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Old 26th October 2011, 01:12 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
Not Eisenman again. We've been through this at least twiice before.

Yes. Possibly more so.


Dealt with before. The conspiratorial allegations are indeed nutjobbery.
I know you dismissed him as such before, but I have yet to see a convincing reason for that. All I ever see are cites from people that I think are Kooks just making up rubbish to insult the guy, they never seem to actually address his arguments.

Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
The Zealots were intent on driving out the unclean people.

The Qumran community were an apocalyptic group that had a beef with the Temple.

Two very different groups.
From the Community Rule Scroll:
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/scrolls/trans3.html
Originally Posted by Dead Sea Scroll
...These are the norms of conduct for the Master in those times with respect to his loving and to his everlasting hating of the men of perdition in a spirit of secrecy. He shall leave to them property and wealth and earnings like a slave to his lord, (showing) humility before the one who rules over him. He shall be zealous concerning the Law and be prepared for the Day of Revenge.
(my bold)
Yeah... Nothing at all like Zealots.

There is the War Rule scroll as well:
http://books.google.com/books?id=r2C...%201qm&f=false

A great long list of all the people they planned to kill, while praising God.

Originally Posted by Piggy
Yeah, the publication of the scrolls was slow, but keep in mind that they were caught up in complex battles over who owned them, where they would be kept, who would have access to them, who had publication rights, and so forth. Then there's the problem of piecing together the jigsaw puzzle of fragments, no small task.

When one member of a team studying the scrolls jumped the gun and pronounced that there were references to a crucified messiah, the other members of the team quickly announced their opposition to this idea, and it didn't take long for it to be debunked. I have the cites in my home office and can post them later, if you like.
Some of those guys went to their graves without publishing and left scrolls to others in their wills!

I wouldn't trust any of those guys as far as I could spit a moose.

Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
.
Many a year ago, on the tv, the story of JtB was done, with Eartha Kitt as Salome.... absolutely the best Salome ever!
When the head of the Baptist was brought to the king, she kissed it, and said.."I can kiss you now, Johanahan!"... he'd spurned her while he was in prison.
The king shouted... "KILL that woman!" And it came to pass... he'd kinda liked the Baptist...
I've only ever seen the Ken Russell film.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salome's_Last_Dance
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Old 26th October 2011, 04:01 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
From the Community Rule Scroll:
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/scrolls/trans3.html

(my bold)
Yeah... Nothing at all like Zealots.
Superficial similarities can get you into trouble here.

The notion of clean v. unclean is absolutely crucial to understanding ancient Judaism, no matter what group you're looking at. And it has no analogs in our modern Western culture. (In fact, I find it to be one of the primary stumbling blocks for most people attempting to make sense of ancient Judaism.)

The Qumran community, like the Jesus cult, were apocalyptic. That is, they felt that things had gotten so bad that God would soon intervene and slaughter the Powers of the World, establish God's Kingdom here on earth, and put his faithful True Believers in paradise.

The Zealots, on the other hand, weren't going to wait for God to act. Instead, they took it upon themselves to do the slaughtering.
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Old 26th October 2011, 04:05 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I don't know that that was really the point of the segment. It seemed to me more that she was stressing that if an ancient text is to be believed, it should be backed up by something other than itself. I don't think that she was claiming that the Babylonian records were more trustworthy than the bible, but that the existence of multiple sources from different cultures confirming one another was a strong piece of evidence in favor of the event having happened. That seems like a reasonable way of approaching any document that is filled with supernatural events and that clearly contains non-supernatural historical falsehoods.
I wasn't arguing with her or finding fault. I was saying that the clip "demonstrates" the point.
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Old 26th October 2011, 04:36 AM   #84
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Back to a more direct discussion of the OP....

It's often assumed that the older the text, the more likely it is to be mythical. And in general, our oldest traditions (such as the 2 creation myths preserved in Genesis) are indeed purely mythical, having their origins in Ugaritic myth and strong connections with ancient Egyptian religion.

But what's odd is that our oldest text probably does describe real events, although elaborated into mythic and religious terms.

It's too long for me to retype here from my New Oxford Annotated, but you can read a somewhat less accurate translation here.

The real events described here are battles with Egyptian forces, victorious ones of course, and the then-ongoing conquest of Canaan, predicting victory over everybody and his brother.

But the description is colored by pre-existing myths and the religious beliefs and earthly experiences of the redactors of the books of Genesis and Exodus some centuries later.

