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Author Topic: So how do Christ-mythers explain this...  (Read 5515 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 02, 2012, 09:58:00 PM »

If Jesus Christ never existed then wouldn't the Christians be called out on their bluff and wouldn't we see writings of those calling them out on it? I mean you had Celsus call out Jesus illegiitimancy as a child of Tiberius Pantera, but I haven't seen anything in antiquity about non-existence. It actually helps the argument with enemy attestation, I think.

But really it just begs the question, how would the Christians ever keep up such a fraud? And especially to die for it as well?

It just shocks me that there are those who seriously think Christ never existed.

There is just not good enough arguments/evidence to suggest such a thing. It's like trying to debunk the Resurrection account because if you remove one part of the evidence it all comes down like a Jenga set IMO.
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 10:12:13 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

If Jesus Christ never existed then wouldn't the Christians be called out on their bluff and wouldn't we see writings of those calling them out on it? I mean you had Celsus call out Jesus illegiitimancy as a child of Tiberius Pantera, but I haven't seen anything in antiquity about non-existence. It actually helps the argument with enemy attestation, I think.

But really it just begs the question, how would the Christians ever keep up such a fraud? And especially to die for it as well?

It just shocks me that there are those who seriously think Christ never existed.

There is just not good enough arguments/evidence to suggest such a thing. It's like trying to debunk the Resurrection account because if you remove one part of the evidence it all comes down like a Jenga set IMO.

Brother, you know and understand my personal conviction, there is NO historical Jesus.  Christians died as martyrs because of their personal and direct relationship with Him, not because of their firm assertion of his historical reality.  Jesus Christ is not Abraham Lincoln, He is God Almighty.  The historiography of Jesus Christ is 100% irrelevant, however should know that it is also largely shallow and unsubstantiated.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2012, 10:15:05 PM »

But can't "historical" be "personal" as well though? I mean isn't it wrong to say he didn't enter into our reality, historically?

I just feel there is a really good argument to be made for Christ's existence based on the history.

And I hate to be Isa's toady (PtA's word, not mine but I love it) and I wish I could search for the post he made, but the evidence for Christianity is perfect.
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2012, 10:18:41 PM »

But can't "historical" be "personal" as well though? I mean isn't it wrong to say he didn't enter into our reality, historically?

I just feel there is a really good argument to be made for Christ's existence based on the history.

And I hate to be Isa's toady (PtA's word, not mine but I love it) and I wish I could search for the post he made, but the evidence for Christianity is perfect.

Personal is not mutually exclusive to historical, but yes, historical is exclusive to personal. I do not have a personal or direct relationship with actual historical persons such as Abraham Lincoln or Genghis Khan.  Did they exist? There is indeed plenty of verifiable, tangible, and accurate primary source materials and artifacts which attest to their historicity.  With Jesus Christ, I am firmly convinced this is not the case.  There are a few 1st and 2nd century references, but even of these, we have no real primary sources (i.e. actual copies from the period to verify) rather they are later speculations.  You KNOW that I believe Jesus Christ was real, but that is not because of any historical accuracy, rather because like Apostle Paul our Lord knocked me off my high horse and revealed Himself by Theophany. 

This is my opinion, folks are always free to debate such, but they are going to have to put out some material evidence to back this up and we can critique the legitimacy, accuracy, and integrity of this evidence in a strictly academic/scholastic standard.  To this scrutiny, I for one feel that the evidence for Jesus becomes inconclusive.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2012, 10:20:43 PM »

One more thing, speaking of historiography. You should check out Licona's The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, which is outstanding and right up their with NT Wright's book.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Resurrection-Jesus-Historiographical-Approach/dp/0830827196
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2012, 10:25:49 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

One more thing, speaking of historiography. You should check out Licona's The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, which is outstanding and right up their with NT Wright's book.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Resurrection-Jesus-Historiographical-Approach/dp/0830827196

I hope its better than it sounds.  A good historiography of miracles by definition would be a study of how Christian interpretations of the miracles of the Gospel narratives evolved and changed across time, including the additions and embellishments of oral traditions, legends, as well Canonical text like Saint's biographies and other Church texts.  From an academic standpoint, it seems to be a bit absurd to suggest that you can ever prove either miracles OR the Resurrection, because such things are by definition supernatural and Divine, and I'd bet serious historians are snickering a bit at a text like this Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 10:29:06 PM »

But can't "historical" be "personal" as well though? I mean isn't it wrong to say he didn't enter into our reality, historically?

I just feel there is a really good argument to be made for Christ's existence based on the history.

And I hate to be Isa's toady (PtA's word, not mine but I love it) and I wish I could search for the post he made, but the evidence for Christianity is perfect.

Personal is not mutually exclusive to historical, but yes, historical is exclusive to personal. I do not have a personal or direct relationship with actual historical persons such as Abraham Lincoln or Genghis Khan.  Did they exist? There is indeed plenty of verifiable, tangible, and accurate primary source materials and artifacts which attest to their historicity.  With Jesus Christ, I am firmly convinced this is not the case.  There are a few 1st and 2nd century references, but even of these, we have no real primary sources (i.e. actual copies from the period to verify) rather they are later speculations.  You KNOW that I believe Jesus Christ was real, but that is not because of any historical accuracy, rather because like Apostle Paul our Lord knocked me off my high horse and revealed Himself by Theophany. 

This is my opinion, folks are always free to debate such, but they are going to have to put out some material evidence to back this up and we can critique the legitimacy, accuracy, and integrity of this evidence in a strictly academic/scholastic standard.  To this scrutiny, I for one feel that the evidence for Jesus becomes inconclusive.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Let's agree on one thing, Habte, that the New Testament is not a historical document. Now I know they are written to be biographical, but they transcend history. It is strictly a religious document and I think orthonorm said this once, a catechism document for Christians (maybe I misphrased him).

However you don't necessarily need primary sources to prove the historical Jesus. You have to approach it in different ways and not necessarily by written documentation. You have to explain the birth of Christianity without using those sources, which can be second-hand accounts or written decades after the Resurrection. And yes it does need an explanation, historically. Jesus Christ is the very center of all of human history and his influence is undeniable. No one comes close to having that much impact historically. Again it needs an explanation outside of faith.
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 10:34:56 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

One more thing, speaking of historiography. You should check out Licona's The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, which is outstanding and right up their with NT Wright's book.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Resurrection-Jesus-Historiographical-Approach/dp/0830827196

I hope its better than it sounds.  A good historiography of miracles by definition would be a study of how Christian interpretations of the miracles of the Gospel narratives evolved and changed across time, including the additions and embellishments of oral traditions, legends, as well Canonical text like Saint's biographies and other Church texts.  From an academic standpoint, it seems to be a bit absurd to suggest that you can ever prove either miracles OR the Resurrection, because such things are by definition supernatural and Divine, and I'd bet serious historians are snickering a bit at a text like this Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Nobody can prove the Resurrection, I'll agree there. However looking at the evidence, what is the best explanation that we can give. There's only one, that Christ really did rise from the dead.

But yes it's really great.
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 10:44:30 PM »

You might want to check out this article, which purports to show that the Resurrection is true because the probability of subsequent events occurring if the Resurrection didn't occur is much smaller than the probability of them occurring if the Resurrection did occur.


http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Mcgrew-McGrew-The-Argument-from-Miracles.pdf
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2012, 10:45:31 PM »

And wait a sec, you don't consider Luke-Acts a primary source, Habte?
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2012, 11:02:41 PM »

But can't "historical" be "personal" as well though? I mean isn't it wrong to say he didn't enter into our reality, historically?

Incarnation.
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2012, 11:13:10 PM »

But can't "historical" be "personal" as well though? I mean isn't it wrong to say he didn't enter into our reality, historically?

Incarnation.
So what are you positing then?
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2012, 11:33:46 PM »

So what are you positing then?

Chistianity isn't just a theory, philosophy, theology, or personal connection, but is based on the historical reality of God becoming a man, dieing, being raised from the dead, etc. These things really happened and they happened inside of human history as a part of human history. Otherwise, all the theory, philosophy, theology, personal connections, etc cease to be objectively real. I don't mean this to deny the universality of salvation or that Christ became a human to personally self-identify with every human, only to affirm that there is a historical Jesus, which I believe is the Jesus found in the NT and preached by the Church.
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2012, 11:37:41 PM »

So what are you positing then?

Chistianity isn't just a theory, philosophy, theology, or personal connection, but is based on the historical reality of God becoming a man, dieing, being raised from the dead, etc. These things really happened and they happened inside of human history as a part of human history. Otherwise, all the theory, philosophy, theology, personal connections, etc cease to be objectively real. I don't mean this to deny the universality of salvation or that Christ became a human to personally self-identify with every human, only to affirm that there is a historical Jesus, which I believe is the Jesus found in the NT and preached by the Church.
Sorry if my comprehension is lacking right now, but I think you agree with me. But yes I agree with everything that is said here.
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2012, 11:40:37 PM »

Sorry if my comprehension is lacking right now, but I think you agree with me. But yes I agree with everything that is said here.

I was agreeing with you.
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2012, 12:01:51 AM »

I was thinking St. Athanasius was going to be handy for this topic soon enough.
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2012, 12:30:14 AM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 12:46:27 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


However you don't necessarily need primary sources to prove the historical Jesus.

By the definitions and standards of academic or scholarly history, yes, that is EXACTLY what you need, primary source materials.

You might want to check out this article, which purports to show that the Resurrection is true because the probability of subsequent events occurring if the Resurrection didn't occur is much smaller than the probability of them occurring if the Resurrection did occur.


http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Mcgrew-McGrew-The-Argument-from-Miracles.pdf

How purely academic historians would argue this would be the cultural and historical impact of the BELIEF in the Resurrection, but belief of something is not evidence of its reality.  Currently 25% of Americans believe our President is a Muslim because of his last name, while during the election the primary concern was his controversial Christian pastor??  Belief is not historicity, and there is indeed truth to belief, and I feel even MORE truths underlying myths, but we can't necessarily hold them to be evidence of historical facts.

And wait a sec, you don't consider Luke-Acts a primary source, Habte?

No, the oldest copies we have are from the 4th century, that is 300 years removed from the actual events.  


So what are you positing then?

Chistianity isn't just a theory, philosophy, theology, or personal connection, but is based on the historical reality of God becoming a man, dieing, being raised from the dead, etc. These things really happened and they happened inside of human history as a part of human history. Otherwise, all the theory, philosophy, theology, personal connections, etc cease to be objectively real. I don't mean this to deny the universality of salvation or that Christ became a human to personally self-identify with every human, only to affirm that there is a historical Jesus, which I believe is the Jesus found in the NT and preached by the Church.

I am not denying the actual existence of Jesus Christ, I know Him quite personally as being real then and now.  What I am denying is any secular, non-Theophany revealed evidence of Jesus Christ existing aside from Faith.  We of course know Him to be real and true, and flesh and blood, but we do not have tangible historical evidence of this fact.  We believe this because we know Him, if we don't know Him, we really are believing in fiction.

The burden of proof is on the arguer, so if y'all are arguing that there is secular, non-faith based primary source evidence of a historical Jesus Christ, by all means please prove me wrong Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 02:06:27 AM »

When Augustus reigned alone upon earth, the many kingdoms of men came to end: and when You were made man of the pure Virgin, the many gods of idolatry were destroyed. The cities of the world passed under one single rule; and the nations came to believe in one sovereign Godhead. The peoples were enrolled by the decree of Caesar; and we, the faithful, were enrolled in the name of the Godhead, when You, our God, was made man. Great is Your mercy: glory to You. (Vespers Doxastikon, Nativity of the Lord)

Now, if records have survived of that census ....
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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2012, 11:39:52 AM »

What I am denying is any secular, non-Theophany revealed evidence of Jesus Christ existing aside from Faith.  We of course know Him to be real and true, and flesh and blood, but we do not have tangible historical evidence of this fact.  

What about the historical writings of Flavius Josephus?
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2012, 12:32:23 PM »

Now, if records have survived of that census

Not much government records have been found. Even Augustus' Res Gestae was lost until the 16th century.
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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2012, 02:44:11 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

What I am denying is any secular, non-Theophany revealed evidence of Jesus Christ existing aside from Faith.  We of course know Him to be real and true, and flesh and blood, but we do not have tangible historical evidence of this fact.  

What about the historical writings of Flavius Josephus?

The oldest manuscripts for Josephus come from the 6th century.  That is FIVE HUNDRED years removed from the actual events.  The majority of manuscripts are from the 12-14th centuries and are part of the same European Jewish revival which birthed the later versions of the Hebrew Scriptures which were used for the King James Version.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2012, 02:54:24 PM »

Easy. Constantine being the most evil and powerful man on earth gathered every single historical text and included references about Christianity into them and then gave them back to their original owners while forging the entirety of the Ante Nicene fathers and the bible.

While none of them have ever said this, I have had a few say Constantine made bible.
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« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2012, 03:15:01 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Easy. Constantine being the most evil and powerful man on earth gathered every single historical text and included references about Christianity into them and then gave them back to their original owners while forging the entirety of the Ante Nicene fathers and the bible.

While none of them have ever said this, I have had a few say Constantine made bible.

In part, this premise is true.  Not necessarily the part about Constantine, but the reality that many manuscripts have been destroyed.  In the Ethiopian experience, many scholars wrongfully assert that the Solomonic legends were added or embellished during the era of Zara Yacob.  It is a fact of Ethiopian history that a sheer majority of the texts, writings, and manuscripts which our Church has to day originated in the 13th-15th centuries.  HOWEVER, this shouldn't suggest that they were magically invented at this time as many scholars loftily assert.  Rather, different eras of strife and political divisions, as well as internal Church struggles with various indigenous and exogenous heresies results in the destruction of much of Ethiopian historical documents and artifacts.  During the "Gudith raids" was the first wave of this process.  Gudit (or Judith) may actually have  never even existed (I believe she did) rather the stories of her campaigns are a collective and symbolic narrative to explain a century of Christian persecution and political destruction which culminated in the ascendancy of the Zagwe dynasty (some call a Solomonic pretender, others say a Solomonic side branch).  Then again in the 16th century under the Turkish and Somali invasions, literally THOUSANDS of Churches were burned, looted, and destroyed.  In Ethiopia at this time (as in MANY Tropical regions) Churches were by and large the ONLY stone structures, which  meant that they were also the majority of libraries and archives.  To destroy Churches was to try to erase the evidence of history.  However, embedded in the collective memory of the Ethiopian people, Tradition survived and was revived and restored in the Gonderine Restoration.  Let us also not forgot the Catholic controversies which tried to wipe out Orthodox in Ethiopia and replace it with Latinism.  In Gonder, just like under Zara Yacob two centuries earlier, many Ethiopian courts and churches were rebuilt and the literature redrafted. 

This should not suggest that Ethiopia lost all her treasures, after all she is a vast and mountainous place, absolutely criss-crossed by mountains and river valleys, making even MODERN travel strenuous and difficult.  In many flung parishes and monasteries we find some of the oldest coinage from places as far away as India and China, we even find ancient texts lost to the outside world, and not just Christian, but philosophies and histories too. 

Sometime historians have wrongfully labelled Ethiopia a "living museum" but nothing could be further from the truth, she is not a museum, rather this ancient history which she preserves is alive, dynamic, and active.  It is not uncommon for Ethiopians at the Bunna Bet to get into a heated and detailed argument about a local or regional history that is hundreds of years removed as if it literally happened yesterday Smiley

Much like in the Pacific Islands, Ethiopia as a less material civilization has focused instead much of her efforts on oral history, language, and cultural development which is why in the collective imagination of even the most rural folks is a in-depth understanding of the continuity of history.  It used to be the same in Medieval Europe where any old peasant woman knew every symbol, motif, and gossip about events even a thousand years before their time Wink

Materialism robs us of spiritual and cultural energy, which is particularly why I feel that fasting culture is so critical in Orthodox, to combat this.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2012, 03:18:40 PM »

There is just not good enough arguments/evidence to suggest such a thing.

