FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-12-2001, 03:35 PM   #51
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Originally posted by MeAgain:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Thank you Polycarp for your reply,
My take is as follows:
Out of the whole Josephus, we are going to be left with "James brother of Jesus" as the only reference to Jesus in the Book.
The main point here is :Josephus to whom we owe a lot did not bother telling us a little more about this fellow you is called Messiah. Why? he knew nothing or didn't want to say it or probably the guy wasn't known yet at that time. Strange, Josephus was a Jewish General a revolutionary too,Part of Massada event, is it really possible that he knew nothing about Jesus except that he was the brother of James?
Quote:
</font>
You're welcome for the reply. Thank you for keeping a relatively civil tone with me on a topic on which I know you strongly disagree with me.

I haven't discussed all of the reasons there are for believing that the Testimonium Flavianum originally contained some information about Jesus which was later altered by Christian scribes. I won't bore you with those arguments simply because it is obvious that it wouldn't matter how many sources I listed which contain Jesus references. We already have over 50 writings from within 100 years of Jesus' death that refer to his existence. If that isn't enough, then I'm afraid you're asking for more than seems reasonable.

Please don't say those don't count because they were written by Christians. That would be like saying you only believe information on Napoleon Bonaparte that comes from non-French writers. It wouldn't give you a very accurate picture of who he was.

As per Tacitus I don't think that you really answered my questions. And to be more precise he knew what krestos mean(if you can be kind enough as to add his quotation in English, I have it in French and I'm afraid that I mess it up if I translate it)So Tacitus referring To Jesus as Christ is questionable, also the copy from the 14th century and the error about Pilate. Philo the Jew didn't mention Jesus at all even though he lived at the same time(35BCE to 54CE).Pline Referred to the Christians too saying that they gathered everyday, in the same place to sing to the Messiah as if he was a God(Christo quasi deo). And we know well that the Messiah is not a person but something to come

I’m sorry. I thought I adequately addressed your Tacitus questions. If you’ll clearly write them out for me again, I’ll be glad to answer them. When you do so, please list your answer to my last question in my last post about the maximum allowable age of a manuscript in order for you to consider it reliable. Do you still believe that Christians tampered with the text of Tacitus? I thought I made it clear that if Christians had tampered with the text, they would have never been so negative towards Christianity and impartial to Jesus.


The lord decided to come to earth but managed poorly his schedule or used a faulty planner. No exact date of Birth, no precise place of birth, no father naturally, no burial place, no Body, no records and even the book that is supposed to be his was written in Greek or at least the only copies that made it to us were in Greek. How's that Polycarp for a God's visit to earth?
don't you think that he should have managed to leave behind him a decent footprint. Give me a good reason why the Lord made it all the way to earth and died for us without leaving a decent record.


Please give me the exact date of birth for three Socrates, Aristotle, Confucius, or Mohammed. Do you also think these people are imaginary?

No “body” !?!? That is the whole point of Christianity. You can’t say, “I’ll believe in Christianity if they show me a body.”

No “records” !?!? You’re ignoring the 50 books I mentioned earlier, with at least four of them being specifically dedicated to the life of Jesus. My whole point is that Jesus did leave behind a “decent footprint” – its called “Christianity”. Paul was not the first Christian. He plainly says there were others before him. The overwhelming majority (99%) of scholars believe there were Christians prior to Paul. What do you think Peter was doing traveling throughout the Roman Empire telling people about Jesus? He wasn’t doing it because it was fun. Getting executed by the Romans for his beliefs wasn’t too fun, either. You’re simply ignoring the entire New Testament as evidence. You want evidence, but you completely disregard all of the evidence we do have. It’s like saying, “I’ll believe in Christianity, but only if I have some evidence that it’s true written by people who believe it was false.” Nobody looks for a doctor who doesn’t believe in medicine. You will find evidence for whatever you want to believe.

