“The Resurrection of Jesus is Historically Well Attested.” Really?

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The Resurrection of Christ by Noel Coypel

 

Conservative Christian Pastor/Blogger:

The resurrection of Jesus is historically well attested. Google, for example, “minimal facts resurrection.” Of course there are skeptics who disagree, but as someone who is committed to uncovering the truth, you’ll want to be well-acquainted with the best arguments. Habermas and Licona have written some good stuff on the subject. Here’s a great starting point, a podcast by Dr. Glenn Peoples: http://rightreason.org/2011/episode-042-the-minimal-facts-approach-to-the-resurrection/

And check out N.T. Wright’s book, The Resurrection of the Son of God, which explains, among other things how incredibly unlikely the early church would have proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus unless he were actually resurrected.  Wright takes a different line of reasoning, by the way, from the “minimal facts” approach. Both approaches provide plenty of evidence.

But as I suggested earlier, I doubt that evidence alone is your stumbling block when it comes to Christian faith.  Would you want to love and worship and live your life for the God of Christianity even if you were convinced, intellectually, that Christianity were true? If not, why not?

 

Gary: 

The majority of New Testament scholars do not believe that eyewitnesses or the associates of eyewitnesses wrote the four Gospels. Even conservative Christian scholar Richard Bauckham in his book, “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”, admits this fact. Therefore we cannot be certain of the historicity of most of the content of these four books. Even Christian scholar NT Wright has said: “I don’t know who the authors of the Gospels were, nor does anyone else.” Why should anyone believe that a first century corpse, which had been dead for three days, came back to life and later levitated into the clouds based on this very weak, hearsay evidence? (Yes, I know that conservative Christians, once again, will refuse to accept expert opinion, but most of the rest of the educated world does.)

The resurrection of Jesus is NOT well attested. The early Christian belief in a resurrection of Jesus, yes, the actual event, absolutely not. At most Christians have two independent sources of the Empty Tomb story and the Appearance Stories to the Eleven (Mark and John). And since John was written decades after Mark, making it possible that the author of John borrowed “Mark’s” basic Resurrection Story as a template for his Resurrection Story, it is possible that we have only ONE independent source for this stupendous, never heard of before or since, supernatural claim.

Christians don’t believe that Mohammad truly flew on a winged horse to heaven based on his alleged personal EYEWITNESS testimony, so why should the rest of us believe the Christian claim of a reanimated corpse flying to heaven based on ONE (definite) independent source…a source whom most experts say was not an eyewitness or an associate of an eyewitness???

See the full conversation:  here

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76 thoughts on ““The Resurrection of Jesus is Historically Well Attested.” Really?

  1. More bad history – it’s not ONE source, but multiple – Paul, Mark, John, plus the content unique to Matthew, unique to Luke. Plus the writer of Hebrews. Plus, if you are more liberal, the writer of the Pastoral Epistles. Plus James and Jude at the very least allude to it – what made Jesus “Lord Jesus Christ”?

    How collecting multiple sources means that those sources become “one” source not to be believed just makes no sense.

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  2. And the whole idea that if something is reported by a non-eye-witness means it can’t be historically reliable is ludicrous.

    “Plutarch is one of the most valuable sources for the history of this period, as he describes the turbulent lives of the individual leaders who were striving for domination within the Roman state: these lives include Tiberius Gracchus, Gaius Gracchus, Marius, Sulla, Sertorius, and Lucullus.”

    http://www.attalus.org/info/overview.html

    Plutarch lived AD 46 – AD 120. Tiberius Gracchus died in 133 BC, 170 years before Plutarch was born. Gaius Gracchus died in 121 BC, Marius in 13 BC, Sulla was active politically until 81 BC, Sertorius died in about 72 BC and Lucullus died 56 BC.

    Plutarch was eye-witness to none of the events or persons he wrote about in that list, but he’s a valuable resource.

    The Gospels and Epistles are far more contemporary with the events they describe, the main one to focus on being Jesus’s resurrection. If you’re going to dismiss them, it means you’re doing bad history. If you will trust Plutarch, you cannot call the New Testament “hear-say”.
    When you do, you’re special-pleading.

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    1. Plutarch wasn’t trying to convince us that those people were gods. If we had a biographer of Jesus who said “There was a guy who lived and died and said some really interesting things in between, and a lot of people have thought those were good ideas and started a religion based on them” I don’t think that we have to be quite as demanding about that source. Those are ordinary things that happen a lot. But we don’t have any sources like that about Jesus. Zero passing mentions from someone that met him once, or somebody who wrote about having seen one of the miracles personally, or anything from anybody outside that inner circle of those evangelists. All we have are third-hand sources that talk about gods and miracles, that read like religious propaganda. Those we need to be stricter on, because those sources aren’t trying to tell us straight facts about someone’s life, they are trying to convert you to their religion. They have more reason to be biased. They contain many extraordinary claims, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The “evidence” of the early christian writers is in no way extraordinary.

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      1. Ubi says, “Zero passing mentions from someone that met him once, or somebody who wrote about having seen one of the miracles personally, or anything from anybody outside that inner circle of those evangelists. All we have are third-hand sources that talk about gods and miracles, that read like religious propaganda. ”

        What you state is clearly coming from someone living in a golden age of information transmission. What? Do you think most people in Jesus’ day were keeping diaries of their daily, or even noteworthy, affairs? Even the educated aristocrats likely did not keep diaries and probably had no ambitions to publish biographies and histories. If someone did write, it was a costly affair (indeed, even with the advent of the printing press, the publication of books were likely supported by the money of a patron with an interest in its topic matter) and time consuming. We can blog effortlessly, but have you ever sat down to write a book by hand? Think of my point like this, out of hundreds of disciples of Jesus, we have four gospel texts (not including the handful of “gospels” which the Church does not recognize as authentic). Why is that? The skeptic wants to claim that if Jesus really did have so many disciples, then we should have an equivalent of a 12 volume encyclopedia set about His life. The cold, hard, fact is that we do not have much, as way as documents go, giving us a biography of great thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, and etc. Where are the multitude of contemporary sources mentioning their personal acquaintance with Aristotle? Can you name a dozen of them for me? How about for Zeno? Plato?

        We have five accounts of the resurrection (accepted by Christians as part of the canon, there are other accounts in addition, but are not canonical), three of which claim to be first hand accounts. Two of the accounts are written by contemporaries who do not claim to have seen the resurrection, but do claim to be writing the testimonies of those who did. The skeptic will refuse to believe that evidence, as you have done.

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        1. A crowd of hundreds claimed to see the Virgin Mary appear to them this summer in Ireland. Should we believe this claim simply because we have multiple eyewitness sources?

