Sunday, April 13, 2008

Jesus Real or Fiction: Does it Make a Difference?

In Galatians 1:19 Paul writes of having met Jesus’ brother James. Some Christians claim this is evidence that Jesus was a real person, although there are no legitimate contemporary eyewitness accounts or documents corroborating a real Jesus outside of the bible.

That Paul writes he hob knobbed with James is some how taken as a confirmation that Jesus was real??? Talk about a leap of faith. Paul also said he met with Jesus after his death. Paul said the laws of the OT were now null and void, although Jesus said they never would be until the Earth disappeared and “all was accomplished”. Paul said a lot of shit. So, how does anything Paul say have any bearing on a genuine Jesus?

But, lets presuppose some character named Jesus did exist (it was among the most popular names in that region at the time, tantamount to "Bob" these days). What is the implication and significance? That some executed Jew among thousands of executed Jews; some itinerant Cynic preacher; some hysterical mad man ala the Jesus described in Josephus' "Jewish Wars"; or some wanna be leader of a reformed / new Jewish sect, actually lived?

And that upon this individual’s demise Paul and his fellow cultists borrowed from innumerable known pagan myths and conveniently revised Jewish prophesy to endow him with a divine lineage, and supernatural abilities "far beyond those of mortal men”? Oookay.

I don’t see what possible difference it makes if Jesus was a fictional being, or some poor deluded schmuck who, unbeknownst to him, became the center of a cult's devotion after his death. After all, Haili Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia existed, is deemed God, and is worshipped to this day as the true savior by his devoted Rastafarian followers. Of course, he was black, didn't have the right PR guys like Jesus did, and he was a 20th century figure. [On the other hand, they do ganja as a sacrament which is eminently more attractive than dried out wafers and watered down wine or grape Kool Aid.]

So, my questions are simple: What "evidence"? And what difference does it make?


a concerned christian said...

that is the most stupid thing i've ever read. If Jesus had a brother called James (Jospehus even mentions James being sentenced to death, although Paul's testomny alone is enough) then surely Jesus must have existed. How much evidence do you think there will be in 2000 years time that you existed? I think this shows how far people will go in being unreasonable in order to deny Jesus. Then you accept that Jesus was based on pagan mythology without any evidence at all! I hope that the holy spirit will work within you.

DromedaryHump said...

Let me demonstrate that in fact your comment is the most supid ever made.
What was Isis' brother's name? It was Seth. Thus, Isis, the Goddess, lived because of documented naming of her brother. ok, got it. Thank you.

Please provide me with the documented Joesphus account, that hasn't been declared false by every biblical scholar, that speaks of Jesus' brother James. Becareful here, the only reference to Jesus by Josephus, where it references Jesus "a man, if you can call him that" was a post Josephus forgery. Read a little more than just your Chick tracts, you'll learn something

There are other Josephus references to a jesus, but he was a mad man who died during the Jewish Wars. (History of the Destruction of Jerusalem: book 6, chapter 5, paragragh 3)

Now, it seems to me, that in a culture like Rome, where details such as the slave uprising led by Spartacus, are documented by at least three noted Roman historians, that there would be ONE or TWO eyewitness accounts of this man's miraculous life and feats and death and ressurection. Hmmm?

But no. None. zip, zero.

As for proof of my existence: I am not running for God. If I were, I imagine by now there would be a whole lot of contemporary accounts of my miracles and achievements that would survive me. Indeed, my own writings will live forever in cyberspace. Yet jesus wrote nothing. Only paul and his co-conspirator cultists wrote about Jebus.

Now... go drink some blood and eat some body, and call me when you realize that i am far from the only person, including many famous biblical scholars, who doubt / question the existence of a single man named Jesus.

May the Force be with you.

DromedaryHump said...

Oh...btw..i forgot to mention, I am in fact inclined to accept that there was a historical character named jesus.

I also accept that Haile Sallassi was a historical character. But I dismiss the cult fathers' claims that either of these poor dupes were gods or anythoing more than commen men who were made dieties by their deluded followers .

But like I said, totally imaginary, or a historical entity, either way it makes no difference.

May Osirus bless you and keep you.

DromedaryHump said...

here are just a few biblical scholars who have declared the entire Joeshus jesus account (the Testimonium Flavianium) a forgery:
Gauvin, Freke and Gandy, Lardner, Kerry Shirts, Edwin Johnson, Remsburg, Schurer,Niese,Norden, Zeitlin, Lewy,Juster the list goes on. Almost all of these scholars are Christians, by the way.

Most of them attribute the Josephus forgery to Eusebius an early church historian and known forger of christian documents(c. 264-340 C.E) .

Read less bible, read more non-fiction.

May Odin protect you in battle.

DromedaryHump said... are more scholars, the most recent mid to late 20th century) , to declare it a fake:
Paul Winter, Hans Conzellman, Feldman,J. Neville Birdsall, John Meier, G. J. Goldberg,Charles Martin , R. Eisler ...

you'll probably reject Goldman and Eisler...i believe they are both Jewish. We know how you Xtians are about Jewish scholars of antiquities.

a concerned christian said...

The mention of Jesus' brother isn't in the Testimonium Flavianum but in Josephus' Antiquities:

"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned:"

Not many scholars dispute the passage on James - (even people like Robert Funk, Dominic Crossan, Paula Fredrikson etc etc, even the Wikipedia article) You've really had to dig out some obscure people who say it is fake.

