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Thread: Best evidence for a historical Joshua ben Joseph

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    My take is that this topic has been done numerous times at this forum already, and that those threads contain hundreds, maybe thousands of posts. So if you're interested in learning more about the topic you would do well by reading those threads first, and if you still feel like you have something new to contribute, carry on with this thread.

    But more likely this thread will reach hundreds of posts again and say the same essential thing that the previous threads did.
    Thanks, rousseau, for doing my homework for me, I didn't expect you to do that and am grateful. In retrospect, I should have availed myself of the search functionality before posting like a newbie. I appreciate you responding so gently, and I'll dig into those threads.

  2. Top | #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post

    Well that makes it kind of hard for anyone to present any account of the historical Jesus.

    If it's flattering it's probably embellishment.
    If it's embarrassing it's also probably embellishment.

    If it fulfills prophecy it's deliberate post hoc fabrication to make Jesus fit the Messianic picture.
    If it doesnt fulfill prophecy then Jesus isnt the Messiah.

    As for the embarrassment criterion in general, Paul (I preach Christ crucified) made it the central pillar of his theology. If it didn't sell tickets Christianity would have closed on opening night.
    ...a stumbling block.
    Nobody was trying to sell tickets.
    If one does not accept that Jesus was the Messiah, I think it's absolutely possible also to criticize the efforts of gMatthew and gLuke trying to shoehorn Jesus into it. The differing ancestral lines, Matthew's annoying habit of seizing any lines in the OT that might possible show Jesus fulfilling prophecy (I doubt that a Yahweh-worshipper such as Jesus would ever have been called "Emmanuel" ("Allah is on our side")).

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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by joebleaux View Post
    What do forum-dwellers view as the best evidence for a historical (as opposed to mythical) Jesus?
    I don't see it as a binary choice. It is quite possible that there was an actual character that was a religious preacher and then all sorts of mythical stories were attached to him.

    Gautama Buddha comes to mind as an example of that.

    And then there are actual known historical figures that had myths of 'magical powers' attributed to them... Like the leaders of the Kim family in North Korea.
    Indeed, I conclude that Jesus existed and that all his amazing powers of calming storms à la Elijah / Elisha were grafted on later.

    I sometimes wonder why he didn't turn the water into wine before walking on it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tharmas View Post
    That can be a persuasive argument for those who:

    1. Haven’t read much fiction.
    2. Have never known a good liar.
    3. Have never been to an AA meeting to hear drunks try to outdo each other with their stories of how dissolute they had been.
    4. Have never been to a (Christian) religious service where the preacher claimed to be a great sinner.
    I just also note, just among my colleagues, how many military stories, college recollections, and business travel anecdotes could include the phrase 'and that's when i REALLY fucked up.'
    No one ever wants to hear the story about the time i did the spped limit all the way home, no one broke traffic laws, and i got a good night's sleep.
    It's one thing if you're telling your own story, it's another when you're trying to say that Jesus was the awesomest Messiah and so much better than all the others, and you have these things he did that are so well-known that they cannot be denied, are easy to criticize and thereby tend to call his Messiahship into question.

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    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebleaux View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post

    Well that makes it kind of hard for anyone to present any account of the historical Jesus.

    If it's flattering it's probably embellishment.
    If it's embarrassing it's also probably embellishment.

    If it fulfills prophecy it's deliberate post hoc fabrication to make Jesus fit the Messianic picture.
    If it doesnt fulfill prophecy then Jesus isnt the Messiah.

    As for the embarrassment criterion in general, Paul (I preach Christ crucified) made it the central pillar of his theology. If it didn't sell tickets Christianity would have closed on opening night.
    ...a stumbling block.
    Nobody was trying to sell tickets.
    If one does not accept that Jesus was the Messiah, I think it's absolutely possible also to criticize the efforts of gMatthew and gLuke trying to shoehorn Jesus into it. The differing ancestral lines, Matthew's annoying habit of seizing any lines in the OT that might possible show Jesus fulfilling prophecy (I doubt that a Yahweh-worshipper such as Jesus would ever have been called "Emmanuel" ("Allah is on our side")).
    Woah...slow down there Joe.
    One step at a time.
    Were searching for the historical Jesus not the Messiah.
    Find Jesus the man first.

  6. Top | #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by joebleaux View Post
    What do forum-dwellers view as the best evidence for a historical (as opposed to mythical) Jesus?

    William Harwood (Mythology's Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus) argues that the recording of Josh being baptized by John the Baptist in the Gospels casts such doubt on Jesus' claim to being the Messiah (why would the real Messiah need baptism by another, imposter Messiah?) that it was only included in the Gospel because the fact of his baptism by JtB was so well-known as to be irrefutable. He concludes that Josh must have been a real dude, and separate from the Righteous Rabbi, also named Joshua, who flourished ~ 100 BCE.

