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Old 07-28-2009, 05:49 PM   #21
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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
Papias is not any solid witness to the historical Jesus.

No such thing could have been the case since, according to the Church writers, there was never ever a human only Jesus.

The Church claimed Jesus was God and man, transfigured, resurrected and ascended to heaven. The Jesus of the Church was presented as a myth. That is the Jesus of Papias.

And further once it is admitted that is was Eusebius of Church History who made claims about Papias, then it must be taken into consideration that all the claims about Papias may have been erroneous.

Eusebius was wrong about the authorship and dating of the Gospels, now if he got the authorship and dating of the Gospels wrong this would imply that Papias' information was bogus.

The Jesus stories were written after the death of Nero, yet, based on Eusebius, Papias would have known people who knew the apostles even before their characters were fabricated for the Jesus stories.

It would appear then that Papias, if he ever lived and wrote, was a fiction writer. He knew people who knew fiction characters even before they were fabricated
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:10 PM   #22
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Hi Vinnie,

It is not difficult to copy what someone wrote. It is also not difficult to change what someone wrote. It is also equally easy to make up words and ascribe them to someone who never wrote them. We thus have to verify that Eusebius is an accurate carrier of the message, something we have no way of knowing.

Secondly, some, or all of what Papias wrote could have been made up by Papias. As there were no newspapers or immediate media around in ancient times, anybody could make up any story about themselves and others and it would be impossible to invalidate. We know that many Christian writers who lived in the second century claimed to have been disciples of the apostles.

Since life expectancy was 30-40 years at that time, it is very doubtful that any of the disciples of Jesus, being uneducated and poverty-stricken would have lived past 60 C.E. Average life expectancy for slaves was 29 years and the apostles would have had a life almost as rough as slaves. It is also unlikely that anybody writing in the Second century would have met anybody who actually talked to the apostles, given that there was 50,000,000 people living in the Roman empire and only 12/13 apostles (assuming there was an historical Jesus and historical apostles). Therefore, it seems most reasonable that we should dismiss the claim of Papias that he ever met anyone related to any apostles as a tall tale.

Further, even if we could verify that Papias was telling the truth, there is no way to verify that the people he met had actually met the apostles and had not pretended to meet them in order to enhance their status.

Further, even if the men whom Papias met had thought they met the apostles, there is no guarantee that the men they actually met were apostles and not pretending to be apostles.
Therefore, we have four layers of possible false or mistaken information: 1) Eusebius, 2) Papias, 3) The disciples whom Papias met, 4) The men claiming to be apostles who met the men whom Papias met.

It is quite impossible to verify that minor or major errors or complete falsehoods did not enter the information at any of these four transmission points.

If a complete stranger told you that he heard from a stranger who heard from a stranger who heard from a stranger that someone did something, would you trust the information to be accurate? Would you claim that hearsay four times removed from an event should be taken as historical evidence of the event?

Warmly,

Philosopher Jay


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Hi Vinnie,

Your statistics are based on certain assumptions about the reliable nature of Eusebius' reporting what Papias actually wrote.
{snip...}
Warmly,

Philosopher Jay



Its not difficult to copy what someone wrote. Eusebius may have copied him wrong but that same problem extends to many other authors in antiquity as well. We have no reason to doubt what Eusebius writes about Papias since he thinks the man of small intelligence to begin with.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:03 PM   #23
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Hi Vinnie,

I read comments in this thread and your article, Jesus Mythicism and How Papias Overturns it. It has a nifty "span" table. It is a pleasure to read arguments that are based on logic.

The information (that is ascribed to Papias by Eusebius EH 3.39.14-17) concerning the gospel of Matthew is obviously NOT a reference to the Gospel of Matthew as we know it. How then, can you claim that it is “hardly disputable” that Papias references the Gospel of Mark? In the one case where we can cross check him, Papias is wrong.

You misuse the term “terminus ad quem” For example, citing Irenaeus Book 3, you claim, based on your reasoning that the “terminus ad quem” for Papias’ writings are in the 130’s CE. That is incorrect. The “terminus ad quem” is the earliest date by which the subject in question is unambiguously attested to. Irenaeus wrote AH in the 180’s CE, with Book 3 being published about 185 CE.

