Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics, Richard Carrier, Jesus Did Not Exist; The Jesus of Philo and Paul (1 Hr Kick-Ass Video)

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    Jan 09, 2015 11:42 AM GMT
    Univ. North Carolina - Greensboro

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    Jan 10, 2015 5:21 AM GMT
    Ratio Christi Responds:

    First, Dr. Carrier claimed the Egyptian Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, who lived during the same time as Jesus, wrote about “a pre-Christian Jewish belief in a celestial being actually named ‘Jesus.’” This is terribly misleading, if not flat out dishonest. The passage from Philo which Dr. Carrier is referencing states,

    "I have also heard of one of the companions of Moses having uttered such a speech as this: “Behold, a man whose name is the East!” A very novel appellation indeed, if you consider it as spoken of a man who is compounded of body and soul; but if you look upon it as applied to that incorporeal being who in no respect differs from the divine image, you will then agree that the name of the east has been given to him with great felicity. For the Father of the universe has caused him to spring up as the eldest son, whom, in another passage, he calls the firstborn; and he who is thus born, imitating the ways of his father, has formed such and such species, looking to his archetypal patterns."

    For more, see:

    http://ratiochristi.org/uncg/blog/post/the-jesus-myth-a-response-to-richard-carrier-part-3/1484#.VLCwV8kccgE

    Part 4 is also good.

    http://ratiochristi.org/uncg/blog/post/the-jesus-myth-a-response-to-richard-carrier-part-4/1500#.VLC5YMkccgE
  • HottJoe

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    Jan 10, 2015 3:07 PM GMT
    I'm in full support of atheism. Religion is evil.
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    Jan 10, 2015 3:56 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidI'm in full support of atheism. Religion is evil.


    That's an emotional or a non-rational statement.

    atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

    So, Joe:

    1) Gods exist. Full support of atheism, therefore would be full support of no education and no knowledge of Gods. The lack of education and knowledge is evil.

    2) All facets of religion are not evil or have become evil.
    Christianity teaches us to mourn the unjust punishment of the innocent. I value that. If you do not value protection of the innocent from capital punishment, then you're evil.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 10, 2015 4:43 PM GMT
    StephenOABC said
    HottJoe saidI'm in full support of atheism. Religion is evil.


    That's an emotional or a non-rational statement.

    atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

    So, Joe:

    1) Gods exist. Full support of atheism, therefore would be full support of no education and no knowledge of Gods. The lack of education and knowledge is evil.

    2) All facets of religion are not evil or have become evil.
    Christianity teaches us to mourn the unjust punishment of the innocent. I value that. If you do not value protection of the innocent from capital punishment, then you're evil.

    You have no idea what I value. You're calling me evil because you're trying to terrorize me into submission. You can block me, curse me, threaten me, etc. That's your shortcoming, not mine.

    God won't pick you over me. If there is a God, we're equal, regardless of what we say or believe.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14372

    Jan 10, 2015 4:59 PM GMT
    StephenOABC said
    HottJoe saidI'm in full support of atheism. Religion is evil.


    That's an emotional or a non-rational statement.

    atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

    So, Joe:

    1) Gods exist. Full support of atheism, therefore would be full support of no education and no knowledge of Gods. The lack of education and knowledge is evil.

    2) All facets of religion are not evil or have become evil.
    Christianity teaches us to mourn the unjust punishment of the innocent. I value that. If you do not value protection of the innocent from capital punishment, then you're evil.
    It is all the flaky fundamentalists that have caused religious belief to lose credibility due to their hypocritical and hateful actions. The right wing Christians in the US are not true Christians, they are glorified ignorant hatemongers who have never read the entire bible. It is the right wing flakes that have chased me away from religious faith over the years. I am agnostic as of now but where I go from here is anyone's guess.
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    Jan 10, 2015 9:36 PM GMT
    Hot Joe

    regardless of what we say or believe


    Stephenoabc

    Nothing makes a difference. I certainly disagree with that.
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    Jan 13, 2015 8:42 PM GMT
    Response

    The passage in Philo clearly refers to Zechariah 6:12. Bart has a comment on 6:11-13 in his recently published Bible Introduction (p.159), where he says that the “branch” in 6:12 is a bit confusing as it may refer to both Joshua and Zerubbabel (real people supposed to be humans on earth). The New Oxford Annotated Bible says in a footnote that “branch” refers to David’s descendant Zerubbabel because of the clear reference to his role as builder of Temple.

