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 Post subject: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:10 pm 
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It's on You Tube and that's how its labeled so its easy to find. "Craig Evans vs. Richard Carrier - Did Jesus Exist?"

This debate is superb. It's respectful, well thought out discussions, cross examinations, evidences, interpretations, etc. Forget the Ehrman/Price debate. This is the one we ought to be viewing and discussing. The mythicist view is superbly demonstrated. The historical view is superbly demonstrated. There are no shouting matches, no dumb smart ass comments or jibing. I highly recommend this to get your bearings on the issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:34 pm 
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Cool! Thanks Philo! and it was uploaded not long ago


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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:47 pm 
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Imagine two experts debating the existence of the angel Moroni


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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:05 pm 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
Imagine two experts debating the existence of the angel Moroni


That might prove most enlightening...... Dallin Oaks vs. William Lane Craig!

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:21 am 
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Too bad Oaks would never do it. Hamblin v. Jenkins and Dodo v. BBC reporter showed everyone how Oaks v. Craig would turn out.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:42 pm 
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Good lord almighty. Evans without realizing gave us reasons to doubt the historical Jesus. So it seems ancient history scholarship is kind of useless. Carrier seems to have the most honest position which is agnosticism.


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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:11 am 
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I like how the moderator is just letting Evans lecture in the cross examination instead of asking questions for Carrier to answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:27 am 
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MrStakhanovite wrote:
I like how the moderator is just letting Evans lecture in the cross examination instead of asking questions for Carrier to answer.


Yeah I noticed that too. In all it was a very well moderated, and well done debate by both opponents. I hope it sets the tone for future debates on topics of this kind. Carrier did not come off as a whiney little baby and bully boy in any way. I suspect he got educated on how to debate and how not to debate by watching the Ehrman/Price debate which was essentially useless. Overall I enjoyed this debate immensely. I also realized that Evans simply regurgitated all of Ehrman's arguments for the Historical Jesus he used in his book "Did Jesus Exist?" Those arguments were masterfully handled and refuted by Earl Doherty in his book about Ehrman's book. Apparently Evans is unaware of Doherty's excellent response to Ehrman. But then again, the historicists really don't have much more than what Evans gave, and that isn't nearly as convincing as it needs to be. History is not Historical Jesus's friend.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:31 am 
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DoubtingThomas wrote:
Good lord almighty. Evans without realizing gave us reasons to doubt the historical Jesus. So it seems ancient history scholarship is kind of useless. Carrier seems to have the most honest position which is agnosticism.


Right? I too was rather surprised at how paltry the arguments Evans presented were. I kept thinking come on, bring out more, there has to be something.... anything better than what you are presenting to college students whom, obviously, you want so bad to believe! But nothing much better came out. I liked Carrier's matter of fact walking right up to the podium and unloading the information in crystal clear, though hurried manner. He remained right on point, no distractions, idiotic accusations, or ad hominim, just solid information and interpretation. I wish debates would allow a little more time to each party in the debate to develop ideas. But no matter, this was one of the best debates on Historical Jesus ever done.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:30 pm 
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Carrier hurried presentation,

I found the beginning of his presentation interesting. His pointing out the existence of precedent for a inner group presenting as literal something they understood as spiritual was a good starting point.

I think the best indicators for his view is just the second century strength of gnostic views and variations dening Jesus normal humanity. Some believed in second century that he only appeared human

I thought Carrier rushed on to pile on some very dubious evidence. I though his recharacterization of James brother of Jesus was absurd. He then followed quoting Paul where Paul was stating he was speaking figuratively. The problem there is the quote Galatians 4:24 specifically refers to a digression in the discussion where Paul follows an allagorical interpretation of a previous scripture.

These made me feel like I was being hit up by a fast talking used car salesman.


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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:30 pm 
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We are just too used to the conventional "explanation" on James. I think both Doherty and Carrier together make the case solidly myself. (in their writings, in their writings) True Carrier hurried because of the severe limitations of time. I see the used car salesman, without question, to be Evans. But others' mileage may differ. Evans really never did address much of Carrier's evidence, but then again, he couldn't have had time to either. Overall both are to be congratulated on carrying off a very good debate. I am glad to see it and would love to see a lot more like this with this discussion of Jesus.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:49 am 
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Hi Philo,

Thanks for sharing this. I have to say, I wasn't particularly impressed with Carrier's use of evidence. A few examples from his initial argument are below.

