Re: Argument from Historical Proximity
Empty assertions or points already dealt with - several times. You may think you have falsified my arguments but you haven’t. And, all typically rounded off with personal insult! You’re losing the argument. I can tell by the increase in sarcasm and ridicule.
Originally posted by Juice
Typically you prefer making accusations of logical fallacies in lieu of making an actual point!
The accusation stands. Have you even read the link on appeals to anonymous authority
yet? Obviously not. Here let me help you. This is what it says…
They give an example…
Remind you of anyone? Get it yet? Or do I need to spell it out even further?
Firstly, I don’t refer to “anonymous authority” but “majority scholarship”. Secondly, I mentioned and quoted several of these scholars by name including in the very post you are responding to.
Hardly anonymous” any more than the “anonymous artifacts” (whatever that means) you threw at me re evidencing an historical Julius Caesar.
Not “biographical”? You’re parroting Adam because you don’t know what else to do now. It doesn’t need to be stated in a “biographical” type genre in order to reflect the author’s claim that Jesus lived with them. Deep down I know you know this. The reason I know you know this is you avoided my question earlier: Even if it were “poetic imagery,” as you call it, poetry can still reflect the author’s observation of actual history. Do you deny this?
It could, as in Homer’s Iliad, but it is not the case in this instance for all the reasons Adam and I have provided - over and over and over again. The Prologue is commonly accepted as poetic imagery depicting the Johaninne concept of the pre-existent Jesus, which is being introduced for the first time. It is the introduction to the Jesus story – i.e. setting the scene - not the Jesus story itself
Yes “biographical” was Adam’s word, but perfectly in keeping with what I have been consistently arguing. Do you really think that the mystical Prologue has the ring of biography to it? Of course it doesn’t.
Pagels and her Jesus Seminar buddies
do not represent the majority view of NT scholarship. Further, you didn’t quote her with a reference anyway so we have no idea the context of what she actually said. Her opinion on how difficult it is to ascertain authentic material, without some understanding of the methodology she uses to arrive at this conclusion and a baseline by which to measure, is meaningless. Your opinion on the “virtually impossible” task of reconciling discrepancies is noted. I disagree it is “virtually impossible.” Difficult, yes, but not impossible. Lastly, if you think “flat contradictions and inconsistencies” are indicative of non historicity I would challenge you to respond here.
“Jesus Seminar buddies”!!! Shame on you! Do I detect a Genetic Fallacy! AND incorrect as well! Professor Elaine Pagels is not a member of the Jesus Seminar – although she shares many of its views.
The Jesus Seminar and Westar its sponsor comprise some 200 of the top biblical scholars around today – but it seems you dismiss them wholesale for adopting the Critical/Historical method and not peddling the devotional line of the Apologist scholars.
Further, your opinion of her opinion is nothing more than – well - your opinion. And what do you know?
Why don’t you just drop this nonsense of comparing historical accounts of a supernatural god/man with a known and well documented historical figure like Caesar? The two cannot compare.
Here's what is laughable (or sad actually). The unwavering faith you place in what is in most cases late second hand hearsay from biased and anonymous Romans that try to deify Caesar and speak of the supernatural in relation to him. THAT is laughable considering the grounds upon which you reject Christian texts!
I challenge you to provide one text that purports to be an eyewitness of Julius Caesar. Then prove, with internal and external evidence, the identity of that author with greater certainty than the author of John. This should be fun to watch. Ready, set, go…
I can do no better than repost Doug Shaver’s excellent response to this absurd question which summarizes exactly my position re this red herring:
“Yes, I could, if I had a good reason to spend the time it would take to find and analyze all the evidence relevant to the question of who actually wrote that document. In the meantime, I notice there seems to be no debate within the scholarly community as to whom that author was, and I assume that there is a good reason for that practically unanimous consensus. But if I were to undertake my own investigation, I would have no trouble concluding, if the evidence seemed to warrant such a conclusion, that the consensus was in error. Anyway, within the NT scholarly community, there is nothing like that sort of consensus about the authorship of any gospel.”
I see. So “being born” qualifies as history in your opinion? The point of the passage is not to recount history but to make the theological point that Jesus as Messiah is in the line of David.
Except where it IS mentioned. Jesus is BORN in the flesh, in the line of David (Romans 1:1-14). I’m pretty sure that predates the crucifixion doesn’t it? It is not a theological reference either. Jesus on the night he was betrayed had a meal and said some words (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). This is not merely a theological reference either. If Jesus is spoken of in the context of the crucifixion then his EARTHLY life IS mentioned! Or do seriously think Paul was talking about a spiritual and heavenly crucifixion? Seriously, dude, do you even stop and think about this stuff for more than 3 seconds?
Similarly with the Last Supper! Its purpose is not to recount history but to make the theological point that it is representative of the body and blood of the new covenant.
And this is what you claim to be Paul’s historical account of Jesus’ life on earth. Who are your trying to kid?
The fact is that not one single instance in any of Paul's writings claims where he claims to have met or seen an earthly Jesus and he gives virtually no account of to Jesus' life on earth. ALL accounts about Jesus could only have come from other believers i.e. hearsay, or his own imagination.
1. Dealt with above!
Paul falsifies two notions you've been erroneously trying to peddle in this thread. 1. If someone is reporting theology they are not concerned with reporting history. 2. High Christology is necessarily indicative of late composition. When are you going to address how Philippians ch 2 falsifies the argument that high Christology is indicative of later composition? How much longer will you continue to dodge this?
2. When are you going to take account of my much repeated fact from the likes of Professors Metzger and Ehrman that all the Christian communities based their Christology on oral transmission initially, which in turn evolved into many varied Christian communities each with their own Jesus traditions – ranging from the Christian Gnostics, Jewish Christians and Proto-Orthodox Christians whose tradition eventually prevailed.
