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Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?


mistermack
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1 minute ago, studiot said:

They had a record of Joseph (or people like him), so why would they not have had a record of Jesus, if he existed?

I am not sure why you are asking me this question. As I previous stated to my knowledge no such record exists. If I am mistaken please provide a citation. 

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Eise often backs up his claims with an imaginary consensus. He often claims to know what many/most/all scholars/historians/scientists think. If this is a scienceforum then his comments in this thread should get downvotes, but they don't, I'm again the one who gets downvotes for stating the truth.

 

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3 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

I am not sure why you are asking me this question. As I previous stated to my knowledge no such record exists. If I am mistaken please provide a citation. 

You don't know, I don't know.

As far as I know nobody knows.

I am not attacking you I am pointing out the narrow viewpoint that is leading to presumptive hasty conclusions not based on reason.

 

There are many such inconsistencies between parts of the Bible, parts of the Christian teaching, (which are not the same) and other evidence that archeological sources can provide.

Examining all this in the cold light of reason was the beauty of my friend's course.

 

All I said was that I can't believe the Romans had proper no tax records for one insignificant town in an insignificant part of their empire, near the height of their powers, when they had good records before and after and for other places.

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15 minutes ago, studiot said:

You don't know, I don't know.

As far as I know nobody knows.

I am not attacking you I am pointing out the narrow viewpoint that is leading to presumptive hasty conclusions not based on reason.

 

There are many such inconsistencies between parts of the Bible, parts of the Christian teaching, (which are not the same) and other evidence that archeological sources can provide.

Examining all this in the cold light of reason was the beauty of my friend's course.

 

All I said was that I can't believe the Romans had proper no tax records for one insignificant town in an insignificant part of their empire, near the height of their powers, when they had good records before and after and for other places.

I personally have no collusion. I do not pretend to know whether Jesus ever existed as a flesh and blood man or not. Tax records or any type on contemporary marterial would be the best type of evidence. In the absence if that I don't feel quality (better than 50/50) probabilities can be concluded. 

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10 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

I personally have no collusion. I do not pretend to know whether Jesus ever existed as a flesh and blood man or not. Tax records or any type on contemporary marterial would be the best type of evidence. In the absence if that I don't feel quality (better than 50/50) probabilities can be concluded. 

 

I don't care either way.

But I do believe in critical analytical thinking.

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2 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Nope, I can quantify what the majority view is among scientists for vaccination, 9/11, and climate. For vaccinations I could get on on the CDC, NCBI, ECDC, WHO or etc site and read thousands upon thousands of studies conducted all over the world. For 9/11 there is an official commission report which included interviews with over 1,200 in 10 countries. For Climate Change I could read endless studies done by NASA, NOAA, DOD, IPCC, and etc. The majority view on those issue is easily accessible. Numerous  comprehensive studies including the work of scientists across the globe are abundant for vaccination, 9/11, and climate. The majority view on Jesus's historicity is not as well studied. You can not direct me to numerous international partnership studies and professional agencies who have researched Jesus's historicity specifically.

As I posted early "I personally have never read a comprehensive study where the specific view of most current history academics around the world was polled. Rather are just broadly see it stated that most historian accept Jesus was probably real. I am not sure how to quantify the claim. Which isn't to say I reject it but rather I am not sure what to make of it".

 

40 minutes ago, Itoero said:

Eise often backs up his claims with an imaginary consensus. He often claims to know what many/most/all scholars/historians/scientists think. If this is a scienceforum then his comments in this thread should get downvotes, but they don't, I'm again the one who gets downvotes for stating the truth.

 

I asked Eise directly how they are quantifying what the consensus is in the above post while noting what consensus looks like for the other matters they mentioned. It will be interesting to see if the response. 

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On ‎20‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 11:06 PM, CharonY said:

As far as I can see he is not attached to any academic institution and as far as I am aware his ideas are not particularly well received by mainstream historians. BTW, if the academic of a person is mainly substantiated by videos, then it is usually not very substantial.

