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Thread: Confirmations of the New Testament

  1. #31
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Source: https://brill.com/view/journals/vc/68/3/article-p264_2.xml?lang=en



    The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44
    in Vigiliae Christianae
    Author: Richard Carrier 1
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    Online Publication Date: 02 Jul 2014
    Volume/Issue: Volume 68: Issue 3
    Article Type: Research Article
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/15700720-12341171
    Keywords: Tacitus; Chrestus; Christ; Christians; interpolation

    Some scholars have argued that Tacitus’ reference to Christ in connection with the burning of Rome under Nero is a 4th century (or later) interpolation. It is here argued that their arguments can be met with no strong rebuttal, and therefore the key sentence in Tacitus referring to Christ should be considered suspect.

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    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  2. #32
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Source: http://www.becomingjewish.org/articles/scribal_interpolation_and_the_christian_new_testament.pdf



    Scribal Interpolation and the Christian New Testament

    Modern textual critics have identified sections of the Christian New Testament as additional
    material that were written centuries after the gospels were originally written. Most of this textual
    variation took place within the first three centuries of the early Christian era. In modern
    translations of the Christian New Testament, these interpolations have resulted in certain verses,
    words, and phrases being left out or marked as not in the original text. Textual criticism deals
    with the identification and removal of transcription errors and alterations in the manuscripts that
    were made by ancient scribes.

    Christian New Testament manuscripts have been preserved in Greek, Latin, Syrian, Slavic,
    Ethiopian, and Armenian.

    The New Testament is now known, in whole or in part, in nearly five thousand Greek
    manuscripts alone. Every one of these handwritten copies differ from the other one. It has been
    estimated that these manuscripts and quotations differ among themselves between 150,000 and
    250,000 times. …The actual figure is, perhaps, much higher. A study of 150 Greek manuscripts
    of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings. It is safe to say that
    there is not one sentence in the New Testament in which the manuscript’ tradition is wholly
    uniform. – M.M. Parvis1

    Some of the most familiar verses of the New Testament were not originally part of the text, but
    were added by later scribes. These scribal additions are often found in late medieval
    manuscripts of the New Testament, but not in the manuscripts of the earlier centuries. – Bart
    Ehrman2

    Four of the most commonly cited examples of scribal interpolation are Mark 16:9-20, Luke
    22:43-44, John 7:53-8:11, and I John 5:7-8.

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    There is more in this reference.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  3. #33
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    From a Christina source: This supports the simpler version, where other scholars consider all of it an interpolation. Please not the existing reference remains the Agapius, an Arab Christian in 9th century version is quite late jn the 9th century.

    Source: http://evidenceforchristianity.org/you-use-josephus-quote-about-jesus-in-your-book-reasons-for-belief-but-it-is-considered-a-christian-interpolation-comment/



    Comment:

    I am currently reading your book “Reasons for Belief”. I’m not that far into yet but I wanted to point out that the passage that you use from Josephus to support the miracles of Jesus is considered to be a Christian interpolation and therefore not reliable. From what I understand, several passages from Josephus are suspect and I’m not sure if they can be used to prove the existence of Jesus.

    Response:

    You are correct that there is very good reason to believe that part of the famous little section in Josephus is an interpolation. I mention this in a footnote in the book. Below is a little set of notes I used in a class I taught about this issue recently. I will complete my comments below this section.

    2. Flavius Josephus (AD 38-100) Writing about AD 94 under Domitian. Concerning events he had indirect knowledge of. Josephus was a Pharisee. Jewish historian who was a turncoat, switching from the Jewish rebel side to Rome to serve under Nero and Vespasian. Josephus is a relatively reliable historian.

    The “Testimonium Flavium” (Antiquities 18:3.3)

    About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, [if indeed one ought to call him a man]. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. [He was the Messiah.] When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. [On the third day he appeared to them restored to life], for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.

    Agapius, an Arab Christian in 9th century quotes what was probably the original, leaving out the parts in parenthesis. Note the passage reads grammatically well without the parts in parenthesis.