Why do you think people falsified documents in order to mention Jesus, It seems that even back then people had doubts????Why didn't the lord do it himself. We know well that he was able in the Past to flood earth and kick adam out of Heaven....So why didn't he leave a book instead of relying on Paul who didn't even know him. I really can't see how we can make sense of something that is supposed to be part of faith and only faith.

I believe that some day Jesus will make it clear to everyone. What will you tell him if he does?

May your lord bless you and trust me I will defend you and your faith with everything I have but please don't try to mix your faith with your brain. They are 2 different ways.
Regards


I appreciate your willingness to accept my beliefs, and I’d also ask you to not try to mix your faith with your brain. We all use faith to fill in the gaps in our beliefs.


Peace,

Polycarp


 
Old 03-12-2001, 06:40 PM   #52
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

rodahi, you ask: "Why should anyone believe the words of an ancient religious propagandist? This is a serious, sincere question."

Well, you might consider first that the liberal scholars, though Christian, are by no means the only scholars out there. The traditional view, still held by other Christian scholars, is that John the apostle and eyewitness to the life and death and resurrection of Jesus- this eyewitness wrote the Gospel of John (which is titled in ALL manuscripts by the way), 1John, 2John, 3John, and Revelation.

Second, that John is an 'ancient propagandist' is a claim which has ALREADY been put to the test and rejected. This John, the eyewitness, was 'tested' by the early churches and found by them to be a reliable witness. We even have a report from Irenaeus which attests to the presence of John in Ephesus. John delivered his eyewitness testimony to Polycarp who delivered it to Irenaeus.

My point? Real live people- lots of them- ones who actually met John (removing the 'ancient' difficulty) found the apostles to be worthy of trust in their testimony. The early churches themselves are AN evidence that the apostles can be trusted.
 
Old 03-12-2001, 06:53 PM   #53
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by irenaeus:
rodahi, you ask: "Why should anyone believe the words of an ancient religious propagandist? This is a serious, sincere question."

Well, you might consider first that the liberal scholars, though Christian, are by no means the only scholars out there. The traditional view, still held by other Christian scholars, is that John the apostle and eyewitness to the life and death and resurrection of Jesus- this eyewitness wrote the Gospel of John (which is titled in ALL manuscripts by the way), 1John, 2John, 3John, and Revelation.

Second, that John is an 'ancient propagandist' is a claim which has ALREADY been put to the test and rejected. This John, the eyewitness, was 'tested' by the early churches and found by them to be a reliable witness. We even have a report from Irenaeus which attests to the presence of John in Ephesus. John delivered his eyewitness testimony to Polycarp who delivered it to Irenaeus.

My point? Real live people- lots of them- ones who actually met John (removing the 'ancient' difficulty) found the apostles to be worthy of trust in their testimony. The early churches themselves are AN evidence that the apostles can be trusted.
</font>
Fair enough. I now know your opinion. Here are some facts:
1. No one knows who wrote any of the gospels (and some of the other NT literature). The writers do not identify themselves.
2. No one knows where any of them were written. The place of composition is not stated in any of them.
3. No one knows when any of them were written. The date of composition is not stated in any of them.

If you wish to believe the Church Fathers, that is your prerogative, but, in some cases, they contradict each other.

rodahi
 
Old 03-12-2001, 07:13 PM   #54
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

rodahi, you write: "1. No one knows who wrote any of the gospels (and some of the other NT literature). The writers do not identify themselves."

Is this really a fact? You might consider that each and every manuscript that we possess of the four gospels includes a title with the name of the author given:

For Matthew:
some have: according to Matthew
others: the gospel according to Matthew
others: the holy gospel according to Matthew
others: the beginning with God the according to Matthew gospel
others: from the according to Matthew

For Mark:
some have: according to Mark
others: the gospel according to Mark
others: the according to Mark holy gospel

For Luke:
some have: according to Luke
others: the gospel according to Luke
others: the according to Luke holy gospel
others: the beginning of the according to Luke holy gospel

For John:
some give: according to John
others: the gospel according to John
others: the holy gospel according to John

The titles themselves, though not necessarily original, COULD be and they do exist in the manuscripts as AN evidence of their authorship.
 
