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Thread: More secular proof of Jesus' existence?

  1. #11
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    Because "the book" was an accumulation of different works Mahan claimed he had accumulated in Rome. It's obvious large parts of it are forged, so we don't need a google search to point that out to us.

    Like I said, the first Caiaphas letter (the crucifixion) looks legit for reasons I stated earlier (if you read it, you might come to same conclusion, or maybe not). The second letter (the resurrection), not so much, and is distinct from the first in that it has obvious Christian elements, whereas the first does not (in fact, like I said, the first deviates from the gospel Passion). It would have taken someone with a very creative mind to write each work differently that way, a talent Mahan apparently didn't have since he had to plagiarize Ben Hur in one of the works that was in the first published book that he left out of this one. Mahan apparently admitted some of the works he did forge (which is obvious when you read it) when he was on trial about it, but claimed other works were legit.

    I was just hoping anyone interested would read it and come to their own conclusion about it, based on their critical analysis of that reading. I find works like this fascinating and was just hoping to find others who shared the same interests.
    What are the chances that, say, a genuine letter from Caiaphas was only known to this guy, who we already know is a forger and a liar, and not known anywhere else? And if he had such genuine sources that nobody else had, why would he need to make up other stuff? It would be plenty to have made him famous. He probably hired various people to forge different parts for him. That would explain why some appear more realistic than others.

    OK... reading the first letter of Caiaphas I see this line:

    may be seen if we turn to the third Book of Leviticus, section 10, wherein is the special order made by our God to Moses,

    Now as far as I know, chapters and verse numbers were not added to the bible till around something like the 1600s. Certainly not in Jesus' time as far as I know.

  2. #12
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    What are the chances that, say, a genuine letter from Caiaphas was only known to this guy, who we already know is a forger and a liar, and not known anywhere else? And if he had such genuine sources that nobody else had, why would he need to make up other stuff? It would be plenty to have made him famous. He probably hired various people to forge different parts for him. That would explain why some appear more realistic than others.

    OK... reading the first letter of Caiaphas I see this line:

    may be seen if we turn to the third Book of Leviticus, section 10, wherein is the special order made by our God to Moses,

    Now as far as I know, chapters and verse numbers were not added to the bible till around something like the 1600s. Certainly not in Jesus' time as far as I know.
    There you go, very observant. That's what I was looking for. Though I'm not sure that's true -- notice he uses "section" and not necessarily chapter and verse -- but that would be a good bit of damning evidence it was forged.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

  3. #13
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    There you go, very observant. That's what I was looking for. Though I'm not sure that's true -- notice he uses "section" and not necessarily chapter and verse -- but that would be a good bit of damning evidence it was forged.
    Well he seems to be trying to be tricky. But "book"=chapter and "section"=verse and it is the exact same topic (sacrifice) as Leviticus 3:10. Even if they did use "sections" and "books" the odds that they would be the exact same as our modern chapters/verses would be pretty low.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Well he seems to be trying to be tricky. But "book"=chapter and "section"=verse and it is the exact same topic (sacrifice) as Leviticus 3:10. Even if they did use "sections" and "books" the odds that they would be the exact same as our modern chapters/verses would be pretty low.
    It sounds more like he was using "section" to reference what we would classify as an entire chapter, doesn't it, not a specific verse? The entire chapter 3 discusses sacrifice (though I'm not sure that is the specific chapter he was referencing).

    Also, it's true that the manuscript works we find of that era (i.e. Qumran scrolls) don't have chapter and verse (from my memory at least), but this could be explained by the possibility they had manuscripts they used strictly for preservation and manuscripts they used for daily use. The former would make it less likely the manuscript would wear out quickly or get damaged. I think sectioning off the passages would have been just as convenient and practical to the ancients as it is to us, but the reason we don't find these might be because they wore out faster
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    It sounds more like he was using "section" to reference what we would classify as an entire chapter, doesn't it, not a specific verse? The entire chapter 3 discusses sacrifice (though I'm not sure that is the specific chapter he was referencing).

    Also, it's true that the manuscript works we find of that era (i.e. Qumran scrolls) don't have chapter and verse (from my memory at least), but this could be explained by the possibility they had manuscripts they used strictly for preservation and manuscripts they used for daily use. The former would make it less likely the manuscript would wear out quickly or get damaged. I think sectioning off the passages would have been just as convenient and practical to the ancients as it is to us, but the reason we don't find these might be because they wore out faster
    Occam's razor. Don't try to excuse it when it sits in the middle of a book of frauds. The most likely explanation is that the letter is fake too.

    These hucksters were not sophisticated. They made these kinds of errors frequently. That is why it is so easy to spot what a fraud Joseph Smith was with the Book of Mormon. Full of anachronisms.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    It sounds more like he was using "section" to reference what we would classify as an entire chapter, doesn't it, not a specific verse? The entire chapter 3 discusses sacrifice (though I'm not sure that is the specific chapter he was referencing).

    Also, it's true that the manuscript works we find of that era (i.e. Qumran scrolls) don't have chapter and verse (from my memory at least), but this could be explained by the possibility they had manuscripts they used strictly for preservation and manuscripts they used for daily use. The former would make it less likely the manuscript would wear out quickly or get damaged. I think sectioning off the passages would have been just as convenient and practical to the ancients as it is to us, but the reason we don't find these might be because they wore out faster
    It was way too labor-intensive to make copies for people to make special copies of manuscripts for preservation, and, if actually done, there would have been no reason to write them differently.
    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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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Occam's razor. Don't try to excuse it when it sits in the middle of a book of frauds. The most likely explanation is that the letter is fake too.

    These hucksters were not sophisticated. They made these kinds of errors frequently. That is why it is so easy to spot what a fraud Joseph Smith was with the Book of Mormon. Full of anachronisms.
    Okay, cool, but I still don't see how you're using that as an error. The passage you referenced has Caiaphas not focusing on one verse because he generalizes a litany of sacrifices -- "maybe seen if we turn to the third Book of Leviticus, section 10, wherein is the special order made by our God to Moses, that we should offer the bullock, the ram, the flour and oil, and the people should fast seven days, and this should be kaphar, or atonement for the sins of all the people." So I don't understand why you focused on just one verse when what he describes basically covers an entire chapter. "Third" may have been a reference to the book number or order, not necessarily a verse.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    It was way too labor-intensive to make copies for people to make special copies of manuscripts for preservation, and, if actually done, there would have been no reason to write them differently.
    What would have happened if a manuscript they were using got destroyed? You don't think they were preserving back-ups?
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

  10. #19
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    What would have happened if a manuscript they were using got destroyed? You don't think they were preserving back-ups?
    I'm rather certain they weren't preserving backups. If you want a clue to how "daily use" manuscripts would have appeared, look no further than the Cairo genizah, which is where Jews disposed of everything from worn out scripture to letters.
    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. #20
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    I'm rather certain they weren't preserving backups. If you want a clue to how "daily use" manuscripts would have appeared, look no further than the Cairo genizah, which is where Jews disposed of everything from worn out scripture to letters.
    Is that really a fair comparison though? We are theoretically talking about the head honcho at Jerusalem. I honestly don't know how resourceful synagogues in Egypt were and how they handled manuscripts, but I doubt they matched the resourcefulness that was required for the Judaic adherents at Jerusalem.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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