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Posts posted by Memammal

  1. The name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς (Iesous). The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע‎ (Yeshua), a variant of the earlier name יהושע‎ (Yehoshua), in English "Joshua". The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus. The first century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus (i.e. Ἰησοῦς).


  2. The past is already determined and fixed. The future cannot be determined due to quantum fluctuations.

    All change occurs in the present.

    Only that within the "standard" or eternalist block universe the future has the same status as the present and the past in the sense that future events have "already occurred" (thus determined and fixed), but are yet to be experienced (or observed). There can be no change in the status quo apart from the change in a different "now" (location). Quantum fluctuations therefore become illusionary, while inflation simply forms part of that reality..? I intentionally try to keep this as uncomplicated as I possibly can as it then becomes a pretty straightforward model, but perhaps my limited understanding of QM is inhibiting my point of view.

  3. I believe in god. I believe in creator of universe.

    You believe in two things/beings then, freekundli..?


    I know I should not be responding to such an old thread. Seeing that freekundli thought it appropriate to elevate it to the top again, let me just say that looking at this I cannot help to observe that it was such a bizarre post with so many flawed statements stuffed into it:

    In my opinion God/Christianity is the same as any other story, but it incorporates tradition, power, etc into it's writing, meaning people can live with it ( because it says "Pick up..." a few times and people can do it; example ). The bible had a head-start over other stories, I imagine it was one of the first, published to a majority, books, and it still goes on today, giving it antique value, and this list can go on forever - the amount of value-attribution to God.


    I wrote this yesterday,


    "God isn't a necessary for morality, justice is. God isn't a necessary for heaven and earth, righteousness is.

    God is all these things to you, honor, respect, etc. included, but calling them God is an understatement. A lesser wisdom than them all together, ineffable."


  4. Sorry but I can't access this link, it seems to want more money or something in the meter.

    The link is a Google search result leading to an image of a Google book page. I can still access the page, but it will be better to insert it as an image as you have done before, studiot. Can anyone assist?


    As far as block universes. There is two main models. "block universe" and "evolving block universe". The first is problematic as it requires reversible processes...




    Now I realize none of the above is easy to understand. However trying to describe the above in terms of an Eather or block universe would only cause additional problems.


    Trying to learn GR using ether or block universes will not aid in the above. Your better off simply sticking within GR (albiet the field equations include thermodynamics)


    lol from personal experience trying to understand the above using alternative models etc cost me several years. Once I stayed focussed on just GR....

    I have no intention to quibble with Mordred re his elaborate and pretty impressive calculations and I appreciate his comment that for him to have considered alternative models cost him several years...so why bother to try re-inventing the relativity wheel, so to speak..?


    There is one question that I have though. Mordred, you first posted "the biggest problem with block universe is irreversible processes" and now "it requires reversible processes"...why? The model is event-driven, not process-driven, not so? An eternal and deterministic block universe is a collective of all events at all coordinates of space-time. They are all fixed (have occurred) and (theoretically-) accessible by the "reallocation of experiencing one coordinate/event to experiencing another"...so to say.


    [Edit] Added:

    As far as block universes. There is two main models. "block universe" and "evolving block universe". The first is problematic as it requires reversible processes. The second fixes this using tangent bundle worldlines. However you still run into the "presentism vs eternal arguments".

    My understanding thereof is that the "standard" block universe works best as being eternal and deterministic (as in determinism). The alternative is the "growing block universe" which seems to fit better with presentism and/or indeterminism..?

  5. 2. Block universe (Absolute Spacetime model): When you are driving your car, you are selecting or experiencing a slice out of Spacetime; motion is a perception caused by your Spacetime trajectory.


    "Time-out" for me; maybe a block universe adept will be so kind to complete the explanation by means of Spacetime trajectories that traverse the block universe at different angles, resulting in different perspectives of the same reality, and so on. :)

    I hope that I am allowed to, but I cannot explain it much better than this:

    Space, Time and Einstein: An Introduction (Page 54)

    By J.B. Kennedy

  6. Space Time may also be warped by gravity, causing effectus such as gravitational lensing. This phenomena has been observed, and tested. The ability of gravity to warp space time, and our ability to observe and mathematically theorize about it's behavior basically captures the essence of what physics is right?

