Did Jesus Exist

RJM

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Your defense would be to show us why he is wrong.
..show us why the "critical scholars" that you accept are right.
I have, in #125 above. Respond to the points made, and we have a dialogue.
I can understand what Ehrman is saying, but @Thomas' post seemed very technical,
and is double-dutch to me :)
OK, I can see that.

An issue is this is what Ehrman does, he takes a sometimes complex point, and simplifies it according to his opinion. To test the truth of what he says, you'd have to examine the evidence and weigh the arguments. People generally can't be bothered, which is why theology according to the proper process rarely make best-sellers. People take what he says as 'gospel' because they don't look beyond it.

For example:
A: Ehrman's contention is that early Christianity did not see Christ as a pre-existent divine being; that the idea of incarnation was late.
B: Paul's Letter to the Philippians would appear to say otherwise:
"Who being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But emptied himself,
taking the form of a servant,
being made in the likeness of men,
and in habit found as a man."​
(Philippians 2:6-7)

Simply: Jesus took human form.

As this is regarded as an authentic letter, written around AD55, So Ehrman's contention would seem to be wrong.

Further, as this is believed to be a popular hymn, that Paul included in his letter, then the idea of the incarnation must have been around for years before the letter, which pushes back perhaps to the 40s, then as a theological development, it's quite early.
That's it .. dodge the issues
etc ...
 

muhammad_isa

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..yes .. etc.

From an historical viewpoint, Ehrman is correct, imo.

The term 'historical Jesus' refers to the reconstruction of the life and teachings of a non-supernatural human Jesus by critical historical methods, in contrast to Christological definitions (the Christ of Christianity) and other Christian accounts of Jesus (the Christ of faith). It also considers the historical and cultural contexts in which Jesus lived..
-wiki Historicity_of_Jesus-

You "hiding behind @Thomas" won't change that ;)

..anyhow, if your faith hinges mainly on Philippians 2 and Gospel of John, that's fine.
Be my guest. Ignore everything else. It might go away. ;)
 
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RJM

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From an historical viewpoint, Ehrman is correct, imo.

The term 'historical Jesus' refers to the reconstruction of the life and teachings of a non-supernatural human Jesus by critical historical methods, in contrast to Christological definitions (the Christ of Christianity) and other Christian accounts of Jesus (the Christ of faith). It also considers the historical and cultural contexts in which Jesus lived..
Even without wiki I do understand what is meant by the historical Jesus. But thanks for the purple cut-and-paste anyway. It doesn't incude virgin birth and miracles and ascension, now does it? Or aren't those supernatural? What parts do you want to keep?
You "hiding behind @Thomas" won't change that ;)

..anyhow, if your faith hinges mainly on Philippians 2 and Gospel of John, that's fine.
Be my guest. Ignore everything else. It might go away. ;)
What do you think Paul means here ;)

Who being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But emptied himself,
taking the form of a servant,
being made in the likeness of men,
and in habit found as a man.
(Philippians 2:6-7)
 
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Thomas

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The term 'historical Jesus' refers ... - wiki Historicity_of_Jesus -

Yes ... and as the article goes on to say:
A number of scholars have criticized the various approaches used in the study of the historical Jesus—on one hand, for the lack of rigor in research methods; on the other, for being driven by "specific agendas" that interpret ancient sources to fit specific goals.

By the 21st century, the "maximalist" approaches of the 19th century, which accepted all the gospels, and the "minimalist" trends of the early 20th century, which totally rejected them, were abandoned and scholars began to focus on what is historically probable and plausible about Jesus.

I think Ehrman's critique of the gospels puts him in the latter camp. He's simply too dogmatic to be tenable.

Interestingly:
Most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable, as do Bart Ehrman...
My emphasis.

Bart Ehrman says: "The crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans is one of the most secure facts we have about his life" (on his blog).
Do you agree with that?
 

RJM

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By the 21stcentury, the "maximalist" approaches of the 19th century, which accepted all the gospels, and the "minimalist" trends of the early 20th century, which totally rejected them, were abandoned and scholars began to focus on what is historically probable and plausible about Jesus.

