How reliable are these stuffs about Jesus?

Nov 2016
400
Munich
#52
I think the question ignores the purpose of the bible.

It's like asking, "How reliable are the stuff about Socrates in Plato's Republic?"
The question of the historical existence of Socrates and the details from his bio are in no way relevant to any religious belief or philosophical world view. It´s quite different with Jesus: Whether he has actually existed and what really happened to him and which of the allegedly reported sayings are possibly authentic is very relevant to the significance and credibility of Christianity.

The "purpose of the Bible" was to establish a fixed frame or foundation for the Christian belief in order to determine which dogmas were ´legitimate´ and which were not. Without doubt it was thought that the content of the texts was fully historical.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
6,866
#53
The question of the historical existence of Socrates and the details from his bio are in no way relevant to any religious belief or philosophical world view. It´s quite different with Jesus: Whether he has actually existed and what really happened to him and which of the allegedly reported sayings are possibly authentic is very relevant to the significance and credibility of Christianity.
The reliabity of our sources are on Socrates are relevant, in knowing what Socrates really said as opposed to what Plaro or others attribute to him.

And Buddhist are not often not concerned with questions of historicity of Buddha, which I'd on even shakier ground than Jesus. Fictional stories can move and influence people even when they are known to be fictional. At two separate commencement speeches, I heard speakers quote the same passage from Harry Potter.

The "purpose of the Bible" was to establish a fixed frame or foundation for the Christian belief in order to determine which dogmas were ´legitimate´ and which were not. Without doubt it was thought that the content of the texts was fully historical.
I am not a mind reader, neither are you. People back then had different standards. For example, Tacitus works have lengthy speeches by Roman foes on the eve of battle, that his readers had to have known could not be fully historical, yet his works were accepted as historical. (There is no way Tacitus could have known what the losing general said to his illiterate Celtic warriors said to his troops decades esrlier). Ancienr writers were allowed to change some of the fully hostorical.facfs.to.improve the historical.narrative.
 
Nov 2016
400
Munich
#54
The reliabity of our sources are on Socrates are relevant, in knowing what Socrates really said as opposed to what Plaro or others attribute to him.
I´m not sure whether you got the point of my argument. The historicity of Socrates is not relevant to the content of philosophical ideas. What matters is the content of the Socratic dialogues, not the persons who participated. Philosophy is not a personality cult but rational reflection on ideas and arguments, while Christianity is a personality cult of Jesus to the highest degree.

And Buddhist are not often not concerned with questions of historicity of Buddha, which I'd on even shakier ground than Jesus.
"Shakier"? Is that even possible? Anyway, what I said about Socrates applies also to Buddha. It does not matter whether he really lived, what matters is the content of the teachings which are ascribed to him. Their value does not depend on the person ´Buddha´, while the value of the teachings ascribed to Jesus depends very much on the person ´Jesus´, since without this person the value is zero, while the value of Buddhist teaching continues without a historical Buddha.

I am not a mind reader, neither are you. People back then had different standards. For example, Tacitus works have lengthy speeches by Roman foes on the eve of battle, that his readers had to have known could not be fully historical, yet his works were accepted as historical.
You can´t compare the Bible to Tacitus, sorry. Moreover, please provide evidence for your assumption that the early Christians did NOT think that the Bible´s content is fully historical.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
6,866
#55
I´m not sure whether you got the point of my argument. The historicity of Socrates is not relevant to the content of philosophical ideas. What matters is the content of the Socratic dialogues, not the persons who participated. Philosophy is not a personality cult but rational reflection on ideas and arguments, while Christianity is a personality cult of Jesus to the highest degree.
You could have a type of Christianity hat focuses on the teachings of Christianity, much as many Buudhist focuses on the teaching of Buddha and don't worey about whether a historical Buddha existed. True, that is not the majority of Christians today, but religion is whatever people choose to make of it.

"Shakier"? Is that even possible? Anyway, what I said about Socrates applies also to Buddha. It does not matter whether he really lived, what matters is the content of the teachings which are ascribed to him. Their value does not depend on the person ´Buddha´, while the value of the teachings ascribed to Jesus depends very much on the person ´Jesus´, since without this person the value is zero, while the value of Buddhist teaching continues without a historical Buddha.
Jesus parables would still have value even if Jesus never existed. The example.of he Good Samaritan in answering the question "who is our neighbor" doesn't depend on the existence Jesus.

And yes, Buddha historical records is on shakier grounds as evidence that thsre is no universal consensus on when he was born, varying by a century or more, and the oldest non Buddhist reference to Buddha is around 400 years after his time, as is the oldest biography of him. The oldest non Christian reference to Christ is about 60 to 70 years, and 70 years is a lot less than 400 years. And oldest boy graphical material of Jesus dates.to less than 40 years after his life, far better than the 400 years after the life of Buddha for the oldest biography of Buddha. So unless you insist that 400 is a much smaller number than 40, the historical evidence for Buddha is on shakier ground.


