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Old 08-27-2001, 01:27 PM   #11
Toto
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Sorry, I didn't realize what the ground rules are. Are you (Mike) going to do a semi-formal debate with Nomad?
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Old 08-27-2001, 06:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Apikorus:

Tellingly, Nomad has failed to respond to the bulk of Carrier's review. But if he really wishes to challenge the notion that Luke used Josephus, he should rather address Mason's arguments directly.
Patience Apikorus. As I said in my opening posts, I will address each of the arguments, as presented by Carrier in order. Thus far I have gone through the introduction and generic parallels, and will move to the other supports in my next post.

Right now I am genuinely interested in seeing if anyone believes that Carrier's summation of the arguments is insufficient or somehow lacking. If that is the case, then I welcome arguments made directly from Mason's book in his defence (or any other source anyone wishes to bring forward), and will address them accordingly. That is why I opened the discussion up at this early point.

If, on the other hand, it is agreed that the generic parallels are not compelling, then we can move on to the more substantive arguments and see where it takes us. For myself, I am willing to make this inquiry as exhaustive or limited as the members wish, but hope not to get excessively bogged down in minutia.

My question at this point is whether or not the opening points are sufficiently addressed and refuted. If so, then we can move on.

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Old 08-27-2001, 09:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>There is a website called The Josephus Homepage. you can find it easily just by putting that in the browser. This guy is an amature scholar. Has a very cogent and well defended theory that Josephus and Luke both used the L source for their historical background, Josephus drawing upon that source for his knolwedge of Jesus.

So the similarities are there, but only because they both drew on a mutual historical source.]</STRONG>
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Old 08-27-2001, 11:00 PM   #14
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So far it seems that Nomad has set up and knocked down a straw man. I suspect Carrier himself would agree with many of the issues Nomad raised, which is presumably why he (Carrier) emphasized the very limited significance of the generic parallels.

At this point it seems that nothing of substance has been arrayed against either Carrier or Mason.
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Old 08-28-2001, 12:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>
. . .
My question at this point is whether or not the opening points are sufficiently addressed and refuted. If so, then we can move on.

Nomad</STRONG>
I suggest that you move on. You have addressed the points, but there was nothing really to "refute" since Carrier was not arguing that those points were evidence.

I could nitpick at some of your points, but I do this to register an objection and show that I do not necessarily accept your arguments. There is no point in getting bogged down at this point.

Quote:
While it is true that both men are striving to present their religion as being very ancient (something the Romans took very seriously), Carrier’s argument does not carry quite the same force if the Temple is long destroyed by the time of Luke.
I doubt this - Jerusalem continues to have a lot of symbolism well after the destruction of the temple.

Quote:
After all, I am sure that Carrier sides with those that tell us that Luke is anti-Semitic in his presentation and writings. Once can then hardly turn around and claim that Luke is connecting his teachings to an ancient religion based on Temple Judaism.
But that is Christianity. It rejects the Jews at the same time as it attempts to appropriate their sacred texts and history.

Quote:
Carrier says: Both L and J write "from an apologetic stance, using their histories to support a thesis" (e.g. by blaming "the bad Jews" for every calamity, and conveying the notion that the "good Jews," and in L's case that means the Christians, deserve respect)

Nomad: Since the OT (Hebrew Bible) was filled with examples of Jewish writers blaming the problems of their people on perceived sins against God, this is yet another "so what" argument.
Actually, it's not. The Hebrew scriptures treat the Jews as a group. If they behave, God rewards them. If they start to worship false idols, God punishes them collectively. In Josephus and Luke, there are bad Jews, who follow the wrong leader and have their Temple destroyed, and good Jews who end up with the protection of the Roman empire. That's very different from the OT.

But I do not want to get into a discussion of these points unless they bear some relevance to your discussion of the major points of Mason's argument. So please proceed.
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Old 08-28-2001, 06:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:

Actually, it's not. The Hebrew scriptures treat the Jews as a group. If they behave, God rewards them. If they start to worship false idols, God punishes them collectively. In Josephus and Luke, there are bad Jews, who follow the wrong leader and have their Temple destroyed, and good Jews who end up with the protection of the Roman empire. That's very different from the OT.
Actually, no, it's par for the course. You may want to reread your OT Scripture and look especially at books like Job, Isaiah, Numbers, ect. where God specifically punishes specific groups of Jews and rewards His faithful. This was and is the message of Scripture, whether Hebrew alone, or Christian. Josephus and Luke were acting in consistently with that belief system.

In any event, the points you raise are very minor (and if you think that early Christians were anti-Semetic, perhaps you could explain in another thread why all of the first Christians were Jews, as was Jesus Himself, of course. You may also want explain why Paul tells us in Romans that ALL of Israel will be saved by God because of the first covenant He established with them through the Patriarchs.

See why it is not a good idea to parrot the propaganda of one side without first checking it out for yourself?

In any event, it does look like it it time to move on. It is agreed that these first arguments were pretty bad ones, and probably should not have been offered in the first place. Therefore, I will examine the story parallels in my next post.

