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Let's be biblically literary
#76

Let's be biblically literary
For the record, we have the Acta Pilati ( Acts of Pilate, a/k/a the Gospel of Nicodemus ) which is addressed to the Emperor Claudius!

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/te...ilate.html

Quote:The Report of Pilate to the Emperor Claudius

Claudius became emperor after Caligula was killed in 41 AD.  Pilate was long gone by then.  Someone really fucked up here!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#77

Let's be biblically literary
(09-12-2019, 12:21 AM)Minimalist Wrote: For the record, we have the Acta Pilati ( Acts of Pilate, a/k/a the Gospel of Nicodemus ) which is addressed to the Emperor Claudius!

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/te...ilate.html

Quote:The Report of Pilate to the Emperor Claudius

Claudius became emperor after Caligula was killed in 41 AD.  Pilate was long gone by then.  Someone really fucked up here!

Every word of that shouts forgery. The Jews crucified no one. Not wasting my time. It reeks of LATER Christian bullshit. There was nothing that said the messiah would be born of a virgin. They cooked that up by mistranslating the reference to the wife of Ahaz.

The British museum, (which supposedly had a copy of the letter) wrote "There are no surviving original letters by Herod or Pontius Pilate, to each other or to anyone else. Any manuscripts of them which do exist are forgeries or much later copies. A Syriac MS in the British Library Oriental Collections (reference number Add.in the British Library Oriental Collections (reference number Add. 14609) contains a 6th or 7th Century copy of the letters. Here is the catalogue description of the MS:

THE DOCTRINE Of St. Peter;-The life of St. Anthony, by St. Athan- asius;-Account of the Monks in Egypt;-Life of Serapion;- Letter of Herod to Pilate, and of Pilate to Herod;-The Recogni- tions of St. Clement. On vellum, of the vith or viith century. Quarto. [14,609.]
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#78

Let's be biblically literary
Quote:It reeks of LATER Christian bullshit.

Absolutely.  But if it was later why was some moron still thinking that it happened when Claudius was emperor?

Perhaps it was a first draft that was corrected later?
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#79

Let's be biblically literary
(09-11-2019, 10:34 PM)Minimalist Wrote: But it does seem far more likely that as organized jesusism spread it ran into these groups with their strange ideas and denounced them as heretics.  One by one they were overcome either by being absorbed or violently suppressed.  

Seems more likely to me that these different factions had a role equivalent to natural selection. Some versions had inherent issues, some thrived better. The more successful ones would eventually come to the attention of government authorities, who, seeing a fulcrum of control, would then pick one version and stamp out the variants. I'm talkin' 'bout, you, Constantine.

Doubtless there was a similar process with selecting the official canon of scripture, and possibly, judiciously editing it or at least selecting the variant to endorse that was closest to the coalescing orthodoxy. Later, asshats like Justinian would stamp out competing religions, including paganism, from public and private life, and the rest was history.

In my view, modern Christianity is just a set of interlocking memes that have evolved to support and sustain each other and have provided a certain ability to flex with the times. While seeming overall immutable and timeless, they in fact DO evolve, albeit slowly. It has always seemed self evident to me that modern Christians would in no way recognize or approve the beliefs of Christians from 2000 years ago. Indeed, they'd have some cognitive dissonance from 1000 or 500 years ago. Ironically, modern fundamentalism had its roots in Darbyism less than 200 years ago, and did not exist in a form fundamentalists would be entirely comfortable with, before that.
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#80

Let's be biblically literary
(09-12-2019, 02:44 AM)mordant Wrote: I'm talkin' 'bout, you, Constantine.

He was no dummy. He knew that the Greeks unified their empire with religion, and that the Persians did the same when they sent the Hebrews back with the Torah of Moses under Ezra's arm. When he convened the Council of Nicaea, he told them they *must* agree on the basics of what constituted Christianity, ... he didn't care *what* they agreed on, but they had to agree on something ... and that is what became orthodoxy.
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#81

Let's be biblically literary
Nicaea did not end the controversy, though.  In fact, Arianism became the main creed of the various barbarian tribes who invaded the West in the 4th-5th centuries.  The Arian faith eventually becomes something of a national creed for them.    It is adopted from the Goths by the Vandals but the Goths divide in Ostrogoths and Visigoths and spread out in different directions.  In the 5th and 6th centuries Italy is largely Arian under the Ostrogoths in the north; Spain is Arian under the Visigoths and north Africa is Arian thanks to the Vandals.  The pope was something of an asshole controlling only southern Italy which had been impoverished by the campaigns of Belisarius as Justinian tried to reconquer the West.

