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  #71  
Old 6th February 2018, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

I wouldn't have expected Paul to say diddly-squat about Jesus' life, given that it was well known to the early Church that Paul was very much a Johnny-come-lately who never met the bloke. Hell, that seems to me to be a significant factor in Paul's rather contentious relationship with the group he was finagling to gain control of.

Speaking of which: why the need to write bloody letters if there wasn't an already extant mob Paul was trying to take over? I mean, that's an awful lot of political maneuvring for someone who's just making the magical fuck up from whole cloth.
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  #72  
Old 6th February 2018, 07:54 PM
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Goldenmane said View Post
I wouldn't have expected Paul to say diddly-squat about Jesus' life, given that it was well known to the early Church that Paul was very much a Johnny-come-lately who never met the bloke.
How do you know that?
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Old 6th February 2018, 08:26 PM
toejam toejam is online now
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

Continuing on from where I left off...

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SEG said:
If he believed that he was on Earth, then why didn't he want to learn more about his teachings from the disciples/apostles? Why didn't he ever call them disciples?
Paul refers to a group known in the community as as "the twelve". In Galatians, Paul says he went to Jerusalem twice to meet with James, Cephas and John, the second time specifically to "lay before them the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain". Given the surrounding context and themes of the epistle, when Paul says that he didn't "receive [his gospel] from a human source, but only from a revelation", he is likely speaking specifically of his personal revelation to take the mission to the Gentiles. Elsewhere, Paul delivers a teaching about divorce that he attributes to Jesus, clarifying that it his not his teaching (See 1 Cor 7:10-12) - which would be weird if it's all just Paul's personal revelations. What would make better sense of these verses is if Paul is drawing from communally known tradition about Jesus that, on some level, he has some reservations over.

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You keep saying that, but you are pre-supposing that Jesus existed and had a life on Earth that was recorded in the Bible.
Nope. I have no need to presuppose a historical Jesus. I think the evidence favors it - certainly over a thesis like Carrier's that has Paul thinking that Jesus never came to Earth and that instead he was "manufactured", taught, and was crucified, exclusively in "outer-space". It also matters not whether the texts we are discussing were included in the 'the Bible'. Irrelevant. You seem to find it difficult to mount an argument without resorting to the kind of comments that seem better fit against a Christian fundamentalist with his 'Bible' in hand...

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Look, if there was a document found from an itinerant business person to his boss that commented on Jesus walking through Jerusalem with his brothers and parents, I would be utterly convinced. There is nothing close to that and there should be documents like that.
Do we have any documents from itinerant business people writing to their bosses speaking of their chance encounters with Judas the Galilean or Paul himself? Do you think these figures didn't exist either? Do you think that due to the silence from itinerant business people over Judas the Galilean and Paul, then it follows that the idea that they were originally conceived of as celestial beings before being historicized is equally likely as their historical existence?

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How do you know that [Paul existed]? His biography isn't crash hot either. How do you know that for certain?
It seems pretty bloody likely to me. I don't require certainty to decipher more-likely from less-likely conclusions. Do you think it's more likely that Paul didn't exist too?

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What is a lot more likely is that the epistles and gospels were malarkey. Most of what was written in those times were fictional Christian propaganda accounts
Really? You think the genuine Pauline epistles are all forgeries too? The Paul of the genuine epistles seems most convinced that a cataclysmic apocalypse led by Jesus is just around the corner. The Paul of the genuine epistles has issues with James, who sent men to check up on him, and Cephas, whom he rebuked as a hypocrite. The Paul of the genuine epistles does not seem like a literary figure. He sounds like he's lost in the Jesus cult, sure, but this is no grounds to write him off too as fiction. Not even Richard Carrier's fingers are that far down his ears, acknowledging these Pauline epistles as authentic.

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Don't you think it is strange that Jesus just popped up out of nowhere, spruiking these wondrous teachings?
I don't think the teachings I quoted are all that wondrous. They sound paranoid and deluded, sure. Yet they are contextually sound. This was a time of rampant Jewish apocalyptic thought. Many Jews believed that a Messiah was coming and that Yahweh would intervene cataclysmically at any moment to restore Israel. The Jesus here seems to be predicting this apocalypse within his generation. Other verses imply that he told the disciples that they would be installed as the new rulers of the restored tribes. It didn't happen. That's what makes such verses stand out as historically credible. Who would want to put failed prophecy on Jesus's lips? A better alternative is that such traditions reflect the kind of thing Jesus himself was preaching.

