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Old 03-08-2001, 03:53 PM   #21
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Orpheous99:
Only in the bible. There are no other docuements varifying that it ever took place and the Romans were VERY good record keepers.</font>
A quick math and logic lesson for ya...

1. How many documents do we have which contain accounts of Roman trials between 0 C.E. and 100 C.E. ?

2. How many Roman trials do you think there were between 0 C.E. and 100 C.E. ?

3. Subtract your answer to question #1 from your answer to question #2.

4. If your answer is less than 5000, then go back and try again because you're way off.

You aren't serious, are you ? This is hilarious...

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 03-08-2001, 03:54 PM   #22
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Orpheous99:
Only in the bible. There are no other docuements varifying that it ever took place and the Romans were VERY good record keepers.</font>
Okay, hotshot. Please refer me to ANY records of ANY judicial proceeding before Pilate regarding ANY crucifixion that those "VERY good record keepers" kept. I eagerly await your evidence.

I dealt with the "only in the Bible" argument above. The true is that we have at least two (Mark & John), arguably three (L), independent accounts of Jesus' trial in the New Testament. Moreover, Paul's letters state that Jewish authorities were involved in Jesus' crucifixion, implying some sort of proceedings against him.

Moreover, you are just flat wrong when you say there are no other documents that demonstrate that it "ever took place." Josephus' reference to Jesus being executed because of accusations brought by the leading men among the Jews implies some sort of judicial proceeding. As does the Bablyonian Talmud's reference which Polycarp has so helpfully provided.
 
Old 03-08-2001, 03:57 PM   #23
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Teutonic:
Well, you can call it nitpicking if you want, but inference is just that. That passage you quoted didn't say Jesus suffered the extreme penalty either, unless you're looking at another inference somewhere. Your quote says:
</font>
Are you a "Jesus-myther"? If so, then come out and say so. And when you do, please tell us why you're in a better position to know if Jesus existed than Tacitus was.

But if you do believe Jesus existed, then why all the fuss over this topic?

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 03-08-2001, 03:59 PM   #24
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"But if you do believe Jesus existed, then why all the fuss over this topic?"

Habit?
 
Old 03-08-2001, 04:04 PM   #25
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No I'm not a Jesus-myther. I grew up Lutheran, very conservative. I'm feeling my way around the whole issue of religion, eternal destiny, and the like.

One of the things that has been bothering me is when people read what is or may not be there into a passage.

I don't think we're arguing about whether or not Tacitus believed Jesus existed. I know He did! But the translation, the words you quoted, you must not read into them what is not there. If you have a better translation that says what you SAY it says, then give us that.

I wonder other things, such as, why did God choose this strange, almost hidden way to put forth His plan of salvation? Nowadays, Jesus could literally come down, show miracles and the entertainment industry could probably match His feats and no one would believe Him! But 2000 years ago, come on! He could have done so much more, that there should be much more information written! Don't you think that would have been helpful over the ages??

As I said, I believe Jesus was here. I wish he'd come back - he said he would, he said there were some living that would be there when he returned. Polycarp, why didn't that happen?
 
Old 03-08-2001, 04:53 PM   #26
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Teutonic:
I wonder other things, such as, why did God choose this strange, almost hidden way to put forth His plan of salvation? Nowadays, Jesus could literally come down, show miracles and the entertainment industry could probably match His feats and no one would believe Him! But 2000 years ago, come on! He could have done so much more, that there should be much more information written! Don't you think that would have been helpful over the ages??

As I said, I believe Jesus was here. I wish he'd come back - he said he would, he said there were some living that would be there when he returned. Polycarp, why didn't that happen?
</font>
Teutonic,

Sorry about the quote thing. I use the translations I can most easily find on the internet so I can cut and paste quickly so I don't have to type out the whole thing. The different translation is from books I've read on the topic. I'm sorry for any confusion it caused.

You’ve asked some really huge questions. I’ll do my best to give you my take on them. I think the first thing to keep in mind is that all of us are free to believe anything we want to believe. I also believe god did this on purpose. He doesn’t force us to do anything against our will. I’m not big into quoting Bible verses, but I think they sum up my opinion on the matter. Check out Jeremiah 29:13 which says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” In other words, god isn’t this cosmic rapist that goes around forcing everyone to accept him and amazing people with things they think are spectacular.

Jesus hated that kind of attitude. He’d heal someone and tell them NOT to tell others. Why? I think its because he knew that people who just wanted to see magic tricks weren’t really interested in knowing anything about god. The miracle seekers weren’t really seeking after god, instead they were looking for some fireworks. When you read the gospels, you’ll see that almost all of Jesus’ miracles were done to help people. Healing them, feeding them, etc. He didn’t just do things to show off. It’s like this… I’ve had people tell me that they’d believe in god if only he’d do something outrageous like speak audibly to them. But there’s always going to be a way to rationalize something like that. Maybe I was hallucinating. Maybe aliens read my mind and imitated my request in order to fool me into believing in some myth so that they can overtake us. I’m giving extreme examples, but I think you get my point…

You asked why Jesus didn’t do more miracles. I really don’t think that anyone who doubts Jesus now would suddenly believe in him if there were more writings about him or if he’d reportedly done more spectacular miracles. We already have over 50 books written by all sorts of people within 100 years of the death of Jesus that have him as their main subject. Compared to other people in history, that’s a pretty amazing feat.

