Saturday, July 15, 2023

A Dialogue off a Tangent from a Testify Video

A Dialogue off a Tangent from a Testify Video · Dialogue Continued

Here is a video by Erik Manning ...

Ehrman Says Matthew Mistranslated Old Testament Stuff and I Respond Because of Course I Am
Testify, 26 June 2023

... which by 1:38 had mentioned "multiple sources" ... and here is a comment tangential to that, and a dialogue that followed:

1:38 Multiple sources ... comes from a 19th C. school in historiography from my own country Sweden, the so called Weibull school.

  • Multiple, independent sources
  • from more than one party (in cases of conflict) can replace being from someone independent of the party
  • that are documents rather than narratives
  • and that are contemporary.

For a 19th C. AD event, yeah, if only one newspaper ran a story only after the one or those concerned were dead, in a narrative that doesn't cite documents that can be identified ... for a century with so much documentation still left for us to view as the 19th C. AD, that little documentation is fishy.

Even with the Middle Ages, this Weibull criterium becomes trickier to rely on, and when it comes to Late Antiquity or earlier, being consistently Weibull = ruling out historicity of Alexander (no sources contemporary) and of Julius Caesar conquering Gaul (while Cicero is anti-Caesarian, his pleas before Caesar - pro rege Deiotaro and pro Ligario - which I have not read, may well have no mention at all of Gallic Wars, and all later ones - like Livy - are as pro-Caesarian as Caesar).

I did an F search on Pro Rege Deiotaro, and it doesn't contain the word "Gaul" ....

Are you saying we should take the ancients word for things?

@michaelhenry1763 Yes, basically.

@hglundahl Oh, ok. Well, thanks for being honest. I guess Julius Caesar was divine, Alexander the Great was half divine, and Caesar Augustus was the Son of God.

Praise be the gods, for they interact with us on earth. Romulus also became divine and ascended into heaven.

@michaelhenry1763 w a i t ... I meant for events.

Not for assessments.

All the things you mentioned are either:
  • assessments
  • or "events" but such that no one saw and for which the ancients depended on assessments.

I do not take the word of ancients that Siddharta Gautama achieved Nirvana (or whatever) - that's an assessment. I do take the word of ancients that he was a prince who discovered suffering is a reality, state power can't fix all of it, and tried to find an answer, and that his view on things is basically reflected in the text called Tripitaka.

As you mentioned Romulus ... "the apostles loved Jesus, because they saw he was God; the companions of Romulus made him a God, because they loved him" ... that's freely from St. Augustine of Hippo, City of God. I e, he took the word of ancients that Romulus was the first of seven kings.

@hglundahl I understand what you are trying to say. If I understand you correctly, the ancients are recording the events right, but their conclusions could be wrong. Am I following you?

@michaelhenry1763 Totally correct, yes.

@hglundahl ok, people used to think this way a long time ago. For example, Thomas Jefferson thought he could "recover" the historical Jesus simply by eliminating the miracle stories. Unfortunately, not only will the ancients "conclude" incorrectly, but they might invent stories of events or sayings. For example, Romulus is a mythical figure along with all the first Roman kings of the regal period.

It is similar in the Hebrew Bible. Everyone in the Torah is mythical and even David and Solomon are legendary. We do not get history until later.

In the New Testament, it is difficult to know what Jesus actually said and we can reconstruct a basic outline of his life.

Because of these issues, we need historical methods to help us determine what most likely happened.

@michaelhenry1763 "For example, Romulus is a mythical figure along with all the first Roman kings of the regal period."

What exact arguments do you have for this position?

Btw, I totally disagree with Jefferson, since there the observed events themselves very clearly show precisely miracles happened.

For the rest of your modernist views - what exact argument do you have for the positions? In the Catholic Church (at least prior to certain crooks in office now), you'd be pretty quickly excommunicated for what you just said. Since you are obviously not a Catholic, I don't see what effect this could have on you, except to clarify that what you said is a total no no to me, so, let's continue arguing, shall we? You have given a string of assertions, now back them up!

@michaelhenry1763 "people used to think this way a long time ago."

Wait, was this your argument?

That's called chronological snobbery!

