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If the new testament is the most reliable ancient text

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by chamberlain, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. chamberlain

    chamberlain Member

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    If the new testament is the most reliable ancient text then why do people say Jesus is still dead?
    What do people think?
     
  2. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Reliable in the sense that it is copied correctly?
    Reliable in that man and Early Christian politics documented the choices they made in establishing what you have today?


    Because it is still just a story with no external justification.
     
  3. chamberlain

    chamberlain Member

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    "Because it is still just a story with no external justification."

    What about the writings of josephus the pharisee and historian?
     
  4. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Josephus spoke of the sect of Christianity but not of Christ as did some other contemporaries in personal letters and writings. I think there were about 6 more but they are considered very minor in historical value or even forgeries by scholarship today.
     
  5. Orthodox

    Orthodox Born again apostate

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    Josephus did speak about Christ.

    Part of what he said was, from memory, "at this time there was a sorcerer called Jesus of Nazareth who led many astray".

    This is jumped on by Christians because instead of calling Jesus a faker of miracles (like he did call a number of fake messiahs before hand), Josephus calleds him a sorcerer indicating that he did some supernatural things even though the source of them was debated in Jewish society.

    orthodox
     
  6. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    I've never seen that quote before - do you have a reference?

    I know of the quote in Antquites that is in dispute and I'm familiar with the James passage which is about the brother of Jesus (this later may have been the inspiration for the discredited "bones box")
     
  7. quick

    quick Member

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    See this text:

    1 Corinthians 15


    The Fact of Christ's Resurrection

    "1 Now (1) I make known to you, brethren, the (2) gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, (3) in which also you stand,
    2 by which also you are saved, (4) if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, (5) unless you believed in vain.
    3 For (6) I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died (7) for our sins (8) according to the Scriptures,
    4 and that He was buried, and that He was (9) raised on the third day (10) according to the Scriptures,
    5 and that (11) He appeared to (12) Cephas, then (13) to the twelve.
    6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some (14) have fallen asleep;
    7 then He appeared to (15) James, then to (16) all the apostles;
    8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, (17) He appeared to me also.
    9 For I am (18) the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I (19) persecuted the church of God.
    10 But by (20) the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I (21) labored even more than all of them, yet (22) not I, but the grace of God with me.
    11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
    12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there (23) is no resurrection of the dead?
    13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;
    14 and (24) if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
    15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He (25) raised [1] Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.
    16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;
    17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; (26) you are still in your sins.
    18 Then those also who (27) have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
    19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are (28) of all men most to be pitied. "

    This is Paul writing to the church in Corinth. Names are named. Facts are put forward. Many people would have seen this letter. Anyone living at the time could have talked to Cephas, the Twelve, James, and other apostles. Even if you believe these folks were hallucinating, Paul says 500 people saw him after his resurrection at the same time. There are no group hallucinations. Checking with these folks would have been easily done and if Paul were lying, his claims could have been easily refuted at the time. There is no evidence of this occurring, even among Jewish writings.

    The folks with the most to gain by denying Christ's resurrection were the Jewish leaders who had him crucified, and they did everything to make sure his body could not be stolen and none of his followers could make such a claim. Here are the key passages from Matthew:

    Matthew 27

    The Burial of Jesus

    "57As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

    The Guard at the Tomb

    62The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63"Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first."
    65"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. "


    Matthew 28

    The Resurrection

    "1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
    2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
    5The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
    8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

    The Guards' Report

    11While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. "

    If you notice, the chief priests (the San Headrin) paid the tomb guards to spread the rumor of Christ's body being stolen, so is it any wonder the rumor persists? This rumor persists despite a huge stone being in front fo the grave, despite the imprimatur of the Roman governor on it, despite the guard, and despite the fact that only women--not big, strong men--came to see the area from the time the stone was placed until after the resurrection occurred.

    These texts, read together, provide strong proof for the resurrection and why alternative explanations persist. However, Paul's excerpt in Corinthians is simply not the kind of writing a liar would make--too many facts, too many other people involved, and too easy to contradict by checking behind his facts.
     
  8. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    I'm sorry quick. Those are a product of circular reasoning and in no way offer proof.
     
  9. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    I searched the online edition of Josephus works translated by William Whiston.

    In the following:
    Antiquities of the Jews (Book XV through Book XX)
    War of the Jews (Book I through Book VII)
    The Life of Flavius Josephus - Autobiography
    Josephus Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades
    Flavius Josephus Against Apion (Book I and Book II)

    There was no appearence of the word "sorcerer".

