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Originally posted by expert999
you are trying to point out contrdictions that dont exist. im sure that God had a reason for GOOD people to kill BAD people.
Originally posted by me
In the bible, God kills all Egyptian firstborns, how could you possibly believe in a God that kills inocent children for the crimes of their parents, or even worse, as their parents are also but mere subjects of an unchosen dictatorial leader, the pharaoh?
In the bible, God kills all Egyptian firstborns, how could you possibly believe in a God that kills inocent children for the crimes of their parents, or even worse, as their parents are also but mere subjects of an unchosen dictatorial leader, the pharaoh?
Hitler said "if you tell a lie loud enough and long enough and often enough, the people will believe it"
by Rook Hawkins
Lucian (circa 120-after 180) mentions Jesus
Lucian, (175 CE), refers to "the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world." Regardless of the fact that this is NOT AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT BUT WRITTEN 120 YEARS AFTER THE SUPPOSED DEATH OF JESUS, nowhere in any of his writings does Lucian mention the man's name, or the cult he brought into the world. This is a SPECIAL PLEADING argument by Christians, we are too ASSUME he is talking about Jesus. Except that THOUSANDS of people were crucified in Palestine, and many of these men were known to start new religions, especially around the time of Lucian. Palestine covers an area roughly hundreds of miles from north to south and east to west, it spreads from north of Damascus to the far south, past Masada and the Dead Sea. The ONLY thing this proves is that a man was killed because he started a cult.
As translated by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, The Christians . . . worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.
This is a faulty translation. The real (And FULL) translation is as follows:
"These deluded creatures, you see, have persuaded themselves that they are immortal and will live forever, which explains the contempt of death and willing self-sacrifice so common among them. It was impressed on them too by their lawgiver that from the moment they are converted, deny the gods of Greece, worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws, they are all brothers. They take his instructions completely on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods and hold them in common ownership. So any adroit, unscrupulous fellow, who knows the world, has only to get among these simple souls and his fortune is quickly made; he plays with them."
Lucian does not name specifically the crucified figure as Jesus Christ. This whole argument is now bunk because it depends on Special Pleading. The plea is that we accept that Lucian is talking about Jesus of Nazareth, but clearly it isn’t certain.
He does speak a LOT about Christians, in fact he ridicules them! He believes rather thoroughly that Christianity is a scam. Lucian satirized the Christians in his Passing of Peregrines (From which your quote derives) a story of a philosopher sage who at one point becomes a leader of the Christians to take advantage of their gullibility. His last statement says it all, “So any adroit, unscrupulous fellow, who knows the world, has only to get among these simple souls and his fortune is quickly made; he plays with them.”
In fact, when he states, “It was then that he learned the wondrous lore of the Christians, by associating with their priests and scribes in Palestine. And—how else could it be?—in a trice he made them all look like children, for he was prophet, cult-leader, head of the synagogue, and everything, all by himself. He interpreted and explained some of their books and even composed many, and they revered him as a god, made use of him as a lawgiver, and set him down as a protector….” He is speaking of his character he concocted, the sage philosopher, who the Christians worshiped and took on as their God, and who was better then all their (the Christians) scribes and priests.
What is more amusing about your non-researched speculation is that you seem to think Lucian has some sort of knowledge concerning the existence of Jesus, where in fact it’s just not true. Even other Christian’s admit to such.
As Jeffery Jay Lowder, author of Josh McDowell’s “Evidence” for Jesus: Is It Reliable?, writes concerning Lucian, “Nevertheless, given that Lucian's statement was written near the end of the second century, it seems rather unlikely that he had independent sources of information concerning the historicity of Jesus. Lucian may have relied upon Christian sources, common knowledge, or even an earlier pagan reference (e.g., Tacitus); since Lucian does not specify his sources, we will never know. Just as is the case with Tacitus, it is quite plausible that Lucian would have simply accepted the Christian claim that their founder had been crucified. (Take into account that Lowder is making the same plea. He also believes in the historicity of Christ)
He states, in his conclusion as well, “Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and Lucian are not independent witnesses to the historicity of Jesus.” Regardless of what references are made AFTER the fact, he’s not an eye-witness ergo he CANNOT be used to prove the existence of Jesus. He wasn’t even a CONTEMPORARY!
