The “Consensus of New Testament Scholars” Isn’t What You Think

The “Consensus of New Testament Scholars” Isn’t What You Think July 23, 2019

When New Testament scholars speak, especially when delivering the consensus of their field, it might be hard for a lay person like me to do anything but accept it. The consensus of these scholars says that Jesus was a historical person, that the tomb was empty, that the experience turned the disciples from cowards into bold proclaimers of the new faith, and so on. These scholars are the experts, and we’re novices.

I’d like to recommend a very different response. I argue that many of these scholars play no part in the consensus of New Testament or biblical scholars because they have disqualified themselves. William Lane Craig, Frank Turek, every professor at Biola—indeed every professor at most other Christian colleges, and more—they’re all disqualified.

Evangelical response to the Jesus Seminar

Let’s start with an attack in the other direction, an objection to the Jesus Seminar by Christian apologist William Lane Craig. The Jesus Seminar was a group of Christian scholars and laypeople who reevaluated the sayings of Jesus from a skeptical viewpoint. Craig said:

Of the 74 [Jesus Seminar fellows] listed in [their] publication The Five Gospels, only 14 would be leading figures in the field of New Testament studies. More than half are basically unknowns, who have published only two or three articles. Eighteen of the fellows have published nothing at all in New Testament studies. Most have relatively undistinguished academic positions, for example, teaching at a community college.

This is a straightforward attack on the Seminar based on their small numbers, lack of credentials, and lack of prestige. Unsurprisingly, Craig thinks that his position is stronger on every point: he represents the group with the big numbers, the complete credentials, and the substantial prestige.

Hold that thought.

The problem of doctrinal statements

Christian colleges or organizations often require that faculty and staff commit to doctrinal statements (also called “faith statements”). Here’s an example. Biola’s Articles of Faith say, in part, “The Scriptures . . . are without error or misstatement in their moral and spiritual teaching and record of historical facts. They are without error or defect of any kind.”

(I’ve written several times about doctrinal statements: here and here.)

The problem with a Bible scholar signing a doctrinal statement is that they have straightjacketed themselves to only reach conclusions about Christianity that are in accord with that statement. Their conclusions in their articles or books are predetermined before they begin their research. For example, if the available evidence points to Jesus not being born of a virgin, they must reject that conclusion because the doctrinal statement says otherwise.

Or see this from the other end: suppose a Biola professor writes a paper that concludes that Jesus was born of a virgin. I can’t simply dismiss the argument, and the argument might be informative, but I have no guarantee that this article weighed the data objectively rather than cherry picking it. This scholar has no inherent reputation, and I’m obliged to evaluate the argument myself.

Contrast that with a historian from Princeton or a cosmologist from CalTech or a physicist from MIT. Here, I don’t have to critique their papers as if I were a member of their discipline but, because I trust their institutions, I can accept those scholars’ conclusions with some confidence that their research was sound.

Where does this leave us?

Let’s return to the title of this post, which referred to the consensus of New Testament scholars. That a claim is the consensus view is typically used to argue that it is a settled position, so we should take it as a given and move forward.

Let me respond by first saying that I always do that with the scientific consensus. Second, there is no religious consensus. The religions of the world can’t even agree on how many gods there are, what their names are, or how to placate them. Every religion is a minority view, and the majority thinks they’re wrong.

And third, if it is to mean anything useful, “the consensus of New Testament scholars” must refer to a set of scholars that are not bound by a doctrinal statement. None of them. Throwing in any scholars who are bound by doctrinal statement—that is, who are obliged what to think and have publicly declared that they won’t honestly follow the evidence—contaminates the set.

Let’s return to William Lane Craig’s portrayal of the Jesus Seminar as a small group with unimpressive credentials and little prestige. Craig might want to rethink his dismissive characterization when he can’t take part in an objective consensus in his own field.

The rest of us should insist that any claimed consensus comes from a group of scholars unbound by doctrinal statements and able to objectively follow the evidence where it leads.

The fools says in his heart there is no god,
but the wise man shouts it from the rooftops.
— seen on internet

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  • Of the 74 [Jesus Seminar fellows] listed in [their] publication The Five Gospels, only 14 would be leading figures in the field of New Testament studies. More than half are basically unknowns, who have published only two or three articles. Eighteen of the fellows have published nothing at all in New Testament studies. Most have relatively undistinguished academic positions, for example, teaching at a community college.

    Which is ironic, coming from someone who has to believe God has hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children (Matthew 11:25), i.e. to the unknowns of the era.

  • Lex Lata

    How dare you, Bob. Doctrinally-bound Christian scholars of the Bible are just as impartial, clinical, and trustworthy as Sunni scholars of the Quran, Hindu scholars of the Vedas, and Buddhist scholars of the Sutras.

    • Max

      I rests me case, yer honor.

    • Cozmo the Magician

      I know more about Marvel Comics than most of these twits actually know about the Bible and I have only seen like one or two of the movies (:

      • Raging Bee

        So you can’t ever walk away from Marvel Comics unless, and until, you’ve studied ALL of the texts and can justify walking away based on your extensive study of the texts. /Dave_Armstrong

        • guerillasurgeon

          That’s pretty much what Justin Peterson fan boys say when you criticise their boy. 🙂

        • Castilliano

          I take it Justin Peterson, for certain definitions of Justin, is meant to refer to Jordan “Incel Icon” Peterson.

        • guerillasurgeon

          Dammit thank you and Bu99er AutoCorrect.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          So you can’t ever walk away from Marvel Comics…

          I get turned off when a movie is no longer a movie, but part of a “franchise” or a “universe.” I won’t be seeing any more Star Wars movies as a result.

        • Pofarmer

          The Star Wars movies just started sucking. Marvel not so much yet.

        • Jim Jones
      • Jesus needs a movie studio.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Oh the the StarShip didn’t have a Holo-Deck (:

        • I thought Jesus already owned Pure Flix Entertainment?!

        • Jim Jones

          I want to see Revelation made into a movie – or series of them.

        • You mean Revelation: the Acid Trip of John of Patmos?

          You could endlessly reboot that franchise because most of the serious Christians who saw one of them would declare that you got the book wrong.

    • al kimeea

      and Homeopathic scholars etc, of the Wooniverse

      • Michael Murray

        The great thing about being a homeopathic scholar is the less you publish and the lower your citations and h-index the stronger your reputation.

        • Checkmate, conventional scientists!

        • Phil

          I haven’t studied it at all. I must be a professor at least.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I have, that’s why I have no qualifications at all ffs.

  • ThaneOfDrones

    Of the 74 [Jesus Seminar fellows] listed in [their] publication The Five Gospels, only 14 would be leading figures in the field of New Testament studies.

    If they thought there were only 5 gospels they couldn’t have been that knowledgable about early Christianity. There were dozens.

    Wikipedia: List of Gospels
    Gospel of Basilides, anyone?

    • I believe the book The Five Gospels is saying that the gospel of Thomas should be given equal billing with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John because Thomas is equally old.

      • Len

        So John, Paul, George, and Ringo plus Pete Best.

        • OT: Have you seen “Yesterday”? Quite fun.

        • Len

          Not yet but its definitely on my ASAP list 🙂

  • Michael Neville

    I agree that doctrinal statements disqualify a scholar from making statements which should be accepted by non-scholars. The scholar may be perfectly correct in their pronouncements but there’s always the question: Did they write that because that’s what their research showed or did they write that because otherwise they’ll lose their job?

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. –Upton Sinclair

    • NS Alito

      The most bizarre application of doctrinal statements come from creation “scientists” who vow not to conclude anything from the physical evidence if it contradicts the Bible. That’s the very antithesis of science.

      • BertB

        I have read about the “scientists” who went to Israel and other countries in the Middle East to do “research.” Their goal was to seek evidence that would verify Biblical accounts of events. As you say, the very antithesis of how science is done.

      • al kimeea

        We should have a word for that.

        • Otto

          Hacks

        • Phil

          Disqus wouldn’t allow it.

  • larry parker

    The consensus of scholars has led to hundreds of denominations. Which one is right?
    They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong.

    • Len

      The consensus is that they all think differently and won’t be pursuaded to change their minds.

    • al kimeea

      Yep. There’s yet another guy claiming his version of Baptism is the real one because it sounds like humanism.

  • ThaneOfDrones

    I don’t give a flying pepperoni what the consensus of New Testament scholars is on choice of pizza toppings, or any other topic for which they cannot supply convincing evidence.

    Consider this example from elsewhere on godless Patheos: Was Jesus a Real Person?
    The writer wishes to convey that he has spent serious time in study, and so we should respect his credentials and those of other NT scholars on the topic of a historical Jesus. The one thing he fails to present: any actual evidence which would fortify those consensus opinions. Without that, it is all bluster and bluff. If he had the evidence, he would present it.

    • Michael Neville

      The evidence is in the Bible which is the word of God because the Bible says it’s the word of God.

      • Raging Bee

        But it’s ATHEISTS who engage in circular reasoning, right? /s

        • Wisdom, Justice, Love

          I think MN was being sarcastic. It can be hard to tell.
          If not, it’s just proof you can’t satirize crazy. Circular indeed.

        • Michael Neville

          It’s a common complaint by atheists when told by Christians that we have to accept the Bible as the Word o’ Gawd.

        • Wisdom, Justice, Love

          I agree. Christians that use the Bible as “proof” don’t know what that word means.

      • Cozmo the Magician

        If only you could mobius strip mine for gold in the same way bible humpers mine for truth… I would be rich beyond imagining.

        • Raging Bee

          You’re imagining being rich beyond imagining? How does THAT work?

        • Cozmo the Magician

          see mobius strip , see strip mobius

        • Carol Lynn

          See the Ontological Argument for God. I imagine a god, woohoo! now that god exists and he’s better than anything you can imagine!

        • Raging Bee

          You’ll have to prove that your imagined god is better than mine. Only then will we know which is the One True God.

        • Carol Lynn

          All of modern theology in one succinct sentence.

        • Raging Bee

          Yeah, too succinct. I’ll have to write a twelve-volume exegesis to flesh it all out, and then say that no one can ever refute it unless they read, and refute, every sentence of the exegesis, and show their work…while I write twelve more volumes that you’re also required to read and refute in full. It’s the bluff that keeps on bluffing!

        • Jim Jones

          That works better for Eric the Magic God Eating Penguin.

          “A penguin who has eaten a god is more than one who has not so all gods have existed and Eric has eaten them all”.

      • Jack the Sandwichmaker

        Except it doesn’t even do that… Well, some parts of it might claim to be the Word of God, but the curated selection of books and letters didn’t exist until long after the pieces were written. I doubt Paul thought his letters were “The Word of God”

      • ThaneOfDrones

        The writer of that post is an atheist, and therefore does not believe that the Bible is the word of God.

        • Michael Neville

          Really? Thank you for telling me. I’d never have guessed. :^þ

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        I beg of you, use a sarcasm font or /s – arcasm tags!!!!

        😉

    • Yeah, but the guy is really sincere.

      • NS Alito

        I laughed ’til I choked!

    • Joe

      I’ve never studied unicorns, so far be it from me to counter any claims from a cryptozoologist. I’ll accept everything they say at face value.

    • Pofarmer

      That was a really unfortunate post on Neil’s part. You shouldn’t sneer at your readers.

      • ThaneOfDrones

        The comments section was pretty informative

        • Pofarmer

          True.

    • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

      “If he had the evidence, he would present it.”

      Oh, but it takes years of scholarly scholaring to understand all of the scholarship involved in showing how Jesus was totally a real person, according to all of the scholars! The evidence is actually the nuanced understanding and interpretations of thousands of fragments of documents, not a simple “JESUS WAS HERE”! How dare you challenge all the scholarly scholarling! Away with you, Philistine!

    • Ignorant Amos

      Consider this example from elsewhere on godless Patheos: Was Jesus a Real Person?

      Frig…was that only 2 months ago? I did some ranting on that thread.

  • sTv0

    “New Testament scholars”? Well, WLC isn’t one. Doctrinal statements disqualify him and his “colleagues”.

    Wow. That was easy. Next?!

    • BertB

      Read below. There are people who worship WLC.

  • JBSchmidt

    “The rest of us should insist that any claimed consensus comes from a group of scholars unbound by doctrinal statements and able to objectively follow the evidence where it leads.”

    Or come to your conclusion.

    “I can accept those scholars’ conclusions with some confidence that their research was sound.”

    This was proven to be false by James A. Lindsey, Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian.

    “Their conclusions in their articles or books are predetermined before they begin their research.”

    Then so is are the conclusions of a secularist who works at a school that doesn’t allow intelligent design.

    “This is a straightforward attack on the Seminar based on their small numbers, lack of credentials, and lack of prestige.”

    False. You have again pulled a quote, never read the context and lied about its representation. He was not attacking the Seminar for those reasons but was challenging the claims of the Seminar itself.

    “Craig might want to rethink his dismissive characterization when he can’t take part in an objective consensus in his own field.”

    Had you read his article rather then a cut/paste hatchet job, you would have see that he addresses this issue himself.

    • Michael Neville

      “I can accept those scholars’ conclusions with some confidence that their research was sound.”

      This was proven to be false by James A. Lindsey, Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian.

      While there are questions about the ethics of the Grievance Studies Affair, it did show there are serious problems about papers in certain academic fields. Personally I wasn’t impressed by the hoax (Sokal did it better 20 years ago) but then I don’t have an axe to grind in sociological studies.

      “Their conclusions in their articles or books are predetermined before they begin their research.”

      Then so is are the conclusions of a secularist who works at a school that doesn’t allow intelligent design.

      Imagine that, a school that insists on science rather than poorly repackaged religious mythology. You know you’re not going to get any mileage out of that complaint at this blog.

      “Craig might want to rethink his dismissive characterization when he can’t take part in an objective consensus in his own field.”

      Had you read his article rather then a cut/paste hatchet job, you would have see that he addresses this issue himself.

      Bob has already discussed Craig’s feeble attempts to justify doctrinal statements [LINK]

      EDITED because Disqus insists on putting extraneous line returns in comments with blockquotes and links.

      • Imagine that, a school that insists on science rather than poorly repackaged religious mythology. You know you’re not going to get any mileage out of that complaint at this blog.

        And don’t get me started about schools not giving equal time to Flat Earthism.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        Then so is are the conclusions of a secularist who works at a school that doesn’t allow intelligent design.

        This is precisely why I push back on poorly defined terms like “natural” and “supernatural”, even when used by atheists… it’s so easy to misrepresent the opposite side as being equally dogmatic.

        Instead, there is no such “naturalistic” or “secular” bias that would overcome overwhelming evidence in favor of creationism. JB’s causation is backwards, the “bias” only exists because there is scant evidence. Supply the latter and you’ll eradicate the former.

        • NS Alito

          It doesn’t help that ID relies on logically bankrupt concepts like irreducible complexity “proving” certain subsystems couldn’t have evolved.

        • JBSchmidt

          “Supply the latter and you’ll eradicate the former.”

          Would it? Or would current scientific dogma prevent that from happening? Secular scientist are starting to admit that evolution could not have produced the life we see on this planet. Further the odds of its creation from only naturalistic causes is factors of magnitude larger then what science accepts as plausible. Couple that with a complete inability to replicate either instance without the guiding hand of a scientist. Yet, anyone who suggests that the beginning of life required information from an outside source is kicked out. Not because they could be wrong, but because they could be right.

        • ildi

          Secular scientist are starting to admit that evolution could not have produced the life we see on this planet. Further the odds of its creation from only naturalistic causes is factors of magnitude larger then what science accepts as plausible.

          Really? Which secular scientists?

        • Damien Priestly

          Nice try. No, secular scientists are admitting no such thing !!

          Evolution is getting evolution stronger — with evidence using electromagnetic wavelength’s effect on organic compounds, statistical mathematics, radiation effects on mutations, etc. etc. Evolution is stronger than Gravitation theory..

          …Ken Ham is the typical opposition to Evolution. Don’t think Ken should get kicked out of a scientific conference?

        • Secular scientist are starting to admit that evolution could not have produced the life we see on this planet.

          So then that idiot who said that secular scientists were closed minded was wrong? You should let him know.

          You know how to change my mind—when the scientific consensus rejects evolution in favor of another theory that explains the facts better, I’m on board. Let me know.

          Further the odds of its creation from only naturalistic causes is factors of magnitude larger then what science accepts as plausible.

          And what am I supposed to do with this? You don’t care one way or the other. Abiogenesis being an unsolved problem is just the riddle du jour for you. When there is a consensus theory for abiogenesis in 20 or 30 years, you and your ilk will just drop that argument, hope that no one notices the hypocrisy, and pick up some new unsolved problem within science. Science is so productive that you know it’ll have a bunch. And then your argument devolves into “Science has unanswered questions; therefore, God.”

          Not very convincing. You’d think that God would be more obvious.

        • BertB

          But isn’t it fun to see the corner that they are backing into getting narrower and narrower. The “God of the Gaps”in evolution disappearing?
          I love it.

        • JBSchmidt

          “You’d think that God would be more obvious.”

          Dogmatic rose colored glasses can sometimes prevent you from seeing the entire picture.

          ““Science has unanswered questions; therefore, God.””

          I have never said this. I have 1) asked for proof that any theory within abiogenesis is repeatable w/o the hand of a scientist. 2) Asked for scientific proof of repeatable evidence that speciation can occur on the level of building wings, gills and eyes. Not just well crafted stories and pretty pictures. 3) Finally, I have used science to show that the odds of either happening are beyond plausible not just within the geological age of the earth, but ever. In my recollection, I have never said ‘therefore, God’. I have only asked you to defend your stance using repeatable scientific evidence. That has never been shown and instead you throw dogma around as if it were truth. 300yrs ago the consensus was that Blacks were inferior. 100 yrs ago the consensus is that gays had a mental health problem. 75yrs ago science consensus was used to cull the weak from Germany. Over the last 50yrs, climate scientists have repeatedly said the earth will end in 10-20 years. I apologize if I don’t by the dogma and look for evidence.

          “Science is so productive that you know it’ll have a bunch.”

          This is a dogmatic statement. Because science has done ‘X’ does not mean it will prove ‘Y’. It is a statement that nearly any belief system could make. As example, I could say that since science has shown the overwhelming impossibility that the information within life could be self generating from non-life; therefore it will show in 20-30yrs that a creator must have been present to impart that information.

        • “You’d think that God would be more obvious.”
          Dogmatic rose colored glasses can sometimes prevent you from seeing the entire picture.

          True. Is that just an aside, or is that relevant to our conversation?

          ““Science has unanswered questions; therefore, God.””
          I have never said this.

          Well, not in so many words. But if that isn’t the distillation of your argument, clarify for us.

          I have 1) asked for proof that [fill in unanswered question about science here]

          Yeah, I know. First, I’ll just point out that you’ve been told that science doesn’t prove anything, just to get a few easy laughs. Maybe at some point you’ll stop doing that.

          You demand an answer to a question that doesn’t yet have an answer. Are you on the edge of your seat wondering if today will be your lucky day? Why ask unless your point is “Science has unanswered questions; therefore, God”? If this isn’t where you’re going with this, then clarify your position.

          I agree that that would be a stupid argument for anyone to make. But you’re making it.

          2) Asked for scientific proof of repeatable evidence that speciation can occur on the level of building wings, gills and eyes.

          Kind of a stupid question, though, isn’t it? Tell us why this is a sensible thing to ask for (since science makes clear that an isolated species won’t create wings or gills from scratch in a speciation event).

          Here your argument is even stupider: science can’t demonstrate within 5-10 years a new biological order. Uh, yeah, it can’t. Does that tell us anything, Chester?

          I have used science to show that the odds of either happening are beyond plausible not just within the geological age of the earth, but ever.

          My goodness, but aren’t you the polymath! I wonder then at your idiocy for sharing this information with us, who can’t do anything with it. Tell the scientific community. When you overturn evolution, you’ll be sure to get a Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology.

          And to think our little JB made this breakthrough! You were always so precocious . . . (sorry . . . getting choked up)

          In my recollection, I have never said ‘therefore, God’.

          Uh, yeah. It was a restatement. Was that not obvious? I did collapse a few steps: therefore evolution is crap; therefore Creationism must be true; therefore God.

          Better?

          I have only asked you to defend your stance using repeatable scientific evidence.

          Read a textbook on evolution.

          That has never been shown and instead you throw dogma around as if it were truth.

          The scientific consensus in the 21st century isn’t always correct, but it’s the best bet that we laymen have. Deal with it.

          “Science is so productive that you know it’ll have a bunch.”
          This is a dogmatic statement.

          We have evidence that science always has unanswered questions. If it’s built on evidence, it’s not dogma. Ask Santa for a dictionary.

          Because science has done ‘X’ does not mean it will prove ‘Y’.

          Which I’ve never said.

        • JBSchmidt

          “You demand an answer to a question that doesn’t yet have an answer.”

          Then any stance assuming one is right while the other is wrong is dogma.

          “Why ask unless your point is “Science has unanswered questions; therefore, God”?”

          To show that your refusal to answer is because you are in the same dogmatic predicament as the Christian.

          “Kind of a stupid question, though, isn’t it?”

          Did I say single event? Of course you can impart your own meaning to the quotes you pull.

          Show me any experiment over time that produced a new species with a body configuration unlike it ancestors.

          “My goodness, but aren’t you the polymath!”

          As you lecture Christians about the God and defend all of science.

          “I did collapse a few steps: therefore evolution is crap; therefore Creationism must be true; therefore God.”

          Right. Use the straw man and you never have to prove your own case.

          “Read a textbook on evolution”

          I did and wasn’t simply appeased by the pretty pics as you were.

          “Deal with it.”

          My bad. You religious types get so flustered when your doctrine is questions.

          “If it’s built on evidence, it’s not dogma.”

          Exactly, but your evidence is where? In the pretty pictures?

          “Which I’ve never said.”

          Well, not in so many words. I did collapse a few steps

        • “You demand an answer to a question that doesn’t yet have an answer.”
          Then any stance assuming one is right while the other is wrong is dogma.

          Not something I do.

          “Kind of a stupid question, though, isn’t it?”
          Did I say single event? Of course you can impart your own meaning to the quotes you pull.
          Show me any experiment over time that produced a new species with a body configuration unlike it ancestors.

          Why ask? Are you agreeing that speciation happens but that a new family or order won’t?

