Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

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maryhelena
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Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by maryhelena »

Rather than continue with the thread - 'The end of the seditious Jesus hypothesis' - I thought a thread, dealing with Fernando Bermejo-Rubio seditious Jesus theory, would be better served in a separate thread. A seditious Jesus theory is not new - and doubters aside - it's a theory that has staying power.

10 years ago Bermejo-Rubio published an answer to doubters of his hypothesis.

“Has the Hypothesis of a Seditionist Jesus Been Dealt a Fatal Blow? A Systematic Answer to the Doubters”, Bandue 7 (2013) 19-57..

https://www.academia.edu/8156663/_Has_t ... 013_19_57_

He has now published a book: September 2023.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/They-Suffered- ... 162&sr=8-4

Image

I have bought the Kindle copy of the book.

I am not a Jesus historicists. I view the gospel Jesus as a composite literary figure. That allows me to consider the seditious elements within the gospel story as indicative of a historical backstory to the gospel story.

Interestingly, Bermejo-Rubio, said the following in relation to the mythicist position:

The fact that an underlying story can be glimpsed behind the Gospels means in turn that, in these writings, not everything is reducible to literary borrowing, and strongly suggests that, unlike what the mythicists would have us believe, the Gospels’ Jesus was not created ex nihilo. Unfortunately, since mythicists assume as a matter of fact the nonhistoricity of the character, they do not make the effort to obtain a historically credible reconstruction of him.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 74). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.

I think that is a valid point - Carrier, for instance, has his Jesus from outer space - an imaginative idea without a historical relevance. If this is the best hypothesise mythicists can offer - it is their hypothesise, not Bermejo-Rubio's seditious Jesus hypothesis, that is reaching it's end time.

It has never been a choice between history and myth. It's never been a choice between a historical gospel Jesus (of whatever version scholars have proposed) and a mythicist Jesus from outer space or, as Bermejo-Rubio said above - a Jesus created 'ex nihilo'. The gospel story had legs to run - not imaginary legs - but historical legs. It is those 'legs', the historical core of the gospel story, that enabled and secured it's place in history.

As I go through Bermejo-Rubio's new book I'll post what I find of interest in this thread. Yes, to my mind, there are faults in his hypothesis - but his overreaching hypothesis is sound ie. the gospel story contains an element of sedition. It contains a seditious Jesus.
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by DCHindley »

Wow,

I have to say, Fernando Bermejo-Rubio has summarized things rather well.

Funny, I had already mentally noted many of the things he discusses, but he has annotated everything.

Positions of the important critics he cites seem to be more or less neutrally described, and not at variance with what I thought I recalled about these critics.

He has paid attention to the little details. There were a few minor things I noted while tabbing through the text, mostly formatting offities but in one case a singular thing shoulda been plural things (huh?).

As a bonus, at least to me, is the fact that he has reviewed Festinger's When Prophesy Fails and wrote an article employing Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance Theory on early Christian origins research. Having long had an interest in this subject, I am pretty sure I have posted about it on BC&H before, or at least FRDB (don't think I contributed to IIDB, maybe lurked).

I am going to enjoy following up on his critical endnotes.

mh, you selected a good book to take a close reading of!

DCH
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

DCHindley wrote: Sun Feb 04, 2024 7:52 pmI have to say, Fernando Bermejo-Rubio has summarized things rather well.
Yes, very clearly written and argued. I like it too.

maryhelena wrote: Sun Feb 04, 2024 2:41 amA seditious Jesus theory is not new - and doubters aside - it's a theory that has staying power.

10 years ago Bermejo-Rubio published an answer to doubters of his hypothesis.

“Has the Hypothesis of a Seditionist Jesus Been Dealt a Fatal Blow? A Systematic Answer to the Doubters”, Bandue 7 (2013) 19-57..

https://www.academia.edu/8156663/_Has_t ... 013_19_57_
Bermejo-Rubio wrote
On the one hand, the Gospel accounts are riddled —not to speak of the purely legendary material— with blatant inconsistencies and puzzling improbabilities, so that any rigorous consideration leads to a critical questioning and a search for a convincing explanation of the problematic evidence. On the other hand, as I have already remarked, these sources contain a great amount of material pointing - at least at first sight - precisely to the hypothesis of an anti-Roman Jew, thereby justifying that it should be advanced and carefully weighed up. Paradoxically, it is rather in the hasty attempt of depriving that hypothesis of scholarly respectability where bias and prejudices are to be found.
When I remember my reading of Carmichael and Maccoby, they both always argued in the same way which can be paraphrased as follows: "There are small comments in the Gospels that the Evangelists overlooked in their sources and original texts or could not suppress because they were too well known. These small sprinkles need to be excavated archaeologically, so to speak, and then reinterpreted contrary to the Evangelists' agenda."