          Unless you are Catholic or Orthodox, you will probably say no.

          Ditto for your reanimated corpse tale.

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          1. If those hundreds claiming to see the Blessed Virgin would even give up their own lives rather than recant, then I will not dismiss their claims out of hand. But, the point of Jesus’ resurrection is not what? It is to confirm that that His Father has accepted His sacrifice and the sins of the world have been atoned for. There is a heck of a lot more riding on the resurrection than there is of BVM sightings.

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          2. Many thousands of people, of many different religions, have been willing to suffer horrific persecution and even death for their religious beliefs. Christians are not the only martyrs in history.

            And, no, I do not believe that the disciples “died for a lie”. I believe that they sincerely believed that Jesus had appeared to some of them indicating that he really had been resurrected. However, I believe that it is much, much more probable that they were sincerely mistaken about what really occurred in these “appearances” than that they really did see a broiled fish eating,into space levitating, corpse.

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        2. Once again, nobody is trying to convince me that Aristotle is a god, or that Zeno could work miracles. If they were, I would be a lot more critical of those works that mention them.

          And there were a lot of writers in the Roman world who could have mentioned specific events, but didn’t. An all-powerful god could have seen to it that we had a few of those preserved, but somehow didn’t bother. Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher who lived at that time and wrote about Judea in this period, doesn’t mention anything about a slaughter of babies, or a zombie invasion after an oddly dark afternoon. Without some kind of third-party verification, I’m going to consider stories like that as exactly that: stories.

          Joseph Smith claimed to have seen and talked to an angel. If you are trying to evaluate whether he really did, are you going to rely solely upon religious writings that are trying to convert you to Mormonism? I should hope not. Neither do I rely on religious propaganda when I am deciding what to think about your favorite stories. Your books of religious propaganda are not the evidence, they are the claim.

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          1. Whether you would be more critical of the works claiming to have known Aristotle, personally, is precisely the point you are missing. You automatically approach any texts making supernatural claims as myth or fantasy, or both. I could treat your comment more seriously had you said, along with Bart Ehrman I might add, that the NT documents should be taken seriously as historical documents, but you decided to play the same game as most illiterate skeptics do. I can get better “facts” listening to George Noory’s conspiracy theories than what you are producing. Nice try, though.

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          2. Yes, I automatically approach any text making supernatural claims as being legendary until there is evidence supporting the claims. Just as I hope you would with any text of any religion outside your own. (Did Mohammed really fly to heaven on a winged horse? His religious text says he did. Do you believe it? A billion Muslims do!) Your texts don’t get some kind of free pass, just because they are what you are used to.

            I don’t need to convince you. It’s not my job to convince you. But according to your book it is your job to try to convince me, and you have not done so. Just trying to get me to take a book of magic and myth and treat it as serious history is insufficient. If I believed you, I’d have to believe every purveyor of every other religion as well. “My holy book says so” is not a good enough reason to accept any religious claims, and that includes yours.

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          3. Wow. “Illiterate skeptic”, huh?

            Here is a list of the books I have read, studied, and even reviewed here on this blog regarding the claims of Christianity. Let’s see your list, please.

            1. “The Resurrection of the Son of God” by NT Wright
            2. “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” by Richard Bauckham
            3. “Making the Case for Christianity” by Maas, Francisco, et al.
            4. ” The Resurrection Fact” by Bombaro, Francisco, et al.
            5. “Miracles” , Volumes 1 and 2, by Craig Keener
            6. “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus” by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona
            7. “Why are There Differences in the Gospels” by Michael Licona
            8. “The Son Rises” by William Lane Craig
            9. “The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus” by Raymond Brown
            10. “The Resurrection of Jesus” by Gerd Luedemann
            11. “Resurrection Reconsidered” by Gregory Riley
            12. “John and Thomas—Gospels in Conflict?” by Christopher Skinner
            13. “The Argument for the Holy Sepulchre” (journal article) by scholar Jerome Murphy-O’Connor
            14. “Israel in Egypt” by James Hoffmeier
            15. “The Bible Unearthed” by Finkelstein and Silberman
            16. “The Resurrection of Jesus in the Light of Jewish Burial Practices” by Craig Evans, (newsletter article) The City, a publication of Houston Baptist University, May 4, 2016
            17. “Has the Tomb of Jesus Been Discovered?” by Jodi Magness, SBL Forum
            18. “Genre, Sub-genre and Questions of Audience: A Proposed Typology for Greco-Roman biography” (article) by Justin M. Smith, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland
            19. “Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus” by Asher Norman (not a work of scholarship per se, but it is endorsed by Talmudic scholars for its accuracy in presenting a Jewish perspective of Jesus and the Christian New Testament)
            20. “The Book of Miracles” by Kenneth L. Woodward

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          4. Gary writes, “However, I believe that it is much, much more probable that they were sincerely mistaken about what really occurred in these “appearances” than that they really did see a broiled fish eating,into space levitating, corpse.”

            You have absolutely no ground for determining the probabilities involved. Sure, if you think you can work out the probabilities I am “all ears.” As it stands, I am pretty sure you are pulling this out of your ass just like you pulled the whole “majority of New Testament scholars” statement out of your ass. Honestly, I would not understand how anyone could take you as being credible.

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          5. We humans determine probabilities every day of our lives. We determine if it is safe to drive over bridges on the highway on our way to work, etc..

            The probabilities of a three day brain dead corpse coming back to life is: as close to zero as one can possibly get. There is no good evidence that the laws of nature have EVER been broken. For that simple, rational reason most educated non-Christians reject the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.

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          6. Gary writes, “We humans determine probabilities every day of our lives. We determine if it is safe to drive over bridges on the highway on our way to work, etc..

            The probabilities of a three day brain dead corpse coming back to life is: as close to zero as one can possibly get. There is no good evidence that the laws of nature have EVER been broken. For that simple, rational reason most educated non-Christians reject the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.”

            Again, Gary, a “miracle” by definition is outside the laws of physics. You are simply demonstrating that you are brainwashed against the possibility of the miraculous and the spiritual.

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          7. Gary writes, “You are either a troll or a moron.”

            Of course. When you are held to your same “standards” as to what you hold Christians, then you throw your hands up in the air and declare the other to be a “moron.” Go figure.

            And folks, that’s what you are dealing with here. Gary is as dishonest as they come, we can see that by his claim to “know” what the majority of NT scholars believe, but Gary has no degree in NT theology. He hasn’t mastered the Greek NT, let alone the Hebrew OT. He isn’t a biblical historian. So what is Gary? A Christian who through away his faith for whatever personal reasons and now he is making a big show of it all on a blog. He is a keyboard warrior of the worst kind.

