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Jesus, Historical or Mythical?

SNP1
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12/9/2015 7:05:25 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
I have, once again, gotten into a discussion on the question of the historicity of Jesus. I decided that instead of flooding other threads with further discussion on the topic that all discussion on the Jesus Myth should go here (as to try and prevent people going off topic).

It is late, and so I do not have time to present my case in the OP, but if you wish to join the discussion then please follow these rules:
1) Use common courtesy. Do NOT treat others like idiots.
2) When you first post, say which side you are on and explain why. If you are a mythicist or historicist then present your argumentation/evidence. If you are moreso "agnostic", then explain why.
3) Try and keep this to a HISTORICAL discussion, NOT a theological one. This thread is about a question in history, not a question in theology.
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Composer
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12/9/2015 9:15:35 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
The biblical jesus is an unknown historical figure.

Jesus is an unknown historical figure. It is possible that he may have lived, since millions of people have lived without leaving a trace. It is not enough to declare 'We know nothing about Jesus, except that he existed'. On the contrary, we must boldly assert that 'We do not know anything about him, not even whether he existed'. In historical research, only the strictest accuracy permits us to say anything more. However, the very document which would positively prove the existence of Jesus is missing...Jesus belongs to history thanks to his name and the cult built around him, but he is not a historical figure. He is a divine being, whose knowledge was slowly developed by Christian minds. He was begotten in faith, in hope and in love. He was shaped by emotional fervor. He has been given changing figures by various forms of worship. He was born the moment he got his first believer... His only reality is spiritual. Everything else is phantasmagoria. -- "L'"nigme de J"sus", In Mercure de France, (March 1, 1923), pp. 377, and 398-399.

&

In the final analysis there is no evidence that the biblical character called "Jesus Christ" ever existed. As Nicholas Carter concludes in The Christ Myth: "No sculptures, no drawings, no markings in stone, nothing written in his own hand; and no letters, no commentaries, indeed no authentic documents written by his Jewish and Gentile contemporaries, Justice of Tiberius, Philo, Josephus, Seneca, Petronius Arbiter, Pliny the Elder, et al., to lend credence to his historicity." (Source: http://www.truthbeknown.com...)

&

ALL CLAIMS OF JESUS DERIVE FROM HEARSAY ACCOUNTS

No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings. Although one can argue that many of these writings come from fraud or interpolations, I will use the information and dates to show that even if these sources did not come from interpolations, they could still not serve as reliable evidence for a historical Jesus, simply because all sources about Jesus derive from hearsay accounts. (Source: http://nobeliefs.com...)
RuvDraba
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12/9/2015 9:52:11 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
Probably Mythical

As an atheist, I'd have no problem with there having been an historical figure called Yeshua ben Yosef -- perhaps called Jesus by his contemporaries -- who founded a failed Judaic reform movement, and was martyred for his pains by a conservative priesthood. I'd have no problem with him being kind, humble, pluralistic and pious, for his hagiography to have been an idealised elaboration of that, and for the inspirational figure of a world religion to have been based on a kernel of truths.

As an empiricist I'd also have no problem if miracles actually did occur, though I don't believe people of the day had the knowledge or discipline to confirm or refute whether they had.

Such miracles, had they occurred, would not likely change my irreligion.

However, I don't think the historicity of Jesus likely -- and not just because of the miracles. It's hard for modern readers to accept, but ancient chroniclers -- even the diligent ones -- lied through their teeth (sometimes with good intentions, sometimes not) and thought this perfectly okay; and later scribes would change their words anyway in translation or redaction for political and ideological purposes. This was routine, and indetectable to readers of the day -- though more apparent to contemporary historians under modern methodologies. Thus, sacred traditions arise that may have little basis in fact.

I think that has likely happened with the hagiography of Jesus: not just because that was commonplace, so it'd be surprising if it hadn't, but also because of how much Jesus' hagiography borrows from incidents and imagery drawn from other sources, how stiff and idealised are the accounts, and how fragmented they seem.

I'm not saying that's a certainty; I just think it more likely than not.
frbnsn
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12/9/2015 11:11:25 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
As a muslim, my opinion is that:
he has lived, but not God, nor a part of Trinity nonsense.
He was a human but a chosen human, one of the Messengers of God.
bulproof
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12/9/2015 1:03:28 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/9/2015 11:11:25 AM, frbnsn wrote:
As a muslim, my opinion is that:
he has lived, but not God, nor a part of Trinity nonsense.
He was a human but a chosen human, one of the Messengers of God.
The trouble is that muhammad considered the trinity to be god, mary and jesus. His concept of the jewish/christian writings he was attempting to copy and change could not have been more wrong.
He got just about everything wrong, concerning the scriptures he was attempting to plagiarize and change, but his trinity nonsense was beyond the pail.
So you are correct that muhammad's trinity concept was nonsense. Well done you.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
SNP1
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12/9/2015 4:47:35 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
MYTHICISM

PROLOGUE
Jesus falls under a category called the "Rank-Raglan mythotype". Very few people ever claimed to exist fall under this category, and none of them existed. It has one of the highest (if not the highest) prior probabilities for non-existence in Ancient Historical research.

