Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 Religion
 Jesus the Evidence
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 8

darwin alogos
SFN Regular

USA
532 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  00:58:38  Show Profile Send darwin alogos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know all of you think all I do is cut and paste,but this guy seems to give the skeptical view with sympathyTruth Journal
The Gospels As Historical Sources For Jesus,The Founder Of Christianity
Professor R. T. France


Edited to remove massive cut-and-paste and replace with link --Cune

To deny logic you must use it.To deny Jesus Existed you must throw away all your knowledge of the ancient world. To deny ID
you must refute all analogical reasoning. So the question is why deny?

Edited by - Cuneiformist on 02/18/2008 07:06:16

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  02:09:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Darwin.....

Your author....
R. T. France
The Reverend Dr. Dick France is a retired Anglican clergyman who lives in Wales. He has taught New Testament at a variety of universities and colleges in Britain and in Nigeria, and has been a visiting professor at several North American institutions. His appointments have included being vice principal of the London Bible College (now London School of Theology) and principal of Wycliffe Hall, a training college for Anglican clergy in the University of Oxford. He has written books on a variety of New Testament subjects, particularly commentaries on the gospels of Matthew and Mark. He is a canon of Ibadan cathedral in Nigeria, and an honorary research fellow of the University of Wales, Bangor.
......appears to be a respected Catholic theologian, whose persuasion skills would be greatly enhanced if he were not a respected Catholic theologian.

For example, he states:
Modern study of the gospels has rightly emphasized the role of the gospel writers as theologians. They are not dispassionate compilers of traditions, but write with a message to convey. Their theological interpretation of Jesus and his teaching can be discerned in the distinctive way each has 'angled' his account, both in order to draw out aspects of Jesus which are important to the author himself, and also in order to make the record relevant to the needs and interests of the church for which he is writing.
And further.....
The simplistic equation, 'If a theologian then not a historian', while seldom explicit, seems to have been at the root of much recent writing on the gospels. It need only be stated to be seen to be absurd. There is no logical incompatibility between having an axe to grind (whether theological or other) and writing careful and accurate history. Indeed it may be questioned how many of the world's great historians have been dispassionate chroniclers, with no message to convey to their readers other than the bare facts.

No logical incompatiblity? There is nothing in having an axe to grind that compels a chronicler to lie, cheat, and deceive; but a reader would be a damn fool if he did not suspect, at least, that distortion, slanting, or outright prevarication could very well be present in the text presented as "truth" by the furiously axe-grinding theologians that wrote the New Testament!

So any reader who is not naive or gullible will naturally receive the whole cloth of the Bible as made of many pieces of many shades! The fact that the good Catholic theologian Professor says:
The simplistic equation, 'If a theologian then not a historian', while seldom explicit, seems to have been at the root of much recent writing on the gospels. It need only be stated to be seen to be absurd.
does not in any way make it so. In fact, it leads non-believers to strongly suspect that the axiom makes a good deal of sense.

In the commercial or political worlds, those with significant axes to grind, will generally speak and write anything (true or not) that may help them put a finer edge on their particular commercial or political endeavor! I see no reason to believe that things are any different in the world of religion! And the fact that any Catholic theologian is writing to persuade, leads me to strongly suspect that they may certainly be capable of embroidering, changing or rewriting history or truth to sell their product, religion. Including Professor France!

I find nothing even remotely compelling in Professor France's little essay on the Gospels as history, or "evidence" of anything; particularly evidence of the existence, life or works of Jesus Christ! His sermon may be melody to the choir, but it is cacophony to me!
Go to Top of Page

Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  02:39:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The four canonical gospels will not answer all the questions we would like to ask about the founder of Christianity; but, sensitively interpreted, they do give us a rounded portrait of a Jesus who is sufficiently integrated into what we know of first-century Jewish culture to carry historical conviction



"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
Go to Top of Page

Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  05:09:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know all of you think all I do is cut and paste,but this guy seems to give the skeptical view with sympathy


How about you post a damn link instead?

At least now it's in a readable format, not that I would read it anyways.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 02/18/2008 05:09:56
Go to Top of Page

chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  07:21:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

Darwin.....

Your author....
R. T. France
The Reverend Dr. Dick France is a retired Anglican clergyman....
......appears to be a respected Catholic theologian, whose persuasion skills would be greatly enhanced if he were not a respected Catholic theologian.
Anglicans are not Catholic.