And while we are on the subject of lying:

Eise said R Carrier didn't do research...but he did. He is attached to academic institution and it's impossible to know his idea's are not well received by mainstream historians. Or do you know what historians in France, Belgium,  Spain, Scandinavia and China think?

 

49 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

asked Eise directly how they are quantifying what the consensus is in the above post while noting what consensus looks like for the other matters they mentioned. It will be interesting to see if the response. 

Correct.

The main reason I don't believe he existed is because the Gospels are written in great detail. Such details can only be written by eyewitnesses at the moment or in the days after. Yet the Gospels were written decades later.

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1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

I asked Eise directly how they are quantifying what the consensus is in the above post while noting what consensus looks like for the other matters they mentioned. It will be interesting to see if the response. 

2 hours ago, Itoero said:

Eise often backs up his claims with an imaginary consensus. He often claims to know what many/most/all scholars/historians/scientists think.

Of course I am not aware of any statistics. But I am aware that Ehrman is only criticised by fundamentalist Christians and by mythicists (and the latter possibly only because he says that Jesus very probably existed; not because of his other books). I am sure that you all agree that the critique of fundamentalist Christians is worth nothing. Then I have cited from the Wikipedia article that Ten oz linked himself: that most scholars consider mythicism as a fringe theory. And then (ok, I am sure that nobody of you will accept this), Ehrman states it himself. I have read quite a few of his books (which funny enough did not arise any criticism of mythicists; only of course of fundamentalist Christians), and he seems very honest and upright, calmly exposing the arguments in favour of Jesus' existence. Again, if this would not be true, he would be criticised by fellow early Christian historians. Also consider this: if his very critical books on Christianity as 'the religion of Jesus' on one side, and his Did Jesus Exist didn't let him loose his job, then obviously his Alma Mater has no problem with him.

You can also add Studiot's observation about what a university course looks like. Would such a course look like this if it was not the generally accepted view in Academia? If you can come up with an academical text book that 'teaches the divide', please do so. 

 

1 hour ago, Itoero said:

Eise said R Carrier didn't do research...but he did.

I did not. Repeating a falsity doesn't make it true. CharonY pointed you already to it, and I did too. I wrote:

On 9/15/2018 at 12:31 PM, Eise said:

Richard Carrier has a degree in ancient history, but does no research or is teaching at any university (not even in ancient history):

This time I made it bold as well.

I can add brackets, to show the correct reading:

  • Richard Carrier has a degree in ancient history, but (does no research or is teaching) at any university (not even in ancient history)

"At any university" applies to "does no research" and to "is teaching".

Obviously, you read it as:

  • Richard Carrier has a degree in ancient history, but does no research or (is teaching at any university) (not even in ancient history)

So you applied it to "is teaching" only, and assumed I said he did not do research on his own. That is not what I said. If you had followed the link you could have clearly seen that I meant that. But you often do not even look in your own links... ("proof" <-> "proof of concept")

1 hour ago, Itoero said:

The main reason I don't believe he existed is because the Gospels are written in great detail.

Yes, most of what is in the gospels is probably fantasy. But given that they are, there are a few puzzles that could have easily ironed out if they were just fantasies. (e.g Jesus of Nazareth had just as good been Jesus of Bethlehem).

2 hours ago, Itoero said:

I'm again the one who gets downvotes for stating the truth.

I will come to Belgium and crucify you... :D For me it is only a 6 hours car drive! Behold! The day is near!

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

Of course I am not aware of any statistics.

Right, you repeatedly insist that the overwhelming majority of historians believe something and the opposing views are fringe yet cannot quantify the claim. Rather you just continue to reference the work of an individual. When people say the overwhelming majority of doctors support vaccines or scientist support climate change those claims be quantified by global commissions and studies. They are not empty claims based in part on tradition. Because you so often cite what the overwhelming majority of historians believe as support for your own position you really should be able to quantify it. Otherwise you should have the humility to acknowledge the claim isn't as convincing/meaninful as you led on. Since the claim is so pivotal to your overall view your inability to support lowers the overall probability that what you believe is in actually correct. 

