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Do you think Moses existed as a historical figure?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Zulk-Dharma, Feb 21, 2015.

?
  1. No. Entirely fictional.

    20 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Yes. Entirely historical.

    9 vote(s)
    22.5%
  3. Maybe. Half historical, half fictional.

    11 vote(s)
    27.5%
  1. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    Most of your post was correct this was not.

    The doubts raised are because the bible was written rhetorically and they used mythology.

    Some people just want to place the mythology at higher levels then reality dictates, but it does not take away the known mythology used.
     
  2. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. You said that better and far more succinctly than I would have.
     
  3. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    Been debating with this gentlemen for years. He has been shown credible education and knowledge for years on all these topics and flat refuses all academia.

    He prefers his own version, and will continually ignore anything credible.
     
  4. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    Well, that does not, IMO, lead to very good discussion or debate for that matter. I will acknowledge when I am wrong, learn and in fact, love to learn things I do not know and debate, intelligently, those topics I find fascinating, like spirituality. So far, I have very much liked your posts, even when we disagree.
     
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  5. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    Thank you.

    I have spent year intensely studying these subjects, because like you I have a passion.
     
  6. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    Congratulations.

    Would historians try to change their history? :D They sure would! I think of how the Germans, in WWII, would say how well they were fighting a war even when they were loosing.

    The question would be whether it is applicable in the case of Christianity. It could be a factor 300 AD and beyond but I'm not sure it really fits for the first 2 to 3 centuries.

    For an example, letters would be treated differently than public history. In other words, like unto today, what they tell the public very often doesn't match what you would find in the emails between individuals.

    In the case of Pliny the Younger to the Emperor, his letter said:


    This isn't a historian trying to reformat history but rather an internal letter expressing what was happening as well as Christians singing "hymns as to a god".

    Here it would give a strong evidence, IMO, not of a historian trying to rewrite history but rather one ruler encountering trials of Christians for the first time and not knowing what to do about it.

    Then you have the Epistles and the Gospels, written by different people and at various and sundry times, who were not historians. No concept of where Rome was heading. I don't think they were trying to rewrite history. The only response that people come up with, to explain what was written, is to propose that they all somehow came together to create something that didn't happen -- conspiracy theory. I doubt if they had the capacity to coordinate that to make it happen.

    Please permit me to not address Paul in this context (unless you want me to). It may cause our interaction become to broad. A new thread?

    I would totally agree the Christ traveling to India is speculation. Christ, of course, meaning anointed one is the root for Christians or anointed ones. IMO, it would be more logical that it was Thomas that they are mixing it up with. He was preaching Christ and it wouldn't be a hard jump, over time, to go from preaching Christ to saying he was a christ (Christian) an anoint done.

    I agree. I believe it set the stage for the Dark Ages where the words of Christ where hidden and distorted.


    I think it goes much beyond that because one can come to the same conclusion by reading the rest of the NT. As I view it, it was the position of "no one can read and interpret correctly the scriptures except the clergy" and the demand that it be in Latin (which most could not read or write) that made it happen. My thought is that my position is pretty secure in that the moment someone tried to translate it for the common people, it was certain death.


    LOL... I think you had an extra {/quote] in it.
     
    #506 KenS, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  7. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    Would historians try to change their history? :D They sure would! I think of how the Germans, in WWII, would say how well they were fighting a war even when they were loosing.

    The question would be whether it is applicable in the case of Christianity. It could be a factor 300 AD and beyond but I'm not sure it really fits for the first 2 to 3 centuries.

    For an example, letters would be treated differently than public history. In other words, like unto today, what they tell the public very often doesn't match what you would find in the emails between individuals.

    In the case of Pliny the Younger to the Emperor, his letter said:

    The first two centuries were the defining factors in the beginnings of Christianity and of course, most, if not all, of the Bible (NT) was written well beyond the life and death of Christ. Iraneous and Jospehus, for example, all wrote well after Christ and they are two of the most often used sources for the alleged authenticity of the Bible. And no true academician would state the the writers of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were actually men of that name. No one knows for certain who wrote those, similar to things like Beowulf, etc.

    This isn't a historian trying to reformat history but rather an internal letter expressing what was happening as well as Christians singing "hymns as to a god".

    Here it would give a strong evidence, IMO, not of a historian trying to rewrite history but rather one ruler encountering trials of Christians for the first time and not knowing what to do about it.