Constantine's efforts were a dismal failure in the long run of history.  Theodosius was more successful but murderous fucks usually are when it comes to religion.

BTW, it was the muslims who made the pope what he is today by taking out the major xtian sees of Antioch, Jerusalem, Ephesus, Alexandria and giving Constantinople a thousand year ass kicking before finally overrunning it.  The Bishop of Rome ended up as the last jesus freak standing.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#82

Let's be biblically literary
(09-12-2019, 05:45 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Nicaea did not end the controversy, though.  In fact, Arianism became the main creed of the various barbarian tribes who invaded the West in the 4th-5th centuries.  The Arian faith eventually becomes something of a national creed for them.    It is adopted from the Goths by the Vandals but the Goths divide in Ostrogoths and Visigoths and spread out in different directions.  In the 5th and 6th centuries Italy is largely Arian under the Ostrogoths in the north; Spain is Arian under the Visigoths and north Africa is Arian thanks to the Vandals.  The pope was something of an asshole controlling only southern Italy which had been impoverished by the campaigns of Belisarius as Justinian tried to reconquer the West.

Constantine's efforts were a dismal failure in the long run of history.  Theodosius was more successful but murderous fucks usually are when it comes to religion.

BTW, it was the muslims who made the pope what he is today by taking out the major xtian sees of Antioch, Jerusalem, Ephesus, Alexandria and giving Constantinople a thousand year ass kicking before finally overrunning it.  The Bishop of Rome ended up as the last jesus freak standing.

 Fascinating stuff, thanks.

Although Christians like to claim Constantine as their own, today I'm unconvinced. I'm aware that he ordered  the First Council of Nicaea in 325 ce. That the council pretty much accepted a list  of books proposed by Athanasius of Alexandria  as the universal canon . BUT that there was a lot more going on than simply establishing a canon.

I'm  also skeptical of the claim that Constantine converted to Christianity on his deathbed. 

Constantine used Christianity  to consolidate his power, but was never a Christian. He gave what became 'Christians'  privileges , but  stooped short of making  'The Way'/Christianity the State  religion, that was done by emperor Theodosius. It is also my understanding  that it was Theodosius who was responsible for introducing the name "Christianity" into common use.(by "I understand" I mean I don't remember where I read it, so it may be wrong)  

I also understand the Christian  had another agenda:  To  re establish Rome as the centre of the Church rather than Constantinople, which became the centre the eastern orthodox church . IE it was about politics and power..

It is my opinion that the Church became in ineffably  corrupt as a direct result of the first Nicene council. This because that was when the church truly focussed on power and wealth. This  was completed by Theodosius who allowed and encouraged the Church to murder its opponents.  That practice  and others continued for over 1000 years.  

Eastern rites Christianity has always had a different focus than Western Catholicism, although they use pretty much the same canon. Except the Copts, who  also accept "The Book Of Jubilees"  (aka"The Lesser Genesis ") which has 50 chapters.
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#83

Let's be biblically literary
Quote:Although Christians like to claim Constantine as their own, today I'm unconvinced.

Yeah, Ingersoll made this observation.

Quote:Orthodox Christians have the habit of claiming all great men, all men who have held important positions, men of reputation, men of wealth. As soon as the funeral is over clergymen begin to relate imaginary conversations with the deceased, and in a very little while the great man is changed to a Christian -- possibly to a saint.

Robert Green Ingersoll

You know what I always found interesting about Constantine?  Eusebius, who was not present at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge wrote differing accounts of the story of Constantine's vision but Eusebius is a notorious liar.  Far more significant is the fact that no xtian iconography appears on the Arch of Constantine, built or at least re-worked, to commemorate the Battle.
Further, coins show Constantine in 313 AD with the iconography of the Sol Invictus cult (Mithras) which was still popular in the Roman Army.