How many books by the mythicists have you read?
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« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2012, 07:58:24 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol

Awesome.
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2012, 08:07:02 PM »

Sorry if my comprehension is lacking right now, but I think you agree with me. But yes I agree with everything that is said here.

I was agreeing with you.
I agree as well.  His actual, historical existence indeed matters.
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2012, 09:08:34 PM »

Christians are so dumb. If Jesus really existed, how come we haven't found His body yet? DUH!
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2012, 09:37:10 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol

Awesome.
Sssh. We don't want to accidentally attract any Messianic Jews. They'll start a whole website selling Gospel to the Hebrews tees and write blogs on spiritual sonship using the Orthodox Jewish Bible as a source.
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2012, 10:45:07 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol
How could anyone read the early Fathers (Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, Melito, etc.) and make this claim?
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2012, 10:46:34 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol
How could anyone read the early Fathers (Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, Melito, etc.) and make this claim?

Probably by reading the Bible.

Crazy, I know.
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« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2012, 10:48:56 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol
How could anyone read the early Fathers (Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, Melito, etc.) and make this claim?

Probably by reading the Bible.

Crazy, I know.
Even the parts that Jesus claims divinity or John 1:1? Then again Arius probably used the same verses to prove his heresy so yeah.

But I thought it was common knowledge of the early Christians that Jesus was God and it was never brought up so much until someone challenged it.
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« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2012, 10:49:57 PM »

@Orthonorm The Bible also teaches that Christ is God, so the same still applies.

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!
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« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2012, 11:04:43 PM »

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!
No idea, but also look at those that never really had to argue Christ was God because it was already assumed!

Or that is my understanding, open to be corrected of course.

And Habte, I'll try and respond with some substance later when I get home for my trip and I can look up some sources.
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« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2012, 11:09:45 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol
How could anyone read the early Fathers (Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, Melito, etc.) and make this claim?
By early, Dr. Ehrman means like ~30-60 A.D. at the latest. Although in his pop books I think he likes to push the dates for canonical stuff forward and non-canonical stuff back.
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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2012, 11:11:07 PM »

Probably by reading the Bible.

Crazy, I know.
No, no, no.

You are just not understanding the spiritual meaning of Mark.
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« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2012, 11:14:55 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol
How could anyone read the early Fathers (Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, Melito, etc.) and make this claim?
By early, Dr. Ehrman means like ~30-60 A.D. at the latest. Although in his pop books I think he likes to push the dates for canonical stuff forward and non-canonical stuff back.
But the Apostolic Fathers, like Sts. Ignatius and Polycarp, were pupils of the Apostles themselves and they taught that Christ was God. So what's the deal?
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« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2012, 11:16:57 PM »

@Orthonorm The Bible also teaches that Christ is God, so the same still applies.

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!

Yes, it is clear that every disciple proclaimed Jesus was both the Christ and God from the get go.

I suggest you read the Bible. Start with my old friend Mark. And please let me know when His followers confess His divinity.

As they say, you must give the devil his due (and you should since those serving him most closely are the first to begin to understand Jesus' person).

BTW, given that you are a little unclear on Scripture, I would dial back the shock on others not being so up on Patristics.
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« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2012, 11:18:00 PM »

Probably by reading the Bible.

Crazy, I know.
No, no, no.

You are just not understanding the spiritual meaning of Mark.

Due to lag, my post came in after yours . . .
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« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2012, 11:21:10 PM »

@Orthonorm The Bible also teaches that Christ is God, so the same still applies.

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!

Yes, it is clear that every disciple proclaimed Jesus was both the Christ and God from the get go.

I suggest you read the Bible. Start with my old friend Mark. And please let me know when His followers confess His divinity.

As they say, you must give the devil his due (and you should since those serving him most closely are the first to begin to understand Jesus' person).

BTW, given that you are a little unclear on Scripture, I would dial back the shock on others not being so up on Patristics.
Some books may not be as explicit as others, but the NT (when looked at as a whole) teaches Christ's Deity.

And as always, I really appreciate the condescending tone of your post. Thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2012, 11:22:56 PM »

@Orthonorm The Bible also teaches that Christ is God, so the same still applies.

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!

Yes, it is clear that every disciple proclaimed Jesus was both the Christ and God from the get go.

I suggest you read the Bible. Start with my old friend Mark. And please let me know when His followers confess His divinity.

As they say, you must give the devil his due (and you should since those serving him most closely are the first to begin to understand Jesus' person).

BTW, given that you are a little unclear on Scripture, I would dial back the shock on others not being so up on Patristics.
Some books may not be as explicit as others, but the the NT (when looked at as a whole) teaches Christ's Deity.

And as always, I really appreciate the condescending tone of your post. Thank you. Smiley

Try using the word liberal to describe something sometime.  Wink
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« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2012, 11:27:14 PM »

@Orthonorm The Bible also teaches that Christ is God, so the same still applies.

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!

Yes, it is clear that every disciple proclaimed Jesus was both the Christ and God from the get go.

I suggest you read the Bible. Start with my old friend Mark. And please let me know when His followers confess His divinity.

As they say, you must give the devil his due (and you should since those serving him most closely are the first to begin to understand Jesus' person).

BTW, given that you are a little unclear on Scripture, I would dial back the shock on others not being so up on Patristics.
Some books may not be as explicit as others, but the the NT (when looked at as a whole) teaches Christ's Deity.

And as always, I really appreciate the condescending tone of your post. Thank you. Smiley

God condescended to man. We are called to be like God. What can I say?

Sorry, but getting hysterical about Patristics ain't gonna win in discussions with folks who know their Scripture better than you.

This is a case when listening to the other side might have merit.

Then you can argue from their approach to prove your own. Tossing out Church Father this Church Father that, ain't gonna hunt.

However, understanding the structure of a text like Mark (which undoubtedly they will be primarily arguing from) and why it is structured how it is might actually provide a more convincing case.

The Church Fathers would approve. After all, in the end the best Patristics are those which merely make more clear of what lies within Scripture.
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« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2012, 11:30:05 PM »

^I see your point. But, I wasn't trying to be hysterical or anything. I am just perplexed when people allege that the earliest Christians did not teach Christ's Divinity. That was the charge I was addressing, not whether or not the Bible teaches Christ's Divinity.
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« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2012, 11:44:16 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


And Habte, I'll try and respond with some substance later when I get home for my trip and I can look up some sources.

That is all I can ask Smiley

@Orthonorm The Bible also teaches that Christ is God, so the same still applies.

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!

Yes, it is clear that every disciple proclaimed Jesus was both the Christ and God from the get go.

I suggest you read the Bible. Start with my old friend Mark. And please let me know when His followers confess His divinity.

As they say, you must give the devil his due (and you should since those serving him most closely are the first to begin to understand Jesus' person).

BTW, given that you are a little unclear on Scripture, I would dial back the shock on others not being so up on Patristics.
Some books may not be as explicit as others, but the the NT (when looked at as a whole) teaches Christ's Deity.

And as always, I really appreciate the condescending tone of your post. Thank you. Smiley

God condescended to man. We are called to be like God. What can I say?

Sorry, but getting hysterical about Patristics ain't gonna win in discussions with folks who know their Scripture better than you.

This is a case when listening to the other side might have merit.

Then you can argue from their approach to prove your own. Tossing out Church Father this Church Father that, ain't gonna hunt.

However, understanding the structure of a text like Mark (which undoubtedly they will be primarily arguing from) and why it is structured how it is might actually provide a more convincing case.

The Church Fathers would approve. After all, in the end the best Patristics are those which merely make more clear of what lies within Scripture.




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« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2012, 12:53:13 AM »

I am just perplexed when people allege that the earliest Christians did not teach Christ's Divinity.
Divinity? All early Christians [middle first century] thought he was divine; that is, he was of God and had a special relationship to God. What that meant was a completely different story, and the Gospel of John represents a coalescing of that thought.

What did "Son of God" mean in the Old Testament?
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« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2012, 01:52:54 AM »

When Ehrman says His disciples didn't believe in His Divinity at first, is he talking about within Christ's lifetime on earth, or afterwards? It's certainly true that His Divinity was not something all the disciples acknowledged at first.

If he means that Christ's Divinity is something Christians made up long afterwards, then of course that's absurd.

I'm reading Daniel Boyarin's The Jewish Gospels, which explains at length how the Jews in fact were expecting Christ to be Divine, or at least in some way to participate in Divinity. The main evidence is the Book of Daniel (where the title "Son of Man" originates) and the Book of Enoch, which elaborates on that vision. Boyarin has some crazy interpretations of these prophecies (like how they're in some way relics of polytheism), but if you manage to ignore his absurd theories, he does lay out the case pretty nicely that the notion of the Messiah as God the Son was not merely an invention of Christians, but was very much part of Judaism as practiced at the time of Christ.
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« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2012, 02:07:01 AM »


I'm reading Daniel Boyarin's The Jewish Gospels, which explains at length how the Jews in fact were expecting Christ to be Divine, or at least in some way to participate in Divinity. The main evidence is the Book of Daniel (where the title "Son of Man" originates) and the Book of Enoch, which elaborates on that vision. Boyarin has some crazy interpretations of these prophecies (like how they're in some way relics of polytheism), but if you manage to ignore his absurd theories, he does lay out the case pretty nicely that the notion of the Messiah as God the Son was not merely an invention of Christians, but was very much part of Judaism as practiced at the time of Christ.

Johnathan,

I agree with most of this. I might have to check out that text. Of course I'd swap "messiah as God the Son" with "messiah as Son of God".

As an aside, "Son of Man" in some sense goes all the way back to the Akkadians as a term for humans in general. It implies humility.
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« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2012, 01:50:36 PM »

And here is one example of the Gospel of St. Mark where Christ affirms His Deity:

"And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" -St. Mark 14:62

What ordinary creature can claim to sit at the right hand of God? Who can possibly claim to be a co-occupant of God's throne? When Christ makes this claim He is claiming to share in God's glory and honor. It's no wonder the High Priest condemned Him to death a few verses afterwards.

The Byzantine Father John of Damascus says:

"We hold, moreover, that Christ sits in the body at the right hand of God the Father, but we do not hold that the right hand of the Father is actual place. For how could He that is uncircumscribed have a right hand limited by place? Right hands and left hands belong to what is circumscribed. But we understand the right hand of the Father to be the glory and honour of the Godhead in which the Son of God, who existed as God before the ages, and is of like essence to the Father, and in the end became flesh, has a seat in the body, His flesh sharing in the glory. For He along with His flesh is adored with one adoration by all creation." -An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book IV, Chapter II.

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactiv.html#BOOK_IV_CHAPTER_II
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« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2012, 01:56:37 PM »

And here is one example of the Gospel of St. Mark where Christ affirms His Deity:

"And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" -St. Mark 14:62

What ordinary creature can claim to sit at the right hand of God? Who can possibly claim to be a co-occupant of God's throne? It's no wonder the High Priest condemned Him to death a few verses afterwards.

It can be argued what is revealed there. But you did catch the previous verses where his earliest followers were not claiming him to be God?

They sorta don't after this either, especially if you stick with the oldest manuscripts.

But this is no weakness for the claims of Christianity, unless you buy into the (and you seem to) the notion that at some moment everything was revealed in its fullness and nothing has altered since.

That is not Orthodoxy. (EDIT: or anything else for that matter.)
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« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2012, 02:05:23 PM »

^An argument from silence is hardly an argument at all. The premise of your post seems to be "His disciples didn't directly call Him God, therefore the earliest Christians did not necessarily believe He was God." So what if not all the disciples claimed Christ was God explicitly at one point in time? That hardly proves Ehrman's thesis that the early Christians didn't believe He was God. And you didn't even directly address what I said; how can a creature claim to be co-enthroned with God?
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« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2012, 02:08:50 PM »

^An argument from silence is hardly an argument at all. So what if not all the disciples claimed Christ was God explicitly at one point in time. That hardly proves Ehrman's thesis that the early Christians didn't believe He was God.

Actually an argument from silence can be a legitimate argument. You have to get beyond rhetoric for PtA.

But, really that is the not the problem here.

Maybe Nick can take over or someone else who has read the Bible. Till I get more time or care.

BTW, you've changed the claim Nick made in jest that started all this.
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« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2012, 02:09:21 PM »

"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas."

"When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

For to which of the angels did [God] ever say,
'YOU ARE MY SON,
TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU'?

And again,

'I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM
AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME”?
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« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2012, 02:13:19 PM »

NVM!
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« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2012, 02:24:30 PM »

 Undecided
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« Reply #54 on: October 04, 2012, 02:30:07 PM »

Undecided
Sorry, we can continue if you would like. What exactly were you trying to get at in your previous post? Thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2012, 03:10:08 PM »

Undecided
Sorry, we can continue if you would like. What exactly were you trying to get at in your previous post? Thanks. Smiley

My point was that the Jews expected a few things of the Messiah:

His relationship with God was different from the prophets
He was to be king of Israel
He was to be Son of God (I.E. God's anointed ruler)
He was to deliver Israel out of his iniquities

and more.

That's what most early Christians who believed that Jesus was the Christ probably thought at first. They hadn't pinned down just how he related to God, what sort of "El/power" he was or manifested, and they certainly weren't talking about anything like "the divine nature".

By the time you get to the Gospel of John, you have a proto-Orthodox coalescing of ideas about Jesus's divinity, brought together using a bit of Hellenistic Jewish thought. We believe this is theologically correct. It is important to note, however, that even in the Gospel of John, it is debatable whether or not Christ is called "God" in the sense of a proper name. The New Testament typically refers to the Father specifically using "Theos" as a proper name. Christ receives "Theos" as a descriptor, that is "The Word Was Divine". Even the Creed could perhaps be translated "True Divinity of True Divinity" rather than "God of God" in the sense of proper name God of proper name God.

Bart Ehrman simply thinks the later Gospels are incorrect historically and doesn't really care about the metaphysical truth/lack thereof.
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« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2012, 03:23:27 PM »

@Orthonorm The Bible also teaches that Christ is God, so the same still applies.

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!

In order to understand Ehrman, you must read The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity, by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Michael J. Kruger.
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« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2012, 04:04:54 PM »

@Orthonorm The Bible also teaches that Christ is God, so the same still applies.

In all seriousness though, how can anyone read ancient Patristics and come to the conclusion that the earliest Christians didn't believe Christ was God? Their testimony is so clear!

In order to understand Ehrman, you must read The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity, by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Michael J. Kruger.
Thanks for the tip. Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2012, 04:34:41 PM »

And here is one example of the Gospel of St. Mark where Christ affirms His Deity:

"And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" -St. Mark 14:62

What ordinary creature can claim to sit at the right hand of God? Who can possibly claim to be a co-occupant of God's throne? It's no wonder the High Priest condemned Him to death a few verses afterwards.

It can be argued what is revealed there. But you did catch the previous verses where his earliest followers were not claiming him to be God?

They sorta don't after this either, especially if you stick with the oldest manuscripts.

But this is no weakness for the claims of Christianity, unless you buy into the (and you seem to) the notion that at some moment everything was revealed in its fullness and nothing has altered since.

That is not Orthodoxy. (EDIT: or anything else for that matter.)

