Debating Australian Christian Pastor and Apologist David Robertson

Image result for image of pastor david robertson, australian apologist
Rev. David Robertson

Gary:  David, the fact that you moderate comments and refuse to publish comments that point out the massive holes your supernatural belief system is proof that your belief system is not based on evidence but upon your intense emotions involving this belief. Marty Sampson’s [a recent Christian leader who has deconverted] emotions dried up and he then saw that there was nothing left validating this ancient tall tale.

There is no good evidence for your beliefs, David. Alleged eyewitness testimony may be sufficient for auto accidents and murder trials, but not for alleged alien abductions or first century dead corpse reanimations. If 500 Hari Krishna’s claim that they all saw a herd of cattle be beamed up into a space ship, would you believe their eyewitness testimony? Of course you wouldn’t. You would think they were nuts. So why do you believe a two thousand year old claim that 500 people saw a walking, talking, resurrected dead corpse? It makes no sense, David. The only possible explanation is that you so desperately want YOUR fantastical claim to be true.

Your belief rests on very shaky ground, David. Your emotions, perceptions, and subjective personal experiences are not good evidence for any thinking, educated modern person to believe that a dead first century peasant is the Creator and Lord of the universe.

Superstitions are not real, my friend.

 

David Robertson, conservative Christian pastor and apologist, author of the “Wee Flea blog“:  Love the smug superior tone that so many fundamentalist atheists adopt – of which your post is a classic. You cannot allow for the possibility that anyone may be wrong and you don’t have capacity or the knowledge to engage with the arguments so you just mock, proclaim your own superiority and self declare that only you are or can be, right. The only reason I moderate comments is not to stop those who disagree but to ensure that my blog is not taken over by those who have nothing better to do in their lives then self-confirm their own eccentricities – whether religious or not.

I must admit there is a temptation to allow more posts like yours – because in a way its very reassuring to see how empty and vacuous the oppositions arguments are! However I try to resist that temptation – because I know that there are intelligent atheists out there who do actually have some good arguments and know how to post them. In this case the only reason I am posting yours is to explain why I moderate comments – not because your comments are brilliant, but precisely the opposite. Its not fair to intelligent atheists to let the fundamentalist emotive ones rant on….

 

Gary: I bet that I have read just as many or more books by Christian apologists than you, David. I am very informed. Here is my reading list:  here

So I challenge you: Please provide good, quality evidence that the first century peasant, Jesus of Nazareth, is the creator and ruler of the universe. Don’t give me evidence for a generic creator god. I am more than happy to concede the existence of a Creator God for our discussion. I want evidence that YOUR god is the creator of our complex universe. I am certain that I can demonstrate that the evidence for your belief is only “strong” in the minds of conservative Christians. I can prove that most experts, including most Christian experts, question the accuracy of many of the evidence claims used by conservative Christians like yourself.

Most educated adults would agree: If everyone but you thinks that your evidence is weak, your evidence is probably weak.

(If Rev. Robertson responds, I will post it in the next post.)

111 thoughts on “Debating Australian Christian Pastor and Apologist David Robertson

  1. A Christian reader of Rev. Robertson’s blog posted this comment below Dr. Robertson’s post. I am reposting it here along with my comment because it is very likely that Robertson will not publish my response:

    Edouard, Christian: Gary, generally speaking, atheists assert that God does not exist because they cannot substantiate their opposition to God otherwise than by fooling themselves that they do not believe in God. Atheists de-emphasise their opposition to God so as to, were it possible, deny that intolerance to His commandments is debilitating to them and society. In all evidence, atheists crave for and desperately need every dumb reassurance enabling them to cling onto their false hope that God does not exist; for not only are atheists quite aware that God exists, but they also know they are hated of God and that ultimately God is going to send them to hell which, paradoxically, exactly is where they actually want to be.

    Finally, and to be perfectly clear; there has not yet been one single atheist that does not believe in God; every single atheist, including Richard Dawkins, believes in God, but since not a single one of them wants to recognise God for who He is; they exert efforts betraying both God and themselves to not recognise Him with, would you believe it?, the monumental delusion; there is no God!

    Gary: You have made an incorrect assumption, Edouard: You have assumed incorrectly that I know as a fact that a creator god does not exist. I have never made such a claim here or anywhere else. I personally have no idea whether or not a Creator God exists. Once the experts have reached a consensus on the origin of the universe, I will accept their consensus conclusion, whatever it is, even if it happens to be that the universe was created by a god.

    What I am an atheist about is YOUR god, the first century peasant, Jesus of Nazareth. Although I believe that this man existed, I do not believe that he was a god, that he walked on water, that he raised people from the dead, that he came back from the dead himself, or that he is currently sitting on a golden throne somewhere beyond the universe, or in another dimension, ruling as Lord and Master of the Heaven and Earth.

    I don’t believe in your god because the evidence for his existence is very poor. If you can provide quality evidence for his existence, I am open to discussing it with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. chuckle Again, the totally incoherent question: “Please provide good, quality evidence that the first century peasant, Jesus of Nazareth, is the creator and ruler of the universe”

    Gary – this question assumes that there is, in fact, a creator of the universe. It only questions whether Jesus was that creator.

    So, am I to understand that you now believe there is a Creator God of the universe, and, it’s only the specific identity of Jesus that is in question?

    Like

    1. Hello, ft.

      I am conceding the existence of a creator god for this discussion. I am doing so because I have no idea whether a creator god exists or not. On that question, I am waiting until the experts reach a consensus on the origin of the universe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that’s a question I’ve answered on this blog probably a thousand times before.

        I believe Jesus was the embodiment, or the “incarnation” of the creator of the universe.

        You and I have both bodies and spirits. Both our bodies and spirits are “created” things.

        Jesus had a created body, but his was the Spirit of the Creator.

        If you’re wanting to know whether I think the “corporeal, human being called Jesus of Nazareth” was somehow floating around the Cosmos before creation, I do not. I think that is an absurd notion. Sounds like something Gary probably attempted to force himself to believe back when he was a fundamentalist Christian.

        Like

  3. If Gary’s question is ‘totally incoherent’ how is it you understand it and address it?

    The question doesn’t assume there is a creator God any more than the question ‘provide evidence that a man rose physically from the dead’ assumes that the questioner believes such a thing to be possible.

    Should you ‘understand that (Gary) now believe(s) there is a Creator God of the universe’? I can’t see any reason why you should. Gary has said he does not rule out the possibility there may be a creator but that does not mean he actively believes in such a being. You have heard of agnosticism, haven’t you?

    Gary has made it perfectly clear in this and other posts that ‘it’s only the specific identity of Jesus that is in question’. He has asked repeatedly for any evidence that a first century peasant and itinerant preacher was and is the omnipotent, eternal creator of the universe. Every single response to his request – and there are now many on this site – is, like your own and David Robertson’s, a mixture of obfuscation, avoidance and ad hominem smugness. Not one presents an iota of evidence. Why would that be, I wonder?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gary –

    the idea that Jesus was/is the embodiment or “Incarnation* of the Creator of the Universe is reached by inference – ie, “reason”.

    IF Jesus were resurrected, then it only follows that he was “God, Incarnate”. But, this requires you to understand that “resurrection” is just a part of a much bigger process that culminates in (essentially) the re-constitution of the entire universe: a process, like creation, which is done by God and God alone.

    But, knowing you as I do – and knowing the great difficulty you have in actually formulating questions that are not based on a whole myriad of other, sometimes-barely-related assumptions – my guess would be that what you’re actually asking is “how do we know Jesus was resurrected” – because, ultimately, that’s the question it ALWAYS gets down to….

    Like

    1. @ ft.

      The idea that Jesus was/is the embodiment or “Incarnation* of the Creator of the Universe is reached by inference – ie, “reason”.

      This is based on the assumption that the biblical text is correct. Can you please demonstrate, with evidence, the veracity of this assumption. Thanks.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. actually, it has no dependency on whether anything in biblical text is correct or not.

        IF a person were, in fact, resurrected – not merely “resuscitated”, but resurrected – meaning, “a body which was transformed into a being that is capable of an eternal life, with no constraints imposed upon it by a temporal, natural universe” – then that incident, that “event”, would indeed have meaning apart from any “suppositions” written about it beforehand.

        In other words, if a person were resurrected, then it would have profound implications for all of humanity – WHETHER ANYTHING HAD EVER BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT IT BEFOREHAND OR NOT. And, these implications would surface as a result of reason.

        So, no, I totally disagree that “This is based on the assumption that the biblical text is correct”.

        Maybe, for some people (including yourself, evidently), the thought is that “resurrection” only occurred because “The Bible Says It Would”.

