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Old 04-23-2001, 04:10 PM   #101
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
Just curious what your source was for this too.
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No problem. I obtained most of the information about Chrestus/Christus from a book entitled "Jesus Outside the New Testament" written by Robert Van Voorst. The book is not primarily about textual criticism, but Van Voorst is a Greek scholar who's written books such as "Building Your New Testament Greek Vocabulary" so I trust him to also be reliable on Greek issues. On page 35 of the book he writes:

"However, this phonological confusion between iota and eta was, to judge from the surviving manuscript and inscriptional evidence, present to a significant degree among Christians as well. The original hand of the important Codex Sinaiticus (fourth century) spells "Christian" with an eta in all three New Testament occurrences of this word (Acts 11:26, 26:8; 1 Pet 4:16)." All parentheses are his.

It sounds like Sinaiticus was corrected by a later scribe in these instances.

I cited the 1 Peter 2:3 info from memory so let me know what you find out if you look at P72. Van Voorst briefly mentions it but its not clear exactly what the corruption is. Its mentioned in the same context as “chrestus/christus” but I think Van Voorst may have cited the wrong verse. 1 Peter 2:3 only mentions LORD, not Christ. I’m suspicious that he may have meant 1 Peter 1:3. If you look at P72 check 1 Peter 1:3 and I’ll bet you’ll find the corruption there. Let me know what you find on that one.

As for the Phyrgian inscriptions, Van Voorst mentions these and cites his source as a study by Elsa Gibson entitled “The ‘Christians for Christians’ Inscriptions of Phrygia” (HTS 32; Missoula, Mont:Scholars Press, 1978). Picking up again on page 35 of Van Voorst, he writes:

“In Phyrgia, where a number of funerary inscriptions from the period 240-310 bearing the word ‘Christians’ survive, ‘Christians’ is most often spelled ‘Chrestians’. This misunderstanding is best shown on one gravestone that has it both ways: ‘Christians for Chrestians’!”

Two footnotes accompany this passage. One says:
“In the 45 inscriptions Gibson reproduces and analyzes, only six have correct spelling.”

Van Voorst goes into quite a bit more detail on the Chrestus issue. Hope this helps !

Peace,

Polycarp
 
Old 04-23-2001, 04:28 PM   #102
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Earl:
"Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."
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Earl,

I may be telling you something you already know. Until 41 C.E. Roman governors were called "prefects". In 41 C.E. Claudius sweetened their titles to "procurator of the emperor". This is the same job with a different title. Same thing our bosses try to do with us "Earl, We're giving you a new title. Same job but you'll now be called Vice President of 'such and such'."

Tacitus is referring to the Roman governor Pilate as a procurator because that is the title with which he is familiar. Its the same type of mistake as calling Massachussets a "state". Its not a "state”, its a "commonwealth". However, we don't nitpick with someone who calls Massachussets a state anymore than we should nitpick with Tacitus for calling Pilate a procurator.

Its purely semantical...

What exactly is your point about Tacitus referring to Pilate as procurator?

Peace,

Polycarp
 
Old 04-23-2001, 04:34 PM   #103
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Polycarp:
No problem. I obtained most of the information about Chrestus/Christus from a book entitled "Jesus Outside the New Testament" written by Robert Van Voorst.</font>
Oh! I've glanced through this book at the bookstore before. I think I've heard other scholars quote Van Voorst's work also. I'll have to get it at some point in the future. Sounds interesting.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Polycarp:
I cited the 1 Peter 2:3 info from memory so let me know what you find out if you look at P72.</font>
I goofed. I was thinking of a picture of p52 that I have. I don't have p72 afterall.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Polycarp:
Hope this helps !</font>
Oh yeah, thanks!

Ish
 
Old 04-23-2001, 04:35 PM   #104
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polycarp:
[b] Doug,

You have my vote for "Worst Debater at the Sec Web". Congratulations on your accomplishment. You've managed to completely avoid addressing your opponent's arguments while simultaneously leaving yours undefended.
Peace,

Polycarp
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Sorry carpy but there is no need to respond to your personal attacks. You left me nothing to respond to since you never presented evidence of Nazareth but took the route of ad hominems. But I see you are still trying to get me to sink to your level. If failing to rely on illogical arguments makes me the worst debater then I thank you and will say you are the best debater based upon your criteria.

