Logical errors in Christ Myth Theory

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dabber
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Logical errors in Christ Myth Theory

Post by dabber »

Been reading Jesus from Outer Space. Great read but thinking there's some logical errors. Im not an academic so please correct me if wrong

The myth theory has Peter having a hallucination then bunch of others, and the invention of Jesus much later, pushed into late 1st C or early 2nd C. But Dr Richard Carrier correctly points out people lived 40ish years back then.

In the synoptics says " some who are not standing here will not die before they see the kingdom of God"

It's in Mark and copied by Matthew and Luke. So on that I'd argue the synoptics probably written shortly after 70 ce, which would tie in with fall of Jerusalem. They'd have to be writing fairly close to the gospel events.

Why would these writers make Jesus a failed prophet? Surely if they were making it up they'd paint him in a good light?

The obvious answer to me is they were close to the time, and we've got our timeline wrong. If they were late 1st C all the witnesses would be dead, and the imminent end of world stuff would be simply ridiculous to write down.

Also the silence of Paul and other epistle writers on various matters is not proof of non existence. It could just be ignorance. If they're living in Asia Minor decades later they're details will be sketchy except for a few sayings passed down. Also Paul might be a gnostic but that doesnt mean jack, he could just be making it up as he goes along. There's no reason to place extra reliance on him.

Another point, the gospels aren't necessarily wholesale invention. They could be a mixture of oral stories passed down and retelling of old testament stories, ie a mix of fact and fiction. The difficulties do not in my view prove non existence.

There could be a number of explanations for the origins. I think it'd be better if Dr Carrier and Mr Fitzgerald had set out the other possibilities, the case for and against. Do you agree? Thanks, Adam
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Ken Olson
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Re: Logical errors in Christ Myth Theory

Post by Ken Olson »

dabber wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 5:20 am The myth theory has Peter having a hallucination then bunch of others, and the invention of Jesus much later, pushed into late 1st C or early 2nd C. But Dr Richard Carrier correctly points out people lived 40ish years back then.
Average life expectancy and how long individuals lived are two different things.

We don't have good numbers, but life expectancy at birth may well have been well below 40 years because of the large number of babies that died in their first year.

Life expectancy for someone who survived to adulthood (18) was likely over 40 years.

If our sources are to be believed:

Socrates drank hemlock when he was c. 71 years old.

Marcus Portiius Cato the Elder lived to be 85.

Augustus Caesar lived to be 75.

Josephus was born c. 37 CE and lived to 100 CE, so c. 63 years.

And there are accounts of people living past 100. It's likely that at least the majority of them are not true, but people then believed there were people that lived that long.

Best,

Ken
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Ken Olson
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Re: Logical errors in Christ Myth Theory

Post by Ken Olson »

dabber wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 5:20 am Why would these writers make Jesus a failed prophet? Surely if they were making it up they'd paint him in a good light?
Just to be clear: I'm a minimalist, not a mythicist. I think there was probably a man named Jesus who was a sort of apocalyptic prophet who was put to death, but we do not know much about him. My working hypothesis is that, after his death, the members of the movement he began to identify him with the heavenly being who was God's principle agent in the material world (Michael, Melchizedek, the Logos, etc.).

Best,

Ken
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Logical errors in Christ Myth Theory

Post by Peter Kirby »

dabber wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 5:20 am Been reading Jesus from Outer Space. Great read but thinking there's some logical errors.
Is there another book you've read that seems a bit more logical? I'm curious about what people are reading these days.
AdamKvanta
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Re: Logical errors in Christ Myth Theory

Post by AdamKvanta »

Ken Olson wrote: Fri Mar 29, 2024 5:38 am Life expectancy for someone who survived to adulthood (18) was likely over 40 years.
I totally agree with that statement. Plato in his Laws talks frequently about sixty years old people (or older) who should be part of the polis government:
- Thirdly, the choir of elder men, who are from thirty to sixty years of age, will also sing.
- There is something strange, at any rate on first hearing, in a Dionysiac chorus of old men, if you really mean that those who are above thirty, and may be fifty, or from fifty to sixty years of age, are to dance in his honour.
- ...he who is unwilling to obey them and the commanders of Dionysiac feasts who are more than sixty years of age...
https://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laws.2.ii.html

- The guardian of the law shall not hold office longer than twenty years, and shall not be less than fifty years of age when he is elected; or if he is elected when he is sixty years of age, he shall hold office for ten years only; and upon the same principle, he must not imagine that he will be permitted to hold such an important office as that of guardian of the laws after he is seventy years of age, if he live so long.
- ...he who will duly execute the sacred office, according to the laws of religion, must be not less than sixty years of age-the laws shall be the same about priestesses.
https://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laws.6.vi.html

- ...the sixty-year-old choristers of Dionysus were to be specially quick in their perceptions of rhythm and musical composition...
https://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laws.7.vii.html

- ...those who are more than sixty years of age, having children of their own, not adopted, shall be required to decide...
https://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laws.9.ix.html
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