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Old 13th June 2011, 10:30 AM   #81
phelix
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Originally Posted by GrandMasterFox View Post
And either way, your defense is that basically "if we admit for making this mistake for Jesus, then we have to admit it for a bunch of other people"
is laughable.


That wasn't a defence so much as an attempt to establish consistency. Gandalf's Beard achieved this consistency by also saying pythagoras didn't exist, among others. Would you go the same way?
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:39 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
No. The test is applied after something is thought to be of some historical value. If there is reason to believe that a source is a work of fiction, then it will be discounted, and historical analysis won't be used.
And there's one major problem right there. The basic assumption is that something is true unless you have evidence on the contrary...
That's not how burden of proof works.

Originally Posted by phelix View Post
This is why analysis is not used on things like the book of genesis. The writing style, purpose of writing, story form, etc. make it clear that it is not the work of someone piecing together what they think has happened.
Again, we are not asking for your conclusions. We are asking for your evidence. Give us a test that would tell us why stories of jesus are real while stories about Jacob are not.

[quote=phelix;7276134]
I don't understand this business of "impossible to verify the results". History will very often be impossible to verify, as it isn't like science where we can repeat the test.[/.Quote]
It's quite simple. If you have test X that you can use on 100 fictional novels and 100 real life biographies and tell us which is which with a high enough accuracy, than you could prove your test and start using it on other books where we don't know the results.

The *testing methodology* can be repeated even in history.

Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Instead, we have to use the sources we have available. We have multiple independent sources for Jesus, and so the challenge is that his existence cannot be verified outside of these sources. Of course, that is true. Historians do not "make stuff up". They find what probably happened.
Okay, what the heck. I'll use DOC's methodology
So you're saying that the greek mythology can be used to verify the truthness of the greek mythology?

Originally Posted by phelix View Post
If something is presented as fact, from the time period. That is generally a decent reason to start trying to extract historical knowledge from it. If there are multiple independent sources for the event, then better still. What we are working with in the case of Jesus is not "fact" so much as "lore" and biblical scholarship rightfully tends to treat it as such. It's certainly not uncommon for historical sources of minor philosophical/cult figures to be in this form, and historical analysis is fine with this, given how extremely unlikely it would be to have multiple fakes which have left no clues as to the fakery.
So Moses is real then? Abraham? Zeus? Xenu?
Your criteria works on all of them equally.

You're assertion of "presented as fact" is something absurd to say when most known religions are known to be full of crap.

Originally Posted by phelix View Post
I don't really get why you seek continually to say this is something "I" do, as opposed to the methods and conclusions of every serious historical analyst.
I'm am saying "you" because you are the person arguing your particular side in this debate.

I don't care if you give your original work, or if you quote the evidence that some other historical analysit presented.

The thing that you need to remember is that you are the one making the positive claim here and therefore it is your burden of proof to provide evidence.
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:41 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
That wasn't a defence so much as an attempt to establish consistency. Gandalf's Beard achieved this consistency by also saying pythagoras didn't exist, among others. Would you go the same way?
If there are insufficient evidence for the existence of Pythagoras, sure.
I'll kick him out the door along with anything else you have.

A mistake is still a mistake despite how many times you repeat it.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:39 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by GrandMasterFox View Post
If there are insufficient evidence for the existence of Pythagoras, sure.
I'll kick him out the door along with anything else you have.

A mistake is still a mistake despite how many times you repeat it.
I don't get what you're referring to with mistake, but our difference of opinion with regards to minor characters in ancient history is what it really boils down to. You set a standard which it is impossible for a good number of minor philosophers to reach, and so are more comfortable concluding that people such as Pythagoras, Jesus, Apollonius, a good number of hellenistic philosophers, etc. did not exist. I am more comfortable saying that they probably did.
It is really just a difference of opinion on the level of probability one considers reasonable to warrant belief in certain insignificant historical figures.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:39 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
I guess you're implying that something can only be known if it can be proven? That's really just a philosophical game that I am not interested in playing.
So, what definition of 'know' are you using?
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:43 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
No. Because some of the sources in the NT represent sources of potential historical value, we assess the various claims within, and find that there are some points at which the authors were likely to have been telling the truth.
Potential historical value? Like what?

