July 29, 2017 at 8:47 pm #128786
Well there is a myth. And that is that in the first two centuries anybody thought JC was a myth and not a historical figure. Now you could say that the idea that JC was a myth was in fact present; but just because there is an absence of evidence for it doesn’t mean that is evidence of absence? Adam’s Lucian analysis is disingenuous. Passing of Peregrinus ridicules the Christians for being gullible in being taken in by fakes, free loading on Christian communes. And thus seems to miss a trick then in not also accusing them of being gullible in believing their crucified sophist actually existed? The poor fools have persuaded themselves above all that they are immortal and will live forever, from which it follows that they despise death and many of them willingly undergo imprisonment. Moreover, their first lawgiver taught them that they are all brothers of one another, when once they have sinned by denying the Greek gods, and by worshiping that crucified sophist himself and living according to his laws. So, they despise all things equally and regard them as common property, accepting such teaching without any sort of clear proof. Accordingly, if any quack or trickster, who can press his advantage, comes among them he can acquire great wealth in a very short time by imposing on simple-minded people ‘that crucified sophist’ in the classical Greek is quite unequivocal which more precise a language than English? [It looks like the story of freeloading on Christian communists is plaguarised from another Christian communist document called Didache generally believed to be late first early second century. It has got stuff in it about Christian communists dealing with freeloaders. The funeral pyre stuff in Passing of Peregrinus probably in connected to the myth of Err which has similarities to Christian theology; death decent to hell and resurrection etc Origen a bit of a Christian Platonist talked about the myth of Err in his contra Celsum] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_ErJuly 30, 2017 at 4:04 am #128788ALBKeymaster
I think you are being even more keen to use Lucian's satire as evidence for Jesus's historical existence than the christians themselves:http://lucianofsamosata.info/wiki/doku.php?id=2013:why-lucians-view-of-the-christians-and-jesus-is-indeterminateLucian (who lived in the 2nd century) only provides evidence of the existence of christians then (which no one denies) and what they were perceived to believe. At that time they would have just been one of a number of similar "saviour" cults (the name Jesus actually means saviour: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_(name).a powerful suggestion that he was just a mythical figure). Another of these, the cult of Adonis, was mentioned by Lucian in his essay "On the Syrian Goddess". Its devotees believed that Adonis died and was resurrected a couple of days later (sound familiar?).. Next you'll be arguing that Adonis was a historical person on the basis of the absence of evidence not being evidence of absence.Incidentally, despite what Redmond says, Lucian should still be read today. He was an "Epicurean". They accepted that the gods existed but said that they had no influence on human affairs. The nearest you could get to atheism in those days. Lucian's satires on the cults and cultists of his day is amusing and still relevant for today.July 30, 2017 at 8:34 am #128789AnonymousInactiveALB wrote:Next you'll be arguing that Adonis was a historical person on the basis of the absence of evidence not being evidence of absence.
Quite. But one should set no store by that rather platitudinous turn of phrase; it could equally be used to justify belief in all manner of mumbo-jumbo simply because there's no evidence, at least at present, and may never be, to disprove it. The burden of proof must surely rest with those making an assertion.July 30, 2017 at 9:01 am #128790
I think you are being even more keen to use Lucian's satire as evidence for Jesus's historical existence than the christians themselves:http://lucianofsamosata.info/wiki/doku.php?id=2013:why-lucians-view-of-t…Your link ends with ? Lucian does confirm the Christians and Jesus, but how much of Lucian's view can be taken to be accurate? I think Adonis which is an example you gave originating from 600BC and The exact date when the legend of Adonis became integrated into Greek culture is still disputed. Walter Burkert questions whether Adonis had not from the very beginning come to Greece with Aphrodite."In Greece," Burkert concludes, "the special function of the Adonis legend is as an opportunity for the unbridled expression of emotion in the strictly circumscribed life of women, in contrast to the rigid order of polisand family with the official women's festivals in honour of Demeter." Both Greek and Near Eastern scholars have questioned this connection.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adonis Falls into a different historical catergory to JC For whom circa 150 AD we have extensive contemporary detailed and allegedly historical literature. The inclusion and overlaying of previous myth stories into the narrative isn’t disputed anymore than the sensational miracle narratives. Even if the contemporary anti christian commentators attributed that to materialistic magic. If, regarding the historical existance of JC, all of the contemporary christian material is pure forgery and all of the anti christian material is anti christians believing in the christian forgeries. And Lucian being gullible in being taken in by the gullible; presumably the last laugh is on him? Then it would be impossible to have any contemporary historical written record for the historicity of JC. And the sophist conclusion is in the predicate?July 30, 2017 at 11:00 am #128791ALBKeymaster