This does not mean that it is impossible to show that Jesus existed, just that it takes more evidence than, say, Socrates or Caesar.

PART 1
The first thing we have to look at is called the Philo of Alexandria. It is important because the Jesus Cult (what later became Christianity) had not yet spread far enough for Philo to know about it. Furthermore, Philo was NOT a Christian.

Philo helps us understand what some peshers thought about the book of Zechariah 6:11-12 when it talks about Joshua ben Jehozadak (it is important to remember that more and more people, even non-mythicists, are beginning to think that "Branches" in Zechariah actually means "Rises"). Philo was a Plotonic Thinker, allowing us to understand that what he is referring to is not a man who is of body and soul, but a being in no way different than the divine. Now, Joshua ben Jehozadak actually translates to "Jesus/Joshua the son of God the Righteous".

What Philo has to say about him is:
1) Firstborn Son of God
2) Celestial Image of God
3) God's Agent of Creation
4) God's Celestial High Priest

When we look at some of the earliest Christian writings (mostly found in the "Pauline Courpus") we see Jesus referred to in the same way:
1) Firstborn Son of God (Romans 8:29)
2) Celestial Image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4)
3) God's Agent of Creation (1 Corinthians 8:6)
4) God's Celestial High Priest (Hebrews 2:17)

So, what this tells us is that Jesus could quite easily have been thought of as an Archangel long before Christianity arose.

PART 2
We can now look at a book called the Ascension of Isaiah.

There has been some interpolation in the book, but modern historians have found what is most likely original, and that part is contemporary (if not earlier) than the earliest Gospels (indicating an early view).

The Ascension of Isaiah is important because it helps us see what early Christians might have believed in and it is quite shocking.
It never has Jesus go to earth. The furthest Jesus goes (from the highest heaven) is the firmament (where Satan and his minions ruled in Ancient Jewish Theology). He is crucified in the firmament and then ascended through all the heavens.

This helps us understand that the Archangel Jesus (from part 1) was transformed into a dying-and-rising savior that was purely celestial and existed only in the celestial realm(s).

PART 3
I am more in alignment with Robert Price (but not completely) that Paul of Taurus was another name for Simon Magus (I recommend his book "The Amazing Colossal Apostle" for more information). I also agree that not all the "Authentic" Pauline Epistles are written by the same person (Price also shows what parts of the Epistles are interpolations). When you look at it this way, something amazing happens. The Pauline Courpus as a whole seems not to mention an Earthly Jesus but a celestial Jesus. SOME of the Epistles, only a few, seem like they could fit a purely celestial Jesus view OR Doecism (A purely celestial Jesus that came to Earth but not a human Jesus).

Furthermore, some of the earliest "heretics" and even through a few centuries have writings indicating a view of Doecism.

This would indicate that the Purely Celestial Jesus from part 2 was placed on Earth but without yet becoming a human.

PART 4
A popular type of writing in Ancient History is called euhemerization. It is when you take a divine figure, write a human biography for said figure, and then release it (sometimes as fact). This is probably what happened to Jesus and eventually Jesus became known as a historical figure instead of a celestial one. You can read the works of Robert M Price and Richard Carrier for further explanation for this.

This would put the Celestial Jesus on Earth and turn him into a human Jesus on Earth.

PART 5
The combined parts above with the understanding that:
1) There are no non-Christian sources that are not suspect to interpolation (and probably are interpolations)
2) No Christian sources seems to be independent
3) The late datings of the Christian sources (I take the view of a later dating for the Gospels, 1 Clement, etc.)

Shows that the most likely conclusion is where Jesus started out as an angel, became a celestial savior in a celestial realm, then became a celestial savior on Earth, finally turning into a historical/human Savior on Earth.

I can further expand on these points if anyone has any questions.
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Skepticalone
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12/10/2015 5:04:54 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
Both

1. I accept that the man "Jesus" probably existed. I found Bart Erhman's argument from embarrassment to be persuasive. Jesus did not meet the expectations the OT set out for the Messiah, and yet he was still embraced by Jews. If he were made up, then this embarrassment could/would have been avoided my making him fit the prophecies. Erhman explains it much better than I could, and I may not be doing it justice. I would be happy to clarify if need be.

2. I do not accept that Jesus performed miracles (event inexplicable by natural law), came back to life, or was the son of God. The evidence for these claims is limited to Christians, those quoting Christians, or those interpolated by Christians - decades after the death of Jesus.

