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  2. However I just did a quick look, so here you go: https://ehrmanblog.org/jesus-crucifixion-as-king-of-the-jews/ https://ehrmanblog.org/jesus-death-as-king-of-the-jews/ There are also a couple other posts that pertain to the same subject on the blog.
  3. Joseph, This is a quoted from Ehrman in his book, 'Jesus Before the Gospels' and on his blog, so I'll let you research and debate Ehrman, who is the source.
  4. Thomas, I don't think you will find in the NT where Jesus "called himself King of the Jews" . If i am mistaken, please correct me and reference the writing that says so. Joseph
  5. It is ok to have this OP in debate and dialog if one desires to have debate on the subject. It is not ok in the PC forum for all to participate because we do not allow debate in that section for the most part. it is a safe area for people who want to ask PC questions but do not want to hear from people who do not identify as such. (or are not in agreement with the 8 points). There is no harm asking the question in this section if the one who asks wants to hear from both those who identify as such and those who don't. This is something that was asked for and decided upon many years ago. Rom is welcome to post his views/thoughts on the question in this area. Joseph (as Admin)
  6. Yesterday
  7. Surprising - but thought that was only if someone was banned, like one fellow a number of months ago who has not been on the site since I believe. Well, I suggest you speak to the 'powers that be' and suggest a better way forward. Although I do like the idea of the "yonder parsnip patch." Good one! Indeed, see what you have wrought? :+}
  8. The short answer is almost, but not completely. Convenient for whom and when? It might be annoying for others following a topic and being dragged off into some yonder parsnip patch. Also when looking back on ideas it is nice to have the various themes we discuss more or less on an appropriate thread. And here we go off topic.
  9. Isn't it a PChristianity.org site that welcomes all, including quests to comment anywhere on the site? It was place under PC and properly so, as as opposed to D&D. I do remember that many times a topic takes an unexpected twist and many of us simply follow it - because that is where the topic began and it makes it rather convenient to trace the line of thought/debate back if one so desires. A bit easier than switching back and forth between categories.
  10. I agree. On the other hand we don't want duplicate threads everywhere for non PCs. What is a Progressive Christian? seemed like the best existing that talked about PC identity. And CJM's quandary about displaying a cross as he PC identity. On the other hand I know that you have been known to be off topic and object to people answering in the correct thread.
  11. Just asking a question. Although it does seem logical and in the spirit of the site to respond under the category and to the specific question, point or new topic where it originates - unless it is moved officially by an administrator.
  12. I was going to comment - does it matter where I put my response? :+}
  13. Because I have been asked not to post on the PC forum … this seems the most appropriate. CJM Personally I don't wear symbols or rarely. This sort of labels one. There has been some debate as to the usefulness of such labels. As a point of clarification I do not consider myself Christian never mind a progressive one. Having said all that I sometimes wear my Rotary shirt, more to promote the organization than anything else. My question to you is what is the purpose for you of wearing the cross or not for that matter? rom
  14. In addition to the gist memories previously listed by Ehrman above, in the same book and on his blog, additional gist memories surrounding the death of Jesus are listed: ".... I argue that certain gist memories of Jesus’ last days and hours are almost certainly historically correct: he and some of his followers did make a trip to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover the last week of his life; he did cause a disturbance in the Temple; he did spend the week preaching his apocalyptic message; he did rouse opposition among the local Jewish leaders; he was “betrayed” by one of his own followers; he was brought up on charges before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate; and he was condemned and executed for calling himself the King of the Jews."
  15. I said the gospel texts are 'reliable,' in that we have a good idea of what the original authors wrote. I also believe there is validity in the gospel narratives. As Ehrman wrote in 'Jesus before the Gospels,' "...many of the broad outlines that are narrated in the Gospels certainly did happen. Much of the gist is correct."
  16. Reliability is exceptional. There is about 64,000 cross references within the NT and between the NT and OT. The graphic looks like this: Validity is harder to assess, and requires training in ancient literature. The Bible only claims that it is useful in the teaching of righteousness. It does not claim to be a historical record or inerrant, but before looking at validity one must read accurately and not simply parrot some preacher or professor’s secondhand opinion.
  17. Last week
  18. Reliability is internal, textual consistency. Does the NT hang together, or does it have internal contradictions? Validity is did the events stated actually occur.
  19. I agree that this can be an extremely helpful read of the bible. However it is always educational (and fun - as learning can be fun) to do the work and learn even more about a subject of great interest.
