Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius as church forgeries

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Copernicus
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Post by Copernicus » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:29 am

[quote=""Metacrock""]
Copernicus;625136 wrote:
Metacrock;624322 wrote:
Copernicus;624134 wrote:The archaeological evidence that Christians existed in Rome during Nero's reign is extremely vague, and the RCC's bias in promoting tales of Christian persecutions is extremely clear. That doesn't mean we can conclude that the tale of Christian persecution by Nero is false, but it shouldn't just be accepted on the basis of majority opinions in academia. Even if the evidence had not been forged by the Church, it is still quite possible that they just got their facts wrong on the basis of information that was decades old. Pliny apparently knew of the existence of Christians, but he claimed to be unfamiliar with them.
you will not find many real historians (ie Ph.D. teaching in university publishing and going to conferences) who don't accept Tacitus as real. the only reason you think it's forged is because you don't like what he says.
No, I believe that the Christian references may have been interpolations, because I have found the arguments against veracity to be more convincing than the arguments for it. You are of the opposite opinion. As far as I am concerned, my personal bias does not undermine my conclusion any more than yours undermines your conclusion. Attacking the motives of a person you disagree with is a common rhetorical tactic when one has no better reason for dismissing the opinion of that person.
there is not such evidence of which am aware. If so what is it?[/QUOTE]
I said "argument", not "evidence". There is a difference. The question is really over whether those few words were ones that could plausibly have been inserted by later Christian scribes, given that errors, forgeries, and interpolations (especially regarding Christianity) were quite common back then. For example, Tacitus's coverage of the years when Jesus was allegedly alive--20, 30, and 31--are alleged to be missing and have been deliberately removed, quite possibly by Christians who were embarrassed by the lack of any mention of Jesus in them. Tacitus calls Pontius Pilate a "procurator", although that could not possibly have been his title at the time. (That rank only occurred for governor's of Judea after 44 AD.) He was actually a "praefectus" (prefect), and one supposes that Tacitus would have known that, given his tendency to verify his claims. Nevertheless, the most convincing argument is that, even if the passage had been genuine, it could only have shown that Tacitus accepted the stories of Christians. He did not base his claim on actual Roman records. So it really doesn't count as evidence of historicity at all. It is irrelevant.

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Metacrock
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Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:47 am

[quote=""Copernicus""]
Metacrock;625201 wrote:
Copernicus;625136 wrote:
Metacrock;624322 wrote:
you will not find many real historians (ie Ph.D. teaching in university publishing and going to conferences) who don't accept Tacitus as real. the only reason you think it's forged is because you don't like what he says.
No, I believe that the Christian references may have been interpolations, because I have found the arguments against veracity to be more convincing than the arguments for it. You are of the opposite opinion. As far as I am concerned, my personal bias does not undermine my conclusion any more than yours undermines your conclusion. Attacking the motives of a person you disagree with is a common rhetorical tactic when one has no better reason for dismissing the opinion of that person.
there is not such evidence of which am aware. If so what is it?
I said "argument", not "evidence". There is a difference.[/QUOTE]

I know, the difference in a sound argument and a worthless one.
The question is really over whether those few words were ones that could plausibly have been inserted by later Christian scribes, given that errors, forgeries, and interpolations (especially regarding Christianity) were quite common back then. For example, Tacitus's coverage of the years when Jesus was allegedly alive--20, 30, and 31--are alleged to be missing and have been deliberately removed, quite possibly by Christians who were embarrassed by the lack of any mention of Jesus in them.
that is nonsense. no one would remove a whole section because it doesn't mention X. They would more likely write X in. You can't deny that because that's your argument on 'TF.

show me a scholar who says that?

Tacitus calls Pontius Pilate a "procurator", although that could not possibly have been his title at the time. (That rank only occurred for governor's of Judea after 44 AD.) He was actually a "praefectus" (prefect), and one supposes that Tacitus would have known that, given his tendency to verify his claims.
No I thin Tacitus has been lauded for getting the Titles right.
Nevertheless, the most convincing argument is that, even if the passage had been genuine, it could only have shown that Tacitus accepted the stories of Christians. He did not base his claim on actual Roman records. So it really doesn't count as evidence of historicity at all. It is irrelevant.
you do not know what he based it on. he could well have.

again myths don't have followers who risk their lives for the myth when so close in time that it's just the next generation and the parents and grandparents would not have heard of him.