To be clear I accept that the majority of Historians may agree Jesus was a real person. However I have no idea what to make of that in lieu of no clear work on the subject. 

3 hours ago, Itoero said:

Correct.

The main reason I don't believe he existed is because the Gospels are written in great detail. Such details can only be written by eyewitnesses at the moment or in the days after. Yet the Gospels were written decades later.

I am on the fence as to whether or not Jesus existed. To make a high quality guess one needs high quality information. High quality information would be something contemporary. The more the better. Nothing contemporary to Jesus have been found. So a high quality guess cannot made. What Eise seems to be arguing is that based on what lower tier evidence which is available the best guess is that Jesus probably lived. I simply cannot wrap my head around the usefulness of that position. The Best guess based on less than the best evidence is not a strong guess in my book. 

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There's a big difference in the way that the opinions of Christians ought to be viewed, when it comes to expert opinion.

In physics for example, I'm willing to accept that someone could be a devout Christian, and still have valid opinions about the big bang, etc. Or in biology, even if they declare that they don't accept evolution, I'm happy to believe that it's possible that they can compartmentalise their work in the field of Biology, and keep the religion separate.

What I'm not prepared to accept, is that Christians can be objective unbiased Bible Historians. I think it's ludicrous to suggest that they can.

It's like respecting the opinion of a flat-earther astronomer. 

To be a Christian means you have to believe that Jesus existed, died on the cross, and revived after three days. Otherwise, you don't qualify.

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5 hours ago, Eise said:

Of course I am not aware of any statistics. But I am aware that Ehrman is only criticised by fundamentalist Christians and by mythicists (and the latter possibly only because he says that Jesus very probably existed; not because of his other books). I am sure that you all agree that the critique of fundamentalist Christians is worth nothing. Then I have cited from the Wikipedia article that Ten oz linked himself: that most scholars consider mythicism as a fringe theory. And then (ok, I am sure that nobody of you will accept this), Ehrman states it himself. I have read quite a few of his books (which funny enough did not arise any criticism of mythicists; only of course of fundamentalist Christians), and he seems very honest and upright, calmly exposing the arguments in favour of Jesus' existence. Again, if this would not be true, he would be criticised by fellow early Christian historians. Also consider this: if his very critical books on Christianity as 'the religion of Jesus' on one side, and his Did Jesus Exist didn't let him loose his job, then obviously his Alma Mater has no problem with

Backing your idea's up with imaginary consensus is something you also do in other threads. We once had a long discussion about determinism. There you also, for example said several times something like this: "All scientists believe in an indeterministic universe due to bells theorem".

5 hours ago, Eise said:

Yes, most of what is in the gospels is probably fantasy. But given that they are, there are a few puzzles that could have easily ironed out if they were just fantasies. (e.g Jesus of Nazareth had just as good been Jesus of Bethlehem).

So now you acknowledge most of it is probably fantasy. That's something else then you said before.

His birth and childhood stories are fantasy. The miracles are fantasy. All the detailed stuff is fantasy.

So then which Jesus existed? Which of the stories are correct?

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15 hours ago, mistermack said:

There's a big difference in the way that the opinions of Christians ought to be viewed, when it comes to expert opinion.

I agree that one should take care. But you do as if early Christian historians are all Christians. I said this already (felt) a dozen times, they are not all Christians, but you keep repeating this. 

Further you haven't looked in the methods and how they are applied, sou cannot even know if their potential biases stands in the way of their work.

16 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Right, you repeatedly insist that the overwhelming majority of historians believe something and the opposing views are fringe yet cannot quantify the claim. Rather you just continue to reference the work of an individual. When people say the overwhelming majority of doctors support vaccines or scientist support climate change those claims be quantified by global commissions and studies. They are not empty claims based in part on tradition. Because you so often cite what the overwhelming majority of historians believe as support for your own position you really should be able to quantify it. Otherwise you should have the humility to acknowledge the claim isn't as convincing/meaninful as you led on.