You can´t compare the Bible to Tacitus, sorry. Moreover, please provide evidence for your assumption that the early Christians did NOT think that the Bible´s content is fully historical.
Yes, you can. It shows the literary conventions of the day. And you can't just wave it away as you do simply because it doesn't fit your narrative.

It raises questions if every item in the Bible was regarded as completely historical. It was considered to ok to embellish historical.accounts to improve the story telling. Did Tacitus regard his works as "fully" historical. Did he add some things that were invented by him? Yes
 
Nov 2016
400
Munich
#56
Jesus parables would still have value even if Jesus never existed. The example.of he Good Samaritan in answering the question "who is our neighbor" doesn't depend on the existence Jesus.
Of course it doesn´t depend on his existence because such ethics was already well-known in those days (Stoa and Epicureans) and would therefore remain valid today without that parable. Most probably Christianity had taken such ethics from the Stoa and the Epicureans. Most other parables have been taken from non-Christian sources, too. So what?

But again, you ignore, though being a Christian, what is crucial for Christianity: it´s not the parables, but the person ´Jesus´ who is believed to be the ´redeemer´ of Mankind, independent from any parables.

Besides, there is - once again! - an irreconcilable contradiction within the teachings of your hero with regard to the teaching of the Good Samaritan parable. In Matthew 15:21-28 we read that Jesus was completely desinterested in the suffering of non-Jewish people. Only when she continued to urge him for help and signalled submissiveness, he was willing to help a non-Jewish person:

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

It raises questions if every item in the Bible was regarded as completely historical. It was considered to ok to embellish historical.accounts to improve the story telling. Did Tacitus regard his works as "fully" historical. Did he add some things that were invented by him? Yes
The Bible is a religious propaganda book, while Tacitus wrote non-religious historical reports, the most of them being historically correct. So please don´t take me for a ride by using Tacitus in order to lend more credence to the Bible.

Instead of such distraction tactics, please provide evidence for your assumption that early Christians did not think that the Bible´s content is fully historical.
 
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Oct 2018
705
Adelaide south Australia
#57
Regardless of who wrote what, the claim of being inerrant doesn't stand even casual scrutiny.

An illustration from this Month's national Geographic, which has an article about old biblical texts, especially Qumran . The texts discovered were written in the first century ce. Earliest decipherable texts date from the fourth century ce.,, So Far, all Christian Churches have declared anything relating to Christianity, such as the gospel of Thomas as apocryphal as they do not agree with the canon.

Recently, a document containing the the Book of Josiah (I think) was found to be almost identical to a copy from the 1700 century ce. Scholars have ben thrilled and a bit stuTh efin
 
Oct 2018
705
Adelaide south Australia
#58
Perhaps worth putting 'ancient historians' into perspective: Histories written by historians such as Cassius Dio, Suetonius, Tacitus, Herodotus and Josephus were a lot more /less than a recordings of events. The discipline of history as we think of it simply did not exist. Histories were often written on commission, or as propaganda. I suspect this would have been well known, accepted by the literati of the time. How much of Caesar's Gallic Wars, for example , are literally true? --and Suetonius' 12 Caesar's is full of embellishments, invention and libels, if his ''Life of Caligula is anything to go by.'

I think it's pretty well accepted by scholars, that ancient scribes/commentators would often embellish or invent for effect or to suit their own agenda. Plus, I read recently that many scribes were illiterate. IE they could copy, literally, but could not read what they were writing,

The authors of the Gospels are unknown, the names being arbitrarily allocated. An interesting afternoon can be had reading all four Gospels parallel. IE you need four bibles, same translation. The differences are pretty startling.

As for The sermon on the mount and the Pater Noster. I read, I forget where,. that those two pieces are the most likely to have been said by Jesus. This is because of their innate Jewishness. Christians tend to overlook some inconvenient truths: That Jesus was first an Aramaic speaking rabbi (not Greek) and that until Saul of Tarsus stuck his oar in, Christianity was a very small, very Jewish sect;. Only Jews could belong.

What we call "Christianity" is called "Paulism" by some scholars.. This is doubly interesting because it is apparently clear that that at least some of Paul's epistles are forgeries. A small minority of scholars have posited the idea that ALL of Paul's epistles are fakes. Quite plausible, considering the first 1200--1500 years of Christianity under the control of that most corrupt of institutions, the Catholic Church.
 