        I myself do not buy into that idea one bit. If the bible, and all knowledge of the bible, and of anything and everything it teaches, were to utterly disappear from the realm of human knowledge, and then, one day – totally unexpected – there was the appearance of some character who introduced himself as Jesus of Nazareth, and he brought a myriad of supernatural creatures (ie, “angels”) with him – then that rather weird event would utterly demand to be evaluated and understood, and the whole scenario would lead to a truckload of inferences – none of which have any dependency on what the bible says.

        Like

        1. Possibly. However, the only place the character Jesus of Nazareth is found is in the bible.
          Therefore for your belief to hold true you have to demonstrate the veracity of the text ….
          So, off you go…. demonstrate it.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Ark – re: “However, the only place the character Jesus of Nazareth is found is in the bible.”

            This is patently untrue. Historians agree that both Josephus and Tacticus mention Jesus.
            Some of Paul’s writings ended up in this compilation we now call the New Testament. But, they clearly did not originate as part of “the bible” in any respect. And, the vast majority of historians consider seven of the Pauline documents we have as “historical”

            re: “Therefore for your belief to hold true you have to demonstrate the veracity of the text ….”

            I don’t have a “belief”, regarding the resurrection of Jesus. I am convinced that Jesus was bodily resurrected in an historical event.

            I know about this event because of what Paul wrote.

            And, as you well know, “I don’t do gospels”.

            You’re way, WAY off base, Ark….

            Like

            1. You misunderstand, I am well aware of the mention of Chrestus by Tacitus- I have annals – and also the mention by Josephus in the Testimonium Flavianum.
              I am not disputing the historicity of this individual, who was not considered divine but merely a criminal executed for sedition.

              However, this is not the divine character referenced in the gospels and the writings of the character known as Paul.
              So, once more, the task falls to you to demonstrate the veracity of the biblical text.
              Balls in your court, ft.
              Off you go …. demonstrate it.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. @ Ft —

              Mentioning a name about someone who had ‘made Roman news‘ then barely writing a few GENERAL (insignificant) sentences regarding the events/context of a seditious man and his small Jewish Sectarian following/movement in Palestinia rampant with other Jewish sects, does not and cannot translate to the son of a God, much less a God.

              IF, and let me emphasize IF again, this unknown seditious Jewish sectarian (Nasoraean) were performing the supernatural acts/tricks — which btw are found ONLY in the 4th-century CE Canonical New Testament; nowhere else, not anywhere, as Ark pointed out — then it is highly unlikely, near impossible for that person wielding that much supernatural magic/power and headline news/gossip across the entire Levant, to NOT be mentioned by all the other VERY WELL KNOWN authors/historians in Yeshua’s/Jesus’ lifetime — a minimum of 41 known Pagan/Jewish authors/historians! Or even those living and recording history within 100 years of his lifetime!

              Furthermore, the two forged/tampered with passages in the works of a Jewish author (Josephus), and two very disputed passages in the works of Roman writers Pliny the Younger and Suetonius do not make the seditious Nasoraean the son of God or a God by any rational means.

              In other words Ft, because there exists only ONE source of these wild tales about a seditious 1st-century Jewish Sectarian (Nasoraean) executed by the Romans, and their pagan records are also void of any news/mention of a Jesus performing remarkable magic tricks, it all adds up to an obvious Kangaroo Court and Patristic-Hellenistic Church Father Judges endorsing and enforcing their own Greco-Roman version of a caricature Christ… not the true traditional Messiah(s) of Second Temple Palestinian Judaism.

              Liked by 1 person

    2. Just because someone is (allegedly) seen alive again after his public execution in no way proves that he is the Lord and Master of the Cosmos. You have no good evidence that this man was seen alive again other than (alleged) eyewitness testimony. And as I have said elsewhere, eyewitness testimony may be sufficient for car accidents and murder trials but not for alien abductions and dead body reanimations.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I didn’t say a thing about someone allegedly being seen alive again after an execution.

        I said “IF Jesus was resurrected“…

        Like

        1. Sorry, I don’t do “ft” anymore. It is a waste of my time to debate a self-described “non-Trinitarian, evangelical” for the simple reason that his beliefs do not represent any known Christian denomination. His version of Christianity is entirely self-invented.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. What you have always – ALWAYS – failed to realize is that there was, indeed, “Christianity BEFORE the Gospels”, Gary.

            The very early church knew NOTHING about the Gospels at all, because they hadn’t been written.

            That’s the “Christianity” that I’m interested in. I have precious little interest in post-Gospel Christianity at all, and essentially ZERO interest in post-Nicene Christianity.

            Post-Gospel and Post-Nicene Christianity are the only things you seem to have some knowledge of, and are the focus of most of your so-called “debates”.

            But there is practically nothing I say that cannot be supported by Paul’s seven authentic letters.

            For me, the only real value of the Gospels is that they contain sayings attributed to Jesus (some of which I think are authentic), they provide some amount of historical data (which must be gleaned from the embellishments), and they reflect the generally-accepted “orthodoxy” and teachings of the church as it existed at the time of their writings. But, they’re not “historical”. And most certainly, later interpretations of things recorded in the Gospels that were already interpretations have virtually no interest to me at all.

            You say my “beliefs do not represent any known Christian denomination. His version of Christianity is entirely self-invented.”

            It’s absolutely true that my beliefs do not represent any known Christian denomination. I am no different than you in my disregard for so much of the “bogus-ness” that is taught by the denominational churches. I would figure you should appreciated that similarity.

            But, my version is not at all “entirely self-invented”. It is true that my version is pre-Trinitarian (and no, Trinitarians did NOT somehow “always exist” – not by a long shot). The Jews certainly had no concept of God as a Duality (ie, Father and Holy Spirit). God is ONE. And the Holy Spirit is NOT a “person”. Therefore, it’s impossible to come up with a “Trinity”. That whole Trinity notion has it’s roots in some kind of Greco-Roman philosophical nonsense – nonsense that simply wasn’t a part of the very early church.

            You love to argue with doctrinal and dogmatic notions held by many (or, most) in the post-Nicene church, such as “the New Testament is the Word of God”.

            Me? I’m here to remind you (as I do my fellow “believers”) that there was no “New Testament” at all for the early church.

            Unfortunately, that’s why you can’t argue with me. You’ve never figured out that you and I actually agree on a large number of things regarding “modern Christianity”. The problem is that you’re basically a very arrogant control freak who needs to categorize others in very narrow terms, rather than stopping, clearing your head, and having a little light come on that says “oh, now I get where this guy’s coming from”….

            Like

            1. @ Ft —

              What you have always – ALWAYS – failed to realize is that there was, indeed, “Christianity BEFORE the Gospels”, Gary.

              This is NOT exactly true/precise, is horribly vague (almost meaningless), and is unnecessarily ambiguous given the cumulative authentic history of 1st-century Palestinia and Second Temple Judaism/Messianism (STJM) throughout Syria, Palestine, and Nabatae as well as the valid history of the Roman Empire.

              The word “Christ” is a Hellenic-Greek word NOT identical to the correct context of Jewish Messiahs, especially NOT THE SAME among the ascetic rural Jewish Sects outside of Jerusalem, e.g. the Sicarii, Herodians, Zealots, Samaritans, and the Essenes at Qumran — of the Dead Sea Scrolls — to name only five Jewish Sects. And within some of these Sects were subdivisions or sub-sects like the Nasorii or Nasoraeans, also a rural ascetic Jewish group!

              If 100% of modern Christian Faithers or Apologists would LEARN some basic-to-intermediary Second Temple Judaism/Messianism of the 1st-century CE, they’d clearly learn there were also TWO different forms of mainline Judaism at the time: the Hellenic Jews (Overseas, not from Palestine) and Syro-Palestinian Jews in and surrounding Jerusalem. Both had very different definitions of Messianism.

              Therefore Ft, you are grossly amputating very significant, cumulative, validated history with your vague, ambiguous, (wrong) presumption of “there was indeed Christianity BEFORE the Gospels”. In fact, many historians, especially non-Christian historians, would laugh and say you don’t know what you are talking about!!!! 😆

              There is more than one lens to view this part of full history other than the one tiny lens of your Hellenistic (Herodian?) Canonical New Testament and enforced by Apostolic/Patristic Bishops/Church-Fathers that begat the Roman Catholic Church, NOT what “The Way” Movement (of Yeshua the Nasoraean) was reforming and later his brother James in Jerusalem tried to continue.

              Like

              1. ummmm… you don’t think there was a “church” before the gospels were written??? Like, there were no “believers in Jesus, the risen Messiah” before Mark was written?

                I’ve never taken you seriously, Taboo, but now, I think you’ve landed on the “must ignore” list.