Conclusion: A real man (history) was made into a supernatural legend (mythical).
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
SNP1
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12/10/2015 5:13:08 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:04:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
Both

1. I accept that the man "Jesus" probably existed. I found Bart Erhman's argument from embarrassment to be persuasive. Jesus did not meet the expectations the OT set out for the Messiah, and yet he was still embraced by Jews. If he were made up, then this embarrassment could/would have been avoided my making him fit the prophecies. Erhman explains it much better than I could, and I may not be doing it justice. I would be happy to clarify if need be.

I honestly cannot understand this argument from Ehrman and never have. He acts as if the ancient Jews were universal in their views, but also says that only 10% of the ancient Jews fit into the 4 MAJOR factions due to how diverse their views are.

Again, the 4 factions of ancient Jews which are considered the MAJOR factions only had 10% of the Jews, 90% were OUTSIDE of the major factions.

I also would have to get my books by Carrier back to respond to the Embarrassment argument (as I cannot remember the rebuttal off the top of my head).

2. I do not accept that Jesus performed miracles (event inexplicable by natural law), came back to life, or was the son of God. The evidence for these claims is limited to Christians, those quoting Christians, or those interpolated by Christians - decades after the death of Jesus.

Conclusion: A real man (history) was made into a supernatural legend (mythical).
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Geogeer
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12/10/2015 5:20:31 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/9/2015 7:05:25 AM, SNP1 wrote:
I have, once again, gotten into a discussion on the question of the historicity of Jesus. I decided that instead of flooding other threads with further discussion on the topic that all discussion on the Jesus Myth should go here (as to try and prevent people going off topic).

It is late, and so I do not have time to present my case in the OP, but if you wish to join the discussion then please follow these rules:
1) Use common courtesy. Do NOT treat others like idiots.
2) When you first post, say which side you are on and explain why. If you are a mythicist or historicist then present your argumentation/evidence. If you are moreso "agnostic", then explain why.
3) Try and keep this to a HISTORICAL discussion, NOT a theological one. This thread is about a question in history, not a question in theology.

I'm sorry I'm busy at the moment. So I'll post a video. Gary Habermas presents a Historical analysis of the Resurrection using only the books that historians are in agreement that Paul wrote. It shows that Jesus not only lived, but that the belief in the resurrection was established (by historical standards) within 6 months of the resurrection. Sorry it is long, but pretty comprehensive.
GrittyWorm
Posts: 1,566
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12/10/2015 5:21:50 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:13:08 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:04:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
Both

1. I accept that the man "Jesus" probably existed. I found Bart Erhman's argument from embarrassment to be persuasive. Jesus did not meet the expectations the OT set out for the Messiah, and yet he was still embraced by Jews. If he were made up, then this embarrassment could/would have been avoided my making him fit the prophecies. Erhman explains it much better than I could, and I may not be doing it justice. I would be happy to clarify if need be.

I honestly cannot understand this argument from Ehrman and never have. He acts as if the ancient Jews were universal in their views, but also says that only 10% of the ancient Jews fit into the 4 MAJOR factions due to how diverse their views are.

Again, the 4 factions of ancient Jews which are considered the MAJOR factions only had 10% of the Jews, 90% were OUTSIDE of the major factions.

I also would have to get my books by Carrier back to respond to the Embarrassment argument (as I cannot remember the rebuttal off the top of my head).

2. I do not accept that Jesus performed miracles (event inexplicable by natural law), came back to life, or was the son of God. The evidence for these claims is limited to Christians, those quoting Christians, or those interpolated by Christians - decades after the death of Jesus.

Conclusion: A real man (history) was made into a supernatural legend (mythical).

In which you are welcome to your opinion. But nevertheless, to compare Christianity to belief in Santa, the Easter Rabbit, or the tooth fairy is not a logical comparison based on our vey discussion. There is reason to believe in Jesus' existence. If you want a seemingly mythological gical character, infer into Allah. No one claims to have seen him.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,089
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12/10/2015 5:32:28 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:13:08 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:04:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
Both

1. I accept that the man "Jesus" probably existed. I found Bart Erhman's argument from embarrassment to be persuasive. Jesus did not meet the expectations the OT set out for the Messiah, and yet he was still embraced by Jews. If he were made up, then this embarrassment could/would have been avoided my making him fit the prophecies. Erhman explains it much better than I could, and I may not be doing it justice. I would be happy to clarify if need be.

I honestly cannot understand this argument from Ehrman and never have. He acts as if the ancient Jews were universal in their views, but also says that only 10% of the ancient Jews fit into the 4 MAJOR factions due to how diverse their views are.

Again, the 4 factions of ancient Jews which are considered the MAJOR factions only had 10% of the Jews, 90% were OUTSIDE of the major factions.

