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A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

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Michael B. Paulkovich is another example [1]of the same fallacy I dealt with last time but he illustrates even more ridiculous fallacies than the others (see my previous post). I call it the "Philo fallacy" because Philo is probably the est example. the fallacy says here are x number of famous writers who lived contemporary with Jesus but they don't talk about him. Jesus worked big miracles so if he really existed they would have heard of him and the would want to talk about him. This is about their only major argumet in addition to no documents or official papers like birth certificate. This is still an argument from silence and they still have a burden of proof (which they do not even attempt to meet) to show  that any of their guys should have heard of Jesus or want to write about him.

I have always been a staunch Bible skeptic but not a Christ-mythicist. I maintained that Jesus probably existed but had fantastic stories foisted upon the memory of his earthly yet iconoclastic life.After exhaustive research for my first book, I began to perceive both the light and darkness from history. I discovered that many prominent Christian fathers believed with all pious sincerity that their savior never came to Earth or that if he did, he was a Star-Trekian character who beamed down pre-haloed and full-grown, sans transvaginal egress. And I discovered other startling bombshells.[2]
He doesn't believe in miracles? The church fathers knew about Star Trek over a thousand years before tv he doesn't see what a miracle that is? For this augment he draws upon John Remsburg author of The Christ (1909).[3] Remsberg made the fallacious Philo argumet with 41 or so candidates. He's really just another unremarkable Jesus myth crack post whose ideas were disproved a long time ago.
Paulkovich, in emulation comes up with 126.He does not bother to prove that there is any reason why any of them would have mentioned Jesus.

Paulkovich Makes his major counter figure Apollonius of Tyanna."Perhaps none of these writers is more fascinating than Apollonius Tyanus, saintly first-century adventurer and noble paladin. Apollonius was a magic-man of divine birth who cured the sick and blind, cleansed entire cities of plague, foretold the future, and fed the masses. He was worshiped as a god and as a son of a god."[4] 
He feels pained to point out that Apollonius was nevertheless a real man. But by Jesus myth standards why doesn't his wonder working mark him as myth? They seem to insist that Jesus could not have been a real man due to his wonder working. more importantly this might also provide a motive for Apollonius not to mention Jesus. He would be validating a rival. Moreover, he lived in Anatolia, east coast of Turkey,so not in Palestine and thus not necessarily up on all the events near Jerusalem or the Galilee. 

Here he makes another major fallacious assumption, that Jesus must have been well known all over the known wold at the time of his miracle working and that miracles would make him famous.

"Because Jesus ostensibly performed miracles of global expanse (such as in Matthew 27), his words going “unto the ends of the whole world” (Rom. 10), one would expect virtually every literate person to have recorded those events. A Jesus contemporary such as Apollonius would have done so, as well as those who wrote of Apollonius." [5]The reference to the ends of the earth is a midrash where Paul quotes Pslam 19:4. The words are from the psalm.That is nothing like proof that Jesus would have been known through out the world in his day. The Gospel was taken to the ends of the earth even in Paul's day, Thomas went India and Bartholomew to Armenia. That is not poof that Jesus would have been known in his life time in far away places. Paul died imn 64 and Jesus in 33. At least 20 more years for the message to taken to fa away places. Since everyone believed in miracles and miracle workers were allover the place (as we just saw with Apollonius) why would they have taken note of another wonder worker in a far away place?

At this point Paulkovich starts on this strange argument that somehow figures from the third century don;'t talk about Jesus:



Such is not the case. In Philostratus’s third-century chronicle Vita Apollonii, there is no hint of Jesus. Nor does Jesus appear in the works of other Apollonius epistolarians and scriveners: Emperor Titus, Cassius Dio, Maximus, Moeragenes, Lucian, Soterichus Oasites, Euphrates, Marcus Aurelius, or Damis of Hierapolis. It seems that none of these first- to third-century writers ever heard of Jesus, his miracles and alleged worldwide fame be damned.[6]
This is a puzzlement because obviously third century figures would have no first hand connection  as historical knowledge of first century people. They would only be discussing Jesus as a remote figure 300 years in the past, But Christianity was a going concern by third century so he can't possibly be tying to imply that Jesus wasn't known to anyone by that time? This is so obvious I should not have to document it. All the apostolic fathers wrote from 90s AD to middle of second century: Clement of Rome, Papias, Ignatius, Polycarp,Justin martyr, they all talk about Jesus, Clement of Alexamdria, Origin, and more. Visit the index to any church history Textbook [7] There is a huge pile of apocryphal literature beginning with late first century that talks about Jesus and absolutely none of it fails to assume he was a flesh and blood man in history. I am not arguing that this body of literature proves Jesus existed.  But what it does prove is that people knew of Jesus as a flesh and blood historical man as far back as first century and certainly well before the third. Here is just a fraction of the list:


The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Greek Text A]
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Greek Text B]
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas [Latin Text]
A 5th Century Compilation of the Thomas Texts
An Arabic Infancy Gospel
The Gospel of James
The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary
The Gospel of Mary [Magdalene]
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew 
The Gospel of Nicodemus [Acts of Pilate]
The Gospel of Bartholomew 
The Gospel of Peter
The Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of the Lord [by Marcion]
The Secret Gospel of Mark Return to Top