                Like

                1. If we only look at Paul’s writings for the true teachings of Christianity, how do we know Paul wasn’t making things up as he went along? Maybe the guy was completely nuts? How do we know that Paul’s teachings were the teachings of Jesus when as far as we know, Paul never met the man?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Gary –

                    re: “If we only look at Paul’s writings for the true teachings of Christianity, how do we know Paul wasn’t making things up as he went along? Maybe the guy was completely nuts? How do we know that Paul’s teachings were the teachings of Jesus when as far as we know, Paul never met the man?”

                    From Gal 2: (and, you know this well. We’ve been over this territory before)

                    I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles… for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
                    … [and those of high reputation], seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship”

                    This was after Paul had already been “on the road” for a while, preaching and teaching. And, he goes back to Jerusalem to confirm that what he’s preaching is right and acceptable to Peter, John and James. And, apparently, they were OK with it. Apparently, to them, it was correct and consistent. No problems. Paul and Barnabas get “the right hand of fellowship”.

                    Now, you can say Paul made this up. You can say “well, maybe Paul is lying, and maybe Peter, James and John really thought he was crazy”, and blablablablablablablablablabla ad infinitum.

                    At which point, I would no longer consider a single other thing you had to offer as being valid. You would have proved to be purely adolescent in your thought, incapable of acknowledging what many learned scholars accept as true.

                    So, I hope to God you don’t go that route, because I’ve enjoyed our ongoing debate.

                    Like

                    1. Paul isn’t a very good source to “confirm” your beliefs. Nothing historical verifies his existence, other than the gospels themselves. And it’s been shown numerous times the “Book” where they’re found has several credibility issues.

                      So, in essence, Gary could say the same back to you — At which point, I would no longer consider a single other thing you had to offer as being valid.

                      I often wonder when believers will finally accept/recognize that non-believers do not consider the bible as a “proof” source and begin offering more credible, historically valid and well-researched information to validate their statements.

                      Like

                    2. We all know – non-believers and believers alike – there are no credible sources which is why they are obliged to obliged to cite the bible and imbue it with such farcical terms as ”God-Breathed” (sic)

                      Like

                    3. I would qualify your statement to SOME believers know there are no credible sources. Many just accept what’s there as the truth, the whole truth … and, well you know the rest.

                      What I find so astounding is that by quoting the bible to “prove their point,” they actually think it’s going to convince a non-believer!

                      Like

                    4. So you accept one man’s word that a dead person appeared to him in some fashion (Paul never gives us any details of this event in his own writings) and appointed him “God’s missionary to the Gentiles”.

                      That sounds like gullible, adolescent thinking to me.

                      Like

                    5. Gary –

                      re: “So you accept one man’s word that a dead person appeared to him in some fashion (Paul never gives us any details of this event in his own writings) and appointed him “God’s missionary to the Gentiles”.”

                      I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about here. I was responding to your question “If we only look at Paul’s writings for the true teachings of Christianity, how do we know Paul wasn’t making things up as he went along? ”

                      I got exactly ZERO idea of how this ties into the presumptive idea that I “accept one man’s word that a dead person appeared to him….” This was never part of any discussion we’ve had in this thread, so I got no idea what you’re talking about…

                      Like

                    6. You stated previously that your version of Christianity is based on early Christianity, prior to the Gospels. That only leaves Paul. That means that your entire world view may very well be based on the ravings of a mad man. No reasonable, thinking, educated, modern person should base his or her entire worldview on one person’s opinion, especially when that person lived two millennia ago.

                      Like

                    7. Gary: re: “You stated previously that your version of Christianity is based on early Christianity, prior to the Gospels. That only leaves Paul. ”

                      And, Paul cites a number of creeds (according to the scholars) that pre-date his own conversion.

                      You know well the creed he cites in 1 Cor 15. There is also the creed regarding the “last supper” (as it’s commonly called) in 1 Cor 11. There are also other creeds found in Romans 1 and 10, and in Phil 2. And, although the Timothy books are disputed, the fact that both 1 and 2 Tim contain creeds that, if they were not pre-Pauline, they were certainly contemporary with Paul.

                      In addition to these creeds, we find that Paul also notes that Jesus was “born of a woman”, a “descendent of David”, that he had brothers (one named James), that he had twelve “core” disciples, one of whom was called Peter, another called John, that Jesus was betrayed, and that he was “delivered over” to be crucified, and (of course) that he was crucified at the instigation of the Jewish authorities, and that Jesus taught you should love your enemies, bless those that mistreat you, that the body is a “temple”, that disputes should be settled before going to a judge, that one should not judge another, and… I could go on. But, all this kind of stuff indicates that at least SOME of what Paul was writing was based on knowledge given to him by others.

                      So, I’m not sure what you mean at all when you say “that leaves only Paul”. My guess is that any hint of actual historical scholarship that you might concern yourself with flies out the window entirely if it makes it easier for you to present a ludicrous argument.

                      Like

                    8. I dunno. Go check with Ehrman. He’s convinced that the 1 Cor 15 dates back to within a year of Jesus’ crucifixion. But, then, you already know that.

                      According to wiki, “Most biblical scholars note the antiquity of the creed, probably originating from the Jerusalem apostolic community”

                      Or, heck, read Gerd Lüdemann, or Michael Goulder, Those guys are good, hardcore skeptics, and both date that creed back to within a couple of years after the crucifixion.

                      But, you already know all that. I got no idea why we’re even having this conversation. Especially not when you always claim to go with the opinions of the experts. And, you already know their opinions in this matter. So, I don’t know why you’re even bringing it up…

                      Like

                    9. The creed may have originated within a few years of Jesus’ death, but that doesn’t mean that Paul did not alter it. There is no way to know for sure if the original creed contained the claim about 500 people seeing Jesus, about James, etc. Why are these important sightings not mentioned in later Christian writings??

                      We have no mention of this creed by anyone else. I think you, like many Christians, are being very gullible. You believe this one man’s claims because you so very much want to.

                      Like

                    10. The creed preceeded Paul. It was systemized long before Paul quoted it in the context of 1 Cor.

                      If he altered it, everyone who had heard the correct version, going back to within a year or two of the crucifixion, would have said “hey, this isn’t right”.

                      Use your head, Gary.

                      These things don’t just happen in a vacuum.

                      Like

                    11. might be assumptions. But, then, it’s the same assumptions made by a long list of very credible scholars, both skeptic and Christian.

                      I, for one, am comfortable with that.

                      And, you would be too, if somehow it suited your argument. After all, you’re comfortable that Jesus existed, that he was crucified at Jerusalem at the Passover, at the hands of Pilate, and that he was placed in a tomb. You’re evidently even comfortable with the idea that the tomb was found empty, and that the disciples saw something that made them believe that Jesus had been resurrected.

                      But, when you come up against something that you can’t really counter, you just say “assumption, assumption”, as if that’s an argument.

                      I say it’s adolescent.

                      Like

                  2. Excellent point Gary. Those questions point out why Paul had such a horrendous time trying to “convert” Syro-Palestinian Jews… to the point of almost being killed! Hence, he fled back toward Hellenic cities/towns and began preaching to Gentiles who were more naive of Jewish Messianism, their practices and theology. Much easier consumers for what Paul was selling. 😉

                    What is very puzzling about Paul’s false-teachings and converting was that Judaism already had a long long established doctrine for Gentiles coming into Judaism in their Noahid Laws.

                    https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-noahide-laws/

                    But after Paul’s heretical preaching he was not welcomed throughout Syro-Palestine. Probably because of his Herodian connections.

                    Like

                2. ummmm… you don’t think there was a “church” before the gospels were written???

                  Wrong presumption again and an incorrect projection on your part of what I stated and did not state. “The Way” followers gathered first in family homes and/or many Synagogues. “Christian” churches is 1) an anachronistic description typical of modern Christians and apologists naive of their own religion’s historical first seeds/roots, and 2) church is an enigmatic term obscuring Yeshua’s/Jesus’ 1st-century Sectarian Judaism.

                  Like, there were no “believers in Jesus, the risen Messiah” before Mark was written?

                  If you mean by “believers in Jesus” as students/disciples of a Jewish rabbi/reformer — a common dynamic of 1st-century Syro-Palestinian Judaism — then yes. If you are once again trying to pass off Believers in Jesus in a modern context, then no. I’d ask several more questions of your historical context you’re asserting and frankly confusing.

                  the risen Messiah” is again YOUR modern anachronistic terminology and their is no INDEPENDENT supporting evidence for your personal Faith in a hijacked Second Temple Jewish title. IOW, the only sources you can reference for corroboration to your misappropriated term “Messiah” is strictly inside your problematic, contradicting, 4th-century Greco-Roman New Testament Canon. That is not independent corroboration of actual historical events. For example and from a different angle, much of the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran (Essenes) just outside of Jerusalem were written during the time of Jesus’ life in Galilee, Judea, and the Temple in Jerusalem. Yet, no mention whatsoever of a Yeshua/Jesus of the Nasorii/Nasoraens. These scrolls describe much of the diversity of Sectarian Judaism of Jesus’ time-period and the profound fundamental differences of Temple worship and scriptural interpretations, in particular Messianic interpretations.

