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Old 07-31-2009, 06:24 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by angelo atheist View Post
The evidence for a historical Jesus is no different to a historical evidence for Snow White.
Both have no historical evidence that they existed. In the case of Jesus, all the evidence we have is in a word salad of a book we call the N/T. Outside of this book, the evidence is very slim indeed. Any mention of the historical man around the end of the century is hearsay, myth or legends. Had it not been for Paul, I doubt christianity would have survived past the first century.
What would Paul be preaching about once Jesus did not exist? Once Jesus did not exist Paul would not have known the name Jesus.

How can belief in Jesus survive in the 1st century when no Jesus existed at that time?

According to the NT, the Jews caused Jesus to executed for blasphemy, it makes no sense for Jews to spread the very blasphemy about Jesus and then worship him as a God.

Paul is not from the 1st century, he is from some other century after Jesus was believed to have existed, and up to Origen's Against Celsus, the Pauline writer appeared to have no impact on Jesus believers.

The Pauline writer had no impact whatsoever on Justin Martyr. Paul was not from the 1st century, he was fabricated by the Roman Church just like Papias as a witness to their fraudulent Church history.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:09 AM   #72
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Re Irenaeus and Long ministry of Jesus

Without responding to what you actually quoted I will simply say that I have no issues in disagreeing with Irenaeus on certain issues. He, after all, said Matthew was written before Mark and I have been convinced by arguments for Marcan priority. Therefore, he was incorrect on this point. No Church Father is infallible. But without significant evidence to the contrary, or reason to doubt their statements, I generally give them the benefit of the doubt depending on the issue at hand. If Irenaeus said my friend Papias could fly using his faith the skeptic in me would be unleashed. But if he says (ca. 180) that a Phrygian Bishop, sometime in the first half of the second century wrote five books outlining the oracles or the Lord I have no reason to doubt his claim.

Vinnie
Hi Vinnie,

Why not respond to what I quoted from Irenaeus?

I wish you weren't so selective in what you will discuss as well as what you believe from your sources. But let us see if we can unleash the skeptic in you concerning Papias.

The report of Irenaeus AH 5.33.3-4 hurts the case for the historical accuracy of the words attributed to Papias. I don't know of anyone who believes Jesus really said the ridiculous account of the vines with 10,000 branches, each branch with 10,000 twigs, each twig with 10,000 shoots, each shoot with 10,000 clusters, and every cluster with 10,000 grapes. Then every single grape when pressed will give 25 metretes of wine of wine. (A metere is about 10 US gallaons or 39.4 liters). And to top it off, the clusters talk!!! I wish someone would do the math, but isn't that over 25,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (25 sextillion?) gallons of wine? :rolling: (Don't get me started on the wheat).

But the authority for this farcical account is precisely the same as you give for the gospel of Mark! "And these things are bone witness to in writing by Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book; for there were five books compiled by him." The fact is, when we can cross check Papias against aother sources, he is wrong.

With all due respect, aren't you choosing to believe Papias only when it supports your historical theories?
Likewise for Irenaeus. You pick and choose what fits your theory, but reject the advanced age and long ministry of Jesus because it disconfirms your position.

I apologize if the tone seems argumentative, but it needed to be said since you and Roger have attempted to claim the "high ground" regarding the use of the ancient sources.

Best,
Jake Jones IV
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:16 AM   #73
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Default Life Expectancy

Hi show_no_mercy,

Good points, it seems probable that poor Jews living in Palestine in the tumultuous First century probably had a lower life expectancy than others in the Roman Empire.

Here's a chart that estimates life expectancy at different ages in ancient Rome: http://www.utexas.edu/depts/classics...ents/Life.html

According to this chart, if we assume that they were an average of 35 years old (and assume Jesus died in 33 C.E., as guesses range from 29-36 C.E., we could expect half of them to be dead 26 years later in 59 C.E. and the rest to die within the next ten years, so all would be dead by 70 C.E.

If we assume an average age of 25 years, then we can expect half of them to be dead 32 years later in 65 C.E. and the rest to be dead by 75 C.E.

Note that only 2.2% of the population lived past age 70. So even if we take the date of 36 as the death of Jesus and even if we assume 25 as the average age, it is highly unlikely, about a 1 in 10 chance that any lived until 80 C.E., when they would have been 70.

Speaking more realistically, given the conditions of extreme poverty they lived in and the famine that hit Israel in the early 40's, I suspect it is highly doubtful that any of them would have made it past 60 C.E. if they existed.

Warmly,

Philosopher Jay

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Originally Posted by show_no_mercy View Post
What was the life expectancy of a aristocrat or someone generally affluent in 1st century Rome? Someone with access to first rate medical care, education, and a very "luxurious" life?