Constantine did reward the xtians who supported him against Maxentius by legalizing the cult - but the Romans had a long tradition of toleration - in spite of him probably thinking that the xtians themselves were a bunch of assholes.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#84

Let's be biblically literary
(09-12-2019, 04:11 PM)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:Although Christians like to claim Constantine as their own, today I'm unconvinced.

Yeah, Ingersoll made this observation.

Quote:Orthodox Christians have the habit of claiming all great men, all men who have held important positions, men of reputation, men of wealth. As soon as the funeral is over clergymen begin to relate imaginary conversations with the deceased, and in a very little while the great man is changed to a Christian -- possibly to a saint.

Robert Green Ingersoll

You know what I always found interesting about Constantine?  Eusebius, who was not present at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge wrote differing accounts of the story of Constantine's vision but Eusebius is a notorious liar.  Far more significant is the fact that no xtian iconography appears on the Arch of Constantine, built or at least re-worked, to commemorate the Battle.
Further, coins show Constantine in 313 AD with the iconography of the Sol Invictus cult (Mithras) which was still popular in the Roman Army.

Constantine did reward the xtians who supported him against Maxentius by legalizing the cult - but the Romans had a long tradition of toleration - in spite of him probably thinking that the xtians themselves were a bunch of assholes.

 It's also my perception that a Roman historian was a lot different from  our notion of an historian. A lot of  histories were written to flatter or vilify.  It seems writer's such as Suetonius and Flavius Joseph should be taken with a pinch of salt. Julius caesar also seems to have exaggerated a bit when writing HIS accounts of HIS campaigns. EG he invented Germania as a country/ homogeneous region.

In his biography of Caligula, Anthony Barrett claims that Suetonius' "LifeOf Caligula"is simply scurrilous.  Pretty important because it seems it is from Suetonius most people get their view of Caligula. 

OF COURSE, the term"'Christian Historian" has pretty much always  been an oxymoron, as with "Christian archeologist" . They tell porkies.
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#85

Let's be biblically literary
Quote:In his biography of Caligula, Anthony Barrett claims that Suetonius' "LifeOf Caligula"is simply scurrilous.

Then he should read the rest of Suetonius because one of the most valid criticisms of his work is his tendency to repeat every salacious bit of gossip without making any attempt to verify it.  Suetonius lived and wrote in the second century when it was safe to criticize the rulers from the first century!

Of course ancient writers had an agenda.  So do modern writers and it is necessary to always keep that in mind.  But in antiquity the level of literacy was far lower.  Generally speaking barely 10 percent could read at all and the portion who could read complex works was much lower.  The Roman Army taught its recruits in the Imperial Period basic literacy.  But the ability to read a duty roster would not help you read Musonius Rufus or Seneca.  So you had members of the elite classes of Roman society writing for other members of the elite classes.  And here lies the problem with Roman historical writing that you allude to.  The Julio-Claudians ( Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero ) took their lead from Julius Caesar.  He was a patrician who sided with the plebians. Caesar's power base lay in his ability to control the city population, what the senatorial class derisively called "the mob."  Keeping the people happy was the cornerstone of the popularity of the first five emperors with the people.  In order to do that they taxed - and sometimes extorted money from - the nobility which sort of makes sense as they were the ones who had the money.  Tiberius and Caligula are supposed to have made extensive use of "treason trials" and consequent confiscation of the deceased estate.  The problem is we are told this by writers who were themselves members of the aggrieved class. 

So, Suetonius ( who was an equestrian, not a senator ) but he worked for senatorial patrons had an obvious self-interest in promoting the interests of the people who employed him, must in many cases be taken with a grain of salt.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#86

Let's be biblically literary
Here you go, Grymp.  An excerpt from Carrier's OTHJ relating to this paul gibberish.

