Author Topic: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??  (Read 885 times)

Offline Mike Cl (OP)

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #150 on: October 18, 2017, 11:53:26 AM »
Why do you refer to Isarel as "the holy land"?  All cultures have holy places.  None of which mean a dam thing.
Cavebear, understand when I post the 'Elements' that I am just copying Carrier--those are not my words.

And understand Carrier is discussing the facts surrounding whether or not Jesus was a historical person.  When all 48 Elements are listed, these will be used as the basal facts he draws from when discussing in detail why he thinks Jesus is historical or not.  So, in Christianity there is only one Holy Land; and for Jews there is only one Holy Land.  Carrier is not discussing any other religion.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Cavebear

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #151 on: October 18, 2017, 11:56:42 AM »
Cavebear, understand when I post the 'Elements' that I am just copying Carrier--those are not my words.

And understand Carrier is discussing the facts surrounding whether or not Jesus was a historical person.  When all 48 Elements are listed, these will be used as the basal facts he draws from when discussing in detail why he thinks Jesus is historical or not.  So, in Christianity there is only one Holy Land; and for Jews there is only one Holy Land.  Carrier is not discussing any other religion.

My apologies Mike Cl. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Mike Cl (OP)

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #152 on: October 18, 2017, 12:05:00 PM »
My apologies Mike Cl.
Not a problem.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Mike Cl (OP)

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #153 on: October 19, 2017, 09:47:18 AM »
Element 24:
(a) Owing to their vastly greater resources (in material, money and manpower) and superior technical ability the Romans were effectively invincible and could never be expelled from Judea by force or diplomacy. (b)This fact was so empirically evident and publicly tested and demonstrated on such a wide scale that it had to have been evident to al least some Jews, even while many either did not see it, denied it even when seen, or imagined celestial aid would redress the imbalance.

In other words, the traditional messianic hope (of a conclusive military victory over all of Israel's neighbors) was a doomed hope, and that would have been obvious to at least some Jews. 

........................................It would have been a simple matter to put two and two together:  Roman military might plus Jewish military messianism equals the inevitable destruction of the Jews.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Mike Cl (OP)

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #154 on: October 19, 2017, 09:53:09 AM »
Element 25:

The corruption and moral decay of the Jewish civil and temple elite (regardless of to what extent it was actual or merely perceived) was a widespread target of condemnation and often a cause of fractionalizing among Jewish sects.  This is evident throughout the narrative of Josephus regarding the causes and outcomes of the Jewish War, as well as in the literature recovered at Qumran (e.g. 4Q500), and in much of the apocryphal, apocalyptic and pseudepigraphical literature produced or popularized by first-century Jews.  It is also a persistent theme in the Christian Gospels, which in that context do not seem aberrant in this respect but in fact typical.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #155 on: October 19, 2017, 12:45:33 PM »
Element 24:
(a) Owing to their vastly greater resources (in material, money and manpower) and superior technical ability the Romans were effectively invincible and could never be expelled from Judea by force or diplomacy. (b)This fact was so empirically evident and publicly tested and demonstrated on such a wide scale that it had to have been evident to al least some Jews, even while many either did not see it, denied it even when seen, or imagined celestial aid would redress the imbalance.

In other words, the traditional messianic hope (of a conclusive military victory over all of Israel's neighbors) was a doomed hope, and that would have been obvious to at least some Jews. 

........................................It would have been a simple matter to put two and two together:  Roman military might plus Jewish military messianism equals the inevitable destruction of the Jews.

Correct.  Philo understood this, Caiaphas understood this, Josephus understood this .. but Judea was caught up in its own marketing (Hanukhah).  Never eat your own dog food, never kosher.  And this was four wars, not one.  The Maccabean period had been mythologized, and gave people unrealistic expectations.  The Greek Syrian government was divided against itself, and in decline.  Except for that, the Maccabean revolt would have been crushed.  As it is, it was less than it seemed, because the Maccabees formed a protectorate under Syrian domination, they weren't really independent, ever.  The Syrian domination moved over to the Roman domination smoothly, when Pompey the Great conquered Jerusalem in 63 BCE.
שלום

Offline Baruch

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #156 on: October 19, 2017, 12:51:03 PM »
Element 25:

The corruption and moral decay of the Jewish civil and temple elite (regardless of to what extent it was actual or merely perceived) was a widespread target of condemnation and often a cause of fractionalizing among Jewish sects.  This is evident throughout the narrative of Josephus regarding the causes and outcomes of the Jewish War, as well as in the literature recovered at Qumran (e.g. 4Q500), and in much of the apocryphal, apocalyptic and pseudepigraphical literature produced or popularized by first-century Jews.  It is also a persistent theme in the Christian Gospels, which in that context do not seem aberrant in this respect but in fact typical.