In the song, God is given credit for throwing the Egyptian chariots into the sea, using imagery and language borrowed from other mythic poems describing the storm god's victory over the sea god Yam. So it's likely that the actual battle which inspired the original poem did involve pressing the Egyptian forces back to a shore, and slaughtering them (or at least some of them) there.

This would have dated to the time of Egyptian hegemony in parts of Canaan, which we know of through archaeological evidence.

Much later, the traditions regarding victories against the Egyptians, and the myth of God's part in hurling the chariots into the sea, were re-woven into a larger tradition, in which events such as battles, captivities, releases, and escapes were relocated to match the current reality (the older order of political powers having long been forgotten) that the Egyptians lived, of course, in Egypt, not in Canaan, therefore all these events must have taken place there.

Just a side note, here we also see traditions dating from before the epoch of Jewish monotheism:

Quote:
Who is like you, O Yahweh, among the gods?
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Old 26th October 2011, 08:48 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
...

I've only ever seen the Ken Russell film.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salome's_Last_Dance
.
Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!
I won't be looking at that one!
.
Looking up Eartha, she appeared as Salome on an Omnibus episode, in 1955, doing the Wilde play.
Now, a performance that lingers in the mind for 56 years... wow!

Last edited by I Ratant; 26th October 2011 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 27th October 2011, 12:10 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Superficial similarities can get you into trouble here.

The notion of clean v. unclean is absolutely crucial to understanding ancient Judaism, no matter what group you're looking at. And it has no analogs in our modern Western culture. (In fact, I find it to be one of the primary stumbling blocks for most people attempting to make sense of ancient Judaism.)

The Qumran community, like the Jesus cult, were apocalyptic. That is, they felt that things had gotten so bad that God would soon intervene and slaughter the Powers of the World, establish God's Kingdom here on earth, and put his faithful True Believers in paradise.
Is there any evidence outside of the bible for this Jesus cult?

Quote:
The Zealots, on the other hand, weren't going to wait for God to act. Instead, they took it upon themselves to do the slaughtering.
That would be the day of Vengeance that the scroll writers talk about so often and that they were working to bring about. These Dead Sea Scrolls are full of violent fantasies, and talk of destruction of the "Kittim" (Romans). These people were not peaceful at all.

Now to try to get this derail of mine back somewhere near the topic:

According to the bible, there was a community of ultra-religious people in and around Jerusalem in the 1st century, who believed that strict observance of Mosaic Law was the only path to salvation. The DSS are actual physical evidence of such a community.

That the DSS community was the same one led by James is one theory (Eisenman's) and not a very popular one, as far as I can tell, but whoever they were, strict observance of "The Law" was an obsession of these guys.

So, I guess that is evidence for something in the bible.
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Old 27th October 2011, 02:27 AM   #87
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Heh...
3 goes to get it right :-)

Platform 8.5
No, it's 8ĺ.
Actually it's 9ĺ.

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Old 27th October 2011, 03:43 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by epix View Post
I think the OP title "Evidence that substantiates ANYTHING that happened in the Bible" doesn't mean to question the existence of places where the biblical stories took place. Red Sea doesn't happen - it just exists - but the partition of the body of water is what the Bible claims have happened. The same goes for the Jerusalem argument mentioned elsewhere.
10 points epix......
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Old 27th October 2011, 06:42 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Is there any evidence outside of the bible for this Jesus cult?
An odd question, seeing as how it discounts the most direct evidence we could possibly have... the writings of the cult members themselves!

Being a fringe cult, it takes several decades for them to show up in other people's records.
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Old 27th October 2011, 06:47 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
That would be the day of Vengeance that the scroll writers talk about so often and that they were working to bring about. These Dead Sea Scrolls are full of violent fantasies, and talk of destruction of the "Kittim" (Romans). These people were not peaceful at all.
I didn't say they were peaceful.

They thought the present leaders in Judah were evil and sinful and deserved being wiped off the face of the earth.

But they went and isolated themselves in the desert, while the Zealots assassinated people and fomented revolution.

That's why Josephus, for instance, classifies them separately from the Zealots, the Pharisees, and the Saducees.


Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
According to the bible, there was a community of ultra-religious people in and around Jerusalem in the 1st century, who believed that strict observance of Mosaic Law was the only path to salvation. The DSS are actual physical evidence of such a community.

That the DSS community was the same one led by James is one theory (Eisenman's) and not a very popular one, as far as I can tell, but whoever they were, strict observance of "The Law" was an obsession of these guys.

