Thursday, June 06, 2024

Answering Richard Carrier: the Gospels are not myth

Image result for giotto's resurrection






Richard Carrier wants us to think the matters written about in the four Gospels are fictional and therefore did not happen. What he is really saying is this: The Gospel writers do not write like modern historians, nor do they write like ancient elite patricians. Since those are the only two groups blessed as academic historians what the gospel writers write is not history, if it is not history then it is a lie. There's another obvious possibility that he's merely pretending doesn't exist but obviously it does. That is partially literate people who were not historians but who nevertheless wrote about true events. He wants us to forget that possibility and to think it is not possible.I will present a few off-the-cuff realizations that occurred to me while listening to his lecture, "Why the Gospels are Myth" [1]

The first thing to note is his use of language. It is designed to divert and conceal. When he uses the term"myth" he means fiction, He's not using the term in the sense I am when I say "the OT uses mythology to push the narrative along," For me mythology is what Joseph Campbell is talking about, the manipulation of symbol to evoke psychological truth. For Carrier "myth" means: "lie." Myth = lie. The real important move here is that "not historical" = myth = lie, He trades on the Campbell sense of myth to make that maneuver, but his final assumption is the crude version of myth which is the old antiquated version. So the fact that these authors are not writing like historians means they are not writing history so they write myth, (lie). All of this is based upon ignoring the obvious, they they were not well educated but were truth tellers.[2]

Carrier defines myth as fiction designed to teach us something. That's a very inadequate definition, It is totally ignorant. It ignores the psychological aspects of myth, Of course he doesn't care he's using the term as a pejorative. The gospels are unique, They are not history per se, They are not written as historical accounts, they are distillation of the teachings in the early Christian communities, the oral tradition. That is not to say they don't depict historical events, but they depict them in such a way as to be analogous to a histrionically based docudrama.

I am guessing here his response to me would probably be that the Gospel authors write like fiction writers of the day. They seem like skilled fiction writers so they weren't just less literate they were highly skilled. One example which he really gives of them writing this way is their filling in gaps in knowledge about dialogue and time. They do this by writing as though everything took place as in a little documentary,[3] Again he's just predicating that upon the assumption that non historian means fiction. Clearly they filled in gaps with poetic licence because they did not have access to transcripts. That does not invalidate the outline as non historical.

Carrier points out that the Gospel writers do not name their sources. This marks them as not historical. It marks them as not historians although even historians of the ancient world did not always name their sources, They did not footnote them. Carrier argues that they don't discuss who the sources were why they trust them, as do historians even in that day. Again all this really means is they are not historians. But not being historians does not equal not being historically true. They don't mark their sources the way conventional historians do because they are distilling the teachings of the communities in whch the testimony was taught. All the Gospel sources go back to the Apostles and whatever witnesses were in that community. There is no point in continually pointing this out when the community knew its sources. That does not mark it as fictional writing.

Another point he makes is that the Gospels are improbable. He lists several earmarks of improbability:

*apostles abandon jobs follow stranger immediately
*Jews need Judas to identify Jesus
*illegal trail execution on high holy day
*Of he off hands supernatural stuff, always important for stoking doubt.

my answers:

*apostles

abandon jobs follow stranger immediately The authors weren't there when Jesus' first disciples joined him. The descriptions they gave of those events probably made it sound like they followed him immediately. It probably wasn't considered an important point. They probably considered it literary licence.

*Jews need Judas to identify Jesus

The Jews may have needed someone to be sure they had the actual man, With no mass media, no photographs they only had eye witnesses to be sure. Had they only seen him from a distance with a lot people around him they might not have really been certain it was him. I think the real issue is they needed an insider to tell them where he would be at a given time. Otherwise the people have protected him in public.

He says Gospels don't express any incredulity at amazing things like historians do when they tell amazing things. Could that be because the Gospels are merely the writing down of the testimony given the communities, Thus they assumed up front it would be amazing, it was assumed up front it was the testimony of the Apostles.

Carrier lists "Markers of myth"
*meaningful emulation of prior myths
*historical improbabilities are frequent
*no external corroboration[4]

At this point he's describing the Gospels and using that as myth-like writing so it's rather circular in reasoning. He might as well say the first criterion for spotting myth is that it is a Gospel. No external history corroborates the myth. No external sources to corroborate gospels other than his death, No source on any other events.[5] The point that no external sources corroborate the events other than his death is really a misleading argument.

First,he wants to treat the four Gospels as though they all came out together published by Zondervon, in 99AD. There were written Gospels before the four canonical. They go back to around AD 50 (?). The four canonicals are corroborating each other. Three latter corroborate Mark,and Mark and Matt corroborate an earlier group of writings we no longer have.[6]

There are Talmudic references that are connected to Jesus' death but Carrier wanted to exempt that because apart from the death noting is corroborated. The problem they do corroborate things other then the death but in connection with the death because that's what drew attention to Jesus beyond his own continuities. Skeptic Peter Kirby (a talented armature): "This is the Jewish tradition regarding the trial of Jesus, found in the Babylonian Talmud, b. Sanh. 43a. While this text was finalized sometime in the fifth or sixth century, by its nature it incorporates many traditions that are very old, as it collects and quotes traditional commentary of the rabbis."[7]

We see more of this:

Origen quoting Celsus:

Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god." [8]

This quote is propaganda. Yet when we find overlap with the gospels we can see there is a historical corroboration:

village in Judea
Father was carpenter
Allusion to V birth
Jesus went to Egypt
Identified himself with God

further computational from my own Taplmudic studies;

It seems pretty obvious that the Talmud is discussing Jesus, at least in some instances. That in itself should be enough given the preponderance of evidence to put to rest Jesus mythism. A summary of what the most likely passages say about the one I take to be Jesus of Nazareth makes this clear:

*He was born under unusual circumstances, leading some rabbis to address him as ben Pandira and " a bastard of an adulteress
*mother Mary was Heli's daughter.
*was crucified on the eve of Passover.
* made himself alive by the name of God.
* was a son of a woman. (cf. Galatians 4:4)
* claimed to be God, the son of God, the son of man.
* ascended and claimed that he would return again.
* was near to the kingdom and near to kingship.
* had at least five disciples.
* performed miracles, i.e. practiced "sorcery".
* name has healing power.
*teaching impressed one rabbi

There are lots of sources of Talmudic corroboration, be sure and check out my pages on the mater. [9] Even more impressive are the non canonical Gospels. scholars now have copies of 19 gospels (either complete, in fragments or in quotations), written in the first and second centuries A.D— nine of which were discovered in the 20th century. Two more are preserved, in part, in other writings, and we know the names of several others, but do not have copies of them. Clearly, Luke was not exaggerating when he wrote in his opening verse: "Many undertook to compile narratives [about Jesus]" (Luke 1:1). Every one of these gospels was deemed true and sacred by at least some early Christians.,,Some non canonical gospels are dated roughly to the same period, and the canonical gospels and other early Christian accounts appear to rely on earlier reports.[10]

Carrier ignores the fact of this corroboration, no doubt on the premise that being Christian it is just more of the same, repetition of the same myth, it follows an independent tradition from the Markan redaction, thus making it independent corroboration, The unknown Gospel of Egerton 2 was discovered in Egypt in 1935 exiting in two different manuscripts. The original editors found that the handwriting was that of a type from the late first early second century. In 1946 Goro Mayeda published a dissertation which argues for the independence of the readings from the canonical tradition. This has been debated since then and continues to be debated. Recently John B. Daniels in his Clairmont Dissertation argued for the independence of the readings from canonical sources.[11] Daniels states "Egerton's Account of Jesus healing the leaper Plausibly represents a separate tradition which did not undergo Markan redaction...Compositional choices suggest that...[the author] did not make use of the Gospel of John in canonical form." (Daniels, abstract).[12]

These are corroborating versions because they show different traditions not connected to the canonicals nevertheless with the same material thus supporting the canonical events.


Notes

[1]Richard Carrier, "Why the Gospels are Myth" video YouTube (Nov 27, 2017)) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQmMFQzrEsc

[2]Ibid.530

[3] Ibid, frame 620

[4] Ibid, frames 640-748

[5]Ibid frame 813

[6] Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development, London. Oxford, New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; 2nd prt. edition, 1992, 215-218

[7] Hinman,:"Peter Kirby's Straw man "Best Case for Jesus:" Talmudic Evidence." religious a priori website http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2016/04/peter-kirbys-straw-man-best-case-for.html

[8]Origen quoting Celsus, On the True Doctrine, translated by R. Joseph Hoffman, Oxford University Press, 1987, 59

[9] Hinman, "Talmud Connection to Jesus (part 1)" The Religious a priori website (2012) http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2016/06/talmud-connection-to-jesus-part-1.html

[10] Charles W. Hendrick, quoted in Bible Review, (June 2002), 20-31; 46-47

[11] John B. Daniels, The Egerton Gospel: It's place in Early Christianity, Dissertation Clairmont, CA 1990. Cited in Helmutt Koester, History and Literature of Early Christianity,second Edition, New York, Berlin: Walter D. Gruyter, 186.

This is from a dissertation cited by major scholar Helmutt KIoester., so apparently Daniels did good work as a graduate student, Koester is New Testamemt Studies at Harvard.

[12] Ibid.

By Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) - January 19, 2020

73 comments:

Daniel said...

Would you ever write anything on 1 Thessalonians 2 to 16 I think it's authentic could you respond to those think it's an interpolation

Anonymous said...

Hey could I ask you to respond to something on brothers of the Lord I think they're biological Brothers but some people deny that could I ask you to respond to it

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I'll consider the first request

Daniel said...

Here's what I want you to respond to on one Thessalonians 2 to 16 http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2011/06/pauline-interpolations.html

Daniel said...

Will you ever make an article on one Thessalonians 2:13 to 16

im-skeptical said...

Hey Anonymous/Daniel. (I call you that because from all indications, you are one and the same person.) Why do you refuse to discuss what Joe has posted? Why do you just keep asking him for responses to other things? Ever since you showed up here, you haven't made a single comment that is relevant to the topic. You are an insipid distraction. You have driven away most of the conversation.

JAB128 said...

Carrier's something else. Here is a video of his debate with WLC 15 years ago:

Debate: William Lane Craig vs. Richard Carrier - “Did Jesus from the dead?

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

hey thanks Jab I;ll listen.