DougI is offline  
Old 04-23-2001, 04:46 PM   #105
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DougI:
Sorry carpy but there is no need to respond to your personal attacks. You left me nothing to respond to since you never presented evidence of Nazareth but took the route of ad hominems. But I see you are still trying to get me to sink to your level. If failing to rely on illogical arguments makes me the worst debater then I thank you and will say you are the best debater based upon your criteria.

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Third times the charm.

I have asked you three times now Doug. Please see my post where I offer the archeological evidence for Nazareth you have asked for. Will you now admit that it existed at the time that Jesus lived?

If not, why not?

Nomad
 
Old 04-23-2001, 04:51 PM   #106
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Sorry to have waited so long, but work presses. There are so many replies here, and I'd like to thank Ish and Polycarp for tracking down and locating some interesting, thought-provoking and challenging references.

First, SUETONIUS:

On Suetonius, two facts stand out:

1. Chrestus is an extremely common name in Rome and is well-attested in inscriptions. It is even on the Net. If you search Google using the words "CIL VI Chrestus," you will turn up a couple of pages with "Chrestus" as a name in inscriptions:

http://www.lamp.ac.uk/~davidnoy/rome7.htm
http://www.rz.uni-frankfurt.de/~clau...5/iit-10-3.txt

2. Suetonius had no trouble identifying Christians (and naming them as such) when he wrote about Nero; why would he suddenly stumble over his tongue when he was writing about Claudius?

From the [http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1998/1998-07-02.html]Bryn Mawr Classical Review[/url]

Slingerland proceeds to take on the notorious crux in Suet. Claud. 24.4: Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma [Claudius] expulit. His treatment, although
unnecessarily prolix, argues quite powerfully against the widespread conviction that "Chrestus" is Christ. As Slingerland points out, more fully than any predecessor, the name appears with reasonable frequency in the epigraphic evidence, encompassing persons of
freedman or free born status, some of lowly origin, some of relatively prominent station.
Nothing suggests Jesus Christ here. The passage indeed implies that Chrestus the impulsor was in Rome when these events transpired. And it will not do to save the Christian hypothesis by postulating Suetonius' ignorance. Nor does Acts 18:1-3 help the cause, for its reference to Jews expelled from Rome who joined Paul in Corinth does not suggest that they were Christians when they left Rome. Orosius' interpretatio christiana rests on no evidence independent of Suetonius. Slingerland reaches a proper and salutary conclusion: the burden of proof rests with those who wish to identify Chrestus with Christ, not those who distinguish them (pp. 169-217).


Lists of errors in ancient spelling of "Christ--" as "Chrest--" are worthless; we could adduce Pliny and Tacitus as historians who got the name spelled right, and still be no closer to knowing whether Suetonius garbled it up. That is just an assumption unsupported by any evidence.

Raymond Brown's point that Chrestus does not appear among the several hundred names in known among Roman Jews is -- dare I point it out? -- an argument from silence. One inscription at any time would invalidate it. Once again, it has no bearing on the issue. There is so little information that we do not even know if the Chrestus in question is a Jew, and we do not even know if the Jews in question were Christians! There is simply no way to know, and to regard it as anything other than doubtful is dishonest.

The "Roman proscriptions against the christianoi" thread from 1999 on Classic-L covers this issue, and guess what! nobody rose to defend the view of the Christians. Now why do you think that was? There seems to be general agreement that the quote is doubtful, and could be argued either way. But I suppose, to use Nomad's rhetoric, that all the academics on Classic-L are arguing the "equivalent of young-earth creationism."

As Ish already pointed out, Tertullian tells us it was a common mistake for non-Christians to say "Chrestus" instead of "Christus".

First, thanks for the manuscript references. But once again, knowing that mistakes could be made (we knew that anyway) does not prove that Suetonius made a mistake. It is not evidence of anything, except that sometimes people erred.

The Christian interpretation requires TWO errors, first that Suetonius got the name wrong, and second that he (seemingly) misunderstood Chrestus to be in Rome. Yet in another part of the same book, he mentions "Christians" not "Chrestians" and understood them to be a new sect. It seems that in light of Suetonius' demonstrated ability to distinguish Christians, it is more difficult to argue that he roundly screwed up here.

Clearly we are looking at a case of special pleading on the part of Christians.

Polycarp wrote:
My point throughout this entire thread has been that none of the non-Christians making reference to Jesus ever seem to have doubted his existence.

Yes, but that was not your point in this subargument that developed as this thread sprawled. You said.:
  • Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, Suetonius, Mara bar Serapion, Lucian of Samosata, Celsus, Talmud,
    Marcus Aurelius.