So, I guess that is evidence for something in the bible.
No, it's not. You've got your facts wrong. Perhaps you could provide some citations and we could tease this out.
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Old 27th October 2011, 07:24 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Being a fringe cult, it takes several decades for them to show up in other people's records.
And what evidence do you have for their hairstyles or what music or bands they played for?


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Old 27th October 2011, 09:27 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by H3LL View Post
And what evidence do you have for their hairstyles or what music or bands they played for?
Paul's letter to the Ramones.
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Old 27th October 2011, 09:40 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by TimCallahan View Post
This statement can be taken two different ways:

1) Since his body has never been found, do we know he even existed?

However. I suspect what you are arguing is the second alternative.

2) Since his body has never been found, he was physically resurrected.

Neither assertion really holds up. We also don't have the bodies or even skeletal remains of most people who lived, unless they were specifically mummified. Thus, the lack of a body doesn't support either a conclusion they never existed nor an evidence of resurrection.

A a criminal condemned of treason, Jesus may not have even been given a decent burial. His body might have been thrown into a mass grave / refuse pit, covered with lime and subsequently covered with dirt, other bodies and rubbish.

However, let us say, for the sake of argument, that Jesus was buried in the family tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Even if we could find and identify such a tomb, how would we prove that the bones in a given ossuary really belonged to a given individual? Of course, the problem of finding and identifying such a tomb would likely be insurmountable. In the year 70, the Romans utterly flattened Jerusalem. The tomb may itself have been flattened, if it were a free-standing structure. Were it dug into a hillside, it would have been buried in rubble. Jerusalem was eventually rebuilt, minus its temple, but was destroyed again in 136, following the Bar Kochba revolt. After that, the Romans built a classical Greco-Roman city, complete with a temple to Zeus, which they called Colonia Aelia Capitolina, on top of the ruins.

It wasn't until the fourth century that Empress Helena, Constantine's mother, discovered what she thought was the True Cross, the actual instrument on which Jesus was crucified. Of course, it wasn't. Nor are any of the sites one might visit in Jerusalem today - the Via Dolorosa, the upper room where the Last Supper took place or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre - in any way genuine. The upper room was flattened along with everything else in the year 70, built over and flattened again in 136, built over as again, etc.

The point then, of this archaeological excursion is that the absence of any remains identifiable as those of Jesus proves absolutely nothing.
Not an expert, but my understanding is that the whole point of crucifixion was that the bodies were left on public display until the birds tore them apart and the remains literally dropped off the cross. Anything left was thrown into the river. Because the criminals were denied a decent burial, they would have had trouble getting into heaven in the afterlife in some traditions.

The bible does claim that an exception was made for Jesus, which is at least possible. But if you accept that Joseph of Arimathea got his hands onto the body, then you can also easily believe that Joseph was part of the plot to steal the body and stage a resurrection. Not many modern scholars take that one seriously, but it's worth noting that this was the common assumption among the early critics of the Christians. Makes me wonder if they might have known something we don't. Of course the conspirators would not have put the body anywhere where it could have been identified and tracked down to this day.
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Old 27th October 2011, 10:17 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
There is no evidence for the miracles but there is evidence for a few events described in the bible. Moses following the pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day is a good description of the eruption of the volcano at Santorini Island.
About a thousand miles, as the crow flies, or even just 650 miles to the old state of Israel? To see a column of fire less than a mile high, a column of smoke perhaps 20? I kinda doubt it.

AFAIK, there is no historical or archaeological find that substantiates anything in the Bible before the name of King David except for the Egyptian mention of a tribe called Israel in Canaan. That also includes Solomon's temple, for which no identifyable remnant has been unearthed.
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Old 27th October 2011, 10:34 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by ChristineR View Post
Not an expert, but my understanding is that the whole point of crucifixion was that the bodies were left on public display until the birds tore them apart and the remains literally dropped off the cross. Anything left was thrown into the river. Because the criminals were denied a decent burial, they would have had trouble getting into heaven in the afterlife in some traditions.

The bible does claim that an exception was made for Jesus, which is at least possible. But if you accept that Joseph of Arimathea got his hands onto the body, then you can also easily believe that Joseph was part of the plot to steal the body and stage a resurrection. Not many modern scholars take that one seriously, but it's worth noting that this was the common assumption among the early critics of the Christians. Makes me wonder if they might have known something we don't. Of course the conspirators would not have put the body anywhere where it could have been identified and tracked down to this day.
The Romans allowed the Jews to observe their own burial rituals, so it's not unlikely that Jesus was taken down from the cross for burial on Friday before the start of Sabbath at sunset.