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Old 08-28-2001, 08:29 AM   #17
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Nomad:

You posted:

Quote:
Actually, no, it's par for the course. You may want to reread your OT Scripture and look especially at books like Job, Isaiah, Numbers, ect. where God specifically punishes specific groups of Jews and rewards His faithful. This was and is the message of Scripture, whether Hebrew alone, or Christian. Josephus and Luke were acting in consistently with that belief system.
This question is OT to this thread, but in the above quote your specific inclusion of the book of Job to make your point is surprising. It seems to me that part of the key message of Job is that all good fortune and calamity come from God with no regard whatever for the faithfulness of the person who has good or ill come their way. It was seemingly written as a corrective against the notion that suffering is a sure sign of the sins of the sufferer and good fortune indicates the merits of the person having the good fortune, i.e. the point of Job is that neither good fortune nor ill are reliable signs of God's reward or punishment, and that indeed God may on a bet allow your family and all that you have to be destroyed even if you are a perfect and righteous man. While this may not have been grasped by the Hebrew populace as a whole, Jesus echoes this when asked who the guilty party was that caused a man to be blind, his parent or himself, and Jesus said neither.

[ August 28, 2001: Message edited by: Ron Garrett ]
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Old 08-28-2001, 10:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
In any event, the points you raise are very minor (and if you think that early Christians were anti-Semetic, perhaps you could explain in another thread why all of the first Christians were Jews, as was Jesus Himself, of course.
Of course, the Greeks who converted from paganism were Jews too...
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Old 08-28-2001, 03:52 PM   #19
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NOMAD: In any event, the points you raise are very minor (and if you think that early Christians were anti-Semetic, perhaps you could explain in another thread why all of the first Christians were Jews, as was Jesus Himself, of course. You may also want explain why Paul tells us in Romans that ALL of Israel will be saved by God because of the first covenant He established with them through the Patriarchs.

See why it is not a good idea to parrot the propaganda of one side without first checking it out for yourself?

EARL: Anti-Semitism has to be distinguished from anti-Judaism. The writers of the NT were anti-Jewish not anti-Semitic, although Matthew and John venture into the latter by talking negatively about the Jewish people rather than their religion. Paul is certainly only anti-Jewish not anti-Semitic. To my knowledge he doesn't speak negatively about the Jewish "race" but is hostile only to the Jewish religion. He commits no ad hominem, as it were. The gospels make few direct anti-Semitic comments; however, several events portrayed in the NT--the one-dimensional Pharisees, their plot to kill Jesus, the saving of Barabbas, not to mention the comments by Matthew about Jesus' blood being on the Jews' hands--have at least anti-Jewish presuppositions. The early Christians were originally Jewish, but their new Christianity was anti-Jewish. The anti-Semitism came later, originating with easy interpretations of the NT combined with the Church's growing power and embarrassment by the Jews' rejection of Jesus, the failure of Jesus' Third Coming, and so forth. The Jews became the Christians' scapegoat, which led to disaster.

Regarding Paul's claim in particular, he does not say that the Jews will ever be saved **as Jews**; rather they must first become Christians to be saved. "And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again" (Rom.11:23). Israel has stumbled in "disobedience" to let the Gentiles be saved first, which will make the Jews "envious" (11:11, 25). The whole thing is predicated on faith in Jesus, that is, the negation of Judaism. That is anti-Judaism not anti-Semitism.



NOMAD: In any event, it does look like it it time to move on. It is agreed that these first arguments were pretty bad ones, and probably should not have been offered in the first place. Therefore, I will examine the story parallels in my next post.

EARL: There is nothing wrong with examining these generic similarities. The problem is what you think you've accomplished by doing so and the statements you've made to this effect. Earlier you said "My question at this point is whether or not the opening points are sufficiently addressed and refuted." Just what do you think you've "refuted"? Carrier called these similarities "generic." Have you "refuted" this claim? Of course not, since they **are** generic similarities. The word "generic" means "of a whole class, kind, or group; inclusive." This just means that the two writings are in the same general ballpark. You have not shown yet that Carrier has made a single "bad argument" which "should not have been made in the first place." There was nothing wrong with Carrier or Mason showing that the two writings are in the same general category. On the contrary, you have--to use your own words--begun in such a way that "shows that we are not heading into good evidentiary territory," giving us a taste of what we can likely expect from your response to Carrier's essay: misrepresentation, exaggeration, and strawman fallacies.

Carrier's first arguments are not "bad ones" and they should have been made, contrary to your claim. What should not have been done is your misrepresentation of what Carrier and Mason are doing or your claim that anything has been "refuted." The claims so far are about "generic similarities." You have not refuted those claims.
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Old 08-28-2001, 09:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Garrett:

This question is OT to this thread, but in the above quote your specific inclusion of the book of Job to make your point is surprising.
Hello Ron.

Actually, I included Job deliberately because it focused on how God responded to the clear demonstration of faith (from Job) compared to His rejection of Job's friends because of their lack of faith.

Job 42:7-9 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has." So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.

Thus we see not only that God rewards those who are faithful over those that are not, but we also see that God can and does expect the righteous to pray for the unrighteous. Best of all, He will sometimes even show favour to those who were unfaithful because of the prayers and obedience of those who were faithful. This is why we must pray for one another.

Quote:
It seems to me that part of the key message of Job is that all good fortune and calamity come from God with no regard whatever for the faithfulness of the person who has good or ill come their way.
There is no doubt that this is also one of the messages of the story of Job. At the same time, it is not the only one, and as I have said, it shows very clearly that God does not punish or reward all equally as a group, but looks at each of us as individuals, judging each for his or her faith or lack thereof.

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