Also, in regards to the 'historical' Jesus, John Dominic Crossan, an ex-Catholic Priest and historian published a book on the subject, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, which was a pretty decent read. The author rejects any claims about Jesus in the Gospels that did not appear in at least 3 sources (sources being the accepted gospels, texts of 'rejected' gospels, and surviving Roman and Jewish historical records). He also puts a lot of the claims into historical and anthropological context. His conclusion was that Jesus was a social revolutionary with a very progressive (and attractive to the masses) message for his time and got stepped on by the local elite as a result. Crossan got in trouble with the Catholic Church over his research and, iirc, ended up being forced out.

-Chaloobi

Go to Top of Page

leoofno
Skeptic Friend

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  07:54:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send leoofno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by chaloobi

Originally posted by bngbuck

Darwin.....

Your author....
R. T. France
The Reverend Dr. Dick France is a retired Anglican clergyman....
......appears to be a respected Catholic theologian, whose persuasion skills would be greatly enhanced if he were not a respected Catholic theologian.
Anglicans are not Catholic.

Also, in regards to the 'historical' Jesus, John Dominic Crossan, an ex-Catholic Priest and historian published a book on the subject, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, which was a pretty decent read. The author rejects any claims about Jesus in the Gospels that did not appear in at least 3 sources (sources being the accepted gospels, texts of 'rejected' gospels, and surviving Roman and Jewish historical records). He also puts a lot of the claims into historical and anthropological context. His conclusion was that Jesus was a social revolutionary with a very progressive (and attractive to the masses) message for his time and got stepped on by the local elite as a result. Crossan got in trouble with the Catholic Church over his research and, iirc, ended up being forced out.

Hmmm. I've read a bit on the subject, and thought that there are no contemporaneous "Roman and Jewish historical records" that mention Jesus. Do you happen to remember any of them? I'll have to do a search on this Crossan guy.

"If you're not terrified, you're not paying attention." Eric Alterman
Go to Top of Page

chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  08:27:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I read the book over ten years ago so I'd have to look but I thought the book mentioned one of each Jewish and Roman. I won't be able to check the actual book for another ten hours or so though....

EDIT: Wiki's got an extensive article on him...

John Dominic Crossan (b. Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, 1934) is an Irish-American religious scholar known for co-founding the controversial Jesus Seminar. Crossan is a major figure in the fields of biblical archaeology, anthropology and New Testament textual and higher criticism. He is also a popular lecturer who has appeared in television documentaries about Jesus and the Bible. He is especially influential in the field of Historical Jesus studies, although he receives plenty of criticism from other scholars regarding his methodology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dominic_Crossan

EDT 2:

From the Wiki Article:

Crossan suggests Jesus was an illiterate "Jewish Cynic" from a landless peasant background, initially a follower of John the Baptist. Jesus was a healer and man of great wisdom and courage who taught a message of inclusiveness, tolerance, and liberation. "His strategy . . . was the combination of free healing and common eating . . . that negated the hierarchical and patronal normalcies of Jewish religion and Roman power . . . He was neither broker nor mediator but . . . the announcer that neither should exist between humanity and divinity or humanity and itself."[2]

Out of his strenuous study of cross-attestation and strata of the ancient texts, Crossan questions the facticity of many of the gospel stories of Jesus, including his "nature miracles", the virgin birth, and the raising of Lazarus. While pointing out the meagre attestation and apparent belatedness of the miracles' appearance in the trajectory of the canon, Crossan takes the opposite view, that Jesus was known during earliest Christianity as a powerful magician, which was "a very problematic and controversial phenomenon not only for his enemies but even for his friends," who began washing miracles out of the tradition early on.

He maintains the Gospels were never intended to be taken literally by their authors. Crossan challenges those who would debate whether Jesus "really" walked on water to recognize that, whether history or parable, the larger issue is the meaning of the anecdote. He proposes the historical probability that, like all but one known victim of crucifixion, Jesus' body never made it to a tomb, but was scavenged by animals.[3] Crossan believes in "resurrection" by faith but holds that bodily resuscitation was never contemplated by early Christians. He believes that the rapture is based on a misreading of I Thessalonians.


I didn't see anything in my brief read about historical texts. But I did find this of particular interest:

he points out, early in the book, that "(t)here was a human being in the first century who was called 'Divine,' 'Son of God,' 'God,' and 'God from God,' whose titles were 'Lord,' 'Redeemer,' 'Liberator,' and 'Saviour of the World.'" "(M)ost Christians probably think that those titles were originally created and uniquely applied to Christ. But before Jesus ever existed, all those terms belonged to Caesar Augustus." Crossan cites the adoption of them by the early Christians to apply to Jesus as denying them of Caesar the Augustus. "They were taking the identity of the Roman emperor and giving it to a Jewish peasant. Either that was a peculiar joke and a very low lampoon, or it was what the Romans called majestas and we call high treason." [4]