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          8. And that’s “threw away his faith.” Other spell check errors I can blame on the AI that is supposed to make corrections. 😛

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          9. Gary writes, “You sound familiar. You didn’t use to go by “Fred”, did you?”

            Gary can not answer the problems given to him so what is the best bet? I must be some nefarious anonymous poster. Yeah, that must be it! Of course, how does anyone ‘know’ that I am not actually Gary posting to myself? BAHAHAHAHAHA!

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        3. The “skeptic” refuses to believe because it is NOT evidence. It is simply words from a book that is over two thousand years old, and as you yourself pointed out — people in Jesus’ day did not keep diaries of their daily, or even noteworthy, affairs. So in truth, all we have are stories and legends that were passed verbally from person-to-person until eventually, a written copy was made in the late third century. And it was in Latin!

          From there, this “book” has been translated numerous times. Plus there are innumerable “versions” in circulation today … along with untold numbers of “interpretations.”

          Further, you mention there are a “handful” of other gospels that “The Church” does not recognize as authentic. On what authority did “The Church” make this determination? And exactly who is “The Church”?

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          1. Nan comments, “It is simply words from a book that is over two thousand years old, and as you yourself pointed out — people in Jesus’ day did not keep diaries of their daily, or even noteworthy, affairs.”

            “Simply words from a book that is over two thousand years old?” I suppose you mean something like “words from a book making incredible claims.” That is what is at issue. Just like your fellow skeptics, you likely do not have a problem with “words from a book” that is “old.” In fact, the age of the book really is besides the point, right? Be honest, CNN could report the resurrection of some guy from the dead in Times Square, witnessed by the camera man and thousands, but you would reserve judgement and even after all the “facts” came in confirming the resurrection, you would still rather believe the conspiracies, because they at least will support your view of science. Am I right?

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          2. The key clause … “making incredible claims.” Boy howdy! Is that ever true! And shame on me for leaving that out because, yes, you’re correct. The age of the book pales in comparison to the claims it makes.

            As for a real-life up-to-date resurrection? Yep. I probably would reserve judgment. Wouldn’t you?

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          3. Ubi writes, “Yes, I automatically approach any text making supernatural claims as being legendary until there is evidence supporting the claims.”

            That is what is called a “bias.” Skeptics of the resurrection of Jesus love the flying Mohammed story, because they believe it makes their point against the resurrection. However the use of the flying Mohammed story is simply to pit one miracle text recorded in history against another miracle text and then to proceed to beg the question, as you are doing Ubi. If there exists a spiritual world containing God, angels, demons, and the devil himself, then we should not be surprised by claims of the extraordinary (i.e. an event occurring outside the bounds of physical laws). Your bias is that there is nothing apart from the material world. You are essentially a Stoic and most of the world rejects your physcialistic view of the world.

            As for your point of “convincing” whom, it is not my job to convince you of anything. God sends out His Holy Word to all and some will refuse to listen. Your blood is upon your own head, not on my hands, should you choose to continue in unbelief.

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          4. Nan writes, “As for a real-life up-to-date resurrection? Yep. I probably would reserve judgment. Wouldn’t you?”

            Apologies for replying in what is likely the wrong place. The reply button does not seem to be active after two or so comments deep.

            At least you are honest with your bias on this point. I can say that I would not “reserve judgment.” I am not a materialist as you are. There is a “spiritual” reality in this world and I can explain resurrections from that reality. The problem is, if the Devil were to resurrect one from the dead many of you atheists/agnostics would likely fall all over yourselves to believe, because the Devil would give you all the scientific evidence your hearts desire. Now who is brain washed again?

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          5. Please do NOT presume to know my religious/spiritual leanings … you atheists/agnostics would likely fall all over yourselves to believe.

            Further, taking this “modern” resurrection to another level … you state, There is a “spiritual” reality in this world and I can explain resurrections from that reality. Then you go on to discuss a resurrection by the “Devil.” Are you absolutely certain you would know the difference? From what I’ve been told, the Big Bad Guy has his own miraculous powers that can fool even the most devoted believer.

            And another thought … if such a modern-day resurrection were to take place … and it were proven to be genuine … what effect would that have on your belief related to the biblical resurrection? Would it not diminish the miraculous?

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          6. Nan comments, “Please do NOT presume to know my religious/spiritual leanings … ”

            Oh, I do not presume anything, I do know, but you can prove me wrong by unequivocally saying that you believe there exists a spiritual reality beyond the capacities of empiricism to demonstrate. Now’s your chance.

            Again, Nan… “Then you go on to discuss a resurrection by the “Devil.” Are you absolutely certain you would know the difference?”

            Well, yes.

            Again, Nan… “if such a modern-day resurrection were to take place … and it were proven to be genuine … what effect would that have on your belief related to the biblical resurrection?”

            Zero affect, as I have already indicated.

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          7. “zero effect,” huh? It wouldn’t have any tendency to remove the miraculous from what is said to have occurred some two thousand years ago and perhaps create some doubts that it wasn’t such a unique occurrence after all? Hmmm.

            Listen, Jon. It’s been fun. I enjoy sparring with you, but I’m not going to take up any more of Gary’s blog space. Of course, the door is always open for you to visit my blog and spar with some of my readers/followers. I know they would enjoy it. As would I.

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          8. Nan comments, ““zero effect,” huh? It wouldn’t have any tendency to remove the miraculous from what is said to have occurred some two thousand years ago and perhaps create some doubts that it wasn’t such a unique occurrence after all? Hmmm.”

            You asked about my beliefs. You did not ask if I believed others may be affected. As for the “tendency to remove the miraculous from what is said to have occurred” you must not be all that familiar with the gospel accounts of resurrections Jesus performed, or the resurrections performed by some of the prophets in the Old Testament. Or, even the resurrection performed by Peter of Tabitha. You apparently think that frequency and number make a resurrection some how less a miracle. You do not seem to get that the miracle is conquering death. Death is evil. It is not what God intended for this world. When Jesus arose from the dead the miracle is not reanimation to life, but conquering death once and for all. The miracle stories in the Bible all point to the resurrection of Jesus. The more the better, but we have what we have. Jesus has risen from the dead and sinners like you refuse to listen because of what? Your sinfulness. Of course, you claim “freedom,” but are you really free? Are you not the slave to materialism, since you cannot profess the existence of the immaterial without fear that you might have to accept that God exists? And if God exists, then oh my! You might be confronted with His demands upon you and then you would have to repent. Yeah, I know your position all too well, Nan. Happy Thanksgiving to you and I wish you a merry Christmas!

