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Old 05-08-2001, 01:29 AM   #21
Bede
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Sorry but I must briefly reply to Lance.

First I have better things to do than exhaustively research the 42 names you produce. I note Michael got fed up after a few . Your post was the standard tactic of trying to give the illusion of a good case just by piling lots of rubbish together.

Second, we were talking about silence on Jesus and perhaps the apostles. You bringing up the earthquake and darkness is a typical strawman on a thread about the Historical Jesus. I expect as much from you.

Michael's point about Jews and Christians being interchangeable in Roman eyes is a good one and we should remember there were a lot more Jews, especially in major centres like Alexandria and Antioch.

The silence of all these writers about Paul, who certainly existed, speaks volumes about how much detail we should expect from sectarian leaders from obscure bits of the Empire. And the fact remains that Remsburg was inaccurate, ignorant and probably dishonest. Thanks, Lance, for bringing him up.

Yours

Bede

PS: does anyone know who Damis is? He might have produced something on grammar but I'm not sure.

Bede's Library - faith and reason
 
Old 05-08-2001, 04:58 AM   #22
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1. Damis the disciple of Apollonius, mentioned by Philostratus. He seems to have written something about Apollonius but I can't find it anywhere. I found a reference to "disciple and scribe" of Apollonius
in this translation of Apollonius' life.

http://www.magna.com.au/~prfbrown/a_tyana0.html

2. The link below more or less says that Damis writing did not survive:

http://www.livius.org/phi-php/philos...ilostratus.htm

just search on "DAMIS" in the page and you'll find where Philostratus seems to depend on his notes, but said notes do not exist today.

That's the only Damis I can find. Maybe there is another one.

Seems Remsberg was wrong here too, as he was in several places.

Michael
 
Old 05-08-2001, 07:12 AM   #23
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Michael,

I'd concur although to be fair to Remsburg, none of Justin of Tiberias has survived either but the Byzantine scholar Photius says he didn't recognise Jesus as the Messiah which many have assumed to mean He wasn't mentioned at all.

There's an Latin translation of Photius at the British library so I might get around to checking one day. Maybe one day I'll even manage to learn Greek...

That might be a similar reference to Damis.

Yours

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason
 
Old 05-08-2001, 10:41 AM   #24
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Bede: And deliberate mis-information is what?

You missed the ENTIRE point--that the secular record is nearly blank, clean, non-existant for Jesus AND the events portraited in the gospels.

I can accept a historical Jesus. In fact, I consider it somewhat likely (~75%, maybe a little less) that there was a man at the bottom of the myth.

Many on that list were naturalists. Where was the wonder at the sky darkening? Or of massive earthquakes, and so on? Or for that matter, the Star of Bethleham. Is that another myth too? We don't seem to see it recorded in naturalistic journals either.

This is a side question, but it does bug me a bit. Why aren't the original manuscripts in a place where all can see them such as the web. (Even in their original language.) Heck, give software a few years and it might be able to get some decent translations. Or is it there and I just don't know?
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Old 05-08-2001, 12:29 PM   #25
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Lance:
This is a side question, but it does bug me a bit. Why aren't the original manuscripts in a place where all can see them such as the web. (Even in their original language.) Heck, give software a few years and it might be able to get some decent translations. Or is it there and I just don't know?</font>

Ancient NT Papyri MSS


Ish


[This message has been edited by Ish (edited May 08, 2001).]
 
Old 05-08-2001, 04:46 PM   #26
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Ish: Oh that's way cool!!! Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2001, 07:26 PM   #27
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A question for each of ED and Nomad:

ED: What of the possibility that there were multiple strands of Christianity early on, some of which were mythicist and others of which were historical?

Nomad: What of the possibility that the record that has come down to us was "cooked" by the establishment to fit into the ultimately successful orthodoxy.

IMHO, attention to the competing scenarios, as opposed to the mountains of minutiae and citations that can be mustered on each side, is both more interesting and more easily accomplished in a debate of this kind.
 
Old 05-08-2001, 10:41 PM   #28
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First off, I think that Lance is fumbling toward what I'm trying to handle in a more systematic way -- what other sources would there have been to the events in the Gospels? Most of the events are localized to parts of Palestine, such as the big crowds that had allegedly followed Jesus Christ around. But Lance is right about larger-scale events like earthquakes and unusual darkness, that they would have been more broadly visible.

Also, I'd like to comment that Brian Trafford's comments are mostly charges of illegitimate claims and rhetorical techniques on the part of Earl Doherty -- and nothing on what might indicate that JC had been a real person. Which he seems to consider the appropriate null hypothesis.

 
Old 05-08-2001, 11:24 PM   #29
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I'm certainly no substitute for Earl Doherty, but it's hard to say how much time he'll have to reply to posts on this thread, so I'll jump in. I hope I can get the routine down OK.