Also correct.  There was a partial resolution under the Pharisees ... initially these lay puritans (like Muslim Brotherhood today) were oppressed and executed by the clergy/king .. crucified in their thousands in fact.  Once there was accommodation between the weakened elite and the lay puritans, then they were allowed to participate in controlling the Temple, at least indirectly.  It was a politically useful thing at some point, when it had initially been savagely suppressed (like Gen Sisi in Egypt recently).  The Maccabees had profaned the Temple, while saving it from the Greeks (they weren't in the blood line of the high priest) ... combining the kingship with the high priesthood.  Then lay puritans were oppressed and executed.  So there were some strong reasons to oppose the religious authorities in the 1st century ... that an accommodation between the Herodians, priesthood and the Romans.  This is why John the Baptist is probably historical, and was a popular figure of symbolic opposition.  But also definitely a heretic also.
שלום

Offline Mike Cl (OP)

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #157 on: October 20, 2017, 09:18:55 AM »
Element 26:
For many Jews in the early first century (in accord with the previous element) the Jewish elite became the scapegoats for God's failed promises (in accord with elements 23 and 24):  the reason God withheld their fulfillment (and instead all owed the Romans to rule) was imagined to be the Jewish elite's failure to keep God's commandments and govern justly (already a common theme throughout the OT, e.g., Jeremiah 23 and 25, the latter being the very prophecy whose 'mystery' is decoded in Daniel to produce the timetable that was now indicating the messiah would arrive in the early first century: Element 7). God would come through only when all sin had ended and been atoned for (Dan. 9.5-24).

The Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, repeatedly denounce the Jewish civil and temple elite as responsible for the evil that has befallen the land, in terms similar to those found in the Christian Gospels.  And since the sins of the Jews are what kept God from holding back his promised judgement (as explained in Jeremiah 23 and 25, and Daniel 9), any plan that would cancel those sins would be seen as removing that obstacle and thus ushering in God's promise. The fact that Daniel and Isiah both connect the death of a messiah or savior with a final cancellation of Israel's since (see element 7) thus would have made those texts of primary interest to any apocalyptic Jew. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Mike Cl (OP)

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #158 on: October 20, 2017, 09:22:46 AM »
Element 27:
(a) The temple at Jerusalem was the central focus of most Jewish messianic hopes (as, for the Samaritans, was Mount Gerizim), which entailed that as long as the 'corrupt' Jewish elite controlled it, God would continue Israel's 'punishment' (in accord with Elements 25 and 26); and as long as the Romans remained in power, they would maintain the corrupt Jewish elite's control of the temple.  Accordingly, (b) Jewish religious violence often aimed at seizing physical control of the temple and its personnel. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #159 on: October 20, 2017, 01:04:00 PM »
Element 26:
For many Jews in the early first century (in accord with the previous element) the Jewish elite became the scapegoats for God's failed promises (in accord with elements 23 and 24):  the reason God withheld their fulfillment (and instead all owed the Romans to rule) was imagined to be the Jewish elite's failure to keep God's commandments and govern justly (already a common theme throughout the OT, e.g., Jeremiah 23 and 25, the latter being the very prophecy whose 'mystery' is decoded in Daniel to produce the timetable that was now indicating the messiah would arrive in the early first century: Element 7). God would come through only when all sin had ended and been atoned for (Dan. 9.5-24).

The Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, repeatedly denounce the Jewish civil and temple elite as responsible for the evil that has befallen the land, in terms similar to those found in the Christian Gospels.  And since the sins of the Jews are what kept God from holding back his promised judgement (as explained in Jeremiah 23 and 25, and Daniel 9), any plan that would cancel those sins would be seen as removing that obstacle and thus ushering in God's promise. The fact that Daniel and Isiah both connect the death of a messiah or savior with a final cancellation of Israel's since (see element 7) thus would have made those texts of primary interest to any apocalyptic Jew.