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          9. Gary writes, “Here is a list of the books I have read, studied, and even reviewed here on this blog regarding the claims of Christianity. Let’s see your list, please.”

            You made the claim, sir. I did not. Yet, somehow you missed the mark. You cite 20 works and presume to think that is the “majority” of NT scholarship as you claim? Should anyone take your claim concerning “most” NT scholars? Again, who is deluded here? You really look brainwashed.

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          10. Sincerely. Are you stupid?

            I gave you a link to numerous respected sources which state that the majority of NT scholars do not believe that eyewitnesses nor the associates of eyewitnesses wrote the gospels, yet, you demand that I give you a list of the individual names of NT scholars who hold that position??? That would be the same as someone who believes that the sun revolves around the earth demanding that I provide a list of all the scientists who believe in heliocentricity before believing that the majority of scientists believe in heliocentricity.

            If you cannot grasp that concept, you are beyond help and it is not worth having a conversation with you.

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          11. Gary comments, “I gave you a link to numerous respected sources which state that the majority of NT scholars do not believe that eyewitnesses nor the associates of eyewitnesses wrote the gospels, yet, you demand that I give you a list of the individual names of NT scholars who hold that position??? ”

            No, I am not stupid for calling you out on your crap. You claimed to “know.” If you do not have first hand knowledge of what all NT scholars say about the resurrection of Jesus, as you claimed to have, then recant. You may look like an idiot in the process, but at least confess your statement to “know” was clearly stupid. You do not know.

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          12. Just to be clear. Gary wrote, “The majority of New Testament scholars do not believe that eyewitnesses or the associates of eyewitnesses wrote the four Gospels. ”

            Gary has made a truth claim about what the “majority of New Testament scholars do not believe.” I have called him out on his bull crap statement. I do not believe for a second that Gary knows what a “majority” of any scholars know, let alone NT scholars on any given subject. Now Gary is crying fowl. You decide. Did Gary pull his “knowledge” out of his own ass? I think so. Perhaps Gary is an “expert” unbeknownst to anyone else? Hey Gary, why don’t you link your journal articles on the topic? Are you published in any reputable journals of your peers? Or are you just another “know it all” blogger?

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        4. @ Jon
          The real reason you feel obliged to suspend all critical thought and believe in the resurrection of the character Jesus the Nazarene has, effectively, nothing to do with whether it did or did not happen but hinges on the issue of you having been abused in some manner into believing you are a sinner and that your worship of a human blood sacrifice is a way of ridding yourself of this sin, or at least the guilt of it.

          You can conjure up any amount of non-facts and non -evidence to further your argument but this will not alter the real-fact that you are simply an indoctrinated half-wit who hasn’t had an original thought on this issue since you became a Sunbeam for Jesus..

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    2. If Plutarch had written that a corpse outside Jerusalem walked out of its grave, ate broiled fish with its former fishing buddies, and then levitated into outer space, no one would believe him either!!!

      It’s an ancient tall tale, Liam! Modern, educated people should not believe this silliness regardless of whether the reports came from non-eyewitnesses or five hundred alleged eyewitnesses. THREE DAY BRAIN DEAD BODIES DO NOT COME BACK TO LIFE!

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  3. Gary you write, “The majority of New Testament scholars do not believe that eyewitnesses or the associates of eyewitnesses wrote the four Gospels.”

    What kind of a statement is that? Well, for one, it is an empirical claim. You say you are all for “hard, cold, facts.” How about you provide the full list of NT scholars in the world (you will be forgiven if you miss a couple), and then cite the “majority of New Testament scholars [who] do not believe that… eyewitnesses wrote the Gospels.” My request should not be hard to satisfy, since obviously you are familiar with the complete set comprising NT scholars and you should be able to rattle off the majority with no effort.

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      1. So basically you can only link to another blog you wrote where you list others making their own claims with no more support for their positions than what you have provided here. I thought you were interested in “cold, hard, facts of reality” and not propaganda, Gary?

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  4. This has been a not so enlightening conversation. What the readers of this blog have in the above are the opinions of Nan, Ubi, and Gary which reveal their radical views of materialism. For them there does not exist a spiritual world, but only a material world. Such a physcialist view of the universe has been largely dismissed by any philosophers and theologians worth their salt. Indeed, it is only a small fraction of people in the world who adopt the materialistic views of these people. What the above dialogue demonstrates is that at the three skeptics (Nan, Ubi, and Gary) will latch onto their materialistic world view even if a resurrection from the dead happened in their own time and maybe even right in front of them. Who is the brainwashed again? They are.

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    1. Geez, Jon. Better watch it! When you make judgments like this: “Who is the brainwashed again? They are., you’re taking on the role of a mind-reader/spiritualist/psychic. I doubt your god would be very happy with you about that.

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      1. “Geez, Jon. Better watch it! When you make judgments like this: “Who is the brainwashed again? They are., you’re taking on the role of a mind-reader/spiritualist/psychic. I doubt your god would be very happy with you about that.”

        You mean kind of like how Gary routinely says Christians are brainwashed? LOL

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          1. I do not moderate comments, unlike many conservative Christian bloggers. Nan (and you) can say whatever you want (excluding threats of violence).

            It is interesting to note that the more conservative the Christian blogger, the less likely he is to allow free discussion on his/her blog. Fundamentalist Christians/KJVers almost never allow any comments at all.

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    2. You’re making assumptions about what I think. You are accusing me of being a philosophical naturalist, when I am only a methodological naturalist. There could be a “spiritual world” out there somewhere, whatever that would mean. But we live in a material world, and our only reliable methods of investigation are material ones. If there is a spiritual world, and it interacts in some way with our material one (including with human brains) then we should be able to investigate that interaction. If a spiritual world does not interact with this one, then we can have no knowledge about it, and it is not relevant to our lives.

      You are really trying to change the subject here. You have an old book full of claims about miraculous events occurring. Other people have other ancient books with similar claims that they believe. I see no reason to accept your book and not theirs. By your standards, I’d also need to believe the Qu’ran and the Book of Mormon, and the Iliad and the Odyssey and any other book of miracles and magic as being true. Yet, I’m pretty sure you don’t accept those books as containing the same level of truthfulness as your favorite book.

      It’s really easy to make up fantastical stories. People do it all the time. They misremember things, they embroider details, they add tall tales to the story in the retelling. Washington didn’t actually chop down a cherry tree. Paul Bunyan didn’t dig the Missouri River. We need tough standards to sort out what’s likely to be true from what’s probably legend, and we need to apply those standards in the same way to every old book. Even yours.

