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Old 03-20-2001, 06:01 AM   #41
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Nomad:

1) If you want to understand the spread of Christianity in Europe, you can look up the articles on Medieval Europe at the Ency. Brit. If it is my claims for Clovis, then type "conversion of Clovis" in Google and see what falls out. I supplied a couple of sources as asked, and feel no further need to do research for you. As you said, you already know.

2) Yes, the conversion of Europe is unique. So is any historical event. However, it has commonalities with other historical events, such as the conversion of China, SE and Japan to Buddhism, the spread of Hinduism in SE Asia by peaceful means (Hindu merchants brought priests who peacefully converted local potentates -- remind you of anything?) and the spread of other religions.

3) I did not say, and will not maintain, that Christianity was spread only at the point of the sword.

4) There is no contradiction between noting that there was already a leaven of Xtianis in Europe when the missionaries went in during the Dark Ages, and noting that the missionaries had a "top-down" conversion strategy. This strategy was pursued throughout history, in almost all areas Christianity entered. It failed in China and India, and was only partially successful in Africa. Note that I am not saying it is the only strategy used.

5) Peaceful conversion to outside religion is a common event in history and there is nothing miraculous about it. Perhaps the Franks really did think Xtianity was better than their own beliefs. There is nothing wrong with noting the Franks (or Saxons, or whoever) had a subjective judegement about Xtianity. If you wish to draw the objective conclusion "Christianity is better," you are honor bound, as a good scholar, to wonder why it failed in India, China and elsewhere.

6) What I wanted to head off was the triumphalist conclusion underlying your naive and ethnocentric thesis that Christianity's success was due to some "special factor" like the intervention of god or the superiority of Xtianity to all other religions. Christianity did quite well in a socially unstable area, politically unsettled, and inhabited by a myriad of local religions. It failed utterly in China and India where stable social, political and religious systems could compete with it. Its success or failure, like that of other religions, can be explained by mundane, if complex, historical processes.

Michael
 
Old 03-20-2001, 07:44 AM   #42
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
1) If you want to understand the spread of Christianity in Europe, you can look up the articles on Medieval Europe at the Ency. Brit.
Quote:
</font>
I'd really like to hear your response to the question I asked you yesterday in this thread because I think it directly ties into the point Nomad was trying to make. Here's what I wrote:

I'd like to hear your theory on the ORIGIN of Christianity, not how it spread. Who started it? When did they start it? Where and how did it start?

You don't need to write a book - one or two paragraphs should suffice

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 03-20-2001, 08:14 AM   #43
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Originally posted by Polycarp:
[b] I'd really like to hear your response to the question I asked you yesterday in this thread because I think it directly ties into the point Nomad was trying to make. Here's what I wrote:

Did you ask me this? I missed it completely! Sorry!

I'd like to hear your theory on the ORIGIN of Christianity, not how it spread. Who started it? When did they start it? Where and how did it start?

You don't need to write a book - one or two paragraphs should suffice


"one or two paragraphs should suffice."

Ha-ha-ha

I don't have any real "theory," if you are asking for a general model of how religion develops and is spread. I presume you mean "historical explanation" for the particular rise of Christianity.

And my answer is, no, thanks, I have had enough headaches already. I haven't yet decided which version (Doherty or Crossan or whoever) is the definitive one as far as that goes (say for the period 30 CE -100 CE). I just take it for granted that some belief system called Christianity emerged from the various struggles between the earliest factions of Jesus-believers.

Michael
 
Old 03-20-2001, 08:52 AM   #44
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:

[Iain Simpson:]To be honest, I find the reactions of Christians to some of the naturalistic explanations for the resurrection somewhat baffling. Nomad, you dismiss the idea that Joseph of Aramathea might have removed the body as “highly improbable”. OK, some aspects of it do seem rather unlikely, but how much more improbable is it that a man should rise from the dead?

[Nomad:]... The weight of the evidence tells us that it is extremely unlikely that Joseph of Arimathea was either an invention, or that he removed the body. ...

