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Author Topic: So how do Christ-mythers explain this...  (Read 6508 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonathan Gress
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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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primuspilus
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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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HabteSelassie
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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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Jonathan Gress
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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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NicholasMyra
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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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HabteSelassie
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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







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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
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 03:56:40 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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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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