I am under the impression that the Messiah would be a conquering king - was that belief not widely accepted?

I also would have to get my books by Carrier back to respond to the Embarrassment argument (as I cannot remember the rebuttal off the top of my head).

I can brush up on my Erhman so that I might represent him a little better while you look over Carrier's position.

2. I do not accept that Jesus performed miracles (event inexplicable by natural law), came back to life, or was the son of God. The evidence for these claims is limited to Christians, those quoting Christians, or those interpolated by Christians - decades after the death of Jesus.

Conclusion: A real man (history) was made into a supernatural legend (mythical).

BTW, great topic. I hope you get a little more traffic.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
SNP1
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12/10/2015 5:45:45 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:32:28 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:13:08 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:04:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
Both

1. I accept that the man "Jesus" probably existed. I found Bart Erhman's argument from embarrassment to be persuasive. Jesus did not meet the expectations the OT set out for the Messiah, and yet he was still embraced by Jews. If he were made up, then this embarrassment could/would have been avoided my making him fit the prophecies. Erhman explains it much better than I could, and I may not be doing it justice. I would be happy to clarify if need be.

I honestly cannot understand this argument from Ehrman and never have. He acts as if the ancient Jews were universal in their views, but also says that only 10% of the ancient Jews fit into the 4 MAJOR factions due to how diverse their views are.

Again, the 4 factions of ancient Jews which are considered the MAJOR factions only had 10% of the Jews, 90% were OUTSIDE of the major factions.

I am under the impression that the Messiah would be a conquering king - was that belief not widely accepted?

Almost.
One of the major views of the Ancient Jews was actually that there would be TWO saviors. They believed that there would be the "Warrior" Savior, that would free them from the (at the time) Roman Oppression. They also thought that there would be a second, later savior that would save them spiritually.

Again, though, the major factions consisted of 10% of the Jews.
You also must realize that the Jews were not as anti-Pagan as many like to claim. In fact, Satan being a villain is only due to Persian influences in the Jewish Religion after the Persians conquered ancient Israel.
Where Christianity formed would have been bombarded with the concept of dying-and-rising savior gods.
Combine that with the fact that many modern Christians can look at Old Testament scriptures and make post hoc reasonings of how something in the OT predicted Jesus shows the Ancient Jewish Peshers could have done something similar when forming the concept of Jesus.

I also would have to get my books by Carrier back to respond to the Embarrassment argument (as I cannot remember the rebuttal off the top of my head).

I can brush up on my Erhman so that I might represent him a little better while you look over Carrier's position.

I recommend the book "Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists" by Raphael Lataster (A Jesus agnostic). It is a recent book and he reviews Bart's book "Did Jesus Exist?" along with other historicist and mythicist claims.

2. I do not accept that Jesus performed miracles (event inexplicable by natural law), came back to life, or was the son of God. The evidence for these claims is limited to Christians, those quoting Christians, or those interpolated by Christians - decades after the death of Jesus.

Conclusion: A real man (history) was made into a supernatural legend (mythical).

BTW, great topic. I hope you get a little more traffic.

I honestly do not think many people are actually interested in the topic. Look at GrittyWorm for example. His responses are similar to the majority of responses I usually see with this topic.
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Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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12/10/2015 5:57:30 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/9/2015 4:47:35 PM, SNP1 wrote:
MYTHICISM

PROLOGUE
Jesus falls under a category called the "Rank-Raglan mythotype".

- What is that?!
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Skepticalone
Posts: 6,089
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12/10/2015 6:04:31 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:45:45 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:32:28 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:13:08 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:04:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
Both

1. I accept that the man "Jesus" probably existed. I found Bart Erhman's argument from embarrassment to be persuasive. Jesus did not meet the expectations the OT set out for the Messiah, and yet he was still embraced by Jews. If he were made up, then this embarrassment could/would have been avoided my making him fit the prophecies. Erhman explains it much better than I could, and I may not be doing it justice. I would be happy to clarify if need be.

I honestly cannot understand this argument from Ehrman and never have. He acts as if the ancient Jews were universal in their views, but also says that only 10% of the ancient Jews fit into the 4 MAJOR factions due to how diverse their views are.

Again, the 4 factions of ancient Jews which are considered the MAJOR factions only had 10% of the Jews, 90% were OUTSIDE of the major factions.

I am under the impression that the Messiah would be a conquering king - was that belief not widely accepted?

Almost.
One of the major views of the Ancient Jews was actually that there would be TWO saviors. They believed that there would be the "Warrior" Savior, that would free them from the (at the time) Roman Oppression. They also thought that there would be a second, later savior that would save them spiritually.