The “Argument from Silence” is generally disdained by historists, yet you invoke it with “failure to quote against Gnosticism” with the apparent conclusion that Papias could not have written after 119 CE. That is simply not true.

But for consistency, would you argue that any reference to gnosticism (as 1 Timothy 6:10) must date that work after 119 CE?

Best,
Jake Jones IV
It is my understanding that terminus ad quem is the latest possible date for something, not the earliest. I believe terminus a quo is the earliest it could have occurred.

I am not convinced Papias referenced the Gospel of Matthew but I am conviced he referred to canonical Mark for the following reasons.

I have expressed caution with using that piece of tradition by its lonesome since "gnostic themes" can be traced back to the Corinthians Paul wrote to. The argument from silence I present is this:

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The failure of Eusebius and Irenaeus to quote Papias against Gnosticism is most easily explained by having Papias say nothing about it because he wrote before it became a serious threat, i.e. before 110. [5] This view is bolstered by the fact that when Irenaus is able to cite earlier authorities and Biblical writers against his opponents, he gladly does so. Likewise, Eusebius had a penchant for extensively quoting earlier works. As Yarbrough writes, "Yet for all the vehement opposition of these two against the early gnostics, it appears that neither turns to Papias for support in his arguments."
There is nothing wrong with an argument from silence but building an entire case on mere silence is begging for trouble. What I have done is similar to arguing against the historicity of the slaughtering of the innocents in Matthew. Josephus does not mention it and he went out of his way to document the insanity of Herod's last days.

I have not given a poor argument from silence. The silence is one of many corroborating evidences for an earlier date to Papias' literary activity.

I would date the pastorals towards the turn of the first century at any rate. I have no qualms with a later dating if the evidence suggests it. They were most likely not written in the 50's by Paul. The level of gnosticism present dictates the necessity of pushing its date forward or backwards, however.

Vinnie
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:23 PM   #24
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Hi Vinnie,

It is not difficult to copy what someone wrote. It is also not difficult to change what someone wrote. It is also equally easy to make up words and ascribe them to someone who never wrote them. We thus have to verify that Eusebius is an accurate carrier of the message, something we have no way of knowing.

Secondly, some, or all of what Papias wrote could have been made up by Papias. As there were no newspapers or immediate media around in ancient times, anybody could make up any story about themselves and others and it would be impossible to invalidate. We know that many Christian writers who lived in the second century claimed to have been disciples of the apostles.

Since life expectancy was 30-40 years at that time, it is very doubtful that any of the disciples of Jesus, being uneducated and poverty-stricken would have lived past 60 C.E. Average life expectancy for slaves was 29 years and the apostles would have had a life almost as rough as slaves. It is also unlikely that anybody writing in the Second century would have met anybody who actually talked to the apostles, given that there was 50,000,000 people living in the Roman empire and only 12/13 apostles (assuming there was an historical Jesus and historical apostles). Therefore, it seems most reasonable that we should dismiss the claim of Papias that he ever met anyone related to any apostles as a tall tale.

Further, even if we could verify that Papias was telling the truth, there is no way to verify that the people he met had actually met the apostles and had not pretended to meet them in order to enhance their status.

Further, even if the men whom Papias met had thought they met the apostles, there is no guarantee that the men they actually met were apostles and not pretending to be apostles.
Therefore, we have four layers of possible false or mistaken information: 1) Eusebius, 2) Papias, 3) The disciples whom Papias met, 4) The men claiming to be apostles who met the men whom Papias met.

It is quite impossible to verify that minor or major errors or complete falsehoods did not enter the information at any of these four transmission points.

If a complete stranger told you that he heard from a stranger who heard from a stranger who heard from a stranger that someone did something, would you trust the information to be accurate? Would you claim that hearsay four times removed from an event should be taken as historical evidence of the event?