Then his body would likely have been wrapped and put in some sort of tomb, either private or communal, and a year later the bones would have been placed in an ossuary within the walls of the tomb.

One thing about crucifixion... according to scripture, God rejects those who die by this method, which made the Christian message that much more difficult for Jews to accept.

The idea that Joseph of Arimathea would have allowed Jesus to be interred in his family plot is a real stretcher, given his position, as well as the fact that Jesus was probably entirely unknown in Jerusalem until he caused the disturbance at the Temple.

It's much more likely that he was put into a communal burial place, or that one of his followers made room for him (especially if James had already set up shop in Jerusalem before Jesus came to the city).
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Old 27th October 2011, 10:35 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
AFAIK, there is no historical or archaeological find that substantiates anything in the Bible before the name of King David except for the Egyptian mention of a tribe called Israel in Canaan. That also includes Solomon's temple, for which no identifyable remnant has been unearthed.
Not yet, but there's reason to hope that further excavation will come up with something from the time of Solomon, whatever that may be and whatever it may reveal. I think they've recently found items dating to a couple of centuries later.
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Old 27th October 2011, 10:43 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I don't know that that was really the point of the segment. It seemed to me more that she was stressing that if an ancient text is to be believed, it should be backed up by something other than itself. I don't think that she was claiming that the Babylonian records were more trustworthy than the bible, but that the existence of multiple sources from different cultures confirming one another was a strong piece of evidence in favor of the event having happened. That seems like a reasonable way of approaching any document that is filled with supernatural events and that clearly contains non-supernatural historical falsehoods.
The problem here is we don't know if the disparate sources were independent or referencing a single source. Multiple origins are only valid if they're verified as being a separate source, not a repeating of an earlier source.
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Old 27th October 2011, 12:01 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
An odd question, seeing as how it discounts the most direct evidence we could possibly have... the writings of the cult members themselves!

Being a fringe cult, it takes several decades for them to show up in other people's records.
But we don't have the writings of a Jerusalem Jesus Cult. We have the letters of Paul to churches outside Judea and the gospels written decades later by different people in different places.

Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
I didn't say they were peaceful.

They thought the present leaders in Judah were evil and sinful and deserved being wiped off the face of the earth.

But they went and isolated themselves in the desert, while the Zealots assassinated people and fomented revolution.

That's why Josephus, for instance, classifies them separately from the Zealots, the Pharisees, and the Saducees.




No, it's not. You've got your facts wrong. Perhaps you could provide some citations and we could tease this out.
I'm not sure which facts I got wrong here.

Does the NT mention a community of "The Poor" who live communally and believe in strict adherence to Mosaic Law?

The Epistle of James:
Quote:
...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of [his] brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
http://chicagobible.org/htdbv5/htdb0059.htm


Do the DSS contain evidence of a community of "The Poor" who live communally and believe in strict adherence to Mosaic Law?

Here is a bit from one of the scrolls, The Community Rule (or Manual Of Discipline):

Quote:
Of the Commitment.

Everyone who wishes to join the community must pledge himself to respect God and man; to live according to the communal rule: to seek God [ ]; to do what is good and upright in His sight, in accordance with what He has commanded through Moses and through His servants the prophets; to love all that He has chosen and hate all that He has rejected; to keep far from evil and to cling to all good works; to act truthfully and righteously and justly on earth and to walk no more in the stubbornness of a guilty heart and of lustful eyes, doing all manner of evil; to bring into a bond of mutual love all who have declared their willingness to carry out the statutes of God; to join the formal community of God; to walk blamelessly before Him in conformity with all that has been revealed as relevant to the several periods during which they are to bear witness (to Him) ; to love all the children of light, each according to the measure of his guilt, which God will ultimately requite.

All who declare their willingness to serve God's truth must bring all of their mind, all of their strength, and all of their wealth into the community of God, so that their minds may be purified by the truth of His precepts, their strength controlled by His perfect ways, and their wealth disposed in accordance with His just design. They must not deviate by a single step from carrying out the orders of God at the times appointed for them; they must neither advance the statutory times nor postpone the prescribed seasons. They must not turn aside from the ordinances of God's truth either to the right or to the left.
http://www.essene.com/History&Essenes/md.htm

I know this isn't proof that the Qumran Community and James' Community were one and the same, but the DSS offer evidence that there were people around that time and place saying these types of things.
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Old 27th October 2011, 12:56 PM   #99
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In so much as the bable has people being born and dying.
The rest of it is folk tales stolen from other religions
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Old 27th October 2011, 01:13 PM   #100
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Early on they note there is a day and a night. After that things go down hill rapidly.
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Old 27th October 2011, 01:57 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Early on they note there is a day and a night. After that things go down hill rapidly.