          And, again, why ask me? It’s the consensus view of the people who understand the science (y’know, not like you and me).

          Why is evolution such an issue for you? Obviously, because you don’t like it, not because your expert critique of the evidence shows you otherwise. If I’ve got that wrong, clarify.

          “I did collapse a few steps: therefore evolution is crap; therefore Creationism must be true; therefore God.”
          Right. Use the straw man and you never have to prove your own case.

          Here’s your chance to clarify your point. I’ve made clear that I’m happy to be corrected on what you’re arguing. If “science has unanswered questions; therefore, God” isn’t your argument, then what is it? Is it secret? Did I just not ask politely?

          “Read a textbook on evolution”
          I did and wasn’t simply appeased by the pretty pics as you were.

          Never one to be put in your place by your betters, eh? Good for you! Now, as I’ve encouraged you before, go teach those pencil-necks who invent quantum mechanics a thing or two.

          You religious types get so flustered when your doctrine is questions.

          You’re adorable! You don’t understand how evidence works.

          “If it’s built on evidence, it’s not dogma.”
          Exactly, but your evidence is where? In the pretty pictures?

          There’s no evidence for evolution? You’ll have to take it up with the biologists. Arguing with you about it would be a waste of my time.

          “Which I’ve never said.”
          Well, not in so many words. I did collapse a few steps

          Not in any words. That’s not what I said.

          Perhaps you can ask Santa for new reading glasses as well.

        • JBSchmidt

          So….others have told you what to believe, have no evidence for it and you can’t confirm it yourself. Yet, I am the ignorant one for questioning that.

          “Not in any words. That’s not what I said.”

          Awesome, you are suddenly concerned with the context surrounding a quote.

        • You’ve successfully told me nothing. I’m guessing that was your goal? That’s surprising, because I thought there was some attempt to show me an error.

          others have told you what to believe, have no evidence for it and you can’t confirm it yourself

          Nope. This doesn’t describe me.

        • JBSchmidt

          “I thought there was some attempt to show me an error.”

          That’s an uphill climb with ingrained secular dogma. The atheist is always the most extremist when their doctrines are challenged.

        • No, your problem is that you have no argument. You’re stuck with a Bible that, on a plain reading, makes clear that Christianity is just a many-step mutation of a polytheistic tribal religion.

          And that your god is immoral.

        • JBSchmidt

          Right, except you quote the Bible more then I do in any given argument.

          1) Scientific America article ‘How Close are Scientist’, admits science may never know, but will use the environments favorable to their prescribed outcome to produce the results they need.

          2) 2018 Nature article ‘Prebiotic chemistry and human intervention’. “For experiments aimed at demonstrating chemically more complex processes, such as multistep syntheses mimicking biochemical pathways or genetic replication, repeated interventions by the experimentalist have been necessary.” and “We do our best to perform experiments that we believe re-enact possible steps of prebiotic evolution, but we know that we need to intervene manually to obtain meaningful results. Simply mixing chemicals and watching for a living system to appear from the broth seems unreasonable to me. This approach has never worked, and it is not expected to work, at least not if one is limited to the lifetime of a human, let alone the duration of a funding period or a Ph.D. thesis.”

          3) I personally enjoy the CalTech article done on Survival of the Fittest or Flattest in which they created an artificial living system via computer programming. Unbelievably, their created system, using their created parameters proved what they attempted to create. Obviously they weren’t proving evolution itself, but it fits the pattern that there is an unproven assumption by which science is reaching conclusion by inputting the beginning that best fits the desired outcome.

          So we start from a beginning we can’t determine, intervene with the hand of a creator (scientist) that wasn’t there at the beginning and design all the experiments based on an unknown beginning, but rather assume a beginning fits the current narrative. Defending this as the only solution and ignoring Intelligent Design alternative that require less conjecture; you are dogmatic. Not scientific.

        • (1) Let the evidence decide. When ID is the scientific consensus, I’m there. Until then, the obvious explanation is that you’re simply cherry picking your evidence.

          (2) Science delivers. If you question how science does things, you’ll have to explain to us how the science that undergirds our communication (internet, electricity production and transmission, semiconductors, and on and on) works. If it’s just the biologists who are lying or clueless, you’ll have to explain that as well.

          (3) Why don’t you go annoy the quantum physicists? The nutty stuff they claim is far more incredible than anything biology could ever come up with. That you don’t makes it clear that an agenda drives you.

        • MR

          Another side of this is how Christian explanations, and by this I mean in the apologetics realm, tend to misrepresent the actual science. We see that all the time when Christians come here and tell us “science says ‘x’ and that’s obviously wrong,” when in fact that what science actually says when you understand it is something completely different. Those kinds of apologetic arguments rely on the ignorance of their Christian audience. This is how we got things like crocoducks.

          Of course, Christian apologists have learned that they have to refine their tactics and we get more and more strawmen to battle against, but the bottom line for me has always been, if you’re misrepresenting the science, while the science may or may not be wrong, you are already wrong starting out of the gate.

          If you’re using science to argue against science, you’re probably being deceitful.

        • I was just listening to a Christian video. It earnestly summarized why the resurrection really, fer shur happened, but I could’ve rebutted it on a dozen points. I guess it underscores the observation that apologetics is for Christians, not to make new converts out of atheists.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I was just listening to a Christian video.

          Yer a soldier.

        • epeeist

          We see that all the time when Christians come here and tell us “science says ‘x’ and that’s obviously wrong,”

          And we correct them on it, at which point they disappear off to Croydon (where there is a good selection of reset-button emporia) for a few days and then come back making the same statements as though nothing had been said. Hence my opinion that there is no such thing as an honest creationist.

        • Ignorant Amos

          … an honest creationist.

          An oxymoron describing a moron, ain’t it?

        • Ignorant Amos

          If you’re using science to argue against science, you’re probably being deceitful.

          I disagree. Better science is the only thing that you can use to argue against science.

          If you’re using science erroneously to argue against science, you’re probably being deceitful.

          If you’re using pseudo-science to argue against science, you’re definitely being deceitful.

        • MR

          Yes, thank you for clarifying. I meant, of course, cases 2 and 3. I forget our audience. It’s tedious to always have to be so precise.

        • JBSchmidt

          1) Again you have dogma in place of facts.

          2) “Science delivers.” (atheist version of ‘God did it’)

          People deliver, science is a the process. A process that can be manipulated to produce the result desired. People have manipulated that process in areas of communication as well. For example, the use of algorithms to control search results on the internet. VW manipulating the results of the vehicle exhaust readings. The science of using computers to manipulate climate models (ie hockey stick). Manipulating the science surrounding DDT which caused millions to die. Are those examples of science delivering?

          3) In the end you have nothing but faith and dogma. You didn’t counter a single point.

        • 1) Again you have dogma in place of facts.

          Which does nothing to address my point.

          2) “Science delivers.” (atheist version of ‘God did it’)

          Hilariously and pathetically wrong. Science follows the evidence, and science tells you why it’s correct. “God dun it” does neither.

          But it is amusing to see you denigrate “God did it” in the same line as you denigrate science.

          People deliver, science is a the process.

          Which does nothing to respond to my point.

          A process that can be manipulated to produce the result desired.

          . . .,” JBS said, as he used a computer over the internet, tragically oblivious to the mountain of science he was validating.

          VW manipulating the results of the vehicle exhaust readings.

          Science can be put to bad ends? Yup. Which, as usual, sidesteps the point.

          Manipulating the science surrounding DDT which caused millions to die.

          Did DDT cause millions of people to die? I hadn’t heard that. Citation, please.

          3) In the end you have nothing but faith and dogma. You didn’t counter a single point.

          Which does nothing to respond to my point. (I’m sensing a trend here.)

        • JBSchmidt

          “Which does nothing to address my point.”
          Your point was meaningless. You were told what to believe and won’t change until your sources tell you something different. How do I address a dogmatic closed minded statement like that?

          “Hilariously and pathetically wrong.”
          Yes, then please show me science working without people? By your standard, I can say that the UPS truck delivers.

          “. . .,” JBS said, as he used a computer over the internet, tragically oblivious to the mountain of science he was validating.”
          First, thanks for once again proving you can’t pull a quote with lying about what the author is saying. Second, science did nothing, it was people applying their abilities to create the result.

          “Science can be put to bad ends? Yup. Which, as usual, sidesteps the point.”
          It is exactly the point. However, your doctrine of ‘science delivers’, blinds you from seeing that the people behind the process have control of the outcome.

          “Did DDT cause millions of people to die? I hadn’t heard that. Citation, please.”
          The book Silent Spring fraudulently used science to pull DDT from use. As such, millions died from malaria in 3rd world countries. Shown in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Fall, 2004.

          “(I’m sensing a trend here.)”
          You should. You can only repeat doctrine. While I, the ignorant Christian, continue to put up science.

        • Your point was meaningless. You were told what to believe and won’t change until your sources tell you something different.

          Dang! If only there were fundamentally different ways that science and religion went about making conclusions.

          Hmm . . . no, I think you’re right—they’re basically indistinguishable.

          Yes, then please show me science working without people?

          Double dang! I can’t show science working without people, nor can I show it working without people named “Steve.” What we conclude from that (or how that’s relevant to the topic), I have no idea, but I gotta admit, you’re right—science happens with people.

          “. . .,” JBS said, as he used a computer over the internet, tragically oblivious to the mountain of science he was validating.”
          First, thanks for once again proving you can’t pull a quote with lying about what the author is saying.

          Show me the lie. I’m afraid I’m too stupid to find it. As far as I can tell, I was imagining a hypothetical situation that illustrated the science that we’re both proving works.

          But I guess that’s wrong. I’m sure you’ll straighten me out.

          Second, science did nothing, it was people applying their abilities to create the result.

          Yeah, you’re right—“science” is completely off topic. Completely irrelevant.

          “Science can be put to bad ends? Yup. Which, as usual, sidesteps the point.”
          It is exactly the point. However, your doctrine of ‘science delivers’, blinds you from seeing that the people behind the process have control of the outcome.

          Are you in kindergarten? (1) Science discovers true things about reality and (2) those discoveries can be put to evil uses are two different things. Thanks for conflating them—the conversation was moving along too smoothly before.

          “Did DDT cause millions of people to die? I hadn’t heard that. Citation, please.”
          The book Silent Spring fraudulently used science to pull DDT from use.

          That’s clearer.

          You can only repeat doctrine. While I, the ignorant Christian, continue to put up science.

          Right: the evolution denier is the champion of science.

          It’s just another Opposite Day in Jesusland.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “Did DDT cause millions of people to die? I hadn’t heard that. Citation, please.”
          The book Silent Spring fraudulently used science to pull DDT from use.

          That’s clearer.

          You’re too gracious. It isn’t that clearer that science was the problem. Schmidy boy is a lying disingenuous creotard, and as such, relies on fuckwit creationist propaganda.

          It was the people, particularly Rachel Carson who was a non-expert in the field, the author of Silent Spring, and the impact on public opinion, that were the problem. But the story is a lot more complicated that Schmidy boy would let on. A few minutes research demonstrates his knuckle dragging asininity.

          In the first case, the U.S. ban resulting from Carson’s book, didn’t extend to the the third world countries where millions died. DDT didn’t kill millions, malaria did.

          The reality is that the American ban on DDT did not extend to other nations, although some later enacted their own prohibitions. For that matter, the pesticide was not completely banished in the United States or elsewhere; the E.P.A. declared it acceptable if public health was at risk. And despite a decline in its effectiveness because of overuse, it remains a valued anti-malaria tool in many countries, principally for spraying indoors, where its potency is enhanced and its impact on nature is kept low.

          Maybe third world countries stopped using DDT for other reasons.

          Insect resistance to DDT, many scientists say, was a major reason for a sharp decline in its use around the world: Why bother spraying if the bugs would just shrug it off? Experts also blamed reduced spending on anti-malaria projects by governments and international organizations — not Carson — for a resurgence of the disease after 1972.

          The next issue with his fuckwittery is that the science didn’t fail. This is an example of what happens when equal gravatas is given to none experts and the ignorant public, and governmental policy is set by said none experts.

          See, Carson never advocated the total ban of DDT in her book…that’s another lie.

          Then, too, the notion that Carson advocated a ban on pest-killing chemicals is a fiction. It was not her contention, she said, that “chemical insecticides must never be used.”

          “No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored,” she wrote in “Silent Spring.” The trouble, in her view, was that DDT and other chemicals were employed so liberally that “the insect enemy” developed resistance to them in fairly short order and was thus “made actually stronger by our efforts.”

          We will never know what the outcome of not restricting the use of DDT and other dangerous pesticides might have had on the world had those restrictions not occured. Perhaps the millions of deaths caused not using it is a mere drop in the ocean.

          Right: the evolution denier is the champion of science.

          Yeah…or maybe just a stupid know fuck all dickhead…

          In their adaptability, mosquitoes can be quite clever creatures, Raymond John St. Leger, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, told Retro Report. “Some mosquito populations can actually recognize the silhouette of a door, and go for people when they come in and out of doorways,” he said. “That’s how sophisticated evolution can be in changing behavior.”

          The bottom line, if Schmidy boy wants to blame people, then he has to own it. If it’s not the science, but the people manipulating it, then wtf? Hoist by his own petard.

        • JBSchmidt

          It appears if we just removed people from science we would already have all the answers. Science would just run in the background solving the great questions of the universe.

          “Right: the evolution denier is the champion of science.”
          You have yet to post anything remotely scientific, just endless dogmatic statements and insults.

          “(1) Science discovers true things about reality”
          What is ‘true’? How do you know what science has found is ‘reality’? How can I conflate those when you have stood against objective truth?

        • Ignorant Amos

          2) And in all those manipulations of the science data you listed, what was it that discovered the manipulations?

          Science

          You know who did the manipulating of science data in the first place.

          People

          So yes, science delivers, especially when people don’t fuck about and corrupt the data.

          Take her religiously muddled up ta fuck cretinous head and piss away off ta hell’s gates with your knuckle dragging mindwankery.

        • epeeist

          VW manipulating the results of the vehicle exhaust readings.

          Nice example of selection bias.

          I came across this paper, looks like science from over a century back is still delivering.

          Manipulating the science surrounding DDT which caused millions to die.

          DDT, tobacco and now climate change denial, all of these stem from unbridled capitalism and the corruption of public debate (as exemplified by this report) rather than science. But this doesn’t stop science quietly helping people, of which this article and this article are examples.

          Oh, and this being you here is another paper I came across recently. Now I know you will decry it (or more probably not even respond) because it isn’t actually abiogenesis. Bu there again we are still waiting for you to provide some actual evidence for creationism.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Now I know you will decry it (or more probably not even respond) because it isn’t actually abiogenesis.

          I’ll be flabbergasted if the papers ya linked to are even read.

        • epeeist

          And the standard creationist “argument”, there are problems with a particular piece of science, therefore it is false and creationism wins by default.

          All theories stand on their own merit, not on “problems” with other hypotheses. So, show us the evidence for your ideas on how life came about.

        • Joe

          “Dogma” is a religious term, not a scientific one.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Some confusion could be allowed, given this embarrassment:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_dogma_of_molecular_biology

          Not at all supporting JB’s typical bombast, though.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye, an unthinking moment there by Crick…not quite in the same league type of faux pas, but Dawkins regretted the use of the word “selfish” in the title of the “The Selfish Gene”.

          In the foreword to the book’s 30th-anniversary edition, Dawkins said he “can readily see that [the book’s title] might give an inadequate impression of its contents” and in retrospect thinks he should have taken Tom Maschler’s advice and called the book The Immortal Gene.

          Incidentally, it’s the 30th anniversary edition which is the one I have on my book shelf.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Would it? Or would current scientific dogma prevent that from happening?

          Yes, it would.

          A perfect example is the case of the Australian who posited that peptic ulcers were caused by Helicobacter pylori, against the scientific consensus that they were genetic and couldn’t be healed.

          He was ridiculed by the pharmacological establishment (because the market for ulcer relief medicine was very lucrative), but when he demonstrated his hypothesis was correct using his own body, the *science* won through over the *business* and now people are routinely cured of ulcers using the protocol he developed.

          http://www.animalresearch.info/en/medical-advances/nobel-prizes/discovery-of-h-pylori-and-its-role-gastric-and-peptic-ulcer/

        • Rudy R

          Secular scientist are starting to admit that evolution could not have produced the life we see on this planet.

          Without a citation, this is just a vacuous statement. Incidentally, any legitimate biologist would not make such a declarative statement, unless they are a theist. Science only deals in probabilities.

        • It is hilarious how Creationists are eager to declare that evolution is on the ropes. In ten years, they’ll be saying that it’s really on the ropes. And all they have to do to convince the skeptics is show that that’s the consensus of the scientists in that field. Should be easy.

      • JBSchmidt

        “Imagine that, a school that insists on science rather than poorly repackaged religious mythology. You know you’re not going to get any mileage out of that complaint at this blog.”

        You missed that point. Their articles are equally biased and incapable of accepting alternatives not associated with the current thought of the faculty. Numerous studies have been silenced within the scientific community because they don’t hold the current political view. However, you will close your eyes to that since at this moment they hold your view.

        • Jason Boreu

          Numerous studies have been silenced within the scientific community because they don’t hold the current political view.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/12478744b306c1d8b2630602b7eb219803930f14116caef6c6989de64b7e4129.jpg

        • Their articles are equally biased and incapable of accepting alternatives not associated with the current thought of the faculty. Numerous studies have been silenced within the scientific community because they don’t hold the current political view.

          Why focus on evolution? Evolution is easy to accept compared to quantum physics. Go straighten out those geeks.

          That you don’t is because QM doesn’t step on your theological toes. Evolution does. So you pretend that “God dun it!!” explains why life is the way it is better than evolution.

        • epeeist

          Evolution is easy to accept compared to quantum physics.

          Never mind QM, let’s see him sort out the cosmologists with their ridiculous claims about “Big Bangs” and their estimates for the age of the universe and earth.

        • Zeta

          JBSchmidt: “Numerous studies have been silenced within the scientific community because they don’t hold the current political view.”

          Evidence and citations please.

        • I remember when Bush Administration officials meddled with scientific conclusions that were politically uncomfortable. Climate change was the subject that I remember most clearly.

          https://prospect.org/article/how-bush-broke-government

        • BertB

          When the ID controversy erupted, Bush famously said that schools should “teach the controversy.”
          There was no controversy. Nobody in the science community bought the religious malarkey of ID.
          Finally, in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial, the Federal District Court found that “intelligent design ” was a form of creationism, and therefore, unconstitutional to teach in American public schools.
          The ironic part of all this is that the judge who made the decision, John E. Jones III, a Republican, was nominated by Bush.

        • Zeta

          I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations
          by Victoria Herrmann

          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/28/arctic-researcher-donald-trump-deleting-my-citations

          These politically motivated data deletions come at a time when the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average.

          Note: Victoria Herrmann is the managing director of the Arctic Institute and a National Geographic explorer

        • Science comes from scientists. Policy comes from politicians. Politicians can decide what to do, given the facts, but those facts come from the scientists.

          I remember being at a Discovery Institute lecture where they were talking about how evolution sucks, and they brought up eugenics.

          Eugenics is policy. Don’t blame the scientists for that.

        • epeeist

          I have just come back from a few weeks in Western Canada and Alaska. There is ample evidence for global warming there. The guys involved in ecological tourism are seriously worried about the departure of these guys as the glaciers retreat.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3a98a68b60cd83c7a828aa3de01663539c8dfb993d2873b69e96681501ec9c51.jpg

        • The climate change deniers may have outsmarted you! The common line now is that, sure, climate change is happening. The climate is always changing, and it has changed dramatically in the past. What they object to is anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.

          On that topic, here’s a lecture, “A Scientifically-Achievable Green New Deal” by Dr. James Conca delivered at a recent Seattle Skeptics meetup. I found it very informative. Much of what he says is specific to Washington state (close to 80% of our power is hydro), but still informative. In short, he says that getting off carbon won’t be that expensive (but, yes, nuclear is an essential part of that new energy mix). He dismisses fusion only because of the schedule. He’s talking about what we can put together in the near term with existing technologies (and the right political will).

          Getting back to the AGW deniers, striving toward this energy isn’t that expensive, according to this guy. Since “it’d be painful” is their real bottom line, not “it’s not true,” perhaps showing that it’d not be that expensive is important.

          Lecture description: Congressional members rolled out their “Green New Deal” in February that calls for a rapid shift to carbon-free energy. But the roll-out hiccupped a bit on the role of nuclear energy, at first dissing it, then saying “clean was OK” which allowed nuclear in. This is good since without nuclear it won’t work, not in the time frame we need it to.

          Bio: Geochemist and Energy scientist, speaker and author, Dr. James Conca is Senior Scientist for UFA Ventures, Inc. in the Tri-Cities, Washington, an Adjunct Professor at Washington State University in the School of the Environment, a Trustee of the Herbert M. Parker Foundation, an Affiliate Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a Science Contributor to Forbes on energy and nuclear issues. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/ Conca obtained a Ph.D. in Geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1985, a Masters in Planetary Science in 1981, and a Bachelors in Geology and Biochemistry from Brown University in 1979.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8xtKkqLv9U

        • al kimeea

          I read an article proposing to make a “science for the people” to enable “the science that isn’t allowed” without further explanation.

        • Michael Neville

          I didn’t miss any points. ID is not an alternative to science, it’s an attempt to bypass the legal prohibition of teaching religious mythology in public schools. ID has exactly the same relationship to science as astrology or homeopathy have, i.e, none whatsoever. So it is not dogmatic or, to use the phrase you were grasping for but weren’t quite willing to write, “politically correct” for a school teaching science to reject ID.

          As I said, you should have known that whining about schools not teaching ID will not get you anywhere on this board. But you knew that already, you were just trying, and failing, to play gotcha.

        • ID could be taken more seriously if all cultures of the world or at least most of them had a cosmogony similar to that of the Bible, especially the Adam and Eve part and how they were kicked out.

          Not to mention if those claims were true they could not be gagged and would pop up everywhere until they were taken as true. Just like happened with Wegener and plate theory and other examples.

        • Ignorant Amos

          ID could be taken more seriously not laughed at as much if all cultures of the world or at least most of them had a cosmogony similar to that of the Bible, especially the Adam and Eve part and how they were kicked out.

          FTFY chum.

        • epeeist

          Numerous studies have been silenced within the scientific community because they don’t hold the current political view.

