How reliable are these stuffs about Jesus?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,307
Brassicaland
#1

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#2
Keep in mind that the Wicca's are a relatively recent creation, in reality going no back no further than the late 19th century. While they like to believe their beliefs are an unbroken continuition of ancient, they no more go back to the ancient past than the Mason's go back the builders of Solomon's Temple and the Pyramids. So you can pretty much dismiss what they say about the historical Jesus.

When it comes to the historical Jesus, the best book on the subject I have found is John P. Meier's four volume "A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus". The first volume discusses the sources of information about the historical Jesus, concludes the canonical Gospels are the primary and best sources for information about the historical Jesus. Note, saying the canonical Gospels are the best ones does not mean they don't have a lot of problems with them or are particularly good sources, just the best we have.

Paul is often claimed to have distorted or invented Christianity, but when it statements of facts about Jesus, which in the case of Paul are admittedly meager, he is for the most part consistent with the canonical Gospels. While Paul it is claimed Paul.distorted orginal Christianity, being who make those claims.have a political agenda. For example, the idea that Jesus was resurrected from the dead did not orginate from Paul, he clearly states that claim was a tradition he inherited and was merely on. This is further supported by the way the Gospel accounts, which differ in some minor details from Paul's. If Paul was the orgnator of this claim, the gospel accounts should be more similar to Paul"s than they are. And despite the the Book of Acts devoting considerable space to Paul, it does not explicitly support Paul's claim that Paul was an apostle co-equal to Peter, or call Paul an Apostle.equal to.the 12. And despite lengthy speeches by Paul in Acts, we don't find any of the material comes directly from Paul's own letters, and key themes of Paul's letters are not found in Acts.


The canonical Gospels as biographical sources are limitated in the information they contain, they do include some important facts. Just telling us Jesus was a first century Palestistisn Jew tells us a lot about him from just that fact. The Wiccan accounts fail miserably because they simply do not match what we know of 1st century Jewish beliefs and customs from both archaeology and other ancient sources, while the Gospels do.

For example, we know the book of Isaiah was a favorite among many 1st century Palestinian Jews , and from New Testament quotes by Jesus, it was a favorite of his also. The Wiccan Jesus is ignorant of the old Testament, unlike an actual 1st century He's.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#4
OOPS-wrong clip.

Moderator, could you possibly remove that clip about ancient Babylonian tablet?. As interesting as it is, not what I meant to post
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#6
Wicca as it is practiced today was founded by a British Civil servant, Gerald Gardener, circa 1954.

Paul Of Tarsus invented the religion called "Christianity". Before Saul stuck his oar in, 'Christianity' was a small Jewish sect. IE a person HAD to be Jewish to belong. Paul changed all that by allowing gentiles to join and by deliberately removing all of the mitzvot* dealing with ritual, especially circumcision, which could be fatal for an adult, and dietary law.
Even per Paul's own letters, Christianity was a going concern before he became involved. And we don't know how popular Christianity was before or after Paul. There is no actual evidence to that Paul made Christisnity popular. Jews were a significant fraction of the Roman Empire, and Christianity could have become a major religion even with Paul. Islam has managed to become the world's 2nd largest religion while retaining the Jewish elements like circumcism that Paul rejected.

Jesus made it clear he had not come to change the law. Matthew 5:17

"In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

Matthew 5:17 - Wikipedia.
It must be pointed out that those statements were from a document written at a time when most Christians were Gentiles, and Matthew was the most popular canonical gospel even among non-Jewish Christians who did not follow Jewish Law.

It has been long recognised that at least some of Paul's epistles are forgeries. Some modern historians have questioned Paul's existence. I think he probably did exist, but make no comment of the validity of the Epistles..
The majority of scholars accept as genuine those Paul's letters that gave the most historical information about Jesus, like Corinthians

There is no contemporary evidence for the historicity of Jesus. I accept that it is probable that there was a wondering Jewish rabbi, called something like Yeshua bar Yusuf, with a mother called Miriam ,probably during the reign of Tiberius, and who was crucified for sedition. The Roman province of Judea was neck deep in prophets and resistance at that time.
Not true. We have Paul 's letter that testify to the existence of a historical Jesus. Unless you insist all Paul's letters are forgeries, which only scholars ideologically committed to a non historical Jesus claim, Paul's letters are contemporary evidence of a historical Jesus.

Moreover, all the ancient writers take it as a matter of fact Jesus existed, no ancient writer doubted his existence, and several n of them were writing just decades,less than a hundred years after he lived.

The evidence for Jesus is far better than for any ancient 1st century rabbi. The only evidence for any of the famous Jewish rabbi comes from several centuries later in the Talmud, and are completely lacking outside Jewish writings except for New Testament book of Acts, which is centuries older than any Jewish source.
 
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Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#7
Not true. We have Paul 's letter that testify to the existence of a historical Jesus

I think I said CONTEMPORARY.