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Post by ruby sparks » Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:01 am

[quote=""Metacrock""]
Copernicus;625207 wrote: The question is really over whether those few words were ones that could plausibly have been inserted by later Christian scribes, given that errors, forgeries, and interpolations (especially regarding Christianity) were quite common back then. For example, Tacitus's coverage of the years when Jesus was allegedly alive--20, 30, and 31--are alleged to be missing and have been deliberately removed, quite possibly by Christians who were embarrassed by the lack of any mention of Jesus in them.
that is nonsense. no one would remove a whole section because it doesn't mention X. They would more likely write X in. You can't deny that because that's your argument on 'TF.[/QUOTE]

One of the aspects of mythicism that I don't find convincing is the wide variety of different reasons used to question evidence.

The James passage in Josephus is someone else, Origen was mixed up, this was added, that was left out, this or that reference was to a cosmic Jesus, etc etc.

As you say, why wouldn't they add something in another passage? Why not put something small in Pliny, if he's such a supposed 'silence'? There is no consistency.

And underneath all of this is the idea that Christians would even feel that they had to defend the idea that he existed, even though no one as far as we can tell was questioning it.

So then they have to allege that Christians destroyed any evidence of that too, that it was the only heresy they didn't bother countering.

It seems to be hoop-jumping all the way. And no textual evidence for any of it. Just a variety of explanations that aren't even consistent.

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Metacrock
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Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:16 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
Metacrock;625233 wrote:
Copernicus;625207 wrote: The question is really over whether those few words were ones that could plausibly have been inserted by later Christian scribes, given that errors, forgeries, and interpolations (especially regarding Christianity) were quite common back then. For example, Tacitus's coverage of the years when Jesus was allegedly alive--20, 30, and 31--are alleged to be missing and have been deliberately removed, quite possibly by Christians who were embarrassed by the lack of any mention of Jesus in them.
that is nonsense. no one would remove a whole section because it doesn't mention X. They would more likely write X in. You can't deny that because that's your argument on 'TF.
One of the aspects of mythicism that I don't find convincing is the wide variety of different reasons used to question evidence.

The James passage in Josephus is someone else, Origen was mixed up, this was added, that was left out, this or that reference was to a cosmic Jesus, etc etc.

As you say, why wouldn't they add something in another passage? Why not put something small in Pliny, if he's such a supposed 'silence'? There is no consistency.

And underneath all of this is the idea that Christians would even feel that they had to defend the idea that he existed, even though no one as far as we can tell was questioning it.

So then they have to allege that Christians destroyed any evidence of that too, that it was the only heresy they didn't bother countering.

It seems to be hoop-jumping all the way. And no textual evidence for any of it. Just a variety of explanations that aren't even consistent.[/QUOTE]

those very all very cogent points. :)

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Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:18 am

from Roger Pearse's website
Is Tacitus a forgery?4

The modern editions of Tacitus that I have seen do not refer to the allegations of forgery that have been made at various times. The following account is summarised from Mendell4, who gives the same data at more length. If anyone has more data or more recent bibliographic references on this, so that this story can be put to bed, I would be grateful to receive it.

According to Mendell, since 1775 there have been at least 6 attempts to discredit the works of Tacitus as either forgeries or fiction:
• The allegation originated with Voltaire, and his claims were elaborated by a lawyer named Linguet. However the position was only taken seriously with Napoleon. The French Revolutionaries had found "tremendous comfort in Tacitus' republicanism. The modern successor to the Caesars" had therefore a strong political motive to discredit him. But these efforts ceased with the collapse of the First Empire.
• John Wilson ROSS published (anonymously!) a book entitled Tacitus and Bracciolini:: the Annals forged in the XVth century, London (1878) intended to prove that Poggio had forged the works of Tacitus. (It would be interesting to know how Ross believed Poggio could forge 9th century MSS.) This work has now been added to Project Gutenberg and is online.
• In 1890 P. HOCHART, De l'Authenticite des Annales et des Histoires de Tacite, maintained the same idea "with a much greater show of learning, and followed up with a supplementary volume". Apparently neither Ross or Hochart was able to convince scholarly opinion at the time.
• In 1920 Leo WIENER, Tacitus' Germania and other forgeries, "attempted in vain to prove by a bewildering display of linguistic fireworks that the Germania and, by implication, other works of Tacitus were forgeries made after Arabic influence had extended into Europe".
• "After Gaston Boissier's brilliant book (Tacite, 1903) had roused new enthusiasm for the historian, Eugene Bacha (Le Genie de Tacite, 1906) attempted to prove Tacitus was a master of Romantic fiction... Bacha's book does have some value for his comments on stylistic matters."
• T.S.Jerome, Aspects of the Study of History, 1923, presented Tacitus as "a consistent liar by nature and deliberate choice. The book has no value because of its overall inaccuracy, the confusion of narratio in a legal speech with narratio in history, and its wholly unconvincing method".
According to Mendell, none of these writers have won general acceptance of their estimates of Tacitus, the extreme positions have been abandoned, and the general integrity of Tacitus vindicated. However as with all history, the personal element of selection and interpretation means that scholars do not necessarily accept Tacitus' view as the final and just interpretation of first-century Roman history.
It would seem that the arguments for forgery have failed to find acceptance.