-Chaloobi

Edited by - chaloobi on 02/18/2008 08:39:29
Go to Top of Page

darwin alogos
SFN Regular

USA
532 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  09:57:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send darwin alogos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No logical incompatiblity? There is nothing in having an axe to grind that compels a chronicler to lie, cheat, and deceive; but a reader would be a damn fool if he did not suspect, at least, that distortion, slanting, or outright prevarication could very well be present in the text presented as "truth" by the furiously axe-grinding theologians that wrote the New Testament

I agree,if you could show some evidence that the NT writers did "lie,cheat, and deceive" I'll toss them in the garbage. But the contary is true the NT writers have been shown to be very accurate in their accounts of Jesus, who they came to believe(reluctantly) was the promised Messiah, and very reliable in reporting the historic space time setting of the NT world.
  • ROMAN SOCIETY AND LAW IN THE NEW TESTAMENT,A.N. SHERWIN-WHITE,BAKER BOOK HOUSE,Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ST. PAUL THE TRAVELER AND ROMAN CITIZEN, WILLIAM M. RAMSAY, Kregel Pub., Grand Rapids, Mi
  • IS THE NEW TESTAMENT RELIABLE?,PAUL BARNETT, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois
  • THE MAKING OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, E. EARLE ELLIS, BRILL ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS, INC., BOSTON-LEIDEN
  • HISTORY, LAW AND CHRISTIANTY, JOHN WARWICK MONTGOMERY,Canadian Institute for Law, Theology, and Public Policy Inc., Edmonton,AB,Canada


To deny logic you must use it.To deny Jesus Existed you must throw away all your knowledge of the ancient world. To deny ID
you must refute all analogical reasoning. So the question is why deny?
Go to Top of Page

pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  10:32:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by darwin alogos
But the contary [sic] is true the NT writers have been shown to be very accurate in their accounts of Jesus, who they came to believe(reluctantly) was the promised Messiah,...


How is the accuracy measured? What are their accounts of Jesus compared to in order to calculate accuracy? I'm not aware of any other accounts outside of the ones in the Bible that were written several decades after Jesus supposedly lived.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Go to Top of Page

chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  11:25:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by darwin alogos

I agree,if you could show some evidence that the NT writers did "lie,cheat, and deceive" I'll toss them in the garbage.

Hi Darwin - If you really are interested in evidence that the New Testament is not understood today the way it was intended by its authors, check out the author I reference in the post above yours. He's meticulous in his documentation and doesn't draw any conclusions without three separate sources supporting them.

-Chaloobi

Edited by - chaloobi on 02/18/2008 11:26:14
Go to Top of Page

chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  12:31:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by pleco

Originally posted by darwin alogos
But the contary [sic] is true the NT writers have been shown to be very accurate in their accounts of Jesus, who they came to believe(reluctantly) was the promised Messiah,...


How is the accuracy measured? What are their accounts of Jesus compared to in order to calculate accuracy? I'm not aware of any other accounts outside of the ones in the Bible that were written several decades after Jesus supposedly lived.
There are several 'gospels' that didn't make the final cut when the Church assembled the NT. Some were actively suppressed. You can get a feel for what is more likley to be true by comparing the events in each separate account and seeing what occurs in all of them. You can also measure what's said in the NT against what is known about the culture Jesus lived in through anthropological and archeologcial evidence. Crossan has used these methods to try and strip away what is likely fabricated and/or misunderstood in the various gospels and get down to what is probably a true historical account.

-Chaloobi

Edited by - chaloobi on 02/18/2008 12:34:53
Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  12:50:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Darwin.....

Professor France begins his sales pitch with these words:
1.1 The lack of relevant evidence outside the gospels makes them the necessary starting-point of any investigation of the historical Jesus.
1.1.1 In the first century or so after the death of Jesus there are very few references to Jesus in non-Christian literature.
In other words, we have nothing to go on except the Gospels! You state:
But the contary is true the NT writers have been shown to be very accurate in their accounts of Jesus, who they came to believe(reluctantly) was the promised Messiah, and very reliable in reporting the historic space time setting of the NT world.
Exactly who has shown that the NT writers were very accurate in their accounts of Jesus? Are you stating that Paul, et al, have shown themselves to be very accurate by reference to only their own writings? Come on, Darwin!

I said:
a reader would be a damn fool if he did not suspect, at least, that distortion, slanting, or outright prevarication could very well be present in the text presented as "truth" by the furiously axe-grinding theologians that wrote the New Testament!
You answer:
I agree,if you could show some evidence that the NT writers did "lie,cheat, and deceive" I'll toss them in the garbage.
My evidence, by your own standards, Darwin, is the fact that I wrote my opinion!

