Research on Belief in God

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Oct 23, 2011
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rhubroma said:
You, of course, completely neglect an entire other body of (contradictory) evidence in the apocrypha including the Gospel of Judas, which are only less valid than a bunch of late antique power mongering theologians disavowing them. Then there are the corpus of Gnostic texts and, as far as Hebrew biblical studies are concerned, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and so forth. There is consequently no consistency as far as the Book is concerned, but a series of inconsistencies and flawed constridicitons.
You have to come up with something better than the Gospel of Judas. The Gospel of Judas is dated no earlier than the late 2nd century, whereas all the canonical Christian literature, with few exceptions, is dated in the second half of the 1st century, not just by conservative Christian scholars, but by everyone.

Even very critical scholars who might reject many elements of the canonical Gospels, still use the canonical Gospels as a starting point for reconstructing the historical Jesus and none of them use the apocryphal Gospels, to my knowledge. They are all dated too late and often the miracles and ideas they are teaching are much wilder and more unbelievable even than those written up in the canonical Gospels. In fact, I think the only apocryphal gospel which is used, albeit rarely, is the so called gospel of Thomas. But the early dating of the gospel of Thomas is a minority position, for which I don't think there are very good arguments.

Finally, the Qumran scrolls are used and studied even by the most conservative Christian scholars. Even though the Qumran sect was a specificc Jewish sect that is certainly not representative of Judaism at large in those days, we can still learn a lot from the context in which Jesus lived from the Qumran scrolls. :)
 
RetroActive said:
Hyksos.

Egyptologists are cowards, like everyone else they know which side of their bread is buttered. Scientism. Repeaters.
Hyksos? What about them?

That's one hell of a cop-out. If Egyptologists cannot be trusted about Egyptian gods, where did those skeptical commentators get their information from? Did they read the primary sources themselves?
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
You have to come up with something better than the Gospel of Judas. The Gospel of Judas is dated no earlier than the late 2nd century, whereas all the canonical Christian literature, with few exceptions, is dated in the second half of the 1st century, not just by conservative Christian scholars, but by everyone.

Even very critical scholars who might reject many elements of the canonical Gospels, still use the canonical Gospels as a starting point for reconstructing the historical Jesus and none of them use the apocryphal Gospels, to my knowledge. They are all dated too late and often the miracles and ideas they are teaching are much wilder and more unbelievable even than those written up in the canonical Gospels. In fact, I think the only apocryphal gospel which is used, albeit rarely, is the so called gospel of Thomas. But the early dating of the gospel of Thomas is a minority position, for which I don't think there are very good arguments.

Finally, the Qumran scrolls are used and studied even by the most conservative Christian scholars. Even though the Qumran sect was a specificc Jewish sect that is certainly not representative of Judaism at large in those days, we can still learn a lot from the context in which Jesus lived from the Qumran scrolls. :)
The dating of the sources is rather irrelevant in the context of reliability. None are eyewitness accounts, but even this is beside the point when one considers the nature of the documents themselves.

At any rate the canonical gospels were all written between 70-90 (a conservative estimate) years after the 'facts.' What's the difference between 90 and 130, or even 150 years, from the vantage of historical criticism? The ancient historians wrote about even more remote times, however, the evidence is weighed against a series of factors, while acknowledging that they were historically based to thus distinguish what is pure speculation (or fantasy) from events. My point was that the biblical writings were never intended to be historical, but to set down the criterion for faith in the religious and mystical settings. Citing the Gospel of Judas was just an example of how the apocrypha are valuable, from the historian's approach, in factoring in the contradictory nature of the entire question.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Don't get me wrong. The chances are that a Jew named Jesus (in fact the name Yeshua or Yehoshuah ben Joseph was common enough after all), upon which a new religion was built, existed is likely. My point was other, however.

And it is when any bible wielding zealot tells me that the Book has provided them with all the 'facts,' I just laugh to myself. Since even if the historical Jesus is indeed the figure upon which the Book was based, the context in which that source was written has nothing to do with the historiocity of the person whose life it tells (and, let's face it, not even very satisfactorily from the historical perspective, which was my point from the beginning), and which it claims to be divine (hence its total unreliability as a historical source).