Skeps thanks. I think he means to be a distraction why> don't know.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

listening to that debate I would say Carrier should lose because the pre Mark passion narrative included the empty tomb as Koester says, But Carrier asserted that Mark invented it, Craig doesn't mention it I guess it would just be too much work to explain and then it would take over the debate.

Still, I thbj that disproves Carrier's entire position,

Daniel said...

I'm not a distraction I already know carriers weak arguments and it's flawed his entire argument relies on the homeric gospel theory and it's been discredited here like here for example Margaret M. Mitchell, "Homer in the New Testament?" The Journal of Religion 83 (2003): 244-60. Karl Olav Sandnes, "Imitatio Homeri? An Appraisal of Dennis R. MacDonald's "Mimesis Criticism"", Journal of Biblical Literature 1124/4 (2005) 715–732. I was more interested in one Thessalonians 2 13 to 16 that's why I asked him about it

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

Sorry for misspelling I'm dyslexic and I was half asleep bull riding

Daniel said...

Oh yes but there's a YouTube series by Christian apologies I think you should watch metacruk I'll link it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLk6HLG10Jp6rQ-sQOYvDgK3loxhAE60nI&v=tm5fcEHJwII

Daniel said...

Medicrock I know the gospels are good the evidence for Jesus but there are flaws with using them for example you some idiot could claim that they were written after 70 AD and unreliable and they could say author of Mark used Paul's letters and I don't feel like arguing on that front that's why I prefer to use the Paulina literature like 1Thessalonians 2 to 13_ 16 and I think it's authentic and that's why I asked you about it

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I am dyslexic too. It's Metacrock, Meta not medi

Daniel said...

Hey will you ever ride an article in one Thessalonians 13 to 16 I'd be interested in that

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

no

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear. I have not seen Carrier's lecture...

Joe: Richard Carrier wants us to think the matters written about in the four Gospels are fictional and therefore did not happen. What he is really saying is this: The Gospel writers do not write like modern historians, nor do they write like ancient elite patricians. Since those are the only two groups blessed as academic historians what the gospel writers write is not history, if it is not history then it is a lie.

Fair enough.

Joe: The first thing to note is his use of language. It is designed to divert and conceal. When he uses the term"myth" he means fiction, He's not using the term in the sense I am when I say "the OT uses mythology to push the narrative along," For me mythology is what Joseph Campbell is talking about, the manipulation of symbol to evoke psychological truth. For Carrier "myth" means: "lie." Myth = lie.

I think it unlikely Carrier means that. Far more likely he means the same as you - the manipulation of symbol to evoke psychological truth. That does not mean Jesus existed in Carrier's view, but that the gospel accounts reveal a different truth.

Joe: Carrier defines myth as fiction designed to teach us something.

So not Myth = lie.

Joe: Clearly they filled in gaps with poetic licence because they did not have access to transcripts.

Right. And the issue really should be; what parts of the gospels are gaps that got filled with poetic licence.

Joe: Carrier points out that the Gospel writers do not name their sources. ... That does not mark it as fictional writing.

Agreed.

Joe: *illegal trail execution on high holy day

You list four of Carrier's objections, and give reasonable responses to three, but fail to address this one. I think this is a big problem with the account - probably best explained as a later embellishment shoehorned into the original narrative where there was not time for it.

Joe: The four canonicals are corroborating each other. Three latter corroborate Mark,and Mark and Matt corroborate an earlier group of writings we no longer have.

No, they do not corroborate each other; they depend on each other. Matthew and Luke are based on Mark, which is itself based on earlier works. Therefore they cannot be used to corroborate each other.

Joe: Skeptic Peter Kirby (a talented armature): "This is the Jewish tradition regarding the trial of Jesus, found in the Babylonian Talmud, b. Sanh. 43a. While this text was finalized sometime in the fifth or sixth century, by its nature it incorporates many traditions that are very old, as it collects and quotes traditional commentary of the rabbis."

The problem is that we do not know whether the Talmud is a reaction to the later gospels.

Jesus' virgin birth seems almost certain to have been invented after AD 70, given no mention in Paul or Mark, and indeed Paul says Jesus was of the line of David, which only counts through the male line. Therefore the Talmud account where Jesus was the bastard son of a Roman must be even later than that. Jesus learning to be a magician in Egypt was made up to account for the stories of his miracles - he Jewish priesthood wants us to believe he was not the messiah, he was a man pretending to be the messiah to lead Israel astray.

Pix

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Hansen, Christopher M. (2020). "Lord Raglan's Hero and Jesus: A Rebuttal to Methodologically Dubious Uses of the Raglan Archetype" (PDF). Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism. 16: 129–149.


"However, most contemporary scholarship has been critical of Carrier's methodology and conclusions. According to James F. McGrath, Carrier misuses Rank and Raglan and stretches their scales to make Jesus appear to score high on mythotype.[86] According to Christopher Hansen, Carrier misuses and manipulates Raglan's scale to make Jesus appear more aligned with a mythotype by scoring him high, thus more mythical, when other scholars have scored Jesus as low, thus more historical.[87] He argues that other scholars have assessed Jesus to be low on Raglan's scale and when Hansen looks at multiple other examples of historical figures he notes that "Historical figures regularly become Raglan heroes. They often score twelve or more points on the Raglan archetype" which casts doubts on the usefulness of the Raglan scale for historicity."

