The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
neilgodfrey
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by neilgodfrey » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:15 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:28 am
I don't think you recognize your Freudian slip by dropping this line in there, Bernard. Anyone would suspect that you have made up your mind before the research begins that you must have a central role for the historical Jesus in any reconstruction. That's not kosher. That's not how historical inquiry that is genuinely scholarly is supposed to work.
Yes, I already told you there are enough evidence showing Jesus existed on earth. What are you implying? a giant conspiracy in order to retrofit a historical Jesus into a religion which started with only a mythical Jesus? If you have a different theory for this alleged retrofitting, please let me know.
Oh my bloody gods, Bernard, for the fifty-millionth-zillionth time, will you pleeeeeeease get over your obsession with mythicism and discuss method free from all of that mythicism versus historicism shit.

What I said was no different from what you find mainstream biblical scholars have published about early christian history -- and the very one I though you yourself were arguing; that Jesus was a virtual "nobody" in his own day and did not himself "found" Christianity.

When I repeat your words back to you are you so hyped up over mythicism that you jump on that gun even when it hasn't fired?

And your hyper-sensitivity to mythicism as you express it here demonstrates you seem to have been incapable of reading and understanding the arguments in that direction with any semblance of reality anyway. No mythicist I know posits a conspiracy of the kind you have suggested -- so the fact that you bring up your theory out of the blue, with no provocation or reason, demonstrates to me that you are very hyper-up-tight and on a paranoid guard against an idea you have built up to be an unreal monster in your mind.

Am I justified in interpreting everything you write about Christian origins to be written with one fearful eye on the lookout for the mythicism monster that you have to build bulwarks against at every opportunity? Is that your agenda?

I don't give a stuff about mythicism or historicism. What's wrong with simply working with the historical data and ignoring the question entirely? That's not going to upset anyone's beliefs, is it?

neilgodfrey
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by neilgodfrey » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:26 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:28 am
to Neil,
You were clearly saying, and the examples you gave supported your claim, that the criterion of embarrassment (alone) was sufficient grounds for asserting certain details are actually historical.
Yes, but you need plausibility also, and these details (or important items) fits well in a reconstruction which is coherent & comprehensible. In the case of Peter not saying Jesus was Christ because of the alleged gag order, there are corroborations in Paul's epistles and other writings.
It went without saying that plausibility is necessary too since you had already ruled out the fantastical.

I will have to leave our discussion here, Bernard. It appears you have conceded that your conclusion that there is authorial embarrassment (within the realm of plausible data) in the gospels is sufficient to establish historical facts -- a method found nowhere but among biblical scholars and that has no place that I know if in any historical inquiry elsewhere. But that for you such a concession makes no difference, and that your grounds for establishing historicity are valid nonetheless.

(I kinda expected this is where our discussion would end, but I was curious to know how you would respond if pressed on the point about criteriology.)

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MrMacSon
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:47 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:28 am
And there are no clear and unambiguous facts showing Jesus was believed, in antiquity, never to have existed as a human.
Yes there are. Various commentaries by people like Irenaeus, Tertuallian, and Origen via Celsus all show doubt.

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:28 am
What are you implying? a giant conspiracy in order to retrofit a historical Jesus into a religion which started with only a mythical Jesus? If you have a different theory for this alleged retrofitting, please let me know.
It did not have to have been an outright conspiracy. It could have easily have been a situation where the people who put the NT together believed the stories that existed at that time.

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Kapyong
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by Kapyong » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:18 pm

Gday all,
Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:28 am
What are you implying? a giant conspiracy in order to retrofit a historical Jesus into a religion which started with only a mythical Jesus? If you have a different theory for this alleged retrofitting, please let me know.
No-one argued a giant conspiracy.

Can you only see two options ?

1) the 'true historical Jesus'

2) a giant conspiracy.

This seems to be a very common argument amongst HJers -
It cannot be a giant conspiracy, therefore Jesus existed.


Kapyong

Paul the Uncertain
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:28 pm

Neil
If we do not have copies of birth certificates and school records or any accounts of a figure's past, and we have only a news report of what that figure did later in life (e.g. performed a heroic act saving someone from a burning house), then the data we have does not allow us to ask anything about that person's childhood. (Unless, of course, the same news article said something about that.)
Of course I can ask. What I can't do, based on your summary description of a story I haven't seen, is answer many of the questions I might have about the "figure" more confidently than my prioristic beliefs.
If we only have an anonymous and uncorroborated narrative filled with moralistic and fantastical anecdotes about a figure then we cannot ask it to become part of any serious historical or biographical reconstruction of that figure.
If there is a community of scholars exploring questions about that figure, and the figure is alleged to belong to the human past, then I most surely can ask members of that community of scholars about its historical or biographical reconstructions (which are hypotheses, not fact claims, and so are as free from restriction-limitation as questions are, for the same reasons). I don't have to accept what I am told, and I don't have to be as confident about it as the median community member may be, but I can ask.
I took it as a truism that the nature of our evidence limits the questions we can reasonably ask of it.
Nobody here believes that anybody converses with rocks about the timing of fishing expeditions. Your remark had nothing to do with accepting or rejecting a limit on reasonable inquiry (evidently not to be confused with a restriction).
There is no attempt to trick you or mislead and then pounce. I don't play word games.
Ah. Another Aussie-Yank thing. That's not what word game means here.

And as you well know, neither of us trick or mislead anybody, ever, so neither of us plays word games in the narrow sense of dishonestly posting.
I wrote in a joking tone.
Me, too. Maybe neither Aussie nor Yank humor travels well.