And that was before there was a sun.....so it went downhill even before that.
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Old 27th October 2011, 02:10 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
And that was before there was a sun.....so it went downhill even before that.
Thats one of the few parts of Genesis that can be replicated by science
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Old 27th October 2011, 03:04 PM   #103
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Help me out. Is the Bible the one where it's turtles all the way down?
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Old 27th October 2011, 03:33 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
But we don't have the writings of a Jerusalem Jesus Cult. We have the letters of Paul to churches outside Judea and the gospels written decades later by different people in different places.
Paul was out there converting people in charismatic baptismal ceremonies in which they received "demonstrations" of the holy spirit which convinced them that Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead, and that they would be, too.

And you don't think he was part of the Jesus cult?
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Old 27th October 2011, 03:35 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I know this isn't proof that the Qumran Community and James' Community were one and the same, but the DSS offer evidence that there were people around that time and place saying these types of things.
I see nothing but superficial similarities here of the type we would expect of two apocalyptic Jewish groups living at about the same time and place.

And it ignores all the differences.
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Old 27th October 2011, 03:38 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Meaningless. We know that 211 Baker Street didn't exist untill 1932



Complete plans of kings cross station at the time of it's constuction and various reconstructions exist. No platform 8.5 exists.



It is generaly accepted that Mohammad existed.



There is no meaningful definition of wizard and you would need to specify which merlin.



Whats that got to do with the price of eggs?


WHOOOOOOOSH!

That was the sound of Leumas' point going way over your head.

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Old 27th October 2011, 04:10 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Paul was out there converting people in charismatic baptismal ceremonies in which they received "demonstrations" of the holy spirit which convinced them that Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead, and that they would be, too.

And you don't think he was part of the Jesus cult?
As far as I know he was the only member of the Jesus Cult in Judah. Wasn't he told by James to go preach his heresies to the Gentiles and to leave the Jews alone?

Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
I see nothing but superficial similarities here of the type we would expect of two apocalyptic Jewish groups living at about the same time and place.

And it ignores all the differences.
Well, I was only trying to point out superficial similarities. My point was related to the OP question: "Evidence that substantiates ANYTHING that happened in the Bible"...

In the Bible, we learn of a group of religious fanatics around Jerusalem who preached strict adherence to Mosaic Law and in the DSS we have evidence of such a group. That is all. I'm not saying here that James the Just was the leader of the Qumran Community, I'm just saying that such groups did exist. So that is one tiny point of the Bible for which evidence exists.
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Old 27th October 2011, 06:31 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
As far as I know he was the only member of the Jesus Cult in Judah. Wasn't he told by James to go preach his heresies to the Gentiles and to leave the Jews alone?
This doesn't make sense to me at all.

James was the head of the church in Jerusalem. Paul was in contact with him, with Simon Peter (Paul's counterpart as missionary to the Jews outside of Palestine), and John.

Obviously, Paul's opinions regarding requirements upon gentile converts were not universally accepted among Jews.

Maybe James wasn't too concerned about it because he simply didn't consider those gentiles to be part of the religion. Who knows?

But James, John, and Peter at least were members of the Jesus cult, first generation members at that, who operated out of Judah, at least part of the time, and in the case of James it was his home base.

We also know that there were "Judaizing" missionaries operating in some of the same areas where Paul was active. It's quite likely that at least some of them were from Judah. It would be surprising if they weren't.
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Old 27th October 2011, 06:33 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Well, I was only trying to point out superficial similarities. My point was related to the OP question: "Evidence that substantiates ANYTHING that happened in the Bible"...

In the Bible, we learn of a group of religious fanatics around Jerusalem who preached strict adherence to Mosaic Law and in the DSS we have evidence of such a group. That is all. I'm not saying here that James the Just was the leader of the Qumran Community, I'm just saying that such groups did exist. So that is one tiny point of the Bible for which evidence exists.
I cannot count this, because there's not enough evidence to indicate that any real connection is any more likely than coincidence.
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Old 27th October 2011, 07:01 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
I cannot count this, because there's not enough evidence to indicate that any real connection is any more likely than coincidence.
The existence of Apocalyptic Fundamentalist Jews in First Century Palestine in reality and also in the Bible, is just a coincidence?
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Old 27th October 2011, 07:15 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
This doesn't make sense to me at all.