End of discussion.
Dont worry, I didn't get you wrong from the beginning.
My post was directed at the joyfull folk from the land of documentaries.

@Maaaaaaaarten

Speaking of apocryphal Gospels and Jesus. I do remember that in 7th grade we learned about Jesuses supposed life in religion class using exactly those apocyphal gospels, crontrasting them with the collonial ones. The teacher was out school pastor and the pastor of a curch in the area. Meaning he was a schooled protestant theologian.
A little bit later in church, when I took confirmation classes, it was the same (an it wasn't the church of my teacher at school). I got the imrpession that in mordern protastant churches in Germany that's pretty much normal.
So using the apocryphal gospels for talk about Jesus life can't be so unusual I guess.

Just so there are no confusions - though I am baptized, I am not a theist any more. Actually I think having to go to church for a while speeded up the process a lot. -
 
Mar 19, 2009
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hrotha said:
Hyksos? What about them?

That's one hell of a cop-out. If Egyptologists cannot be trusted about Egyptian gods, where did those skeptical commentators get their information from? Did they read the primary sources themselves?


I am sorry, I just couldn't resist.
It just seems, that something like this is what it'll burn down to.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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hrotha said:
That ain't no scholarly source. Come on, give me something by an Egyptologist that isn't even talking about Christianity but just about Horus. Also, "Zeitgeist" is pretty much based on "The Christ Conspiracy", it's no independent source.

Skeptical commentators would do well to bring forth actual Egyptian sources.

edit: as it is, skeptical commentators are just showing that they're cherry picking what to be skeptical about, swallowing unsourced claims hook, line and sinker.
So you are saying that D.M. Murdock
Member, American School of Classical Studies, Athens
Scholar of Archaeology, History, Mythology and Languages is not a Schoarly source :rolleyes:

Your cherry picking , and for what? I said before and it is a fact. Not 1 historian of the time of "jesus":D Not one mentions his name or his existence.

There are a Shi4 load of gods worshiped way before the known religions of today. You can pick and choose any god you want as people do.
But there is not one shred of evidence for the existence of any of them. FACT.

If people want to fill in the holes of science with their belief in a super natural entity that has filled this world with terror then that's their choice.
I have seen a tadpole turn into a frog. I know exactly how the eye works.
I know exactly how the tides work. I know that the Higgs boson reveals how we get mass from nothing
http://www.reasons.org/articles/the-higgs-boson-how-to-create-everything-from-nothing

A super natural being ,,,,,,,,,:D
 
Mar 19, 2009
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ray j willings said:
So you are saying that D.M. Murdock
Member, American School of Classical Studies, Athens
Scholar of Archaeology, History, Mythology and Languages is not a Schoarly source :rolleyes:

Your cherry picking , and for what? I said before and it is a fact. Not 1 historian of the time of "jesus":D Not one mentions his name or his existence.
You know that having studied something for a while doesn't qualify you as a scholar in the scientific community?

Let me ask you something: have you ever read a real scholary book and worked with it? Have you any idea what is necessary for a book or a paper or a thesis to be considered scientific? And I mean the method only.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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hrotha said:
Hyksos? What about them?

That's one hell of a cop-out. If Egyptologists cannot be trusted about Egyptian gods, where did those skeptical commentators get their information from? Did they read the primary sources themselves?
Hyksos, the exodus and Santorini. Where did Judaism come from? Out of Egypt.

Here's an Egyptologist for you:
http://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Death-Afterlife-Bojana-Mojsov/dp/1405131799

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZmvBzBpt14

There's only one sun, moon and night sky full of stars. The milky way is the sacred river. The stories may change from India and beyond to Egypt and on up to the Druids but what the stories are about remains rather consistent. Look up.
"On earth as in heaven".
 
Now, that's just a strawman. Did I say anything about the origins of Judaism? Or about Christianity being completely original? Of course not. A mere look at Sumerian sources proves that's not the case.

But what does that have to do with the very specific claims about several gods that were made in Zeitgeist?
 