So we have two main problems associated with Lucian:
1. Lucian was NOT a contemporary or eye-witness.
2. Lucian does NOT mention Jesus OR the cult this man who was crucified in Palestine started.
The whole argument for Lucian is bunk. And the fact that it’s only a slight mention, if but two sentences, really doesn’t help your case.
Some Christian once wrote:
...but Lucian clearly was talking of who the Christians worshipped.
So it proved the Christians worshipped somebody. Who’s arguing that point? This is irrelevant.
Some Christian once wrote:
He was also describing the teachings of Christianity(brothers at the time of conversion) and the conversion involved the denial of Greek gods and living according to His teaching.
This is as I stated above Lucian’s reference to the Christians reaction to HIS CHARACTER, Peregrines! This is a failure on your part, because you probably just went to some Christian site, copied the butchered text, and pasted it as if that was all Lucian wrote in his entire life. Where in fact these statements you claim are applied to Jesus are actually about a man named Peregrines who, “for a time in his early life went over to Christianity, practicing it to the point of imprisonment under a very tolerant administration, and after returning to Cynicism became in his old age so enamoured of Indic ideas and precedents that he cremated himself at Olympia, just after the games of A.D. 165, even as Calanus had done at Susa in the presence of Alexander the Great and as Zarmarus had done at Athens, after initiation into the mysteries, in the presence of Augustus.” - H.M. Harmon (Lucian of Samosata : The Passing of Peregrines)
It should be noted too, that Josephus talks a lot about crucifixion in his works. In the 120 years that passed between Jesus' supposed existence and Lucian, thousands upon thousands were crucified in Palestine. In fact, in just one year, multitudes numbering 500 in one day, sometimes more, were sent to be crucified during the seige in 70 CE.
"...before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to pity them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews; nay, some days they caught more: yet it did not appear to be safe for him to let those that were taken by force go their way, and to set a guard over so many he saw would be to make such as great deal them useless to him. The main reason why he did not forbid that cruelty was this, that he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at that sight, out of fear lest they might themselves afterwards be liable to the same cruel treatment. So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies." (War 5: Chapter 11)
To claim that the one man who was crucified is your savior is incredulous. So many myth's were flying around the time of Lucian it is impossible really to name them all. So many "saviors" crucified. And since Christ more have followed. Whether they be of the Chrestians and Christians, or of false prophets that are known to us such as Alexander and his followers (Also written by Lucian).
Incidentally...Alexander was claiming to be the son of Zeus (hm) and he was a sage, and an oracle. He preformed miracles that Lucian mocked.
"As a matter of fact, this trick, to a man like you, and if it is not out of place to say so, like myself also, was obvious and easy to see through, but to those drivelling idiots it was miraculous and almost as good as incredible."
"Well, as I say, Alexander made predictions and gave oracles, employing great shrewdness in it and combining guesswork with his trickery. He gave responses that were sometimes obscure and ambiguous, sometimes downright unintelligible, for this seemed to him in the oracular manner. Some people he dissuaded or encouraged as seemed best to him at a guess. To others he prescribed medical treatments and diets, knowing, as I said in the beginning, many useful remedies."
"By now he was even sending men abroad to create rumours in the different nations in regard to the oracle and to say that he made predictions, discovered fugitive slaves, detected thieves and robbers, caused treasures to be dug up, healed the sick, and in some cases had actually raised the dead. " (sound familiar yet?)
The Talmud Mentions Jesus
PULEASE!!! As I posted before in the other forum:
Lets take a look at some of the most commonly quoted. (Thanks to Dennis McKinsey)
The first comment worthy of note is found in Sanhedrin 43a of the Talmud, which states,
On the eve of the Passover Yeshu (The Munich manuscript adds the Nasarean) was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover.... Do you suppose that he was one for whom a defence could be made? Was he not a Mesith (enticer), concerning whom Scripture says, Neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him (Deut. 13:9)? With Yeshu however it was different, for he was connected with the government (or royalty, i.e., influential). Our Rabbis taught: Yeshu had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni, and Todah.
Although difficult to imagine, this anemic passage is a reference to Jesus, according to some commentators. Reliance upon passages as weak as this can't help but dissipate respect for apologetic scholarship. Obvious inadequacies are:
(1) It says Yeshu, not Jesus.
