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216 Beacon of Hope

About Eise

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    the old world
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    Physics, Astronomy
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    University degree philosophy, subsidary subject physics
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    Database administrator, a bit of Linux too

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  1. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    I do not recognise that you read Ehrman. Time was also a bit short for that. So I leave you your point.
  2. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    If that is your question, then we have no reliable sources. But the question of the thread is: The answer is yes, but we do not know very much about his life... Again, the 4 points I mentioned hold on historical scrutiny. I won't answer any questions anymore, unless you show you have understood the methods Ehrman applies, and can criticise them, or criticise how he applies them.
  3. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    Historicity of Jesus Sources for the historicity of Jesus
  4. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    Sorry, a youtubie is not a replacement for a book. If you have an e-reader, I can provide the book. @Ten oz: I wait until I get a fair criticism of Ehrman's methods, not of his statement that it is more probable that Jesus existed than not. No, the words in bold were not part of the question. The gospels refer to a miracle-curing prophet, who resurrected after his crucifixion. The question of Mistermack was very clear: Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus? The answer is, based on the sources we have: yes. But not the miracle-curing prophet, who resurrected after his crucifixion, as presented in the gospels. And were it not because of Paul, Christianity might never have become the huge religion is has become. Please provide us with the source texts, tell us how you interpreted them, coming to the conclusion that Jesus is a contraction of several people, added with some magical fantasies. You see, Ehrman does exactly that: he gives the sources, he tells on what grounds most stuff is unreliable, but that we can still distillate a tiny core that was probably really the case (the four points I mentioned in the second post in this thread). It is easy to contrive some fantasies about what happened. But is is different to base them on old source texts. Sorry Itoero, you just throw in a few baseless opinions.
  5. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    'Not all' is consistent with my 'most'. I don't know if Ehrman is a better historian than others, but he is one of the authors that wrote books for the general public about the early history of Christianity. He claims that he presents the general consensus under early Christianity-historians, and he was not contradicted by such historians. But of course, there are voices that have another position. That is to be expected when there is no way to be 100% sure. I've read a German book for Theologians, which goes in much more detail, but as far as I understood it, it uses the same arguments as Ehrman does. So you need to know what the historical methods are, and point your arguemtns against these methods. But therefore you must first know these methods, otherwise your arguments just beat air. Beautiful argument. So we are pretty sure that Troy existed, but we do not know if the accounts of it are true. So why shouldn't it be possible to come to the same conclusion about the historical Jesus? We don't know much about him, because he has not written anything, there are no contemporary or even firsthand reports, and the literature we have is highly biased by (early) Christians. But that in itself does not mean he did not exist. Therefore you have to know the history of the texts, and analyse the contents, to see what probably is true. What is left is not much (my four points), but that is enough to conclude that, more probable than not, Jesus existed.
  6. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    Right. I do not believe in God, and so it is already impossible to believe that Jesus was his son. Remembers me of something Wolfgang Pauli said about Paul Dirac, who was know as a quite militant atheist: "There is no God, and Dirac is his prophet."
  7. Of course, because you do not have to know anything about physics. Combatibilism is the viewpoint that determinism and free will are compatible. So one can ask the question 'Suppose the world is determined, would free will be possible?' A physicist is not much better equipped than any other intellectual to tackle that question. The answer is event stronger: determinism is a necessary condition for free will. Randomness, as e.g. appears in physics, is at most disturbing our free will, it potentially breaks one-to-one relations between cause and effect: the effects are not precise anymore, but have only a certain probability. But for that you need the right understanding of what free will is: it is not a magical interference by the soul on the brain. It is the expression for the fact that our actions are caused by our wishes and beliefs. In my short slogan: free will means you can do what you want, but you cannot be what you want. Latter is what most people assume. Something like 'If I am not totally free, then I am not free at all'. But such a 'total freedom' is not empirically given. The relation between reasons and action however, grosso modo, is.
  8. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    'nough said. To discredit ancient texts as unreliable for any historical purpose, because miracles or visions are described in them, is a methodological hammer. A text has a history, and to try to find the hints in and about it, combined with other texts, might lead to some valuable conclusions. Really, read Ehrman, and see how and why most historians come to the conclusion that Jesus existed. You do not have to believe in even one single miracle or the contents of whatever vision, to come to such a conclusion. But therefore you must understand the methodology historians use. I propose to discuss Ehrman's book, as soon as those that are interested want to continue the discussion on the question if Jesus really existed.
  9. I also found the weak interaction the most not-understandable interaction. What helped me a little is to look at interactions with the help of Feynman diagrams. As Feynman diagram, the weak interaction 'looks' quite similar to the other interactions (i.e. strong and electromagnetic forces). Maybe that helps you too? A good help in this respect was Martinus Veltman, Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics. (If you buy it, be sure you buy the 'revised edition'. The book was extended because of the discovery of the Higgs Boson.)
