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Old 06-09-2013, 11:25 PM   #11
TedM
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Abe, there are a couple major points you left out to strengthen your hypothesis here:

1. Jesus, early in his ministry, is said in GJohn to have baptized people (or perhaps just his disciples did the baptizing as said in ch 4) with WATER, even as JTB was doing so. See John 3:22, 4:1-2

2. Baptism with water was a main tenant of conversion/initiation to Christianity from the earliest accounts. See references beyond the gospels here - http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/...&startnumber=1

Remember too that the Baptism by John was the kickstart to Jesus' ministry. If nothing really miraculous happened it still provides a natural explanation for Jesus' beginning: It made a huge impression on him.

They are claimed by Luke to be cousins too! Maybe they in fact were cousins who shared many common beliefs, lifestyles, etc..
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:56 PM   #12
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There is no claim whatsoever in any Gospel in the Canon that the baptism story is an historical account or was intended to be historical.

It is already known that parts of the baptism story must be fiction.

The Holy Ghost bird and the voice from heaven were made up.

Now, without the Holy Ghost bird and the voice from heaven the baptism would not make much sense.

There is no corroboration of the supposed baptism without the Ghost bird and Heaven's Voice.
"must be fiction" is just your opinion. Not factual.

The "voice" could have been thunder, with the words being an interpretation by those present. The dove could have been a dove. Multiple attestation.

Without the bird and the voice the baptism would make a lot of sense: JTB was a big deal.

Your rush to dismissal is nearly limitless.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:25 AM   #13
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You can not base a realistic argument on the NT as we have it. That is exactly what the Theists do and we pummel them when they do.

To me the first question is why in the times considering the status of the Jews would a non Jew or non convert fabricate a religion with Jews and a poor rabbi as the main character?

Second, considering the tines and the Jewish history of prophets is it plausible there were one or a number of wandering Jews rabble rousing to one degree or another, proclaiming the end of Israel, unless they return to old ways, and proclaiming themselves the messiah? Seems plausible to me.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:36 AM   #14
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Please, this is not Sunday School. The Holy Ghost bird and the voice from heaven must be fiction--completely made up but was extremely important in the Jesus stories.

If the Holy Ghost Bird and the voice from heaven did not make sense they would not be included in the story.

Examine gJohn 1, there is no baptism story yet the author wrote about the Holy Ghost Bird.

John 1:32 KJV
Quote:
And John bare record , saying , I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
The Holy Ghost Bird was needed to IDENTIFY Jesus as the Son of God whether or not he was baptised.

Examine gJohn 1.

John 1.33
Quote:
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending , and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw , and bare record that this is the Son of God
We clearly now understand that even WITHOUT the baptism story that the Holy Ghost Bird was sent by God to IDENTIFY his Son.







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Originally Posted by aa5874 View Post
There is no claim whatsoever in any Gospel in the Canon that the baptism story is an historical account or was intended to be historical.

It is already known that parts of the baptism story must be fiction.

The Holy Ghost bird and the voice from heaven were made up.

Now, without the Holy Ghost bird and the voice from heaven the baptism would not make much sense.

There is no corroboration of the supposed baptism without the Ghost bird and Heaven's Voice.
"must be fiction" is just your opinion. Not factual.

The "voice" could have been thunder, with the words being an interpretation by those present. The dove could have been a dove. Multiple attestation.

Without the bird and the voice the baptism would make a lot of sense: JTB was a big deal.

Your rush to dismissal is nearly limitless.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:07 AM   #15
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So how do we explain these things? For almost all scholars, the best explanation is plain: Jesus was a follower of JtB. The cult of JtB is actually attested by Josephus (Jewish Antiqities 18.5.2), having a doctrine of baptism at odds with Christianity ("...not in order to the putting away of some sins, but for the purification of the body..."). The full explanation is that Jesus really was baptized by JtB, it was a well-known fact that Christians found embarrassing because they competed with the cult of JtB, so each gospel spun it in their own favor, each in their own unique way, always making sure that JtB was a great but secondary figure. This hypothesis is reinforced by a quote of Jesus in Matthew, saying, "...among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist...", something a cult follower would say of the cult leader.