Actually, everything WAS revealed in its fullness to the Apostles at Pentecost. We don't believe in the development of doctrine the way the Catholics do (or the way e.g. Cardinal Newman interpreted the introduction of new doctrines).

Note that this is not the same as saying that every doctrine was fully defined in human language from the beginning. That clearly isn't true, but it doesn't contradict what I said above.
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« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2012, 04:38:16 PM »

Undecided
Sorry, we can continue if you would like. What exactly were you trying to get at in your previous post? Thanks. Smiley

My point was that the Jews expected a few things of the Messiah:

His relationship with God was different from the prophets
He was to be king of Israel
He was to be Son of God (I.E. God's anointed ruler)
He was to deliver Israel out of his iniquities

and more.

That's what most early Christians who believed that Jesus was the Christ probably thought at first. They hadn't pinned down just how he related to God, what sort of "El/power" he was or manifested, and they certainly weren't talking about anything like "the divine nature".

By the time you get to the Gospel of John, you have a proto-Orthodox coalescing of ideas about Jesus's divinity, brought together using a bit of Hellenistic Jewish thought. We believe this is theologically correct. It is important to note, however, that even in the Gospel of John, it is debatable whether or not Christ is called "God" in the sense of a proper name. The New Testament typically refers to the Father specifically using "Theos" as a proper name. Christ receives "Theos" as a descriptor, that is "The Word Was Divine". Even the Creed could perhaps be translated "True Divinity of True Divinity" rather than "God of God" in the sense of proper name God of proper name God.

Bart Ehrman simply thinks the later Gospels are incorrect historically and doesn't really care about the metaphysical truth/lack thereof.


This is where you're wrong. The idea that Christ would be Divine was not something unheard of before Christianity. The Jews rejected Christ not because he claimed to be God, but because they didn't believe he was the Christ, since they expected Christ to give them worldly power. If Christ had freed them from the Romans and given them authority over the earth, they would certainly have acknowledged his Divinity.
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« Reply #60 on: October 04, 2012, 04:48:32 PM »

^The book of Enoch teaches that the Messiah was preexistent, so this indicates that the Divinity of the Messiah was not unheard of before Christianity, as Johnathan says.
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« Reply #61 on: October 04, 2012, 05:42:11 PM »

And here is one example of the Gospel of St. Mark where Christ affirms His Deity:

"And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" -St. Mark 14:62

What ordinary creature can claim to sit at the right hand of God? Who can possibly claim to be a co-occupant of God's throne? It's no wonder the High Priest condemned Him to death a few verses afterwards.

It can be argued what is revealed there. But you did catch the previous verses where his earliest followers were not claiming him to be God?

They sorta don't after this either, especially if you stick with the oldest manuscripts.

But this is no weakness for the claims of Christianity, unless you buy into the (and you seem to) the notion that at some moment everything was revealed in its fullness and nothing has altered since.

That is not Orthodoxy. (EDIT: or anything else for that matter.)

Actually, everything WAS revealed in its fullness to the Apostles at Pentecost. We don't believe in the development of doctrine the way the Catholics do (or the way e.g. Cardinal Newman interpreted the introduction of new doctrines).

Note that this is not the same as saying that every doctrine was fully defined in human language from the beginning. That clearly isn't true, but it doesn't contradict what I said above.

Nope. "We" don't.

A faith once delivered unto the saints.

Saints come forth in time.

From all aspects of looking at this issue, no case can be made for some sorta full revelation at any point in time.

We can argue this from history or philosophically.

It is a non-starter.

You have development of doctrine within the NT itself. The Gospels themselves. With a single epistle. Chapter.

If it ain't in language. It ain't.
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« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2012, 05:50:41 PM »

^The book of Enoch teaches that the Messiah was preexistent, so this indicates that the Divinity of the Messiah was not unheard of before Christianity, as Johnathan says.

Even if we were to agree to this. It has no bearing on the matter. You gotta take your Scripture seriously. If you believe what Jonathan does, then explain to me the purpose of the revelatory nature of Scripture within time?

Before Christ.

Within Christ's life.

After His Ascension.

Till now.

We are getting far afield from the observation which is clearly Scriptural that Jesus' followers did not think He was God from moment zero.

This seems to me to be an important element within the story of redemption.

BTW, if it makes you happy, I nearly knocked myself out earlier after replying to you. Still seeing a star or two. (I do hope you understand this to be irony.)

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« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2012, 07:04:06 PM »

^The book of Enoch teaches that the Messiah was preexistent, so this indicates that the Divinity of the Messiah was not unheard of before Christianity, as Johnathan says.

Even if we were to agree to this. It has no bearing on the matter. You gotta take your Scripture seriously. If you believe what Jonathan does, then explain to me the purpose of the revelatory nature of Scripture within time?

Before Christ.

Within Christ's life.

After His Ascension.

Till now.

We are getting far afield from the observation which is clearly Scriptural that Jesus' followers did not think He was God from moment zero.

This seems to me to be an important element within the story of redemption.

BTW, if it makes you happy, I nearly knocked myself out earlier after replying to you. Still seeing a star or two. (I do hope you understand this to be irony.)



The Apostles didn't believe he was divine from the very beginning, but they did realize that he was later on in his ministry.

There is solid scriptural evidence that the Apostles believed him to be divine, especially in John. John presents a picture of Jesus which really highlights his divinity. In fact, Christ says outright that he is God in that Gospel(8:58).

Nobody is saying that all the Apostles believed he was divine from the get-go. What people here are arguing against Ehrman's statement, which basically is saying that for the first hundred or so years of Christianity, Christians believed that Jesus was a mortal man, which is false.
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« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2012, 07:14:54 PM »

^The book of Enoch teaches that the Messiah was preexistent, so this indicates that the Divinity of the Messiah was not unheard of before Christianity, as Johnathan says.

Even if we were to agree to this. It has no bearing on the matter. You gotta take your Scripture seriously. If you believe what Jonathan does, then explain to me the purpose of the revelatory nature of Scripture within time?

Before Christ.

Within Christ's life.

After His Ascension.

Till now.

We are getting far afield from the observation which is clearly Scriptural that Jesus' followers did not think He was God from moment zero.

This seems to me to be an important element within the story of redemption.

BTW, if it makes you happy, I nearly knocked myself out earlier after replying to you. Still seeing a star or two. (I do hope you understand this to be irony.)



The Apostles didn't believe he was divine from the very beginning, but they did realize that he was later on in his ministry.

There is solid scriptural evidence that the Apostles believed him to be divine, especially in John. John presents a picture of Jesus which really highlights his divinity. In fact, Christ says outright that he is God in that Gospel(8:58).

Nobody is saying that all the Apostles believed he was divine from the get-go. What people here are arguing against Ehrman's statement, which basically is saying that for the first hundred or so years of Christianity, Christians believed that Jesus was a mortal man, which is false.
Thank you, neon_knights.
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« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2012, 07:44:08 PM »

That's what most early Christians who believed that Jesus was the Christ probably thought at first. They hadn't pinned down just how he related to God, what sort of "El/power" he was or manifested, and they certainly weren't talking about anything like "the divine nature".

^The book of Enoch teaches that the Messiah was preexistent, so this indicates that the Divinity of the Messiah was not unheard of before Christianity, as Johnathan says.
Severian,

I wasn't talking about "Divine" in general. I was talking about Divine nature/physis using the neoplatonic understanding of things that prevailed later on in the Church.
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« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2012, 08:37:40 PM »

And here is one example of the Gospel of St. Mark where Christ affirms His Deity:

"And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" -St. Mark 14:62

What ordinary creature can claim to sit at the right hand of God? Who can possibly claim to be a co-occupant of God's throne? It's no wonder the High Priest condemned Him to death a few verses afterwards.

It can be argued what is revealed there. But you did catch the previous verses where his earliest followers were not claiming him to be God?

They sorta don't after this either, especially if you stick with the oldest manuscripts.

But this is no weakness for the claims of Christianity, unless you buy into the (and you seem to) the notion that at some moment everything was revealed in its fullness and nothing has altered since.

That is not Orthodoxy. (EDIT: or anything else for that matter.)

Actually, everything WAS revealed in its fullness to the Apostles at Pentecost. We don't believe in the development of doctrine the way the Catholics do (or the way e.g. Cardinal Newman interpreted the introduction of new doctrines).

Note that this is not the same as saying that every doctrine was fully defined in human language from the beginning. That clearly isn't true, but it doesn't contradict what I said above.

Nope. "We" don't.

A faith once delivered unto the saints.

Saints come forth in time.

From all aspects of looking at this issue, no case can be made for some sorta full revelation at any point in time.

We can argue this from history or philosophically.

It is a non-starter.

You have development of doctrine within the NT itself. The Gospels themselves. With a single epistle. Chapter.

If it ain't in language. It ain't.

You're wrong. That's all there is to it. Read the appendix on doctrinal development in Fr Michael Pomazansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. I'll just quote this paragraph:

Quote
In general, the view of theological thought is this: the Church's consciousness from the

Apostles down to the end of the Church's life, being guided by the Holy Spirit, in its essence is

one and the same. Christian teaching and the scope of Divine Revelation are unchanging. The

Church's teaching of faith does not develop, and the Church's awareness of itself, with the course

of the centuries, does not become higher, deeper, and broader than it was among the Apostles.

There is nothing to add to the teaching of faith handed down by the Apostles. Although the

Church is always guided by the Holy Spirit, still we do not see in the history of the Church, and

we do not expect, new dogmatic revelations.
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« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2012, 09:25:14 PM »

NVM!

Just when I thought we were making progress . . .
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« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2012, 09:29:47 PM »

And here is one example of the Gospel of St. Mark where Christ affirms His Deity:

"And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" -St. Mark 14:62

What ordinary creature can claim to sit at the right hand of God? Who can possibly claim to be a co-occupant of God's throne? It's no wonder the High Priest condemned Him to death a few verses afterwards.

It can be argued what is revealed there. But you did catch the previous verses where his earliest followers were not claiming him to be God?

They sorta don't after this either, especially if you stick with the oldest manuscripts.

But this is no weakness for the claims of Christianity, unless you buy into the (and you seem to) the notion that at some moment everything was revealed in its fullness and nothing has altered since.

That is not Orthodoxy. (EDIT: or anything else for that matter.)

Actually, everything WAS revealed in its fullness to the Apostles at Pentecost. We don't believe in the development of doctrine the way the Catholics do (or the way e.g. Cardinal Newman interpreted the introduction of new doctrines).

Note that this is not the same as saying that every doctrine was fully defined in human language from the beginning. That clearly isn't true, but it doesn't contradict what I said above.

Nope. "We" don't.

A faith once delivered unto the saints.

Saints come forth in time.

From all aspects of looking at this issue, no case can be made for some sorta full revelation at any point in time.

We can argue this from history or philosophically.

It is a non-starter.

You have development of doctrine within the NT itself. The Gospels themselves. With a single epistle. Chapter.

If it ain't in language. It ain't.

You're wrong. That's all there is to it. Read the appendix on doctrinal development in Fr Michael Pomazansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. I'll just quote this paragraph:

Quote
In general, the view of theological thought is this: the Church's consciousness from the

Apostles down to the end of the Church's life, being guided by the Holy Spirit, in its essence is

one and the same. Christian teaching and the scope of Divine Revelation are unchanging. The

Church's teaching of faith does not develop, and the Church's awareness of itself, with the course

of the centuries, does not become higher, deeper, and broader than it was among the Apostles.

There is nothing to add to the teaching of faith handed down by the Apostles. Although the

Church is always guided by the Holy Spirit, still we do not see in the history of the Church, and

we do not expect, new dogmatic revelations.

As long as you have a quote from a book. Fr. Michael might have some incredible method to account to give some credibility to this incredulous statement, but I doubt it.

Again, historically and philosophically (for most folks, I could imagine a few ways of getting around the issue perhaps) it is just untenable.
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« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2012, 09:40:34 PM »

Didn't St. Gregory of Nyssa say the Holy Spirit was revealed post NT in the life of the church?
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« Reply #70 on: October 04, 2012, 10:54:57 PM »

I seem to recall a few dogmas established in the Acts of the Apostles after pentecost. Like when Peter and Paul were fighting it out.
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« Reply #71 on: October 05, 2012, 07:34:59 PM »

I gotta admit, if true, Christianity would be a cool fictionalized religion...   Orthodoxy anyway...
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« Reply #72 on: October 05, 2012, 07:58:46 PM »

I gotta admit, if true, Christianity would be a cool fictionalized religion...   Orthodoxy anyway...

Make up your mind, Asteriktos. This chopping and changing is getting rather tiresome. You're not a fourteen-year-old with raging hormones which make it hard for you to think straight, you're (supposedly) a grown man.  police
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« Reply #73 on: October 05, 2012, 08:13:43 PM »

I have no idea what you're talking about Smiley I didn't say Christianity was a fictionalized religion, I said that **IF** it was it'd be a cool one. *shrugs* 
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« Reply #74 on: October 05, 2012, 08:57:33 PM »

I have no idea what you're talking about Smiley I didn't say Christianity was a fictionalized religion, I said that **IF** it was it'd be a cool one. *shrugs*  

Orthodoxy ain't supposed to be cool, it's supposed to be the Truth. And what's with your avatar? Are you still fifteen?
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« Reply #75 on: October 05, 2012, 09:01:27 PM »

I have no idea what you're talking about Smiley I didn't say Christianity was a fictionalized religion, I said that **IF** it was it'd be a cool one. *shrugs*  

Orthodoxy ain't supposed to be cool, it's supposed to be the Truth. And what's with your avatar? Are you still fifteen?

See, if I said what you just said, that Orthodoxy is "supposed to be the Truth" you'd start psychoanalyzing me saying something like "Supposed to? what? You must be an atheist now!"

I will change my faith field, just for you my dear.
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« Reply #76 on: October 05, 2012, 09:20:35 PM »

I have no idea what you're talking about Smiley I didn't say Christianity was a fictionalized religion, I said that **IF** it was it'd be a cool one. *shrugs*  

Orthodoxy ain't supposed to be cool, it's supposed to be the Truth. And what's with your avatar? Are you still fifteen?

See, if I said what you just said, that Orthodoxy is "supposed to be the Truth" you'd start psychoanalyzing me saying something like "Supposed to? what? You must be an atheist now!"

I will change my faith field, just for you my dear.

This gesture only confirms the appropriateness of your choice of user name: Asterikos - he who is without foundation. A sorry state for someone of your age.  Sad

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« Reply #77 on: October 06, 2012, 12:57:01 AM »

LBK, chill.
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« Reply #78 on: October 06, 2012, 12:59:38 AM »

LBK, chill.

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« Reply #79 on: October 06, 2012, 02:15:51 AM »

Tasbeha.org'd! Tongue
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« Reply #80 on: October 06, 2012, 06:32:28 AM »

Didn't St. Gregory of Nyssa say the Holy Spirit was revealed post NT in the life of the church?

Source?
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« Reply #81 on: October 06, 2012, 01:32:50 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I'm still waiting for all the factual primary source evidence of our Lord Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #82 on: October 06, 2012, 06:47:13 PM »

Didn't St. Gregory of Nyssa say the Holy Spirit was revealed post NT in the life of the church?

Source?

