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Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier) 
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 Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)



Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:51 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Carrier opens his book with a blistering attack on those he terms ‘pyramidiots’. His point is that alternative theories about the pyramids fail historiographical standards, as do claims that Jesus of Nazareth really existed. As one with some sympathy for alternative thinking about the pyramids, such as how Carrier’s beloved Bayesian Logic could assess likely causes of such features as the sight tubes pointing from the King’s Chamber to the sky, I found this attack provocative, if not surprising.

His overall point is sound. Assessing the evidentiary probability of different explanations is a sound historical method, rarely followed in the more speculative discussions of Jesus or of Egypt. This opening salvo helps to position Carrier in the noosphere, as one interested in analysis of alternative theories of history, but insistent on rigorous logic and clarity in argument, demanding sound use of evidence. The book is in fact a model of lucid rational exposition. Carrier’s analysis is restricted to the question of what rigorous history can say about Jesus Christ.


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Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
yes that is the thing the believer understandably finds so hard to do.

why not put the bible on the shelf for a minute and see what the evidence looks like without starting from the position of a supernatural personal deity.

ahhh if only it were that easy :yes:

lol if i listen to any more Bob Price i'll be quoting whole paragraphs verbatim from memory :-D and that's not a bad thing.



woohoo! just got the audiobook on audible, free with one month trial membership, score :)



Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:50 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Richard Carrier wrote:
On The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty, OHJ 1.1 p3
“I found his book well-researched, competently argued, devoid of… ridiculous claims… and more convincing than I’d thought possible.”


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Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
The key statement in this chapter is in 1.3, Myth Versus History, where Carrier describes the claim that “the early Christians preached a celestial being named Jesus Christ” as the most plausible mythicist theory.

This celestial Jesus was the subject of legendary accretion. My own way of seeing this is that Mark ‘reeled in’ the sky god and connected him to the earth. The fish was caught in skeletal form as a set of prophecies grounded in cosmology. Flesh was put on its bare bones through the gospel stories. Support was then available for the fervent hope that the imagined mediator was fully human and fully god, equally combining matter and spirit, time and eternity, in one person.

Christology, the science of Jesus Christ, has been bedeviled by false assumptions. The theory of the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures in the person of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory as the man of Nazareth, is more geometrical than historical. As such, the geometry of the eternal Christ can benefit by examining how the ancients imagined Jesus in the sky, on the pervasive ancient practice of imagining Gods and heroes among the stars.

Carrier will explore related material in his discussion in Chapter Three of the remarkable first century tract The Ascension of Isaiah. But for now, the idea presented here, that cosmology is central to how the ancients developed the myth of Jesus Christ, is an important hypothesis that flatly refutes historicism.

Paul Simon in The Boxer sings that a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest. For the Christians of the second century and later, a comprehensive and compelling story of how God had come to earth in the person of Christ readily formed a basis for cult organisation, disregarding the rest of the Jesus story that admitted its ideas were imaginary. The cult was strengthened by having a single agreed story, an agenda to which Mark's historizing fitted almost perfectly, apart from the need for the church to do spiritual and physical violence to conflicting views that gave more prominence to cosmology. Hence the early expulsion of the Docetics, who taught that Christ only seemed to be a man.


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Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:16 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
threw the audiobook on

was surprised to hear Richard doing the reading himself.

I let it roll on to chapter 5 or so.

Will go back to chapter 1 and listen again.

Ha! the chapter numbers were wrong, that was just chapter one... Damn this is going to be a long book :-D

liked the ned ludd analogy.

I think I'm going to need some monty python to break it up a little.



Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:49 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Robert Tulip wrote:
T Hence the early expulsion of the Docetics, who taught that Christ only seemed to be a man.

But give due regard to the specific reason for the exit of the Docetics: that if this figure, Jesus, with whom disciples and others were said to have interacted, was not a man, he could not die and could not be resurrected. That was no small matter of importance to a segment of believers, who ended up winning out.

You haven't said here that docetism was heretical because it denied that Jesus was on the scene at some point, as some sort of manifestation, at least. I've seen that claimed as the nature of the heresy, though. We'd need to see where it was articulated that way to come to a different conclusion.



