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Old 03-31-2001, 09:58 PM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Toto:

The book referred to above is "The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark" by Dennis MacDonald. MacDonald is a Professor of Theology and a Christian who believes in Jesus, not a "Jesus-myther."

There is nothing inconsistant in thinking that Jesus had 12 disciples, and that Mark's portrayal of them is a literary device. You will also notice that Mark and Matthew give different portrayals of the disciples - in Mark, they are pretty much a bunch of fools, while in Matthew they act a bit more intelligently.

The book is reviewed here: http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...erandmark.html</font>
Hi again Mendeh

I am not sure if you are actually aguing against the historicity of the Gospel of Mark (or the other Gospel accounts), but you need to be very careful in how you approach this topic.

For example, the especially appauling treatment of Mark given by MacDonald (as mentioned by Toto above) has already been through the meat grinder, and outside of this site, it is not likely to cause much more of a stir. If you would like to see a great discussion on the book itself, however, take a look at the thread The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark: A Sample. It was a lot of fun while it lasted, and MacD's supporters effectively (and very wisely) fled the field by the time it was over. I strongly recommend a read through if the topic interests you.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Someone who teaches Mark as straight history, with no added symbolism, literary devices, or myth is definitely not in the mainstream of theology or history. Read anything on the historical Jesus from the Jesus Seminar or other scholars.</font>
Well, the Jesus Seminar teaches theology, not history, but there are a lot of good books on the subject. Toto isn't talking to us apologists any longer, but if you would like some suggestions on good books to persue please let us know.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You can read most of the Jesus Puzzle on-line at www.jesuspuzzle.com .</font>
And as you can see, Toto is on a roll here. Of course, the problem with pop-theology/pseudo-history like the Jesus Puzzle is that nobody that knows anything about the subject of Jesus takes it seriously. I hope you will be open to serious scholars that offer much better material than you will find from Doherty.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">But don't get into trouble with your teacher. Some people are like Ish and Tercel - unable to handle any challenge to their belief system.</font>
Irony is rich Toto.

I understand that you are not really interested in serious historical inquiries, but I would ask you not to dump so much... um... well... anyways, I hope Mendeh will be more open minded.

Out of curiosity, how did you come by your theories Mendeh? I would enjoy a discussion on the literary nature of the Gospels as a whole if you are interested.

Peace,

Nomad
 
Old 03-31-2001, 10:01 PM   #12
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by madmax2976:

Indeed it is at least possible the other figures never existed either. But at least one crucial difference is that no one asks people to hang their very lives on the existence of those people.</font>
Just so I am clear on your point here max, are you saying that since some people have made claims that Jesus was divine, you think it is rational to doubt that he existed at all?

Just curious.

Nomad
 
Old 03-31-2001, 11:22 PM   #13
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
Just so I am clear on your point here max, are you saying that since some people have made claims that Jesus was divine, you think it is rational to doubt that he existed at all?

Just curious.

Nomad
</font>
Not sure how you got there, but nope thats not what I was saying.

A comparison was made to other historical figures in the attempt to show that believing Jesus may not have existed is on the same level as believing those persons never existed. The difference of course is how much people believe certain things.

We know that people have made things up, particularly about religious matters. We know they have created many stories about various Gods and such. (Or at least we think we know) Indeed, within Christianity, all other stories about gods or god-men are presumably false or made up.

Given the historically common propensity of people to invent deities and all sorts of related happenings, its not unreasonable to believe that Jesus was invented just like Tammuz, Osirius, or Mithra.

Personnally if I were asked if Jesus ever actually existed my answer would be - maybe.


[This message has been edited by madmax2976 (edited April 01, 2001).]
 
Old 04-01-2001, 04:30 PM   #14
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Smile

I've also read that Jesus was the 'Sun' and the twelve disciples the twelve constelations, "I will meet you in the house of the man who will bring the water" (Aquarius) "I will be with you always even until the end of the age" (Pices) but even I will concede this is a bit of a stretch.
 
Old 04-01-2001, 09:24 PM   #15
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Nomad - pretty sleazy of you to mention only one of the threads on MacDonald. I guess that means that I creamed you on the other?

Here it is for reference: http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f...ML/000268.html

Mendeh - I'm not sure exactly where you're coming from, but John Shelby Spong is a Christian who seems to interpret the Bible mostly as metaphor. You might like to read "Liberating the Gospels." You're not going to find anything that doesn't have a point of view - the historical evidence is just not definite enough.
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Old 04-02-2001, 07:53 AM   #16
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To the best of my knowledge, Spong is not a true scholar. I can provide a quote later, if I find it.