How do mythicists explain this? The spin and embarrassment of the gospels (especially the later gospels) is much too plain to ignore, so they may grant at least the point that Christians were embarrassed by the belief in the baptism. It is still possible that it is a mere myth that somehow came about and it became embarrassing only later. It is not so often that mere myths become embarrassing to the cult, however. Rather, it is the rule for historical realities. No matter. Robert Price floats the idea that the character of JtB could have been inspired by the Semitic fish god Dagon (as does Arthur Drews), and possibly the baptism was inspired by Zoroaster immersing himself in water and being met by an archangel. The possibilities are endless, and Robert Price is indiscriminate with them.
Abe, this is a typical case of scholars (1) imputing to the text information it does not contain (2) and basing their analysis on the assumption of a Historical Kernel.

The usefulness of the Historical Kernel approach is twofold: first, it can never be refuted, because it is an axiom brought to the text rather than a conclusion from the text. It grows or shrinks based on our creativity with the "evidence" of the text. If we can demonstrate that a pericope is created out of the OT, well, perhaps we can say the saying goes back to Jesus. If we can show both saying and structure are derived, we can maintain, faithlike, that something happened. The way the Historical Kernel is used in NT research, 2000 years from now Historical Frodo researchers will use the idea that the Merry was called a Prince of the Halflings while in Minas Tirith to show that Merry was actually a human from a noble house.....

Which brings us to the second point: the Historical Kernel with its built-in assumption that Jesus was a real human person enables us to avoid demonstrating historicity on a pericope by pericope, event by event basis.

Abe's usage here is dead on. Abe, you need to show us that there is some historical basis to this passage, not assume it and then troll through the texts selectively for evidence.

In point of fact nowhere is it stated that Jesus was a disciple of JtB. Indeed, in GMark we have a nearly Dohertian silence, for JtB is mentioned several times, including in a long passage in Mk 6, but Jesus is never presented as having any relationship with him. JtB's disciples are mentioned in Mk 6, but Jesus is not classed with them. Again in Mk 6 the people say Jesus is JtB returned, but any connection between the two is not mentioned. The writer of Mark clearly reveres JtB and is not embarrassed by the Jesus-JtB connection, so there is no reason for him not to have mentioned that Jesus was JtB's follower....

The other reasons to think the Baptism passage contains no history are abundant. On its face it is insane (all the people of Judea and Jerusalem come out to be baptized??). JtB is presented as Elijah. Etc.

It could be that Jesus was JtB's disciple, but there is no evidence for it. It is more likely, as the NT affords evidence (acts 19, for example), that there were followers of JtB who were unaware of JC. It seems more likely that the passage is written to subordinate JtB (and his followers) to JC (and his followers). Especially since one of the oddities of Acts 19 is that it gives the impression that Paul thinks the followers of JtB were Xtians....

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Old 06-10-2013, 07:38 AM   #16
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Please, this is not Sunday School.
Your response in no way refuted what I wrote.

Yes of course the Christian writers took the Holy Ghost interpretation as meaningful. That's what religious people do. Doesn't negate what I said though. You seem to be dismissing the possibility that real events inspired the invention of non-existent imagined events, through interpretation.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:04 AM   #17
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In point of fact nowhere is it stated that Jesus was a disciple of JtB. Indeed, in GMark we have a nearly Dohertian silence, for JtB is mentioned several times, including in a long passage in Mk 6, but Jesus is never presented as having any relationship with him. JtB's disciples are mentioned in Mk 6, but Jesus is not classed with them. Again in Mk 6 the people say Jesus is JtB returned, but any connection between the two is not mentioned. The writer of Mark clearly reveres JtB and is not embarrassed by the Jesus-JtB connection, so there is no reason for him not to have mentioned that Jesus was JtB's follower....
He clearly was a JTB 'follower' according to Mark. Otherwise Mark would not have had JTB baptize Jesus! It doesn't mean he was a direct disciple, of course. I think it most likely reflects a strong influence that JTB had on Jesus early on.