You continually function under the false assumption that from the beginning there was only one Jesus story ‘cut from whole cloth’ and that to quote from one tradition in order to rebut that of another is sound scholarship. It isn’t.
Once again, we have no knowledge of how long the author of John lived. We do have knowledge that the average life-expectancy in that era was 35 years. You can quote modern dieticians’ extolling the life-enhancing virtues of fish all you like but we don’t know that John ate a lot of fish or, even if he did, not fall victim to disease or accident. Get it through your head that we just don’t know.
You're trying to use logic, not your strong suite remember? Things are known
Tassman. Things like 1) some people in the ancient world around the time of Christ are recorded to have lived to around 100 and 2) The diet of the followers of Jesus included fish and 3) People that have a high intake of fish tend to live longer lives. These things all go to support the proposition that the author of John could have lived long enough to compose an account even if he was around age 100. Your non-argument amounts to “we don’t know.” I’ve already shown why the reasoning in your appeal to life expectancy is fallacious. Your rebuttal to this? Just state your argument again.
Your whole argument is a mess of assumptions and presuppositions about authorship including the unsupported assumption that John was the work of a single author and was an eyewitness account. Evidence is that this wasn’t the case.
Assuming your arguments are representative of the scholars you think represent the majority then I’ve been doing my job this whole thread. Or haven’t you been paying attention? After all this time you still have not falsified the argument. Further, I provided more evidence in my last post from 1 John that supports John 1:14. You again utterly ignored it.
“Most modern commentators assume that I John was written after the fourth gospel. The terminus ad quem for I John is provided by Polycarp, who presupposes I John 4:2 in Phil 7:1, and by Papias, who used texts from I John according to Eusebius in HE 3.39.17. This places the letter sometime in the first quarter of the second century.” Raymond E Brown.
Thus by this time we have the fully developed doctrine of the pre-existent Christ, which is becoming increasingly accepted, just as we get it in 1:14. No one denies that this is the doctrine of ‘pre-existence’ being presented but this is not the same as being an eyewitness report of Jesus.
The underlying meaning of the kenotic passage is highly controversial, but don’t let that worry you. Just grab the meaning you like and go with it.
FALSE! Philippians ch 2 remember?
”Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!“
But never mind. Just keep your fingers in your ears, keep your eyes closed, contiune to hum, and continue to ignore the evidence post after post. Maybe if you do long enough the evidence will eventually disappear...
Biblical scholars do not think this passage means to say that Christ "emptied emptied himself of divine attributes" or anything like that. The words “of His deity” simply are not in the passage. The Kenotic Theory is based on an assumption regarding what “emptied” means and references, not upon what the Bible actually says and is erroneously used to refer to the pre-existence of Jesus Christ.
“It should be said at the outset that the verb must be understood metaphorically, not metaphysically. It says nothing about Christ stripping himself of his divine attributes as has sometimes been suggested.” All this according to the United Bible Societies’ Handbook!
What evidence! What arguments! Are you saying that there IS contemporary evidence of the Jesus story? OK, present it and you will become rich and famous.
Oh dear! Unless of course John is an eyewitness account. But Oh dear! once again, you ignore the fact that your assertion that “Conversely, secular texts do not have anything like the same level of deliberate alterations to promote particular viewpoints”
has been refuted. Again, you just ignore the evidence and arguments and instead just ramble on about forgetting to insert the word “contemporary.”
So, should he have mentioned Gamaliel, a mere teacher of doctrine? Why?
So what? Philo also never mentioned Gamaliel either.
Did Gamaliel turn Jerusalem upside down, heal the sick and raise the dead so that his fame spread as far as Syria? Did he have a triumphal entry, commit sacrilege in the temple have a sensational trail culminating in crucifixion whereby there was an eclipse, and earthquake with the temple curtain being rent in twain and the dead rising from their graves and wandering around the relatively small town of Jerusalem? No?
It seems that it was it the sensational events of the Jesus story that his exact contemporary Philo missed – and everyone else too. Strange that!
Yes, silly old “Artifacts and stuff”!
Oh, so in the case of Caesar it doesn’t matter about the theological assertions and god-man claims because, well, there are some artifacts and stuff. Okay, got it.
The point you missed is that Caesar’s story does not depend on the supernatural elements in it whereas the Jesus story is totally dependent on it. The supernatural resurrection is what it’s all about.
Historical methodology argues to the best explanation of the available evidence. The best explanation is the one which beats all others in both scope and explanatory power. If the best explanation were a supernatural one, on what grounds would you reject it?
This is one of apologist WL Craig’s more inane notions: There is an empty tomb and there are no obvious natural explanations as to why or how so, wait for it, Jesus must have resurrected. Of course!
It’s a god-of-the-gaps argument, e.g. we know that Hannibal crossed the Alps with his elephants but we don’t know how. Oh well, obviously he and his elephants floated over them via supernatural means. What’s that…..you think there WAS a natural explanation but that we just don’t know what it was? Precisely!
Once again: The critical/historical method assumes that any possible natural explanation is more likely than attributing them to supernatural forces.
“Atheism is simply a refusal to accept deities and those systems of worship that claim (in conflicting ways) to answer the “fundamental questions.” Most of us know that many of those so-called “fundamental questions,” like “Why are we here?” don’t have an answer beyond the laws of physics. Others like “What is our purpose?” must be answered by each person on their own, for there is no general answer. Others, like “How are we to live?” are answered far better by secular reason than by dogmatic adherence to outdated or even immoral religious strictures”. Jerry Coyne