Author Topic: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?  (Read 1631 times)

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2019, 09:41:29 AM »
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Jagella - well, it is a long story, and you asked me more than one question.  To give a few highlights …

1. I didn't read the entire Bible until I was 32.  Before that I read it like I do all fictional works, the start (what is the story about) and the ending (did the butler do it?).  So Genesis and Revelations was pretty much it.

2. I wasn't strongly influenced by Christianity until I got married, when I was 30 ... my wife being Christian.  Before that I was more indluenced by comparative religion studies (anthropology) and Zen Buddhism.

3. When my wife decided to go to seminary, to study to be a preacher, I knew I had to get more serious, to keep up.  Though by that time I was already teaching Church history to adults in Church.

4. The seminaries my wife went to were liberal Protestant.  Bishop Spong was an early influence for both of us, and later two of her professors were members of the Jesus Seminar.  I ate that stuff up.  But being of an independent mind, and my religious POV evolving constantly ...

5. My technical review of what the Jesus Seminar and other liberal historical Jesus scholars had done (read both pro and con) led me to my own independent conclusion different from the Jesus Seminar.  They had decided in advance what their conclusion would be, and were testing the material in 5 gospels (Thomas included) against that hypothetical conclusion.  This is a legitimate method of analysis, if done right.  But I didn't have their agenda.  I could review their results outside of the framework they did it in.  Also I used the individual analysis of John Domnic Crossan, as a control (see empirical methods).

6. So I had to conclude that any historical actions by Jesus, aside from being symbolic of his supposed theology (acting out prophesy, like riding an ass into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday) was insignificant.  For me, on the act of Jesus, the Gospel of John was primary, not the Gospel of Mark.  Because we read the synoptics in the light of John.  John's Gospel and Epistles being clearly gnostic based on the Song of Songs (of Solomon).  A rabbinic theology of love, simliar to Rabbi Akiva, who notoriously supported the false messiah Bar Kochba.

7. I also concluded that the Greek original of Thomas, is the Q document.  That the reasons given by scholarship for saying it wasn't the Q document, were specious (they were apologetics).  The standard Q document ordering in based on the Gospel of Luke.  A "sayings" gospel would not have the precise rhetorical structure we see in the sayings of Jesus as laid out in Luke.  Luke is a more refined synoptic gospel, the last of the three (Mark being the first, then Matthew in reaction to Mark).  The Gospel of Luke goes with the Acts of Paul, stylistically, and was written more refined and more Gentile, by Paul's community, in the light of 70 CE or even later.  The Gospel of John is counted as the last, and the Gospel of Thomas counted as spurious, by a biased clergy.


8.  Again, comparing Thomas, with John, and the genuine letter of Paul, it screams mythos and gnosis.  That was the original form, not the narrative of Jesus ministry or childhood.  The emphasis on the mystical Jesus came, per later evidence, come from Alexandria.  The emphasis on the human Jesus, per later evidence, comes from Antioch.  But the original inspiration comes from James the Just in Jerusalem.  But that version died out in 135, when Jerusalem was destroyed a second time, and all Jews were permanently banned from the location of Aelia Capitolina (and they had to since the whole city and surroundings had been rendered unkosher).

9. We have Eusebius of Caesarea (and buddy of Constantine at the Nicea conference) remind us in his history, that at that point the Church became entirely Gentile.  Because again, the Jewish Christians were banned from Aelia Capitlina, but Gentile Christians were not.  And because again, the Jewish officials, tolerated only an approved messiah, Bar Kochba, and so savagely persecuted the Jewish Christians (Gentile Christians didn't even figure in Jerusalem at that time, because they weren't Pauline.  BTW, John Dominc Crossans book on the importance of Paul, is a classic.

10. So all we have is a disordered set of aphorisms, wisdom literature comparable to Proverbs, written originally in Greek, by Hellenized Jews ... and the letter of Paul also in Greek.  And the Bible at that point, for Jewish and Gentile Christians alike, was the Septuaginta (Greek OT with additions),  There is nothing in all of that, or other Intertestamental literature, including other gnostic texts or Dead Sea scrolls and substantiates any historical Jesus, just the one or two antipated messiahs (an Aaronic messiah and a Davidic messiah).

Any educated member of the Therapeutae (as written about by Philo of Alexandria) could have written the Q document, or the other heterodox Jewish sect (there were several) who were part of the Hellenized Jewish community, which was extensive, until wiped out in the three Judeo-Roman wars of extermination ... in 66-74, 113-115 and 132-135 CE.  And back then almost all written material was anonymous.  It was later ascribed to real of fictional characters of antiquity.  Only the most brazen authors, even pagans, put their name on written works.  Julius Caesar, a megalomaniac, comes to mind ;-)