You can source a question?
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« Reply #83 on: October 08, 2012, 08:05:21 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I'm still waiting for all the factual primary source evidence of our Lord Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Well...boy, where to start !  He’s referred to in pagan, Jewish, and Christian writings outside the New Testament. The Jewish historian Josephus is especially interesting. There have also been interesting archaeological discoveries as well bearing on the gospels. For example, in 1961 the first archaeological evidence concerning Pilate was unearthed in the town of Caesarea; it was an inscription of a dedication bearing Pilate’s name and title. Even more recently, in 1990 the actual tomb of Caiaphas, the high priest who presided over Jesus’s trial, was discovered south of Jerusalem. Indeed, the tomb beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is in all probability the tomb in which Jesus himself was laid by Joseph of Arimathea following the crucifixion. According to Luke Johnson, a New Testament scholar at Emory University,

"Even the most critical historian can confidently assert that a Jew named Jesus worked as a teacher and wonder-worker in Palestine during the reign of Tiberius, was executed by crucifixion under the prefect Pontius Pilate and continued to have followers after his death"

Plus the gospels are themselves astonishingly historically accurate, This has recently been demonstrated anew by Colin Hemer, a classical scholar who turned to New Testament studies, in his book The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History. Again and again Luke’s accuracy is demonstrated: from the sailings of the Alexandrian corn fleet to the coastal terrain of the Mediterranean islands to the peculiar titles of local officials, Luke gets it right. According to Professor Sherwin-White, "For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. Any attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd."

According to the gospels Jesus was condemned by the Jewish high court on the charge of blasphemy and then delivered to the Romans for execution. Not only are these facts confirmed by independent biblical sources like Paul and the Acts of the Apostles, but they are also confirmed by extra-biblical sources. From Josephus and Tacitus, we learn that Jesus was crucified by Roman authority under the sentence of Pontius Pilate. From Josephus and Mara bar Serapion we learn that the Jewish leaders made a formal accusation against Jesus and participated in events leading up to his crucifixion. And from the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, we learn that Jewish involvement in the trial was explained as a proper undertaking against a heretic. According to Johnson, "The support for the mode of his death, its agents, and perhaps its coagents, is overwhelming: Jesus faced a trial before his death, was condemned and executed by crucifixion." The crucifixion of Jesus is recognized even by the Jesus Seminar as "one indisputable fact."

Plus the gospels themselves use sources that go back even closer to the events of Jesus’s life. In fact, Rudolf Pesch, a German expert on Mark, says the Passion source must go back to at least AD 37, just seven years after Jesus’s death.
Or  Paul’s letters were written even before the gospels, and some of his information, for example, what he passes on in his first letter to the Corinthian church about the resurrection appearances, has been dated to within five years after Jesus’s death.
we’re talking about sources that are 30, 40, 60 years later.  And traditions on which those are based that go back to within five or seven years after the crucifixion :
therer's over 5,000 NT manuscripts ! The earliest we have is a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri 125 A.D.).  This is extremely close to the original writing date.  This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a First Century document.

And on and on....so, don't think they all lied about knowing Jesus's mom either...


On another note, unless Christ really was a historical human, most of Christianity becomes incoherent i.e., absolute (God) becoming one with the particular (an individual), Christ actually assuming human nature and redeeming it, the eternal coming into time, contigincy and universality etc etc  so that literally the whole of existence is reconciled reconciled by Christ. Pretty much all theology and nearly everything written by the saints would be non-sensical if you take away the philosophical grounding of Christ's humanity.


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« Reply #84 on: October 08, 2012, 08:28:07 PM »

If there was really no Jesus, then how do they explain Christmas every single year ??
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« Reply #85 on: October 08, 2012, 09:14:36 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!





I'm still waiting for all the factual primary source evidence of our Lord Wink


Well...boy, where to start !  He’s referred to in pagan, Jewish, and Christian writings outside the New Testament.

Would you care to name any actual manuscripts from 50AD-100AD that mention these?

Quote
The Jewish historian Josephus is especially interesting. There have also been interesting archaeological discoveries as well bearing on the gospels. For example, in 1961 the first archaeological evidence concerning Pilate was unearthed in the town of Caesarea; it was an inscription of a dedication bearing Pilate’s name and title. Even more recently, in 1990 the actual tomb of Caiaphas, the high priest who presided over Jesus’s trial, was discovered south of Jerusalem. Indeed, the tomb beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is in all probability the tomb in which Jesus himself was laid by Joseph of Arimathea following the crucifixion. According to Luke Johnson, a New Testament scholar at Emory University,


We already discussed Josephus, the oldest manuscripts for his works are from the 6-7th century, hardly a primary source  police

Yes, we do indeed know that Pilate is a proven historical figure, but what has that got to do with Jesus Christ exactly?

Quote
"Even the most critical historian can confidently assert that a Jew named Jesus worked as a teacher and wonder-worker in Palestine during the reign of Tiberius, was executed by crucifixion under the prefect Pontius Pilate and continued to have followers after his death"

How can they prove these assertions without factual, primary source evidence exactly?

Quote
Plus the gospels are themselves astonishingly historically accurate, This has recently been demonstrated anew by Colin Hemer, a classical scholar who turned to New Testament studies, in his book The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History. Again and again Luke’s accuracy is demonstrated: from the sailings of the Alexandrian corn fleet to the coastal terrain of the Mediterranean islands to the peculiar titles of local officials, Luke gets it right. According to Professor Sherwin-White, "For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. Any attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd."


The oldest manuscripts from the Gospels are from the Third century AD, so even they are not primary sources  police

Quote
According to the gospels Jesus was condemned by the Jewish high court on the charge of blasphemy and then delivered to the Romans for execution. Not only are these facts confirmed by independent biblical sources like Paul and the Acts of the Apostles, but they are also confirmed by extra-biblical sources. From Josephus and Tacitus, we learn that Jesus was crucified by Roman authority under the sentence of Pontius Pilate. From Josephus and Mara bar Serapion we learn that the Jewish leaders made a formal accusation against Jesus and participated in events leading up to his crucifixion. nd from the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, we learn that Jewish involvement in the trial was explained as a proper undertaking against a heretic. According to Johnson, "The support for the mode of his death, its agents, and perhaps its coagents, is overwhelming: Jesus faced a trial before his death, was condemned and executed by crucifixion." The crucifixion of Jesus is recognized even by the Jesus Seminar as "one indisputable fact."

[/quote]

We don't have old copies of Tacitus, many scholars have even argued what he have are forgeries.  This is probably not the case, they are probably authentic but not old enough.  We do have cross-referenced manuscripts from the Fifth century AD which mention Tacitus. Same thing with Babylonian Talmud.  So thus far our paper trail ends around the 300s, a couple centuries away from Jesus Christ.  Again, does anyone have any primary source evidence or more inferences?

stay blessed,
habte selassie




Plus the gospels themselves use sources that go back even closer to the events of Jesus’s life. In fact, Rudolf Pesch, a German expert on Mark, says the Passion source must go back to at least AD 37, just seven years after Jesus’s death.
Or  Paul’s letters were written even before the gospels, and some of his information, for example, what he passes on in his first letter to the Corinthian church about the resurrection appearances, has been dated to within five years after Jesus’s death.
we’re talking about sources that are 30, 40, 60 years later.  And traditions on which those are based that go back to within five or seven years after the crucifixion :
therer's over 5,000 NT manuscripts ! The earliest we have is a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri 125 A.D.).  This is extremely close to the original writing date.  This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a First Century document.

And on and on....so, don't think they all lied about knowing Jesus's mom either...


On another note, unless Christ really was a historical human, most of Christianity becomes incoherent i.e., absolute (God) becoming one with the particular (an individual), Christ actually assuming human nature and redeeming it, the eternal coming into time, contigincy and universality etc etc  so that literally the whole of existence is reconciled reconciled by Christ. Pretty much all theology and nearly everything written by the saints would be non-sensical if you take away the philosophical grounding of Christ's humanity.



[/quote]
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« Reply #86 on: October 08, 2012, 09:58:48 PM »


We already discussed Josephus, the oldest manuscripts for his works are from the 6-7th century, hardly a primary source  



Josephus was born in the year 37. His works are not from the 6th century   police  police  police

Here is his wiki page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus
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« Reply #87 on: October 08, 2012, 11:42:30 PM »


We already discussed Josephus, the oldest manuscripts for his works are from the 6-7th century, hardly a primary source  



Josephus was born in the year 37. His works are not from the 6th century   police  police  police

Here is his wiki page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus

He meant the date of the physical manuscript copies we have today.
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« Reply #88 on: October 08, 2012, 11:57:06 PM »


We already discussed Josephus, the oldest manuscripts for his works are from the 6-7th century, hardly a primary source  



Josephus was born in the year 37. His works are not from the 6th century   police  police  police

Here is his wiki page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus

He meant the date of the physical manuscript copies we have today.

Then they werent written during his lifetime ?? Smiley

Josephus was a near contemporary of Jesus and wrote extensively about the destruction of Jerusalem and other significant historical events of that time. He made a passing reference to Jesus.. It is widely consider credible by scholars.

 There have been cleaned up forgeries of what he wrote that appeared later on. Josephus refers to Jesus in unflattering terms and calls him "The magician". The later forgeries re wrote this reference to make it look more sympathetic. But the actual reference, flattering or not, is credible.
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« Reply #89 on: October 09, 2012, 12:07:17 AM »


We already discussed Josephus, the oldest manuscripts for his works are from the 6-7th century, hardly a primary source  



Josephus was born in the year 37. His works are not from the 6th century   police  police  police

Here is his wiki page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus

He meant the date of the physical manuscript copies we have today.

Then they werent written during his lifetime ?? Smiley

Josephus was a near contemporary of Jesus and wrote extensively about the destruction of Jerusalem and other significant historical events of that time. He made a passing reference to Jesus.. It is widely consider credible by scholars.

 There have been cleaned up forgeries of what he wrote that appeared later on. Josephus refers to Jesus in unflattering terms and calls him "The magician". The later forgeries re wrote this reference to make it look more sympathetic. But the actual reference, flattering or not, is credible.

No, Marc, I mean, manuscripts were copied, right?

You know?

So, the oldest copies of Josephus's original manuscript that physically exist today are from the 6th century.

Get me?
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« Reply #90 on: October 09, 2012, 01:12:06 PM »


We already discussed Josephus, the oldest manuscripts for his works are from the 6-7th century, hardly a primary source  



Josephus was born in the year 37. His works are not from the 6th century   police  police  police

Here is his wiki page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus

He meant the date of the physical manuscript copies we have today.

Then they werent written during his lifetime ?? Smiley

Josephus was a near contemporary of Jesus and wrote extensively about the destruction of Jerusalem and other significant historical events of that time. He made a passing reference to Jesus.. It is widely consider credible by scholars.

 There have been cleaned up forgeries of what he wrote that appeared later on. Josephus refers to Jesus in unflattering terms and calls him "The magician". The later forgeries re wrote this reference to make it look more sympathetic. But the actual reference, flattering or not, is credible.

No, Marc, I mean, manuscripts were copied, right?

You know?

So, the oldest copies of Josephus's original manuscript that physically exist today are from the 6th century.

Get me?

The date of the manuscripts means nothing in itself. Are there serious scholars who doubt the authorship or provenance of these texts? If so, what is their evidence that the attribution to the 1st century Josephus is false?
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« Reply #91 on: October 09, 2012, 01:16:39 PM »

The manuscripts were copied. Its just like the scriptures. We have no true blue originals of the scriptures. They are weighed against other references to verify if the copies can be trusted.

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« Reply #92 on: October 09, 2012, 01:48:21 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We trust the Scriptures because we rely upon the authority of the Church.  How do we as Christians respect the authority of the Church? Faith, simple as that.  I think you are all missing my point, because surely y'all realize that I believe, worship, and know Jesus Christ to be real in every aspect.  What I am trying to say is there is no secular, academic, or purely scientific evidence for Jesus ever even having existed, as many others claim.  We can believe in our God, but why should we guise our faith in pseudo-intellectual fallacies?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #93 on: October 09, 2012, 02:50:51 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We trust the Scriptures because we rely upon the authority of the Church.  How do we as Christians respect the authority of the Church? Faith, simple as that.  I think you are all missing my point, because surely y'all realize that I believe, worship, and know Jesus Christ to be real in every aspect.  What I am trying to say is there is no secular, academic, or purely scientific evidence for Jesus ever even having existed, as many others claim.  We can believe in our God, but why should we guise our faith in pseudo-intellectual fallacies?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

That just isn't true. Certainly there have been some secular academics who have denied the existence of Jesus Christ, but there have been plenty of others who have accepted His existence, even if they reject His Divinity. The difference of opinions reveals more about the different intellectual prejudices of the scholars in question than it does about the facts themselves.

I agree that we have to give Tradition the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to history (when it comes to doctrine, we should have no doubt at all). But it's a little extreme to say that we have no factual basis for our beliefs.
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« Reply #94 on: October 09, 2012, 02:54:49 PM »

The date of the manuscripts means nothing in itself.
Well, I mean, yeah, it does.

Are there serious scholars who doubt the authorship or provenance of these texts?

Not really.
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« Reply #95 on: October 09, 2012, 02:59:05 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


We trust the Scriptures because we rely upon the authority of the Church.  How do we as Christians respect the authority of the Church? Faith, simple as that.  I think you are all missing my point, because surely y'all realize that I believe, worship, and know Jesus Christ to be real in every aspect.  What I am trying to say is there is no secular, academic, or purely scientific evidence for Jesus ever even having existed, as many others claim.  We can believe in our God, but why should we guise our faith in pseudo-intellectual fallacies?

stay blessed,
habte selassie



That just isn't true. Certainly there have been some secular academics who have denied the existence of Jesus Christ, but there have been plenty of others who have accepted His existence, even if they reject His Divinity. The difference of opinions reveals more about the different intellectual prejudices of the scholars in question than it does about the facts themselves.

I agree that we have to give Tradition the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to history (when it comes to doctrine, we should have no doubt at all). But it's a little extreme to say that we have no factual basis for our beliefs.

Yes, it is true, and you haven't provided even a SINGLE piece of evidence to prove otherwise  police



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #96 on: October 09, 2012, 03:10:36 PM »

HabteSalassie :

Firstly, as I've said, The earliest manuscript we have is a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing discovered earlier this year - the John Rylands Papyri 125 A.D now in the British museum.

ALL - EVERY ONE- All NT scholars agree that the gospels were written down and circulated within the first generation, during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses.

I've already said : we’re talking about sources that are only 30, 40, 60 years later.  And traditions on which those are based that go back to within five or seven years after the crucifixion !!!

Just one example how we know this. For instance,  The empty tomb story is part of the pre-Markan passion story and is therefore very old. The empty tomb story was probably the end of Mark's passion source. As Mark is the earliest of our gospels, this source is therefore itself quite old. In fact the commentator R. Pesch contends that it is an incredibly early source. He produces two lines of evidence for this conclusion:

(a) Paul's account of the Last Supper in 1 Cor. 11:23-5 presupposes the Markan account. Since Paul's own traditions are themselves very old, the Markan source must be yet older.

(b) The pre-Markan passion story never refers to the high priest by name. It is as when I say "The President is hosting a dinner at the White House" and everyone knows whom I am speaking of because it is the man currently in office. Similarly the pre-Markan passion story refers to the "high priest" as if he were still in power. Since Caiaphas held office from AD 18-37, this means at the latest the pre-Markan source must come from within seven years after Jesus' death. This source thus goes back to within the first few years of the Jerusalem fellowship and is therefore an ancient and reliable source of historical information.

             
              I mean, as A. N. Sherwin-White points out in Roman Law and Roman Society tn the New Testament, he is not a theologian; he is an eminent historian of Roman and Greek times, roughly contemporaneous with the NT , the sources for Roman history are usually biased and removed at least one or two generations or even CENTURIES (!) from the events they record. Yet, he says, historians reconstruct with confidence what really happened.
(I think alaxander the greats 1st bio, universally deemed accurate, was writ 400 yrs after his death)

In a bibliographical survey of over 2,200 publications on the resurrection in English, French, and German since 1975, Gary Habermas found that 75% of scholars accept the historicity of the discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb and that there is near universal agreement on the post-mortem appearances.