I see no reason to assume it is fake - the fact Jesus had a brother called James was not one of the things the early church disputed so why would they go to all the effort to fake it? If they were going to add bits to Josephus why not puts some references in for the resurrection or Jesus' miracles to make their faith look even more credible? They had no reason to fake it. Secondly the earliest manuscripts for Josephus have the passages in. Finally the language of the passage on James isn't very Christian (calling him a law breaker etc whereas the church would make him out to be more of a martyr)

Now we must remember that most roman writings etc have been lost (and many documents from today may no longer be around in 2000 years time) Therefore we only have a fraction of what was written at the time. Now you've heard the stories of Jesus' miracles and yet dismiss them as a load of rubbish and I suspect people around at the time of Jesus who weren't witnesses themselves did the same thing. Indeed, we only get references to Jesus outside of the Bible when Christianity become of political interest which is what we'd expect. The people who did witness Jesus first hand did talk and write about it (hence the New Testament)

So does any of this matter? If Jesus' brother was a key member of the early church then he would have been in a position to correct any mistakes over what Jesus said and did. James supported the Christian view of Jesus and yet would have known if it were not true. If James gave his whole life to spreading the Christian message and even died for it he must have been sincere and thus not lying. Thus if James a) taught about Jesus' miracles b) was clearly not lying and c) was in a position to know what the real Jesus was like Christianity is likely to be true! Interestingly, Haile Selassie family denied the claims (ref) however Jesus' family and those closest to him never did.

DromedaryHump said...

Obscure scholars? LOL. I see, maybe its some of their Jewishness you object to.

Interesting that Josephus makes mention of mysterious acts, but never specifies them, like the "ressurection". Not one specific miracle sited. Can you guess why? I can. Because anything he "genuinly" may have written relative to one Jesus person would be hearsay and NOT AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT.
So much for non biblical corroboration / eyewitness outside of scripture.

The Christian writer Origen cites Josephus' section on the death of James "the brother of Jesus" in Book 20 of the Antiquities; but states Josephus DID NOT BELIEVE IN JESUS, and does not cite the TF passage in Book 18. The question as to whther or not the refercne to james was in josephus' wriing in 93 CE is at issue. None of the references to jesus appeared in jospehus writings before the late 3rd / early 4th century. It wasnt until after Eusebius that these references to Jesus suddenly appeared and became part of the josephus document.
Coincidence? Please.

You may want to look further into James' perspective on his "brother". Why do you think he was not the leader of the church? Because he himself did not accept Jesus as a supernatural incarnation of God. He was a "Jewish Christian", emphasizing observance vs Pauls emphasis on faith. This put them at odds. Paul's version of jesus as man god won out. The victor writes history...including "James'" perspective.

John 7:3-5 So his [Jesus'] brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing, for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world" (For not even his brothers believed in him)."

As for Haile 's family...heheheh. everyone knows that a prophet is rejected in his own country ...RIGHT?... and the only documentation as to what jesus' family may or maynot have believed isn't in their own words. Again, the myth builder has the last word.

Now, like anything I say here could possibly get you to rethink your position: makes no difference. Isis' brother Seth proves the point: The mention of Seth does not make Isis either real, nor a Goddess.

Word has it that Superman also had a brother, but he died when Krypton exploded. But that can't be corroborated either.

I'll sacrifice a virgin so that you may come to your senses and start dealing in reason and common sense.

DromedaryHump said...

BTW: I recommed to you "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man", and "Deconstructing Jesus", both by Robt. M. Price.

He has a very detailed and credible christian and scholarly background, albeit, you will liekly dismiss his years of theological study, ministry, and professorship since he shook off the ignorance that you still embrace. Here's his credentials:

a concerned christian said...

I've taken another look at those scholars you gave me that apparently think Josephus never mentioned Jesus and find that you're pulling facts out of thin air and that half of them say no such thing. For example this article says: "R. Eisler has made an effort to reconstruct an 'original' that might have, given Christian revision, served as a base for the version that survives in Greek." So Eisler thinks that there was an original version and that the church altered it because it was rude about Jesus. What about John Meier who you also claim thinks Josephus never mentioned Jesus? Well this site disagrees: 'In 1991, John Meier has suggested that Josephus did in fact mention Jesus, but that the text was glossed by a Christian author.' Clearly you haven't read these scholars or even really know who they are. I also object to the fact that you are dishonesty trying to make out I'm anti-Jewish etc when I have said nothing of the sort. Now that we've established they don't support your claim are you going to be anti-Jewish and dismiss them?

When you say Josephus didn't believe in Jesus that simply means he wasn't a Christian (which we already knew) and not that Josephus didn't believe Jesus existed. We have no evidence that the passages about Jesus did not exist in Josephus prior to the third century. The fact that the early church didn't make a big deal of it is probably the same reasons that the church today don't make a big deal of it. Pick up a modern Christian book and it probably won't mention Josephus because it is only relevant in proving a handful of things, such as the existence of Jesus, that even most atheists don't have a problem with. Where in all the earliest church writings should Josephus have been mentioned? That is as stupid as saying 'C S Lewis never mentions Josephus in any of his works and therefore the passage cannot have existed when C S Lewis was alive'

Most of what Josephus wrote were things he wasn't any eyewitness to (not just the bit about Jesus) as is the case with much of ancient history. Most of ancient history comes from sources written by people who weren't eyewitnesses. I don't think you've grasped how few sources we have for events in ancient history, for example most of what we know about Alexander the Great comes from a biography written 400 years after he was alive!