Warmly,

Philosopher Jay


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Originally Posted by Vinnie View Post

Its not difficult to copy what someone wrote. Eusebius may have copied him wrong but that same problem extends to many other authors in antiquity as well. We have no reason to doubt what Eusebius writes about Papias since he thinks the man of small intelligence to begin with.
I could be wrong but my understanding of life expectancy during the first century is far different from yours. I believe life expectancy was rather short granted infant mortality and mothers who died during childbirth but once you passed infancy and early childhood, and excluding mothers who died during labor, life expectancy was significantly greater than 30-40 years. The apostles and initial followers of Jesus had survived childhood and many proboably lived until their 50s, 70s and possibly, but less likely, beyond that number. During the composition of Mark's gospel some were presumably still alive based upon internal comments. See this article I wrote for clarification. In addition, Jesus had far more followers than the twelve disciples. The number could be around a hundred or more. They might not have followed him night as did others. The gospels exaggerate his popularity immensely but he certainly drew a crowd to himself and dealt with a lot of people during his ministry.

So am I correct that your argument is simply that every piece of evidence which disagrees with your beliefs might have been made up? If that is your argument, to each his own. The documents which exist are prima facie evidence of what they record. Without a plausible reason for creation you are engaged in special pleading.

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If a complete stranger told you that he heard from a stranger who heard from a stranger who heard from a stranger that someone did something, would you trust the information to be accurate? Would you claim that hearsay four times removed from an event should be taken as historical evidence of the event?
We believe things friends tell us about other friends and other people all the time without the slightest bit of proof. Word of mouth. Likewise, many stories I see on the news and read about in the paper could be "made up". Do you do field work to verify the details of your nightly news channel? The problem appears to be that philosopher Jay wants absolute philosophical proof of a historical claim from a time period not well documented when he accepts the truthfulness of hundreds of other things without utilizing the same rigorous truth canon.

A Church historian quotes an author's written document from the turn of the first centur--this author, in his written document with the sayings-- claims to have collected the sayings of Jesus (biographical statement) and reports that he "attempted" to do good history--to get back to the first stratum.

The collection of sayings by Papias and his attempt to hear those who followed the eyewitnesses of Jesus' ministry is evidence for the existence of Jesus. We have a solid line of transmission to contemporary primary data. The mere historicity of an individual from history is not a miraculous claim. It is a simple fact, hardly disputable on the basis of a solid line of transmission to contemporary primary data. Not to mention the five or so other sources in the first century.

Claiming "it was all made up" might convince yourself and a few deluded thinkers on the internet, but that is about it.

Vinnie
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:45 PM   #25
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No such thing could have been the case since, according to the Church writers, there was never ever a human only Jesus.
This is assuming what needs to be proven. Ancients believed in flesh and blood miracle workers. There are many historical individuals from anitiquity who were thought to possess the capability for miraculous feats, healings, predictive prophecy, etc.

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The Church claimed Jesus was God and man, transfigured, resurrected and ascended to heaven. The Jesus of the Church was presented as a myth. That is the Jesus of Papias.
A myth that comes complete with a host of sayings, parables, miracles, conflict stories and deeds in at least four written documents within thirty years of his putative existence...

The Jesus movement became the Christian church after what it believed to be the resurrection of Jesus. You see, resurrection comes after death but life precedes them both. There is a logical order to this.

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And further once it is admitted that is was Eusebius of Church History who made claims about Papias, then it must be taken into consideration that all the claims about Papias may have been erroneous.
Except Papias left behind him written documentation and the claim that Eusebius invented Papias is laughable.

Quote:
Eusebius was wrong about the authorship and dating of the Gospels, now if he got the authorship and dating of the Gospels wrong this would imply that Papias' information was bogus.
Another assumption, whether correct or not. Papias only mentions Mark and Matthew and it is not altogether clear that he even references our Matthew. He references canonical Mark and whether or not Mark was written by Mark is not as closed a question as some make it out to be. There are a few internal issues that make the attribution difficult to accept but some weighty internal and external considerations in its favor.

Quote:
The Jesus stories were written after the death of Nero, yet, based on Eusebius, Papias would have known people who knew the apostles even before their characters were fabricated for the Jesus stories.

It would appear then that Papias, if he ever lived and wrote, was a fiction writer. He knew people who knew fiction characters even before they were fabricated
You lost me there.

