Jesus Mythers Treat Sources Dishonestly


 photo 220px-Bruno_Bauer_zps3264bce5.jpg
Bruno Bauer (1809-1882)
Early Jesus Myther





Jesus mythers want to  convey the impression that they are scrupulous historians concerned with historical evidence only. The truth is they have total contempt for real historians and they have created their own absurd standard that real  historians don't use.When I was working as a teaching assistant at UTD one prof for whom I TAed was Gavin Hambley who obtained his Ph,D. from Cambridge and who had a big name in Asian studies. I asked him once what he thought about the Jesus myther theory he literally said "they are idiots." He went on to explain if we followed their standards of historical proof we would know nothing about the ancient world. Let's look at some of the standards they advocate.

Kennith Harding demonstrates a pervasive attitude among Jesus Mythers:



......What is a good source? A contemporary historian -- that is to say, an historian that lived and wrote during the time in which Christ is said to have lived. Any historian living or writing after that time could not have seen the events with his own eyes -- possibly could not have even known any witnesses personally. Any historian writing decades or centuries after the events could only write of those things which he had heard others say. In other words, he would be writing hearsay -- secondhand accounts of what Christ's followers said about him.[1]

This is a silly standard which I call the 6 O'clock news fallacy. He's talking about "historians" but  he wants them to talk about contemporary  things. He wants up to the minute coverage as though Jesus should have been on the 6:00 news. Historians don't write about contemporary things. A Historian is some one who writes about the past. Back in the '90s I recall Dr. Babcock at Perkins,where I got my masters, one of the finest historians I've known ,he said to me that world war two was too recent for a historian to write about. That's not completely true because there are historians of WWII. That is an older standard but the fact is historians are not gong to write about things happening during the time they are writing, at least not writing as historians.


This standard of Harding's assumes historians will know people who have pertinent information but most historians don't. Author O. Lovejoy did not know anyone who started the great chain of being, because that idea started a thousand years before he was born.[2] None of the historians Jesus mythers value knew anyone remotely close to the era of Jesus' day. He wants to call real history Hearsay or second hand accounts but we have almost nothing from the century. It is true that in the first century historians were not as they are today. There was no academic standard no peer review in the sense in which we know it, they did write about first hand things more than historians now do. Yet there were historians who wrote about mattes that went on before they were born. Herodotus was de-mythologizing Greek myth, took place long before he was born [3] We saw in last weeks a Paulkovich,Jesus myther, using third century writers as proof Jesus didn't exist! When writers such as Celsus or Eusebius deal with matters long before their births that does not invalidate their historical acuity.


Then of course one of their main tactics is discriminating of religious scholars, because they are connected with religious institutions: "Certainly, this cannot be considered as reliable information. The followers of any cult leader certainly would exaggerate the character of the man they follow. As you shall see, whatever the authenticity of the documents turns out to be, none of the historians in question were contemporaries of Christ."[4]


Yet that does not mean they would exaggerate to the point of making a non existant character into flesh and blood. But of course their natural animosity toward religion comes to the fore, they hate religious people so of course that makes them guilty of all the evils of the world. So let's just turn it back on them. Could hate-filled zealots exaggerate and be biased be super picky and critical about the central figure of Christianity? Of course it could. They want to caste a hermetic of suspicion over any scholar even remotely connected with a religious institution. So we should do the same for any Jesus myther. They take it further than mere suspicion. They openly insist that the evidence is made up. They say there is no evidence what they really mean is they refuse to believe the evidence that does exist:



Here is something to keep in mind as you read this article. Ask yourself this question. Could historic passages have been forged? Could the volumes of the historians have been tampered with? The answer is: yes they could have. Where were these historic volumes stored? In the local public library? In individuals' private homes? No. They were in the possession of the Church, who studied from them and made copies of them. In what form did these writings take? On a typeset page, bound like a modern book? No. The printing press was not invented for a further 1300 years. The fact that the Church could write means that the forgeries could have been made.[5]

So of course this must mean that every bit of evidence that counts against the Jesus myth is forged by the church, because somehow they saw a thousand years ago what was needed to fool a 21st century audience. There's Just one little bit of info he's leaving out,kind of crucial. He assumes it's all forged there's no way to tell. He just kind of forgot about multiple copies. One of the major astounding things about the thousands of MS we have is how reliable they are. They do not very significantly, there is no prize hidden version that really says Jesus didn't exist  or that he was not the son of God. By comparing thousands of copies we just see it's all remarkably valid and the sane. [6]


He goes on ranting:



The Church had the opportunity, the means, and the motive to forge historical documents.This simple truth is widely admitted by Christian scholars. One case in point is our first example: Josephus Flavius, a famous historian. There are two alleged mentions of Jesus in his histories. The first of them, the more extensive and more famous one, is no longer quoted by Christian scholars. That is because they know it is a blatant Christian forgery. The second passage is still in use.[7]

First that is not the Bible. He argues that the church forged or altered all the manuscripts but the only example he gives is from a book not in the Bible. While the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal that the Septuagint was in line with the oldest versions of the OT. [8] Josephus is not the Bible and he was not respected. His tweaking would have come much latter than the time of the gospels,probably second century.The mythers are never honest about what scholars really say about the TF (Josephus major passage om Jesus--The Testamentus Flavianim). Harding tries to say that the  majority agree it's forged. They do not,the vast majority believe that the core historical passage is real and that Jo proves Jesus existed.They admit the passage is tweaked but not forged. Forged means made up completely tweaked just means a few words changed. Let's look at what the evidence really says,


Alice Whealy, Berkely Cal.


The TF controversy from antiquity to present


PDF, 9

Twentieth century controversy over the Testimonium Flavianum can be distinguished from controversy over the text in the early modern period insofar as it seems generally more academic and less sectarian. While the challenge to the authenticity of the Testimonium in the early modern period was orchestrated almost entirely by Protestant scholars and while in the same period Jews outside the church uniformly denounced the text's authenticity, the twentieth century controversies over the text have been marked by the presence of Jewish scholars for the first time as prominent participants on both sides of the question. In general, the attitudes of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish and secular scholars towards the text have drawn closer together, with a greater tendency among scholars of all religious backgrounds to see the text as largely authentic. On the one hand this can be interpreted as the result of an increasing trend towards secularism, which is usually seen as product of modernity. On the other hand it can be interpreted as a sort of post-modern disillusionment with the verities of modern skepticism, and an attempt to recapture the sensibility of the ancient world, when it apparently was still possible for a first-century Jew to have written a text as favorable towards Jesus of Nazareth as the Testimonium Flavianum.[9]

A List of Scholar who accept at least some core passage.


John P. Meier

Raymond Brown
Graham Stanton
N.T. Wright
Paula Fredrickson
John D. Crossan
E.P. Sanders
Geza Vermes
Louis Feldman
John Thackeray
Andre Pelletier
Paul Winter
A. Dubarle
Ernst Bammel
Otto Betz
Paul Mier
Ben Witherington
F.F. Bruce
Luke T. Johnson
Craig Blomberg
J. Carleton Paget
Alice Whealey
J. Spencer Kennard
R. Eisler
R.T. France
Gary Habermas
Robert Van Voorst
Shlomo Pines
Edwin M. Yamuchi
James Tabor
John O'Connor-Murphy
Mark Goodacre
Paula Frederiksen
David Flusser
Steve Mason[10]

I dare them to find any major scholar of Josephus not on that list.


Paulkovich, at this point, waves the Jesus myther flag with a rousing rendition of the greats to inspire the faithful,He lists the great crackpots of myther theory:,



Michael B. Paulkovich, "The Fable of Christ,"  Secular Humanism, A program of the Center for Inquiry  no date, On line URL:


https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/articles/5656

(accessed 5/11/17)


Thus, today I side with Remsburg—and with Frank Zindler, John M. Allegro, Godfrey Higgins, Robert M. Price, Salomon Reinach, Samuel Lublinski, Charles-François Dupuis, Allard Pierson, Rudolf Steck, Arthur Drews, Prosper Alfaric, Georges Ory, Tom Harpur, Michael Martin, John Mackinnon Robertson, Alvar Ellegård, David Fitzgerald, Richard Carrier, René Salm, Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy,Barbara Walker, Michael Martin, D.M. Murdock, Thomas Brodie, Earl Doherty, Thomas L. Thompson, Bruno Bauer, and others—heretics and iconoclasts and freethinking dunces all, it would seem.[11]


The problem is these guys were not professors they were not bible scholars they were matures who worked to derail Christianity for one reason or another. By their own standards, however, they are writing 1900 year after the events they know no one who was there,So why listen to them?They are merely biased sectarians who will alter the facts fr their own purposes so shine on them  the same light of hermeneutic of suspicion they want to use to silence religious scholars. Richard Carrier makes the point that no longer is the theory totally in the hands of crack pots. No there is brewing a small cadre of real scholars who are mythers. He gives a list, it has interesting features:



The hypothesis that Jesus never really existed has started to gain more credibility in the expert community. Some now agree historicity agnosticism is warranted, including Arthur Droge (professor of early Christianity at UCSD),  Kurt Noll (associate professor of religion at Brandon University), and Thomas Thompson (renowned professor of theology, emeritus, at the University of Copenhagen). Others are even more certain historicity is doubtful, including Thomas Brodie (director emeritus of the Dominican Biblical Centre at the University of Limerick, Ireland), Robert Price (who has two Ph.D.’s from Drew University, in theology and New Testament studies), and myself (I have a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University and have several peer reviewed articles on the subject). Still others, like Philip Davies (professor of biblical studies, emeritus, at the University of Sheffield), disagree with the hypothesis but admit it is respectable enough to deserve consideration.[12]

The first thing to notice about this group is that they are comitted atheists, Robert Price is a hardened soldier of atheism committed to destroying Christianity. He was the one who ran the Jesus project which was scuttled by the Bible scholar who first though of it because  of the programmatic and colloidal biases which the atheists and mythers infused into the project, See my atheist watch expose on the Jesus project. [13] [14] More importantly notice that many of these writers are connected with religious institutions. Price's degree is from Drew which is Methodist and He taught religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, that is not a major place. Davies is Biblical studies, Brodie is Dominican Bible center, These guys are atheists who teach in religious institutions so they can destroy religion. I find that hypocritical and dishonest, More importantly by the myther standards they must be ignored no matter what they say because they  are commented to religious institutions.


The Mythers are in a dilemma because they must ignore these guys or admit they only care about scholarship that supports their view. This highlights the stupidity of the blanket condemnation of all people connected with religious institutions. Certainly there are many more who are fair minded and liberal and concerned with truth. ut they can't make Jesus' mytherism a standard of their criteria of good sources that would be circular.




encoding prejudices an turning them into sophistical standards 




Sources 

[1]  Kenneth Harding,"Do Any First Century Historians Mention the Jesus of Christianity?" Atheists of Silicon Valley, 2002. website URL:

http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/1stC_Hist.htm  (accessed 5/18/170)

[2] Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being


[3]  Herodotus, The Histories, London: Penguin, trans., Aubory de Selimncourt, Oriogimnal 1954,1974, 3.


[4] Harding, op cit


[5] Ibid


[6] F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents:Are They Reliable? Leicester England: Inter Varsity Fellowship,1943.1981.1-3.


[7] Harding, op cit


[8] Joseph Hinman "Validity of the LXX," Doxa, On  line URL

http://www.doxa.ws/Messiah/Lxx_mt.html (accessed 5/19/17)

[9] Alice Whealy, "The TF Controversy From Antiquity to Present." PDF

http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/whealey2000.pdf   (accessed 5/19/17)

[10] List compiled by members of CADRE

[11] Michael B. Paulkovich, "The Fable of Christ,"  Secular Humanism, A program of the Center for Inquiry  no date, On line URL:


https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/articles/5656

(accessed 5/11/17)

[12] Richard Carrier, "Questioning The Hisatoricityof Jesus," Strange Notions: Digital Areopagus.

On line URL:
http://strangenotions.com/questioning-the-historicity-of-jesus/ (accessed 5/19/17)

no date listed but the first comment was from 2014


[13] Joseph Hinman, "These are the voyages of Jesus myther propaganda... (part 1)," Atheistwatch

(Feb 2016) blog URL
http://atheistwatch.blogspot.com/2016/02/these-are-voyages-of-jesus-myther.html (accessed 5/19/17)

[14] Joseph Hinman, "Jesus Project.. (part 2),Orwell Hits the fan" Atheistwatch
(Feb 2016) blog URL

(accessed 5/19/17)

Comments

im-skeptical said…
Your bias is shoeing. The arguments you make against the scholars who doubt the veracity of the Jesus myths are the very same arguments they make against the Christian scholars who are clearly biased in favor of the myths. But really, which side is truly more biased? Your accusations of secular scholars being committed to tearing down Christianity could conceivably be applied to one or two (even that would be doubtful - I think they are committed to finding the truth), but certainly not all of them. On the other hand ALL Christians are committed to defending their faith - regardless of what the truth might be.
Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
Your bias is shoeing. The arguments you make against the scholars who doubt the veracity of the Jesus myths are the very same arguments they make against the Christian scholars who are clearly biased in favor of the myths.

that's because Im truing their logic on them,


But really, which side is truly more biased? Your accusations of secular scholars being committed to tearing down Christianity could conceivably be applied to one or two (even that would be doubtful - I think they are committed to finding the truth), but certainly not all of them. On the other hand ALL Christians are committed to defending their faith - regardless of what the truth might be.
5/29/2017 07:35:00 AM Delete

My arguments Agassi them are not exactly the same as theirs, I argue that the great classical mythers were not qualified the Bible scholars are qualified their degrees are in bible.