It is absurd to claim that Lucian confirms the historical existence of Jesus. All he confirms is that christians existed (which nobody denies) and believed that Jesus had existed (a belief nobody denies either). If Lucian had been more acquainted with what the christians believed Jesus had done (wine into water, curing the blind, raising the dead, walking on water) he would have had the same fun, as a sceptic of such claims and religions, in taking the mickey out of them as he did in "The Death of Peregrinus" and "Alexander The Oracle Monger". He knew the type.My nexrt witness is Paul of Tarsus who certainly existed and was in fact the real founder of christianity as a doctrine. As someone who spoke Greek he would have been well acquainted with saviour religions and turned the dissident Jewish sect that christianity started as into one. He lived at the same time as Jesus was supposed to have and was in Jerusalem at the same time that Jesus was supposed to be active as a miracle-worker. Yet he never mentions him as a real person, only as someone who appeared to him in a vision. See:http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Is-Jesus-Christ-a-myth-Part-3-20150622Why did he not mention Jesus as a person? Here's someone who could be a key witness but he says nothing. Talk about the absence of evidence !July 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm #128792
Galatians 1:18-2:10, ‘Paul’ 18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; 19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. 20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! As Bart Erhman the ‘agnostic’ new testament scholar said to the mythicist Richard Carrier; no response. “If Jesus had not existed you would have thought he brother would have known about it.” The idea that Paul was the founder of Christianity is a position which can be disputed. There is virtually nothing, or nothing really, in any of Pauls material to indicate that he was familiar with any ideological/theological material in the gospel material. In fact it was as politically opposite as the economic classes that they came from. As to people doing magic etc that was quite common and of little interest and not worthy of investigation by intellectuals; albeit according to Origen not so much mixing it with religion thus; From contra Celsum …but he [Celsus] invents something altogether different, admitting somehow the miraculous works done by Jesus, by means of which He induced the multitude to follow Him as the Christ. And yet he desires to throw discredit on them, as being done by help of magic and not by divine power; for he [Celsus] asserts "that he (Jesus), having been brought up as an illegitimate child, and having served for hire in Egypt, and then coming to the knowledge of certain miraculous [….magic tricks…] powers, returned from thence to his own country, and by means of those powers proclaimed himself a god."……… Then we have this which would seem to be an allusion to the feeding of the 3753 etc ………But after this, Celsus, having a suspicion that the great works performed by Jesus, of which we have named a few out of a great number, would be brought forward to view, affects to grant that those statements may be true which are made regarding His cures, or His resurrection, or the feeding of a multitude with a few loaves, from which many fragments remained over, or those other stories which Celsus thinks the disciples have recorded as of a marvellous nature; and he adds: "Well, let us believe that these were actually wrought by you." …….Origen continues;……….But then he immediately compares them to the tricks of jugglers, who profess to do more wonderful things, and to the feats performed by those who have been taught by Egyptians, who in the middle of the market-place, in return for a few obols, will impart the knowledge of their most venerated arts, and will expel demons from men, and dispel diseases, and invoke the souls of heroes, and exhibit expensive banquets, and tables, and dishes, and dainties having no real existence, and who will put in motion, as if alive, what are not really living animals, but which have only the appearance of life.And he asks, "Since, then, these persons can perform such feats, shall we of necessity conclude that they are 'sons of God,' or must we admit that they are the proceedings of wicked men under the influence of an evil spirit?" You see that by these expressions he allows, as it were, the existence of magic……… I think they were talking about hypnotism amongst other things. Justyn Martry from circa 150AD talkings about non supernatural magicians and in particular a contemporary levitator who out did JC; who only managed the feat of walking on water which I suspect is less impressive than walking on air?July 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm #128793July 30, 2017 at 3:26 pm #128787