    Gravitational lensing might have already been raised earlier in this thread, but I think it remains to be a valid point. Another phenomena that is directly associated with spacetime (and that was also mentioned earlier) is gravitational waves. Used to be theory only, now these ripples of spacetime have been observed.

  7. But as a layman, I don't have the impression that I live a 4D reality. Time, space and motion are physical notions for me. When I'm driving my car, I know I am in motion, not the landscape. And if I hit a tree, I don't think it's the kinetic energy of the tree that crashes my car.


    For me, nature is not weird at all (as far as relativity is concerned). [...]

    But, of course, I also see that SR, with the 4D Minkowski spacetime, is a much more powerfull model and must be prefered for physics work.

    Don't get confused with analogies for the block universe, or an earth-bound reality with our dense atmosphere keeping us dishonest. You do understand why astronauts float around in the ISS, no?



    2. Block universe (Absolute Spacetime model): When you are driving your car, you are selecting a slice out of Spacetime; motion is a perception caused by your Spacetime trajectory.


    I'm not sure if I introduced the block universe model altogether correctly as I don't find it intuitive; please correct if needed. Maybe my intuition for that model will be improved after the discussion here. :)

    I am not sure if "selecting a slice" is the appropriate term, more like "experiencing a slice"..?

  8. I think a boring no big shocks month and a bit will give it to Clinton

    Judging by the way she handled the first debate, she and her team have worked out the obvious tactic...let him drown in his own drivel.


    This is an identity election, not an ideological one. She picked him apart and destroyed him on that stage, and IMO very few people will change their minds because of it.

    Surely there must be a significant number of Republicans who have their reservations about (if not utter dislike for-) Trump; now more than ever, no? These are the people who would likely stay away come voting day.

  9. I watched the debate and could not help wondering why is it being referred to as a presidential race...what race..? There is simply no competition between the two, they are in entirely different leagues, it is (or should be) glaringly obvious that one of them is a very competent and smart person who seems fit and ready to step into the Oval Office today...the other one seems dangerously inept, a completely inferior specimen.


    And those blunders... America should have taken Iraq's oil (really..?), I am the perfect candidate as I am so darn smart that I don't pay taxes while insisting that all the other nations in the world (including those bohemian Japs...did I hear right?) should start paying up otherwise the mighty USA (mafia) will no longer protect them... Geesh, those are unforgiving gems to utter during a presidential debate, don't you think..?

  10. But Minkowski and relativity only address part of the story.


    The do not address granularity v continuity , stochastic processes, scale invariance, nor do they form a complete set when assembling the constitutive relations and the conditions of compatibility.


    Please ask if I have used any unfamiliar terms here.

    I am OK thanks. I understand that Minkowski space-time and relativity do not necessarily explain the whole caboodle.

  11. Edit: Now that we have all that out of the way, would you care to adress the issues I raised?

    I think that I dealt with it adequately in my original post.



  12. @ koti: If that is the case, I withdraw- and apologise for my furious reaction. I hope you understand why I over-reacted though...it is easy to misinterpret...just look at it from a slightly different angle and you will see what I mean:


    Both of them are decent people with families. On the other hand we have the "staunch" theists like you adress them (which I understood as implying me, a "staunch theist" addressing your before-mentioned "militant atheists who are decent people with families" and-), who for the past thousand years run around burning and killing the "millitant" atheists who spread the word of science.

  13. @ koti: You are free to share your opinion. I really did not want to be dragged into this and if you or Ten oz have first read my post in its right context, you should have been able to pick up on its intended nuance.


    On the other hand we have the "staunch" theists like you adress them, who for the past thousand years run around burning and killing the "millitant" atheists who spread the word of science.