The new testament say that James was skeptical towards his brother during Jesus' early ministry and later converted to Christianity (presumably after seeing the evidence for himself)

Finally we have no evidence for Seth and Superman's brother existing (you certainly can't compare the fiction genre of Superman with historical biographies-i.e the gospels-and Paul's letters) Whereas for James we have both Paul's eyewitness testimony of having met James and Josephus. If Paul went around making up people like Jesus' brother wouldn't someone have called his bluff?

I have come across Robert Price and read some of his articles in the past. How many Christian scholars have you read or do you just restrict yourself to those who support your views?

DromedaryHump said...

Once again, you missed the point.

The scholars say that the TF version was a church invention. Read more about Eiser, and you'll find his "attempt" to find an original version w/out the church's embelishment FAILED!

In other words, I may have a hypothesis that I can turn lead into gold...but if the result is no gold, the attempt means its a failed hypothesis.

Again, Meir does NOT produce any ebvidence of Josephus writings unaduterated by christian forgery. So AGAIN, the point is that they all agree the TF document is a forgery, and hypothesise that if Josephus did write about Jesus : A) it wouldnt be an eyewitness account, and B) they never found an unadulterated document.

Now, the following is the ultimate in christian intellectual dishonesty. You said:

"We have no evidence that the passages about Jesus did not exist in Josephus prior to the third century."

Heheh.. yeah. Thats like saying "we have no evidence god/vampires/gnomes DOESNT exist, thus they do". You see, if any refernce about Jesus was made by Josephus PRIOR to the late 3rd / early 4th century the church fathers would have been aware of it and made hay with it!~!! Thus, the scholars who dismiss the TF forgery use that as more proof of it being a later forgery.

Again your being intentionally obtuse or deceptive: the reason the church today doesnt make an issue of the Josephus document mentioning Jesus is EXACTLY BECAUSE they know it to be a fraud. Your trying to use this then as a reason for why the early church fathers didnt reference Josephus' writing before the 3rd centiury is either stupid or dishonest. They didnt because it didnt exist before 3rd century, and todays church doesnt beause they know it to be a forgery. TWO SEPERATE ISSUES!

But, you probably deny that church forgeries abound. They do, and they were used by the church to promulgate the faith. You probably believe that every religious relic is real. Nevermind that all the supposed splinters of the original cross that have ever been declared would construct a forest of crosses. Its that kind of credulity that makes you a sheep. To challenge those things would undermine your faith. best to believe and maintain your devotion to supersition.

Injecting CS Lewis into the conversation is a strawman.

Yes.. the new testament has james eventually "seeing the light" of his "brother's" divinity. Yes.. the New Testament. Weve been thru this. James never wrote in the NT, the five authors who turned water into wine, and saw dead men walking, and someohow overheard jesus' isolated discussion with the adultress, and reported on demons infesting pigs... they were the ones who decided James came around. Right, use the NT to justify the NT. Thanks so much.
How could I have been so blind!! Heheheh.

Thereis as much if not more evidence for Seth existing as their is for jesus or james. There are innumerable scrolls, heiroglyphics, and papyrus documents attesting to Seth being Isis' brother. But you reject that, because you reject that god.
I reject seth/isis, and jesus,and Zeus, and Vishnu, et al, because they are all fable. You accept one because its fundamental to your belief system... because you are too week to think and reason and recognize the absurdity of what youve been taught and brainwashed. Its a meme you can't master. Youre a slave to it.

Oh, youve heard of Price. Good, maybe those two books would help you come to your senses. Also, try Friedman's "Who Wrote the Bible", and J. Kirsh's "God Against the Gods". They all tend to shed the light of reality on the divine and supernatural.

Conversely, traditional Christain biblical scholars offer little more than apologetics for their belief system and the NT. They add nothing new, since their minds have been made up for them some 1800 years ago. I'm not about to invest my time in the writings of supernaturalists who'd believe the dead rise and beam up to heaven... based on the absurdities and agenda of prescientific cultists.

I don't have to read all the writings of Jos. Smith, or Brigham Young to know the Mormons are a 19th century cult invention established by self serving charlatans or deluded nuts. I simply have to read the history of the LDS church, some of their sacred books, and one or two non-fiction accounts of Mormon doctrine to establish a prima facia case against the false history and idiocy of Mormonism.

Similarly, I dont need to read L Ron Hubbard to dismiss Scientology as mindless babble. My guess is you don't either.

Listen, jesus said all things asked in prayer by the faithful will be answered, even if it is to have a mtn cast into the sea. Do this...pray for me to become a jesus freak. If it works, I'll devote my life to jesus. If it doesn't you'll read Price, and give up your medieval mind set and become a thinking person.

But, my money says you dont have the strength of faith for that. My estimation is you believe less of what you profess than your willing to admit.

a concerned Christian said...

