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Ancient Sources: History and Theology.

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  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    Provide examples not excuses
    I am not offering excuses. Your mistakes are dealt with in my OP.

    Leave a comment:


  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    As for your supposed "contradictions", they are trivial to resolve and any number of essays and books have done so, which I will leave to the sincere seeker to find on his own since they are numerous and readily available through a simple internet search query. I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today, and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on. As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says, "When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. "
    While some "contradictions" are more significant than others, many are indeed nothing burgers and the result of what typically happens when different people describe the same event.

    The fact of the matter is, that it often depends on the audience and what the person providing the account wants to emphasize. Just like what we see today.

    For instance, the following describe the exact same thing. If someone were to ask "Bob" if they ever went over to see "Steve's" new house and got one of the following

    Yeah. I went over there Saturday and stayed over there for about three hours


    Last weekend, after work, I went past the park and picked up Carol and went over there. He was just walking back up his driveway after getting his mail


    I went this past weekend. You wouldn't believe the traffic. It was like everybody and their brother was taking their dog to the park. And then there was a fend-bender by the square and it took us three lights to get through but we finally made it


    All three describe the exact same thing. All provide different details.

    Only the second one mentions Carol going as well, but the third indicates it with the use of "us" and "we." The first was a barebones recount and left that detail out but does not contradict that more than one person went to Steve's.

    A similar thing can be seen about exactly how many women went to the tomb after Jesus' crucifixion.

    Matthew, gives a very brief account seemingly eager to get on to the Great Commission. Both he and Mark mention Mary Magdalene as going. They also mention a second Mary, who is described differently, likely because Matthew's audience may have been familiar with who she was so "the other Mary" sufficed. Mark, OTOH, might have wanted to be sure they understood which Mary so he adds "the mother of James" into the descriptor and also notes that Salome was there as well. Nobody else mentions Salome, but that could be due to Mark's audience knowing Salome or simply that she doesn't play much of a role later on so no need to mention her and therefore explain who she is. Keep in mind both paper and ink were expensive and not to be wasted. And while John only mentions Mary Magdalene, it is clear she was not alone because she uses the term "we" when describing events. So for whatever reason John wanted the spotlight on her.

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  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

    You made your usual mistakes of sweeping generalisations, failure to check your facts, and unsubstantiated opinion presented as if it were fact.
    Provide examples not excuses

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    I have given you the contradictions. You cannot answer them.
    As for your supposed "contradictions", they are trivial to resolve and any number of essays and books have done so, which I will leave to the sincere seeker to find on his own since they are numerous and readily available through a simple internet search query. I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today, and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on. As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says, "When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. "

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    And now we've come to our part of the program where the braindead skeptic doesn't have a valid rebuttal,
    The lack of a "valid rebuttal" lies with you.

    I have given you the contradictions. You cannot answer them.

    Where are the academic sources in support of your contentions?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    Where?

    Where?

    Would you care to cite some accredited academic sources in support of that contention?


    Once again some accredited academic sources would be helpful.

    However, perhaps you can explain how the two birth narratives which are separated by at least ten years of history may be reordered "thematically"?

    Furthermore how can the Synoptics and John disagree on when the interrogation before Pilate took place if, as you contend, the authors of those texts were all eye-witnesses?

    More to the point how did the four of them secrete themselves in the Praetorium to overhear this exchange? Were they all hiding behind separate columns each with his tabula and stylus ready to take dictation?

    And how and why did John allegedly hear a great deal more than the three Synoptic writers? Was he closer to the action?

    Perhaps he was under Pilate’s seat! Or maybe he was disguised as a potted palm. And yes I am being deliberately facetious.

    The four canonical gospels are not in alignment in many of their internal narratives.

    A visit to an empty tomb is recounted in all four canonical gospels but who went and what they found differs in each text.

    And now we've come to our part of the program where the braindead skeptic doesn't have a valid rebuttal, so she proceeds to break up the post she's replying to in order to respond line by line and word by word to give the appearance of rebutting an argument without actually rebutting it. It's one of my least favorite intellectually dishonest debate tactics, and I have little patience for anybody who engages in it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Already answered
    Where?

    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    which I will reproduce below for your edification:
    Where?