Mendell also gives an extensive list of people who mention Tacitus or any of his works from the 1st century onwards. From this we can see that Tacitus is mentioned or quoted in every century down to and including the Sixth. The Seventh and Eighth centuries are the only ones that have left no trace of knowledge of our author4. The Dialogus is not mentioned at all, however.1 Without quoting every reference, here are some which I found of interest.

Around 400:
• Ammianus Marcellinus publishes his history, starting where Tacitus left off.
• Sulpicius Severus of Aquitaine, Chronicorum Libri II, 29, uses Annals 15.37 and 15.44 as his source, for the marriage of Nero to Pythagoras and the punishment of the Christians. (I should add I don't know exactly what ties to what). English in ANF; Latin text is Sulpicius Severus. Sulpicii Severi libri qui supersunt. Ed. C. Halm. CSEL 1, Wien (1866). See also E.Laupot, Tacitus' Fragment 2: The Anti-Roman Movement of the Christiani and the Nazoreans, Vigiliae Christianae 54 (2000) 233-47
• Jerome in his Commentary on Zacchariah 14.1, 2 cites Tacitus as the author of a history from the death of Augustus to the death of Domitian, in 30 volumes:


"Haec omnia plenissime Josephus, qui Judaicam scripsit historiam, et multo majora quam legimus in prophetis, eos sustinuisse commemorat. Cornelius quoque Tacitus, qui post Augustum usque ad mortem Domitiani Vitas Caesarum triginta voluminibus exaravit." (from the Patrologia Latina text here)
"All these things [about the destruction of Jerusalem] Josephus records very fully, who wrote a Jewish History, and supports them with many things at greater length than we read in the prophets [i.e. in the bible]. Also Cornelius Tacitus, who wrote the lives of the Caesars in 30 volumes from Augustus down to the death of Domitian." (Tr. RP)

Around 500:
• Servius quotes a lost portion of the text in his commentary on the Aeneid 3.399.
• Orosius used Tacitus, and quotes from n

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Post by ruby sparks » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:28 am

[quote=""Metacrock""]
ruby sparks;625234 wrote:One of the aspects of mythicism that I don't find convincing is the wide variety of different reasons used to question evidence.

The James passage in Josephus is someone else, Origen was mixed up, this was added, that was left out, this or that reference was to a cosmic Jesus, etc etc.

As you say, why wouldn't they add something in another passage? Why not put something small in Pliny, if he's such a supposed 'silence'? There is no consistency.

And underneath all of this is the idea that Christians would even feel that they had to defend the idea that he existed, even though no one as far as we can tell was questioning it.

So then they have to allege that Christians destroyed any evidence of that too, that it was the only heresy they didn't bother countering.

It seems to be hoop-jumping all the way. And no textual evidence for any of it. Just a variety of explanations that aren't even consistent.
those very all very cogent points. :) [/QUOTE]


And I forgot the 'Chrestus being a different figure' or 'Chrestians being a different bunch' thing too.

There's almost a different type of case made against each and every piece of evidence.

Ditto for when there's no evidence (early Jesus mythicists are arguably more mythical than anyone else).

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Metacrock
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Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:43 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
Metacrock;625240 wrote:
ruby sparks;625234 wrote:One of the aspects of mythicism that I don't find convincing is the wide variety of different reasons used to question evidence.

The James passage in Josephus is someone else, Origen was mixed up, this was added, that was left out, this or that reference was to a cosmic Jesus, etc etc.

As you say, why wouldn't they add something in another passage? Why not put something small in Pliny, if he's such a supposed 'silence'? There is no consistency.

