NT and early Christianity PhD atheist answers questions
Posted: 14 December 2011 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]
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On Reddit, HERE. Very good series of responses, IMO, for those interested in the subject matter.

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Posted: 15 December 2011 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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dougsmith - 14 December 2011 08:05 AM

On Reddit, HERE. Very good series of responses, IMO, for those interested in the subject matter.

Thanks for that link, Doug

Finally an atheist with a true in depth knowledge of scripture.  The responses in that forum bespeak of the effectiveness of being able to speak the “Christian languge”, in being able to answer both atheists and christians alike.

I did not read all of it, but was interested in the question of Jesus’ existence.
I would have posted that there is clear evidence that a man named Jesus was crucified on the grounds that he had a large following and was becoming a nuisance to both the Romans and the Jewish clergy. Moreover after his death there is no longer any records of anyone named Jesus continuing to preach. Is that not proof enough?

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Posted: 15 December 2011 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Write4U - 15 December 2011 05:05 PM

Finally an atheist with a true in depth knowledge of scripture.  The responses in that forum bespeak of the effectiveness of being able to speak the “Christian languge”, in being able to answer both atheists and christians alike.

Yes. Bart Ehrman is another.

Write4U - 15 December 2011 05:05 PM

I did not read all of it, but was interested in the question of Jesus’ existence.
I would have posted that there is clear evidence that a man named Jesus was crucified on the grounds that he had a large following and was becoming a nuisance to both the Romans and the Jewish clergy. Moreover after his death there is no longer any records of anyone named Jesus continuing to preach. Is that not proof enough?

Well, to be fair, all that evidence comes from the NT. (The evidence of the Roman and direct Jewish response). So if you’re determined to claim that everything in the NT is false then you won’t find that rejoinder satisfying.

The PhD said the same thing I’ve been saying, though: there were several non-Christian sects around at the same time, including Jewish ones. There is no evidence that any of them argued that Jesus was a fictional character. Instead they argued that his message was false and his followers deluded.

I think non-Christian feelings about Jesus in, say, the 2nd c. CE was rather as Christians might have felt about early Mormonism or Scientology a few decades after they got started. Nobody was arguing that Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard didn’t exist; and if there were reason to believe they were fictional, it would probably be easy enough to establish that fact. (For one thing, Jesus preached to Jews in heavily Jewish territory). I don’t know of any Jewish tradition that says Jesus was fictional.

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Posted: 16 December 2011 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Doug:

I don’t know of any Jewish tradition that says Jesus was fictional.

Do you knpw of any Jewish traditions that recognizes that he exisited? 

He may have just been so unimportant in his own day that he was disregarded as just another agitator by the authorities and non-xtian story tellers.

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Posted: 16 December 2011 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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garythehuman - 16 December 2011 05:29 PM

Do you knpw of any Jewish traditions that recognizes that he exisited? 

AFAIK all of them do. There is no Jewish tradition that holds that Jesus was fictional.

garythehuman - 16 December 2011 05:29 PM

He may have just been so unimportant in his own day that he was disregarded as just another agitator by the authorities and non-xtian story tellers.

Exactly. Again, AFAIK all scholarly treatments of Jesus hold that he was unimportant in his day to everyone outside of his small circle and the few Romans and Jews who he interacted with and who brought about his arrest and execution. He was, in those days, a minor criminal.

I’ve read some about Jewish views of Jesus, but for a quick intro, there’s always the wiki on Judaism’s view of Jesus and the wiki on Jesus in the Talmud. Lots of links as well.

[ Edited: 16 December 2011 07:00 PM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 19 December 2011 04:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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dougsmith - 14 December 2011 08:05 AM

On Reddit, HERE. Very good series of responses, IMO, for those interested in the subject matter.

Doug thanks for the post!

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Posted: 21 December 2011 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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dougsmith - 16 December 2011 06:57 PM
garythehuman - 16 December 2011 05:29 PM

Do you knpw of any Jewish traditions that recognizes that he exisited? 

AFAIK all of them do. There is no Jewish tradition that holds that Jesus was fictional.

garythehuman - 16 December 2011 05:29 PM

He may have just been so unimportant in his own day that he was disregarded as just another agitator by the authorities and non-xtian story tellers.

Exactly. Again, AFAIK all scholarly treatments of Jesus hold that he was unimportant in his day to everyone outside of his small circle and the few Romans and Jews who he interacted with and who brought about his arrest and execution. He was, in those days, a minor criminal.

I’ve read some about Jewish views of Jesus, but for a quick intro, there’s always the wiki on Judaism’s view of Jesus and the wiki on Jesus in the Talmud. Lots of links as well.

Let me rephrase, are there any of these traditions oginating at the time of Jesus and not as a response to the rise of Xtianity,  If you are aware of any dating to this period, the Jesus Project - Joe Hoffman, Robert Price etc. would like the documentation as they say there is not, or at least they did when I attended a seminar with them a couple of years ago.

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Posted: 21 December 2011 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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garythehuman - 21 December 2011 07:46 PM

Let me rephrase, are there any of these traditions oginating at the time of Jesus and not as a response to the rise of Xtianity,  If you are aware of any dating to this period, the Jesus Project - Joe Hoffman, Robert Price etc. would like the documentation as they say there is not, or at least they did when I attended a seminar with them a couple of years ago.

There is no evidence from that period that I’m aware of, no. But presumably the people responsible for the later traditions would have known people who had lived earlier, with oral or now lost written material.

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