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
DWill wrote:
You haven't said here that docetism was heretical because it denied that Jesus was on the scene at some point, as some sort of manifestation, at least.



docetism
Quote:
defined narrowly as "the doctrine according to which the phenomenon of Christ, his historical and bodily existence, and thus above all the human form of Jesus, was altogether mere semblance without any true reality." [3][4] Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion.


well we'll have to get rid of them :-D



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
i've been listening to the book

in between peeling the paint off the wall i've heard a couple of tid-bits i liked

generally though it's a slog, for me that is.

i get a laugh here and there too, so it's not all bad.

but i never realised how little i personally have invested in an historical jesus until now.

cosmic christ is way sexier :lol:



Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:06 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
as Carrier points out at the start of the book that it's not so relevant to him personally

the only people that need an Historical Jesus are believers whose faith is based on a misunderstanding of mythology.

"if christ be not raised then our faith is in vain"

but that's BS

you can get heaps out of christianity without believing it literally.

just like you can get heaps out of any story without believing it literally.

i mean it's a story about a guy that dies and rises again

hell, i do that every day, who can't relate? :-D

even my garden does that :) but i don't worship it, i draw inspiration from it, i learn lessons by observing it.



Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:49 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
youkrst wrote:
DWill wrote:
You haven't said here that docetism was heretical because it denied that Jesus was on the scene at some point, as some sort of manifestation, at least.



docetism
Quote:
defined narrowly as "the doctrine according to which the phenomenon of Christ, his historical and bodily existence, and thus above all the human form of Jesus, was altogether mere semblance without any true reality." [3][4] Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion.


well we'll have to get rid of them :-D

Can you give me anything that says that docetism was shunned due to its denying that some Jesus ever existed, whether on earth in some spirit form or not? I take it that docetism was classed as broadly on the gnostic side, which as we know was put down by other religious forces. Even if they said, "Jesus wasn't really a man," aren't they by using the name, and denying that he was a man, strongly indicating that people said they knew of him?

In the Carrier interview from 2012 that I listened to, he says that the mythicist view is something new in the past 100 years or so. I couldn't say whether he has a different view today.



Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:54 am
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Quote:
Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion.


the quest for the historical illusion of Jesus? :-D

just kidding DWill.

honestly put up any historical Jesus you like and i'll be glad to have a look at Him.

even if there was some guy called Jesus in the mix, it don't bother me none.

even if many simpletons failed to apprehend the metaphor (i was one) it's cool.

it's just that in all my study and reading it seems to me most likely that the exoteric message took the high ground by force and the esoteric message was run out of town.

i don't like that

i think it's spiritual fascism and it has caused enough agony already, i lost two friends to it.

christianity is a mystery religion gone horribly wrong, all the hierophants were killed, tortured, beaten and scared off. Rome stole the birthright of the human race.

but we are still here, let's keep looking under the carpet.



Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Uh but I think you still think I'm arguing for the historical Jesus, when I'm arguing that the conversation revolved around someone who was seen to have existence. I don't go any farther than that, if you can get through the convolution.



Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
no probs DWill

DWill wrote:
I'm arguing that the conversation revolved around someone who was seen to have existence.


the conversation between who and who?



Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:45 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Problem (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
They believed that a celestial being was real. They believed a celestial being came down and then went back up.

The Doherty hypothesis (which Carrier is trying to use and extend) is based on the observation of things like the Ascension of Isaiah that clearly spell it out compared against the earliest writings like the authentic Pauline epistles. They seem to correspond in reference to a celestial being. The early stuff is cosmic. And Doherty looks at the diversity of beliefs and shows how Paul was one of many with their own ideas about the celestial Jesus (savior) myth. Over time the focus gets more grounded, when you consider that Mark wrote long after the authentic Pauline's and that where the myth is focused in more on earthly history. Then the other gospels use Mark and the earthly saga becomes dominant over the older celestial saga.

It's a different perspective that comes from taking a clue and then working it out in chronological order and seeing what that does to traditional perspectives...


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