Nov 2016
400
Munich
#59
Histories written by historians such as Cassius Dio, Suetonius, Tacitus, Herodotus and Josephus were a lot more /less than a recordings of events. The discipline of history as we think of it simply did not exist. Histories were often written on commission, or as propaganda
Well, but in what relation stands all that to a book (the Bible) which contains stories about a world creation in 6 days, about a human couple in a Garden Eden being seduced by a snake, about an itinerant preacher who is the son of the world creator and whose blood redeems mankind, and so on and so on? You are seemingly confusing Jewish-Christian religious and Roman political propaganda, or in other words: hallucination and lying, as if there were no difference. Moreover, the central figures reported by Roman historians are undoubtedly historical, while the central figures "reported" in the Bible (e.g. Yahveh/the LORD, some angels, Adam, Eve, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Mary, Peter, Paul) are fantasized resp. historically doubtful. Thus, your excursion to Roman historiography is per se interestering but only little relevant to the question of the accuracy of biblical stories.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
6,866
#60
Of course it doesn´t depend on his existence because such ethics was already well-known in those days (Stoa and Epicureans) and would therefore remain valid today without that parable. Most probably Christianity had taken such ethics from the Stoa and the Epicureans. Most other parables have been taken from non-Christian sources, too. So what?
Your assertions don't have facts behind them. The Christians if anything had more in common with the Stoics than Epicurians, unless by Stoa did you mean "Stoic". There is an element of Christianity, compassion for the poor, that seems absent from the 2 philosophies you mention. And there is a communal aspect of Christianity that does not seem present either. While they share many points in.common, your claim that Christianity derived all its ethics from these is not supported by the facts you have presented.




But again, you ignore, though being a Christian, what is crucial for Christianity: it´s not the parables, but the person ´Jesus´ who is believed to be the ´redeemer´ of Mankind, independent from any parables.
That is how most Christians are today, but not all. Some people call themselves Christians even though they think Jesus was a mere man. A religion is what you make of it.

Besides, there is - once again! - an irreconcilable contradiction within the teachings of your hero with regard to the teaching of the Good Samaritan parable. In Matthew 15:21-28 we read that Jesus was completely desinterested in the suffering of non-Jewish people. Only when she continued to urge him for help and signalled submissiveness, he was willing to help a non-Jewish person:
You missed the story of the centurion's servant, whom Jesus freelynhealed without even setting eyes on him, so the claim.Jesus was disinterested in the.fate of others is not true. You like any.others have misunderstood the passage. Jesus, as.he often did, was testinf the woman. Had he just healed the woman's daughter, the woman might have had guilty feelings, that she obtained healing that she had no right to, secretly knowing that as a non Jew she didn't deserve the healing. By challenging her, Jesus made her make a declaration that would free her off all guilt.

He does the same thing with the woman who was healed when she touched him. When he asked "who touched me", Jesus knew who had touched him,nhis question is like the mother who questions her child "who has been in the cookie jar?". The mother knows who has been in the cookie jar, but she wants her child to confess on their own. Jesus needed the woman to say it that she had touched him, so she would not have guilty feelings about somehow having stolen the healing from him. Plus Jesus never passed up an opportunity to use a healing as a means of instruction. (The Jesus who knew everything about the woman in the well certainly knew who had touched him. Jesus question was for the sake of the woman and the cross.)

The Bible is a religious propaganda book, while Tacitus wrote non-religious historical reports, the most of them being historically correct. So please don´t take me for a ride by using Tacitus in order to lend more credence to the Bible.
Propoganda is.propoganda, and the fact the authors had different objectives does not make.ir any less bias.

Instead of such distraction tactics, please provide evidence for your assumption that early Christians did not think that the Bible´s content is fully historical.
You missed the point entirely. What the ancients thought of as fully historical is not necessarily what you think of fully historical. Ancients defined the word differently.




Well, but in what relation stands all that to a book (the Bible) which contains stories about a world creation in 6 days, about a human couple in a Garden Eden being seduced by a snake, about an itinerant preacher who is the son of the world creator and whose blood redeems mankind, and so on and so on? You are seemingly confusing Jewish-Christian religious and Roman political propaganda, or in other words: hallucination and lying, as if there were no difference. Moreover, the central figures reported by Roman historians are undoubtedly historical, while the central figures "reported" in the Bible (e.g. Yahveh/the LORD, some angels, Adam, Eve, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Mary, Peter, Paul) are fantasized resp. historically doubtful. Thus, your excursion to Roman historiography is per se interestering but only little relevant to the question of the accuracy of biblical stories.
The fact one is religious propoganda and the other political makes not a significant difference. That they did not have the samd.goals.iz not.importsnt to the point, you acknowledge their method is the same, and that is important.

Also, the Bible was composed of many different books with different authors and different purposes. The book of Genesis is not the same as Paul's letter to the Galatians. And if the Bible is propaganda, the same is true for many works.of history as well. Many biographies are not written to simply tell what happened, but convince the readers why the character was a great person, which would make those biographies as much a work of propanda as the Bible.
 

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