Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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MrMacSon
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by MrMacSon »

outhouse wrote: ... I think anyone in any amount of academic study on Jesus historicity gets the jest of the appointed label in the core of its context.
What core??!

There are no criteria that meet suitable criteria for evidence for the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth - the only information is the books of the NT, and there is no mention of any of them as named-books until the latter half of the 2nd century.

Jesus of Nazareth is as 'real' as Harry Potter.
Ulan
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by Ulan »

MrMacSon wrote:
outhouse wrote: ... I think anyone in any amount of academic study on Jesus historicity gets the jest of the appointed label in the core of its context.
What core??!

There are no criteria that meet suitable criteria for evidence for the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth - the only information is the books of the NT, and there is no mention of any of them as named-books until the latter half of the 2nd century.

Jesus of Nazareth is as 'real' as Harry Potter.
I'm sure the comment was about the "core of the context" in which the term "mythicism" is used, not about the meat of the matter.
lsayre
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by lsayre »

In all of his exhaustive study, the closest that Robert Eisenman could get to the potential for a real Jesus was that James appears to have been a real person.
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maryhelena
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by maryhelena »

John2 wrote:Maryhelena wrote:

"Obviously, the NT writings are not simply the product of Philo and Josephus - but these two prominent figures had the ability to provide a foundation for the early christian movement. Others, perhaps a school of writers, would be involved with the development of the NT material."

it sounds like we are more or less on the same page, that Philo and Josephus provided a foundation for Christianity (at least since they were used and preserved by Christians, if nothing else), and I think what you call the NT material could have been developed by people who were like or associated with them (as were Epaphroditus and Tiberius Alexander).
Yes, whatever the details turn out to be - Philo and Josephus provided the groundwork.... :D
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Kapyong
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by Kapyong »

Gday all,

May I point out that I don't think 'invented' is particularly accurate description of what 'Mark' did.

In my discussions about a Mythical Jesus, the response usually attacks the idea that G.Mark was made-up, invented out of thin air, fiction - even a hoax, lie or fraud !

I think everyone agrees that much of G.Mark came from the LXX Tanakh. There are other possible sources as well, such as Homer e.g. and of course Paul.

That is - G.Mark was clearly crafted from pre-existing elements.
Here is a diagram I just whipped up with the handy chart tool at https://www.draw.io/
Image
(Recommended - the best free flow-chart etc. tool I have found.)


So - even according to MJers, Mark didn't invent Jesus Christ - rather he wove the myth from the warp and weft of the LXX and Paul, with highlights from Greek literature.


Kapyong
StephenGoranson
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by StephenGoranson »

Prof. Rachel Elior as quoted in Haaretz, March 13, 2009: "Sixty years of research have been wasted trying to find the Essenes in the scrolls. But they didn't exist, they were invented by [Jewish-Roman historian] Josephus. It's a history of errors which is simply nonsense," she said.
[http://www.haaretz.com/scholar-the-esse ... d-1.272034]. Later she switched to Philo.

Translations of Josephus typically mention one "Essene" leader in the revolt against Rome, but this John may not have been an Essene. Abraham Schalit (in Namenwörterbuch zu Flavius Josephus, supplement to the Concordance edited by K.H. Rengstorf, Leiden, 1968, p.34, 46, 66) noted that Essa appears in Josephus as a variant reading for Gerasa, which, Schalit suggests, may indicate that John was not an Essene group member, but merely someone from Gerasa. "Vielleicht ist Essaios in B 2.567 als Ethnikon zu verstehen und mit Gerasenos identisch (vgl. Essa A 13.393 = 1 Gerasa). Dann waere 4 Johannes kein Essener gewesen!" (46)

Josephus mentions Judah the Essene (circa 104 BCE). Rather than this Judah being an invented person (in War and in Antiquities), he may be identical to the Qumran-attested "Teacher of Righteousness," for reasons given in "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene."
http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
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maryhelena
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by maryhelena »

StephenGoranson wrote:Prof. Rachel Elior as quoted in Haaretz, March 13, 2009: "Sixty years of research have been wasted trying to find the Essenes in the scrolls. But they didn't exist, they were invented by [Jewish-Roman historian] Josephus. It's a history of errors which is simply nonsense," she said.
[http://www.haaretz.com/scholar-the-esse ... d-1.272034]. Later she switched to Philo.

Translations of Josephus typically mention one "Essene" leader in the revolt against Rome, but this John may not have been an Essene. Abraham Schalit (in Namenwörterbuch zu Flavius Josephus, supplement to the Concordance edited by K.H. Rengstorf, Leiden, 1968, p.34, 46, 66) noted that Essa appears in Josephus as a variant reading for Gerasa, which, Schalit suggests, may indicate that John was not an Essene group member, but merely someone from Gerasa. "Vielleicht ist Essaios in B 2.567 als Ethnikon zu verstehen und mit Gerasenos identisch (vgl. Essa A 13.393 = 1 Gerasa). Dann waere 4 Johannes kein Essener gewesen!" (46)

Josephus mentions Judah the Essene (circa 104 BCE). Rather than this Judah being an invented person (in War and in Antiquities), he may be identical to the Qumran-attested "Teacher of Righteousness," for reasons given in "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene."
http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
I requested a quote other than a newspaper.......my point still stand i.e. for a Jewish scholar to not know that Philo mentions the Essenes is unthinkable...

As to Josephus mention of the Essenes - reinterpreting these instances to be something other than being Essene related - well now, that sorts of leaves such scholars off the hook, so to speak.....and thus keep their Esssene ideal safe and sound...

Since I sided with Rachel Elior re the Essenes being a philosophical idea and not historical - what Josephus does with this ideal is of interest i.e. making some of them prophets and one a general. Discounting this Josephus view does, to my mind, curtail research not forward it.

As to the Teacher of Rightousness - I side with Greg Doudna on that score.... :)
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W.B. Yeats
StephenGoranson
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by StephenGoranson »

Apparently, Rachel Elior was not misrepresented by Haaretz and by the [London] Times. Consider also Time Magazine, March 16, 2009: "Elior, who teaches Jewish mysticism at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, claims that the Essenes were a fabrication by the 1st century A.D. Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus and that his faulty reporting was passed on as fact throughout the centuries."
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maryhelena
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by maryhelena »

StephenGoranson wrote:Apparently, Rachel Elior was not misrepresented by Haaretz and by the [London] Times. Consider also Time Magazine, March 16, 2009: "Elior, who teaches Jewish mysticism at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, claims that the Essenes were a fabrication by the 1st century A.D. Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus and that his faulty reporting was passed on as fact throughout the centuries."
And newspapers never misrepresent their sources, never take an argument out of context?

The generous approach is surely to allow Rachel Elior the benefit of her own scholarship - a scholarship that, to the best of my knowledge, has never denied that Philo wrote about the Essenes prior to Josephus.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats
StephenGoranson
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jes

Post by StephenGoranson »

Prof. Elior did correct herself after all these interviews. Perhaps worth considering: if a person is persuaded that X did not exist (perhaps not rare for some in this forum), X being Essenes in this case, one might not bother learning too much about X before promoting an alternative.
A perhaps related case--among others--, can you guess who wrote the following? (p. 359):
"There is, unfortunately, no evidence at all, either in the scrolls or in any other literature, that Herod the Great favored the Essenes..."
[But Josephus, Antiquities 15 (4-5) 365-379 explains precisely that Herod favored Essenes, and why (reportedly) he did, based on his interaction with Menahem the Essene.]
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