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Old 04-02-2001, 07:01 PM   #121
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Omnedon1:
You have the journal, as well as the date and page number. That ought to be sufficient, if you were sincerely interested in looking it up.

Besides, I already gave you the link once before; it did not good. In any event, it is G. J. Goldberg.

Also, here is a link to a critique of Meier's view of the Josephus passage, in light of the new evidence presented:
http://hometown.aol.com/fljosephus/meierCrt.htm

And (contrary to your claims earlier) this also mentions why at least some scholars prefer the Arabic text.


[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited April 02, 2001).]
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Thank you for editing your post to include the references. But, this is the first time I remember seeing the link you are now offering.

The link you gave me as to why scholars allegedly prefered the Arab version was this one: Http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Topi.../josephus.html

And for the record. I did check out this link and read it and asked you where in it the author claimed the Arab version was superior to the reconstructed version.

You did not answer.
 
Old 04-02-2001, 07:02 PM   #122
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Absolutely not. If Josephus was relying on accounts independent of the sources used by the gospel authors then his reference contains an independent attestation of Jesus' miracle working.
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Wrong. At most, it merely provides evidence that such stories were circulating at the time. The fact that the Romans, the Jews, or anyone else wrote those stories down and then Josephus copied from those sources - that is not independent attestation that any of those stories were true.

Nor does it show that the Roman/Jewish source had any first-hand knowledge or bothered to verify what they were writing down. Reporting on the beliefs of the Heavens Gate cult does not equate to validating or verifying those beliefs.

In fact the ultimate source of the (hypothetical and alleged) Roman/Jewish sources could be the Christian tales themselves. In which case, your Josephus reference basically leads right back to the Christians.

And in any event, there is a difference between a historical attestation and a historical mention. Many things are mentioned in history. That does not equate to an attestation that such things ever actually happened, or that the person making the mention ever bothered to verify what he/she was writing.
 
Old 04-02-2001, 07:04 PM   #123
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And for the record. I did check out this link and read it and asked you where in it the author claimed the Arab version was superior to the reconstructed version.

You did not answer.
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That's because it was on the page; I figured you might actually read something for yourself:

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The so called Testimonium Flavianum. This is the only direct discussion of Jesus to be found in the writings of Josephus. Unfortunately, the text as we have it in extant copies of Josephus' Antiquities appears to have been dramatically re-written from a Christian point of view. (The writings of Josephus were brought down to us from antiquity not by the Jewish community, but by the Christians). second column contains an Arabic quotation of the Josephus passage that has a much less Christian flavor. Some scholars have argued that the Arabic version has a more likely claim to originality.
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And here is another version of the Arabic text, which likewise leaves out any mention of "miraculous deeds", etc. Of course, it mentions "Messiah", which many believe is unlikely to be an Arabic original:

http://www.uncc.edu/jdtabor/josephus-jesus.html

[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited April 02, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited April 02, 2001).]
 
Old 04-02-2001, 07:10 PM   #124
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Certainly that has been one of your assertions. But you also adamantly asserted that you NEVER claimed that Josephus relied on a Christian source. When I show the board that you clearly have, you proceed to chastise me for allegedly failing to respond to an argument that you claimed to have NEVER made.
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You showed the board only how your martyr complex drives you to see bogeymen. And then create strawmen. I did not claim that Josephus relied upon a Christian source. I merely pointed out that there was evidence in that direction, so the subject isn't as cut and dry as you would like to make it out to be.

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Oh brother. You did not give me anything to respond to but an incomplete reference to an article that it appears you have not even read.
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Excuse me? My point in referring to this was merely to show that there is no concensus. I have done that. So your attempts to wrap all this up with a neat little bow aren't working.


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In short, you have not given me anything to respond to.
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No, you're just unwilling to look at it


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Nevertheless, I took the contention seriously enough to respond to it at length.
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Impossible. You cannot respond to somethign you have not read.


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"No, I chastised you for not paying attention to the article itself, after much belabored whining and moaning about not giving proper references. Then when you get such references, you sit on your butt and do nothing with them."