I do not need to show evidence that the disciples writings were false to legitimately express doubt that they were true! All I'm saying is "show me"! By reference to other sources than the Gospels themselves.
As evidenced by the above direct quote, I did not state that the Gospel writers did lie or deceive, only that they may have because there is no evidence to the contrary!

I am not gullible enough to accept any statement or opinion by one that promotes (proselytes) a view that is merely written by them and is without substantiation from other sources. Nor should you. But I did not express that the contrary of the gospels was true, only that I could not accept its veracity without corroboration.


Go to Top of Page

darwin alogos
SFN Regular

USA
532 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  13:01:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send darwin alogos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How is the accuracy measured? What are their accounts of Jesus compared to in order to calculate accuracy? I'm not aware of any other accounts outside of the ones in the Bible that were written several decades after Jesus supposedly lived.
Good quetion pleco . One of the books I refrenced (by Ramsay) was suppose to verify his presuppostion of how historically inaccurate Luke was as a historian.However as he did the archaeological reasearch first hand in the field, he came to diffrent conclusion, "It was gradually borne in upon me that the various details the narrative showed marvelous truth." (Ramsay, St. Paul R.T.R.C. p.19) I have to go to work now I'll give you more details latter

To deny logic you must use it.To deny Jesus Existed you must throw away all your knowledge of the ancient world. To deny ID
you must refute all analogical reasoning. So the question is why deny?
Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  13:03:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Chaloobi.....

Anglicans are not Catholic.
Well, let's see: From wiki:
The Church of England considers itself to be both Catholic (as in Greek: #954;#945;#952;#959;#955;#953;#954;#972;#962;, meaning pertaining to the whole) and reformed: Catholic in that it views itself as being an unbroken continuation of both the early apostolic and later mediŠval universal church, rather than as a new formation, and in that it holds and teaches the historic Catholic Faith. In its customs and liturgy it has retained more of the Catholic tradition than most other churches touched by the Protestant Reformation.

A Catholic would agree with your statement, an Anglican probably would not!

Go to Top of Page

pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  13:25:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by darwin alogos

How is the accuracy measured? What are their accounts of Jesus compared to in order to calculate accuracy? I'm not aware of any other accounts outside of the ones in the Bible that were written several decades after Jesus supposedly lived.
Good quetion pleco . One of the books I refrenced (by Ramsay) was suppose to verify his presuppostion of how historically inaccurate Luke was as a historian.However as he did the archaeological reasearch first hand in the field, he came to diffrent conclusion, "It was gradually borne in upon me that the various details the narrative showed marvelous truth." (Ramsay, St. Paul R.T.R.C. p.19) I have to go to work now I'll give you more details latter


I'm not questioning the accuracy of any historical findings presented in the Bible. The names of cities or other major events recorded are known to be accurate in some cases, and in others to be completely inaccurate. Depends on which ones you want to discuss.

I'm questioning the accuracy of the account of Jesus...where he went, who he met, things he said, actions/miracles he performed...How is the accuracy of these things measured?

AFAIK, there are no texts that record any data about Jesus except what is recorded by believers. As was pointed out, some of this data is not included in the what is now known as the New Testament. So, are you referring to the accuracy of all these texts, or just the ones in the modern Bible? And, are their any texts from the time period recorded by other sources (i.e. non-believers)? To my knowledge, there is no data from any government or religious bodies of the time about the man known as Jesus. If there is, I would like to be enlightened.

Measuring the accuracy of religious text using other religious text does not pass the smell test to me. As with historical events recorded in the Bible, they were measured as accurate by using independent sources. Can the same be said for any supernatural events in the Bible, or for the existence and events surrounding the Christ?

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 02/18/2008 13:26:35
Go to Top of Page

chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2008 :  13:39:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

Chaloobi.....

Anglicans are not Catholic.
Well, let's see: From wiki:
The Church of England considers itself to be both Catholic (as in Greek: #954;#945;#952;#959;#955;#953;#954;#972;#962;, meaning pertaining to the whole) and reformed: Catholic in that it views itself as being an unbroken continuation of both the early apostolic and later mediŠval universal church, rather than as a new formation, and in that it holds and teaches the historic Catholic Faith. In its customs and liturgy it has retained more of the Catholic tradition than most other churches touched by the Protestant Reformation.

A Catholic would agree with your statement, an Anglican probably would not!
Generally speaking when people call themselves or others "Catholic," they are referring to the Roman Catholic Church based in Rome. In no way would an Anglican, or Episcopalian as they are known in the US, casually refer to themselves as Catholic unless it was some argument about whether the Agnlican church draws it's roots directly back to the original church. Your use of catholic seemed to indicate the casual reference as opposed to the technical term.

-Chaloobi

Go to Top of Page
Page: of 8 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.8 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000