Again, though, the major factions consisted of 10% of the Jews.
You also must realize that the Jews were not as anti-Pagan as many like to claim. In fact, Satan being a villain is only due to Persian influences in the Jewish Religion after the Persians conquered ancient Israel.
Where Christianity formed would have been bombarded with the concept of dying-and-rising savior gods.
Combine that with the fact that many modern Christians can look at Old Testament scriptures and make post hoc reasonings of how something in the OT predicted Jesus shows the Ancient Jewish Peshers could have done something similar when forming the concept of Jesus.

I also would have to get my books by Carrier back to respond to the Embarrassment argument (as I cannot remember the rebuttal off the top of my head).

I can brush up on my Erhman so that I might represent him a little better while you look over Carrier's position.

I recommend the book "Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists" by Raphael Lataster (A Jesus agnostic). It is a recent book and he reviews Bart's book "Did Jesus Exist?" along with other historicist and mythicist claims.

I will try to check that out, but I probably won't be able to assimilate it in time for this thread.

2. I do not accept that Jesus performed miracles (event inexplicable by natural law), came back to life, or was the son of God. The evidence for these claims is limited to Christians, those quoting Christians, or those interpolated by Christians - decades after the death of Jesus.

Conclusion: A real man (history) was made into a supernatural legend (mythical).

BTW, great topic. I hope you get a little more traffic.

I honestly do not think many people are actually interested in the topic. Look at GrittyWorm for example. His responses are similar to the majority of responses I usually see with this topic.

Well, we can always hope... ;-)
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,089
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12/10/2015 6:06:22 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:21:50 AM, GrittyWorm wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:13:08 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:04:54 AM, Skepticalone wrote:
Both

1. I accept that the man "Jesus" probably existed. I found Bart Erhman's argument from embarrassment to be persuasive. Jesus did not meet the expectations the OT set out for the Messiah, and yet he was still embraced by Jews. If he were made up, then this embarrassment could/would have been avoided my making him fit the prophecies. Erhman explains it much better than I could, and I may not be doing it justice. I would be happy to clarify if need be.

I honestly cannot understand this argument from Ehrman and never have. He acts as if the ancient Jews were universal in their views, but also says that only 10% of the ancient Jews fit into the 4 MAJOR factions due to how diverse their views are.

Again, the 4 factions of ancient Jews which are considered the MAJOR factions only had 10% of the Jews, 90% were OUTSIDE of the major factions.

I also would have to get my books by Carrier back to respond to the Embarrassment argument (as I cannot remember the rebuttal off the top of my head).

2. I do not accept that Jesus performed miracles (event inexplicable by natural law), came back to life, or was the son of God. The evidence for these claims is limited to Christians, those quoting Christians, or those interpolated by Christians - decades after the death of Jesus.

Conclusion: A real man (history) was made into a supernatural legend (mythical).

In which you are welcome to your opinion.

Thank you!

p.s. - the rest of your post has no relevance to my words.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
SNP1
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12/10/2015 6:46:24 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:57:30 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 12/9/2015 4:47:35 PM, SNP1 wrote:
MYTHICISM

PROLOGUE
Jesus falls under a category called the "Rank-Raglan mythotype".

- What is that?!

Looking at Legendary Heroes from the past there were 22 points that are the "Rank-Raglan mythotype points". The more points that a figures story fit (22/22) the higher the chance that the story (and the figure) are mythical and not historical. It is in no way conclusive, but it does help understand prior probabilities. The 22 points are as follows:
1) Mother is a virgin, usually royal.
2) Father is a king or descended from one.
3) Father and mother somewhat closely related.
4) Unusual conception
5) Hero is said to be the son (or daughter) of god
6) There was an attempt to kill the hero as an infant (usually by the father or maternal grandfather)
7) Hero spirited away as a child
8) Reared by foster parents in a far country
9) There is a lack of childhood details
10) Returns or goes to future kingdom
11) The Hero gains victor over a king, giant, dragon or wild beast
12) Marries a princess (often daughter of predecessor)
13) Becomes king
14) For a time he reigns uneventfully
15) He prescribes laws
16) Later loses favor with gods or his subjects
17) Driven from throne and city
18) Meets with mysterious death
19) The death usually happens at the top of a hill
20) Any children of the Hero, if they exist, do no succeed him
21) The Heroes body is not buried
22) Has one or more holy sepulchers or tombs

Jesus, on average (depending on interpretation) has around 18 points on this scale, around the same amount of points as King Arthur, Romulus, and Heracles.

I cannot remember at which point someone is considered a Rank-Raglan Hero, but I do know that Jesus (like the other 3 I mentioned) all fall into the category.
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Yassine
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12/10/2015 6:53:02 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 6:46:24 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:57:30 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 12/9/2015 4:47:35 PM, SNP1 wrote:
MYTHICISM

PROLOGUE
Jesus falls under a category called the "Rank-Raglan mythotype".

- What is that?!