What was there to pay attention to? An almost reference with no supporting rationale?
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There is more than sufficient information to look this up.
Unless you're simply unwilling, which appears to be the case.

 
Old 04-02-2001, 07:46 PM   #125
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Here we go again.

You claimed that the Arab version was the preferred version by many scholars. And, as I said, you originally gave me this link:

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Topi.../josephus.html

I reveiwed the link and asked you to explain further:

"By the way, I visited your link. I didn't see WHICH scholars claimed that the Arabic version was more original than the commonly accepted *reconstructed* version. Perhaps you could clarify it for me. Or perform another internet search on it."

It appeared to me that the author (whoever he might be) was unclear if he meant that many scholars find that the Arab version is more authentic than the interpolated Christian version (which is how I read it), or if many scholars find that the Arab version is more authentic than the redacted version.

The author also failed to mention WHICH scholars held this view.

I followed up in a good-faith effort to understand the claim and you failed to respond.

"You showed the board only how your martyr complex drives you to see bogeymen. And then create strawmen. I did not claim that Josephus relied upon a Christian source. I merely pointed out that there was evidence in that direction, so the subject isn't as cut and dry as you would like to make it out to be."

I never said there weren't dissenting views. I made my case and you made an appeal to authority but did not give the link, the author, or the supporting rationale. Despite your failure to support your appeal to authority, I responded to the contention with supporting rationale and proper references to sources.

Me:

"In short, you have not given me anything to respond to."

You:

"No, you're just unwilling to look at it."

Well, now you are just glossing over the fact that you did not provide me with the link until a couple of posts ago. There was nothing to look up until now. And in the first edition of your response you refused to give me the author or the link. Then you went back and edited it to include that information. I'm glad you did, but your accusation that I was "unwilling" to look something up when you refused to provide the means to do so has no merit.

Me: "Nevertheless, I took the contention seriously enough to respond to it at length."


You: "Impossible. You cannot respond to somethign you have not read."

Very possible. I took the *contention* seriously enough to respond to. Until today, you had not provided the ability to review the article and to respond to it.

"There is more than sufficient information to look this up. Unless you're simply unwilling, which appears to be the case."

Yes, NOW there *is* sufficient information to look it up. This is information you had not previously given, then refused to give in your original post, then edited that post to include the information after I had submitted my response.

And after all of that, you accuse me of being unwilling to look up your source.





[This message has been edited by Layman (edited April 02, 2001).]
 
Old 04-02-2001, 07:58 PM   #126
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Omnedon1:
Wrong. At most, it merely provides evidence that such stories were circulating at the time. The fact that the Romans, the Jews, or anyone else wrote those stories down and then Josephus copied from those sources - that is not independent attestation that any of those stories were true.

Nor does it show that the Roman/Jewish source had any first-hand knowledge or bothered to verify what they were writing down. Reporting on the beliefs of the Heavens Gate cult does not equate to validating or verifying those beliefs.

In fact the ultimate source of the (hypothetical and alleged) Roman/Jewish sources could be the Christian tales themselves. In which case, your Josephus reference basically leads right back to the Christians.

And in any event, there is a difference between a historical attestation and a historical mention. Many things are mentioned in history. That does not equate to an attestation that such things ever actually happened, or that the person making the mention ever bothered to verify what he/she was writing.
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The evidence I have provided demonstrates that Josephus' information came from nonChristian sources. And to take your example, reports on the Heaven's gate cult does indeed verify the existence of the Heaven's gate cult, as well as many of their activities.

Indeed, an historical mention IS an historical attestation. Of course it does not prove the event happened standing alone, that is why historians check to see if the account is independent of other accounts. Josephus' is independent of Mark, John, and Paul. I would also add M and L.

Heck, even if you accept Goldberg's hypothesis that Luke and Josephus are dependent on a common Jewish-Christian source, you are still left with another account independent of the others. A new Jewish-Christian Passion Narrative that few scholars believe to exist.
 
Old 04-11-2001, 11:36 PM   #127
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Here we go again.
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Indeed.

I can smell the scent of straw already; you're evidently going to work overtime manufacturing bogus positions.