    What remains is what Philo makes out of this reference. To me it looks like he discusses a person with body and soul (“A very novel appellation indeed, if you consider it as spoken of a man who is compounded of body and soul”), and then goes on in poetic language to praise the concept (East ) as well fitting to the spiritual part of such a person.

    To assume that this reference to Zechariah really is about a pre-Christian Jewish belief in a celestial redeemer (or something like that) is not convincing, to put it politely.
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    Jan 13, 2015 8:46 PM GMT
    StephenOABC saidResponse

    The passage in Philo clearly refers to Zechariah 6:12. Bart has a comment on 6:11-13 in his recently published Bible Introduction (p.159), where he says that the “branch” in 6:12 is a bit confusing as it may refer to both Joshua and Zerubbabel (real people supposed to be humans on earth). The New Oxford Annotated Bible says in a footnote that “branch” refers to David’s descendant Zerubbabel because of the clear reference to his role as builder of Temple.

    What remains is what Philo makes out of this reference. To me it looks like he discusses a person with body and soul (“A very novel appellation indeed, if you consider it as spoken of a man who is compounded of body and soul”), and then goes on in poetic language to praise the concept (East ) as well fitting to the spiritual part of such a person.

    To assume that this reference to Zechariah really is about a pre-Christian Jewish belief in a celestial redeemer (or something like that) is not convincing, to put it politely.


    stephenoabc replies

    Philo writing so many years after 520 B.C. knows about the need to renovate or rebuild the Temple and whether there would be a crown/king needed. Philo cannot be writing about the state of affairs during his lifetime. The Temple was strong, beautiful, and being finished. “Behold, a Man whose name is East” must refer to the Star Prophecy–the Star in the East. For Jews, that would be a Jewish leader.

    When Philo says: “but if you look upon it as applied to that incorporeal being who in no respect differs from the divine image, you will then agree that the name of the east has been given to him with great felicity,” he is telling us not to look to a man of body and soul but to an incorporeal being; hence, a cosmic Joshua/Jesus.
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    Jan 14, 2015 2:01 AM GMT
    Bart Ehrman (blogging about Matthew):

    Among Jews in the first century there was not just *one* set of expectations concerning their future deliverer. I have already indicated that many hoped for

    a future king like David, who would lead his people to military victory over their oppressors and establish Israel as a sovereign state in the Promised Land;

    a cosmic figure on the clouds of heaven, coming in judgment on the earth;

    an authoritative priest who would guide the community through divinely inspired interpretations of the Mosaic law.

    a prophet would appear who would be like Moses, who had not only brought salvation from the hated oppressors of Israel, the Egyptians who had enslaved them for 400 years, but had also disclosed the law of God to his people. Indeed, according to the ancient traditions, Moses himself had said that there would be another prophet like him who would arise among his people (Deut 18:15-19). The hope for a messianic figure like Moses, one chosen by God to bring salvation and new direction, was very much alive among some Jews in the first century.


    Steefen:

    So why shouldn't we have a cosmic Jesus by Philo and Paul, Jesus, or Richard Carrier?
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    Jan 16, 2015 3:49 AM GMT
    O M G:

    Hi [Richard Carrier],

    I just searched "Cosmic Jesus" on your blog. Nothing came up. I brought up your UNC - Greensboro debate on Ehrman's paid blog, reader forums. I also posted on Ratio Christi's blog. Basically, what I'm saying is that

    although Philo knows the state of the Temple (it doesn't need to be built by Zerubabel or Joshua),
    he does ask the reader not to look to a man of body and soul but an incorporeal man.
    So far, Philo is talking about a cosmic entity.

    Just because Jesus aspires to be the Son of Man - Messiah
    and just because Christians aspire to make Jesus Son of Man - Messiah
    does not make Philo speak of Jesus.