          They have? Why don’t you provide a list of these studies for us to examine?

        • MR

          I think he meant to say that numerous studies have been silenced by the current American administration because they don’t hold their political view.

  • persephone

    Every time I get a response to “read the church fathers” I know that person is flailing. They’ve nothing of substance. Which “church fathers?” I don’t remember anything in the Bible about future prophets.

    • It must suck being God. I mean, you’re omniscient, and yet you just can’t string words together to make an unambiguous message. Dang–if only he were also omnipotent.

      • NS Alito

        [OMG I just learned that you were once at the Cambridge Tool and Die. Never know where you’ll find a brass rat.]

        • [virtual secret ‘Tute handshake]

        • NS Alito

          ‘TVTE

        • RichardSRussell

          #MeToo

      • That oh-so-powerful being seems incapable of having an unambiguous collection of writings delivered in the common tongue!

        I mean, what percentage of folk today can readily read, and understand, ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek or Aramaic?

        Even the TARDIS of our favorite Time Lord from Gallifrey (when combined with a conscious Time Lord) can render the spoken, or written, word of other languages into common English.
        The Doctor Who Wiki- Translation Circuit
        https://tardis.fandom.com/wiki/Translation_circuit

        https://youtu.be/liGD3vcnpHI

  • eric

    I’m not sure I’d go as far as disqualification. Science has a somewhat similar problem in that we know funding source can bias results. But barring private funding is impractical and likely a cure worse than the disease. We deal with it through transparency: yes, you can accept money from Templeton, or Marlboro, or PETA. But then your publication had better say “Funding provided by Templeton [or Marlboro, or PETA]” so that the reader can take that into account.

    Given that so much of biblical study is performed by people in profession-of-belief-requiring institutions, perhaps the least bad solution to the situation is to make the requirements transparent. So, you can do biblical research from a YEC-demanding institution, but then your publication had better say “Authors required to affirm YEC theology” so that the reader can take that into account. This would also make true vs. false consensus easier to identify; if someone is claiming that Alice, Bob, and Charlie all accept conclusion X, then it probably makes a difference to the power of that argument as to whether Alice, Bob, and Charlie all have the same profession-of-belief, aren’t required to profess some belief, or even have to profess radically different beliefs.

    Another commonality is that willingness to discuss ones’ possible biases can tell you a lot about how much to trust someone’s efforts. Science is sort of a “Reverse Twain,” in that it is better to confess one’s affiliations and be thought potentially biased, than to remain silent and remove all doubt.

    • NS Alito

      For the record, Reverse Twains are not allowed under Olympic rules.

  • Joe

    I guess they can come to a consensus. Of course, barring the discovery of time travel, anything they say about things that can’t be investigated by archeologists will only be conjecture.

  • Michael Newsham

    WLC and his ilk are genuine scholars- why, they’ve published in conservative Christian magazines, put out books published by conservative Christian companies, spoken at conservative Christian colleges, and had seminars attended by many other conservative Christians.

    • You make a compelling case, sir.

    • Michael Neville

      WLC does have legitimate credentials. He has two PhDs from real universities. He’s a professor at an accredited college. It’s just that he’s in a field notorious for the lack of evidence to support the existence of the major object of study.

      • Ignorant Amos

        “The achievements of theologians don’t do anything, don’t affect anything, don’t mean anything. What makes anyone think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all?” ~Richard Dawkins

        He also tweeted…

        Again accused of ignorance of theology. But what is there in “theology” to be ignorant ABOUT? Tell me 1 theological fact & I’ll learn it.

      • That you have to clarify that WLC got his PhDs from real universities rather than unaccredited Christian universities (“Dr.” Kent Hovind comes to mind) speaks volumes about the poor reputation of Christian scholarship (or what should be widely seen as a poor reputation).

        • Zeta

          Whenever the name “Dr.” Kent Hovind comes up, I can’t help recalling the first few sentences of his so-called “doctoral dissertation”

          Hello, my name is Kent Hovind. I am a creation/science evangelist. I live in Pensacola, Florida. I have been a high school science teacher since 1976.

          I can’t suppress a smile. I have read numerous dissertations and I have never seen any serious academic dissertation that has such a crude beginning. It really reveals the laughable standard of the “dissertation”.

        • That just shows the brilliance of his approach. Why can’t you have a little fun with a dissertation? Who says it has to be all evidence-y and fact-y?

      • Ficino

        Craig has published in some mainstream philosophy journals, unlike Edward Feser, who, unless I’ve missed some things, only publishes in Catholic publications or occasionally generic right-wing ones.

        • Michael Neville

          Feser is a loud-mouth libertarian and Thomist.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That doesn’t make Craig any less a heinous gobshite.

          I was just rewatching Sam Harris tearing him a new one here…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcO4TnrskE0

  • Ignorant Amos

    I argue that many of these scholars play no part in the consensus of New Testament or biblical scholars because they have disqualified themselves.

    This is more or less the position Raphael Lataster takes in his book, “Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists”.

    For a lay audience, and with help from historian Richard Carrier, religious studies scholar Raphael Lataster considers the best arguments for and against the existence of the so-called Historical Jesus; the Jesus of atheists. Parts 1 & 2 analyse the cases made by Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey, who assert that Jesus definitely existed. Their arguments are found to be riddled with errors, and dependent on unreliable, and even non-existing, sources. Parts 3 & 4 discuss the more sceptical work of Lataster and Carrier, who conclude that Christianity probably began not with a humble carpenter, but with ‘visions’ of a heavenly Messiah. This exciting collaboration makes it very clear why the Historical Jesus might not have existed after all, and, to those willing to adopt a commonsensical probabilistic approach, Jesus Did Not Exist.

    • I like that argument, but they do things the hard way.

      My approach is to observe that they’ve promised to be biased before they start; therefore, we should exclude them from any scholarly consensus.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Where is the consensus?

        There’s a lot of talk about a consensus of scholars claiming historicity, but that in itself is problematic.

        The first problem is who is in this consensus? Where’s the list? It’s just stated as a fact.

        The other problem is in admitting doubt, scholars open themselves up for unnecessary flak.

        Ehrman has made it quite clear that a scholar not accepting the historicity has no chance in the academy. So who but a few will put their heads above the parapet and risk it being shot off?

        There are enough examples of this to warrant the claim.

        As Richard Carrier has stated and I’ve posted before…

        But a consensus has zero argumentative value when the individual scholars comprising that consensus have neither (a) examined the strongest case against that consensus nor (b) examined enough of it to be able to identify and articulate significant errors of fact or logic in it. So it is fallacious (indeed, a conspicuously unreliable practice) to just cite the consensus on anything, without first ascertaining whose opinions within that consensus actually count. The most reliable population to heed is that which consists of all qualified experts (those who have requisite expertise in the subject being appealed to, e.g. climate science, evolutionary biology, economics, the historicity of Jesus) who have met either condition (a) or (b), and therefore exclude from consideration all such experts who meet neither condition.

        https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/5553

        • Carrier is concerned about a false consensus–an instinctive rejection of a new idea without consideration. Perhaps the core problem is that this is in the domain of religion, and religion as a scholarly discipline has been grandfathered in and never should have been granted in the first place.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve just been reading this article in the WP…

          So what do the mainstream (and non-Christian) scholars say about all this? Surprisingly very little – of substance anyway. Only Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey have thoroughly attempted to prove Jesus’ historical existence in recent times. Their most decisive point? The Gospels can generally be trusted – after we ignore the many, many bits that are untrustworthy – because of the hypothetical (i.e. non-existent) sources behind them. Who produced these hypothetical sources? When? What did they say? Were they reliable? Were they intended to be accurate historical portrayals, enlightening allegories, or entertaining fictions?

          Ehrman and Casey can’t tell you – and neither can any New Testament scholar. Given the poor state of the existing sources, and the atrocious methods used by mainstream Biblical historians, the matter will likely never be resolved. In sum, there are clearly good reasons to doubt Jesus’ historical existence – if not to think it outright improbable.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/12/18/did-historical-jesus-exist-the-traditional-evidence-doesnt-hold-up/?utm_term=.415cfc3372e2

        • I’ll give that a read. Thanks.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Nice! Here in the US we’re sprinting in the opposite direction.

        • Pofarmer

          It will be interesting to see what happens as lataster gets a wider audience

  • Ignorant Amos

    A consensus of homeopathists claim highly diluted substances can cause the body to heal itself. So it must be true.

  • Chris Jones

    I prefer to look for something approaching a consensus among *critical* New Testament scholars, or what might also be called “mainstream”. That automatically excludes the large number of evangelicals / apologists whose positions are largely driven by a commitment to inerrancy which I firmly suggest should automatically invalidate their “conclusions” because those conclusions were the starting point and any apparent “reasoning” was done in reverse, with that “conclusion” being the starting point. Few apologists have ever arrived at a conclusion after objectively working through data. Virtually none of those claims are a consensus among the critical scholars — many of them find the empty tomb claim problematic, even the Christians who are properly counted among the critical scholars (and generally those are not evangelicals and have no commitment to inerrancy). Many see Acts as historically unreliable and those tales of super-emboldened apostles are not held to be probable. Same with virtually all of what the apologists — Craig, Turok, etc. — purport to be “consensus”. It’s a sham. Either they know it and lie about it, or more likely, they improperly count their fellow apologists among the ranks of scholars, which is in my view a complete farce. The one and only point where I think there IS something like consensus among even most of the critical scholars, even those who aren’t Christians, would be the historicity of Jesus, at least the non-divine non-miracle performing, fully human version, with any further detail such as specifically what he said and did and whether he’s the apocalyptic prophet or the cynic sage or whatever not approaching consensus. Don’t get me wrong here — I’m not suggesting it is improper for one to hold to the possibility of a nonhistorical Jesus, nor am I suggesting that there aren’t a few critical scholars who are mythicists. We all know who they are. I am saying that whether we like it or not, that one point IS held widely enough to warrant considering it a “consensus” among those with the credentials , because we cannot look for complete uanimity before declaring a consensus, or to make an analogy, something like climate change would be dismissed as not being consensus because of a small number of dissenters. Otherwise, though, I’m fully in agreement that the claims of consensus by the apologists are just ridiculous. I do think there is a wide consensus that Bill Craig is a crank, and I’m sticking to that.

    • A merely human historical Jesus would be equally devastating to traditional Christian belief, so I don’t think atheists should really care too much about it.

      • Chris Jones

        Agreed.

      • Ignorant Amos

        A merely human historical Jesus would be equally devastating to traditional Christian belief,…

        Indeed.

        …so I don’t think atheists should really care too much about it.

        Other than it’s purely an interest in historical accuracy, nothing more.

        The consensus of historians is that the Jesus of the NT didn’t exist.

        • I meant care as in trying to prove no Jesus existed at all. Obviously we should care about history. It is quite correct to point out that the NT Jesus is not supported.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I meant care as in trying to prove no Jesus existed at all.

          Why not? It shouldn’t be just atheists that care…if the subject is of any interest to them of course. Scholars of the subject generally should care. Like the caring whether the OT patriarchs existed or not.

          Obviously we should care about history.

          Indeed. And on this topic demonstrating Jesus as being unhistorical is the point on history those interested, care about.

          It is quite correct to point out that the NT Jesus is not supported.

          Indeed. But that’s a different debate.

        • Because, as I said, it doesn’t matter. An existing but merely human Jesus is bad enough for Christianity, and that is the historical consensus. “Care” was probably a poor choice of word. However, we should acknowledge that a mythic Jesus isn’t necessary to prove for Christianity already being undermined.

          I have the strong impression many only care about this point because of the grave implications here for Christianity.

          The NT Jesus is at the heart of the debate.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Because, as I said, it doesn’t matter.

          We seem to be talking across one another. It doesn’t matter to what? The veracity of the supernatural woo-woo nonsense? Yes, I agree. But it matters as much as any other question of historical value. And given that Jesus has been one of the most important figures in human history, doesn’t it matter if he was a real person or not from a purely historical perspective?

          An existing but merely human Jesus is bad enough for Christianity, and that is the historical consensus.

          Agreed on the first part, on the second part, I’m less interested in the consensus than the facts.

          “Care” was probably a poor choice of word.

          I know what you meant by “care”, you meant in regards to the veracity of woo-woo Jesus of the NT. And yer right, it doesn’t really matter a jot.

          However, we should acknowledge that a mythic Jesus isn’t necessary to prove for Christianity already being undermined.

          Who doesn’t acknowledge this? Even the leading mythicist scholars I’ve read agree on that position.

          I have the strong impression many only care about this point because of the grave implications here for Christianity.

          I don’t know where that impression comes from. I can only speak from my knowledge of interacting with others and the mythicist literature that I’ve read, but Jesus being an historical person or not, has no bearing or influence on my atheism, or how I think about the veracity of Christianity. I was an atheist and denied the veracity of Christianity, while accepting the historicity of Jesus, well before getting interested in this topic. That won’t change regardless of the eventual outcome of the debate, if there ever is one.

          That said, I find that this is not the case with the Christians I engage on the topic. They get bent all outta shape at the prospect that the central figure may be purely a myth.

          The NT Jesus is at the heart of the debate.

          The heart of what debate? The debate at hand is on the consensus of NT scholars and the amount of integrity that they should demand.

          That’s the debate I’m addressing in this comment thread.

          The OP opens with…

          When New Testament scholars speak, especially when delivering the consensus of their field, it might be hard for a lay person like me to do anything but accept it. The consensus of these scholars says that Jesus was a historical person, that the tomb was empty, that the experience turned the disciples from cowards into bold proclaimers of the new faith, and so on. These scholars are the experts, and we’re novices.

          I realise that the question of whether Jesus was an historical person or not, bores a lot of folk, including many atheists who are happy to accept the status quo they were brought up with, but for many others, it doesn’t bore them. The truth interests me on this issue. If you don’t care, fine, but it does go to the heart of this debate vis a vis in the OP details under discussion.

        • It doesn’t matter to disproving Christianity is what I mean. Of course the rest still matters.

          Sure, that’s fine. It simply defuses the accusation of not following the consensus, as even if you do their religion isn’t supported.

          I know, it’s more an impression I’ve gotten from people.

          The impression mostly comes from interacting with people that seemed otherwise uninterested in history, or showing ignorance of it. I don’t claim this applies to all.

          The debate about Christianity. I didn’t make that clear. For me, it seems best not to endorse a theory which is yet to gain acceptance, especially if that’s unnecessary for a broader point. The Jesus myth idea has interested me, but I now focus on wider issues which seem more essential.

        • Ignorant Amos

          For me, it seems best not to endorse a theory which is yet to gain acceptance,…

          Seems like a Catch-22 scenario to me.

          …especially if that’s unnecessary for a broader point.

          And that’s back to conflating two propositions again.

          The argument of whether Jesus was historical or mythical with regards to his actual existence, is a different discussion to the veracity of the Jesus of the NT, who was indeed a mythical character, and how it plays out on Christianity.

          I get where you are coming from. I hope you get where I’m coming from too?

          As Bob noted, the consensus of scholars up until the 80’s-90’s, believed the OT patriarchs were historical figures. No such consensus now exists. As it is…

          Then in the 1990s a school of thought emerged from the background of the 1970s and 1980s which held that the entire enterprise of studying ancient Israel and its history was seriously flawed by an over-reliance on the biblical text, which was too problematic (meaning untrustworthy) to be used even selectively as a source for Israel’s past, and that Israel itself was in any case itself a problematic subject.

          Consensus of scholars are prone to change regularly enough, it just takes a renegade or two in order to rally enough evidence to support a competing thesis better than the current one in order to invoke a paradigm shift.

          The Jesus myth idea has interested me, but I now focus on wider issues which seem more essential.

          Fair dues. I see no reason why my scope of interest needs narrowing, but each to their own I suppose.

        • Why, any more than endorsing scientific theories if there is a consensus?

          I’m not trying to conflate them, just explaining what my own reasoning is. The question can of course be explored regardless. What you say is true as well. The consensus certainly may change. I’m not going to claim differently.

          No, go for it. Perhaps my own thinking just boils down to “this isn’t really even necessary for disproving Christianity” so I no longer pay it too much attention. However, others are free to if they wish. I like history myself after all.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why, any more than endorsing scientific theories if there is a consensus?

          Not all consensus are created equal.

          “appeals to authority are often unreliable”

          See, a scientific consensus is where the experts, or anyone with enough nous for that matter, can inspect the data and even rerun the test and come to the same conclusion. In the humanities, there is a lot riding on opinion. But even a scientific consensus isn’t solid under new or revised data in light of new information. The fact is, all the NT “experts” look at the same Jesus data and come away with different views of who Jesus was. To say that the one point they mostly agree on is that there was a real person, is a skewed consensus relying on that single data point. And who is this consensus? Where can it be found? Try googling it.

          How many have did the leg work? Certainly Ehrman claims that he was unaware of any before him, that there were speaks volumes on his knowledge in the field.

          The question on this subject, is who makes up this consensus of experts? And when we drill down in, the majority of those that make up part of the consensus, aren’t actually qualified to do so, because they haven’t done the work.

          I posted this earlier….

          But a consensus has zero argumentative value when the individual scholars comprising that consensus have neither (a) examined the strongest case against that consensus nor (b) examined enough of it to be able to identify and articulate significant errors of fact or logic in it. So it is fallacious (indeed, a conspicuously unreliable practice) to just cite the consensus on anything, without first ascertaining whose opinions within that consensus actually count. The most reliable population to heed is that which consists of all qualified experts (those who have requisite expertise in the subject being appealed to, e.g. climate science, evolutionary biology, economics, the historicity of Jesus) who have met either condition (a) or (b), and therefore exclude from consideration all such experts who meet neither condition.

          It’s a bit cheeky of me to ask, but to see where I’m coming from, the whole OP requires reading.

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/5553

          That sort of sets out my stall on the topic of the consensus on Jesus studies. But if ya haven’t seen it already, this OP takes on some of the other point I’ve tried to make hamfistedly…

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/01/will-the-real-jesus-please-stand-up/

          The rest of your comment is way more than reasonable.

        • Sure, that’s fair. I’m not going to claim that a consensus is never wrong. So far though I don’t feel knowledgeable enough to make such a claim on this, or rest too much on the idea. I’ll read those when I have a bit more time. Carrier’s work generally appears solid, and is enjoyable. Then again, I’m a layman, so really my opinion counts for little.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t think it matters for Christianity one way or the other. Christianity is still woo. I came across the mythicist arguments as I was deconverting, so I was maybe a little more open to them, but they had nothing at all to do with my deconversion, per se, and I don’t know anyone else who says they did either.

        • Yes, that’s what I think as well. I’ve always been an atheist really, so that sure wasn’t it. As for other people I can’t say, but like you I’m not aware of it being the clincher. Logically, it shouldn’t be, as if Jesus were a myth that would at best disprove only Christianity rather than God or gods.

        • Pofarmer

          I know Sathya Sai Baba was a real person. But I don’t think he was a deity. It simply doesn’t matter.

        • His being real doesn’t no. The rest does I think.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know Sathya Sai Baba was a real person.

          As was Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

          Still, that didn’t stop some of his followers.

          “The Lubavitcher Rebbe as a God”

          https://www.haaretz.com/1.4804959

          And that bullshit well within our lifetimes.

          John Frum? Well he probably wasn’t a real person.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Frum

        • Jim Jones

          And then there is modern saint Cassie Bernall. Her assumption to sainthood was completed in a day.

        • Interesting point–going from “Christianity isn’t true” to “and Jesus wasn’t even a real figure” isn’t that important a leap. What you want is to go from “Christianity isn’t true” to “and all the other religions aren’t, either.”

        • Yes, if you think Christianity is untrue, then whether or not Jesus really existed is basically irrelevant (at least outside pure curiosity). As for the second, that’s harder. Thousands of Muslims, for instance, would agree with us Jesus wasn’t divine and on other points, but still hold that Jesus existed (plus that God does etc.). Hinduism is also highly malleable to other belief systems I’m told, with many Hindus holding that Jesus was an enlightened man or even incarnation of a god, just not so special as Christians think.

        • Julia Sweeney’s labored exit from religion (strong Catholicism to moderate Christianity to New Age to atheism, plus a few more steps in there) shows how simply rejecting the religion of your upbringing, though important and likely difficult, is just the first step. Often the transition isn’t directly to atheism but to other flavors of religion.

        • I’ve heard that too-it seems common. For me, it was more just changing labels. At first, I called myself “spiritual but not religious” then “agnostic” because “atheist” is so stigmatized. Since then I’ve embraced that, but it’s always been my view really. It just took a long time to accept.

      • Pofarmer

        What’s interesting is how vehemently Christians, and a few non-Christians defend it.

        • Yes, that is odd. Are the mythicists getting too close to a secret?

          I understand that Moses as myth/legend is well accepted. Many events in the Bible didn’t happen as described (Exodus, Flood, Creation). Everyone acknowledges that these are at least discussable. Maybe there are precedents for how this Jesus-as-myth conversation might go.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I understand that Moses as myth/legend is well accepted.

          Not before the 1970’s when archaeology started to support the thesis which had consigned it’s author to academic purgatory as an intellectual pariah. Fortunately it all worked out grand in the end.

          By the opening of the 20th century the stories of the Creation, Noah’s ark, and the Tower of Babel—in short, chapters 1 to 11 of the Book of Genesis—had become subject to greater scrutiny by scholars, and the starting point for biblical history was regarded as the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and the other Hebrew patriarchs. Then in the 1970s, largely through the publication of two books, Thomas L. Thompson’s The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives and John Van Seters’ Abraham in History and Tradition it became widely accepted that the remaining chapters of Genesis were equally non-historical. At the same time, archaeology and comparative sociology convinced most scholars in the field that there was equally little historical basis to the biblical stories of the Exodus and the Israelite conquest of Canaan.

          By the 1980s, the Bible’s stories of the Patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt and Conquest of Canaan were no longer considered historical, but biblical histories continued to use the Bible as a primary source and to take the form of narrative records of political events arranged in chronological order, with the major role played by (largely Judean) kings and other high-status individuals. At the same time, new tools and approaches were being brought to bear on scholars’ knowledge of the past of ancient Canaan, notably new archaeological methods and approaches (for example, this was the age of surface surveys, used to map population changes which are invisible in the biblical narrative), and the social sciences (an important work in this vein was Robert Coote and Keith Whitlam’s The Emergence of Early Israel in Historical Perspective, which used sociological data to argue, in contradiction to the biblical picture, that it was kingship that formed Israel, and not the other way round).