James was the head of the church in Jerusalem. Paul was in contact with him, with Simon Peter (Paul's counterpart as missionary to the Jews outside of Palestine), and John.

Obviously, Paul's opinions regarding requirements upon gentile converts were not universally accepted among Jews.

Maybe James wasn't too concerned about it because he simply didn't consider those gentiles to be part of the religion. Who knows?

But James, John, and Peter at least were members of the Jesus cult, first generation members at that, who operated out of Judah, at least part of the time, and in the case of James it was his home base.

We also know that there were "Judaizing" missionaries operating in some of the same areas where Paul was active. It's quite likely that at least some of them were from Judah. It would be surprising if they weren't.
That would be the version of events as presented in the book of Acts, is that right?

Have we gone back to accepting Acts as an accurate history now? Because I was under the impression that Acts was basically pro-Paul propaganda designed to back up Paul's version of events.

If James, John and Peter were anything like the way the bible depicts them: ie. Sticklers for "The Law", would they have been followers of the same Jesus that Paul preached about? You know, the Jesus who "fulfilled" the Law making it now redundant. Or would they have been apalled at the idea of a Messiah who disregards the Laws of Moses?
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Old 27th October 2011, 07:26 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
The existence of Apocalyptic Fundamentalist Jews in First Century Palestine in reality and also in the Bible, is just a coincidence?
No. The existence of apocalyptic Jewish sects in 1st century Palestine is about as startling as the existence of Chinese restaurants in 20th century New York City.

Which means there are precious little inferences that can be drawn between any two of them merely by noting commonalities alone while ignoring differences.
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Old 27th October 2011, 07:35 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
That would be the version of events as presented in the book of Acts, is that right?

Have we gone back to accepting Acts as an accurate history now? Because I was under the impression that Acts was basically pro-Paul propaganda designed to back up Paul's version of events.

If James, John and Peter were anything like the way the bible depicts them: ie. Sticklers for "The Law", would they have been followers of the same Jesus that Paul preached about? You know, the Jesus who "fulfilled" the Law making it now redundant. Or would they have been apalled at the idea of a Messiah who disregards the Laws of Moses?
No, not Acts, Paul's letters.

And no, Acts isn't pro-Paul propaganda. It is synthetizing propaganda, attempting to smooth over differences (just as the same author does in Luke's gospel) even where its accounts differ with Paul. As such, Acts is highly unreliable.

By all accounts, James was thoroughly Jewish. Simon Peter appears to be a fence-sitter, or perhaps just a pragmatist. Paul, of course, held that the Law was not incumbent upon gentiles as it was upon Jews.

All the available evidence indicates that Paul was the innovator here, and that James, as well as the Ebionites who traced their traditions back to James (accurately or not), was representative of the more original tradition.

Our best evidence indicates that Jesus most likely saw himself as a prophet to the True Israel, and probably was not much concerned about the gentiles. That said, he had no great love for the Temple.
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:39 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
No, not Acts, Paul's letters.

And no, Acts isn't pro-Paul propaganda. It is synthetizing propaganda, attempting to smooth over differences (just as the same author does in Luke's gospel) even where its accounts differ with Paul. As such, Acts is highly unreliable.

By all accounts, James was thoroughly Jewish. Simon Peter appears to be a fence-sitter, or perhaps just a pragmatist. Paul, of course, held that the Law was not incumbent upon gentiles as it was upon Jews.
I thought Paul was preaching that the Law was no longer incumbent upon anyone, Jew or Gentile. You know, the whole - "If man can be saved by works alone, then Jesus' sacrifice was in vain..."- thing.

Quote:
All the available evidence indicates that Paul was the innovator here, and that James, as well as the Ebionites who traced their traditions back to James (accurately or not), was representative of the more original tradition.
I find all of this stuff interesting and I wonder why everyone is so hostile to the idea that the Ebionites (that's what they called themselves, Ebionai) who left the scrolls at Qumran could possibly be the same Ebionites described by Irenaeus. Is it just because they don't mention Jesus?

They do go on a bit about some terrible liar who preached against the Law in the midst of the congregation though...