    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today,
    Would you care to cite some accredited academic sources in support of that contention?


    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on.
    Once again some accredited academic sources would be helpful.


    However, perhaps you can explain how the two birth narratives which are separated by at least ten years of history may be reordered "thematically"?

    Furthermore how can the Synoptics and John disagree on when the interrogation before Pilate took place if, as you contend, the authors of those texts were all eye-witnesses?

    More to the point how did the four of them secrete themselves in the Praetorium to overhear this exchange? Were they all hiding behind separate columns each with his tabula and stylus ready to take dictation?

    And how and why did John allegedly hear a great deal more than the three Synoptic writers? Was he closer to the action?

    Perhaps he was under Pilate’s seat! Or maybe he was disguised as a potted palm. And yes I am being deliberately facetious.

    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Right, so the "But- but contradictions!" song and dance is nothing but an intellectually vacuous ploy since you are unwilling to concede even those points on which all four gospels are in alignment
    The four canonical gospels are not in alignment in many of their internal narratives.

    A visit to an empty tomb is recounted in all four canonical gospels but who went and what they found differs in each text.


    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    How are the different accounts ... explained away?
    Already answered, which I will reproduce below for your edification:

    I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today, and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on. As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says, "When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. "

    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    Insofar as the texts mention real places and real historical figures, in that respect the texts may be considered correct. Everything else is questionable.
    Right, so the "But- but contradictions!" song and dance is nothing but an intellectually vacuous ploy since you are unwilling to concede even those points on which all four gospels are in alignment -- for example, all state that Jesus rose from the dead -- meaning that you don't reject the gospels because of contradictions but simply because you are predisposed against them.

    Thanks for playing. You may pickup your consolation prize at the door. It's a 50 pound bag of horse manure.
    Last edited by Mountain Man; 05-10-2021, 01:32 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    The typical non-substantive reply of a brain-dead skeptic.
    Making unnecessarily offensive remarks merely serves to suggest you have lost the argument/have no case to answer.

    What excuses are offered to explain the chronological discrepancies between the two birth narratives? Likewise what excuses are given to explain the contradictions in timing for the interrogation by Pilate? How are the different accounts of who went to the tomb explained away?

    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    I also notice you didn't care to address this challenge: For sake of argument, let's generously concede this point and toss out every supposed "contradiction". Are you willing, then, to accept what remains as truthful and accurate?
    Insofar as the texts mention real places and real historical figures, in that respect the texts may be considered correct. Everything else is questionable.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    I again refer you to the OP of this thread.

    That a real life man existed behind the Jesus characters with which we are presented in the Synoptics, is generally and widely accepted; however, we have no idea what, if any, resemblance that man bore to those portrayals. [The character we are presented with in John’s gospel is quite different. The alien figure in that text bears no resemblance to any real first century ascetic Jewish peasant holy man/teacher.]

    Christian apologists wriggling desperately in their attempts justify these contradictions cannot resolve the chronological gap between Matthew's birth narrative and that of Luke. Either the birth occurred "In the time of King Herod" or it occurred "In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered". There is at least a ten year discrepancy.

    Unless Christian apologists are contending that Mary had a ten year+ gestation, or that Jesus was born twice. Such a scenario of one divine and one human birth was postulated in the fourth century by Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia.

    Nor can any amount of wriggling explain why the timings of the interrogation in front of Pilate differ between the Synoptics [after Passover] and John [on the eve of Passover] or why the accounts of who actually went to the tomb vary so widely.

    Anyone reading these accounts dispassionately, objectively, and critically can see the inherent contradictions and the embellishments within the Synoptics between Mark and the later writings of Matthew, and Luke. It is generally accepted that the two authors of Matthew and Luke used a version of Mark but added their own "colour and texture".
    The typical non-substantive reply of a brain-dead skeptic. There's nothing here worth replying to. Just because you can ask 101 "What if...?" questions doesn't mean they are meaningful or pose any serious challenge to the veracity and historicity of the gospel record. I suppose if you had a real argument to present then you wouldn't have found it necessary to chop out the vast majority of my post and only respond to a couple of points taken out of context.

