Friday, March 22, 2019

Answering "Jesus is a Myth" video, part I

Answering "Jesus is a Myth" video part I · part II

Jesus is a myth
randy7845 | 26.V.2009

0:26 "Mark was the first written one"

No, Matthew was.

Church Tradition has St Matthew first write a Gospel in Hebrew and then translate it into Greek before any other NT Gospel.

One version has St Luke ignoring the Gospel of St Matthew, doing an independent work and then going to Rome to get approval for it by St Peter, who, in his enthusiasm, was reading part from Luke, part from Matthew, and adding some, while St Mark thought St Peter was dictating a Gospel and took it down.

This has all the synoptics between 33 and 64 (which I think is the accepted death year of Sts Peter and Paul).

Another version omits (perhaps from forgetfulness) this connection between Luke and Mark and has Mark not just published but also written before Luke. We have St Clement of Alexandria for first version and St Augustine for second version.

Either way, Mark is not earlier written than Matthew.

0:33 "Mark mentions the destruction of the Temple in year 70, so the Gospels all came later than that"

So, all prophecies that are fulfilled are vaticinia post eventum, are they?

No, that is not reasonable but non-partial reasoning on when the Gospels are from, it is a plea against God and therefore partisan.

Just as preferring to explain likenesses in Synoptics by "Markan priority" is a partisan preference of reconstruction over tradition of authorship, and therefore a partisan plea against Catholic Tradition.

2:05 "decades long gap" ...

From the first year of Tiberius to the last breath of Domitian, there is a decades long gap about most events in Roman history.

Sure, Pliny in Naturalis historia was not purely into the scientific side, he was into the sensational side and he leaves us some insights on the foibles of Caligula. Probably after Caligula died. When it was safe to speak of the foibles of Caligula.

There are four books from 30 to 96, apart from Jewish War by Josephus, which do deal in contemporary events.

One by St Matthew, one by St Mark, two by St Luke. And to parts of Acts, he is an eyewitness.

Christians were better at preserving that for posterity, than Roman Patriots were at preserving Gaius Licinius Mucianus for posterity.

2:19 "Paul never heard of Mary, Joseph, Bethlehem, Herod"

That's forgetting he was not a historian, he touched very briefly on historic matters (and on very many ones), when saying sth else, just as Pliny could briefly touch on historic matters when discussing pearls.

I was going to say Pliny hadn't heard of Actium, but he does mention it: book 3 chapter 30 being first mention of fourteen. But he apparently hadn't heard of Alesia or Vercingetorix.

Or he had, but as he was not making a continuous narrative, his take on what he was talking about was not apt for mentioning Alesia.

Plus, there already was the Gospel of St Matthew to do the narrative.

2:55 "just like the other saviour gods of the time, Paul's Christ Jesus died, rose and ascended all in a mythical realm."

Which other "saviour gods" of the time?

And a bit disingenious to use Hebrews 8:4 as the one "smoking gun" for that claim to, in face of many claims Jesus came in the flesh.

4 εἰ μὲν οὖν ἦν ἐπὶ γῆς, οὐδ’ ἂν ἦν ἱερεύς, ὄντων τῶν προσφερόντων κατὰ νόμον τὰ δῶρα

The verb form "en" is imperfect, not pluperfect.

Douay Rheims is correct and your version is incorrect, the translation is not "if Jesus had been on earth", but

If then he were on earth, he would not be a priest: seeing that there would be others to offer gifts according to the law,

While there is a comment on "epi ges" being circumlocution for "earthly", one can also consider it as Him becoming priest by ascension and therefore being priest now. In theology it is inexact, He was already priest at the Last Supper, soon about to leave Earth, but in history it offers an alternative to the "had been on earth" translation.

It can also be mentioned, some early doubts were there about Pauline authorship of Hebrews, some Christians (I think Tertullian or he mentioned them) thought St Barnabas was a possible candidate.

3:11 - 3:12 "Paul doesn't believe Jesus was ever a human being, he's not even aware of the idea"

"But not as the offence, so also the gift. For if by the offence of one, many died; much more the grace of God, and the gift, by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
[Romans 5:15]

"For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:"
[1 Timothy 2:5]

An indirect smoking gun that he was aware the beginnings of Judaism were anathematising Our Lord:

"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost."
[1 Corinthians 12:3]

It's neither a Jewish nor a palaeo-Hebrew custom to anathematise, that is excommunicate pagan gods from the synagogue or from the people of Israel.

3:20 And no, despite about a century of near consensus in the academia considered as "non partisan" (in reality anything but) Markan priority or Synoptics after 70 have no ground, the opposite, Matthean priority and Synoptics all before 70 is well grounded in tradition.

3:47 "allegorical literature was extremely common"

As C. S. Lewis did a study both of pre-history of "allegory" as a genre and of "romantic love" as a "status" or "must" type of emotional / social state before they met in the "allegory of love" which he dedicated his work on, I can very confidently say that, no, allegories were not very common in 1 C.

The genre was not even invented yet.

Allegorical reading of older texts was already common, but this does not warrant these older texts were really written as allegories.

A Platonist would not take Olympian events in Homer literally, he would take them allegorically. But taking a talk between dad and dot, Zeus and Athena, as an allegory doesn't mean the return of Ulysses to Ithaca was taken as an allegory.

It can be taken as having also an allegorical sense, about the return of Our Lord (feat. Penelope as Church, Telemachus as individual Christians, suitors as "many antichrists", Antinoos as "the beast"), but this doesn't mean Homer was intending that when writing it.

So, while Servius (actually from later on, 4th / 5th CC) can say sth of Olympian gods in Virgil being allegory, he doesn't really try to exclude the Trojan War happened or Ulysses came back, nor that - more to the point - Rome began indirectly with Aeneas and his son Iulus, as Livy also said.

The claim "allegorical literature was extremely common" is balderdash. Some these days would prefer the word abbreviated as BS.

It is a claim out of thin air. It needs backing not given here.

The Allegory of Love: A Study In Medieval Tradition
(Canto Classics) Paperback – November 18, 2013 [first published 1936]
by C. S. Lewis (Author)

While the subtitle calls the book "a study in Medieval tradition" C. S. Lewis does not spurn going to Antiquity for examples and was not unread in Classic antiquities.

4:07 Carrier's "Mark himself probably didn't believe" is totally disingenious.

First, bc it presupposes the already called out bluff "allegorical literature was extremely common".

Second, bc it introduces a fictitious opposition between history and Gospel.

Tacitus certainly believed he was writing an eulogy of Agricola, this doesn't mean that he didn't believe Agricola was history.

And third, bc it involves a kind of psychoanalytic reconstruction of what things really meant back then, flying in the face of statements from both then and very little later and all the time up to basically Carrier or not many centuries before.

4:26 No, Dundes is / was wrong on motives for throwing out Gospel of St Thomas, it was definitely not about "too folkloristic".

That was not even a term back then.

And insofar as anything similar was, it was a partisan term, sth Cicero would be more likely to use than a Platonist.