Firstly their attempts to find an original version did not fail. I don't think you have a clue as to what textual critics do. They don't go looking for the original manuscripts and when none come to light dismiss everything as a fraud. If thy did we would have hardly any ancient history. What they do is use recognised method to work out what is authentic and what is not. What Eiser did was use wildly accepted methods to reconstruct what he thinks the original TF said. He used his experience at looking at additions in other texts to conclude that the Josephus passage was an interpolation rather than a fraud. Moreover the TF is not where Josephus mentions James (as I have already told you) but in an undisputed passage elsewhere and thus they both agree that Josephus mentioned James. Give me a reference to them saying Josephus never mentioned James. You clearly don't understand what the issue is around Josephus.

Again, you have given no reason to assume that the church fathers would have made hay with the Josephus reference to James. Nobody in the early church seems to have disputed that Jesus had a brother called James and so why would they? The early church fathers put their efforts into spiritual matters and sorting our controversies - not proving things which nobody disputed.

Then you tell one massive lie as you must realise that most Christians today don't think the Josephus passage is a fake. I know many preachers who believe the Josephus passage is genuine but don't drop this into their sermons each week. Therefore the fact that Josephus isn't mentioned in most Christian books is not because the authors recognise the passage as a fake but because Josephus isn't pertinent to 99.9% of Christian writings.

Now you can't just dismiss the New Testament as it does reflect what the first Christians believed and we must ask ourselves why they were under the impression Jesus existed etc. Particularly when there is good evidence that many of the first Christians even claimed to have known or even been related. Why did Paul claim to have met Jesus' brother if he hadn't? Secondly I have shown that Josephus confirms the claim that Jesus' brother was a key figure in the early church and it seems odd if he disagreed with the key teachings of the early church. The fact that you can't even correctly identify how many authors wrote the New Testament shows how out of depth you are on this subject.

Lets put it like this. If:

a)the New Testament reflects what the first generation of Christians believed (the dating of the gospels and letters of Paul confirm that)
b)Some of the first Christians were in a position to know if Christianity wasn't true (which we've established as Jesus' own brother and friends would know if he rose from the dead etc)
c)They were sincere in their beliefs(evidenced by their passion for Christianity and many were even willing to die and be persecuted for their convictions)
With those three facts being true how can Christianity not be true? All three of those facts can not be confirmed for any of the other examples you have given.

If you rule out what Christian scholars say from the start the it isn't surprising you reach the conclusion you have. Your last post was just a case of 'oh no it isn't' without any concrete reasons for doing so.

a concerned christian said...

Here are some webpages for Christian scholars as you shouldn't just read those who agree with you:

Dr William Lane Craig
Dr Garry Habermas
Dr Ben Witherington
Dr James White
These should start you off. There are even links to debates on some of those sites so that you can make sure you get a balanced view.

DromedaryHump said...

this is becoming repetative.

first..i know the difference between the TF document and the Antiquities document referncing James. thank you.

I know what interpolation is... its a fraudumlent insertion into the original text.
This is the fraudlent insertion into TF, the ALL CAPS words are the additions:

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man IF IT BE LAWFUL TO CALL HIM A MAN, for he was a doer of wonders, A TEACHER OF SUCH MEN AS RECEIVE THE TRUTH WITH PLEASURE. He drew many after him BOTH OF THE JEWS AND THE GENTILES. HE WAS THE CHRIST. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, FOR HE APPEARED TO THEM ALIVE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY, AS THE DIVINE PROPHETS HAD FORETOLD THESE AND THEN THOUSAND OTHER WONDERFUL THINGS ABOUT HIM, and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day (Antiquities 18:63-64).
John Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (Doubleday, 1991), Vol I, pp. 57-88.

again, Josepus would be repeating the doctrine of the christian cult which was becoming rather wisdspread by this time. it doesnt attest to a historical jesus. The fact that I am discussing jesus / God with you doesn't make Jesus orGod real...only that there are followers, and this is what they believe. But, You seem to find it necessary to perceive that Josephus believes that this cultists diety figure was for real. There is no such inference. Antiquities:
The passage attributed to Josephus in our surviving copies of the Antiquities concerning the martyrdom of James is regarded by some scholars to be a Christian interpolation (E Schurer, H Chadwick). Emil Schurer blievs it to be a fake

read more on why there is dissention about the genuiness of Antiquities;

Its also interesting that an event that supposedly occured in 62 CE, wasnt written about by Josephus until 93 CE, while his acct of the jewish wars was almost concurrent with the event. Evidently the death of James could wait 30 years, and be thrown into the history of the jews. If it was a genuine entry and part of Josephus' writings, it was an account of 2nd hand info as provided by followers. Not a testament to a hisotrical jebus.

If you are saying that most christians and present day Church heirarchy accept the TF interpolation as genuine, then I am indeed surprised. I had been under the impression that with all of the credible study and exposure by so many scholars most thinking people rejected it as a fake. Oh wait...sorry, I made the mistake of crediting christians as being thinking people. I forgot, they hate new info, discovery, and scholarship that deminishes their preferred belief. Thats why so many cling to the Shroud of Turin fake.

I guess i wasnt so much lying, as you foolishly stated, as giving xtians too much benefit of the doubt of intellect. I suppose that means YOU believe the TF to be accurate and pure Josephus.
Pnce again... as I said in my orig Blog.. whether there was a historical jesus or not is moot. If there was it doesn't speak to supernatural events as being real, provable, repeatable, or even witrnessed outside the Bibble. It simply speaks to how men create gods in their image. Its how cults begin.