          Then in the 1990s a school of thought emerged from the background of the 1970s and 1980s which held that the entire enterprise of studying ancient Israel and its history was seriously flawed by an over-reliance on the biblical text, which was too problematic (meaning untrustworthy) to be used even selectively as a source for Israel’s past, and that Israel itself was in any case itself a problematic subject. This movement came to be known as biblical minimalism.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_minimalism

        • Perhaps that’s how it’ll go with Jesus studies. On the other hand, maybe Jesus as myth is a bridge too far.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Unless one invests the time to read the literature and relies solely on the consensus to form one’s opinions, it may well be a bridge too far. Such that the consensus here has any merit.

          I fully appreciate the reluctance to invest the limited resources that would be required, in a topic that, at the end of the day, will be irrelevant other than a passing interest.

          It takes an interest above just passing. A passionate golfer isn’t going to spend a day off work fishing, and vice versa, if ya get what am saying?

        • Jim Jones

          Except that “real Jesus” is based on wishful thinking (i.e. religious faith) alone.

        • Pofarmer

          Thomas L Thompson paid pretty heavily for the Moses as myth theory initially. Father Thomas Brody has paid pretty heavily for his Jesus mythicist views. Whether this takes a similar trajectory remains to be seen.

        • Jim Jones

          Remsberg Ch 2.

        • Is that “The Christ Myth” (2007) by John E. Remsberg? I haven’t read that. Do you recommend it?

          https://www.amazon.com/Christ-Myth-Critical-Analysis-Existence/dp/1595479333/

        • Jim Jones

          No, The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of His Existence by John E. Remsburg.

          From about 1909. Still the best starting point for this. His commentary is devastating.

        • Looks like the one I pointed to is just one of several reprintings (it’s beyond copyright protection). I just bought one. Thanks for the tip.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve linked that on this site before….Bob has a lost keep up with. I really can’t imagine the gravity of it all. I only have to deal with my wee bubble.

          Am watching the History Channel here at the mo and the “Ancient Impossible” series, do any of ya watch it?….and are ya familiar with the walrus moustached presenter Dick Strawbridge? He hails from just up the road, but I know him personally. He was a captain at 4 Sqn,. 7 Sig. Regt., when a was there in the mid 80’s …go figure.

        • I’ve never heard of that show. It explores marvelous feats from ancient peoples?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes mate…

          In this next generation of storytelling, Ancient Impossible reveals how many of today’s technological achievements were actually developed centuries ago. Colossal monuments, impossible feats of engineering, and technologies so precise they defy reinvention…The ancient world was far more advanced than we ever imagined. We’ll travel through history to reveal a radically different picture of the past, with innovations so far ahead of their time, they’re still in use today. Now, new science uncovers a lost world more like our own than we ever suspected, and reveals how modern technology has its blueprint in the ancient world.

          https://www.history.co.uk/shows/ancient-impossible

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NicntHN-rBg

        • TheNuszAbides

          The ancient world was far more advanced than we ever imagined

          So to some extent (assuming they lean more serious than sensationalist) on the same page as Carrier’s latest research?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Regarding the science of the Roman Empire? Indeed.

        • David Cromie

          Dick Strawbridge reached the rank of Lt Colonel before leaving the service. He now lives in his French chateau with his wife and two children.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye, anno.

          Like I said, I served with him. He is sometimes known as “Colonel Dick”.

          I’ve followed his rise to stardom. He started his celebrity on “Scrapheap Challenge” as Major Dick. Still serving, he was promoted, thereby attaining the moniker of Colonel Dick.

          He was a solid guy when I knew him.

          When we were out on exercise, he was squadron 2ic, he’d pitch up at our location and hand out “jelly teddies” by way of a morale booster.

          He lived in the Ballyclare area, about 10 miles up the road from here.

        • It’s not surprising for Christians. As for the rest I can’t say with certainty but many view Jesus as a positive figure even if not divine. A fictional character could be that too, but I guess it would be diminished for them. I know criticism of Jesus offends even non-Christians at times, and we get atheists (like Dawkins) praising him or calling themselves “cultural Christians”. That is deeply rooted in the West. After reading the Bible, I’m not very impressed by Jesus. It is clear the one which they endorse exists only in their minds though.

        • Ignorant Amos

          … we get atheists (like Dawkins) praising him…

          Where? Dawkins has an admiration for the KJV of the bible for literary reasons. And iirc an admiration for the charitable message placed into the character of Jesus’s mouth by the authors of the NT, which incidentally are plagiarised from other sources. But I don’t remember him having any praise for Jesus per se. That’s not to say Dawkins hasn’t praised Jesus and ave missed it.

          Dawkins has said, ‘Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist’…which could be taken as praise I suppose.

          I know Dawkins is sympathetic to the mythicist idea…

          “It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all, as has been done by, among others, Professor G. A. Wells of the University of London in a number of books, including Did Jesus Exist?.” ~ The God Delusion , p. 97

        • I don’t think it was more than just the alleged charitable message. He wrote post about this once, years ago, but I can’t find that now. He like most cherry picks which part of the NT Jesus is true.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Seems a bit suspect to me. How can someone who can consider that a character might not even have existed, cherry pick which part of the guy is true?

          Since you and I agree that none of the NT Jesus is true, or even we agree that if any of it is true, it’s only the most mundane details that the secular historians deem true and nothing praiseworthy. What was it I wonder that Dawkins thought praiseworthy?

          No matter, I don’t see it as important to the discussion.

        • I know, it makes little sense. As you said though, he also said Jesus would be an atheist if he were alive now. Of course, that may have been tongue in cheek I realize. Perhaps he is simply taking the words he likes of Jesus as a fictional character? I don’t know, we’d have to ask him. In any case, as you say it doesn’t seem important.

        • Jim Jones

          > He like most cherry picks which part of the NT Jesus is true.

          Parts like there were Romans, Greeks and Jews back then.

        • No, rather parts like what sayings were authentically by Jesus.

        • Jim Jones

          Hahahahahahaha! Actually LOLed!

        • Okay…?

        • Jim Jones

          It’s like asking what sayings were authentically by Jar Jar Binks.

        • I know.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I still think yer a bit confused on this point.

          Unlike the cult of Jesus, the origins of which are not reliably attested, we can see the whole course of events laid out before our eyes (and even here, as we shall see, some details are now lost). It is fascinating to guess that the cult of Christianity almost certainly began in very much the same way, and spread initially at the same high speed. […] John Frum, if he existed at all, did so within living memory. Yet, even for so recent a possibility, it is not certain whether he lived at all. ~Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

          How can someone who doubts the origin of the “cult of Christianity”, hold that anything put into the mouth of a potential, perhaps even probable fictional character, were authentic?

        • I’m not confused, I get your point. You need to ask him that-I can only speculate.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When it’s demonstrated that Dawkins actually believes there are sayings in the NT that were authentically made by Jesus, then there’ll be no need to ask anyone. And no speculation required by any party either.

        • I understand,and admittedly can’t do that. What happened was this: he quoted Jesus from the NT favorably on Twitter. I then cited another verse where Bible Jesus says those who don’t believe in him are damned. Dawkins replied with doubt that Jesus said that. I was like you baffled by this. However, as you have only my word to support this, I don’t expect much. It wasn’t something I saved.

        • Grimlock

          A quick search on Twitter give this tweet that might shed some light on his views (a few years ago)…

          https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/677907171162607616

        • Okay, but that is still problematic in regards to what I related above. However as again I know it’s just anecdotal.

        • Grimlock

          If you say so. I just got curious to see if I could find anything relevant on Twitter, and don’t particularly have much of a stake in what Dawkins thinks about Jesus.

        • I understand, it’s not really a big deal for me either, just puzzling.

        • Never have readen Dawkins, to be fair, but I guess the man referred to following the good bits Christianism has with no supernatural elements (something Fundies dislike, of course). Probably like people who is skeptical but claims to be “cultural Catholic” (I guess it means to respect that traditions when your country is one, not attempting to end with Christmas, the Holy Week, etc)

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I have a certain affinity for the man. “The God Delusion” was my first foray into atheist literature and arguments, the first internet forum I joined was the RDFRS, I’ve most of his books on the shelf, and I’ve met the man when he was on tour with Lawrence Krauss.

          But yes, Dawkins is on record as saying he enjoys the opera, pomp, circumstance, bells and whistles ceremony of the Church of England service. But I don’t think he has any time for the religion itself much, other than criticism.

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/10853648/Richard-Dawkins-I-am-a-secular-Christian.html

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10303223/Richard-Dawkins-admits-he-is-a-cultural-Anglican.html

          Iirc he has said that some of the message of Christianity is worth something, the Golden Rule, love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek, that sort of thing. Though we know that it isn’t unique to Christianity. He has openly stated that without the prose of the KJV of the bible, the English language would be wanting.

          Ecclesiastes, in the 1611 translation, is one of the glories of English literature (I’m told it’s pretty good in the original Hebrew, too). The whole King James Bible is littered with literary allusions, almost as many as Shakespeare (to quote that distinguished authority Anon, the trouble with Hamlet is it’s so full of clichées).
          In The God Delusion I have a section called “Religious education as a part of literary culture” in which I list 129 biblical phrases which any cultivated English speaker will instantly recognise and many use without knowing their provenance: the salt of the earth; go the extra mile; I wash my hands of it; filthy lucre; through a glass darkly; wolf in sheep’s clothing; hide your light under a bushel; no peace for the wicked; how are the mighty fallen.

          Whatever else the Bible might be – and it really is a great work of literature – it is not a moral book and young people need to learn that important fact because they are very frequently told the opposite. The examples I have quoted are the tip of a very large and very nasty iceberg. Not a bad way to find out what’s in a book is to read it, so I say go to it.

          With regards to praising Jesus the person, I just don’t see it…

          In the words of Paul, the inventor of Christianity (or whoever really wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews), “without shedding of blood, there is no remission”.

          https://www.richarddawkins.net/2012/05/why-i-want-all-our-children-to-read-the-king-james-bible-2/

        • I’m rather similar. I often visit historic cathedrals, etc. especially the parts left open for the cults that one can enter for free (I’m not going to pay to visit something that was restored in part with public money, even if I tend to leave a small donation behind) and have no problem with religious celebrations, as they are both an integral part of our culture and bring in money from tourists. Heck, I’ve often ended up in Mass and out of respect for everyone present there and to even enjoy rituals honed for centuries have stayed there until its end even if my mind is probably wandering elsewhere.

          That’s where things end. I’m fully aware those good bits of Christianism are not exclusive to it -there were Pagan deities associated with those concepts, even if their prominence was another topic, for example- and are result of us being social animals, the scandals and the dark side of the history of the RCC probably outweight the countless works of art it sponsored, their help of poor people, etc.

          Not to mention both their Fundies and especially Fundagelicals, who in some regards are even worse (science denialism, threats of eternal damnation to pretty much everyone who does not follow Jesus despite being the kindest people in existence, them claiming not to practice a religion, lack of respect to other faiths, and much more).

        • I also enjoy visiting impressive church buildings.

        • Though Robert M. Price doesn’t go to church anymore, he said that for a while, as an atheist, he attended Episcopal (IIRC) services. His point was that it’d be awesome if you could go back in time to attend worship services during ancient Roman times (or Greek or Egyptian or anywhere). That’s what he was doing attending Christian services.

          Doesn’t resonate with me, but that’s one example.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep…I read that myself on his blog biography.

          Now, back in North Carolina, he attends the Episcopal Church and keeps his mouth shut.

          http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/bio.htm

        • TheNuszAbides

          through a glass darkly

          something new every day! Cheers.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • TheNuszAbides

          JC as mere mortal genius cynical manipulator of the flock? That’d sure be a bitter pill for most to swallow 😉

        • TheNuszAbides

          It is clear the one which they endorse exists only in their minds though

          Embellished, whitewashed, etc. for sure – even assuming (if only for the sake of argument) any substantive ‘historical core’ …

        • Yeah, he’s like a Rorschach blot. Not surprising.

    • ThaneOfDrones

      The one and only point where I think there IS something like consensus among even most of the critical scholars, even those who aren’t Christians, would be the historicity of Jesus… I am saying that whether we like it or not, that one point IS held widely enough to warrant considering it a “consensus” among those with
      the credentials…

      This is where I vigorously disagree with you. Yes, there is such a consensus. But what evidence is there to back up this consensus opinion?

      Imagine yourself back in the 13th century. Some crank tries to claim the earth is flat. The scholars laugh at him. “Silly man, there is plentiful evidence that the earth is not flat, and we can produce the evidence that this is so: sails disappearing on the horizon, etc. etc. etc. All of us scholars are in agreement on this. Also, we all agree that the sun orbits the Earth. We are experts, so you should just accept our opinions on this.”

      • Chris Jones

        Well, again, I wasn’t arguing whether they are actually RIGHT or not. I was disagreeing with the notion that there isn’t a consensus on that particular point. There is. I even pointed out “whether we like it or not”, that consensus exists. That was my point, and you are very welcome to the disagree with the entire slate of scholars. Have at it. Let’s just not pretend there is no consensus on the matter.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          I think I made my point about evidence-backed consensus and non-evidence-backed consensus clear enough. If you want to stand up for the latter, I do not have your back.

        • Chris Jones

          Once again, you’ve ignored what I’ve written. I’ve backed nothing. I’ve expressed no opinion other than that there is a consensus. I specifically said I’m not arguing whether that consensus is right or wrong. There is a consensus. Period. It might be wrong. It might be right. It might have no evidence. It might have evidence. I don’t care. I didn’t take any position on any of those matters. There is exactly one point I’ve made here: There is a consensus. Period. Nothing more, nothing less. Please understand what I’m saying.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          Are you saying there is a consensus?

    • That automatically excludes the large number of evangelicals / apologists whose positions are largely driven by a commitment to inerrancy which I firmly suggest should automatically invalidate their “conclusions”

      The problem here is that the evangelicals that you are excluding will claim that this is special pleading on your part. You just don’t like what they’re saying, so you dismiss them. You’re biased.

      I’m in sympathy with were you’re going, of course, but if you focus on doctrinal statements, as I suggest in the post, you’re able to use their own words to convict and exclude them.

      • Chris Jones

        Upon re-reading, I’m not sure that we’re saying anything significantly different. I used the term “critical scholars” as more or less equivalent to “those not bound by doctrinal statements” and your approach to addressing that is agreeable to me. I think we’re still likely up against a brick wall, that is, in a situation that would be much like having a conversation with one. The apologists in my own interaction have often insisted that following the evidence is precisely what led them to understanding the “truth” of those doctrinal statements. All of us here are well aware that this is nonsense. There is always a conflict between their story (evidence –> conclusion of religion’s truth) and reality (predetermined conclusion –> selection and interpretation of evidence) and personally I have never been successful at getting one to admit the latter, though the closest one will get to admitting it is to try redirecting or projecting the claim that we all start with our conclusions and work backward, which is sometimes said in terms of “we all make assumptions”. I didn’t mean to give the impression that I was disagreeing with your essay in any meaningful way. I actually don’t.

        • In the post in which I respond to WLC’s comments about doctrinal statements, that’s what he says–that he independently came to the beliefs in a doctrinal statement, so he’s compromising nothing by signing. But of course he’s prohibited any change in his views. He’s committed to the conclusion before he’s started, and he’s publicly proclaimed that he will state those conclusions regardless of what evidence he finds.

          I’m sure that no evangelical scholar, reading this argument, would do anything but tap dance in the way that WLC has. But that wasn’t the point of the post. Rather, it was to give freethinkers a simple argument that logically shuts the evangelicals out of the “scholarly consensus.”

          Yes, I think we’re on the same page.

        • Jim Jones

          Rather, it was to give freethinkers a simple argument that logically shuts the evangelicals out of the “scholarly consensus.”

          I like to ask apologists what year Jesus was born and what year he died.

          This is followed by an exhibition of dancing that would make a Russian applaud.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBqlfKtqTgc

      • Jim Jones

        Another proof that the Christ of Christianity is a fabulous and not a historical character is the silence of the writers who lived during and immediately following the time he is said to have existed.

        That a man named Jesus, an obscure religious teacher, the basis of this fabulous Christ, lived in Palestine about nineteen hundred years ago, may be true. But of this man we know nothing. His biography has not been written. E. Renan and others have attempted to write it, but have failed—have failed because no materials for such a work exist. Contemporary writers have left us not one word concerning him. For generations afterward, outside of a few theological epistles, we find no mention of him.

    • Pofarmer

      So, it’s at least an interesting question. What other historical person has a “consensus” that they exsisted, but an absolutely zero consensus on anything they did? Robert M. Price, I beleive, has catalogued this.

    • Jim Jones

      IMO, there’s zero evidence of a ‘real’ Jesus. He’s the Slender Man of the 1st Century.

      The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of His Existence

      Read Chapter 2.

    • Luka

      You can still count the amount of critical scholars who are Christ-mythers on one hand

      • Ignorant Amos

        Which was the case with Biblical minimalism in the 1970’s…now much of the academy mainstream holds to Biblical minimalism.

        Slightly more than one hand btw.

        • Luka

          It’s the case now. I don’t think you know what biblical minimalism is, nor much about biblical scholarship in general.

          Nope, one hand. Most of the big proponents are not bible scholars but Atheist Activists with an agenda — of course most Atheists on the internet don’t know much about how history works and are thus unable to tell who’s a reliable source of information and who is not. Mythicism – much like it’s fundagelical counterpart, YEC – only manages to convince those who wanna be convinced.

          https://historyforatheists.com/jesus-mythicism/

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope, one hand.

          Here’s seven…

          Robert M. Price, Thomas L. Thompson, Thomas L. Brodie, Raphael Lataster, Hector Avalos, R. Joseph Hoffmann, Tom Harpur.

          Most of the big proponents are not bible scholars but Atheist Activists with an agenda…

          There’s the weaseling goalpost shifting right there.

          What’s the agenda?

          — of course most Atheists on the internet don’t know much about how history works and are thus unable to tell who’s a reliable source of information and who is not.

          Except the ones that have studied history. Or the ones who’ve compared the best arguments on both sides and found one side wanting. Or the ones who’ve read that when it comes to new testament studies, normal historicity methods get thrown out the window. Something even New Testament scholars are themselves having to acknowledge and come to terms with.

          “Donald Akenson, Professor of Irish Studies in the department of history at Queen’s University has argued that, with very few exceptions, the historians of Yeshua have not followed sound historical practices. He has stated that there is an unhealthy reliance on consensus, for propositions which should otherwise be based on primary sources, or rigorous interpretation. He also holds that some of the criteria being used are faulty.

          He says that the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars are employed in institutions whose roots are in religious beliefs. Because
          of this, he maintains that, more than any other group in present day academia, biblical historians are under immense pressure to theologize their historical work and that it is only through considerable individual heroism that many biblical historians have managed to maintain the scholarly integrity of their work.”

          I think those with doctorates in history know history works, not something Tim O’Neill holds by the way.

          Mythicism – much like it’s fundagelical counterpart, YEC – only manages to convince those who wanna be convinced.

          Apart from a ridiculously false analogy, if anything, it is the other way about. Historicists are believing on the scantist of evidence, and to date, no one has presented a solid defence.

          Convincing those who want to be convinced is patently nonsense. You only have to read how, probably the most vociferous JMer out there, Richard Carrier, came to his position, in order to know you are talking ballix.

          An atheist who doubts the existence of an historical Jesus has nothing to gain from that position. The supernatural godman Jesus of the NT is definitely a myth., regardless. My atheism remains intact either way.

        • Pofarmer

          Don’t waste time linking to O’neil. He’s a hiring manager at a mid level college with a degree in midevil literature. But he says what you want to hear.

        • Luka

          Still more than what you and Bob have.
          But yeah, Christ-myther proponents totally don’t tell their impressionable, deeply uncritical followers what they wanna hear…..

        • Ignorant Amos

          You think Bob is a Christ Myther?

          O’Neill has been here and was put in his box. He has also been engaged elsewhere, and been put in his box there too.

        • Luka

          Saying something doesn’t make it true. Let’s see your evidence.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Saying something doesn’t make it true.

          Correct. Advice you should try and take on board yerself.

          Let’s see your evidence.

          Evidence of what?

          Bob not being a myther?

          Ask him, or any of the regulars here.

          Or evidence of O’Neill having been here and elsewhere and had his arse handed to him?

          You could go to the archives, or ask Bob when and where he give him the boot, or ask the regulars who were here at the time, or go to Outshine the Sun and search the archives there, or ask the site owner, Andrew, when he gave him the arsecrank the shove. Or ask the regulars who were there at the time. Or read his fuckwittery getting taken apart on sites like Vridar,

          https://vridar.org/?s=%22Tim+O%E2%80%99Neill%22

          Frankly, I really don’t care enough to do the work for you.

          I can link you to where the arrogant amateur prick tries to refute the challenges to his TF fuckwittery by Ken Olson on the authenticity of the TF, ya know Ken Olson, an actual scholar who has peer reviewed scholarly papers published in academic journals on the subject. The sort that gives you and O’Neill a hardon, unless they disagree of course.

          https://strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-2-of-2/#comment-1426802545

          But to parrot Carrier on the TF…

          The Josephus Testimonium: Let’s Just Admit It’s Fake Already

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/7437

        • Luka

          Lol Vridar, grandpa Godfrey’s treehouse club. Too bad Olson couldn’t refute him, with all his peer-review.
          You citing crackpot-Carrier is one of the many reasons l can’t take you seriously: https://historyforatheists.com/2016/07/richard-carrier-is-displeased/

        • Ignorant Amos

          Still here then engaging… ya lying piece of shite.

        • Your clairvoyance is failing. I have no use for the “Jesus was a myth” argument.

        • You make it sound like the historical Jesus is a straightforward case. I’m surprised then that you don’t just tick off the facts that make it so compelling.

      • David Cromie

        Since when was any theologian equipped with the faculty for critical thinking, and still claim to be a ‘true’ christer, and not an atheist, since religious indoctrination wipes it out?

        The one thing assumed by all theologians is that their supposed ‘god’ actually exists, and that is the very thing that they need to prove ab initio.

