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Introducing myself - dates

David Glenn Lebut Jr.
wrote (February 4, 2005):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: << I find that it is even more important to truly commemorate the fulfillment of our redemption that took place that first Friday in April the year 33 CE at a place known variably as Golgatha or Calvary. >>
Doug Cowling wrote: < The weight of scholarship suggests April 7, 30 C.E. as the probable date of the Crucifixion. >
Not according to most of the research that I have seen, both scholarly and otherwise.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (February 4, 2005):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] As for as the date of the birth and death dates of Christ---we can not be absolutely sure or even if such an event as described in the NT actually occured as described. My calculations based on information that is given in the NT, historical factual data is that Christ was born in March 6 AD according to the Roman Calender. March was the month when Taxes and census became due to the Roman Empire. Most modern scholars seem to agree with this although I arrived at my figures independently of them. It is strange that such a great Astronomical events occuring on the birth of Christ was not recorded by the Chineese nor the American Indians nor the Mayas or Aztecs--they always recorded such things. We have such a record of the explosion of the Crab Nebula.

There are a number of historical and scientific facts causing problems which do not agree with what is written in the NT. One of the things that makes everything so suspicious is the numerology we find in the Bible---it is as though someone is deliberately trying to make dates to concur with numerology such numbers as 3 and 7 in particularly--note that there were 3 wise men ---why did there have to be 3 wise men why not one two or even 7? Now if the wise men followed the star in the East this means that they would have had to be in the West????

Then there is the problem of the eclipse of the sun and the "star" and finally the earthquake. The eclipse of the sun at the crucifixion is a particular problem because none can be found which fits what is written as it occured.

There was a solar eclipse that began at 11:46 am on December 3rd,20AD that ended at 1:14 pm. This was not a total eclipse as described but a Central one.

On September 1st, 34 AD; there was an eclipse that began at 9:50 am and ended 12:08 am----please note that the writers of the NT want you to think the eclipse lasted all day long.

In short: there are no eclipses of the sun which fit what the writers in the NT say happened between 20-40 AD. Nor are they any eclipse which last more than 3 hours irregardless of what time it began over Jerusalem.

As far as the star is concerned. Various notable astronomers have attempted to find out what this event was if it occurred.

Of short period comets--Halley's appearance in 6 AD fills the bill to a limited degree. Of the long period comets--no one has hazard a guess---perhaps Hyukatake, or Hale-Bopp or some of the ones that have appeared recently.

Kepler felt that this was a rare conjunction of the planets of Venus, Mars and Jupiter--this would not have been seen at night time only during the daylight hours on 1 AD.

Earthquakes leave a record of their occurances and none yet have been found in Jerusalem or surrounding areas of such a quake ever occuring in the time period that Christ was crucified.

One must also rememher that the events were not written down in the NT for about 100 years after the alledged events occured. This gives pleny of room for inaccuracies to creep in and things to be distorted. There is no original copy of the NT or OT for that matter so that is another issue.

The ancients were not as scientifically astute as we are today and often told untruths that they thought that they could get away from which did catch up with them as much as two thousand years later. For instance the location of Heaven is suppose to be in sky or space---we know factually this is not true becaue we have been there with space craft.

Doug Cowling wrote (February 4, 2005):
Ludwig wrote: < Earthquakes leave a record of their occurances and none yet have been found in Jerusalem or surrounding areas of such a quake ever occuring in the time period that Christ was crucified.
One must also rememher that the events were not written down in the NT for about 100 years after the alledged events occured. This gives pleny of room for inaccuracies to creep in and things to be distorted. There is no original copy of the NT or OT for that matter so that is another issue. >
Most biblical scholars would assert that the physical phenomena, astronomical, geologic or meteorological, in the Gospel narratives are not historical accounts. The bare fact of the trial and death of Jesus of Nazareth -- but few of its details -- is demonstrable from Christian, Jewish and Roman evidence. There is no single copy of the NT because the writings are individual books and letters which were only collated much later. The epistles of Paul date to the 50's C.E. whereas the four Gospel accounts date from 80-90 after the fall of Jerusalem in 72 A.D.

Mike Mannix (Mickey Drivel) wrote (February 4, 2005):
Much of this research is pointless as Bible as a mythological jumble and there is no conclusive evidence for the existence of Christ as a distinct individual person

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (February 4, 2005):
[To Ludwig] We are, however, told dates which apparently the writers wanted us to know as fact to backup their stories/ facts that are presented (otherwise why tell them?) including such historical facts of personages as Augustus, Herod, etc.

You misunderstood me. I did not say or mean to claim that the NT was written all at one time as a whole book as GONE WITH THE WIND was created. I am aware that things began to come together around 100 CE or that is what I was taught in my Biblical criticsm courses.