    The roles may be the same but who occupies the role are not necessarily the same
    and that's where your argument becomes weak.
    Basically, I can say, historically, the role was not fulfilled by Jesus;
    Philo does not mention Jesus by name; hence, the author himself is not speaking of Jesus.

    What say you? Hopefully, you do have a good blog post on this somewhere.

    Steefen

    Response from Richard Carrier:

    Philo says the angel he speaks of is the same person called Jesus in Zech. 6.
    Philo well knew that figure was named Jesus. It cannot be claimed he was ignorant of that.

    But Philo was not aware of the fact that Christians had taken this angel and equated him with the messiah.
    That was a Christian innovation. That Philo was unaware of that innovation is irrelevant to anything I argue, as I only argue the angel already existed in Jewish theology (Philo proves that; not just the name, but several peculiar attributes of the figure are the same in Philo, so we know Christians were talking about the same angel even apart from its name). The rest the Christians added (which is what distinguishes their sect from all other Jewish sects).

    Reply from Stephen to Richard

    Your response just gave me the chills. Let me tell you why. Bart Ehrman said Paul said Jesus was an angel. Thank you. I think ideas are there for the connecting somehow. Paul says Jesus is an angel. Philo says Jesus was an angel. ...
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    Jan 17, 2015 2:31 PM GMT
    Reply from a Reader

    Let me give you a hint. Read the paragraph in Philo just before the one being quoted and debated, and observe the use of the concept of “East” in that paragraph. This is called “reading something in its proper context”. In the light of the use of the concept of “East” in that preceding paragraph, which biblical person do you think Philo is hinting at in the end of the next paragraph (the one frequently quoted), when using the same concept? In doing so, also please take notice of Philo’s position as a Platonic philosopher, trying to merge Mosaic religion and Plato.

    There is really only one problem, and that is why he seams to be referring to a phrase found in Zechariah, based on the greek rendering of the word for “branch” in the Septuagint.


    Response from stephenoabc


    On the Confusion of Tongues or A Treatise on the Confusion of Languages by Philo

    XIV. (60) But those who conspired to commit injustice, he says, “having come from the east, found a plain in the land of Shinar, and dwelt There;”{16}{#ge 11:2.} speaking most strictly in accordance with nature. For there is a twofold kind of dawning in the soul, the one of a better sort, the other of a worse. That is the better sort, when the light of the virtues shines forth like the beams of the sun; and that is the worse kind, when they are overshadowed, and the vices show forth.

    (61) Now, the following is an example of the former kind: “And God planted a paradise in Eden, toward the East,”{17}{#ge 2:8.} not of terrestrial but of celestial plants, which the planter caused to spring up from the incorporeal light which exists around him, in such a way as to be for ever inextinguishable.

    (62) I have also heard of one of the companions of Moses having uttered such a speech as this: “Behold, a man whose name is the East!”{18}{#zec 6:12.} A very novel appellation indeed, if you consider it as spoken of a man who is compounded of body and soul; but if you look upon it as applied to that incorporeal being who in no respect differs from the divine image, you will then agree that the name of the east has been given to him with great felicity.

    (63) For the Father of the universe has caused him to spring up as the eldest son, whom, in another passage, he calls the firstborn; and he who is thus born, imitating the ways of his father, has formed such and such species, looking to his archetypal patterns.

    = = =


    This still points to an agreement between Philo and Paul. In 62, the man whose name is East is Jesus. In 61, the only man who was in the Garden of Eden planted in the East was Adam. Paul clearly says Jesus is a new Adam.

    "Last Adam"

    Twice in the New Testament an explicit comparison is made between Jesus and Adam. In Romans 5:12-21, Paul argues that “just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19, NIV). In 1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul argues that “as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive,” while in verse 45 he calls Jesus the “last Adam”.
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    Jan 17, 2015 2:39 PM GMT
    Reply from Stephen to Richard

    Bart Ehrman said Paul said Jesus was an angel.
    I think ideas are there for the connecting somehow.
    Paul says Jesus is an angel.
    Philo says Jesus was an angel. ...


    Reply from Richard to Stephen

    Yep