                  [The Scrolls] paint a picture of diversity and complexity within Jewish religious life and philosophy in the Second Temple era. They have revolutionized our understanding of the world from which rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity emerged. While rabbinic and Christian texts were not discovered among the ancient manuscripts, many of the thoughts and practices discovered in the Scrolls resurface in later Jewish and Christian writings.*

                  *Source: https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/learn-about-the-scrolls/historical-background

                  The earliest surviving copy of the Gospel of Mark is inside the Codex Sinaiticus written in Greek dated to c. 330-360 CE. It has no “risen Christ/Messiah” story. The fact that it doesn’t reveals how testimonies/gospels between 35-40 CE and the end of the 4th-century were retro-fitted or tampered with by Church Bishops in order to address constant contradictions surfacing among Judeo-Christians from many other circulating testimonies/gospels about Jesus. Saul of Tarsus, who never met Jesus face-to-face and was never a follower/disciple, comes on the scene and further convoluted the historical nature of an executed Jesus.

                  LOL…ignore list? That is the exact attitude and mentality 99% of modern Christians take to authenticated history of Jesus’ Second Temple Sectarian Judaism …too afraid to look outside of their tiny bubble/lens of their Hellenic Christology cult. Nevertheless, I WILL point out all of your bogus assertions of and misguided biblical history at every opportunity no matter what you do Ft.

                  Have a nice Sabbath. 😉

                  Like

                  1. Do you SERIOUSLY think you’re the ONLY person on this board who has studied the historic context of the early church?

                    Taboo, I was studying this back in 1972, at the University of Texas. When I was also studying Hebrew. And back when I was learning the archaeological trade (which I decided not to pursue, incidentally).

                    ” “The Way” followers gathered first in family homes and/or many Synagogues. “Christian” churches is 1) an anachronistic description typical of modern Christians and apologists naive of their own religion’s historical first seeds/roots, and 2) church is an enigmatic term obscuring Yeshua’s/Jesus’ 1st-century Sectarian Judaism.”

                    Wow – THANKS for the “word games”.

                    I think most of us in this blog (as far as I can tell) are fully aware that the term “Christian” wasn’t used in regards to the earliest believers. I think we probably all already know that the earliest followers called the movement “The Way”. And I know for certain that I am fully aware of this “concept” you refer to as “1st-century Sectarian Judaism”. Tell me something I don’t know, but, don’t presume I don’t know all the stuff you blather on about….

                    re: “If you mean by “believers in Jesus” as students/disciples of a Jewish rabbi/reformer — a common dynamic of 1st-century Syro-Palestinian Judaism — then yes. ”

                    And yes, this is precisely what I meant The rest of your commentary is hot-air blather

                    re: ““the risen Messiah” is again YOUR modern anachronistic terminology and their is no INDEPENDENT supporting evidence for your personal Faith in a hijacked Second Temple Jewish title. IOW, the only sources you can reference for corroboration to your misappropriated term “Messiah” is strictly inside your problematic, contradicting, 4th-century Greco-Roman New Testament Canon. ”

                    First of all, “the risen Messiah” is not MY “modern anachronistic terminology”. That terminology came about long before either you or I were here.

                    Second, as you well know, Paul’s authentic writings make many, many mentions of “Christ” which, as you know, is the Greek translation of “Messiah”. Christ comes from Χριστός (Christos), meaning “anointed one”. In the Greek Septuagint, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ, messiah), meaning “[one who is] anointed”

                    And, of course, YOU will point out that it’s not really an exact translation. And, of course it isn’t. To the Greek, “Christ” meant one thing, but to the Jew, “Christ” was the translation used in the Septuagint to signify the word “Messiah”, just as “thapto” was used to signify “qabar” (burial with rites). That’s how translation – not transliteration – works. In Paul’s Jewish cultural mindset, “Christ” meant “Messiah”, just as it does in the Septuagint. When I, as a native Texan, use the word “taco”, it means (to me), what I – as a native, Tex-Mex food affecionado – means as “taco”. It doesn’t mean what it means to someone who grew up in Guadalajara. So, when Paul writes “Christ”, it means “Messiah”, as a very-Jewish concept.

                    re: “The earliest surviving copy of the Gospel of Mark is inside the Codex Sinaiticus written in Greek dated to c. 330-360 CE. ”

                    I couldn’t care less about this. As I’ve stated a thousand times, “I don’t do gospels”. They’re irrelevant to me, in any “historical” respect.

                    The real problem I have with you, Taboo, is that you do NOT read what is being written by those you are supposedly “responding” to. You have NO real interest in finding out what your “debate opponent” has to say. You are assuming and presumptive, and you love to hear yourself talk. And the really WORST thing is that you seem to think you and you alone have a handle on 1st-century Judaism and culture, as if any person who claims to be a “Christian” is, by necessity, ignorant of such things. But, I can assure you this is not the case, in all cases.

                    When you have something more worthwhile to do rather than to attempt to “show off” some great “knowledge” that you think you, and you alone, possess, then I might actually find you interesting.

                    But, as things stand, I find you to be a tedious bore.

                    Like

                    1. @ Ft —

                      When you have something more worthwhile to do rather than to attempt to “show off” some great “knowledge” that you think you, and you alone, possess, then I might actually find you interesting.

                      You have a very bad habit Ft of presuming and projecting what you’ve read, misinterpreted/interpolated from someone, it seems mostly with those who disagree with your personal and learned religious ideology. Did you even bother to go to the links I provided? Those sites and content are not the least bit “my knowledge” or years, lifetimes of research, studies, and publications from a large repository of biblical and historical experts/scholars. I won’t list my pages of bibliographical weblinks of these experts/scholars I paraphrase in my own style — as anyone does to not plagiarize — but here is one more to introduce you to secular knowledge you are obviously not aware of…

                      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/003463738708400206?journalCode=raeb

                      And Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman is only one expert to assist you Ft in your severe naivety of Jesus’ and his Sectarian Jews full contextual background in relation to Messianism, the Roman Empire, and the intrusion of Hellenic culture into all aspects of Judaism and their Diaspora. If you’d like more of these acclaimed scholars I have learned from… I will be more than happy to share them with you.

                      This has nothing to do with your faulty opinions of me personally. That’s irrelevant. What this does concern is your presumed pseudo-history of the time-period, versus its full cumulative context — not just from your Hellenistic Jews, Judeo-Christians, and Catholic bishops — and how THAT contextual history demonstrates your overly tiny and biased it is to the entire Levant at that time and ALL its peoples. Period. Stay on topic, the entire repository of history, sources, and evidence… not on me. LOL 😄

                      Or just ignore me. Regardless, I will not stand idly by and silent as you present bogus, amputated, ambiguous, or pseudo-history about the earliest days/months then years of Jewish-Christology.

                      Like

                    2. @ Ft —

                      Here’s another weblink in case you fly thru in a few seconds those weblinks above I referenced:

                      https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195393361/obo-9780195393361-0087.xml

                      There’s a lot more I can give you if you have several months or years to equitably dive in to what Second Temple Judaism/Messianism was REALLY all about — not the maligned distorted version found in the New Testament or the Apostolic/Patristic Bishops or Church Fathers commentaries. Let me know. 🙂

                      Like

                    3. @ Ft —

                      More for you to increase your lacking knowledge of Jesus’ background. This is from Marc Zvi Brettler of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University and the article “The Gospel According to Jewish Scholars”:

                      Brettler conceived of the tome – the first edition of the Christian Scriptures edited and annotated entirely by Jewish scholars – as a follow-up to his co-editorship of National Jewish Book Award-winning The Jewish Study Bible (Oxford University Press, 2004), which was intended to increase Bible literacy among Jews and to present gentiles with Jewish perspectives on the Hebrew Scriptures.

                      The volume contains several essays discussing Jewish attitudes toward Christianity over time and the break between Judaism and Christianity. “Of the approximately 8,000 verses in the New Testament, more than 250 quote the Tanakh [Jewish Scriptures], and perhaps twice as many directly allude to it,” Brettler reveals in his own contribution.

                      Other themes draw on Hellenistic Jewish literature.

                      “Because Amy-Jill [Levine’s] expertise includes familiarity with areas where Christian teachers and preachers, out of ignorance, sometimes depict Judaism in incorrect and ugly ways, we also throughout the commentary highlight places where teaching and preaching can go astray and provide the correct information. Thus the volume is intended also to prevent false witness against Jews and Judaism,” says Brettler.