What source of information do you have that leads you to disagree with over 75% of the trained scholars who have studied this question? - and thats just for Jesus's tomb, not that the man himself existed !



    1) The Jewish transmission of sacred traditions was highly developed and reliable. In an oral culture like that of first century Palestine the ability to memorize and retain large tracts of oral tradition was a highly prized and highly developed skill. From the earliest age children in the home, elementary school, and the synagogue were taught to memorize faithfully sacred tradition. The disciples would have exercised similar care with the teachings of Jesus.

    2) There were significant restraints on the embellishment of traditions about Jesus, such as the presence of eyewitnesses and the apostles’ supervision. Since those who had seen and heard Jesus continued to live and the tradition about Jesus remained under the supervision of the apostles, these factors would act as a natural check on tendencies to elaborate the facts in a direction contrary to that preserved by those who had known Jesus.

   3)The Gospel writers have a proven track record of historical reliability.


   Secondly, there was far more evidence Jesus existed then ponteus pilate until 1961 when we found actual archeological evidence of him. You;d have to disbelieve virtually 90% of all historical persons born before the 1600s if the ONLY evidence you would accept would be primary sources.


    Thirdly, you acknowledge that hundreds of pieces of archeological evidence has confirmed the writings of Luke, down to the trade routes of corn ships and local dialects, that he's considered one of the greatest of ancient historians, that no historian today could possibly deny the historical accuracy of his writings - BUT -what?- the apostles lied to him about the whole Jesus thing and he bought it even tho they were preaching it to the very people who lived there and witnessed the events ?

    I'm unsure why you want primary sources, what new information are you claiming they'd reveal? The astonishing amount of collaboration and archeological evidence down to minute, detailed minutiae, reveal there accuracy.

 
Quote
"How can they prove these assertions without factual, primary source evidence exactly?"

I'm not sure what your asking here…I mean the New Testament is the best attested book in ancient history, both in terms of the number of manuscripts and the nearness of those manuscripts to the date of the original. What that goes to prove is that the text of the New Testament that we have today is almost exactly the same as the text as it was originally written. Of the approximately 138,000 words in the New Testament only about 1,400 remain in doubt. The text of the New Testament is thus about 99% established. That means that when you pick up a (Greek) New Testament today, you can be confident that you are reading the text as it was originally written. Moreover, that 1% that remains uncertain has to do with trivial words on which nothing of importance hangs.

   Or are you talking about historical reliability outside of the ridiculous amount of archeological evidence that attests to the factual nature of the Gospels, and outside all the corroborating documents ? In that case, I can tell you most New Testament scholarship tries to establish specific facts about Jesus without assuming the general reliability of the Gospels. The key here are the so-called “Criteria of Authenticity” of which the following are some of the most important:

(1) Historical congruence: S fits in with known historical facts concerning the context in which S is said to have occurred.

(2) Independent, early attestation: S appears in multiple sources which are near to the time at which S is alleged to have occurred and which depend neither upon each other nor a common source.

(3) Embarrassment: S is awkward or counter-productive for the persons who serve as the source of information for S.

(4) Dissimilarity: S is unlike antecedent Jewish thought-forms and/or unlike subsequent Christian thought-forms.

(5) Semitisms: traces in the narrative of Aramaic or Hebrew linguistic forms.

(6) Coherence: S is consistent with already established facts about Jesus.

For more check out see Robert Stein, 'The ‘Criteria’ for Authenticity'


Hope this helps ! And I know you have great love for our Lord!




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« Reply #97 on: October 09, 2012, 03:32:54 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

HabteSalassie :

Firstly, as I've said, The earliest manuscript we have is a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing discovered earlier this year - the John Rylands Papyri 125 A.D now in the British museum.

That is different, I have not heard of this new fragment, but still, 125AD is a bit further from the 30s AD than many scholars would comfortably assert.  In history, we make a lot of assumptions based on the limits of our evidence, but the fundamental premise of academic history is there is nothing dogmatically certain.  Evidence changes, interpretations of evidence changes over time.  

Quote

ALL - EVERY ONE- All NT scholars agree that the gospels were written down and circulated within the first generation, during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses.


I am well aware what the majority of scholarship asserts and the current historiography of the Bible today, but again, there are still as many holes as anything.  I believe the Bible to be true, but I do not claim to have scientific evidence of this based on archaeology and texts.  Manuscripts are indeed rare, true, but we do have many primary source documents from the period, and yet NOTHING about Jesus.  

Quote
I've already said : we’re talking about sources that are only 30, 40, 60 years later.  And traditions on which those are based that go back to within five or seven years after the crucifixion !!!

You've mentioned ONE source, and a fragment at that from that time period.  The majority of Biblical manuscripts stem from the Fourth Century, a bit more recent don't you think?

Quote
Just one example how we know this. For instance,  The empty tomb story is part of the pre-Markan passion story and is therefore very old. The empty tomb story was probably the end of Mark's passion source. As Mark is the earliest of our gospels, this source is therefore itself quite old. In fact the commentator R. Pesch contends that it is an incredibly early source. He produces two lines of evidence for this conclusion:

(a) Paul's account of the Last Supper in 1 Cor. 11:23-5 presupposes the Markan account. Since Paul's own traditions are themselves very old, the Markan source must be yet older.

(b) The pre-Markan passion story never refers to the high priest by name. It is as when I say "The President is hosting a dinner at the White House" and everyone knows whom I am speaking of because it is the man currently in office. Similarly the pre-Markan passion story refers to the "high priest" as if he were still in power. Since Caiaphas held office from AD 18-37, this means at the latest the pre-Markan source must come from within seven years after Jesus' death. This source thus goes back to within the first few years of the Jerusalem fellowship and is therefore an ancient and reliable source of historical information.

          

So we know the Bible is a well-crafted piece of human literature, what of it? Human authors can be very intelligent in their fact-checking, do we think that potential forgeries can't also reflect historical accuracy? We do have several forged pseudo-Gospels which are often as historically accurate as the real thing, but have been continual discredited as fakes.  I am not saying the Bible is fake, I am just asserting we have little evidence to suggest that it is a photographic account of the life of Our Savior aside from our Faith in the Church where we receive this text.  

Quote
   
              I mean, as A. N. Sherwin-White points out in Roman Law and Roman Society tn the New Testament, he is not a theologian; he is an eminent historian of Roman and Greek times, roughly contemporaneous with the NT , the sources for Roman history are usually biased and removed at least one or two generations or even centuries from the events they record. Yet, he says, historians reconstruct with confidence what really happened.

In a bibliographical survey of over 2,200 publications on the resurrection in English, French, and German since 1975, Gary Habermas found that 75% of scholars accept the historicity of the discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb and that there is near universal agreement on the post-mortem appearances.  

I am sorry but what? That is a bit laughable, evidence of the Apostles discovering Jesus' empty tomb is your smoking gun?

Quote

What source of information do you have that leads you to disagree with over 75% of the trained scholars who have studied this question?


You are quoting a SINGLE scholar's analysis of 2200 other scholars, and saying his own conclusion somehow legitimizes those other 2200? We can play this statistical numbers game all day to prove one of several points true or otherwise, but the fact remains, there is no archaeological, textual, or otherwise physical evidence contemporary to the 1st century AD which mentioned Jesus Christ, His Apostles, or His Empty Tomb.

Quote

    1) The Jewish transmission of sacred traditions was highly developed and reliable. In an oral culture like that of first century Palestine the ability to memorize and retain large tracts of oral tradition was a highly prized and highly developed skill. From the earliest age children in the home, elementary school, and the synagogue were taught to memorize faithfully sacred tradition. The disciples would have exercised similar care with the teachings of Jesus.

That is an assertion, but until archaeology or manuscripts demonstrate this factually, then it remains an assertion. Even IF we had texts, even these could have been altered or innaccurate to the realities of the period.  History is like that sometimes.

Quote
   2) There were significant restraints on the embellishment of traditions about Jesus, such as the presence of eyewitnesses and the apostles’ supervision. Since those who had seen and heard Jesus continued to live and the tradition about Jesus remained under the supervision of the apostles, these factors would act as a natural check on tendencies to elaborate the facts in a direction contrary to that preserved by those who had known Jesus.

And yet we have a lot of primary source material and archaeological evidence of other contemporary figures to Jesus Christ, why not Him? Hmm.

Quote
  3)The Gospel writers have a proven track record of historical reliability.


Yes, but apparently so to 2200 other authors and writers as you've suggested so what does that prove exactly?  There are plenty of great works of pure fiction which are more historically accurate than your average college textbook, and these remain pure fiction, the craft of a text doesn't make it true, the reality of the events of the past confirm or discredit such.

Quote
  Secondly, there was far more evidence Jesus existed then ponteus pilate until 1961 when we found actual archaeological evidence of him. You;d have to disbelieve virtually 90% of all historical persons born before the 1600s if the ONLY evidence you would accept would be primary sources.

And yet there remains ZERO archaeological evidence of Jesus, so the score is Pontius Pilate 1, Jesus 0 in the fields of archaeology.  

Quote
   Thirdly, you acknowledge that hundreds of pieces of archaeological evidence has confirmed the writings of Luke, down to the trade routes of corn ships and local dialects, that he's considered one of the greatest of ancient historians, that no historian today could possibly deny the historical accuracy of his writings - BUT -what?- the apostles lied to him about the whole Jesus thing and he bought it even tho they were preaching it to the very people who lived there and witnessed the events ?

Again, plenty of authors of fiction are perfectly historically accurate as well,  so you are suggesting correctly that the authors of Luke knew their stuff, but that doesn't exactly prove their point.

Quote
   I'm unsure why you want primary sources, what new information are you claiming they'd reveal? The astonishing amount of collaboration and archaeological evidence down to minute, detailed minutiae, reveal there accuracy.

If folks could even point to a single piece of archaeological evidence like the Pilate Stone then I would acquiesce reluctantly, but alas, no such evidence actually exists.


 
Quote
  Or are you talking about historical reliability outside of the ridiculous amount of archaeological evidence that attests to the factual nature of the Gospels, and outside all the corroborating documents ? In that case, I can tell you most New Testament scholarship tries to establish specific facts about Jesus without assuming the general reliability of the Gospels. The key here are the so-called “Criteria of Authenticity” of which the following are some of the most important:

When the score is Pilate 1, Christ 0 in regards to actual archaeological evidence, how can you then assert there is a ridiculous amount exactly? I am confused by this statement.


Quote
(1) Historical congruence: S fits in with known historical facts concerning the context in which S is said to have occurred.

(2) Independent, early attestation: S appears in multiple sources which are near to the time at which S is alleged to have occurred and which depend neither upon each other nor a common source.

(3) Embarrassment: S is awkward or counter-productive for the persons who serve as the source of information for S.

(4) Dissimilarity: S is unlike antecedent Jewish thought-forms and/or unlike subsequent Christian thought-forms.

(5) Semitisms: traces in the narrative of Aramaic or Hebrew linguistic forms.

(6) Coherence: S is consistent with already established facts about Jesus.


So if three hundred years from now somebody uncovers a great novel that perfectly and accurately describes the 21st century as supported by primary source evidence and archaeology, should we then assert that every detail of the novel is fact? Hardly.

stay blessed,
habte selassie







[/quote]
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« Reply #98 on: October 09, 2012, 03:38:06 PM »

Incidentally, I've seen statistics that say 99.5% or 98% or whatever of historians believe Jesus was a historical person, but when I finally trac down the sources they seem a bit dubious.

BUT I can say I've only ever found one scholar claim Jesus was NOT a historical person in a professional peer reviewed journal/book etc

So it seems safe to say that 99.9% of all historians who have spent lifetimes researching the subject all agree Christ existed.

To claim to the contrary of all established scholars would need extraordinary evidence. You mihjt as well say Napoleon or Ivan the terrible never existed !
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« Reply #99 on: October 09, 2012, 03:55:42 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Incidentally, I've seen statistics that say 99.5% or 98% or whatever of historians believe Jesus was a historical person, but when I finally trac down the sources they seem a bit dubious.

BUT I can say I've only ever found one scholar claim Jesus was NOT a historical person in a professional peer reviewed journal/book etc

So it seems safe to say that 99.9% of all historians who have spent lifetimes researching the subject all agree Christ existed.

To claim to the contrary of all established scholars would need extraordinary evidence. You mihjt as well say Napoleon or Ivan the terrible never existed !

So instead of conceding that you have no primary source evidence, textual, archaeological or otherwise, you'd rather just attack my own credibility? I am not making any historical claims one way or the other, I am just the messenger, and if you back track on this thread, I've already provided evidence of the history of primary sources for the Biblical texts you're claiming as evidence. All I am doing is critiquing the academic strength of your arguments.  I could care less what 94% of scholars claim, because you aren't asking them the right question.  The question I am asking is not whether or not Jesus Christ ever existed, but if there is factual evidence of this? I'm willing to bet you can ask 100% of scholars this question and they will confess the same thing, no, its marginal and this is the point.  Their lack of evidence doesn't diminish their opinions, just sheds light on the reality that Jesus Christ is a matter of our Faith.  

From the Ethiopian Anaphora of Saint Mary:

Quote
Now let us not further enquire or even think of the greatness and profundity of Him whose grandeur cannot worthily be praised, no not by the tongues of the prophets nor of the Apostles.  He is the Mighty One among us, Whom NONE CAN DISCERN BY SUBTLE DEVICE, but He became Humble among us..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #100 on: October 09, 2012, 04:00:27 PM »

Presumably you require the bones DNA tested of Christ. More than 90% of history does not work that way. I guess you really don't believe in virtually all of history before the 1600's !

It's like asked for mathematical proof that Rome existed. Thats not the criteria for historical facts, I've listed the criteria. A primary text would not come with a lock of Christ's hair.  

Again, you really believe that Luke says he's writing a strait history, provides hundreds of verifiable details, is one of the greatest historians, is absolutely meticulous in all the factual details he records, but lies about one thing - Jesus. I am correct with this yes?

Oh, and yes, if we had several different accounts of the 20th century that claimed to be historically accurate, and then hundreds of these facts were collaborated by archeological evidence from EACH of the separate claimants, down to obscure minute details, and then these claims were collaborated by other traditions, then.....yea, I would believe them.

Actually I don;t think you followed my Mark example, we know Ciaphis wasn't high priest then from -obviously- other sources than mark (since Mark doesn't know this)...so ALL the gospels would have to be written by the same person, as well as the Josephus account, for you to make a counter claim. OR they came from an oral tradition no later than 7 yrs after the crucifixion.... Obviously there is a language barrier.

Altho I do admire a guy who knows nothing about Historical Facticity Authenticity, rejects all the methods of the historians, claims only primary sources would be accurate, acknowledges the Gospels are constantly proven, year after year, to be historically accurate by archeological evidence, and then goes against 99.9% of the experts...
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« Reply #101 on: October 09, 2012, 04:05:51 PM »

We must meet Him by faith !
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« Reply #102 on: October 09, 2012, 04:06:30 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Incidentally, I've seen statistics that say 99.5% or 98% or whatever of historians believe Jesus was a historical person, but when I finally trac down the sources they seem a bit dubious.

BUT I can say I've only ever found one scholar claim Jesus was NOT a historical person in a professional peer reviewed journal/book etc

So it seems safe to say that 99.9% of all historians who have spent lifetimes researching the subject all agree Christ existed.