    That's 9 sources. All of them except Marcus Aurelius specifically refer to Jesus.

And I pointed out that few, if any "specifically" refer to Jesus. Pliny asks what to do about Christians, and makes no "specific" reference to Jesus. Serapion, as we have seen, contains no reference to Jesus. What was the reference in Marcus Aurelius?

"Despite your pleas to the contrary, you have made a claim regarding Serapion - specifically that he was NOT referring to Jesus."

That's exactly what I've said. The passage does not refer to Jesus. It's clear you've misunderstood.

Polycarp, let's imagine that you stumbled across the passage:

"A great running back who played for the Cleveland Browns. An African-American, he played his heart out. The brown and orange faithful miss him."

You then go on to claim that this is an obvious reference to Jim Brown. But it does not specifically refer to Jim Brown, and may well refer to two other running backs who are in the Hall of Fame and also played for the Browns, or for a host of good running backs who have played for the Browns. For all we know, the speaker is totally biased, and is referring to Charles White, who was a bust. Thus, I would be fully justified in saying that the passage does not refer to Jim Brown. I do not have to put forth any alternatives. I just need to point out that it does not refer to Jim Brown anywhere in it.

Ditto with SERAPION. As we have seen, the passage does not refer to Jesus. It refers only to a "wise king." There was no comment about "laws" so actually your "evidence" does not hold up either, unless the writer refers to it elsewhere in the letter. Given that the writer makes a couple of historical errors, are we justified in mapping the "wise king" onto Jesus? We do not know which specific mythology the author is referring to. It is most certainly not a specific reference to Jesus, unless one looks through Christian-colored glasses.

Sorry about the question on Jesus' existence. I must have skipped over it in the post. Long posts, you know. My official position is that there is someone under all the myth, but the layers of myth have obscured him entirely.

As for Nomad, who is posting with his usual mixture of content-free condescension, platitudes, general knowledge and personal attacks:

Nomad: Let's look at what you said about sources that are 100 years old:
Originally posted by turtonm: The mid and late second-century sources are too late, the Jesus train had already left the gate by then. Your point is that these sources are too late to be considered. You are very clear on the issue.


Alas, the position is all in your mind. You will note that I did not consider them poor because they are late, I consider them poor because they write in the context of an already extant Christian faith. Time, as I said, is not an issue. Context is.

I have no doubt that I will have to repeat this four or five times, though, having already said it three times.

For example, although I have already explained, and provided a link, why I think Tacitus probably got his information about Christians from Christians rather than archives, I noticed you are still asking me to explain why I think so. Why the need to repeat?

Any serious historian looks at the work the same way, and they have drawn the same conclusions

Ah, now I understand: "serious" historians regard Suetonius as actually referring to Jesus. All other views are not "serious." Naturally, if they "look at the work the same way" (with blinkered eyes) they are going to "draw the same conclusions." (that Suetonius is not reliable on this point.) You might notice the quote from a "serious historian" provided above.

This is pure rhetoric. In fact, serious historians DO regard this passage the same way; they regard it as not clearly a reference to Jesus.

I particpate on these threads largely to demonstrate that your reductionist and deconstructionist arguments are patently absurd.

Then you are wasting your time. Perhaps you can explain why it is reductionist to consider Suetonius to have written a correct name? Why it is patently absurd to say that SERAPION does not mention "Jesus." Can you find "Jesus" or "Christ" in there? I can't.

Enough with the red herrings too please. Historians of antiquity treat these sources seriously.

What, I'm not? Are you ever going to support SERAPION as a reference to Jesus, or are you just going to spout rhetoric about "serious historians" and "historians of antiquity."

You are, in effect, defending the equivilent of young earth creationism here Michael, and to be honest, I do not think that you are sufficiently familiar with the subject to even realize that.

I will note that you used a bad translation of the passage in Tacitus, which you did not notice had critical error, though I had just mentioned that particular problem in my post. Clearly, there may be someone in this conversation "insufficiently familiar." If you are going to attack people for being unlettered and not treating their sources seriously, at least get your translations right.

This is the second time in a major thread that you have attacked me for being ignorant, etc, and then made a dumb error in the post. The last time, you accused me of having "weak English skills" and then promptly misspelled two simple words in the next sentence that was the crux of your attack. Why don't you just cease the personal attacks?

I can't see how it is "young-earth creationism" to argue that Suetonius got his names right, and SERAPION contains no reference to "Jesus." Once again, your rhetoric runs ahead of your argument.