And underneath all of this is the idea that Christians would even feel that they had to defend the idea that he existed, even though no one as far as we can tell was questioning it.

So then they have to allege that Christians destroyed any evidence of that too, that it was the only heresy they didn't bother countering.

It seems to be hoop-jumping all the way. And no textual evidence for any of it. Just a variety of explanations that aren't even consistent.
those very all very cogent points. :)


And I forgot the 'Chrestus being a different figure' or 'Chrestians being a different bunch' thing too.

There's almost a different type of case made against each and every piece of evidence.

Ditto for when there's no evidence (early Jesus mythicists are arguably more mythical than anyone else).[/QUOTE]

that's the most amusing thing of all the way they resort to just making up stuff about it was another Jesus, absurd.; the sources that prove them are myths too.


Metacrock's blog

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:29 pm

[quote=""Metacrock""] that's the most amusing thing of all the way they resort to just making up stuff about it was another Jesus, absurd...[/quote]

Personally, I wouldn't say absurd, especially not the theories that say that his story might contain elements of other people, though even here I wonder why we shouldn't opt for parsimony or at least take it that there is an historical component, and that it's the guy in question who is the most likely source of that component, not someone else.

Sometimes I ask myself what EXACTLY is wrong with the unextraordinary idea that some fucking Jewish preacher called Jesus probably existed?
Last edited by ruby sparks on Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Metacrock
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Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:54 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
Metacrock;625245 wrote: that's the most amusing thing of all the way they resort to just making up stuff about it was another Jesus, absurd...
Personally, I wouldn't say absurd, especially not the theories that say that his story might contain elements of other people, though even here I wonder why we shouldn't opt for parsimony or at least take it that there is an historical component, and that it's the guy in question who is the most likely source of that component, not someone else.

Sometimes I ask myself what EXACTLY is wrong with the unextraordinary idea that some fucking Jewish preacher called Jesus probably existed?[/QUOTE]

Possibility. But mythers think possibility means done deal if it's something they wish was true.

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:01 pm

[quote=""Metacrock""].... mythers think possibility means done deal if it's something they wish was true.[/quote]

That's precisely how fundamentalist historicists allocate certitude to the truth value - normally only expressed in terms of a theoretical probability - associated with the hypothesis that Jesus existed. They have dogma on their side of the balance. The dogma of the church, historically an utterly corrupt organisation.

Surely we have to ask the question was the dogma forged or interpolated by pious scribes.

Back to the OP, was Suetonius interpolated?


PROVENANCE OF THE SUETONIUS CHRISTIAN REFERENCES

I find it fascinating that the provenance of the earliest archetype of the Suetonius manuscript which contains references to Christians is very close in space and time to the headquarters of the massive Pseudo-Isidore LATIN FORGERY MILL. The earliest Suetonius manuscript (Paris, BnF lat 6115) is from north-central Carolingian France.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Is ... _Decretals


Image
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Hermit » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:38 pm

[quote=""Metacrock""]
Kookaburra Jack;624613 wrote:
Metacrock;624480 wrote:
Kookaburra Jack;624447 wrote:The historical method itself allows for an evaluation that any given source may be forged or corrupt. When the church is regarded as an hierarchical organisation of men, it may be treated as a single source.
no it doesn't.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method

Core principles for determining reliability

Any given source may be forged or corrupted.
Strong indications of the originality of the source increase its reliability.



Yes it does.
if you really knew anything about historiography you would not quote Wikepidia. that was probably edited by a Jesus myther, maybe you.[/QUOTE]
One of the nice things about the Wikipedia is the copious amount of links it backs its articles up with. In this particular case you could click on the link which leads you to footnote #4. This leads to a book written by Torsten Thurén, titled Källkritik, which translates to "Source criticism". You may not be able to read Swedish, but now you can google a bit in order to find out if Thurén is in fact a mythisist or a historian. After just a few minutes you'll discover that he is neither. He is or was a senior lecturer at Stockholm University's Department of Journalism, Media and Communication who wrote a book about problems with sources. You may also discover that the book is not self-published and it has been cited in other academic publications. That would be a much saner idea than wildly flailing about, casting aspersions at the Wikipedia.

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:15 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]Sometimes I ask myself what EXACTLY is wrong with the unextraordinary idea that some fucking Jewish preacher called Jesus probably existed?[/quote]

The obvious.