I showed the stupidity of rejecting all bible scholars based upon their own group because Price is a bible scholar, so there can be other bible scholars who are not trying to destroy Christian and not biased in dismissing mythers either,they are wrong to make that blanket dismisel.you need to read the article,
im-skeptical said…
I showed the stupidity of rejecting all bible scholars based upon their own group

Joe, that's exactly what you are doing. So is it stupid?
Joe Hinman said…
no it;s not there are two group[s, omneis not
Bible scholars, Daugherty and Bauer and those guys have no triangular Bible or in history. They are unqualified. Of the mythers with academic credentials I reject the one;s who are trying to destory Christianity because they hate God, I don't reject all radical bible scholars out of hand. my point was if they were Constantine they would have to reject the mythers with real degrees who'se degrees are Fromm religious schools.

can you really not understand that?
im-skeptical said…
Sure. I understand. You reject any bible scholar that doesn't agree with your faith. And you want the rest of us to think that THEY are the ones who are being dogmatic.
Joe Hinman said…
you are nit a scholar and you don't know real scholarship when you see, it you are not qualified to critique my work.
J. P Holding said…
"Thus, today I side with Remsburg—and with Frank Zindler, John M. Allegro, Godfrey Higgins, Robert M. Price, Salomon Reinach, Samuel Lublinski, Charles-François Dupuis, Allard Pierson, Rudolf Steck, Arthur Drews, Prosper Alfaric, Georges Ory, Tom Harpur, Michael Martin, John Mackinnon Robertson, Alvar Ellegård, David Fitzgerald, Richard Carrier, René Salm, Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy,Barbara Walker, Michael Martin, D.M. Murdock, Thomas Brodie, Earl Doherty, Thomas L. Thompson, Bruno Bauer, and others—heretics and iconoclasts and freethinking dunces all, it would seem."

Say what. You can tell Paulkovich hasn't even read the works of most of these wackos. A lot of them wrote stuff that would get a paddy wagon coming to fit them with a nice new white shirt with extra-long sleeves. Yeah, all dunces, that's pretty much sufficient.
im-skeptical said…
And you can tell Holding has never read a science book.
Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
And you can tell Holding has never read a science book.

why would a science book be the thing to read for the Jesus myther issue?

Skep you know what I used to do as a young man? Teenager, I was in confident and felt bad about myself. So to feel good about myself, to bolster my self esteem I took pride in my knowledge of great literature. When anyone made me feel inadequate I would think: He's never read Goethe, or he doesn't know who James Joyce was.

see where i'm going with this?
Joe Hinman said…
JP I talked about reading one of those old classical Mythers on the essay I did about the Paul mythers. That was like the Hamlet't's mill fom of literary criticism,which is like James Joyce doing word association.
Joe Hinman said…
ever watch Monk? Monk is so picky about his shirts he knows all the inspectors personally, the guys that stick the labels in "inspected by no. 27." He's looking through shirts he says"O that number 6 he thinks he;s another but not even a 12." That's probably how my previous comment will seem to most people.
J. P Holding said…
Easy, Joe, remember IMS is just a parody. He's supposed to make crazy and irrelevant points like that one. But it can't be too obvious or he'll give it away. E.g., if he said, "You can tell Holding has never parachuted from an airplane," that would be just as relevant, but it would be too obviously irrelevant.
im-skeptical said…
When anyone made me feel inadequate I would think: He's never read Goethe, or he doesn't know who James Joyce was.

see where i'm going with this?


Yes, I see. So these days you just try to make yourself feel better by claiming how much smarter you are, and how you're a "real scholar".

im-skeptical said…
Easy, Joe, remember IMS is just a parody. He's supposed to make crazy and irrelevant points like that one. But it can't be too obvious or he'll give it away. E.g., if he said, "You can tell Holding has never parachuted from an airplane," that would be just as relevant, but it would be too obviously irrelevant.

Of course you fail to see the relevance of my remark. You only see what you have been trained to see. How pathetic.
Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
When anyone made me feel inadequate I would think: He's never read Goethe, or he doesn't know who James Joyce was.

see where i'm going with this?

Yes, I see. So these days you just try to make yourself feel better by claiming how much smarter you are, and how you're a "real scholar".