Early on in his first 20 minutes he makes use of Ehrman's argument from How Jesus Became God to show there were cultural devices and types in the occupied Palestine Jewish communities that were applied to Jesus. Ehrman makes the case these were applied to him after his death while Carrier claims there is evidence in the epistles that support viewing this as the source of the Jesus myth in total such that no actual Jesus existed. His references (at around 33:45) include arguing Paul describes Jesus was an angel (described as an archetype in his presentation) as stated by Paul in Galatian 4:14. But what it actually says is, Galatians 4:14 - and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. That seems like a forced reading of the verse to see it as saying Paul thought of Jesus as an angel rather than as providing an escalating comparison for how they received Paul.

Carrier notes that Paul contrasts Jesus with Adam who was created by God rather than born, failing to acknowledge that the text is making a literary comparison between the two (For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!). Instead, Carrier claims this shows that as Adam was "manufactured" by God, so was Jesus. That also seems to be a forced interpretation of what is actually being said by Paul.

Around minute 38 he behaves as if he is ignorant of the diversity of Christianity's that were in competition in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE, which with the rise of teaching such as in Gnosticism are the cause for the sources of this time warning against those who would teach against Jesus being a living person.

He notes that Paul in Galatians tells us that he did receive of a gospel from man, but from Jesus through revelation which is not in dispute, but also assumes the point that when Paul tells people after Jesus' death that the only way they can receive the gospel is by revelation that this somehow applies to those who might have been around when Jesus was alive. James Jesus' brother or Peter who are known to Paul aren't included and it's unclear why Carrier would choose to apply this logic to everyone given the context of the epistles are to evangelized gentiles who would not have been able to know Jesus in the flesh.

He uses the claims of Paul that both Paul and the churches he establishes have received revelations as being evidence against the authenticity of a historical person we know as Jesus of Nazareth. But that seems to be unrelated like the above: it doesn't say anything about the time period or people who would be witnesses of a historical Jesus of Nazareth.

His argument around minute 42 that the description in Romans of baptism making all brothers and sisters to Christ the firstborn, thus explaining the apparent reference to James as Jesus' brother as referring to his baptism is one that Price made. But that breaks with some general rules of textual criticism. Common use of language implies that if Paul makes use of this phrase to refer to something other than kinship, we ought to see it in his writing as evidence of his authorship. Carrier doesn't do much to make this case by showing this is a device of Paul's, which makes sense because it isn't a device of Paul's. It's how he distinguishes James the brother of the Lord from other people.

The follow up point that the idea Jesus was born of David or of a woman (Romans 1:3 - regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David; Galatians 4:4 - But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law) he claims Paul is speaking in allegory in Galatians 4. But fails to provide a relevant verse though he may mean v. 24 where Paul is specifically referring to his comparision to the wives of Abraham and children of a bond v. free woman. If so, that's problematic.

He also refers to Paul's use of "ginomai" as significant to show that Paul did not view Jesus as being born because he does not use "gennoa". But he doesn't take on the responsibility of explaining this well, since it is consistent of Paul's description of God having sent Jesus for a purpose. The problem Carrier sees here isn't clearly a problem, IMO. http://biblehub.com/greek/1096.htm

I guess I still don't see what the point of the mythicicst argument really is given that we aren't limited to either "No Jesus" or "Resurrected Jesus the Christ, the Son of God". I see no reason to overlook his rather Mormon mopologetic-like use of scripture and history to no longer view the historical Jesus as a person who lived at one time, served as the catalyst for an explosion of beliefs and stories that have undergone centuries of countless cycles of expansion and synthesis, and whose actual biography would probably be almost completely new to all of us if we were able to have access to it.

So, that leaves me with this question: If the historical view allows for the mythologizing of a historical Jesus from a lost biography into his deified, ahistorical mythology why is there a need to completely remove Jesus from history? Especially in the way Carrier does above playing with facts which really puts me off?

ETA: I come at this with considerations that are somewhat extreme as well, though. I don't completely discount the views of Robert Eisenman who argues that the Roman Catholic church did much to write out Jesus' family from the narratives but that they can be found still; that Paul may have intentionally corrupted Christian teachings with some allegiance to Rome given his citizenship that defanged the teachings of this one branch of many rebellious Jewish sects into something more compatible with Roman rule; and that James was the theological heir to Jesus rather than Peter or Paul making the entire idea of priesthood authority as claimed by Mormonism central to what Mormon's call the apostasy. But he's a sloppy writer and loose in his thinking as well so he should be viewed with a lot of skepticism. I mostly retain some of his views among my own because they are hard to shake as speaking directly against Mormon views of the early and still authentically led Church of Christ before the apostasy.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:07 am 
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Nicely done, honor. As usual your post is informative, well argued, and insightful.