        • Luka

          Your tribalism is showing. Please demonstrate your critical thinking faculties, if you have any. Else, I can’t take you seriously.

          Idk many serious theologians that seriously believes in gods. They mostly believe in God.

        • David Cromie

          “Your tribalism is showing”. ???

          Where is this supposed ‘god’ of theologians fully authenticated, beyond peradventure?

      • Greg G.

        How many of those critical scholars arrived at the conclusion that Jesus was historical as a critical scholar rather than as a prepubescent child?

        How many of those critical scholars are independently wealthy enough to be able to express their doubts about Jesus’ historicity? We know there are many preachers who have become atheists who cannot afford to quit because of their skills and education are not marketable in very many other skills.

        • Luka

          Just as YECs claim that the consensus of evolutionary biologists don’t count for much

        • Greg G.

          Jesus mythicists embrace the evidence. Jesus historicists rely on imaginary evidence.

          Ehrman listed 7 pieces of evidence for Jesus:
          Mark
          Q
          Matthew’s independent source
          Luke’s independent source
          Signs narrative
          Passion narrative ?
          Proto-Thomas
          (Off the top of my head, not sure of the passion narrative and not getting out of bed to look it up.)

          We actually have one of those. The others were contrived under the assumption that Jesus existed and the other sources were about him.

        • Luka

          “Jesus mythicists embrace the evidence. Jesus historicists rely on imaginary evidence”, projection is not an argument. But thanks for the laugh. “Flat-earthers embrace the evidence. Round-earthers rely on whatever NASA conspirators tell them”, has the same effect.

          More than that, but still more evidence than we have of any individual Jew at that time. If you were educated in how ancient history works, you would know this. You can’t get more contrived than hallucinations of a celestial archangel-like being born out of cosmic sperm bank and being crucified by demons in outer space (where people eat, drink, have flesh-and-blood siblings, etc.) where he was buried and rose from the dead because…just because.

        • Greg G.

          “Jesus mythicists embrace the evidence. Jesus historicists rely on imaginary evidence”, projection is not an argument. But thanks for the laugh. “Flat-earthers embrace the evidence. Round-earthers rely on whatever NASA conspirators tell them”, has the same effect.

          You laugh but a better argument would be to present the evidence.

          More than that, but still more evidence than we have of any individual Jew at that time. If you were educated in how ancient history works, you would know this.

          Except for Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa I, Herod Agrippa II, Berenice (daughter of Herod Agrippa I), Herod Antipas, Herod Archelaus, Herod I, Philip the Tetrarch (aka Herod Philip II), Salome (not mentioned by name in NT), Josephus, and Gamaliel the Elder. All but Josephus are mentioned in the New Testament and we have archaeological evidence for all but Josephus and Gamaliel. We have writings from Josephus. Gamaliel is mentioned in the Talmud. IIRC, there is a Jesus mentioned in the Talmud but from the wrong century, showing that the Jews had no idea who the Christians were talking about.

          Some of the Pauline Epistles appear to be written by the same person so I accept the author as real. The way he refers to Cephas/Peter, James, and John leads me to believe that he was referring to real people, though not the caricatures of them in the gospels. I think the Epistle of James was a response to Galatians, and that Paul made some responses to that epistle in Romans and 1 Corinthians, so I accept that the Epistle of James was written by the James whom Paul mentioned.

          But Paul does not talk about Jesus as a recent person. Everything he says about Jesus can be found in the Old Testament, as if Paul thought of Jesus as “the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings…” The proto-Christians were Jews who were anticipating the coming of the Messiah but were reading the Suffering Servant of Isaiah as an actual person whose existence “was kept secret for long ages.”

          The Gospel of Mark has Aramaicisms, that are nearly always explained, and Latinisms, which are never explained., which tells us that Mark wrote for Romans, not Palestinians and Jews. Mark borrows from the most popular literature of the day to create the narrative for various events. I expect that people who were familiar with that literature but seeing gMark for the first time would recognize Mark’s method and recognize it as a fictional story.

        • epeeist

          a better argument would be to present the evidence.

          Not going to happen is it. Have we ever seen the anti-mythicists do anything but vilify the messengers, and Carrier in particular. It is almost as though they don’t have a counter-argument.

          Incidentally, I have already asked Luka whether he thinks the existence of Jesus is certain. He hasn’t responded.

        • Luka

          When evidence is presented, it’s always explained away in an often-contrived manner. This is why rational discourse is impossible with conspiracy theorists.
          “Villify the messengers”, just giving back what is given.
          It’s as certain as most other figures in the ancient world. Sorry if l don’t have time to respond to every single person on here who says something. Most people on here may not have a life but l do

        • Tip: less time mocking atheists; more time delivering a thoughtful argument.

        • epeeist

          When evidence is presented, it’s always explained away in an often-contrived manner.

          Given that you haven’t actually presented any evidence then that is somewhat of a supposition.

          “Villify the messengers”, just giving back what is given.

          It seems to be all you have got.

          It’s as certain as most other figures in the ancient world.

          So would that be more or less certain than those for whom we have multiple attestations? More or less certain than those for whom we have their works? More or less certain than those who have buildings or cities named after them? More or less certain than those who we have coinage, statues and paintings? More or less certain than those for whom other archaeological evidence exists?

        • Luka

          I did, you chose to ignore it. https://historyforatheists.com/category/jesus-mythicism/
          If giving back what is given is all l got, it’s in response to all that is given, with no evidence to the contrary

        • epeeist

          I did, you chose to ignore it. https://historyforatheists….

          I’m sorry, I was expecting something from, you know, an actual historian.

          I see you have chosen to ignore the questions that I put to you, why is that I wonder?

        • Luka

          Tim has a degree in Medieval studies and had been immersed in the Jesus topic since the 80s. Objectively a better historian than crackpot-Carrier, that’s for sure.
          I answered them, you didn’t like my answers. Wonder why

        • epeeist

          Tim has a degree in Medieval studies

          No, he has a degree in medieval literature. Let’s try for some accuracy shall we.

          I answered them, you didn’t like my answers.

          No, actually you didn’t. I asked you whether the existence of Jesus was more or less likely than those for whom we have various pieces of auxiliary information, you avoided answering.

        • Luka

          We have as much evidence as we would expect for a first century Jewish preacher in the ghetto of the Roman Empire

        • epeeist

          Which, yet again, avoids the questions I put to you.

        • Luka

          Which l linked. And the refutations to predictable objections of such

        • epeeist

          Which l linked.

          The only think you linked to in this set of posts is to an O’Neill article on Jesus mythicism.

          This being so, I will repeat the questions I asked:

          So would that be more or less certain than those for whom we have multiple attestations? More or less certain than those for whom we have their works? More or less certain than those who have buildings or cities named after them? More or less certain than those who we have coinage, statues and paintings? More or less certain than those for whom other archaeological evidence exists?

        • Pofarmer

          I think we have a sock here.

        • BlackMamba44

          I agree. I don’t comment here often, but I read a lot and something’s very, very familiar about this one.

        • epeeist

          I think we have a sock here.

          Agreed, but bear with me for the moment.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, by all means carry on. d;0}

        • epeeist

          Well it doesn’t look as though he is coming back.

          What I was trying to do was to get him to admit that the probability of Jesus existing was less than that of someone like Alexander the Great for whose existence we have a great deal of evidence. Yeah, I know, fat chance.

          From there I was going to point out that what he was accepting was that additional evidence can improve the probability that someone exists. In other words, we start from an initial prior probability and as evidence accrues we increase the posterior probability.

          This would have allowed me to classify him as a Bayesian…

        • MR

          Tim…, er, Luka isn’t going to fall for that trap.

        • epeeist

          Tim…, er, Luka isn’t going to fall for that trap.

          Well yes, he avoided the heffalump trap by running away and resurrecting as a sock.

        • Ignorant Amos

          This would have allowed me to classify him as a Bayesian…

          That was never gonna happen.

        • Pofarmer

          Off to Croydon, I suppose.

        • Greg G.

          Luka changed socks but still has the same name. Probably has a different email address he forgot the password for.

        • Greg G.

          The dude is using two accounts. The one in this thread is @disqus_DGD8WYmKfH and no longer has an avatar. But @disqus_xCXBp7mHVK has been active in recent days and recent hours. He is a trolling sock puppeteer.

        • epeeist

          Oh, what a surprise, a liar for Jesus..

        • MR

          Probably not liar for Jesus so much as here to promote traffic to his website and feed his ego. He’ll happily school atheist and believer alike.

        • Agreed–there’s little evidence for Jesus. Why believe the crazy tales told about him then?

        • BlackMamba44

          No, he has a degree in medieval literature

          He was corrected on this four days ago. He’s a liar.

        • epeeist

          He was corrected on this four days ago. He’s a liar.

          Doubly so, not only has he tried to up O’Neill’s qualifications but at the same time he has attempted to do the reverse with Carrier’s.

        • Pofarmer

          He’s just gotten their qualifications completely wrong.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What do you expect when the prick is so immersed in O’Neill world?

          A reply by O’Neilll to a fuckwit commenter who decried Carrier’s qualifications to write his book on Roman science…the subject of his PhD dissertation ffs…

          “Actually, given his thesis topic, Roman science is probably one of the few things he pontificates about that he is qualified to write about.” ~ Tim O’Neill, unqualified and unpublished amateur blogger

          https://historyforatheists.com/2018/02/jesus-mythicism-2-james-the-brother-of-the-lord/#comment-1621

          The subject came up when another commenter raised the subject with this comment…

          “While I am certainly not near as much of an expert in this field of historical study as you are Tim. I can probably say that Carrier is wrong in this main thesis. For example, just from this preview alone he tries to argue that science in the Roman Empire was NOT in decline before the rise of Christianity as the official religion. But he ignores the a very key and simple fact that it was the Romans who banned Human dissection in the year 150 B.C. when they invaded ancient Greece.”

          Now the emphasised bit could be said to be a loada ballix. No such law seems to have existed.

          https://camws.org/sites/default/files/meeting2018/abstracts/249.CadaverDissectionRomanLaw.pdf

          There is a difference between publically frowned upon and being made illegal.

          The discovery of the body: human dissection and its cultural contexts in ancient Greece.

          According to Celsus, the first-century Latin encyclopedist who is a major source for Hellenistic medicine, the “Rationalists” justified human dissection and vivisection by claiming that both “hidden” and “evident” causes of diseases must be known, as must the “natural activities” of the internal parts, if one is to treat patients effectively. Celsus then adds:

          “Moreover, since both pains and various types of diseases arise in the intemal parts, they [scil. the “Rationalists”] think that no one who is ignorant of these parts can apply remedies to them. It therefore is necessary to dissect the bodies of the dead and to examine their viscera and intestines. Herophilus and Erasistratus, they say, did this in the best way by far when they cut open people who were alive, criminals out of prison, received from kings. And while breath still remained in these criminals, they inspected those parts which nature previously had concealed, also their position, color, shape, size, arrangement, hardness, softness, smoothness, connection, and the projections and depressions of each, and whether anything is inserted into another thing or receives a part of another into itself. For, they say, when pain occurs intemally, it is impossible for one who has not learned in which part each internal organ or intestine lies, to know what hurts the patient. Nor can that part which is ill be treated by one who does not know what it is. And when a person’s viscera are exposed by a wound, one who does not know the color of an [internal] part in its healthy state, cannot recognize which part is intact and which damaged; thus he cannot even come to the aid of the damaged parts. Extemal remedies also can be applied more suitably by people acquainted with the positions, shapes, and size of the intemal parts…. Nor is it cruel, as most people maintain, that remedies for innocent people of all times should be sought in the sacrifice of people guilty of crimes, and of only a few such people at that.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2589595/

          Why would Carrier mention a 150 BCE Roman law from a dubious source, that can’t be demonstrated to have existed?

          Does O’Neill correct this error? Nope. He is more interested in relishing in the put down of Carrier from his minions and calling him a hack.

        • What’s O’Neill’s deal? I support the attitude, “C’mon, guys, we’re the atheists; we need to avoid stupid mistakes; let’s bring our A game.” But he seems more to delight in mocking atheists and pointing out how ridiculous they are.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep…that’s his game.

          He has a pop at atheists right, left, and centre.

          Which is okay. But he thinks he is never wrong about anything. Which is ballix.

        • Ignorant Amos

          … and had been immersed in the Jesus topic since the 80s.

          And you know that how exactly?

          Objectively a better historian than crackpot-Carrier, that’s for sure.

          Wise ta fuck up, ya Dime Bar.

        • Rudy R

          You keep referring to the https://historyforatheists.com/category/jesus-mythicism/ but it doesn’t refute mythicism. Just like the Christian apologists goal, it’s not intended for an atheist audience, because it IS so unconvincing to anyone other than a Christian. Pick the strongest point the OP is making and we can debate that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You keep referring to the https://historyforatheists…. but it doesn’t refute mythicism.

          That’s the poor sod’s major malfunction. He fails to realise that point.

          O’Neill’s articles are just offering the old alternative hypotheses.

          Pick the strongest point the OP is making and we can debate that.

          Never gonna happen. He hasn’t got the acumen or the minerals for it.

          Luka knows he’d get tore a new one. That’s why he has to weasel, obfuscate, fallaciously engage, and ignore.

        • Pofarmer

          Too often, like on the Josephus passages, O’neil falls prey to Apologists masquerading as scholars.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And his problem is, that because the latest mainstream scholarship in the field, also agrees with Carrier, he just can’t bring himself to admit that he, like those that he sides with, have been wrong.

          Even when Carrier cites those scholars, their work, and reasoned arguments.

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/7437

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/12071

          Carrier points out the problems with relying on apologists and internet amateurs in his critique here…

          It is clear here that McDaniel is either relying on internet amateurs or Christian apologists who didn’t check their facts, rather than the latest peer reviewed and expert literature from bona fide scholars who have actually studied this question in Josephus; or else he is not checking their latest work.

          Carrier even suspects the source of the amateurishness.

          Worse, the “Josephus would never do that” argument is refuted by numerous examples of Josephus in fact doing that. I strongly suspect McDaniel foolishly trusted that crank amateur liar Tim O’Neill, without checking my responses exposing O’Neill’s lies and errors, including regarding this very point. For someone who rails against the reliability of internet amateurs, to then rely himself on internet amateurs is just an embarrassing hypocrisy. That’s not going to get you into grad school. Do better. Please.

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/15563#josephus

        • Luka

          I laugh because you argue the same way. When l present evidenc, you’ll just find some contrived way of explaining it away as they do. Which is why l typically refrain from engaging with nutty Christ-mythers as l used to (can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into).
          Here goes nothing, most of your objections are already taken care of: https://historyforatheists.com/category/jesus-mythicism/

          I’m surprised you know about them. Let me rephrase; more evidence than any individual Jewish preacher. If Jesus never walked the earth, neither did the many others.

          As for the Talmud and similar lines: https://youtu.be/WLSy78weGyA

          It’s the academic consensus is that the gospels are in the genre of Greco-Roman biographies, “fiction” isn’t part of the equation. That would be mythologized history (Not historicized myth as crackpocrackpot-Carrier suggests).

        • Greg G.

          Here goes nothing, most of your objections are already taken care of: https://historyforatheists.com/category/jesus-mythicism/

          It barely touches my arguments. The “NO CONTEMPORARY REFERENCES TO JESUS” article starts off admitting that it is true with “Unfortunately this naïve argument is based on an ignorance of the nature of ancient source material and of how an argument from silence is sustained.”

          The “JAMES, THE BROTHER OF THE LORD”JAMES, THE BROTHER OF THE LORD” doesn’t address my argument that when Paul refers to someone as a brother of the Lord, he is using sarcasm to say that they do things the Lord is supposed to do. In Galatians 1:1, Paul goes off-script saying that he goes where the Lord sends him but in Galatians 2:12, he points out that James sends people places, like he does what the Lord does to him. Both the Galatians 1:18 and the 1 Corinthians 9:5 use of that sarcasm is in conjunction with the complaint of people using human authority instead of getting it from the Lord, which turns out to mean through the scriptures.

          The video was mostly about a part of the Talmud from 90 AD, which is a generation too late for it to be a contemporary source, especially with it being after the destruction of Jerusalem. It sounds as if it was drawing from the Gospel of Mark, which identifies Jesus’ mother as “Mary” but never mentions his father. Perhaps the Gospel of John is a response to that part of the Talmud as it mentions Jesus’ mother twice but not by name though the names of four women are given and three are named Mary, including the sister of Jesus’ mother, but it does give the name of Jesus’ father. I have wondered about why gJohn was like that and the video provides a possible explanation.

          As to the Talmud never saying Jesus never existed, they wouldn’t have any idea whether a fictional person existed. But 2 Peter 1:16 gives a hint that someone was saying that those Christians were following a myth, as it would be an odd thing to deny if nobody was saying it. The next two verses offer their proof by citing one of the most obvious myths, that is, Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration.

          The basis of the academic consensus is the consensus itself, not on evidence.

          From Did Jesus Exist as Part One:

          Odd as it may seem, no scholar of the New Testament has ever thought to put together a sustained argument that Jesus must have lived. To my knowledge, I was the first to try it, and it was a very interesting intellectual exercise.    –Bart Ehrman

          Apparenty, there have been some sustained arguments, three from over 75 years before Ehrman wrote and two more recent that must not have made much of a splash:

          1 S. J. Case, The Historicity of Jesus (Chicago, 1912)
          2, F. C. Conybeare, The Historical Christ (London, 1914)
          3. Maurice Goguel, Jesus the Nazarene, Myth or History (London 1928; rpt. Amherst, 2008)
          4. R. T. France, The Evidence for Jesus (London, 1986)
          5. Morton Smith, “The Historical Jesus,” in Jesus in History and Myth, ed. R.J. Hoffman and G.A Larue (Amherst, 1986)

          I read the Conybeare book. I found:

          We have in them at least six monuments — to wit, Mark, the non-Marcan document, the parts of the First and Third Gospels peculiar to their authors, the Fourth Gospel, and the history of Paul and his mission given in chapters xiii to xxviii of Acts.[My transcription]

          Ehrman came up with mostly the same evidence as Conybeare. Both have Mark, Q, M,. and L. Where Conybeare cites John and Acts, Ehrman cites the sayings source, the passion narratives, and protoThomas. Tom Dykstra discusses Ehrman’s argument and even gets into Paul’s story in Acts, though not addressing Conybeare at http://ocabs.org/journal/index.php/jocabs/article/viewFile/80/47

        • When l present evidenc, you’ll just find some contrived way of explaining it away as they do.

          Is that why you don’t provide evidence? I feel silly now–I assumed it was because you didn’t have any.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You,re stupid.

        • Rudy R

          …If Jesus never walked the earth, neither did the many others.

          OK, the others never walked the earth. How again does that strengthen the evidence that Jesus walked the earth?

        • Luka

          His existence isn’t even up for debate in academic circles, so there’s no “strengthening” or “weakening” about it. Just pointing out the logic; we have less evidence for any other Jewish preacher in the ghetto of the Roman Empire at that time. Objections to his existence alone is entirely ideological, not rational

        • So you say an ordinary dude lived 2000 years ago in Palestine. Granted.

          Are you going anywhere with this?

        • Rudy R

          The Christian academic circles don’t debate Jesus’ existence, which is no surprise. There is ever growing credible scholarship that is challenging the longstanding paradigm that the Jesus of the Bible walked the earth. Most laymen are surprisingly finding out that the certainty that a Jesus existed is based on a failure in historical methodology, one that doesn’t employ probability theory.

        • Luka

          Forget the Christian scholars, you still have consensus with atheist scholars, agnostic scholars, Jewish scholars, etc. yet laymen with a bias against Christianity contest this historical fact on purely ideological grounds.
          “Ever growing credible scholarship”, most conspiracy theorists say that about their favored crackpot theory.
          Christ-mythers (who are usually uneducated in historical methodology and probability measures around it, having to rely solely on what fringe scholars who promote this failed thesis say, given that they’re unable to tell who’s a reliable source of information and who is not — mythicism is emotionally appealing to anti-Christian nutjobs in particular so most of you swallow it up uncritically) have been saying this for 20 years and you can still count the number of credible scholars who endorse this fringe theory that Yeshua ben Yosef ve Miryam didn’t exist, on one hand. Using the standards Christ-mythers use for Yeshua and concluding he never walked the earth, we can conclude the same for 98% of ancient historical figures. That’s obviously ridiculous and the fact that Christ-mythers don’t try this for other historical figures who have even less evidence (we have as much as we would expect for a first century Jewish preacher in the first century), reveals that like YEC and the flat earth theory, this is an entirely emotional and ideological thing, not a rational one.

        • purely ideological grounds.

          Hmm. Good point. There’s no chance that a disagreement with “scholars” who are unable to follow the evidence could be on any other grounds.

          I do wonder, though, why all the attacks. Just provide evidence showing that the Christ myth theory is flawed.

        • Luka

          I have. It’s been ignored and/or dismissed

        • If you did, I’m sure it got lost in your blizzard of “you’re so dumb” comments. Maybe try again.

        • I was surprised that you had an up-vote, but then I saw that it was some dude named “Luka.”

          Well, good for you. It’s a marketplace of ideas, and if you’ve got fans, then that’s great.

        • Rudy R

          First, it’s predictable you would assume I’m a Jesus mythicist. I’m agnostic on the historicity. And it’s very telling that your position is rooted in an ideology and not on the veracity of evidence when you use the term Christ myther. It’s akin of those against abortion labeling those who are pro-choice as abortionists. And who exactly are these atheist, agnostic and Jewish scholars that support the Jesus historicity? Don’t bother including Ehrman. He’s very good at collecting evidence but lacking in drawing conclusions. And he’s a proponent of the Q hypothesis, but funny thing is, there is no textual evidence of Q. Ehrman is nothing more than the Christian historian’s poster child to rebuke mythicism.

        • Luka

          That’s like being agnostic on evolution but ok.
          Ehrman is an actual scholar with more credentials than any myther proponent combined. Funny how both fundagelicals and Christ-mythers hate him.
          All of them as far agnostic and Jewish bible scholars go. Only a few atheist [fringe] bible scholars are mythers. Price being the only one worth a damn. Avalos is occasionally brought up but he’s “agnostic” about it (and has a chip on his shoulder).

        • Rudy R

          And who exactly are these atheist, agnostic and Jewish scholars that support the Jesus historicity?