Well I read all the Goethe and James Joyce
Joe Hinman said…
Of course you fail to see the relevance of my remark. You only see what you have been trained to see. How pathetic.

you haven;t read Goethe
im-skeptical said…
There are MANY things I have read that you haven't. So what?
Anonymous said…
IMS, you have to remember that apologetics is about belittling your opponents, and therefore the only books that count are the ones they have read.

Interesting that Goethe's work in morphology was a major influence on Darwin when developing the latter's theory of evolution. I wonder if that is why JPH holds it in high regards.

Not sure what James Joyce brings to the table - besides, of course, an oppotunity for pretentious blowhards to feel smug.

Pix
im-skeptical said…
Not sure what James Joyce brings to the table

I think what Joe is trying to say is that since he is not guilty of "scientism" (with the implicit assumption that I am), he appreciates the humanities, and he assumes that I don't. This is the topic of my latest post.
Joe Hinman said…
Not sure what James Joyce brings to the table - besides, of course, an oppotunity for pretentious blowhards to feel smug.

what does how many science books you have read have to do with Jesus myth theory,
Joe Hinman said…
skep you are the one who blurted out the irrelevant issue of "you have not read any sickness books," you are not arguing by logic you are arguing about worthiness to be right judged by your value system,I could do that to you you would not measure up,I value literature.

science is irrelevant in dealing with Jesus; historicity
im-skeptical said…
science is irrelevant in dealing with Jesus; historicity

If you're not interested in anything but confirming what you already believe. History is very much like scientific method. You make use of all the available evidence, which admittedly isn't always definitive. If you don't care about truth, you can read a million apologetic books, and conclude that what you believe is true. Alternatively, you can postulate the most likely scenario and verify that it is consistent with all the known facts. If you had any appreciation for science at all, you would see the similarity. If you had any appreciation for historical method, you would see that reading James Joyce just doesn't help in learning the truth.

And by the way, I "blurted out" about JP's lack of reading after he made a similar comment. But as I said, reading apologetic books doesn't do anything but confirm the superstition you already believe. Science teaches you how to discover reality.
Joe Hinman said…
science is irrelevant in dealing with Jesus; historicity

If you're not interested in anything but confirming what you already believe. History is very much like scientific method.

your scientism is showing, history is not like Scottie, someone could as eailoy say science is like doing history.More importantly you don't need to read a science book to do history or to deal with mytherism. Once you know how to find and present evidence,which you can learn from debate you don't need a science book.

The real issue is your tail end comments about "you have not read a science book" was doing the "you are not worthy because you are not initiated into the secrets of the priesthood of knowledge."




You make use of all the available evidence, which admittedly isn't always definitive. If you don't care about truth, you can read a million apologetic books, and conclude that what you believe is true.

Our blog is about how to do apologetics we do it by simulating the methods of logic and debate not by setting up setting up apologetic itself as a standard of epistemology.


Alternatively, you can postulate the most likely scenario and verify that it is consistent with all the known facts. If you had any appreciation for science at all, you would see the similarity. If you had any appreciation for historical method, you would see that reading James Joyce just doesn't help in learning the truth.

see your only model for learning or knowledge is science. you area into scientism,you are doing with scinece what you think we do with apologetics,you are trying to turn science into an all purpose standard of epistemic judgment.

And by the way, I "blurted out" about JP's lack of reading after he made a similar comment. But as I said, reading apologetic books doesn't do anything but confirm the superstition you already believe. Science teaches you how to discover reality.

rat spit. depends upon the book and how you use it I don't read apologetiocs book. I've made reference to one in years why would I? I was a Ph,D candidate, I have Masters in theology I use the actual theology books,
im-skeptical said…
you don't need to read a science book to do history or to deal with mytherism. Once you know how to find and present evidence,which you can learn from debate you don't need a science book.
- If you account for ALL the evidence without bias, you are using a scientific approach to history. But beware of apologetics - it tends to be very selective in what evidence it examines, and what evidence it ignores.


Our blog is about how to do apologetics we do it by simulating the methods of logic and debate
- Simulated logic, perhaps, but certainly not ACTUAL logic. What you do is more like pretending to be logical.


see your only model for learning or knowledge is science.
- Science works as a method for better understanding the reality of our world. I know, you claim that religion works, but what does it work for? To make you feel good, perhaps, but not to learn about the world.


I don't read apologetiocs book. I've made reference to one in years why would I?
- Joe, that what your book is, and you never stop talking about it.
J. P Holding said…
>>>Of course you fail to see the relevance of my remark. You only see what you have been trained to see. How pathetic.

That's good parody! Say, can you do a Donald Trump imitation?

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