    Then you have the Epistles and the Gospels, written by different people and at various and sundry times, who were not historians. No concept of where Rome was heading. I don't think they were trying to rewrite history. The only response that people come up with, to explain what was written, is to propose that they all somehow came together to create something that didn't happen -- conspiracy theory. I doubt if they had the capacity to coordinate that to make it happen.

    I would disagree with you here. They decidedly had to capacity to have the ability to enact conspiracies. Caesar and Brutus, for example. And let's not forget the intellectual prowess of the Egyptians and Greeks. One could agree, if one were so inclined, that the compilation of the Bible was enacted based on the conspiracy to keep the masses in check. Why those books that were included? And why those left out?


    I agree. I believe it set the stage for the Dark Ages where the words of Christ where hidden and distorted.

    I would argue that that was happening long before the Dark Ages. The actual message of Christ is really lovely but is has, IMO, been distorted for greed and power since the beginning. What happened to the message of forgiveness and loving one's neighbor? Those tenets are hidden behind pressuring people to cowtow to the needs of The Chruch.

    I think it goes much beyond that because one can come to the same conclusion by reading the rest of the NT. As I view it, it was the position of "no one can read and interpret correctly the scriptures except the clergy" and the demand that it be in Latin (which most could not read or write) that made it happen. My thought is that my position is pretty secure in that the moment someone tried to translate it for the common people, it was certain death.

    I would strongly disagree with you here. IMO, the books left out, and I have read ALL of them, run contrary to the NT and are more in tune with the actual message of what Christ taught? Other than his destorying the temple for the money changers, where do we see him preaching in an actual chruch? His "pulpit" was more often a field or a beach, etc. Of course, it is true that most could not read Latin but I also disagree that most could not understand the message. I had a delightful debate with a preacher in Alabama a few years back about the symbol of the fish and that it was unique to the Christian faith. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I proved this to him, much to his chagrin.

    As always, lovely discussion. Bright blessings. Jo
     
  8. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    Outhouse, we are such kindred souls. My passion for the topics of theology and the realm of the unknowable started when I was a child and grew exponentially until I found myself needing to study it for academic pursuits. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
     
  9. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    I always tilt my head when one makes statements of "no true academician" and sayings such as unto these. It's like saying any other opinion or viewpoint, regardless of reasons why, is irrelevant.

    Although I would agree that in some cases it is true that we don't know who wrote certain books, there are good academicians on both sides who differ on opinions. Then we have the differences between those who lived close to the time when the books were written vs modern critics trying to reconstruct something that happened 2000 years ago.

    Matthew: No record exists that counters that he isn't the author Papias (130AD), Origen (230AD) and Eusebius (330AD) all mede reference to Matthew
    was the author.

    If Papias said: "

    But I shall not hesitate also to put down for you along with my interpretations whatsoever things I have at any time learned carefully from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that teach the truth; not in those that relate strange commandments, but in those that deliver the commandments given by the Lord to faith, and springing from the truth itself. If, then, any one came, who had been a follower of the elders, I questioned him in regard to the words of the elders — what Andrew or what Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. For I did not think that what was to be gotten from the books would profit me as much as what came from the living and abiding voice.” Papias quoted in Eusebius, Church History, III.39.3-4

    Then I would tend to rely more on Papias than today's re-constructionists that Matthew indeed was the author. It would, of course, remain as a "My opinion".



    Ok. I can place that in the column of possibilities. I don't think there is any data to support that theory during the first 300 years, but it can remain a theory.

    However, with what information we do have, I wouldn't subscribe to that theory. Within the first 300 years, there was no need to "control the masses". I see it more as a free flowing revolutionary paradigm shift that was taking hold throughout the known world. With Papias having said "whatsoever things I have at any time learned carefully from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that teach the truth; " I see a couple of truths by this eyewitness of his times.

    1) He was a carefully learner
    2) He searched for truth
    3) There were a multitude that were trying to distort the truth
    4) He confirmed with those who had been under the tutelage of the Apostles.


    I would have to disagree. According to the writings, it was the Jewish leaders who were trying to rein in this new message and would be better classified as "The Church behind the pressure". I don't see distortions in the writings that we have. What you are describing is more in line with later years of the Catholic Church. With Christians being killed as sport by the Romans, I don't think there was a greed issue as you could have nothing real quick. Just doesn't seem to fit like a piece in a puzzle for that time frame.

