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 04-15-2001, 05:07 PM   #1
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post The Twelve

Iíve heard quite a few times now that the fact that 11 of the 12 disciples were later crucified proves that Jesus was resurrected because no one would die for what they know to be a lie. Ignoring the obvious counter-arguments, what proof is there that the disciples were actually crucified or believed in a resurrection? Any links or books that might help me out here?
 
Old 04-15-2001, 07:39 PM   #2
Opus1
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 177
Post

There is precious little evidence that Jesus' disciples were all crucified, much less that they died because they believed in his resurrection. But even if they all died martyrs, there's still the matter of whether they died as martyrs to Christianity, or martyrs to belief in the resurrection.

Modern day Christians look to the past with the misconception that belief in Jesus' resurrection started from day 1. But this is not necessarily so.

Imagine an alternative scenario: Jesus dies, and the disciples gather together and decide that they believe that he will return some day, so they should continue preaching their beliefs and living holy lives until he does. The authorities don't like this for some reason, and decide to torture and kill all the original disciples. After they're all dead, later Christians start believing that Jesus has returned. Thus, the belief in the resurrection postdates the death of the original disciples.

I'm not saying that this happened, but we can't discount the possibility out of hand that the idea of Jesus' resurrection was completely foreign to the early Christians. To take an analogy, think how many people continued MLK Jr.'s work in the civil rights movement even after he was assassinated. Now, imagine someone today, 40 years later, rights that MLK actually came back from the dead after he was shot. And, it must be true, or else why would his followers continue the movement and keep putting their lives on the line?

Needless to say, this argument is specious, because the followers of MLK did not believe that he came back from the dead.
Opus1 is offline  
Old 04-16-2001, 01:29 PM   #3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I've done a little bit of research on my own and come up with absolutely nothing. I wonder if the claim has any validity to it at all?
 
Old 04-16-2001, 02:20 PM   #4
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pug846:
I've done a little bit of research on my own and come up with absolutely nothing. I wonder if the claim has any validity to it at all?
Quote:
</font>
Hi pug846 !!

Have you read Acts 12, John 21, 1 Clement 5, or Josephus' Antiquities 20.9.1 ?? These might be good starting places for your research.


Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 04-16-2001, 07:28 PM   #5
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Polycarp said:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Acts 12</font>
It only mentions James and nowhere does it mention that he was killed for anything specific.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> John 21</font>
It doesnít mention any disciple being crucified. Itís also likely that chapter 21 of John was later added in, as there is a great difference between the language and style of chapter 21 and the rest of the book of John.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> 1 Clement 5</font>
Again, I donít see how it helps your case.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Josephus' Antiquities 20.9.1</font>
Early Christians forged at least part of Josephus writings to support their cause, so I would hesitate in trusting what it said about early Christianity. What does this quote say? I donít have access to his writings Ė I will see if I canít find it somewhere on the web.

I would prefer non-biblical sources that back up the case that the disciples were killed for their teachings. Anything else?
 
Old 04-17-2001, 05:32 AM   #6
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pug846:
Early Christians forged at least part of Josephus writings to support their cause, so I would hesitate in trusting what it said about early Christianity. What does this quote say? I donít have access to his writings Ė I will see if I canít find it somewhere on the web.

I would prefer non-biblical sources that back up the case that the disciples were killed for their teachings. Anything else?
Quote:
</font>
I should clarify exactly what I believe. First, I don't think all of the disciples were crucified or even martyred. I do believe there is good evidence to indicate that some of the first leaders of the Christian movement were killed for their beliefs.

Acts 12:1-2 does say James, the son of Zebedee (an original disciple), was killed due to his beliefs.

John 21:18-19 explains that Peter was executed. This is corroborated by the 1 Clement 5 info. 1 Clement is not a biblical book. It was a letter written in about 95 C.E. from a leader in the church of Rome. In it he makes mention of the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul in Rome. This info would seem to be reliable because it comes from a writer in the very city in which the events allegedly took place at a time only 30 years after the events.

The Josephus reference speaks of the stoning of James, the brother of Jesus, who was a leader of the Jerusalem church. This is not in the disputed portion of Josephus that was tampered with by Christians. 99% of scholars believe this to be originally written by Josephus.

These four early leaders: James (brother of Jesus), Peter, Paul, and James (son of Zebedee) all have good evidence for their martyrdoms. As for the other disciples, the evidence is later and less reliable. Most likely some of the other disciples were killed simply because its obvious there was a great deal of resistance to Christians both from Jews and Romans.

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 04-17-2001, 10:53 AM   #7
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

the NT books are useless, 1 Clement is useless, Josephus' Antiquities is useless, I guess to skeptics all ancient writings are useless!

 
Old 04-17-2001, 12:22 PM   #8
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Polycarp, I believe you are discussing an issue which didnít necessarily deal with my argument. I understand that at least some of the early Christian leaders were persecuted. However, I was looking for evidence that any of the 12 disciples were not only executed, but were execute and preached that Jesus had risen from sources other than the NT.

Scott said:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> the NT books are useless, 1 Clement is useless, Josephus' Antiquities is useless, I guess to skeptics all ancient writings are useless!</font>
I donít put a lot of faith into books that are known to have forgeries, like Josephusí Antiquites and the NT. The NT writers also had a lot to gain by distorting the truth some Ė so I would prefer non-biblical sources to back up what they claim. Since the NT often conflicts with itself, itís hard to know what to trust in it as an historical document.
 
Old 04-17-2001, 03:25 PM   #9
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by pug846:
Polycarp, I believe you are discussing an issue which didnít necessarily deal with my argument. I understand that at least some of the early Christian leaders were persecuted. However, I was looking for evidence that any of the 12 disciples were not only executed, but were execute and preached that Jesus had risen from sources other than the NT.
Quote:
</font>
Do you only believe information on Islam from non-Islamic sources? Do you only believe Roman history written by non-Roman historians? Do you only believe information on Democrats written by non-Democrats?

When you rig the game with your own rules you can reach any conclusion you want. Even when you made up your own rules to the game I gave you evidence.

I did list sources outside the NT - Clement & Josephus. I told you the passage in Josephus related to the death of James is authentic according to 99% of historians. If you'll provide some reasons for why you do not believe the Josephus passage is authentic, then we can discuss it.

My bible doesn't have Clement in it, does yours? You haven't said anything to refute the argument I made that a writer in Rome who was writing 30 years after the deaths of Peter and Paul is in a position to give us very reliable information.

Seriously, what other ancient sources besides Christian ones would've cared about the deaths of some miserable fishermen from Galilee who ran around talking about a guy who rose from the dead? None. Its like saying you'll only consider something in Roman history to be historical if its written by a non-Roman. This is very poor methodology.

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 04-17-2001, 03:59 PM   #10
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Question

I suppose if we want another non-NT source for the resurrection, we could use the Gospel of Peter.

Like Polycarp I am at a bit of a loss as to what is being asked for here. Could we maybe have a listing of what is considered to be acceptable and unacceptable sources from pug or other sceptics? Is the entire NT Canon rejected? If so, why and on the basis of what evidence? Why is Clement 1 being rejected? Because it is Christian? What is the evidence that it is an unreliable source? Also, since no one I am familiar with considers the Josephus source on the death of James to be interpolated by Christians, why has it been rejected again? Finally, how does one square the notion of the honest pursuit of history with the a priori rejection of sources, solely because they are Christian in origin?

Nomad
 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:53 PM.

Top

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