The Acts of the New TestamentThe Acts of Andrew
The Acts and Martyrdom of Andrew 
The Acts of Andrew and Matthew
The Acts of Barnabas
Martyrdom of Bartholomew 
The Acts of John 
The Mystery of the Cross-Excerpt from the Acts of John 
The Acts of John the Theologian 
The History of Joseph the Carpenter
The Book of John Concerning the Death of Mary
The Passing of Mary 
The Acts and Martyrdom of Matthew
The Martyrdom of Matthew
The Acts of Paul
The Acts of Paul and Thecla 
The Acts of Peter
The Acts of Peter and Andrew
The Acts of Peter and Paul
The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles
The Acts of Philip
The Report of Pontius Pilate to Tiberius
The Giving Up of Pontius Pilate
The Death of Pilate
The Acts of Thaddaeus
The Acts of Thomas
The Book of Thomas the Contender
The Consummation of Thomas Return to Top 


Apocryphal ApocalypseThe Apocalypse of Adam
The Revelation of Esdras
The First Apocalypse of James 
The Second Apocalypse of James 
The Revelation of John the Theologian 
The Revelation of Moses 
The Apocalypse of Paul
Fragments-The Apocalypse of Paul The Revelation of Paul
The Apocalypse of Peter
The Vision of Paul
The Revelation of Peter
Fragments-The Apocalypse of Peter 
The Apocalypse of Sedrach 
The Revelation of Stephen
The Apocalypse of Thomas
The Apocalypse of the Virgin Return to Top


Other WritingsThe Teachings of Addeus the Apostle
The Epistle of the Apostles 
Community Rule
The Apocryphon of James
The Correspondence of Jesus and Abgar
The Sophia of Jesus Christ
John the Evangelist
The Apocryphon of John 
The Narrative of Joseph of Arimathaea
The Epistle to the Laodiceans The Correspondence of Paul and Seneca The Prayer of the Apostle Paul
The Letter of Peter to Philip
The Letter of Pontius Pilate to the Roman Emperor
The Report of Pilate to Caesar
The Report of Pilate to Tiberius
Excerpts from Pistis Sophia
The Avenging of the Saviour 

The Book of Thomas the Contender [8]


Paulkovioch is actually dense enough to try and claim Josephus didn't mention Jesus. He relies upon his own Josephus arguments to assert the total fabrication of both passages, even though most scholars don't even doubt the brother passage, See my debate With Bradley Bowen in which I defend the brother passage,. [9] See also the rest of my work on Josephus.[10]He does all the Jesus' mythyers greatest hit with selective reading,Assuming Paul says nothing about Jesus as a flesh and blood man but totally ignoring the passage in Romans (1:3) where he alludes to Jesus' flesh and bool linage. He just dismisses the reference to the 500 witnesses to the resurrection in Acts as a forgery with no evidence at all.

 He thinks that because Qumran is only 12 miles from Bethlehem the sect should have mentioned Jesus in the dead sea scrolls. That is a fallacious assertion,First because Jesus was not a member of the sect no reason to talk about him. The connection with Bethlehem would not become important until after Jesus death most of the scrolls date to an earlier period. He's also making a huge assumption about knowledge we don't possess. We don't really know who lived in the buildings taken to be the home of a sect and we don't really know if the people who lived there wrote the documents hidden in the morticians. Since the discovery it has been theorized that the settlement was  family villa, a perfume factory, pottery factory, a fort all disconnected from the scrolls, "Despite decades of excavations and careful analysis there is no consensus about who lived there--and consequently no consensus about who actually wrote the dead sea scrolls."[11] 


Paulkovich relies upon a lot of extrusions arguments to strengthen his case. Without them the Philo fallacy is merely a weak argument  from silence. Those arguments can be disproved so the article really does nothing to enhance the case for Jesus mytherism.



[1] 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)


[2] Ibid

[3]John Remsburg, The Christ, Amherst NY: Prometheus books, 1994, original publication New York: Truth seeker company, 1909. no page indicated.


[4] Paulkovich, op cit.

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7]  Henry Bettenson, Documented the Christian Church, Oxford: Oxford University Press; 4th edition  2011, 1-37.

[8] JosephHinman,"No Alternate Versinos, Doxa: Christian Thought in the 21st Century, web site URL: http://www.doxa.ws/Jesus_pages/versions.html  (acess 5/14/17)

I compiled the list myself from sources listed on the net, They are all authentic ancient sources form first three centuries AD.

[9] Joseph Hinman, "Josephus (brother passage)," The Bowen -Hinman debate, Religious a prori (Jesus and Bible) online, website, URL:
http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2016/08/bowen-hinman-debate-josephus.html
(access 5/12/17)

Debate originally held online (Jan 2016) between Secular outpost  (Bowen;s posts) and CADRE comments blog,where my posts were made.


[10] my other Josephus stuff defense of teh TF:

On Doxa: Joseph Hinman "Secular and Jewish Historians A. Josephus,: Doxa: Christian 

Thought in the 21 Century, 
http://www.doxa.ws/Jesus_pages/HistJesus3.html
(access 5/12/17)

see also Joseph Hinman, "Peter Kirby;s Straw man Argument: Jopsehus" Religiious a priori

one line URL: http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2016/05/peter-kirbys-straw-man-arguments-joephus.html  (access 5/12/17)

[11] Andrew Lawlwer, "Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls," Smithsonian Magazine (January 2010) onlimne versionURL:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/who-wrote-the-dead-sea-scrolls-11781900/
(accessed 5/11/17)

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