Old 03-12-2001, 07:50 PM   #55
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by irenaeus:
rodahi, you write: "1. No one knows who wrote any of the gospels (and some of the other NT literature). The writers do not identify themselves."

Is this really a fact? You might consider that each and every manuscript that we possess of the four gospels includes a title with the name of the author given:

For Matthew:
some have: according to Matthew
others: the gospel according to Matthew
others: the holy gospel according to Matthew
others: the beginning with God the according to Matthew gospel
others: from the according to Matthew

For Mark:
some have: according to Mark
others: the gospel according to Mark
others: the according to Mark holy gospel

For Luke:
some have: according to Luke
others: the gospel according to Luke
others: the according to Luke holy gospel
others: the beginning of the according to Luke holy gospel

For John:
some give: according to John
others: the gospel according to John
others: the holy gospel according to John

The titles themselves, though not necessarily original, COULD be and they do exist in the manuscripts as AN evidence of their authorship.
</font>
Would you give the dates of the above MSS. That is, the extant documents.

rodahi



[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited March 13, 2001).]
 
Old 03-13-2001, 11:00 AM   #56
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polycarp:
We already have over 50 writings from within 100 years of Jesus' death that refer to his existence.

Please list your writings
(By the way Is it going to start like Matthew, Luke,Peter.....?)

Please give me the exact date of birth for three Socrates, Aristotle, Confucius, or Mohammed. Do you also think these people are imaginary?

It's weird, are you comparing the Lord Jesus Christ to Aristotle? It's like he's not supposed to do better than them?Doesn't the Lord deserve more historical respect than Socrates?

I believe that some day Jesus will make it clear to everyone. What will you tell him if he does?

Polycarp I think you really blew it at this stage. I know you're a devout Christian and It's obvious that I'm an atheist and talking to me about Jesus is like a Joke. Are you talking by the way about the guy who couldn't convince the romans about his holyness. He failed even when present and you want me to believe that he's gonna make something clear to everybody.
Please remember to list your 50 books, and also I wish to quote Tertullian "Credo quia absurdum". You know it and I know that you do.
I'm withdrawing from this discussion and wish to meet you in another topic because honestly asking me what I will say to Jesus was like an ansult. I told you I'm an atheist and at my age 40 it's like threatening me by a ghost. So since you can't treat me as an adult I can't continue unless somebody else get involved in this discussion.
By the way Jesus said himself that he came with a sword not peace. Can you please quote him with your own explanation of its meaning.

Regards
[/B]</font>
 
Old 03-13-2001, 12:35 PM   #57
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by MeAgain:
Please list your writings
(By the way Is it going to start like Matthew, Luke,Peter.....?)
Please give me the exact date of birth for three Socrates, Aristotle, Confucius, or Mohammed. Do you also think these people are imaginary?
It's weird, are you comparing the Lord Jesus Christ to Aristotle? It's like he's not supposed to do better than them?Doesn't the Lord deserve more historical respect than Socrates?
</font>
You’re certainly free to withdraw from the discussion, but let me clarify my point. I have never argued for the divinity of Jesus in this discussion. You are the one who has brought this issue into the discussion and set up the false dichotomy between “mere existence” and “divinity”. There are other options besides Jesus ONLY being “divine” or “non-existent”. Use your free-thinking skills to recognize this. The ONLY thing I’ve been arguing for is the existence of Jesus. Your silence has spoken volumes for your inability to address the points I’ve been making. I mentioned the birth dates of Socrates, etc. to show your hypocrisy. I mentioned Napoleon to show your hypocrisy. You haven’t done anything to refute the very points I’ve made in these regards.


Polycarp said: “I believe that some day Jesus will make it clear to everyone. What will you tell him if he does?”

