Wednesday, June 22, 2016

my 5th and final argument in the ]debate with Bowen

A. Historical methods

(1) the document not the people is the point

One chief observational sorely lacking  in the discussion with mythers is the premise of starting from the sources we have rather than criticizing that which we don't have. Historians don't base their occlusions upon the documents we lack but upon those we possess. What do the documents we have tell us. Don't worry about what they don't tell us. Chitneis p39 discussing internal and external evidence.[1] the question we don;t have anyone who knew Jesus personally writing about him (supposedly) is bunk. Start from what what the documents we do have tell us about him. Chitnis empasizes internal and external aspects of the document.External is getting back to the original document itself. Author, audience, why written. Internal is inconsistency or consistency within the document. History is abouit documents.

(2) SN content  does not negate historic aspects

Historians do not discount source merely for SN competent. They don't believe the SN but they don't just deny everything the source says, Example, a battle in  Persia where the account was chiseled into a cliff side. It spoke of gods and demons fighting along side men. But historians accept that there was a battle. From something the Historian I worked for as a teaching  assistant told me.

(3) what people believed tells us things even if we don;t believe it.

John Dominic Crossan

It was, however, that hypothesis taken not as a settled conclusion, but as a simple question that was behind the first pages of BofC when I mentioned Josephus and Tacitus. I do not think that either of them checked out Jewish or Roman archival materials about Jesus. I think they were expressing the general public knowledge that "everyone" had about this weird group called Christians and their weird founder called Christ. The existence, not just of Christian materials, but of those other non-Christian sources, is enough to convince me that we are dealing with an historical individual. Furthermore, in all the many ways that opponents criticized earliest Christianity, nobody ever suggested that it was all made up. That in general, is quite enough for me....My very general arguments are: (1) that existence is given in Christian, pagan, and Jewish sources; (2) it is never negated by even the most hostile critics of early Christianity (Jesus is a bastard and a fool but never a myth or a fiction!); (3) there are no historical parallels that I know of from that time and period that help me understand such a total creation. ,,,[2]

(5) everyone is biased
 (6) can't examine the historicity of a single persona part from the framework
A commenter on the blog made the assertion that scholars are somehow deferring to popular opinion when it comes to the existence of Jesus. The suggestion is so ludicrous that I thought I had best address it, and am sharing it here as well. Here’s what I wrote:
The notion of being “unbiased” is naive. We all have biases, and what is great about the way scholarship works is that it provides methods and a community of experts who can limit the impact that individual biases can have.
I’ve never seen anyone use popular opinion as an argument in my field. Do you have a reference? What we have is an enormous body of scholarship, skeptically investigating the details asserted about Jesus in our earliest sources, in scholarly articles and monographs. The historicity of every single one has been challenged. The fact that the consensus remains that some details are probably historical is what you need to be looking at. The historicity of Jesus cannot be dealt with in the abstract, any more than evolution can be. It is a theoretical framework for making sense of a range of pieces of evidence in relation to one another. That is why mythicists and creationists tend to say both that “there is no evidence” and to think that showing that one particular piece of evidence is problematic means that the entire theoretical framework must be invalid. But that isn’t how scholarly investigation of the past works. The question must always be, what theoretical framework makes the best sense of all the evidence, or as much of it as possible. And of course, those who have not dedicated their lives to the study of that evidence are unlikely to make sound judgments about such matters.[3]

B. Big Web of Historicity

There are links between individuals that ties our knowledge back to Jesus, such as the John-Polycarp-Inrenaeus connection. John taught Polycarp, Polyarp taught Irenaeus, and he wrote about John teaching Polycarp. There are many such lines of inks  they from a huge because they are all interconnected.

(1) Peter and Paul, => church of Rome, => Clement [4]
Comparing their own time to Old testament examples (taking a que from Hebrews, Pauline circle, he speaks of Peter and Paul as"our generation." He speaks of their deaths as recent. Comparatively so he probably wrote in about AD 95. We know the letter was written in a time of persecution so it may not have been advisable for Clement spell out a relationship with the Apostles. Even if he did not mean to imply that he knew them he clearly thought of them as historical and knew them  to be real people in the city of his dwelling of his own time and most probably to people he did know. That connects Jesus to the historical world o flesh and blood. Peter knew Jesus.
(2) Philip , 4 daughters, Papias  [5]
Polycrates tells us Philip the Apostle went to Hierapolis, had four daughters who prophesied they also kept church history and functioned as historians. They taught Papaias a lot of church history. This is absolutely taken as fat by modern scholars that they have found his tomb. How is this guy an apostle without Jesus? Who made him one?  [6]
(3) John => Polycarp, Papia,Ignatius => Irenaeus, Eusebius, fragments (see original argument)(Polycarp page Op cit)
(4) PMPN => Other Gospels, =>Thomas, Peter (independent)[7]*
Pre Mark Passion Narrative is a term used to refer to a large swath o readings in various Manuscripts that pre date the Gospel of Mark. Not all foments or MS that contain the PMPN are dealing with the passions, that;s what the reading is called.Or we can just say Pre Mark Redaction . All four canonical gospels used it and Gospel of peter. others include Egerton 2 and Gospel of the Savior. The PMR and the PMPN is dated to mid first century Jesus is taken as historical as early as mid first centenary. That totally destroys Daugherty's time line. It fits into the web because we find about 34 lost Gospels everyone of them takes Jesus as historical.