Vinnie
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:38 PM   #26
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No such thing could have been the case since, according to the Church writers, there was never ever a human only Jesus.
This is assuming what needs to be proven. Ancients believed in flesh and blood miracle workers. There are many historical individuals from anitiquity who were thought to possess the capability for miraculous feats, healings, predictive prophecy, etc.
But, I have not assumed anything, it is the Church that claimed Jesus truly was God, the Creator, the Word, the son of God, conceived through the Holy Ghost of God who transfigured, resurrected and ascended to heaven.

The Church presented a myth. You guess the myth was human.

You are the one who is assuming that the Jesus of the Church was only human. You cannot use the NT and Church writings since they all propagate a God man Jesus, so you just guess that Jesus was human. You have no other choice but to assume since you have nothing at all to support a human only Jesus.

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Originally Posted by Vinnie
The Jesus movement became the Christian church after what it believed to be the resurrection of Jesus. You see, resurrection comes after death but life precedes them both. There is a logical order to this.
But, the belief that Jesus resurrected degrades your assumption that Jesus was only human. The belief that Jesus had no human father diminishes your unsubstantiated guess that Jesus was human alone.

Jesus was just a belief, a myth, according to the information presented in the Church writings. Jesus originated as a myth and left as a myth through the clouds.

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Originally Posted by aa5874
... once it is admitted that is was Eusebius of Church History who made claims about Papias, then it must be taken into consideration that all the claims about Papias may have been erroneous.
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Originally Posted by Vinnie
Except Papias left behind him written documentation and the claim that Eusebius invented Papias is laughable.
Well, if it is laughable, please provide the document that Papias wrote. Don't tell me you can't find it. Don't tell me it is lost because I will laugh at you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aa5874
Eusebius was wrong about the authorship and dating of the Gospels, now if he got the authorship and dating of the Gospels wrong this would imply that Papias' information was bogus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinnie
Another assumption, whether correct or not. Papias only mentions Mark and Matthew and it is not altogether clear that he even references our Matthew. He references canonical Mark and whether or not Mark was written by Mark is not as closed a question as some make it out to be. There are a few internal issues that make the attribution difficult to accept but some weighty internal and external considerations in its favor.
It is not really known what Papias wrote, or if he lived at all, you cannot depend upon Eusebius to be credible. Eusebius claimed a character called Mark wrote a Gospel while Peter and Paul was in Rome. He also claimed gMatthew was the first Gospel to be written and that Paul was aware of gLuke. Eusebius even claimed that Josephus wrote the TF AJ 18.3.3 and that Philo wrote about the churches of Mark in Alexandria. These are not assumptions at all, these erroneous tales can be found in Church History.

You seem not to understand that Peter was a fictitious disciple of the myth called the offspring of the Holy Ghost fabricated after the death of Nero. Mark could not have met Peter before the fiction story was written.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aa5874
The Jesus stories were written after the death of Nero, yet, based on Eusebius, Papias would have known people who knew the apostles even before their characters were fabricated for the Jesus stories.

It would appear then that Papias, if he ever lived and wrote, was a fiction writer. He knew people who knew fiction characters even before they were fabricated
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinnie
You lost me there.
Perhaps that is why you assume Jesus was human. You are lost.

The Jesus of the NT did not exist. The claims of the Church about Jesus are all false, including his origin and departure from earth supposedly at the time of Pilate. The disciples are fiction including Paul. The first Jesus story was written after the Fall of the Jewish Temple or after around 70 CE.

Now, if Papias claimed anyone knew a disciple of Jesus before the Fall of the Temple then Papias wrote fiction there was no character called Jesus or his disciples, until after the Fall of the Temple.

This is Papias claiming people knew disciples of Jesus when there were no stories of Jesus yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papias
.....If, then, any one who had attended on the elders came, I asked minutely after their sayings,--what Andrew or Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the Lord's disciples...
The disciples could not have said anything before the Fall of the Jewish Temple, they could not talk yet.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:12 AM   #27
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This is assuming what needs to be proven. Ancients believed in flesh and blood miracle workers. There are many historical individuals from anitiquity who were thought to possess the capability for miraculous feats, healings, predictive prophecy, etc.
But, I have not assumed anything, it is the Church that claimed Jesus truly was God, the Creator, the Word, the son of God, conceived through the Holy Ghost of God who transfigured, resurrected and ascended to heaven.

