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Old 10th February 2018, 08:37 AM
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SEG SEG is offline
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

Sorry TJ for my delayed response. I've been working long hours at Lovett Bay near Elvina Bay & Scotland Island.

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toejam said View Post
There is plenty of fictional symbolism in Plutarch's biographies of historical people too.
Sure, but the problem I have with the content of the Bible is that it is mainly fictional and allegory, very little history.

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Its very doubtful that Paul would have thought that Jesus had a human father. Even Ehrman has changed his mind since he wrote that terrible book "Did Jesus exist?" He now admits now in "How Jesus Became God" that from the start, Christians regarded Jesus as a pre-existent divine being.
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toejam said View Post
We don't know whether Paul thought Jesus had a human father or not. You seemingly don't understand the nuance of what it was Ehrman changed his mind about. Ehrman did not only "now admit" that Paul thought Jesus was pre-existent. Ehrman has long understood that. The nuance Ehrman changed his mind on was that he now thinks Paul thought Jesus was specifically the incarnation of the infamous pre-existent 'Angel of the Lord' of Exodus 3:2 and Judges 2:1 fame. Which I also agree is most likely. This is far and away from thinking that Paul thought Jesus was manufactured in outer-space by a space-woman and never came to Earth. That is what you believe Paul thought, right? You haven't even come close to showing how that is probable.
If Paul thought that Jesus had human parents he would have mentioned them, yet he doesn’t ever mention Joseph or even Mary. According to Carrier, “Paul thought that God manufactured Jesus out of sperm taken directly from David’s belly exactly as prophecy declared he would. In neither Matthew nor Luke is Jesus biologically descended from Davidic seed (Joseph never imparts that seed to Mary); he is directly manufactured in the womb of Mary by God.” The outer space terminology was what ancient people called the heavenly realm. The “space-woman” that you are referring to is just another bloody allegory.

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What makes you think that Paul doesn't mean where flesh and decay and death reside, just where Satan and his demons congregate?
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toejam said View Post
For reasons already stated. Paul locates Jesus's crucifixion in Jerusalem and repeatedly states in various ways that Jesus was a Jew. Paul also claims to have met Jesus's brother. You haven't shown how that isn't the most likely reading of Galatians 1:19. Similarly, I've already shown you how Paul's "according to the flesh" language is most often used by him to refer to humans, in particular, Jews, whom he considers his "kindred according to the flesh", etc. So when Paul says Jesus was a "descendant of David according to the flesh", an "Israelite according to the flesh", and how "we once knew Christ according to the flesh but now no longer", etc., the most economic reading is that he's saying Jesus was a Jew. It's really pretty straight forward. You've fallen deep for Carrier's silliness, hook, line and sinker.
Being a Jew is being used guess how? Allegorically. Carrier states, “In Galatians 3:29, where he declares that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Meaning, even non-Jews become born “of the seed of Abraham” at baptism. In other words, Paul is saying we come from the seed of Abraham allegorically, not literally; spiritually, not biologically.” Paul doesn’t ever state that Jesus got crucified in Jerusalem. Look, if Paul specifically said, Jesus did such and such in an earthly location, and nominated a historical event that lined up with any of the gospel stories, you would have an argument. It doesn’t ever happen like that. All Paul ever states is that he got his information from the revelations and scriptures
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That leaves Jesus with no CV at all when he popped into existence at age 30.
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toejam said View Post
I'm lost at why you think this is relevant?
It’s relevant as historical people tend to have full life stories that aren’t obviously contrived. Rather than an historical account of Jesus’s birth and early life we get nothing from Paul and the only other source are two of the Gospels which deliver a phony, contradictory theological narrative. The account of Matthew was portraying Jesus’s birth and flight to Egypt to mirror the birth and exodus of Moses. Instead of a logical account of how Jesus made a crust, we get contrived prophesy fulfilments of the virgin birth and the Davidic descent. A magical star, the magi, angel, King Herod’s massacres obviously aren’t historical events and the virginal birth mimics mythical accounts of pre-Christian gods.

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He seems to be an incredible shrinking Son of Man. For a guy that probably couldn't write, didn't have any trade skills that we know of, he did pretty well eh?
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toejam said View Post
Well, yes. Again, how is this relevant?
It seems unbelievable that he grew up without any skills to become a great leader. The only “evidence” of his youth was in just one of the Gospels, Luke. When he was 12 he somehow got separated from his parents after a festival and lost for a full 3 days. They searched for him EVERYWHERE, but guess where they found him? In a temple! Who would have guessed?

So you can scrub the fictitious birth narratives and nothing except the above lunacy from the Bible on his youth. There is no other extra biblical evidence either. Then he supposedly pops into existence at around 30 and started his ministry after he chased out the money changers. Or not. Bart Ehrman In his latest book titled, Jesus Interrupted writes:
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The Gospel of Mark indicates that it was in the last week of his life that Jesus “cleansed the Temple” by overturning the tables of the money changers and saying, “This is to be a house of prayer…but you have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11), whereas according to John this happened at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry (John 2). Some readers have thought that Jesus must have cleansed the temple twice, once at the beginning of his ministry and once at the end. But that would mean that neither Mark nor John tells the ‘true’ story, since in both accounts he cleanses the temple only once. Moreover, is this reconciliation of the two accounts historically plausible? If Jesus made a disruption in the temple at the beginning of his ministry, why wasn’t he arrested by the authorities then?
The rest of the stories about his ministry are miraculous, flawed and contradictory. Then you get contradictory accounts of his arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection. Where are the historical nuggets?

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According to the Bible, he came from a really obscure regional location, but was wildly popular. Contradictory to that because of the very scant evidence, he became a largely unknown insurgent with very few followers.

How the fuck did he become the founder of the largest religion on Earth?
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toejam said View Post
I think a lot of that had more to do with factors other than Jesus himself. A good place to start might be Hector Avalos' "Health Care and the Rise of Christianity". But this is all irrelevant to the issue of reading Paul correctly.
I don’t understand why you think that we should take what Paul wrote with any trust at all. He was clearly delusional if you believe what you read in Acts. He also tells lies and makes stuff up about his trips.


Thanks re book by Hector Avalos, I have heard him in a couple of debates. I thoroughly recommend that you read this book if you want to avoid being duped by Ehrman on the subject: Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman s Did Jesus Exist?

Paul was about the same age as Jesus and supposedly was in Jerusalem before he made his trip to Damascus under the name of Saul. If he was such a great persecutor, how come he never met Jesus and the disciples? The disciples were supposed to be dumb as clay and fall guys for Jesus, but while Paul was on the hunt and even killing Christians, he missed all the main ones that apparently remained in Jerusalem after the Crucifixion.

Do you think that he was in Jerusalem before, during or after it?

I can understand how he missed out on nabbing the wily Jesus, though.

Jesus was adept at dodging armed guards at the temple as he chased away the money changers and found it child's play to slip away from an angry crowd from a two horse town (with a non-existent synagogue) that tried and push him from a non-existent cliff. But the dopey disciples, how come he couldn't round them up?
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