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You claimed that the Arab version was the preferred version by many scholars.
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Liarman, here is what I actually said:

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And (contrary to your claims earlier) this also mentions why at least some scholars prefer the Arabic text.
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Some scholars have argued that the Arabic version has a more likely claim to originality.
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Note that in neither case did I say "many scholars".


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And, as I said, you originally gave me this link:

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Topi.../josephus.html

I reveiwed the link and asked you to explain further:

"By the way, I visited your link. I didn't see WHICH scholars claimed that the Arabic version was more original than the commonly accepted *reconstructed* version. Perhaps you could clarify it for me. Or perform another internet search on it."

It appeared to me that the author (whoever he might be) was unclear if he meant that many scholars find that the Arab version is more authentic than the interpolated Christian version (which is how I read it), or if many scholars find that the Arab version is more authentic than the redacted version.

The author also failed to mention WHICH scholars held this view.
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Another lie.

Evidently you didn't bother to look at the link. The link specifically mentions these authors:
R. Eisler
Shlomo Pines
James H. Charlesworth


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I never said there weren't dissenting views. I made my case and you made an appeal to authority but did not give the link, the author, or the supporting rationale.
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All these things were mentioned earlier.

The link was given: (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Topics/JewishJesus/josephus.html)
The authors are listed above.
And the material found on the web link above discusses the rationale for suggesting that the Arabic might be a better reading.


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Well, now you are just glossing over the fact that you did not provide me with the link until a couple of posts ago. There was nothing to look up until now.
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Flatly incorrect, as demonstrated above.

The other links I have given since the first one merely reiterate my point.


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Yes, NOW there *is* sufficient information to look it up.
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There always was sufficient information - you simply didn't bother to read the text on the link.

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This is information you had not previously given, then refused to give in your original post, then edited that post to include the information after I had submitted my response.
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Don't flatter yourself. I found the other information and went back to include it. I was not even aware that you had already submitted a response. Your martyr complex is kicking in again - you should really have that checked by a doctor, you know.


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And after all of that, you accuse me of being unwilling to look up your source.
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And with good reason.



[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited April 12, 2001).]
 
Old 04-11-2001, 11:39 PM   #128
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The evidence I have provided demonstrates that Josephus' information came from nonChristian sources.
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Sorry; it does no such thing. If the Q text could be considered authentically Christian and yet make no mention of the resurrection, then Josephus' source could also be authentically Christian and also not mention that subject.

NOW:
Do I actually believe that Josephus' source for the Test. Flav. was non-christian? Truthfully, I don't know. So if I don't know (or care), then why do I bother to argue for the possibility that his source might have been Christian after all?

Simple. The point of my statement above (indeed, the point of my entire posting with you) has merely been to demonstrate how your rules for "evidence" are unreliable and inconsistent with the claims for strong proof that you and others (such as Polycarp) have offered.

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And to take your example, reports on the Heaven's gate cult does indeed verify the existence of the Heaven's gate cult, as well as many of their activities.
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Wrong again. Read what I said:

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Nor does it show that the Roman/Jewish source had any first-hand knowledge or bothered to verify what they were writing down.
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Reporters can get key details of the Heavens gate cult beliefs and activities wrong, as well as leave out some details. And their information can be gleaned by interviewing nextdoor neighbors who may not necessarily tell the truth, or may have made up things to demonize them. Indeed, that is what the folks at Waco have accused the media of doing - misrepresenting their beliefs, talking to neighbors who only have 5% of the picture, as well as not emphasizing the things that the Waco folks felt was most important about their beliefs. Your claim that a report verifies what a group believes or does is flatly incorrect.

Herodotus made mistakes about Egyptian history, even though he consulted with Egyptian priests and scholars directly. He also used non-Egyptian sources. In both situations, he still got details wrong (esp. about the rule of Cambyses II). But by your definition, we would be forced to accept the mistakes of Herodotus, merely because it is a "report".