[LP:]WHAT evidence??? Has Nomad discovered Joseph of Arimathea's memoirs???</font>
Cute LP. I guess you haven't been reading the threads here. You started one called "Jesus Worth Burying in a Tomb" then pretty much vanished. My recommendation is you go back to it, read it, and then you will see what I am talking about when I say the prepoderence of evidence.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">[Nomad:]What I disagree with is the idea that the oral tradition could have been seriously corrupted in such a short period of time.

[LP:]There is an abundance of counterevidence to that proposition -- cases of people believed to have done miracles despite their claims to have done no such thing. Furthermore, his followers have plenty of motive to exaggerate and embellish accounts of JC's life and "death".</font>
Two things, we have already covered off the reliability of the oral tradition amongst ancient and semi-literate civilizations. It is well known that record keepers could and did keep extremely long oral stories going from generation to generation.

Second, motive does not equate to crime LP. If you want to accuse the disciples, aposltes and evangelists and other early Christians of embellishing stories and the like, I want to see more than your paranoid ravings. Offer us some proof of your claims, then tell us why it is important.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Furthermore, the contradictions between the various resurrection accounts suggest that those embellishments had been done at least semi-independently.</font>
We already know that there were more than one resurrection account, and this multiple attestation coupled with independent sources demonstrates its reliability. That is how historical inquiry is done LP. What you have to do is demonstrate that the unique features to any of the stories are genuine contradictions or embellishments, and really, all you can do is speculate.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I'm sure that Nomad believes that the accounts of Apollonius of Tyana's miracles and resurrection are pure fiction; in fact, he often seems to presuppose that miracles cannot occur outside of the Bible, and uses that presupposition to judge the historicity of A of T's supposed miracles.</font>
Miracles did and do occur outside of the Bible. Now stop with the red herrings and don't go and try changing the subject again. I want to know what happened after Jesus died, and I want you to do it by assuming that the Resurrection is a fraud.

Stay on topic please. If you don't have a theory, that is cool, but if you do, be prepared to defend it.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">[Nomad:]Considering the lengths both Paul and the disciples went to assure their readers that Jesus was not a ghost, they must be assumed to be very aware of this objection. Jesus makes a point of demonstrating his physicallity in the resurrection accounts.

[LP:]JC had been a divinity in most of Paul's letters, with some "human" elements, though possibly not as many as possessed by the typical Olympian deity. Earl Doherty discusses this question in gory detail -- he's well worth reading.</font>
LOL! Look, just because you can find one author who happens to agree with you doesn't amount to any proof. We have a large number of threads on this board arguing this very point LP. I haven't seen you putting your two cents in on many of them, and most of what you say never moves beyond mere assertion.

Do better, and show us that you can actually back up your claims with some proofs (even some quotes from Doherty would be nice).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">[Iain Simpson on rising from the dead being very unlikely...]

[Nomad:]I agree, and interestingly, so did almost everyone that lived at the time of Jesus. Remember that people have been scoffing at this story for 2000 years now, and its durability is quite remarkable, even if you do not believe it.

[LP:]Scoffing? Which scoffing?</font>
Hold on. Are you saying that people back in the days of the disciples and apostles did not scoff at the story of Jesus rising from the dead?

Perhaps you can explain to me why most of the Jews rejected this story then. Or why Paul got run out of town in more than one city. Do you actually read anything LP? Your ignorance is showing more and more.

Acts 13:45-46 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying. Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.

Acts 14:19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.

Acts 17:32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject."

Acts 18:6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."

Acts 21:30-33 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done.