Originally Posted by phelix View Post
No, it is much less than that. I think it is likely that John the Baptist worked in the river Jordan. I think it is likely that John the Baptist new Jesus. I also think that the reason stated for John's execution in the gospels (he had questioned the legitimacy of Herod's marriage) is more likely than the reason given by Josephus (he had many followers and was seen as a threat).
And your evidence for that is?

Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Possibly, yes. If it was verbal, then this verbal contact probably claimed to be a minor eye-witness. He recounts stories that Jesus told publicly, Luke mentions using an eyewitness, and the stories are actually pretty good. If it was a lie, then it is a shame the liar didn't write any more of his own stuff. A lot of scholars do doubt these stories though, and the evidence certainly isn't convincing either way.
Sorry, that should be
"He recounts stories he claims Jesus told publicly"
Big difference, phelix.
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Last edited by pakeha; 13th June 2011 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:56 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
So, what definition of 'know' are you using?
The standard one. A quick google gives "To be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information". I'm fine with that.
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Old 13th June 2011, 12:20 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
Potential historical value? Like what?
Well, Paul's letters, like anyone's, are likely to give us info about the sort of things Paul was up to, and also the sort of things the early church was up to, the sort of problems early Christians faced, and so on. The book of Acts has many sections written in an informative tone about the court of gentiles, the Roman law, and the doings of early Christians. Documents like that are seen as potentially informative and so open to critical scrutiny.

Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
And your evidence for that is?
Which claim? We know that John was a baptist, and it's not at all unlikely that he worked in the river Jordan. All the authors agree that that's where he worked, so it seems more probable than not. With regards to his connection with Jesus, he gets dragged into the stories an awful lot. Jesus implies that he's Elisha, even though he isn't. John's service was one for sinners, which makes his presence cut against the grain of what the authors believed. On the execution, the gospels reckon that he had challenged Herod's marriage, while Josephus reckons John posed a threat to the Romans. I find the gospel's reason more convincing. If John posing a threat to the Romans was the reason, then why would the gospel authors change this? He's a martyr against their enemy! As for why Josephus would fudge the reason, he seems to prefer John massively over Herod, even noting that John might have brought about the salvation of Herod. It is better for his narrative that John was killed for preaching love to too many people, than for a petty squabble regarding Herod's wife.
Of course there are arguments that Josephus was correct on this point and the gospels are wrong. There are arguments that both were correct (they can actually be harmonised). There is also always the possibility that both are wrong, but the gospels being correct seems of greater probability than the other options.


Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
Sorry, that should be
"He recounts stories he claims Jesus told publicly"
Big difference, phelix.
Sorry. I meant that, in the recounting, Jesus is telling public stories. So whoever is claiming to have been an eyewitness would have been able to say "even though I'm not a significant follower, I was there for this bit".

Last edited by phelix; 13th June 2011 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 13th June 2011, 12:51 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Then consider this an admission. That is all I have ever been aiming to argue for.
Except that's not what you have ACTUALLY been doing! You're not going to squirm off the Hook that easily


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Old 13th June 2011, 12:54 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Well, Paul's letters, like anyone's, are likely to give us info about the sort of things Paul was up to, and also the sort of things the early church was up to, the sort of problems early Christians faced, and so on. The book of Acts has many sections written in an informative tone about the court of gentiles, the Roman law, and the doings of early Christians. Documents like that are seen as potentially informative and so open to critical scrutiny.
I don't understand why sermons written by Paul have any value.
The communities he supposedly wrote to haven't been proven to exist, as far as I know.
Please don't confuse Paul's letters with the Paxton letters.
Acts, possibly 'written in an informative tone', mean nothing.
They are propaganda.



Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Which claim? We know that John was a baptist, and it's not at all unlikely that he worked in the river Jordan. All the authors agree that that's where he worked, so it seems more probable than not. With regards to his connection with Jesus, he gets dragged into the stories an awful lot. Jesus implies that he's Elisha, even though he isn't. John's service was one for sinners, which makes his presence cut against the grain of what the authors believed. On the execution, the gospels reckon that he had challenged Herod's marriage, while Josephus reckons John posed a threat to the Romans. I find the gospel's reason more convincing. If John posing a threat to the Romans was the reason, then why would the gospel authors change this? He's a martyr against their enemy! As for why Josephus would fudge the reason, he seems to prefer John massively over Herod, even noting that John might have brought about the salvation of Herod. It is better for his narrative that John was killed for preaching love to too many people, than for a petty squabble regarding Herod's wife.
Of course there are arguments that Josephus was correct on this point and the gospels are wrong. There are arguments that both were correct (they can actually be harmonised). There is also always the possibility that both are wrong, but the gospels being correct seems of greater probability than the other options.
This is all beside the point of this thread, phelix.
Arguments are one thing and evidence is another.
Do you evidence to present here?


Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Sorry. I meant that, in the recounting, Jesus is telling public stories. So whoever is claiming to have been an eyewitness would have been able to say "even though I'm not a significant follower, I was there for this bit".
Who claims to have been an eyewitness there?
Come on, phelix.
This thread is about evidence the NT writers told the truth.
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:00 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
I think you're all tearing a bit too harsh on phelix. He's no DOC. I mean, there are three basic positions on Jesus you have to distinguish.

1) The NT is the inerrant, infallible word on Jesus Christ. Mind the Christ bit. Everything in the NT is true, especially the supernatural stuff like the Resurrection. This is DOC's position, and Geisler's, and William Ramsay's and of all those other liars for Jeebus. "Liar" here is appropriate, as they willfully lie and twist and mince words to turn the contradictions in the gospels into confirming each other.

2) Historical Jesus: There's a kernel of truth in the NT, Jesus was a historical person; but apart from his baptism, his being an itinerant preacher, and his crucifixion, there's not much true, the rest is myth - especially all the supernatural stuff. No Resurrection, no Son of God, so no "Christ". This is phelix' position and of most biblical scholars. The fun begins of course when you ask them which sayings and parables of Jesus were truly his or not - then there aren't two with the same opinion on the whole set.

3) Jesus Myth: The NT is made up out of whole cloth and is myth; there never was historical person on whom all the stories were modeled at all.
I hate to disagree with you. I don't think we've been harsh enough on Phelix. We've been nice enough to play along with Phelix's sophistry for a bit, before we started flagellating him.

Also Phelix has done a #1** on your #2.



**piss poor job


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Old 13th June 2011, 01:15 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
1. Transparent glass mentioned in Revelation
2. ?????
3. Prophet!

A LOT of pages have come and gone, and I see no applause for this pithy comment, so here goes:



New guy, perhaps you could present some EVIDENCE instead of referring to books you claim to have read? Start with your hypothetical "eyewitness." That would be great.

On edit - for clarity, I meant this eyewitness:


Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Sorry. I meant that, in the recounting, Jesus is telling public stories. So whoever is claiming to have been an eyewitness would have been able to say "even though I'm not a significant follower, I was there for this bit".
Who was that, claiming to be an eyewitness?

Last edited by carlitos; 13th June 2011 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:26 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Who was that, claiming to be an eyewitness?
I want to underscore carlitos' question. My understanding - which pales compared to the more erudite posting in this thread - is that the BEST that the gospel writers had was third hand stories. NO eyewitnesses.

Please address this point, phelix.
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:32 PM   #94
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Of Bart D. Ehrman:

Originally Posted by phelix View Post
I didn't mean forged no. He is working on a book called "Did Jesus Exist" which isn't out yet, and which debunks the Jesus-as-myth hypothesis.
Oh? You see, I'm looking right now at Ehrman's CV, and nowhere -- including in the "Books in Preparation" section -- do I find any reference to a book called, or to be called, "Did Jesus Exist" or "Did Jesus Exist?".
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:35 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
I don't understand why sermons written by Paul have any value.
The communities he supposedly wrote to haven't been proven to exist, as far as I know.
The people he was writing to didn't exist? That's a bit of a strange one. What on earth would have been the purpose of the writing, if almost everything contained within has no intended recipient, while the writer claims it does. Was the letter to the philippians not really a letter to the philippians? Was polycarps letter to the philippians meant for them? And what of the Roman Christians? did they not exist? Did Pope Linus not exist? This is an absolutely ridiculous stance where early christianity doesn't exist.