This idea is the foundation of a monopoly BU$INE$$ INDU$TRY operated by an utterly corrupt [church] organisation, since - in the political sense at least - the Nicene church organisation of the 4th century barbaric Roman Empire, where physical slavery and mental slavery shared chains.

What is EXACTLY is wrong with the unextraordinary idea that some fucking Jewish preacher called Jesus probably existed?

George Orwell.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:21 am

[quote=""Metacrock""]
Kookaburra Jack;624613 wrote:
no it doesn't.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method

Core principles for determining reliability

Any given source may be forged or corrupted.
Strong indications of the originality of the source increase its reliability.



Yes it does.
if you really knew anything about historiography you would not quote Wikepidia. that was probably edited by a Jesus myther, maybe you.[/QUOTE]

Are you serious? Have you visited the "Christianity Portal"?


I think you are clutching at straws because you yourself continually demonstrate that you have very little if any knowledge of the historical method. Rather you are relying upon the fallacy of an appeal to perceived authority.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Hermit » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:49 am

[quote=""Kookaburra Jack""]Rather you are relying upon the fallacy of an appeal to perceived authority.[/quote]
Which is rather ironic, given his meagre and self-conferred one. What does his authority consist of? Chiefly, it seems, "lots of reading", a blog site, two books via vanity press and an abortive attempt at cadging a Ph.D. Calling yourself a "Ph.D. (abd)" is a pathetic way of bignoting yourself, seeing ABD stands for "Almost Became a Doctor". It's also been likened to an espresso that is All But Coffee. As for "freelance academic", ROFL. The relentless self-puffery is bizarre.

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:26 am

[quote=""Hermit""]
Kookaburra Jack;625494 wrote:Rather you are relying upon the fallacy of an appeal to perceived authority.
Which is rather ironic, given his meagre and self-conferred one. What does his authority consist of? Chiefly, it seems, "lots of reading", a blog site, two books via vanity press and an abortive attempt at cadging a Ph.D. Calling yourself a "Ph.D. (abd)" is a pathetic way of bignoting yourself, seeing ABD stands for "Almost Became a Doctor". It's also been likened to an espresso that is All But Coffee. As for "freelance academic", ROFL. The relentless self-puffery is bizarre.[/QUOTE]


Academic hubris is rife in some people, and seems to outweigh the ability to actually communicate effectively with others.


.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Hermit » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:06 am

[quote=""Kookaburra Jack""]Academic hubris is rife in some people, and seems to outweigh the ability to actually communicate effectively with others.[/quote]
Some academics have something to crow about. One of my teachers was so full of himself that he refused to blow his own trumpet, at least at length. For that he had a coterie of sycophants. Seeing him enter a meeting was as funny as fuck. He'd stride into a meeting or lecture theatre when everyone else had already assembled. Picture a quite tall, broad shouldered and very skinny man in a grey suit walking down an aisle, followed by two metres of emptiness. I used to call that TPRD or The Prescribed Respectful Distance. Then followed a short man, invariably dressed in a baby-shit coloured corduroy suit and wearing a black Basque cap. His scalp and face were always freshly shaven and he walked in a somewhat military fashion, stiff as a board, but not quite to the point of goose stepping. Now, at intervals of barely a metre ambled two to four other young male adults. They tended to look about, checking that everyone is fully aware of their presence. That was his chorus line, or as I preferred to think of it, his publicity department. And boy, did they work hard at it during tutorials. Apparently, every utterance of his was a pearl of wisdom, an unarguable truth or some other precious thing that always escapes the mouth of pure genius.

Mind you he did have something to crow about. By the time he retired he had been the Challis Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney for 27 years. He also had 14 published books to his name, and among the publishers were Oxford University Press , Cambridge University Press (x6), Cornell University Press, Routledge & Kegan Paul (x3) and Melbourne University Press. Then there's a truck load of articles, mostly peer reviewed, though he did not feel above occasionally contributing to our Student Union's paper. I have no idea how many times he was cited.

Oh, and he communicated well. He only took a token course involving undergrads, and one group among them for tutorials. I was one of the lucky ones in my first year. You had to work very fucking hard when discussing anything with him. He'd pick you up on ever minor and major point you fucked up and he explained very concisely and precisely where you went wrong. I did not like him or his views, and got away from his course as soon as it was permitted, but he did catch me out on sloppy thinking an awful lot of times. I suppose I did benefit heaps from that. If nothing else, I got a crash course in modus ponens, modus tollens and how to avoid the usual fallacies, and this was not even the logic course.