                      The Jewish annotated New Testament they co-edited with commentary/essays from 50 Jewish scholars of Second Temple Judaism/Messianism in 1st-century Syro-Palestine Brettler explains is…

                      “[A] Jewish Study Bible. We did not try to have all the commentaries or annotations and essays agree completely with each other. The study of early Christianity is a dynamic field, in which there is much scholarly controversy, and we wanted this volume to reflect that diversity.” […]

                      “I did become a better Jew by understanding more about the history of late Second Temple period and beyond – the period in which the New Testament was written – in part by people who considered themselves Jewish and were considered Jewish by others,” Brettler says.*

                      The Jewish Annotated New Testament
                      Edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler
                      Oxford University Press
                      700 pages; $35

                      *Source: https://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Books/The-gospel-according-to-Jewish-scholars

                      Like

    3. ftbond:
      ‘ … this requires you to understand that “resurrection” is just a part of a much bigger process … which is done by God and God alone. ’

      It seems you have a few things to demonstrate to us, the unwashed masses:

      1 – that resurrection is a thing, i.e. something that can and does happen
      2 – that God exists to do this thing
      3 – that God is capable of doing this thing
      4 – that nothing else is capable of doing this thing

      You’ve packed a whole lot of assumptions into that little segment of a sentence.

      We eagerly await a demonstration of each of these assertions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ark –

        Evidently, you didn’t read my whole sentence. Certainly, and most clearly, you didn’t copy my whole sentence.

        I said “IF Jesus was resurrected, then….”

        I suppose I need to point out to you that the use of the word “IF” makes my statement about Jesus a “conditional”, not an assertion.

        I think you’ve packed a whopper of an assumption in to your whole response….

        Like

        1. ftbond:
          ‘ I suppose I need to point out to you that the use of the word “IF” makes my statement about Jesus a “conditional”, not an assertion. ’

          IF we allow your conditional, only one of the four assumptions can be met. And is only met because we’ve assumed it for the sake of argument:

          1 – that resurrection is a thing, i.e. something that can and does happen

          IF we allow the resurrection of Jesus for the sake of argument, you must still demonstrate:

          2 – that God exists to do this thing
          3 – that God is capable of doing this thing
          4 – that nothing else is capable of doing this thing

          The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates none of these things.

          Perhaps an ancient mad scientist in the area at the time, grave robbed the body, hooked it up to some electrodes, and blasted it with lightening. bam Insta-resurrection via mad science!

          Like

          1. koseighty –

            Let’s look at the whole of my statement….

            I said:

            “the idea that Jesus was/is the embodiment or “Incarnation* of the Creator of the Universe is reached by inference – ie, “reason”.

            IF Jesus were resurrected, then it only follows that he was “God, Incarnate”. But, this requires you to understand that “resurrection” is just a part of a much bigger process that culminates in (essentially) the re-constitution of the entire universe: a process, like creation, which is done by God and God alone.”

            The whole of my statement is nothing more than a presentation of a particular chain of reasoning.

            Do I know for sure that this reasoning is sound? No, I don’t.

            But, the whole POINT was that there are conclusions that can only be reached by inference – ie, by reasoning

            If Jesus were resurrected as I have earlier described – an event in which the body is transformed into a body that is fit for an eternal life, and not subject to the limitations of the natural realm – then whatever other inferences that may be drawn from that fact would potentially be many, and subject to much discussion.

            If one were utterly daft, he or she might say “oh, the fact that such a resurrection has occurred means nothing at all”.

            However, if one is not utterly daft, then, it raises a myriad of questions, including “how can a body be fit to live eternally if this universe is temporal?”, which might then raise the question “if that body is fit to live eternally, then is it possible that the whole of nature might be transformed likewise to exist for an eternity”, and so on.

            I’ve got nothing at all to “prove” to you in this whole discussion, because I haven’t asserted a single thing.

            However, if you want to get serious, then you can ask me what I think, and I’ll tell you.

            But quit trying to pin something on me that I haven’t said.

            Like

            1. @ ft

              ‘ Ark –I suppose I need to point out to you that the use of the word “IF” makes my statement about Jesus a “conditional”, not an assertion. ’

              You have claimed you arrived at your position through inference and ‘reason’.

              Again, the onus lies with you to demonstrate the veracity of the text.

              Consider: The character, Paul does not appear in the historical record neither do any of the main players that feature in the gospels (which you seem only partially interested in), or are featured in the letters of the character Paul.
              By ‘main players’ I am referring to Jesus, his parents, the disciples, and other assorted members of his entourage, and Joseph of Arimathea.

              So in actual fact what we can infer by reason is that these characters are simply narrative constructs, but with enough vagueness to convince the credulous – such as you – placed in a known and almost familiar geographical location against the backdrop of violent oppression in Roman occupied Palestine.

              Then, add a little colour and realism by including a few well-known individuals plucked from the historical record.Pilate, for example, tie it all to the Old Testament, add a large dollop of eschatological waffle and the promise of bliss and happiness in the afterlife for the downtrodden masses and you have the foundation of a damn good religion.

              Anything you want to add, FT?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I don’t even want to entertain this whole “Paul didn’t exist” thing.

                I don’t know of ANY modern scholar that thinks Paul didn’t exist. Ehrman, Brown, Crossan, Tabor, Davies, Sanders, Dunn – just go down the list – modern (and, mostly skeptic) scholars that not only agree that Paul existed, but also that (at any rate) seven of his extant writings are authentic.

                Simon Worral puts it simply: “we know a fair amount about Paul and we know that James, the brother of Jesus, was a real person”.

                So, I’m not even going to bother with this nonsense…. Sorry…

                Like

                1. I didn’t say he didn’t exist. I said that he doesn’t feature in the historical record.
                  However, there are several scholars that consider he may not have been an historical figure, not least because his ”letters” only surfaced via Marcion.
                  Furthermore, there is no mention of him in Jewish records.
                  Also, his one man persecution of Christians to Damascus is somewhat difficult to believe when a) there would have been Christians in his locale he could have ”terrorized” and b) what reason would the Romans give a solitary Jew authority to cross borders for the ridiculous reason to hunt down ”Christians”?
                  (Unless you accept that Acts is nothing but historical fiction, of course.Well, do you?)

                  And of course this still does not address the fact that Jesus and his entourage do not appear anywhere on the historical record.
                  Neither his mum and dad, neither Mary Magdalene.

                  Perhaps you would like to address this aspect of the tale?

                  Like

                  1. I don’t regard Acts as “historical fiction”, per se, but neither do I regard it (or the Gospels) as “historical”.

                    re: “And of course this still does not address the fact that Jesus and his entourage do not appear anywhere on the historical record. Neither his mum and dad, neither Mary Magdalene. Perhaps you would like to address this aspect of the tale?”

                    Sure, I’ll address “mum and dad [and] Mary Magdalene”: They’re not in the historical record.

                    The best I can figure is that Jesus had a “mum”, but this is based on common sense (although Paul also mentions that fact).

                    I sure hope that clears up my view on the issue.

                    If it doesn’t, then let me just say that “mum, dad and Mary M” are not at all germaine to my having been convinced that Jesus was, in an actual and historical event, bodily resurrected. And whether that is true is really the only issue, isn’t it? If Jesus were NOT actually, historically, bodily resurrected, then fine, we can sit around and make up stuff all day long about how the “rumors” got started. (although, admittedly, I’d have no interest in that at all). But if Jesus WAS actually resurrected, then if flat does not matter whether Mary M even existed. It like this: If Abraham Lincoln really WAS shot at the Ford Theater, then it flat does not matter if someone writes a story, later on, placing a fictional character named “Bob Jones” in the theater box with Lincoln, does it?

                    So, the ONLY issue that really matters is whether Jesus was, in fact, resurrected.

                    It doesn’t matter what was written about “resurrection” before that time, nor does it matter what was written about Jesus’ specific resurrection after that time. If Jesus were, in fact, resurrected, then that fact has NO DEPENDENCIES WHATSOEVER on anything that anybody wrote about it.

                    And, if he wasn’t actually, historically, bodily resurrected, then, I myself have no need whatsoever to be fooling with any of this stuff at all. I’ve got about a million other things to do than sit around and speculate on the origins of the World’s Great Religions. Like, drink a beer and watch the Cowboys game.

                    Like

                2. ftbond:
                  ‘ I don’t even want to entertain this whole “Paul didn’t exist” thing.

                  I don’t know of ANY modern scholar that thinks Paul didn’t exist. ’

                  I would recommend The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul by Robert M. Price (2012) and Paul à Patras Une approchemidrashique du Paulinisme by Mergui, Maurice (2009).