    This, I am afraid, cannot be tolerated. You somehow conclude from what I have said that I am staunch theist, which is an outright lie. You then go further to associate me with those who have persecuted non-believers. Again that is an outright lie and a personal insult. If you would have taken a minute or so from your time to read some of my arguments in this thread, it should have been abundantly clear to you (and to anyone with a speck of intellect) that I am not a staunch Christian. As such I would like you to apologise for what you have implied with the sentence above.

  14. Yes, only it does not make sense...something along the line of "universal causation bolsters our belief that what happened before will happen again". I don't see how it is relevant in this context.

    "Causation in the old sense no longer has any place in theoretical physics"

    Explain to me why this is significant i.t.o. an eternal block universe with determinism, i.e. why do you think it is a statement of criticism against the last-mentioned.

  15. I'm not sure if a predestined future is the same as a fully causal future.... Can't block universerists assume predestined random processes?

    Indeterminism​ as per Popper's plea to Einstein (as referred to earlier)? The obvious advantage of an eternal block universe with determinism is that it is uncomplicated and clear-cut. No causal- or for that matter any deviations from a reality that already exists imply no paradoxes and no complications.


    An other great minds did not

    I read it, but I cannot pinpoint any specific argument or opinion.

  16. But knowing a reason for a general behavior does not make individual expressions of that behavior deterministic. You can't know which way any individual photon will go ahead of time no matter how much information you have, and that is including all possible hypothetical sources of information, not just a result of us not being able to do it technically.


    On the quantum level, there are non-deterministic processes that involve an element of probabilistic randomness. And there are mathematical proofs demonstrating that it isn't just a technical limitation that we haven't figured out yet.


    We don't live in a clockwork universe and events are not perfectly deterministic.

    Wouldn't a four dimensional (eternal) block universe with an "embedded" future (meaning it "has already happened", but we still haven't experienced it) nullify all of the above? It may be true that one can not predict or calculate the future, but that future could very well be deterministic (predetermined, as in it already exists). The chaos theory simply explains why it may be practically impossible to predict real life (no?), which may be due to the nature of reality..?

  17. @ Tim88: Sorry if I misunderstood you and if I over-complicated the discussion. The OP has made it clear from the outset that the discussion revolves around the historicity of the Jesus character and not (necessarily) the divine Jesus of Christianity. I have made numerous references myself to the fact that one has to consciously set them apart and have actively done so in most of my posts, so i.m.o. the discussion always focussed on that aspect. Admittedly the relevance of it all was always debatable and thus more academic in nature. One could perhaps make a case that some of the Essene/Jesus teachings have successfully found their way via the synoptic gospels to mainstream Christianity though.


    Allow me to wander a bit off topic. In reference to what you have written re the parousia and the early Christians expecting Jesus' return as being speculation, may I suggest that when you have some free time on hand, to read relevant parts of James Stuart Russel's 1878 published work The Parousia, such as Summary And Conclusion. It is a classic piece of theology that not only offered some startling arguments but that has almost single-handedly managed to sustain the doctrine of preterism. Don't get me wrong, I am not a preterist, but it offers an insightful exegesis into the New Testament expectations of the apocalyptic time and the second coming. Let me quote from one of the many reviews: The author argues with great force that our Lord declared that his coming in his kingdom would take place during the lifetime of the generation which heard his words; and that this Parousia of his was coincident with the destruction of Jerusalem, in A.D. 70,—an event which brought the Old-Testament Dispensation to a termination. Further, that according to the testimony of every writing in the New Testament, the entire Apostolic Church considered this Parousia as imminent, that they looked on it as the realisation of all their hopes, and that their great fear was lest they should be excluded by death from a participation in its blessings.