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

OOOps forgot this art9ce appears in: Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Carrier

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...


Joe: *illegal trail execution on high holy day

You list four of Carrier's objections, and give reasonable responses to three, but fail to address this one. I think this is a big problem with the account - probably best explained as a later embellishment shoehorned into the original narrative where there was not time for it.

You have no MS evidence. That is totally a matter personal impression. It's n better claiming intuition.

Joe: The four canonicals are corroborating each other. Three latter corroborate Mark,and Mark and Matt corroborate an earlier group of writings we no longer have.

No, they do not corroborate each other; they depend on each other. Matthew and Luke are based on Mark, which is itself based on earlier works. Therefore they cannot be used to corroborate each other.

that is corroborating. They all depends on PMR from, AD 5o,meaing Carrier is just, Making stuff up based upon no evidence.

Joe: Skeptic Peter Kirby (a talented armature): "This is the Jewish tradition regarding the trial of Jesus, found in the Babylonian Talmud, b. Sanh. 43a. While this text was finalized sometime in the fifth or sixth century, by its nature it incorporates many traditions that are very old, as it collects and quotes traditional commentary of the rabbis."

The problem is that we do not know whether the Talmud is a reaction to the later gospels.

There is no gospel quoting in those sources with any other issue those would assumed to be independent sources.

Jesus' virgin birth seems almost certain to have been invented after AD 70, given no mention in Paul or Mark, and indeed Paul says Jesus was of the line of David, which only counts through the male line.

Prejudice against miracles. If it was V birth they would go by Mary's father.



Therefore the Talmud account where Jesus was the bastard son of a Roman must be even later than that. Jesus learning to be a magician in Egypt was made up to account for the stories of his miracles - he Jewish priesthood wants us to believe he was not the messiah, he was a man pretending to be the messiah to lead Israel astray.

sure. consider the source

Anonymous said...

Joe: You have no MS evidence. That is totally a matter personal impression. It's n better claiming intuition.

The practice of the day was that a capital offence required two days to deliberate; a rule devised to prevent rash decisions. If the gospels are right, the Sanhedrin went against their own rules.

Further, they would have been busy with Passover preparations.

And what reason is there to do it in such a hurry? It would make far more sense to just imprison Jesus and deal with him once Passover was done.

Joe: that is corroborating. They all depends on PMR from, AD 5o,meaing Carrier is just, Making stuff up based upon no evidence.

I thought you had some training in history?

Corroboration requires an independent account of the events. That the gospels all depend on the PMR means they are not independent.

Joe: There is no gospel quoting in those sources with any other issue those would assumed to be independent sources.

They can depend on the gospels without quoting them.

Joe: Prejudice against miracles.

Not true. That would be me saying the virgin birth is nonsense because virgins cannot give birth. I did not say that.

Joe: If it was V birth they would go by Mary's father.

If there was a virgn birth, we would expect mention in Mark. Instead we read in Mark 3:21 that Jesus' family thought he was mad. That very much indicates nothing supernatura about his birth. No virgin birth, no angels, etc.

Further, he was hailed as the messiah, which requires a direct male-line descent from David. A virgin birth would mean he was not of the seed of David, disqualifying him from being messiah. Adoption is not going to make him the seed of David.

Pix

Daniel said...

https://davesblogs.home.blog/2022/01/01/the-brother-of-the-lord/https://davesblogs.home.blog/2023/05/11/was-jesus-born-of-manufactured/https://davesblogs.home.blog/2023/08/21/jesus-crucifixion-and-messianism/here's some good articles you should read

Daniel said...

Hey have you ever heard of the homeric Gospel if you ever thought about refuting that

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Pix:

Joe: that is corroborating. They all depends on PMR from, AD 5o,meaing Carrier is just, Making stuff up based upon no evidence.

I thought you had some training in history?

Corroboration requires an independent account of the events. That the gospels all depend on the PMR means they are not independent.

the four gospels are independent sources, if all use PMR they are attesting to it's validity, they corroborate the PMR since; we don't that document that;s all we are going to get.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Corroboration requires an independent account of the events. That the gospels all depend on the PMR means they are not independent.

there is not just one source they are all using, each gospel has special material unique to it.


First if VB is a mythical element I think that does not kill all of Christianity. That's a problem for inerrantists not for liberals like me.

Virgin birth, there's a reason why Mark would not talk about it. A reason why Jesus' brothers wouldn't know about it. Because if your mother had never known a man when you turned up when you grew up would you go around telling everyone, you know what they would say. They are going to say it's a cover up for fornication. Then the question becomes why would the other three Gospels disclose it? Perhaps they were written after Mary's death. It could be silence was to protect her.





Anonymous said...

Joe: the four gospels are independent sources, if all use PMR they are attesting to it's validity, they corroborate the PMR since; we don't that document that;s all we are going to get.

See, this is why I could not be a Christian. I cannot do that doublethink thing where you believe two contradictory ideas at the sae time. The gospels are independent sources AND the gospels all use the PMR.

Joe: there is not just one source they are all using, each gospel has special material unique to it.

And why should we imagine the special material unique to it is true, rather than something made up later?

Put another way, how was Mark not aware of this other material? In the first few years of Christianity, all the Christians lived in one community in Jerusalem, and pretty much the only topic of conversation would be the resurrection. How could anyone in that community NOT hear every perspective of the event hundreds of times?