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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:25 am 
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This obsession with the historical Jesus is a perfect stereotypical example of why atheists are generally despised. The mopologist comparison is spot on. With all the grace and sophistication of a schoolyard bully they assume expertise in subjects they know nothing about and proceed to club people with their superior intellect. If only you were as smart as they are you'd see the data the right way. It's like a variation of feeling the spirit. You just don't get "it." If you weren't such a dark-hearted son of perdition that's past feeling, or in the eyes of an atheist, such an idiot, you'd "understand" and feel their truth.


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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:08 pm 
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Another common factor shapes the atheist and Mopologetic discourses: Christian apologetics. Christian apologetics is a behemoth of an effort, with massive financial resources and entire graduate programs dedicated to it. And the product is frequently so mind-numbingly stupid that it begs for some kind of response. Unfortunately very few contributions to the debate do an ounce of justice to the topic. This includes the atheist and counter-anti-cult apologetic writings. Part of the problem is that neither the authors nor the readers are qualified to engage in or interpret the debate on a productive level. So what we see is a lot of spectacle, little real substance, and big sales.


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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:09 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
Hi Philo,

Thanks for sharing this. I have to say, I wasn't particularly impressed with Carrier's use of evidence. A few examples from his initial argument are below.

Early on in his first 20 minutes he makes use of Ehrman's argument from How Jesus Became God to show there were cultural devices and types in the occupied Palestine Jewish communities that were applied to Jesus. Ehrman makes the case these were applied to him after his death while Carrier claims there is evidence in the epistles that support viewing this as the source of the Jesus myth in total such that no actual Jesus existed. His references (at around 33:45) include arguing Paul describes Jesus was an angel (described as an archetype in his presentation) as stated by Paul in Galatian 4:14. But what it actually says is, Galatians 4:14 - and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. That seems like a forced reading of the verse to see it as saying Paul thought of Jesus as an angel rather than as providing an escalating comparison for how they received Paul.

Carrier notes that Paul contrasts Jesus with Adam who was created by God rather than born, failing to acknowledge that the text is making a literary comparison between the two (For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!). Instead, Carrier claims this shows that as Adam was "manufactured" by God, so was Jesus. That also seems to be a forced interpretation of what is actually being said by Paul.

Around minute 38 he behaves as if he is ignorant of the diversity of Christianity's that were in competition in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE, which with the rise of teaching such as in Gnosticism are the cause for the sources of this time warning against those who would teach against Jesus being a living person.

He notes that Paul in Galatians tells us that he did receive of a gospel from man, but from Jesus through revelation which is not in dispute, but also assumes the point that when Paul tells people after Jesus' death that the only way they can receive the gospel is by revelation that this somehow applies to those who might have been around when Jesus was alive. James Jesus' brother or Peter who are known to Paul aren't included and it's unclear why Carrier would choose to apply this logic to everyone given the context of the epistles are to evangelized gentiles who would not have been able to know Jesus in the flesh.

He uses the claims of Paul that both Paul and the churches he establishes have received revelations as being evidence against the authenticity of a historical person we know as Jesus of Nazareth. But that seems to be unrelated like the above: it doesn't say anything about the time period or people who would be witnesses of a historical Jesus of Nazareth.

His argument around minute 42 that the description in Romans of baptism making all brothers and sisters to Christ the firstborn, thus explaining the apparent reference to James as Jesus' brother as referring to his baptism is one that Price made. But that breaks with some general rules of textual criticism. Common use of language implies that if Paul makes use of this phrase to refer to something other than kinship, we ought to see it in his writing as evidence of his authorship. Carrier doesn't do much to make this case by showing this is a device of Paul's, which makes sense because it isn't a device of Paul's. It's how he distinguishes James the brother of the Lord from other people.

The follow up point that the idea Jesus was born of David or of a woman (Romans 1:3 - regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David; Galatians 4:4 - But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law) he claims Paul is speaking in allegory in Galatians 4. But fails to provide a relevant verse though he may mean v. 24 where Paul is specifically referring to his comparision to the wives of Abraham and children of a bond v. free woman. If so, that's problematic.