Bernard Muller
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:52 pm

to MrMacSon,
Yes there are. Various commentaries by people like Irenaeus, Tertuallian, and Origen via Celsus all show doubt.
Can you be more specific? From where exactly? Can you quote the relevant passages? Are they clear-cut or require interpretations?

to Kapyong,
I asked Neil for what other option explaining how a historical Jesus was included in a mythical Jesus, the later being originally what he allegedly was believed to be. So I was looking for another option.
Conspiracy is one option I recall reading about from mythicists. But that's not the only one.

to Neil,
... mythicism versus historicism shit.
That does not show you are open-minded. You put "shit" on only one side.
What I said was no different from what you find mainstream biblical scholars have published about early christian history -- and the very one I though you yourself were arguing; that Jesus was a virtual "nobody" in his own day and did not himself "found" Christianity.
If it is the case, then I agree. The next step is to figure out why Paul put so much emphasis on Christ crucified and why a virtual "nobody" got used so much as the alleged (but not true) founder of Christianity. All of that answered in my reconstruction.
No mythicist I know posits a conspiracy of the kind you have suggested
I certainly read about the "pillars" in Jerusalem starting stories about a man Jesus, including his resurrection. I never said I think you believe in any conspiracy theory, so I asked you for your alternative.
... discuss method ...
I certainly discussed my method on this thread as also in my website here: http://historical-jesus.info/author.html. We also discussed the "fundamental" one of historians. But you made known little about yours, the literary one, except about making a point on your perceived irony in gMark.
And your hyper-sensitivity to mythicism as you express it here demonstrates you seem to have been incapable of reading and understanding the arguments in that direction with any semblance of reality anyway.
I read a lot of arguments about mythicism, more so the ones of Doherty & Carrier, but also others through that board and your blog and other blogs & forums. I did not see any which would remove the existence of a historical Jesus and the reconstructions from Doherty & Carrier are far-fetched, ill-evidenced and many times with ridiculous & silly arguments.
Am I justified in interpreting everything you write about Christian origins to be written with one fearful eye on the lookout for the mythicism monster that you have to build bulwarks against at every opportunity? Is that your agenda?
When I started my research (or even before that), I read the three initial books of G. A. Wells: not convincing and these books did not have much traction.
When my website was mostly completed, reaching most of my conclusions, I heard about Doherty and his book, which was getting a lot of traction on the web. Of course, then, I beefed up my website against mythicism, and also later on my blog when I started it.
So my website was not initially written against mythicism and designed to offer a historicist alternative.
What's wrong with simply working with the historical data and ignoring the question entirely?
Nothing wrong, but do not pretend this kind of work is going to cover the very origins of Christianity.
There will be a big blank at the beginning, and using a metaphor, boarding the train well after it started his route, when finally, there is lot of data in order to practice what you call fundamental historian's study.
Actually, it has been done, as for with 2nd century Marcion, who would have invented Paul or/& his epistles, and written the first gospel (being all fiction).

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

neilgodfrey
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by neilgodfrey » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:41 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:52 pm

to Neil,
... mythicism versus historicism shit.
That does not show you are open-minded. You put "shit" on only one side.
Cordially, Bernard
Omg, you are the paranoid one, aren't you. Let me try again:

historicism versus mythicism shit

the christ myth shit discussion

the shit preoccupation with mythicism.

Does that make me more balanced, now, Bernard?

But you were joking, right? Do tell me you were joking. My "shit", surely you knew, referred to the debate itself. You did understand that, didn't you...

(Please say "yes")

neilgodfrey
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by neilgodfrey » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:49 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:52 pm
What's wrong with simply working with the historical data and ignoring the question entirely?
Nothing wrong, but do not pretend this kind of work is going to cover the very origins of Christianity.
There will be a big blank at the beginning, and using a metaphor, boarding the train well after it started his route, when finally, there is lot of data in order to practice what you call fundamental historian's study.

So you DO argue that Jesus founded Christianity, then. Not many critical scholars accept that view. I didn't realize you argued that Jesus founded a new relgion.

hakeem
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by hakeem » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:11 pm

Bernard's arguments are flawed. The Pauline writings do not support a man but a resurrected God man [God's own Son--the Lord from heaven]. The Pauline writings claim Jesus was the last Adam made a spirit but Adam is a non-historical man.

1 Corinthians 15:45---And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

It is evident that the Pauline writings are not history but belief in the invention called the resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:17---And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

The Christian faith is directly based on non-historicity.

neilgodfrey
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Re: The best case for Jesus's historicity: Mark Craig

Post by neilgodfrey » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:44 pm

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:28 pm
If we do not have copies of birth certificates and school records or any accounts of a figure's past, and we have only a news report of what that figure did later in life (e.g. performed a heroic act saving someone from a burning house), then the data we have does not allow us to ask anything about that person's childhood. (Unless, of course, the same news article said something about that.)
Of course I can ask. What I can't do, based on your summary description of a story I haven't seen, is answer many of the questions I might have about the "figure" more confidently than my prioristic beliefs.
When I say we cannot ask certain questions of certain types of data I meant that we cannot meaningfully ask certain questions. We cannot meaningfully ask of a birth certificate when the person died. We know that a birth certificate cannot answer that question so that's what I mean when I say we cannot ask certain questions of certain data. It is as pointless asking a birth certificate for the date of someone's death as it is to ask a rock for the meaning of its life.

Historians, at least the decent ones, like good reporters and good detectives and good researchers in any field, rely upon testable and robust evidence for basic facts in their inquiries.

If I want to know when someone is born I turn to verifiable data that can tell me. Ditto for any other "facts" we want to establish. It's elementary. We don't need Bayes or any other mathematical formula or methods borrowed from quantum physics. We just need to apply everyday, sound, basic verification techniques. That's how real life works and its how basic research works.

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