The idea that a disciple kept his version secret for fifty years, then revealed it to just one gospel author makes no sense.

Joe: First if VB is a mythical element I think that does not kill all of Christianity. That's a problem for inerrantists not for liberals like me.

Okay.

Joe: Virgin birth, there's a reason why Mark would not talk about it. A reason why Jesus' brothers wouldn't know about it. Because if your mother had never known a man when you turned up when you grew up would you go around telling everyone, you know what they would say. They are going to say it's a cover up for fornication. Then the question becomes why would the other three Gospels disclose it? Perhaps they were written after Mary's death. It could be silence was to protect her.

If Mary was 16 when Jesus was born, she would be about ninety when Mark was written. Very doubtful she was still alive.

The whole virgin birth thing is a symptom of the narrative being co-opted by gentiles. It makes no sense in the original Jewish version in which Jesus is the Jewish messiah; the seed of David, appointed by God to be the new king of the Jews. This is what Paul and Mark believed. The virgin birth is part of the process away from Judaism, towards a higher Christology.

And in fact it is this process that makes me reject Jesus mythicism. This process starts with a man - a real, living man - and the man becomes mythologised by the addition of, among other things, a virgin birth.

Pix

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I was listening to that debate again Carrier vs Craig. I am in awe of Craig he's such a good debater. As a four year college debater I really appreciate him he's had a lot of practice.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

"AI Overview
Learn more

Yes, the virgin birth is a common plot device in Jewish scriptures, such as in the stories of Isaac and Samson. In these stories, an angel appears, announces the birth, and the mother objects, before the angel provides a sign. For example, in Genesis 24:16 and 24:43, the terms almahand betulah are used to describe Rebekah, which both indicate femaleness and virginity.

Wikipedia
Virgin birth of Jesus - Wikipedia
Luke's virgin birth story is a standard plot from the Jewish scriptures, as for example in the annunciation scenes for Isaac and for Samson, in which an angel appears and causes apprehension, the angel gives reassurance and announces the coming birth, the mother raises an objection, and the angel gives a sign. Nevertheless, "plausible sources that tell of virgin birth in areas convincingly close to the gospels' own probable origins have proven extremely hard to demonstrate".

en.wikipedia.org
Almah - Wikipedia
The word almah is only used during the retelling; another word, hanaara, is used during the events themselves. Dr. Phillip Goble states that the use of almahand betulah in Genesis 24:43 and Genesis 24:16 of the same person (Rebekah) is because both terms carry the common semantic freight of femaleness and virginity.
Generative AI is experimental."



"Where did the idea of virgin birth come from?
The Book of Matthew explains that when Joseph was engaged to Mary, she was “found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” The writer links this unexpected pregnancy to an Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, which states “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call him Immanuel.” According to ...Dec 15, 2022

Why early Christians wouldn't have found the Christmas ...

The Conversation"
"

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

On the other hand I am not sure the VC is a core doctrine of the faith, It might effect the notion of Christ's deity. But I am not sure it has to. By core doctrine I mean must believe to be in the faith.

4:19 AM

Daniel said...

Hey is it okay if I email you a question

Anonymous said...

Joe: Yes, the virgin birth is a common plot device in Jewish scriptures, such as in the stories of Isaac and Samson. In these stories, an angel appears, announces the birth, and the mother objects, before the angel provides a sign. For example, in Genesis 24:16 and 24:43, the terms almahand betulah are used to describe Rebekah, which both indicate femaleness and virginity.

Can you talk me through this? My reading of Gen 24 is that Rebekah was a virgin before she married Isaac, but I see nothing to suggest she was a virgin when she gave birth.

Pix

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I wondered about that too.U thinj that argument is pretty lame. still doesn't mean it's a pagam idea. that verse Isaiha indicates it's a Hebrew idea too.

Anonymous said...

No it does not. It indicates virginity was important in a woman when she got married, as confirmed by the law about stoning her to death if she was not.

The role of God in the conception (this and other OT examples) was to make the barren woman fertile. The child was still fathered by the man as normal.

Pix

Anonymous said...

Could you respond to this in the blood quote and Paul's Epistles you not responding to the difference in quality of evidence is extremely disingenuous. Maybe you have a point and maybe you don’t, but you cannot establish that Richard’s standard means that Vespasian, Alexander, etc. don’t exist. Because

a) None of them were as mythologized as Jesus. Period. “A dude is super cool and has Zeus’ blood in his veins” is not the same as someone who fulfills numerous prophecies, is anointed by a key leader of a respected faith (John the Baptist), lays down a canon of law, and engages in numerous mythical and allegorical actions. Nothing Jesus does sounds like something a normal person does, nor his disciples. This is why Richard uses the Rank-Raglan list. Your only objection to it is subjective. How? How is it any more subjective than me determining the quality of the evidence of, say, a piece of coinage? There are clear criteria in Rank-Raglan. And if it’s subjective, as Richard keeps saying, then it should be trivial for you to generate a totally different list from Richard’s where historical figures dominate. No one does this. So you’re just making excuses for not engaging with the argument. You’re not even bothering to try to explain why Vespasian is as mythologized as Jesus, even as you yourself cite examples of people describing Jesus as literally the Right Hand of God, having saved the world from sin! It just screams disingenuity.
b) We have evidence for these people that overcomes them being otherwise mythologized. You keep downplaying or ignoring that and it makes your argument bunk.

and, most importantly

c) No one has put forward an alternative theory for how we today have the stories of Vespasian et al.