(2) Even if Yeshu and Jesus were identical words, it was not an unusual name. On the contrary, it appears rather frequently in ancient Jewish literature. Josephus records the following out of 28 high priests in the 107 years from Herod to the destruction of Jerusalem: Jesus, son of Phabet; Jesus, son of Damneus; Jesus, son of Gamaliel; Jesus, son of Sapphias; Jesus son of Thebuthus.
(3) Jesus was crucified, not hanged.
(4) Jesus was not stoned, at least not according to the biblical record.
(5) The New Testament says nothing about a herald going forth for forty days before the execution occurred.
(6) Jesus had no connection with the government. At least nothing within the Gospels would lead one to believe that he lived among royalty or the influential class.
(7) Nowhere in the New Testament was Jesus charged with sorcery or leading Israel astray. The New Testament record tells of three accusations against Jesus:
(a) blasphemy, (b) claiming to be the Son of God, and (c) assuming the role of King of the Jews. But he was never charged with practicing sorcery nor of leading Israel astray. Any attempt to apply this part of the Talmud to Jesus is doomed to failure.
Another passage relied upon is found in section 55b of the Sanhedrin in the Talmud and states, "The blasphemer is punished only if he utters [the Divine] name.... The whole day [of the trial] the witnesses are examined by means of a substitute for the divine name, Thus, 'May Jose smite Jose.'" This is vagueness at its worse. The suggestion is made that the first "Jose" represents God. But it is unlikely that even for illustrative purposes the rabbis would allude to Jesus as a divinity. And did God ever smite Jesus?
A footnote to Sanhedrin 67a says, "In the uncensored editions of the Talmud there follows this passage.... 'And thus they did to Ben Strada in Lydda, and they hung him on the eve of Passover." Although cited by apologetic sources, this clearly isn't much to go on either. As we all know, according to the biblical account Jesus was crucified, not hanged, and he was killed in Jerusalem, not in Lydda, near the coast. The names aren't even the same.
Another passage that is sometimes cited is found in Sanhedrin 106b and is interpreted by some apologists in such a manner as to equate Balaam with Jesus of Nazareth. It says,
Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, [did the children of Israel slay with the sword]. A soothsayer? But he was a prophet! R. Johanan said: At first he was a prophet, but subsequently a soothsayer. R. Papa observed: This is what men say, 'She who was the descendant of princes and governors, played the harlot with carpenters....! Rab said: They subjected him to four deaths, stoning, burning, decapitation and strangulation. A certain man said to R. Hanina: Hast thou heard how old Balaam was? He replied: It is not actually stated, but since it is written, Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their day, [it follows that] he was thirty-three or thirty-four years old. He rejoined: Thou has said correctly; I personally have seen Balaam's chronicle, in which it is stated, 'Balaam the lame was thirty years old when Phinehas the Robber killed him.
Believe it or not, that nebulous maze of disjointed monologue is used as a reference to Jesus of Nazareth. Apparently some Christian apologists just couldn't resist the temptation when they read such emotionally charged words as "prophet," "she/carpenters," "subjected/deaths," "slain by Israel," and "thirty-three." The discrepancies between the life of Balaam and Jesus are numerous.
(a) Balaam was slain with a sword, while Jesus died by crucifixion.
(b) The father of Jesus was not named Beor, nor was he a soothsayer.
(c) One would be hard pressed to find biblical support for allegations that Jesus died by stoning, burning, decapitation and strangulation. Incidentally, how could he have died by all four methods? In order to make sense, "and" should have been translated as "or".
(d) If "she" is referring to the mother of Jesus, this passage is saying she was a harlot with many carpenters (plural).
(e) If Jesus is Balaam, then the passage is implying Jesus is bloody and deceitful.
(f) When did Jesus keep a chronicle, especially one relating his age or death?
(g) Jesus was never lame, and certainly not for thirty years.
(h) The names Jesus and Balaam are quite different.
(i) And finally, Jesus was not killed by someone named Phinehas the Robber.
It doesn't take a great deal of wisdom to see that apologists are stretching interpretation to the limits on these.
A short little comment found in the footnotes of Sanhedrin 107b says, "In the uncensored editions there follows here, 'and not like R. Joshua b. Perahjah, who repulsed Jesus (the Nazarene) with both hands." The problem with this sentence is that only the Munich manuscript adds (the Nazarene).
Another footnote in Sanhedrin 107b says, .