    It seems more like it would fit with this scenario. The writings were a paradigm shift in belief systems where all could hear the voice of God and it wasn't done anymore by a selected few. (i.e. 1 John "you have no need that man should teach you" vs the High-Priest going in once a year or waiting for a Prophet to rise).

    After 200+ years, as we see with Papias statement, there would be the need to separate that which follows the message and that which didn't. I'm sure that over time, there were those who tried to take control

    We also know that the Canon of Muratori, assumed to have been written 170AD, said "The Gospel of St Luke stands third in order, having been written by St. Luke the physician, the companion of St. Paul..."

    So I can't really hold to the position that none of the Gospel can be attributed to the author. Mark is probably the one most in question.



    That would be a given, of course. If it was left out it was because they didn't agree. But how would you know that it was the actual message that Christ taught? And why would, in a scant 100 years, not be a letter or some statement that refuted who the authors were? Why wouldn't there be a consensus of which ones were true?



    Matt 12:
    9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
    Matt 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished , and said , Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
    Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up : and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read . (emphasis mine)

    It was his custom


    Yes, there too.

    :) I love those signs of Evo fish eating Christian Fish etc.

    May He continue to guide you.
     
    #509 KenS, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  10. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    I always tilt my head when one makes statements of "no true academician" and sayings such as unto these. It's like saying any other opinion or viewpoint, regardless of reasons why, is irrelevant.

    Although I would agree that in some cases it is true that we don't know who wrote certain books, there are good academicians on both sides who differ on opinions. Then we have the differences between those who lived close to the time when the books were written vs modern critics trying to reconstruct something that happened 2000 years ago.

    Matthew: No record exists that counters that he isn't the author Papias (130AD), Origen (230AD) and Eusebius (330AD) all mede reference to Matthew was the author.

    You are, of course, correct in that not all academician's agree on that point and I apologize for being so over zealous in my response. It was as you say, like saying all other view points are irrelevant. Mea Culpa. While I do agree that Papias and Origen support the view that Matthew was indeed written by Matthew, the fact is that they wrote that roughly 200 years after the fact and I cannot agree that they knew without any doubt that he wrote it. How would they know? They clearly did not speak to the man nor see him writing it.

    Ok. I can place that in the column of possibilities. I don't think there is any data to support that theory during the first 300 years, but it can remain a theory.
    However, with what information we do have, I wouldn't subscribe to that theory. Within the first 300 years, there was no need to "control the masses". I see it more as a free flowing revolutionary paradigm shift that was taking hold throughout the known world. With Papias having said "whatsoever things I have at any time learned carefully from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that teach the truth; " I see a couple of truths by this eyewitness of his times.

    1) He was a carefully learner
    2) He searched for truth
    3) There were a multitude that were trying to distort the truth
    4) He confirmed with those who had been under the tutelage of the Apostles.


    I agree about a paradigmatic shift, however I cannot agree with your conclusions, particularly with regard to #4. How would he been able to speak to anyone who had been taught by the disciples 200 or so after the fact? No one would have still been living Ken. I also disagree that there was no need to control the masses. That particular time period was rife with revolution. The Egyptian empire was failing, the Greek and Roman as well.


    I would have to disagree. According to the writings, it was the Jewish leaders who were trying to rein in this new message and would be better classified as "The Church behind the pressure". I don't see distortions in the writings that we have. What you are describing is more in line with later years of the Catholic Church. With Christians being killed as sport by the Romans, I don't think there was a greed issue as you could have nothing real quick. Just doesn't seem to fit like a piece in a puzzle for that time frame.

    It seems more like it would fit with this scenario. The writings were a paradigm shift in belief systems where all could hear the voice of God and it wasn't done anymore by a selected few. (i.e. 1 John "you have no need that man should teach you" vs the High-Priest going in once a year or waiting for a Prophet to rise).

    After 200+ years, as we see with Papias statement, there would be the need to separate that which follows the message and that which didn't. I'm sure that over time, there were those who tried to take control

    We also know that the Canon of Muratori, assumed to have been written 170AD, said "The Gospel of St Luke stands third in order, having been written by St. Luke the physician, the companion of St. Paul..."

    So I can't really hold to the position that none of the Gospel can be attributed to the author. Mark is probably the one most in question.