  10. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    But, if you want to believe Jesus did not exist, please do so. I do not want to repeat all arguments of Ehrman, which seem quite credible to me. Please read his book: in the end, I started my interest with reading Acharya S' The greatest story ever sold, after which I decided I had to look at more objective discussions about the subject. With Acharya S, and Richard Carrier, I feel the anger about people who believe Jesus existed. As if that is the root of all evil. The root of all evil (exaggeration alarm...) is of course what people made of it, as a tool of power and suppression. Anyway, if you have read Ehrman's book, we can discuss if his arguments (taken together...) are convincing. Otherwise I see no use to spend an awful lot of time on this discussion again.
  11. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    Read better... But even if it were exactly true, it means we have one source. But it isn't, and the different ways Matthew and Luke bend the story to let Jesus be born in Bethlehem is just one example that shows that they are not totally based on the same source. Matthew and Luke refer to 'Q', Mark does not. The hallucination of Paul is of course not a proof of anything. But him mentioning Cephas ('Peter') and James fits well to Josephus. And the contents of Paul beliefs fit well to John the Baptist and specially the older gospels (in which one could still believe that the youngest day would happen in the lifetime of the contemporaries of Jesus. With the gospel of John, written at least 70 years after Jesus' death, this is not possible anymore, so you won't find it there.) You see, it is all in line with history as we know it, and the by far easiest hypothesis of the roots and the outworkings on Paul (read the problems in his churches he has to react on...) is that a person, Jesus, with an apocalyptic message, existed.
  12. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    The history of the Jews by Josephus is a scrap of paper?? Did he have microdot technology? We have versions of the fragments, where Josephus sticks to the facts, without the obvious Christian additions. James and his brother Jesus are still mentioned... And again: in such historical investigations, one should look how one hypothesis fares against others. And in this light it is just more probable that Christianity arose because there was on one side a real person, named Jesus, who was an traveling Jewish prophet, preaching that the Kingdom of God (on Earth) would come very soon; and that Paul believed this, and preached the same to gentiles everywhere he could.
  13. I don't think the 'bits' are relevant for understanding that 'information' supposes something that bears the information, and because nothing can be faster than light, so information cannot be as well. So don't be sad...
  14. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    The four points I listed... Yes, and consistencies do not say much when they point back to the same source: Luke an Matthew knew the gospel of Marc (or all three used the same source); in Luke and Matthew some other common source is used, which can also be recognised that some of their formulations are nearly the same (this assumed source goes under the name of 'Q' (German word 'Quelle' for 'source')). But: Jesus is mentioned by a few none-Christian sources. Also, the epistles of Paul are independent sources. The Bible is not a single book. The new testament is a collection of documents that seemed reliable to the theologians of the 4th century (and in line with their theological ideas, of course...). But some of the inconsistencies are telling: e.g. according to Matthew, Jesus was simply born in Bethlehem. Joseph and Maria fled to Egypt, and when they returned they went to Nazareth. In the story of Luke (the Christmas story) Joseph an Maria went to Bethlehem for a census (that according to historians never took place; also the time is wrong), and then went back to Nazareth. So in both case Jesus became 'Jesus of Nazareth'. But why the fuzz? Because there was a prophecy, saying that the 'Messiah' would be born in Bethlehem. Both authors had to twist the real facts (Jesus was born in Nazareth), to get consistent with the prophecy. But if there was no reality that Jesus was born in Nazareth there would have been no need to bend the truth. 2 Points: - If Paul had meant 'brother' in the meaning of 'brothers in arms', wouldn't he have written 'Peter and James, brothers of Jesus'? - This is the fragment in Josephus: 'and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others' So we have an independent source saying that James and Jesus were brothers. Or he interpreted a hallucination... Paul reports about a voice coming from a light, he does not claim that he met a man, who said, "Hi, I am Jesus, and btw I am really the resurrected Christ, so please stop prosecuting my followers, instead help them to spread the truth". That is a strong interpretation of the psychology of Paul. Fact is that the epistles are letters to churches that Paul initiated. He was traveling through the Mediterranean countries, starting Christian communities everywhere where he could. When some problems arose in one of those, he wrote his letters, addressing these problems. So the Paulean epistles are totally different from the gospels: the gospels were written (from hearsay) to record the life of Jesus; Paul's epistles are literately letters with no intention to describe the life of Jesus. And who knows, maybe he had a (pre-)version of the gospel of Marc in his backpack? Marc was also written 30 years after Jesus' death, so it could be possible. I try not to be dragged in this discussion again. Mistermack, please read the thread I linked; Ten Oz, please do not repeat points that were already discussed ad nauseam there. As a general remark: we have a lot of 'relativity-deniers or -doubters' in the physics section of these fora. What they have in common is that they do not have the physical background to even understand relativity. Now of course the proposition that 'Jesus existed' is much more insecure on methodological (history is past...) and factual (we lack really reliable sources) than relativity. But to have a good discussion, it is necessary to know what the arguments are, and how good these are. Just referring to consistencies or inconsistencies, similarities with other (legendary) figures, or hypotheses about the psychology of Paul, miss the points about what academic historians are discussing about.
  15. Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?

    Yes, that would be an overstatement. When even our physicist-colleagues say 'there is no proof in science', how much more true is this for ancient history 'facts'.