Looking at Legendary Heroes from the past there were 22 points that are the "Rank-Raglan mythotype points". The more points that a figures story fit (22/22) the higher the chance that the story (and the figure) are mythical and not historical. It is in no way conclusive, but it does help understand prior probabilities. The 22 points are as follows:
1) Mother is a virgin, usually royal.
2) Father is a king or descended from one.
3) Father and mother somewhat closely related.
4) Unusual conception
5) Hero is said to be the son (or daughter) of god
6) There was an attempt to kill the hero as an infant (usually by the father or maternal grandfather)
7) Hero spirited away as a child
8) Reared by foster parents in a far country
9) There is a lack of childhood details
10) Returns or goes to future kingdom
11) The Hero gains victor over a king, giant, dragon or wild beast
12) Marries a princess (often daughter of predecessor)
13) Becomes king
14) For a time he reigns uneventfully
15) He prescribes laws
16) Later loses favor with gods or his subjects
17) Driven from throne and city
18) Meets with mysterious death
19) The death usually happens at the top of a hill
20) Any children of the Hero, if they exist, do no succeed him
21) The Heroes body is not buried
22) Has one or more holy sepulchers or tombs

Jesus, on average (depending on interpretation) has around 18 points on this scale, around the same amount of points as King Arthur, Romulus, and Heracles.

I cannot remember at which point someone is considered a Rank-Raglan Hero, but I do know that Jesus (like the other 3 I mentioned) all fall into the category.

- I am pretty sure half the kings of China fit most of these descriptions, if not all. I gotta say, this is one of the most ridiculous ways of looking at History I've came across.
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12/10/2015 7:16:39 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 6:53:02 AM, Yassine wrote:
- I am pretty sure half the kings of China fit most of these descriptions, if not all. I gotta say, this is one of the most ridiculous ways of looking at History I've came across.

1) Your claim is probably an overexaggeration.
2) The system was developed for heroes in the west (ranging from the ancient Greeks to the medieval era) and would not be equally applicable to Eastern figures.
3) It is only a way of helping determine PRIOR probabilities, not final probabilities.
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Yassine
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12/10/2015 7:32:18 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 7:16:39 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 6:53:02 AM, Yassine wrote:
- I am pretty sure half the kings of China fit most of these descriptions, if not all. I gotta say, this is one of the most ridiculous ways of looking at History I've came across.

1) Your claim is probably an overexaggeration.

- That obvious huh! Still, half of the those descriptions are pretty common in the ancient World, the Middle East included. The other half are not that uncommon either.

2) The system was developed for heroes in the west (ranging from the ancient Greeks to the medieval era) and would not be equally applicable to Eastern figures.

- I don't see the viability of such system. The descriptions, individually, are all very recurrent, & collectively, compatible. To have them coincide in one individual is a matter of circumstantial perspective. I mean, at some point most heroes were professed to be divine, fled & came back, were hunted, had some tragedies, were eventually killed, were victorious... all these are matters of occupational hazard for being thought of as heroes.

3) It is only a way of helping determine PRIOR probabilities, not final probabilities.

- Even for a measure of prior probability, IMO the system sucks pretty hard.
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12/10/2015 7:49:59 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:20:31 AM, Geogeer wrote:
I'm sorry I'm busy at the moment. So I'll post a video. Gary Habermas presents a Historical analysis of the Resurrection using only the books that historians are in agreement that Paul wrote.

TL;DR Outside of the Bible, there is no historical record of the Apostle Paul.

(Composer's Source: http://www.reddit.com...)
Geogeer
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12/10/2015 7:54:02 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 7:49:59 AM, Composer wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:20:31 AM, Geogeer wrote:
I'm sorry I'm busy at the moment. So I'll post a video. Gary Habermas presents a Historical analysis of the Resurrection using only the books that historians are in agreement that Paul wrote.

TL;DR Outside of the Bible, there is no historical record of the Apostle Paul.

(Composer's Source: http://www.reddit.com...)

And yet real Historians give his writings credit. Maybe you should watch the video to find out.
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12/10/2015 8:38:51 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 7:54:02 AM, Geogeer wrote:
And yet real Historians give his writings credit. Maybe you should watch the video to find out.

Cut to the chase !

What did they claim as their best evidence for a literal biblical Saul/Paul outside of that Story book Land?

Meanwhile -

Saul of Tarsus " a witness for Jesus?

One is informed by Acts that St Paul's early day stance was as "Saul, the Christian persecutor". Yet if Saul really was a vigilante for orthodox Judaism at the time of Stephen's stoning (Acts 7.58-8.3), becoming the chief persecutor of Christians, no less " one wonders just where was Saul, not long before, when a supposed radical rabbi called Jesus was stirring up whole towns and villages?