P.S. - Earl Doherty (wrote The Jesus Puzzle) also is not a scholar to my knowledge and his work was even rejected by important people on the Jesus Seminar.

Ish

[This message has been edited by Ish (edited April 02, 2001).]
 
Old 04-02-2001, 08:54 AM   #17
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Toto:
[B]Nomad - pretty sleazy of you to mention only one of the threads on MacDonald. I guess that means that I creamed you on the other?

Here it is for reference: http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f...ML/000268.html</font>
LOL! Thanks for the second reference Toto. I definitely recommend that Mendeh and anyone else interested in MacD's eccentric theories read it as well.

Hopefully by now you can see why you are so bad at discussions like these Toto. If you will read the last few replies (on either thread), you demonstrate quite clearly that you don't actually have any answers for our questions. If, on the other hand, you have done more research, and can actually reply to either thread, then please do so.

In any event, I hope Mendeh is still reading this thread. If he/she has any questions about good books to read on the subject, then we can discuss it.

BTW, thanks for talking to me again Toto. I thought I was going to miss you.

Nomad
 
Old 04-02-2001, 11:12 AM   #18
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
To the best of my knowledge, Spong is not a true scholar. I can provide a quote later, if I find it.

P.S. - Earl Doherty (wrote The Jesus Puzzle) also is not a scholar to my knowledge and his work was even rejected by important people on the Jesus Seminar.

Ish

[This message has been edited by Ish (edited April 02, 2001).]
</font>

-Ish,

Ok, I am not going to argue in favor of Spong's point of view. (Personally, I have liked a lot of what he has written. While I have not agreed with all he has proposed, he has challenged me to re-think my positions.) He does make a strong case for the position that Judas is a literary figure and not a historical person. And Mendeh can read "Liberating the Gospels: Looking at the Bible through Jewish Eyes" and make his own conclusions.

That thing I really bring up is how you flat-out deny that Spong is a scholar? On what grounds do you make this assertation? So maybe his ideas aren't accepted by a good portion of the Christian Theological world, but you have to give the man some amount of respect when the amount of books and articles contained in the bibliography and works cited page of "Liberating the Gospels. . " is bigger that most of the home libraries of people on this board. When you add together all the works he has read through for research for all of his books and articles, one can hardly not call this man a scholar.

You can call him a scholar that you don't agree with. One can still be scholar and have his/her work rejected by many people because the points he/she advocates. That rejection does not in any fashion invalidate the work that went into researching ones' conclusions.

If the person's work is shoddy, or not well annotated or document. Then yes, by all means call their work unscholarly. However, Bishop Spong's work is neither. His many books and articles attest to this.

Whether you agree with him or not,(and from the tone of your post, you don't), is an entirely different subject.
 
Old 04-02-2001, 11:22 AM   #19
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Hello again, there.

Sorry not to have been able to post earlier, but my internet connection went on the blink and I couldn't get online any earlier than this.

Right, let's review the situation:

(1) I'm not suggesting that the disciples did not exist - I'm quite happy to accept that both Jesus and at least some of the 12 disciples really did exist. What I am interested in discussing is how the disciples - and other characters in the gospel of Mark - are used as literary devices to get across a point.

(2) After a conversation with my (Christian) father, it seems to me that there does seem to be some symbolism in the number of the disciples; the 12 disciples corresponding to the 12 tribes of Israel.

(3) I'm not at all convinced about the Homer/Mark idea that has been propounded by some people - the Illiad and the Odyssey are huge books, and so I'd not be surprised if there are apparent parallels between Mark and Homer. Either way, it's not something that's particularly relavant to the debate - I'm interested in how characters (never mind if they're historical or not) are used by Mark to make his points.

Nomad - I'd love to have a discussion with you on this, but preferably limited to Mark's gospel, at least until I have a chance to re-read the other three.
 
Old 04-02-2001, 11:31 AM   #20
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Mendeh - watch out for Nomad. He's a very slippery character. He has the bizarre idea that the Gospels are historical evidence. He is practicing what is called "apologetics", which is what the Greeks called a legal defense. That means he has no more regard for historical truth than any other defense lawyer.

The idea that Mark was based on Homer is not persuasive until you actually read MacDonald's book, which Nomad refuses to do.
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