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All the bullshit made up about his nativity...
Common bullshittery that was commonly ascribed to other historical figures. See Plutarch's biography of Alexander the Great and other Roman Caesars. Plutarch was a contemporary of the Gospel writers. This was a common propaganda tool. It doesn't mean that it's more likely that Paul thought Jesus was manufactured, taught, and was crucified in outer-space.

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The Sermon on The Mount was an example of how they would have put something together like that and recorded it as an account in the gospels.
Sure. This was common though for historical figures. No one thinks the great speeches found in ancient Greco-Roman biographies are word-for-word reportings of what was said. More often than not, the authors would write the speeches and invent type-scenes that tried to capture the kind of things that were said, to best reflect the 'essence' of the figure. The Sermon on the Mount is probably similar. It very likely never happened as is presented in the Gospel of Matthew. It is likely a type-scene that contains the kind of things that Jesus was remembered for - e.g. parables involving farming imagery, apocalyptic and anti-establishment undertones, following the Mosaic law, etc.

Last edited by toejam; 6th February 2018 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 7th February 2018, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

[QUOTE=toejam;608906]Continuing on from where I left off...

Sorry toejam, but you left quite a bit out from where you left off. I mentioned this:

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The last one, crucifixion was wildly fictional too, with no trace of anything historical. Here's what I posted in another earlier thread:

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Barabbas (Son of The Father) had the first name of "Jesus" and was apparently notorious for being a robber, insurrectionist and a murderer. Strangely, there are no details of anything of these events outside of the gospels, and nothing of his life previously or since is known anywhere.


See:
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bar...iblical-figure
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Barabbas, in the New Testament, a prisoner or criminal mentioned in all four gospels who was chosen by the crowd, over Jesus Christ, to be released by Pontius Pilate in a customary pardon before the feast of Passover.
In Matthew 27:16, Barabbas was called a “notorious prisoner.” In Mark 15:7, Luke 23:19, and John 18:40, Barabbas was “among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection,” a revolutionary against the occupying Roman forces.
The name Barabbas appears nowhere else in the New Testament, nor do any of the gospels give any information about his previous or subsequent life.
So one Jesus (Son of The Father), who was about as evil as you could get was released into the wild, while the other Jesus (Son of The Father) who was innocent became a sacrificial lamb. This seems to be an allegory of;

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Leviticus 16 King James Version (KJV)

16 And the Lord spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the Lord, and died;

2 And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.

4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.

5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.

7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.

9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.

10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
and similar to the Yom Kippur Day of Atonement. So I ask, "What happened to Barabbas?" Did he go on with his reactionary, murdering ways? Maybe he was a Neville Nobody too, but why would he be known as notorious if that was the case? Surely he would be even more notorious after beating death so controversially and released?

Does anyone know of any prevailing Passover custom in Jerusalem that allowed or required Pilate or anyone else in power to commute one prisoner's death sentence over another by popular acclaim? I'm pretty sure there was no such tradition, but I don't know for sure.
The two thieves on either side of him were symbolic as well. It's about telling stories to be mysterious and special to the masses, not a recording of historical events.
and this:
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Paul tells us that Jesus came from the line of King David, and elsewhere, David's father Jesse - without qualification that he meant in the outer-space or from cosmic sperm. Paul tells that Jesus was an Israelite, like the Israelite patriarchs before him - without qualification that he means in the outer-space sense.
Hold on! Wasn't Jesus's biological father supposed to be Joseph? As in not God? Christians try to wriggle out of this by saying that it comes from Mary's family tree, which is just piffle! The Jews NEVER used the mother's family tree, they didn't count women as being important enough. Talking about women, Jesus's unnamed, uncounted sisters didn't hit the history books either, did they?
and this:
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I think it is more likely that he mentions "borne of a woman because of all the Gnostic cults that were around at the same time. I think that there were over 80 other cults that worshiped a celestial messiah at the same time of Jesus. If Jesus was the real deal, how could others promote stuff like this? There were also other Jewish Christian cults like the Ebionites and the Nazarenes claiming to be the true word about Jesus. How could they also exist if he was the real McCoy?
and this:

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There are no smoking guns here, there is nothing tying biographical information to any historical event or location. It would be a whole lot different if we had something like Paul interviewing his Lord's bro about what Jesus was like as a younger man and a kid, other asking about his mother and father. Jesus was supposed to be a carpenter, do you think that what he made would have been kept and treasured? There is nothing left as evidence. He supposedly had great wisdom, but couldn't write? Again there is nothing left if he did. No one remembered where he was buried. With all the hundreds of books written about the empty tomb and how important it was regarding the resurrection events, no-one knows for certain where it is.