    I agree with your statement about the Jews. That was one group I did not mention and yes, clearly had an input. I cannot agree that none of the Gospels cannot be attrbuted to someone else. How do you explain the disparity seen with the Gospel of Mark? THere are several passages at the end that are not in all versions of the Bible. And further, Luke was the companion of Paul? Where is that corroborated? Paul never knew Christ and drew his views from his alleged vision. Perhaps I am wrong but I know of no corroboration here. Can you refer me to something to uphold that view? I would be most interested.

    That would be a given, of course. If it was left out it was because they didn't agree. But how would you know that it was the actual message that Christ taught? And why would, in a scant 100 years, not be a letter or some statement that refuted who the authors were? Why wouldn't there be a consensus of which ones were true?

    An excellent point of course. But view the argument from the other side. How do you know that the books the twin councils did include were truth? How do you know that the books left out were not the intended message? IMO, including books such as Thomas would undermine the Church's position. And including such books as those allegedly penned by Mary Magdalene would infer that she was more than a follower to Christ and might...just might, mind...presume that she was his consort or even wife.

    As always, an intriquing and thought provoking discussion, I look forward to the next installment.

    Bright blessings. Jo
     
  11. rusra02

    rusra02 Well-Known Member
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    Simply claiming the Bible writers "used mythology" does not prove they did. Where is the evidence?
     
  12. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    May I say, Jo, I have enjoyed this already.
    I added another part of your answers since it dealt with basically the same question.

    To me, this speaks of integrity. Until now, I have not had one person ever address this method of debate as being in error. You have ratcheted up my respect for you! Things like "Any honest person would agree; a person of intelligence would hold to; a person of education would say" to me is translate into, "I can't hold to my position based on the reliability of facts, so I will try to demean you".

    Thank you!! You are to be respected!!

    Your point is well taken. I really can't say you are wrong and I am right. All I can do is to share at how I came to my conclusion through my bias.

    The time of the writings of the Gospels and the book of Acts varies in Academia and only God knows who is correct or if everyone is wrong. I understand that "Wikipedia" isn't exactly the thing to quote since anyone can make corrections and anyone can adjust what was written. However, for the purpose of explaining how I came to my conclusion it will suffice (and I am sure that there are even other dates that are proposed):

    Quote: ""Scholars variously assess the majority (though not the consensus[31]) view as follows:
    • Mark: c. 68–73,[32] c. 65–70.[33]
    • Matthew: c. 70–100,[32] c. 80–85.[33]
    • Luke: c. 80–100, with most arguing for somewhere around 85,[32] c. 80–85.[33]
    • John: c. 90–100,[33] c. 90–110,[34] The majority view is that it was written in stages, so there was no one date of composition.
    Traditional Christian scholarship has generally preferred to assign earlier dates. Some historians interpret the end of the book of Acts as indicative, or at least suggestive, of its date; as Acts mentions neither the death of Paul, generally accepted as the author of many of the Epistles and who, according to the ecclesiastical tradition transmitted by Eusebius, was put to death by the Romans shortly before AD 68,[35] nor any other event post AD 62, notably the Neronian persecution of AD 64–65 that had such impact on the early church.[36]"

    Modern historians basically won't accept the earlier date unless they are conservative. But let's first the book of John as to the method of how I view it:

    Papias made his observation at 130AD. If a 20 year old was talking to John and later became an elder of the church at the time of Papias, he would be anywhere from 40 years old to 70 depending if John wrote it in the year 110AD or 90AD. Both ages are within the realm of possibility of a life span. The earlier he wrote it, the younger an elder, in Papias time, would be.

    So Papias would have spoken to the person who knew the writer first hand.

    The other letters would have been one of two cases: either someone knew the writer or, at most, it was one more generation of separation. In either case, in my thinking, there would have been a healthy consensus that is was written by said author or there would have been a greatly debated discussion in reference to it. In the reality that there is absolutely zero controversy at that time as to the authors, I would tend to weigh a little heavier on the side of those of that time, because of the close proximity and the likelihood that they spoke to those who knew the writers, than today's Academia who are at odds as to who wrote it.

    I'm not saying that there isn't a possibility. Both have their pros and cons.

    I know pastors who live in the persecution of Castro in Cuba. There are multiple denominations but just one church. During persecution, there is a tendency to band together, not out of control but out of survival. Greed is not a problem because persecution takes care of that. Applying today's reality to yesteryear's Roman's persecution, control of the believers isn't the issue. Faith is refined in persecution. Control is more apt to happen when there is no persecution.

