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Old 04-19-2001, 11:44 AM   #31
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Hmm...was that what I was claiming? All those arguments about time, Layman, reflect an implicit belief that it is somehow
important. </font>
Yes, it certainly seemed to be your claim.

Time is important. But that doesn't mean myths can't arise quickly. There is a middle-ground. The longer the period of time, the more likely myth or legend is to develop. The shorter the period of time, the less likely myth or legen is to develop.

This, of course doesn't mean that a short time won't produce a myth or that a long time will produce a myth. So, examples that either has happened does nothing to eliminate the liklihoods.
 
Old 04-19-2001, 12:16 PM   #32
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SecWebLurker:
Kloppenborg's triple-stratification of 'Q', which scholars like Mack and Crossan assume, or any attempt at reconstructing Q's layers for that matter, is by n
</font>
Thanks. I assumed that there were arguments against Q1,2,3, but didn't know the sources.

Michael

 
Old 04-19-2001, 12:50 PM   #33
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polycarp:


Is there any aspect of this reconstruction to which you would object ? If so, then please say why. After that, think about why you (or Earl Doherty) are in a better position than the following people to know whether or not Jesus existed:

1. Jewish leaders in Jerusalem in 30-33 C.E.
2. Josephus – a Jewish/Roman historian writing between 80-95 C.E.
3. Tacitus – a Roman historian writing around 110 C.E.
4. Lucian of Samosata – Greek writer of the second century.
5. Celsus – Greek opponent of Christianity in the second century.
6. Trypho – Jewish opponent of Christianity in the second century.
7. Opponents of Christianity throughout the first and second centuries.


</font>
Since this topic is being addressed in other threads, I'll just reply briefly.

I'm not aware of what info you refer to in 1.

2. Comparing Josephus' description of John the Baptist and other 'prophets' of that time period, the description of Jesus appears to be a later interpolation. This point is crucial to Doherty's claims.

All the rest attest to beliefs based on the gospels, which are based mainly on Mark, which may be a work of fiction.

 
Old 04-19-2001, 01:07 PM   #34
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Thanks, LP.

Polycarp, there are a couple of things I'd like to clarify, and I'll get back to the rest later.

I've never heard the Talmud mention of Jesus' miracles. A little more info on this would be appreciated. A URL, if you have it. Thanks.

Also, I suppose I threw the first stone, so I deserved this snide remark: "This is because you are well-versed in critical thinking skills while Christians are totally lacking in the area and dependent entirely on blind faith."

I accept this for the sarcastic rejoinder it is, but the truth is, I don't think it's this simple. I think nobody really cares whether Robin Hood existed or not because it would not effect one's life in the least were it to be conclusively demonstrated one way or another.

On the other hand, were someone to even amply demonstrate that Jesus never existed (which I think is impossible), it destroys a schema you've had since the cradle (most likely) and upon which you've built your life, hopes, beliefs, dreams. We have certain psychological needs and fears that religion fills nicely:

(1) fear of being alone
(2) fear of death as the end
(3) fear of not having anyone on our side (slightly different from point #1)
(4) a sense of justice that wants to believe that bad people will be punished and good people will be rewarded
(5) an inherent laziness (I speak of mankind here) in which we want to be certain of the answers without being bothered to do the necessary research so we can make educated guesses, which turns out to be a lot of work for less (or so it seems)
(6) an explanation for whatever we don't understand ("The gods did it" has been considered a valid explanation since the beginning of time by all people and creeds)
(7) the need to believe that we're here for a REASON

Perhaps point 5 and 6 go together. But anyhow, I don't deny that your belief brings you a great deal of comfort. For that reason, you're vested in defending it. Because of these natural psychological satisfactions that religion provides, few believers seriously question their faith, and they tend to attack (to differing degrees) anyone who asks too many questions.

We're not this way about religion only; we tend to defend anything that makes sense to us and fulfils us in some way (or in which we've invested much time and effort--another interesting psychological phenomenon) against any opposing ideas.

So I guess I've answered my own comment about why believers see Robin Hood as largely a myth (and can sanely question his very existence) but don't want to do this with their god.

Just a random question, Polycarp: do you think the Mithra stories were based on a real person?

diana
 
Old 04-19-2001, 01:13 PM   #35
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8. If the implications of the person's mere existence would affect my life, then that person must not have existed. At the very least I have good reason to doubt his existence.

Layman,

I usually don’t waste my time replying to your inane rants, but here I have to make an exception since you used a part of my earlier post as the basis for your number 8.