    What's your take?
    This atheist is my goto guy for impartial refutation of Jesus mythicism.
    http://www.rationalskepticism.org/ch...219.html#p4642

    He is a member here too.
    So you've got nothing yourself.

  7. Top | #27
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    This thread is beginning to make me wonder if that old autographed photograph of Jesus that I have may possibly be a fake.

  8. Top | #28
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by joebleaux View Post
    What do forum-dwellers view as the best evidence for a historical (as opposed to mythical) Jesus?

    William Harwood (Mythology's Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus) argues that the recording of Josh being baptized by John the Baptist in the Gospels casts such doubt on Jesus' claim to being the Messiah (why would the real Messiah need baptism by another, imposter Messiah?) that it was only included in the Gospel because the fact of his baptism by JtB was so well-known as to be irrefutable. He concludes that Josh must have been a real dude, and separate from the Righteous Rabbi, also named Joshua, who flourished ~ 100 BCE.

    What's your take?
    This atheist is my goto guy for impartial refutation of Jesus mythicism.
    http://www.rationalskepticism.org/ch...219.html#p4642

    He is a member here too.
    So you've got nothing yourself.

    What are you talking about?

    I've answered the Op. I provided two sources.
    Bart Ehrman, Tim ONeil.
    Both atheists. Both academic/scholarly researchers who do great work debunking the Jesus myther conspiracy theory which ignoramus (internet) atheists try to spruke - because dealing with an actual historical Jesus is too intellectually taxing.


    Jesus Mythicism – the idea that not only was Jesus not what Christianity claims, but also that there was no historical Jesus at all
    https://historyforatheists.com/jesus-mythicism/

  9. Top | #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebleaux View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post

    Well that makes it kind of hard for anyone to present any account of the historical Jesus.

    If it's flattering it's probably embellishment.
    If it's embarrassing it's also probably embellishment.

    If it fulfills prophecy it's deliberate post hoc fabrication to make Jesus fit the Messianic picture.
    If it doesnt fulfill prophecy then Jesus isnt the Messiah.

    As for the embarrassment criterion in general, Paul (I preach Christ crucified) made it the central pillar of his theology. If it didn't sell tickets Christianity would have closed on opening night.
    ...a stumbling block.
    Nobody was trying to sell tickets.
    If one does not accept that Jesus was the Messiah, I think it's absolutely possible also to criticize the efforts of gMatthew and gLuke trying to shoehorn Jesus into it. The differing ancestral lines, Matthew's annoying habit of seizing any lines in the OT that might possible show Jesus fulfilling prophecy (I doubt that a Yahweh-worshipper such as Jesus would ever have been called "Emmanuel" ("Allah is on our side")).
    Are you suggesting that every Hebrew name with the suffix -el should be considered in doubt, or do you just not know anything about the Hebrew language?

  10. Top | #30
    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    To say that it is intellectually lazy to give consideration to the possibility that the Jesus character is a complete fabrication is just plain wrong. The most intellectually lazy thing to do would be the opposite: Simply believe without investigation the stuff that has been passed around for centuries.

    I personally do not think Jesus was completely fictional. But I know many of the extraordinary events described in the canonical gospels (healing of paralysis/blindness/death, transforming water to wine, walking on water, feasts conjured up from mere morsels of food, levitating off into the sky never to be seen again) did not occur.

    I know these things with the same degree (and for the same reasons) that I know there is no man living at the North Pole who gets in a sleigh pulled through the air by eight magical reindeer who can fly. These are all equally ridiculous claims and there is absolutely no evidence to support them. What's more, with the claims about Jesus, many of these things were allegedly done in front of large crowds often populated with hostile witnesses. Yet not one of these skeptical people ever managed to record anything about these incredible events. Instead these stories just appear out of whole cloth decades later (and geographically 1500 miles removed).

    I know that the people who invented these stories about Jesus the Magic Jew also invented "historical details" to their stories that never happened, such as the slaughter of the innocents and the insane census that required people to travel to the land of their ancestors to be counted. The birth narratives and genealogies are also suspect at best. The zombies walking around Jerusalem on the day Jesus was supposedly crucified is another obvious fabrication.

    Leaving us with a series of incredible tales every bit is extraordinary as a magical sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, unsupported by even the barest of witness, archaeological evidence, artifacts, etc. These extraordinary events simply did not happen.

    Which means what remains (the historical Jesus, assuming one actually existed) bore little, if any resemblance to the legend fabricated through decades of story-telling. Perhaps one day authentic evidence will surface that does, in fact, corroborate the actual existence of this human being whose influence inspired the eventual legend that developed. But it is not beyond the realm of possibility that he never existed. The only thing beyond the realm of possibility is that the stories about him performing all those miracles are true.

    The world is filled with tall tales and fantastic mythology. That is not extraordinary at all. Flying reindeer and people who can defy the laws of physics by walking on water are the things of myth, not reality.

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