The gospels were written down between 50-70 years after putative death of Jesus. That is to say to say, two generations later . That means that iti s most unlikely any first hand witnesses were alive at the time.

Paul never met Jesus. His epiphany on the road to Damascus is generally accepted at between 32-35 ce, after the death of Jesus. Jesus is thought to have been born around 7bce. he began his ministry at age 30, and was crucified 3 years later.

That many, a lot of writers took it for granted that Jesus existed is certainly evidence. What it is not is proof (the two are not the same thing) your claim is based on a common logical fallacy; ,argument by consensus. IE a thing must be true because a lot of people say it is true. Perhaps also the fallacy of argument from authority. IE a thing is true because of who makes the claim, not on its own merits.


It must be pointed out that those statements were from a document written at a time when most Christians were Gentiles, : SO WHAT? Believing Christinas claim to believe the bible is the inerrant word of God. Do they mean only when it conforms to existing beliefs? I'm aware that passage has ben hotly debated for centuries.


That the evidence for the existence of Jesus is greater than any other first century rabbi is yet another logical fallacy, called a straw man; other first century rabbis are not part of the discussion.

To finish, I'll throw in one of my observations: Let's say the epistles of Paul were actually written by Paul, in Greek within the first century after the death of Jesus, which is getting on for 2000 years. There were no printing presses, so distribution was only by copying.at that time may scribes were illiterate; they could copy, but not read. It was common for scribes to edit what they wrote, deleting or adding bits. I contend that all sacred Christian writings have been copied and recopied so many times, nobody knows what was written.

---then of course the small matter of the Canon, selected by bishop Athanasius of Alexandria and ratified at the first Nicene council, 325 ce., leaving dozens of gospels as 'apochryphal'.

This argument seems to be more of a intellectual argument than having any chance of arriving at 'truth'. I allow that Jesus probably existed. for me, the evidence does not support a stronger claim.for believers ,this is a non issue, a simple matter of faith.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#8
Not true. We have Paul 's letter that testify to the existence of a historical Jesus

I think I said CONTEMPORARY.

The gospels were written down between 50-70 years after putative death of Jesus. That is to say to say, two generations later . That means that iti s most unlikely any first hand witnesses were alive at the time.
I cleary said Paul's letters, not the Gospels were contemporary with Jesus, being written a mere 20 yeats, or even as little as 20 years after Jesus death, which clearly qualify as contemporary.

Paul never met Jesus. His epiphany on the road to Damascus is generally accepted at between 32-35 ce, after the death of Jesus. Jesus is thought to have been born around 7bce. he began his ministry at age 30, and was crucified 3 years later.
So what? I have personally never met Obama, Bush or Clinton. Have you personally met Obama, Bush, Clinton or even Trump? The fact that you personally have not met anyone of them does not mean they did not exist. Simply because you personally have not met someone, it is illogical to insist they did bit exist, when people you have met assure you of their existence. I have not met some of my co-workers spouses and children gives me no right to insist as your logic dictates that these spouses and children did not exist.

Paul met Jesus brother, and if a person's brother exist, then that means the person did too. Morever, Paul no where actual said he never met Jesus, or never hear a talk Jesus give while Jesus was alive on Earth. Please point out where Paul in his letters specifically states that that he never hear or saw Jesus before his death.



That many, a lot of writers took it for granted that Jesus existed is certainly evidence. What it is not is proof (the two are not the same thing) your claim is based on a common logical fallacy; ,argument by consensus. IE a thing must be true because a lot of people say it is true.
And you suffer f on a greater logical fallacy, that anything that personally not witnessed does not exist. It is th epitomy of arrogance to insist that you know better what happened almost 2000 years later than people who lived just several decades later. Do you believe that Amelia Eahart existed? Why? Did you ever meet Amelia Earhart personally? Maybe she was just a publicity creation, pictures can be created and existing ones altered. Since we don't have any body, what is to say hat Amelia never actually existed, hut was merely a creation of newspapers and the media, created to sell newspapers. Perhaps all the pictures of Amelia were just of an actress playing a role to sell papers.



It must be pointed out that those statements were from a document written at a time when most Christians were Gentiles, : SO WHAT? Believing Christiand claim to believe the bible is the inerrant word of God. Do they mean only when it conforms to existing beliefs? I'm aware that passage has ben hotly debated for centuries.
Your ignorance and bias are betrayed in your comments. Not all Christians hd to the view that the Bible is inerrant and without errors. Nor does the fact that the Bible has some errors mean that it is all wrong as you insist, or that the fact that it has been proven right in some areas meana that the he Bible is always correct. No historical source is perfect, all contain some errors even the best. And do you hobesrly think the speeches found in Tacitus are alwaya verbatim records of what was actually said? Then explain to me how, Tacitus obtained the words of what some illiterate barbarian chief said on the eve of battle with the Romans several decades later. Did Tacitus track down some barbarian survivor of a battle fought decades earlier to find what his leader said just before a major battle with the Romans? Yet Tacitus is considered one of the better ancient historians.