He also refers to Paul's use of "ginomai" as significant to show that Paul did not view Jesus as being born because he does not use "gennoa". But he doesn't take on the responsibility of explaining this well, since it is consistent of Paul's description of God having sent Jesus for a purpose. The problem Carrier sees here isn't clearly a problem, IMO. http://biblehub.com/greek/1096.htm

I guess I still don't see what the point of the mythicicst argument really is given that we aren't limited to either "No Jesus" or "Resurrected Jesus the Christ, the Son of God". I see no reason to overlook his rather Mormon mopologetic-like use of scripture and history to no longer view the historical Jesus as a person who lived at one time, served as the catalyst for an explosion of beliefs and stories that have undergone centuries of countless cycles of expansion and synthesis, and whose actual biography would probably be almost completely new to all of us if we were able to have access to it.

So, that leaves me with this question: If the historical view allows for the mythologizing of a historical Jesus from a lost biography into his deified, ahistorical mythology why is there a need to completely remove Jesus from history? Especially in the way Carrier does above playing with facts which really puts me off?

ETA: I come at this with considerations that are somewhat extreme as well, though. I don't completely discount the views of Robert Eisenman who argues that the Roman Catholic church did much to write out Jesus' family from the narratives but that they can be found still; that Paul may have intentionally corrupted Christian teachings with some allegiance to Rome given his citizenship that defanged the teachings of this one branch of many rebellious Jewish sects into something more compatible with Roman rule; and that James was the theological heir to Jesus rather than Peter or Paul making the entire idea of priesthood authority as claimed by Mormonism central to what Mormon's call the apostasy. But he's a sloppy writer and loose in his thinking as well so he should be viewed with a lot of skepticism. I mostly retain some of his views among my own because they are hard to shake as speaking directly against Mormon views of the early and still authentically led Church of Christ before the apostasy.


Thanks for sharing your ideas and views too Honor. I like it when I can see all sides. I shall mull this over. I perhaps over react against the consensus because I no longer trust the consensus. Just because everyone does it or everyone thinks it doesn't mean it's right or even real. It takes a lot to see all sides, and that is what I am going through for my own view, and that takes time. So Carrier is a sloppy writer and so are many other Jesus scholars who also are assuming far too much with the evidence. A fascinating conundrum for those of us on the sidelines. Everyone making Jesus in their own image (as per Dale Allison's outlook, among others) and mythicists are refuting the assumptions of their interpretations and thus coming up with no Jesus. Seems to me we are still as ignorant of any kind of real Jesus and haven't budged from Schweitzer's time yet. I think that might be why the subject continues to fascinate.
We do have Barker's research showing Jesus was, however, seen as a Great Angel, as well as Gieschen's materials. I shall have to take another look on them. Carrier's interpretation of Galatians may be faulty, but his idea of Jesus being an angel (a heavenly being) appears to be quite accurate.

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Last edited by Philo Sofee on Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:33 pm 
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guess I still don't see what the point of the mythicicst argument really is given that we aren't limited to either "No Jesus" or "Resurrected Jesus the Christ, the Son of God".


So far as I grasp their view, the earliest views of Christianity we have, the Epistles, have nothing to do with an earthly Jesus. The view of Jesus ever stated is one that came to them through just two sources, revelation from a heavenly Jesus himself, or from the scriptures. And those scriptures are the Old Testament scriptures. There is no knowledge from an earthly life. So the mythicist asks why assume there was an earthly life?
Paul says that no human told him about Jesus but he learned it from revelation from the heavens at Galatians 1:11-12. In fact, Apostles are such because they have seen Jesus in this manner, as he noted in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. He never mentions anything attached to an earthly Jesus, only a heavenly revealing one. The only Jesus known, following the Epistles, was a celestial deity who only revealed himself to Apostles and that revelation was from heaven, not an earthly Jesus. It is the Gospel story of later decades that is read back into the Epistles that Bible scholars do. Mythicism says the Epistles ought to be separate from the later written Gospels. That's why they postulate no Jesus on earth. It is the earthly Jesus they disagree over, the heavenly Jesus is the real one. At least so far as I understand it.
The Jesus of the Gospels is a story made up, more or less, from Old Testament events and stories, (Brodie, Winn, Price, Nickelseberg, Carrier, etc. have shown enormous amounts of evidence for this) being literature created, not history remembered, contra Dunn.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:38 pm 
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Kishkumen wrote:
Another common factor shapes the atheist and Mopologetic discourses: Christian apologetics. Christian apologetics is a behemoth of an effort, with massive financial resources and entire graduate programs dedicated to it. And the product is frequently so mind-numbingly stupid that it begs for some kind of response. Unfortunately very few contributions to the debate do an ounce of justice to the topic. This includes the atheist and counter-anti-cult apologetic writings. Part of the problem is that neither the authors nor the readers are qualified to engage in or interpret the debate on a productive level. So what we see is a lot of spectacle, little real substance, and big sales.


