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Subject: Jesus Not Crucified, News at 11 rss

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Clay
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Just noticed this article on facebook and after a quite scan none of the front page thread titles indicated that it has made its way this way yet.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3ALspOA...

Thoughts? Particularly from the Christians in the audience, does this influence how you view the history of your religion and deity at all or are you more inclined to write it off as either a hoax or part of the Muslim tradition (which is assumed to be wrong in your view, I'd guess)? Actually, that's an interesting side question. For the Christians here, how do you feel about Islam as an off-shoot of the religion and why aren't you a Muslim?
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Boaty McBoatface
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When I see this in something vaguely scholarly I will believe it is not a a hoax.
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The Book of Barnabas is a well known apocryphal book.
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The Message wrote:

Thoughts? Particularly from the Christians in the audience, does this influence how you view the history of your religion and deity at all or are you more inclined to write it off as either a hoax or part of the Muslim tradition (which is assumed to be wrong in your view, I'd guess)? Actually, that's an interesting side question. For the Christians here, how do you feel about Islam as an off-shoot of the religion and why aren't you a Muslim?


Either Jesus is real or he is fictional. If you believe, there is absolutely no reason you would reject the crucifiction as it is central to the doctrine. If he is fictional but based upon the life of a few characters, well crucifixion was used as a punishment for the romans at that time.

Very weak case imo.
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Apparently, the Gospel of Barnabas also is ridden with anachronisms that show that is was probably written several hundred years after the life of Jesus. Probably written during the time of the founding of Islam.
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I make it a point not to believe anything written on beef jerky.


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Wait a second . . . I thought everything posted on the Internet was true.
 
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The Message wrote:
Just noticed this article on facebook and after a quite scan none of the front page thread titles indicated that it has made its way this way yet.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3ALspOA...

Thoughts? Particularly from the Christians in the audience, does this influence how you view the history of your religion and deity at all or are you more inclined to write it off as either a hoax or part of the Muslim tradition (which is assumed to be wrong in your view, I'd guess)? Actually, that's an interesting side question. For the Christians here, how do you feel about Islam as an off-shoot of the religion and why aren't you a Muslim?


It affects my beliefs not at all. There's no reason to think this is anything other than something written after Islam came around. The article is far from scholarly and has more than a whiff of conspiracy theories around it.

I'll do a more detailed critique of the article if you desire, but personally I think this is mostly an article writer trying for some shock and awe.
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Koldfoot wrote:
Paul the imposter? Given that the original apostles knew and knew of Paul, and accepted him as an apostle, this alone casts doubt on the text.


To a Muslim, probably not, as many Muslims believe that Paul essentially "hijacked" the early Christian movement and message to his own ends. Hence the need for a later prophet (Mohammed) to "set things straight".

Not that that makes the claims made in the Gospel of Barnabas any less dubious, but it does explain why some Muslims might take it more seriously than most Christians would.
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Not that surprising. How about the second half of the question though? That might be a bit more interesting to talk about.
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The existence of a Jesus is seriously in doubt and that is without tacking on the supernatural claims. Even if genuine I see nothing of interest outside the history of Christianity as the idea that someone was crucified or not is unremarkable. Crucifixion requires no supernatural claim.

The history of Christianity is simply about a set of cults with conflicting assertions made up well after the event. They couldn't even manage a self consistent bible so I see no value in this copy to any god claims. Christians cherry pick anyway and if they want to see errors in their beliefs the King Jame's bible provides numerous examples. Adding more will be ignored or hand waived.
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The Message wrote:
For the Christians here, how do you feel about Islam as an off-shoot of the religion and why aren't you a Muslim?


For me, the distinctive teaching of Christianity is salvation by grace. Every other religion advocates some variation of salvation by works (even for those in which salvation is something of a foreign concept, and even, I'd argue, in atheism). Or to put it another way, the focus in other religions is primarily on what you need to do to get... well, exactly what varies. Christianity carries with it imperatives for action, certainly, but it also quite clearly says that we simply can't do it ourselves and have to rely on God on do it for us. So, to me, Islam is nothing particularly special or interesting- simply another version of the same lie that every other religion on earth tells its adherents, the lie that somehow you can do it yourself.

