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Old 01-03-2001, 09:59 AM   #1
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Post The Bible: The Ultimate Book of Urban Legends.

If any of the stories in the bible were reported in the same manner today most people would see them as nothing more than urban legends. A modern example is the myth of Saint Cassie and the "Do you believe in god?" question before she was shot. Fom later statements by those involved in the investigation it was found out that this didn't happen this way at all.

It is much easier to verify a story now than it was back in biblical times, because communications were limited, most people didn't go more than 10 miles away from their village, and literacy was low as well.

[This message has been edited by Orpheous99 (edited January 03, 2001).]
 
Old 01-03-2001, 10:11 AM   #2
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Orpheous99,

If any of the stories in the bible were reported in the same manner today most people would see them as nothing more than urban legends. A modern example is the myth of Saint Cassie and the "Do you believe in god?" question before she was shot. Fom later statements by those involved in the investigation it was found out that this didn't happen this way at all.

I disagree. "Most people" believe the Saint Cassie story and don't bother to verify it, even though the sources are readily available. Some people (Hi, Nomad! ), unfortunately, apparently think that credulity is a modern invention and that anyone alive 2,000 years ago would have vigorously researched the Jesus legend before believing it.

It is much easier to verify a story now than it was back in biblical times, because communications were limited, most people didn't go more than 10 miles away from their village, and literacy was low as well.

Yep. That's why I don't understand how someone (Hi, again, Nomad! ) can believe that it was more difficult to start a legend in biblical times.

-Pompous Bastard

Edited because I can't manage to get the UBB tags right the first time...


[This message has been edited by Pompous Bastard (edited January 03, 2001).]
 
Old 01-03-2001, 04:27 PM   #3
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Originally posted by Pompous Bastard:

I disagree. "Most people" believe the Saint Cassie story and don't bother to verify it, even though the sources are readily available. Some people (Hi, Nomad! ), unfortunately, apparently think that credulity is a modern invention and that anyone alive 2,000 years ago would have vigorously researched the Jesus legend before believing it.

Maybe i should had said most sensible people.


Yep. That's why I don't understand how someone (Hi, again, Nomad! ) can believe that it was more difficult to start a legend in biblical times.

If anything it was far more easy to back than. People were all too ignorant about the world and of other peoples. They don't have that excuse anymore yet they continue doing it.
 
Old 01-03-2001, 04:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Orpheous99:
People were all too ignorant about the world and of other peoples. They don't have that excuse anymore yet they continue doing it.</font>
Oh, they still have that excuse! The president elect is a perfect example.
 
Old 01-03-2001, 05:14 PM   #5
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Smile

I'm not convinced people in Biblical times really cared or even distinguished between things that really happened & the stories they were told by preists, these people all "knew" God existed they also knew the point the Rabbi was trying to make. Sodom story; 'behave or God will kill you' Today people seem to need to think that these things really happened because they are not so sure about God.
 
Old 01-04-2001, 07:20 AM   #6
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Well, you invoked my favorite phrase, how could I stay away ...

As a UL buff, I have to agree with you, on a number of levels. For instance, it is amazing how hard a "believer" will cling to an urban legend, even if/when told that it is just that--a legend a story, with little or no basis in fact. I cannot count the number of times someone has told me an "amazing thing" that happened to their moms' dentists' husband, and when I tell them it's a UL, they insist "Oh, no, not this time, my mom met him personally, and he told her it was true," or "Oh, no, he's still in the hospital, the dentist was sending a card around to get signed."

Of course, that's the nature of the urban legend--take a very scary, but very plausible (to the uneducated, at least) story, add the FOAF* factor for reliability, and just enough local details to lend credibility, and BAM! An Emeril recipie for believability.

(*FOAF: "Friend of a Friend." No one ever actually meets the victim of a UL; they meet the person who knows the person who experienced it.)

The Bible works in much the same way. Consider: how many first-hand EYEWITNESS accounts of the life of Jesus do we have? How many of the NT writers were there at his birth, at his baptism, at his last supper? Or are the gospels simply FOAF records of his life? And if people will swallow the old cannard about the rat in the bucket of chicken, what else will they believe?

--W@L
 
Old 01-04-2001, 07:28 AM   #7
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Interesting point.

Crossan wrote about a story that had circulated an Air Force base in WWII. Apparently, a pilot had been awarded the Medal of Honor for refusing to bail out of a crashing plane and leave a doomed comrade behind. The story was eventually picked up and printed in The Reader's Digest.

The tale became so widely entrenched that Reagan mentioned it in numerous speeches. Eventually, a reporter looked up the records of all Medal of Honor recipients and found that the story was fictional. Indeed, it had been the plot of a movie.

Makes you wonder. If all records had been destroyed and a thousand years from now historians could rely on only a magazine article and the recollections of the President of the United States, would they accept the tale as credible? Probably.

After all, they would have more solid documentation as to its veracity than they do for the existence of Jesus, wouldn't they?

 
Old 01-15-2001, 11:10 PM   #8
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The fictionality of Jesus is not questioned by historians. Only the claims about his life are questioned. Also, oral traditions in ancient cultures, some of which still exist in some countries have been found very reliable. One reason is, believe it or not, the illiteracy rate of the people. Many cultures of necessity had to keep precise oral records or they were doomed to vagueness. The ability of these people to memorize verbatim large quantities of material is attested even today. The statement that facts are much more reliable today than in the past is not only based on a modern bias, but in some cases totally wrong. While this does not preclude the fact of exaggeration and fabrication, neither does exaggeration and fabrication preclude accuracy, otherwise all of our ancient history textbooks would have to be redone as complete postulations because all of our ancient records would be suspect. Rather, the ancient histories, say of Roman wars, would have to be counted as stories, not records. Furthermore, to assume that "back then" no one would have seriously investigated a particular issue is an underestimation of humanity. Here's one more tidbit, there are more manuscripts by far verifying the fact of Jesus' existence as a man than manuscripts that verify Julius Caesar's existence. Was Julius Caesar a real person? Of course!
To this is the obvious rebuttal that Caesar was also said to be the Son of God, calm storms with a word, and his decrees were gospel. I present the challenge to compare the 1st century histories compared to the Gospel accounts. While there are extreme similarities, there are also extreme differences. Be open to the possibility.
 
Old 01-16-2001, 01:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Josephus:
The fictionality of Jesus is not questioned by historians.</font>
Wrong. There are some historians who think Jesus was an actual person.
 
Old 01-16-2001, 02:21 PM   #10
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Zoroaster, I think Josephus is saying that there is no doubt that Jesus (Yeshua/Joshua) was a real person.

Josephus is entirely correct that an oral tradition is itself not evidence of inaccuracy, fabrication or fabulation. Oral history, especially in a contex of general illteracy, is quite accurate. Howwever, there are techniques for separating fact, fiction and lies in oral histories as well as written.

From my very cursory research, there does seem to be a core person from whom the Jesus of the Gospels derives, but the details of his life, words and works are not at all clear.

An entire section of the Secular Web Library, Historicity of Jesus deals with this issue.

[This message has been edited by SingleDad (edited January 16, 2001).]
 
 

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