To claim to the contrary of all established scholars would need extraordinary evidence. You mihjt as well say Napoleon or Ivan the terrible never existed !

So instead of conceding that you have no primary source evidence, textual, archaeological or otherwise, you'd rather just attack my own credibility? I am not making any historical claims one way or the other, I am just the messenger, and if you back track on this thread, I've already provided evidence of the history of primary sources for the Biblical texts you're claiming as evidence. All I am doing is critiquing the academic strength of your arguments.  I could care less what 94% of scholars claim, because you aren't asking them the right question.  The question I am asking is not whether or not Jesus Christ ever existed, but if there is factual evidence of this? I'm willing to bet you can ask 100% of scholars this question and they will confess the same thing, no, its marginal and this is the point.  Their lack of evidence doesn't diminish their opinions, just sheds light on the reality that Jesus Christ is a matter of our Faith.  

From the Ethiopian Anaphora of Saint Mary:

Quote
Now let us not further enquire or even think of the greatness and profundity of Him whose grandeur cannot worthily be praised, no not by the tongues of the prophets nor of the Apostles.  He is the Mighty One among us, Whom NONE CAN DISCERN BY SUBTLE DEVICE, but He became Humble among us..

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Ok, I'll be clear.

No there are no primary texts. Yes, there is an incredible amount of factual evidence for the existence of Christ.

Also I never provided any primary texts as evidence as you claim i did. I think theres a language problem, I provided evidence that meets all the criteria to establish something as a historical fact.

Considering 99.9% of academics agree with me I'd say the academic strength of my argument is fairly good.
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« Reply #103 on: October 09, 2012, 05:09:36 PM »

We have proofs for historical Christianity.. We don`t have proofs for an historical Christ.. I don`t know how one can claim to be an "Orthodox Catholic(the denominations of this flavor)" and deny that Christ existed in history.That is docetism or pseudo-docetism and afaik it was condemned as heresy by these Christianities.The Apostles did proclaim that Christ was God.. That was their preaching.. According to the claims of the book of Acts from Pentecost and after "His Ascension" they preached his divinity with boldness.. the Hebrew version of the name Jesus is pretty common..  Just because someone uses a "positive argument" to disproof Jesus` divinity it does not stand as an high argument for his historical existence.Neither people dying because of Christianity.. They could have been killed against their desires to become martyrs and actually beg absolution before death and others to transform them in saints, martyrs and heroes of faith..
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« Reply #104 on: October 09, 2012, 05:21:59 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


We trust the Scriptures because we rely upon the authority of the Church.  How do we as Christians respect the authority of the Church? Faith, simple as that.  I think you are all missing my point, because surely y'all realize that I believe, worship, and know Jesus Christ to be real in every aspect.  What I am trying to say is there is no secular, academic, or purely scientific evidence for Jesus ever even having existed, as many others claim.  We can believe in our God, but why should we guise our faith in pseudo-intellectual fallacies?

stay blessed,
habte selassie



That just isn't true. Certainly there have been some secular academics who have denied the existence of Jesus Christ, but there have been plenty of others who have accepted His existence, even if they reject His Divinity. The difference of opinions reveals more about the different intellectual prejudices of the scholars in question than it does about the facts themselves.

I agree that we have to give Tradition the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to history (when it comes to doctrine, we should have no doubt at all). But it's a little extreme to say that we have no factual basis for our beliefs.

Yes, it is true, and you haven't provided even a SINGLE piece of evidence to prove otherwise  police



stay blessed,
habte selassie

The burden of proof is on you to disprove His existence. Saying that we don't have documents created in the period is not enough, since we don't have contemporary documentation of a lot of things, like just about every ancient author. We nevertheless think it's reasonable to accept the attribution of texts to these ancient authors, even if the most recent manuscripts were written centuries later. Why does the existence of Jesus Christ demand such higher standards of evidence than we allow for the existence of other ancient figures?
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« Reply #105 on: October 09, 2012, 05:51:09 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

HAHA! I think I finally know how orthonorm feels  Tongue

Presumably you require the bones DNA tested of Christ. More than 90% of history does not work that way. I guess you really don't believe in virtually all of history before the 1600's !

It's like asked for mathematical proof that Rome existed. Thats not the criteria for historical facts, I've listed the criteria.

Actually there is a city full of archaeological ruins and plenty of primary source manuscripts and coinage to attest to its historicity.


Quote
Oh, and yes, if we had several different accounts of the 20th century that claimed to be historically accurate, and then hundreds of these facts were collaborated by archeological evidence from EACH of the separate claimants, down to obscure minute details, and then these claims were collaborated by other traditions, then.....yea, I would believe them.

I didn't say accounts, I said fictional novels grounded in actual history.  There is a world of difference.

Quote


Altho I do admire a guy who knows nothing about Historical Facticity Authenticity, rejects all the methods of the historians, claims only primary sources would be accurate, acknowledges the Gospels are constantly proven, year after year, to be historically accurate by archeological evidence, and then goes against 99.9% of the experts...

Maybe you aren't familiar with the methodology of historians, but all academic historical arguments must be grounded on tangible evidence, preferably primary source, and in history these include archaeology and manuscripts, its all we have which actually survives from the past to corroborate our interpretations, beliefs, and opinions.



Ok, I'll be clear.

No there are no primary texts. Yes, there is an incredible amount of factual evidence for the existence of Christ.

Also I never provided any primary texts as evidence as you claim i did. I think theres a language problem, I provided evidence that meets all the criteria to establish something as a historical fact.

Considering 99.9% of academics agree with me I'd say the academic strength of my argument is fairly good.

Is it 94, 98 or 99 percent, you've claimed three different figures now?  Also and again, what exactly is this factual evidence if not archaeological or textual?

We have proofs for historical Christianity.. We don`t have proofs for an historical Christ.. I don`t know how one can claim to be an "Orthodox Catholic(the denominations of this flavor)" and deny that Christ existed in history.


I agree completely with the first part, in fact, that is PRECISELY what I have been trying to say, but when exactly did I deny that Jesus Christ actually existed? I WILL REITERATE FOR THE LAST TIME, MY CLAIM IS THAT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF JESUS CHRIST, NOT THAT THERE IS NO JESUS.  Lord have His mercy!!


The burden of proof is on you to disprove His existence. Saying that we don't have documents created in the period is not enough, since we don't have contemporary documentation of a lot of things, like just about every ancient author. We nevertheless think it's reasonable to accept the attribution of texts to these ancient authors, even if the most recent manuscripts were written centuries later. Why does the existence of Jesus Christ demand such higher standards of evidence than we allow for the existence of other ancient figures?

Again, I am not saying He didn't or doesn't exist, rather that there is no evidence of such. I do not think it is reasonable to accept texts entirely on academic claims, sans the archaeological evidence to support such.  My claim is not that Jesus Christ doesn't or didn't exist, but that we have no evidence of this, and I have again already put forth my evidence. You can take it or leave it, but I have also directly addressed all of your points and the evidence you've put forth so there is nothing more to say.  The evidence for Jesus is not any more or less than other figures in history, and to assert that there is proof or primary source evidence of the overwhelming majority of history is a fallacy.  I am just pointing that out, that academically or scholastically we have little to no evidence of Jesus existing, just as we have little to no evidence of others.  The difference here is folks are asserting that there IS such evidence, and yet have not posted it yet Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #106 on: October 09, 2012, 06:34:20 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

HAHA! I think I finally know how orthonorm feels  Tongue

Presumably you require the bones DNA tested of Christ. More than 90% of history does not work that way. I guess you really don't believe in virtually all of history before the 1600's !

It's like asked for mathematical proof that Rome existed. Thats not the criteria for historical facts, I've listed the criteria.

Actually there is a city full of archaeological ruins and plenty of primary source manuscripts and coinage to attest to its historicity.

Hey, link me up to all those primary manuscripts of Roman personalities, I beleive I've already quoted the worlds leading expert on that topic but you don't seem to read what I've wrote.

Remember I said this  :

I mean, as A. N. Sherwin-White points out in Roman Law and Roman Society tn the New Testament, he is not a theologian; he is an eminent historian of Roman and Greek times, roughly contemporaneous with the NT , the sources for Roman history are usually biased and removed at least one or two generations or even CENTURIES (!) from the events they record. Yet, he says, historians reconstruct with confidence what really happened.
(I think alaxander the greats 1st bio, universally deemed accurate, was writ 400 yrs after his death)


Quote
I didn't say accounts, I said fictional novels grounded in actual history.  There is a world of difference.



The gospels are written NOT as fiction but as actual history. It even uses the classic jewish structure of historical narratives. Heck, if ever you read the bible, the apostles themselves say they are writing history.

"Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed. (Lk. 1.1-4"

Quote
Maybe you aren't familiar with the methodology of historians, but all academic historical arguments must be grounded on tangible evidence, preferably primary source, and in history these include archaeology and manuscripts, its all we have which actually survives from the past to corroborate our interpretations, beliefs, and opinions.

Not only am I familiar I even listed the criteria of how historians do figure out what is historically factual about jesus AND gave you the source

Remember this? -

most New Testament scholarship tries to establish specific facts about Jesus without assuming the general reliability of the Gospels. The key here are the so-called “Criteria of Authenticity” of which the following are some of the most important:

(1) Historical congruence: S fits in with known historical facts concerning the context in which S is said to have occurred.

(2) Independent, early attestation: S appears in multiple sources which are near to the time at which S is alleged to have occurred and which depend neither upon each other nor a common source.

(3) Embarrassment: S is awkward or counter-productive for the persons who serve as the source of information for S.

(4) Dissimilarity: S is unlike antecedent Jewish thought-forms and/or unlike subsequent Christian thought-forms.

(5) Semitisms: traces in the narrative of Aramaic or Hebrew linguistic forms.

(6) Coherence: S is consistent with already established facts about Jesus.

For more check out see Robert Stein, 'The ‘Criteria’ for Authenticity'

Quote
Is it 94, 98 or 99 percent, you've claimed three different figures now?  Also and again, what exactly is this factual evidence if not archaeological or textual?

Actually, I didn't claim that at all, I did say I did NOT find those statistics credible, but there has only ever been ONE scholar who denies the historacity of Christ. That means EVERY other historian agrees Christ is a historical figure. Why?? Well, because of all the criteria that must me met for something to be considered a historical fact has been met !


What is this factual evidence ? Well, the Gospels indeed have been coraborated by an silly amount of archeological evidence - remember all the stuff I keep talking about? So, if the text is being constantly verified, year after year after year, by archeological evidence, then its assumed that the text is pretty accurate about everything.

BUT WAIT ! It's not just one text that keeps verifying evidence - we have four texts (called the Gospels) which all agree on several things (like that a guy named Jesus lived) and they too are constantly being coraberated by archelogical evidence..

BUT WAIT ! How do we know these manuscripts are the same as the primary ones?

Well, remember when I posted this :

The New Testament is the best attested book in ancient history, both in terms of the number of manuscripts and the nearness of those manuscripts to the date of the original. What that goes to prove is that the text of the New Testament that we have today is almost exactly the same as the text as it was originally written. Of the approximately 138,000 words in the New Testament only about 1,400 remain in doubt. The text of the New Testament is thus about 99% established. That means that when you pick up a (Greek) New Testament today, you can be confident that you are reading the text as it was originally written. Moreover, that 1% that remains uncertain has to do with trivial words on which nothing of importance hangs.

BUT WAIT, theres more reason to think the manuscripts we have jive with the primary text :

Remember when I posted this ? :

1) The Jewish transmission of sacred traditions was highly developed and reliable. In an oral culture like that of first century Palestine the ability to memorize and retain large tracts of oral tradition was a highly prized and highly developed skill. From the earliest age children in the home, elementary school, and the synagogue were taught to memorize faithfully sacred tradition. The disciples would have exercised similar care with the teachings of Jesus.

    2) There were significant restraints on the embellishment of traditions about Jesus, such as the presence of eyewitnesses and the apostles’ supervision. Since those who had seen and heard Jesus continued to live and the tradition about Jesus remained under the supervision of the apostles, these factors would act as a natural check on tendencies to elaborate the facts in a direction contrary to that preserved by those who had known Jesus.

   3)The Gospel writers have a proven track record of historical reliability.

BUT WAIT ! How do we know these oral traditions go back to within 7 yrs of Christs crucifiction ?

 This :

Just one example how we know this. For instance,  The empty tomb story is part of the pre-Markan passion story and is therefore very old. The empty tomb story was probably the end of Mark's passion source. As Mark is the earliest of our gospels, this source is therefore itself quite old. In fact the commentator R. Pesch contends that it is an incredibly early source. He produces two lines of evidence for this conclusion:

(a) Paul's account of the Last Supper in 1 Cor. 11:23-5 presupposes the Markan account. Since Paul's own traditions are themselves very old, the Markan source must be yet older.

(b) The pre-Markan passion story never refers to the high priest by name. It is as when I say "The President is hosting a dinner at the White House" and everyone knows whom I am speaking of because it is the man currently in office. Similarly the pre-Markan passion story refers to the "high priest" as if he were still in power. Since Caiaphas held office from AD 18-37, this means at the latest the pre-Markan source must come from within seven years after Jesus' death. This source thus goes back to within the first few years of the Jerusalem fellowship and is therefore an ancient and reliable source of historical information.

BUT WAIT, there is even more reason to think the Gospels are accurate ! What are the crieria Historians use? Well, they use  the so-called “Criteria of Authenticity” and Christ's existence meets all the Criteria !!!

What exactly are the Criteria ?

the following are some of the most important:

(1) Historical congruence: S fits in with known historical facts concerning the context in which S is said to have occurred.

(2) Independent, early attestation: S appears in multiple sources which are near to the time at which S is alleged to have occurred and which depend neither upon each other nor a common source.

(3) Embarrassment: S is awkward or counter-productive for the persons who serve as the source of information for S.

(4) Dissimilarity: S is unlike antecedent Jewish thought-forms and/or unlike subsequent Christian thought-forms.

(5) Semitisms: traces in the narrative of Aramaic or Hebrew linguistic forms.

(6) Coherence: S is consistent with already established facts about Jesus.

For more check out see Robert Stein, 'The ‘Criteria’ for Authenticity'
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« Reply #107 on: October 09, 2012, 06:49:49 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



HAHA! I think I finally know how orthonorm feels  Tongue

Presumably you require the bones DNA tested of Christ. More than 90% of history does not work that way. I guess you really don't believe in virtually all of history before the 1600's !

It's like asked for mathematical proof that Rome existed. Thats not the criteria for historical facts, I've listed the criteria.

Actually there is a city full of archaeological ruins and plenty of primary source manuscripts and coinage to attest to its historicity.

Hey, link me up to all those primary manuscripts of Roman personalities, I beleive I've already quoted the worlds leading expert on that topic but you don't seem to read what I've wrote.





Quote
The gospels are written NOT as fiction but as actual history. It even uses the classic jewish structure of historical narratives. Heck, if ever you read the bible, the apostles themselves say they are writing history.

Yes but that was not my analogy.  You were using textual criticism as evidence of the historicity of the Gospels, my point was that we have plenty of contemporary novels today which are quite historically accurate to describe our modern time period, and yet they are entirely works of fiction. So we can use this evidence to draw a picture of day to day life in the time period, but not as any kind of clinching evidence for any of the characters in the text, be they fictional, real, or otherwise.


Quote
Not only am I familiar I even listed the criteria of how historians do figure out what is historically factual about jesus AND gave you the source

Remember this? -

most New Testament scholarship tries to establish specific facts about Jesus without assuming the general reliability of the Gospels. The key here are the so-called “Criteria of Authenticity” of which the following are some of the most important:

(1) Historical congruence: S fits in with known historical facts concerning the context in which S is said to have occurred.