    I also notice you didn't care to address this challenge: For sake of argument, let's generously concede this point and toss out every supposed "contradiction". Are you willing, then, to accept what remains as truthful and accurate?
    Last edited by Mountain Man; 05-10-2021, 12:39 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    Anti-historical rubbish. Even liberal historians accept that Jesus and his disciples actually existed and that the gospels were written by the men whose names they bear. Whatever argument you might use to dispute this could be applied equally to all of history. As the saying goes, "That which proves too much, proves nothing."
    I again refer you to the OP of this thread.

    That a real life man existed behind the Jesus characters with which we are presented in the Synoptics, is generally and widely accepted; however, we have no idea what, if any, resemblance that man bore to those portrayals. [The character we are presented with in John’s gospel is quite different. The alien figure in that text bears no resemblance to any real first century ascetic Jewish peasant holy man/teacher.]

    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    As for your supposed "contradictions", they are trivial to resolve and any number of essays and books have done so
    Christian apologists wriggling desperately in their attempts justify these contradictions cannot resolve the chronological gap between Matthew's birth narrative and that of Luke. Either the birth occurred "In the time of King Herod" or it occurred "In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered". There is at least a ten year discrepancy.

    Unless Christian apologists are contending that Mary had a ten year+ gestation, or that Jesus was born twice. Such a scenario of one divine and one human birth was postulated in the fourth century by Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia.

    Nor can any amount of wriggling explain why the timings of the interrogation in front of Pilate differ between the Synoptics [after Passover] and John [on the eve of Passover] or why the accounts of who actually went to the tomb vary so widely.

    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    On the point of corroboration, we have four independently composed writings that corroborate each other. Why is other corroboration needed?
    Anyone reading these accounts dispassionately, objectively, and critically can see the inherent contradictions and the embellishments within the Synoptics between Mark and the later writings of Matthew, and Luke. It is generally accepted that the two authors of Matthew and Luke used a version of Mark but added their own "colour and texture".

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    No they do not. First of all, as noted in my reply to rogue06 in the OP to this thread we do not know if any of Jesus’ alleged disciples and followers mentioned in those gospels actually existed. There are also serious questions today concerning the reliability of eye witness accounts not to mention the complexity of the human brain that can create false memories.

    This "testimony" aka the four canonical gospels contradicts itself.

    For example:

    When did the interrogation by Pilate occur? Before or after Passover?
    When was Jesus born? During the reign of Herod the Great or during the census of Quirinius?
    Who actually went to the tomb?
    Did Jesus experience a bloody sweat [Luke 22.39-46] or not?

    As also noted in the OP to this thread, none of the internal narratives of these texts can be substantiated by any other contemporary first century sources. Despite all Jesus’ wonder-working that is recounted in these four gospels we have not one shred of extraneous contemporary source evidence, even in fragmentary form, corroborating those purported events.
    Anti-historical rubbish. Even liberal historians accept that Jesus and his disciples actually existed and that the gospels were written by the men whose names they bear. Whatever argument you might use to dispute this could be applied equally to all of history. As the saying goes, "That which proves too much, proves nothing."

    As for your supposed "contradictions", they are trivial to resolve and any number of essays and books have done so, which I will leave to the sincere seeker to find on his own since they are numerous and readily available through a simple internet search query. I will, however, note that what is commonly regarded as supposed "contradictions" in the Bible are generally down to differences in writing conventions where ancient writers did not write with the same precision as is often demanded today, and so they used what we might consider unconventional methods such as reordering events thematically rather than chronologically, compressing multiple events into a single narrative, paraphrasing, approximating, and so on. As the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says, "When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. "

    But for sake of argument, let's generously concede this point and toss out every supposed "contradiction". Are you willing, then, to accept what remains as truthful and accurate?

    On the point of corroboration, we have four independently composed writings that corroborate each other. Why is other corroboration needed?

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    First of all, yes, the gospels do record firsthand eyewitness testimony.
    No they do not. First of all, as noted in my reply to rogue06 in the OP to this thread we do not know if any of Jesus’ alleged disciples and followers mentioned in those gospels actually existed. There are also serious questions today concerning the reliability of eye witness accounts not to mention the complexity of the human brain that can create false memories.

    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Secondly, the burden is on you to prove that this testimony is unreliable.
    This "testimony" aka the four canonical gospels contradicts itself.