Your desire to disregard all evidence that contradicts your position is understandable, but betrays your ignorance, and your agenda in this matter.

I doubt anyone reading this thread considers me ignorant. As for my agenda, agendas are like noses……

So far your only attempt to prove my ignorance ended with you admitting that you didn't even realize you had written an incorrect translation. From Nomad:
  • I apologize. Pilate is incorrectly identified by Tacitus as the procurator of Judaea, when his actual title was governor. It was my mistake for not checking this more carefully.

No doubt those archives that contained the copious information on Christians, also wrongly identified Pilate.

As always, it's a pleasure doing business with you, Nomad.

Michael



[This message has been edited by turtonm (edited April 23, 2001).]
 
Old 04-23-2001, 05:02 PM   #107
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DougI:
Sorry carpy but there is no need to respond to your personal attacks. You left me nothing to respond to since you never presented evidence of Nazareth but took the route of ad hominems. But I see you are still trying to get me to sink to your level. If failing to rely on illogical arguments makes me the worst debater then I thank you and will say you are the best debater based upon your criteria.
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</font>
Doug,

I did present evidence, but you’ve ignored it. I also completely destroyed your excuse for an argument without hearing more than a faint whimper from you.

Do you know what a syllogism is? Since you appear to be most likely in your teen years, I’ll give you an example:

All dogs are mammals.
Fido is a dog.
Therefore, Fido is a mammal.

Lets take this to the Nazareth issue. (Let me know if I’m going too fast for you)

You first said Nazareth did not exist until the 4th century, but you then quickly changed your mind and said it existed in the 2nd century. Therefore, your argument looks like this.

Nazareth existed in the second century.
Mark wrote about Nazareth in the first century.
Therefore, Nazareth could not have existed in the first century.

Do you see the sheer ridiculousness of your argument? Notice that none of your skeptical friends are defending your viewpoint. They realize the absurdity of it. The conclusion does not follow from the premises. In fact, the conclusion contradicts the second premise.

Please answer the one simple question I’ve posed to you about three or four times now. If Nazareth did not exist until the second century, then how did Mark write about Nazareth in 70 C.E. ? By failing to answer this one simple question you demonstrate the magnitude of your ignorance.

Peace,

Polycarp (who now has a sore forehead from banging his head against a wall)


 
Old 04-23-2001, 05:02 PM   #108
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Michael

You are still confused.

I have asked you what evidence you have that Tacitus got his information from Christians. Thus far you have offered as your only source a theologian that wishes to speculate on the matter, and you have also refused to defend his speculations. In your world is this a form of argumentation? Do you honestly think that it somehow proves your point? Can you actually be serious in a discussion of ancient history?

Since you no doubt posted before reading Polycarp's point on Tacitus' "error", I will let you correct your mistake when you get the chance to do so.

Now, what is your evidence? I keep asking because you keep dodging. You have ignored the evidence offered, and poisoned the well in the process, thinking it is perfectly acceptable to reject the opinion of experts and scholars in the field because they contradict your preconceived agenda.

Please do better.

Finally, I have already told you that I am not interested in the Setonius discussion. Polycarp is doing just fine holding your feet to the fire on that one. For now I want to know why you treat Tacitus as suspect. Thus far you haven't offered us anything you have been willing to defend (IOW, posting links, then running from any discussion about the points raised is not a solid debating technique).

Still hoping,

Nomad
 
Old 04-23-2001, 06:13 PM   #109
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Sorry to have waited so long, but work presses. There are so many replies here, and I'd like to thank Ish and Polycarp for tracking down and locating some interesting, thought-provoking and challenging references.
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Michael,

No need for you to apologize for the time it took you to respond. Thank you for re-affirming that you do believe Jesus existed. I’m a little curious why you would want to spend so much time on this thread which asked for people who didn’t believe in Jesus. I certainly have no problem with your input, but I wonder why you seem so vehemently opposed to some of these citations if you actually believe Jesus existed. Oh well… To each his own. Since neither of us appear to be ready to change our minds I’ll summarize where we stand as I see it.