Originally Posted by wiki
The graecized Hebrew term "Ebionite" (Ebionai) was first applied by Irenaeus in the 2nd century without making mention of Nazarenes (c.180 CE).[15][16] Origen says "for Ebion signifies ďpoorĒ among the Jews, and those Jews who have received Jesus as Christ are called by the name of Ebionites."[17][18] Tertullian was first to write against a non-existent heresiarch called Ebion and scholars believe he derived the name Ebion from a literal reading of Ebionaioi as meaning "followers of Ebion", a derivation now considered mistaken.[10][12] The term "the poor" (Greek ptokoi) was still used in its original, more general sense.[10][12][19][20] Modern Hebrew still uses the Biblical Hebrew term "the needy" both in histories of Christianity for "Ebionites" (אביונים) and for almsgiving to the needy at Purim.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites

Quote:
Our best evidence indicates that Jesus most likely saw himself as a prophet to the True Israel, and probably was not much concerned about the gentiles. That said, he had no great love for the Temple.
A lot of people seem to have had a problem with that darn Temple and the puppet Priests running it during the Herodian period.
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Old 28th October 2011, 12:21 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
No. The existence of apocalyptic Jewish sects in 1st century Palestine is about as startling as the existence of Chinese restaurants in 20th century New York City.

Which means there are precious little inferences that can be drawn between any two of them merely by noting commonalities alone while ignoring differences.
I wasn't trying to draw inferences, just trying to get my de-rail back on track.

But since the OP seems to have moved on, what do you think of this site?:

http://www.sullivan-county.com/id2/james.htm

Quote:
...Josephus and Hegesippus -and because of them, Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus [160-235 CE], Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome -even ancient Christian literature recently found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt(like the lost Gospel of Thomas above) know of James' death, but not, oddly, Acts. Because Josephus knew of it first hand, it would seem best to use his account. According to him, when the Roman Governor died in 62 CE -and the new one was still on the way- Establishment High Priest Ananus ben Ananus used the occasion to try and execute Jesus' brother James, because of his role as supreme leader of the Jesus Movement:

"[H]e assembled the Sanhedrin [the 'Supreme Court'] of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some of his companions. And when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the Law, he delivered them to be stoned. But those citizens who seemed the most equitable and THE MOST CAREFUL IN THE OBSERVATION OF THE LAW were offended by this," (Antiquities of the Jews 20.1).

Two generations later, a more legendary account is recorded by Hegesippus, with the note that James "proved a true witness to Jews and Gentiles alike that Jesus is the Christ," (E.H. 2.23).

"The Assembly of the Lord, which was constituted in Jerusalem, was most plentifully multiplied and grew, being governed with the most Righteous ordinances by James," (non-canonical 'Recognitions of Clement' 1.43). "Our Lord and Prophet, who has sent us, declared to us that the Evil One [that is, 'the Devil'], having disputed with him for forty days, but failing to prevail against him, promised that he would send Apostles from among his subjects to deceive them. Therefore, above all, remember to shun ANY APOSTLE, TEACHER OR PROPHET WHO DOES NOT ACCURATELY COMPARE HIS TEACHING WITH JAMES...and this, even if he comes to you with recommendations," (non-canonical 'Homilies of Clement' 11.35, Peter preaching at Tripoli).

In the above 'Recognitions' we also learn of someone named Saul -"one of our enemies"- who, upon entering the Temple with a few others while James was reading and interpreting prophecy concerning Jesus, "began to cry out," and "while James the Bishop was refuting him" he "began to drive all into confusion with shouting, and undo what was arranged with much labor." A riot ensues, "in the midst of which, this enemy attacked James and threw him headlong from the top of the [Temple] steps, and, supposing him to be dead, cared not to inflict further violence upon him."

Though James doesn't die, both his legs are broken, so "our friends lifted him up...and we returned to the House of James, and spent the night there in prayer. Then, before daylight, we went down to Jericho, to the number of five thousand men [see Acts 4:4]." ...

Quote:
..."Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more. "[T]he truth of Christ is in me, NO MAN SHALL STOP ME OF THIS BOASTING ... The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore, knows I'm not lying," (2 Corinthians 11:10-31).

"I say the truth in Christ, and do not lie," (Romans 9:1). "I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not," (1 Timothy 2:7). "[b]efore God, I do not lie," (Galatians 1:20).

And to justify his preaching of living by faith alone, Paul cites Habakkuk's 'The Righteous shall live by his faith' in Romans 1:17.