Polycarp I think you really blew it at this stage. I know you're a devout Christian and It's obvious that I'm an atheist and talking to me about Jesus is like a Joke. Are you talking by the way about the guy who couldn't convince the romans about his holyness. He failed even when present and you want me to believe that he's gonna make something clear to everybody.
Please remember to list your 50 books, and also I wish to quote Tertullian "Credo quia absurdum". You know it and I know that you do.
I'm withdrawing from this discussion and wish to meet you in another topic because honestly asking me what I will say to Jesus was like an ansult. I told you I'm an atheist and at my age 40 it's like threatening me by a ghost. So since you can't treat me as an adult I can't continue unless somebody else get involved in this discussion.
By the way Jesus said himself that he came with a sword not peace. Can you please quote him with your own explanation of its meaning.


I’ve been answering your questions. The fact that you keep asking me to answer your questions while you absolutely refuse to answer any of mine is quite puzzling. My question about what you’d say to Jesus was NOT intended to be insulting. I’m sorry if I gave that impression. It was simply a hypothetical question. I’ve been “treating you like an adult”. You’ve taken ONE sentence I wrote and used it as an excuse to avoid addressing almost ALL of my points.

The discussion is about the existence/non-existence of Jesus, so I won’t be dragged into a theology debate about the meaning of Jesus’ words when you don’t even believe the guy existed !!! I’d much prefer banging my head against a stucco wall.

Here’s a start on the 50 books I mentioned, and remember I said Jesus was the main subject of the books, not that the books were biographies.

27 New Testament Books
Clement
Hermas
5 Books of Papias
Gospel of Thomas
Gospel of Peter
Barnabas
Polycarp
7 Letters of Ignatius
Apocalypse of Peter
Didache

Those are the ones I came up with off the top of my head. I’m at work now so I don’t have my books to reference. We’re at 47 right now. I doubt if you’ll suddenly buy my argument if I come up with 3 more. We also have evidence for “Q” and Luke says “many others” have written gospels at the time he wrote. Luke wasn’t aware of Matt or John, so there must have been at least two or three other non-canonical gospels in circulation by about 80 C.E.

I’ll continue to discuss this if you want to, otherwise I understand.

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 03-16-2001, 10:05 AM   #58
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

"Those are the ones I came up with off the top of my head. I’m at work now so I don’t have my books to reference. We’re at 47 right
now. I doubt if you’ll suddenly buy my argument if I come up with 3 more. We also have evidence for “Q” and Luke says “many others” have written gospels at the time he wrote. Luke wasn’t aware of Matt or John, so there must have been at least two or three other non-canonical gospels in circulation by about 80 C.E."

I think this is an excellent point Polycarp. Luke specifically states: "Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning where eyewitnesses and minsiters of the word delivered them to us...."

It is obvious, from Luke's reliance on Mark and Q, that Luke relied on these earlier sources to write his own gospel. But Mark and Q only make up roughly one half of the gospel of Luke. Recent scholarship, such as Kim Poffenroth's, The Story of Jesus According to L, has demonstrated that Luke indeed does rely on a preexisting, perhaps written, source (or sources), for his unique material.

Moreover, Luke's use of the term "narrative" to describe the other accounts, indicates that these were not just "sayings" traditions. Additional support for this view is that Luke's Passion Narrative and Resurrection accounts contains a lot of information that is independent of Mark. However, where he ventures beyond Mark, he sometimes agrees with John.

I think that the study of L has been sorely neglected. I was curious if you knew of any New Testament scholars who have focused on this issue? The best book I have found so far is Rober Van Voorst's Jesus Outside of the New Testament, but it is more of an introduction than a study.
 