Agreed! And it's hell to wade through, so it helps if one is really, really interested in it in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:55 pm 
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His [Carrier's] references (at around 33:45) include arguing Paul describes Jesus was an angel (described as an archetype in his presentation) as stated by Paul in Galatian 4:14. But what it actually says is, Galatians 4:14 - and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. That seems like a forced reading of the verse to see it as saying Paul thought of Jesus as an angel rather than as providing an escalating comparison for how they received Paul.


Again, it was the lack of time Carrier had. He was within justified scholarship on this, so far as I can tell, now that I did a little looking. It wasn't a forced view, but one of scholarship's interpretations. Carrier had little time to give all the background on the ocassion of the debate.

Barker "The Great Angel," p. 222f shows that Paul ascribes many titles of the Jesus he was proclaiming with the exact same titles as Israel used of their God Yahweh. She notes that Paul used that title and role of angel to Jesus because it was a title of Yahweh as well as was the "firstborn of all creation," "image of the invisible God," etc.

Charles A. Gieschen, "Angelomorphic Christology," (Brill, 1998) has a gigantic discussion and various different ways scholars have interpreted Galatians here equating Jesus with an angel. (pp. 315-325). Carrier could in no wise have taken all that time to describe the scholarship that Gieschen describes in 10 pages, with all the interpretational nuances involved. I think you are being a little harsh where no harshness need be. Some early Christian sects definitely understood Jesus to be God's angel, and Paul was equating himself with that, some interpretations saying Galatian Christian/Jews were hailing Paul as an angel as well as he was visiting them! (p. 316) So Carrier can be entirely correct. Gieschen says "A perusal of the Pauline corpus indicates that angelmorphic traditions played a substantial role in Pauline Christology." (p. 315) Carrier appears to me to grasp this, and uses the same scripture in Galatians as other scholars do.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:29 pm 
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Hi Philo,

I'm not familiar with Margret Baker as to have read her book on Jesus being a great angel. The descriptions of the book make it seem like it could be the cousin of Ehrman's How Jesus Became God, though. And it's hard for me to view what Carrier did in the debate as just sloppy or because he lacked time to flesh them out when his attempt to say Galatians 4 shows Paul viewed Jesus as a great angel can be examined by reading the text. And it seriously looks like Carrier is abusing the wording to force a meaning he prefers from it's more plain interpretation. Most of the points I made above seem difficult to explain as the result of lack of time rather than intentional misuse of evidence.

I don't know, Philo. I sets off my ____ detectors in a major way.

Philo Sofee wrote:
Honorentheos wrote:
I guess I still don't see what the point of the mythicist argument really is given that we aren't limited to either "No Jesus" or "Resurrected Jesus the Christ, the Son of God".


So far as I grasp their view, the earliest views of Christianity we have, the Epistles, have nothing to do with an earthly Jesus. The view of Jesus ever stated is one that came to them through just two sources, revelation from a heavenly Jesus himself, or from the scriptures. There is no knowledge from an earthly life. So the mythicist asks why assume there was an earthly life?
Paul says that no human told him about Jesus but he learned it from revelation from the heavens at Galatians 1:11-12. In fact, Apostles are such because they have seen Jesus in this manner, as he noted in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. He never mentions anything attached to an earthly Jesus, only a heavenly revealing one. The only Jesus known, following the Epistles, was a celestial deity who only revealed himself to Apostles and that revelation was from heaven, not an earthly Jesus. It is the Gospel story of later decades that is read back into the Epistles that Bible scholars do. Mythicism says the Epistles ought to be separate from the later written Gospels. That's why they postulate no Jesus on earth. It is the earthly Jesus they disagree over, the heavenly Jesus is the real one. At least so far as I understand it.


What I find interesting is that I agree with the general view we ought to read the authentic epistles, the pseudepigraphic epistles, Mark, the synoptics, John, Revelations, and Acts in much more historic ways than most of us raised LDS were taught. Their origins, their audiences, their manuscript histories all have fascinating things to tell us.

