Author Topic: The Gospel According to Carrier  (Read 3605 times)

The Gospel According to Carrier
« on: March 09, 2018, 07:44:22 PM »
Was Jesus a historical reality? Carrier thinks it's likely that he wasn't:


The Gospel According to Carrier
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Was Jesus an author's literary invention and not a real person? In this documentary, historian, scholar and author, Dr. Richard Carrier posits that the anonymous gospel writer (Mark) borrowed themes from Jewish scripture, Homer and the Jewish-Roman war to create a fictitious character in order to promote a new message. Carrier explains that the origin of Christianity was a version of Jewish Hellenism and a later evolution of the common mystery religions of the Mediterranean in the early first century.


The Gospel According to Carrier Part 2
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Why are mainstream biblical scholars so resistant to the idea that Jesus didn't exist? Why do they continue to believe in an original, undiscovered, hypothetical source document for the Gospels? Historian, author and scholar, Dr. Richard Carrier, addresses these questions as well as the evolution of the Gospels in Part II.
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Offline Baruch

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2018, 10:46:36 PM »
I appreciate his historical research.  Jesus wasn't historical.  But Carrier's atheism is unnecessary for that, that is a metaphysical position he has.  One can certainly have a non-materialist metaphysics, and not be Christian.
שלום

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2018, 09:46:34 AM »
I agree with Carrier--Jesus (and his daddy) are fictions.  Fictions created by man.  And his book 'On The Historicity of Jesus' is a great read as well.
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 SGOS

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2018, 11:28:08 AM »
I'm on the fence about this one.  It's probably because as a Christian I believed Jesus was real, not as depicted in the Bible, but as an embellishment of some itinerant preacher.  OK, so maybe I wasn't a really good Christian, but that's a different thread.

Offline Baruch

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2018, 11:38:13 AM »
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I'm on the fence about this one.  It's probably because as a Christian I believed Jesus was real, not as depicted in the Bible, but as an embellishment of some itinerant preacher.  OK, so maybe I wasn't a really good Christian, but that's a different thread.

The past is always projection, based on our personal experiences, direct and indirect thru stories.  I think there were itinerant preachers ... there still are.  That much is historical, and there may have been even more than one named Yeshua ... but that doesn't make the NT literal, even as a non-supernatural narrative.  Ancient times were in some ways, quite different from what we have experienced today.
שלום

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2018, 12:38:50 PM »
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I'm on the fence about this one.  It's probably because as a Christian I believed Jesus was real, not as depicted in the Bible, but as an embellishment of some itinerant preacher.  OK, so maybe I wasn't a really good Christian, but that's a different thread.
For most of my life I thought the same.  With such a wide spread belief and for so long it has been held, there must be something at the bottom of all of that.  There must be a real man who fostered this stuff, even if he was really just a man.  But then I started reading and studying the bible for my own satisfaction, and this lead to a deeper study of Jesus.  I read both ends of the spectrum on this--those who are convinced that Jesus is all that is claimed of him and those that doubted it (back in the day it was difficult to find anybody who thought he was not real).  The deeper I went the more I realized that there was no 'there' there.  There is no evidence that he is a real person.  None.  That lack of evidence leads me to think he was/is totally developed by various people of the past.
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 SGOS

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2018, 12:52:42 PM »
Parts 1 and 2 total 50 minutes.  I've watched them both, and Carrier builds his case throughout.  But for me, everything he's talking about comes together at 12:55 in part 2, where he explains why scholars are reluctant to open the possibility of the non-existent Jesus, even though many of them privately admit that it's possible that Jesus never existed.  Basically, it comes down to peer pressure that can be career ending even though these skeptics are in fact Christians, and will remain so.  And it's easy to grasp how this kind of pressure that exists in theological circles today would have existed throughout the last 2000 years.

This resonated with me, because beyond sheer faith, there is not enough evidence to claim Jesus existed, and too many rational reasons not to consider that Jesus is purely made up.  Undoubtedly, there have been Christian skeptics since the creation of Christianity as there are today, but the rule of theological thumb seems to be, "Don't go there [Carriers words]," and the thing perpetuates itself as ideologies often do.  Claiming Jesus actually existed is just a better sell in Christian Circles.  The opposite opens the door to the idea that perhaps the whole religion is a fake.

This doesn't make Christianity a fail without an actual Jesus, and Carrier speculates that we may see a softening on the insistence that Jesus is real in theological circles.  What effect that would have on Christianity is hard to say, but as the West becomes more secular, as is currently happening, we are seeing a softening in Christian rigidity of thought and less dependence on the church.  I myself professed to be a Christian while entertaining skeptical thoughts.  But then look what happened to me.  I became a full blown atheist.  LOL  It's possible that skepticism is a much bigger threat to religion than I think, but I wouldn't place a big bet on that.  I'm inclined to think Christianity will simply morph.

At any rate, if you don't want to watch the whole thing, don't miss the last 10 minutes of part 2 starting at 12:55.