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      1. Ubi writes, “But we live in a material world, and our only reliable methods of investigation are material ones.”

        Right, so you are a functional philosophical naturalist (aka materialist). You like to hold your spiritual cards until you can play one. Got it!

        But you admit, that if there is a spiritual world we “should be able to… investigate that….” What? Through empirical means which automatically rule out the spiritual? Are you kidding? But, no, you are not. Which is completely sad. It shows how brainwashed you really are.

        You then go on to assert, “You are really trying to change the subject here.” I am not. You apparently do not get two points I made: 1) every text you mention has some historical context and value, and 2) each truth claim (resurrection of Jesus, flying Muhammad) has a spiritual reality to it. You can not possibly accept point #2 due to your functional philosophical naturalism (aka materialism). That the Devi could fly a false prophet around the world on a horse would make you go into fits! So, no, I am not trying to change the subject.

        You then write, “It’s really easy to make up fantastical stories. People do it all the time.”

        Uh, huh. Why don’t you join the ranks of Ron L. Hubbard, if it’s that easy? You skeptics are so predictable, and please don’t take the bait of Hubbard… oh, heck… go ahead… it will be instructive to others!

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        1. I have no idea what a “spiritual reality” is. It sounds like a way of weaseling out of having to figure out whether something is real or not. You actually believe that Muhammad really flew on a winged horse then? Am I understanding that right?

          Stop trying to tell me what I think. If there were such a thing as the “supernatural” that would be a very important thing to know. There are certainly people who have attempted to investigate claims of the supernatural, by using methods that rule out confirmation bias, wishful thinking, and deliberate cheating. The JREF spent years running tests looking for somebody, anybody, who could demonstrate an actual paranormal or supernatural ability or effect. There was million dollar prize for anybody who could succeed in that. But once they ran objective tests, ones that the test subjects had agreed in advance were fair, all the supernatural and paranormal stuff just evaporated, every time. I think we would all have been thrilled to have somebody who could really demonstrate the supernatural, it would have meant that our world is even more complicated and interesting than we had thought. But so far, nothing. If it’s there, it’s very good at hiding. Other groups are still investigating, and if they ever find any positive results, it will be all over the atheosphere. But with all the failures, at this point your evidence for anything of that sort is going to have to be really strong, much stronger than the claims of an old book.

          I couldn’t be L. Ron Hubbard, because I have a conscience. If I had that kind of flair for fiction, I’d rather be J.K. Rowling.

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          1. The JREF? You really want to cite the Jame Randi foundation as an unbiased, credible source? James Randi is an avowed, open, atheist! Nobody is going to get a million dollars from him, because he has stacked the deck against the existence of the spiritual. I mean, really, it isn’t hard to prove that the spiritual world does not exist if your presupposition to the scientific method rules out all spiritual and paranormal experiences. You do not get that?

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          2. No. I’ve met James Randi, and talked with many of the investigators personally. They would have been thrilled to have somebody be able to do what they claimed they could do. It would have been great! What a discovery! But every time you controlled for cheating, confirmation bias, and wishful thinking, all of the “abilities” went away. That should lead a reasonable person to realize that most of the people making a paranormal claim are either cheating outright, or fooling themselves. We owe it to ourselves not to fall for trickery or self-deception. If the supernatural is really there, it should still be there if we eliminate those factors.

            And I’m an avowed open atheist too, so that’s really not much of an argument against Randi. There is insufficient evidence to warrant belief in any god or gods, so I don’t. Ancient books aren’t evidence, they are claims. If you have something better, for instance regrowing an amputated limb by prayer, or even knowing my passcode (which an omniscient god would know and be able to tell you) then bring it on.

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          3. “No. I’ve met James Randi, and talked with many of the investigators personally. They would have been thrilled to have somebody be able to do what they claimed they could do.

            Well, I met James Randi years ago, too. So what? I have talked with paranormal investigators, too. So what? The point is, and you would know this if what you claim is true, that Randi holds a presupposition against the paranormal and the spiritual. Many of the paranormal investigators I have chatted with certainly held a view against the spiritual. Those whom I have known not to hold presuppositions against the paranormal are those who have documented experiences with demon possession an poltergeists.

            As for evidence of the existence of God, you already have that written on your heart. That is why you keep fighting against anyone who believes God exists. It’s really laughable how you, and Gary, have deceived yourselves into thinking you have picked up some noble cause and you are going to “stick it to the man” by trying to convince theists they have it all wrong. Yeah, such ridiculous thinking really helped Christopher Hitchens when he died at age 61 of throat cancer. How many people should die in such a sorry state of hatred toward a being they claim does not exist? Really? The man’s last breathing moments were nothing but words assuring any who might be his followers that he wouldn’t cave into belief in God. Now that is truly pathetic. That’s what you want in life? Ok, I get you are an atheist, but to devote a blog to hating upon God and theists (in particular Christians)? Why bother? If all I believe is a delusion, then why do you care so much? The truth is that you don’t. You want to convince yourself that God does not exist, because if He does, then He has claims on your life. You do not want to be a creature. You want to be the creator; hence, you will do whatever it takes rationally to suppress the knowledge of God in your heart.

            You are a sad person Ubi. I don’t even need to have really met you to know that you are damaged goods. I know this from my own experiences. I only pray you will not become so stiff necked as Hitchens was and at the end of your life your dying thoughts are how you will never admit that God exists, or that Jesus died on the cross for your sins.

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          4. I don’t hate god, because I don’t have reason to think there is such a thing. I don’t hate christians, many of my good friends are christians, but I would like to help them think more clearly about believing everything they are told. And I am very sad when good people are encouraged to abuse and hate their neighbors by a church that is more concerned with grabbing power than about helping people. If this one limited life is all we have, then every day is too precious to waste on religion, particularly the toxic variety of christianity you appear to be spouting.

            Again, you are trying to read my mind, and failing badly. I am not a sad person, nor am I damaged. I’ve just learned that being gullible is not a virtue. If your prayers actually work, why don’t you ask your god to tell you my passcode. Then you could start your next response with it, and you would have my undivided attention. Go ahead, try it now. If god wants you to be the one preacher to re-convert me, among the thousands that have tried and failed, it should be nothing for him to tell you this one simple thing. And if you get only silence and no answers, I won’t be in the least surprised.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Ubi writes, “I have no idea what a “spiritual reality” is. It sounds like a way of weaseling out of having to figure out whether something is real or not. You actually believe that Muhammad really flew on a winged horse then? Am I understanding that right?”