                  But, of course, you’ve already stated your objection to being introduced to new information. So, I doubt you’ll educate yourself on the arguments.

                  Liked by 1 person

            2. ftbond:
              ‘ I’ve got nothing at all to “prove” to you in this whole discussion, because I haven’t asserted a single thing. ’

              ftbond, earlier in this discussion:

              ‘ IF Jesus were resurrected, then it only follows that he was “God, Incarnate”. ’

              ‘ “resurrection” is just a part of a much bigger process that culminates in (essentially) the re-constitution of the entire universe ’

              ‘ the re-constitution of the entire universe: a process, like creation, which is done by God and God alone. ’

              ‘ IF a person were, in fact, resurrected … then that incident, that “event”, would indeed have meaning apart from any “suppositions” written about it beforehand. ’

              ‘ if a person were resurrected, then it would have profound implications for all of humanity ’

              ‘ If Jesus were resurrected as I have earlier described – an event in which the body is transformed into a body that is fit for an eternal life, and not subject to the limitations of the natural realm ’

              It’s becoming clear you don’t know what an assertion is. That would explain a lot.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary, did you notice that Edouard’s entire comment is made up of assumptions about atheists?

    Examples: Atheists deny god, atheists crave god, atheists hate god, atheists crave for and desperately need reassurance that god doesn’t exist, atheists want to be in hell, etc., etc.

    And the topper — “there has not yet been one single atheist that does not believe in God; every single atheist, including Richard Dawkins, believes in God.”

    Of course, this is not an uncommon among believers, but I always find it rather fascinating how they know so much about “us.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Nan, what makes me chuckle quite often with these Fundy-Evangy Xian apologists is that they REFUSE to stay on topic!

      IOW, stay on the sources… ALL THE EXTANT sources/history surrounding a sectarian Jewish rabbi-reformer and his Movement and stop jumping off topic about the doubter, critic, examiner, etc, of New Testament narrations. It doesn’t matter who the doubter/skeptic is as a person, STICK TO THE CUMULATIVE, EXTANT, SOURCE-EVIDENCE: i.e. the 4th-century Canonical New Testament while considering the biased Church Fathers’ later commentaries… versus EVERYTHING else in and of the time-period including NON-CHRISTIAN sources!!!

      But the Xian apologists refuse to consider all the other available source-evidence, especially if it undermines or seriously challenges or completely dismantles their (falsely constructed) Christology Cult. We know this merry-go-round all too well don’t we?

      Like

      1. Based on my experiences, the only TRUE source of information is the bible. History of same? Pshaw! No need to read or study that. Just live by THE WORD and you’ll do fine … and GOD will be pleased. Not to worry that what’s in THE WORD has a few gaps and miscues. Nawww. It’s all good.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly Nan. And what Fundy-Evangy Xian apologists also fail to recognize is that all 3 Abrahamic religions say essentially the same thing:

          • For Jews? Only their Tanakh is “officially” God’s direct Words.

          • For Christians? Only their Old Testament Canon (which is not the same as the Jews’ bible and some other Xian denominations) and their New Testament Canon is “officially” God’s direct Words, which is amputated from all cumulative testimonies regarding the 1st-century CE Sectarian Nasoraean.

          • For Muslims? Only their Quran is “officially” God’s/Allah’s direct Words depending on which Muslim sect we’re defining.

          Hindus say their “official” Scriptures from all the Gods are the Bhagavad Gita and Agamas while other Hindus include the Bhagavata Purana and Yajnavalkya Smriti to those first two. Buddhists? Their’s is the Tipitaka or Pali Canon. All the world’s major religions claim supreme authority of God’s or Gods (plural) direct Words/Scriptures.

          So then the question becomes “Hey Fundy-Evangy Christian Apologist, do you equitably judge the veracity of all the other Holy Scriptures as you do your own?” Do you honestly utilize the exact same energy, scrutiny, and impartiality on your Scriptures as you do on theirs? Of course, the answer is no. The answer is almost always NO for all of the major religious faith-followers defending their own subjective belief-system and ideology.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Precursor Tattoo –

    re: “If you’d like more of these acclaimed scholars I have learned from… I will be more than happy to share them with you.”

    What, on God’s green earth, makes you think that I haven’t studied EXACTLY this stuff, starting back with “Judaism and History” and “Judaism and Archaeology” in my very first semester at the university?

    And, for God’s sake, what on earth gives you ANY impression that I buy into any of the hijacked “Christianity” that is promoted by the modern church?

    You don’t know SQUAT about me, Tat, because YOU DON’T PAY ATTENTION to what anybody, besides yourself, is saying.

    So, I’m off this.

    Like

    1. (facepalm) 😣

      You really don’t have anything worthy to reference Ft? Seriously? Give us something other than your empty tiny lens of pseudo-history! Do you have ANY weblinks to corroborate your lacking knowledge of Jesus’ background and Second Temple Judaism/Messianism — the very soil that “The Way” Movement by Jesus sprang out of???? Please show us something valid!!!

      You are becoming laughable with your annoying personal frustrations. All you have to do Ftbond is to provide your citations to expert knowledge for us to examine, NOT your personal, distorted interpolations of the authenticated historical time-period.

      Like

      1. re: “Do you have ANY weblinks to corroborate your lacking knowledge of Jesus’ background and Second Temple Judaism/Messianism — the very soil that “The Way” Movement by Jesus sprang out of???? Please show us something valid!!!”

        First of all, I have no idea how anyone could “corroborate [ones] lacking knowledge”. So, I got ZERO idea of what the heck this is even supposed to mean.

        Second – go back through this entire thread and point out ANYTHING I’ve said about “Jesus’ background”. Because, again, I have ZERO idea of what you’re talking about.

        It’s real simple, Tatwit –

        I am convinced:
        1. Jesus existed
        2. he was baptized by John
        3. he was an apocalyptic preacher
        4. he had a reputation as a healer and exorcist
        5. he welcomed women into his following
        6. he took issue with the legalistic interpretation of the Pharisees
        7. he had a following that was larger than many historians believe, but not the massive following that is commonly believed
        8. he was accused and found guilty of some crime, punishable by death, by the Jewish leadership (and, it was probably a Jewish-religious-specific crime, along the lines of blasphemy or being a false prophet)
        9. he was crucified at the request of the Jewish leadership, and the death sentence was agreed to by Pilate (which historically appears to have been the norm – only the Romans could actually carry out an execution).
        10. his crucifixion was carried out at the Passover, outside the walls of Jerusalem
        11. his body was placed in an empty tomb
        12. after the passing of some time, probably a day or two (being mindful of how the Jewish calendar works), his tomb was discovered empty.

        Now, historians disagree as to what happened next. Some say Jesus’ body was stolen, some say his body was never buried in the first place, and so on. These days, though, there is a growing trend among scholars that Jesus’ disciples – some of them, at any rate – saw something that made them believe that Jesus had been resurrected.

        I, on the other hand, am convinced that what they say was not “something” that convinced them that Jesus was resurrected. I am convinced that they saw “Jesus, resurrected”.

        Now, look at that list above carefully.

        Do you see anywhere in that list whether it makes any difference at all as to what 1st Century Sectarian Judaism was all about?

        Like

        1. Alright, then your reality and belief-system is purely personal based upon YOUR personal experience (and laziness) and sketchy reading comprehension. Regarding your personal list 1-12 is based on what DIVERSE repository of reliable, verifiable, cumulative evidence? Come on, try harder. 😉

          That’s all you needed to say bigger Twatwit, Tatwit, TwinkleToes or whatever you can’t speak or name. LOL 😆

          I’d say it is now prime time we stop wasting everybody’s time here with your merry-go-round antics.

          Ciao/Bye. 🙂

          Like

          1. Probiscus Tamiflu –

            My items, listed, are all stuff that are supported, in most cases, by a consensus of scholars. You should know that, if you are as well-read as you claim.

            In some cases, like, regarding the specific charges against Jesus (ie, did Pilate really charge him with sedition? Or did he simply execute Jesus because the Jewish leaders asked him to?) there is no real consensus.

            In the case of the tomb, there is a majority of scholars that agree that Jesus was put in a tomb, but it is not a “consensus” – probably around 75%. But, then, you should know this, too, if you’re as well-read as you claim to be.

            But, in most cases – ie, Jesus’ existence, his baptism by John, the nature of his following, the nature of his preaching, his crucifixion at the Passover, in Jerusalem, at the hands of Pilate as per the suggestion, insistence or influence of the Jewish leadership – all this stuff is pretty much generally agreed upon in the scholastic community.

            Of course, if you’re a mythologist, then, the historic view is of no importance to you. And, if that’s the case, then it is of no importance to me to bother discussing all this with you….