Yes, I said there were FIVE authors of the NT. I mispoke. I was refering to the Gospels and Paul's writings in which the meat of the "life of jesus" and christian dogma surreounding him is formed.

The new testament is a guidebook for a cult. It speaks to what the cultists wanted people to believe, and what followers believed. it provides no evidence for it. neither is there physical evidence nor corroborating
evidence for anything supernatural accounted for int the NT. Plus, there are cotradictions.
It is as valid a "truth" as Muslims believing Mohammed assended to Paradise on a horse.

That you believe the NT to be true is simply an accident of where /the culture into which you were born, who your parents were, and your willingness to reject reality over fable. If your parents were Indian odds are youd be arguing that the Bhagavad Gita is "true". Or are you too disonest to even admit that logic?

Funny how you'll reject the B-G and the Koran as being the imaginative ramblings of an uninformed, decieved, or misguided people, but see your preferred scripture as true and real. I have the good fortune,as a freeman and free thinker, of dismissing them all as utter fuckig nonsense.

Personally, if I wanted to be a mindslave to a myth I'd favor Ganesh. I mean, how can you not like a four armed man-elephant??

DromedaryHump said...

I'm sorry..i forgot this:

In your prior comment you suggested that maybe I would become antisemetic if a jewish biblical scholar accepted josephus' writing as unaltered.

Anti-Semtism is a Christian inspired hatred/mindset, having been an outgrowth of the cult leaders wanting to discredit Jews, and attract the gentiles after the Jews laregly rejected the jesus as messiah myth.

Let me be very clear:
Not being Christian, nor ever having been Christian, anti-Semitism isn't in me.

a concerned Christian said...

I think to avoid talking at cross purposes I want to stress the difference between the words fake and interpolation when talking about textual criticism. Fake implies none of the passage is real and is very rare. For example in the bible there is only one or two examples such as the ending of Mark's gospel. Interpolations are people expanding or altering something that is already there. If you look at the footnotes in a bible they are quite common and are minor things like swapping the word 'he' with 'Jesus' so that when people quote the passage in isolation it still made sense. Other ancient texts are just like the Bible with interpolations etc and working out what the original text said is all part of a days work for a textual critic and there is no shock factor in discovering interpolations in much of Josephus. The important thing is that Josephus mentioned James as if it were common knowledge (and most scholars accept this because there is good evidence) The exact wording does not matter for the purposes of this. Seeing as Josephus didn't eyewitness a lot of what he wrote and historians trust him on those things why don't we treat the reference to Jesus in the same way? Obviously Josephus didn't see Jesus as anything special (as a Jew he didn't realise that Christianity would become the biggest religion the world has ever known nor was he a Christian.) But then why do we assume that if he (or other historians writing at the time) heard reports of miracles they would not dismiss them in the same way many people today dismiss them. After all, you have heard all about Jesus and just assume that people were lying or mistaken etc. Maybe historians at the time thought that. Josephus was an important enough person to be up to date on the current affairs of the time and he would have had reliable sources of information which are no longer in existence today. Josephus was not stupid and wouldn't have just repeating some bit of dubious information (don't judge Josephus by your own research standards!) Finally James had nothing to do with the Jewish Wars whereas the Antiquities was a more detailed account of Jewish culture and so it comes as no surprise that it was in the Antiquities that James is mentioned. I think the fact that Josephus mentions someone who was only the son of a carpenter at all to be amazing.

I will skip over your ad hominem attacks regarding Christians not being able to think for themselves, particularly when it appears to me that you let Robert Price do all the thinking for you (otherwise you'd read a range of scholars and form your own opinion).

A few more things: a reliable historical source does not have to be infallible. Any historical source has errors and contradicts other sources in places so we can't just write off the Bible like that. I only need to argue against contradictions etc if we are treating the Bible as the word of God (which we're not in this discussion) Secondly the only miracle recorded of Muhammed within 100 years of him being alive is writing the Qur'an and so the historical evidence for Muhammed is not in the same league.

The final issue (which commits the genetic fallacy) is irrelevant to this discussion and is trying to sidetrack us.

Personally I find your version of events more remarkable than Christianity. Where do you think Christianity came from if Jesus didn't exist? ere a group of people just bored and pretended to be friends and family of someone who didn't exist? Wouldn't it be easier to accept that Christianity might be true?

All I'm asking you to do is treat the historical evidence for Jesus like you would any other historical figure. Either you claim most of what Josephus wrote was not true (as he didn't witness a lot of what he wrote about) or you accept Jesus almost certainly existed. You can't go through history claiming that everyone was either a compulsive liar or incompetent at doing basic research and got all their facts wrong.

I don't think there is much more point in continuing this discussion if you are going to just ignore anything that is inconvenient to your already decided views.

DromedaryHump said...

"I think the fact that Josephus mentions someone who was only the son of a carpenter at all to be amazing."

amazing that a cult which had grown for 60years and was pointed originally at his own jewish people was mentioned? you are easily amazed.

" ... it appears to me that you let Robert Price do all the thinking for you..."

it appears to me you let Paul do all your thinking for YOU.