    Of course you have no idea what “spiritual reality” is. “Weaseling out” is what materialists do, since they cannot handle the “spiritual.” As for Muhammad, his religion is detestable evil in my view. So, I would not be surprised if the Devil himself flew him from the area of the Dome of the Rock. Do I know that he was flown into heaven from the Dome of the Rock? I do not.

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    1. Can you even define the word “spiritual”? And not just by referring to “spirit”, because that word has the same problems. Every time I have asked a theist to give me a clear definition of what they mean by “spirit” and “spiritual” I never get a clear answer. That lets them pretend to answer questions while actually saying nothing useful and talking in circles.

      So you think it’s possible that the Devil flew Muhammad How about Joseph Smith – do you believe it is possible that he was really visited by an angel who led him to find the golden plates, or do you think that was also the Devil? Or is it more likely that Joseph Smith was a con artist who just made the whole thing up?

      And if Muhammad could be fooled by this Devil into thinking his experience was from Allah, how can you be certain that the Devil is not also fooling you? Perhaps the Devil inspired the bible instead of your god. How can you be sure that this is not the case?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. @Jon

      As for Muhammad, his religion is detestable evil in my view.

      As opposed to the wonderful loving Christians who devised the Inquisition, burnt thousands of women alive on the claim of witchcraft, burned thousands of others for simply having different views of the same make-believe god, persecuted the Jews for centuries and then persecuted each other because they couldn’t agree on how to worship a made up deity.

      Eventually thousands of these loving Christians left Europe and settled in what is now the USA and built an economy largely on the backs of Negro Slaves and over time enacted one of the largest acts of genocide against the Native Americans.

      And this is not evil?

      Jon, you are a hypocritical fucking moron.

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  6. Ok to rehash what we’ve been saying on another post here: who’s to say who “should” have written about Jesus?

    We have a whole bunch of writerd affirming the resurrection as factual, but because it’s collected into what we call the New Testament is doesn’t count?
    How does that make sense? It doesn’t. Go ahead, explain how collecting sources together makes them non-sources.

    Also I have read quite a biographies and historical works over the last almost 16 years or so.

    Here are some of them: Scar Tissue by Anthony Keidis, My Life as 10-Year-Old Boy by Nancy Cartwright, The Color of Water by James McBride, The Language of God by Fancis Collins, On Writing by Stephen King, the Accidental American by James Naughtie, The Next 100 Years by George Friedman, Seinoff by the Cast of Seinfeld, Confronting Kingdom Challenges edited by Samuel T Logan Jnr, The Vow by Kim and Kricket Carpenter, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You by Marcus Chown, San Rock Art by JD Lewis-Williams, The Soweto Uprising by Noor Nieftagodien, Poverty in South Africa by Colin Bundy, A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong.

    Still to read on my shelf: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, The Violence of our Lives by Tony Parker, Questions on German History (textbook), 23 things they don’t tell you about Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang, Ghosts of Empire by Kwasi Kwarteng, Civilisation A New History of the Western World by Roger Osborne, Christ the first 2000 Years by M and E Whittock, The Collapse of Globalism by JS Saul.

    I’m also currently reading Aspects of Contemporary World History since 1945 edited by James L Henderson, published in 1966.

    Guess what? A wide range of historical writing, some specifically about South Africa – no mention of Nelson Mandela. Not one.
    No mention of FW de Klerk either – the man who supposedly released Mandela from prison.

    I guess that casts doubt on the historical reliability on anything attributed to Mandela. Hmmm.

    And the analogy to Plutarch is valid, since we are talking about historical method. If Plutarch can write about events over 170 years before he was born, the New Testament can give us credible information about events 20 years (Paul) to 70 years (John) after they happened.

    Simple.

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    1. You are not comparing apples to apples, Liam.

      Imagine a prominent author living in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe during the 70’s, 8o’s, and 90’s who writes about the greatest events during the administration of South African president, FW de Klerk, but never mentions Nelson Mandela. How probable would that be? Answer: Very improbable.

      Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

      But this is exactly what we see with the Jewish philosopher and writer, Philo of Alexandria, Egypt. He was a contemporary of Jesus. Philo wrote about Pilate, mentioning some of the most notable events during Pilate’s rule of Judea, but never once mentions Pilate’s most famous prisoner, Jesus of Nazareth; a man who claimed to be the Jewish messiah; who performed miracles greater than all the prophets of Israel before him; a man who turned Palestine upside down, causing throngs of Jews to welcome him into Jerusalem as “the Son of David, the new King of Israel—a direct challenge to Pilate’s rule”.

      How probable is it that Philo knew about the great Jesus whose fame was known from one end of Palestine to the other (next door to Egypt)…but never mentioned him when writing about the major events during the rule of Pontius Pilate?

      Possible? Yes. Probable? Absolutely not.

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  7. Gary, since you’re unlikely to take the time to read the link I have given here are some highlights:

    http://armariummagnus.blogspot.co.za/2011/05/nailed-ten-christian-myths-that-show.html

    “And it is hard to see why the other items on his list (of JEsus’ exploits in the Gospels) would be noted, noticed or even known to any far off Roman or Greek historians at all. Given that these historians make no mention of any other Jewish peasant preachers or miracle workers, it is hard to see why Fitzgerald thinks they should have done so with this one. As for things like his entry into Jerusalem, his trial and his crucifixion, it is equally difficult to see why they would be more than a one day wonder even locally. Why Fitzgerald thinks such minor events would be the talk of the whole Empire is a mystery.”

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  8. “But in the quote above he (Fitgerald) claimed there were “scores of writers” with a burning interest in this region and, apparently, in the doings of Jewish Messianic claimants. He even claims these writers detail the “lesser exploits” of these Messiahs, but make no mention of Jesus. Strangely, he never tells us who these “scores of writers” with this interest in Jewish Messiahs are, which is very odd. As it happens, we have precisely one writer who mentions any figures who might be seen as “failed Messiahs”, and that is the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. But far from talking about “lesser exploits” of these figures, what this single writer says about Jewish preachers, prophets and Messianic claimants in this period makes it quite clear that Jesus was actually pretty small fry as such figures go.

    For example, a bandit-rebel who declared himself a Jewish king called Athronges not only gathered enough armed followers to tackle Roman troops but for a while he was able to inflict military defeats on them, until he was defeated circa 4 BC. An unnamed Samaritan prophet led a “great multitude”to the holy mountain of Gerizim, promising them a mystical revelation, around 36 AD. He and his followers were so numerous they had to be attacked by the Romans and dispersed using units of both infantry and cavalry. About ten years later a prophet called Theudas led “a great part of the people” into the desert, promising to miraculously part the River Jordan and had to be dealt with by Roman cavalry in the same way. And another unnamed Jewish prophet, this one from Egypt, led an estimated (though unlikely) “30,000 men” to Jerusalem, telling them its walls would miraculously fall so he could lead them into the city. Again, Roman troops had to be called out to deal with them, leaving hundreds dead and causing the prophet to run away.