(5)  truth tree
Historians place  lot of credence in the fact that the testimony was past om and they kept it straight. We know they because the different links are all over the place and they are still saying the same things and in from the early days. Even if Polycarp did not know John someone did.the words of John about Jesus were passed on through the chain to form the web. A lot historians make this argumemt, Crosson makes it. (see a

*some such links in Bible left our because it's internal evidence beyond scope of this debate.

C. Weakness of Jesus myth theory: It an't account for the web

The consensus is in favor of historicity it explains the web of historicity as whole and provides for a theatrical framework. There is some bias we are all biased. It's not ideological it's theatrical and probabilistic.

In keeping with the theoretical orientation in sub point A a good theory of historicity needs to account for all the data. Jesus myth can;'t.

(1) Early diverse trajectories of Jesus belief male less probable made up

Luke Timothy Johnson, The Real Jesus, San Francisco: Harper, 1996,p.121
"...Non narrative New Testament writings datable with some degree of probability before the year 70 testify to traditions circulating within the Christian movement concerning Jesus that correspond to important points within the Gospel narratives. Such traditions do not, by themselves, demonstrate historicity. But they demonstrate that memories about Jesus were in fairly wide circulation. This makes it less likely that the corresponding points within the Gospels were the invention of a single author. If that were the case than such invention would have to be early enough and authoritative enough to have been distributed and unchallenged across the diverse communities with which Paul dealt. Such an hypothesis of course would work against the premise that Paul's form of Christianity had little to do with those shaping the memory of Jesus." "As I have tried to show, the character of the Gospel narratives does not allow a fully satisfying reconstruction of Jesus ministry. Nevertheless certain fundamental points when taken together with confirming lines of convergence from outside testimony and non-narrative New Testament evidence, can be regarded as historical with a high degree of probability.Even the most critical historian can confidently assert that a Jew named Jesus worked as a teacher and wonder-worker in Palestine during the reign of Tiberius, was executed by Crucifixion under the prefect Pontius Pilate, and continued to have followers after his death. These assertions are not mathematically or metaphysically certain, for certainty is not within the reach of history. But they enjoy a very high level of probability."[8]
 certain fundamental points when taken together with confirming lines of convergence from outside testimony and non-narrative New Testament evidence, can be regarded as historical with a high degree of probability. Even the most critical historian can confidently assert that a Jew named Jesus worked as a teacher and wonder-worker in Palestine during the reign of Tiberius, was executed by crucifixion under the prefect Pontius Pilate, and continued to have followers after his death. These assertions are not mathematically or metaphysically certain, for certainty is not within the reach of history. But they enjoy a very high level of probability”[9]

(2) Jesus myth theory ideologiocal
John Crosson

If I understand what Earl Doherty is arguing, Neil, it is that Jesus of Nazareth never existed as an historical person, or, at least that historians, like myself, presume that he did and act on that fatally flawed presumption.

I am not sure, as I said earlier, that one can persuade people that Jesus did exist as long as they are ready to explain the entire phenomenon of historical Jesus and earliest Christianity either as an evil trick or a holy parable. I had a friend in Ireland who did not believe that Americans had landed on the moon but that they had created the entire thing to bolster their cold-war image against the communists. I got nowhere with him. So I am not at all certain that I can prove that the historical Jesus existed against such an hypothesis and probably, to be honest, I am not even interested in trying.[10]

D. Summary 
The mythers want us to believe that Jesus didn't exist but somehow everyone began to believe in this guy no ne ever heard of just because he;s talked about in Mark. In 18 years from AD 33 to 50 when the PMPN is written down they already believe in him so deeply they accept that he worked miracles. They compensate for that by extending him back in tine taking advantage of a misconceived passage in the DSS.Tyhey are rearranging huge chunks of history to accommodate their ideology. They try to explain away the web by attributing it to conspiracy of Eusebius But we have a lot of  material apart from Eusebius, the links are so profuse and so all pervasive that they can't e explained by means of collusion without a major conspiracy. Historians just do not abide conspiracy theories of history,
Bottom lime:
The web cannot be explicated by the myth theory

[1]  K.N. Chitnis, Research Methodology in History. New Delhi: Atlanitioc Publoishers and Distributors Ltd. 2006, 39

[2] John Dominic Crossan QUESTION 62

The full review is at:

link no longer valid. accessed any years ago. Sometimes between 2004-2012

[3] J, "the historical consensus about Jesus,"Exploring our Matri(September 9, 2014 )
He's quoting himself from an earlier post

[4]1 Clement, chapter 5, in Peter Kirby, Early Christian Writings, online URL

[5] Joseph Hinman, "Papias and the Four Daughters of Philip," Religious a priori

[6] Staff, interveiw with Francesco D’Andria, How I Discovered The tomb Of the Apostle Philip,:" ZENIT, The Woerld Sceen from Rome, (May 2, 2012)
accessed 6'/21'/16
Archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Philip.
"Of Philip, he said: “He was one of the twelve Apostles and died in Hierapolis, as did two of his daughters who grew old in virginity … Another daughter of his … was buried in Ephesus.” He is saying that poloyrates documents it as the apostle Philip who went to Hireapolis.
“All scholars agree in considering that Polycrates’ information is absolutely reliable. The Letter, which dates back to about 190 after Christ, 100 years after Philip’s death, is a fundamental document for relations between the Latin and the Greek Church

[7] Joseph Hinman,"Gospel Behind The Gospels." Religious a priori  on line resource URL: accessed 6/21/16

[8]  Luke Timothy Johnson, The Real Jesus, San Francisco: Harper, 1996, 121
[9] Ibid

[10] Crosson, Op Cit

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