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  #41  
Old 22nd January 2018, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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Strato said View Post
I did read Raphael Lataster There Was No Jesus, There Is No God.
I read it too Strato, and it is very concise with very good argumentation. It's a short book which may interest others that want to dig a little deeper. In the grand scheme of things, I don't think that it is that important whether he existed as a historical person or not. Christians would still believe in a heavenly Jesus and do what they do now to our society.

In saying that, what undermines the mythical position is the large amount of poor parallels and untrue information found on a lot of forums and websites. Just like anything else, you need to filter through what is more probable and what is just bunk.
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  #42  
Old 22nd January 2018, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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I meant, "carry on with whatever you're doing".

I'm over it.
Ok, sorry I thought you meant I was banging on. I didn't mean to harass you.
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  #43  
Old 4th February 2018, 08:12 PM
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Wink Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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It's all the other factors combined that are more convincing as outlined in Carrier's books. Have you read them all?
I've read several of Carrier's books (including the mammoth 'On the Historicity of Jesus'), I read his blog now and then, have watched many of his debates, etc., and I don't find his mythicist theory particularly compelling.

Carrier's thesis relies on a very strained reading of the genuine Pauline epistles. Carrier wants us to think that Paul didn't think Jesus had been here on Earth, despite that Paul makes numerous, often obvious, references that reflect his belief that Jesus had been here on Earth. Carrier wants us instead to think that Paul thought Jesus lived, taught and was crucified in outer-space, despite that no where in Paul's epistles does he say this.

Carrier of course has all sorts of wriggled explanations to get around verses that show Paul's belief that Jesus had been on Earth. But, as I hope you will see, they are anything but compelling:

When Paul speaks of his beliefs about Jesus's human lineage, how Jesus was "born of a woman" (Gal 4:4), a "descendant of [King] David according to the flesh" (Rom 1:3), and from the "root of Jesse [father of King David]" (Rom 15:12), and that he was an "Israelite" (Rom 9:5) etc., for Carrier this means something about David's sperm being generated in the heavens.

When Paul speaks of having a personal meeting with Jesus's "brother" James in Jerusalem, for Carrier this means that James was only a "brother" in the "Christian brethren" sense, despite that other characters in the same scene are not equally identified as such.

When Paul tells us that he believed Jesus had initiated a new Passover ritual "on the night he was taken away" that involved Jesus "breaking bread", "giving thanks" and "passing cups" (1 Cor 11:23), for Carrier this is just Paul using allegory that he got it from personal revelation.

When Paul speaks of Jesus being "crucified" - a standard Roman punishment often reserved for perceived Jewish pests - Carrier thinks this means he was crucified in outer-space.

When Paul says that Jesus was "buried" (1 Cor 15:4), this too Paul thought happened in outer-space.

And when Paul makes references to these events happening in Judea, how it was Judean Jews responsible for "killing the Lord Jesus" (1 Thess 2:14), and how the "stumbling block" of the crucifixion was laid in "in Zion" (1 Cor 1:33 / Rom 9:33) (standard Israelite nickname for Jerusalem), this is prematurely written-off as either as unproven "interpolation" despite no manuscript or other form of attestation, or allegory again for something happened in the heavenly-Jerusalem.

But as I've said, not once does Paul ever tell us that he thought any of these things happened in outer-space.

The reality is that Carrier's book has made little to no impact in the academic field of Christian Origins. Because its a weak thesis. But of course for Carrier, this is everyone else's problem.
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  #44  
Old 4th February 2018, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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I've read several of Carrier's books (including the mammoth 'On the Historicity of Jesus'), I read his blog now and then, have watched many of his debates, etc., and I don't find his mythicist theory particularly compelling.
Which parts of 'On the Historicity of Jesus' did you feel were unconvincing? I thought it was a very though rebuttal of the historic Jesus.

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Carrier's thesis relies on a very strained reading of the genuine Pauline epistles. Carrier wants us to think that Paul didn't think Jesus had been here on Earth, despite that Paul makes numerous, often obvious, references that reflect his belief that Jesus had been here on Earth.
Incorrect! Show me where Paul places Jesus anywhere on Earth or in history. He doesn't give ANY information on his virgin birth, parents, biology, ministry or miracles. It's even spelled out quite clearly here:

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Galatians 1:12 ►

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For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
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Carrier wants us instead to think that Paul thought Jesus lived, taught and was crucified in outer-space, despite that no where in Paul's epistles does he say this.
If you had read OTHOJ, he outlines this in depth.

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Carrier of course has all sorts of wriggled explanations to get around verses that show Paul's belief that Jesus had been on Earth. But, as I hope you will see, they are anything but compelling:
"Yawn"

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When Paul speaks of his beliefs about Jesus's human lineage, how Jesus was "born of a woman" (Gal 4:4), a "descendant of [King] David according to the flesh" (Rom 1:3), and from the "root of Jesse [father of King David]" (Rom 15:12), and that he was an "Israelite" (Rom 9:5) etc., for Carrier this means something about David's sperm being generated in the heavens.
Rather being born naturally, Carrier shows how the same word in Greek means "manufactured", just like how Adam and Eve were made.