The Church presented a myth. You guess the myth was human.

You are the one who is assuming that the Jesus of the Church was only human. You cannot use the NT and Church writings since they all propagate a God man Jesus, so you just guess that Jesus was human. You have no other choice but to assume since you have nothing at all to support a human only Jesus.



But, the belief that Jesus resurrected degrades your assumption that Jesus was only human. The belief that Jesus had no human father diminishes your unsubstantiated guess that Jesus was human alone.

Jesus was just a belief, a myth, according to the information presented in the Church writings. Jesus originated as a myth and left as a myth through the clouds.





Well, if it is laughable, please provide the document that Papias wrote. Don't tell me you can't find it. Don't tell me it is lost because I will laugh at you.





It is not really known what Papias wrote, or if he lived at all, you cannot depend upon Eusebius to be credible. Eusebius claimed a character called Mark wrote a Gospel while Peter and Paul was in Rome. He also claimed gMatthew was the first Gospel to be written and that Paul was aware of gLuke. Eusebius even claimed that Josephus wrote the TF AJ 18.3.3 and that Philo wrote about the churches of Mark in Alexandria. These are not assumptions at all, these erroneous tales can be found in Church History.

You seem not to understand that Peter was a fictitious disciple of the myth called the offspring of the Holy Ghost fabricated after the death of Nero. Mark could not have met Peter before the fiction story was written.



Perhaps that is why you assume Jesus was human. You are lost.

The Jesus of the NT did not exist. The claims of the Church about Jesus are all false, including his origin and departure from earth supposedly at the time of Pilate. The disciples are fiction including Paul. The first Jesus story was written after the Fall of the Jewish Temple or after around 70 CE.

Now, if Papias claimed anyone knew a disciple of Jesus before the Fall of the Temple then Papias wrote fiction there was no character called Jesus or his disciples, until after the Fall of the Temple.

This is Papias claiming people knew disciples of Jesus when there were no stories of Jesus yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papias
.....If, then, any one who had attended on the elders came, I asked minutely after their sayings,--what Andrew or Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the Lord's disciples...
The disciples could not have said anything before the Fall of the Jewish Temple, they could not talk yet.
We have biographical-contemporary primary data attesting to the existence of the disciples of Jesus. Personally, I will not discuss historical issues with anyone who dates the entire Pauline corpus post 70 C.E. You are too far gone to have a reasonable discussion with on Christian origins.

Vinnie
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:32 AM   #28
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We have biographical-contemporary primary data attesting to the existence of the disciples of Jesus. Personally, I will not discuss historical issues with anyone who dates the entire Pauline corpus post 70 C.E. You are too far gone to have a reasonable discussion with on Christian origins.

Vinnie
You have no corroborative non-apologetic biographical-contemporary primary data attesting to the existence of the disciples of Jesus. Your claim is just a hoax.

By the way, the OP is about Papias not Paul. You may gone too far ahead of yourself.

And I hope you are not using Eusebius to support the date and authorship of the Pauline corpus. That will be a disaster.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:53 AM   #29
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We have biographical-contemporary primary data attesting to the existence of the disciples of Jesus. Personally, I will not discuss historical issues with anyone who dates the entire Pauline corpus post 70 C.E. You are too far gone to have a reasonable discussion with on Christian origins.

Vinnie
You have no corroborative non-apologetic biographical-contemporary primary data attesting to the existence of the disciples of Jesus. Your claim is just a hoax.

By the way, the OP is about Papias not Paul. You may gone too far ahead of yourself.

And I hope you are not using Eusebius to support the date and authorship of the Pauline corpus. That will be a disaster.
Paul provides contemporary primary data for the historicity of some of Jesus original followers in the fifties. But I'd be willing to take a guess and say there were collections of Paul's letters before you even think they came into existence!

Vinnie
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:52 AM   #30
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If it was true that Papias heard the apostle John, he must have been over a hundred years old. Papias Lived in Asia Minor between 70-140 AD. John, if he was around 30 when an apostle, would have been 70 years old when Papias was born. The facts don't compute.
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