    For example:

    When did the interrogation by Pilate occur? Before or after Passover?
    When was Jesus born? During the reign of Herod the Great or during the census of Quirinius?
    Who actually went to the tomb?
    Did Jesus experience a bloody sweat [Luke 22.39-46] or not?

    As also noted in the OP to this thread, none of the internal narratives of these texts can be substantiated by any other contemporary first century sources. Despite all Jesus’ wonder-working that is recounted in these four gospels we have not one shred of extraneous contemporary source evidence, even in fragmentary form, corroborating those purported events.


    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    And you might want to check out your snide, and less than scholarly, dismissal of it, so the conversation was decidedly one-sided.
    You made your usual mistakes of sweeping generalisations, failure to check your facts, and unsubstantiated opinion presented as if it were fact.

    Leave a comment:


  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    That at least is an honest answer instead of trying to bounce around and covering all bases.

    The fact that Jesus did exist (whether or not you accept that He's divine is a separate issue) and that existence is well attested to.

    Look at the New Testament for instance. It is a collection of separate documented sources composed by a number of different authors. The fact that they weren't written during his life time is hardly a cause for doubt in that it is extraordinarily rare to have contemporary accounts for anyone from ancient times.

    In fact, most works from that time have been lost, including works that were very famous and repeatedly copied.

    For instance we only have 6 out of at least 90 of Aeschylus' (regarded as the Father of Tragedies) plays. Similarly only 7 of Sophocles' 123 plays still exist. They are and were so well-regarded that both of their works are still being performed today. Then you have folks like Aristarchus of Tegea, a contemporary of Sophocles and Euripides, who composed 70 plays, of which only the titles of three of them (Achilles, Asclepius, and Tantalus), along with only a single line of the text, have survived. And of the over 700 works by the Greek Stoic philosopher Chrysippus of Soli, none have survived except for few fragments embedded in the works of later authors.

    It is thought that today we only have roughly a third of Aristotle's works. Probably most famously his Poetics (dealing with comedy) which is the missing work at the center of Umberto Eco' excellent novel, The Name of the Rose. Considering how highly regarded Aristotle was by medieval and Renaissance Christians (especially in the West) the fact that so much has been lost can hardly be blamed on Christians seeking to destroy pagan works.

    Even many of the works written by Emperors and the like have been lost and you can bet that these were repeatedly copied and shipped all over the Roman Empire. For instance, Augustus' Rescript to Brutus Respecting Cato, Exhortations to Philosophy, History of His Own Life, Epigrams, and Sicily (a work in verse) have all been lost. Works by his immediate predecessor, Julius Caesar, such as De astris liber, Dicta collectanea, Laudes Herculis, Libri auspiciorum (a.k.a., Auguralia), and Oedipus (among others) are lost while several others are known only by scattered fragments.

    For the few that are still extant, nearly all of the earliest copies come from several centuries later. For instance, the earliest copy of Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico ("The Gallic Wars") date from something like nearly 800 years after the original was written.

    And then there is the 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which annihilated several Roman cities including Pompeii and Herculaneum, and was witnessed by the tens of thousands of eyewitnesses in and around Naples but is only mentioned by one near contemporary account -- that of Pliny the Younger[1]. Keep in mind that Naples had a reputation during Greco-Roman times as being an area with a highly literate population so we should have a slew of eyewitness reports in our hands not just the one. And, IIRC, Pliny's account, written some 30 years later, was spurred on in reaction to Tacitus' Histories, and if not for that we would have no account of it whatsoever. In fact, it's not even until the time of Cassius Dio, over a century later, that we learn that a second major city was destroyed in the eruption.



    1. And his uncle, Pliny the Elder, many of his works have been lost including Dubii sermonis (8 books/volumes), History of his Times (31 books, which he deliberately reserved for publication after his death), Studiosus, De jaculatione equestri, and most famously Bella Germaniae (History of the German Wars -- consisting of 20 books). The latter was his first published work and all that remains are a handful of quotations in the Roman historian Tacitus' Annals and Germania (Pliny the Younger wrote of Tacitus' reliance upon his uncle's book).

    And you might want to check out your snide, and less than scholarly, dismissal of it, so the conversation was decidedly one-sided.

    Leave a comment:

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