There is no extant or record of a fomerly extant of any particular book of the NT in existence around C.E.50. The earliest extant gospels we have are in the Bodmer Collections.

There could be hidden away in some Monastery or cave such a document but that is doubtful as any native finding such more than likely would have used it as material to burn or some monk in need of paper would have also done the same or created a pampliset---not realizing what a valuable document he had. Recently a very valuable text by Archimedes was found as a pampliset whose text was biblical. Southebys sold it for 1-billion dollars or something like that extravagant price.

We do have earlier records of the OT (Dead Sea Scrolls)but when compared critically --while stories in general may agree--the individual passages may disagree.

William Rowland,kibitzer
Anglican World Body of Churches Bishop's List
Upper Diocease of South Carolina
Holy Trinity Parish
Clemson, SC.

Doug Cowling wrote (February 4, 2005):
[To Mickey Drivel] If the mere fact of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth is considered -- as opposed to the religious claims of Christianity -- then he has as much documentary evidence as many 1st century historical figures.

Ludwig wrote (February 4, 2005):
Doug Cowling wrote: < If the mere fact of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth is considered -- as opposed to the religious claims of Christianity -- then he has as much documentary evidence as many 1st century historical figures. >
I would agree with Doug---whether or not Jesus really existed or not--- the impact of his cult---yes in the begining Christianity was a Jewish Cult---- has had great impact of great importance on the Western World just as the belief in a great white god by the Mayas and Aztecs lead to the downfall and collapse of Mexico and help conquerors subjugate Mexico to Spanish rule. Who would believe that a band of 300 Spanish soldiers with one Cannon could conqueror the whole of Mexico when they were out numbered by more than 20-thousand of Montezuma's soldiers. Or similar repeats in History occured during the 1917 Russian Revolution in which the Christian Religion was the chief weakness and source of downfall of Czarist Russia.

Myths often explain many things about people I would like recommend that you read Joseph Campbells books on myths and Christianity or see the series on VHS that
ran on PBS for a season or so.

Research about the times in which Jesus lived is not pointless--it helps us today greatly removed from the Society of that time understand the culture from whence the NT is derived. It helps us understand the context of both the NT and OT.

People in the time of Jesus were very supersititious---a comet portended something evil was about to happen--usually the death of a leader. There were mythical animals such as dragons and unicorns. None actually existed although you will find these creature in the Bible as existing--they never did. By understanding what these people lacked in knowledge and truth; we can determine what is divine and what is human subversion of Divinity--that is claiming that something that is divine that is not. The story of Johah and the Whale is another example. Whales that exist(ed) in the Mediteranean could not eat a human as they are strainers. Maybe a shark got Johah but it is very doubtful that a Whale did.

The reading of the Bible can not be done literally as some people want to do and believe because it has been through a numer of translations which change meaning and also subverts meaning. Language changes over time. Thus what the word 'green' meant some two-thousand years ago may not mean the same thing today.

Richard Bradbury wrote (February 4, 2005):
"If the mere fact of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth is considered -- as opposed to the religious claims of Christianity -- then he has as much documentary evidence as many 1st century historical figures."

[To Doug Cowling] Can you explain what the documentary sources for the existence are?

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 4, 2005):
New Testament study

[To Mike Mannix] There isn't a single responsible historian active in the Western world today that doubts the historical existence of Jesus and his main supporters - Peter, John, Paul etc. This includes scholars who profess no belief at all. It's true that when "Biblical criticism" started as a serious study in the Enlightenment and early 19th Century that some scholars raised this possibility that Jesus was a mythical figure. We now know a lot more about the New Testament and historians have been most humbled by the remarkable validity of orally transmitted narrative, particularly when dealing with short time frames. Most scholars date a letter from Thessalonians from Paul to the Jesus sect leaders in Jerusalem at about 50AD - only 20 years after Jesus' execution. Others are about the same time or a few years later. And, he was writing to people that witnessed and participated in Jesus' ministry. Considering the standards routinely employed for the study of antiquity Paul's writings and other parts of the New Testament constitute evidence of extremely high value. Indeed, if one does not find the New Testament as adequate proof of the historical existence of Jesus and his execution, countless figures from the past would join Jesus in whatever realm St. Christopher now resides. Anyone arguing otherwise is about 100 years out of date in scholarly terms. Obviously religious questions are strictly matters of faith. This is readily admitted by any theologian today. And yesterday - check out Luther's rejection of Scholasticism for a good example.

