New Testament -- which are the mythicist texts? Analysis of Carrier OHJ

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: New Testament -- which are the mythicist texts? Analysis of Carrier OHJ

Post by GakuseiDon » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:40 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:01 pm
Sincerely it escapes me which is your precise anti-mythicist argument, beyond the your (our common) observation.
It's not an anti-mythicist argument per se. The observation holds even if mythicism is true.

Obviously one reason for there to be no historical details about Jesus in a text is because the text's author was a mythicist. But my observation is that a look at the wider text shows a vagueness about historical details about anything, much less than about a historical Jesus.

Let me ask you a question: there is nothing in the texts about what Jesus looked like, what he said, where he appeared, when he appeared. Yet Carrier mythicism has the idea that Jesus appeared in visions and communicated with people like Paul. Why are there no details about that? In themselves, such appearances wouldn't necessarily go against historicity if they were thought to have occurred after Jesus's death. But wouldn't people want to know where Jesus appeared and what he said at such appearances?

As I've said: even if Carrier mythicism wins the consensus, these types of questions will still be asked. It's not as if all controversy around these questions will come to a stop. Interested researchers will still be asking these types of questions.
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Re: New Testament -- which are the mythicist texts? Analysis of Carrier OHJ

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:18 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:40 pm
Obviously one reason for there to be no historical details about Jesus in a text is because the text's author was a mythicist. But my observation is that a look at the wider text shows a vagueness about historical details about anything, much less than about a historical Jesus.
true. Hebrews, for example, seems unaware even of a (mythical or historical)crucifixion of Jesus. Think about the paradox: the historicist Loisy accused of "distraction" the mythicist Couchoud just by remembering the latter that the crucifixion was missing in Hebrews. Even if Jesus is described as suffering, a cross is never mentioned in Hebrews. So a coherent mythicist has to assume that the author of Hebrews didn't know the crucifixion of Jesus, but only the Passion of Jesus. Idem for the author of Apocalypse.
Let me ask you a question: there is nothing in the texts about what Jesus looked like, what he said, where he appeared, when he appeared. Yet Carrier mythicism has the idea that Jesus appeared in visions and communicated with people like Paul. Why are there no details about that? In themselves, such appearances wouldn't necessarily go against historicity if they were thought to have occurred after Jesus's death. But wouldn't people want to know where Jesus appeared and what he said at such appearances?
mmm. A bit skeptical on that. I think that it was not a necessary thing to say, that the demons can kill directly an angel only in their own territory (=the lower heavens). It is an implicit corollary of a demonic killing. The problem is not if the Romans are implicitly seen or not with the demons. The problem is that the Romans are never mentioned at all. So a mythicist reader can go far with the his phantasy and image the celestial context, just as it "happened". But can a historicist reader introduce the Romans and go with the his phantasy without also going against what the text meant really?


The my point is that the reader has to go (=he is expected to go just by Paul) with the his phantasy to supply the missing items in the text read by him.
In both the cases (mythicism or historicism) he should imagine how "really" the crucifixion happened. Under the historicist paradigm, he should imagine as was good Pilate against Jesus. Under the mythicist paradigm, he should imagine as Sauron killed Jesus.

But who would have more right to imagine the missing things in the text?

I think that the mythicist has more right, for the simple fact that there is not the minimal historicist clue of an earthly Passion to work as potential input for imagination: the missing mention of Pilate or of the Romans is fatal for historicity.

As I've said: even if Carrier mythicism wins the consensus, these types of questions will still be asked. It's not as if all controversy around these questions will come to a stop. Interested researchers will still be asking these types of questions.
correct. It is human nature, afterall, to imagine what was missing but had to be there. But then again, who has more right to imagine? Surely who has more input for the his imagination. The mythicist "dreams" because he reads "archontes". Can the historicist "dream" in the his own way with equal right if he never reads Pilate?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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MrMacSon
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Re: New Testament -- which are the mythicist texts? Analysis of Carrier OHJ

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:25 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:08 am

Someone [Manoj Joseph] raised the question:

For arguments sake, if the Pauline epistles are from the 2nd century, can’t the cosmic Christ that is seen in it [them(?)] be one of the many variants of Christ that people believed in, in the 2nd century and can not be used to argue the Christ myth theory?

And Carrier said:

.
One would then be burdened with explaining how or why Christ would become de-historicized that way. It is actually historically easier to see a mythical person historicized than a historical person removed from history and placed in outer space (in fact I cannot think of a single precedent for that, although if anyone knows one I’m interested in seeing it). But more problematic is the fact that Paul’s letters show no awareness of the alternative, e.g. they never once struggle to argue against a prevailing historicizing view, contain no reference to anyone believing or preaching such a thing, and so on (and indeed no knowledge of the Gospels or anything in them, with the possible exception of the eucharist, which one could argue reverse causation for), which is always improbable unless there was none. Thus even late letters would not entail a low P(myth).

