Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Bernard Muller
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by Bernard Muller » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:56 pm

to Neil,
Carrier wrote lately:
"Remember, Mark is fiction" http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/5790
Does that require interpretation?
Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

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neilgodfrey
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by neilgodfrey » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:15 pm

Nice to see you giving us all the opportunity to read and interpret Carrier's words for ourselves, Bernard. Makes a pleasant change from your usual style. (Everything is interpretation, by the way. No-one can avoid it.)
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by neilgodfrey » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:21 pm

But you're really short changing us and yourself, aren't you, when all you do is quote or direct us to read Carrier's words. You really want us to interpret them the way you do and believe they are rubbish. Tell you what. You really are allowed to paraphrase and express Carrier's words in your own way in order to analyse and criticize them. But I think the trouble is that some people are incapable of reading certain authors without hostile intent. Once you read with hostile intent nothing will let you see how wrongly you are probably (mis)understanding their words except a complete break on a tropical island for about 6 months.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: Carrier on The Ascension of Isaiah

Post by GakuseiDon » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:00 pm

Kapyong wrote:Gday again.

Here is another section that may interest readers, especially GakuseiDon :
(Italics, bolding and notes from original.)

Carrier OHJ, pp36-48, on The Ascension of Isaiah
Yes, indeed! Thanks so much for giving Carrier's comments on the AoI! I was very curious on how he was going to use it. Carrier is fairly consistent with Doherty's view there AFAICS, which I discussed with you on your blog. One interesting comment Carrier makes though is the implication of the predictions in 9.14 and following not showing up as actions in the later text. It's not a point for mythicism that I can see, but food for thought. Thanks again!
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Kapyong
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Carrier's Background Elements to Christianity

Post by Kapyong » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:55 pm

Gday all,

(MrMacSon has reminded my about copyright limits in my posting from OHJ - but I am still well below 10%, which I think is the limit. I will post a little more here, but not as full scans, just brief comments.)

Here are brief summaries (typically the topic sentence from his book) regarding his background material to Christianity. I found this section most valuable, and he provides in depth analyses of these points, not copied here.


Carrier, OHJ, Background Elements to Christianity

"Element 1.
The earliest form of Christianity definitely known to us originated as a Jewish sect in the region of Syria-Palestine.

Element 2.
When Christianity began, Judaism was highly sectarian and diverse.

Element 3.
When Christianity began, many Jews were expecting a Messiah.

Element 4.
Palestine in early 1st C. CE was experiencing a rash of messianism. See:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=687&start=170#p14594

Element 5.
Even before Christianity arose, some Jews expected one of their messiahs heralding the end times would actually be killed.

Element 6.
The suffering-and-dying servant of Isaiah 52-53 and the messiah of Daniel 9 (which may have been seen as the same person) have numerous logical connections with a man in Zechariah 3 and 6 named 'Jesus Rising' who is confronted by Satan in God's abode in heaven and there crowned king, given all of God's authority, holds the office of high priest, and will build up 'God's house'.

Element 7.
The pre-Christian book of Daniel was a key messianic text, predicting the messiah's arrival in early 1st C., even 30 CE.

Element 8.
Many messianic sects were searching the scriptures and extra-canonical texts for secret messages about the messiah.

Element 9.
In the early 1st C. CE, scripture consists of more than what is now the OT.

Element 10.
Christianity began as a Jewish messianic cult preaching a spiritually victorius messiah.

Element 11.
The earliest definitely known for of Christianity was a Judeo-Hellenistic mystery religion.

Element 12.
From as early as we can ascertain, Christians belioeved they became 'brothers' of the Lord Jesus Christ through baptism.

Element 13.
Like all mystery cults, Christianity had secret doctrines, that initiates were sworn never to reveal, and that would be talked about and written about in symbols, myths and allegories to disguise their true meaning.

Element 14.
Mystery cults spoke of their beliefs in public through myths and allegory, which symbolised a more secret doctrine that was usually rooted in a more esoteric astral or metaphysical theology. See :
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=687&p=14920#p14920

Element 15.
Christianity began as a charismatic cult in which many of it's leaders and members displayed evidence of schizotypal personalities.

Element 16.
The earliest Christians claimed they knew at least some, if not all, facts and teachings of Jesus from revelation and scripture - rather than from witnesses.

Element 17.
The fundamental features of the Gospel story of Jesus can be read out of the Jewish scriptures.

Element 18.
Jesus Christ was regarded as having fulfilled by his death (and thereby replacing) the two greatest Jewish religious sacrifices - Yom Kippur and Passover.

Element 19.
The apostle Paul is the earliest known Christian writer, yet he did not know a living Jesus.

Element 20.
The earliest known Christians proselytized Gentiles bu required them to convert to Judaism.

Element 21.
Paul and other NT authors attest that there were many rival Christian sects and factions teaching different gospels throughout the 1st century.

Element 22.
We have no credible or explicit record of what happened within the Christian movement between 64 and 95 CE (or possibly even as late as 110 CE), and the leadership of the Christian church had been catastrophically decimated by the beginning of that period. "


See the continuation of Carrier's series of Elements in his section on Elements of Context, here :
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=687&p=14925#p14925
Last edited by Kapyong on Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

Bernard Muller
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:27 am

Remarks on Carrier's book section about brother(s) of the Lord.