According to Wiki there are 6 tombs of Jesus, including one in Japan.

Paul had 15 days to work stuff like this this out apparently and track down the other disciples/apostles to tell them what he had revealed to him. Where the fuck were they? If there truly was anything historical to be said about Jesus, this was the place to put it IMO.

There is zip. Just like the non-existent evidence of Nazareth, this leads us to a Jesus of Nowhere.
Could you give your comments to the above before we move on?
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Old 7th February 2018, 08:29 AM
toejam toejam is online now
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Barabbas
Likely more bullshittery. I already told you that I think if there was a trial, it was likely short and swift.

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The two thieves on either side of him were symbolic as well
Maybe. Maybe not.

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Hold on! Wasn't Jesus's biological father supposed to be Joseph? As in not God? Christians try to wriggle out of this by saying that it comes from Mary's family tree, which is just piffle! The Jews NEVER used the mother's family tree, they didn't count women as being important enough. Talking about women, Jesus's unnamed, uncounted sisters didn't hit the history books either, did they?
We don't know whether Paul thought Jesus also had a human father. Jewish Matrilinealism (i.e. the belief that one is a Jew "according to the flesh" if one's mother was a Jew) may well have its roots in the Book of Ezra. We don't know if Paul traced Jesus's lineage back to David through his mother or father's side. Paul probably believed in Jesus's Davidic descent not from a careful study of any reliable genealogy, but simply because he believed this should be the case if he were the Messiah. Paul's "born of a woman, under the [Mosaic] law" and "descended from [King] David according to the flesh" are straight forward. You're trying to read something into them that's simply not there. Paul is saying that Jesus was a human, and a human Jew at that. I've given you lots of other examples where Paul uses the phrase "according to the flesh" to refer to his fellow Earthly Jews. It is decidedly NOT Paul saying that Jesus was manufactured in outer-space from cosmic-David-sperm placed in a space-woman's womb.

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There were also other Jewish Christian cults like the Ebionites and the Nazarenes claiming to be the true word about Jesus
Neither of which, at least from what we can decipher from very scant evidence, thought that Jesus was an exclusively celestial being. The sources which speak of the Ebionites tend to agree that they dismissed the Virgin Birth narratives and accepted Joseph as his natural father.

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There are no smoking guns here, there is nothing [in Paul's epistles] tying biographical information to any historical event or location.
I've already addressed how Paul links the biographical historical event of Jesus's crucifixion to Jerusalem:

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.

I've not claimed this to be a "smoking gun". Do you think that without a smoking gun, then Carrier's thesis is thus equally tenable? Where the heck is the smoking gun in Paul that locates Jesus's exclusively outer-space manufacture, teaching, and crucifixion? Why doesn't Paul ever say "a descendant of David according to heavenly pneuma?" or "God sent his son, born of a space-woman, outside of the Mosaic law, just beyond the moon", etc.?

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It would be a whole lot different if we had something like Paul interviewing his Lord's bro about what Jesus was like as a younger man and a kid, other asking about his mother and father.
It would also be a whole lot different to Carrier's thesis if Paul actually said that Jesus was manufactured and crucified in outer-space. But alas...

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Jesus was supposed to be a carpenter, do you think that what he made would have been kept and treasured?
Supposed by whom? Not me.

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There is nothing left as evidence. He supposedly had great wisdom, but couldn't write?
Again, it's not my view that he had great wisdom. And illiteracy was the norm back then - especially for Galiliean farm Jews. It's not surprising if he couldn't write.

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No one remembered where he was buried. With all the hundreds of books written about the empty tomb and how important it was regarding the resurrection events, no-one knows for certain where it is.
No one knows for certain where most important historical figures were buried.

Last edited by toejam; 7th February 2018 at 08:32 AM.
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  #76  
Old 7th February 2018, 10:44 AM
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Goldenmane said View Post
I wouldn't have expected Paul to say diddly-squat about Jesus' life, given that it was well known to the early Church that Paul was very much a Johnny-come-lately who never met the bloke.
I'll ask you again, how the fuck do you know that? You will need to provide a citation for that assertion.
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Hell, that seems to me to be a significant factor in Paul's rather contentious relationship with the group he was finagling to gain control of.