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When Paul speaks of having a personal meeting with Jesus's "brother" James in Jerusalem, for Carrier this means that James was only a "brother" in the "Christian brethren" sense, despite that other characters in the same scene are not equally identified as such.
Sure, Jesus had brothers, just like in Bonanza! Paul didn't distinguish between a cultic brother of the lord and a biological brother. The problem with that is that all baptized Christians were considered brothers of the Lord.

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When Paul tells us that he believed Jesus had initiated a new Passover ritual "on the night he was taken away" that involved Jesus "breaking bread", "giving thanks" and "passing cups" (1 Cor 11:23), for Carrier this is just Paul using allegory that he got it from personal revelation
.
Paul didn't speak of a "Last Supper" as mentioned in the gospels. The word “disciple” never appears in Paul’s letters. He only knows of “apostles” like him: persons who received revelations of the Christ (Galatians 1; 1 Corinthians 9:1 and 15:3-8). Paul has no idea that the eucharist meal inaugurated by Jesus and communicated to him in a vision was a “last supper”

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When Paul speaks of Jesus being "crucified" - a standard Roman punishment often reserved for perceived Jewish pests - Carrier thinks this means he was crucified in outer-space.

When Paul says that Jesus was "buried" (1 Cor 15:4), this too Paul thought happened in outer-space.
Please show ANY location on Earth that Paul references Jesus or any times or dates where he appeared. There are none, so that leaves outer space.

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The reality is that Carrier's book has made little to no impact in the academic field of Christian Origins. Because its a weak thesis. But of course for Carrier, this is everyone else's problem.
Incorrect! OTHOJ and "Proving History" are ground breaking books in the academic field of Christian Origins. There have been no rebuttals of either anywhere that I know.
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  #45  
Old 4th February 2018, 11:38 PM
toejam toejam is online now
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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SEG said:
Which parts of 'On the Historicity of Jesus' did you feel were unconvincing?
Like I said, the biggest problem is Carrier's reading of the genuine Pauline epistles. In them, Paul never says that Jesus was "manufactured" or crucified in outer-space.

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Show me where Paul places Jesus anywhere on Earth or in history. He doesn't give ANY information on his virgin birth, parents, biology, ministry or miracles
Paul may or may not have believed Jesus was born of a virgin or that he performed miracles during his ministry. Those are irrelevant to the problem being addressed, namely, Carrier's belief that is absent from Paul's epistles that Paul believed Jesus was "manufactured" and crucified in outer-space. This is not what Paul tells us.

Paul locates Jesus in Jerusalem. In 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15, Paul states that Judean Jews "killed Lord Jesus". Of course, Carrier thinks this is an interpolation, but he has no manuscript or other form of attestation to back it up. In Romans 9:33, Paul quotes a prophecy he believes has been fulfilled, that "a stumbling stone has been set in Zion". Zion is well understood to be Jerusalem. The prophecy continues: "Whoever believes in him will not be put to shame". Who else is the "him" here if not Jesus? In 1 Corinthians 1:23, Paul uses similar "stumbling" language to describe Jews who can't get over the fact that the Messiah whom Paul is preaching was crucified. The "stumbling stone" is obviously Jesus's crucifixion in Jerusalem.

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Rather being born naturally, Carrier shows how the same word in Greek means "manufactured", just like how Adam and Eve were made.
Oh, so if Adam and Eve were created like Jesus, does that mean that Adam and Eve were also "manufactured/born from a woman under the law"? Did Adam and Eve also "descend from [King] David according to the flesh"? Were they also manufactured from the "root of [King David's father] Jesse"? Were Adam and Eve also "Israelites according to the flesh"? Don't be silly. Paul is not saying that Jesus was created like Adam and Eve.

The word Carrier translates to "manufactured" is γίνομαι and simply means "comes into being". Paul believes Jesus "came into being from a woman, under the law". Which law? The Mosaic law, obviously! This is decidedly not Paul saying that Jesus was "manufactured" in outer-space. This is Paul telling us that he believes Jesus was very much a legitimate Jew! Carrier has you duped.

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Sure, Jesus had brothers, just like in Bonanza! Paul didn't distinguish between a cultic brother of the lord and a biological brother. The problem with that is that all baptized Christians were considered brothers of the Lord.
Paul describes meeting Jesus's "brother" (ἀδελφοὶ) James in Galatians 1:19, and in 1 Corinthians 9:5 makes reference to a group of brothers whom were clearly a distinct group within the wider "Christian brethren" of apostles and followers. If we take the word ἀδελφοὶ in it's most usual meaning, Paul is talking about Jesus's actual brothers. The "Christian brethren" sense of ἀδελφοὶ doesn't quite work for Galatians 1:19 and 1 Corinthians 9:5 because surely "other apostles" and Cephas referred to in these verses would be part of the wider "Christians brethren", and yet the group of "brothers" in these verses are described as a separate from others. Why? Well, like I said, if we go with the usual meaning of the word, Paul is talking about Jesus's actual brothers. The word functions more or less like it does in English. And a brother James as the head of the early church after Jesus is corroborated with other sources. Carrier has you duped once again.

