FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Philosophy & Religious Studies > History of Abrahamic Religions & Related Texts
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 01:23 AM

Notices

Poll: Was The Baptism of Jesus by John Likely Historical?
Be advised that this is a public poll: other users can see the choice(s) you selected.
Poll Options
Was The Baptism of Jesus by John Likely Historical?

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-26-2011, 08:13 AM   #11
ApostateAbe
Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: MT
Posts: 10,656
Default

Sheshbazzar, what if material comes to light that directly refutes your faith?
ApostateAbe is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:32 AM   #12
Sheshbazzar
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: On the path of knowledge
Posts: 8,889
Default

Got any idea of what that 'material' might consist of?

I can think of nothing post 1 AD that would have any such ability.

And anything about 'Jebus' positively dated -PRIOR- to 1 AD would only serve to confirm the correctness of my position and faith.
Sheshbazzar is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:36 AM   #13
ApostateAbe
Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: MT
Posts: 10,656
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheshbazzar View Post
Got some idea of what that might consist of?

I can think of nothing post 1 AD that would have any such ability.
And anything about 'Jebus' positively dated PRIOR to 1 AD would only serve to confirm my position and faith.
It could be a number of things--lost writings of the baptist cult, lost writings of Philo, lost writings of a counselor to Herod. I think it speaks to the difference between faith and reasonable conclusion. A reasonable conclusion can change with a new or better examination of the evidence, and a faith can not.
ApostateAbe is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:39 AM   #14
maryhelena
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: England
Posts: 2,527
Default

I can’t vote as there is no ‘NO’ option to answer your question: “Was The Baptism of Jesus by John Likely Historical?”

The main reason why I would vote ‘NO’..............I don’t consider John the Baptist a historical figure. The context in which Josephus has used this figure deals with a war between Herod Antipas and Aretas IV - a war over a divorce of Herod Antipas from the daughter of Aretas. Josephus has the people saying that the destruction of Herod’s army is a result of him having killed John. The dating of this war, around 36/37 ce, a war in which Aretas IV is the victor, is 100 years since 64 b.c. - a time period in which another Aretas, Aretas III, had laid siege to Jerusalem, and on being made to retreat, by Rome, suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Jewish King, Aristobulus II. The result of this new war in 36/37 ce being a reversal of fortunes for Aretas IV from his earlier counterpart, Aretas III. What is Josephus doing here? Is the war between Aretas IV and Antipas historical - or is it a replay, with a reverse outcome, of the earlier war, siege of Jerusalem, between Aretas III and Aristobulus II?

If Josephus is replaying the historical tape of 64 b.c. - history repeating itself with new faces in a new time slot (100 years later) then questions can also be raised regarding the Josephan character of John the Baptist. What historical figure is Josephus ‘remembering’ here? Perhaps more than one.

Aristobulus II was poisoned in 49 b.c. His son Alexander was later beheaded by the Romans. His son, Antigonus was crucified and beheaded by the Romans in 37 b.c. Is Roman and Jewish history, since 64/63 b.c., being ‘remembered’ by Josephus 100 years later in 36/37 c.e. Is the Josephan character of John the Baptist nothing more than a symbol of past Jewish history - a history where it’s Hasmonean Kings and High Priests were brutally killed by Rome? Under continuing Roman occupation, what avenues were open for a Jewish prophetic historian, as was Josephus (or whoever is writing under that name) besides having to resort to symbolism? John the Baptist as a figure not for ‘baptism’ as the “purification of the body” - but as a remembrance of Jewish political identity and Jewish hopes for restoration, for freedom from oppression and occupation.

(The Irish, in their own long years of occupation by the British, are known for their songs - rebel songs and love songs for Ireland as love of a maiden. Jewish identity expresses itself in ‘salvation history’, interpretation of past history in order to find meaning and hope for the future).

So, excuse the long winded reason for not accepting John the Baptist as a historical figure - that’s the basic reasoning behind why I don’t believe John the Baptist baptised, outside of the gospel storyline, the gospel JC figure. They are both fictional characters. With the John the Baptist character, Josephus is writing “inspired historiography”, not history.

Dreams and Dream Reports in the Writing of Josephus, A Traditio-Historical Analysis (or via: amazon.co.uk) by Robert Karl Gnuse.

Quote:
Dreams and Dream Reports in the Writing of Josephus, A Traditio-Historical Analysis by Robert Karl Gnuse.

“Josephus’ prophetic role as historian merits special attention…..In War 1.18-19 he declares that he will begin writing his history where the prophets ended theirs, so he is continuing this part of their prophetic function. According to Ap.1.29 the priests were custodians of the nation’s historical records, and in Ap.1.37 inspired prophets wrote that history. As a priest Josephus is a custodian of his people’s traditions, and by continuing that history in the Jewish War and subsequently by rewriting it in his Antiquities, he is a prophet. For Josephus prophets and historians preserve the past and predict the future, and he has picked up the mantle of creating prophetic writings. Perhaps, in his own mind he is the first since the canonical prophets to generate inspired historiography….”
In this context, John the Baptist, it's worth remembering how this character is portrayed in Slavonic Josephus.