If your theory is correct, and there was a Roman/Jewish source -- again I remind you -- nothing you have brought forth shows that the Roman/Jewish source had any first-hand knowledge or bothered to verify what they were writing down. And you can never provide any such proof, of course, because you cannot produce any such document. In fact, your entire argument hangs upon a flimsy thread of some hypothetical, never discovered Jewish/Christian source. A source whose existence is only asserted because christians need help getting out of an embarrassing tight spot. Christians desperately want to claim that Josephus is an authentic reference, but they need to paint an excuse as to why Josephus left out a mention to the resurrection. Presto - postulate a new document. You have no other reason to speculate that any such document exists at all, except to satisfy the above requirement.

And, if you are correct that Josephus used these 3rd party sources and copied material from them, then he also did not bother to investigate the written claims; he merely reported what others were saying.

And finally: your theory that there was some unknown Roman/Jewish source does not really solve your "resurrection non-mention" problem. If that Roman/Jewish source was the result of an interview with Christians, or an examination of their beliefs, then why doesn't that unknown Roman/Jewish source itself mention the resurrection? After all, your argument is that it would be hard to interview christians about their beliefs and not come across the topic of the resurrection. That argument should hold whether the interview is done by a Roman, or by a Jew. And then Josephus would have also mentioned it, as a result of copying from the source. Right?

As I said: Jewish/Roman reports about christians do not constitute validation of those beliefs, nor are they a verification of the characteristics of those beliefs. Josephus copying those Roman reports (your theory) just adds another layer of indirection; it does not add any authenticity, authority or validation to the statements.


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Indeed, an historical mention IS an historical attestation.
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No, it is not. If that were the case, then Homer's mention of the sea monsters Scylla nad Charybdis would be an historical attestation.

And I remind you: Herodotus also mentioned winged serpents in Egypt. Is that historical mention also an historical attestation? If not, then why do you insist that a mention by Josephus is the same as an attestation?


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Heck, even if you accept Goldberg's hypothesis that Luke and Josephus are dependent on a common Jewish-Christian source, you are still left with another account independent of the others. A new Jewish-Christian Passion Narrative that few scholars believe to exist.
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I don't have an opinion on Goldberg's hypothesis. As I indicated (LONG AGO), the truth status of these claims is "unknown". I merely bring these problems and issues with the claims up, in order to show how many holes you have in your "rules".


[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited April 12, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited April 12, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited April 12, 2001).]
 
Old 04-12-2001, 12:09 PM   #129
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And, once again.

Om:

"Another lie.

Evidently you didn't bother to look at the link. The link specifically mentions these authors:

R. Eisler
Shlomo Pines
James H. Charlesworth"

I did not ask if the article "mentions" any authors, what I asked was this:

Layman:

"By the way, I visited your link. I didn't see WHICH scholars claimed that the Arabic version was more original than the commonly accepted *reconstructed* version. Perhaps you could clarify it for me. Or perform another internet search on it."

&

"It appeared to me that the author (whoever he might be) was unclear if he meant that many scholars find that the Arab version is more authentic than the interpolated Christian version (which is how I read it), or if many scholars find that the Arab version is more authentic than the redacted version.

The author also failed to mention WHICH scholars held this view. "

After visiting the link a fourth time, I still fail to see where the article provides any scholarly sources for his opinion that some scholars believe the Arabic version to be the original Josephus account, especially when compared with the reconstructed version.

Now you accuse me of lying and claim that the three scholars you listed were "mentioned." Well, yes they were, but not for as authors of the article itself OR for the proposition that the Arabic version was most likely the original Josephus reference.

NONE of the scholars you list make this claim. In fact, the article is clear that Eisler favors a Reconstruction of the Josephus reference, NOT the Arabic version ("R. Eisler has made an effort to reconstruct an 'original' that might have, given Christian revision, served as a base for the version that survives in Greek."). So why did you mention R. Eisler Om? He is not an author of the article and does not support the contention I was asking about.

I ask you the same question regarding Schlomo Pines and James Charlesworth. They are listed as interpreters of the Arabic version, but NOWHERE in the article are they mentioned as supporting YOUR claim that the Arabic version was most likely the original version ("The translation belongs to Shlomo Pines. See also James H. Charlesworth, Jesus Within Judaism.").