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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:32 am

Sometimes I ask myself what EXACTLY is wrong with the unextraordinary idea that some fucking Jewish preacher called Jesus probably existed?
Ummm... Jesus is neither a Hebrew or Aramaic name? he's about as likely to be called Oladigbolu...

More relevantly, being a Jesus isn't enough, one has to be The Jesus. Although, there has to be some sort of sorites thing going on here. How many of the common knowledge facts about Jesus have to be false before we stop talking about the same character, fictional or otherwise.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:08 am

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
Sometimes I ask myself what EXACTLY is wrong with the unextraordinary idea that some fucking Jewish preacher called Jesus probably existed?
Ummm... Jesus is neither a Hebrew or Aramaic name? he's about as likely to be called Oladigbolu…[/quote]

Ummm... not really. Apparently it was a very common Judean name at the time.

[quote=""subsymbolic""]How many of the common knowledge facts about Jesus have to be false before we stop talking about the same character, fictional or otherwise.[/quote]

I don't know. I don't know how anybody can, given that we can't easily tell which ones are facts and which are not. Which is why I try to stay well out of the quagmire about claiming this or that detail is true. Unless I'm delving into someone else's assertions, I try to stand well back and make an assessment of broader issues such as parsimony, consistency, methodology and so on. In this matter of basic existence, like I said, I genuinely think the historicists have the better evidence, argument and academic consensus (or something approaching it) secular and otherwise. It's not a case of blithely running with that combination, especially the last part, but I don't see enough in the alternative cases to justify going against it.

My point in what you quoted above was to say that him existing would not be unusual. Him not having existed would be more of an unusuality. I would like to see better evidence or argument in order to prefer the latter. As it is, I slightly prefer the former, at the end of the day.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:44 am, edited 14 times in total.

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:36 am

A common name like "Harry"? Jesus H. Christ. Wow I wonder how people who write fiction books find names for their characters?
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:40 am

If, as you appear to believe, Christianity was invented in the 4th C by the evil RCC (or the equivalent at the time) then yes, I can see a slightly better case for Harry, perhaps as a middle name as you seem to be suggesting, but only very very slightly. However, since the idea that Christianity was invented in the 4th C by the evil RCC is pretty much untenable, I'm sticking with my option. :)
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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:43 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
subsymbolic;625535 wrote:
Sometimes I ask myself what EXACTLY is wrong with the unextraordinary idea that some fucking Jewish preacher called Jesus probably existed?
Ummm... Jesus is neither a Hebrew or Aramaic name? he's about as likely to be called Oladigbolu…
Ummm... not really. Apparently it was a very common Judean name at the time.

[quote=""subsymbolic""]How many of the common knowledge facts about Jesus have to be false before we stop talking about the same character, fictional or otherwise.[/quote]

I don't know. I don't know how anybody can, given that we can't easily tell which ones are facts and which are not. Which is why I try to stay well out of the quagmire about claiming this or that detail is true. Unless I'm delving into someone else's assertions, I try to stand well back and make an assessment of broader issues such as parsimony, consistency, methodology and so on. In this matter of basic existence, like I said, I genuinely think the historicists have the better evidence, argument and academic consensus (or something approaching it) secular and otherwise. It's not a case of blithely running with that combination, especially the last part, but I don't see enough in the alternative cases to justify going against it.

My point in what you quoted above was to say that him existing would not be unusual. Him not having existed would be more unusual. I would like to see better evidence or argument in order to prefer the latter. As it is, I slightly prefer the former, at the end of the day.[/QUOTE]

Which Him? the one who had Angels announce his conception and birth? The one who was of both the line of Levi and David and fulfilled all those prophesies, the one who was a carpenter? the one who ...yadda, you get my point.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:45 am

[quote=""subsymbolic""]Which Him? the one who had Angels announce his conception and birth? The one who was of both the line of Levi and David and fulfilled all those prophesies, the one who was a carpenter? the one who ...yadda, you get my point.[/quote]

Not really.

Imo, there is no need to get into any of that sort of detail or try to reconstruct a biography. Ditto for chaps like Theudas 'parts the waters' O'Malley, the Egyptian trumpets-messiah guy, Johnny 'the bath' Baptiste, Oladigbolu The Malodorous, and so on and so forth.

As far as I am aware, it's what many historians of the non-bible scholar variety avoid doing too.