We can discuss more details if you like, but- IMO- that's the biggest issue.
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Halfinger wrote:
The existence of a Jesus is seriously in doubt and that is without tacking on the supernatural claims.


Not unless you're willing to throw out Tacitus as a historical source, among others.
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twomillionbucks wrote:
Halfinger wrote:
The existence of a Jesus is seriously in doubt and that is without tacking on the supernatural claims.


Not unless you're willing to throw out Tacitus as a historical source, among others.


The Jesus account in Tacitus is considered to be a fraud. There are no other claims with any historical veracity, care to provide some? In any event it makes no claims about any supernatural abilities which is what I care about.
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Halfinger wrote:
twomillionbucks wrote:
Halfinger wrote:
The existence of a Jesus is seriously in doubt and that is without tacking on the supernatural claims.


Not unless you're willing to throw out Tacitus as a historical source, among others.


The Jesus account in Tacitus is considered to be a fraud.


Uh, what? No, it's really not, at least not by most scholars. Sure, it's undoubtedly the case that there were some alterations to the texts that we have, but we're quite aware of these, and they don't change the meaning of the text, anyway. Someone, probably a scribe trying to touch up a faded text, changing an e to an i isn't the same as forging and entire passage.

No doubt some fringe scholars dispute the Tacitus reference but they're just that, fringe. The wikipedia article I linked is pretty well referenced; take a further look if you like.

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There are no other claims with any historical veracity, care to provide some?


Sure!

The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account.


Suetonius wrote:
Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome.


What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that their kingdom was abolished.


The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin wrote:
It has been taught: On the eve of passover they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went in front of him, for forty days: "He is going to be stoned, because he practiced sorcery and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead on his behalf." But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of Passover.


That's four. How many do you want?

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In any even it makes no claims about any supernatural abilities which is what I care about.


Well, there's the "practiced sorcery" reference above. But let me ask you something before we discuss this. Let's say I can produce an ancient manuscript of which we have thousands of copies, some of which date to within a human lifetime of when Jesus would have lived, and which describes Jesus of Nazareth doing miracles. Would you believe Jesus of Nazareth did miracles in that case?
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The Message wrote:
Not that surprising. How about the second half of the question though? That might be a bit more interesting to talk about.


This is what happens when you come up from playing Minecraft?
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twomillionbucks wrote:
Halfinger wrote:
twomillionbucks wrote:
Halfinger wrote:
The existence of a Jesus is seriously in doubt and that is without tacking on the supernatural claims.


Not unless you're willing to throw out Tacitus as a historical source, among others.


The Jesus account in Tacitus is considered to be a fraud.


Uh, what? No, it's really not, at least not by most scholars. Sure, it's undoubtedly the case that there were some alterations to the texts that we have, but we're quite aware of these, and they don't change the meaning of the text, anyway. Someone, probably a scribe trying to touch up a faded text, changing an e to an i isn't the same as forging and entire passage.

No doubt some fringe scholars dispute the Tacitus reference but they're just that, fringe. The wikipedia article I linked is pretty well referenced; take a further look if you like.

Quote:
There are no other claims with any historical veracity, care to provide some?


Sure!

The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account.


Suetonius wrote:
Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome.


What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that their kingdom was abolished.


The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin wrote:
It has been taught: On the eve of passover they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went in front of him, for forty days: "He is going to be stoned, because he practiced sorcery and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead on his behalf." But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of Passover.


That's four. How many do you want?

Quote:
In any even it makes no claims about any supernatural abilities which is what I care about.


Well, there's the "practiced sorcery" reference above. But let me ask you something before we discuss this. Let's say I can produce an ancient manuscript of which we have thousands of copies, some of which date to within a human lifetime of when Jesus would have lived, and which describes Jesus of Nazareth doing miracles. Would you believe Jesus of Nazareth did miracles in that case?


None of that is comtempory. That early Christianity existed is not in doubt.

