dewitness VS Earl Doherty (was: Historicity of Jesus...)

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by dewitness » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:28 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:Some of the arguments have been telescoped by my initial outline. For example, obviously, Doherty's argument is extensive, detailed, and not (as commonly understood) negative but also based, positively, on the language of the texts as he interprets them. But the details are important, so, like MrMacSon has done, please help fill in some of the details of this outline, or add more points from your own study.

and, to the lurkers: Join the dark side. We have cookies. :mrgreen:
I find that Doherty's argument that Jesus was crucified in some kind of heaven or region of heaven to be hopelessly flawed and contrary to the evidence or the stories from antiquity about the Jesus character.

The story of Jesus is that he was crucified or delivered up to be crucified by the Jews under Pilate after a trial by the Sanhedrin when he was found guilty of death for Blasphemy.

It is imperative that it is understood that the Jesus cult writers argued that it was the Killing of Jesus by the Jews that caused the desolation of Jerusalem and the Fall of the Temple as prophesied in the book of Daniel.

It is true that Jesus of the Bible was purely mythological but there is no story and no tradition anywhere in antiquity that he was crucified in some kind of heaven and never believed to be on earth.

In fact, Jesus cult writers that mentioned the crucifixion of Jesus claimed that it happened on earth and was killed by the Jews.

1. Aristides' Apology
The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son of God lived in a daughter of man. This is taught in the gospel, as it is called.................... This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that the purpose of his incarnation might in time be accomplished. But he himself was pierced by the Jews, and he died and was buried; and they say that after three days he rose and ascended to heaven.
2. Justin's First Apology
Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judaea, in the times of Tiberius Caesar.
3. Justin's Dialogue with Trypho
Accordingly, these things have happened to you in fairness and justice, for you have slain the Just One, and His prophets before Him; and now you reject those who hope in Him, and in Him who sent Him--God the Almighty and Maker of all things--cursing in your synagogues those that believe on Christ.
4. Hippolytus' Against the Jews
7. But why, O prophet, tell us, and for what reason, was the temple made desolate? Was it on account of that ancient fabrication of the calf? Was it on account of the idolatry of the people? Was it for the blood of the prophets? Was it for the adultery and fornication of Israel? By no means, he says; for in all these transgressions they always found pardon open to them, and benignity; but it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor...
5. Lactantius' How the Persecutors Died
In the latter days of the Emperor Tiberius, in the consulship of Ruberius Geminus and Fufius Geminus, and on the tenth of the kalends of April, as I find it written, Jesus Christ was crucified by the Jews.
Last edited by dewitness on Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by spin » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:36 pm

dewitness wrote:...hopelessly flawed...
Oh-oh, aa.
Dysexlia lures • ⅔ of what we see is behind our eyes

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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by dewitness » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:05 am

spin wrote:At the same time he may not have existed at all and, for example, may have been the product of the necessities of Paul's revelation. We have no indications about Jesus prior to Paul and Paul never met Jesus, so he cannot be used as a witness to the historicity of Jesus. The messianists from Jerusalem show no knowledge of the gospel Jesus (or any living Jesus for that matter).

Jesus may not have existed.
oh spin

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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:54 am

dewitness wrote: I find that Doherty's argument that Jesus was crucified in some kind of heaven or region of heaven to be hopelessly flawed and contrary to the evidence or the stories from antiquity about the Jesus character.

..

It is true that Jesus of the Bible was purely mythological, but there is no story and no tradition anywhere in antiquity that he was crucified in some kind of heaven and never believed to be on earth.
Carrier explains & discusses Earl Doherty's thesis quite well here -