Jan 27, 2013
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hrotha said:
Now, that's just a strawman. Did I say anything about the origins of Judaism? Or about Christianity being completely original? Of course not. A mere look at Sumerian sources proves that's not the case.

But what does that have to do with the very specific claims about several gods that were made in Zeitgeist?
I don't really care about the specifics in Zeitgeist.

Skeptical commentators would do well to bring forth actual Egyptian sources.
I just did that.

The Hidden Story of Jesus ◦ Complete Documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcrygSAqfj4

Enjoy.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Rechtschreibfehler said:
You know that having studied something for a while doesn't qualify you as a scholar in the scientific community?

Let me ask you something: have you ever read a real scholary book and worked with it? Have you any idea what is necessary for a book or a paper or a thesis to be considered scientific? And I mean the method only.
Yes , I just did a google:D
 
Oct 23, 2011
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rhubroma said:
The dating of the sources is rather irrelevant in the context of reliability. None are eyewitness accounts, but even this is beside the point when one considers the nature of the documents themselves.

At any rate the canonical gospels were all written between 70-90 (a conservative estimate) years after the 'facts.' What's the difference between 90 and 130, or even 150 years, from the vantage of historical criticism? The ancient historians wrote about even more remote times, however, the evidence is weighed against a series of factors, while acknowledging that they were historically based to thus distinguish what is pure speculation (or fantasy) from events. My point was that the biblical writings were never intended to be historical, but to set down the criterion for faith in the religious and mystical settings. Citing the Gospel of Judas was just an example of how the apocrypha are valuable, from the historian's approach, in factoring in the contradictory nature of the entire question.
Of course the dating is very relevant. Jesus' public ministry was supposedly roughly from 30-33. If Luke is written in 70, it means that's 40 years from the events it described. That means that Luke could actually have access to eye witnesses, like he claims in his foreword.

I haven't done much research to the gospel of Judas, but a quick look tells me it's generally dated in the late 2nd century, so let's say 150. So the difference isn't between 90 and 130, rather it's between 40 years or 110 years after the events described supposedly occurred. Of course all of these are approximations, but you see the point. The canonical gospels could very well have eye witnesses for sources, unlike the canonical gospels. 40 or 50 years after these events occurred you might get away with all sorts of added embellishment and added religious claims and interpretations, but if you're going to write about a man who supposedly had a prominent public ministry a few decades ago, you just can't get away with making everything up, or at least it's highly unlikely.

For what it's worth. Paul was writing even earlier. His death is generally accepted in the early 60's I think, so his letters come from the 50's more or less. Now he might not say to much about the life of Jesus compared to the Gospels, but he already testifies to some key elements concerning Christ, only 20-30 years after Christ walked the earth.

Luke says in the beginning of his gospel:

" Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed." (Luke 1:1-4)

and this is perfectly possible with a dating of 70-90......
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Rechtschreibfehler said:
@Maaaaaaaarten

Speaking of apocryphal Gospels and Jesus. I do remember that in 7th grade we learned about Jesuses supposed life in religion class using exactly those apocyphal gospels, crontrasting them with the collonial ones. The teacher was out school pastor and the pastor of a curch in the area. Meaning he was a schooled protestant theologian.
A little bit later in church, when I took confirmation classes, it was the same (an it wasn't the church of my teacher at school). I got the imrpession that in mordern protastant churches in Germany that's pretty much normal.
So using the apocryphal gospels for talk about Jesus life can't be so unusual I guess.

Just so there are no confusions - though I am baptized, I am not a theist any more. Actually I think having to go to church for a while speeded up the process a lot. -
Well you might see it in popular culture a lot, because it helps silly conspiracy theories, Dan Brown books and it helps scholars get some attention in popular media by making silly controversial claims. But in serious academic circles, you will find that the apocryphal books are never used for serious historical research about the life of Jesus, unlike the canonical gospels. Don't get me wrong, of course there are boatloads of critical secular scholars who reject a lot of the things the canonical gospels teach, but at least there is a general consensus that they have some sort of historical basis and they contain at least some historical accounts of Jesus life and teaching.