Pre-70 CE.  Post-70 CE ... among rabbinic Jews (as they developed on toward 200 CE) the cause of evil was more democratic and humanistic ... not the Devil, not the Elite ... not the Gentiles ... but everyone.  It was labeled ... "mindless hatred".  Jew against Jew, Jew against Gentile, Gentile against Jew.  66-74 CE in particular was a war of everyone against everyone else.  A revolt against Rome, a revolution against the Elite, a messianic consummation of the People.
שלום

Offline Baruch

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #160 on: October 20, 2017, 01:06:01 PM »
Element 27:
(a) The temple at Jerusalem was the central focus of most Jewish messianic hopes (as, for the Samaritans, was Mount Gerizim), which entailed that as long as the 'corrupt' Jewish elite controlled it, God would continue Israel's 'punishment' (in accord with Elements 25 and 26); and as long as the Romans remained in power, they would maintain the corrupt Jewish elite's control of the temple.  Accordingly, (b) Jewish religious violence often aimed at seizing physical control of the temple and its personnel.

Originally this was the Pharisees, against the corrupt Maccabees and Sadducees.  Eventually the surviving Pharisees temporized, and they became a part of the problem, not a part of the solution.  Since the Temple was rebuilt by the Herodians, it was seen in some circles as inherently treif (non-kosher).  It couldn't be redeemed, only destroyed.
שלום

Offline Mike Cl (OP)

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #161 on: Today at 10:07:21 AM »
Element 28:
A spiritual solution to the physical conundrum of the Jews would have been a natural and easy thing to conceive at the time.  Those Jews who believed they could physically retake control of the temple naturally pinned their hopes on military messianism (as exemplified by the Zealots and the Sicarii, and everyone who led actual rebellions against Rome, from Judas the Galilean to Bar Kochba).  But if any Jews had realized that such a reconquest was impossible (as some much, in accord with Element 24) but still sought a means to escape their cognitive dissonance (in accord with Element 23) without denying the evident facts or abandoning deep-seated religious beliefs (and it is reasonable to assume at least some Jews did seek such means without going to such ends), then for them only one solution remained:  to deny the physical importance of the temple at Jerusalem itself.

That would require replacing it, and not with another temple (as that would only recreate the same problem all over again and thus not in fact solve it, as was evident in the fate of the Samaritan messianic uprising at Gerizim), but with something intangible, which neither the Romans nor the corrupt Jewish elite could control and which required neither money nor material power to bring about or maintain and whose ruler was himself incapable of corruption.

This does not entail that anyone did think this, only that it would have been an easy and natural progression of thought from problem to solution and therefore not implausible.  It fits the political and religious context and our understanding of human nature and ingenuity. 

The basic Christian gospel--imagining that the death of a messiah had conclusively atoned for all sins (as the OT could already be understood to say, per Elements 5,6, and 17) and that by joining with him through adoption by baptism, in accord with Element 12:  and through symbolic consumption of his body and blood, in accord with Element 18) God would dwell in us (instead of the temple)--would thus be recognized by many Jews as an ingenious and attractive idea.  Especially since the end result would be that instead of taking orders from the Jewish elite, we would have as our sovereign no fallible men but Christ himself, God's appointed Lord speaking directly to his subject from the right had of God in heaven (by spirit and angelic communication, and secret messages planted in scripture in accord with Elements 8 and 15).   Thus the problem of elite corruption is seemingly removed without requiring violence or money or diplomacy or military victory.  God has his victory; and all cognitive dissonance is resolved.

The relevance of this observation is that the earliest Christian gospel makes far more sense as a product of its political context that it does when completely divorced from that context, and in consequence, theories of historicity that ignore that fact are unlikely to have any objective  merit. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Jesus--Fact or Fiction??
« Reply #162 on: Today at 11:26:02 AM »
Correct again.  But Gentiles living 300 years later, who are anti-Semites ... are a different matter entirely.  This is why there is cognitive dissonance between the Church and Scripture, and why lay reading of scripture was forbidden for centuries.  However, the majority of Jews didn't want what the pacifists were offering, clever though it may be.  They were like Palestinians today.  And this is why, as a political/ethnic subject, original Messianic Judaism is a curiosity, it doesn't move us.  But gnosticism does, for those open to it.
שלום