        • Luka

          All of them, save for a few – at the most – Atheist scholars with an agenda (save for Price, who isn’t really agenda-driven)

        • Rudy R

          Wow, “all of them” is a long and prestigious list.

        • Luka

          Sure is. But I’ll name a few; Maurice Casey (now passed), Paula Fredrikson, Geza Vermes, Hyam Maccaboy, Francesca Stavrakopoulou, E.P. Sanders

        • Rudy R

          Paula Fredriksen was a Catholic who converted to Judaism. Not exactly unbiased and her scholarship shows. She claims the Jesus crucifixion is fact based on Paul’s letters, the gospels, and Josephus’ histories. Fact? Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the crucifixion would know that it shouldn’t be considered a fact. Paul never claims to have met Jesus. Gospels? Those stories written by unknown authors that were not witnesses and written decades after the supposed events? And do I really need to point out the flaws of relying on Josephus? Paula just parrots the group think that is easily refuted.

        • Luka

          Christ-mythers aren’t unbiased either. You’re just as biased as fundagelicals. Especially crackpot-Carrier.
          It is a fact based on them, and others such as Tacitus, Pliny, and several others. Unless we’re gonna go take the contrived idea of an imaginary crucifixion by demons in outer space (and there was a conspiracy to cover up this supposed proto-Christianity that Jews and Romans never exploited when they had every chance to) seriously.
          How many ancient historical events can you count that were written less than that amount of time? I really don’t think you know how ancient history works.
          What other issues do you have with Josephus, l wonder? https://historyforatheists.com/2018/02/jesus-mythicism-2-james-the-brother-of-the-lord/
          The groupthink that parrots “muh interpolation!” for every single reference of a clearly-human Yeshua (that we wouldn’t dismiss for any other historical figure) is easily refuted

        • Rudy R

          Tacitus, Pliny, and several others? were not contemporaries during Jesus time and only got there information from oral tradition. We know also that the human memory is very unreliable, You are really pulling out all the failed extra-Biblical sources for Jesus’ existence. Most reputable scholars agree of Josephus’ interpolations, so he is murky at best for evidence. I know the problem with ancient history: the bar of evidence is set very low because without the low expectation, we would have to suspend belief. If we know anything about humans and theists specifically, not having answers is intolerable. Incidentally, have you read any of Carrier’s books?

        • Luka

          98% of ancient historical figures lived more than several decades from when they were mentioned.
          Your failed objections have been refuted: https://historyforatheists.com/2017/09/jesus-mythicism-1-the-tacitus-reference-to-jesus/
          hey agree on the partial-interpolation out of the two mentions. They unanimously agree that the mention of his brother James is authentic.
          You clearly don’t. But ok, are you gonna be consistent and suspend judgement for the existence of Gilgamesh, Queen Dito, Lao Tse, Sun Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, Alexander, Hannibal, Qin Shi Huang, Spartacus, Queen Himiko, Catherine of Alexandria, Ambrosius Aurelianus, Muhammad, Ragnar the Viking, and all but 2% of ancient historical figures?
          I regrettably read OtHoJ. It’s such a badly written piece of revisionist history. Have you read any of David Irving’s books? Zechariah Sitchin? Ken Ham?

        • Rudy R

          Ken Ham? Are you fucking serious?

        • Luka

          That’s my reaction whenever somebody brings up Carrier, as if he’s of any relevance to anything ever. So l replied with fellow crackpot conspiracy theorists; a holocaust denier, an ancient aliens proponent, and the leading YEC kook. Although the latter and Carrier aren’t that much different:
          http://www.joeledmundanderson.com/richard-carrier-and-the-mythical-jesus-part-4-mythical-carriers-and-ark-encounters-how-richard-carrier-and-ken-ham-are-the-captains-of-the-same-titanic/

        • BertB

          Ah yes, Ken Ham. The creator of the absurdly hilarious Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. Where the Earth is only 6000 years old and dinosaurs cavort with humans. That’s all I can take of this guy Luka. Blocked.

        • BertB

          Ken Ham?

          [Choke, sputter.] Did I read the name in the post above correctly? Are you actually citing the builder of the hilariously absurd Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum as a serious person? Where dinosaurs cavort with people, and the earth is only 6000 years old? Enough. I can’t take any more of you. Blocked.

        • Luka
        • Greg G.

          She claims the Jesus crucifixion is fact based on Paul’s letters, the gospels, and Josephus’ histories.

          Josephus? The only crucifixion Josephus refers to that was near the alleged time of the alleged crucifixion of the alleged Jesus happened in Rome in the Seduction of Paulina (Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.4 §65-80) which just so happens to be the next story after the Testimonium Flavianum. The previous crucifixions in Josephus happened shortly after the death of Herod the Great (Antiquities of the Jews 17.10.10). The next crucifixions were the sons of Judas the Galilean around 48 AD (Antiquities of the Jews 20.5.2).

          Paul explains how he know Jesus was crucified in Galatians 3:6-14 where he quotes several Old Testament verses and uses word association instead of logic and never cites any first century witnesses. The gospels are dependent on Mark and the account has to be fiction.

        • Rudy R

          On the other hand, Géza Vermes believes Paul, the Gospels, and Josephus are unreliable for establishing a historical Jesus, so essentially refutes Paula Fredriksen’s scholarship. He was a Catholic before converting to Judaism, so he probably had a preconceived notion that Jesus existed. His type of historical methodology is the reason I’m agnostic on mythicism. And yes, it’s a thing. I believe there is at least a 51% probability that Jesus did not exist, but have to suspend a mythicist belief until I’m convinced the probability is much higher…the same approach for all things science.

        • Greg G.

          Do you have a link for Vermes saying that “Paul, the Gospels, and Josephus are unreliable for establishing a historical Jesus” and a link for Paula Fredrikson relying on those pieces of evidence?

          I think it would be interesting to compare what the most outspoken Historical Jesus scholars think of the various types of evidence they use. It’s like they are only consolidated on the conclusion but reject each others’ evidence and methodologies.

        • Rudy R
        • Greg G.

          Thank you!

        • Rudy R

          Francesca Stavrakopoulou appears to be Jesus mythicist, but is at best an agnostic on mythicism. E.P. Sanders is a Protestant. Maurice Casey was s Christian so he may also have some preconceived notion that Jesus must have existed. Not exactly a slam dunk list of atheists and Jewish scholars for Jesus historicity.

        • Luka

          On the contrary, she says it’s very likely he existed. She’s an agnostic at worst.
          Rob Price and all the other myther proponents are former Christians — incidentally fundagelicals. If we’re gonna play genetic fallacy, let’s blame their position on their subconscious desire to erase Jesus from history, in the event that it turns out there is a God and Jesus was the son of God, because there’s no going back for an apostate, in their eyes.
          I just named a few off the top of my head. If you’re genuinely curious, you could try researching yourself

        • Susan

          let’s blame their position on their subconscious desire to erase Jesus from history

          Only if you make a case about their subconscious desire to do so.

          It would be more effective if you explained where they make their errors about a historical Jesus.

          And even more effective if you provide a solid historical basis for him.

          If you’re genuinely curious, you could try researching yourself

          You’re the one making the claim that anyone who has a historical interest in the subject but doesn’t necessarily accept the existence of a historical Jesus, only holds that position becauseof a psychological bias.

          Show your work.

          I am agnostic on the subject.

          Even if there is historical basis for a Yeshua, I don’t have any reason to accept Yahwehjesus.

          I’ve generally avoided all reference to historical support for Yeshua for years for that reason.

          But I’m starting to notice that when anyone asks for historical support for a Yeshua character, none is provided. Just accusations that anyone who questions it, is akin to a creationist or has some kind of psychological bias.

          It’s a simple question. What historical basis can you provide?

        • Luka

          I never once brought up Jesus being God. That, too, is another desperate tangent. We’re talking about a first century itenerent Jewish preacher.
          Plenty to go around https://historyforatheists.com/category/jesus-mythicism/
          But like with YECs and flat-earthers, there’s always a convenient and/or contrived explanation for everything

        • Susan

          I never once brought up Jesus being God.

          You did when you referred to “Christ myther”.

          We’re talking about a first century itinerent (sic) preacher.

          Sure. And I asked you what standards you use to establish the historicity of that human.

          Plenty to go around

          I asked you what historical methods you use.

          like with YECs and flat-earthers

          I’m neither. I would like to know what historical methodologies you accept and why.

          It’s a simple question.

        • Luka

          Proponents of the Christ Myth Theory.
          Same standards as for any historically-significant individual.
          Multiple attestation, independent sources, criterion of embarrassment, etc.
          And the fact there is no good evidence or plausible case to me made to the contrary

        • Susan

          Same standards as for any historically significant individual.

          How about this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method

          I don’t see the “criterion of embarassment, etc” mentioned.

          I’m not saying that (for instance), Richard Carrier is correct in his position, but you are dismissing his case and don’t seem to have a clue how historians do things.

          He’s qualified (which doesn’t make him correct… it just means he has likely fulfilled the criteria for submitting a position) and you are not.

          You don’t seem to know how history is done, but you dismiss trained historians.

          And the fact that there is no good evidence or plausible case to me made to the contrary.

          Did Yeshua really exist? No one has to make a case to the contrary. If you are cliaming that he absolutely did and anyone who questions it is biased, you’ll have to show your work.

        • Luka

          Citing Wikipedia will get you an F, ya know. You’re one to claim others don’t have a clue how historians do things. You obviously don’t have s clue that cosmic-sperm-bank Carrier is not really a historian. His PhD is in Greco-Roman science but he’s an unemployed blogger and is essentially a failed academic who’s never held a teaching position since he graduated and is seen as a joke in academic circles (and a narcissistic pervert nonetheless). He’s not qualified in the area of New Testament history any more than Zechariah Sitchin is in Sumerian history, and is being a dillidante outside his field. https://historyforatheists.com/2016/07/richard-carrier-is-displeased/

          Did Buddha, Confucius, Hannibal, Queen Himiko, Muhammad, Ragnar the Viking, etc. exist? No one has to make a case to the contrary.

        • Susan

          Citing Wikipedia will get you an F, ya know.

          Why? The breakdown of the historical method seems well substantiated in this case.

          Or is “criterion of embarrassment,etc” a better explanation of how history is done? If so, explain why. Are you a historian?

          Carrier is not really a historian.

          As far as I know, he has a doctorate in ancient history from Columbia University.

          What qualifies someone as a historian?

          Again, I’m not saying his position is necessarily correct but you’ll have to deal with it instead of discrediting him (without showing why) and claiming he is not a historian.

          I’ll note that you haven’t answered my either of my question questions. .

          What historical methodologies do you accept and why?

          What claim are you making and what historical support do you have for it?

          =====

          Edit: 2 minutes later to add second (previously asked and still unanswered) question.

        • Luka

          I already showed you why he’s not a reliable source of information (click the link if you’re interested).
          Btw having a doctorate is impressive, but it’s what you do with it that matters. He’s done little other than peddle fringe theories and misrepresent other’s work. You’ll have to deal with that. And already told you what methodologies. I find it amusing that a person who thinks a failed academic is of any relevance is trying to patronize me.
          I’m going to bed. Also, I’ve had enough of this back-and-forth I’ve been in for days with the village-Mythicists on here. It’s a lot like engaging with groups of village YECs and Ken Ham supporters. After years of dealing with nutcases on both sides and “agnostics” on both sides (but give away where their sympathies lie), I’ve sworn off from debating with either. It gets nowhere and it’s ultimately futile trying to reason people out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into. Adios

        • Pofarmer

          It’s kinda funny calling Carrier a “failed academic” and then resorting to O’neill, whom, as far as I can tell, has never published anything and isn’t working in his degree field, like, at all.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Especially when we know Carriers scholarship has inspired and influenced the research interest and further investigation of other scholars.

          The German text, which the French and English editions are said to be based upon, was, for reasons that are unclear, not published until 1980. It was given the title Monologe im Führerhauptquartier (henceforth Monologe) and was published under the auspices of German historian Werner Jochmann. This edition does not contain Picker’s notes either due to a struggle over intellectual property rights.10 It does not help that both Heim’s and Picker’s original manuscripts seem to have been lost. The closest we get to the original Heim notes are approximately 40 pages, dated January 1942, that were initially stored at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. (since returned to the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz, Germany).11 However, nobody knows if these are authentic or not, even if the evidence so far indicates that they are.

          Historian Richard C. Carrier is the only scholar to date to have critically compared these texts and published the results. He has shown that the translations into English and French are highly questionable, at least if one starts from the assumption that they were translations from a text identical to Monologe. He has also demonstrated that the English translation was at least partly based on Genoud’s French edition (he only had access to the first volume of Libres propos) and that both the English and French editions contain additions to, and mistranslations of, the German texts that they are supposedly based on.

          https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0022009415619689

          Hitler’s Table Talk is a worthless primary source. There, I said it. And I’m not just saying this to evoke a reaction. I’m saying it because I really mean it. The renowned “Hitler expert” Lord Dacre, better known as Hugh Trevor-Roper, knowingly and willingly engaged in a massive cover-up regarding Hitler’s Table Talk (hereafter TT).[1] Had it not been for the outstanding research at the low cost of just $50 taken up by historian Richard Carrier,[2] we might still be in the dark about this, 64 years after TT’s first appearance in the English language. Sorry to bust this bubble, Hitler and Third Reich enthusiasts, but TT is worthless. In this article, I will establish three things: 1) that Hugh Trevor-Roper knowingly and willingly engaged in academic fraud for profit and prestige, 2) that TT is a worthless primary source, and 3) that renowned Hitler “experts”, both revisionist and mainstream, have failed the public regarding reliable Hitler primary sources.

          http://inconvenienthistory.com/9/3/4880

          Which also shows how history and historians get things so wrong, either innocently, or for nefarious reasons. But there ya go, Carrier the hack that no academics take seriously as a scholar. And fuckwits like Luka want to know why we can’t take Luka seriously, or don’t take what O’Neill writes on face value.

        • epeeist

          Carrier is not really a historian. His PhD is in Greco-Roman science

          You seem to have missed a few things out, why not peruse his C.V.

          So how do Tim O’Neill’s qualifications compare?

        • Luka

          Whataboutism is not an argument. There’s a lot of things you don’t know about the crackpot https://youtu.be/RgPWPwlT3hk

        • epeeist

          Whataboutism is not an argument.

          Me pointing out that Carrier does actually have rather more qualifications in history than you gave him credit for is “whataboutery”?

          There’s a lot of things you don’t know about the crackpot

          Ah, argumentum ad YouTube, especially one that starts with abusive ad hominem, colour me convinced.

        • Luka

          It’s what you do with your qualifications. Just having them alone doesn’t mean a whole lot in the real world. “What about Tim?”.
          They reference sources to back them up. “Carrier is wrong because he’s a pervert” is an ad hominem. Not “Carrier is wrong and here’s why real academics don’t take him seriously”

        • epeeist

          Just having them alone doesn’t mean a whole lot in the real world.

          Well does tend to show you have some background in the subject under discussion.

          “Carrier is wrong because he’s a pervert” is an ad hominem.

          The video to which you provided a link starts off with a text preamble denigrating Carrier, little of which has anything to do with whether he is or is not a good historian. In other words, abusive ad hominem. In addition one might class the comments as poisoning the well.

          In addition, given we have little to no idea who “Chris” or “Brian” are or what their background is then it also looks like an argumentum ad verecundiam on your part.

        • Ignorant Amos

          They reference sources to back them up.

          Demonstrating you lied about reading Carrier’s book.

        • It’s what you do with your qualifications.

          Moving the goalposts? So now, you’ve dropped the part about Carrier (doctorate from Columbia in ancient history) having unhelpful qualifications for the task and have moved on.

          Sure, let’s look at what he’s done. He’s written a pile of books and a mountain of (free) articles.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not “Carrier is wrong and here’s why real academics don’t take him seriously”

          Except that there are real academics who do take him seriously. In his scholarship both inside and outside the area of historical Jesus studies. So you are lying again.

          Btw, you’ve been told repeatedly that Tim O’Neill is not a real academic…ya lying hypocrite.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Citing Wikipedia will get you an F, ya know.

          No it won’t. Not using it properly might. Try and keep up ya fuckwit.

          You’re one to claim others don’t have a clue how historians do things.

          Because you’ve demonstrated that you are an ignorant fuckwit on the issue. Even bible scholars admit the methods used by their academia are flawed and useless.

          You obviously don’t have s clue that cosmic-sperm-bank Carrier is not really a historian.

          Here is the reason why you are not worth a fuck. You can’t get the basics correct.

          His PhD is in Greco-Roman science but he’s an unemployed blogger and is essentially a failed academic who’s never held a teaching position since he graduated…

          Both wrong and irrelevant. Btw, how many historians go on to become academic’s?

          And you’ve already been shown what happens to scholars brave enough to hold controversial positions.

          For someone who doesn’t like to engage in this topic, you’re doing some slabbering about it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Same standards as for any historically-significant individual.

          Which bible scholars don’t use properly.

          But wait, “historically-significant individual” because he was deemed a godman, or “historically-insignificant itinerant Jewish preacher” that nobody much noticed at the time?

          Multiple attestation, independent sources, criterion of embarrassment, etc.

          All flawed when applied to the historical Jesus question and many even within the academy admit that issue.

          And the fact there is no good evidence or plausible case to me made to the contrary

          Except there is of course.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ

        • Pofarmer

          Apparently you’ve never heard of Fr. Thomas Brodie or Tom Harpur?

        • Luka

          Neither are well-respected

        • Pofarmer

          The hell are you talking about?

          I was responding to this bit of dip shittery.

          let’s blame their position on their subconscious desire to erase Jesus from history,

          And they were both, indeed, very well respected before they aired their opinions on Jesus Historicity.

          In fact, Brodie is one of the foremost figures on intertextuality between the old and new testatment.

          Maybe you need to read up on Tom Harpur.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harpur

          I would guess few have his background.

        • Luka

          Not that respected. Brodie was leeching off his church for decades and his work has been met with much criticism. He stopped peddling this failed theory altogether as of late. He also conjectured that Luke-Acts was the earliest gospel, so what does that tell you?
          Harpur is no longer alive so I’m afraid that’s one less fringe scholar you have as a champion.
          Your position is on its last legs. Every other theory and version of your position has been refuted.
          But seeing your oh-so eloquent way with words like “dipshittery”, I see I’m dealing with a child.
          May you find good education. Adios

        • Pofarmer

          Brodie was silenced by the Church. They threatened to take awaybhis retirement which would have left him destitute. He was made an example of.

        • Luka

          Because he was leech. Preaching a message you don’t even believe in for decades, how low can you be?
          But I’m sure if a biologist came out as YEC, he would be black-listed as well.

        • Greg G.

          But I’m sure if a biologist came out as YEC, he would be black-listed as well.

          Either that or he might get a Nobel Prize. It all depends on the quality of his evidence and how his theory leads to advancements in research.

        • Pofarmer

          Leeching? He was a preeminent scholar on intertextuality of the Bible. That’s hardly “Leeching.”

          And you have no idea what he was “preaching”. I know that Tlm Harpur remained and educator and a Bishop and a committed Christian, as did Fr. Brodie. He never renounced his vows or anything of that nature. He just had one of those Ah-ha moments. And, even that notwithstanding, there are thousands behind the pulpit who have lost their faith but have no where else to turn. Check out the Clergy project. You really are demonstrating yourself to be woefully uninformed. No surprise.

        • Luka

          Yeah, leeching. When you no longer believe something, you got no business preaching it, let alone getting money out of it.
          You’re exaggerating the number of [fundagelical] preachers in the Clergy/Leech Project.
          “Lost their faith but have nowhere to turn”, how about getting another job or going back to college. But no, life’s much easier leeching. Preaching what you don’t believe in and manage to get paid for it is deceitful, dishonest, and speaks volumes of their lack of integrity.
          “Woefully uninformed”, says a nutty Christ-myther defending recovering-fundagelical preachers who lie for a living. l gonna have to take a drink every time you project?

        • Pofarmer

          Both Brodie, and Harpur still believed in the core parts of their faith. They just both realized that Jesus was a made up charachter.

        • When you no longer believe something, you got no business preaching it,

          Tell the church to make it easier to move on.

          If you work at a chemical or pharmaceutical company and decide that you disagree with the direction the company is taking or feel that the products are unsafe, you can quit, just like you said.

          Read some of the Clergy Project articles to see what it’s like for the ex- (or potentialy ex-)preachers. Quite different.

        • BertB

          As you say, Price, a recognized Biblical scholar with many credentials:

          Robert McNair Price is an American New Testament scholar who argues against the existence of a historical Jesus. He taught theology and religious studies at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary. He is a professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on biblical studies and the historicity of Jesus…

        • Luka

          Yep

        • That’s like being agnostic on evolution but ok.

          Noop. Evolution is important, but Jesus mythicism is a sideshow–it’s irrelevant to the main issue that the God hypothesis is unnecessary and unevidenced.

        • BertB

          Correct. The attempt to divert the discussion to “mythicism” is an effort to build a strawman. And even that doesn’t work because of people with impressive credentials like Robert Price who shoot even that down.

        • I suppose they get excited about mythicism because they can legitimately point to a real consensus that comes down on their side of the issue.

          That the issue is a diversion from the main event doesn’t seem to register.

        • Luka

          History is just as important as science.
          Your opinion on the God hypothesis is a side tangent on this blog topic

        • “God exists” coming from people who are obliged to say, “God exists” isn’t very good evidence.

        • Ehrman is an actual scholar with more credentials than any myther proponent combined.

          Wrong again. Ehrman has one doctorate. Robert M. Price has two relevant doctorates.

        • Luka

          Price isn’t dogmatic about his position, whereas other mythers are

        • I’m a fan of RM Price as well.

          But I’m not sure how Price is less/more dogmatic than any of the others. He’s written a book, Carrier has written a book.

        • Luka

          Carrier’s was such a badly-written piece of revisionist history

        • Pofarmer

          Ehrman is an actual scholar with more credentials than any myther proponent combined.

          Really? Now you just look like even more of an idiot.

        • Luka

          Projection is not an argument

        • Rudy R

          …l typically refrain from engaging with nutty Christ-mythers…

          Anyone who is not a Christian is a Christ-myther. Your confusing that nutty term with a Jesus mythisist.