"Secondly the only miracle recorded of Muhammed within 100 years of him being alive is writing the Qur'an and so the historical evidence for Muhammed is not in the same league."

Lets see... so, if you are correct, and its 100 yrs difference between a mohamed "miracle" and the quran's writing, this is somehow less credible than wrtings that were 30 to 90 years after Jesus's "miracles'. I see. Thats an interesting take, and as about as self serving and transparent as it can be. :)

"Any historical source has errors and contradicts other sources in places so we can't just write off the Bible like that."
Oh please. The Bibble has more contradictions than you can shake your holy water sprinkler at.
And its rare for a historical personage to contradict himself however, and so blatantly that it discredits that person's integrity. Paul was a liar. Check out his own contradictions vis-a-vis his road to damascus accounts. But..fuckit, why bother... you'll claim context, then post a 5,000 word apologetic trying to make it all better.

" Where do you think Christianity came from if Jesus didn't exist? ere a group of people just bored and pretended to be friends and family of someone who didn't exist? Wouldn't it be easier to accept that Christianity might be true?"

Go back to my original Blog post. Note where its likely that the jesus figure came from. Note also that i stated i am inclined to accept a poor schmuck named jesus did indeed exist. I am amazed that its so hard for you to perceive that some jewish reformer could be transformed into a diety by a cultist with an agenda..instead prefering to accept suppernatural events, ressurections, faith healing et al as the most likely possibility. Its that mindless childlike credulity that binds theists of all types together.

"I don't think there is much more point in continuing this discussion if you are going to just ignore anything that is inconvenient to your already decided views."

Interesting position coming from someone who hasn't allowed his view of his preferred myth to be altered in 1700 years, and accepts the deceptions of the cult fathers who promised prayer answering in the affirmative, and reappearance of jebus in their life time.
Your entire position on these things is bound up in apologetics. You and your ilk never allow reason and reality and natural laws to influence your thinking. Never have, never will. 1700 years of blind acceptence proves that.

DromedaryHump said...

BTW...I noticed you side stepped this:\\//

"That you believe the NT to be true is simply an accident of where /the culture into which you were born, who your parents were, and your willingness to reject reality over fable. If your parents were Indian odds are you'd be arguing that the Bhagavad Gita is "true". Or are you too disonest to even admit that logic?"

I'll take your failure to address that head on as just a bit too much truth and reality for you to handle.

a concerned christian said...

"you'll claim context, then post a 5,000 word apologetic trying to make it all better. "
Oh sorry - why bother looking at an issue in depth or reading lots when atheism allows you dismiss things without thinking. Why bother taking a serious look at alleged contradictions and comparing them to other historical texts when you can just blindly claim that the Bible is full of them. Why bother understanding Christian theology or knowing what you're talking about when Google can bypass all that? Why actually study how the Haili Selassie cult grew and see if the conditions were the same as Christianity? Fine, have that attitude but don't complain when creationists moan that your explanation of why the second law of thermodynamics doesn't disprove evolution is too long and complex or that scientists answer their questions with long answers etc. Don't complain when a creationist laughs in your face and says that believing in evolution is as stupid as believing in pink unicorns and won't look any further at the evidenceetc etc etc etc etc

DromedaryHump said...

you equate apologetics with scientifc evidence or the scientific method??? hahah. Thats just stupid.
Science doesnt try to evade and redirect and revise results to suit their purposes, thats the purview of theism. Scienctists revise their perspectives and theories based on new EVIDENCE. Theres no NEW EVIDENCE in xtianity...just old excuses that have been midrashed to death.

sure..go right ahead... knock yerself out: explain how Paul's varying accounts of Acts 9:7, Acts 22:9, and Acts 26:14 don't really contradict.
besure to read them first.. then go to your apologetics sites(they've had 1800 years or so to perfect their contortions), then if all else fails chalk it up to "translation error" or [[gasp]] "context!!".

From T. Jefferson, to HG Wells, to GB Shaw, and many historians and scholars, it's a widespread opinion that Paul was full of shit and that he created a religon on the back of a conveniently dead jewish reformer.

My guess is you aren't really a Christian at all, you're really a Paulist.

DromedaryHump said...

PS: I missed this moronic statement the first time...

" Why actually study how the Haili Selassie cult grew and see if the conditions were the same as Christianity?"

i never equated rastafarianism with Christianity,or even eluded to any similarity in "conditions' . The point was very clear: I demonstrated that even an improbable dead personage such as Salassie could be the seed / basis for a cult/religion, without his ever knowing he was going to be declared a diety.
That's pretty clear.

Why is it you can't think in abstract terms, and are compelled to construe everything as necessarily a direct correlation to your preferred fable?
It must be a defect in devotees' reasoning powers... myopic thinking.

a concerned christian said...

you equate apologetics with scientifc evidence or the scientific method???
No - I'm saying you dismiss everything that is inconvenient to you in the same way creationists do. If you assume that everything a Christian says as apologetics and therefore untrue I can't see how I can convince you, however good my arguments are.

then if all else fails chalk it up to "translation error"
Considering the bible is full of contradictions it's surprising how skeptics always produce the same couple whenever I discuss the issue with them. You then rule out a perfectly good explanation without any reason. When you look at the Greek there is no contradiction, but then why try learning some ancient Greek when shouting "contradiction" is easier?