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Paul didn't speak of a "Last Supper" as mentioned in the gospels. The word “disciple” never appears in Paul’s letters. He only knows of “apostles” like him: persons who received revelations of the Christ (Galatians 1; 1 Corinthians 9:1 and 15:3-8). Paul has no idea that the eucharist meal inaugurated by Jesus and communicated to him in a vision was a “last supper”
Paul doesn't use the phrase "Last Supper", sure, but this is irrelevant to my point. It also does not matter to my point whom Paul believes Jesus gave this teaching to. Paul describes these events happening "on the night that Jesus was taken away", specifically during and after "supper". The point is that Paul does not sound like he's describing someone whom he believes taught this from outer-space. Indeed, it sounds very earthly - Jesus is described as passing and breaking bread, drinking from cups after supper, etc. Don't let Carrier fool you. Paul is not speaking of an exclusively celestial-being here. He's talking about someone he thought had been here on Earth. A crucified Jewish cult leader.

Last edited by toejam; 4th February 2018 at 11:42 PM.
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  #46  
Old 4th February 2018, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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SEG said View Post
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The reality is that Carrier's book has made little to no impact in the academic field of Christian Origins. Because its a weak thesis. But of course for Carrier, this is everyone else's problem.
Incorrect! OTHOJ and "Proving History" are ground breaking books in the academic field of Christian Origins. There have been no rebuttals of either anywhere that I know.
One might usefully observe that "No rebuttal" easily equates to "No one in the relevant academic circles thinks it's worth bothering with" at least as readily as "No-one can rebut it, it's fucking canon now."

My admittedly limited experience in the Academe inclines me to the view that ground-breaking works tend to attract some attention, rather than being fucking ignored. Generally speaking, they also get published in the relevant journals before books.
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  #47  
Old 5th February 2018, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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toejam said View Post
Like I said, the biggest problem is Carrier's reading of the genuine Pauline epistles.
You seem very educated on the subject matter Toejam. Welcome to our forum btw! Tell us a little about yourself if you don't mind I'll get to answer this later.
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  #48  
Old 5th February 2018, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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SEG said View Post
You seem very educated on the subject matter Toejam. Welcome to our forum btw! Tell us a little about yourself if you don't mind I'll get to answer this later.
Thanks for the welcome. I don't know what you want to know. I'm in Brisbane. I'm almost 36. I'm an instrumental music teacher / pro-musician. I've been an atheist since about 28 or so. Before that I was vaguely Christian in my youth, I considered myself "spiritual" in my teens and early 20s, would pray now and then, I went down a 'cosmic karma' phase there at one point. But when I was about 28 I realised I was probably just talking to myself and that 'cosmic karma' was bullshit. I've always had a peripheral interest in the study of Christian Origins / Historical Jesus. When I became an atheist, I began talking to lots of Christians (particularly the well-educated ones) and I developed an interest in the academic study of Christian Origins. I've spent the last 6-7 years reading intently on the topic. I find it fascinating. I find myself in line with the standard secular model - Jesus as some sort of Jewish apocalyptic preacher. I think that is where the evidence more likely points.
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  #49  
Old 5th February 2018, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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toejam said View Post
Thanks for the welcome. I don't know what you want to know. I'm in Brisbane. I'm almost 36. I'm an instrumental music teacher / pro-musician. I've been an atheist since about 28 or so. Before that I was vaguely Christian in my youth, I considered myself "spiritual" in my teens and early 20s, would pray now and then, I went down a 'cosmic karma' phase there at one point. But when I was about 28 I realised I was probably just talking to myself and that 'cosmic karma' was bullshit. I've always had a peripheral interest in the study of Christian Origins / Historical Jesus. When I became an atheist, I began talking to lots of Christians (particularly the well-educated ones) and I developed an interest in the academic study of Christian Origins. I've spent the last 6-7 years reading intently on the topic. I find it fascinating. I find myself in line with the standard secular model - Jesus as some sort of Jewish apocalyptic preacher. I think that is where the evidence more likely points.
G'day, TJ!

I think SEG may have been alluding, if a little obliquely, to our Intro section.

Anyhow, welcome, and I look forward to reading your posts.
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  #50  
Old 5th February 2018, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

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One might usefully observe that "No rebuttal" easily equates to "No one in the relevant academic circles thinks it's worth bothering with" at least as readily as "No-one can rebut it, it's fucking canon now."

My admittedly limited experience in the Academe inclines me to the view that ground-breaking works tend to attract some attention, rather than being fucking ignored. Generally speaking, they also get published in the relevant journals before books.
Oh they aren't being ignored, there have been a few cursory reviews, such as this one: http://members.optusnet.com.au/gakus...HJ_Review.html

but there are no thorough rebuttals that I am aware of. Carrier is a professor and is therefore well credentialed, so people in the field don't just ignore him.

Have you read any of his books? If you have you would know that he cites extensively and argues with convincing logic.
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