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ ... uzzle.html

Carrier provides, at the outset, a Summary of Argument and Overall Conclusion:
Earl Doherty argues that Christianity began as a mystical-revelatory religion, very different from the "deviant" sect that won the propaganda war to become the eventual "orthodoxy." The latter gained prominence in the 2nd century and achieved total victory by the 4th. According to this theory, the idea of an historical progenitor was not original to the faith even in Paul's day, but evolved over the course of the later 1st century. As Doherty argues, [the] "Jesus Christ" [character] ... was originally a heavenly being, whose atoning death took place at the hands of demonic beings in a supernatural realm halfway between heaven and earth, a sublunar sphere where he assumed a fleshly, quasi-human form. This, and the rest of the "gospel", was revealed to the first Christians in visions and inspirations and through the discovery of hidden messages in the scriptures. After the confusion of the Jewish War and persistent battles over power in the church, rooted in a confused mass of variant sectarian dogmas, a new cult arose with the belief that Jesus actually came to earth and was crucified by Jews with the complicity of the Roman authorities. To defend itself against sects more closely adhering to the original, mystical faith, the new church engaged in polemics and power politics, and eventually composed or adopted writings (chiefly the canonical Gospels) supporting its views.

The "scandalous" consequence of Doherty's theory is that Jesus didn't exist. But it cannot be emphasized enough that Doherty's thesis is not "Jesus didn't exist, therefore Christianity started as a mystical-revelatory Jewish sect" but "Christianity started as a mystical-revelatory Jewish sect, therefore Jesus didn't exist." This is significant. Most scholars who argue that Jesus didn't exist (who are called "ahistoricists," because they deny the "historicity" of Jesus, or "mythicists," because they argue Jesus is mythical) have little in the way of reasons beyond a whole complex of arguments from silence. Doherty, in contrast, uses arguments from silence only to support his thesis. He does not base it on such arguments, but rather on positive evidence, especially a slew of very strange facts that his theory accounts for very well but that traditional historicism ignores, or explains poorly. By far most of the criticism or even dismissal of Doherty's work is based on the criticism or dismissal of the Argument from Silence, or his (often supposed) deployment of it. This completely misses the strongest elements of his case: evidence that Christianity did in fact begin as a mystical-revelatory religion.
Carrier has said since, elsewhere, he considers Doherty's Jesus Puzzle much better than his subsequent work, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man .

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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by Peter Kirby » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:05 am

dewitness wrote:In fact, Jesus cult writers that mentioned the crucifixion of Jesus claimed that it happened on earth and was killed by the Jews.

1. Aristides' Apology
What is the purpose of quoting these without engaging the ideas that you are attempting to discredit by quoting them? Doherty's ideas are well-documented on his website, and none of these quotes really come close to being relevant without making an argument about why this discredits his ideas. They do possibly have value against a strawman, of course, that nobody in the second century believed in a Jesus crucified under Pontius Pilate, but that's not what Doherty argued, so it's just a strawman.
dewitness wrote:4. Hippolytus' Against the Jews
Sorry, who wrote this? It might be on my website, but the Hippolytean and pseudo-Hippolytean literature is a really thorny issue in patristics, and my brief search didn't turn up any definitive answers.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:29 am

dewitness wrote: I find that Doherty's argument that Jesus was crucified in some kind of heaven or region of heaven to be hopelessly flawed and contrary to the evidence or the stories from antiquity about the Jesus character.
Bskeptic answers that somewhat with a biblical quote in the OP of another thread
Matthew 24

[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

[31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by dewitness » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:43 am

Peter Kirby wrote:What is the purpose of quoting these without engaging the ideas that you are attempting to discredit by quoting them? Doherty's ideas are well-documented on his website, and none of these quotes really come close to being relevant without making an argument about why this discredits his ideas. They do possibly have value against a strawman, of course, that nobody in the second century believed in a Jesus crucified under Pontius Pilate, but that's not what Doherty argued, so it's just a strawman.
I find your statement to be highly illogical. The very reason I quoted the verses was to show that, contrary to Doherty, it is specifically claimed that the Jews killed Jesus by Christian writers of antiquity.

The very reason I present written statements from antiquity is show that I do have actual clear support for my arguments.

The evidence actually shows that Doherty's claim was most likely invented and have no actual support in or out the Canon.

In effect, Doherty cannot present any direct clear written statement by any writer of antiquity who stated that Jesus was not ever believed to be on earth and was crucified in some kind of heaven.

I can show that the writers of the Jesus cult of antiquity stated unambiguously that the Jews Killed Jesus in the reign of Tiberius. The evidence from antiquity do show that the Jesus cult started when people began to believe the story that the Jews Killed Jesus.

