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Josephus Testimonium

by Evo
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atyy
#37
Aug22-13, 01:21 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Actually, Paul claims he met Jesus AFTER he arose from the dead and only refers to Jesus as a supernatural deity. His mentions of Jesus are purely religious and nothing of historical value. That is why I decided to retract discussion of Paul as it is strictly religious visions and writings.
No, Paul also refers to Jesus as a human being.
Evo
#38
Aug22-13, 01:26 AM
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Quote Quote by atyy View Post
No, Paul also refers to Jesus as a human being.
Where and based on what? He never met Jesus (oh, he met Jesus's ghost) and wasn't a contemporary. I don't want heresay, I want known historians alive during the time of Jesus that mentioned him. You don't have any.

Again, it is not my intent to debate the religion of christianity. I am merely discussing actual history.

Heck, Muhammad based his religion on hearing a voice in a cave while in a state of deprivation and meditating.
atyy
#39
Aug22-13, 01:37 AM
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Where and based on what? He never met Jesus (oh, he met Jesus's ghost) and wasn't a contemporary. I don't want heresay, I want known historians alive during the time of Jesus that mentioned him. You don't have any.
So even if Josephus had mentioned Jesus you wouldn't accept it as evidence for the existence of Jesus.
Evo
#40
Aug22-13, 01:50 AM
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So even if Josephus had mentioned Jesus you wouldn't accept it as evidence for the existence of Jesus.
No, it's obviously a forgery, an orthodox Jew would never write such things, plus an earlier version found did not contain those two inserted paragraphs. The paragraphs don't fit into the context either. No writers of the time were aware of these 2 paragraphs, even though if they had existed, for Christian writers, it would have been of great help to them. But they don't mention it because it didn't exist.
atyy
#41
Aug22-13, 02:13 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
No, it's obviously a forgery, an orthodox Jew would never write such things, plus an earlier version found did not contain those two inserted paragraphs. The paragraphs don't fit into the context either. No writers of the time were aware of these 2 paragraphs, even though if they had existed, for Christian writers, it would have been of great help to them. But they don't mention it because it didn't exist.
That's not what I was asking. I was asking about your methodology. In the hypothetical case that Josephus could be shown to definitely mention Jesus, for example, by the discovery of an early manuscript, you would according to the criteria in #38 still have to reject the evidence since Josephus worked after Jesus had died, so he was not a contemporary, and did not meet Jesus.
Evo
#42
Aug22-13, 02:30 AM
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Quote Quote by atyy View Post
That's not what I was asking. I was asking about your methodology. In the hypothetical case that Josephus could be shown to definitely mention Jesus, for example, by the discovery of an early manuscript, you would according to the criteria in #38 still have to reject the evidence since Josephus worked after Jesus had died, so he was not a contemporary, and did not meet Jesus.
Yes. Nothing makes Josephus immune to needing to have been a contemporary of Jesus. I only cited it as an example since the references were forged and frequently used to falsely verify the historical evidence of Jesus. There is no contemporary historical evidence of Jesus.
arildno
#43
Aug22-13, 04:19 AM
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atyy:
You should also be aware of what "forgery" at that time might involve:
Is conscious deceit some sort of necessary part here?
Of course not!

To give a non-deceitful explanation, think of the following:

1. The oldest manuscripts we possess today are the rewritings/copyings of the rewritings/copyings of..the original documents. The vast majority of this copying work is lost, as an example, The Annales of Tacitus has survived in a SINGLE copy, and that serendipity is not that unusual.

2. Thus, for many documents, what we have is the fortuitous survival of a single copying tradition, rather than having at our disposal a wealth of somewhat diverging stories from which we can reconstruct the original to an acceptable degree of probability.

3. Consider then the following scenario:
About 200 CE, a guy, for example a priest or teacher, reads Josephus, and is astounded that Josephus does not mention Jesus. A history book is a big financial investment, and he says to his scribe that in order to amend Josephus' text, he should put into the copy a few lines in red ink about Jesus, Josephus' own original in black. Thus, at this point, those benefiting from the copy is told that red text has been added, to make their history lesson more complete.

4. Now, go 100 years forwards in time. A new guy comes over an ancient book, at least a 100 years old, hooray! it is Josephus!! Most of the text is in black, some though, written in red? Had the scribe run out of black ink, perhaps? Anyways, it can't be important that ink thing, (can it?), so in MY copy, I write everything in black ink.

5. Which copying tradition is it that WE happen to possess?
arildno
#44
Aug22-13, 04:45 AM
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By one of those exasperating quirks of history, the true contemporary of Jesus, the historian Velleius Paterculus who actually served as an officer in Palestine ended his story in 29 CE, writing the finishing prayer to Emperor Tiberius in 30 A.D.