Quote:Margaret Barker likewise expresses her perplexity at Paul's letters: 'at
the centre of [Paul 's] preaching there is not the teacher from Galilee but
the Redeemer from heaven. Why?' Indeed, she argues, from his letters one
would have to conclude that 'the Jesus who was only a teacher from Galilee
disappeared from the tradition at a very early date, so early that one
wonders whether it was ever there at all.' 17   Nikolaus Walter more or less
concurs, concluding that 'we can detect no hint that Paul knew of the narrative
tradition about Jesus', which anyone ought to agree is 'surprising' .18
Even Helmut Koester admits, ' it is generally agreed that Paul's letters do
not permit any conclusions about the life of Jesus' .19 Kurt Noll goes further,
concluding that the evidence in Paul's letters demonstrates that no fully
formed Jesus traditions, of either sayings or narratives, existed in Paul's
day, and that all such traditions therefore post-date his generation.20

Scholars are thus starting to rethink the sequence of events. Nikolaus
Walter has concluded that many of the teachings attributed to Jesus in the
Gospels were in fact fabricated out of the sayings of Paul, and that there
simply wasn't any collection of teachings from Jesus beyond occasional
revelations.21


Pg 520-521


Enjoy.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#87

Let's be biblically literary
(09-15-2019, 02:27 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Here you go, Grymp.  An excerpt from Carrier's OTHJ relating to this paul gibberish.

Quote:Margaret Barker likewise expresses her perplexity at Paul's letters: 'at
the centre of [Paul 's] preaching there is not the teacher from Galilee but
the Redeemer from heaven. Why?' Indeed, she argues, from his letters one
would have to conclude that 'the Jesus who was only a teacher from Galilee
disappeared from the tradition at a very early date, so early that one
wonders whether it was ever there at all.' 17   Nikolaus Walter more or less
concurs, concluding that 'we can detect no hint that Paul knew of the narrative
tradition about Jesus', which anyone ought to agree is 'surprising' .18
Even Helmut Koester admits, ' it is generally agreed that Paul's letters do
not permit any conclusions about the life of Jesus' .19 Kurt Noll goes further,
concluding that the evidence in Paul's letters demonstrates that no fully
formed Jesus traditions, of either sayings or narratives, existed in Paul's
day, and that all such traditions therefore post-date his generation.20

Scholars are thus starting to rethink the sequence of events. Nikolaus
Walter has concluded that many of the teachings attributed to Jesus in the
Gospels were in fact fabricated out of the sayings of Paul, and that there
simply wasn't any collection of teachings from Jesus beyond occasional
revelations.21


Pg 520-521


Enjoy.

Thanks. I'm also reading some very different takes on Paul, his life and Epistles ,in AN Wilson's revisionist biography.  Of course you need to understand  Wilson is just your run of the mill  university trained  scholar.  He isn't actually a trained biblical scholar, so need not be afforded any credibility.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

Surprisingly (?) Bart Ehrman in "Did Jesus Exist?"  is most insistent that  anyone  daring to comment on the history of Christianity be a trained biblical  scholar. 

I probably won't bother posting the different ideas about Paul and his life,  which are  fascinating , and which seem reasonable and able and scholarly to me.    It's really not worth the candle .Instead of a  reasoned discussion ,I'm more likely  to  be told I'm confused or just  ignorant .  I can't handle the bun fights you and a couple of others seem to enjoy.   I become quite upset with myself if I lose control to the point that I start saying unkind things  to people I don't know over such trivial  matters .
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#88

Let's be biblically literary
Quote:Surprisingly (?) Bart Ehrman in "Did Jesus Exist?"  is most insistent that  anyone  daring to comment on the history of Christianity be a trained biblical  scholar.



Yeah, there's a lot of that going around.  It seems to me that trained biblical scholars can mainly go on the paper.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#89

Let's be biblically literary
(09-15-2019, 02:27 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Here you go, Grymp.  An excerpt from Carrier's OTHJ relating to this paul gibberish.