And no I would not believe in supernatural claims as there are numerous such examples, try Julius Caesar for one. It was standard practice to make stuff up to assert special status. There are no original documents so your question is irrelevant. But if there was evidence that Jesus existed AND he did what was claimed AND there was evidence he was the son of god (whatever god is supposed to be) then of course I would accept it.

The existence of a Jesus is of historical interest but as history goes there is no reliable evidence. Any supernatural claims would add him to thousands of others on the same list.

Even if he did perform what is stated in the bible (and there's a ton of variants even then with conflicting reports) that is no evidence he was the son of god at all.

Finally, if you believe that, why do you not believe the existence of all the other god claims? Why are you not a Muslim or Hindu? They have the same or better evidence.

Why pick Christianity as your truth and not something else? If you are that easy to pursued why not believe anything you like?

You believe in something truly incredible and remarkable, life changing. It requires the belief that an entity can alter the laws of the very universe he created at a whim. It requires the belief that a god was so dumb he couldn't make his message clear to all and ensure it was written in way we would all understand. It requires he can't even ensure the four gospels agree on much and the old testament is full of hate and vengeance as well as nonsense. You have to believe in a god who gave us the very sin he accuses us of, thus enslaving us to his eternal worship on the pain of eternal agony.

We are required to use faith, a belief without evidence, to avoid eternal torture yet completely messes up the means by which we can establish the truth AND gives us the brains to reject it using the very reason he gave us. What sort of idiot does that? Why did he devise and enforce original sin then send himself to be sacrificed to himself for a sin he himself gave? It's nuts.

He manages to be fine with the morals of the day, such as killing gays and keeping slaves. Strange that. Why are you so quick to accept that rather than the millions of other remarkable claims especially when it is obvious the god you believe in is simply a human construct reflecting the mores of the day?

Try reading your bible as it is and not spray your own secular beliefs and interpretation on it. There is no special message, people make that up. It has all been done before, nothing new. Try the Bhagavad Gita it is far more sophisticated. The Golden Rule was known and understood. If we all followed the Sermon on the Mount our species would be extinct in a generation and men, women and children would be starving a lot sooner than that. Why did Paul hate Women so much?

If you actually read the bible you will find one of the nastiest entities ever devised. Even if he existed I would refuse to worship him.
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Halfinger wrote:
None of that is comtempory. That early Christianity existed is not in doubt.


Well, I'm not sure what you're asking me to produce, then. The sources I quoted are from people who lived 40-70 years after Jesus. In terms of having ancient documents, that's contemporary (many of our histories of ancient events come from documents hundreds of years after the fact). Really, the fact that Christianity merited mention in these sources so soon is indicative that it was a pretty big deal.

We don't have any "contemporary" evidence that Socrates or Plato existed, either, but we're pretty darn sure they did.

Quote:
And no I would not believe in supernatural claims as there are numerous such examples, try Julius Caesar for one. It was standard practice to make stuff up to assert special status.


That's a gross overstatement in many ways. Sure, ancient writers had biases and made their own side look good, just like modern ones do. But there was still a tradition of serious scholarship and a commitment to reporting the truth that existed. This seems to be an argument for not believing any ancient documents.

Further, the tales of supernatural events around people like Alexander the Great (to cite a famous example) tend to come from sources hundreds of years after the man himself lived. This was not the case with Christ; somehow or other these stories got out there very, very quickly.

Quote:
There are no original documents so your question is irrelevant.


Your assertion that there are no original documents is, also, irrelevant. We have no original documents of anything past a certain point; just copies of copies of copies. That doesn't necessarily mean we can't trust them. Again, this is an argument for believing nothing in ancient texts, not for not believing the New Testament documents,

Quote:
But if there was evidence that Jesus existed AND he did what was claimed AND there was evidence he was the son of god (whatever god is supposed to be) then of course I would accept it.


What evidence would be needed to establish him as the son of god? Here's a question- is it possible, even in theory, for a being to demonstrate to another being of finite intelligence that it is omnipotent? Christians claim that God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, but how could you ever possibly prove someone who claimed those characteristics had them. "Sure, you've done everything I've asked you to, but that doesn't prove you can do absolutely anything." "Sure, you've known the answer to every question I've asked, but that doesn't mean you know absolutely everything." "Sure, you've been everywhere I have, but that doesn't prove you're absolutely everywhere." See the problem?