1. Aristides' Apology
The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven.................... This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that the purpose of his incarnation might in time be accomplished. But he himself was pierced by the Jews, and he died and was buried; and they say that after three days he rose and ascended to heaven.
2. Justin's First Apology
Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ.... was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judaea, in the times of Tiberius Caesar.
3. Justin's Dialogue with Trypho
Accordingly, these things have happened to you in fairness and justice, for you have slain the Just One.........
4. Hippolytus' Expository Treatise Against the Jews
7. But why, O prophet, tell us, and for what reason, was the temple made desolate?................ it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor...
5. Lactantius' How the Persecutors Died
In the latter days of the Emperor Tiberius............ Jesus Christ was crucified by the Jews.
[/quote]

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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by dewitness » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:59 am

MrMacSon wrote:
dewitness wrote: I find that Doherty's argument that Jesus was crucified in some kind of heaven or region of heaven to be hopelessly flawed and contrary to the evidence or the stories from antiquity about the Jesus character.
Bskeptic answers that somewhat with a biblical quote in the OP of another thread
Matthew 24

[30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

[31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Matthew 24.30-31 deals specifically with the Second advent of Jesus.

Matthew 24.30-31 deals specifically with a post-crucifixion event.

Matthew 24. 30-31 are supposedly the words of Jesus while he was ON Earth and while he was with his disciples in the vicinity of the Temple..

Matthew 24:1 KJV

And Jesus went out , and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

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dewitness VS Earl Doherty (was: Historicity of Jesus...)

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:33 am

dewitness wrote: The evidence actually shows that Doherty's claim was most likely invented and have no actual support in or out the Canon.

In effect, Doherty cannot present any direct clear written statement by any writer of antiquity who stated that Jesus was not ever believed to be on earth and was crucified in some kind of heaven.
Doherty's thesis is not based on single statements by writers of antiquity - they're based on an assessment of a number of writings throughout the times of early Christianity and themes, and changes to themes over time, that come out of those writings.

dewitness wrote:The very reason I quoted the verses was to show that, contrary to Doherty, it is specifically claimed .... by Christian writers of antiquity that the Jews killed Jesus.

The very reason I present written statements from antiquity is show that I do have actual clear support for my arguments.

I can show that the writers of the Jesus cult of antiquity stated unambiguously that the Jews Killed Jesus in the reign of Tiberius. The evidence from antiquity do show that the Jesus cult started when people began to believe the story that the Jews Killed Jesus.
1. Aristides' Apology
The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven.................... This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that the purpose of his incarnation might in time be accomplished. But he himself was pierced by the Jews, and he died and was buried; and they say that after three days he rose and ascended to heaven.
2. Justin's First Apology
Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ.... was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judaea, in the times of Tiberius Caesar[/b].

3. Justin's Dialogue with Trypho
Accordingly, these things have happened to you in fairness and justice, for you have slain the Just One.........

4. Hippolytus' Expository Treatise Against the Jews
7. But why, O prophet, tell us, and for what reason, was the temple made desolate?................ it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor...
5. Lactantius' How the Persecutors Died
In the latter days of the Emperor Tiberius............ Jesus Christ was crucified by the Jews.
What some writers of the early times believed or wrote may not reflect what generations prior to them said or believed (or what other contemporary groups in other locations believed) - beliefs seemed to be developing, changing & 'evolving' through those time, and it seems we cannot focus on some writings as being, ironically, "gospel truth" as definitive reflections of or for the entire period of early christianity.

It seems clear, to me, that later beliefs and statements arose out of a variety of earlier [gnostic] stories about a heavenly spiritual ghostly character or series of characters that were later 'made human' ie. "made flesh" - anthropomorphised.

None of this, or what Doherty has written, negates your considered conclusion that
dewitness wrote:The evidence from antiquity do show that the Jesus cult started when people began to believe the story that the Jews Killed Jesus.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Historicity of Jesus - the Talking Points

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:43 am

It seems the assertion that (to paraphrase?)
  • "Man was made in the image of God"
is really a reversal of, to me, the more likely proposition that ... gods were made in the image of man

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