This methodological approach applies to all HJ-scholars who wanted to reconstruct the real person of Jesus behind the picture painted by the Gospels through source criticism. It seems to me that this approach has largely been abandoned today, as Memory theory shows in particular. The evangelists are no longer seen as clumsy copyists, but rather as authors who carefully conceived and edited their gospel and the individual pericopes.

The „seditious material“ is not found in deeper archaeological layers of the text, but is found at the "final editing stage", as source critics would say. Carrier demonstrated this very well for the two swords story. The whole story and the cross-references associated with it in other pericopes are thoroughly Lucan. It's just Luke's ketchup on Mark‘s fries.

Other scholars, such as the German Bedenbender, examine this very fact: Why did the evangelists write these stories that discuss questions of rebellion and insurrection? What did they want to say?
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by maryhelena »

I found this approach by Bermejo-Rubio interesting:

From page 85.

Even accepting—for the sake of discussion—that a partial debunking of the traditional criteria is well founded, this need not lead us to an impasse, since such tools are not the only ones that can be used to critically reconstruct the historical figure of Jesus. An alternative access has been advanced on several occasions, and recently restated. I refer to the presence of motifs that enjoy recurrent attestations across the sources. The underlying rationale to recover an accurate reminiscence here is that if a motif crops up time after time, particularly in mutually independent sources, this spread suggests that the motif has landed in the tradition very early and through several independent tradents.32

------

A clear advantage of the recurrent patterns lies in the fact that, unlike the traditional criteriology, it does not compel us to assess and discuss the authenticity of each unit of the cluster corresponding to a certain topic or motif.
-------

33 The conclusions we can draw are not grounded on proving the authenticity of individual pericopae, but on the general impression that the existence of a convergent pattern instills in us, precisely because,
as modern study of memory has taught us, general impressions are more trustworthy than single details. As Dale Allison has put it, “What counts is not the isolated units but the patterns they weave, the larger images they form. Indeed, even if one were, against good sense, to doubt the truth of every individual story and saying . . . , one might still reasonably retain a certain faith in the whole of them taken together and suppose that the recurring motif tells us something about Jesus’ ministry.”34 In other words, the reliability of a motif stands independent of the historical status of the several stories in detail.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 87). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.

In other words - the trees in the wood might be interesting but it's the wood in which they reside that has it's own story to tell. One could, for instance, be in danger of losing the plot when concentrating only on a specific tree. Yes, Greek words are relevant - after all they support the written story - but it's the story itself that is of fundamental value. And that story - the very pattern that is repeated over and over wherever that gospel story is told - in not a babe in a manger, but a story of a Roman crucifixion of a Jewish man. In fact, that is the basic historical claim of Christianity. One can debate all day over the meaning of Greek words, who wrote what gospel and when. Assuming a historical gospel Jesus (of whatever variety NT scholars dream up) is a futile exercise without facing Christianity's historical claim for such a man. A seditious Jesus hypothesis allows a way forward for investigating that claim.

=====

As I said in the OP - my aim in this thread is to share interesting points from Bermejo-Rubio's new book. I'm not doing a review of the book. It's subject matter has been set out in a number of articles - so I'm not repeating the scholarly arguments. What I'm attempting is more a critical task - to take the subversive Jesus hypothesis and see how well it measures up with Jewish and Roman history.
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

maryhelena wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 3:07 amI found this approach by Bermejo-Rubio interesting:

From page 85.

Even accepting—for the sake of discussion—that a partial debunking of the traditional criteria is well founded, this need not lead us to an impasse, since such tools are not the only ones that can be used to critically reconstruct the historical figure of Jesus. An alternative access has been advanced on several occasions, and recently restated.

It seems as if he is aware of the methodological problem. It's good that he's trying to break new ground.
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by Giuseppe »

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote: Mon Feb 05, 2024 12:48 am The „seditious material“ is not found in deeper archaeological layers of the text, but is found at the "final editing stage", as source critics would say. Carrier demonstrated this very well for the two swords story.
Kunigunde, I value very much your opinion on this point. Since I recognize that the marcionite priority has serious problems in explaining the titulus crucis, have you a cogent explanation of it under the Markan priority that is not the Bermejo-Rubio's explanation (i.e. that the rebel Jesus advanced claims to the kingdom of Israel and the titulus parodied deliberately a such claim)?
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by maryhelena »

A fundamental part of Bermejo-Rubio's seditious Jesus hypothesis is his interpretation of Tacitus:

Under Tiberius all was quiet. But when the Jews were ordered by Caligula to set up his statue in the temple, they preferred the alternative of war.

https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/te ... 51,004:5:9


A striking feature characterizes the historiographical assessment of the interval ranging since Herod the Great’s demise until the First Jewish War. On the one hand, there is virtual unanimity about the turbulent nature of the beginning and the end of that period: the epoch around Herod’s death in 4 BCE, and the years previous to the outburst of the War are (rightly) deemed extremely tumultuous and violent; after all, in both cases Roman legions had to intervene in order to quell the revolts, first with Varus and later with Cestius Gallus, Vespasian, and Titus. On the other hand, there is a remarkable disagreement concerning the political situation of Judaea under the Roman prefects (6–41 CE): according to some specialists, this was a period of persistent political unrest and agitation,19 while according to a more widespread view, that let the pendulum swing too high on the other end, it was a quiescent period of political calm.20 Which scholars are to be trusted?

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 120). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.


Admittedly, the numerous revolts that marked the period following Herod’s death, and the seething discontent of the years immediately preceding the War, are not witnessed in the prefects’ period. In this sense, as some authors have perceptively noticed, nothing allows us to reach an undifferentiated judgment declaring that the sociopolitical situation in Judaea under the prefects was essentially the same as that of the region under the last procurators.21 In turn, however, the widespread contention made by the same scholars that the twenties and thirties of the first century “was a peaceful epoch”22 without any anti-Roman turmoil is an obvious non sequitur, whose unwarranted character is made plain when a close survey of the available sources—particularly Josephus, the canonical Gospels and Tacitus—is carried out.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 120). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.


A first problem of the eirenic characterization of this period is that the sentence of Tacitus often adduced as a supporting argument—sub Tiberio quies (Hist. V 9.2)—is usually read in a rather naive and simplistic way. The notion that in Judaea, under Tiberius (14–37 CE), “all was quiet” and without any anti-Roman turmoil is indeed unwarranted. First, leaving aside that Tacitus demonstrates a very sketchy knowledge of Palestine eighty years earlier, he seems to make only a very general point, meaning that under Tiberius there were no revolts necessitating direct intervention by the Roman legate in Syria, backed by legions. Second, when read in context, the sentence does not seem to mean what it says at first glance: “Under Tiberius [all] was quiet; when then ordered by Gaius Caesar to set up a statue of him in the Temple they rather resorted to arms [arma potius sumpsere]—to which uprising the death of the emperor put an end”; the readiness of Jews to resort to arms does not denote a particularly peaceful stance. Third, such as Daniel R. Schwartz has recently argued, the phrase sub Tiberio quies may have had the rhetorical function of using Tiberius as a foil for Caligula.23 When a critical and contextualizing reading of Tacitus’ statement that takes into account its generalizing and rhetorical nature is carried out, the claim that under the Roman prefects all was peaceful appears as unmistakably unfounded.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 121). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.



A further aspect to be taken into account is that most episodes of resistance must have passed unrecorded, precisely because they would not have had a major scope, but would have rather been minor incidents, such as skirmishes, which hardly leave imprints in the sources—all the more so if they took place in rural areas. Paraphrasing a sentence of the anthropologist and political scientist James C. Scott, who refers to everyday acts of resistance, such isolated incidents “make no headlines.”

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 123). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.


The information provided by Josephus and the Gospels, along with the rereading of Tacitus’ passage, constitutes admittedly just a small set of scattered pieces of evidence that does not indicate a generalized revolutionary behavior, but all the reports in concert indicate that the period under the prefects was not as idyllically quiet and peaceful as scholars claim and would have us believe.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 123). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.


At the same time, however, we can be confident that the contention that “Under Tiberius all was quiet” should be carefully nuanced. In the phrase “relative peacefulness” the adjective has a specific weight. Given the scarce extant evidence we cannot be sure of the kind of resistance carried out in these episodes and whether their main characters were hardline anti-imperialists or not, but the simplest explanation for the abovementioned scraps of evidence is that an ideology of active resistance was already at work within the prefects’ period.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 124). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.

So what does Bermejo-Rubio have here ? Certainly no rebellion against Rome. All he has is words, talk, inferences, seditious talk. All well and good but talk without action is easy. Action requires, in the case of rebellion and sedition, fire in the belly. Yes, the Jews had fire in their belly when up against the Roman invasion but constant attack against overwhelming odds would be to their own detriment. Hence, pauses in outright rebellion would have been a sensible course to follow. (During the hundreds of years of British occupation of Ireland rebellions came but so did pauses) Tacitus indicates that under Tiberius a pause in outright rebellion did take place. Thus, all Bermejo-Rubio is left with is seditious talk but no seditious action. To find seditious action it's necessary to either go back in history, pre Tiberius, or post Tiberius.