Paul's role as religious policeman seems not to have awakened until shortly after the godman's death. But in itself this suggests Jesus of Nazareth had no great impact. After all, Saul was a contemporary of Jesus in time and place, raised in Jerusalem ("at the feet of Gamaliel" " Acts 22.3) at precisely the time the godman was overturning moneychangers in the Temple and generally provoking Pharisees and Sadducees.

Would not Saul, a young religious hothead ("exceedingly zealous of the traditions" " Galatians 1.14) have waded into those multitudes to heckle and attack the Nazarene himself? Would he not have been an enthusiastic witness to JC's blasphemy before the Sanhedrin? And where was Saul during "passion week", surely in Jerusalem with the other zealots celebrating the holiest of festivals? And yet he reports not a word of the crucifixion?

Paul, another "witness for Jesus", saw and heard nothing!

Two Pauls " One Illusion

The trail-blazing Christian missionary and apostle, St Paul, appears nowhere in the secular histories of his age (not in Tacitus, not in Pliny, not in Josephus, etc.) Though Paul, we are told, mingled in the company of provincial governors and had audiences before kings and emperors, no scribe thought it worthwhile to record these events. The popular image of the saint is selectively crafted from two sources: the Book of Acts and the Epistles which bear his name. Yet the two sources actually present two radically different individuals and two wildly divergent stories. Biblical scholars are only too familiar with the conundrum that chunks of Paul's own story, gleaned from the epistles, are incompatible with the tale recorded in Acts but live with the "divine mystery" of it all. Perish the thought that they might recognize the whole saga is a work of pious fiction. (Source: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com...)
bulproof
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12/10/2015 12:38:16 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 8:38:51 AM, Composer wrote:
At 12/10/2015 7:54:02 AM, Geogeer wrote:
And yet real Historians give his writings credit. Maybe you should watch the video to find out.

Cut to the chase !

What did they claim as their best evidence for a literal biblical Saul/Paul outside of that Story book Land?

Meanwhile -

Saul of Tarsus " a witness for Jesus?

One is informed by Acts that St Paul's early day stance was as "Saul, the Christian persecutor". Yet if Saul really was a vigilante for orthodox Judaism at the time of Stephen's stoning (Acts 7.58-8.3), becoming the chief persecutor of Christians, no less " one wonders just where was Saul, not long before, when a supposed radical rabbi called Jesus was stirring up whole towns and villages?

Paul's role as religious policeman seems not to have awakened until shortly after the godman's death. But in itself this suggests Jesus of Nazareth had no great impact. After all, Saul was a contemporary of Jesus in time and place, raised in Jerusalem ("at the feet of Gamaliel" " Acts 22.3) at precisely the time the godman was overturning moneychangers in the Temple and generally provoking Pharisees and Sadducees.

Would not Saul, a young religious hothead ("exceedingly zealous of the traditions" " Galatians 1.14) have waded into those multitudes to heckle and attack the Nazarene himself? Would he not have been an enthusiastic witness to JC's blasphemy before the Sanhedrin? And where was Saul during "passion week", surely in Jerusalem with the other zealots celebrating the holiest of festivals? And yet he reports not a word of the crucifixion?

Paul, another "witness for Jesus", saw and heard nothing!

Two Pauls " One Illusion

The trail-blazing Christian missionary and apostle, St Paul, appears nowhere in the secular histories of his age (not in Tacitus, not in Pliny, not in Josephus, etc.) Though Paul, we are told, mingled in the company of provincial governors and had audiences before kings and emperors, no scribe thought it worthwhile to record these events. The popular image of the saint is selectively crafted from two sources: the Book of Acts and the Epistles which bear his name. Yet the two sources actually present two radically different individuals and two wildly divergent stories. Biblical scholars are only too familiar with the conundrum that chunks of Paul's own story, gleaned from the epistles, are incompatible with the tale recorded in Acts but live with the "divine mystery" of it all. Perish the thought that they might recognize the whole saga is a work of pious fiction. (Source: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com...)

An excellent post, one that they will scream and wail at but can't refute.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
SNP1
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12/10/2015 5:31:10 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 7:49:59 AM, Composer wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:20:31 AM, Geogeer wrote:
I'm sorry I'm busy at the moment. So I'll post a video. Gary Habermas presents a Historical analysis of the Resurrection using only the books that historians are in agreement that Paul wrote.

TL;DR Outside of the Bible, there is no historical record of the Apostle Paul.

(Composer's Source: http://www.reddit.com...)

How about 1 Clement (to name an example)?

I, personally, think that "Paul", as he is generally conceived, did not exist. I take the same position as Robert Price, where "Paul" was another name for Simon Magus. The thing is, you cannot say that the only evidence for "Paul" is in the Bible.
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Skyangel
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12/10/2015 7:00:14 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
I believe the Jesus character in the bible stories is mythical because of his supernatural powers described in the stories.