That’s what you keep ignoring When you come up with an alternative explanation for our surviving accounts of Vespasian, then the analogy will be complete. For now, by constantly making a comparison to some random figure who was mythologized to some extent with no regard for either the degree of evidence of their historicity or the degree of mythologicization, you are constructing a strawman by pretending that Richard is just inferring mythicism from those two points of data In fact, it’s not just the paucity of data but the specifics about that data that makes Richard make his argument. You are free to disagree, but you have to actually explain why a mystery cult doesn’t explain the evidence better or as well. Every one of your objections thus far has missed the mark on this front

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

what's all this Vespasian crap?? It's time you start talking the articles or go away.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

"Can you talk me through this? My reading of Gen 24 is that Rebekah was a virgin before she married Isaac, but I see nothing to suggest she was a virgin when she gave birth."

Who cares? What about Vespasian?

Anonymous said...

Daniel: Here's what I want you to respond to on one Thessalonians 2 to 16 http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2011/06/pauline-interpolations.html

Paul is a much better person if Carrier is right. One interpolation is to put down women, the other to put down Jews.

Paul was remarkable for his age in seeing women as equals, and was himself a Jew. Why are you so keen to have him as a sexist anti-Semite?

Pix

Daniel said...

I think one Thessalonians 2 to 16 is authentic and it's the best evidence for in historical Jesus

Daniel said...

1 Thessalonians 2 13 to 16 is not anti-semitic and second Romans 14 is not anti woman https://historyforatheists.com/2023/02/interview-joseph-a-p-wilson-on-was-paul-sexist/ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rEyZGWnXfPw

Anonymous said...

The article under discussion is about 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Where are you getting "second Romans 14" from?

1 Thess 2:15 promotes the idea of the blood curse (though more especially Matthew 27:24–25), that the Jews to blame for the death of Jesus, which was used to justify Christian anti-Semitism for nearly 2000 years.

I did not watch the videos, but the first is pointing out that Paul was not sexist. That very much supports the idea that the very sexist 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 was a later interpolation, and the blurb even says: "But did Paul really write this?" so the video seems to agree with Carrier.

Pix

Daniel said...

He did not argue one Corinthians 14 was interpolation he's arguing that Paul is saying quoting the Corinthian men and refuting them that's what he's saying it's the one Thessalonians 2 to 13 to 16 is an anti-semitic go read this paper Rob van Houwelingen

'THEY DISPLEASE GOD AND ARE HOSTILE TO EVERYONE' - ANTISEMITISM IN 1 THESSALONIANS

2:14-16?

Daniel said...

Sorry I missed but one Thessalonians 2 to 14 the 16 is not anti-Semitic

Anonymous said...

The blog post by Carrier that you linked to starts:

In the New Testament, at least two passages have been interpolated into the letters of Paul: 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Today I'll present the evidence for this conclusion that most experts have long known about, but most laymen never hear.

If you cannot get your facts straight about what the article is about, I do not see a lot of point in continuing to discuss this.

Anonymous said...

have never said anything about immaterial bodies. So I don’t know what you are responding to.

(2) Paul was not a Pharisee at any time anything we have from him was written. He previously was, but rejected it as a false sect and condemned it. So what he would have thought “as a Pharisee” cannot inform what he would have thought as a convert to a different sect, the Christians.

(3) Josephus actually says the Pharisees believed people enter new bodies, not their old ones. I show many more examples of this belief among them in The Empty Tomb. Thus confirming what I have been saying for over a decade now: Paul believed the body of flesh is left behind and rots away, and people rise to new life in new supernatural (“spiritual”) bodies (1 Cor. 15:37-54) already waiting for them in heaven (2 Cor. 5). There is abundant evidence many Jews, including Pharisees, did not think these new bodies would be identical to those we had in the flesh. I survey all the evidence in The Empty Tomb (this was even back then often debated among Rabbis, and we can’t tell what Paul thought about it, except that he says there is among the saved “neither male nor female” etc. which suggests he might have advocated a significant change in form). So if you want to get informed on that, you need that book.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I did not watch the videos, but the first is pointing out that Paul was not sexist. That very much supports the idea that the very sexist 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 was a later interpolation, and the blurb even says: "But did Paul really write this?" so the video seems to agree with Carrier.


I took Greek as my undergrad language so I could read that passage. I think another answer works better. Paul wrote it but he's quoting the other guys in the missing letter. Then he refutes them by going "what? did the word of God come only to you?"

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Anonymous said...
The blog post by Carrier that you linked to starts:

In the New Testament, at least two passages have been interpolated into the letters of Paul: 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Today I'll present the evidence for this conclusion that most experts have long known about, but most laymen never hear.

If you cannot get your facts straight about what the article is about, I do not see a lot of point in continuing to discuss this.

4:34 AM

I didn't say anything that was factually incorrect. he still thinks the things he said show me where I contradicted it.

Daniel said...

Richard carrier what a jokeRichard carrier what a joke

Daniel said...

Medical can I email you something

Anonymous said...

