"The older I get, the more sub-genres of music I come to appreciate But I am not a chronic music listener. My MP3 player storage is more suffused with vocal podcasts. I haven't taken the test, yet.
I have a friend…"
"For more than 200 years, many scholars have surmised that the "lost book of the law" according to Kings, discovered by the priest Hilkiah during Temple renovations during the reign of Josiah is in fact Dueteronomy at least in an…"
"This is a terrific case in point on the mendacity of evangelical Christians on science. They know that younger people from Christian homes are faith-indoctrinated before they are introduced to the essential conclusions of scientific…"
"My understanding is that there was another plague before that starting about 180CE (at the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius) that lasted about 100-120 years. It has been judged as something unlike bubonic, but its actual medical attributes and…"
Hi there - Doing some catching up on the last few months of the do-you-believe-Jesus-existed thread that I missed. Sorry now that I missed it. *Really* enjoyed your refreshingly complete, thought out critique of the Josepheus/Tactius references.
In re-examining the issue, I think the main problem is that Christianity is so huge, Jesus is such a household name, that most people (many a scholar included) seem to start with the given that Biblical Jesus is an exaggeration of an otherwise real person whose biography, sayings and deeds are in the bible. Starting from that given, it's very easy to find facts that fit the theory. "See? Even Josephus says there was a Jesus!"
I'm intrigued with the approach (and why more people don't approach it this way) from a default of doubt, a la Descartes. "Biblical Jesus is a total fabrication. Prove otherwise." Suddenly, the same evidence *could* be pointing to biblical Jesus, or a number of Jesuses who got mashed into one, or any number of known events that get tacked onto one name, or there was a local folk-hero Jesus but didn't say or do anything close to resembling anything in the scriptures.
Or even that it could have been entirely fabricated. Maybe not as probable, but certainly plausible.
Anyway, as I'm trying to break back into the thread I was reviewing past posts and wanted to give a thumbs-up on yours. ;-)