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#432816 "If I forget thee O Jerusalem" - not originally Jewish

Posted by TimONeill on 11 June 2011 - 03:30 PM in Archaeology, Biblical History & Textual Criticism

They need the Palestine Quiz


You could substitute "Kosovo" for "Palestine" in that bit of sophistry. Ditto for "Bosnia-Herzegovina". Or "East Timor". Or "Slovenia".
What does that tell you?
Much? Or Not much?



#432799 Richard Carrier & Robert Price

Posted by TimONeill on 10 June 2011 - 02:58 PM in Archaeology, Biblical History & Textual Criticism

Hoffman sticks the skewer in deeper and twists it here.
This is getting fun.



#432774 Tim O'Neill Reviews David Fitzgerald

Posted by TimONeill on 10 June 2011 - 01:14 AM in Archaeology, Biblical History & Textual Criticism

Interesting that Casey reads Paul like this.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised directly to heaven on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he later came back down from heaven and appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15.3-5).


Not what I would have called a parsimonious reading. :confused: Then there's this.

As Jesus is Paul’s exemplar for every person’s resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, we can conclude that Paul’s distinction between the decaying earthly body and new spiritual body would apply to Jesus too. Therefore, in Paul’s conception of resurrection, Jesus’ physical body would have rotted in his grave; Jesus was resurrected in a new, spiritual body.


That's a new spin, bit Mytherist though. From the review so far it looks like Casey is heading down the Mytherist path. Let's see how far he goes.


It always helps to actually read the book rather than relying on reviews (even good ones, like that by the improbably-named Mr Slothrop). The idea that Paul's long discussion of post-Resurrection spiritual bodies as opposed to ordinary earthly ones in 1 Corinthians is about Jesus as much as the risen elect is hardly "a new spin". Nor is it "Mytherist". Casey has a long and detailed discussion on Jewish ideas (pl.) about resurrection where he lays the foundation for his analysis of what Paul says about physical and spiritual bodies.

And given the short shrift he gives the Mythers early his book (thus earning the ire of Neil "Mr Furious" Godfrey and Steve "He that doth call himself CARR" Carr, I think he'd find the idea that he is "heading down the Mytherist path" highly amusing.



#432756 Tim O'Neill Reviews David Fitzgerald

Posted by TimONeill on 09 June 2011 - 07:21 PM in Archaeology, Biblical History & Textual Criticism

That said, most scholars, Christian, non-Christian or Calathumpian, accept that vast swathes of the gospels can't be taken at face value via some literalist reading. So saying this is not some evidence of any "atheist bias", it's simply accepting a consensus of reasonable scholarship.


Saying that vast swathes of the gospels can't be taken at face value via some literalist reading (with which I agree), is very different to saying vast swathes of the gospels are shown to be utterly false. The latter is spin, not 'a consensus of reasonable scholarship'.


Did you see where I explained what I was saying when I used the phrase "utterly false"? I don't believe vast swathes of them are "utterly false". Nor do I (or any reasonable scholar for that matter) believe they can be taken at face value or even read as highly reliable journalistic reporting. They are primarily works of theology, not history.

Blunders like the one above indicate how seriously the author of gLuke can be taken as a "historian". He takes the new genre of "gospel" and dresses parts of it up in some of the trappings of historical writing of the time. Ditto for Acts.


Could you recommend some recent scholarship on Luke and historiography, as well as 'the new genre of "gospel"'?


Maurice Casey's excellent new book Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian's Account of his Life and Teaching does a good job on both questions. I will be reviewing this book in an upcoming post on Armarium Magnum. Casey has managed to annoy both voceriferous Myther defender Neil Godfrey and Biblical literalist apologist J.P. Holding - a good indication that he's on the right track.



#432751 Tim O'Neill Reviews David Fitzgerald

Posted by TimONeill on 09 June 2011 - 06:45 PM in Archaeology, Biblical History & Textual Criticism

"Vast swathes of the gospels can be shown to be utterly false, but this does nothing to show that there wasn't a historical Jewish preacher as the ultimate point of origin for the later stories."

An absolute gem indeed ;)


See Jeppo, the thing with us is that we can take it when O'Neill says things like this. We don't pretend that most of the gospel record isn't unsupportable by evidence, so when he says things like this we don't bat an eyelid; when we factor in his own atheist bias, it's hardly surprising that he's going to come up with statements like this.


First of all, thanks to Evangelion for publicising my review of Fitzgerald's silly little book. In response to the point above, I think Fortigurn has misread what I said. I'm saying "Even if vast swathes of the gospels were be shown to be utterly false, this does nothing to show that there wasn't a historical Jewish preacher as the ultimate point of origin for the later stories."

That said, most scholars, Christian, non-Christian or Calathumpian, accept that vast swathes of the gospels can't be taken at face value via some literalist reading. So saying this is not some evidence of any "atheist bias", it's simply accepting a consensus of reasonable scholarship.

Yet how many other historians so much as mention Athronges, the Samaritan, Theudas or the Egyptian? None. Apart from Josephus, no writer so much as gives them a sentence's worth of attention.


I guess O'Neill doesn't consider Luke a historian, eh?


Well, no actually, I don't. But my comment was in the context of Fitzgerald's discussion of extra-Biblical sources, so clearly "Luke" isn't relevant.

Josephus, who was completely agenda-driven, is the credible historian while Luke, who was also completely agenda-driven, was not.


As others have already noted, there are several reasons we can't consider whoever wrote gLuke as a historian in the way we can for Josephus. The fact that he can depict Theudas' sect as arising before Judas the Galilean shouldn't exactly fill anyone with great confidence about his ability as a competent historian anyway.

I don't expect O'Neill to agree with me and at the same time I don't have to agree with him.


Blunders like the one above indicate how seriously the author of gLuke can be taken as a "historian". He takes the new genre of "gospel" and dresses parts of it up in some of the trappings of historical writing of the time. Ditto for Acts.