Doug Cowling wrote (February 4, 2005):
"If the mere fact of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth is considered -- as opposed to the religious claims of Christianity -- then he has as much documentary evidence as many 1st century historical figures."
Richard Bradbury wrote to To Doug Cowling: Can you explain what the documentary sources for the existence are?
There is no archeological evidence for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. There is some evidence for other figures in the history: an inscription mentioning Pontius Pilate and the purported ossuary of the high priest.

The principal Jewish record is found in the historian Josephus and the Babylonian Talmud. The Roman source is Tacitus, and the non-Roman letter of Mara.

Since many on this list are involved in writing program notes which deal with the supposed anti-Semitism of the Bach Passions, I would highly recommend the following scholarly study which assesses the historical record:

Raymond Brown, "The Death of the Messiah"
New York: Doubleday, 1994
pp. 328 - 97
"Introduction: Background for the Jewish Trial/Interrogation of Jesus by the Priestly Authorities"

John Pike wrote (February 4, 2005):
[To Eric Bergerud] Very well said.

Mike Mannix (Mickey Drivel) wrote (February 5, 2005):
A responsible historian must always doubt the existence of Jesus, James, Peter etc until verification of their existence is proven. It is interesting that Paul had to go through a quasai - mythological event with his Damascine conversion. Peter's only historical appearance is Paul's claim to have met him. Jesus remains outside the historical frame.

Ludwig wrote (February 5, 2005):
[To Eric Bergerud & John Pike] There are respsonsible historians for whom there is doubt as doubting St.Thomas did and in identifying the correct person. The chief problem, historically, is identifying the correct Jesus.

Yes there was a Jesus and in fact there were several according to the writings of Heroditus who lived concurrently at the time. We also know that Heroditus at times was not the most accurate writer of history. Heroditus left us one of the few records extant outside religious texts that a Jesus did exist.

In Jerusalem; there was a chief Priest of the Temple named Jesus; there was another Jesus who was a criminal:robber and a murderer--- who ran a gang of thugs; there were besides these several others whose name was Jesus including the Jesus that Christianity seems familiar with and whom by Roman Law was a traitor and endangerment to Roman Rule. In after thought---could it be that the Christian Jesus was crucified as the result of mistaken identity? The social ferment in Jerusalem is much like it is today but it ended in Masada and the Romans, on the orders of Emperor Vespasian destroyed, the Temple which Herod had had rebuilt.

In the end ---from a purely religious/theological point of view it does not really matter or not whether or not Jesus really existed considering the impact of the Jesus movement on Western Culture. Christianity does not ask for us to factually believe that Christ existed only that we believe in faith. Christ himself said thus. However, in trying to understand things that are written in the Bible; it helps to research things to understand the whys and wherefores of.

Why does Leviticus forbid the drinking of milk when one has or is eating fish? Why does both the Koran and the Talmud forbid the eating of pork? While there may have been good reasons in the past for not doing these things are they still valid and if not why not and if so why so? Why are we told that to get a wife a future husband must go out and beat up 100 uncircumcized men, circumsize them and present their foreskins to the future father-in-law? (yes this is the story surronding the coming of David).

Eric Bergerud wrote (February 5, 2005):
[To Mike Mannix] Today some of the best historians and theologians in the Western World and Israel study the development of the early Church because of the immense importance of Christianity. Many of these scholars are either Jewish or atheists. If Mr. Mannix believes that the historic reality of Jesus and his immediate followers is in doubt anywhere, I would like to be shown an example. I strongly suspect that Mr. Mannix does not understand what constitutes "proof" in modern historiography - it is very different than what was current at the time of Voltaire when such efforts were first underway. I know of no general challenge to the authenticity of Paul's letters. If letters written to Jesus' disciples within 20 years of his death are not considered proof in a time and place we know with absolute certainty to be historical, begin a massive purge of major figures from the ancient and medieworld, and not just in Europe. Kiss good bye to every figure in the Old Testament (the canon did not begin before approximately the 6th Century BC) ; say toodles to Mohammed (both the Koran and haddiths were originally oral) and aloha to Buddha. And if single eye witness accounts are not good enough, bid adieu to Socrates. (Outside of Plato's account, what evidence to we have of Socrates' life? One marble head from the Roman period that may or may not be Socrates.) Confucious? Everything we know about him comes from his students, most of whom did not know him during his life. Every history teacher in grade school gets asked "how do you know if you weren't there?" Strictly speaking, we don't. Is this doubt? No. A lot of thought has been given to historical method. A very great deal of thought has been given to the use and importance of the oral transmission of historical data which was the norm for most figures in the past except for the most politically exalted. (And direct first party evidence from the hand of the great is remarkably skimpy. Only a few documents coming directly from someone as powerful as Augustus exist.) As always I will stand correction. On this issue I would be particularly glad to get it, because I don't think there is responsible opinion that echoes Mr. Mannix's view.