1 Corinthians 1:22-23 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,


You know what? I'm going to stop now. I am sick and tired of being the one that provides proof after proof of my claims only to see more baseless assertions from sceptics like you. It is time to put up or shut up LP. Your ideas and beliefs run counter to the evidence, so if you offer nothing to support them, then we must assume that you make them up for your own benefit, or string them together from bits and pieces of disconnected information you managed to pick up from who knows where.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Like the way that Nomad scoffs at the miracles of Apollonius of Tyana? Not to mention just about every other miracle outside of the Bible?</font>
Point out where I scoffed at Apollonius' miracles, then explain to me why you have brought this up in this thread. The topic is What happened after Jesus died. If you don't know, then you don't know. Just stop wasting my time here.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And I'd be hard-pressed to call the story "durable" when its official advocates had been known to burn people at the state for minute doctrinal differences for much of the last 2000 years.</font>
And this is a lie, and I know you know it is a lie, because I have proven it to you in the past. Offer ANY evidence that Christians have been burning people at the stake throughout much of its 2000 year history, and offer sources. I want to know where you pick up this garbage.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I'm not sure what Nomad calls the homoousia-homoiousia controversy; that was a controversy over whether the Father and the Son have the same or similar essences. Now those willing to fight vicious fights over such theological details are not likely to be interested in careful examinations of the
question of whether JC had really risen from the dead.</font>
Is this on topic for this thread? Nope. Does it tell us what you think happened after Jesus died? Nope again.

Stay on topic.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">[Nomad:]While I agree that the conviction of the followers is critical to being believed, I do have a basic faith in human nature that we test the truth over time, and each individual and generation comes to an approximation of the truth that makes it possible for them to know what it is.

[LP:]That does not seem very much like being willing to burn people at the stake for minute theological differences, as had happened for much of Christianity's history.</font>
You are a liar LP. Offer proofs for your slanders, or withdraw them. I am tired of having to listen to your baseless accusations, so I am going to call you on each and every one of them until you offer some evidence.

I want sources, I want stats, I want places, and numbers of people involved in your slanders here. You have made an assertion, back it up.

Nomad
 
Old 03-20-2001, 08:59 AM   #45
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First of all I am not an atheist -
Second I see that no one really understood my points:

The Bible does NOT -repeat NOT -give a "naturalistic explanation" to ANY of the points outlined by Nomad. His rejection of the 'supernatural' aspect is unwarranted and unproven. It is mere subjective bias.

It seems that his histor-critical method has erased the supernatural altogether - and that brings up some of my dissatisfaction with the 'methodology':
it fails utterly to get to the real Jesus: it only gets as far as the Jesus that you want to paint a picture of: case in point:
the 'conservatives' don't like Crossan's Jesus -they find his Jesus "unbelievable" - is that an argument? No - it's an emotional gut jerk. Crossan certainly thinks his Jesus believable. The only retort that these historical guys can come up with is this: he abused the criteria. Who's to say that? Where is there an objective criteria? What is the 'objective' admixture of attestation, aramaisms, etc? Well there is none. It's quite subjective - the way you want the real Jesus to look is going to go a long way in determining your criteria and the mixture. You want Jesus to look like a sage? No problem. A cynic? No problem. A madman? No problem. A revolutionary? No problem. But please note that all we're getting is another person's picture - but we're not getting anywhere to the 'real' Jesus at all.
Crossan's Jesus is just as valid (given the methods) as Meier's. It's seems to me that neither have come close. It's subjective and the only retort is "your Jesus is unbelievable" - the Quest is a farce.

But as I said before, the Quest does make it hard for those who wish to include the supernatural - that's because the methodology can't really say much on those matters.
But, as I pointed out before, the supernatural aspect of Jesus as presented in the NT is evident thru and thru.

If the historical method can't prove that a virgin gave birth to the Son of God incarnate, or that Jesus died for sins and propitiated an angry God, then it misses the real Jesus.
And given the elasticity of the method, I don't see that it proves anything. As a matter of fact, it can validate anyone's story. Crossan's, Meier's, Nomad's,etc..

It turns out that the real quest is to see which scholar can win the day, whose story is going to reign supreme? Whose Jesus gets to be the 'real' Jesus?
[Stanley Fish (Is there a Text -last few chapters) was correct.......]

Thank you for the discussion.
 
