An Expert Explains the Beginning of Christianity with Dr Richard Carrier

by Rocketman123 48 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    I am addressing your objection to using the bible at all, even though skeptic scholars do.

    And Bart Ehrman, the foremost skeptic scholar in America who says that the creedal statements in these books can be traced to within one year after the cross and that Jesus was worshipped as God basically from day 1- Do you reject that as well?

    Remember, Ehrman is your guy, not mine.

    What would cause orthodox Jews, by the thousands, to worship a beaten, cursed & crucified man as God?

    Short of a resurrection, what could possibly be their motivation?

  • john.prestor

    I haven't mentioned Ehrman once. I do not believe he said that and if he did, I disagree with him. The credal statement in 1 Corinthians cannot be dated easily. However, a late date can be seen from the fact that two credal statements are jammed together, one favoring Peter, one favoring James. I'll try to find the article I read which made that argument convincingly.

    For now, let me link you to Richard Carrier on the claim that that credal statement is as old as you say it is. I watched your video, so read this link:

    Even if it was early, so what? It's still bullshit.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    I'm confused. I read your link. It seems to favor my side that early creedal statements were geniune reflections of the first Christians beliefs "possibly within weeks" of the cross.

    The way Paul writes about the sect makes clear he believed this was the creed Christians were preaching before his conversion; and he claims that the original apostles confirmed this to him years later, and he could hardly have been making that up, as then he’d have been exposed the moment anyone checked this with them. So the Corinthian Creed, at least verses 3-5, definitely existed and was the central “gospel” Christians were preaching in the early 30s A.D. That’s definitely no later than a few years after the purported death of Jesus. And since the sect’s formation only makes sense in light of this being its seminal and distinguishing message, it must have been formulated in the very first weeks of the movement.

    John, Ehrman is top atheist / agnostic scholar right now who doesn't believe the resurrection happened. That's why I say that puts him in your camp.

    Here's my problem:

    4.) The tomb was empty.

    Why was no body ever found when those in power desperately needed it to stamp out this threat to their authority.

    5.) The disciples experienced seeing what they believed and said were appearances of the resurrected Jesus.

    What could account for these appearances that made many people believe they were seeing the risen Jesus?

    7.) The resurrection was the central message.

    If the resurrection was fake, how could it start and flourish in the very city where the man died?

    8.) The disciples preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

    If all the locals knew this was fake, why make this your central message?

    10.) Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

    Orthodox Jews are known as unbelievably attached to their traditions that has lasted for thousands of years and survived many attempts to eradicate, like Hitler. What in the world would cause them to abandon the Sabbath and make Sunday their day of worship, other than Jesus being resurrected on Sunday?

    I'm open to plausible explanations for these established facts

  • john.prestor

    Does that make it true, early or not early? Earlier in that piece he points out that there's no way to confidently date 1 Cor. 15's credal statement

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    I think there is wide consensus here and is the majority view.

    Even Bart Ehrman, Rudolf Bultmann, and Gerd Ludemann—individuals who are highly skeptical of biblical claims—accept the credibility of the early NT creeds, which includes 1 Corinthians 15:3-9 (Bultmann, NTT, 42; Ehrman, Forged, 92-93; Ludemann, Paulus, 142).

    The creed of 1 Corinthians 15 represents material that Paul obtained from the early Christian leaders in Jerusalem when he met with them a few years after his conversion. NT scholar Luke Timothy Johnson notes that “the most critical historian can affirm without hesitation. Can anyone doubt, for example … a meeting between Paul and the Jerusalem Church leadership concerning the legitimacy of the gentile mission” (Johnson, Real Jesus, 103)?

    So what if a person looks at the evidence and decides to put his trust in the Resurrection? I mean it is very appealing - to be able to cheat death like Jesus reportedly did.

    I believe it is healthy to place ones hope in a "higher power". Alcoholics Anonymous and other addiction programs are rooted in getting yourself out of the ultimate picture and connecting to a higher power. That dynamic seems to moderate our appetites.

    From my research, Jesus seems to be one of the best higher powers in town. (religious rules excluded of course)

  • john.prestor

    You didn't answer my question. The question is, If it's early, does that make it true? I don't feel like we're getting anywhere.

    The simple answer to my question is No, it doesn't. Even if Paul heard something literally the day after Jesus died from Peter & Co in Jerusalem, that still doesn't make it true. They could be lying, mistaken, delusional, tricked, etc.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    One could be lying of course. But many? What would make them lie about something that was sure to bring personal scorn, abandonment & family isolation and that could be so easily checked out and proven as false in Jerusalem?

  • john.prestor

    Again, you continue to retreat to the Bible. I can't have a coherent discussion with you because you take the Bible at face value and I don't. The Bible lurks behind everything you say.

    Try to get this through your head: the empty tomb is a late legend. There was no empty tomb, there was no way to falsify early Christian claims that Jesus had resurrected.

    The early tomb is not a fact. It is a fiction, dreamed up decades later somewhere in Greece or Asia Minor.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    We are having a critical discussion using only some 1st literature that the majority of critical scholars accept as genuine. That is not "taking the bible at face value" as the very word of God..... just considering select 1st century literature with certain statements that can be traced to within weeks or months of the cross.

    This is the way critical scholars view this. You are welcome to view it any way you want but you are out of harmony with modern scholarship by rejecting anything written in these writings as genuine.

    Determining history is a science in itself and has rules.

    Do you care to offer any explanations for the commonly accepted facts I posted above?

  • john.prestor

    I don't care who accepts the empty tomb as a fact. It is not a fact, there is no tomb, period. Where is the tomb? Show me proof that there was a 1st century CE tomb, much less owned by Joseph of Arimathea in which Jesus' body was laid after crucifixion and then wasn't in later. Again, don't use the Bible.

    Here's an explanation: the empty tomb is a late lie invented by persons like Polycarp of Smyrna, who needed to explain to a Greek audience why people should believe in Christianity. It is meant to bolster their own claims to authority and power in the church.

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