In other words - the sedition element in the gospel Jesus story has to be related to historical action not just to seditious talk or ideology. Yes, all through the Roman occupation, ideas, talk, about removing them would have been under consideration. Just as Josephus has Titus say:

In the speech placed by Josephus in the mouth of Titus, the emperor addresses the defeated Jews in these words: “You who from the first, ever since Pompey reduced you by force, never ceased from revolution and have now ended by declaring open war with the Romans” (B.J. 6.329). Of course, this is a flagrant exaggeration, which conveys the official Roman view—and that of Josephus himself—and is rhetorically motivated, but such words would lack any force unless they had some kind of basis, however remote, in reality. If during the long period of more than half a century before the War there had been no examples of active resistance and some (however minor) upheavals against the Empire, the speech ascribed to Titus would be absolutely void of value and too blatantly false.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 123). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.


A seditious historical Jesus under Pilate has no historical basis. However, sedition, rebellion, against Roman occupation has a long history - hence Bermejo-Rubio needs to cast his net far wider than the time of Pilate to do justice to the sedition element within the gospel Jesus story. And that wider historical net will bring him to the point of questioning the historicity of the gospel figure of Jesus.
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by maryhelena »

While admitting that: The information provided by Josephus and the Gospels, along with the rereading of Tacitus’ passage, constitutes admittedly just a small set of scattered pieces of evidence that does not indicate a generalized revolutionary behavior, but all the reports in concert indicate that the period under the prefects was not as idyllically quiet and peaceful as scholars claim and would have us believe. Bermejo-Rubio goes on to detail various types of resistance to Roman occupation.


Understanding Resistance: Introductory Remarks

Resistance is a transversal and debated topic in scholarship, having received attention in disciplines such as anthropology, history, cultural studies, and political science. Since the term has been used to describe a wide variety of behaviors at all levels of human social life (individual, collective, and institutional) and in a number of different settings, it is surrounded by a certain conceptual fuzziness. It is thus advisable to make clear some basic elements of our understanding of the term. Beyond the disagreements as to which behaviors should be referred to as resistance and the lack of consensus on the definition of the term, there seems to be virtual unanimity in conceptualizing resistance as a phenomenon that involves oppositional action of some kind.12 On the one hand, resistance is understood as some sort of action: it is accordingly not a quality of an actor or a state of being, but involves some active behavior, whether verbal (words), cognitive (thoughts), or physical (deeds). Action is here broadly conceived, including the decision to remain silent or inactive on some occasions. This aspect should be highlighted, as the widespread phrase passive resistance might be misleading: it should not be misunderstood as implying mere passivity, since it can be thought of as an active, but nonviolent, mode of struggle. On the other hand, the term denotes a sense of opposition: the action carried out has a subversive, challenging, questioning, or disruptive character of existing structures and dominant power relations.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 140). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.


Even if anti-Roman sentiment was widespread among various strata of the Jewish population, going back generations before the First War started, one can readily concede that, until things went worse and significant numbers of Jews considered their situation extreme enough to face the Romans—something that did not happen until the eve of the Jewish Revolt—only a minority would have been ready to engage in open resistance against foreign rule.

====

I share the skepticism of some specialists who have set forth resolutely realistic approaches based on the assumption that self-preservation plays an essential role for human beings and that people usually fear the destructive potential of armed conflict or open resistance. In a predominantly agrarian society, which had endured for centuries the rule of several foreign masters, many people would have had no reason to endanger their lives and those of their families; both compliance and rational restraints would have been at work to prevent most Jews from adopting an anti-Roman stance.19 This is why I assume that open resistance must have been for a long time a phenomenon restricted to a very limited number. At the same time, to deny the existence of resistance asserting that “Jews had no reason in real life to hate Romans”20 might be, as we will see, an unwarranted oversimplification and an example of counterintuitive hypercriticism.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (pp. 144-145). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.