Apocryphal gospels are only taken seriously by Dan Brown, conspiracy theorists and unsuccessful scholars looking for attention.

I think the gospel of Thomas is the only exception to this, having at least a minority of scholars dating it early enough to suggest that it may contain some traditions about Jesus that are historical and not found in the canonical gospels.
 
Aug 4, 2011
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hrotha said:
I'm an atheist. There goes your argument.

You have one source - the author of the very book Zeitgeist borrowed from. That's not much to go by.
I know your an atheist. Perhaps you need to read a wee bit more slower;)

Good to see you that you accept my scholarly source.

Yes he did borrow ,so what?

Their are many sources. I used to date a white witch. She was in-fact a historian and scholar and had a large source religious material.

a few sources that may interest you.

W. Ward Gasque
Tom Harpur
Gerald Massey

Early sources Gerald Massey, Alvin Kuhn ,Godfrey Higgins .
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Of course the dating is very relevant. Jesus' public ministry was supposedly roughly from 30-33. If Luke is written in 70, it means that's 40 years from the events it described. That means that Luke could actually have access to eye witnesses, like he claims in his foreword.

I haven't done much research to the gospel of Judas, but a quick look tells me it's generally dated in the late 2nd century, so let's say 150. So the difference isn't between 90 and 130, rather it's between 40 years or 110 years after the events described supposedly occurred. Of course all of these are approximations, but you see the point. The canonical gospels could very well have eye witnesses for sources, unlike the canonical gospels. 40 or 50 years after these events occurred you might get away with all sorts of added embellishment and added religious claims and interpretations, but if you're going to write about a man who supposedly had a prominent public ministry a few decades ago, you just can't get away with making everything up, or at least it's highly unlikely.

For what it's worth. Paul was writing even earlier. His death is generally accepted in the early 60's I think, so his letters come from the 50's more or less. Now he might not say to much about the life of Jesus compared to the Gospels, but he already testifies to some key elements concerning Christ, only 20-30 years after Christ walked the earth.

Luke says in the beginning of his gospel:

" Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed." (Luke 1:1-4)

and this is perfectly possible with a dating of 70-90......
Ergo you are convinced that the gosples, with the approximate dating we have from nearly 20 centuries ago, and under such comprehensible motives, are the Truth revealed? Human civilization has no need to bother with anything else? Stay tuned brother.

PS. 'The historical forces at work in the earliest days of Christianity and how a young opportunistic Church handpicked certain manuscripts to support their own agenda. Quoting these very texts as a basis for rebuttal is just nonsensical knee jerk from closed minds, or more simply, denial.'
 
Oct 23, 2011
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rhubroma said:
Ergo you are convinced that the gosples, with the approximate dating we have from nearly 20 centuries ago, and under such comprehensible motives, are the Truth revealed? Human civilization has no need to bother with anything else? Stay tuned brother.
Well, without the ergo I might agree with this, although I wouldn't really say that human civilization needn't bother with anything else, depending on what exactly you mean by that.

While I certainly believe the gospels to be Truth revealed, that's not really what I was arguing for. I was arguing for the fact that rejecting the canonical gospels as completely unhistorical is kind of silly and putting them together with all those apocryphal gospels with regard to historical value is very silly.
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Well, without the ergo I might agree with this, although I wouldn't really say that human civilization needn't bother with anything else, depending on what exactly you mean by that.

While I certainly believe the gospels to be Truth revealed, that's not really what I was arguing for. I was arguing for the fact that rejecting the canonical gospels as completely unhistorical is kind of silly and putting them together with all those apocryphal gospels with regard to historical value is very silly.
Ahh, only because you don't put them with the apocryphal gospels.
 
ray j willings said:
Good to see you that you accept my scholarly source.
I don't. Insisting on that point just didn't sound like a very productive approach.

So far, I haven't seen any sources that make these claims about Horus from a neutral and strictly Egyptologist point of view. It's always Christ myth theorists. That's very telling.
 
hrotha said:
I don't. Insisting on that point just didn't sound like a very productive approach.