I gave the grounds why I think it is a majority. You do not discuss these grounds at all. 

16 hours ago, Ten oz said:

To make a high quality guess one needs high quality information

Yup. We are not so certain about Jesus' existence as Napoleon's, and surely not as certain as that special relativity is correct. But that is not the question I am answering to. You know what this question is, I repeated it several times, but you go back again to looking for certainty, for a "high quality guess" and not for the best possible.

12 hours ago, Itoero said:

So now you acknowledge most of it is probably fantasy. That's something else then you said before

Like this?

On 9/13/2018 at 6:06 PM, Itoero said:

Why do you have so much faith in the Gospelwriters?

On 9/14/2018 at 3:19 PM, Eise said:

I haven't. Not more than any respected scholar. There are too many discrepancies between them.  

For the rest you haven't read my argument on which you react. 

12 hours ago, Itoero said:

So then which Jesus existed? Which of the stories are correct?

Why would one of the stories be correct as a whole? You have no idea about how historians treat such highly biased texts. 

Look at the second post of this thread. Of all the sources we have, that is what most early Christianity historians more or less agree on. Not much, is it?

OK, I repeat my first post in this thread here. (In the end, Itoero never follows links provided (often not even when linked by himself).) You can all decide for yourself if my viewpoint is so unscientific.

On 8/13/2018 at 11:56 AM, Eise said:

It is true that the historical evidence is not strong, but most academic historians agree that Jesus existed. With other words, to explain the way Jesus is mentioned in biblical sources and some other ancient historian's accounts on one side, and the way Christianity has grown in its early beginnings on the other, the best hypothesis is that he really existed. However the surest facts are meager:

- he was born in Nazareth

- he was an apocalyptic preacher in the Jewish tradition, and met John the Baptist

- he had a brother, James

- he was crucified under Pilatus 

That's it. All the rest of the sources is so mashed up with what people wanted to believe, that not more can be concluded historically.

Be sure you argue against this, and nothing else. I italicized a few key phrases.

 

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On 8/13/2018 at 10:56 AM, Eise said:

However the surest facts are meager:

- he was born in Nazareth

This is one of the surest facts? What on earth makes it so sure? I don't think Paul ever mentioned it, so it must be coming from those highly suspect documents, the gospels, and acts. All written long after the supposed death of Jesus. And as far as I'm aware, there's no mention of the name Nazareth in Jewish or Roman writing till approx. the third century. 

There is an active process going on right now, I believe, to forge a history for Nazareth, and build a theme park. So any evidence that emerges from now on has probably been deposited there by fraudsters. Some highly questionable coin finds have cropped up, when previous work found nothing.

And of course, the very sources that first MENTION Nazareth, the gospels, have Jesus being born in Bethlehem. So if this is one of the surest facts, it ought to be case-closed.

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2 hours ago, Eise said:

Yup. We are not so certain about Jesus' existence as Napoleon's, and surely not as certain as that special relativity is correct. But that is not the question I am answering to. You know what this question is, I repeated it several times, but you go back again to looking for certainty, for a "high quality guess" and not for the best possible.

Special Relatively is a discipline tackled internationally by Professors and students. Groups like OMICS  host thousands of workshops and conferences around the world addressing the issue and have over 50,000 board members and editors. The view of Academia is quantifiable and the pulse is regularly checked. It isn't merely a handful full of people doing the work but rather hundreds of thousand all over the globe. MITYale, Stanford, and on and on and on all have course work on Special Relatively. It is comical to me you'd make the comparison. There is no where near the number of people formally tackling the issue of Jesus's historicity as there is tackling Special Relatively. The Historicity of Jesus is a niche field of study and Cottage Industry for the likes of people like Robert Price, Bart Ehrman, and etc.  You can not quantify the majority view of Historians on the issue partly because Jesus's Historicity isn't  a true discipline of study. As such I think you overstate what the consensus is and which portions are fringe. It simply is not a robustly studied subject.