As far as the Jesus’ promise to return goes, I don’t have an iron-clad answer for you. I have a lot of doubts in different areas of my beliefs and this is one of those. But let me throw this out… Mark 13:1-4 is the intro to this topic. Most scholars think Mark was the first gospel written and that Matt and Luke used Mark as one of their sources. The disciples’ question in verse 4 simply asks when the temple will be destroyed. The entire answer (except for verses 26 and 27) given by Jesus fits perfectly with this scenario. So what’s up with verses 26 & 27 ? I don’t know. A lot of early Christians saw the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 C.E. as a sign that Jesus had returned in judgement on those who had rejected his message. That’s certainly a possibility. The obvious question is “Where did the Christians belief in the return of Jesus originate?”. It doesn’t seem like something they’d just make up. So, most likely he said it. If Jesus did say he’d return, then I believe he will. Anyone who rises from the dead is worth believing. The disciples constantly misunderstood Jesus during his ministry, so it wouldn’t surprise me to discover that they misunderstood his whole answer surrounding the question of his return.

I’m in the same boat as you are. I have my doubts about a lot of religious issues. But the fact still remains that I believe Christianity makes far better sense of life as I know it than any other belief system does. I’ve studied a lot of them, too. I hope I answered your questions OK.

Peace,

Polycarp


 
Old 03-09-2001, 02:32 PM   #27
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Thanks for your answers to my tough questions. But, it doesn't seem right for God to have information included in the Bible that is either just wrong, or is wrong because of someone's misunderstanding. How can we, 100 years or 2000 years later know? Know what to believe? If this is an element of salvation, it should be more certain, don't you think?

See, I grew up believing that the Bible is literally true.

Yep, I still believe in Creation too... call me a hick, but I just can't believe that everything we see around us just happened over time. Not a scientific reason, but that's what I think. Therefore, there must be a reason we're here, but why would God make us and then fool us and then condemn those who don't quite get it?

And where did the concept of Holiness come from if God is or was all that ever is or was that existed? Are you saying that as a perfect entity, spirit being, omni-everything, that God thought, geez, sex w/out marriage is WRONG. I mean, where does this stuff come from?

And - I read, and you can correct me if what I read was wrong - that the Adultery in the 10 Cs affected a guy who was with a married woman, but not a married man with a single woman because of property rights.. wives were the property of the man. It still happens in many middle-east countries today...

Polycarp, I have tons more ideas and questions! What is your faith background?
 
Old 03-09-2001, 04:16 PM   #28
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Teutonic:

...
One of the things that has been bothering me is when people read what is or may not be there into a passage.

I don't think we're arguing about whether or not Tacitus believed Jesus existed. I know He did! But the translation, the words you quoted, you must not read into them what is not there. If you have a better translation that says what you SAY it says, then give us that.
...
</font>
What better translation than none at all.

...Sed non ope humana, non largitionibus principis aut deum placamentis decedebat infamia, quin iussum incendium crederetur. ergo abolendo rumori Nero subdidit reos et quaesitissimis poenis adfecit, quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Chrestianos appellabat. auctor nominis eius Christus Tibero imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat; repressaque in praesens exitiablilis superstitio rursum erumpebat, non modo per Iudaeam, originem eius mali, sed per urbem etiam, quo cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque...
-Tacitus Annales: Liber XV.44

I think turtonm's analysis stands based on the text. This is Tacitus' only reference to Christ. It tells us nothing at all about the man, or even if he existed, other than the fact that some nutters were running around the capital worshiping him.

Vale, CV
 
Old 03-09-2001, 04:34 PM   #29
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Originally posted by Layman:
"Why would any skeptic believe Paul to be a fraud?"

You would have to ask them. Of course, I can't understand why any self respecting skeptic denies the mere existence of Jesus.


We've been round and round. I don't feel like another dance.

Regardless, my point wasn't to prove that Paul existed, but to point out that we have no pagan or Jewish references to an important first century religious figure (as opposed to your inapposite comparison to Ceasar) who would have been more likely to be "picked up on the radar" than Jesus would have.

Agreed, but we have letters from his hand, apparently, and no reason to think that he didn't write them. Also, he didn't claim to be god, just to have a direct line. No more than Pat Robertson, Bahá'u'lláh and a number of other perfectly historical people.

So, given the lack of Pagan or Jewish references to Paul, why would you expect so much more for Jesus? Heck, Paul didn't even get picked up on Josephus' radar.

True again. And I don't dispute Paul. Although you are making a good argument about why I might....

So, because people "kill and die" in Jesus' name, he is less likely to have existed? Are you saying that believing in the mere existence of Jesus is such a dangerous prospect that we can't allow it? Is this history or just anti-religious bigotry?

Wow! Your response fell apart quickly. No, my point was only that nobody feels it to be of any great import that Socrates lived or not. Whereas Jesus lived is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

Oh, no wait. Now I see. Even though we have multiple and independent attestations about Jesus' life and teachings, because they also report the miraculous, they MUST have invented Jesus as well. I'll say it again, "Begging the question, poisoning the well, assuming facts not in evidence, trolling, and ad hominem."

I'll say it right back. We have the same evidence for the divinity of a large number of Taoist alchemists, as well as additional evidence for them, in the form of archaeology, inscriptions and writings from their hand. By your (worthless) criteria, they would all be gods and you should be worshipping them.

Michael
 
Old 03-09-2001, 08:41 PM   #30
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You seem to get my point about Paul, but still seem to thrash about on the strawman. My argument is not that the evidence for Paul's existence is in any sense greater or less than for Jesus' existence. Rather, I am demonstrating that a religious leader like Paul, although more widely travelled, meeting more Roman and Jewish authorities (including Ceasar), with a ministry TEN times as long as Jesus, who DID leave behind many writings, failed to be mentioned by any Pagan or Jewish source.

And I see you have used, once again, your bait and switch. I argue that the New Testament itself, with its multiple attestations, is strong evidence for the existence of Jesus. You counter by saying that it doesn't prove his divinity. In short, I was arguing for the bare minimum, and instead of conceding this one simple point, you say that it fails to prove the absolute maximum.

Clever, and somewhat pathetic.
 
 

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