Old 03-20-2001, 09:03 AM   #46
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:

1) If you want to understand the spread of Christianity in Europe, you can look up the articles on Medieval Europe at the Ency. Brit. If it is my claims for Clovis, then type "conversion of Clovis" in Google and see what falls out. I supplied a couple of sources as asked, and feel no further need to do research for you. As you said, you already know.</font>
I am going to help you understand how supporting evidence is offered Michael. First, you quote from actual books, authors or articles, then you offer references (book titles, page numbers, or web site addresses). You have made a number of assertions, and it is not my job as the sceptic to look them up.

I am not saying that such supports do not exist, but until you show us what you have actually read on the subject, your assertions remain groundless.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">`2) Yes, the conversion of Europe is unique. So is any historical event. However, it has commonalities with other historical events, such as the conversion of China, SE and Japan to Buddhism, the spread of Hinduism in SE Asia by peaceful means (Hindu merchants brought priests who peacefully converted local potentates -- remind you of anything?) and the spread of other religions.</font>
Of course there are similarities to other activities by other missionaries, but when we examine them closely, we see that the differences are critical.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">3) I did not say, and will not maintain, that Christianity was spread only at the point of the sword.</font>
Cool. Thank you.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">4) There is no contradiction between noting that there was already a leaven of Xtianis in Europe when the missionaries went in during the Dark Ages, and noting that the missionaries had a "top-down" conversion strategy. This strategy was pursued throughout history, in almost all areas Christianity entered. It failed in China and India, and was only partially successful in Africa. Note that I am not saying it is the only strategy used.</font>
Gotcha. Thank you for the clarification, since reading your previous posts led me to believe you were making this claim.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">5) Peaceful conversion to outside religion is a common event in history and there is nothing miraculous about it. Perhaps the Franks really did think Xtianity was better than their own beliefs. There is nothing wrong with noting the Franks (or Saxons, or whoever) had a subjective judegement about Xtianity. If you wish to draw the objective conclusion "Christianity is better," you are honor bound, as a good scholar, to wonder why it failed in India, China and elsewhere.</font>
On this particular thread I am asking what others believe happened. What I believe is not on the table because it does not matter. I want to know how deeply, or if at all, the sceptics here have thought about these questions.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">6) What I wanted to head off was the triumphalist conclusion underlying your naive and ethnocentric thesis that Christianity's success was due to some "special factor" like the intervention of god or the superiority of Xtianity to all other religions. Christianity did quite well in a socially unstable area, politically unsettled, and inhabited by a myriad of local religions.</font>
Politically unstable like the Roman Empire c. 50-300AD?? Politically unsettled? Can you demonstrate this for me please? I had thought that Rome was the opposite of what you describe here.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> It failed utterly in China and India where stable social, political and religious systems could compete with it. Its success or failure, like that of other religions, can be explained by mundane, if complex, historical processes.</font>
No sweat Michael, and thank you for your replies. I would just like to know how you came by your beliefs, and what supporting evidence you have for your claims.

Thank you again.

Nomad

 
Old 03-20-2001, 09:12 AM   #47
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jmcanany:
</font>
Hello again jm

I am not sure you are still getting the point of this thread.

We do not have to assume that any of the supernatural things in the Bible actually happened in order to believe that Jesus was born, lived, died on a cross, was buried in a tomb, the tomb was found empty and his followers said he was physically risen from the dead within days of his burial.

So, taking the naturalist or materialist at his word, I would like to know what they think happened. I do not expect the explaination to be perfect, but I would like to see that some of them have at least considered this question and come up with some ideas. If we end up disagreeing about them, that is alright. After all, the world would be pretty boring if we agreed about everything wouldn't it?

Thanks again, and I would very much like to hear what you believed happened between the death of Jesus, and the proclomation by his friends, followers and family that he was risen.

Nomad
 
Old 03-20-2001, 09:14 AM   #48
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You have made a number of assertions, and it is not my job as the sceptic to look them up.