    The quote about James, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ is in Chapter 9 of Book XX, Antiquities


    Another translation
    Same text, in a less complementary modern scholarly reconstruction.
    R. Eisler, The Messiah Jesus, (tr. A. H. Krappe), 1931, p. 61. Quoted from the Loeb Classical Library , vol. 9, p. 48.
    The disputed text:
    http://www.religiousstudies.uncc.edu/jdtabor/josephus-jesus.html
     
  10. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    I searched the online edition of Josephus works translated by William Whiston.

    In the following:
    Antiquities of the Jews (Book XV through Book XX)
    War of the Jews (Book I through Book VII)
    The Life of Flavius Josephus - Autobiography
    Josephus Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades
    Flavius Josephus Against Apion (Book I and Book II)

    There was no appearence of the word "sorcerer".

    The quote about James, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ is in Chapter 9 of Book XX, Antiquities


    Another translation
    Same text, in a less complementary modern scholarly reconstruction.
    R. Eisler, The Messiah Jesus, (tr. A. H. Krappe), 1931, p. 61. Quoted from the Loeb Classical Library , vol. 9, p. 48.
    The disputed text:
    http://www.religiousstudies.uncc.edu/jdtabor/josephus-jesus.html
     
  11. quick

    quick Member

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    To those dead in sin, I guess it would not offer much proof.

    However, Paul gives much detail that a skeptic living at the time could have verified. A liar would typically not have made such verification--or refutation--so easy. It is, of course, not provable in the same way you can prove your hand is attached to your arm--so long as you have faith that your senses are giving you accurate reports....
     
  12. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Quick,
    "To those dead in sin, I guess it would not offer much proof."

    It is logic that gives proof and an understanding of the facts.

    When you try to use the Bible as proof that the Bible is true, then you fail logically, by circular reasoning It is also that the answer is in he premise.

    Yopu are saying the Bible is true because the Bible says it is.
     
  13. Orthodox

    Orthodox Born again apostate

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    Pah,

    Remember I did say that the quote was from memory! Yes the quote you have put forward is the one I had thought of (i went a checked afterwards). It says sorceror in the version I originally read, also note that it said wizard in one of yours which is the same thing.

    There were also 5 other major non-christian recorders of Christ and christians.

    Tacitus - said that Christ was put to death by Pilate.
    Lucian or Samosata - commented ion Jesus's death and the Christian persistence in following him.
    Pliny the younger - Chrisitians in general.
    Thallus - Talks of the strange darkness that covered the land during the crusifiction.
    Phlegon- "mentions the eclipse of the sun during the full moon - meant to be impossible". (dave benson)

    orthodox
     
  14. Orthodox

    Orthodox Born again apostate

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    oh and also, Tacitus, Pliny phlegon are all considered VERY HIGHLY REPUTABLE. The others have some doubt but not anything substatiated.
    orthodox
     
  15. Orthodox

    Orthodox Born again apostate

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    oh and also, Tacitus, Pliny phlegon are all considered VERY HIGHLY REPUTABLE. The others have some doubt but not anything substatiated.
    orthodox
     
  16. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Not a problem There are undoubtably translations that used sorcerer. But the one I found with wizard is not one that Christianity would indorse I also learned (wish I had marked it) that Josephus was not kind to the "messiahs" that appeared from time to time This might, might be more in tune with how Josephus really felt. The astonishing thing to me the number of different translation which seem to track the one marked as disputed.

    http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/lucian/peregrinus.htm
    From an intorduction to The Passing of Perfeginus, by Lucian of Samostata"
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/maps/primary/pliny.html

    I seems you are right about Pliny just talking about Christians but not Christ

    Intoduction to a letter from from Pliny the Ypounger to Empeor Trajan
    http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/praeternatural/pagan prophecies of coming of christ.htm

    Apparently we don't have the words of Thallus

    Was there, in fact, a full moon? or was there a solar eclispe? or perhaps neither took place.

    Ibid.
    Phelegon
    There was, according to NASA, a total solar eclipse in the region between 21-40 BCE

    But at http://www.mreclipse.com/Special/quotes.html the date was given as 29 BCE and not 32-33 BCE as suggested by Phelegon who sets the date as "In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (AD 32-33), and eclipse of the Sun took place greater than any previously known, and night came on at the sixth hour of the day, so that stars actually appeared in the sky; and a great earthquake took place in Bithynia and overthrew the greater part of Niceaea."

    http://users.drew.edu/ddoughty/Christianorigins/persecutions/tacitus.html

    Tacitus' Account of Nero's Persecution of Christians. Annals 15.44.2-8
    by Prof Darrel J Doughty
    He gores on to say
    As I understand it, Tacitius was very anti-Christian and the words merely seem to be in the "style" of Tacitius. It would not appear authentic otherwise.
     
  17. tigrers99

    tigrers99 Member

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