(2) Independent, early attestation: S appears in multiple sources which are near to the time at which S is alleged to have occurred and which depend neither upon each other nor a common source.

(3) Embarrassment: S is awkward or counter-productive for the persons who serve as the source of information for S.

(4) Dissimilarity: S is unlike antecedent Jewish thought-forms and/or unlike subsequent Christian thought-forms.

(5) Semitisms: traces in the narrative of Aramaic or Hebrew linguistic forms.

(6) Coherence: S is consistent with already established facts about Jesus.

For more check out see Robert Stein, 'The ‘Criteria’ for Authenticity'


No, that is a field of historical study called textual criticism, but that is not a smoking gun.  Historians use this method to draw inferences about the setting and environment contemporary to any period in history, but not as clinching evidence to support every claim of the text.  For that, we need concrete archaeological evidence such as scrolls, manuscripts, carvings, etchings, coinage, statues, paintings, manuscripts, bones, clothing, etc etc etc.. none of which exists to support the claim that Jesus existed or didn't exist. I of course believe He existed, I just don't believe there is any factual evidence to support my belief, and no one here has demonstrated any.

Quote
Actually, I didn't claim that at all, I did say I did NOT find those statistics credible, but there has only ever been ONE scholar who denies the historacity of Christ. That means EVERY other historian agrees Christ is a historical figure. Why?? Well, because of all the criteria that must me met for something to be considered a historical fact has been met !

I will reiterate again, and in caps.  I AM NOT CLAIMING JESUS NEVER EXISTED, I AM SAYING RIGHTFULLY THAT THERE IS NO TANGIBLE EVIDENCE OF THIS. 100% OF SCHOLARS WOULD AGREE WITH THIS BECAUSE IT IS A FACT OF REALITY, PERIOD.  Any historian worth his career would admit that there is no primary source evidence from archaeology or otherwise.  It is not to say that Jesus did or didn't exist, in fact in history we can't make those claims necessarily about ANY figure, but we can accept the limits of our evidence.  Until 1961 Pontius Pilate may not have actually existed either, then we found both the Pilate Stone AND a coin mentioning his inscription, BAM, primary source evidence Wink


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #108 on: October 09, 2012, 08:06:03 PM »



The burden of proof is on you to disprove His existence. Saying that we don't have documents created in the period is not enough, since we don't have contemporary documentation of a lot of things, like just about every ancient author. We nevertheless think it's reasonable to accept the attribution of texts to these ancient authors, even if the most recent manuscripts were written centuries later. Why does the existence of Jesus Christ demand such higher standards of evidence than we allow for the existence of other ancient figures?

Again, I am not saying He didn't or doesn't exist, rather that there is no evidence of such. I do not think it is reasonable to accept texts entirely on academic claims, sans the archaeological evidence to support such.  My claim is not that Jesus Christ doesn't or didn't exist, but that we have no evidence of this, and I have again already put forth my evidence. You can take it or leave it, but I have also directly addressed all of your points and the evidence you've put forth so there is nothing more to say.  The evidence for Jesus is not any more or less than other figures in history, and to assert that there is proof or primary source evidence of the overwhelming majority of history is a fallacy.  I am just pointing that out, that academically or scholastically we have little to no evidence of Jesus existing, just as we have little to no evidence of others.  The difference here is folks are asserting that there IS such evidence, and yet have not posted it yet Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

OK, I'm sorry if I misunderstood. However, I still find your position a little confusing and inconsistent. "The evidence for Jesus is not any more or less than other figures in history". If that's the case, why not apply to Him the same standards? If we do that, we find that the evidence for His existence is quite sufficient. We have the New Testament itself, of course. On what grounds should we dismiss everything in the NT as fables? Our earliest NT texts are in fact much closer in time to the original date of composition than most other ancient texts we have. There are not very many mentions of Christ outside of Christian writings, it is true, but wouldn't that be expected? Of course Christian authors are more likely to write about Christ than non-Christian authors, especially when society is not yet Christian. And we do have a few mentions in Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud and so forth. If Christ were so obviously mythical, would Tacitus, otherwise a rational and sober historian, have let that pass without comment?

The denial of His existence is based on the same anti-Scriptural prejudices that motivated so much of early biblical criticism: scholars felt so thrilled to finally have the opportunity to treat the New Testament as "just another set of human documents" that they went overboard and started assuming that, if it was in the Bible, it was false unless proven otherwise. This is ridiculous of course and not how one should do history. If we find something mentioned in the Bible as occurring, we should accept it unless we have some very good reason not to.

I think I understand where you're coming from: it's dangerous to tie our faith too closely to what secular academia approves or disapproves of. During the last century, when secular biblical criticism was often much more skeptical about the historical claims of Christianity than today, it would have been wise for traditional Christians to disregard many of the conclusions of these scholars. But it follows from this that you shouldn't blindly accept whatever secular academics say about some claim that affects our faith. There are few serious secular historians who continue to doubt the existence of Jesus Christ. The kind of people you meet who still claim He never existed are basing their opinions on a long outdated scholarly consensus, and has more to do with the discourse of ideological atheism than with serious scholarship. This means, however, that the former consensus, to the extent it ever existed, should never have been accepted by Christians in the first place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus#Historical_views
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« Reply #109 on: October 09, 2012, 08:12:54 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I think I understand where you're coming from: it's dangerous to tie our faith too closely to what secular academia approves or disapproves of.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #110 on: October 09, 2012, 09:40:32 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



HAHA! I think I finally know how orthonorm feels  Tongue

Presumably you require the bones DNA tested of Christ. More than 90% of history does not work that way. I guess you really don't believe in virtually all of history before the 1600's !

It's like asked for mathematical proof that Rome existed. Thats not the criteria for historical facts, I've listed the criteria.

Actually there is a city full of archaeological ruins and plenty of primary source manuscripts and coinage to attest to its historicity.

Hey, link me up to all those primary manuscripts of Roman personalities, I beleive I've already quoted the worlds leading expert on that topic but you don't seem to read what I've wrote.





Quote
The gospels are written NOT as fiction but as actual history. It even uses the classic jewish structure of historical narratives. Heck, if ever you read the bible, the apostles themselves say they are writing history.

Yes but that was not my analogy.  You were using textual criticism as evidence of the historicity of the Gospels, my point was that we have plenty of contemporary novels today which are quite historically accurate to describe our modern time period, and yet they are entirely works of fiction. So we can use this evidence to draw a picture of day to day life in the time period, but not as any kind of clinching evidence for any of the characters in the text, be they fictional, real, or otherwise.


Quote
Not only am I familiar I even listed the criteria of how historians do figure out what is historically factual about jesus AND gave you the source

Remember this? -

most New Testament scholarship tries to establish specific facts about Jesus without assuming the general reliability of the Gospels. The key here are the so-called “Criteria of Authenticity” of which the following are some of the most important:

(1) Historical congruence: S fits in with known historical facts concerning the context in which S is said to have occurred.

(2) Independent, early attestation: S appears in multiple sources which are near to the time at which S is alleged to have occurred and which depend neither upon each other nor a common source.

(3) Embarrassment: S is awkward or counter-productive for the persons who serve as the source of information for S.

(4) Dissimilarity: S is unlike antecedent Jewish thought-forms and/or unlike subsequent Christian thought-forms.

(5) Semitisms: traces in the narrative of Aramaic or Hebrew linguistic forms.

(6) Coherence: S is consistent with already established facts about Jesus.

For more check out see Robert Stein, 'The ‘Criteria’ for Authenticity'


No, that is a field of historical study called textual criticism, but that is not a smoking gun.  Historians use this method to draw inferences about the setting and environment contemporary to any period in history, but not as clinching evidence to support every claim of the text.  For that, we need concrete archaeological evidence such as scrolls, manuscripts, carvings, etchings, coinage, statues, paintings, manuscripts, bones, clothing, etc etc etc.. none of which exists to support the claim that Jesus existed or didn't exist. I of course believe He existed, I just don't believe there is any factual evidence to support my belief, and no one here has demonstrated any.

Quote
Actually, I didn't claim that at all, I did say I did NOT find those statistics credible, but there has only ever been ONE scholar who denies the historacity of Christ. That means EVERY other historian agrees Christ is a historical figure. Why?? Well, because of all the criteria that must me met for something to be considered a historical fact has been met !

I will reiterate again, and in caps.  I AM NOT CLAIMING JESUS NEVER EXISTED, I AM SAYING RIGHTFULLY THAT THERE IS NO TANGIBLE EVIDENCE OF THIS. 100% OF SCHOLARS WOULD AGREE WITH THIS BECAUSE IT IS A FACT OF REALITY, PERIOD.  Any historian worth his career would admit that there is no primary source evidence from archaeology or otherwise.  It is not to say that Jesus did or didn't exist, in fact in history we can't make those claims necessarily about ANY figure, but we can accept the limits of our evidence.  Until 1961 Pontius Pilate may not have actually existed either, then we found both the Pilate Stone AND a coin mentioning his inscription, BAM, primary source evidence Wink


stay blessed,
habte selassie

Well, I've already said that there is no primary source. And explained, in detail, why that doesn't figure in the historical fact of Christ's existence. I've also explained in detail, why and how we know the manuscripts we DO have jive with the primary texts.

Yes, the authenticity criteria are for textual criticism - to see if they are historically accurate or not! I'll expand :

For instance, let’s consider the criterion of ”multiple attestation.” If we have independent accounts of the same event, this rule says it’s more likely to be historical than fictional  because it would be most unusual if two authors independently made up the same story about the same event. Isn’t it remarkable that we should have two, independent virgin birth narratives about Jesus? If you apply this rule of multiple attestation to Jesus’ birth narratives, then we have good grounds for believing that he was born in Bethlehem and born of a virgin.  Why? Because we have it attested in independent narratives—Matthew and Luke are independent of one another in their sources at least.

Another rule for establishing the historical nature of an event is the principle of dissimilarity. This rule says that if you can show that an event or saying of Jesus’ life is unlike anything in prior Judaism and also unlike anything in the Church that followed him, then it’s highly probable that it belongs to the historical Jesus himself.  So this criterion of dissimilarity can be a very positive help in establishing events as historical. Incidentally, this rule doesn’t mean that if some of Jesus’ statements are similar to those found in Judaism or the early church, then this indicates that they’ve been borrowed from these sources.

Another rule is the criterion of embarrassment. This rule says that if you find elements in the narratives that are awkward for the early Christian Church, or perhaps even embarrassing, then these too are most likely to be historical rather than to have been invented by the Church.

FOR EXAMPLE, In patriarchal Jewish society the testimony of women was not highly regarded. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus says that women weren’t even permitted to serve as witnesses in a Jewish court of law. Now in light of this fact, how remarkable it is that it is women who are the discoverers of Jesus’ empty tomb. Any later legendary account would certainly have made male disciples like Peter and John discover the empty tomb. The fact that it is women, rather than men, who are the discoverers of the empty tomb is best explained by the fact that they were the chief witnesses to the fact of the empty tomb, and the Gospel writers faithfully record what, for them, was an awkward and embarrassing fact.

There are other criteria as well.  In fact, there’s a long list of them, but these are just a few.  Historians apply them all the time to secular narratives with a view towards establishing their historical credibility.


Colin Hemer, in his book, The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History goes through Acts with a fine-toothed comb with a view toward assessing Luke’s credibility as an ancient historian. He pulls out a wealth of historical detail from the book. He assesses the historical information that he finds in terms of facts that would have been the general knowledge of anybody living at the time down to details so specific that only an eyewitness could have known about them. And he establishes convincingly the historical credibility of Luke as an historical author.

If you have multiple attestations independently all saying the same thing, and then ALL these accounts are constantly being verified by archeological evidence, its generally thought most of it is accurate. To say Luke was right about all this accurate detail but then totally lied about a fairly large aspect of his narrative-the existence of jesus-but took pains to accurately note the different accents, ship trading roots, bath houses... is madness !

Wow 100 % of scholars would say that there is no tangible evidence that Christ never existed ? Care to name.....um...even one from ANY peer reviewed lititeure ?

I'll just repost my quotes, NONE of these guys are conservative scholars, but are in fact skeptics :

According to Luke Johnson, a New Testament scholar at Emory University,

"Even the most critical historian can confidently assert that a Jew named Jesus worked as a teacher and wonder-worker in Palestine during the reign of Tiberius, was executed by crucifixion under the prefect Pontius Pilate and continued to have followers after his death."

According to Professor Sherwin-White, "For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming. Any attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd."

According to Johnson, "The support for the mode of his death, its agents, and perhaps its coagents, is overwhelming: Jesus faced a trial before his death, was condemned and executed by crucifixion."

The crucifixion of Jesus is recognized even by the Jesus Seminar as "one indisputable fact."

According to the late John A. T. Robinson of Cambridge University, the honorable burial of Jesus is one of "the earliest and best-attested facts about Jesus."

 According to Jakob Kremer, an Austrian specialist on the resurrection, "By far most exegetes hold firmly to the reliability of the biblical statements concerning the empty tomb."

 As D. H. van Daalen points out, "It is extremely difficult to object to the empty tomb on historical grounds; those who deny it do so on the basis of theological or philosophical assumptions."

Even the most sceptical critics cannot deny that the historical Jesus carried out a ministry of miracle-working and exorcism. Rudolf Bultmann, one of the most sceptical scholars this century has seen, wrote back in 1926:

"Most of the miracle stories contained in the gospels are legendary or at least are dressed up with legends. But there can be no doubt that Jesus did such deeds, which were, in his and his contemporaries’ understanding, miracles, that is, deeds that were the result of supernatural, divine causality. Doubtless he healed the sick and cast out demons"

even the skeptical German New Testament critic Gerd Lüdemann concludes, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”

Since you disagree with almost every expert in this field, I must ask you, what evidence do you have that the Gospels are false ?
 
Especially when they are constantly vindicated by archeological evidence, there are independent sources all saying the same things, and every historian on earth disagrees with you !
Given Luke’s care and demonstrated reliability as well as his contact with eyewitnesses within the first generation after the events, why do you say this author is not trustworthy ?

Why does every historian on this planet disagree with you? To over simplify, 5 reasons  :

1. There was insufficient time for legendary influences to expunge the historical facts. The interval of time between the events themselves and recording of them in the gospels is too short to have allowed the memory of what had or had not actually happened to be erased.

2. The gospels are not analogous to folk tales or contemporary "urban legends."  They are written as Historical documents.

3. The Jewish transmission of sacred traditions was highly developed and reliable. In an oral culture like that of first century Palestine the ability to memorize and retain large tracts of oral tradition was a highly prized and highly developed skill. From the earliest age children in the home, elementary school, and the synagogue were taught to memorize faithfully sacred tradition. The disciples would have exercised similar care with the teachings of Jesus.

4. There were significant restraints on the embellishment of traditions about Jesus, such as the presence of eyewitnesses and the apostles’ supervision. Since those who had seen and heard Jesus continued to live and the tradition about Jesus remained under the supervision of the apostles, these factors would act as a natural check on tendencies to elaborate the facts in a direction contrary to that preserved by those who had known Jesus.

5. The Gospel writers have a proven track record of historical reliability.

SO On the basis of the five reasons I listed, we are justified in accepting the historical reliability of what the gospels say about Jesus unless they are proven to be wrong. At the very least, we cannot assume they are wrong until proven right. The person who denies the gospels’ reliability must bear the burden of proof.
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« Reply #111 on: October 09, 2012, 09:53:32 PM »


We already discussed Josephus, the oldest manuscripts for his works are from the 6-7th century, hardly a primary source  



Josephus was born in the year 37. His works are not from the 6th century   police  police  police

Here is his wiki page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus

He meant the date of the physical manuscript copies we have today.