Not necessarily. They could have sincerely believed he was a historical person and at the same time not cared what was historically true and made up whatever was convenient about him. Because this is how all myths and legends arose of real historical people. So we can’t actually infer reliably what the Gospel authors believed about the mere historicity of Jesus.

Also, that they knew they were making stuff up, is not evidence they were making up astrological stuff. That’s a non sequitur. There is no evidence they were doing that. And plenty of evidence they weren’t doing that. They are making stuff up to match a pesher derived from ancient scriptures to communicate a new social philosophy. That explains all their content. Nothing else is left over to explain.

Meanwhile, you are relying on obsolete scholarship. It is now the conclusion that Gnosticism didn’t exist. And any of what you are talking about is hopelessly speculative. Speculations are not evidence. They are mere possibilities, which are not therefore probabilities. We can’t do anything with that.

We often can get at allegorical meanings, when we have relevant contextual evidence. But when we do, we never find astrology underneath it. Only standard ancient metaphysics, politics, and cosmology derived from scripture, not astrological notions. Likewise, indeed, Christianity is, even from its start, likely a syncretism of Jewish and Hellenistic ideas. That still doesn’t get us to any of your thesis. And there s nothing in early Christianity that justifies your claims about the tree of life matching the zodiac and such. There is neither zodiac nor tree of life anywhere in its literature or art until so late it’s clearly a later import that can explain nothing about the origins of Christianity. Meanwhile, everything as to the latter is perfectly well explained without it.

So there is no need of that hypothesis, and no evidence for that hypothesis. We should therefore abandon it.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

"Meanwhile, you are relying on obsolete scholarship. It is now the conclusion that Gnosticism didn’t exist. And any of what you are talking about is hopelessly speculative. Speculations are not evidence. They are mere possibilities, which are not therefore probabilities. We can’t do anything with that."

If you are Richard Carrier it's cutting edge. if you are not Carrier it's stupid. It is factually wromg. Look up any article about Gnosticisms, the are still publishing them Google: "Is gnosticism a real thing?
Gnosticism is largely influenced by platonism and its theory of forms. Gnostic writings flourished among certain Christian groups in the Mediterranean world around the second century, when the Fathers of the early Church denounced them as heresy."

The low down on Gnosticism, it's a concept made up by the orthodox to label a segment of their detractors. It's a construct no one griyp keeps to it perfectly. No group existed that say: yes we are gnostic." Something like it clearly existed.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

""Meanwhile, you are relying on obsolete scholarship"

That is a rash statement. I would even say bull shit total bull shit, What I said above is not new, Scholars were saying that in first quarter of the 20t century.

Anonymous said...

this cannot build hypotheses on lost data; and must attend to the actual data we have. The Westar analysis shows Gnosticism was invented by modern scholars based on no actual ancient data. They conflated sources and misinterpreted them and constructed a sect no evidence exists for. Westar is right. There was no such thing as Gnosticism. There is no evidence at all for that modern construct. There were just a bunch of sects all of which had some of the attributes modern scholars credited as Gnostic and none of which had all the attributes modern scholars credited as Gnostic.

Any correct interpretation of the historical record must now take this into account. All past scholarship on Christian sectarianism must be rewritten without the idea of “Gnosticism.” There was no such thing. There were the ideas credited to Gnosticism, but they are scattered, nowhere found all together, and everywhere found in part.

And none of this has anything to do with presuming historicity. That is nowhere in the Westar analysis and has no effect at all on it. There are no anomalies that establish Gnosticism existed. That’s precisely what Westar found. It’s a modern made-up construct that in fact the actual evidence contradicts or doesn’t support.

And there are no “clues” to Christianity having any astronomical content in its earliest century. We have the writings of Paul, Clement, Hebrews, the Gospels, the earliest Apocrypha, Ignatius, and so on. No astronomy. To the contrary, it’s all scriptural numerology. The only evidence of astronomical ideas entering Christianity are in very late texts that radically differ from all the earliest literature. That’s why it can’t have had any likely role in the origin of the religion

Daniel said...

I think you should watch this video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yQTpqqj8-ro&list=PLk6HLG10Jp6rQ-sQOYvDgK3loxhAE60nI&index=6&pp=iAQB

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Anonymous said...
this cannot build hypotheses on lost data; and must attend to the actual data we have. The Westar analysis shows Gnosticism was invented by modern scholars based on no actual ancient data. They conflated sources and misinterpreted them and constructed a sect no evidence exists for. Westar is right. There was no such thing as Gnosticism. There is no evidence at all for that modern construct. There were just a bunch of sects all of which had some of the attributes modern scholars credited as Gnostic and none of which had all the attributes modern scholars credited as Gnostic.


You are quoting very ignorant people. There is a lot of source material, I the NT Pseudo Paul speaks of "knowledge falsely so called" "New International Version" 1 Tim 6:20
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,"Google; "One of the Church's first systematic theologians, Irenaeus is considered one of the most influential early Christian thinkers. On June 28, we celebrate his Memorial, recognizing his critical contributions in combatting the Gnostic heresy.Jun 23, 2021

'The man who defeated Gnosticism: St. Irenaeus'

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
https://www.nationalshrine.org › blog › the-man-who-d..."



Daniel said...

