Christian interpolated some flowery language in the first reference.

I'm not so sure that Josephus was even the author of the Testimonium. Olson makes a good case that it's Eusebias' work. I hope to hear your responses to what he says:

INTRODUCTION
I am going to argue here that the _Testimonium Flavianum_, the passage about Jesus found in all of our surviving manuscripts of Josephus' _Antiquities of the Jews_ (18.63-64) is in fact the work of Eusebius of Caesarea. Josephus either said nothing about Jesus at this point in his text, or what he said is so completely overwritten by Eusebius that no authentic Josephan substratum of the _Testimonium_ can be recovered. As it is the nearly unanimous verdict of modern scholarship that the _Testimonium_ is at least partially a Christian interpolation, I do not intend to waste time establishing that fact. Instead, I will examine the argument most commonly made in favor of the partial authenticity of the _Testimonium_, (i.e., that it contains Josephan language and non-Christian content) and try to show that the data are better explained on the theory that Eusebius is the author of the entire text.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JesusM...Testimonium%22

 
Old 02-07-2001, 02:55 PM   #14
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First off, as to Paul describing Jesus Christ as having lived in human form, rather than being some sort of divinity, can one be sure that it's someone else passing off something as one of Paul's writings? From stylistic grounds, it has long been suspected that there has been more than one author of the letters attributed to Paul.

And as to Josephus, I think that if Jesus Christ had been as well-known as the Gospels describe him as being, then JC would have been worthy of more than a paragraph or two in Josephus's writings, considering that Josephus describes some other self-styled prophets in much more detail.

So it could well have been that Jesus Christ had been a myth.
 
Old 02-07-2001, 03:12 PM   #15
Bede
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Ipetrich,

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">First off, as to Paul describing Jesus Christ as having lived in human form, rather than being some sort of divinity, can one be sure that it's someone else passing off something as one of Paul's writings? From stylistic grounds, it has long been suspected that there has been more than one author of the letters attributed to Paul.</font>
The quotes given by Layman come from the undisputed letters. To say they are all meddled with is special pleading to a very high order.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And as to Josephus, I think that if Jesus Christ had been as well-known as the Gospels describe him as being, then JC would have been worthy of more than a paragraph or two in Josephus's writings, considering that Josephus describes some other self-styled prophets in much more detail.</font>
He gives detail about the military fanatic types. As Jesus wasn't in that field he wasn't very interesting. Josephus thought he was a fraud and as performing miracles was no big deal (as Richard Carrier as demonstrated) we have no reason at all to expect Josephus to care much about Jesus. Indeed, the ONLY interesting thing about Jesus as far as Josephus is concerned is that some of his kooky followers are still around.

Yours

Bede

[http://www.bede.org.uk]Bede's Library - faith and reason[/url]
 
Old 02-07-2001, 09:00 PM   #16
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Thanks Bede. Glad you noticed I was relying on the Undisputeds. I should have made the clearer to the somewhat informed skeptics.

I think a strong case can be made for Paul's authorship of Colossians as well, but I find it useful to rely on the undisputed in these matters to avoid distracting side debates.
 
Old 02-19-2001, 05:15 PM   #17
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I thought it would be good to bring this back up to the top since it has been referenced relateding to the Homer theory.

Paul demonstrates the existence of a Jesus tradition which preexisted his ministry and was widespread by the time he was writing 1 Corinthians, around 15 years before Mark's gospel. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was central to the church well before Mark set quill to papyrus. As was the label "Son of God," Jesus' physical being, Peter (Cephas) as lead disciple, James as the brother of Jesus, the Lord's Supper, being "delivered" to his enemies that same night, Jesus' post-resurrection appearances, Jesus' method of execution (cruficixion), the involvement of Jewish authorities in his death, Jesus' davidic descent, and the timing of the resurrection (third day). All from the undisputed Paulines.

Considering the highly occasional nature of Paul's letters, this is far from "thin" evidence.

As others have pointed out, the Homer theory fails to account for the independence of other Jesus traditions, such as the Gospel of John, Q, "M," and especially, "L." All recounting similar miracles and teachings of Jesus independent of the Gospel of Mark.

In fact, you could eliminate the Gospel of Mark altogether, including the copying of it by Matthew and Luke, and still have the orthodox picture of Jesus we know and love today from the Paulines, "M," "L," and John.

[This message has been edited by Layman (edited February 19, 2001).]
 
 

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