No man in reality has ever had any supernatural powers to raise people from the dead by just calling them out of a tomb.
No man has ever been able to heal the sick by just telling them to be healed. etc.

Supernatural miracles in the bible stories cause those stories to be no different to other myths which include characters with supernatural or magical powers like the mythical Greek gods, Superman or Santa.

Whether the myth of Jesus is based on a real person who might have been a philosopher or not is quite irrelevant to the point that no real person has any supernatural powers.
It is those powers which make the character an obvious myth in my mind.

I think the stories are like any other myths which simply portray morals and lessons to be learned.
There are many interesting themes through the stories which can be applied to all people regardless of the age in which they live.
Composer
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12/11/2015 1:35:03 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 5:31:10 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 7:49:59 AM, Composer wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:20:31 AM, Geogeer wrote:
I'm sorry I'm busy at the moment. So I'll post a video. Gary Habermas presents a Historical analysis of the Resurrection using only the books that historians are in agreement that Paul wrote.

TL;DR Outside of the Bible, there is no historical record of the Apostle Paul.

(Composer's Source: http://www.reddit.com...)

How about 1 Clement (to name an example)?

I, personally, think that "Paul", as he is generally conceived, did not exist. I take the same position as Robert Price, where "Paul" was another name for Simon Magus. The thing is, you cannot say that the only evidence for "Paul" is in the Bible.

1 Clement dated at approx -

80 - 140 A.D

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com...

So whatever was written about the biblical Paul was again based upon at best ' hearsay! '.
Composer
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12/11/2015 1:44:02 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/10/2015 7:00:14 PM, Skyangel wrote:
I believe the Jesus character in the bible stories is mythical because of his supernatural powers described in the stories.

No man in reality has ever had any supernatural powers to raise people from the dead by just calling them out of a tomb.
No man has ever been able to heal the sick by just telling them to be healed. etc.

Supernatural miracles in the bible stories cause those stories to be no different to other myths which include characters with supernatural or magical powers like the mythical Greek gods, Superman or Santa.

Whether the myth of Jesus is based on a real person who might have been a philosopher or not is quite irrelevant to the point that no real person has any supernatural powers.
It is those powers which make the character an obvious myth in my mind.

I think the stories are like any other myths which simply portray morals and lessons to be learned.
There are many interesting themes through the stories which can be applied to all people regardless of the age in which they live.

+1

&

Here's a thought...what if "Jebus" actually did walk on water? Now what? What does it mean? The "god" that created the entire universe and everything in it, as well as all of the physical laws, can walk on water. Big whoop. I'm not impressed.

I'd be far more impressed if "Jebus" showed up at a Global leaders meeting and provided the answer to human suffering, starvation, and global warming. What a serious troll - walked on water - raised Lazarus...what a waste of power. (Original post by Jetson modified by Composer)
SNP1
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12/11/2015 2:30:55 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/11/2015 1:35:03 AM, Composer wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:31:10 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 12/10/2015 7:49:59 AM, Composer wrote:
At 12/10/2015 5:20:31 AM, Geogeer wrote:
I'm sorry I'm busy at the moment. So I'll post a video. Gary Habermas presents a Historical analysis of the Resurrection using only the books that historians are in agreement that Paul wrote.

TL;DR Outside of the Bible, there is no historical record of the Apostle Paul.

(Composer's Source: http://www.reddit.com...)

How about 1 Clement (to name an example)?

I, personally, think that "Paul", as he is generally conceived, did not exist. I take the same position as Robert Price, where "Paul" was another name for Simon Magus. The thing is, you cannot say that the only evidence for "Paul" is in the Bible.

1 Clement dated at approx -

80 - 140 A.D

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com...

So whatever was written about the biblical Paul was again based upon at best ' hearsay! '.

You do realize that historians use primary AND secondary sources, right? Sometimes, though not as often, they will use sources even further from that.

For example, the agreed upon reliable date for information about Jesus is 4BCE-120CE.
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Wylted
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12/11/2015 2:38:05 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
I believe Jesus existed as do almost every single biblical scholar, regardless of faith. Most mythicista in my experience (scholars, not random dudes), when pressed admit that Jesus likely actually existed and say their theory is based around the reliability of the gospels, not the actual existence of the wandering magician and cult leader. Meaning that mythicista despite claiming that Jesus doesn't exist to stir up support, actually admit he did exist when pressed, but just don't believe that we can really know anything about him. I agree with the mythicista that we can't know much, if anything about him, but that he existed. Where I disagree with mythicista is that they see coincidences in other religions, and attribute it to stolen myths, without realizing that these myths are a part of our collective unconscious as Jung pointed out. Completely unconnected civilizations contain similar myths because of this collective unconscious and are not always stealing from each other.