Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:10 am Posts: 12 Location: Southeast Asia
Anyone who had watched the Price-Ehrman debate? I haven't since it's geographically restricted to my country but I want to watch it. Then the blogs came out in their assessment of the debate. Apparently, Bart argued better but his conclusions are still false. I can't stand Richard Carrier's analysis as if he's whining that "it should have been me". I can't believe I'm saying this but I prefer Neil Godfrey's analysis than Carrier. Furthermore, I'm getting unconvinced of some of Carrier's analysis. What are your thoughts?
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm Posts: 5205 Location: 3rd rock from the sun
I hope to see more debates on the topic of the case for mythicism. The Robert Price vs Bart Ehrman debate was hopefully just a beginning. Good to see so many blogs discussing the debate with good ideas. High-5 to Mythicist Milwaukee for having the debate.
"Writing Did Jesus Exist was an interesting task. For one thing, before writing the book, like most New Testament scholars, I knew almost nothing about the mythicist movement." - Dr. Bart Ehrman
"Bart Ehrman also confesses on page two in his book, "Did Jesus Exist?," that for 30 years he never even thought to consider to question the existence of Jesus as real historical character because it was a question that he "did not take seriously." Bart goes on to say, "I discovered, to my surprise, an entire body of literature devoted to the question of whether or not there ever was a real man, Jesus ... I was almost completely unaware - as are most of my colleagues in the field - of this body of skeptical literature."
"Thank you, Bart Ehrman, for admitting that you knew nothing about mythicism before you started writing your book, 'Did Jesus Exist?'; having read DJE I can confirm that you STILL know nothing about it. So, he's admitting that he was ignorant, as are most of his colleagues, of what is an "entire body of literature" in his field."
"... there is not a single mythicist who teaches New Testament or Early Christianity or even Classics at any accredited institution of higher learning in the Western world." - Bart D. Ehrman
"Ehrman raises a straw man here because he knows there is no such course teaching the case for mythicism and mythicists are not typically going to be hired, in fact, if anybody comes out of the mythicist closet they're more likely to be fired - for example: "Fired for Saying Adam and Eve Mythical? A news report about a professor at a community college in Iowa who claimed he was fired for stating in class that the biblical Adam and Eve were mythical."
"The Mythicist case has been rebutted? Really? When did that happen? The arguments of the Mythicist camp have never been refuted - they have only been steadfastly ignored." "...As for this tiresome business about there being "no scholar" or "no serious scholar" who advocates the Christ Myth theory: Isn't it obvious that scholarly communities are defined by certain axioms in which grad students are trained, and that they will lose standing in those communities if they depart from those axioms? The existence of an historical Jesus is currently one of those. That should surprise no one, especially with the rightward lurch of the Society for Biblical Literature in recent years. It simply does not matter how many scholars hold a certain opinion.... "
- Dr. Robert Price, Biblical Scholar with two Ph.D's
I liked this part of Carrier's blog as well as others:
Why Don’t We Have the Cosmic Gospels?
"Similarly, Ehrman smartly asked a very good question: given that no “outer space gospel” survives, but the historicizing gospels do, why are we siding with evidence that doesn’t survive instead of the evidence that does? Price didn’t give any intelligible answer to the question. Why didn’t he mention that an “outer space gospel” does survive? The reconstructed Ascension of Isaiah. Why didn’t he point out that Medieval Christians tried destroying that gospel, by tearing sections out, and forging new sections in their place that agreed with their historicizing doctrine instead? Why didn’t he mention that Medieval Christians destroyed nearly every document of every competing sect, and almost all the documents of the first and early second century, including several letters of Paul, and even some sections of the letters we have? (OHJ, pp. 146-52, 293-08, 349-56.) Why did the prevailing Christian sect rely almost entirely on mass forgery to establish its doctrines and history? (OHJ, pp. 214-22, 315-42) What happened to the gospel quoted by Ignatius that says no one witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus, and that his existence was only known upon his resurrection, by a shining star in the sky? (OHJ, pp. 320-23) Why did historicist Christians have to forge the letter of 2 Peter to denounce other Christians who were claiming the historical Jesus was a myth, and why did that have to be accomplished by forging an eyewitness testimony of Peter meeting Jesus on earth in order to “refute” them? (OHJ, p. 351) Why do we not have a single document from that other sect of Christians? Why don’t we have their Gospels?