    Anyway, that's how I view it.

    I did mention that Mark was the sole Gospel that had the most doubt when I said "Mark is probably the one most in question." There is no internal evidence that proves Mark is the author.

    The most we have is simply that no one had contested it and that Eusebius quotes Papias and Jerome makes reference to that. Thus, it is the most contested book of the 5. A scant few giving that support and thus the most contested book

    It is true that Paul never knew Christ. His views came from visions and, if we are to accept Galatians as his Epistle, whatever visions he had, apparently was corroborated by the Apostles and James.

    As far as Luke being the companion:

    Internal: Col 4:14 and II Tim 4:11. Assuming that Acts was written by Luke, then the "we" would include Luke in Acts 16:11 and in Acts 20:5-6 (with a separation in between those two references)
    The letter to Philemon mentions a Lucas (vs Luke) and yet it is the same word. Why they translated it differently, I don't have the slightest idea

    External: Eusebius writes "And Luke, who was a native of Antioch, and by profession a physician, for the most part companion of Paul, and who was not slightly acquainted with the rest of the apostles, has left us two books..." Jerome also makes mention of it.

    Good points. The Gospels don't say Jesus got married nor does it say he didn't.

    Ultimately, each person must decide. I'm sure you have gone through the "requirements" to have been accepted as canon. And certainly those books have been hot topics, even during the times of the Father's in the faith.

    This has been great. You are encouraging me to continue to dig and learn, and I appreciate that.

    2 Peter 1:2

    KenS
     
  13. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    What do you think of the overt comparisons because Christianity and those faiths and ,UTIs that preceded it? Can you really not see the parallels between Osiris and her son with that of Mary and Christ? The obvious parallels are clear to most who view this with an open mind. This is not to say that 'God' did not,guide this obvious progression. But to deny the symbols and parallels is really not viewing this as open mindedly as this site seems to encourage of the participants.
     
  14. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    Stop the horse pucky. No amount of evidence will EVER convince your fanaticism. You have been shown facts for years here, and you deny them all. That sis known as fundamentalism.

    The evidence is in literature they factually wrote.

    But really if there was evidence of magical actions, your fundamentalist brothers would have it all over the internet. But they have nothing at all.

    It is upon them to prove these things as existing in reality. They factually cannot.
     
  15. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    Which means apologetically biased.
     
  16. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    Biased fanaticism, as you refuse the credible people who are responsible for this knowledge.

    Go change it yourself, if you think its that easy. It factually is not. It would not last a week or even a day.

    The work there has to be cited and credible.

    The good thing about wiki is it gives you both sides of the coin, so readers can decide.

    When it states what the consensus is, it is usually accurate.

    You have no masters do you?



    No they are not at odds as to who wrote it in 3 different parts compiling the final finished edition in the beginning of the second century.

    That is an apologetic biased opinion.
     
  17. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    Your point is well taken. I really can't say you are wrong and I am right. All I can do is to share at how I came to my conclusion through my bias.

    The time of the writings of the Gospels and the book of Acts varies in Academia and only God knows who is correct or if everyone is wrong. I understand that "Wikipedia" isn't exactly the thing to quote since anyone can make corrections and anyone can adjust what was written. However, for the purpose of explaining how I came to my conclusion it will suffice (and I am sure that there are even other dates that are proposed):
    Quote: ""Scholars variously assess the majority (though not the consensus[31]) view as follows:
    • Mark: c. 68–73,[32] c. 65–70.[33]
    • Matthew: c. 70–100,[32] c. 80–85.[33]
    • Luke: c. 80–100, with most arguing for somewhere around 85,[32] c. 80–85.[33]
    • John: c. 90–100,[33] c. 90–110,[34] The majority view is that it was written in stages, so there was no one date of composition.
    Traditional Christian scholarship has generally preferred to assign earlier dates. Some historians interpret the end of the book of Acts as indicative, or at least suggestive, of its date; as Acts mentions neither the death of Paul, generally accepted as the author of many of the Epistles and who, according to the ecclesiastical tradition transmitted by Eusebius, was put to death by the Romans shortly before AD 68,[35]nor any other event post AD 62, notably the Neronian persecution of AD 64–65 that had such impact on the early church.[36]"
    Modern historians basically won't accept the earlier date unless they are conservative. But let's first the book of John as to the method of how I view it:

    Papias made his observation at 130AD. If a 20 year old was talking to John and later became an elder of the church at the time of Papias, he would be anywhere from 40 years old to 70 depending if John wrote it in the year 110AD or 90AD. Both ages are within the realm of possibility of a life span. The earlier he wrote it, the younger an elder, in Papias time, would be.