I read the Bible everyday and don't find myself tripping over contradictions.

From T. Jefferson, to HG Wells, to GB Shaw, and many historians and scholars
Please tell me you aren't referring to the president Jefferson as your number one scholar. H G Wells was a science fiction writer (unless you meant G A Wells who was a German professor) GB Shaw was a writer. So basically you're saying that some popular writers who aren't experts on this issue agree with you along with some historians which you conveniently can't name!

My guess is you aren't really a Christian at all, you're really a Paulist.

Ummm, no. Paul became a Christian within a few years of Jesus dying when there were no different denominations etc. Paul simply believed what all the other Christians at the time believed. I believe in Jesus, not Paul. Acknowledging Paul met James is not at odds with Christianity.

i never equated rastafarianism with Christianity,or even eluded to any similarity in "conditions' .
Lets put it like this, if a creationist said to you "a scientist once got their radioisotope dating wrong so all dating of fossils must be wrong" you would have no problem spotting the illogical nature of the argument. Your statement is equally illogical. Just because a myth grew up (under completely different conditions) does not allow you to dismiss everything that is inconvenient to your world view as a myth.

DromedaryHump said...

"I can't see how I can convince you, however good my arguments are."

Convince me?? of what? that you are a mind slave to superstition? trust me ... I'm convinced.
There are no new arguments you can present. They have all been presented many years ago. Your arguments are rootedin fable and myth and centuries old backwardness. You'd have as much chance of convincing me of anything related to your imagiary sky daddy, as I would convincing you that gnomes infest my attic. I have as much hard evidence that they do as you do that Jebus is a sky daddy.

"try learning some ancient Greek when shouting "contradiction" is easier?"

LOL. yeah.lemme get right on that, ancient Greek being such an important aspect of my life. Unfortunately I'm tied up taking a Berliz course on ancient Aramaic. Heheh.
Right..the greek for "hear" yea, that ones been tried. And then there is the jesus will tell him his mission when he gets to the city...but then in another telling Jesus tells him his mission on the spot. and only he goes blind from the light while the other men with him see the light and dont go blind. Theres more... but, please...stop. It hurts when I laugh.

"I read the Bible everyday and don't find myself tripping over contradictions."

Which explains your cloistered thinking. Try reading something in noinfction once in a while.
No, you wouldnt trip over a contradiction, your numerous aplogetics sites which tell yo white is black and black is white, and sometimes white and black are the same, smooth out all those stumbling block for you. If it didn't invent resolutions for you you'd see the 100's of contradictory verses that have been evident to people willing to open their eyes to them for a long time. Its ok...keep those eyes shut. You function best that way.

"So basically you're saying that some popular writers who aren't experts on this issue agree with you along with some historians which you conveniently can't name!"

No. What I'm saying is those who can read the bible without an agenda, without the myopic vision of a leming like believer who swallows whatever is fed to them as truth and fact, can discern that Paul pervered the teachings of Jesus, and did so to form a cult of which he was the head, and attract gentiles, which was never jesus' intent. I know. that troubles you. Strangely, there are alot of people who arent biblical scholars who hold the exact same opinion based on the evidence.
That must horrify you, just as the thought of common people reading the bible and making their own interpretations horrified the church heriachy in the middle ages. It was punishable by death to own your own bible back then. I bet you miss those good old days.

Bishop John S. Spong (Episcopal Bishop of Newark) :
"Paul's words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul- a vast difference." (Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, p. 104, Harper San Francisco, 1991).

Hyam Maccoby (Talmudic Scholar):
"As we have seen, the purposes of the book of Acts is to minimize the conflict between Paul and
the leaders of the Jerusalem Church, James and Peter. Peter and Paul, in later Christian
tradition, became twin saints, brothers in faith, and the idea that they were historically bitter
opponents standing for irreconcilable religious standpoints would have been repudiated with
horror. The work of the author of Acts was well done; he rescued Christianity from the
imputation of being the individual creation of Paul, and instead gave it a respectable pedigree,
as a doctrine with the authority of the so-called Jerusalem Church, conceived as continuous in
spirit with the Pauline Gentile Church of Rome. Yet, for all his efforts, the truth of the matter is
not hard to recover, if we examine the New Testament evidence with an eye to tell-tale
inconsistencies and confusions, rather than with the determination to gloss over and harmonize all difficulties in the interests of an orthodox interpretation." (The Mythmaker, p. 139,Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1986)

Sorry... Maccoby is a jewish scholar..I know how you dismiss them. But there are others.

On salassie you said:
"a scientist once got their radioisotope dating wrong so all dating of fossils must be wrong" you would have no problem spotting the illogical nature of the argument. Your statement is equally illogical. Just because a myth grew up (under completely different conditions) does not allow you to dismiss everything that is inconvenient to your world view as a myth."

Stop being a myopic douchbag please. I said that the fact that a personage is made a diety after his death, and is believed by X number of people to be a diety, doesnt make him one. That that position is held about Jesus by some number of reasonable people, and experts. That there is no supernatural justification for diefication of Jesus, or any man-god, is a justified position given any evcidence of natural laws being broken. =Thats where it stops.
Your attempt to inject a a flawed scientific non-example into the convo, in a most inane manner, just makes you look foolish. Go back to your Bible. You're more comfortable there.