We ought to be careful in how we engage with them, though. So when Paul tells us the gospel he teaches was not given him by men but by Jesus, it isn't the same as saying Paul claimed he was never told about Jesus by others but only in revelation. That's problematic behavior and manipulation of the text to force a claim though. Again, it reeks of mopologetics. When Paul speaks of the Jerusalem apostles who lived alongside of the man Jesus, this historical reading of the Epistles is a separate matter from Paul's theological explanations for Jesus. Paul wasn't there as we know and he is clear on this himself, and his Christology is that of a revealed and risen Jesus. On that it seems the mythicists and the scholarly view align. My biggest issue with what I see Carrier and Price doing is actually a version of the faithful approach to assigning to the texts prerogatives that they then use to override the historical investigation rather than treating the text with sufficient care to be able to claim it's use to defend their arguments. This seems more likely to cause damage much in the same way FARMS style mopologetics really did more damage to those seeking to understand truth by becoming very apparently willing to deal loose and fast with evidence.

If there is a need to obliterate Jesus from history, it seems to be the need of individuals rather than demanded by the text. The authentic epistles of Paul provide ties to people who knew Jesus in the flesh. The idea that the epistles can represent multiple facets of evolving Christianity, teach primarily of a revealed Jesus, Lord and Savior, be distinct from the Gospel, and the Gospels be mythologized narratives regarding reinterpretations and legends - all this can be and likely is true historically...and the internal evidence remains that behind it all was a historical person of whom we know very little.

So, my takeaways are:

- As minimal as it is, the historical evidence favors there having been a person we refer to as Jesus who is referred to scholarly as the historical Jesus in order to differentiate him from the Jesus of Christian faithful belief and scriptural legend. The Pauline attestations of his associates are attacked by the mythicists for good reason if one is concerned with showing there was no historical person, but the results seem to be they have to resort to bad faith arguments to do so.

- The mythicist view is a mishmash of scholarship regarding the mythmaking of the historic Jesus into Jesus the Christ with very concerning methodologies for exegesis of the New Testament texts to attempt to dismiss anything that assumes a physical person in the form of a historical Jesus. They seem to lack understandings regarding the explosion of beliefs concerning Jesus that arose, did ideological battle, and from whom arose the prevalent view we recognize as common to Christianity now because it got to write the history which continued to serve as the soil from which many more views sprang including that of modern Salt Lake City-based Mormonism. Which, as we all know, is itself a product of evolving views Joseph Smith held concerning Jesus and the Godhead and which are the ideological parents for hundreds of diverse kinds of Mormonism which do not hold uniform views about Jesus. That complexity seems a bit too much, though, just as it is for the true believers in Christ so...

- My impression is that they seem unable to shake a black-and-white view that demands one remove Jesus from history all together or we are left with Jesus the Christ. Since this isn't actually the case, and they rely on bad faith arguments to attempt to make their case, I don't see this particular movement as beneficial.

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 Post subject: Re: Craig Evans v Richard Carrier Did Jesus Exist SUPERB
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:53 pm 
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So if Barker is a mopologetic thing only on the Christian side, then what do we do with Gieschen who is vastly more scholarly, credible, well cited, well researched, who goes into far greater exegetical details than Barker does? It appears to me you are being ruled by what others say about Barker instead of doing the scholarly thing and actually reading her yourself. For instance, you cannot know if what they say about Barker is accurate without a knowledge of what she says in the first place can you? Honestly? When other scholars such as Gieschen also find the same evidences and reading Barker gives (only one among many, but she is in a scholarly track), how come that doesn't mean there may be something to this after all? If there is smoke there is fire, no?
I get it that you are uncomfortable with Mythicism, so am I. But lets look at the evidence, not the personalities. Carrier is not out of line no matter how much you think he may be on his interpretation of Galatians, when I find other seriously academically credible scholars taking it further than Carrier himself did, before Carrier arrived on the scene. In other words, isn't it your view of Carrier on Galatians (comporting to other seriously academic and qualified scholarship) that is mopologetic?!

Your labeling things as mopologetic gets us nowhere fast. If I am to be drawn into detailed discussions of the evidences and I take the time to learn these things, then I expect no less from anyone I am having conversations with. To throw up your hands and give up and just go with the flow is what I see as the mopologetic thing, not doing the research and coming to a different conclusion than what the "majority" think.

I'm not trying to insult you. I am saying, on your own say-so, you claim ignorance of the scholars and their research, but you prelabel them as unworthy or not having anything valid to say? Isn't this being like the anti-Mormons Nibley complained about who could easily dismiss the Book of Mormon without reading it first? Is there justification for that? Far better to actually learn the evidence and see if analysis works or not.

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