Bart Erhman, transformation complete?

by peacefulpete 30 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • tetrapod.sapien
    Sorry to trash your buddy Bart's newly found dis-beliefs!

    yes. indeed. something smells like trash.


  • Leolaia
    There was not nearly enough time passage, it takes centuries for a legend to develop.

    Not at all.

    1) It took about 30-40 years for the Roswell legend to develop to its current state. There has been a lot of research in the past few years on how memories and oral stories developed into this current legend.

    2) With respect to Jesus, one just needs to read Papias (c. AD 140) to see the kinds of oral tales that were being told about Jesus and the apostles. The grotesque and midrashic legend of the death of Judas Iscariot is a case in point. Papias wrote about a century after the putative time of Jesus, and about 70 years after the publication of narrative gospels.

  • Oroborus21


    I have always understood it. A LEGEND is a story which has at its core some basis in fact. This is compared to MYTHOLOGY which does not.

    Both types of story often serve similar purposes, are often first transmitted orally before being put into writing, often have variations and additional embellishments and sometimes they also manifest or reflect the universal archetypes of human society.

    While much mythology refers to fact or real events or persons, the story itself is almost always a fabrication of the society or culture. Legend on the other hand has a grain of truth or fact around which the legendary portions of the story are built. It is the embellishment of a story (including often the addition of much fiction) which transforms a historical event into a Legend.

    Take for example Leolaia's comment regarding the Roswell UFO legend (never actually heard it called a "legend" before and I am from the area Artesia NM). The Roswell Incident has at its core some basis in fact. The crash of "something" or some real thing, whether weathe balloon, military test vehicle or UFO or whatever. Whatever crashed was real and the wreckage of it was witnessed by observers. Thus the Roswell Incident as told as a story is not a myth, it is a legend.

    Likewise when Erhman refers to the Gospel story as understood from the Scriptures as a "legend," I believe that what he is saying is that much of what has been added to the historical fact about Jesus is possibly fictitioius embellishment.

    Again, while there may be some scholars or non-scholars who wish to deny the existence of a real Jesus, I would place such ones in the came category as those would deny the Holocaust or who persist in a Flat-Earth belief. Again I don't think Erhman is one of these.

    It is clear that he has become agnostic by his own admission and in that sense he has transformed his personal views but I still haven't read anything that would clearly indicate that he no longer believes in a historical personage we know to be Jesus.


  • tetrapod.sapien

    symantics symantics. what's the big deal? myths are often paired with legends. but ya true, when it comes to sport heros, as in legends who have not yet become myths (heh), they are not referend to myths. no one calls babe ruth a myth. he's a legend. but maybe, in a few hundred years when legend has it that the babe was great because he used his penis to bat all those homers, and that god himself made the babe erect for the job, it will be time to start calling the legend of babe ruth, a myth. at that point it won't matter if the babe was real or not. the mythological properties have forever obscured the real babe ruth in the minds of those who really really want the babe to be an erect penis batting god.

    if jesus is indeed a legend, then he probably is way more boring than the bible makes him out to be. a carpenter who liked to talk a lot about the potential of spirituality. but not the magical-miracle-wand-weilding gospel man. that is a myth, in all liklihood. a nice myth, but a myth all the same. you have no proof that he was anyhing else than a boring carpenter, a legend in his own time for being a rebellious wise man, who later became a myth as the tales grew taller. i mean, who would want to sit around the dinner table and keep telling the same jesus legend over and over again, when one could throw in a few miracles and never clear the matter up with the credulous children listening in? it's way better when the old patriarch can say: "well, i know something from ages past that you younger ones did not know. did you know that jesus was able to cure the sick? yup, that's right." -- "ooohh, aaahh grandpa! amazing! a penis batting legend in his own right!" .... and so turn the days of our lives, generation after generation. it will never end, so i don't really fault you for continuing the saga on. i just like to post now and then is all. :)


  • tetrapod.sapien
    Again, while there may be some scholars or non-scholars who wish to deny the existence of a real Jesus, I would place such ones in the came category as those would deny the Holocaust or who persist in a Flat-Earth belief.

    whatever helps you through the long cold nights, man.


  • peacefulpete

    I find it puzzling how passionate some people are about denying the possibility that the Jesus charcater was a literary creation. Silly arguments about how much time it takes for legends to form around an historical person are irrelevant if what is being proposed is that there was no historical person. Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Legend of Paul Bunyon etc. But for the record Erhman does appear to have actually acepted this possibility, his words simply suggested to me that he was aware of the position and regarded it as worthy of repeating. Erhman makes his arguments for "authentic words" of an historical Jesus in his most recent book. However careful ananlysis of his arguments reveals just how basless his and the Jesus Seminar's premises are. Their approach gives the appearance of modern legend making taking place as one argument is stacked upon another and accepted for its attractivness rather than its soundness.

    Equating Holocaust "denial" with literary criticism of a story filled with magic and contradictions is just inappropriate and inflammatory. The Holocaust is attested by millions of eyewitnesses and physical evidence. Jesus as historical person not only has neither but does have all the hallmarks of allegory and fiction and reasonable objective people should assume this to be the case unless significant evidence directs otherwise. Despite endless protests such evidence has not been found.

  • Midget-Sasquatch

    I think there's a reasonable amount of evidence for the existence of James the Just. I know that its only a tradition that he was the brother of Jesus, but it isn't one that significantly contributes to the mythology. A genuine historical detail that lingered possibly? That tidbit would hint at a flesh and blood Jesus having kicked around (minus all the miraculous stuff of course).

  • peacefulpete

    That is argued but there is great question about the James character as well. Was he Christian? Josephus' describes a James as a reformer of sorts that was killed by a competing priesthood. With the certain Christian interpolation removed ( "who was the Christ") we only have a Jewish James that had a brother Jesus son of ?. The subsequent sections describ any number of Jesuses who may have been the Jesus named as the brother of the James killed. In the NT Galations calls James a "brother of the Lord" which may well be a later interpolation as we can easily identify a number of these in reference to "Peter" whereas Paul speaks of Cephus. Alternately the expression "brother of the Lord" bears the marks of a religious title or identifier as member of a society of believers. IOW we don't have much of anything to hang your hat on about this James. It is the opinion of "radical" scholarship that the Gospels fleshed out Jesus by giving him a family. It is possible that Josephus inadvertently provided some of the fodder for this new layer of legend.

  • Shining One
    Shining One

    >Not at all.

    If Jesus is a legend then absolutely ANYONE in history is a legend and not one shred of historical evidence can be trusted. Compared to anyone else, Jesus historical existence has much more evidence to support the facts of his life. Perhaps you are one of the leftist fringe, Leo?

  • peacefulpete

    Why are you picking on her Rex? I'm over here punk.

Share this