At the end of your post, you say that even if you believed it, you wouldn't worship God. It seems to me that evidence isn't your problem. There is apparently absolutely nothing I can say that could change your mind.

Quote:
The existence of a Jesus is of historical interest but as history goes there is no reliable evidence. Any supernatural claims would add him to thousands of others on the same list.


I think you'll find a surprising number of supernatural claims for such people came after Christ and in obvious imitation of him ("If it worked for the Christians..."). And I think that, having had two thousand years of Christian saturation, we've lost a lot of the impact that made Christ's story shocking to its first hearers. That's a long post in and of itself...

Quote:
Even if he did perform what is stated in the bible (and there's a ton of variants even then with conflicting reports) that is no evidence he was the son of god at all.


Again, how would you go about proving you were the son of God? All miracles can do for a person is say, "Hey, this guy is important; you should listen to him." You'll still have the choice to believe or not, no matter what you see.

Quote:
Finally, if you believe that, why do you not believe the existence of all the other god claims? Why are you not a Muslim or Hindu? They have the same or better evidence.

Why pick Christianity as your truth and not something else? If you are that easy to pursued why not believe anything you like?


I've explained above a major difference I see in Christianity. Individual discussions of every religion would take up more room than I have, but it boils down to this: Christianity is a model which effectively explains why the world is the way it is. I know of nothing else which does so in a comparable manner.



Quote:
You believe in something truly incredible and remarkable, life changing.


Quite so.

Quote:
It requires the belief that an entity can alter the laws of the very universe he created at a whim. It requires the belief that a god was so dumb he couldn't make his message clear to all and ensure it was written in way we would all understand.


Below, you say that even if you believed it you wouldn't worship God. Do you really that that's a problem with you not understanding it?

Quote:
It requires he can't even ensure the four gospels agree on much and the old testament is full of hate and vengeance as well as nonsense.


This is a pretty vague statement that really doesn't mean much to me.

Quote:
You have to believe in a god who gave us the very sin he accuses us of, thus enslaving us to his eternal worship on the pain of eternal agony.


Christianity certainly denies that God is the author of sin. As for eternal worship, well, that will happen regardless; it's human nature to give glory and honor to something bigger than ourselves, even if it's, say, an animal shelter.

Quote:
We are required to use faith, a belief without evidence, to avoid eternal torture yet completely messes up the means by which we can establish the truth AND gives us the brains to reject it using the very reason he gave us. What sort of idiot does that? Why did he devise and enforce original sin then send himself to be sacrificed to himself for a sin he himself gave? It's nuts.


There's a lot I could say about this, but here's one thing: doesn't it say in the Bible that God chooses the foolish things in the world to shame the wise?

Other notes: You still use faith, despite your atheism; God doesn't enforce original sin, and the Bible acknowledges the plan seems odd in places. Any of those ideas, of course, deserves much longer treatment.

Quote:
He manages to be fine with the morals of the day, such as killing gays and keeping slaves. Strange that. Why are you so quick to accept that rather than the millions of other remarkable claims especially when it is obvious the god you believe in is simply a human construct reflecting the mores of the day?


I'm curious at this point how you expected me to handle this post. You've managed to pack quite a bit in here; I could take just about any individual sentence here and find while books written on that topic. It's pretty impressive, actually. Do you think it's reasonable to expect me to offer long, detailed responses to every single one of the multitude of topics you're bringing up here? Especially when, as you say at the end, it seems nothing I say ultimately change your mind.

As for slaves and killing gays, the short version is that God's never been one to let the perfect be the enemy of the good (or, to put it another way, he works through single events followed by processes), there's a lot of cultural context surrounding those commands, and if you really paid attention to them they're not nearly as objectionable as you seem to imagine.

Quote:
Try reading your bible as it is and not spray your own secular beliefs and interpretation on it.