    It is very hard to see any of these fairly momentous events as “lesser exploits” compared to what even the gospels claim about Jesus. Even if we take their accounts at face value, a chanting crowd greeting his entrance to Jerusalem, a trial that no-one witnessed and a run-of-the-mill execution are hardly big news compared to mass movements that required the mobilisation of troops and pitched battles. Yet how many other historians so much as mention Athronges, the Samaritan, Theudas or the Egyptian? None. Apart from Josephus, no writer so much as gives them a sentence’s worth of attention. So somehow Fitzgerald thinks these minor events in the Jesus story should be mentioned when far bigger, more significant events are not. He wildly misrepresents the evidence (“scores of writers”) and his attempted argument from silence clearly fails dismally.”

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  9. “Next Fitzgerald goes into some detail about the writers and historians of the First Century who he claims “should” have mentioned a historical Jesus but did not. He lists eleven who are contemporaries of Jesus. Like many Mythers, he seems to think that the lack of any contemporary reference to Jesus is somehow a particularly telling point, since the few extra-Biblical references to Jesus are in writings dating almost a century after his time. This would come as no surprise to anyone actually familiar with the nature of ancient source material, however. There are few more famous ancient figures than the Carthaginian general Hannibal; even today most people at least know his name. He was one of the greatest and justifiably famous generals of ancient times. Yet, despite his fame then and now, we have precisely zero contemporary references to Hannibal. If we have no contemporary mentions of the man who almost destroyed the Roman Republic at the height of its power, the idea that we should expect any for an obscure peasant preacher in the backblocks of Galilee is patently absurd.

    (Edit: In the discussion in the comments on this review here and elsewhere it was brought to my attention that we do have a tiny fragment of one contemporary account of Hannibal. P.Würzb.Inv. 1 is a papyrus fragment that seems to contain a few lines from Book IV of Sosylus’ The Deeds of Hannibal. I was not aware of this when I wrote the paragraph above, so thanks to the commenter Evan for bringing it to my attention.

    The point still stands however – if we have nothing more than a few lines from any contemporary work about Hannibal to expect to have surviving contemporary mentions of someone as unimportant and obscure as Jesus is still absurd. And there are many other very prominent people for whom we have no contemporary mentions: we have nothing of the sort for the Icenian warrior queen Boudicca or the Germanic warlord Arminius, for example. Arminius destroyed one tenth of the whole Roman army in one battle and led the only successful rebellion against the Empire in its history, yet we have nothing about him from the time or even from his lifetime. Fitzgerald’s emphasis on the lack of contemporary references to a peasant who did not much is plainly ridiculous. Of course, it should also be noted that my point is still correct – the text of P.Würzb.Inv. 1 makes no mention of any “Hannibal”. ) “

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  10. “Fitzgerald labours mightily to detail all the writers who he claims “should” have mentioned Jesus. But in every case his argument suffers from the same fatal flaw: given that none of these writers mention any other Jewish preachers, prophets and Messianic claimants, there is absolutely no reason to think they “should” have mentioned Jesus. As noted above, Athronges, the Sarmatian, Theudas and the Egyptian prophet were actually far more prominent and significant locally than Jesus was even according to the most naive, face value fundamentalist’s reading of the gospels. Yet not one of them is mentioned by any of Fitzgerald’s list of “should” writers either. Nor are any other comparable Jewish figures of the time, such as Hillel, Shammai, Choni HaMa’agel, John the Baptist or Gamaliel.

    Yet Fitzgerald again claims that these writers do mention other figures similar to Jesus. “In many cases”, he claims, “these same writers have much to say about other much less interesting messiahs – but not Jesus” (p.42) In “many cases”? In which cases? Fitzgerald simply does not say. And other messiahs are mentioned? Which ones, where and by who? Again, despite this being a key point that should potentially back up and substantiate his creaking argument, he never bothers to tell the reader. The reason is simple – what Fitzgerald is saying here is absolute nonsense. None of his writers mention any such figures for the same reason they do not mention Jesus: because these writers had no interest in any such Jewish preachers and prophets. As a result, despite all his bold claims and loud rhetoric, Fitzgerald’s argument collapses in a heap.”

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  11. I know you’re not a Christ-myther Gary, but the point still stands.

    From the blogpost:
    “Despite Fitzgerald’s unsubstantiated claims to the contrary, the only writer of the period who seems to have had any interest at all in people like Jesus was Yosef ben Matityahu or Flavius Josephus. This means that if Josephus did not mention Jesus while mentioning other such figures like Theudas and John the Baptist, people like Fitzgerald would actually be able to make a real argument from silence. The problem is that Josephus does mention Jesus – twice. So any Myther book or article has to spill a lot of ink trying to explain these highly inconvenient mentions away.”

    Like

  12. Check out Tim O’Neill’s Profile:

    https://www.blogger.com/profile/00292944444808847980

    I like his description of himself: Wry, dry, rather sarcastic, eccentric, occasionally arrogant Irish-Australian atheist bastard

    So again, listening to someone with actual historical training means that the whole “Jesus should be mentioned more” argument just… silly.

    Anyone saying that has little to no grasp of how ancient history works.

    Now, I think Tim O’Neill stops short of where the evidence leads: Jesus did perform miracles and did come back from the dead. But at least he’s not spouting rubbish about “should have been mentioned” – which is just unsubstantiated silliness.

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  13. This is from a Christian website, but undergirds what O’Neill was saying so well:

    Why doesn’t Philo mention Jesus?

    Philo of Alexandria (25 BC to AD 50) was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher from Alexandria, Egypt. Skeptics wonder why Philo would not mention Jesus if he was a contemporary of his, and he was also Jewish. There are several answers to this question:

    First, Philo wasn’t near Jesus in Israel. He lived in Alexandria, and Jesus travelled in and around Judea. Agnostic historian Maurice Casey writes, “Philo was nowhere near at the time, and had no reason to hear of the events that did happen, let alone report on an increasingly Gentile version of Judaism.”

    Second, Philo was more interested in Roman culture—not orthodox Judaism. Philo is best known for his integration of Greek philosophy with Jewish theology. As an Alexandrian, he wouldn’t have networked in Judaism at the time. It’s no wonder that he doesn’t mention Jesus, who was thoroughly Jewish.