            Like

            1. My items, listed, are all stuff that are supported, in most cases, by a consensus of scholars.

              From my years in seminary, yes I am familiar with many of the Christian theologians/scholars. However, please list 4-5 minimum of these scholars you’re talking about for all of us here to verify YOUR personal interpolations. Weblinks or ISBN’s of the published works will suffice.

              Thanks

              Like

            2. Furthermore, I think I’ve mentioned to you or requested from you in the past if there was a WordPress blog you have/own listing all your background, degrees, expertise(?), experience in the field of Christian ministries, and/or BROAD knowledge of 1st-century Second Temple Judaism/Messianism. You avoided (ignored) that inquiry/suggestion if I remember correctly.

              Please, show us openly and honestly YOUR credentials. That would greatly aid in our disagreements here. 🙂

              Like

              1. you and I haven’t had any disagreements. You’re talking about one thing, I’m talking about another. I guess you haven’t figured that out yet.

                Like

                1. Once again, NOT TRUE. From Gary’s blog July 13, 2019 called “Breaking News: New Evidence Reveals Gospels were Written During Jesus’ Lifetime!” Read closely Ft…

                  ftbond: Jul 13, 2019…
                  Well, now, let’s be fair about the “dating of the gospels” thing….

                  The ONLY reason the gospels are dated by (shall I say) “secular” scholars is because of Jesus’ “prophecy” about the Temple being destroyed. Of course, they reason that the gospels MUST have been written after the destruction of the Temple, because Jesus could not actually have known that event was going to take place (since, as we all know, there’s no such thing as real-life prophecy).

                  SOME scholars go out on a limb and say Mark MIGHT have been written maybe a year or two before the Temple destruction, and, seeing the intensifying political tensions at that time (and, perhaps having heard threats by the Romans), he was willing to venture that the Temple was going to get razed in the near future.

                  But, the bottom line is this: The “standard dating” used today is, frankly, a total farce.

                  I mean, Jesus is NOT the only first-century guy to have said “the Temple is going to get destroyed one day”. Heck, even the most skeptical of people could allow that Jesus was just spouting out typical, apocalyptic rhetoric (which just happened to come true 40 years later). I mean, dang, there are TONS of statements made about “the future” by well-known people that happened to come true.

                  The Big Fact Of The Matter is that NOBODY – NOBODY – knows when the gospels were written. If anybody tells you Luke was written in 85CE you can feel comfortable in saying “there is no real reason to believe that”. It’s just that plain and simple.

                  ftbond: Jul 14, 2019…
                  Roman Catholic scholar Raymond Brown believed that the Gospel of Mark may well have been written in the mid to late 60’s, and therefore prior to the destruction of the Temple. He then dates Matthew and Luke to approximately a decade later, and John at least another decade after that. Brown had no bias against “real life prophecy” so how did he come up with these dates??

                  If he were still alive, I would bet that Brown would chuckle at the claim that the Book of Acts was written prior to Paul’s death, as so many fundamentalist Protestant Christians believe.

                  Reply Professor Taboo: Jul 15, 2019…
                  …the Book of Acts was written prior to Paul’s death, as so many fundamentalist Protestant Christians believe.

                  And THAT right there is called the P-factor or P-bias Gary. 😉

                  Reply Professor Taboo to ftbond: Jul 15, 2019…
                  The Big Fact Of The Matter is that NOBODY – NOBODY – knows when the gospels were written.

                  This is not exactly true. Knowing PRECISELY the specific week the Gospels were composed is NOT necessary. When the complete, exhaustive, cumulative evidence — both Judean, early Christian, non-canonical, and Roman sources are all consider IN CONTEXT… the precise year is not at all necessary. Period.

                  Marcus Borg here pretty much matches the majority and general consensus by historical-Biblical scholars (Secular or otherwise) of ALL the Hellenistic New Testament 4th-century CE canonical books here… give or take 5-8 years or more:

                  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/a-chronological-new-testament_b_1823018

                  One MUST remember the rampant anti-Semitism Rome had for the constant annoying (insurrectionists) Sectarian Jews around Jerusalem and therefore wiped-out most ALL of the Jerusalem Church (James the Brother) and their firsthand knowledge of “The Way” Movement — or i.e. Nasoraean/Nasori practices/beliefs versus the Temple. The Hellenistic/Herodian Temple (foreign) as they viewed it.

                  Besides, narrowing down the composition dates of each NT book is perfectly acceptable within 5-10 years.

                  Reply by ftbond: Jul 15, 2019…
                  No, it is EXACTLY true.

                  […]

                  And then ftbond goes on explaining his PERSONAL bias and experience on the subject.

                  @ Ft —

                  That qualifies as disagreement! And yes, you are blathering on about your tiny biased lens of Hellenic 4th-century history by Apostolic/Patristic Bishops/Fathers who created the ROMAN Catholic Church and amputated Bible…

                  I am talking about the FULL authentic, contextual history of all the cultures, all the sociopolitical events/context of those peoples within the Roman Empire, and the BROADER causes and effects that your tiny Christianity/Christological lens ignores (fears?) and refuses to engage in… just like you are doing here Ft. Period.

                  Come on, try harder Ft. 😉

                  Like

                  1. as I said, NOBODY knows when the gospels were actually written. NOBODY.

                    you say “This is not exactly true”.

                    I say “no, it is EXACTLY true”.

                    You say “Knowing PRECISELY the specific week the Gospels were composed is NOT necessary.”

                    And, I agree with this. But, if we don’t know PRECISELY the specific week – or even PRECISELY the specific year, then, we don’t know when it was actually written.

                    The word “actually” actually has a meaning, and I chose to use it on purpose.

                    What we actually know is that Mark was probably written between 66-70. Matthew was probably written between 80-90.

                    Bottom line: If all we disagree on is this stoopid kind of stuff, then really, I got no time for it.

                    I think I’m done with you…

                    g’bye…

                    Like

                    1. And yet the number and of scholars and quality of their research questioning the historical Jesus continues to rise.

                      It is following the same trajectory as minimalism did. It has begun with a few non-Christian historians questioning the status quo. Traditional scholars, such as Bart Ehrman, don’t address the actual points made by the mythicists, rather they poo-poo them and appeal to the consensus.

                      It remains to be seen if mythicism will continue the path taken by minimalism to become consensus. Today, “no serious scholar” thinks Moses or the patriarch actually existed.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. re: “It remains to be seen if mythicism will continue the path taken by minimalism to become consensus. Today, “no serious scholar” thinks Moses or the patriarch actually existed.”

                      I agree – it remains to be seen.

                      But I (personally) very seriously doubt the mythicist view will ever be taken seriously by the larger scholastic community.

                      Like

                    3. ftbond
                      ‘ But I (personally) very seriously doubt the mythicist view will ever be taken seriously by the larger scholastic community. ’

                      Thank the gods — old and new — we have you here to prophesy concerning the future consensus! That will save us all a lot of time researching and educating ourselves. Like you, we don’t have to now.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. 🙄

                      You can have the final comment Ft following this one. I’ve tried to encourage you to get outside of your Hellenic Christological indoctrination. No one else but YOU can change your gross laziness… to go beyond, get outside the tunnel-vision you’re trapped in, repeating ad nauseum the conventional overused Christian apologies here…

                      …instead go equitably study ALL the other contemporaneous non-Christian sources — from 520 BCE(?) if preferred, but certainly 331 BCE to 75 CE and the fall of Masada — not just favored or sanctioned sources that are clearly Christian or Judeo-Christian (i.e. only post-20 CE). Starting with the Dead Sea Scrolls would be an excellent starting point, but DO NOT use strictly Christian viewpoints! Use all purely Jewish Rabbinical and Secular perspectives of the Qumran Essenes inside Roman occupied and ruled Syro-Palestine. Learn extensively how Rome ruled their outer provinces, in particular Syro-Palestinia. Learn just how enmeshed Herodian Jews were in Jerusalem’s religious politics and that volatile tension with local Jewish sects both in and outside Jerusalem. Just grasping these six backdrops to the birth of “The Way”(Nasoraean) Movement in Sectarian Judaism of the time will greatly aid you to understand how today’s Christology is not that of Yeshua, but is a Greco-Roman impostor/Victor that becomes the Roman Catholic Church. And History is written by the Victors… the amputated history you are stuck in.

                      Nonetheless, you are more than welcome to have the final comment. Good luck to you.

                      Like

              1. Nope. Didn’t leave that out at all. What I listed is what is agreed on by consensus, with the noted exceptions.

                If you were an historian, you’d already know that to be true.

                As is, your comment merely demonstrates your ignorance.

                Thank you.