Every religion ever devised by man... 100's upon 100's of them , were myths. You know it...I know it... Billions know it.
Interesting isnt it, that all believers in one myth dismiss all other religions as myth except their own. Its true for every religion / cult. That you can't objectively view that, and the history or all the previous religious myths, as evidence against justification for acceptence of your own as the only true belief is proof of your impairment. Its blantantly obvious to any thinking person.

Go... live your myth. Read your myth book. Pray to your dead myth man-god. Hope for the End Times. Get ready to beam yourself up. I'll just go vist those gnomes in the attic. They promised me unicorn for dinner.

a concerned Christian said...

Convince me?? of what? that you are a mind slave to superstition? trust me ... I'm convinced.
Lets all cheer for atheist open-mindedness. Then you continue to lie and claim that I dismiss scholars simply because they're Jewish (anyone who reads this discussion can see it is quit the opposite, you ultimately dismiss any scholar who isn't an atheist. In fact when it come to the existence of Jesus or the passage in Josephus etc you even dismiss most atheist scholars) You dismiss anything that contradicts what you want to believe as biased as if you go in with complete neutrality. Don't you realise that everyone has their biases - you included. Then you make up lies about me hating Jews (despite the fact I have pointed out to you that this is dishonest)and refuse to look at anything in any depth etc etc I don't think there is much point in me visiting your blog again.

LOL. yeah.lemme get right on that, ancient Greek being such an important aspect of my life.
So the explanation many scholars who have studied ancient Greek give is wrong because...I'm at a loss. You have given no reason to dismiss the argument. Screaming and ranting and not carefully looking at the evidence etc says a lot about you and it isn't a picture of an intelligent thinking person.

DromedaryHump said...

Heheh..yeah "open minded" to Xtian zombies means believing in dead jews rising. otherwise, one is close minded. I fully understand, I feel the same way about vampires and lepracauns... "if only you'd be open minded".

That jewish scholar isnt an atheist. Nor is Rbt. Price, nor are any number of the scholars or authors I have referenced. So your statement about only trusting atheist authorities is false at face. I'll chaulk it up to your aggitated condition, and not the christian propensity toward lying.

Yeah..I reject devout theist scholars who blindly accept supernaturalism. It infects their ability to be objective.

You see, If I were to say to you I have the ability to turn dog shit into platinum, you'd demand proof before you'd believe. alot of it. real evidence. You wouldn't a accept an affidavit from some stranger, or even two strangers, or three. You'd want physical irrifutable proof before you invest your money (or life) in my claim. You'd demand evidence that is at least as spectacular as the claim.

But when it comes to the crazy stories of the Bibble, or Quran, or B-G, people like you: credulous, brain washed from childhood, innundated with stories and myths that are so outrageous so incredible so ludicrous in an age where we know how science and the laws of nature work... you and people like you just accept these myths with no more than a "the scripture told me so." for "evidence".

And this is what you offer as proof, and what your apologists and christian "scholars" base their arugments upon; what you and they expect people to believe when you yourself wont even accept the possibility of dog shit converting to a precious metal w/out uncompromising physical evidence.

Yeah... gimme a witch doctor with a phd... and expect me to accept from him that Voodoo is real, and zombies walk the earth, and his "belief" trumps the absense of credible and observable proofs of violations of natural law. evidence.. Sorry...won't buy it.
I trust thats clear...even to you.

Now, if you can provide credible medical evidence by the AMA, or published in JAMA, of a long dead person who's body tissues have broken down and degraded, who's brain cells have died due to lack of oxygen, who has incurred rigormortise and than awakes and renergizes, and is as good or better than new, then we can talk about jebus as Man-god.

Show me an amputee who prayed for regeneration of his limbs, and got it..and we can discuss the value of prayer and a supreme being.

Demonstrate proof of an afterlife, or of demons infecting pigs, or healing the blind with a simple touch (or with spit and mud if you like), and we can have something on which to base a serious discussion.

short of those things. you can take your nonsense and sell it to one of your more medieval unthinking mindslave candidates.

If you don't hate jews, congrats on breaking with Christian tradition, you maverick you. LOL.

The greek translation issue doesn't clarify the other discrepancies that are contained within the stories and which I pointed out. But you'd prefer to ignore those other Damascus road discrepancies because you just can't come up with an original answer. No the Greek translation vis-a-vis the word "Hear", doesnt solve it.

Whats funny is..xtians play the transslation card to defend their indefensible scrpitural problems...but never seem to buy the translation problem of the Hebrew "young woman" being conveniently perverted into "virgin". I wonder why. LOL.

In closing:
I sense a some of that christian intolerance and hostility in your latest post. Not to mention an obsession with me. You may need to pray for guidance and get your self pulled together. When that doesnt work, try a valium, or an alter boy.

May Baal bless your crops and give you many man children.

viagra prescription said...

For me if there was jesus! He was a person under the history of the earth is our only hero! The truth is no evidence, but faith is the one that left us! Day by day God shows me that Jesus died for us on the cross to forgive our sins and that will never leave us alone!

Dromedary Hump said...

well, that was interesting.

So basically, Jesus directs you to spam your viagra website and you believe jesus would use have used viagra.

I'm sure it would have made him more popular with his apostles.