'Best possible" evidence would be contemporary artifacts. A single contemporary artifact would be far greater than none and multiple would be even greater. Finding just one contemporary artifact like Jesus's tomb, a carving of his image, anything written about him in real time by anyone, and etc would be superior evidence to all of the analytic analysis of the Gospels. In the absences of anything contemporary we are left with making the best guess we can with what we've got and that type of guess isn't a good one in my book. We can keep going in circles here but you know that contemporary evidence is best. Can you name a single other historical figure people bother arguing was "very probably" real for whom there is zero contemporary evidence of ???

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1 hour ago, mistermack said:

And of course, the very sources that first MENTION Nazareth, the gospels, have Jesus being born in Bethlehem. So if this is one of the surest facts, it ought to be case-closed.

I cannot follow you. Yes, Jesus is called 'of Nazareth'. But why would Matthew and Luke go into such a trouble to explain that he grew up in Nazareth, but was born in Bethlehem? And they do it in different ways:

Matthew: Joseph and Maria lived in Bethlehem, when Jesus was born. They had to fly to Egypt for Herod, and after Herod's death, they went to Nazareth. So that is the place where Jesus grew up.

Luke: Joseph and Maria lived in Nazareth, but had to to go to Bethlehem for a Roman census, where Jesus was born. Afterwards they just went back to Nazareth.

John and Marc say nothing about Jesus' birth.

Now according to the old testament, the 'Messiah' would be born in Bethlehem. For their theological agenda, obviously Matthew and Luke fantasized a story to explain an unwelcome fact: that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at all (Romans never did a empire-wide census, and the dates that can be reconstructed from Luke are also wrong; further there is no historical record of the murder of so many babies in Nazareth. We don't know if such a thing happened, but it seems not very likely), but in Nazareth. 

If the gospels are fantasy only, why not just let Jesus be born in Bethlehem?

I gave this argument already, but it seems to me that you stopped really reading this thread ("Christian historians"), and just react from your own opinion.

1 hour ago, mistermack said:

And as far as I'm aware, there's no mention of the name Nazareth in Jewish or Roman writing till approx. the third century. 

Yep, more or less:

Quote

Although it is mentioned in the New Testament gospels, there are no extant non-biblical references to Nazareth until around 200 CE, when Sextus Julius Africanus, cited by Eusebius (Church History 1.7.14), speaks of Nazara as a village in Judea and locates it near an as-yet unidentified "Cochaba".

But:

Quote

In 2009, Israeli archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre excavated archaeological remains in Nazareth that date to the time of Jesus in the early Roman period. Alexandre told reporters, "The discovery is of the utmost importance since it reveals for the very first time a house from the Jewish village of Nazareth."

 

1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

'Best possible" evidence would be contemporary artifacts.

I cite myself, sou you can reread (read slowly and carefully...):

4 hours ago, Eise said:

With other words, to explain the way Jesus is mentioned in biblical sources and some other ancient historian's accounts on one side, and the way Christianity has grown in its early beginnings on the other, the best hypothesis is that he really existed.

Of course, when new evidence would be found, maybe these ideas must be revised (or hardened!). But that is normal scientific practice.

1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

Special Relatively is a discipline tackled internationally by Professors and students. Groups like OMICS  host thousands of workshops and conferences around the world addressing the issue and have over 50,000 board members and editors. The view of Academia is quantifiable and the pulse is regularly checked. It isn't merely a handful full of people doing the work but rather hundreds of thousand all over the globe. MITYale, Stanford, and on and on and on all have course work on Special Relatively. It is comical to me you'd make the comparison.

What the fuzz? I mentioned three scientific results, from not so certain (Jesus), very certain (Napoleon) to rocksolid (relativity).