One good thing I noticed is Carrier allows for 1 Corinthians being an assemblage of Pauline letters:
Like other epistles. 1 Corinthians seems to be a mishmash of several letters, this being an example of where two were mashed together,
With one of those starting at 1 Cor 9:1 (total agreement here).

However next he quickly assume that "the brothers of the Lord" in 1 Cor 9:5 are Christians travelers on church business. But would "brothers of the Lord" be a proper expression to describe those? Simply "brothers" would have been enough (with the context suggesting travelers on church business) or, more accurately, "helpers in Christ".
Furthermore in the next verse, Paul complained that only him and Barnabas had to work for a living. That seems to indicate the preceding group (apostles, brothers of the Lord & Cephas) did not have to work for a living permanently, which would not be the case for these helpers.

Of course, I object strongly that Paul's Christians considered themselves as spiritual/adopted brothers of the Lord (I wish I could read element 12 now), which is a cornerstone in Carrier`s argumentation.
http://historical-jesus.sosblogs.com/Hi ... b1-p40.htm
I assumed here, according to the debate then including Carrier, that "brothers of the Lord" meant all Christians. Now it does not for Carrier in the case of 1 Cor 9:5. That will be changed.
http://historical-jesus.sosblogs.com/Hi ... b1-p86.htm
http://historical-jesus.sosblogs.com/Hi ... b1-p87.htm

I note that Carrier needed to make a long and strenuous and delicate argumentation for "brothers of the Lord" not being understood as blood brother of Jesus. Even so, at the end, he is not convinced by his own arguments:
In other words, I actually think this evidence is twice as likely on mythicism, but though I doubt it, I'll allow that it might be twice as likely on historicity.
And he is leaning for mythicism on that matter because the "extreme ambiguities" in 1 Cor 9:5 and Gal 1:19. What extreme ambiguities, I wonder. Why would Paul write "real blood brother(s) of Jesus", if his audience knew human Jesus had blood brother(s)? And "Lord" is a title for Jesus and actually, in 1 Cor 8:6, the only Lord of Paul`s Christians. And "brothers of the Lord" meaning helpers in Christ is far from being a good match and, shall I say, extremely ambiguous.

Next, I talk about Gal 1:19 "brother of the Lord"

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

maryhelena
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by maryhelena » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:19 am

My copy of Carrier's book has arrived.....and I read the ending first.....

Page 617

From here things can go three ways:

1. Minimal mythicism is more likely how Christianity began. If that’s true, we can prove it. If we can prove it, it will eventually become the broadest consensus of all but Christian apologists (who obviously will reject evidence when in conflict with their faith).

2. Minimal mythicism is not more likely how Christianity began. If that’s true, we can prove it. If we can prove it, what we will then have proved will become the broadest consensus. We will then have some facts about a historical Jesus we can assert as confidently known.

3. It’s not possible on present evidence to know whether minimal mythicism is more likely how Christianity began. If that’s true, we can prove it. If we can prove it, mythicists and historicists will both have to concede the point. Historicists will have to accept mythicism as a viable theory, and mythicists will have to accept some historical Jesus scenarios may be viable, too. We just don’t have the data we need in order to know which it is.

So there you go - Carrier is leaving the door open. While he has, personally, gone with the Carrier-Doherty mythicist theory - he is admitting that this theory cannot be proven. Thus, leaving the door open for any theory that can accommodate both the mythicists position of a cosmic, celestial christ figure and grant the historicists position, that some flesh and blood reality, human reality, is relevant to the NT story.

That makes sense to me - this historicist verse mythicist debate is not all going the mythicist way.

Now, back to page one.....
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

ghost
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by ghost » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:39 am

Does Carrier mention any of the following terms?

Caesar
divus
Iulius
Julius
Julian
Carotta
Courtney
Stauffer

Stephan Huller
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by Stephan Huller » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:57 am

Here, I will assist ghost in his trolling efforts.

CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS
ISN'T IT?
ISN'T IT?
ISN'T IT?
ISN'T IT?
ISN'T IT?
ISN'T IT?
ISN'T IT?
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
CAESAR
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS
JESUS

maryhelena
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Re: Does anyone have On the Historicity of Jesus yet?

Post by maryhelena » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:59 am

ghost wrote:Does Carrier mention any of the following terms?

Caesar
divus
Iulius
Julius
Julian
Carotta
Courtney
Stauffer
The only one of the above that I can find is a mention of Courtney:

Page 53/54
If ‘Jesus Christ began as a celestial deity’ is false, it could still be that he began as a political fiction, for example (as some scholars have indeed argued - the best examples being R.G. Price and Gary Courtney)

(Courtney’s book, Et Tu, Judas? Then Fall Jesus!, mentioned in the footnote)

Carrier then goes on to write that such a premise has a “much lower prior probability”. I’m not going to type any more from the book. The book is heavy and unyielding and trying to keep a page open for typing is frustrating.....
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

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