"Ehrman can’t claim we should have those Gospels if they existed therefore they didn’t exist; clearly they existed—2 Peter was forged to refute them, and Ignatius quotes one; and in fact we do have one of them, the Ascension of Isaiah—after heavy doctoring by later Christians who tried to hide its original content. The reason we don’t have any more than this is thus not that there weren’t Christians arguing Jesus was a myth or preaching his cosmic death instead of an earthly one. There clearly were. The reason we don’t have more of their literature (especially their earliest, which would be the most important for dating their cosmic doctrine) is that the entire existence of those Christians—and the entirety of their literature, their epistles and gospels—was almost completely erased from history by the prevailing historicizing sect. This enormously distorts the evidence we have. We cannot act like we have a random survival of documents, and that what we have is a mostly honest representation of what there was. What survives was crafted by numerous independent agents with a common agenda to convince us of historicity—to “refute” those forgotten Christians who denied it. And that was accomplished with destruction, forgery, and lies."
Carrier is a dual-edge sword for me ... it's great to see Carrier make his best argument for a celestial Jesus in his book OHJ, yet, disturbing to see him fallaciously argue against astrotheology after admitting he has never studied it and refuses to because he says he has no interest in it: Nuskeptix "Christ Myth Theory" Video Chat
Plus, so many of his criticisms of Acharya's work include sloppy & egregious errors: HERE
If Richard Carrier would ever actually read a book by Acharya he would learn plenty:
“The claim that the 12 tribes of Israel were identified with the 12 signs of the zodiac is spelled out clearly by the ancient Jewish writers Philo and Josephus, during the first century. During the first century BCE, Diodorus Siculus identified the 12 tribes with the 12 months.
“See Exodus 39:9-14: "...they made the breastplate... And they set in it four rows of stones... And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve...according to the twelve tribes.”
As Josephus says (Antiquities, 3.8): “And for the twelve stones, whether we understand by them the months, or whether we understand the like number of the signs of that circle which the Greeks call the zodiac, we shall not be mistaken in their meaning.” (Josephus/Whiston, 75.)
Earlier than Josephus, Philo (“On the Life of Moses,” 12) had made the same comments regarding Moses: “Then the twelve stones on the breast, which are not like one another in colour, and which are divided into four rows of three stones in each, what else can they be emblems of, except of the circle of the zodiac?” (Philo/Duke, 99.)”
– Christ in Egypt, 261-2
“…the sun was worshipped by the Israelites, who associated it with their tribal god Yahweh. Like Father, like son, and the connection between Jesus and the sun is first evidenced in the OT book of Malachi (4:2), which immediately precedes the New Testament and in which the author refers to the “Sun of Righteousness” who will “arise with healing in his wings.” This scripture, which is in the last chapter before the Gospel of Matthew, sounds much like the winged solar disc of Babylon and Egypt.”
“This scripture in Malachi is perceived as a reference to the coming messiah, Jesus Christ. In this regard, this clearly solar appellation “Sun of Righteousness” is repeated many times by early Church fathers as being applicable to Christ.”
"This book is a slightly revised version of my doctoral dissertation entitled “Solar Worship in the Biblical World” which was submitted to the Graduate School of Yale University in the Spring of 1989. As may be judged from the title of that work, I had at one time planned to cover more territory than sun worship in ancient Israel, but found the material pertaining to ancient Israel so vast that I never got beyond it."
- Rev. Dr. J. Glen Taylor, "Yahweh and the Sun: Biblical and Archaeological Evidence for Sun Worship in Ancient Israel" (1993)
"At Stonehenge in England and Carnac in France, in Egypt and Yucatan, across the whole face of the earth are found mysterious ruins of ancient monuments, monuments with astronomical significance. These relics of other times are as accessible as the American Midwest and as remote as the jungles of Guatemala. Some of them were built according to celestial alignments; others were actually precision astronomical observatories ... Careful observation of the celestial rhythms was compellingly important to early peoples, and their expertise, in some respects, was not equaled in Europe until three thousand years later."
- Dr. Edwin Krupp, astronomer and director at Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles
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