Basically, the 4 standard gospels, were written originall as sectarian Jewish polemic, 66-135 CE, and in the light of events, reinterpreted as anti-Semitic burlesque by the post 135 CE Pauline communities, which were totally Gentile and completely anti-Jewish and pro-Roman.
This is your best post in years! 
My journey to atheism involves the Jesus Seminar as well.  I went to two of their meetings in Santa Rosa, CA and had a grand time.  My current wife was then searching for a new spiritual base (she was a life long Catholic but was shat upon by the local clergy and the chruch's rules in her personal life; I was also searching for spiritual meaning in my life, so we searched together).  I started reading the bible in detail--front to back as part of that search.  Became familiar with Bishop Spong and Karen Armstrong and read them.  We began going to Unity (called a 'Truth' organization started in the late 1890's; founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore--loosely a progressive liberal christian movement.), and stayed with it for about 10 yrs.  Ran across a web site about this time called 'Atheists for Jesus'.  Read this guys stuff and read his book and liked what I read--led me to study the bible in more detail to determine what it was that Jesus actually said and did.  I visited the two seminars at this time and picked up several books then as well--they dealt with what Jesus said, and the red-lettered study of the NT was especially interesting.  The members of the Jesus Seminar used a voting method to determine what Jesus actually said.  Black lettering was stuff he did not say; gray and pink were 'maybe' he said it; and red was stuff he for sure said.  The red lettering was something like 5-10% of all that is credited to Jesus by traditional christianity.  I delved more deeply into the red letter sayings of Jesus and the more I looked for proof that Jesus was actual and actually uttered these words, became more and more slippery.  I then found and read Robert M. Price's book, 'The Incredible Shrinking Man', which was a search for the 'real' man, Jesus.  Price found that the more closely he searched for the real man, the more he shrank until there was no man there at all.  After several more books dealing with the 'real' Jesus, I am convinced that he is/was a fiction. 

Baruch, I have read much of what you have on this subject, but I do not have anywhere near the command of that material and your knowledge is both broader and deeper.  But I sort of echo your journey; and I did not become serious about the subject until my mid 40's.
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?

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2019, 01:32:56 PM »
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Let's face it; reading is hard work, and considering that a printed Bible is over 1,000 pages long, few people have the time or inclination to learn its many strange stories, its boring poetry, its illogical laws, and its failed prophecies. It's so much easier, as you say, to be spoon-fed the "Bible" by the clergy. But of course it's really not the Bible they learn but what the preacher says it says. So when some upstart apostate like you or me comes along having read the Bible ourselves, we are greeted with incredulity by the faithful who are shocked when we tell them its true contents. We've got to be wrong--it's not what they've been told.
Yes, that's because we do what Luther Burbank suggested:

Quote from: Luther Burbank
Let us read the Bible without the ill-fitting colored spectacles of theology, just as we read other books, using our own judgement and reason, listening to the voice within, not to the noisy babel without. Most of us possess discriminating reasoning powers. Can we use them or must we be fed by others like babies?

Christians obviously don't really believe the Bible to be "The Word of God" or they'd be avid to soak up every bit of it with enthusiasm.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 01:35:07 PM by Unbeliever »
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"An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer."
Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (1949)

Offline Baruch

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2019, 04:32:53 PM »
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This is your best post in years! 
My journey to atheism involves the Jesus Seminar as well.  I went to two of their meetings in Santa Rosa, CA and had a grand time.  My current wife was then searching for a new spiritual base (she was a life long Catholic but was shat upon by the local clergy and the chruch's rules in her personal life; I was also searching for spiritual meaning in my life, so we searched together).  I started reading the bible in detail--front to back as part of that search.  Became familiar with Bishop Spong and Karen Armstrong and read them.  We began going to Unity (called a 'Truth' organization started in the late 1890's; founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore--loosely a progressive liberal christian movement.), and stayed with it for about 10 yrs.  Ran across a web site about this time called 'Atheists for Jesus'.  Read this guys stuff and read his book and liked what I read--led me to study the bible in more detail to determine what it was that Jesus actually said and did.  I visited the two seminars at this time and picked up several books then as well--they dealt with what Jesus said, and the red-lettered study of the NT was especially interesting.  The members of the Jesus Seminar used a voting method to determine what Jesus actually said.  Black lettering was stuff he did not say; gray and pink were 'maybe' he said it; and red was stuff he for sure said.  The red lettering was something like 5-10% of all that is credited to Jesus by traditional christianity.  I delved more deeply into the red letter sayings of Jesus and the more I looked for proof that Jesus was actual and actually uttered these words, became more and more slippery.  I then found and read Robert M. Price's book, 'The Incredible Shrinking Man', which was a search for the 'real' man, Jesus.  Price found that the more closely he searched for the real man, the more he shrank until there was no man there at all.  After several more books dealing with the 'real' Jesus, I am convinced that he is/was a fiction. 

Baruch, I have read much of what you have on this subject, but I do not have anywhere near the command of that material and your knowledge is both broader and deeper.  But I sort of echo your journey; and I did not become serious about the subject until my mid 40's.

Karen Armstrong is excellent from a neutral perspective, but she tends toward the "there was no other choice in 300 CE" apologist for Catholicism.  She at least takes Gnosticism seriously.  Marcus Borg was good too.

