Your view of the various responses Ehrman has received from the Mythacist camp?
Posted: 10 December 2012 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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As someone who tends to accept that there is an Historical Jesus (and not because of bullshit reasons like logic, historical comparisons which are just cop outs to actually answering the question, but because an historical best fits the model of evidence that we have and the picture have constructed of the past) I find Ehrman’s book, “Did Jesus Exist?” a rather horrible piece of text. I mean the evidence he lays out is fine and I don’t have much of a problem with his evidence with the exception of a few instances (like saying a hypothetical source proves the existence of Jesus or saying/traditions about Jesus become something that Jesus did or using textual literary methods as a replacement for the actual methods being used in other historical fields; anymore information on the problems of the methods used in HJ studies can either peruse the chapter on 4 of .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

Apart from my own views of Ehrman’s book, my own sentiments have been mirrored by the various responses Ehrman has been given by Mythacists. I have gone through them very carefully and I must that his responses are very shoddy if not to the point of making shit up. Like him saying that D.M. Murdock fabricated hand drawing of an archaeological artifact in the Vatican library without even attempting to look for it or even asking here where she got the drawing from. In fact her response is the following to the charge of fabrication :

In insinuating that I drew the image myself, Ehrman is indicating he did not notice the citation under it in my book, clearly referring to Barbara Walker’s work. He is further implying that I simply make things up, and he is asserting with absolute certainty that no such bronze has existed in the Vatican, essentially stating that I fabricated the entire story. Contrary to these unseemly accusations, the facts are that I did not draw the image, the source of which was cited, and that, according to several writers, the image certainly is “hidden” in the Vatican, as I stated.

In The Woman’s Dictionary (397), Walker cites the image as “Knight, pl. 2,” which, in her bibliography, refers to: Knight, Richard Payne. A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus. New York: University Books, 1974.

Consulting an earlier edition of Knight’s book (1865), we find a discussion of the object in question (32):

...the celebrated bronze in the Vatican has the male organs of generation placed upon the head of a cock, the emblem of the sun, supported by the neck and shoulders of a man. In this composition they represented the generative power of the Ερως [Eros], the Osiris, Mithras, or Bacchus, whose centre is the sun. By the inscription on the pedestal, the attribute thus personified, is styled The Saviour of the World…, a title always venerable under whatever image it be presented.

There is more to the response of fabrication and I don’t recall Ehrman ever actually admitting or responding to Murdock and saying he was wrong regarding the charge of the bronze cock statue.

There is also a misquote by Doherty, that being said however if people want to read over the responses that Ehrman has gotten from Mythacists pls visit this link and give me your thoughts. Also for the record, I perused this .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and much of the people disagreeing with Mythacist give hand waving reasons and no real actual argument or their own understanding.

Some people in there even indicated that the Testimonium Flavianum was correct because of the earlier mention of Jesus by Josephus (for which the basis of this is the 3rd century church father Origen gave a brief commentary on it that was equivilent to a single sentence, and it doesn’t mention the TF but should the reference “He did not believe Jesus to be the Messiah” in reference the TF or should it be more in reference to the assessment that Vespasian is the Christ?) which makes absolutely no sense given the larger context of what Josephus did, his text and the surrounding history of references (or lack thereof) of the TF OUTSIDE of Eusebius who advocated lying for the religion and fabricating documents to bring people to the “truth.” At any rate, I just wanted to briefly comment on the TF. Give me your thoughts on what you think about Mythacist responses and let me know… (fyi I will only your thoughts seriously only if you have actually read and researched the articles in question).

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Posted: 10 December 2012 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Voice of Reason467 - 10 December 2012 01:44 PM

Like him saying that D.M. Murdock fabricated hand drawing of an archaeological artifact in the Vatican library without even attempting to look for it or even asking here where she got the drawing from.

Not sure what you’re talking about. Do you mean the Peter statue? I know that Ehrman discussed the issue on his blog, eight months ago now. E.g., THIS quote (which is actually referencing Richard Carrier):

... the first instance of an “Error of Fact” that he cites, which I assume he gives as his first example because he thinks it’s a real killer.  It has to do with a statue in the Vatican library that is of a rooster (a cock) with an erect penis for a nose (really!) which Acharya S, in her book The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, indicates is “hidden in the Vatican Treasury” (that damn Vatican: always hiding things that disprove Christianity!) which is a “symbol of Saint Peter” (p. 295).

<snip>

My comment on this entire discussion was simple and direct:  “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else except in books like this, which love to make things up.”
    Carrier attacks my comments with a rather vicious set of comments: “Ehrman evidently did no research on this and did not check this claim at all….  Indicative of the carelessness and arrogance Ehrman exhibits in his book.”  But alas, I am unrepentant and will say it again: “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican.”
    What Carrier wants us to know is that in fact this statue does exist and that it is in the Vatican.  It does not take much research to dig out this juicy bit of museum lore.  Acharya S herself gives the references in her footnotes.  And yes, they are both right.  The statue does appear to exist.  But it has nothing to do with Peter, as any sophomore in college with one semester of Greek under his belt and a course or two in religious studies could tell you. ...