This is all academic, however, since I have yet to see any sound argument that P(letters late) is anywhere high enough to matter.
.

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archive ... mment-6262

So the difference exists between M and H texts even assuming that the M texts are H texts.
  • [Re "Paul’s letters show no awareness of the alternative e.g. they never once struggle to argue against a prevailing historicizing view, contain no reference to anyone believing or preaching such a thing, and so on"]
There is so much there that is illogical.
  • eg. saying "they never once struggle to argue against a prevailing historicizing view" assumes they should have
Even the premise of Manoj Joseph's question is illogical. Joseph quotes Carrier referring to "the more skeptical point that the epistles are a fabrication altogether" and then Carrier asserting "even if it could be argued, any argument depending on it becomes less probable than the same conclusion reached without it".

Joseph asks two questions -

Isn’t it a problem that by considering the Pauline epistles to be one of the earliest Christian writings, your argument needs the Pauline epistles to be early?

For arguments sake, if the Pauline epistles are from the 2nd century, can’t the cosmic Christ that is seen in it be one of the many variants of Christ that people believed in, in the 2nd century and can not be used to argue the Christ myth theory?
.
The first question seems irrelevant. Carrier gives a non-answer (but attempts a convoluted answer).

Josephs second question is illogical. He essentially asks why a cosmic/mythical Christ can't be used to argue for a cosmic/mythical Christ
  • or 'why can't a cosmic/mythical Christ be used to argue for a cosmic/mythical Christ?'
Carrier's reply is equally weird. He goes off on a tangent talking about de-historicizing Christ. Huh??

and then "Paul’s letters show no awareness of the alternative, e.g. they never once struggle to argue against a prevailing historicizing view ..."

Why should they? Paul's letters are propositional. They affirm a Christ.
  • He later says "how little 'the forgers' even bothered to polemicize against the Gospel version of Jesus"

    why should they 'polemicize against the Gospel version of Jesus'?

    and, he asserts 'forgers'
He also refers to the Pauline letters having "no knowledge of the Gospels or anything in the" which is a standard understanding, but then notes "with the possible exception of the eucharist, which one could argue reverse causation for".

1 Corinthians 11:24 has eucharisteō, but what he means by reverse causation is unclear: is he referring to later interpolation? It could also mean the 1 Corinthians was written in conjunction with Mark 14:23 (or Matthew 26:2 or Luke 22:17, 19).

Nothing Carrier says dismisses the possibility that the Pauline letters could be 2nd century: the fact that they never mention the Roman-Jewish War or the supposed Nero persecution [of Christians] is not that meaningful: especially when the only significant record of a Nero persecution of Christians is Tacitus Annals 15.44 (and I could and will argue there are reasonable grounds to argue a probability of at least 50/50 that Annals 15.44 is a forgery) .

Ulan
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Re: New Testament -- which are the mythicist texts? Analysis of Carrier OHJ

Post by Ulan » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:00 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:25 pm
He also refers to the Pauline letters having "no knowledge of the Gospels or anything in the" which is a standard understanding, but then notes "with the possible exception of the eucharist, which one could argue reverse causation for".

1 Corinthians 11:24 has eucharisteō, but what he means by reverse causation is unclear: is he referring to later interpolation? It could also mean the 1 Corinthians was written in conjunction with Mark 14:23 (or Matthew 26:2 or Luke 22:17, 19).
The "reverse causation" would be the eucharist in the gospels depending on Paul. Which is only worth noting with the question he answers in mind.

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MrMacSon
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Re: New Testament -- which are the mythicist texts? Analysis of Carrier OHJ

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:56 pm

Ulan wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:00 pm
The "reverse causation" would be the eucharist in the gospels depending on Paul. Which is only worth noting with the question he answers in mind.
Perhaps. I'm not sure whether both or either mentioning the eucharist is an issue of causation anyway (other than, as you say, propositions that the gospels use or depend on information from the Pauline texts, but that could well be an argument decreasing the veracity of the historicity of the gospels). I think he's being pretentious but coming off as a clown.

Papist
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Re: New Testament -- which are the mythicist texts? Analysis of Carrier OHJ

Post by Papist » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:03 pm

1 Timothy 6:13, 2 Timothy references Jesus already appearing and being descended from David (I don’t accept Carrier’s argument about it, I think Kirby may have a point on Romans 1:3 although doubtful).
Hebrews I don’t believe helps the Mythicist thesis because of the gate reference, Jesus being from Judah,days of flesh and supplication of prayers, etc.
1 Peter is “historicist, Ha!” because the writer who of course claims to be Peter says he witnessed Jesus’ sufferings and 2:21-23.
Just joined the Early Writings forum after reading it for months, and as you can tell by my username, I am a Catholic! But a reasonable one!

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Re: New Testament -- which are the mythicist texts? Analysis of Carrier OHJ

Post by Papist » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:07 pm

Oh also I think ephesians 2:17 shows an obvious reference to Jesus on earth!

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