So, Eisler explicitly rejects your position. And Pines and Charlesworth are listed only as interpreters of a version of Josephus that I don't deny exists. I was asking you which scholars at the link you provided, supported your statement that the Arabic version was most likely the original version.
Once again, please direct me to the portion of the link where the SCHOLARS support your contention? And also show me where it says that the scholars you listed are the "authors" of the article at the link? And why did you try and mislead me, and any readers, into thinking that Eisler, Charlesworth, and Pines supported your contention when they clearly did not?

Next up.

Layman: "Well, now you are just glossing over the fact that you did not provide me with the link until a couple of posts ago. There was nothing to look up until now."

Om: "Flatly incorrect, as demonstrated above. The other links I have given since the first one merely reiterate my point."

I can't tell if you are confused by the complex thread or you are intentionally trying to hide the fact that you certainly did NOT provide me with a link supporting your contention that Josephus relied on a Christian source for his reference to Jesus until this thread. One link (the one you DID provide earlier) had to do with the Arabic version of the Josephus reference and the other link (which you never mentioned until THIS thread) claimed that Josephus was based on a Christian source and the UNREDACTED version we have today is correct.

Om Then (previous thread):

"3. Additionally, there is evidence that the core Josephus material (which excludes the later Christian interpolation) was copying from an earlier Judeo-christian gospel, which is now lost. That being the case, Josephus was copying the text of someone else and not necessarily endorsing any of the words themselves. His concern in that situation would have been to faithfully reproduce the text he was working from. This is documented in The Journal for the Study of Pseudepigrapha, 13 (1995), pages 59-77.'"

I then said that you had not given me enough information to verify your claim because you provided no link or author. You then claimed that you had given me the link before.

Om:

"You have the journal, as well as the date and page number. That ought to be sufficient, if you were sincerely interested in looking it up. Besides, I already gave you the link once before; it did not good. In any event, it is G. J. Goldberg."

But as I have pointed out, the link you had given me only discussed the Arabic version of the Josephus reference, it never made any claim that Josephus was relying on a Christian source. You did not give provide that link until this thread.

So. Where are we?

You provided this link in support of the notion that the Arabic version of the Josephus reference was most likely to be the original. Http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Topi.../josephus.html

I checked out the link, and asked you which scholars supported that contention and whether they believed the Arabic version was preferred over the redacted version (which I provided many references regarding). You eventually list Eisler, Pines, and Charlesworth as supporting this contention. They do not.

You also claimed that the Josephus reference was based on a Christian source and provided a reference to a Journal, but failed to provide the author or a link. After much prodding on my part, you eventually provided this link: http://hometown.aol.com/fljosephus/meierCrt.htm. I checked it out and found it interesting, but problematic. However, despite your claim to the contrary, you did not provide me with this link previously. This thread is the first time you mentioned it. Nevertheless, you accused me of refusing to review your source, when in fact you had not previously done so.

Of course, you take the opportunity in the mix up with the links to accuse me of being a liar and of failing to respond to your points. You also completely misrepresent the works of the scholars Eisler, Pines, and Charlesworth. But, most of all you have wasted my time. While I would much prefer to discuss history, I have to spend a disproportionate amount of time responding to your personal attacks, baseless accusations, and misrepresentations.
 
Old 04-14-2001, 12:15 AM   #130
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It appears that Layman started this post, but then left it to founder. I am bringing this thread to the top, to make sure it is not forgotten.

turtonm, SingleDad and others reviewed Layman's original "Miracle Worker" thread, and had the following objections / doubts about the material contained therein. To date, Layman has not responded:

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1. the criterion of embarrassment, since it is unfalsifiable and can be explained by other things;

2. the criterion of "coherence" and why it should be valued since it is highly subjective;

3. the criterion of "dissimiliarity" and how it differs from creativity or simple error;

4. the argument from authority (overused);

5. the disconnect between large numbers of followers and proving a historical truth;

6. the difference between magic and miracles;

7. the fact that differences in Matthew and Luke do not demonstrate independence
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