I am not saying that such supports do not exist, but until you show us what you have actually read on the subject, your assertions remain groundless.</font>
For the third time, Nomad, I have already referred you to the ency. brit. for a good overview. I had a couple of courses in medieval history in college, I also did some checking on the web, and read the articles at the ency brit on medieval europe and the spread of buddhism in china.

Which "assertions" are "groundless" because I don't have supporting "references?" You've made accusations. Support'em.

What are the "critical" differences between the spread of buddhism or hinduism and that of xtianity?

And what's YOUR theory/model/explanation for the spread of xtianity in Europe?
Michael

[This message has been edited by turtonm (edited March 20, 2001).]
 
Old 03-20-2001, 09:18 AM   #49
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jmcanany:
First of all I am not an atheist -
Second I see that no one really understood my points:

The Bible does NOT -repeat NOT -give a "naturalistic explanation" to ANY of the points outlined by Nomad. His rejection of the 'supernatural' aspect is unwarranted and unproven. It is mere subjective bias.

It seems that his histor-critical method has erased the supernatural altogether - and that brings up some of my dissatisfaction with the 'methodology':
it fails utterly to get to the real Jesus: it only gets as far as the Jesus that you want to paint a picture of: case in point:
the 'conservatives' don't like Crossan's Jesus -they find his Jesus "unbelievable" - is that an argument? No - it's an emotional gut jerk. Crossan certainly thinks his Jesus believable. The only retort that these historical guys can come up with is this: he abused the criteria. Who's to say that? Where is there an objective criteria? What is the 'objective' admixture of attestation, aramaisms, etc? Well there is none. It's quite subjective - the way you want the real Jesus to look is going to go a long way in determining your criteria and the mixture. You want Jesus to look like a sage? No problem. A cynic? No problem. A madman? No problem. A revolutionary? No problem. But please note that all we're getting is another person's picture - but we're not getting anywhere to the 'real' Jesus at all.
Crossan's Jesus is just as valid (given the methods) as Meier's. It's seems to me that neither have come close. It's subjective and the only retort is "your Jesus is unbelievable" - the Quest is a farce.

But as I said before, the Quest does make it hard for those who wish to include the supernatural - that's because the methodology can't really say much on those matters.
But, as I pointed out before, the supernatural aspect of Jesus as presented in the NT is evident thru and thru.

If the historical method can't prove that a virgin gave birth to the Son of God incarnate, or that Jesus died for sins and propitiated an angry God, then it misses the real Jesus.
And given the elasticity of the method, I don't see that it proves anything. As a matter of fact, it can validate anyone's story. Crossan's, Meier's, Nomad's,etc..

It turns out that the real quest is to see which scholar can win the day, whose story is going to reign supreme? Whose Jesus gets to be the 'real' Jesus?
[Stanley Fish (Is there a Text -last few chapters) was correct.......]

Thank you for the discussion.
</font>
Let me assure you that scholarly reaction to Crossan's Jesus is much more than a "gut" reaction. An important, perhaps foundational, aspect of Crossan's work is his dating of the Gospel of Thomas and the Cross Gospel. The majority of scholars reject his dating, and reliance, on these gospels. And with good reason. Remove Crossan's assumptions re GoT and CG, and his theory is severly undermined.


 
Old 03-20-2001, 10:05 AM   #50
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by not a theist:

Nomad: ..from that we can determine that Jesus was given to Joseph and buried by him in a tomb.