Quote:Margaret Barker likewise expresses her perplexity at Paul's letters: 'at
the centre of [Paul 's] preaching there is not the teacher from Galilee but
the Redeemer from heaven. Why?' Indeed, she argues, from his letters one
would have to conclude that 'the Jesus who was only a teacher from Galilee
disappeared from the tradition at a very early date, so early that one
wonders whether it was ever there at all.' 17   Nikolaus Walter more or less
concurs, concluding that 'we can detect no hint that Paul knew of the narrative
tradition about Jesus', which anyone ought to agree is 'surprising' .18
Even Helmut Koester admits, ' it is generally agreed that Paul's letters do
not permit any conclusions about the life of Jesus' .19 Kurt Noll goes further,
concluding that the evidence in Paul's letters demonstrates that no fully
formed Jesus traditions, of either sayings or narratives, existed in Paul's
day, and that all such traditions therefore post-date his generation.20

Scholars are thus starting to rethink the sequence of events. Nikolaus
Walter has concluded that many of the teachings attributed to Jesus in the
Gospels were in fact fabricated out of the sayings of Paul, and that there
simply wasn't any collection of teachings from Jesus beyond occasional
revelations.21


Pg 520-521


Enjoy.

This articulates my basic thinking on Paul very well. It is extraordinarily striking that Paul seems to have, or assume, no narrative of an earthly Jesus. It is striking that he does not appeal to then-living eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus, but to a direct vision from heaven, a FAR weaker argument and strongly suggestive that Paul's Jesus was, if not entirely mythical, certainly more myth than man. It is striking that even Paul's own version of the story admits to a fractious and combative relationship to the Jerusalem Council, which whether real or not was representative of a competing version of events and conclusion therefrom -- largely, but not exclusively, whether or not Christianity was a Jewish sect or open to the Gentiles. It also was probably about a fight for control over the narrative and mythos around the founder -- whether to deify or humanize him, and to what degree. It scarcely even matters whether Jesus was the actual founder and/or a real person. If he was real, the narrative quickly went way beyond the reality of his actual life. This is self-evident from what has survived (the canonical gospels). Even the life and teaching of the early Christians are fabulized and hyper-embellished with miracles and signs and wonders.
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#90

Let's be biblically literary
Here's another example for you, Mord.  From pg 514 of OTHJ

Quote:2. The Peculiar Indifference of Paul and his Christians

As a psychologist once put it (about Paul's letter to fellow congregants in
Rome, whom he had not yet met and thus can't have shared his own stories
with):

Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page
letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher.
This letter has only one topic, your friend's new teacher. [But] at the end
of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul
presents the central figure of his theology this way . . . . It [seems] impossible
to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of--or
fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of-Jesus. 8

And just to annoy the jesus freaks I added in the footnote to that citation to show them what actual scholarly writing looks like!

Quote:8. Billy Wheaton and Joy Fuller, Hooks and Ladders: A Journey on a Bridge to
Nowhere with American Evangelical Christians (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2009),
p. 3 1 .
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#91

Let's be biblically literary
(09-15-2019, 02:53 AM)grympy Wrote:
(09-15-2019, 02:27 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Here you go, Grymp.  An excerpt from Carrier's OTHJ relating to this paul gibberish.

Quote:Margaret Barker likewise expresses her perplexity at Paul's letters: 'at
the centre of [Paul 's] preaching there is not the teacher from Galilee but
the Redeemer from heaven. Why?' Indeed, she argues, from his letters one
would have to conclude that 'the Jesus who was only a teacher from Galilee
disappeared from the tradition at a very early date, so early that one
wonders whether it was ever there at all.' 17   Nikolaus Walter more or less
concurs, concluding that 'we can detect no hint that Paul knew of the narrative
tradition about Jesus', which anyone ought to agree is 'surprising' .18
Even Helmut Koester admits, ' it is generally agreed that Paul's letters do
not permit any conclusions about the life of Jesus' .19 Kurt Noll goes further,
concluding that the evidence in Paul's letters demonstrates that no fully
formed Jesus traditions, of either sayings or narratives, existed in Paul's
day, and that all such traditions therefore post-date his generation.20

Scholars are thus starting to rethink the sequence of events. Nikolaus
Walter has concluded that many of the teachings attributed to Jesus in the
Gospels were in fact fabricated out of the sayings of Paul, and that there
simply wasn't any collection of teachings from Jesus beyond occasional
revelations.21


Pg 520-521


Enjoy.