..When King Jannai slew our Rabbis, R. Joshua b. Perahjah (and Jesus) fled to Alexandria of Egypt. On the resumption of peace, Simeon b. Shetach sent to him.... He arose, went, and found himself in a certain inn, where great honour was shewn him.... He (Jesus) thinking that it was to repel him, went, put up a brick, and worshipped it. 'Repent,' said R. Joshua to him. Jesus replied, 'I have thus learned from thee: He who sins and causes others to sin is not afforded the means of repentance.' And a Master has said, 'Jesus the Nazarene practised magic and led Israel astray.'
Although hard to realize, this is the more intelligible part of the entire passage. Again, one can see how desperate some apologists are to find something in the Talmud that can substantiate the alleged existence of Jesus of Nazareth. The attraction of "fled to Egypt," an "inn," "Jesus the Nazarene," "led Israel," and "sin/repentance" were more than they could resist. The problems with this are readily apparent.
(a) Jesus was not a rabbi when he fled to Egypt.
(b) The New Testament says nothing about Jesus fleeing to Alexandria, Egypt.
(c) When did Jesus ever worship a brick? The worship of bricks is known in the Hermes cult, and is not Christian.
(d) According to apologetic theology, Jesus neither sinned nor caused others to sin.
(e) Jesus was not a contemporary of King Jannai.
(f) while the Munich, Florence, and Karlsruhe manuscripts and the early printed editions of the Talmud mention Yeshu, only the Munich text adds "the Nazarene."
That's about as coherent as these passages can be rendered.
Another passage of equal clarity is found in Abodah Zarah 17a which says,
I was once walking in the upper-market of Sepphoris when I came across one [of the disciples of Jesus the Nazarene] Jacob of Kefar-Sekaniah by name who said to me.... To which I made no reply. Said he to me: Thus was I taught [by Jesus the Nazarene], 'For the hire of a harlot hath she gathered them and unto the hire of a harlot shall they return.' They came from a place of filth, let them go to a place of filth.
Again, the power of imagination appears to have been overwhelming.
(a) How does the mere mention of a disciple of Jesus prove that Jesus lived?
(b) The reference to Jesus only occurs in the Munich manuscript.
(c) And nowhere in the Gospels can one find the quote that was attributed to Jesus.
A final passage from the Mishnah itself, as opposed to the Gemara, is found in Yebamoth 49a, which says, Quote:
"I found a roll of genealogical records in Jerusalem, and therein was written, 'so-and-so is a bastard [having been born] from [a forbidden union with] a married woman,' which confirms the view of R. Joshua."
Some people actually see Jesus in this. The problems are:
(a) Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem.
(b) Although technically speaking, Jesus was a bastard since his parents were not married, one is hardpressed to understand how apologists would want to use a passage that is so derogatory toward him.
To skirt this difficulty some writings say, "A certain person was illegitimately born of a married woman." The word "illegitimate" is a euphemism. In addition, "a certain person" could apply to thousands of Middle Eastern people, and Mary was not married.
In summary, the Talmud has no independent tradition about Jesus; all that it says of him is merely an echo of Christian and Pagan legends, which it reproduces according to the impressions of the second and later centuries. The Talmud has "borrowed" its knowledge of Jesus from the Gospels. When Josephus is excluded from the Jewish witnesses to the historicity of Jesus, there remains only the question of whether or not there may be some other evidence in the other Jewish literature of the time, in the Talmud, for instance. The answer is no.
Pliny the Younger mentioned Christ
Pliny: "I have laid down this rule in dealing with those who were brought before me for being Christians. I asked whether they were Christians; if they confessed, I asked them a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; if they persevered, I ordered them to be executed.... They assured me that their only crime or error was this, that they were wont to come together on a certain day before it was light, and to sing in turn, among themselves, a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and to bind themselves by an oath--not to do anything that was wicked, that they would commit no theft, robbery, or adultery, nor break their word, nor deny that anything had been entrusted to them when called upon to restore it.... I therefore deemed it the more necessary to extract the truth by torture from two slave women whom they call deaconesses. But I found it was nothing but a bad and excessive superstition.... the sacred rites which had been allowed to lapse (by them--Ed.) are being performed again, and flesh of sacrificed victims is on sale everywhere, though up till recently scarcely anyone could be found to buy it."
Why anyone would quote this passage is hard to understand:
(1) It proves nothing in regard to the existence of Jesus, but only affirms the existence of Christians.