In an interpretation of the above Habakkuk 2:4, the Dead Sea Scrolls (found only 50 years ago, in caves near Jericho) tell us its interpretation "concerns all DOERS OF THE LAW in the House of Judah, whom GOD WILL SAVE from the House of Judgement BECAUSE OF THEIR WORKS AND THEIR FAITH in the Teacher of Righteousness," (7:17-8:3).

The 'Teacher of Righteousness,' or 'Righteous Teacher,' leads a Messianic Movement befuddled by "the Spouter of Lies, who leads many astray in order to build his city of vanity ON BLOOD and erect an Assembly upon Lying, for the sake of his glory, tiring out many with a worthless service and instructing them in works of Lying, so that their works will be of Emptiness. And they will be brought to the same Judgements of Fire with which they insulted and vilified the Elect of God," (Habakkuk Pesher 10:9-13). Unlike the Spouter of Lies ("who led the simple astray"), the Righteous Teacher "expounded the Law to his Council and to all who freely pledged themselves to join the Elect of God TO KEEP THE LAW in the Council of the Community, WHO SHALL BE SAVED on the Day of Judgement," (Micah Pesher fragment).

"Those who were unfaithful together with the Liar, [who] did not listen to the word received by the Righteous Teacher from the mouth of God" and "who were silent at the time of the chastisement of the Righteous Teacher and did not aid him against the Liar WHO REJECTED THE LAW in the midst of all their Assembly" were "UNFAITHFUL IN THE NEW COVENANT in that they have NOT BELIEVED IN THE COVENANT OF GOD and have profaned His Holy Name," (Habakkuk Pesher 2:1-2, 5:12, 2:3).
...
Crazy, or what?
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Old 28th October 2011, 09:27 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I thought Paul was preaching that the Law was no longer incumbent upon anyone, Jew or Gentile. You know, the whole - "If man can be saved by works alone, then Jesus' sacrifice was in vain..."- thing.
Paul's arguments were specifically aimed at Gentiles.

While Paul clearly believed that the Law could not save anyone, he went out of his way to note his own blamelessness before the law, and pointed out that Jesus himself was born "under the Law".

His beef against Simon's hypocricy was not that he violated the Law, then went back to it when James's disciples showed up, but rather that he ate with gentiles (who were the ones not keeping kosher) and then refused to eat with them once James's people showed up.
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Old 28th October 2011, 09:29 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I find all of this stuff interesting and I wonder why everyone is so hostile to the idea that the Ebionites (that's what they called themselves, Ebionai) who left the scrolls at Qumran could possibly be the same Ebionites described by Irenaeus. Is it just because they don't mention Jesus?
The Qumran scrolls were clearly NOT Ebionite Christians. They weren't Christian at all.

The Ebionite Christians, whose gospel we know of only through citations elsewhere, believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but that he was entirely human.
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Old 28th October 2011, 01:24 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
The Qumran scrolls were clearly NOT Ebionite Christians. They weren't Christian at all.

The Ebionite Christians, whose gospel we know of only through citations elsewhere, believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but that he was entirely human.
I see you assert this with great confidence, but I don't see how you can be so sure. Especially given how much revisionism and factionalism went on in the early days of the Church.

I'm quite prepared to accept that I'm not as informed on these things as you are, but can you help me out here?

I see one group of Scholars (the majority I guess) saying what you say, but there are others who seem to my outsider perspective to be just as credible, saying otherwise. How do I decide?

Should I just accept the majority view and not bother my pretty little head with complicated subjects I couldn't possibly understand? Or should I persist?

I would like to persist.

This is all a derail anyway, so maybe I should start a new thread on this. Would you like to take this idea and tease it all out with me?

I'm not committed to insisting this theory is correct, I really just want to understand the objections to it. I need more than "I disagree" or "The traditional view is such and such".
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Old 28th October 2011, 02:15 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I see you assert this with great confidence, but I don't see how you can be so sure. Especially given how much revisionism and factionalism went on in the early days of the Church.
They never mention Jesus, they never mention Christian theology, no Christian scripture was found there. They were NOT Christian.
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Old 28th October 2011, 02:25 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
They never mention Jesus, they never mention Christian theology, no Christian scripture was found there. They were NOT Christian.
Yes. I know that. But the point would be that the very early Church in Jerusalem weren't what we would call "Christian" anyway. James and his followers were strictly Jewish, as far as I can tell. Paul was the only one talking about a divine Jesus until the Gospel of John, and Paul was preaching his divine Jesus to the Gentiles. James was emphasising the teachings of Jesus, of salvation through "The Way of The Lord" and preaching to the Jews. Am I wrong?
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