        • Luka

          The terms have become synonymous.
          Ex: A creationist is one who accepts God created the universe, but it has become a less broad term, refering to YECs, who think the world was created 6 thousand years ago and incidentally denies evolution, with as much skepticism as Christ mythers/mythicists have concerning Jesus’ place in history

        • David Cromie

          This video is a good illustration of how myths, legends, and folklore are concocted and spread among a population. But still, it contains nothing to prove the existence of the biblical JC. However, there is a lot of obvious retro-fitting of dubious ‘facts’ to suit the Jewish political narrative of the time.

          There were several men-gods around, both before the 1st cent. CE and later, usually claiming to be the ‘messiah’. There was not one of these interlopers named ‘Jesus’, which is not a Jewish, or Roman, or Greek, or Aramaic name. Check out the Testimonium Flavonorum.

          That one of these men-gods was illegitimate could be true, and since it was a serious matter at the time to have a child out of wedlock, what better explanation than to claim that a ghost fathered the child, and then claim it to be the ‘messiah’ to an ignorant, superstitious, population, as foretold by the OT prophets.

          The film ‘The Life of Brian’ has more going for it in terms of believability.

        • David Cromie

          “…more evidence than we have of any individual Jew at that time”. What ‘evidence’ do you speak of?

          We know a great deal about how ancient myth, legend, and folklore work, in terms of ancient history, and why so many faerie tales have survived for so long.

          In the case of the so-called ‘bible’, the fact is that it is a syncretic mish-mash of extant myths, legends, and folklore, mostly from Pagan sources, suitably tweaked over the centuries for the political purposes of the period. If you were educated, you would already know that.

        • Luka

          The evidence laid out throughout: https://historyforatheists.com/category/jesus-mythicism/

          I see no indication you do, given that you present cariacatures of what really happened.

          You mean the bible is a library of ancient texts of different kinds, genres, and intentions. The Old Testament having a variety of genres, along with retold myths, legends, and folklore for polemical purposes and literary attacks against surrounding pagan religions. The New Testament consisting of Greco-Roman biographies (gospels) and letters (epistles). “I know you are but what am l?” is not an argument

        • David Cromie

          No, I mean the longest, lying, political manifesto ever concocted, to induce the illiterate, superstitious, peoples of the Middle East, and eventually the world, to subject themselves to the tyranny of Judaeo-christer religious grifters, of one stripe or another, on the promise of a supposed life everlasting in the great hereafter.

          Christers must be really pissed off these days because they can no longer trot around the world threatening the populace, wherever they intrude, with being burned at the stake, or with a hangman’s rope in one hand (or an assault rifle), while brandishing a so-called ‘bible’ in the other (the victim’s supposed ‘free will’ be damned).

        • Greg G.

          What ‘evidence’ do you speak of?

          So far, it’s just been the consensus based on the consensus. No evidence yet.

        • Yeah, pretty much identical, except that biologists follow the evidence and many NT scholars sign a doctrinal statement promising that they won’t.

        • Luka

          Tell that to atheist, agnostic, and Jewish NT scholars

        • I’ll happily lampoon any scholar who has signed a doctrinal statement that constrains their ability to be a scholar.

          What’s your point? You’re saying that some atheists have signed such statements? Names, please.

  • ThaneOfDrones

    The “Show more replies” nonsense seems to have disappeared. Thanks to whoever is responsible.

    • And we’ve reverted to “Load more comments” at the bottom, like before.

      Weird. The ways of Disqus are truly marvelous and mysterious.

      • Otto

        DIsqus’ ways are not our ways.

      • Phil

        Just an observation, Disqus backwards is Suq Sid. Who is Sid and what did he do wrong?

        • When you add the fact that “murder” backwards is “red rum,” not only is Sid’s crime obvious, but so is his favorite tipple.

      • ThaneOfDrones

        “Load more comments” has been there for years. It shows up every 50 comments. With the “Show more replies” in effect, it took a longer thread to broach the 50 level, but it never went way.

        How DISQUST is foiling me: I would like to scroll straight to the bottom, click “Load more comments”, and repeat until I have the entire thread loaded. But below the “Load more comments” DISQUST has placed several featured posts and comments. Apparently the criteria for featuring such comments is that they be very very long, and they are posted in their entirety. This means I scroll to the bottom, then I have to come back up a page or two to find the “Load more comments” bar.

        • Yes, I’ve noticed the very long comments. I assumed it was a bug. If so, it hasn’t been fixed.

          Could this be a Turing Test so that bots can’t do an automatic go-to-end, page-up-once, click-in-middle (which is what I do when I want to load all comments)? I’m not sure what they’d be trying to prevent. (Except people using Disqus.)

      • ThaneOfDrones

        Marvelous, mysterious, and stupid.

    • Michael Neville

      Disqus admitted on their Talk to Disqus blog that “show more replies” did nothing except annoy the commentariat.

      Now I’d like them to get rid of extraneous line feeds on comments with blockquotes and links. Notice that I’m not holding my breath.

      • Jim Jones

        Just do Post then Edit

        • Michael Neville

          That’s what I do but I shouldn’t have to.

        • Jim Jones

          When you hire idiots to write code and they don’t test it first . . .

    • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

      Except now when there are several hundred comments, Disqus can’t remember all of them, making comments randomly disappear and reappear when the page is reloaded.

  • Gord O’Mitey

    Hi, it’s yer lovin’ Lord Gord here, mightier than the other feckin’ Gords, eh.

    The references ter My boy Jesus made Me think, eh. Y’all must wonder why I impregnated a young female mortal girl ter git a feckin’ son, eh? With My much vaunted omnipotence, why didn’t I jist put him on Earth as a fully formed pseudo-human, eh?

    Well, in answer to the first question, I did it that way ‘cus it was how we all did it in the old days; just read Homer an’ ancient mythology, eh. An’ it wus a bit of feckin’ fun, eh. (Fer Me, anyways.)

    Now, the answer ter the second question is a bit more feckin’ complicated, eh. I mean, with My omnipotence I kin square the feckin’ circle, eh, even if I think that pi, the ratio of the circumference ter the diameter, is three.

    Yeah, okay, I hope that’s all clear to y’all now, eh. Yah don’t need ter thank Me, other than by burnin’ a nice piece of steak, lamb, goat or pork on yer barbecue, an’ lettin’ the smell waft upwards, eh. An’ doncha fergit, ther’ ain’t no other feckin’ Gords but Me, eh.

    • BertB

      You got a good touch. I enjoy it. Keep up the good work. :>)

    • Joe

      Ignorant Amos, is this you?

      • Ignorant Amos

        Nope…I’m one of those other multitude of gords, but a wish it was me…very witty.

      • epicurus

        A lot of “eh” in there, maybe a hoser Canadian, eh?

    • ThaneOfDrones

      An’ doncha fergit, ther’ ain’t no other feckin’ Gords but Me, eh.

      Of course not. Do you still wear your Red Wings jersey?

  • Jeremy

    Can you even imagine the reaction Evangelicals would have if it came out that the majority of climate scientists worked at Universities that made them sign a “doctrinal statement” and that they would be fired if their conclusions deviated from its contents?

    • Great point! It would take something like that for them to understand this objection.

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      Well said. This is a perfect analog.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Uh, my bet is that fundagelicals secretly believe that’s what IS happening with climate scientists.

      Projection, and “every accusation is a confession” all in one!

  • rationalobservations?

    There is indeed little “consensus” about anything much among religionists.

    The most renowned bible scholar was once Bart Ehrman who was a born again Bible-believing Evangelical until he read the original 4th century originated Greek bible texts and noticed thousands of discrepancies between them and modern bibles in circulation today. Bart still tries to convince himself (and others) that the fictional biblical magician “Jesus” was somehow based upon an ordinary mortal human man – but he cannot find or present authentic and original, 1st century originated evidence of the existence of a human “Jesus” or centuries later written legends of “Jesus”.

    The two simple words that confound all religionists are:
    PROVE IT?

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wqylMcWMlRA/UNDHxhJRE6I/AAAAAAAACbU/6fWKPzFDyMM/s1600/Atheism-isnt-a-religion.jpg

    • Gary Whittenberger

      Regarding the claim “Jesus existed” I believe the demand to “prove it” is too extreme. I would be satisfied with “Rationally demonstrate that it is more likely that Jesus existed than that he did not exist.”

      • rationalobservations?

        Nope. No evidence, no “Jesus”.
        There is no authentic and original, 1st century originated historical evidence of the existence of “Jesus”.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          The oldest surviving manuscripts of the Gospels are believed by experts to be copies of nonsurviving manuscripts written about Jesus in the period running from approximately 60 CE to 110 CE. This is some evidence, not “no evidence,” for the existence of Jesus. You may not think it is sufficient, but most experts disagree with you.

          I believe that the Jesus Seminar concluded that about 18% of the material about Jesus from the Gospels was probably true, the rest probably false.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I believe that the Jesus Seminar concluded that about 18% of the material about Jesus from the Gospels was probably true, the rest probably false.

          A non sequitur and an example of the deep dyed problems with the consensus in NT studies as per the OP.

        • Pofarmer

          I believe that the Jesus Seminar concluded that about 18% of the
          material about Jesus from the Gospels was probably true, the rest
          probably false.

          Uhm, no. They concluded that 16-18% of the material in the Gospels MIGHT be true, but they can’t agree on which 16% it might be.

    • Luka

      Atheism isn’t a religion. It’s the belief that there is no God.
      “It’s a personal relationship with reality”, says a nutty Christ-myther…

      • rationalobservations?

        All you need to do now is present historical evidence of the existence and centuries later written legends of Jesus to prove you are not a delusional recycler of lies.

        • Luka

          https://historyforatheists.com/jesus-mythicism/
          You’ll just dismiss it anyway, as YECs dismiss any scientific evidence for evolution. You’re emotionally-invested.
          Name me one scholar who says the gospels or Pauls letters were written centuries after the fact. Next, I suppose you’re gonna tell me the canon was decided at Nicaea. Smh

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ffs…not that dickhead O’Neill again.

          For someone hung up on the scholarship of mythers, this comes across as somewhat hypocritical.

          Next, I suppose you’re gonna tell me the canon was decided at Nicaea.

          Which canon?

          The RCC canon? Nope, that was at the Council of Trent during the mid 16th century.

        • Luka

          That’s the same reaction YECs get when someone slaps them down with facts about evolution. So how is following the dickhead who runs this blog any better? He’s not a scholar, historian, theologian, or intellectual of any kind.

          Myther scholarship is an oxymoron.

          The biblical canon that was settled at Hippo and Carthage.

          I’m surprised you knew that.

        • So how is following the dickhead who runs this blog any better? He’s not a scholar, historian, theologian, or intellectual of any kind.

          (1) No faith is required here. If my argument doesn’t hold together, point that out.

          (2) You know I haven’t argued for Jesus mythicism, right?

          I’m surprised you knew that.

          Well, yeah. Atheists are ignorant of all facts. Everyone knows that.

        • rationalobservations?

          I accepted that you would be unable to reference a single item of historical evidence of the existence and centuries later written (edited, amended and re-re-re-re-written) legends of Jesus. No one has and no one can.

          Your reference and link to a religionist liar who blocks all who confound and contradict him is risible and ridiculous.
          I’m surprised that you don’t go further with your circular non-argument and make the claim that your version of bible is true because it says its true?

          There are no extant letters attributed to “Paul” that can be dated to origination prior to the manufacture of the oldest 4th century bibles. I know of no bible scholar who claims otherwise? Claiming that the 800+ 11th century originated letters attributed to “Paul” are copies of copies of copies fails to be valid without at least some reference to originals from within the 1st century. There is none.

          It has often been emphasised that Christianity is unlike any other religion, for it stands or falls by certain events which are alleged to have occurred during a short period of time some 20 centuries ago.

          Those stories are presented in the New Testament, and as new evidence is revealed it will become clear that here is absolutely no authentic and original, 1st century originated evidence they represent historical realities.

          As for scholarly verification?

          The Church agrees, saying:

          “Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted.”
          (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712)

          The Church makes extraordinary admissions about its New Testament. For example, when discussing the origin of those writings,

          “the most distinguished body of academic opinion ever assembled” (Catholic Encyclopedias, Preface) admits that the Gospels “do not go back to the first century of the Christian era”

          (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 137, pp. 655-6).

          This statement conflicts with priesthood assertions that the earliest Gospels were progressively written during the decades following the death of the Gospel Jesus Christ.

          In a remarkable aside, the Church further admits that,

          “the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD”

          (Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7).

          You appear to ask for evidence of the nonexistence of the nonexistent? If you know what form that evidence could take please reveal it along with the evidence that none of the millions of gods/god-men in which you don’t believe do not exist?

          Your arrogance has been well demonstrated now. How about some evidence that proves the existence and adventures of an apparently notorious Jewish fundamentalist named “Yeshua/Jesus” of whom nothing but absolute historical silence can be observed from within the time in which the centuries later written and endlessly amended and re-re-re-written in different forms legends of “Jesus” are set.

          I make no claims regarding the nonexistence of the apparently fictional “Jesus”. I report the total, absolute and complete absence of evidence of the existence of “Jesus” and no one has ever discovered and produced any.
          Go ahead. Make a name for yourself by abandoning the denial and confounding me with actual authentic and original, 1st centry originated evidence of the existence and amazing adventures of “Jesus”?

          Bart Ehrman is one of the world’s leading bible scholars and was a born again Bible-believing Evangelical until he read the original 4th century originated Greek texts and noticed thousands of discrepancies. Bart still makes a living speaking and writing in a way that fudges the facts he acknowledges regarding the absence of any form of evidence of “Jesus”
          https://pics.me.me/many-of-the-books-of-the-new-testament-were-written-47677571.png

          https://pics.me.me/in-the-entire-first-christian-century-jesus-is-not-mentioned-17397524.png

        • Luka

          Lol thinks Tim is a religionist. Your dunning-Kruger username aside, you’re clearly a time-waster.
          Fyi, every ancient document we have are copies of copies of copies of copies of copies, etc. That’s kinda what you had to do before the printing press.

        • every ancient document we have are copies of copies of copies of copies of copies, etc.

          Wait, wait, wait, wait–you’re saying that not only is the evidence for Christianity crap but that’s true for all the other ancient religions??!

          Mind blown …

        • Luka

          And ancient history in general, if we’re gonna go by that

        • Just to be clear, you’re saying that supernatural claims in general are suspect, regardless of the source? I’m beginning to see the rightness of your position.

        • Luka

          Any historical claim if we’re going by these standards

        • Let’s sort out the supernatural claims first. They’re very, very different from mundane, non-supernatural claims.

        • Susan

          Any historical claim

          What claim are you making and what is your historical support for it?

          What standards do you use?

        • Greg G.

          His claim seems to be that Jesus Mythicists are dummies. His historical support are Abuse and Being Hit on the Head lessons.

          His standards are a scholarly consensus based on the scholarly consensus itself.

        • rationalobservations?

          Thank you for the compliment as part of the Dunning-Kruger effect is that highly intellectual and knowledgeable scholars tend to underestimate how much they exceed the rest.

          You appear to concede that nothing confirms the myths and legends of bibles and other propaganda that first appears in extant form centuries after the time in which those myths and legends are merely set but from which time no historical trace of the existence of Jesus or his ridiculous mythology.

        • Luka

          Aaand you continue to show your lack of education in how history works. Good luck getting any competent scholar who will tell you the gospels or epistles were written centuries after the fact.
          His mythology is far less ridiculous than your crackpot conspiracy theories and New Atheist propaganda & Bad History in general.
          You continue to confirm exactly why l don’t take you any more seriously than evolution-deniers…..you do accept evolution, right?

        • rationalobservations?

          So now you will reveal the location and nature of original texts written by Tacitus, Josephus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John or Paul too validate your claims of originality?

          History works through evidence.

          There is no historical evidence of the existence or centuries later written legends of “Jesus”.

          https://pics.me.me/in-the-entire-first-christian-century-jesus-is-not-mentioned-17397524.png

      • epeeist

        Atheism isn’t a religion.

        True

        It’s the belief that there is no God.

        A lack of belief in the existence of gods is necessary and sufficient.

        says a nutty Christ-myther…

        Let’s invert it, are you saying that the existence of (a minimal historical) Jesus is certain?

      • Greg G.

        Atheism isn’t a religion. It’s the belief that there is no God.

        That is not quite right. Atheism is the lack of belief in any god. Some atheists believe there is no god.

        • Ignorant Amos

          They walk amongst us…you could be prone to what could be your neighbors.

  • rationalobservations?
  • All good points, but even without showing that the consensus is weak, the statement itself is a poor defense of Christianity. It barely says anything. It doesn’t say God is real. It doesn’t say Jesus bodily resurrected. It doesn’t claim any of the so-called Biblical evidence or eyewitness accounts are valid. It’s about as strong as saying there was a guy named Dave, he lived and he died.

  • mikespeir

    “Bible scholar” is a greasy term anyway. Which scholars are we talking about, the ones who are experts in what the Bible says or the ones who are qualifed to judge whether there’s any truth in what the Bible says?

  • rubaxter

    I listened to and read the lectures and books of Hector Avalos, and it was eye-opening the decadence and decrepitude in the alleged fields of ‘Bible Scholarship’ and ‘Bible Archeology’.

    One almost wants to start a charity to feed the fools who feel compelled to follow this worthless calling, or at least feed their dependents.

  • David Cromie

    The fact that there are currently thousands of versions/sects of christians immediately contradicts the idea of a ‘consensus’ about their theological belief systems.

    But, more importantly, not ever has it been shown, irrefutably, falsifiably, that any supernatural entities actually exist, and even if such evidence were produced, and accepted, the biblical cherry-picking would still persist and christianity/theology would be back to square one.

  • ralphmeyer

    The consensus of most of the SCIENTIFICALLY BASED New Testament scholars is that most of what is found in the Gospels is sheer fiction, based on manufacturing things about Jesus largely from Old Testament (and usually nitwit) so-called prophecies (like the one used to legitimize David’s usurpation of the Saul’s crown from the heir apparent by the Davidic prophet Samuel that David’s line would eternally rule Israel–and that lasted all of 1 generation, and was blown totally out of the water in 586 when Babylon took over even the Southern Kingdom that still had a Davidic line king).

  • Gary Whittenberger

    Another excellent essay, Bob.

    An expert is a person who possesses expertise, knowledge, information, or skills in a particular specialized area which are greater than those possessed by persons in the general public. An expert may be identified by high levels on the following criteria:
    1. Performance and accomplishment in education or training in the specialized area.
    2. Training in effective ways of thinking in the area, e.g. reason, logic, science, investigation, open mindedness, skepticism, rhetoric, argumentation.
    3. Years of experience working in the area.
    4. Performance and accomplishment working in the area.
    5. Reputation among peers in the area.
    6. Discoveries, inventions, innovations, or publications in the area.
    7. Demonstrated performance on licensing, certification, or professional exams in the area.

    Professors in New Testament studies at Biola and other similar colleges may be lacking in #2.

    • I’m as impressed with NT professors as I am with professors of Harry Potter-ology.

      • Gary Whittenberger

        For the most part, I agree.

      • Luka

        “I believe in God, not magic” – JK Rolwing. What’s next? Lord of the Rings or Twilight? You’re so basic

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “The “Consensus of New Testament Scholars” Isn’t What You Think”

    Until someone is able to prove the resurrection of Christ actually happened ( in the Bible, Jesus is the 7th person to be restored to life, so apparently it isn’t that big a deal), I don’t really care what anyone “new testament scholar” has to say.

    Without that proof, their scholarship (from the Oxford dictionary: Academic study or achievement) is the equivalent of being an expert on the history of Star Trek, or on Greek/Egyptian/Norse etc mythology.

    • in the Bible, Jesus is the 7th person to be restored to life, so apparently it isn’t that big a deal

      Interesting! I’d never thought to count. This source lists 10 total (3 in the OT and 7 in the NT), and, yes, Jesus was #7.
      https://www.learnreligions.com/people-raised-from-the-dead-in-the-bible-4109363

      • Greg G.

        Jesus was #7.

        Pedant point: Jesus was 8th. The saints of Jerusalem were listed after Jesus but that happened when Jesus croaked.

        • MR

          Pedant point: There were so many in that one event that Jesus could have been the 508th for all we know. Is the number of zombies associated with that myth stated anywhere?

        • Greg G.

          Is the number of zombies associated with that myth stated anywhere?

          A horde consists of 666 zombies. I just made that up somewhere.

        • MR

          I was thinking this week that part of what made Walking Dead interesting was that it ditches the supernatural aspect.

  • Ignorant Amos

    OT…Rochester Cathedral turned into Crazy Golf Course.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-49162116

    • Y’gotta do something with unused church buildings, I suppose. But that anyone will make the hoped-for metaphorical insights (the mini-golf bridges remind us about building bridges among people, or whatever) seem quite a stretch.

      • MR
        • Looks like it’s being resurrected as a steakhouse. Given that it was originally a church, that should only take 3 days.

        • MR

          I guess steakhouse isn’t so bad. Still, I loved the idea of it being a pub.

        • epeeist

          Not sure what this was like, but the day of the “pour it down your neck until you fall over” pub in the UK is very much in decline. In order to survive many pubs have become the British equivalent of the French auberge having both a bar and a restaurant. Some of the restaurants do serve “boil-in-the-bag” bought in food, but others are much more up-market. We ate at one of the latter, the Hop Vine in Burscough the other day.

          One of casualties of the current decline in Stockport:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/124c67aa0c851e2f2209e446a97728a3abb3be5b037ed865ef766aa1376a9c1b.jpg

        • MR

          …the day of the “pour it down your neck until you fall over” pub in the UK is very much in decline.

          Sigh…, I’ll always remember my first British pub brawl. Everyone was getting along fabulously when all of a sudden a glass was broken and raised in threat and the whole lot spilled out into the street in an out and out fight. It all happened so fast. My host was mortified that I had had to witness such a thing, but I was thrilled. Of course, since then they’ve done away with the 11 o’clock rule. It’s been a while.

          If I’m ever in Burscough, I’ll be sure to check out the Hop Vine.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Most places still close the bar at 11 o’clock…officially by law anyway.

        • MR

          I thought they changed the law?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, they did, but like everything else in the UK, things are never simple.

          The licensing laws in the four nations are different.

          They changed the laws around about 2005 in order to bring the UK more into line with the rest of Europe and in an attempt to curtail binge drinking. It didn’t work.