nat: I thought I had already stipulated that Jesus was given to Joseph. I also agree that he was taken to a tomb.</font>
Then how would you account for Pilate releasing a prisoner into Joseph's care if he didn't know that Jesus was already dead?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">nat: I think you misunderstood me. I was only discounting them as privy to any possible conversation between J. of A. and Pilate. I grant that they were present at least at some points in the crucifixion though I think they did leave the immediate area before he was taken down, perhaps watching from afar.</font>
What evidence do you have that the witnesses left early?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I was merely trying to eliminate them from witnesses to the conversation with Pilate. So take back your charge on at least this point. (Don't worry, you'll still get to charge me with it later on other points )(Actually, re-reading what I wrote, I see how you understood it that way.)</font>
They don't have to be witnesses to the conversation. All we have to do is reasonably assume that Pilote wasn't a total idiot, and would not have released Jesus' body unless he believed it was dead. Any belief he would have had on the matter would have come from a simple inquiry, and his inquiry is natural given that Jesus was only on the cross 6 hours or so.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Jn. 19:34-35: I've looked and can't find my reference. I still maintain that the language is awkward in v.35 (read it!) compared to the surrounding verses and see no reason for the author to specify that this was an eyewitness account (unless it came from a questionable source) since presumably the other elements of the narrative were also.</font>
Umm, excuse me? Since someone tells you that an eyewitness testimony is an eyewitness testimony, it is not an eye witness testimony?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I take the 'He who saw it' in v. 35 to be referring to someone other than the BD. I take the 'his testimony is true' to be an interpolation by either the BD or the first redactor. And I take v.35 to refer specifically to refer to the events of v. 34 only.</font>
I don't have my books with me at work, but when I looked up 19:35 in Death of the Messiah, Brown argues persuasively that the Greek here refers both to the BD both times. Since I do not read Greek myself, I think I would need to understand how you came by this alternative reading.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> (Actually, I'm not sure that it's not referring to a third-hand witness!) I'm not saying that this is the only possible reading, just that it can be read this way. Let me counter: prove it is historical. We really don't know that it is and it's awkwardness is sufficient grounds for me to question it coupled with the theological motivations for including it.</font>
The only awkwardness in the text is determining if both 19:35a and 19:35b are referring to the same person. I have not seen this used as an argument for the non-historicity of the surrounding text however.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I know you counter that someone without sufficient medical knowledge could not have invented it, but perhaps it was written by someone who had seen it happen, just not to Jesus. He may have witessed this type of stabbing before. Couple this with the theological reasons for including it and it makes it sufficiently questionable in my mind to doubt.</font>
There are a couple of problems here with your theory. First, the theological motive is provied by John himself.

John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

On this basis you would have to say that the redactor was adding this bit as well, and I have never heard anyone suggest that 7:38 was not part of the original composition of John (i.e. preredaction). (Otherwise, why would John have mentioned it here at all?). I am sorry to be asking for a reference from you here nat, but I would like to know if your theory has any textual support within the Greek itself.

The second problem is that you must read into the text that the BD did not witness this event, and construct an image of some later redactor that sees someone else get pierced, and thinks to connect it to John 7:38 through Jesus on the cross. We are straying very far into complex construction here, and I am not sure that the text can bear the weight you would like to put on it.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I'm not saying that I can prove it isn't historical. But my proving each of my assertions wasn't the point of this whole little exercise, merely to construct an alternative narrative. In fact I stipulated in my first post in this thread that I be allowed to introduce elements which were 'hypothetical, speculative, improbable (but then again how improbable is resurrection from the dead) and undocumented'.</font>
Yes, I know you did nat, and I want to thank you for bearing with me as I pick through your hypothesis. On the other hand, I hope you can at least appreciate what it is like when a sceptic wants to nit pick every single detail, leaving us in an almost absurd reductionist position in which we don't know much of anything about anything any longer.

Right now I am testing how plausable and reasonable your explaination is, and to your credit, you are not doing too badly. But if the premises are this shaky, anything we build on it later is going to be in even worse shape, and before I let you move on to those future points, I want to make sure I have examined this part as closely as possible.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Pilate was informed that Jesus was dead before granting Joseph of A's request.

nat: I thought we had already established that "The historicity of the specific words exchanged between Joseph of A and Pilote is not an issue here". So how do we know what Pilate was informed of. Who was standing there to hear Pilate informed of anything?</font>
We do not need a witness to the conversation, since Pilote would have had to have been mad to let a prisoner condemned to death for sedition against the Empire go without knowing that the sentence was carried out. Pilote does not strike me as a madman, or one to take that kind of risk.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You're not asking me to assume that the BD was with J. of A. are you?</font>
No (although if Joseph of A was a secret disciple, then it is almost certain that he did talk to some of Jesus disciples about it later). That said, I don't want to bog you down hopelessly, and will stick with the assumption that Pilote wasn't a twit, and would not have handed over any body until he knew it was dead. (see my earlier points about how the Romans knew how to kill a man on a cross, and even knew how to tell that he was actually dead, and not just "mostly dead"). Ever watch The Princess Bride?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: The BD did not have to overhear the conversation, again, simple deduction and observation would suffice.