    So Papias would have spoken to the person who knew the writer first hand.

    The other letters would have been one of two cases: either someone knew the writer or, at most, it was one more generation of separation. In either case, in my thinking, there would have been a healthy consensus that is was written by said author or there would have been a greatly debated discussion in reference to it. In the reality that there is absolutely zero controversy at that time as to the authors, I would tend to weigh a little heavier on the side of those of that time, because of the close proximity and the likelihood that they spoke to those who knew the writers, than today's Academia who are at odds as to who wrote it.

    I agree that it is within the realm of possibility that it could, could mind, that some had known someone who actually had first hand knowledge of the message or historicity of this however, I am reminded of the old game of whispering something to one person and then that person repeats it to the next and so on. At the end, the message is so different as to be completely irrelevant to the first. However, I do agree it COULD be possible.


    The most we have is simply that no one had contested it and that Eusebius quotes Papias and Jerome makes reference to that. Thus, it is the most contested book of the 5. A scant few giving that support and thus the most contested book

    It is true that Paul never knew Christ. His views came from visions and, if we are to accept Galatians as his Epistle, whatever visions he had, apparently was corroborated by the Apostles and James.


    OK but for me, that is belief corroborating belief. You say "if we are to accept". That presumes that we accept the original statement. One can do same, or not. That does not mean your view is wrong or that mine is right. It simply means we view it from two differing perspectives KenS.

    Good points. The Gospels don't say Jesus got married nor does it say he didn't.

    Ultimately, each person must decide. I'm sure you have gone through the "requirements" to have been accepted as canon. And certainly those books have been hot topics, even during the times of the Father's in the faith.

    So glad we have reached agreement! Its one of the things, this idea that Christ never married, that really has always been a bone of contention for me. If we accept that Jesus was Jewish, then he would have had to follow Jewish law, and that means he would have had to marry. Why is it so hard for most to think that Christ would have married. It seems to infer, at least to me, that marriage is something to be ashamed of. Why is that? Does Christ being married somenhow diminish him or his message? IMO, it makes him more human and would impress me further with his message.

    Always look forward to this each day Ken. Briight Blessings. Jo
     
  18. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    While I might not have responded so abruptly ( not offense to your writing style Outhouse) I absolutely agree with your response. There is no evidence I have ever found that proves to me that the Bible is historically accurate or factual. And trust me, I have looked. I do agree that something of great import happened in that time frame but I cannot agree that God wrote the BIble or that Christ was God's son and so on.
     
  19. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    5 years debating him. He refuses facts presented before him.
     
  20. Vishvavajra

    Vishvavajra Active Member

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    While it's true that both Tacitus and Josephus mention Jesus of Nazareth, neither is a contemporary source; they're repeating what they've heard from an existing tradition, which is not really different from what we do today, just earlier. In other words, from a historical perspective they don't count as evidence of Jesus's existence or any particulars about his life. What they do count as evidence of is the tradition.

    The Gospels are similarly not historical texts. They're literary biographies written in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries by people who only know Jesus from the tradition, and who are constructing his life based on a combination of historical knowledge of the period, oral tradition, antecedents from Hebrew scripture, and contemporary theology. In fact, if you read them as simple historical accounts they really don't hold up, and you'll miss all of the sophistication in their composition.

    In short, there is no direct historical evidence of Jesus of Nazareth. For all intents and purposes he's a mythic figure, in the sense that our only sources are third-hand at best and mythic in terms of genre. On the other hand, there is good reason to believe that the character of Jesus that we have access to is based on a real guy. For example, there are aspects of his life and especially his death that his followers in later generations were at pains to explain, which indicates that it's not how they would have chosen for the story to go if they were coming up with it whole-cloth. So there almost certainly was a Jesus, but we have to be careful about accepting any particular detail about his life uncritically. Basically, our tradition surrounding Jesus of Nazareth isn't a direct view of the guy, but rather the product of his followers' and their successors' attempts to come to an understanding about him over the decades after his death.
     
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