Old 03-16-2001, 12:07 PM   #59
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
I think that the study of L has been sorely neglected. I was curious if you knew of any New Testament scholars who have focused on this issue? The best book I have found so far is Rober Van Voorst's Jesus Outside of the New Testament, but it is more of an introduction than a study. </font>
I'm not sure about books entirely devoted to the issue of "L". Darrell Bock's 2-volume Baker Commentary on Luke has some info on this issue. As far as other info on sources is concerned...

I have Van Voorst’s book, but its still sitting in my “waiting to be read” pile. It looks real good from what I’ve skimmed of it. There’s a book coming out in May by Robert Stein entitled, “Studying the Synoptic Gospels: Origin and Interpretation”. It’s a revision of his previous book called, “The Synoptic Problem”. You’d probably like it. He does a lot of discussion of the sources of gospel traditions, etc. and I guess the new version is supposed to be a step up. Stein takes a conservative approach which is probably closest to my own. For something more moderate/liberal, Dale Allison’s “The Jesus Tradition in Q” or Christopher Tuckett’s “Q and the History of Early Christianity” focus on Q and how it was used by Matt and Luke. I’d disagree with some of their theories, but much of what they say makes sense.

J.P. Meier’s first volume of “A Marginal Jew” has a couple good chapters on non-canonical sources. Ummm… Martin Hengel has a really great book on a slightly different, but related, topic in “The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ”. He examines how the four gospels were accepted as authoritative while harmonizations like the Diatessaron were rejected from the very time they were written. He also discusses the strong evidence for the titles of the gospels (gospel according to Mark, Luke, etc.) being attached to the writing from the earliest distribution of them. Its one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a long time. He also touches on the sources (Q, etc.) a little bit.

Peace,

Polycarp


 
Old 03-16-2001, 01:02 PM   #60
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:

1. Go back and read the quote from Howard Clark Kee. I agree with his statement.</font>
And here it is:

Also, Howard Clark Kee has this to say: "Our contemporary common-sense view of the historicity leads us to search for objective evidence, preserved and reported if possible by impartial observers of the events which we are seeking to investigate. When we approach the events connected with the life of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity with these procedures in mind, however, the results are disappointing. Nearly all the evidence that we have to go on has been preserved by partisan observers and is to be found within the New Testament itself...[The gospels] are in the truest sense of the term propaganda literature." Understanding the New Testament, pp. 54-55.

Alright, this is cool. Unfortunately, I think any reasonable person that found out what the early evangelists did about Jesus and His resurrection, they would be pretty hard pressed NOT to believe He was God.

Similarily, we could say that we would like more evidence from dispationate sources, but as has been noted before, Jesus just didn't register on the screen as more than a marginal Jew from a backwater province in the Empire, so what's the point in asking the impossible? The fact that we have any references to Him at all is pretty remarkable, and on countless other historical figures we have far less evidence, yet do not question the historicity of their existence.

You do not do that with Jesus, however, so I consider the point sufficiently covered now.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">2. Example: False analogy. Did the holocaust survivors have a reason to produce propaganda?</font>
Absolutely. But perhaps I could pause here and ask what your definition of propaganda is.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Did they wish to propagate anything of a supernatural character?</font>
I don't think so.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Did they wish to propagate anything that defies rational explanation?</font>
At the time it certainly did, and this was why no one would believe them. In fact, many still deny that the Holocaust ever happened (at least on the scale reported in history), and as time passes it is easy to see how more non-biased rational thinkers will join the ranks of the sceptics. After all, evidence fades with time as we all know, and one must always weight the belief to the evidence right?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Did they wish to propagate absurdities?</font>
Absolutely! Who in their right mind would ever believe that a civilization as great, and a people like the Germans could ever slaughter millions of innocent people in concentration camps? The thing is preposterous! We are talking about the people that brought us Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. To accuse them of such atrocities was thought to be absurd in the extreme! A After all, do you actually believe that the German people are such monsters?

You really should look at more of the arguments against the Holocaust Ron. They look an aweful lot like the kind of nonsense that I have to put up with from anti-Christian sceptics every day.

Nomad

 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:39 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.