There is this by the way. Justyn the martry. Quite a serious document by contemporary standards and clearly dateable. It is of interest many other reasons. The First Apology Chapter 1. Address To the Emperor Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Cæsar, and to his son Verissimus the Philosopher, and to Lucius the Philosopher, the natural son of Cæsar, and the adopted son of Pius, a lover of learning, and to the sacred Senate, with the whole People of the Romans, I, Justin, the son of Priscus and grandson of Bacchius, natives of Flavia Neapolis in Palestine, present this address and petition in behalf of those of all nations who are unjustlyhatedand wantonly abused, myself being one of them. It has commie stuff in it Chapter 14. The demons misrepresent Christian doctrine ……..we who valued above all things the acquisition of wealthand possessions, now bring what we have into a common stock, and communicate to every one in need; And a detailed discussion of another contemporary magician in Rome for which there is no other record. Chapter 26. Magicians not trusted by Christians And, thirdly, because after Christ's ascension into heaven the devils put forward certain men who said that they themselves were gods; and they were not only not persecutedby you, but even deemed worthy of honours. There was a Samaritan, Simon, a native of the village called Gitto, who in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and in your royal city of Rome, did mighty acts of magic, by virtue of the art of the devils operating in him. He was considered a god, and as a god was honoured by you with a statue, which statuewas erected on the river Tiber, between the two bridges, and bore this inscription, in the language of Rome:— Simoni Deo Sancto, To Simon the holyGod. And almost all the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, worship him, and acknowledge him as the first god; and a woman, Helena, who went about with him at that time, and had formerly been a prostitute, they say is the first idea generated by him. And a man, Menander, also a Samaritan, of the town Capparetæa, a discipleof Simon, and inspired by devils, we knowto have deceived many while he was in Antiochby his magical art. He persuaded those who adhered to him that they should never die, and even now there are some living who hold this opinion of his. And there is Marcion, a man of Pontus, who is even at this day alive, and teaching his disciplesto believein some other god greater than the Creator. And he, by the aid of the devils, has caused many of every nation to speak blasphemies, and to deny that God is the maker of this universe, and to assert that some other being, greater than He, has done greater works. All who take their opinions from these men, are, as we before said, called Christians; just as also those who do not agree with the philosophersin their doctrines, have yet in common with them the name of philosophersgiven to them. And whether they perpetrate those fabulous and shameful deeds— the upsetting of the lamp, and promiscuous intercourse, and eating humanflesh— we knownot; but we do knowthat they are neither persecutednor put to deathby you, at least on account of their opinions. But I have a treatise against all the heresiesthat have existedalready composed, which, if you wish to read it, I will give you. Chapter 56. The demons still mislead men But the evil spiritswere not satisfied with saying, before Christ's appearance, that those who were said to be sons of Jupiter were born of him; but after He had appeared, and been born among men, and when they learned how He had been foretold by the prophets, and knewthat He should be believedon and looked for by every nation, they again, as was said above, put forward other men, the SamaritansSimon and Menander, who did many mighty works by magic, and deceived many, and still keep them deceived. For even among yourselves, as we said before, Simon was in the royal city Rome in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and so greatly astonished the sacred senate and people of the Romans, that he was considered a god, and honoured, like the others whom you honouras gods, with a statue. Wherefore we praythat the sacred senate and your people may, along with yourselves, be arbiters of this our memorial, in order that if any one be entangled by that man's doctrines, he may learn the truth, and so be able to escape error; and as for the statue, if you please, destroy it. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm Marcion of Pontius is well documented figure and focal point major Christian heresy which was that ‘Satan’ or at least a defective demiurge ruled the world with the ruling class as it agents. Which was theological class analysis and justifiable interpretation of the gospel material as in temptation of Christ in Luke. Justin also seems to believe that the emperor circa AD150 has a historical record of Pontius Pilate executing JC. Chapter 35. The Roman state reproduced a new anti Christian Acts of Pilate circa 300AD that was destroyed by the Christians. It is not to much infer from brief references to it, if the title isn’t a bit of giveaway, that it accepted the historicity of JC. Nearly all the early christain intellectuals were, had been or came from a Platonist school or it later variants. They were all binned and their material became top shelve material after about 350AD. Origen was posthumously excommunicated; it appears that he took Myth of Er stuff too seriously. It may have also been a consequence of another famous this time Platonist anti Christian book; again destroyed by the Christians. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyry_(philosopher)#Against_the_Christians_.28Adversus_Christianos.29 What was actually in it is highly speculative of course. The later Christians didn’t like Platonism as it suggested and antecedent. It could also run into theological an philosophical problems if one was to over analyse material as in Plato’s republic; whilst attributing to the Christian god total control and approval of the status quo material and socio economic etc. As the following albeit later position took root. The divine right of kings did precede Eg ….“According to Calvin, God not only created the universe, he also rules or governs it, including ruling or governing evil events and actions,”and elsewhere, “The whole of the creation…is subject to his decree and sovereign control…. https://thoughtsofalivingchristian.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/critical-analysis-of-calvins-doctrine-of-providence-and-pastoral-application/ Thus Plato republic book 2 [379b] and always to be spoken ofas such?” “Certainly.” “But further, no good thing is harmful, is it?” “I think not.” “Can what is not harmful harm?” “By no means.” “Can that which does not harm do any evil?” “Not that either.” “But that which does no evil would not be cause of any evil either?” “How could it?” “Once more, is the good beneficent?” “Yes.” “It is the cause, then, of welfare?” “Yes.” “Then the good is not the cause of all things, but of things that are well it the cause—of things that are ill it is blameless.” “Entirely so,” It is a bit strange really as that was the ‘independent’ Marcion position that the Platonist Justin was arguing against! Eg Stephen Fry on God https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5RtDpva7nE I don’t want to get locked into any particular variations on the interpretation of Plato.July 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm #128794AnonymousInactiveALB wrote:It is absurd to claim that Lucian confirms the historical existence of Jesus. All he confirms is that christians existed (which nobody denies) and believed that Jesus had existed (a belief nobody denies either). If Lucian had been more acquainted with what the christians believed Jesus had done (wine into water, curing the blind, raising the dead, walking on water) he would have had the same fun, as a sceptic of such claims and religions, in taking the mickey out of them as he did in "The Death of Peregrinus" and "Alexander The Oracle Monger". He knew the type.My next witness is Paul of Tarsus who certainly existed and was in fact the real founder of christianity as a doctrine. As someone who spoke Greek he would have been well acquainted with saviour religions and turned the dissident Jewish sect that christianity started as into one. He lived at the same time as Jesus was supposed to have and was in Jerusalem at the same time that Jesus was supposed to be active as a miracle-worker. Yet he never mentions him as a real person, only as someone who appeared to him in a vision. See:http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Is-Jesus-Christ-a-myth-Part-3-20150622Why did he not mention Jesus as a person? Here's someone who could be a key witness but he says nothing. Talk about the absence of evidence !
Nobody has ever been able to produce the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary account that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of this alleged individual from either unknown authors, people who had never met him, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings. Although one can argue that many of these writings come from fraud or interpolations, they still could not serve as reliable evidence for a historical Jesus, simply because all sources about Jesus derive from hearsay accounts.July 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm #128795alanjjohnstoneKeymaster
The existence or non-existence of an "end of the world is nigh, meet thy doom" Jewish prophet is fairly irrelevant to the development of a Christian communist tradition that over the centuries keeps on being resurrected in one way or another.Is there any value in directing some of our propaganda towards those who uphold the "Golden Rule". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_RuleI'm not convinced there is but i do think it is necessary to debate and discuss our campaign targets. We are having little success converting the Left, perhaps a new audience might be more fruitful. Since 2005 and the Make Poverty History, i came to realise despite its downturn the churches can still mobilise a vast political movement when it wishes. I know many will say it is an argument we should not be re-visiting and an invitation for certain ex-members to voice their concern that the Party has thrown the baby out with the bath-water with its religious/materialist position. But we have to find a receptive audience somewhere.July 30, 2017 at 6:10 pm #128796