Thanks. I'm also reading some very different takes on Paul, his life and Epistles ,in AN Wilson's revisionist biography.  Of course you need to understand  Wilson is just your run of the mill  university trained  scholar.  He isn't actually a trained biblical scholar, so need not be afforded any credibility.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

Surprisingly (?) Bart Ehrman in "Did Jesus Exist?"  is most insistent that  anyone  daring to comment on the history of Christianity be a trained biblical  scholar. 

I probably won't bother posting the different ideas about Paul and his life,  which are  fascinating , and which seem reasonable and able and scholarly to me.    It's really not worth the candle .Instead of a  reasoned discussion ,I'm more likely  to  be told I'm confused or just  ignorant .  I can't handle the bun fights you and a couple of others seem to enjoy.   I become quite upset with myself if I lose control to the point that I start saying unkind things  to people I don't know over such trivial  matters .
I just believe in one less deity than most people.
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#92

Let's be biblically literary
I crack up at the terms "biblical" and "scholar" used together. Like biblical archeologist...
I just believe in one less deity than most people.
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#93

Let's be biblically literary
It was archaeologists digging in the Near East, looking to substantiate the literal OT who largely debunked it.
They called themselves "Biblical archaeologists".

It was 100 + mainline academics ("Biblical scholars"), who, in 1953 said about the gospels "these texts cannot be accepted, in detail, as they stand".
If all you know about is Fundy literalism, you don't know (as Ehrman said) what is being taught in mainline centers of scholarship.
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#94

Let's be biblically literary
(09-15-2019, 07:31 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: It was archaeologists digging in the Near East, looking to substantiate the literal OT who largely debunked it.
They called themselves "Biblical archaeologists".

It was 100 + mainline academics ("Biblical scholars"), who, in 1953 said about the gospels "these texts cannot be accepted, in detail, as they stand".
If all you know about is Fundy literalism, you don't know (as Ehrman said) what is being taught in mainline centers of scholarship.

My understanding of "biblical archeologists" has always been that their sole purpose and intent was/is to discover anything that could support the old or new testaments. 

For example, "there is a pillar of salt, so that must be Lot's wife" or "look here is a cave that must be where Lot's daughters seduced him to repopulate the world".  They are the ones who "find" Noah's Ark on hillsides.

So you are saying that is the wrong way to look at them.  Some evidence, please?
I just believe in one less deity than most people.
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#95

Let's be biblically literary
(09-15-2019, 07:56 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(09-15-2019, 07:31 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: It was archaeologists digging in the Near East, looking to substantiate the literal OT who largely debunked it.
They called themselves "Biblical archaeologists".

It was 100 + mainline academics ("Biblical scholars"), who, in 1953 said about the gospels "these texts cannot be accepted, in detail, as they stand".
If all you know about is Fundy literalism, you don't know (as Ehrman said) what is being taught in mainline centers of scholarship.

My understanding of "biblical archeologists" has always been that their sole purpose and intent was/is to discover anything that could support the old or new testaments. 

For example, "there is a pillar of salt, so that must be Lot's wife" or "look here is a cave that must be where Lot's daughters seduced him to repopulate the world".  They are the ones who "find" Noah's Ark on hillsides.

So you are saying that is the wrong way to look at them.  Some evidence, please?

That is what I'm saying. Almost ALL of the OT has been debunked as historical, by archaeology and Biblical archaeology. 
It was William Albright (Biblical archaeologist who went to Israel to confirm the Bible, and discovered archaeology does not confirm the Bible at all, and in fact proves that the stories in the OT not only did not happen, but could not have happened). Also it was he who brought the group together, and edited "The Interpreter's Bible" in which the quote above was found. Another example was the discovery in the 1880's of the Royal Library at Ashurbanipal in which the Epic of Gilgamesh was found, as well as many many other cultural precursors to the Bible, (such as the fact that Yahweh was a Babylonian deity (the war god) etc etc  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Ashurbanipal Yahweh has a wife, (early Judaism was not monotheistic, proven by archaeologists who found statues of her in Jerusalem and a few other sites ... archaeologists interested in the ancient Near East). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah
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#96

Let's be biblically literary
(09-15-2019, 08:37 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(09-15-2019, 07:56 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(09-15-2019, 07:31 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: It was archaeologists digging in the Near East, looking to substantiate the literal OT who largely debunked it.
They called themselves "Biblical archaeologists".