Leonardo Been wrote (February 5, 2005):
To Know History (or not to know it)

Dear Eric and other interested readers,

Debates about history, about historic facts, have come up frequently.

The discussion is unresolvable when overlooking those facts that are unknown - unknown even to you, a responsible historian:

'Criminal Minds always and continuously do deny and hide truth, it is what they are about, continue to do, and enjoy doing, and are proud of doing - they know very well that they are lying - in any and all fields of knowledge and understanding and ability.'

I have published this in so many ways now, (in so many Human Rights Issues under so many subject titles) that it slowly should start to penetrate the brighter and more receptive minds (souls) on Earth, especially when they can connect to the music of Bach and experience the joy of listening to it.

'(Truth defined as 'What Happened And Who Caused It.')

However, most intimately related to the subject discussed now, you, and others also, might like:

(nn) '"What Do You Think Of Jesus Christ?"' (28 April 2004)
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=3b6f518d.0404281110.7a214984%40posting.google.com&output=gplain

Some people enjoyed that rational approach to the matter.

'Bach connects you to The Creation'

Koos Nolst Trenite "Cause Trinity"
human rights philosopher and poet

____________
Verification: http://www.angelfire.com/space/platoworld

I comment below, should you be interested in such horrendous details, on what:

____________________________________________
--- Eric Bergerud wrote:
< (...)what constitutes "proof" in modern historiography - it is very different than what was current at the time of Voltaire when such efforts were first underway.

I know of no general challenge to the authenticity of Paul's letters. If letters written to Jesus' disciples within 20 years of his death are not considered proof in a time and place we know with absolute certainty to be historical, begin a massive purge of major figures from the ancient and medieval world, and not just in Europe.
(...)
Every history teacher in grade school gets asked "how do you know if you weren't there?" >
__________
My comment: History becomes truly and rightly interesting, when you find out or know, that indeed YOU WERE THERE. (What I have dubbed 'The Mafia Code Against Mankind' demands that you deny and hide and drown your memories, as soon as, and any time that, these become alive to you.)

History-teaching helps you to remember your past. But Criminal Minds want you NOT to remember what happened in the past - Criminal Minds who did and are doing what Criminal Minds do and that they want to do, in a hidden manner.

The whole subject of remembering the past is so completely and utterly poisoned (by Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age, and modern sects and cults and gurus), that any rational person is completely - and quite rightly - repelled by even mentioning the subject itself, of remembering the past, of having been there yourself.

'Which - being repelled from remembering the past correctly - is exactly what Criminal Minds want to and did perfectly well achieve: You can state as many most idiotic lies about "remembering" or "channelling" the past as you like, but don't you ever dare to remember or voice occurrences that would properly expose and make understood Criminal Minds! They - while preaching 'Unconditional Love' - truly and unconditionally hate everyone... And they hate to be understood, they hate truth.?

____________________________________________
< Strictly speaking, we don't [remember very well]. Is this doubt? No. A lot of thought has been given to historical method. A very great deal of thought has been given to the use and importance of the oral transmission of historical data which was the norm for most figures in the past except for the most politically exalted. (And direct first party evidence from the hand of the great is remarkably skimpy. Only a few documents coming directly from someone as powerful as Augustus exist.)
As always I will stand correction. On this issue I would be particularly glad to get it (...) >

Mike Mannix wrote (February 5, 2005):
This argument would also appear to confirm the existence of Achilles, Homer, Robin Hood, Mithras, the Angel of Mons and others as flesh and blood characters.

The direct link with Mohammed and the Koran appears to span a century of oral tradition, according to some scholars (one American in particular who died recently - sorry cannot recall reference).

While the existence of Paul or Augustus is hardly in doubt, the attribution of Pauline letters is currently under scrutiny. In historical terms, the trail runs cold with Paul.

Oral history can only be accepted as a part of any formative body of evidence. The problematic core of Christ is that the narrative and fragmentary 'biography' serves mainly as a vehicle for the transmission of myth to a gentile audience.

A messianic culture, would inevitably produce a messianic figure - this, combined with the functional role of the Gospels obscures historical reality in a manner which is not really applicable to other characters of the early Roman Empire.

(This is an issue I will do more research on when time permits - I confess, I have been reading Tacitus recently and pondering the issue. By ruling out Christ as a historical figure I refer to Michael Romer - whether his work remains valid, I cannot say. Recent discoveries surrounding John the Baptist appear interesting).

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Last update: ýFebruary 5, 2005 ý18:04:29