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Old 05-16-2001, 01:01 AM   #1
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Post Nomad - historical crucifiction?

OK, a few thoughts on Nomads second argument for the historicity of Jesus - his reported crucifiction.

First of all, the claim that we have overwhelming evidence for this is another one of Nomads famous hyperboles. If the Christian religion originated as a mystical 'killed and rising Godman' cult, it is hardly surprising that he got killed, is it now? This would be a central theme in the story, so I fail to see how the gospels can be considered evidence for the historicity of the event. If he wasn't killed, the whole point of the thing is blown away!

As regarding Paul's texts, I have to leave that to Earl D to comment on. That, after all, is one of the pillars of his thesis. I hope the debate about this can be revived by a bit of give-and-take from both sides.

I am not convinced that Tacitus's remark shows beyond doubt that Jesus is historical. He doesn't give a source for the information, so it may well originate from Roman Christians, who obviously would have believed it to be true - regardless of whether it is or not.

Finally, the Josephus passage. Everybody seems to agree that it is not fully authentic. From that point on, any reconstructions on what the originaltext may have said is nothing but conjecture, full stop. It may or may not have contained the words about the crucifiction, who knows?

My conclusion: there appears to be some evidence for this event, but it is not beyond doubt. Therefore, I wil leave room for it to be a fiction in my considerations on Jesus being historical. And that is more than 0.1 %


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