Suetonius most likely referred to Jesus. We have no other reference to this event being associated with “Chrestus” in any other source BESIDES Acts, which just happens to mention the incident in the context of describing two people who were Christians when they met Paul only 2 years after they were expelled from Rome. As I repeated earlier I don’t claim certitude on Suetonius, but it does appear as though it is a confused reference to Jesus.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> And I pointed out that few, if any "specifically" refer to Jesus. Lucian's remarks are a set of general remarks on Christians written in 170. Pliny asks what to do about Christians, and makes no "specific" reference to Jesus. Serapion, as we have seen, contains no reference to Jesus. What was the reference in Marcus Aurelius?
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</font>
I’ll start with Lucian. He clearly refers to Jesus. There is much more to “Death of Peregrinus” than the short section you cited. I’ll cite a few more sections:

“During this period Peregrinus associated himself with the priests and scribes of the Christians in Palestine, and learned their astonishing wisdom. Of course, in a short time he made them look like children; he was their prophet, leader, head of the synagogue, and everything, all by himself. He explained and commented on some of their sacred writings, and even wrote some himself. They looked up to him as a god, made him their lawgiver, and chose him as the official patron of their group, or at least the vice patron. He was second only to that one whom they still worship today, the man in Palestine who was crucified because he brought this new form of initiation into the world.”

He then describes how Peregrinus was jailed and that Christians visited him in prison, bringing food. Lucian then explains why they did this:

“Having convinced themselves that they are immortal and will live forever, the poor wretches despise death and most willingly give themselves to it. Moreover, that first lawgiver of theirs persuaded them that they are all brothers the moment they transgress and deny the Greek gods and begin worshipping that crucified sophist and living by his laws. They scorn all possessions without distinction and treat them as community property; they accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time while laughing at these foolish people.”

Personally, I like Lucian’s sense of humor. He would totally feel at home here at the SecWeb.

Notice that Lucian does not only refer to Christians, he also CLEARLY knows about Jesus.
1. He clearly knows that Jesus was a real man and not a mythical figure.
2. He knows that Jesus was crucified.
3. He knows that Jesus was active in Palestine.
4. He knows that Jesus was viewed as a lawgiver. (Hmmm… did someone say Mara bar Serapion?)
5. He knows that Christians had sacred writings.

And much more about the activities of Christians (including their willingness to believe things without evidence). I thought you’d like that one

Now on to Pliny… You claimed that Pliny “makes no ‘specific’ reference to Jesus”. Rather than accuse you of lying (as some have done to me), I’ll assume you have not actually read the passage. He clearly does refer to Jesus. Pliny is writing to Emperor Trajan. Here it is:

“Since I have begun to deal with this problem, the charges have become more common and are increasing in variety, as often happens. An anonymous accusatory pamphlet has been circulated containing the names of many people. I decided to dismiss any who denied that they are or ever have been Christians when they repeated after me a formula invoking the gods and made offerings of wine and incense to your image, which I ordered to be brought with the images of the gods into court for this reason, and when they reviled CHRIST. I understand that no one who is really a Christian can be made to do these things.
Other people, whose names were given to me by an informer, first said that they were Christians and then denied it. They said that they had stopped being Christians two or more years ago, and some more than twenty. They all venerated your image and the images of the gods as the others did, and reviled CHRIST. They also maintained that the sum total of their guilt or error was no more than the following. They had met regularly before dawn on a determined day, and sung antiphonally a hymn to CHRIST as if to a god. They also took an oath not for any crime, but to keep from theft, robbery and adultery, not to break any promise, and not to withhold a deposit when reclaimed.”

A couple points to make here… Three times Pliny refers to “Christ”. I really don’t understand how you fail to see this as a clear reference to Jesus. You even said that Pliny received his info from Christians. If he got the info from Christians, then how in the world would he not know of Jesus? Pliny does NOT only get his info from his torture victims. He gets it from all of the people whom he interrogated.


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Ditto with SERAPION. As we have seen, the passage does not refer to Jesus. It refers only to a "wise king." There was no comment about "laws" so actually your "evidence" does not hold up either, unless the writer refers to it elsewhere in the letter. Given that the writer makes a couple of historical errors, are we justified in mapping the "wise king" onto Jesus? We do not know which specific mythology the author is referring to. It is most certainly not a specific reference to Jesus, unless one looks through Christian-colored glasses.
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I’m really biting my tongue here, Michael. I’m still not about to accuse you of lying (as some have done to me), so I’ll assume you haven’t read the entire Mara bar Serapion passage. While my hands are cramping up, I will type this one out as I’ve done with the others:

“What else can we say, when the wise are forcibly dragged off by tyrants, their wisdom is captured by insults, and their minds are oppressed and without defense? What advantage did the Athenians gain by murdering Socrates, for which they were repaid with famine and pestilence? Or the people of Samos by the burning of Pythagoras, because their country was completely covered in sand in just one hour? Or the Jews by killing their wise king, because their kingdom was taken away at that very time? God justly repaid the wisdom of these three men: the Athenians died of famine; the Samians were completely overwhelmed by the sea; and the Jews, desolate and driven from their own kingdom, are scattered through every nation. Socrates is not dead, because of Plato; neither is Pythagoras, because of the statue of Juno; nor is the wise king, because of the NEW LAWS HE LAID DOWN.”