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2018, 01:13:13 PM »
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I'm on the fence about this one.  It's probably because as a Christian I believed Jesus was real, not as depicted in the Bible, but as an embellishment of some itinerant preacher.  OK, so maybe I wasn't a really good Christian, but that's a different thread.

I think it may have been this Jesus - You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login - that inspired at least part of the story of the Jesus we know of. I think it's at least a good possibility that Flavius Josephus wrote the gospel of Mark, since that's who You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login. Also because the only two Josephs in the story of Jesus's life were at the very beginning and the very end of his life. I intend to suss out some other possible links to Josephus , as well, if I can.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 01:17:41 PM by Unbeliever »
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"The Republicans went from Abraham Lincoln to Sarah Palin to Donald Trump. No wonder they don't believe in evolution."
Any Borowitz

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2018, 02:02:31 PM »
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Parts 1 and 2 total 50 minutes.  I've watched them both, and Carrier builds his case throughout.  But for me, everything he's talking about comes together at 12:55 in part 2, where he explains why scholars are reluctant to open the possibility of the non-existent Jesus, even though many of them privately admit that it's possible that Jesus never existed.  Basically, it comes down to peer pressure that can be career ending even though these skeptics are in fact Christians, and will remain so.  And it's easy to grasp how this kind of pressure that exists in theological circles today would have existed throughout the last 2000 years.

This resonated with me, because beyond sheer faith, there is not enough evidence to claim Jesus existed, and too many rational reasons not to consider that Jesus is purely made up.  Undoubtedly, there have been Christian skeptics since the creation of Christianity as there are today, but the rule of theological thumb seems to be, "Don't go there [Carriers words]," and the thing perpetuates itself as ideologies often do.  Claiming Jesus actually existed is just a better sell in Christian Circles.  The opposite opens the door to the idea that perhaps the whole religion is a fake.

This doesn't make Christianity a fail without an actual Jesus, and Carrier speculates that we may see a softening on the insistence that Jesus is real in theological circles.  What effect that would have on Christianity is hard to say, but as the West becomes more secular, as is currently happening, we are seeing a softening in Christian rigidity of thought and less dependence on the church.  I myself professed to be a Christian while entertaining skeptical thoughts.  But then look what happened to me.  I became a full blown atheist.  LOL  It's possible that skepticism is a much bigger threat to religion than I think, but I wouldn't place a big bet on that.  I'm inclined to think Christianity will simply morph.

At any rate, if you don't want to watch the whole thing, don't miss the last 10 minutes of part 2 starting at 12:55.
If I had my wish, all organized religion would just go away in the blink of an eye.  Not going to happen, tho.  Like you, I think christianity will morph.  Into what--who knows.  But if that morphing means fewer Billy Grahams or Joel Osteens, then the better off the world will be.  I have read his book--it's a good read and has enough footnotes to keep one researching for years if one is so inclined.  I think you'd like it. 
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: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2018, 02:33:36 PM »
Historical Jesus research is a modern activity (from 18th century onward).  It has gone thru various phases. The No Historical Jesus period first appeared in the early 20th century, led in part by one of the greatest Historical Jesus advocates, Albert Schweitzer.

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A quest, like the search for the holy grail, is a thing of faith.  Of course one can have faith even in secular history.  I have lost that faith as well.
שלום

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2018, 02:50:19 PM »
Well, now that I'm convinced by the No Historical Jesus advocates, I'm on a quest to find out where the whole Jesus myth came from. Who, in fact, did write the gospels, beginning with Mark? If the Bible scholars hadn't been so stuck all this time on there having been a historical Jesus, maybe they'd have figured out more of the real story by now.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 04:52:00 PM by Unbeliever »
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"The Republicans went from Abraham Lincoln to Sarah Palin to Donald Trump. No wonder they don't believe in evolution."
Any Borowitz

Offline SGOS

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2018, 07:21:21 PM »
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I think it may have been this Jesus - You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login - that inspired at least part of the story of the Jesus we know of. I think it's at least a good possibility that Flavius Josephus wrote the gospel of Mark, since that's who You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login. Also because the only two Josephs in the story of Jesus's life were at the very beginning and the very end of his life. I intend to suss out some other possible links to Josephus , as well, if I can.

From the Link:
Quote
Jesus ben Ananias ("the son of Ananias") [rendered as the "son of Ananus" in the Whiston translation[1]] was a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the First Jewish-Roman War began in 66 AD, went around Jerusalem prophesying the city's destruction

Quote
[rendered as the "son of Ananus" in the Whiston translation[1]]

"son of An anus?"  Is that from the Onion Wiki?

Offline Cavebear

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2018, 02:39:50 AM »
"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane."
Robert G. Ingersoll
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2018, 06:39:54 AM »
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"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane."
Robert G. Ingersoll

The 20th century was pretty insane.  The 21st century is stacking up to be more of the same.
שלום

Offline Cavebear

Re: The Gospel According to Carrier
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2018, 08:09:58 AM »
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The 20th century was pretty insane.  The 21st century is stacking up to be more of the same.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

 

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