nat: I think that whoever deduced it deduced wrong.</font>
How? Are you saying that it is reasonable to think that Pilote would release a prisoner that was supposed to be dead before he was actually dead?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: See what I mean by selectve use of the evidence? If you reject John 19:35-37, why accept verse 39 except that it fits your theory?

nat: I do that sometimes, but really that's not my reason for rejecting that particular passage. I accept 38ff. even though the myrrh in 39 would tend to contradict my theory. (Myrhh IS used for dead bodies). I really do reject vv. 34-35 because of the argument I've heard which was convincing at the time concerning the grammatical structure. I'll keep trying to find/remember the source.</font>
Thanks.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: ...even the selective use of this piece of evidence is not conclusive for your case that a curative was applied to Jesus' body, thus I would call this a case of resorting to special pleading.

nat: I never said it was conclusive. I'm trying to construct an alternative explanation that's possible not certain. Of course it's special pleading. I don't even say it's probable. I just think it's more probable than being raised from the dead. </font>
Gotcha nat. And thank you for taking the time to work through your theory, especially with someone like me buzzing around you. Just don't expect me to let you off easy (I know some here think that is my style, but it's not. Really! ).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Since all four Gospels have the women seeing Jesus buried...

nat: Mark has them seeing the tomb not the burial. We can infer that they saw the events before v.47, but it doesn't say they did. And I don't see them at the tomb in John at all before the Resurrection. I do, however stipulate that they saw the tomb at least once before the Resurrection and that he was in it when they saw it.</font>
You need to make a very large argument from silence here. We have the Gospels claiming witnesses throughout the events in question, but no, they don't say it after every sentence. After all, if they said something along the line of "Mary saw Jesus die, then Mary saw Joseph take him down from the cross, then Mary saw him lay the body in a tomb, then Mary saw Joseph roll a rock in front of the entrance and leave, then Mary went for coffee..." I think a lot of eyebrows are going to be raised.

I think we can allow the evangelists some literary leeway here.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Once again you are resorting to special pleading, as well as an argument from silence for Josephus' depiction of his friends' crucifixion. A beating was common for the condemned...

nat: I cite Nomad for my evidence. "A beating was common for the condemned." I therefore infer that it is perfectly reasonable to think that Josephus' friends were also beaten.</font>
LOL! On the other hand, Jesus couldn't carry his own cross to Golgotha, and this is extremely embarrassing, showing his physical weakness.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: ...coupled with the extreme embarrassment created by admitting that Jesus was too weak to carry his own cross ...

nat: Show me where his weakness was mentioned. Otherwise you're begging the question on whether he was too weak. (i.e. If they say he was too weak, he must have been too weak; and if they don't say he was too weak, he must have been too weak )</font>
The practice was for a prisoner to be required to carry his own cross. It was part of the punishment for the condemned, and was waived only if the condemned could not physically pull it off alone.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: The reason the historicity of Jesus not carry his own cross is accepted...

nat:I grant that he didn't carry it all the way. I dispute the reason he didn't. If you argue weakness it will be an argument from silence. In fact, I think it more likely he could have survived not having to wear himself out carrying his cross!</font>
There is no other reason for the Romans to let him off on this point. You carry your own cross to your execution. Period.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">P.S. I read the 'Was Jesus Worth Burying..." thread and am still not backing down from this theory. I still think this is a workable theory.</font>
That's cool. I really do appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this nat. I hope you do not mind that I am not giving much quarter here.

Peace,

Nomad



[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited March 20, 2001).]
 
 

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