And since that time, I have become a student of Hebrew and Greek, and read the originals.  Well enough I can tell when a translator is stretching things too far.  I have studied the other relevant Near Eastern languages as well … Ugaritic, Akkadian (Babylonian/Assyrian), Sumerian, Egyptian, Aramaic (biblical and Syriac).  And studied two dialects of Arabic … MSA/Quran and Egyptian Arabic.  If you look at a text in terms of language and anthropology, I find it thrilling to encounter the mind of someone who lived 2000-4000 years ago, in a way that clay pots can't provide.  The etymology of important technical terms is … enlightening.  Basically reconstructed meme history.
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2019, 09:22:51 PM »
Right, because these assholes never call themselves "father" "mother" "sister" or "brother."

Oh, wait.....

Jesus is phony shit.
The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails.

-- H. L. Mencken

Offline Baruch

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2019, 11:40:24 PM »
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Right, because these assholes never call themselves "father" "mother" "sister" or "brother."

Oh, wait.....

Jesus is phony shit.

English is a shitty language in general.  And translating old languages into English, from an alien culture, leads to needless confusion.  This is why Muslims say, the only Quran is the one in the original language, no translation is canonical.
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2019, 01:30:38 AM »
Christoph_Luxenberg ( the pen name for an Arabic scholar who writes about the koran...and would be killed by the adherents of the religion of peace for doing so... maintains that the original language was Syriac.

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The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails.

-- H. L. Mencken

Offline Baruch

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2019, 10:20:42 AM »
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Christoph_Luxenberg ( the pen name for an Arabic scholar who writes about the koran...and would be killed by the adherents of the religion of peace for doing so... maintains that the original language was Syriac.

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It was a hybrid language, and of course Muhammad didn't write it.  He was illiterate.  One of the early Caliphs had it written (in current form), because early on it was just "saying of Muhammad" like fortune cookies.  Thus a hybrid document from hybrid dialects.  Syriac would have been in there, as well as various N Arabic dialects.  All of those are Semitic, it isn't like Syriac is Chinese.


On canonicity, to Muslims, it doesn't matter what dialect it is in, because they believe it came from Allah in Heaven, in Allah's own speech.  If Allah sound a bit like Syriac (an Aramaic dialect I have studied) ... then no problem.
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2019, 11:05:26 AM »
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That one made me spew a mouthful of coffee on my monitor.

Well, logically-speaking, IF Jesus had a brother named James, THEN Jesus would exist. 

So...  Prove there was James brother of Jesus.  That James brother was The Jesus of the Bible, which you can only do be proving the Biblical Jesus existed...   Have fun with that...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2019, 04:40:34 PM »
And the James ossuary found in the last decade, is probably fake.

Yaakov brother of Yeshua.
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2019, 04:42:24 PM »
It isn't "probably fake" - it is fake.
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"An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer."
Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (1949)

Offline Baruch

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2019, 04:48:54 PM »
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It isn't "probably fake" - it is fake.

Prove it.  And using Higgs field theory ;-}
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2019, 04:51:30 PM »
The burden of proof is on those who make an extraordinary claim, such as that the bone box is not fake.

But of course it's fake, since Jesus never existed.
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"An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer."
Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (1949)

Offline Baruch

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2019, 09:48:55 PM »
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The burden of proof is on those who make an extraordinary claim, such as that the bone box is not fake.

But of course it's fake, since Jesus never existed.

Do you claim that George Washington was the first President of the US?  Instead of a coup leader in the Coup of 1775 and Coup of 1787?

Please if you agree that he was the first President, produce him so we can cross-examine him.  I won't produce anyone from 2000 years ago, named Yeshua, but there must have been many of that name in Judea/Gaiiliee ... I bet you can't produce anyone from the 18th century either, named George or anything else.

Proof ... posh tosh.  Nihilist ... there are no words, no meaning, no reality ... just uninteligible monkey chatter.  In fact, no monkeys, just random clouds of atoms??  Prove that you are not just random atoms please.

I am not making any religious claim for Jesus.  I don't even accept the historicity of the Gospels.  But are you obsesed that it is true?  Hence the defensiveness?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 09:56:05 PM by Baruch »
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2019, 01:37:35 AM »
Actually, B, the National Archives has the electoral college results for presidential elections beginning in 1789.  As the lawyers say, "the thing speaks for itself."  They can also demonstrate an unbroken chain of custody.

You can always object in court but you'd have to convince the judge.
The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails.

-- H. L. Mencken

Offline Baruch

Re: Is the James in Galatians 1:19 evidence for a historical Jesus?
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2019, 02:04:54 AM »
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Actually, B, the National Archives has the electoral college results for presidential elections beginning in 1789.  As the lawyers say, "the thing speaks for itself."  They can also demonstrate an unbroken chain of custody.

You can always object in court but you'd have to convince the judge.

Historians are liars, and judged can be bought.  Please prove me wrong.

You didn't get my point … there can be no Presidents, because there is no USA, just rebellious colonies.
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

 

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