Quote:
3. He came to the Jews and summoned them to freedom, saying: "God hath sent me, that I may show you the way of the Law, wherein ye may free yourselves from many holders of power. 4. And there will be no mortal ruling over you, only the Highest who hath sent me." 5. And when the people had heard this, they were joyful. And there went after him all Judæa, that lies in the region round Jerusalem.

6. And he did nothing else to them save that he plunged them into the stream of the Jordan and dismissed them, instructing them that they should cease from evil works, and [promising] that there would [then] be given them a ruler who would set them free and subject to them all that is not in submission; but no one of whom we speak ....

http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/gno/gjb/gjb-3.htm
maryhelena is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:50 AM   #15
Sheshbazzar
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: On the path of knowledge
Posts: 8,889
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApostateAbe View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheshbazzar View Post
Got some idea of what that might consist of?

I can think of nothing post 1 AD that would have any such ability.
And anything about 'Jebus' positively dated PRIOR to 1 AD would only serve to confirm my position and faith.
It could be a number of things--lost writings of the baptist cult, lost writings of Philo, lost writings of a counselor to Herod. I think it speaks to the difference between faith and reasonable conclusion. A reasonable conclusion can change with a new or better examination of the evidence, and a faith can not.
Lost writings (contemporary) of a Baptist cult would only prove the existence of a Baptist cult_ if they mentioned the baptism of a miracle working 'Jebus', it would only evidence that they had 'bought into' and incorporated a popular urban myth/legend into their writings. Same for Philo, or some 'lost' writing of Josephus et. al.
As for one proposed to be by 'a counselor to Herod', if such did surface I'd dismiss it as being a forgery.

I already have a reasonable conclusion, and if all of the -thousands- of Christian forgeries produced over the last 2 millenia have not served to shake it, why would you think that bringing forth yet another forgery would?
Sheshbazzar is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #16
dog-on
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 3,397
Default

Likely fiction. John simply plays the role of the fanfare and what's a messiah without a fanfare...
dog-on is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:59 AM   #17
Juststeve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 758
Default

Shesh:

When someone says that "I have my conclusion and no additional evidence can change it" they are basing belief on faith, not reason. You are to complimented for admitting it.

Steve
Juststeve is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 09:01 AM   #18
Atheos
Talk Freethought Staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Heart of the Bible Belt
Posts: 5,807
Default

Quote:
In addition to your precious vote, please also indicate the main reason for your vote.
Seems I was remiss in my previous post.

I voted "Who cares? Bring back the earlier, funnier JoeWallack". This is because I honestly don't care and JoeWallack used to make me chuckle. Now he just makes me smile. I miss chuckling.
Atheos is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 09:02 AM   #19
aa5874
Contributor
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: the fringe of the caribbean
Posts: 18,988
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
I think the most parsimonious explanation for the existence of the story is that it happened. It's independently attested by John and the Synoptics. It really does fit the criterion of embarrassment. JBap is attested as historical by Josephus. Jesus and John's movements were both Messianic and apocalyptic. Jesus getting baptized by John does not contain any inherent historical implausibilities, nor is there any obvious reason it would have been made up.

I think that IF Jeus existed, then he was probably baptized by John.
Well, you have no basis for claiming that Jesus was probably baptized by John when you cannot establish the existence of Jesus in the first place.

In the NT Jesus is established as NON-HUMAN when the Gospels authors claimed Jesus WALKED on the sea, was the Child of a Ghost, the Word, the Creator of heaven and earth, was God, TRANSFIGURED, RESURRECTED and ASCENDED to heaven.

There is ZERO probability that Jesus of the NT did exist.

You MUST remember we are DEALING with a character found in the NT itself and the character is described as the Child of a Ghost and was Baptized BY John.

That is the story. One CANNOT ASSUME there is some other story.

Even the story of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD cannot be ALTERED.

This very POLL is using characters that are FOUND in the NT Canon and John baptized Jesus who was the CHILD of a Ghost.

Once you cannot establish that Jesus of the BAPTISM story did exist then you have not established any real probability for the baptism.
aa5874 is offline  
Old 05-26-2011, 09:09 AM   #20
Sheshbazzar
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: On the path of knowledge
Posts: 8,889
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juststeve View Post
Shesh:

When someone says that "I have my conclusion and no additional evidence can change it" they are basing belief on faith, not reason. You are to complimented for admitting it.

Steve
I said no additional christian 'FORGED' evidence can change it.

As far as 'reason', I have thousands of reasons for not accepting the christian accounts. So I don't.
Sheshbazzar is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:41 AM.

Top

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