Then they werent written during his lifetime ?? Smiley

Josephus was a near contemporary of Jesus and wrote extensively about the destruction of Jerusalem and other significant historical events of that time. He made a passing reference to Jesus.. It is widely consider credible by scholars.

 There have been cleaned up forgeries of what he wrote that appeared later on. Josephus refers to Jesus in unflattering terms and calls him "The magician". The later forgeries re wrote this reference to make it look more sympathetic. But the actual reference, flattering or not, is credible.

No, Marc, I mean, manuscripts were copied, right?

You know?

So, the oldest copies of Josephus's original manuscript that physically exist today are from the 6th century.

Get me?

Right, but that in no way means they are not credible. That is not how manuscript scholarship works.

There are certainly forgeries around. They fixed up the language and to make Josephus look more sympathetic towards Jesus then he was. We also know with good certainty what the original said ( he call Jesus a "Magician") .

Either way, there is little doubt that Josephus, a near contemporary of Jesus and a bona fide and well respected historian mentioned Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #112 on: October 09, 2012, 10:11:32 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Well, I've already said that there is no primary source.

That is all I can ask Smiley

Quote
The person who denies the gospels’ reliability must bear the burden of proof.


Be careful how you phrase that my brother, I'm no heretic.  The Gospel is absolute Truth in every  regard and every detail.  However, strictly speaking, it is not a piece of historical evidence, it is a Divine revelation.  The reliability issue is not the Gospel itself, but with its strengths or weaknesses as historical evidence or proof.

Quote
For such an ancient period as that between A.D. 100 and 300 it is of course much more difficult to be confident about the date of a manuscript. There is infinitely less comparative material. Nevertheless we are now in a fairly comfortable position to date papyrus manuscripts according to their handwriting. We do not have to rely on manuscripts of the New Testament only. We have hundreds of papyrus manuscripts of Greek pagan literary texts from this period and again hundreds of carefully written papyrus documents that show the same types of handwriting. These documents are very important for paleographers because they are often exactly dated. As a rule New Testament manuscripts on papyrus are not. A careful comparison of the papyrus documents and manuscripts of the second and third centuries has established beyond doubt that about forty Greek papyrus manuscripts of the New Testament date from this very period. Unfortunately only six of them are extensively preserved.

Even within the period that runs from c. A.D. 100-300 it is possible for paleographers to be more specific on the relative date of the papyrus manuscripts of the New Testament. For about sixty years now a tiny papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John has been the oldest "manuscript" of the New Testament. This manuscript (P52) has generally been dated to ca. A.D. 125. This fact alone proved that the original Gospel of John was written earlier, viz. in the first century A.D., as had always been upheld by conservative scholars.

We now have early and very early evidence for the text of the New Testament. A classified list of the most important manuscripts will make this clear. Numbers preceded by a P refer to papyri, the letters refer to parchment manuscripts.

ca. A.D.      200   250      300   350   450

Matthew            P45      B   Sin.       
Mark            P45      B   Sin.   A
Luke            P4,P45,P75   B   Sin.   A
John         P66   P45,P75      B   Sin.   A
Acts            P45      B   Sin.   A
Romans-Hebrews      P46         B   Sin.   A
James-Jude               P72,B   Sin.   A
Apocalypse         P47         Sin.   A
As you can see, from the fourth century onwards the material base for establishing the text of the Greek New Testament is very good indeed. The manuscripts Sin. (Sinaiticus), A (Alexandrinus) and B (Vaticanus) are almost complete parchment manuscripts. With the help of the earlier papyrus manuscripts we have been able to establish that the text of these three great manuscripts is to a large extent reliable. The papyrus manuscript P75 was the latest to be published, but it showed a virtually identical text to manuscript B. This settled the vexed question whether we have in the parchment manuscripts of the fourth and fifth centuries a safe guide to the original text of the New Testament. Duke University

We are digressing into a silly argument and I must respectfully agree to disagree.  History is like that, many things are debatable.  I have no qualms or disagreements with the accuracy, historicity, or legitimacy of Biblical texts in the slightest.  Further, there is lengthy and proof-positive evidence for Church history clearly back as far as the oldest Gospel manuscripts (around the early 2nd Century).  However and again, considering that there is other primary source evidence from the period of Christ (early-mid 1st Century) we can't say its impossible.  This shouldn't say Jesus Christ doesn't exist, that was never at all my premise, I wouldn't scoff our Lord in any such way, and I apologize to anyone if that appeared my intentions.  Rather, we are discussing these matters as facts of history, and for me, archaeology or other primary source evidence is crucial.  For Jesus Christ, I think it is silly in the secular, academic sense to debate anything about His reality, we have already been revealed such in the Church, no need to debate that, and it is a matter of Faith.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #113 on: October 10, 2012, 02:07:46 PM »

Habte Selassie, I apologize for being so head strong; I didn't intend to impugn your faith at all, it's clear from your posts you have great love of Christ and are certainly more filled with His spirit than I.
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« Reply #114 on: October 10, 2012, 02:48:49 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Habte Selassie, I apologize for being so head strong; I didn't intend to impugn your faith at all, it's clear from your posts you have great love of Christ and are certainly more filled with His spirit than I.

Thank you, I likewise apologize if I seemed antagonistic, I was intending to be more good-spirited inquisitive rather than antagonistic.

Unfortunately sometimes history brings out the hard-nosed debater in me Lips Sealed

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #115 on: October 15, 2012, 09:34:02 PM »

Now I remember what I was going to ask you Habte.

So you believe that Jesus Christ only exists in faith alone right? So what about when the Parousia happens to those that do not have faith in Christ?

Outside of no "secular" historical proof.
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« Reply #116 on: October 16, 2012, 10:50:54 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Now I remember what I was going to ask you Habte.

So you believe that Jesus Christ only exists in faith alone right? So what about when the Parousia happens to those that do not have faith in Christ?

Outside of no "secular" historical proof.

I didn't say that Christ exists only in Faith, obviously Christ exists in a real way.  What I am asserting is that we have no evidence outside of our Faith which could conclusively support this.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #117 on: December 10, 2012, 08:45:38 PM »

If Jesus Christ never existed then wouldn't the Christians be called out on their bluff and wouldn't we see writings of those calling them out on it? I mean you had Celsus call out Jesus illegiitimancy as a child of Tiberius Pantera, but I haven't seen anything in antiquity about non-existence. It actually helps the argument with enemy attestation, I think.

But really it just begs the question, how would the Christians ever keep up such a fraud? And especially to die for it as well?

It just shocks me that there are those who seriously think Christ never existed.

There is just not good enough arguments/evidence to suggest such a thing. It's like trying to debunk the Resurrection account because if you remove one part of the evidence it all comes down like a Jenga set IMO.

it shocks me too that they think Christ never existed. But what proof do we have that he did. And never mind the existence part. I can believe that just as I believe  in the existence of dinosaurs which I personally have never seen. How do we proof his teachings? where are his personal writings? Do we have anything hand written by him? even something simple that says "I will return again from heaven, to save my buddies from their sins." written by him though. Not someone else.
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« Reply #118 on: December 10, 2012, 08:59:07 PM »

Even if we had something hand written by him, plenty of people that could put the veracity of the authorship into question.

You would always have skeptics no matter what kind of evidence is presented. And really absence of evidence does not mean something does not actually exist.

I just don't get this notion that if we had something hand written by him, then there is the proof he existed! I think that's BS.
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« Reply #119 on: December 10, 2012, 09:11:53 PM »

In that time, oral tradition dominated. People were trained with astonishing memories, it was common to have memorized the entire Torrah. Christ's words were, obviously, considered sacred and the utmost care was taken in transmitting them. Plus they were written down within a few decades after His death, when many witnesses were still living that could attest to what He said, as He spoke often to the masses.



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« Reply #120 on: December 10, 2012, 11:23:08 PM »

If you think Jesus may not have existed you must explain away the actions of the Apostles whom we know did live.

Why would they have made up a religion that sent all but one to gruesome death?   

If someone was about to skin me alive I would probably blurt out that the whole thing was made up.

Ya know ??
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« Reply #121 on: December 10, 2012, 11:36:31 PM »

If you think Jesus may not have existed you must explain away the actions of the Apostles whom we know did live.

Why would they have made up a religion that sent all but one to gruesome death?   

If someone was about to skin me alive I would probably blurt out that the whole thing was made up.

Ya know ??

Even more impressive are those that never saw Christ rise from the dead but still faced a gruesome death.
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« Reply #122 on: January 01, 2013, 10:36:33 PM »

But can't "historical" be "personal" as well though? I mean isn't it wrong to say he didn't enter into our reality, historically?

I just feel there is a really good argument to be made for Christ's existence based on the history.

And I hate to be Isa's toady (PtA's word, not mine but I love it) and I wish I could search for the post he made, but the evidence for Christianity is perfect.

if he did not enter our reality, and if he didn't in reality get crucified for our sake. Then we are a bunch of nutcases, who believe everything we are fed. But I don't believe that theory. It's doctrines and interpretations I am questionning. I can't afford to question his existence. But if he  didn't  exist. Then we are doomed, and all the amounts of faith in his existence, will not change the fact that he doesn't exist. If he really doesn't. It's like this, someone tells you I am black. The fact that I am white, will not change even if you believe that I am black. Because really I am not black. I am white.
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« Reply #123 on: January 01, 2013, 10:47:51 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol

Then why do we? If they did not think he was God, and really being God he didn't have any problem with their unbelief. Why should we think that he is God? It doesn't make sense.
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« Reply #124 on: January 01, 2013, 10:54:53 PM »

It took the Apostles a while to understand, but eventually they got the message. Ehrman is wrong on his particular point on the delayed deification of Jesus.
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« Reply #125 on: January 01, 2013, 10:57:07 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


However you don't necessarily need primary sources to prove the historical Jesus.

By the definitions and standards of academic or scholarly history, yes, that is EXACTLY what you need, primary source materials.

You might want to check out this article, which purports to show that the Resurrection is true because the probability of subsequent events occurring if the Resurrection didn't occur is much smaller than the probability of them occurring if the Resurrection did occur.


http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Mcgrew-McGrew-The-Argument-from-Miracles.pdf

How purely academic historians would argue this would be the cultural and historical impact of the BELIEF in the Resurrection, but belief of something is not evidence of its reality.  Currently 25% of Americans believe our President is a Muslim because of his last name, while during the election the primary concern was his controversial Christian pastor??  Belief is not historicity, and there is indeed truth to belief, and I feel even MORE truths underlying myths, but we can't necessarily hold them to be evidence of historical facts.

And wait a sec, you don't consider Luke-Acts a primary source, Habte?

No, the oldest copies we have are from the 4th century, that is 300 years removed from the actual events.  


So what are you positing then?

Chistianity isn't just a theory, philosophy, theology, or personal connection, but is based on the historical reality of God becoming a man, dieing, being raised from the dead, etc. These things really happened and they happened inside of human history as a part of human history. Otherwise, all the theory, philosophy, theology, personal connections, etc cease to be objectively real. I don't mean this to deny the universality of salvation or that Christ became a human to personally self-identify with every human, only to affirm that there is a historical Jesus, which I believe is the Jesus found in the NT and preached by the Church.

I am not denying the actual existence of Jesus Christ, I know Him quite personally as being real then and now.  What I am denying is any secular, non-Theophany revealed evidence of Jesus Christ existing aside from Faith.  We of course know Him to be real and true, and flesh and blood, but we do not have tangible historical evidence of this fact.  We believe this because we know Him, if we don't know Him, we really are believing in fiction.

The burden of proof is on the arguer, so if y'all are arguing that there is secular, non-faith based primary source evidence of a historical Jesus Christ, by all means please prove me wrong Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie



I believed because I heared a Gospel about someone from God who became a man and was crucified and rose from the dead. And that he came to save us from eternal damnation. But I can't claim to know him. I only claim that I believe and that I am hoping in his mercy. Other than that I don't know. I hope. It's the only thing that keeps me alive. Hope that I matter to the creator and that he will at least try to save me even from my own self if necessary.  Are you saying that I believe in fiction, since I don't know him, because I never had the chance to see him?
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« Reply #126 on: January 01, 2013, 11:03:48 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol
How could anyone read the early Fathers (Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, Melito, etc.) and make this claim?

Probably by reading the Bible.

Crazy, I know.

are you saying that in the bible Jesus didn't claim to be God? Then how come we worship him and him alone, as if he was?
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« Reply #127 on: January 01, 2013, 11:27:49 PM »

Bart Ehrman's refutation of Christ Mythicism is my personal favorite, because it properly offends everybody.

"Jesus couldn't have been an invented deity because his earliest followers didn't think he was God."

lol
How could anyone read the early Fathers (Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, Melito, etc.) and make this claim?

Probably by reading the Bible.

Crazy, I know.

are you saying that in the bible Jesus didn't claim to be God? Then how come we worship him and him alone, as if he was?

I tell you before Abraham was...... Who do say I Am?
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« Reply #128 on: January 01, 2013, 11:36:51 PM »

Just because at first people didn't parse Christ out as Theos doesn't mean he isn't.

He wasn't even confessed as Son of God in Mark's Gospel, except by demons, until the centurion at his passion.

They had to deal with what his relationship to God meant he was, what sort of El or power he was, they had to come to understand it because the were human like you or I.
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« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2013, 01:21:51 PM »

Even if we had something hand written by him, plenty of people that could put the veracity of the authorship into question.

You would always have skeptics no matter what kind of evidence is presented. And really absence of evidence does not mean something does not actually exist.

I just don't get this notion that if we had something hand written by him, then there is the proof he existed! I think that's BS.

so if i send you a letter  saying Happy new year my friend and write my name under it. Isn't that a proof that I exist?
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« Reply #130 on: January 03, 2013, 01:32:10 PM »

Even if we had something hand written by him, plenty of people that could put the veracity of the authorship into question.

You would always have skeptics no matter what kind of evidence is presented. And really absence of evidence does not mean something does not actually exist.

I just don't get this notion that if we had something hand written by him, then there is the proof he existed! I think that's BS.

so if i send you a letter  saying Happy new year my friend and write my name under it. Isn't that a proof that I exist?

No, because I could have written it and put your name on it.
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« Reply #131 on: January 04, 2013, 11:47:21 AM »

Even if we had something hand written by him, plenty of people that could put the veracity of the authorship into question.

You would always have skeptics no matter what kind of evidence is presented. And really absence of evidence does not mean something does not actually exist.

I just don't get this notion that if we had something hand written by him, then there is the proof he existed! I think that's BS.

so if i send you a letter  saying Happy new year my friend and write my name under it. Isn't that a proof that I exist?

No, because I could have written it and put your name on it.

fair enough, and very true. In this case, then it is also possible that some people put words into God's mouth, that God never meant to be spoken in his name.
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« Reply #132 on: January 04, 2013, 07:56:18 PM »

Even if we had something hand written by him, plenty of people that could put the veracity of the authorship into question.

You would always have skeptics no matter what kind of evidence is presented. And really absence of evidence does not mean something does not actually exist.

I just don't get this notion that if we had something hand written by him, then there is the proof he existed! I think that's BS.

so if i send you a letter  saying Happy new year my friend and write my name under it. Isn't that a proof that I exist?

No, because I could have written it and put your name on it.

fair enough, and very true. In this case, then it is also possible that some people put words into God's mouth, that God never meant to be spoken in his name.

The old testament is filled with testimonies of God saying that the people and false prophets put words in His mouth
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