 

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13 hours ago, Ten oz said:

@EiseCan you name a single other historical figure people bother arguing was "very probably" real for whom there is zero contemporary evidence of ???

Before I give you a trial of an answer, I would like to reflect for a moment on your question.

First: it smells a bit of a reversed 'what-aboutism'. If there are other persons from which we only have references in documents that are assumed to be written after the death of that person, then it is obviously normal praxis in historical science. But does it have any relevance for the question at hand? Would the arguments pro/contra Jesus' existence change when there was no other (assumed) historical person that is accepted on later sources alone?

Second: I am not a historian. If I remember correctly, I got interested in the question when I learned in another forum of Ehrman's books, and that he presented quite another Jesus-picture than I was used to. As a philosopher, of course I have some knowledge of ancient philosophers, but that's it. No special historical expertise.

Third: Why are we repeating the same discussion as in the old Jesus-thread? 

And fourth, and I will think I will repeat it in every new posting of me in this thread: it makes no sense to discuss a caricature of my viewpoint. I do not say "Jesus existed!". I say: the most probable reconstruction of the sources we have about Jesus, its historical context and the development of early Christianity, leads to the conclusion that he very probably existed. And, sorry, the only way to oppose this view is to give a better reconstruction. Just saying 'the gospels are unreliable' does not suffice: you must know how historians treat such highly biased texts (in their context of other documents we also have). If you think historians do it wrong, then you are in fact saying that they are a bunch of gullible amateurs: you know better! As if they have no idea that the gospels are not simple historical chronicles, that they do not know that the gospels were written after Jesus death, and what all. Of all the arguments you bring, the historians are fully aware, and still they say: it is very probable that Jesus existed. But to understand that, you must read their works. If you refuse, well, you are entitled to every opinion, but it is 100% not an opinion supported by science. If you say that there are minorities with other views, like the mythicists, then you also must dive into their arguments, and see how they do compared to that of other historians. And, last but not least, in the light of possible new sources, the historians' viewpoint might change. But that is normal scientific praxis.

So and now my answer: nearly all pre-socratic philosophers: they are supposed to have lived from 600 - 500 BCE, the earliest sources we have are from about 300 BCE. Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander, Heraclitus, Parmenides.

And yes, dimreepr's example is also valid: most historians accept that a historical person, (later?) called 'Buddha' really existed. But again, similar as Jesus, the modern historical picture is quite different from what traditional Buddhists hold. The earliest written Buddhist texts are even later written than those of Jesus: about 200 years after Buddha's death.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Eise said:

First: it smells a bit of a reversed 'what-aboutism'. If there are other persons from which we only have references in documents that are assumed to be written after the death of that person, then it is obviously normal praxis in historical science. But does it have any relevance for the question at hand? Would the arguments pro/contra Jesus' existence change when there was no other (assumed) historical person that is accepted on later sources alone?

It is about precedence. You have repeatedly referenced methodology and historical consensus (which you can't quantify). If the Historicity of Jesus is standard historical science than see how its applies elsewhere should provide insight in my opinion. 

3 hours ago, Eise said:

So and now my answer: nearly all pre-socratic philosophers: they are supposed to have lived from 600 - 500 BCE, the earliest sources we have are from about 300 BCE. Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander, Heraclitus, Parmenides.

These are terrific examples. As previously mentioned contemporary artifacts would be the best possible evidence. Nothing contemporary to pre-socratic philosphers remains. What we know comes from primarily fragments written by philosophers who had studied their work. The reason why their work could be studied is because they were known to have written housed in libraries and studied by others over time. Primary sources are not of a oral nature recorded by a third party. Rather we have accounts of people who literally claim to have sat down and read things written by the hand of pre-socratic philosphers. So there are first hand accounts of people interacting with works written contemporary to their lives. In the absence of contemporary artifacts first hand accounts of interaction with contemporary artifacts is the next best thing. Through those accounts we have  reason to believe  contemporary artifacts had existed and were available for some time.