I think Ehrman's critique of the gospels puts him in the latter camp. He's simply too dogmatic to be tenable.
No I don't think this describes Bart Ehrman. He doesn't reject the Gospels. He falls into the third category. He carefully compares them for clues and cadences in the original language, imo
Bart Ehrman says: "The crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans is one of the most secure facts we have about his life"
Ehrman extends that in the M. Hijab video I posted above to qualify that he means crucified, dead and buried
 
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muhammad_isa

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..By the 21st century, the "maximalist" approaches of the 19th century, which accepted all the gospels, and the "minimalist" trends of the early 20th century, which totally rejected them, were abandoned and scholars began to focus on what is historically probable and plausible about Jesus.

I think Ehrman's critique of the gospels puts him in the latter camp..

Exactly .. what would you expect?
He is agnostic .. he deduces what he thinks probable and plausible. Good.

Interestingly:
Most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable, as do Bart Ehrman...
My emphasis.

Bart Ehrman says: "The crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans is one of the most secure facts we have about his life" (on his blog).
Do you agree with that?

I just said that a couple of posts ago .. perhaps you are not reading them properly? ;)
You know I believe in the crucixificion .. it's in the Qur'an.
 

RJM

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Sorry. While on the subject, from what I get Ehrman is saying that in his own opinion he believes that Jesus himself did not claim divinity, though Jesus believed himself to be the Messiah and the King of Israel.

Ehrman is not saying that Jesus's followers did not quite early begin to claim Jesus's divinity? This would probably include Peter and likely even James the brother of Jesus, who Paul met.
 
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muhammad_isa

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Ehrman is not saying that Jesus's followers did not quite early begin to claim Jesus's divinity? This would probably include Peter and likely even James the brother of Jesus, who Paul met.

That looks pretty weird, to me..
Why isn't James Divine, if his brother was? ;)

Quite simply, there is no reason to believe that the promised Messiah was going to be "God Himself".
It is very hard to see how that it can be rationally be argued that Jesus was God from the outset, and not that Jesus "BECAME" G-d.

i.e. the creed as we know it today, evolved over a few centuries
 
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RJM

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@muhammad_isa

What do you think Paul means here ;)

Who being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But emptied himself,
taking the form of a servant,
being made in the likeness of men,
and in habit found as a man.
(Philippians 2:6-7)
 

muhammad_isa

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@muhammad_isa

What do you think Paul means here ;)

Who being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But emptied himself,
taking the form of a servant,
being made in the likeness of men,
and in habit found as a man.
(Philippians 2:6-7)

I have no idea on the origin of this.
If you think that this is proof [ along with John Gospel], that all the other verses that imply he is NOT G-d in the NT are wrong, then that is your prerogative.
I agree with Ehrman that so-called historical scholars that already proscribe to a creed, would find it difficult to be objective, particularly if they don't have an open-mind to start with.

I, along with Ehrman, think it is highly improbable. The promised Messiah does not suddenly become G-d without a reason.
I know what that reason was, and so does Ehrman. It is his speciality.

Don't forget, Ehrman is agnostic. He doesn't believe in the Qur'an. He also knows little about Islam.
..only that which he has encountered in his debates. He has not studied it, and certainly does not agree with it.
 

RJM

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I have no idea on the origin of this.
If you think that this is proof [ along with John Gospel], that all the other verses that imply he is NOT G-d in the NT are wrong, then that is your prerogative.
I agree with Ehrman that so-called historical scholars that already proscribe to a creed, would find it difficult to be objective, particularly if they don't have an open-mind to start with.

I, along with Ehrman, think it is highly improbable. The promised Messiah does not suddenly become G-d without a reason.
I know what that reason was, and so does Ehrman. It is his speciality.

Don't forget, Ehrman is agnostic. He doesn't believe in the Qur'an. He also knows little about Islam.
..only that which he has encountered in his debates. He has not studied it, and certainly does not agree with it.
What do YOU think Paul means here ;)

Who being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But emptied himself,
taking the form of a servant,
being made in the likeness of men,
and in habit found as a man.
(Philippians 2:6-7)

Asking you, not Bart ...
 

RJM

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If you could admit that you do not know these texts or their context -- that whenever you want a NT quote to suit your immediate argument you enter the subject line on Google and then cut and paste the wiki passage that gets thrown up -- then we could have a proper discussion, each listening and gaining with a semblance of wisdom from the other's religion, instead of you pretending to be the grand adversary expert on Christianity?
 