What was the life expectancy of an illiterate "blue-collar" worker in 1st century Rome? Someone without education, no medical care, and a hard "of the Earth" life?

Can we use the same analogy for the modern world? What's the life expectancy of a rich Republican who grew up in affluent suburbia over the life expectancy of an uneducated minority growing up in poverty?

All this talk about "life expectancy" needs to take into account distinct populations who live in very different environments; environments which have a huge impact on mortality rates.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:53 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Vinnie View Post
Re Irenaeus and Long ministry of Jesus

Without responding to what you actually quoted I will simply say that I have no issues in disagreeing with Irenaeus on certain issues. He, after all, said Matthew was written before Mark and I have been convinced by arguments for Marcan priority. Therefore, he was incorrect on this point. No Church Father is infallible. But without significant evidence to the contrary, or reason to doubt their statements, I generally give them the benefit of the doubt depending on the issue at hand. If Irenaeus said my friend Papias could fly using his faith the skeptic in me would be unleashed. But if he says (ca. 180) that a Phrygian Bishop, sometime in the first half of the second century wrote five books outlining the oracles or the Lord I have no reason to doubt his claim.

Vinnie
Hi Vinnie,

Why not respond to what I quoted from Irenaeus?

I wish you weren't so selective in what you will discuss as well as what you believe from your sources. But let us see if we can unleash the skeptic in you concerning Papias.

The report of Irenaeus AH 5.33.3-4 hurts the case for the historical accuracy of the words attributed to Papias. I don't know of anyone who believes Jesus really said the ridiculous account of the vines with 10,000 branches, each branch with 10,000 twigs, each twig with 10,000 shoots, each shoot with 10,000 clusters, and every cluster with 10,000 grapes. Then every single grape when pressed will give 25 metretes of wine of wine. (A metere is about 10 US gallaons or 39.4 liters). And to top it off, the clusters talk!!! I wish someone would do the math, but isn't that over 25,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (25 sextillion?) gallons of wine? :rolling: (Don't get me started on the wheat).

But the authority for this farcical account is precisely the same as you give for the gospel of Mark! "And these things are bone witness to in writing by Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book; for there were five books compiled by him." The fact is, when we can cross check Papias against aother sources, he is wrong.

With all due respect, aren't you choosing to believe Papias only when it supports your historical theories?
Likewise for Irenaeus. You pick and choose what fits your theory, but reject the advanced age and long ministry of Jesus because it disconfirms your position.

I apologize if the tone seems argumentative, but it needed to be said since you and Roger have attempted to claim the "high ground" regarding the use of the ancient sources.

Best,
Jake Jones IV
I never said I believed Papias, only that I believe he relays a very early tradition about the Gospel of Mark on the basis of Irenaeus and Eusebius. The accuracy of that tradition needs to be discussed. I did, however, claim Papias is a witness to the mere existence of Jesus and I stand by that. Anyone who goes about collecting oral and written sayings of an individual 70 years after their putative existence is evidence of their historicity, though certainly not proof. The fact that he claims to attempt, in other words, of getting back to the first stratum is also telling. I would greatly like to see his work and am saddened it is no longer extant.

Quote:
Why not respond to what I quoted from Irenaeus?
Because I don't have the time to treat so many issue with the care and fidelity they deserve. Responding to that will open up another bag of worms and I've opened up as many as I can handle on this forum in the last several days. In addition to explaining the basics and basis of the synoptic problem to something through PM. In addition to that, my selectivity in responding come from the fact that I have been here a long time and to be honest, a lot of us have hashed an rehashed many of these same topics and issues. For example, Papias.

I just don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

Vinnie
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:01 PM   #75
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I never said I believed Papias, only that I believe he relays a very early tradition about the Gospel of Mark on the basis of Irenaeus and Eusebius. The accuracy of that tradition needs to be discussed. I did, however, claim Papias is a witness to the mere existence of Jesus and I stand by that. Anyone who goes about collecting oral and written sayings of an individual 70 years after their putative existence is evidence of their historicity, though certainly not proof. The fact that he claims to attempt, in other words, of getting back to the first stratum is also telling. I would greatly like to see his work and am saddened it is no longer extant.

I just don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

Vinnie
Hi Vinnie,

Thank you for that. You position, as I understand it, is that you do not necessarily believe anything attributed to Papias other than the mere existence of Jesus. But why is that? His testimony is like the "Friend of a Friend" transmission of modern urban legends. A friend once sent me an email that stated she knew a friend who knew the brother of the guy that picked up the Vanishing Hitchhiker. Same difference with Papias.

I am a little confused. You keep saying that Papias relays a very early tradition about the Gospel of Mark on the basis of Irenaeus and Eusebius.

But Ireneuas never mentions the Gospel of Mark in association with Papias does he? Are you not really relying on Eusebius alone?