To be honest, I don't even stick my neck out as far as crucifixion. Wrong choice of metaphor. I don't think it's anywhere near nailed on.

Male, Jewish, preacher, Judea, early 1st century, small bunch of followers, untimely death, probably wore sandals. That's almost as much as I would want to guess. Also probably called Yeshua (Jesus to you and me) since it's unremarkable and plausible and used as his name throughout. I might also opt for end-of-days prophet type, partly because soon after his alleged death it seems to have been a big theme in the early days of the cult. I think it might even be slightly too risky to say that the man himself (if he existed) necessarily saw himself as a messianic claimant. I've seen Monty Python's 'Life of Brian' too many times for that.

To be fair, crucified would be next on my list to add, if I were doing a slightly longer list.
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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:24 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
subsymbolic;625547 wrote:Which Him? the one who had Angels announce his conception and birth? The one who was of both the line of Levi and David and fulfilled all those prophesies, the one who was a carpenter? the one who ...yadda, you get my point.
Not really.

Imo, there is no need to get into any of that sort of detail or try to reconstruct a biography. Ditto for chaps like Theudas 'parts the waters' O'Malley, the Egyptian trumpets-messiah guy, Johnny 'the bath' Baptiste, Oladigbolu The Malodorous, and so on and so forth.

As far as I am aware, it's what many historians of the non-bible scholar variety avoid doing too.




To be honest, I don't even stick my neck out as far as crucifixion. Wrong choice of metaphor. I don't think it's anywhere near nailed on.

Male, Jewish, preacher, Judea, early 1st century, small bunch of followers, untimely death, probably wore sandals. That's almost as much as I would want to guess. Also probably called Yeshua (Jesus to you and me) since it's unremarkable and plausible and used as his name throughout. I might also opt for end-of-days prophet type, partly because soon after his alleged death it seems to have been a big theme in the early days of the cult. I think it might even be slightly too risky to say that the man himself (if he existed) necessarily saw himself as a messianic claimant. I've seen Monty Python's 'Life of Brian' too many times for that.

To be fair, crucified would be next on my list to add, if I were doing a slightly longer list.[/QUOTE]

And that's enough to make a positive ID on the chap given all the other stuff that others might put on the list but you wouldn't. If there's one thing philosophy has taught me it's that criteria for identity always look easy until you try to actually deploy them in combat. At which point things get tricky.

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Post by ruby sparks » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:34 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]And that's enough to make a positive ID on the chap given all the other stuff that others might put on the list but you wouldn't. If there's one thing philosophy has taught me it's that criteria for identity always look easy until you try to actually deploy them in combat. At which point things get tricky.[/quote]

I think I understand where I think you might be coming from, but I don't think it's something I need to accept here in this topic, I think.

First, yes, it's enough to make the same sort of ID that is acceptable for so many other figures. We don't go into combat about them so why not just be consistent?

Second, and arguably even more important, we are stuck doing ancient history, which is not philosophy.

Third, if you choose to add detail, it gets tricky no matter what direction you go in.

Imho, it gets trickier almost as soon as you assert anything in the ahistoricist direction, because you have to explain the existence of the basic evidence. Which you can do, don't get me wrong; ahistorical Jesus is a possibility.
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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:46 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
subsymbolic;625561 wrote:And that's enough to make a positive ID on the chap given all the other stuff that others might put on the list but you wouldn't. If there's one thing philosophy has taught me it's that criteria for identity always look easy until you try to actually deploy them in combat. At which point things get tricky.
I think I understand where I think you might be coming from, but I don't think it's something I need to accept here in this topic, I think.

First, yes, it's enough to make the same sort of ID that is acceptable for so many other figures. We don't go into combat about them so why not just be consistent?

Second, and arguably even more important, we are stuck doing ancient history, which is not philosophy.

Third, if you choose to add detail, it gets tricky no matter what direction you go in.

Imho, it gets trickier almost as soon as you assert anything in the ahistoricist direction, because you have to explain the existence of the basic evidence. Which you can do, don't get me wrong; ahistorical Jesus is a possibility.[/QUOTE]

You may well have a point, but I'm trying to think f a character as dubious as Jesus whom is easy to establish identity criteria for. Imaging God like doormen who would only let in people to your club who fulfilled all and only your criteria or worse all the criteria that everyone uses when identifying their Jesus.

Face it, in the UK most Christians are praying to an Italian hippy...

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