Speaking of which: why the need to write bloody letters if there wasn't an already extant mob Paul was trying to take over? I mean, that's an awful lot of political maneuvring for someone who's just making the magical fuck up from whole cloth.
Writing propaganda via letters wasn't unknown then. Fuck me with a chainsaw, there is even one that Jeebus was supposed to have written!

Last edited by SEG; 7th February 2018 at 10:48 AM. Reason: I left out relevant link
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Old 7th February 2018, 06:41 PM
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toejam said View Post
Barabbas
Likely more bullshittery. I already told you that I think if there was a trial, it was likely short and swift.
Glad you agree, you probably know all of the contradictions and falsehoods that even the Christians bring up, so I won't bore you with them. The Gospels can't even get the "arrest" times or reasons consistent. The images of meek and mild blue-eyed Jesus whipping and chasing out the money changers like Chuck Norris adds to the bullshittery.

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toejam said View Post
The two thieves on either side of him were symbolic as well
Maybe. Maybe not.
The symbolism adds to the drama, but is clearly fiction too. In Christian art, Jesus has his head and footrest towards the good thief, pointing him out. The bad thief wanted to be taken down, not to go up. The good thief was willing to endure the cross to go up to paradise. In Greek and Roman mythology, Castor and Pollux were twin brothers who are often depicted being on either side of other gods. They could be compared to James and John, always together and never apart.

James & John were by birth the sons of Zebedee
• Renamed as Boanerges = sons of Thunder
• James and John asked Jesus to sit at his right and left in glory
• Jesus refused their request (they were replaced to 2 thieves on his right and left on the cross)
• Castor & Pollux were by birth the sons of Laertes
• Renamed Dioscuri = lads of Zeus, the Thunderer
• They asked Zeus to allow them to share immortality
• Zeus granted their request (in art they are depicted on right and left of Zeus)

The whole scene reeks of symbolism IMO.

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Hold on! Wasn't Jesus's biological father supposed to be Joseph? As in not God? Christians try to wriggle out of this by saying that it comes from Mary's family tree, which is just piffle! The Jews NEVER used the mother's family tree, they didn't count women as being important enough. Talking about women, Jesus's unnamed, uncounted sisters didn't hit the history books either, did they?
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toejam said View Post
We don't know whether Paul thought Jesus also had a human father. Jewish Matrilinealism (i.e. the belief that one is a Jew "according to the flesh" if one's mother was a Jew) may well have its roots in the Book of Ezra. We don't know if Paul traced Jesus's lineage back to David through his mother or father's side. Paul probably believed in Jesus's Davidic descent not from a careful study of any reliable genealogy, but simply because he believed this should be the case if he were the Messiah. Paul's "born of a woman, under the [Mosaic] law" and "descended from [King] David according to the flesh" are straight forward. You're trying to read something into them that's simply not there. Paul is saying that Jesus was a human, and a human Jew at that.
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
I've given you lots of other examples where Paul uses the phrase "according to the flesh" to refer to his fellow Earthly Jews. It is decidedly NOT Paul saying that Jesus was manufactured in outer-space from cosmic-David-sperm placed in a space-woman's womb.
What makes you think that Paul doesn't mean where flesh and decay and death reside, just where Satan and his demons congregate? The Jewish theologian Philo mentions that in Jewish angelology and demonology “some” spirits “descend into bodies” in that lower realm and are then subject to it? (p. 188) Pagan theology knew of incarnating spirits below the orbit of the moon? (p. 186; e.g. p. 172) Paul knew Jesus as a pre-existent archangel even before his own incarnation and resurrection? (Element 10, Chapter 4, OHJ, pp. 92-96; and see Bart Ehrman’s defense of the same conclusion.) And therefore, that the incarnation was just a temporary blip in a long archangelic history? (As Philippians 2 makes clear.)

I'll refer you to Carrier again:
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The word Paul uses can sometimes mean birth in some other authors, but it is not the word Paul ever uses for birth (gennaô); instead, it’s the word he uses for God’s manufacture of Adam’s body from clay, and God’s manufacture of our future resurrection bodies in heaven (ginomai). Neither of which are born or have parents or are descendants of anyone.
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There were also other Jewish Christian cults like the Ebionites and the Nazarenes claiming to be the true word about Jesus
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toejam said View Post
Neither of which, at least from what we can decipher from very scant evidence, thought that Jesus was an exclusively celestial being. The sources which speak of the Ebionites tend to agree that they dismissed the Virgin Birth narratives and accepted Joseph as his natural father.
The Gospel of Philip, a third-century Gnostic work, claims that the word "Nazarene" signifies "the truth" "The Nazarene" is he who reveals what is hidden. Christ has everything in himself, whether man, or angel, or mystery, and the Father. : We couldn't have a Jesus associated with the Gnostics, so the "Nazarene" became known as a locality term.