The Historicity of Jesus does not have that. Had Josephus (who was not contemporary to Jesus) claimed that he had read something written by Jesus's hand that would be great evidence and I would agree with your 85/15 probably. Had Tacitus (who was not contemporary to Jesus) written of seeing drawings done by Jesus himself that would be  great evidence. Rather Josephus & Tacitus reference individuals who reference Jesus. They are degrees of separation and no accounts of contemporary artifacts. Likewise with Paul. We can argue that Paul met James but James never recorded anything. Paul's account is also has degrees of separation. 

To my point about precedence if the standard for study of pre-socratic philosphers is applied to Jesus I think Jesus comes up short. No one in history has ever claimed to have read anything written by Jesus. 

3 hours ago, Eise said:

And yes, dimreepr's example is also valid: most historians accept that a historical person, (later?) called 'Buddha' really existed. But again, similar as Jesus, the modern historical picture is quite different from what traditional Buddhists hold. The earliest written Buddhist texts are even later written than those of Jesus: about 200 years after Buddha's death.

I agree. Buddha, in my opinion, is a spot on example. Also another religious figure with over 500 million followers world wide. Like Jesus Buddha was born of a miraculous manner, was a child prodigy, tempted by the devil, had disciplines, performed miracles, renounce wealth, and etc. I see a criterion of not disrespecting religion a certain extend. People broadly accept Buddha to have been a real person but not for nothing it would be disrespectful to Buddhist around the world not to. Also nothing about Buddhist beliefs has culture or ethnic significance outside of Asia. That is important because Buddha's history doesn't compete directly with Abrahamic history.It is did I suspect a much more critic view toward Buddha would exist. What I mean by that is much of Jewish history has been regulated to myth. Just things of legend. Christianity and Islam both have over 2 billion followers a piece to just 6 million Jewish people. Both Christianity and Islam essentially were created to replace Judaism. So while it may be moderately disrespectful to Jewish people to call their religious history myths it serves a purpose to the more prevalent and dominate Abrahamic religions. Moses can be a myth but Jesus and Mohammed mustn't be. I do believe the dominance of various religions globally impacts (not the be all end all) the way history is viewed. I suspect back when the Greeks still believed in Zeus they would have argued Hercules had been real. 

*full disclosure while I am an atheist and basically always have been the religion which did exist in my home growing up was Judaism.  

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2 hours ago, Ten oz said:

I agree. Buddha, in my opinion, is a spot on example. Also another religious figure with over 500 million followers world wide. Like Jesus Buddha was born of a miraculous manner, was a child prodigy, tempted by the devil, had disciplines, performed miracles, renounce wealth, and etc.

:rolleyes: :doh:

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19 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

:rolleyes: :doh:

The prophets of all current major regions happen to be accepted as real while all prophets of religions no longer broadly followed are myths. The pre-socratic philosophers Eise mentioned are believed to have existed but nothing about their stories are magical or otherwise understood to be impossible. Additionally there are first had accounts by people who claim to have read writings written by their hands. 

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5 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

The prophets of all current major regions happen to be accepted as real while all prophets of religions no longer broadly followed are myths. The pre-socratic philosophers Eise mentioned are believed to have existed but nothing about their stories are magical or otherwise understood to be impossible. Additionally there are first had accounts by people who claim to have read writings written by their hands. 

:ph34r:

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On 9/24/2018 at 1:11 PM, Ten oz said:

It is about precedence. You have repeatedly referenced methodology and historical consensus (which you can't quantify). If the Historicity of Jesus is standard historical science than see how its applies elsewhere should provide insight in my opinion. 

I understand, but I do not quite agree: even if Jesus were the only one whose existence is stated on such grounds, it does not weaken the arguments in themselves. 

