FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-27-2001, 01:36 PM   #31
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wink

The evidence is before me. Trapped, I cannot lie: I DID NOT WRITE "NEAR CONTEMPORARY." I DID WRITE:

"MORE OR LESS CONTEMPORARY WITH THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS"

I stand by "NEAR CONTEMPORARY" and "MORE OR LESS CONTEMPORARY." More or less <g>

 
Old 01-27-2001, 01:45 PM   #32
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by J. Mordecai Pallant:

the mass slaughter allegedly ordered by Herod is never mentioned either.

</font>
Matthew appropriates Herod's "slaughter" for his gospel because he was writing for a Jewish audience and wanted to cast Jesus as "the new Moses." One of the ways in which he did this is to update the Pharoah's "slaughter of the innocents" and apply it to Jesus' time.

There are no concurrent contemporary accounts of such a mass killing in Jesus' time. Mainline scholars see it as a historical fiction inserted in the text in the service of a faith claim.

 
Old 01-28-2001, 05:29 PM   #33
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Aikido7,

Boy, talk about a confusing set of responses. Let me see if I can wade through the morass that constitutes your replies.

In the first place there is no "more or less contemporary". Someone is either contemporary with someone else or not. There is no in-between.

Secondly, you yourself agree that the passage in Josephus is an interpolation, meaning that you just pushed historical commentary on Jesus back into the second century. Even permitting linguistic laxity on your part, "more or less" has become "not".

I find vaguely offensive your arrogant assumption that you can change the subject so blithely. Let me drag you back to your point, that Jesus was a historical figure whose existence was confirmed by "more or less" contemporary secular accounts. Would you care to resume from there?

You have, of course, essentially rendered your argument null and void by appealing to the non-historical nature of the gospels, which I have read incidentally..repeatedly. If the gospels are intended to be regarded as theology rather than history, then you don't have a foot to stand on when appealing to secular history. If you wish to mix history and theology then please tell us which events are historical and confirmed by contemporary sources.
 
Old 01-29-2001, 05:27 PM   #34
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I apologize for the "morass." I could have and should have posted my response differently and hopefully more effectively.

You are right to insist on a stringent definition of "contemporary," even when bracketed by "more or less" or "near-" contemporary. It's just that in studying ancient history, ipso facto, we sometimes need to take a longer view. To the ancient world of first-century Palestine, Jesus of Nazareth was largely a peasant nobody. Unless some farmer discovers a new cache of scrolls in his field tomorrow, we have precious little textual evidence that refers to Jesus.

The earliest was probably written some 30 to 40 years after his crucifixion. And, of course, much more was written after that (including this post if one wants to get technical!).

There are definite criteria biblical scholars use to seperate the authentic "voice print" of Jesus from that which was placed into his mouth by the early church, but if your mind is make up that he never extisted in the first place, there is not much else I can offer.

My "argument," (if it is one!) is not rendered "null and void" merely because the gospels contain theology. If it is so rendered, I have a difference of opinion with you on that claim.

I side with the overwhelming majority of mainline scholars--secular and otherwise--who agree that Jesus did in fact exist. And I also side with the evangelicals and fundamentalists who are largely biblically illiterate--but only on that (crucial) point.

I hope that takes the "ass" out of the "more." If not, have back at me!

Respectfully,
Aikido7
 
Old 01-29-2001, 09:55 PM   #35
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Aikido7,

You have revealed yourself to be a scholar and a gentleman...in the English sense that is. What a surprise. Seriously, it is always nice to discover that one's adversary (as it were) is actually a reasonable human being. Rare in this game.

Now, if we were talking ancient history, I would be liable to agree with you, but ancient history is acknowledged to be an area of study in which interpretation and analysis are going to vary from historian to historian.

The thing is, when it comes to Jesus Christ, that kind of thinking goes straight out of the window. Christians will never acknowledge the possibility that Jesus Christ was anything other than a historical figure, solely on the basis of the gospels. They then, it seems to me, seek verification outside of the gospels, and it doesn't matter how tenuous that is.

Some will refuse to acknowledge that Jesus Christ ever existed. I am very tempted to be one of them, but in reality my personal view is that while Jesus as described in the gospels cannot reasonably be said to have existed, as a trend in Jewish history at the time, he represents a conglomeration of wandering rabbi-types that are known to have existed. I will go further and suggest that the traditional time this person was supposed to have existed is by no means certain either.

I state, incidentally, that Jesus cannot reasonably be stated to have existed as described in the Bible, because the stories about him do not reflect reality...just as the legends about Heracles do not.

Now, it's been a half hour since I read your reply, and I apologise if I get anything wrong. As I have stated to others, I don't have a PC to respond to you, so I am using my SEGA Dreamcast for the purpose, meaning I do not have any kind of cut and paste facility.

However, you referred to writings regarding Jesus Christ first appearing thirty to forty years after the time these alleged events. This has to be the Gospel according to Mark. Now, this cannot be said to be a secular source. If I'm wrong, then I apologise, and I respectfully ask you to correct me and supply the correct source to which to are referring.

Let us play a game...let us suppose that thirty or forty years after the execution of a religious crimial who had a following, someone not directly associted with that person began to collect and write about him. Compare and contrast with events this century. I give you, the Roswell Incident, UFOs in all their dubious glory, Elvis...you get the point? Events that have generated a whole mythology within thirty to forty years of their original inception.