By your #8 I would guess that you are trying to sarcastically say that:

I doubt JC’s existence because, if I believed in JC’s existence, I would have to believe in god’s existence. Therefore, since I don’t want to believe in god I try to deny the existence of JC.

By your impeccable logic, I would have to doubt the mere existence of my mother. Brilliant! No wonder you believe in god.

 
Old 04-19-2001, 01:15 PM   #36
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Polycarp and Layman,

Given that most people agree that Jesus existed, what specific facts about his life do you consider to be well established historically? Based upon your understanding of the process of history, what do we know with a high degree of certainty about him? We can use the 50% or greater probability that you threw out to begin with.
 
Old 04-19-2001, 01:26 PM   #37
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ecco:
8. If the implications of the person's mere existence would affect my life, then that person must not have existed. At the very least I have good reason to doubt his existence.

Layman,

I usually don’t waste my time replying to your inane rants, but here I have to make an exception since you used a part of my earlier post as the basis for your number 8.

By your #8 I would guess that you are trying to sarcastically say that:

I doubt JC’s existence because, if I believed in JC’s existence, I would have to believe in god’s existence. Therefore, since I don’t want to believe in god I try to deny the existence of JC.

By your impeccable logic, I would have to doubt the mere existence of my mother. Brilliant! No wonder you believe in god.
</font>
Actually, no, that wasn't the point.
 
Old 04-19-2001, 02:31 PM   #38
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
It is not as simple as "conditions." One must review the evidence as to quality and copiousness, and the arguments as well. For example, if all we had on Alexander was the works of later Greco-Roman scholars, and no evidence of empire, we'd be on solid ground to question his existence. However, since we have those plus archaeological evidence, and inscriptions from other cultures, we can be pretty confident about the major facts of his life, if not the details.</font>
Michael,

I thought you told me awhile back that you believed Jesus probably did exist. I understand what you're trying to say here, but are you now saying you don't believe Jesus existed?

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 04-19-2001, 03:21 PM   #39
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
And what is that "acknowledgment"? There were lots of supposed miracle workers in those days. I wonder if Polycarp believes that Apollonius of Tyana and the Roman Emperor Vespasian had performed the miracles that they had been described as performing.
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</font>
“Acknowledgement” would be accusations in the Talmud that Jesus practiced sorcery. This is an implicit acceptance of Jesus’ ability to perform his miracles. The records of Apollonius and Vespasian were written after the gospels so if I were a good critical thinker I would say the stories of those miracles were stolen from the gospels.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> In a document that grossly contradicts the other three canonical Gospels; it says that Jesus Christ had spent much more time in Jerusalem than the other three, and that he had talked much more about murky theology.
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</font>
The synoptic gospels do not “grossly contradict” John in their chronology. John mentions several Jewish Festivals and the Synoptics do not. Silence on an issue is not a contradiction. The writers had different theological emphasis. So what? If I read a liberal newspaper columnist I will get a different impression of Bill Clinton than if I read a conservative one. Does this mean neither one is an eyewitness?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> What do you call TV evangelists?
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</font>
What do you call those roofing and siding experts that constantly call my house? Yet you still believe in roofs and houses…

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> However, if there were really fundamental contradictions, you would have to wonder.
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</font>
Name a few and we can talk.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> And how is that supposed to be the case? Was William Wallace the son of a god and a virgin?
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</font>
I don’t think anyone is making this claim. Therefore, its irrelevant.

Peace,

Polycarp


 
Old 04-19-2001, 03:31 PM   #40
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by PhysicsGuy:
I'm not aware of what info you refer to in 1.

2. Comparing Josephus' description of John the Baptist and other 'prophets' of that time period, the description of Jesus appears to be a later interpolation. This point is crucial to Doherty's claims.

All the rest attest to beliefs based on the gospels, which are based mainly on Mark, which may be a work of fiction.
Quote:
</font>
Item 1 refers to the testimony of Paul who was one of the original persecutors of Christians along with other Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.

One passage in Josephus contains Christian interpolations. However, the overwhelming majority of scholars believe there is a core reference to Jesus that was originally written by Josephus that has been altered by Christian scribes. There is also virtually no scholars who dispute the second reference to Jesus in the passage describing the death of James (the brother of Jesus).

You still have not listed one reason why you are in a better position than any of the early opponents of Christianity who lived in the first and second centuries. They were in a much better position than you to know whether or not Jesus existed.

Peace,

Polycarp

 
 

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