As for "Sermons not having value" you are correct, if that is all the letters were. Paul saying various things about how to achieve salvation are of little interest, but we have letters, there is more available than that. We can find out what Paul was up to, what sort of philosophical circles Paul was moving in, where Paul was lecturing, who he was spending time with, and so on. Also, once we accept that the recipients exist (sigh) we can deduce what some of the problems were for the early church, by looking at the issues Paul addresses.


Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
Acts, possibly 'written in an informative tone', mean nothing.
They are propaganda.
Propaganda for what exactly? Many of the claims regarding authorities and law have been shown to be correct. Much of the book is just an inconsequential account of how various churches were set up. The speeches all sound the same, which is a bit suspicious, but ultimately if Acts is propaganda it achieves very little.


Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
This is all beside the point of this thread, phelix.
Arguments are one thing and evidence is another.
Do you evidence to present here?
I don't understand what you mean? The sources we have available are what I used. With the arguments I gave, it seems likely that the gospels provide additional information about John the Baptist. What exactly were you wanting?

Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
Who claims to have been an eyewitness there?
Come on, phelix.
This thread is about evidence the NT writers told the truth.
Nobody claims to have been an eyewitness. I was arguing the common position that Luke thought he had an eyewitness for certain stories told by Jesus. The reasoning is that Luke claims to have an eyewitness source, even though two of his sources, mark and Q, were written down. The third source for Luke seems to recount stories in which Jesus is in a public place. For that reason, I think it's likely that an unnamed source (or sources) for Luke claimed to be an eyewitness.
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:37 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Cactus Wren View Post
Of Bart D. Ehrman:



Oh? You see, I'm looking right now at Ehrman's CV, and nowhere -- including in the "Books in Preparation" section -- do I find any reference to a book called, or to be called, "Did Jesus Exist" or "Did Jesus Exist?".
http://www.harpercollins.com/books/D...=9780062089946
According to his publisher it is set to come out in 5 months The perfect christmas present
He also mentioned it in an interview a while back but I cannot remember which one. Feel free to believe the book doesn't exist though. Seems to be a trend.
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:38 PM   #97
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evidence!!! do you have any?

Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Nobody claims to have been an eyewitness. I was arguing the common position that Luke thought he had an eyewitness for certain stories told by Jesus. The reasoning is that Luke claims to have an eyewitness source, even though two of his sources, mark and Q, were written down. The third source for Luke seems to recount stories in which Jesus is in a public place. For that reason, I think it's likely that an unnamed source (or sources) for Luke claimed to be an eyewitness.
When people ask you for evidence, they expect you to provide some. Just FYI.
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:40 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I want to underscore carlitos' question. My understanding - which pales compared to the more erudite posting in this thread - is that the BEST that the gospel writers had was third hand stories. NO eyewitnesses.

Please address this point, phelix.
Oh goodness I hope people didn't take too much from that. It is my view that Luke thought he knew an eyewitness, not necessarily that he did know one.
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:42 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
When people ask you for evidence, they expect you to provide some. Just FYI.
Which of the things I said are you doubting?
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:46 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
New guy, perhaps you could present some EVIDENCE instead of referring to books you claim to have read? Start with your hypothetical "eyewitness." That would be great.
I don't get what you mean by "instead of referring to books". I haven't been referring to books very much at all. The evidence is the results of historical analysis of the sources available.
I do not believe there was an eyewitness, but do remember that eyewitness accounts of anything is incredibly rare for the time, and said accounts can be just as unreliable as third hand reports, so there is no real grounds on which to split history along the lines of eyewitness accounts.
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Old 13th June 2011, 01:59 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
With regards to dogmatic atheism, that was a comment on the rampant response I got in comparison with my posting on other threads.
Well you were wrong weren't you. This is a thread about evidence, not speculation.