So far, I haven't seen any sources that make these claims about Horus from a neutral and strictly Egyptologist point of view. It's always Christ myth theorists. That's very telling.
There aren't any sources for Mithras and Sol Invictus making these claims either.

Look nothing as far as religion is concerned is ever neutral. Though we have Christmas and nobody is placing that into question, or if such is recognized by the faithful, then it gets placed within normative responses in terms of an inheritence from paganism they actually refute. Iconographically we have the so called Black Madonnas in Southern Italy, which were clearly derived from egyptomania basalt images of Isis and Horus.

So which is it?
 
rhubroma said:
There aren't any sources for Mithras and Sol Invictus making these claims either.

Look nothing as far as religion is concerned is ever neutral. Though we have Christmas and nobody is placing that into question, or if such is recognized by the faithful, then it gets placed within normative responses in terms of an inheritence from paganism they actually refute. Iconographically we have the so called Black Madonnas in Southern Italy, which were clearly derived from egyptomania basalt images of Isis and Horus.

So which is it?
Again, that's a cop-out. There *are* serious scholarly studies about Horus, Mithra, Sol Invictus and mythology in general, but Zeitgeist and the kind of books we're talking about here aren't The influence of the Isis and baby Horus iconography on Christian iconography is known and acknowledged, and I've mentioned Sumerian myths in passing in this very thread - but that's not the kind of thing that's being claimed.

My beef here, simply, is with the conspiracy theorist way of thinking. This is about thoroughly unsourced bogus claims that are then accepted without any critical thought merely because their target audience is predisposed to do so. Whether you're a Christian, an atheist or anything else, that's NOT the way to enlightenment.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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hrotha said:
Again, that's a cop-out. There *are* serious scholarly studies about Horus, Mithra, Sol Invictus and mythology in general, but Zeitgeist and the kind of books we're talking about here aren't The influence of the Isis and baby Horus iconography on Christian iconography is known and acknowledged, and I've mentioned Sumerian myths in passing in this very thread - but that's not the kind of thing that's being claimed.

My beef here, simply, is with the conspiracy theorist way of thinking. This is about thoroughly unsourced bogus claims that are then accepted without any critical thought merely because their target audience is predisposed to do so. Whether you're a Christian, an atheist or anything else, that's NOT the way to enlightenment.
I pointed you to a book by an Egyptologist but you didn't like that I guess.
http://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Death-Afterlife-Bojana-Mojsov/dp/1405131799

If the first comment (about the book is to be believed) then she goes into Horus, with pages noted:
Worship of Osiris, Isis and their son Horus were among those. "Horus-the-Child,was conceived at the Spring Equinox at the time of harvest, and born at the winter solstice...the worship of Osiris explicitly encompassed the doctrine of One-in-Three: the Resurrected Redeemer, the Holy Mother, the Savior Child." pp91 She also traces the influence of the Osiris cult and others directly on later Christianity and Islam. For example, speaking of the god Amun, "once a year the statue of Amun of Karnak was carried in a procession on a barge...went to visit his harem, then made the rounds of the sacred places in Thebes. To this day in Thebes (modern Luxor)revelers carry boats on their shoulders every year to celebrate the feast of Abu el Hagag, the Muslim Saint..."p61 "The cult of Isis and Horus-the-Child was especially popular. Hundreds of bronze figures of Isis nursing her infant found in temples and households became the models for the Christian figures of the Virgin and Child. Steadily, the story of Osiris had spread beyond Egypt and around the entire Mediterranean."pp101
What we're talking about has long been debated:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dying-and-rising_god

The cycles of nature carry on regardless of the apologists or how the stories have been told and changed through the millenia. It seems clear enough that the story of Jesus evolved from everything before it in initiatory circles seeking enlightenment that became a (watered down) state religion for the masses in a new age. Jesus ministry began at about 30-33 - there are 33 vertebrae in the human spine so would that be the throat? Just another coincidence among a myriad that scholars don't want to acknowledge because that leads into the esoteric, and that gets too confusing.

Look into the waffling the Egyptologists do over the Great Pyramid - it can't be a map of the earth and encompass all those maths. It's just a coincidence. ZZZ...
 

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