So close in time, but not close enough..
russ_watters
#45
Aug22-13, 05:47 AM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
I think Evo is claiming as the book did that Jesus of Nazareth was massaged into Jesus of Christ to fit the movement.
Quote Quote by Evo
Yep.
I don't understand. That still means he existed, doesn't it? Yes, a lot of the events in his life are un-documented outside of the Bible and may not have happened. But that's a long way from saying he didn't exist.
We know wiki is not a valid source.
That isn't helpful/seems to contradict the above. Regardless of if you like wiki or not, I'm now very confused about what your position is. I see two separate possibilities being argued:

1. There was a historical person named Jesus, but most of what is described in the Bible is unsupported.
2. There was no historical person named Jesus who was executed by Pilate.

I thought you were arguing number 2, but it seems like now you are jumping back and forth.

But for what it is, you can't really "cherry pick sources" on a binary issue of existing or not existing. Either Jesus appears in the text or he doesn't. But not appearing in a text doesn't provide evidence he didn't exist, it just doesn't support that he did. Negative evidence is not definitive: just like in science.
We do know that no historians of the time mentioned him.....

I don't think Aslan was alive when Jesus supposedly lived.
That's a pretty tall order, Evo, to say that no historian can write about Jesus after he died. It is like suggesting physicists can't be believed about the Big Bang because they weren't there when it happened!
Russ, your wiki contains debunked historical sources.
[shrug] It also contains accepted historical sources.

Honestly, Evo, besides not being clear about what your position is, it seems you are very conveniently disregarding valid evidence because it doesn't agree with your position.
Remember, ACTUAL HISTORIANS at the time Jesus lived knew nothing of him. What does that tell you?
I'm not sure: How many actual historians are we talking about?

But in either case, what it may tell us is that Jesus wasn't an important enough person to be written about while he lived.

[Edit] And I missed a further constraint: apparently, just being a contemporary isn't enough: one has to have actually met the person being written about. I don't know what to say beyond just stating that that clearly isn't how scholarly history works. If it were, obviously the vast majority of history would be invalid. As I said, you are of course free to hold your own personal opinions(this one will make learning history very difficult!), but from an academic sense, that criteria is wrong.
arildno
#46
Aug22-13, 07:47 AM
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"what it may tell us is that Jesus wasn't an important enough person to be written about while he lived."

Sure. Which would not be very strange, if he just died on a cross and was not resurrected at all.
Evo
#47
Aug22-13, 01:37 PM
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To Russ, yes I was just exasperated and became too critical in response to things like wikipedia and the bible as evidence.
atyy
#48
Aug22-13, 02:24 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Yes. Nothing makes Josephus immune to needing to have been a contemporary of Jesus. I only cited it as an example since the references were forged and frequently used to falsely verify the historical evidence of Jesus. There is no contemporary historical evidence of Jesus.
That's a very unusual point of view. I disagree, and would point to Robin Lane Fox's "Unauthorized Version" for the sort of reasoning I agree with. One may or may not agree with this or that detail in Fox's book, but the overall approach is consensus. Basically, the New Testament documents and what we know about the period indicate that Jesus was a specific human being who was crucified around AD 36. There is enough evidence to date the Pauline letters to around AD 50, and those indicate the existence of a Christianity existing before that time that did already believe in the crucifixion of Jesus. Paul also indicates that he met leaders of the church in Jerusalem, including James, who is described as the brother of Jesus. We are pretty sure he's not making up meeting with James because he is describes disagreements with with James during that meeting.
Evo
#49
Aug22-13, 02:54 PM
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Quote Quote by atyy View Post
That's a very unusual point of view. I disagree, and would point to Robin Lane Fox's "Unauthorized Version" for the sort of reasoning I agree with. One may or may not agree with this or that detail in Fox's book, but the overall approach is consensus. Basically, the New Testament documents and what we know about the period indicate that Jesus was a specific human being who was crucified around AD 36. There is enough evidence to date the Pauline letters to around AD 50, and those indicate the existence of a Christianity existing before that time that did already believe in the crucifixion of Jesus. Paul also indicates that he met leaders of the church in Jerusalem, including James, who is described as the brother of Jesus. We are pretty sure he's not making up meeting with James because he is describes disagreements with with James during that meeting.
We aren't talking about the "religious" Jesus, we are talking about actual historical facts. Unless you are asking me to believe that there actually was a half human half supernatural god creature that lived then. The gospels and Paul's letters are not considered valid historically by many, but that gets into discussing the religion. Let's not go there and please stick to actual historical records.
russ_watters
#50
Aug22-13, 03:32 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
To Russ, yes I was just exasperated and became too critical in response to things like wikipedia and the bible as evidence.
Fair 'nuff.
Evo
#51
Aug22-13, 04:03 PM
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Anyway, this has gone off topic since the purpose of this thread was actually to discuss the controversy concerning the two paragraphs in "Testimonium Flavianum"/"The Antiquities", so I'm putting the thread out of it's misery.


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