[Quote =]
That the evidence for the existence of Jesus is greater than any other first century rabbi is yet another logical fallacy, called a straw man; other first century rabbis are not part of the discussion. [/Quote]

No, it is not. It shows that religious figures of the time were mostly ignored by historians of the time, especially if their followers were mostly ordinary peasants in a remote backwater part of the empire. If we don't have any records of other rabbis of the time, then it is not unexpected that our accounts of Jesus for the same period are meager as well. That have any at all, no matter how meager, implies Jesus was out of the ordinary. Religious figures whose main audiences were poor peasants we're not a topic that interested anxient historians for the most part. The lack of contemporary writing on Jesus is to be expected. Had Jesus led armies, we would have expected more information, but Jesus didn't lead any armies or armed rebellions.

And you seem to be using the Talmud as a source when discussing Jesus. However problematic the Gospels are as historical sources, the Talmud and other Jewish writing on Jesus are far inferior to the Gospels as historical sources in every aspect. The Talmud is far later and more remote from the time of Jesus, and demonstrates major deficiencies in scholarship

To finish, I'll throw in one of my observations: Let's say the epistles of Paul were actually written by Paul, in Greek within the first century after the death of Jesus, which is getting on for 2000 years. There were no printing presses, so distribution was only by copying.at that time may scribes were illiterate; they could copy, but not read.
Please provide actual evidence for you claims that scribes were illiterate. I have seen no evidence that ancient scribes were illiterate as your claim. Since your are making the claim, I insist you provide contemporary evidence to support it.

It was actually more common for people to be able to read than to write. Men like Charlemange were said to be able to read, but not write, and even a highly literate Paul employed scribes to write his letters. (We know this, because sometimes the scribe writing Paul's letters sent his own greeting.)
It was common for scribes to edit what they wrote, deleting or adding bits. I contend that all sacred Christian writings have been copied and recopied so many times, nobody knows what was written.
Again, y
We have hundreds of manuscripts, and the edits and changes made by the different copyist will all be different, and by comparing the different copies we can accurately extrapolate the original text. Scholars who study the matter are confident what the majority of the orginal text is, with only a minority of any gospel text in doubt.

You incorrectly assume that copyist will all make the same mistakes or choose to modify the text the same way, but that is not so.

---then of course the small matter of the Canon, selected by bishop Athanasius of Alexandria and ratified at the first Nicene council, 325 ce., leaving dozens of gospels as 'apochryphal'.
You display your ignorance. The council of Nicene had little to do with the selection the Gospels as you assert. Also, long before 335 AD the 4 canonical Gospels had become the most popular of all the gospels. Church Father Irenaeus in the late 2nd/early 3rd century talked about the 4 Gospels as being the only acceptable Gospels, and 202 AD is a long time before 325 AD.

When you look at the quotes by early Church Fathers like Justin Martyr, it is the canonical godpels they are quoting, which Justin called memoir of the apostles, not the apochryphal ones. Note, Dan Brown is not a historical source, and you can't take everything he says in his works of fiction as fact which you seem to do. The common myth that the council of Nicene was involved in creating the cannon of the Bible seems to have become popular due to Dan Brown. In reality, the creation of the New Testament cannon was an organic affair, with some books like the 4 Gospels gaining canonical status relatively early, while others like Revelations taking longer to become accepted.

Having personally read the available apochryphal, they are all clearly not as old as the canonical Gospels and are inferior as historical sources. Only the Gospel of Thomas might be as old as the canonical Gospels, but it is just a saying gospel, and lacks historical information.

Unlike what you imply, the 4 canonical Gospels were not randomly selected, and the number of apochryphal gospels number in the dozens, not hundreds.

Just admitting Jesus was a 1st century Palestinian Jews tells us quite a bit about Jesus.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#9
Opps, I don't usually get involved with arguments with Christian apologists; it's waste of my time and theirs..

I know it's time to quit when the other person feels the need to resort to ad hominen attacks; Eg referring to me as ignorant and biased, which I find hilariously ironic given the source.

So I'll stop now before I say something unkind. :)
 
Nov 2018
12
Australia
#10
Not true. We have Paul 's letter that testify to the existence of a historical Jesus. Unless you insist all Paul's letters are forgeries, which only scholars ideologically committed to a non historical Jesus claim, Paul's letters are contemporary evidence of a historical Jesus.
Not so.

Paul came along years after Jesus - NOT contemporary.

And history means records of :
* dates
* places
* people
But Paul never once gives a date for Jesus' life or death.
Paul never says where Jesus lived or died - not one mention of Bethlehem, Nazareth or that Jesus died in Jerusalem.
Paul never ever mentions Mary, Joseph, Lazarus, Joseph or Arimathea etc.

In short -
Paul's writing are not contemporary with Jesus,
and there is NO history of Jesus in Paul's writing.

H.
 
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