That's my goal. It's pretty hard sometimes.

Quote:
There is no special message, people make that up. It has all been done before, nothing new.


There's something terribly ironic about putting a reference to Ecclesiastics in at this point.

Quote:
Try the Bhagavad Gita it is far more sophisticated. The Golden Rule was known and understood. If we all followed the Sermon on the Mount our species would be extinct in a generation and men, women and children would be starving a lot sooner than that. Why did Paul hate Women so much?


I think you're just baiting me at this point. No, Paul didn't hate women; he simply didn't believe the modern idea that men and women are equivalent.

Quote:
If you actually read the bible you will find one of the nastiest entities ever devised. Even if he existed I would refuse to worship him.


Of all the statements in your post, I think this is the most important. What it means is that, in the end, you're going to believe whatever you want to believe. If I were to produce all the evidence you ask- that Jesus walked the earth, performed miracles, was the son of God- then you still wouldn't worship and serve him.

So let me ask you a question, then. You've expressed your utter refusal to bow the knee before Jehovah. So let's pretend, for a moment, that it's all true. Jesus Christ does exist, and he's Lord and Judge of the universe. Well, by your profession you're not going to worship him while you're alive. And then one day you die, and you stand before a great white throne. Are you going to change your principles then? Are you going to bow the knee when faced with that choice? Under threat of force, will you fold?

And if the answer's no- then think about this. You've said that God is cruel. But if you absolutely, positively refuse to worship him- as you've said you will not- then, when you're before that judgement throne, which will be more cruel for God to do?

To send you somewhere where God's glory is omnipresent, inescapable, and filled with people who want nothing more than to praise and worship Him forever?
Or to send you somewhere where that presence is utterly absent, where you'll never have any interference from him, and where, if you desire, you'll never even have to think about him again?
Is it crueler of God to force you to worship him, or to let you not do so?

If what you desire more than anything else is to not have to worship God, well, that's a desire that can be granted. No without tears, true. But it can be granted all the same. I ask you, is that cruelty? Or is it simply someone getting what they want?
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Those Talmud quotes are not real.
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Tacitus may not be a genuine source (but most scholars agree it's not a fraud).

It was however written long after the events, it is not even contemporaneous with the fire, (and in essence) just repeats anti Christian propaganda. As such it may well reflect what was claimed , not what was true.

Indeed there is reason to believe that the tacitus passage is not based on official Roman records, becasue Pilate is not given his correct title. Also I note it's rather vague on what the punishment was, was crucifixion the extreme penalty? Hell the only copy that exists is from the 11thC.
 
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whac3 wrote:
Those Talmud quotes are not real.


What on earth do you base that on?
 
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Koldfoot wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Those Talmud quotes are not real.
Where doesn't it say that?

These so-called quotes are crap invented by the late medieval Church as as excuse for pogroms. They hve been shown repeatedly to be forgeries.
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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amacleod wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Those Talmud quotes are not real.


What on earth do you base that on?

1. Having studied the Talmud and not found those.
2. Comments by rabanim who hve studied the Talmud and those supposed quotes and found them to be forgeries akin to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion which similarly keep cropping up.

EDIT:
A more modern take is not to use those forgeries but to distort what is written:
http://www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud/jesus.html
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Andrew MacLeod
Canada
London
Ontario
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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whac3 wrote:
amacleod wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Those Talmud quotes are not real.


What on earth do you base that on?

1. Having studied the Talmud and not found those.
2. Comments by rabanim who hve studied the Talmud and those supposed quotes and found them to be forgeries akin to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion which similarly keep cropping up.


Please be sure to inform all the scholarly publications that quote them as being in the original!
 
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Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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amacleod wrote:
whac3 wrote:
amacleod wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Those Talmud quotes are not real.


What on earth do you base that on?

1. Having studied the Talmud and not found those.
2. Comments by rabanim who hve studied the Talmud and those supposed quotes and found them to be forgeries akin to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion which similarly keep cropping up.


Please be sure to inform all the scholarly publications that quote them as being in the original!

What supposedly scholarly publications would be that stupid?
 
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