On 9/24/2018 at 1:11 PM, Ten oz said:

What we know comes from primarily fragments written by philosophers who had studied their work. The reason why their work could be studied is because they were known to have written housed in libraries and studied by others over time. Primary sources are not of a oral nature recorded by a third party. Rather we have accounts of people who literally claim to have sat down and read things written by the hand of pre-socratic philosphers.

Really? Do you have sources for these claims? Take Thales as example, all citations from Aristotle:

Quote

Arist. Met. i. 3 ; 983 b 6. most of the early students of philosophy thought that first principles in the form of matter, and only these, are the sources of all things; for that of which all things consist, the antecedent from which they have sprung, and into which they are finally resolved (in so far as being underlies them and is changed with their changes), this they say is the element and first principle of things. 983 b 18. As to the quantity and form of this first principle, there is a difference of opinion; but Thales, the founder of this sort of philosophy, says that it is water (accordingly he declares that the earth rests on water), getting the idea, I suppose, because he saw that the nourishment of all beings is moist, and that warmth itself is gene- rated from moisture and persists in it (for that from which all things spring is the first principle of them); and getting the idea also from the fact that the germs of all beings are of a moist nature, while water is the first principle of the nature of what is moist.

Quote

 Arist. de Coelo ii. 13; 294 a 28. Some say that the earth rests on water. We have ascertained that the oldest statement of this character is the one accredited to Thales the Milesian, to the effect that it rests on water, floating like a piece of wood or something else of that sort.

Quote

Simpl. in Arist. de Anima 8 r 32, 16.3 -Thales posits water as the element, but it is the element of bodies, and he thinks that the soul is not a body at all. 31, 21 D.-Ancl irt speaking thus of Thales he adds with a degree of reproach that he assigned a soul to the magnetic stone as the power which moves the iron, that he might prove soul to be a moving power in it; but he did not assert that this soul was water, although water had been designated as the element, since he said that water is the element of substances, but he supposed soul to be unsubstantial form. 20 r 73, 22. For Thales, also, I suppose, thought all things to be full of gods, the gods being blended with them; and this is strange.

(bold by me: these should have been natural places where Aristotle could have referred to some other source. He doesn't.)

There are more authors, you can look them up here. But I can assure you, nowhere can we reconstruct how this information came to the different classical authors. There is no reference to any written source or mentioning of a contemporary of Thales. This means that there is a gap of about 300 years, and we have no idea how Thales' ideas came to Aristotle & co.

With Jesus we have a gap from circa 3-30 years (Events that Paul refers to, till gospel of Mark), and historians are pretty sure that there were already a few written sources around when 'Marc' wrote his gospel (based on a few Aramaic phrases, or some literal translations of Aramaic). 

20 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Additionally there are first had accounts by people who claim to have read writings written by their hands. 

Citation please.

20 hours ago, Ten oz said:

nothing about their stories are magical or otherwise understood to be impossible

That is not relevant at all. Nobody denies that Sai Baba, or Adi Da existed. But there are many magical stories woven around them. So such imagined stories have no relevance at all for the question if they really existed. The only thing a naturalist can do is ignore the magic.

Edit: here are fragments of Anaximander. And here of Anaximenes.

Edited by Eise
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1 hour ago, Eise said:

I understand, but I do not quite agree: even if Jesus were the only one whose existence is stated on such grounds, it does not weaken the arguments in themselves

You have repeatedly used the notion that most historians agree with you and that standard historical methodology is on your side. If that standard only applies to Jesus, Buddha, and perhaps Mohammed (I don't know much about Mohammed) that it isn't as robust a standard as you insist. I have been arguing that your position is exaggerated and not that it is wrong. Our difference are nuanced. 

2 hours ago, Eise said:

Citation please.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presocratics/

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38 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

You have repeatedly used the notion that most historians agree with you and that standard historical methodology is on your side. If that standard only applies to Jesus, Buddha, and perhaps Mohammed (I don't know much about Mohammed) that it isn't as robust a standard as you insist. I have been arguing that your position is exaggerated and not that it is wrong. Our difference are nuanced. 

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presocratics/

 

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