  20. Burl, I always value your position so please spell it out. Tell us exactly what we are doing wrong.
  21. Paul, of course they're restricted. I said that "The gist...... in part, to be found in secular sources, such as Josephus........(and) historians accept his (Josephus') own comments on Jesus. Josephus gives us some bare bones historical fact about Jesus which are included in and part of the gospel gist (which presupposed that he actually lived): he was a teacher, a rabbi who spoke the truth; he was known as a wonder worker; he won over some of his own people; he was accused by the Jewish leaders (principal men); and, finally, he was condemned by Pilate and died on the cross. Jesus was born and raised a Jew (assumed) He came from Nazareth in rural Galilee. As an adult he was baptized by an apocalyptic prophet named John the Baptist, who was preaching the imminent judgment of God and baptizing people for the forgiveness of sins in preparation for this climactic moment in history. Afterward Jesus engaged in his own itinerate teaching preaching ministry. Like John, he proclaimed an apocalyptic message of the coming Kingdom of God. Much of his teaching was delivered in parables and in thoughtful and memorable aphorisms that explained the Kingdom of God and what people should do in preparation for it. As a distinctively Jewish teacher, much of Jesus’ ethical teaching was rooted in an interpretation of the Torah, the Law of Moses, as found in the Hebrew Bible (a teacher) Jesus’ teachings about the Torah led to controversies with other Jewish teachers, especially Pharisees (controversies that led to the accusations of the principal men) Jesus had a number of followers, from whom he chose twelve to accompany him on his preaching ministry (won over many). Jesus was occasionally opposed by members of his own family and by people from his hometown of Nazareth. His followers, however, maintained that he spoke the truth, and they may also have claimed that his words were vindicated by the miraculous deeds he performed (performed surprising deeds) And, of course added to the gist is that he was condemned by Pilate and died on the cross (Josephus has both) All in all some considerable agreement on the bare bones gist of Jesus found in the NT. Paul, I am merely quoting Ehrman who is in agreement with many other scholars: " "three hypothetical but highly probable" (sources). Ehrman has 'working assumptions' that he believes are justified by the research. Your argument is with him, I'm only a messenger. Paul, it is the case that the apostle Paul preached the messenger, Jesus, whereas Jesus preached the message but what I'm talking about is (gist) material found in Paul that is evidence of early Christian worship and devotion which are 'unchanged' by and merely repeated by Paul. Certainly Paul even as Saul knew some of the gist: that Jesus was proclaimed Messiah, that he was in conflict with Jewish authorities, that Jewiish authorities considered him wrong, that he was crucified. In addition, post conversion and captured in his later letters is much of the gist of Jesus (for example, as Saul he did not buy anything about Jesus, that he was risen or that we are saved by Jesus) which he received from other Christians including Peter. This time your argument is with Hurtado: https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2019/08/23/the-origins-of-devotion-to-jesus-in-its-ancient-context/ "Already, in the earliest Christian texts, the undisputed letters of the Apostle Paul, we see reflected a body of christological claims and beliefs, and a pattern of devotional practices that are more taken for granted than explained. This indicates that by the time of these letters (from ca. 50 A.D. and thereafter) all these phenomena were familiar features of the religious life of circles of the Jesus-movement, Paul’s letters also reflect the understanding of Jesus’ crucifixion as part of the divine plan of redemption, and foretold in the Old Testament scriptures Paul’s letters also reflect a developed devotional practice in which Jesus was integral and central. But in the core christological beliefs and devotional practices reflected in his letters, Paul was neither distinctive nor creative. Instead, he reflects beliefs and devotional practices that he accepted as part of his religious re-orientation from opponent to proponent of the gospel message." What I have been saying is that Paul inherits and reflects the early Christian belief about Jesus. He is writing about it mid century but he was converted almost 20 years earlier (circa 33CE) when these practices and beliefs were already in play. Again from Hurtado: "To underscore the chronological point here, this body of beliefs and practices clearly emerged and became familiar features of circles of believers within the scarcely two decades between Jesus’ crucifixion and the earliest of Paul’s letters. Indeed, we should probably judge that this remarkable development emerged within the very earliest years, perhaps more accurately within the earliest months, after Jesus’ death, ca. 30 A.D. For prior to the experience that produced his profound religious re-orientation, Paul (then a zealous Pharisee) was a determined opponent of the young Jesus-movement seeking, in his own words, to “destroy” it." The point is that the apostle Paul was already against this young movement in its earliest months, converted to it within a few short years, and 'received' and then reflected its beliefs and devotional practices. Hurtado shows that Paul is taking for granted beliefs and practices........that predated him and that he therefore received and learned about early on. Your argument is with Hurtado who demonstrated that Paul is reflecting what he received after his conversion. Do you have a scholar you have read who disagrees with Hurtado? Wrong, see Hurtado above. Check again. First I presented insights from 5 scholars and I then mentioned personal decision or view: "then one (if this is considered important) simply has to make the personal decision as to whether or not s/he accepts these impressions as indicative of who Jesus was and what he did and then comes the even more personal decision: whether or not this is significance in one's life." I get that your concern is that this 'working assumption' pertains to the NT writings only - even the original writings (if we had them) - and you question if any of them provides acurrate descriptions of the gist of the historical Jesus. However, you seem to dismiss the probability of earlier sources (readily apparent in Matthew and Luke's use of Mark) that various gospels would have utilized, demanding evidence (degrees of certainty) over the working assumptions of scholars. You even state that the beliefs in the authentic letters of Paul, circa 50s CE, are merely his inventions - detached from early Christianity. I have provided scholarly references. Hurtado 'demonstrates' Paul's dependency on and reflection of early Christian beliefs and practices. Those beliefs, dating to Paul and the earliest post-Easter (the Jerusalem 'church') followers of Jesus, are present throughout the NT gospels. There is incredible consistency from the earliest beliefs/practices to Paul to pre-gospel sources to the NT gospels: the gist, the general patterns, the core beliefs. This 'gist' - beginning within months of the death of Jesus, is enough to drive Saul to distraction and within a few short years is received and learned by the newly named Paul and subsequently found in his letters to the growing Christian communities. You have given personal opinion on most of this, whereas I have presented the work of different scholars. Do you have scholars that disagree with these positions that I should be reading?
  22. One thing i hope is not lost in this discussion (validity or reliability) is the many inspirational messages that can be gleamed from the NT. If there is one book i read as a young man (over 50 years ago) that had a tremendous impact on my life, it would be "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale. Most of the inspiration from the book comes directly from the words of the NT. It uses a portion of the writings both of the Old and New Testament that can be applied to unlearn a negative pattern of living. He shows how one can use optimism and faith to change ones pattern of mind and overcome obstacles. He does this by using positive re-enforcing writings from the NT that when put in practice helps to change lives to one more filled with success, joy and satisfaction. In using the NT as he prescribes, we get away from doctrine and questions of validity and reliability and test the power of words directly for ourselves by applying them to our life and witnessing results for ourselves.
  23. Precisely Burl - I am trying to say that the validity of the Gospels is not reliable! The evidence is simply not known to us.
  24. You two are talking past each other. Reliability and validity are two different questions.
  25. PaulS


    For me, I wouldn't wear one because of my association with fundy Christianity in my childhood/adolescence either. But if later in life I felt like wearing one, I would. I don't mean to trivialize your concern - just encouraging you to not get hung up on what other people may associate with the symbol if it means something different to you today. If you feel like you'd like to wear it, wear it.
  26. Josephus' undisputed writings about Jesus are restricted to: “About this time there lived Jesus. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.” I don't see that as a particularly strong case supporting the 11 dot points you outlined earlier as the gist of Jesus. Yes, but we don't have those so we don't know what else was in them (if they exist). At best we suspect we think we know some of what was in them, those bits that did make it to soem of the Gospels. Hardly compelling. Of course for a long time scholars have also proposed that Paul's writings contain teachings that are different from the original teachings of Jesus, so I'm not sure how anybody can demonstrate how or when Paul supposedly 'received' this gist material and beliefs about Jesus. It seems to me that Paul quite possible went off on his own tangent concerning what Jesus' message was and what the gist of Jesus was, so again, I don't see the scholarly evidence supporting your assertion. And again with Erhman's 'working assumption', he is using that term in the context of "this is all we have, so we run with it" type approach. I don't think he is saying that this material is necessarily the accurate depiction of the gist of Jesus. I understand you're not claiming absolute certainty. When you reference Hurtado (and others) about 'the earliest Church' we are still talking about churches +100 years after Jesus. Scholars have no evidence about churches existing around the time Mark was written. The closest reference we have is Josephus (around 70CE) and he doesn't discuss the gist of Jesus or his teachings, so we are simply without knowledge. The fact that these churches later valued some writings written 40-70+ years after Jesus only demonstrates that those Churches accepted those writings and beliefs. Cherished they may be, but scholarly evidence that they accurately represent the gist of Jesus, they are not. For some of the reasons I outline above I think that has to be a personal view and one not necessarily supported by the evidence. If it works for you, all power to you, but I think as a discussion point I would have to say that at best, your 'evidence' is inconclusive. More to the point, I think the scholarly evidence is severely lacking on the matter, which more or less is what triggered this initial discussion. I don't think scholars can assert, if they in fact do, that we have the evidence that any Gospel 'gist' of Jesus accurately represents Jesus. It may, but it may not too.
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