    Note: Josephus also reports the martyrdom of “James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ” (Antiquities 20:20)




    Now for my comments. Serious scholars of this section of the Antiquities of Josephus generally agree that Josephus mentioned Jesus in this section of his history, but that, unfortunately and unwisely, a Christian believer with a sincere motives interpolated extra phrases to amp up the passage, making it even more convincing. We look at this and cringe, of course. This interpolation had the effect of making the passage less, not more powerful because it made the entire passage by Josephus about Jesus to be suspect. Fortunately, a translation of Josephus into Arabic by a man named Agapius really helps us here. This translation was from several centuries later, showing that the Christian interpolater probably did his unfortunate deed several centuries after Josephus wrote. It contains the section by Josephus, but without the parts in brackets. If you look at the shortened version it makes complete sense and is gramatically superior than the one with the interpolated section. The most likely correct view is that Josephus wrote this section on Jesus but a zealous but unwise Christian added the parts in brackets, hoping to make it even more convincing. I have read many on this subject and for those without a strong agenda one way or another, this seems to be the consensus.

    You say that “several passages from Josephus are suspect.” I believe that this is an exaggeration. What are these “several passages?” I believe you have read from someone who is biased against the reliability of Josephus. The fact is that you cannot trust the biased Christian interpreters or the biased anti-Christian interpreters about Josephus. The person saying that there are several suspect passages ought to supply his “several passages” but as far as I know, this is an exaggeration, intended to undercut the reliability of the bona fide mention by Josephus of Jesus.

    It is also worth noting that, as far as I know, there is no evidence of tampering with the Antiquities passage about the death of “James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ.”

    I hope this helps.

    John Oakes

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    Last edited by shunyadragon; 08-22-2019 at 07:47 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  4. #34
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    There is documented evidence of Christian interpolation of texts. The only question that is open is how much.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  5. #35
    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    There is documented evidence of Christian interpolation of texts. The only question that is open is how much.
    And this isn't news - also the answer is 'not very much'.

  6. Amen NorrinRadd amen'd this post.
  7. #36
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    True, and I could also write a book about unicorns or ufo's 70 years later that relies on eyewitness testimony from people that lived at that time. I'll bet you wouldn't believe it though.
    It's good to stay with the things that you know about.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" -- starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    While Josephus' reference to Jesus being crucified by Pilate, the so-called Testimonium Flavianum, is almost certainly a later interpolation or at least been modified, the offhand reference to him wrt to being the brother of James is regarded as authentic. Extremely few scholars question its authenticity, most notably (surprise, surprise) Richard Carrier.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" -- starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)

  9. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
  10. #38
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    While Josephus' reference to Jesus being crucified by Pilate, the so-called Testimonium Flavianum, is almost certainly a later interpolation or at least been modified, the offhand reference to him wrt to being the brother of James is regarded as authentic. Extremely few scholars question its authenticity, most notably (surprise, surprise) Richard Carrier.
    The irony of all this is shunya is ostensibly Baha'i, and those writings have been massively edited over the less than two centuries since the Bab. He seems to have no problem with that.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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  11. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
  12. #39
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill
    "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." (Lk 1:1–4)

    "For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Pet. 1:16)

    "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us." (1 Jn 1:1–3)

    And people claiming to be eyewitnesses, when their claim could be verified, is evidence that indeed they testified of what they had seen and heard.
    Again as discussed before. nothing here refers to first hand references.
    Sure it does! "We were eyewitnesses", "We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard".

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  13. Amen Teallaura, Chrawnus amen'd this post.
  14. #40
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Source: http://www.becomingjewish.org/articles/scribal_interpolation_and_the_christian_new_testament.pdf


    It has been estimated that these manuscripts and quotations differ among themselves between 150,000 and
    250,000 times. …The actual figure is, perhaps, much higher. A study of 150 Greek manuscripts
    of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings. It is safe to say that
    there is not one sentence in the New Testament in which the manuscript’ tradition is wholly
    uniform. – M.M. Parvis

    © Copyright Original Source

    And as I have heard, most of the differences are minor, spelling variations, etc.

    Source: carm.org

    The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure.

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    And hundreds of thousands of variations sounds like a lot, until you consider the number of manuscripts:

    Source: Wikipedia

    If you spread those 400,000 variations over 5,600 manuscripts, that comes out to only about 71 variations per manuscript, (400,000 divided by 5,600). And some of these manuscripts are the equivalent of several hundred pages of text, hand-written...

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    Blessings,
    Lee
    Last edited by lee_merrill; 08-22-2019 at 03:26 PM.
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  15. Amen Teallaura, Chrawnus amen'd this post.

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