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There are no smoking guns here, there is nothing [in Paul's epistles] tying biographical information to any historical event or location.
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toejam said View Post
I've already addressed how Paul links the biographical historical event of Jesus's crucifixion to Jerusalem:
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toejam said View Post
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.
Yes he actually says that we don't have manuscript evidence because they occurred long before any extant manuscripts were produced

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toejam said View Post
I've not claimed this to be a "smoking gun". Do you think that without a smoking gun, then Carrier's thesis is thus equally tenable?
Nope, there are no smoking guns either way.

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Jesus was supposed to be a carpenter, do you think that what he made would have been kept and treasured?
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toejam said View Post
Supposed by whom? Not me.
Fair comment. That leaves Jesus with no CV at all when he popped into existence at age 30. He must have been a disappointment to his welfare dependent large family.

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There is nothing left as evidence. He supposedly had great wisdom, but couldn't write?
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toejam said View Post
Again, it's not my view that he had great wisdom. And illiteracy was the norm back then - especially for Galiliean farm Jews. It's not surprising if he couldn't write.
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? 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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No one remembered where he was buried. With all the hundreds of books written about the empty tomb and how important it was regarding the resurrection events, no-one knows for certain where it is.
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toejam said View Post
No one knows for certain where most important historical figures were buried.
That's true, but we are talking about a historical figure that topped Time Magazine's The 100 Most Significant Figures in History

1 Jesus

2 Napoleon

3 Muhammad

4 William Shakespeare

5 Abraham Lincoln

6 George Washington

7 Adolf Hitler

8 Aristotle

9 Alexander the Great

10 Thomas Jefferson


Also how many have these attributes;
1. Known and worshiped as the Son of God
2. Having an empty tomb that had flying angels, Roman guards etc
3. Whose death and resurrection were central doctrines were founded at the height of the Roman Empire and whose religion was later adopted by Romans

If millions of people visit Lourdes each year knowing with certainty the location on the basis of stories of apparitions, how could something as extremely important as Jesus's tomb be promptly forgotten?
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Old 7th February 2018, 10:51 PM
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The two thieves on either side of him were symbolic as well
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Maybe. Maybe not.
Of all the foregoing irreconcilable disputation, this little concession was, how shall I put it, rewarding.
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:16 PM
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Of all the foregoing irreconcilable disputation, this little concession was, how shall I put it, rewarding.
Yeah, oh yeah, I got him! Sort of...
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Old 8th February 2018, 01:00 AM
toejam toejam is online now
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Default Re: Why Christopher Hitchens believed in The Historical Jesus

Quote:
symbolism
There is plenty of fictional symbolism in Plutarch's biographies of historical people too.

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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.
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.

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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?
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.

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Philippians 2
... further demonstrates that Paul thought Jesus had been here on Earth in human form:

Paul: "Though [Jesus] was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped at, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross."

One of the biggest driving points Paul tries to make is that Jesus was able to save humanity because he was incarnated as one of us.

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The Gospel of Philip, a third-century Gnostic work, claims that the word "Nazarene" signifies "the truth" "The Nazarene" is he who reveals what is hidden. Christ has everything in himself, whether man, or angel, or mystery, and the Father. : We couldn't have a Jesus associated with the Gnostics, so the "Nazarene" became known as a locality term.
This is all pretty irrelevant to a careful reading of Paul. The Gospel of Philip also does not place Jesus's life, teaching, and crucifixion in outer-space.

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Yes he actually says that we don't have manuscript evidence because they occurred long before any extant manuscripts were produced
I'm not convinced that 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 is an interpolation. And yes, I've read Carrier's argument. It's not only that we don't have physical manuscript evidence, but we don't even have evidence from Church Fathers attesting to the knowledge of the existence of circulating versions that have these passages omitted (as they tell us about alternative versions of Luke that omit the birth narratives, etc.).

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there are no smoking guns either way.
That does not mean Carrier's portrait of Paul is equally likely. There certainly are smoking guns on that front. Paul regularly states in various ways that Jesus was a human Jew.

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That leaves Jesus with no CV at all when he popped into existence at age 30.
I'm lost at why you think this is relevant?

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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?
Well, yes. Again, how is this relevant?

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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?
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.

Last edited by toejam; 8th February 2018 at 01:17 AM.
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