The former remarks suggest that the few traces of active resistance to Rome in the prefects’ period not only make sense in their historical context, but could be the remnants of a more substantive reality. The political, social, and economic situation was perhaps not unbearable for most Jews in the twenties and the thirties of the first century CE, but it was not idyllic at all, and at least a vocal minority must have perceived it as unacceptable. One can concur with Steve Mason in rejecting as overstated the idea that Jews were uniquely intolerant of Roman rule or the image of a Judaea seething with anti-Roman fervor in the first half of the first century CE,34 but this does not amount to denial that there existed some kind of actual antagonism between some Jewish trends and the Empire, and that this antagonism was sometimes actively carried out. Just as there are common aspects to the several kinds of passive resistance on the one hand, and to the active forms of resistance on the other, there are also commonalities among all of them. An obvious common denominator is, to begin with, a passionate nationalistic feeling. While some people were ready to kill opponents but others not, all of them were ready to die on behalf of God and the Law. Obviously, those prone to engage in fighting with the pagan enemies willingly risked their lives for the cause, and they would suffer terrible casualties. Therefore, readiness to die was not exclusive to the passive resistance option.35 And this means, in turn, that there existed a close kinship between the proponents of both forms of resistance.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 155). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.


As we have seen, there were several motives for some inhabitants of Palestine to oppose Rome in the early Principate. Some of them might not seem reasonable to modern observers, but must have been reasonable enough for those who resorted to them. Be that as it may, there is no reason at all to think that the uneasiness and discomfort underlying those motives subsided in some minds and groups, or that apocalyptic hopes vanished, as if by magic, in the prefects’ period. At least in some circles, the ideas of the Fourth Philosophy showed remarkable resilience: they seem to have enjoyed good health along the first century and have had a long-lasting impact.

Bermejo-Rubio, Fernando. They Suffered under Pontius Pilate: Jewish Anti-Roman Resistance and the Crosses at Golgotha (p. 172). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.

What sort of historical Jesus can Bermejo-Rubio produce once a rebellion, sedition, under Tiberius is not warranted (re Tacitus) ? Passive resistance, the odd skirmish ? While these are possible ways to demonstrate resistance are they really enough to warrant a seditious Jesus under Pilate and Tiberius ? Since there is no record of Roman legions marching on Judaea during the time of Tiberius, the only type of rebel Jesus that Bermejo-Rubio can produce is hardly a game changer. However hard Bermejo-Rubio has tried - particularly with Judas the Galilean and the Fourth Philosophy - it is not rebellious action that continued - but the evidence is that ''an ideology of active resistance was already at work within the prefects’ period''. An ideology that remembered, during the time of Tiberius and Pilate, it's prior history, it's rebels against Rome, in story and allegory. Hasmonean/Jewish history from the time of Roman occupation in 63 b.c. ''remnants of a more substantive reality.''

Irish history of British occupation has much to offer. Rebellion and periods of quite - periods of pause in the ongoing struggle to end the occupation.

List of Irish uprisings
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irish_uprisings

1798 Irish Rebellion

The Irish put their history into songs. The Jews have put their history into stories, into allegories.

Can't forget that Anglo Irish poet:

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse—
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

(From Easter 1916 by William Butler Yeats)
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by rgprice »

Seems like a whole lot of work to state the obvious, like studies about how getting more sleep leads to being less tired.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure ... berry_Finn

Story about a slave boy Jim that goes on an adventure to escape the American South in the 1840s.

Along the way they encounter al kinds of Southern rascals whom they elude and make look foolish.

Jim displays moral superiority by saving Tom leading to his own capture and is ultimately freed.

The story foreshadows much of the coming Civil War and attitudes toward slavery and the South that would emerge following the Civil War.

This story has just as much historical context and relevance as the Gospels do to their respective time period.

Showing that the story reflects historical conditions of the 1840s doesn't make the story real history. It doesn't mean the story wasn't the invention of a story writer.
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Re: Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Post by maryhelena »

rgprice wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 2:14 pm Seems like a whole lot of work to state the obvious, like studies about how getting more sleep leads to being less tired.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure ... berry_Finn

Story about a slave boy Jim that goes on an adventure to escape the American South in the 1840s.

Along the way they encounter al kinds of Southern rascals whom they elude and make look foolish.

Jim displays moral superiority by saving Tom leading to his own capture and is ultimately freed.

The story foreshadows much of the coming Civil War and attitudes toward slavery and the South that would emerge following the Civil War.

This story has just as much historical context and relevance as the Gospels do to their respective time period.

Showing that the story reflects historical conditions of the 1840s doesn't make the story real history. It doesn't mean the story wasn't the invention of a story writer.
.....and it doesn't mean that the invented story writer was asleep to history - anymore than the Jews of today are asleep to their past history. To assume that the gospel writers were asleep to history is to ignore the role history has played in the lives of all who live on this planet. In the case of the gospel story, that history is Roman occupation of Judaea - from 63 b.c. To simply ignore this history as being relevant to the gospel writers is to close ones eyes to the very large elephant standing in the room.
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