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muhammad_isa

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If you could admit that you do not know these texts or their context -- that whenever you want a NT quote to suit your immediate argument you enter the subject line on Google and then cut and paste the wiki passage that gets thrown up -- then we could have a proper discussion, each listening and gaining with a semblance of wisdom from the other's religion, instead of you pretending to be the grand adversary expert on Christianity?

I am more familiar with the 4 Gospels..
I don't pretend to be an expert on Christianity. You know that.
I clearly have some knowledge of Christianity, as I was raised as a Christian and had a good basic education.
When I was at school, we were taught the subject of "Divinity" which was based on Christianity.
The Divinity Master was educated at Cambridge University.
I also attended Sunday school.

Please stop these ad hominem attacks :)
 

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I believe this is the whole problem in general. Most Muslims know very little about Christianity, yet feel compelled to attack and correct Christian belief at every opportunity. Allah says – in the Quran – but which book Christians do not accept as qualified to instruct them what to believe about Jesus.

There is the supposed recourse to logic: but it is not logical that God sent a sinless man of virgin birth just to make a few small alterations to 1st Century Judaism, but who failed and nearly got himself killed instead, causing God to have to raise him alive to heaven to keep him safe from further attempts on his life – with the unexpected result of sparking a whole new false religion that took over first the Roman empire then the world – that Allah had to try to correct by sending another prophet 600 years later, but who so far also has failed to fix the problem, despite having had 1500 years to get it right?

That seems to be what I have learned so far from these discussions. Is that what Islam wants Christians should believe?
 
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muhammad_isa

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..with the unexpected result of sparking a whole new false religion that took over first the Roman empire then the world – that Allah had to try to correct by sending another prophet 600 years later, but who so far also has failed to fix the problem, despite having had 1500 years to get it right?

Firstly, nothing is "unexpected" for G-d. He is omniscient. He is aware of every leaf that falls and will fall.
Secondly, the "problem" has been fixed. If G-d hadn't sent Muhammad, then we wouldn't have the Qur'an.

G-d's plan is the best of plans. He is aware of who is sincere and who is not. He is the Most Merciful and oft-Forgiving.
He forgives whomsoever He wills, and punishes whomsoever He wills.

Jesus, son of Mary is the promised Messiah. He will return as the Messiah.
The virgin birth is a miracle. The reason that we know about it is because it is true.
There is not much historical material about Jesus as a child or teenager..
That is because the Bible has preserved in the NT what was thought to be important for AN AGENDA.
Many texts were burnt. We have what we have.

Other than the statement that after he was 12 years old (Luke 2:42) Jesus "advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men" (Luke 2:52), the New Testament has no other details regarding the gap. Christian tradition suggests that Jesus simply lived in Galilee during that period. Modern scholarship holds that there is little historical information to determine what happened during those years.
-wiki Unknown_years_of_Jesus-

The so-called Infancy Gospel of Thomas is a biographical gospel about the childhood of Jesus, believed to date at the latest to the second century. Interestingly, the stories cover how Jesus matures and learns to use his powers for good and how those around him first respond in fear and later with admiration. One of the episodes involves Jesus making clay birds, which he then proceeds to bring to life, an act also attributed to Jesus in Quran 5:110, and in a medieval work known as Toledot Yeshu.

..but then, atheists and orthodox Christians will say that it has been plagarised. :)
Atheists often say the NT is plagarised. Easy to say, but as I think you will agree,
is difficult for us both to believe.
 

Thomas

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I don't know.. it looks like philosophical gobledigook to me. Sorry. :oops:
OK. Scripture, by its very nature being a mode of Revelation, is a unique genre.

Best not to knock what you don't understand.
 

Thomas

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Re the hymn in Philippians.

Scholars noticed the hymnodic structure (vvs 6-11) and then see a style unlike Paul, suggesting he utilises a liturgical hymn in his epistle. Some have even suggested the original hymn is Aramaic, but it seems hard to make that work.

The second line 'thought it not robbery to be equal with God' is perhaps a proverbial expression meaning 'did not use His divinity for His own selfish advantage' and is an indirect reference to Adam, who was not divine but sought to seize divinity.

Who being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,
being made in the likeness of men,
and in habit found as a man He humbled himself,
becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.

For which cause God also hath exalted him,
and hath given him a name which is above all names:
That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
And that every tongue should confess that
the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

Thus we have two verses, the first is the descent (incarnation) from heaven to death upon the cross, the second is the ascent (resurrection) and His establishment in the place which, in reality, He never lost, but in so doing made known to us.
 
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