First, a little introduction. I'm new here and am a far cry from a scholar. Most people posting have more knowledge and resources than I have. Earl's website caught my eye several years ago and blew me away. Alas, this is not an ego-free world, so everyone, including Earl Doherty (and me), must be considered for the possibility of bias, for being unwilling or unable to admit he's been wrong in a BIG way for a LONG time.

Thus, I'm always eager to read others' attempts to bust Earl. It was I who introduced Earl Doherty and James Patrick Holding to each other, asking the latter to review the former's work. Holding now has 14 articles devoted to Earl on his Rogue's Gallery page, 6 more than he has for anyone else! He made a valiant attempt to refute Earl's work, but didn't even come close.

Being notoriously slow in deciding what to say and how to say it, I'm not expecting to post very often. Thank your lucky stars!

That said, I'll reply to some points in Ish's initial post from May 7:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:

There is much generalization and too much emphasis on the negative aspects of the New Testament's trasmission in this third paragraph. For instance, I don't see mention of the well-documented Diocletian persecution (mentioned by Kurt Aland among other scholars) or of the environmental issues (most very early MSS found in text-material-preserving Egypt) as a likely explanation for the meager number of very early NT MSS.

Second, I don't see mention of the relatively "pure" (hardly modified over hundreds of years) Alexandrian family of MSS as compared to the proliferation of the harmonized Lucian text after Constantine became emperor.

I think these issues are important and would love to see them discussed. I don't think the issue is as black and white as the third and fourth paragraphs would have us believe.</font>
I find these points interesting as well, but not very significant. We have many proofs of these writings being altered over time. Our earliest manuscripts date well over a century after the initial writings. All of them are brought to us by an organization (the Roman church) which stood to profit from altering the texts. We need nothing more to establish the unreliable nature of them.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">How late do you date Acts, and what are your reasons for dating it later than most scholars?</font>
April 15, 146 CE.

Just kidding. But thereabouts, partly because of our favorite argument from silence: no attestation until, what, 175 or later?

In his book, Earl cites an argument by John Knox for dating Acts after Marcion. Marcion favored an abbreviated gospel of Luke. Would he have done so if Luke had already been attached to Acts, which portrayed Paul vastly different from how Marcion saw Paul?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Do you believe Luke was the author of Luke and/or Acts?</font>
Not likely. The authors are unknown, but the same individual apparently wrote or at least was involved in each.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Do you believe Acts is complete or partial fiction? Why?</font>
Largely fiction. First, there are the same elementary reasons why the reliability of the gospel stories is so dubious: the documents are religious in nature and record events which are highly improbable in nature.

From Earl's website:

"The author of Acts drew on kernels of tradition about the primitive Palestinian church, but these have been recast to fit the new plot line. There are huge discrepancies between Acts and what Paul tells us in his letters. Scholarship has been forced to admit that much of Acts is sheer fabrication."

Earl gives a few examples of these discrepancies between Paul and Acts in his book.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Earl Doherty:

Thessalonians 2:15-16 (The Jews "who killed the Lord Jesus"). This is widely acknowledged by critical scholars to be an interpolation.

. . .

Ish:

Who are the scholars that believe the phrase you quoted to be an interpolation, and why do they believe this? Do you have any sources you might quote for us?
</font>
I'm sure you'll agree that the who and the how many are unimportant. What counts is WHY. What does the evidence show? At any rate, here are names from the book: Pearson, Mack, Meeks, Koester, Perkins, Brandon, Fredricksen.

The two main reasons are: (1) The wrath of God in verse 16 appears to be something very big--probably the fall of Jerusalem and the temple during the war, which occurred after Paul died; (2) It's rather unlike Paul to speak of his Jewish countrymen in such a manner.

Again, the lack of textual variants in the key passages is fairly trivial. There was plenty of time for the interpolation to appear and gain its final form before the manuscripts we have today were made.

* * *

Sigh. On another forum a couple years ago, someone called me a parrot (said I was parroting Earl). And maybe I'm doing it here. Oh well. The man is worth quoting! I do think he's going to be focusing on Brian (Nomad) for the time being, but who knows? Maybe he'll pop in here now and then too. I know my answers were kind of brief here today. We can go into more detail later if you wish.

Bill
 
Old 05-09-2001, 12:18 AM   #30
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bede:
...You bringing up the earthquake and darkness is a typical strawman on a thread about the Historical Jesus...</font>
The Chinese at the time were meticulous in their recordings of "current" events at the time Jesus was purportedly tortued to death on a wooden T-bar, yet no mention of a "darkened sky," as described in the Bible, is found in their records. How could they have possibly failed to observe and record such an unusual event?

Rick

 
 

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