...and this is now, during what is probably the most rational era of human existence. How much more likely then, is it that legends would arise around a time when people regarded the existence of the supernatural as being as absolute as day and night, and interpreted everything in that light?
 
Old 01-30-2001, 06:22 PM   #36
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

[QUOTE]Originally posted by J. Mordecai Pallant:
[b]
Now, if we were talking ancient history, I would be liable to agree with you, but ancient history is acknowledged to be an area of study in which interpretation and analysis are going to vary from historian to historian.[B/]

Biblical scholars differ widely about what is authentic about Jesus and what isn't. But if we are to discover the spirit of the man it must be made clear where recognizably authentic traditions about Jesus can be made. There is a tradition of historical Jesus scholarship. I am a dwarf, but when I can climb onto the shoulders of past giants I can see a little farther and a little clearer.


[B]Christians will never acknowledge the possibility that Jesus Christ was anything other than a historical figure, solely on the basis of the gospels. They then, it seems to me, seek verification outside of the gospels, and it doesn't matter how tenuous that is.[B/]

Christians, in my opinion, conflate the pre-Easter Jesus with the post-Easter Jesus. In other words, most believers have FAITH in the FACT of Jesus AS a manifestation of God, but they err on the side of doctrine and theology which came as "clarification," meaning- and myth-making by the gospel writers themselves and by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. Historians look at data and evidence and then form opinion and conclusions based on that information.

[B]Some will refuse to acknowledge that Jesus Christ ever existed. I am very tempted to be one of them, but in reality my personal view is that while Jesus as described in the gospels cannot reasonably be said to have existed, as a trend in Jewish history at the time, he represents a conglomeration of wandering rabbi-types that are known to have existed. I will go further and suggest that the traditional time this person was supposed to have existed is by no means certain either.[B/]

I have a difference of opinion with you on this, simply because the scholarship I have read does not support it. If he was a conglomeration, he was certainly a unique one. And because the exact dates of his birth and/or death are unknown does not mean he did not exist. As I wrote before, I think he existed and I think he can be known today more fully and completely for this time than ever before.

[B]I state, incidentally, that Jesus cannot reasonably be stated to have existed as described in the Bible, because the stories about him do not reflect reality...just as the legends about Heracles do not.[B/]

The stories of Jesus in the Bible are faith claims. The gospel writers did not write histories or biographies in the modern sense of the terms we use today. They were Jewish and interpreted the life of Jesus using symbolism, parable, midrash and scriptural themes familiar to their first-century readers. They were true stories, but they were not fact. Scholars--honest ones-- attempt to look behind the stories to find the facts.


[B]However, you referred to writings regarding Jesus Christ first appearing thirty to forty years after the time these alleged events. This has to be the Gospel according to Mark. Now, this cannot be said to be a secular source. If I'm wrong, then I apologise, and I respectfully ask you to correct me and supply the correct source to which to are referring.[B/]

The authentic letters of Paul are among the earliest faith-based information about Jesus. They were written in the 30s or 40s. The Gospel of Thomas may be contemporary with Paul or maybe a bit earlier. Mark's gospel was written later, about 70 AD.

The secular and pagan sources such as Josephus and Tacitus, etc. were written much later in the first century. In my opinion--desipite some utterly skeptical claims to the contrary--I think there are enough references to Jesus to verify that he most probably lived, died on a cross and had a followers that persisted after he died.

[B]Let us play a game...let us suppose that thirty or forty years after the execution of a religious crimial who had a following, someone not directly associted with that person began to collect and write about him. Compare and contrast with events this century. I give you, the Roswell Incident, UFOs in all their dubious glory, Elvis...you get the point? Events that have generated a whole mythology within thirty to forty years of their original inception.[B/]

Historical Jesus scholarship makes a distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. Elvis definitely has been mythologized and had his Second (third, and forth) Coming, but that is not the whole story. People do see objects which they cannot indentify. What they actually are often gets swept up into speculation, then belief and perhaps mythology.

...and this is now, during what is probably the most rational era of human existence. How much more likely then, is it that legends would arise around a time when people regarded the existence of the supernatural as being as absolute as day and night, and interpreted everything in that light?

What is supernatural has more to do with culture than any rational/irrational dichotomy. I don't think humankind is any more "rational" than we ever were. I don't think, for example, that everyone in Jesus' time thought people could walk on water. Physics was the same then as now, but the world-view of the world was different, shaped by culture, religious belief and other factors.
"The past is another country; they do things differently there."
 
Old 02-02-2001, 09:30 PM   #37
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Smile

scroll...scroll...scroll...bit of interesting information...scroll...scroll...scroll...rehashing of said information...scroll...scroll...yawn...scroll...sc roll...reply...scroll...scroll...joke...laugh...lo l.

I still think it is funny the way this is set up...I find it much easier to read without rehashing the entire conversation in order for one to coment on it. But that may just be me.
 
Old 02-03-2001, 05:25 AM   #38
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JragonFli:
scroll...scroll...scroll
</font>
No, not just you. Thanks for calling attention to this. I am still learning.
aikido7


 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:26 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.