(2) If the passage is referring to Christians, then it is also saying Christians sold the flesh of their sacrificial victims.
(3) Roman laws accorded religious liberty to all. Before Constantine there was not a single law opposed to freedom of thought.
(4) Trajan was one of the most tolerant of Roman emperors.
(5) Pliny is universally conceded to have been one of the most humane of men. That Pliny would have tortured two women is highly unlikely. The person and character of women in Pagan Rome were held in high esteem.
(6) The letter implies Bithynia had a large Christian population which is improbable at that early date.
(7) The passage implies Trajan was not acquainted with Christian beliefs and customs even though Christians were quite prominent in his capital.
(8) For Christians to be found in so remote a province as Bithynia before acquiring notoriety in Rome is unlikely.
(9) Pliny says they sing a hymn to Christ as to God which Christians in Pliny's time would consider blasphemous since Jesus was no more than a man to them. His divinity was not established until 325 A.D.
(10) This letter is found in only one ancient copy of Pliny.
(11) The German literati, the most learned, say the epistle is not genuine.
(12) The genuineness of this correspondence of Pliny and Trajan is by no means certain. The tendency of the letters to put the Christians in as favorable a light as possible is too obvious not to excite some suspicion. For these and other reasons the correspondence was declared by experts to be spurious even at the time of its first publication in the 16th century.
(13) The undeniable fact is that some of the first Christians were among the greatest forgers who ever lived. This letter was first quoted by Tertullian and the age immediately preceding him was known for fraudulent writings. Tertullian and Eusebius, the people infavor of the passage's genuineness, were by no means the most reliablesources
IN REGARDS TO THE LETTERS (Both Pliny's and Trajan's) AUTHENTICITY:
Sherwin-White observes, "Modern scholars have taken no very coherent line about this. Some regard the letters as entirely fictitious, written for the books in which they appear... Others speak of the letters being written up for publication from simpler originals..." (11) With regard to the letters concerning Christians (10.96-97), for S-White "it is hardly necessary to defend the genuine character of these two letters," since the letters were known to Tertullian (691) and "this type of theory, like the notion that Tacitus' account of the Neronian affair is a forgery, raises greater difficulties than it solves..." (692). Keresztes observes that "the genuineness of the correspondence on the Christians, especially that of Pliny's letter, has been questioned, or even completely rejected by many scholars."
Further, assuming the letters to be authentic, there is no agreement among scholars regarding when the various books of letters were compiled, or when they were published, or whether they were published separately, one by one, or in groups, or some separately and some in groups, or all at once. According to S-White, for example, "the evidence points to three or four separate publications: I-II together or separately, III-VI or VII together, VII or VIII-IX together." (52)
The only thing scholars must agree about is that the collection of letters from Pliny's time in Bithynia and Pontus could not have been compiled by Pliny (since he died there), although no one knows who collected and published them, or when (or why).
Wilken writes of Pliny, "No mention is made of Christians in any of his other letters" (Wilken, 16)
According to S-White (80f.), Pliny arrived in Bithynia in September 109 and died sometime between January and September 111. Radice (15) places his mission in Bithynia-Pontus between 111 and 113 (also Wilken). It is generally thought that Pliny spent the first year in Bithynia, and traveled further east to Pontus only after September 110. Pliny's itinerary in Pontus is puzzling: he seems have gone first to Sinope, then east to Amisus, and back- either by sea, or by passing through Sinope again-to Amastris, before returning to Bithynia. His letter to Trajan concerning Christians must have been written sometime between September 110 and January 111 (when he ceased writing letters), and stands between a letter written from Amisus (on the eastern border of Pontus) and another written from Amastris, about 100 miles west of Amisus, on the way back to Bithynia. But we are not told where Pliny was when he wrote the letter.
We do not know, therefore, where the letter was written, nor do we know whether the problem Pliny encountered arose in Amisus, Amastris, or somewhere else. "The city where the trouble first arose cannot be determined" (S-White, 693; cf. Wilken, 15). Wilken tells us (15) that Pliny no doubt assumed "that Trajan would know where he was." But how would Trajan have known this? And even if he knew where the letter was written from, how would he have known in what city the problem arose? - which might not be unimportant, since Amisus was a self-governing city with significant freedom to determine its own way of life (Wilken, 14). In any case, it is strange that, particularly in a letter of such length and detail, dealing with such an important subject (as he emphasizes in his letter), Pliny makes no mention of where the trouble arose.