    Third, Philo doesn’t even mention Christianity or even Christians. No one would argue that Christianity spread throughout the ancient world in the first-century. Yet Philo makes no mention of Christianity at all. Van Voorst notes, “As we stated above, Philo does not mention Jesus. While arguing from silence is always difficult, a plausible explanation for this is that he never mentions Christianity, so he has no need to mention its founder (if he even knew of him at all).”

    http://www.evidenceunseen.com/christ/did-jesus-exist-a-response-to-mythicism/

    And again, you’re not a myther, but it’s a stupid argument.

    Like

    1. Maybe he never mentions Christianity because Christianity was not the big deal, in the first century, that the New Testament authors make it out to be. Maybe the reason Philo mentions Pilate and not Jesus is because Jesus was a nobody, not the big deal the New Testament authors made him out to be.

      Like

      1. Oh you mean like what we see in Acts? With only 120 followers on Pentecost to begin with?
        Your expectations are anachronistic, while the NT is consistent with what we are told by non-Christian sources about the spread of The Way.

        Hmmm – guess I’m going to continue with the historically validated facts here…

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  14. Lastly you also misrepresent what Philo was writing about. I am very much comparing apples for apples, really, because the writings that survive from ancient history have about as much interest in Jesus as the books I cited have in Nelson Mandela. This becomes clearer reading O’Neill’s entry, does it not?

    Philo wasn’t writing a detailed history.

    “Pilate was an official who had been appointed prefect of Judaea. With the intention of annoying the Jews rather than of honoring Tiberius, he set up gilded shields in Herod’s palace in the Holy City. They bore no figure and nothing else that was forbidden, but only the briefest possible inscription, which stated two things – the name of the dedicator and that of the person in whose honor the dedication was made.
    But when the Jews at large learnt of this action, which was indeed already widely known, they chose as their spokesmen the king’s [Herod the Great] four sons, who enjoyed prestige and rank equal to that of kings, his other descendants, and their own officials, and besought Pilate to undo his innovation in the shape of the shields, and not to violate their native customs, which had hitherto been invariably preserved inviolate by kings and emperors alike.
    When Pilate, who was a man of inflexible, stubborn and cruel disposition, obstinately refused, they shouted: “Do not cause a revolt! Do not cause a war! Do not break the peace! Disrespect done to our ancient laws brings no honor to the emperor. Do not make Tiberius an excuse for insulting our nation. He does not want any of our traditions done away with. If you say that he does, show us some decree or letter or something of the sort, so that we may cease troubling you and appeal to our master by means of an embassy.”
    This last remark exasperated Pilate most of all, for he was afraid that if they really sent an embassy, they would bring accusations against the rest of his administration as well, specifying in detail his venality, his violence, his thefts, his assaults, his abusive behavior, his frequent executions of untried prisoners, and his endless savage ferocity.
    So, as he was a spiteful and angry person, he was in a serious dilemma; for he had neither the courage to remove what he had once set up, nor the desire to do anything which would please his subjects, but at the same time he was well aware of Tiberius’ firmness on these matters. When the Jewish officials saw this, and realized that Pilate was regretting what he had done, although he did not wish to show it, they wrote a letter to Tiberius, pleading their case as forcibly as they could.
    What words, what threats Tiberius uttered against Pilate when he read it! It would be superfluous to describe his anger, although he was not easily moved to anger, since his reaction speaks for itself.
    For immediately, without even waiting until the next day, he wrote to Pilate, reproaching and rebuking him a thousand times for his new-fangled audacity and telling him to remove the shields at once and have them taken from the capital to the coastal city of Caesarea […], to be dedicated in the temple of Augustus. This was duly done. In this way both the honor of the emperor and the traditional policy regarding Jerusalem were alike preserved.”

    That is all that Philo wrote about Pilate. He’s not writing about Jewish teachers or preachers or miracle workers. He’s not writing about anyone crucified under or by Pontius Pilate. Why would he write about Jesus in the surviving material? He doesn’t even mention Christianity, why would he write about its founder?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo%27s_works

    Check it out – Philo wrote much more commentary on the Pentateuch than historical matters. It’s surprising he mentioned Pilate at all, I would think.

    Anyway, many of his works only survive in fragmentary form.

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    1. Jesus (allegedly ) performed more and greater miracles than all the prophets of the OT, he (allegedly) brought all of Palestine to the boiling point of open rebellion…and Philo ignores mentioning him even once.

      I don’t buy it.

      Like

  15. Last one from Tim O’Neill’s new blog, specifically about Philo:

    “Some others, however, are more reasonable at first glance. Philo Judaeus was a Jew in Alexandria who wrote philosophy and theology and who was a contemporary of Jesus who also mentions events in Judea and makes reference to other figures we know from the gospel accounts, such as Pontius Pilate. So it makes far more sense that he “should” mention Jesus than some poets in far off Rome. But it is hard to see why even Philo would be interested in mentioning someone like Jesus, given that he also makes no mentions of any of the other Jewish preachers, prophets, faith healers and Messianic claimants of the time, of which there were many. If Philo had mentioned Anthronges and Theudas, or Hillel and Honi or John the Baptist and the “Samaritan Prophet” but didn’t mention Jesus, then a solid argument from silence could be made. But given that Philo seems to have had no interest at all in any of the various people like Jesus, the fact that he doesn’t mention Jesus either carries little or no weight.”

    https://historyforatheists.com/2017/05/did-jesus-exist-the-jesus-myth-theory-again/

    Like

      1. It would seem that you haven’t read the extract to see what he said about Pilate.
        And since you seem to hold to views despite evidence to the contrary and without being able to do proper ancient history, you disagreement doesn’t mean anything.

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  16. Sorry, can’r resist, about me not comparing apples with apples – thank Tim O’Neill! Again, you’re not a myther Gary, but the argument that more writers “should” have mentioned Jesus is what is being addressed here:

    “Some “Jesus Mythicists” have tried to argue that certain ancient writers “should” have mentioned Jesus and did not and so tried to make an argument from silence on this basis. In 1909 the American “freethinker” John Remsberg came up with a list of 42 ancient writers that he claimed “should” have mentioned Jesus and concluded their silence suggested Jesus may never have existed. But the list has been widely criticised for being contrived and fanciful. Why exactly, for example, Lucanus – a writer whose works consist of a single poem and a history of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey (in the century before Jesus’ time) “should” have mentioned Jesus is hard to see. And the same can be said for most of the other writers on Remsberg’s list.”

    THAT’s the point my quick survey of contemporary historical writers not mentioning Mandela was making, right there.

    Like

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