i I would like to be persuaded that he didn’t exist. I was told that I would be disappointed by someone well read in the subject if I investigated it thoroughly. I started off from the position that the reported miracles were obviously nonsense and that automatically totally discredited the rest of the content. And two, if he had been doing that kind of stuff, or more seriously, somebody was reported as doing it; it would have got some attention. I hadn’t considered the fact that that kind magic was as common then as now and reports of it wouldn’t have received the kind of attention that Hadrian’s wall,also on the periphery of the roman empire and north of the Watford Gap got (not) in contemporary literature. Actually there is nothing on Pontius Pilate as regards were he came from and were he went. Archaeological evidence is scant; and inscription and maybe a coin or two? There wouldn’t be archaeological evidence what would we expect his lost butty box? With property of Jesus yoke and plough make, messiah and performer of miracles written on it? But in a way that all besides the point pretty much. I think the thesis is true and valid that on the balance of probabilities that JC existed as a historical figure. And it is true that is overall consensus of informed people. To take any other position places us in the same category of prejudiced climate change deniers and compromises our credibility for objectivity a least with informed opinion. We could don’t give a damn in having our credibility harmed with informed intellectual new testament scholars; or Christians. A sentiment I could understand. I can appreciate why the historicity of Jesus could be an ‘inconvenient truth’ just as German funding of the Bolsheviks is for the Leninists. I think the capacity to demonstrate the ability to look at and debate this kind of thing does us no harm. I think there are a couple of billion at least nominal Christians; I guess some of them are working class. And we have a ‘Marxist’pope as well now. I think we need the understanding and superior understanding of their own shit to at least engage with them. That is not particularly difficult as most of them haven’t read it. You become an expert in three hours it is much easier than reading three volumes of capital and 50 of Lenin’s collected works. Anyway it is good fun doing the JC was a communist stuff of Christian forums. I have been kicked of two in less than 20 posts and survived 300+ on revleft even after what I thought would be my swan song by called them red fascists. The Richard carrier site is the go to place for anti historicity stuff ; it is useful to get a handle what contentious and more importantly what isn’t. http://www.richardcarrier.info/jesus.html You can get another typical view on Christian communism from the author of Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem (Harper-One, 2009). http://www.equip.org/article/was-the-early-church-communist/ July 30, 2017 at 7:32 pm #128797AnonymousInactiveDave B wrote:I would like to be persuaded that he didn’t exist.
However…Dave B wrote:I think the thesis is true and valid that on the balance of probabilities that JC existed as a historical figure.
Were you once a Catholic by any chance?Dave B wrote:And it is true that is overall consensus of informed people.
Then it shouldn't be too difficult to provide citations by these "informed" people.July 30, 2017 at 7:55 pm #128798
i No not a catholic had a totally non religious background. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman Just because he is easy to read and entertaining lots you tubes you can watch. He also did contemplate JC as a proto Marxist and feminist etc.. Doesn’t like Adam’s pagan Hellinistic influence and is orthodox in thinking Christianity emerged or evolved ideologically spontaneously out of Judaism. A view shared by Roman the author of the book and bollocks in my opinion. Had a 30 post run in with him over it.July 30, 2017 at 8:14 pm #128799alanjjohnstoneKeymaster
Wikipedia offers an overview of sources to readhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theoryhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesushttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quest_for_the_historical_Jesushttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesushttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Did_Jesus_Exist%3F_(Ehrman)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portraits_of_the_historical_Jesushttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_the_1st_centuryQuote:The history of early Christianity has notable points of resemblance with the modern working-class movement. Like the latter, Christianity was originally a movement of oppressed people: it first appeared as the religion of slaves and emancipated slaves, of poor people deprived of all rights, of peoples subjugated or dispersed by Rome. Both Christianity and the workers' socialism preach forthcoming salvation from bondage and misery; Christianity places this salvation in a life beyond, after death, in heaven; socialism places it in this world, in a transformation of society
– EngelsJuly 31, 2017 at 11:12 am #128800Young Master SmeetModerator
Another useful wikipedia article:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PythagorasThe point isn't so much that there was never anyone called Jesus (although that itself may be debatable), but just how much was the product of a cultural milieu and legends.For instance, it's argued we have very weak evidence for the existence of the Roman Emporers, and much we talk about comes from a handful of later histories.
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