He goes on to say what the statue actually is. And so on.

If this is the case you’re after, Ehrman doesn’t say she drew it herself. He says she completely misinterpreted it.

Why are you bringing this up now, BTW? Because your post reads like a pro-Acharya piece. Which makes sense given the context:

Let me say, in addition, that this comment of mine was made very much in passing.  No major point was being made, other than that Acharya S was not a scholar who could be trusted (in part because she is not a scholar) in the context of eleven rather egregious mistakes that I picked out, more or less at random, in her book.  Carrier does not object to any of the other ten.  Which means that he appears to be on board with all eleven.  That means that his cavil has no effect on my overall argument at this point.

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Posted: 10 December 2012 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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As a Jewish Christian religious visionary who has had a taste of Acharya Sanning’s ethics all I can say is, if she represents the mythicists camp, look out for the same censorship of any facts that contradict the mythicist atheist position as she claims are leveled at her. I speak from experience of having my posts and membership on her discussion blog and forum removed when I posted my own religious views and spiritual experiences that show how the astro-theology system is still in operation, still providing “As Above, So Below” guidance for humanity, something she and all mythicists do not want to hear. Her career now rests on maintaining the ruse that it is only these natural stellar cycles that give rise to spirituality and religions when I can provided proof of the reverse, that there’s a Great Spirit operating behind these stellar events and is using them and spiritual consciousness to actually move humankind forward in knowledge of how Creation works and humanity’s role in it, i.e. a Plan, which is something mythicists do not want to hear because mythicist ideology is basically atheistic. God is superfluous in the religious equation to them.

I too believe in a historical Jesus but I don’t believe he’s the one in the Gospels although I do believe the core teachings, the “Q” verses shared in all five gospels show a distinct personality. I believe in Morton Smith’s idea that there was a “Christ the magician” because it fits the Talmud story of Yeishu ben Pantera who I believe is the closest we’ll ever get to the historical Jesus. Look at the prayer bowl found in the harbor of Alexandria inscribed to Christ the magician and dated between 100 BC and 100 AD.

jesus-bowlh2.jpg

Yeishu ben Pantera was accused of “leading many astray” by healing with Egyptian magic and the Name of God. His biography matches Jesus’, complete with Miriam and Joseph and fleeing to Egypt and Yeishu’s insistence on forgiveness of sins that wasn’t given to him. Then there’s this fact that kind of hammers the Talmud’s Yeishu authenticity for me which is the fact Jews have not exactly come forward with their Talmud stories of Yeishu and other very negative statements of what seems to be Jesus Christ and Christianity and for good reason considering the negative impact that the Gospels have had on Jewish lives—but still in the Talmud it is Jews themselves alone without any Romans who kill Yeishu for blasphemy and hang him on a tree as per Jewish law. Why would Jews deliberately create a false story of their Jesus’ and his death at their hands when they took so much flak as helpers to the Romans in killing Jesus in the Gospels? This is why I think the Talmud accounts are closer to the historical truth.

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Posted: 10 December 2012 09:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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dougsmith - 10 December 2012 02:08 PM
Voice of Reason467 - 10 December 2012 01:44 PM

Like him saying that D.M. Murdock fabricated hand drawing of an archaeological artifact in the Vatican library without even attempting to look for it or even asking here where she got the drawing from.

Not sure what you’re talking about. Do you mean the Peter statue? I know that Ehrman discussed the issue on his blog, eight months ago now. E.g., THIS quote (which is actually referencing Richard Carrier):

... the first instance of an “Error of Fact” that he cites, which I assume he gives as his first example because he thinks it’s a real killer.  It has to do with a statue in the Vatican library that is of a rooster (a cock) with an erect penis for a nose (really!) which Acharya S, in her book The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, indicates is “hidden in the Vatican Treasury” (that damn Vatican: always hiding things that disprove Christianity!) which is a “symbol of Saint Peter” (p. 295).

<snip>

My comment on this entire discussion was simple and direct:  “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else except in books like this, which love to make things up.”
    Carrier attacks my comments with a rather vicious set of comments: “Ehrman evidently did no research on this and did not check this claim at all….  Indicative of the carelessness and arrogance Ehrman exhibits in his book.”  But alas, I am unrepentant and will say it again: “There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican.”
    What Carrier wants us to know is that in fact this statue does exist and that it is in the Vatican.  It does not take much research to dig out this juicy bit of museum lore.  Acharya S herself gives the references in her footnotes.  And yes, they are both right.  The statue does appear to exist.  But it has nothing to do with Peter, as any sophomore in college with one semester of Greek under his belt and a course or two in religious studies could tell you. ...

He goes on to say what the statue actually is. And so on.