Hey can I email you something I found some stuff I think you should read is it okay if I posted here

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You have method exactly backwards: we cannot build hypotheses on lost data; and must attend to the actual data we have. The Westar analysis shows Gnosticism was invented by modern scholars based on no actual ancient data. They conflated sources and misinterpreted them and constructed a sect no evidence exists for. Westar is right. There was no such thing as Gnosticism. There is no evidence at all for that modern construct. There were just a bunch of sects all of which had some of the attributes modern scholars credited as Gnostic and none of which had all the attributes modern scholars credited as Gnostic.

Any correct interpretation of the historical record must now take this into account. All past scholarship on Christian sectarianism must be rewritten without the idea of "Gnosticism." There was no such thing. There were the ideas credited to Gnosticism, but they are scattered, nowhere found all together, and everywhere found in part.

And none of this has anything to do with presuming historicity. That is nowhere in the Westar analysis and has no effect at all on it.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

"Westar is right. There was no such thing as Gnosticism. There is no evidence at all for that modern construct. There were just a bunch of sects all of which had some of the attributes modern scholars credited as Gnostic and none of which had all the attributes modern scholars credited as Gnostic."

It's not modern idea it's a church fathers idea. It's true there is no Gnosticism in the sense that it's a term imposed upon certain groups against their will to mark them as heretical. Those groups did exist and they were heretical.

"Any correct interpretation of the historical record must now take this into account. All past scholarship on Christian sectarianism must be rewritten without the idea of "Gnosticism." There was no such thing. There were the ideas credited to Gnosticism, but they are scattered, nowhere found all together, and everywhere found in part.:

You are going to the opposite extreme everything doesn't have to be re written just be aware of the critical distinctions, distinctions you are not making.

And none of this has anything to do with presuming historicity. That is nowhere in the Westar analysis and has no effect at all on it.

Westar is bull shit, it's Jesus seminar warmed over

2:34 PM

im-skeptical said...

"Those groups did exist and they were heretical."

- Do you know the definition of 'heretical'? Any Christian belief that the church wanted to suppress. In the struggle for dominance, they were the ones that didn't win the battle.

Daniel said...

Hey meta crock what is your opinion on bart erman's book on Jesus existence I'm reading it now he said the gospels have reliable things but they also have a lot of exaggerated things he says some parts of the gospels are history and some are fiction what would you say to that

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Skep: "im-skeptical said...
"Those groups did exist and they were heretical."

- Do you know the definition of 'heretical'? Any Christian belief that the church wanted to suppress. In the struggle for dominance, they were the ones that didn't win the battle.

7:49 AM "

You are trying to impose 20th century values on first century context. Given that anything can be corrupted, God could not, short of circumventing free will, prevent corruption, The elders job was to sor out Apostolic teaching from that which is not apostolic.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Blogger Daniel said...
Hey meta crock what is your opinion on Bart Erman's book on Jesus existence

U have not read it.

Anonymous said...

There are no anomalies that establish Gnosticism existed. That's precisely what Westar found. It's a modern made-up construct that in fact the actual evidence contradicts or doesn't support.

And there are no "clues" to Christianity having any astronomical content in its earliest century. We have the writings of Paul, Clement, Hebrews, the Gospels, the earliest Apocrypha, Ignatius, and so on. No astronomy. To the contrary, it's all scriptural numerology. The only evidence of astronomical ideas entering Christianity are in very late texts that radically differ from all the earliest literature. That's why it can't have had any likely role in the origin of the religion

Daniel said...

Hey medicrock here's barterman's book I think you should read it https://archive.org/details/DidJesusExist

Daniel said...

My book list of books that refute Jesus mysticism would include Jesus is no myth that's one book the second book I recommend it is Maurice Casey Jesus mysticism 2 the second book the third book I would recommend is this would be JP holdings book on Jesus mysticism the fourth book how The Gospels became history by David liqueur that's

Daniel said...

It was like four groups of a radical Christians one of them was the groups we have dubbed is gnostics there was no group that called himself than nothing but various groups that doesn't sell fantastic like the dosages they argue Jesus was one of the ghost than a human the third group was was the Jewish Christians the evenings who wanted to practice the Old testament law another heretical group was the idea of universal salvation origins work became somewhat radical not bad but he was heavily criticized in one aspect he thought even the devil himself would be saved

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

what is your problem with names? It's Bart Ehrman, mine is Metacrock. Not Medi but Meta.

Daniel said...

I'm dyslexic

Anonymous said...

There are no anomalies that establish Gnosticism existed. That's precisely what Westar found. It's a modern made-up construct that in fact the actual evidence contradicts or doesn't support.

And there are no "clues" to Christianity having any astronomical content in its earliest century. We have the writings of Paul, Clement, Hebrews, the Gospels, the earliest Apocrypha, Ignatius, and so on. No astronomy. To the contrary, it's all scriptural numerology. The only evidence of astronomical ideas entering Christianity are in very late texts that radically differ from all the earliest literature. That's why it can't have had any likely role in the origin of the religion

Anonymous said...

Yes, it does explain the reason: the scriptures predicted a specific form of messianic apocalypse and even stated a timetable for it. Thus motivating literally the entire pesher genre to figure out what date that timetable meant and how the events would proceed. Resulting in Christianity. No astrology, no astronomy, involved. Nor is there any evidence Christians ever referenced any in the origination of the religion or even the later Gospels in the canon.