Quote:
That atheists often defend this fringe theory to the death can feel like one is up against dogma,
Except we're not defending a "fringe theory," we're asking for evidence. There is nothing "fringey" about that. If it felt dogmatic too you, that simply shows that you don't understand the difference between Exegesis and actual Evidence.

Quote:
even though a shrug of the shoulders and "ok, Jesus probably existed" changes absolutely nothing about the probable non-existence of God.
Except "probably" isn't evidence, which is what this thread is about.

Quote:
I don't get what you mean when you say Jesus' existence was "only likely". Isn't that sufficient? it has no major implications, just as the likely existence of anyone else from the time period changes nothing.
Not on this thread!

Quote:
If a letter is found from, say, 20AD, which says "yesterday I went round to Joseph the tax collectors house and we ate some tasty tasty unleavened bread". I would say ok, there likely was a tax collector called Joseph... The letter could be faked, so I am not sure, but vehemently denying the existence of Joseph the tax collector seems a bit of a pointless and unwarranted stance to take.
Except most people on this thread are not doing that. Finding a letter from Joseph the Tax Collector is not equivalent to finding texts telling a story about Joseph the Tax Collector a hundred years after the fact.

Not to mention that we have no such letters from Jesus saying "I overturned some tables today and killed a fig tree."


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Old 13th June 2011, 02:13 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
I guess you're implying that something can only be known if it can be proven? That's really just a philosophical game that I am not interested in playing.
Demanding evidence is not a "philosophical" game (we're looking for forensic evidence). And if you're not interested in that, you really should be on another thread.


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Old 13th June 2011, 02:16 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Which of the things I said are you doubting?
No one can be this thick. It's an act, right? In case you're serious, or maybe you just can't see my highlighting on your screen -

"Probably" and "claims" and "seems" do not describe evidence. They describe conjecture. This thread is about evidence.
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Old 13th June 2011, 02:17 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Apart from the 8 letters that were randomly found...
I didn't know that letters from Jesus the Carpenter had been randomly found. We'd really like to see them.



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Old 13th June 2011, 02:21 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
I know, I was being a bit flippant. I was referring to the 7 undisputed Pauline Epistles, and included Colossians as well, which could well be genuine. Would you say the degree of randomness involved with finding these letters is an important factor regarding the likely truth of any off the cuff comments found within? (comments such as the eating bread with Joseph the Tax Collector one I made up above.)
You mean the 7 disputed Pauline Epistles don't you? Many of the Biblical Scholars you like think that some of the letters weren't written by Paul.


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Old 13th June 2011, 02:29 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
I don't get what you mean by "instead of referring to books". I haven't been referring to books very much at all.
I can't find it now, but someone asked you to post evidence, and you said (I'm paraphrasing, so apologies if I get it wrong) "I don't understand; whaddaya want me to post; my arguments would be the same as books X and Y by these biblical scholars."

Which prompted posts like this one:

Originally Posted by GrandMasterFox View Post
No, I actually prefer DOC. DOC may have presented pitiful excuse of so called evidence that was debunked in 30 seconds or just flat out lies for jesus but at least he produces something.

Phelix on the other hand posted 0 evidence so far.

DOC may have posted various appologetic crappy sources that were easily debunked as crap or flat out lying for jesus, but at least he gives some sources and their reasoning (even though he doesn't bother reading them).

Phelix keeps rambling on, but has again presented 0 arguments from his sources.

I actually prefer DOC
You claim to have "evidence" from "sources," but you are keeping it secret from us here. Usually only the resident theosophists do this, and at least they patronize us by saying that it's too deep for us to understand.
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Old 13th June 2011, 02:30 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
http://www.harpercollins.com/books/D...=9780062089946
According to his publisher it is set to come out in 5 months The perfect christmas present
He also mentioned it in an interview a while back but I cannot remember which one. Feel free to believe the book doesn't exist though. Seems to be a trend.
Thanks for the clarification (although not for the pouty, sulky, childish passive-aggressiveness).
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Old 13th June 2011, 02:33 PM   #108
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The next time anyone brings up the Criterion of Embarrassment, I think I'll start a thread with the subject line "Evidence for why we know the creators of Marble Hornets told the truth."
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Old 13th June 2011, 02:40 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Oh goodness I hope people didn't take too much from that. It is my view that Luke thought he knew an eyewitness, not necessarily that he did know one.
No! We don't take anything from that! Especially as you keep giving credence to DOC's theory that Luke was actually written by Luke.