    Another more recent review took a more sober approach: J. Stuart Russell in his book The Parousia essayed to proved that when our Lord spoke of His Parousia He definitely said that it would be in the fall of Jerusalem , and that all the references to the Parousia in the Epistles and Apocalypse are references to the fall of Jerusalem. But, whatever may be said of the Apocalypse, few would agree that all the Epistles, e.g. i John and 2 Peter, were written before Jerusalem fell ; and this uncritical treatment of the documents is partly the cause of Mr. Russell's far too fixed dogma about the mysterious hope. What we really find in the New Testament after the Resurrection is at first a simple expectation of the speedy coming of the Lord. Then a modification or interpretation of this hope. This proceeds in one direction, as is generally recognized, along the line laid down by Paul. In place of the immediate, visible coming there is a spiritual indwelling of the believer in Christ, more often indeed spoken of as a union of the whole family of believers in Christ. This presently develops into a large doctrine of the Church, its wide reach and purpose ; this we have in the Epistle to the Ephesians, and it is being accepted more and more generally among critics as Paul's own growth in faith.

    ​Admittedly this does not really contribute towards the thread topic, but it is nevertheless relevant to what we discussed yesterday.



    I think that we have sketched the outlines of the debate rather well by now; if any onlooker would hope to find a straightforward answer here, then we must disappoint that person, as it's very much left to personal opinion, which, I dare say, cannot be reasonably formed without spending several months of serious study effort on it.

    That may be true...as with most things it is much easier to develop an informed opinion if one is honest about the information before you, emotionally unattached and thus objective, and has a good understanding of the subject.

  18. In churches (or at least the ones I attended), it's considered rude to be 'playing' with your phone while an exorcism is going on.

    Nowadays, I don't see much exorcisms happening and I probably won't be invited for one in the future.

    Have all the exorcisms that you witnessed took place in a church? The clues to your answer(s) may reside within these two lines above. Furthermore, it seems that you already knew the most likely answer as you indicated in your option 3...the power of illusion, or a skewed reality...aka the power of the brain...aka the power of belief. If you don't open yourself up to believing in the supernatural, things will appear quite normal...as they actually are. If you allow your brain to be fooled by al sorts of suggestions, you will be susceptible to your mind playing tricks on you. That being said, let us not forget that "mind over matter" can be used in a very positive manner as well.

  19. OK, so you also concluded that the Eucharist of the Gospels is a later invention, and that Jesus did not really found Christianity. That does not leave much for a historical Jesus. Perhaps the main difference between your mainstream opinion and that of Mysticists, is that the Essene preacher whose preaching apparently has been included in the Gospels was the start of Christianity, that without his preaching Christianity would not have taken off.

    With reference to the Eucharist and for that matter the entire Didache, I suggest that you read this very interesting short summary of opinions based on actual research: The DIDACHE or DUAE VIAE. As for your specific question re the Eucharist of the gospels vs that of the Didache, there could be various explanations...one of which corresponds closely to what you posted (above) and which is indeed seen as the most likely in the before-mentioned article. Some would argue that the versions contained in the synoptic gospels were merely a traditional Jewish Passover prayer, others reckon it is reminiscent of an old Moses blood offering ritual performed while he led the Jewish escape to freedom through the desert. Contrary to what you stated, it leaves plenty of room for a historical Jesus. As the before-mentioned article on the Didache concludes: Are there traces of Q-material in the Didache ? This delicate and highly specialized matter has been investigated by Draper who found details which evidence that the Didache is independent of Matthew "and perhaps even helps to explain the background behind the text of Matthew." This important fact can be generalized, for the Didache suggests an independence over the synoptics, throwing light on the text of these gospels ... It never includes material Matthew & Luke have drawn from Mark. Moreover, it coincides with material which is described as the Q-source ! This confirms that the sayings of Jesus were collected& distributed in a fixed form by oral or written means. It was a fluid source apparently also used by non-evangelists (prophets, teachers, over-seers of communities, deacons).