          Here in N.I. the rules weren’t made as liberal as England and Wales. There, a license had to be applied for to open “abnormal” hours. Since the “local” pub has no need for such extensions, it was mostly night clubs and big city centre bars that would benefit. But even many of those only took advantage in order to extend their previously limited late licences.

          Most locals throughout the UK stick to the last orders at 11 o’clock routine. Where I live, only the J.D. Wetherspoons franchise(aka Spoons whatever the pubs actual name) stay open slightly later, so you can guess where those wanting a late drink congregate after 11 o’clock, especially as the drink is discounted compared with everywhere else. And yes, guilty as charged.

          I could get into the minutiae of the different scenarios, but ya get the picture.

        • MR

          Where I come from the bars never closed so it’s hard for me to wrap my head around all that. I’ll never forget my 1st ‘last call.’ “Excuse me? Wha’ wha’…? You what?”

        • Ignorant Amos

          My problem is that having lived elsewhere in Europe, and the world, I was spoiled.

          Europeans that aren’t Brits or Irish are amused at how our drinking culture is…and Brits are amused at the antics of the Irish.

        • Sample1

          I remember an IT Crowd episode. Just the first 10sec.

          “You people (English) drink like you don’t want to live.”

          NSFW

          https://youtu.be/m4gAnv0Beyc

          Mike

        • My favorite drinking moment: Moss says, “I came here to drink milk and kick ass … and I’m done with my milk.”

        • Sample1

          (Moss voice) Excuse me please…

          Yeah, that show was perfect and it’s imprinted on me like Seinfeld (

        • IT Crowd, Red Dwarf, Father Ted, AbFab, even Vicar of Dibley–great shows.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I want to say they had a label or poster of the FSM on their office wall early on in the series but it later disappeared. Haven’t searched though for when His Noodly Appendages first popped up or left.

          In season 2, episode 1 of the British hit TV show “The IT Crowd” (“The Work Outing”).

          https://www.microsiervos.com/images/itcrowd.jpg

          http://i.imgur.com/OJClD.jpg

        • Sample1

          Thanks! I knew I didn’t imagine it. That episode is hilarious.

          Mike

        • Sample1

          3 o’clock here on weekends and 1am otherwise. I take my last beer by 2:15 and get the hell out of the area as closing time brings out a fawn who thinks he has antlers (not me, others, actually me sometimes too. Ha.).

          Mike

        • Ignorant Amos

          The idea of relaxing the chucking out times was in some part to do with not having a lot of drunken arseholes falling out onto the street at the same time and getting all their antlers tangled up. But we are too set in our ways.

          When a was stationed in Hameln, Germany, the routine at the weekend, or if the next day was a day off, was to leave the nightclub a 4 am, go to a pub called The Bathtub until 6 am and then frequent an establishment called The Breakfast Bar…yes, beer and a cooked breakfast. The same thing could be done in Benidorm, Spain, when I lived there.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep, the days of the “drinking mans pub” are well in decline.

          The cost of drink is pricing it out of the reach of the working class, while the cheap alternative from cut-price supermarkets is driving folk to set up “shebeens” at home in spare rooms, garages, and garden sheds.

          I’ve recently taken delivery of this wee beauty with a view to setting up something similar maself.

          http://www.hillheadsheds.co.uk/media/1384/dscn0199.jpg?crop=0.12166666666666667,0,0.12833333333333333,0&cropmode=percentage&width=1000&height=1000&rnd=131785507060000000

        • Pofarmer

          “Shebeens”? I’m assuming this is similar to what we would call a Man Cave?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well…sort of…a man cave with a particular utility focus.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebeen

    • epeeist

      Also OT, the Religion chapter of the latest British Social Attitudes Survey.

      More evidence of the decline of religion.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Haaa! That’s mint.

    • epeeist
      • Ignorant Amos

        A seen that on last nights news. Ya couldn’t make it up. What’ll they instal next, a freakin’ ghost train?

        • epeeist

          What’ll they instal next, a freakin’ ghost train?

          A holy ghost train…

        • Will you guys learn how to speak English? I had to look up all three of those.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But think of the free education Bob }8O)~

        • I’m sure I could now blend in as just another bloke.

      • Well–better than what they had before, anyway.

  • davidt

    William Lane Craig .. ok now we are in the spec Ed room of faith. Filled with phds.

    Soooo if that’s where you are focusing I would say it’s an appropriate room. for some..

  • This 7-day wait to edit a comment is stupid.

    Huh? You can edit immediately. If you’re complaining about the comment being moderated, don’t blame me. I try to get them back in circulation ASAP.

    As for the whining about Jesus mythicists, you need to look to your own camp first. How many have signed doctrinal statements that prevent them from concluding that Jesus was a myth?

    Personally, I find the Jesus myth theory interesting and educational, but I don’t care one way or the other. My focus is counter-apologetics, and the Jesus myth argument isn’t helpful for that.

  • Luka

    “For example, his “brother of the lord” article, is easily refuted”, too bad no Josephus scholar on earth agrees with you.
    It’s an entirely accurate analogy I’ve noticed long before I heard of Tim O’Neill.
    Arguments aren’t evidence. Christ-mythers have the former but never the latter.
    He has one on the way. Is there supposed to be a dick-measuring contest about how many books one publishes?
    No, it doesn’t, does it?
    Projection is not an argument, bub, try again.
    No more presumptuous than Christ-mythers and YECs. I answer fools according to their folly

    • Ignorant Amos

      “For example, his “brother of the lord” article, is easily refuted”, too bad no Josephus scholar on earth agrees with you.

      None?

      The latest research collectively establishes that both references to Jesus were probably added to the manuscripts of Josephus at the Library of Caesarea after their first custodian, Origen—who had no knowledge of either passage—but by the time of their last custodian, Eusebius—who is the first to find them there. The long passage (the Testimonium Flavianum) was almost certainly added deliberately; the later passage about James probably had the phrase “the one called Christ” (just three words in Greek) added to it accidentally, and was not originally about the Christian James, but someone else. On why we should conclude thus I’ll explain shortly.

      https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/12071

      The authenticity of the “Jamesian Passage” relies on the authenticity of the TF. The TF is a later interpolation. Keep up.

      https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5871.5-a-eusebian-reading-of-the-testimonium-flavianum-ken-olson

      It’s an entirely accurate analogy I’ve noticed long before I heard of Tim O’Neill.

      If you say so, I couldn’t give a shite. It’s still nonsense and if you are too stupid to recognise why it is not an accurate analogy, you are beyond any help.

      YEC, read Jesus historicists, was the consensus thought before The Theory of Evolution, read Jesus Mythicism challenged. The age of the world was just taken for granted, like Moses existence, and Jesus, was based on the bible. All those things are no longer a given. The first has been scientifically disproven, the second more or less, the third is what’s under discussion.

      The evidence against YEC is astronomical. The evidence against a Jesus based on a myth, is feeble at best. The two are not even in the same ballpark. The analogy is shite.

      Arguments aren’t evidence.

      Successful arguments decide on how the evidence should be best interpreted ya goat.

      Christ-mythers have the former but never the latter.

      When I see better arguments from the Jesus historicist side, I’ll be less agnostic on the issue. So far they are crap. Ehrman’s attempted was a clusterfuck and all he demonstrated was that he is an ignorant amateur when it comes to this issue.

      He has one on the way. Is there supposed to be a dick-measuring contest about how many books one publishes?
      No, it doesn’t, does it?

      You’re the one that’s all about the “dick-measuring” when it comes to whose scholarship or credentials should be recognised. I was just pointing out the obvious in your fuckwittery.

      Projection is not an argument, bub, try again.

      Nope, that’s correct. I was just making an observation. For some reason you thought something that was wrong. That was after being a fool and making a silly assertion that you didn’t know the answer to. Don’t go blaming others for your silliness…bub!

      No more presumptuous than Christ-mythers and YECs.

      Like I said, you laid a shite and then stood in yer own muck.

      I answer fools according to their folly

      So far, you’ve done very little of anything other than troll. Oh, and link to that amateur arsewipe O’Neill’s blog as an authority, while decrying others credentials. Hypocrite. But then that’s the modus operandi of you lot, for some reason ya’ll think the ad hominem fallacy is a good argument. I shouldn’t be surprised when it filters from the top down to the thickets at the bottom.

      • Luka

        You cite Richard “Cosmic Sperm Bank” Carrier? Ok I’m done after this. You lose all intellectual credibility: https://historyforatheists.com/2018/10/richard-carrier-is-displeased-again/ Only one of the two mentions of Jesus is partially tampered with. Those convenient “interpolation!” apologetics for every reference to Jesus don’t work anymore.

        Nope, YECs and Christ-mythers are so alike, you’ll find more parallels between them than the other pagan figures on which Jesus was supposedly “copied” from: http://www.joeledmundanderson.com/richard-carrier-and-the-mythical-jesus-part-4-mythical-carriers-and-ark-encounters-how-richard-carrier-and-ken-ham-are-the-captains-of-the-same-titanic/ Talking to you reminds me of my time talking to YECs.

        “like Moses existence, and Jesus, was based on the bible. All those things are no longer a given. The first has been scientifically disproven, the second more or less, the third is what’s under discussion.”, first of all, I know village-Atheists like to pay lip service to science but you don’t know how science works any more than you do history. Science doesn’t deal in proving or disproving. Also, the Moses comparison is usually a last desperate tangent. Moses certainly has not been “more or less” disproven historically, much less scientifically. There’s no way to archaeologically verify the existence of a desert nomad leader from over 3 thousand years ago anyway. Given the traces of cultural memory, it’s overwhelmingly likely there was a man – probably Egyptian in origin (as Moses is an Egyptian name, meaning “son of”) – who set up a cult in Midian, who inspired the legend of the biblical figure.

        So you rag on Tim O’Neill for being a [well read] amateur, yet you cite the Ken Ham of Atheism; a failed academic who’s considered a joke in academia (even by fellow atheists and agnostics, it’s just just the big bad puppet-string-pulling Christians who laugh at him) and has never held a teaching position since he graduated. My response limit is up and you citing a crackpot sets it home. Adios. May you educate yourself well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You cite Richard “Cosmic Sperm Bank” Carrier? Ok I’m done after this. You lose all intellectual credibility: https://historyforatheists…. Only one of the two mentions of Jesus is partially tampered with. Those convenient “interpolation!” apologetics for every reference to Jesus don’t work anymore.

          You keep linking to O’Neill’s blog as if you think we are not aware of its existence or those particular articles. It’s not the case.

          I cite Carrier who uses the current scholarship. If you can’t refute his position and supporting arguments, just say so. I shoulda been done with you when you cited that arrogant amateur arsecrank O’Neill, but it has been a slow couple of days and a change of chew toy is as good as a rest.

          Nope, YECs and Christ-mythers are so alike, you’ll find more parallels between them than the other pagan figures on which Jesus was supposedly “copied” from: http://www.joeledmundanders

          Seriously? Anderson? A holy roller?

          His point one…PhD. Carriers PhD is from a respected University and in a relevant subject. The reason Carrier needs to repeat that point is because scholars such as Ehrman decried the fact and then had to backtrack and admit his error.

          And of course having credentials don’t validate ones claims. Something that Ehrman doesn’t seem to realise. The weight of one’s argument does. So far, the best argument produced in the past 100 years and supporting historicity, has been Ehrman’s clusterfuck.

          His point two…Carrier’s claim to be be peer reviewed, again, like one, is by respectable journals and peers in the academy…YEC can’t make the same claim. Anderson claims that Carrier’s peer review is by other mythicists, but shows no support for this assertion.

          His point three…is completely off the chart. Complaining about not being taken seriously? There’s no complaining. Mainstream biblical scholars are taking the idea seriously enough to spill enough ink on the issue. Ehrman wrote a clusterfuck of a pop book for the layperson, full of all sorts of arsecrankery, but he got it arse backwards. What he should’ve done, is wrote a scholarly thesis first. The problem is, it doesn’t appear that it can be done.

          His point four…Ehrman came straight out and declared that a scholar taking the mythicist would be unemployable and would lose any academic credibility. And guess what? We know this to be a fact, because there are examples of this very thing. Even within the ranks of apologists veering from the party line. Ask Mike Licona. So no, it isn’t a conspiracy theory when one’s opposition makes the assertion…in a national newspaper no less. The HuffPo article.

          As Carrier observed…

          Ehrman intimates that any professor who entertains this hypothesis will be fired or otherwise never hired, that he will in effect suffer career persecution. He does not say this with sadness, but with glee, satisfaction even. Indeed Ehrman’s own article represents a variety of this persecution: ridicule and the slandering of credentials.

          I could go on with your pathetic analogy and that fuckwit comparison, but it is so ridiculous and am losing the will to live.

          Talking to you reminds me of my time talking to YECs.

          And yet here you are. You came here and engaged. One wonders why that is other than trolling? I never go to to Christian sites to engage on this topic…I very rarely go to Christian sites at all for that matter.

          “like Moses existence, and Jesus, was based on the bible. All those things are no longer a given. The first has been scientifically disproven, the second more or less, the third is what’s under discussion.”

          The dishonesty of the quotemine.

          first of all, I know village-Atheists like to pay lip service to science but you don’t know how science works any more than you do history. Science doesn’t deal in proving or disproving.

          Now you really are being a knuckle-dragging fucking idiot.

          Are you trying to be a smart arse on the semantics of the word “disproven”? Because that makes you being a dickhead complete.

          See, it depends on how it is being used.

          https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disprove

          That the Earth is only 6,000 years old, has been disproven by science. It’s perfectly fine to use the word, but if refute makes you happy, swap it out.

          Ever heard of forensic science and what it’s used for?

          DNA Tests Disprove Key Evidence in Texas Execution

          https://www.innocenceproject.org/dna-tests-disprove-key-evidence-in-texas-execution/

          Also, the Moses comparison is usually a last desperate tangent.

          What’s the evidence for historical Moses?

          Moses certainly has not been “more or less” disproven historically, much less scientifically.

          Yeah, even Jews are coming to terms with the reality of the issue.

          Since the central rite of Jewish identity is the Passover festival, which commemorates the moment that Moses freed his people from slavery in Egypt, the absence of evidence outside the Bible story is potentially embarrassing, says Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, who leads Reform Judaism in this country: “When I heard for the first time that the exodus might not have happened, I did want to weep … then I thought, what does this matter? You have to distinguish between truth and historicity.”

          Google Rabbi Wolpe on the subject.

          Also…

          But the problem with historical evidence goes much deeper. “Moses himself has about as much historic reality as King Arthur,” British archaeologist Philip Davies famously concluded. A more moderate conclusion comes from the historian Tom Holland: “The likelihood that the biblical story records an actual event is fairly small.”

          Cyprian Broodbank, the Disney professor of archaeology at Cambridge University, wrote in his recent history of the Mediterranean that the exodus was “at best a refracted folk memory of earlier expulsions of Levantine people” following the reconquest of the Nile delta by the Egyptian king Ahmose around 1530BC.

          This date is about 900 years earlier than the period in which the Hebrew Bible is supposed to have been codified and written down, including its first five books that were supposedly written by Moses himself. There is no archaeological evidence for the biblical story, and certainly no extra-biblical evidence, in Egyptian inscriptions.

          There’s no way to archaeologically verify the existence of a desert nomad leader from over 3 thousand years ago anyway.

          But that’s not just who the Moses of the book was supposed to be though, was it?

          Given the traces of cultural memory, it’s overwhelmingly likely there was a man – probably Egyptian in origin (as Moses is an Egyptian name, meaning “son of”) – who set up a cult in Midian, who inspired the legend of the biblical figure.

          Or there wasn’t and the story was plagiarised from earlier times.

          The Assyrians and the Babylonians plagiarized the Sumerian accounts almost word for word, so why would we not assume that the Jews would do the same (other than to special plead the veracity of the Bible or Torah) with the surrounding Babylonians?

          Sargon I of Akkad (2371-2316 BCE) had a similar legendary origin. His mother, a priestess who became impregnated by an anonymous pilgrim—possibly she was a temple prostitute—knew that all children born to her were destined to be sacrificed. Therefore, she gave birth in secret, placed the infant in a tar-daubed basket woven of rushes, and put the basket in the Euphrates river were it floated into an irrigation canal and was discovered by Akki, the royal gardener. The story of the infant Moses hidden in just such a basket among the bulrushes so that he would likewise escape being killed is too close to Sargon’s story to be coincidence. Since Sargon’s tale dates anywhere from 800 to 1100 years before Moses is likely to have lived, assuming Moses to be a historical character, the story in Exodus was the copy. Therefore the story of Moses’ birth was a typological fiction rather than true history. As I shall point out in succeeding chapters, many of the stories of the Creation, the fall, and the patriarchs involve both typologies and common origins with other mythic systems.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2018/03/07/exodus-debunked-moses-birth/

          So you rag on Tim O’Neill for being a [well read] amateur, yet you cite the Ken Ham of Atheism; a failed academic who’s considered a joke in academia (even by fellow atheists and agnostics, it’s just just the big bad puppet-string-pulling Christians who laugh at him) and has never held a teaching position since he graduated.

          Given that your Disqus account is new, and this smells suspiciously like the fuckwittery of a Dime Bar that was bannhamered here for being a fuckwit, am claiming sockpuppet on yer lying dishonest arse.

          @BobSeidensticker:disqus

          My response limit is up and you citing a crackpot sets it home. Adios. May you educate yourself well.

          Fuck-off then. No one is keeping ya here or asked ya to engage ya bore. It’s not as if you were invited here then forced to stay and waffle all the pish ya have against yer will.

        • Greg G.

          Given that your Disqus account is new, and this smells suspiciously like the fuckwittery of a Dime Bar that was bannhamered here for being a fuckwit, am claiming sockpuppet on yer lying dishonest arse.

          KD?

        • Ignorant Amos

          A don’t think so, that fuckwit isn’t excepted, a can’t remember off the top of me head and am too pished at present to remember.

          A might have a wee look later, but a doubt it..the Rangers match and beer calls at 15:00 so fuck it.

        • Greg G.

          I noticed that Luka has two upvotes. One from himself and the other from himself, too.

        • Luka

          It’s called promotion. Gotta balance out all those idiotic comments l see here

  • Luka

    I have no problem with sensible atheists or sensible religious people, just conspiracy theorists who give both a bad name

    • Pofarmer

      What is a “sensible atheist?”

  • BlackMamba44

    @Ignorant_Amos:disqus – Haha! You truly have given yourself the best username.

    They fall for it every time. 🙂

    • Luka

      It’s entirety accurate.
      He exposed himself 🙂

      • BlackMamba44

        Bwahahahahaha!!!!!

        • Luka

          Bwahahahahaha!!!!!!

        • BlackMamba44

          You don’t even know what I’m laughing at cuz you don’t get it. I’ll wait to see if he decides to explain it to you. 🙂

        • Luka

          Given the sheer ignorance he has displayed here and elsewhere, it’s a fitting name. I know he meant it to be ironic and your uncritical self thinks that’s the case but whatever.
          He’s already tried “explaining” things that are easily refuted and continues to be proud of his own ignorance, like any “agnostic” on Mythicism, YEC, or the flat earth. That’s why l stopped engaging with him. I don’t have the time or patience to reason people out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into and throughly refute every stupid shit he says in his gish-gallop comments. I see you’re not a good faith actor either. So be it.

        • BlackMamba44

          Nope. Still don’t get it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Given the sheer ignorance he has displayed here and elsewhere,…

          Says the knuckle-dragging fuckwit that can’t even get the qualifications of the two bloggers he is referring to right…you’re a Dime Bar.

          Spoiiingity, spoing, spoing, spoing! Goes another bag of meters.

          Let’s have an example ya lying fuck? Or is that an example of your projectionism?

        • Ignorant Amos

          He’s already tried “explaining” things that are easily refuted…

          Not by you they haven’t. And the links you provided to O’Neill have refuted fuck all too.

          …and continues to be proud of his own ignorance, like any “agnostic” on Mythicism, YEC, or the flat earth.

          And the same bullshit mantra again. Otherwise known as the Or, how to scrape the bottom of a barrel in the stupidest way possible.

          But like the fools ya parrot, you’ll keep on embarrassing yerself by repeating it all the same.

          Comparing the quality of Jesus to that of any major person after the invention of the printing press in the west (1436) is bad enough but when people compare denying Jesus as a historical person to [YEC or the flat earth] they are either ignorant of just how much material evidence there is for the [YEC or the flat earth] or are making a strawman.

          It is an emotional argument and a totally unfair one as Jesus has never had the quantity or quality of evidence anywhere near the same that demonstrates the Theory of Evolution and the obloid Earth.

          While the at the same time, the arguments for the mythicist Jesus can’t/haven’t been successfully refuted in the same way as both YEC and a flat earth have been solidly refuted. And if ya can’t see the difference, you are even stupider than a take ya for, and believe me, that’s some level of stupid.

          That’s why l stopped engaging with him.

          Yeah ya say that. But in doing that, you avoided replying to the valid points I put to you. See, if you were being honest, you’d have done the same with us all, yet ya didn’t. So ya lied again.

          I don’t have the time or patience to reason people out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into and throughly refute every stupid shit he says in his gish-gallop comments.

          Learn the difference between a “Gish Gallop” and a sound fisking of your fuckwittery with supporting data.

          I see you’re not a good faith actor either. So be it.

          There goes another bag of meters ffs.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A wasn’t gonna bother, but then a read a comment just there that epeeist wrote and thought again.

          “We are all ignorant of a huge amount of human knowledge, what is to be decried is deliberate ignorance.”

  • Ignorant Amos

    As a refresher, I’ve just been rereading Ken Olson’s article…“The Testimonium Flavianum, Eusebius, and Consensus”… which seems somewhat relevant to the subject at hand.

    Olson concludes his guest post with a warning…

    “In summary, the six arguments against Christian authorship of some elements of the Testimonium that Van Voorst has culled from the scholarly literature do not hold with respect to Eusebius. At the very least, this should remind us to be wary of arguments from authority. The fact that one or more scholars has endorsed a particular argument does not mean it is sound. Even if one were to reject the overall conclusion that Eusebius wrote the text, it would not change the fact that these six arguments are based on false premises about what a Christian writer would or would not have written. Arguments about what a generic Christian writer is likely to have done always need to be checked against the actual practices of real Christian authors.”

    http://historicaljesusresearch.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-testimonium-flavianum-eusebius-and.html