                Like

                1. ftbond:
                  ‘ 9. he was crucified at the request of the Jewish leadership, and the death sentence was agreed to by Pilate ’

                  Nope, Muslim scholars agree that Jesus was NOT crucified. The shear number of muslim scholars means that the worldwide consensus of non-christian scholars cannot possibly agree with your point number 9.

                  Liked by 2 people

                    1. The tomb would have been in China but Our Lord was too knackered to go any further so he pitched his tent among the Indians, claimed he was Kali reincarnated and gender reassigned. He lived off chicken curry and died of a mysterious disease not dissimilar to syphilis. It was once rumoured that Gandhi could trace his lineage to Jesus Kali. (from his mother’s side. )
                      When the Indians win a Test series it is traditional to bake his image in specially marked Roti.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. And if I can ride your coat tails and add a wrench to your wrench… 😉

                      Some 500 years earlier than Jesus’ birth Siddhartha Gautama was teaching 3,000 miles away over 100 similar and almost identical sayings/teachings that 1st-century Judaism and Jesus later copied or paraphrased into their own theology and doctrines. Second Temple Judaism was actually willing to debate and consider other religions versus their’s and incorporate foreign ideals into Judaism.

                      As it turns out, Jesus’ wasn’t really teaching too much that wasn’t already known by Jews and Gentiles. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                  1. and, it should be noted that Muslims disregard both Josephus and Tacticus. Scholars like Ehrman, Ludeman, Brown, Funk, et al, do not share the Muslim view.

                    And, why (in God’s name) should you be relying on the views of religious people?????

                    I thought the idea was to deal with history, not someones theological views…

                    Can we get a bit of consistency here, please?

                    Like

                    1. ftbond:
                      ‘ And, why (in God’s name) should you be relying on the views of religious people????? ’

                      I think, if you were to honestly read what we’ve been saying here, this is exactly the point.

                      I (and Nan and others) don’t care what Christian scholars have to say. We’re more interested in the work of actual historians.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. AND I DON’T RELY ON CHRISTIAN SCHOLARS.

                      Have I not made that point clear enough????

                      Please tell me how I can make it MORE clear, and I will do so.

                      Like

                    3. well, Ark, it certainly would be odd to an atheist. No doubt about it.

                      but, if atheism is true, then your own thoughts are just the result of whatever molecular movement happens to be going on in your blob of grey matter. In other words, your atheistic beliefs “just happened”, and it’s not really due to any actual thinking on your part.

                      and, that’s fine. Maybe that’s the way it is. But, if that is the way it is, then I really have no more reason to listen to regard what you are saying than I do a washing machine. It’s just “noises” created by a machinery, and that’s all.

                      shrug

                      I mean, one can’t reach the conclusion that “Nature is all there is” except by reason, but if your thoughts are nothing more than the way molecules happen to traverse your grey matter, and you were therefore determined to think what you think, then reason is out the door.

                      And, therefore, the common atheist/Naturalist view that “Nature is all there is” is nothing more than the noise created by a flapping mouthpiece, under the direction of whatever molecules moving through grey matter conjures up.

                      And, hey – again – maybe that’s the way it is. But, if it is, then my conclusion that Jesus was resurrected is no more odd than your conclusion that “Nature is all there is”… In both cases, it’s nothing more than molecules moving through grey matter…. If that’s the way it is…

                      Like

                    4. well, Ark, it certainly would be odd to an atheist.

                      Indeed it is odd, especially as you consider you have used you brain to think and yet have arrived at the conclusion that being a Christian is the best option. Which means you have accepted the doctrine of original sin, consider you are a sinner in dire need of salvation, and have concluded that the death by crucifixion, in essence a blood sacrifice, of the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth being the only way to achieve your redemption and entry into a place called Heaven where you will spend eternity worshiping at the feet of your god.
                      And all this you garnered from critical thinking

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. re: “…Which means you have accepted the doctrine of original sin, ”

                      You see? right there. Another example of where YOU are confused. Because I don’t believe in “original sin” at all.

                      re: “…and have concluded that the death by crucifixion, in essence a blood sacrifice, of the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth being the only way to achieve your redemption and entry into a place called Heaven where you will spend eternity worshiping at the feet of your god.”

                      WOW! TWO, IN ONE MESSAGE!!!

                      Ark, when will you EVER stop telling me what I believe? I mean, the “original sin” thing was bad enough, but this second one – sheesh….. I don’t believe anything like that at all!

                      Look, if you think you’re a mind-reader or something, I think you’re picking up on signals from somebody else’s brain. And, I’m guessing it’s your own. Because you keep attributing things to me that I’ve never once said anywhere on this blog…

                      totally befuddled

                      Maybe I ought to just let you carry on a conversation with yourself, because you seem to already know both sides of the conversation you seem to want to have…

                      I’ll just sit back and watch, OK?

                      Like

                    6. ftbond:
                      ‘ Please tell me how I can make it MORE clear, and I will do so. ’

                      Please provide a link to a survey of historians (NOT New Testament scholars, NOT Biblical Studies scholars) to support your claims of consensus among them.

                      Note: Someone stating what the consensus is is worthless without an actual study to back up their statement.

                      Liked by 2 people

                  1. Ehrman, Funk, Ludeman, Goulder, and many many other scholars that attest to the “majority consensus” are all skeptics. Not Christian at all. And, you would know that if you actually did any historical study yourself.

                    Like

                1. Nope, I didn’t leave that out at all.

                  As I’ve already pointed out, scholars such as Ehrman, Ludeman, Funk, Goulder, and many many others are all skeptics. Some are atheists.

                  I very rarely read the views of Christian scholars. It’s like reading the views of Muslim scholars in regards to Muhammed.

                  I’m really very much under the impression that none of you guys really does any research at all, nor do you understand how historical research is done.

                  Like

          1. Okee Dokee, kids!

            Since NONE of you evidently has ANY idea of what historians think, let’s start with the very basics, OK, kiddos?

            Now, get out your Big Chief tablets and your favorite crayons!

            From wiki — (oh, you know what wiki is… It’s the online encyclopedia that everybody loves)

            ‘Virtually all scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed.[5][6][7][note 1]”

            5… In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (a secular agnostic) wrote: “He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees” B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. p. 285

            6… Robert M. Price (an atheist who denies the existence of Jesus) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price “Jesus at the Vanishing Point” in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X p. 61

            7… Michael Grant (a classicist) states that “In recent years, ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus’ or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.” in Jesus: An Historian’s Review of the Gospels by Michael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 p. 200

            [note 1] Richard A. Burridge states: “There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that anymore.”

            See how that worked, class? Now, wasn’t that fun, kiddies???!!! Oh, yes! It’s called “reading an encyclopedia”, and it gives us information! Oh, yes, kiddies – information we can use, or information that can actually help us find other information!

            Yay! Information is FUN, isn’t it????!!!!

            Now, class, go through the rest of the list on your own, and tell me what information YOU’VE found, Okee Dokee????

            Yay!!!

            Like

            1. No one – well not moi – is saying Yeshua did not exist.
              However, the character, Jesus of Nazareth as portrayed in the bible is so obviously a narrative construct only an indoctrinated Nob would claim veracity.
              This character does not appear anywhere in the historical record, and no historian considers the Lake Tiberius Pedestrian, the risen from the dead god-man who developed almost instant viticulture a genuine historical character.
              And that’s how genuine historians think- and not those who go to seminary or call themselves Pastor David Robertson and will tell you ”Och, weeel, I have a wee history degree, and yous lotta sasenach gobshites are just rabbiting a load of blethers, ye ken?”

              Okee Dokkee?

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Ark –

                LOOK AT MY LIST.

                Point out ONE THING in my list that has anything to do with the “biblical portrayal’ of Jesus.

                Do you think my point that Jesus had a reputation as an exorcist and healer is such a point? Then take that up with the historians that contend it to be so. Start with Ehrman, if you like. Check with Brown. Or Ludemann. Or Funk (and the Jesus Seminar).

                You’ll find no shortage of historians that agree that Jesus had such a reputation. This does not mean, of course, that Jesus did, in fact, do “miracle healings”, or anything of the sort. It means historians agree that he had that reputation. See what I mean? I sure hope so, because I know such nuanced statements are really difficult to understand.

                OH – and – by the way – In case you didn’t “get it”, I posted some very basic encyclopedic information regarding the historic views of the existence of Jesus JUST SO EVERYONE CAN SEE HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO ACTUALLY LOOK UP INFORMATION, and I just wanted to show how EASY it is to at least get started…

                Yay!

                Like

                1. Ehrman still prays with his fingers crossed.

                  You’ll find no shortage of historians that agree that Jesus had such a reputation.

                  And where do you think this info is gleaned?

                  Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s