Nor does Pliny explain how the trouble arose. The nature of the actual charges brought against the Christians is obscure.
"What precisely the complaint (against the Christians) was we do not know (15)... No doubt some trouble had arisen between Christians and others in the city. This was unusual. In most areas of the Roman Empire Christians lived quietly and peacably among their neighbors, conducting their affairs without disturbance... What specifically caused the hostility in Pontus, however, Pliny does not say." (16)
"Our problem, however, is serious, and it is this: What was the juridicial basis for Pliny's unhesitating decision to have the faithful confessors put to death?" (278)
This is the crucial question, since the real issue has to do with whether we are dealing here with Christian legend or with historical facts. The plausibility of all the persecution and martyrdom stories depends on answering this question. And it is not surprising, therefore, that Christian historians have devoted so much energy to answering this question -- and that so many answers have been proposed. It has been proposed that they were executed because they engaged in indecent and immoral practices (flagitia), or because they refused to worship the Emperor, or make sacrifice to the gods of the State, or because they pursued an illegal "superstition" (de Ste. Croix) or because they constituted illegal colloqium or hetaeria (cf. Frend, 221), or simply because (as Pliny says) they were stubborn and obstinate. And for every one of these proposals it is easy to find several scholarly refutations.
This information was written up rather thoroughly by Darrell J. Doughty, Professor of New Testament; Drew University, Madison, NJ.
Conclusions on the forgery issue:
The utter silence of Pliny in the details of the reasoning behind the execution, the actual laws broken, the orders in which they were sentenced and the utter failure by him to explain the reasoning behind the disturbances speak to it being written by a hand other then Pliny, and most likely written by Tertullian or somebody prior to him.
The fact that nowhere else in his entire collection of 121 letters do we see a single mention of Christians is defeating to the non-forgery case. It's only seen in this one letter, and the letter itself appears only, it seems, for the Christians when they needed it and not before.
Thallus Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun
From Bede's apologetic web site :
The two sources are Thallus (quoted by Julius Africanus in about 220 AD) who wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean in about 50 AD. He mentions the darkness and calls it an eclipse of the sun. This is astronomically impossible as an eclipse cannot take place at a full moon. Another source, Phlegon from around 80 AD, also mentions the darkness, saying it took place at a full moon during the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Origen and Africanus quote him.
1. Be aware that we don't have Thallus' writings, only comments from Julius Africanus in the 3rd Century CE. The earliest manuscript of Africanus' work was done by George Syncellus in the 9th Century CE.
2. Julius goes on to criticise him for saying this because a solar eclipse is impossible during a full moon. Even Bede (a Christian apologist) notes this is impossible because an eclipse can't take place during a full moon. For more on the dynamics of solar eclipses go HERE. However there was an eclipse in November of 29 CE, which may have been the one that Thallus referred to. Note the date of the only recorded solar eclipse occurred 4 years PRIOR to the date Christians give for the death of Jesus.
Both F.Jacoby and R.T.France note that this does NOT in any way prove Thallus mentioned Jesus at all - it seems that it was Julius, nearly 2 centuries after Thallus alleged wrote about it, who made the connection.
3. The supposed identification of Thallus depends entirely on a misreading of Josephus, which even the author F.F.Bruce admits is "doubtful. Dr. R.T.Frances (a conservative Christian) also rejects this dating of Thallus.
4. Josephus mentions .. "allos Samareus genos" which has to be amended to read "Thallos" to support this identification. All Josephus mentions is that "Thallos" loaned money to Agrippa. This is very non-specific because even if Josephus had said "Thallos", there is no way to be sure that this is in fact the historian Thallus because during that time Thallos was a common name (the "which Thallus? problem")
Remember that we are looking for historians who mention Jesus to confirm that a historical personage existed BUT:
Thallus (even if we had any of his work which no longer exists) does NOT mention Jesus, only that a "darkness occurred).
Also remember that Julius who supposedly mentions Thallus' report characterizes it as a solar eclipse which could not have possibly occurred on the date in question because of full moon.
The only documented solar elipse even close in both time and place to the time/place of Jesus' death occurred in November 24, 29 CE, a date PRIOR to the time given by Christians (33 CE)
Thallus provides no evidence of anything about Jesus.
Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions "christus" who is Jesus
Tacitus: "But neither the aid of man, nor the liberality of the prince, nor the propitiations of the gods succeeded in destroying the belief that the fire had been purposely lit. In order to put an end to this rumor, therefore, Nero laid the blame on and visited with severe punishment those men, hateful for their crimes, whom the people called Christians. He from whom the name was derived, Christus, was put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. But the pernicious superstition, checked for a moment, broke out again, not only in Judea, the native land of the monstrosity, but also in Rome, to which all conceivable horrors and abominations flow from every side, and find supporters. First, therefore, those were arrested who openly confessed; then, on their information, a great number, who were not so much convicted of the fire as of hatred of the human race. Ridicule was passed on them as they died; so that, clothed in skins of beasts, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or committed to the flames, and when the sun had gone down they were burned to light up the night. Nero had lent his garden for this spectacle, and gave games in the Circus, mixing with the people in the dress of a charioteer or standing in the chariot. Hence there was a strong sympathy for them, though they might have been guilty enough to deserve the severest punishment, on the ground that they were sacrificed, not to the general good, but to the cruelty of one man." (Annals XV, 44)
It would be utterly ridiculous to use this, but still, some do.
(1) It is extremely improbable that a special report found by Tacitus had been sent earlier to Rome and incorporated into the records of the Senate, in regard to the death of a Jewish provincial, Jesus. The execution of a Nazareth carpenter would have been one of the most insignificant events conceivable among the movements of Roman history in those decades; it would have completely disappeared beneath the innumerable executions inflicted by Roman provincial authorities. For it to have been kept in any report would have been a most remarkable instance of chance.
(2) The phrase "multitudo ingens" which means "a great number" is opposed to all that we know of the spread of the new faith in Rome at the time. A vast multitude in 64 A.D.? There were not more than a few thousand Christians 200 years later. The idea of so many just 30 years after his supposed death is just a falsehood.
(3) The use of the Christians as "living torches," as Tacitus describes, and all the other atrocities that were committed against them, have little title to credence, and suggest an imagination exalted by reading stories of the later Christian martyrs. Death by fire was not a punishment inflicted at Rome in the time of Nero. It is opposed to the moderate principles on which the accused were then dealt with by the State.
(4) The Roman authorities can have had no reason to inflict special punishment on the new faith. How could the non-initiated Romans know what were the concerns of a comparatively small religious sect, which was connected with Judaism and must have seemed to the impartial observer wholly identical with it.
(5) Suetonius says that Nero showed the utmost indifference, even contempt in regard to religious sects. Even afterwards the Christians were not persecuted for their faith, but for political reasons, for their contempt of the Roman state and emperor, and as disturbers of the unity and peace of the empire. What reason can Nero have had to proceed against the Christians, hardly distinguishable from the Jews, as a new and criminal sect?
(6) It is inconceivable that the followers of Jesus formed a community in the city at that time of sufficient importance to attract public attention and the ill-feeling of the people. It isn't the most popular way to convert and bring people into their religion.
(7) The victims could not have been given to the flames in the gardens of Nero, as Tacitus allegedly said. According to another account by Tacitus these gardens were the refuge of those whose homes had been burned and were full of tents and wooden sheds. Why would he risk burning these by lighting human fires amidst all these shelters?
(8) According to Tacitus, Nero was in Antium, not Rome, when the fire occurred.
(9) The blood-curdling story about the frightful orgies of Nero reads like some Christian romance of the Dark Ages and not like Tacitus. Suetonius, while mercilessly condemning the reign of Nero, says that in his public entertainments Nero took particular care that no lives should be sacrificed, "not even those of condemned criminals."
(10) It is highly unlikely that he mingled with the crowd and feasted his eyes on the ghastly spectacle. Tacitus tells us in his life of Agricola that Nero had crimes committed, but kept his own eyes off them.
(11) Some authorities allege that the passage in Tacitus could not have been interpolated because his style of writing could not have been copied. But this argument is without merit since there is no "inimitable" style for the clever forger, and the more unususal, distinctive, and peculiar a style is, like that of Tacitus, the easier it is to imitate. Moreover, as far as the historicity of Jesus is concerned we are, perhaps, interested only in one sentence of the passage and that has nothing distinctively Tacitan about it.