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Old 13th June 2011, 02:41 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Which of the things I said are you doubting?
All of them.


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Old 13th June 2011, 02:43 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I can't find it now, but someone asked you to post evidence, and you said (I'm paraphrasing, so apologies if I get it wrong) "I don't understand; whaddaya want me to post; my arguments would be the same as books X and Y by these biblical scholars."

Which prompted posts like this one:



You claim to have "evidence" from "sources," but you are keeping it secret from us here. Usually only the resident theosophists do this, and at least they patronize us by saying that it's too deep for us to understand.
Hmmm. Whenever I've made some point regarding the texts, I've always specified which part of the NT, I'm referring to. For the most part that's all that's needed. With regards to the books, I'm guessing the two books will have been John Meier's "A Marginal Jew" and Bart Ehrman's historical introduction textbook. The latter pretty much covers the critical historical approach. The former is more about the model I tend to side with more often than not.
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Old 13th June 2011, 02:45 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Cactus Wren View Post
Thanks for the clarification (although not for the pouty, sulky, childish passive-aggressiveness).
Heck man I didn't mean to offend...
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Old 13th June 2011, 02:47 PM   #113
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Is this thread going to double in size because a new guy is claiming to have evidence that the blahblahblah? Because if that's the case I'm gonna suggest we have pizza parties more frequently than every 20k.
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Old 13th June 2011, 02:55 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Heck man I didn't mean to offend...
Don't worry about it too much! Some people are just nicer than the rest of us.



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Old 13th June 2011, 02:55 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Hmmm. Whenever I've made some point regarding the texts, I've always specified which part of the NT, I'm referring to. For the most part that's all that's needed. With regards to the books, I'm guessing the two books will have been John Meier's "A Marginal Jew" and Bart Ehrman's historical introduction textbook. The latter pretty much covers the critical historical approach. The former is more about the model I tend to side with more often than not.
Again, I'm really starting to wonder if this is an act.

Don't refer to the New Testament at all. That's not how you prove it's true. Do you understand? If that was how one ascertained truth then I could quote Jason Bourne to explain how The Bourne Supremacy was true.

Regarding the books you cited, if there is any evidence for the truth of the New Testament stories in them, perhaps you could post it here? In the thread about evidence for the veracity of the New Testament? All you do is cherry pick parts that "seem" true to you. Why not post some evidence?
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Old 13th June 2011, 03:01 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
No one can be this thick. It's an act, right? In case you're serious, or maybe you just can't see my highlighting on your screen -

"Probably" and "claims" and "seems" do not describe evidence. They describe conjecture. This thread is about evidence.
You're picking up on certain words rather than addressing the arguments.
With regards to the statements on "claims" and "seems":
Luke claims to have an eyewitness source. Indeed he does, right on page one "Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,"

With seems, my claim was that the stories from source L seem to be public declarations. Indeed they do. For the parable of the prodigal son, the scribes and pharisees are nearby (Luke 15). For the parable of the good samaritan, he is speaking to around 70 people (Luke 10).

Would you dispute either of the claims made?

With regard to probably, I am a-ok with that word. All historical evidence ever tells us is what probably happened.
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Old 13th June 2011, 03:03 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
The people he was writing to didn't exist? That's a bit of a strange one. What on earth would have been the purpose of the writing, if almost everything contained within has no intended recipient, while the writer claims it does. Was the letter to the philippians not really a letter to the philippians? Was polycarps letter to the philippians meant for them? And what of the Roman Christians? did they not exist? Did Pope Linus not exist? This is an absolutely ridiculous stance where early christianity doesn't exist.
Strawman.
Do you understand the difference between a personal letter and a sermon?
These aren't personal letters, they're sermons to be read aloud to a congregation.
Big difference.
You'll recall my suggestion these Epistles are NOT a private correspondence.
They are sermons and even contradict Acts, as Ehrman points out.
Useful?
I think not.
Of interest to a biblical scholar, certainly.
Evidence the NT writers wrote the truth?
No