    Let me throw in another potentially vital piece of the puzzle (something that might have been discussed already during this lengthy thread)...the Talmud's references to a Jesus with some strong resemblances to the one of the gospels:

    Jesus as a sorcerer with disciples (b Sanh 43a-b)

    Healing in the name of Jesus (Hul 2:22f; AZ 2:22/12; y Shab 124:4/13; QohR 1:8; b AZ 27b)

    As a Torah teacher (b AZ 17a; Hul 2:24; QohR 1:8)

    As a son or disciple that turned out badly (Sanh 103a/b; Ber 17b)

    As a frivolous disciple who practiced magic and turned to idolatry (Sanh 107b; Sot 47a)

    Jesus' punishment in afterlife (b Git 56b, 57a)

    Jesus' execution (b Sanh 43a-b) -"on the eve of Passover they hanged Jesus the Nazarene" (Editions or MSs: Herzog 1, Karlsruhe 2)

    Jesus as the son of Mary (Shab 104b, Sanh 67a)


    In other words, much of the polarization in the discussion appears a bit artificial.

    Let's see if the following coarse summary makes sense:


    1. "Historical Jesus" (or, what is left of him by "mainstream"):

    - an Essene preacher named Jesus had followers

    - this Jesus was killed, his followers claimed to see him in visions and started a new religion

    - some Hellenistic teachings were added by Paul as well as later by others, leading to contentions

    - then the Gospel accounts were written and/or finalized, uniting the Christian communities.


    2. "No historical Jesus" (generic):

    - Jews who had been waiting for Christ claimed to have seen him in visions, and so a new religion started

    - some Hellenistic teachings were added by Paul as well as later by others, leading to contentions

    - also the sayings of an Essene preacher, possibly named Jesus, circulated in the Christian community

    - the Gospel narratives put Christ on Earth and put the sayings in his mouth.


    Is that about right?

    It is important to keep in mind the various sects with their prevailing beliefs during the Second Temple period and everything that happened around the time leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 CE. It is reasonable to assume that there was a very strong sense of the apocalyptic times (and many would have perceived the destruction of Rome and the temple as such), whilst Jesus' close followers expected him to "return" within their lifetime (refer to comments made by Eise re Paul having to address this matter). Some even might had "visions", which is nothing extraordinary...just consider how many people have seen Elvis since he died. I would like to use the example of Nelson Mandela again. As I said earlier, he (Mandela) was not a well-known man until much later...years after he was first locked up on Robben Island. On the one hand international socio-political sentiments first had to undergo a rather dramatic change and on the other hand, the stature of this unseen, unheard symbol of anti-Apartheid had to mature to a stage where the expectations for his immanent release became almost tangible. Can you see the parallel to the Jesus narrative? Tensions became so unbearable during the latter Second Temple period that it is very conceivable that the followers of (the recently crucified-) Jesus almost demanded his return. And it is against this background that you can easily see how the Pauline doctrine and the synoptic gospels came to light...as Second Temple (and soon-thereafter) manuscripts. As such the synoptic gospels (based on Mark and possibly the Q-source) might have very well portrayed hints of the actual historical Jesus, including some of his original quotes and of course his death. Given all of these circumstances, one can even imagine that stories about his resurrection might have started to make their way into these "popular folklore" of that time; perhaps in order to provide some hope in such desperate times. The Second Temple Essene connection (including Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls) remains to be an underlying, but potentially significant factor. It was during these times that the very early Christian church was established by Paul and the other the apostles, not without some inner conflict re the matter of a non-gentile or gentile-inclusive missionary.


    The Hellinization of Jesus into its full divine glory, i.e. a heavenly god whose logos was incarnated as a man and who went back to heaven from where he will return again one day, was a later development for reasons as depicted in the earlier article that I referenced...i.e. when the early Christians had to accept the fact that their Second Temple incarnation of Jesus was not coming back.


    The "polarization in the discussion" is indeed "a bit artificial", but that seemed to have happened from the outset. One may very well argue why a historical Essene preacher, who might had nothing to do with what later became the Pauline and Johannine inspired Christianity, is of any significance other than him being used (post mortem) as the symbol for said religion.


    Only when an topic stirs passions is there attempts to asterisk things with affirming statements when none can be proved. Hundreds of millions of people are extremely passionate about Jesus. Hedging on this issue by saying probably vs unclear is an easy concession. Same goes for Moses. All evidence points to Moses and the exodus simply not being true. That is far more clear than whether or not Jesus existed and yet Moses and Exodus gets kid gloves treatment.