@michaelhenry1763 OK here are your allegations:

1) Everyone in the Torah is mythical (I suppose you mean made-up)
2) and even David and Solomon are legendary (I suppose you mean real, but very mixed up with made-up accretions).
3) We do not get history until later. (I suppose you mean narrative that's mostly not made up)
4) In the New Testament, it is difficult to know what Jesus actually said
5) and we can reconstruct a basic outline of his life. (I suppose you mean, but not much beyond that).

This cannot be your argument for them:

"we need historical methods to help us determine what most likely happened."

Why so? Because you introduce this by:

"Because of these issues,"

making the five allegations (on my count) not conclusions from this generality, but arguments for it.

This leaves you with a need to provide arguments for these five, and I am still waiting ... are you implying the meme "I asked michaelhenry1763 for his reasons" over a skeleton in waiting pose?

@hglundahl You think Romulus was real? Ok, a good book to read is SPQR by Mary Beard. It’s a history through the Roman Republic to the first two centuries of the Roman Empire. It also discusses the founding.

You can disagree with Thomas Jefferson. That’s fine. I was only using him as an example.

Miracles are explanations of natural events. They are not the events themselves. For example, maybe some children saw something in the sky above Fatima. Due to their religious upbringing and culture, they interpret what they saw as the Virgin Mary. They call it a miracle.

I do not think I would be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church because many of its members are philosophically diverse. But you are correct, I am not Catholic, so it would not bother me.

@michaelhenry1763 I checked the title.

Unfortunately it is after the Cambridge calibration was made.

I read a book from before it, which said city structures begin only by c. 550 BC.

Now, why is the Cambridge calibration important? Hallstatt plateau. The time period of the Hallstatt culture or part of it, is 750 to 450 BC. The thing about it is, all or most actual dates (there are some jags) get a carbon date around 550 BC.

So, out goes the "archaeological proof" that Rome didn't exist at its "supposed" date of foundation. Did she reuse it anyway?

"because many of its members are philosophically diverse."

I think I mentioned that as "some recent crooks" ...

@hglundahl I am really enjoying this conversation with you. You got my five points correct. We do not need more “ historical methods”. We have the methods. We need more historical and or archeological evidence.

Arguments for the five:

1. The Torah is a mixture of etiological stories and “ laws” for the society to follow. We have no away of knowing how many of these “ laws” were actually implemented in Israelite society. As for the etiological stories, they come from traditions from different schools of writing: JE, P, D, and H. For example, Genesis 1 is a polemic against the Babylonian creation myth. It also explains where the Sabbath day derives. “ see, our God is better, he created the heavens and earth through speaking. He did not have to fight anyone. He created the sea monsters, creation was not made through them.” The characters in these stories are etiological explanations of where people or nations come from. Isaac is the father of Jews; Ishmael the father of the Arabs and so forth. Where does language come from? The Tower of Babel.
2. Yes, David is legendary. Solomon maybe mythical. We have archeological evidence for the name “ House of David”. We cannot confirm any of the stories about him outside the Bible. 1 & 2 Samuel may have been written close to David’s time because of the “ political spin” throughout the books. However, 1 & 2 Chronicles, written roughly 400 years later, sanitizes much of the Samuels books.
3. What I mean by history, is that we cannot get outside corroboration until the fall of the northern kingdom in 721 BCE and the fall of the southern kingdom between 602 BCE and 586 BCE.
4. It is difficult to know what Jesus actually said based on the sources we have. For example, post-resurrection stories are invented. Did later scribes change anything, add, rearrange? The longer ending of Mark, for example, was added later is an attempt to harmonize it with Matthew and Luke.
5. Yes, we can reconstruct the basics of Jesus’ life based on the nature of our sources. For example, we can say that Jesus was crucified for the charge “ King of the Jews” and he was baptized by John the Baptist. Why? There are many reasons. Here is a few: we can know that Jesus was crucified because how Paul and the gospel writers treat that event. We also have outside corroboration from Josephus and Tacitus. The baptism seems clear by how Matthew, Luke and John either change it or attempt to ignore it because it does not fit into their theologies. Mark is pretty straight forward, Matthew adds a story, Luke has John arrested before Jesus is baptized and John ignores it all together.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you want me to explain further.

@hglundahl no, no there were settlements much older in the Rome area.

It just that the “ Roman founding” as described by the ancients are mythical. It does not mean there were not people living there in some way.

I am not Roman Catholic and I do not want to criticize it beyond the obvious. There are plenty of members of the Roman Catholic Church to criticize it , they do not need me too. If people have sincere belief or faith, I respect that.