Ehrman left out this part of the quote: There is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else except in books like this, which love to make things up. This is also found in her book, he actually charged her with fabricating evidence which is the most serious you can make in scholarship. Not only does not Ehrman not apologize for it, but he makes a cop out by saying, “this is what I actually meant” rather what is said.

Why are you bringing this up now, BTW? Because your post reads like a pro-Acharya piece.

I only brought it up as an example of how he misrepresented the mythacists. I could bring up the misrepresentations of Price, Carrier, Doherty and discuss Salms response if you would like? I was also only sharing it as ONE of the reasons I don’t like the book. I just gave the Acharya one because it is the one I can most easily recall. And I’m not avid supporter of Acharya, I am actually quite on the fence regarding the whole bit of astrotheology and I’m playing field of her when it comes to the Historical Jesus. Only point we intersect is regarding pagan parallels and even then I don’t agree with her 100%.

Let me say, in addition, that this comment of mine was made very much in passing.  No major point was being made, other than that Acharya S was not a scholar who could be trusted (in part because she is not a scholar) in the context of eleven rather egregious mistakes that I picked out, more or less at random, in her book.  Carrier does not object to any of the other ten.  Which means that he appears to be on board with all eleven.  That means that his cavil has no effect on my overall argument at this point.

Actually it does say a lot about the seriousness he put into his book because he is willing to actually risk his career as an academic and possibly be sued for libel… in which I can only guess the effect it would have for him and his publishers. My point is with the Acharya vs. Ehrman thing is that accusing someone of fabricating evidence is the biggest academic charge one can make and thus if wrong the other can be sued for slander or libel. Ehrman should not be so careless with his accusations. This get’s me worked up not because I’m a fan of Acharya, but because I study Christianity in a comparative mythological sense and I also have a great deal of respect for Ehrman so it kinda takes my idol down a peg to see him do something careless that could ruin his career by making a libelous statement to a fringe academic.

Good thing Acharya decided to drop the idea of a lawsuit (or as I’ve heard).

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Posted: 10 December 2012 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Just to make it clear, I was hoping to get some responses about what you think regarding the mythacist responses that were levied Ehrman’s way. I have no interest at the moment to get into a discussion regarding the veracity of Acharya’s scholarship or whether every academic claim she has made is true (in the realm of astrotheology I have no clue but its not very convincing thus far, just like with Lawrence Kruass’ lectures of “A Universe from Nothing” for which I cannot follow him or understand him when he starts talking about how nothing is actually something or how nothing can become something, I forget how he puts it) but mainly interested in the broader array of responses to Ehrman.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Ehrman is one of the most accomplished scholars of early Christianity. That plus the fact that he is a very clear writer and an ex-Christian agnostic means he is a great source for those who are particularly concerned not to get ‘apologetics’ with their scholarship.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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dougsmith - 11 December 2012 05:13 AM

Ehrman is one of the most accomplished scholars of early Christianity. That plus the fact that he is a very clear writer and an ex-Christian agnostic means he is a great source for those who are particularly concerned not to get ‘apologetics’ with their scholarship.

I’m very familiar with his work, what he does and his own history as an ex-Fundamentalist. I however do not enjoy his popular works because they are boring as fuck! I much prefer Robert M. Price in his two works Deconstructing Jesus and The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man because of their similar background and the veracity for which Price discusses religion in a very intelligent manner. I would check out his “Bible Geek Series,” it’s literally like listening to an audio-encyclopedia of questions and answers on religion.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I however do not enjoy his popular works because they are boring as f**k

That is a matter of subjective perspective. I’ve found the man to be a very clear and readable sort of guy.

Of course, your results may vary on this….

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Posted: 17 December 2012 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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VOR, why do we have to choose between Price and Ehrman. It’s obvious you’ve been listening to the Bible Geek and hearing Price criticize Ehrman for not being radical enough and so on. But the important point about both Ehrman’s books and Price’s is that they show how ridiculous the Sunday-School understanding of the Bible is that we hear from evangelical Christians. Most of the time Price and Ehrman are arguing about things like how many books were written by Paul, and frankly for most of us this is not a very important point. What they have in common is more important than what they disagree about.

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Posted: 23 December 2012 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dom1978 - 17 December 2012 11:20 PM

VOR, why do we have to choose between Price and Ehrman.

I never said you had to choose between Ehrman and Price… I was just making an observation on how and why I enjoy Price’s work more than Ehrman.

Dom1978 - 17 December 2012 11:20 PM

It’s obvious you’ve been listening to the Bible Geek and hearing Price criticize Ehrman for not being radical enough and so on.

Um… I hardly ever listen to the Bible Geek show.

Dom1978 - 17 December 2012 11:20 PM

But the important point about both Ehrman’s books and Price’s is that they show how ridiculous the Sunday-School understanding of the Bible is that we hear from evangelical Christians. Most of the time Price and Ehrman are arguing about things like how many books were written by Paul, and frankly for most of us this is not a very important point. What they have in common is more important than what they disagree about.

Agreed.

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