The Resurrection and Historical Method
Posted: 05 April 2017 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Let us consider Method and the Resurrection appearances:

Historians try to establish what “probably” happened in the past. An historian would never claim a miracle “probably happened,” because a miracle is the “most improbable” thing that could happen, by definition. Only an apologist would fallaciously try to establish the historicity of a miracle, because sound historical reasoning rules out the “miraculous explanation” a priori.

Take this example: The pre Pauline Corinthian Creed claims something like the idea that the risen Jesus appeared to Cephas and the Twelve three days after Jesus died. This creed is very early and so the story may not be the result of legendary embellishment. So what happened? (a) Maybe the disciples were hallucinating out of grief. (b) Maybe Cephas and the twelve were inventing stories of the risen Jesus in hopes of lending divine clout to, and carrying on, Jesus’ ethical mandate of loving your neighbor and your enemy – an ethical cause they may have been willing to die for (like Socrates). Whatever the case, any reasonable secular explanation is historically preferable to a miraculous one.

In his debate with William Lane Craig, Bart Ehrman points out that even if we don’t accept a particular mundane explanation, it is still more probable than the miraculous explanation. In fact, in the case of an apparent miracle, even if we don’t know of any Aliens having cloaked ships and transporters that are doing “apparent” miracles on our planet (like in Star Trek: The Next Generation – Devil’s Due), this naturalistic explanation is still a more reasonable explanation than a secular historian claiming a miracle happened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7-FbZj9kPY

If anyone is interested, I explain this a little more fully in a blog post (along with the reader comments) here:

http://palpatinesway.blogspot.com/

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Posted: 06 April 2017 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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For starters, who cares? They might as well be discussing the minutiae of Harry Potter. It’s just some old history that really doesn’t matter other than if you’re trying to make some point about the religion being more than it is. As for miracles, again this is a silly conversation since there’s no such thing as miracles. I’ll bet this is just some very smart christian trying to out manuever Erdman to score points with his god. As if Bart would say, You know what, you’re right, the miracle explanation makes more sense. And the reply is ‘Aha! You admit it miracles exist.’ Which obviously is nothing other than scoring points, not proving anything.

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Posted: 06 April 2017 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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john76 - 05 April 2017 12:50 PM

Let us consider Method and the Resurrection appearances:

Historians try to establish what “probably” happened in the past. An historian would never claim a miracle “probably happened,” because a miracle is the “most improbable” thing that could happen, by definition. Only an apologist would fallaciously try to establish the historicity of a miracle, because sound historical reasoning rules out the “miraculous explanation” a priori.

Take this example: The pre Pauline Corinthian Creed claims something like the idea that the risen Jesus appeared to Cephas and the Twelve three days after Jesus died. This creed is very early and so the story may not be the result of legendary embellishment. So what happened? (a) Maybe the disciples were hallucinating out of grief. (b) Maybe Cephas and the twelve were inventing stories of the risen Jesus in hopes of lending divine clout to, and carrying on, Jesus’ ethical mandate of loving your neighbor and your enemy – an ethical cause they may have been willing to die for (like Socrates). Whatever the case, any reasonable secular explanation is historically preferable to a miraculous one.

In his debate with William Lane Craig, Bart Ehrman points out that even if we don’t accept a particular mundane explanation, it is still more probable than the miraculous explanation. In fact, in the case of an apparent miracle, even if we don’t know of any Aliens having cloaked ships and transporters that are doing “apparent” miracles on our planet (like in Star Trek: The Next Generation – Devil’s Due), this naturalistic explanation is still a more reasonable explanation than a secular historian claiming a miracle happened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7-FbZj9kPY

If anyone is interested, I explain this a little more fully in a blog post (along with the reader comments) here:

http://palpatinesway.blogspot.com/

Imagine a historian of antiquity trying to establish the historicity of one of the miracles of Apollonius of Tyana! They would be laughed out of the Academy. Only with Christian apologists do we see the rules of historical inquiry thrown out the window in trying to establish the historicity of a miracle story about Jesus.

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Posted: 07 April 2017 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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john76 - 06 April 2017 10:50 AM

Imagine a historian of antiquity trying to establish the historicity of one of the miracles of Apollonius of Tyana! They would be laughed out of the Academy. Only with Christian apologists do we see the rules of historical inquiry thrown out the window in trying to establish the historicity of a miracle story about Jesus.

That’s true.  For a long time, historians discounted the existence of Troy because the Iliad is so obviously fictional.  But when Schlieman actually discovered the ruins, they had to admit that there really was a Troy, but that didn’t force them to conclude that Achilles also must have existed, let alone the Greek gods.

I would guess that Jesus really did exist, that he really was put on trial, but that he wasn’t crucified.  That detail got added to the story later on.  And of course, once you accept that he was executed, you also have to come up with a resurrection story to go with it.

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Posted: 07 April 2017 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Being Easter, PBS has trotted out it’s latest pseudo-liberal Jesus story. Of course everyone who speaks in it starts with the assumption that the major events in the gospels were indeed historical. This one had a new twist. There was some Roman prefect by the name of Sajanus. He had a ton of power under Augustus and held for a while under Tiberius, but in the Fall of 31AD, he was ousted and his name became illegal to even speak.

Now the wacko historiography begins. Because you couldn’t speak his name, that’s why he’s not mentioned in the gospels. But this power struggle would have effected Pilate and could be why Jesus was crucified. But wait, it’s in the Fall, what about the Passover supper? Well, Palm Fronds are harvested for some Jewish festival in the Fall, so it’s more likely Jesus arrived in Jerusalem in the Fall, because, palm fronds. The Last Supper was then actually just a meeting where they tried to figure out what to do about this change of power.

OMG, stop rotting our brains PBS

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