    It seems to be an equally passionate topic for (militant) atheists who want to prove to theists that some of their most prominent religious symbols might have never existed. I think one should try to stay objective and consider all the contributing factors for each on a case-by-case approach, don't you agree? History should not be manipulated by sentiments.


    ...the professor spent the whole first day basically explaining that he would be teaching based on his best understanding of the material and asked all us students to respect that and not derail class discussion with outside material. He acknowledge that many in the class already held specific beliefs...

    There you go, history as we know it ;)

  20. Hi Memammal I now read the link you gave, http://infidels.org/library/modern/james_still/gospel_john.html and it's interesting indeed!


    The author James Still presents John's difference with the other Gospels as a Hellinization of a historical Jesus based on, among others, Philo. There is an obvious issue in view of Carrier's presentation of some of the same features of Philo's Jesus in Paul's writings as well as in Hebrews:

    Paul's writings are dated shortly after Philo, but John is dated much later. James Still seems to ignore Paul's portrayal of Jesus.

    Hi Tim88, unfortunately I could not participate further in the discussion yesterday...hence my late reply. The article focuses on the way the author(s) of John portrayed Jesus; strongly influenced by Greek philosophy. I quote: In John we find the culmination of Greek philosophy that has created the Jesus that we are the most familiar with today. A fully-formed Hellenized Jesus has emerged to become an equal with God... We see in John a desire to use Greek pagan concepts and philosophies as a tool for communicating Jesus as the Logos to a Christianized Gentile audience. John's Logos would not be understood by Jews... Per implication quite different then to how Jesus was portrayed by- and for the Jews. One would assume that it might have taken a while for this Greek philosophy to find its roots in Jewish culture, whilst the authors of John obviously targeted a wider (Greek-influenced) audience. The author of The Changing Face Of Jesus, G. Vermes, argued very much along the same line. “The ‘real’ [historical] Jesus, Vermes argues, was nothing like John’s incarnate Word, Paul’s cosmic drama of redemption, or the risen Christ of the Acts and the Synoptics. The ‘real’ Jesus saw himself and, in his lifetime at least, was seen by his disciples as a devout Jewish rabbi, firmly in the prophetic tradition, obedient to the Torah though liberal in his interpretation... He could not even have understood, much less taught or believed in, the Hellenistic mystery religion that had become recognizable as Christianity by the early second century” (The review: Daniel Johnson, ‘In Search of the Jewish Jesus’, Daily Telegraph, 15 April 2000).


    Are you suggesting that perhaps Paul created a faith to compete with the followers of Earthly Jesus, and that much later the communities merged so that in the end "John" was influenced by Paul's letters?


    Probably most scholars assume that there was Essene-based input to Christianity (perhaps related to the missing "Q" document) and that there were different competing Christian sects. It then all comes down to fitting them together on a plausible time and place map, with a plausible cause and effect logic.


    [edit]: it's unclear to me how you would explain the disagreement between that "Christian" Eucharist celebration and the one of the Gospels - except of course, if you take that away from the "historical Jesus".

    I am suggesting that first Paul, through his Christology of redemption and his ambitions for a gentile-inclusive church, with his companion Luke the Evangelist, the recognised author of the Luke gospel as well as Acts, and later John, through his Christology of incarnation, ended up being the actual founders of Christianity...opposed to the apocalyptic preacher who spread the Essene way of living/believing and spoke of immanent change and the end of days within that same era. I am very much in agreement with Eise and the consensus opinion of most historians/scholars/authors re this topic. It is a historical fact that the Second Temple period gave rise to mainly four competing sects with very different beliefs. I cannot help but to think of Jesus as a staunch Essene, which would explain the many synoptic references to the fall-outs with members of the opposing sects (something that might have played an important role in his crucifixion). There are strong correlations between the Esssene rituals and those promoted by John The Baptist as well as Jesus...that are also depicted in the Didache. I don't quite follow your reasoning w.r.t. the Eucharist..? It makes no reference to the redemptive death of Jesus (quite rightly, as Jesus never suggested that in the first place), so even though Paul might have promoted these rituals (to Corinth?) there seem to be little Pauline influence. If you consider just how influential the Pauline and Johannine doctrines have become in Christianity, it is easy to understand how the Eucharist ended up in its later Christian guise. Apart from the links that I have given here, I suggest that you also read:

    Second Temple Judaism​

    Origins of Christianity

    "Probably" is valueless in this case because we are merely weighing opinions and as you admit the truth cannot be known...