Hello? Do you see the reference to the Jewish king who lives on in the “new laws he has laid down” ? Funny… this is almost the same description that Lucian gave of Jesus. Lucian refers to Pythagoras, Socrates, and a Jewish king as his three examples. The Jewish king was killed by his people (exactly how many early Christians portrayed it). Judgement came on the Jews after the death of their king (again exactly how early Christians viewed the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. and 135 C.E.) The wise king lives on in “the new laws he laid down”. This keeps getting funnier… Exactly as early Christians (and Lucian !) describe Jesus.

There’s no need to look at this through “Christian-colored glasses”. The only thing necessary to see this as a reference to Jesus is for a person to remove their “skeptical blinders”.

Marcus Aurelius doesn’t refer to Jesus (as I mentioned a long time ago), but only to Christians as far as I’m aware. He might have more than one reference, but the one I’m familiar with is in his writings called “Meditations” in book 11, section 3 where he says:

“What a soul that is which is ready, if at any moment it must be separated from the body, and ready either to be extinguished or dispersed or continue to exist; but so that this readiness comes from a man's own judgement, not from mere obstinacy, as with the Christians, but considerately and with dignity and in a way to persuade another, without tragic show.”

Here’s a link to Marcus Aurelius, it’s the third paragraph down: http://classics.mit.edu/Antoninus/me...11.eleven.html

Peace,

Polycarp


 
Old 04-23-2001, 06:15 PM   #110
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Originally posted by Nomad:
Michael

You are still confused.

I have asked you what evidence you have that Tacitus got his information from Christians. Thus far you have offered as your only source a theologian that wishes to speculate on the matter, and you have also refused to defend his speculations. In your world is this a form of argumentation? Do you honestly think that it somehow proves your point? Can you actually be serious in a discussion of ancient history?


I have not "refused" anything. I have already offered some arguments about how Tacitus COULD have gotten his information from Christians (or from someone discussing them) and you have argued that he COULD have gotten it from the archives. I pointed out his error in Pilate's name, and the fact that he gives Jesus his religious title. You said that COULD have been in the archives.

Now, that leaves us in the realm of "COULD." "Arguable" is the exact word I used about five posts ago. I see no reason to change it, since we do not know where Tacitus got his information from.

As I predicted, I'd have to repeat myself.

Since you no doubt posted before reading Polycarp's point on Tacitus' "error", I will let you correct your mistake when you get the chance to do so.

Now, what is your evidence? I keep asking because you keep dodging. You have ignored the evidence offered, and poisoned the well in the process, thinking it is perfectly acceptable to reject the opinion of experts and scholars in the field because they contradict your preconceived agenda.


Hmmm, which experts and scholars in what field? Nobody agrees on where Tacitus got his information in that passage.

Please do better.

Finally, I have already told you that I am not interested in the Setonius discussion. Polycarp is doing just fine holding your feet to the fire on that one. For now I want to know why you treat Tacitus as suspect. Thus far you haven't offered us anything you have been willing to defend (IOW, posting links, then running from any discussion about the points raised is not a solid debating technique).

Still hoping,

Nomad


My feet are just fine, thank you. All Ish and Polycarp have done is said that Suetonius "could" have been mistaken, and offered evidence that others did so. Their whole argument boils down to "It is possible that Suetonius made a mistake. Therefore, this is a specific reference to Jesus." That is "holding my feet to the fire?"

That's not much of an argument. Why not simply regard the passage as arguable, as experts do, and move on?

I noticed that you quickly scampered from the Suetonius debate when I put up a link to a debate among scholars on this very issue that supported exactly what I had been saying all along. The passage is arguable, and does not contain enough information to make a solid judgement. Heck, you could even interpret Raymond Brown's data showing no jews named Chrestus as proof that Chrestus wasn't a jew!

That still leaves SERAPION, which everyone has gradually backed away from. Can we return to it?

Michael
 
 

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