Originally Posted by phelix View Post
As for "Sermons not having value" you are correct, if that is all the letters were. Paul saying various things about how to achieve salvation are of little interest, but we have letters, there is more available than that. We can find out what Paul was up to, what sort of philosophical circles Paul was moving in, where Paul was lecturing, who he was spending time with, and so on. Also, once we accept that the recipients exist (sigh) we can deduce what some of the problems were for the early church, by looking at the issues Paul addresses.
But it isn't evidence.
This thread doesn't deal with the early church, in case you hadn't noticed.



Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Propaganda for what exactly? Many of the claims regarding authorities and law have been shown to be correct. Much of the book is just an inconsequential account of how various churches were set up. The speeches all sound the same, which is a bit suspicious, but ultimately if Acts is propaganda it achieves very little.
For propagating and afirming the faith of those of his curch.
In any case, it's nothing near evidence for the truth of the NT, is it.
The history of the early church would be better dealt with in a thread dedicated to that subject.



Originally Posted by phelix View Post
I don't understand what you mean? The sources we have available are what I used. With the arguments I gave, it seems likely that the gospels provide additional information about John the Baptist. What exactly were you wanting?
It seems likely?
Please stick to the subject of the thread.



Originally Posted by phelix View Post
Nobody claims to have been an eyewitness. I was arguing the common position that Luke thought he had an eyewitness for certain stories told by Jesus. The reasoning is that Luke claims to have an eyewitness source, even though two of his sources, mark and Q, were written down. The third source for Luke seems to recount stories in which Jesus is in a public place. For that reason, I think it's likely that an unnamed source (or sources) for Luke claimed to be an eyewitness.
Is this really the best you can offer by way of evidence the NT writers were telling the truth?
Speculation, inference and supposition?
I think you'd be better off in the threads which deal in those things.
This one deals with evidence the NT writers were telling the truth.
Over 500 pages.
No evidence.
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Old 13th June 2011, 03:04 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Again, I'm really starting to wonder if this is an act.
I'm still not sure that Phelix is an Atheist!



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Old 13th June 2011, 03:10 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Again, I'm really starting to wonder if this is an act.

Don't refer to the New Testament at all. That's not how you prove it's true. Do you understand?
No that's nonsense. Try proving the validity of the battle of hastings sources... without using the battle of hastings sources...
If you rule out every available source, then how can any argument be made at all?
All I've been doing is applying the historical method to the sources available. What sort of argument would you expect me to make?

Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Regarding the books you cited, if there is any evidence for the truth of the New Testament stories in them, perhaps you could post it here? In the thread about evidence for the veracity of the New Testament? All you do is cherry pick parts that "seem" true to you. Why not post some evidence?
We're back to using the word "cherry pick" again. History is not cherry-picking. It is method to find what is likely to not be true (Jesus saying "he who is without sin cast the first stone") and finding what is likely to be true (John the Baptist worked in the river Jordan).
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Old 13th June 2011, 03:11 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by phelix View Post
The third source for Luke seems to recount stories in which Jesus is in a public place. For that reason, I think it's likely that an unnamed source (or sources) for Luke claimed to be an eyewitness.
I'll step on a bit Carlitos' toes with this post but the highlighted parts are where you keep going off the rails.

So we're in a culture of oral tradition. Not many literates are around but everybody likes a good story. Good story tellers like a good, admiring audience...and maybe he can convince the rubes that he's really special. So, over time, the story gets, well, embellished just a tad. It's not a lie, mind you, but there's definitely some, er, spin, to use a modern term. One very likely type of spin is claiming to more closely connected to the main characters in the story than is actually the case. Exhibit A is: "Hey, I really knew that guy."

So, when we flog the "evidence" dead horse and you keep giving us stories such as the above, it is hard to understand why you remain so obdurate.
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