    ....The odds can be quantified to a clear state of probability. Whether or not Jesus, whom has zero contemporary references, existed ios not something anyone can quantify to a clear unambigious probability...

    The answer is that we simply do not know.

    History is all about probabilities. If you ask a historian whether somebody or something had actually existed or not, the answer "we do not know" would (most probably) not be an option. So think of possible answers to the question along the lines of:


    Highly probably



    Highly unlikely



    Also consider the null hypothesis, which is generally assumed to be true until evidence indicates otherwise..? Or you can imagine making a case for the likelihood of a historical Jesus vs a case for the likelihood of no historical Jesus...which is probably exactly what happened for the past 36 pages of this thread...

  21. About Philo of Alexandria, it's 23 minutes into the video. Carrier says that according to Philo there was a Jewish belief about a celestial being called Jesus, who was the first born of God, the celestial image of God, God's agent of creation, and his high priest.

    Yeah, but I was wondering about other sources apart from having to rely on Carrier. This blog/article sums up my own contention with this claim:

    One of the major points that Carrier alleges, in his presentation, is that we have evidence that there was a pre-Christian, Jewish belief in a celestial being which was actually named Jesus, and was the firstborn son of God, in the celestial image of God, who acted as God’s agent of creation, and was God’s celestial high priest... Now, as I’ve said, I haven’t yet read On the Historicity of Jesus, and it is fully possible that Carrier addresses some of my contentions there, but I find his entire claim that there was a pre-Christian, Jewish belief in a celestial Jesus to be almost entirely unsupportable. Carrier’s primary source for his claims about the pre-Christian Jesus Myth comes from the works of a prolific and highly respected Jewish philosopher and theologian, Philo Iudaeus of Alexandria. Carrier cites several passages from Philo, but the most important one– the only one which Carrier can use to support his claim that this proposed pre-Christian celestial being was actually named Jesus– comes from a work known as On the Confusion of Tongues, sections 62 and 63... A plain reading of the primary sources shows that Philo never makes mention of a celestial being named Jesus, in any of his works; and that Philo’s paraphrase of Zechariah 6:12 in On the Confusion of Tongues has nothing to do with Joshua son of Jehozadak. I cannot see how Richard Carrier’s particular mythicist hypothesis can stand without a pre-Christian, Jewish belief in a celestial being named Jesus, and Carrier has not successfully demonstrated that such a belief actually existed. On Carrier’s pre-Christian Jesus Myth


    And I don't know what you mean with "settle down", but concerning Paul and the Didache, indeed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didache#Eucharist adds nicely to my remarks. If there was a historical Jesus, there should be a "jump" from Jewish to Christian teachings on key Christian topics.

    It actually dovetails quite nicely with my own theory as well as those of a number of scholars/authors referenced earlier. It sets the Pauline-Christology-of-redemption- (or divine) Jesus apart from a more likely Jesus-of-a-Second-Temple-Jewish-sect, a sect whose customs and rituals might have been (partly or fully) inherited by the early Christian church. Just consider the strong resemblance with the Essene customs, for example. You have to understand and appreciate the significant dogmatic differences between the various Second Temple sects and between them and earlier Judaism. For me it makes perfect sense and serves to support parts of the synoptic gospels and thus a likely historical Jesus.

    In the Christ case:

    - mentioning by Paul that he met Jesus' brother, James

    - mentioning by Josephus of James, whose brother was called 'Christ'

    - mentioning of John the baptist by Josephus

    - mentioning of John the baptist by in a few gospels

    This (from earlier in the thread) should be added: Tacitus on Christ

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