Best,
Jake
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:04 PM   #76
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But Ireneuas never mentions the Gospel of Mark in association with Papias does he? Are you not really relying on Eusebius alone?
I think he might be arguing that what's commonly refered to as Papias' unordered Markan Logia (sayings) is actually our gospel of Mark.

Could be wrong though.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:59 PM   #77
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I never said I believed Papias, only that I believe he relays a very early tradition about the Gospel of Mark on the basis of Irenaeus and Eusebius. The accuracy of that tradition needs to be discussed. I did, however, claim Papias is a witness to the mere existence of Jesus and I stand by that. Anyone who goes about collecting oral and written sayings of an individual 70 years after their putative existence is evidence of their historicity, though certainly not proof. The fact that he claims to attempt, in other words, of getting back to the first stratum is also telling. I would greatly like to see his work and am saddened it is no longer extant.
"Believe" is a tricky word, is it not? Do we "believe" everything our politicians tell us, everything we see in print? Of course not, but we can appreciate and evaluate what any author tells us. Papias is interesting. He mentions a disorderly narrative of Peter's sermons written down by Mark. But this cannot be our Mark because canonical Mark is definitely ordered. Could it be an ur-Mark or even a Secret Mark? Possibly. Then there's the Matthew Papias refers to. In contrast to the disorderly Markan narratives, the Matthew appears to be a collection of sayings in Aramaic, so it cannot be our canonical Matthew. But what it could be? Helmut Koester suggests that it might be a version of Q. (Intro to the N.T., Vol.2: Hist & Lit of Early Christianity; NY/Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 1982, p.172) And as far as getting back to the first stratum is concerned, Papias at least gets us back to the stratum of John the Elder, which puts us within the Johannine Community centered on Ephesus — even if his info is a bit garbled.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:09 PM   #78
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I never said I believed Papias, only that I believe he relays a very early tradition about the Gospel of Mark on the basis of Irenaeus and Eusebius. The accuracy of that tradition needs to be discussed.
You have no evidence of an early tradition outside of church writers, you are merely using your opinion as a corroborative source.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinnie
I did, however, claim Papias is a witness to the mere existence of Jesus and I stand by that. Anyone who goes about collecting oral and written sayings of an individual 70 years after their putative existence is evidence of their historicity, though certainly not proof.
Again you have no credible information outside of the church writers that Papias is a witness to the mere existence of Jesus. Jesus of the NT could not have had an existence. The church writers have described their Jesus to the world and he had no earthly father was resurrected and ascended to heaven.

Your opinion of Jesus is irrelevant when the Church have described their Jesus. Papias was used to try to establish that Jesus of the Church existed when such a case could not be true.

Your proposals about the activities of Papias are not corroborative but merely your opinion.

Your claim that Papias went about collecting oral and written statements cannot be deemed to be evidence of historicity when your claim could be false.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:16 PM   #79
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Papias is an especially solid witness to the historical Jesus since he probably wrote ca. 105 C.E. Papias also attests to the sayings of a historical individual in the first third of the first century as does Mark, M, L, Q and some of Thomas. Those are merely the first century references, btw.
Vinnie
JW:
Papias is evidence for HJ but is a long way from "especially solid witness". The test is comparing the extant evidence with what would be quality evidence as opposed to merely considering the extant evidence:

1) We have nothing extant from Papias.

2) We have nothing extant from anyone who knew Papias.

3) We have limited excerpts from biased individuals who have selectively quoted what Papias supposedly wrote for purposes other than establishing HJ.

4) These individuals indicate that Papias was also biased.

5) Papias does not claim to know HJ and does not claim to know anyone who knew HJ. It's unclear if he knew someone who knew someone who knew HJ. That's a lot of opportunity to be wrong.

6) Papias is no evidence for GJ since nothing quoted from him is Canonical. So "Mark", M, L, Q and some of Thomas do not support Papias here, they contradict him.

Vinnie, you either do not know anything about historical methodology or you are putting us on (again). Which is it?



Joseph

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Old 07-31-2009, 03:48 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Vinnie View Post
Papias is an especially solid witness to the historical Jesus since he probably wrote ca. 105 C.E. Papias also attests to the sayings of a historical individual in the first third of the first century as does Mark, M, L, Q and some of Thomas. Those are merely the first century references, btw.
Vinnie
JW:
Papias is evidence for HJ but is a long way from "especially solid witness".
Papias could not ever be evidence for an historical Jesus when Jesus of the Church was never claimed to be only human or could have existed without being God who created the world and everything in the world.

Papias was used a witness to the merger of the implausible and the plausible, the merger of myth to supposed actual events.

There is no HJ in the NT or Church writings, according to the Church, JESUS did TRULY resurrect and ascend through the clouds.
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