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The other reasons to think the Baptism passage contains no history are abundant. On its face it is insane (all the people of Judea and Jerusalem come out to be baptized??).
Nothing insane about that. Well, maybe not 'all', but being popular is not far-fetched. And, it is supported by Josephus. Since you can't just say that Mark created everything since the other synoptics and Gjohn have things in them that GMark doesn't, you have to give weight to those other sources also, and they ALL mention JTB's popularity.


Quote:
JtB is presented as Elijah. Etc.
Nothing odd about that, or non-historical. He had things in common with Elijah. Big deal. That doesn't make his existence entirely fictional. Rather, it is a normal, expected comparison that would be made with someone described as he was. Was it too convenient that Elijah was expected to return before the end-times? Could not that expectation have influenced Jesus himself to be FURTHER inspired by JTB?


Quote:
It could be that Jesus was JtB's disciple, but there is no evidence for it. It is more likely, as the NT affords evidence (acts 19, for example), that there were followers of JtB who were unaware of JC. It seems more likely that the passage is written to subordinate JtB (and his followers) to JC (and his followers). Especially since one of the oddities of Acts 19 is that it gives the impression that Paul thinks the followers of JtB were Xtians...
I just re-read this, and realized it doesn't say they didn't know of Jesus at all. It says they didn't know of his Holy Spirit Baptism. I thought there was a passage in Acts that indicated that there were JTB followers who had never heard of Jesus, but I can't find it. Apollos, in the prior chapter, sounds similar to those mentioned in ch 19: Apollos, mentioned in the prior chapter as being 'aquainted only with the baptism of John' was preaching about 'things concerning Jesus'. He too may have been well aware of Jesus, but not fully understanding the idea of 'baptism of the Holy Spirit' through Jesus.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:19 AM   #18
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No. Sorry, why would you think that?
JW:
Authority is the only category of External Evidence you have referenced. If it is not your primary source of evidence than Internal Evidence must be. Your Argument from Embarrassment is a Literary Criticism argument. If you are looking at Literary Criticism than you also have to look for evidence of fiction (which has been explained to you in detail many times here). The extent of the Impossible/Improbable specifically in the Baptism story and in "Mark" in general is exponentially better evidence for fiction than your Argument from Embarrassment. So only considering Literary Criticism, the better explanation is fiction. You need the supposed External evidence to try and help you here.

You keep trying to proof-text HJ despite the types of corrections above. You have to look at ALL categories of evidence for AND against history. You have been shown this so many times that I have to wonder if either you do not understand what a proper Methodology would be or are incapable of doing so. Instead of trying to give answers and arguments you should be giving questions and researching what a good methodology would be.

If we do not know the Provenance of "Mark", who wrote it, why was it written, when was it written, etc., Literary Criticism has relatively little weight, exponentially so, with all the Impossible/Improbable. You also can not ignore that "Mark" is anti-historical witness. History may still be a better explanation than fiction but that conclusion would be so weak that it may be misleading to make it. Why not just say that the evidence is so weak, it is uncertain if it was history? You seem to be afraid that that is evidence for MJ. It's not, that would still have to be proven.


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I take it by "fiction" you mean purely for the purpose of entertainment? Like, they drank and caroused with some lively gospel reading or something?
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:32 AM   #19
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...
I take it by "fiction" you mean purely for the purpose of entertainment? Like, they drank and caroused with some lively gospel reading or something?
This is a strange comment. Some fiction may be for entertainment, but certainly not all.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:41 AM   #20
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...
I take it by "fiction" you mean purely for the purpose of entertainment? Like, they drank and caroused with some lively gospel reading or something?
This is a strange comment. Some fiction may be for entertainment, but certainly not all.
I am just trying to understand JoeWallack's meaning of "fiction." Many mythicists define it as anything that is untrue, whereas literary scholars would define it more specifically. With the definition I prefer, all "fiction" would be intended for entertainment. What would be your definition?
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