(12) Tacitus is assumed to have written this about 117 A.D., about 80 years after the death of Jesus, when Christianity was already an organized religion with a settled tradition. The gospels, or at least 3 of them, are supposed to have been in existence. Hence Tacitus might have derived his information about Jesus, if not directly from the gospels, indirectly from them by means of oral tradition. This is the view of Dupuis, who wrote: "Tacitus says what the legend said." In 117 A.D. Tacitus could only know about Christ by what reached him from Christian or intermediate circles. He merely reproduced rumors.
(13) In no other part of his writings did Tacitus make the least allusion to "Christ" or "Christians." Christus was a very common name, as was Jesus, in fact Jospehus lists about 20 in the time Jesus was supposedly said to have existed.
(14) Tacitus is also made to say that the Christians took their denomination from Christ which could apply to any of the so-called Christs who were put to death in Judea, including Christ Jesus.
(15) The worshippers of the Sun-god Serapis were also called "Christians." Serapis or Osiris had a large following at Rome especially among the common people.
(18) The expression "Christians" which Tacitus applies to the followers of Jesus, was by no means common in the time of Nero. Not a single Greek or Roman writer of the first century mentions the name. The Christians who called themselves Jessaeans, Nazoraeans, the Elect, the Saints, the Faithful, etc. were universally regarded as Jews. They observed the Mosaic law and the people could not distinguish them from the other Jews. The Greek word Christus (the anointed) for Messiah, and the derivative word, Christian, first came into use under Trajan in the time of Tacitus. Even then, however, the word Christus could not mean Jesus of Nazareth. All the Jews without exception looked forward to a Christus or Messiah. It is, therefore, not clear how the fact of being a "Christian" could, in the time of Nero or of Tacitus, distinguish the followers of Jesus from other believers in a Christus or Messiah. Not one of the gospels applies the name Christians to the followers of Jesus. It is never used in the New Testament as a description of themselves by the believers in Jesus.
(19) Most scholars admit that the works of Tacitus have not been preserved with any degree of fidelity.
(20) This passage which could have served Christian writers better than any other writing of Tacitus, is not quoted by any of the Christian Fathers. It is not quoted by Tertullian, though he often quoted the works of Tacitus. Tertullian's arguments called for the use of this passage with so loud a voice that his omission of it, if it had really existed, amounted to a violent improbability.
(21) Eusebius in the 4th century cited all the evidence of Christianity obtained from Jewish and pagan sources but makes no mention of Tacitus.
(22) This passage is not quoted by Clement of Alexandria who at the beginning of the 3rd century set himself entirely to the work of adducing and bringing together all the admissions and recognitions which pagan authors had made of the existence of Christ Jesus or Christians before his time.
(23) Origen in his controversy with Celsus would undoubtedly have used it had it existed.
(24) There is no vestige or trace of this passage anywhere in the world before the 15th century. Its use as part of the evidences of the Christian religion is absolutely modern. Although no reference whatever is made to it by any writer or historian, monkish or otherwise, before the 15th century (1468 A.D.), after that time it is quoted or referred to in an endless list of works including by your supposed historian.
(25) The fidelity of the passage rests entirely upon the fidelity of one individual (first published in a copy of the annals of Tacitus in the year 1468 by Johannes de Spire of Venice who took his imprint of it from a single manuscript) who would have every opportunity and inducement to insert such an interpolation.
(26) In all the Roman records there was to be found no evidence that Christ was put to death by Pontius Pilate. If genuine, such a sentence would be the most important evidence in pagan literature. How could it have been overlooked for 1360 years?
(27) And lastly, the style of the passage is not consistent with the usually mild and classic language of Tacitus
by Rook Hawkins
And lastly, Christians contend all of the following pre-Christian sun-gods are mythological: Hercules, Osiris, Bacchus, Mithra, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus, and Horus. Yet, all: (1) allegedly had gods for fathers and virgins for mothers; (2) had their births announced by stars and celestial music; (3) were born on the 25th of December (Solstice); (4) had tyrants trying to kill them when they were infants; (5) met with violent deaths; and (6) rose from the dead.
Originally posted by expert999
ok that was one man. oh well. so what. it was one man. doesnt mean he was right.
what hitler said was true. and that applies to in indoctrination of evolution is students today.
Originally posted by expert999
well like I said, if you read the wole thing, you will see that God gave pharoh a chance to prevent that from happening. Moses told pharoh that if he were to let his people go, that pharoh would not have to worry about that happening. in other words. if you do what God says, than everything will be smooth sailing.