It was 100 + mainline academics ("Biblical scholars"), who, in 1953 said about the gospels "these texts cannot be accepted, in detail, as they stand".
If all you know about is Fundy literalism, you don't know (as Ehrman said) what is being taught in mainline centers of scholarship.

My understanding of "biblical archeologists" has always been that their sole purpose and intent was/is to discover anything that could support the old or new testaments. 

For example, "there is a pillar of salt, so that must be Lot's wife" or "look here is a cave that must be where Lot's daughters seduced him to repopulate the world".  They are the ones who "find" Noah's Ark on hillsides.

So you are saying that is the wrong way to look at them.  Some evidence, please?

That is what I'm saying. Almost ALL of the OT has been debunked as historical, by archaeology and Biblical archaeology. 
It was William Albright (Biblical archaeologist who went to Israel to confirm the Bible, and discovered archaeology does not confirm the Bible at all, and in fact proves that the stories in the OT not only did not happen, but could not have happened). Also it was he who brought the group together, and edited "The Interpreter's Bible" in which the quote above was found. Another example was the discovery in the 1880's of the Royal Library at Ashurbanipal in which the Epic of Gilgamesh was found, as well as many many other cultural precursors to the Bible, (such as the fact that Yahweh was a Babylonian deity (the war god) etc etc  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Ashurbanipal Yahweh has a wife, (early Judaism was not monotheistic, proven by archaeologists who found statues of her in Jerusalem and a few other sites ... archaeologists interested in the ancient Near East). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah

I agree that most biblical claims have been debunked.  

I congratulate Albright for ceasing to be a "Biblical Archaeologist".
I just believe in one less deity than most people.
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#97

Let's be biblically literary
(09-15-2019, 08:37 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: That is what I'm saying. Almost ALL of the OT has been debunked as historical, by archaeology and Biblical archaeology. 
It was William Albright (Biblical archaeologist who went to Israel to confirm the Bible, and discovered archaeology does not confirm the Bible at all, and in fact proves that the stories in the OT not only did not happen, but could not have happened). Also it was he who brought the group together, and edited "The Interpreter's Bible" in which the quote above was found. Another example was the discovery in the 1880's of the Royal Library at Ashurbanipal in which the Epic of Gilgamesh was found, as well as many many other cultural precursors to the Bible, (such as the fact that Yahweh was a Babylonian deity (the war god) etc etc  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Ashurbanipal Yahweh has a wife, (early Judaism was not monotheistic, proven by archaeologists who found statues of her in Jerusalem and a few other sites ... archaeologists interested in the ancient Near East). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah

Quite so. Titles taken at face value may be misleading. It is possible to have a degree in Biblical archaeology and not be a believer, and it is certainly possible (common, even) to have such a degree and to be very liberal, even if you are a believer.  All the field is, is archaeology as it relates to things mentioned / claimed in the Bible. In and of itself, it does not have to be presuppositionalist in any way. And as you point out, even if there are some presuppositions in play, applying archaeology to the evidence may well invalidate those presuppositions.

In an effort to simplify one's attitude toward the religious, it would be nice (fun, even) if we could dismiss them all as 100% crackpots and people who argue in bad faith. Alas, this is not so.

I left evangelical Christianity a generation ago, and consider it a scourge on humanity. However, even in that realm, I knew a mix of asshats and kind, generous people, as well as a wide range of intellectual capability and integrity. And the evangelical world is only somewhere between a sixth and a third of all of Christianity.

In any event, archaeology is "the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains". Prefixing it with "Sumerian" or "Egyptian" of "Greek" or some other specialty or area of concentration, doesn't make it invalid. Prefixing it with "Biblical" in and of itself, does not invalidate it either. What invalidates it is faulty reasoning or bad faith argument or unprofessional, sloppy work, which can be engaged in by believers and unbelievers alike.
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#98

Let's be biblically literary
These days, there really is no strict boundary between archaeology and archaeologists who study sites that may have been associated with names or places found in the OT. Example William Deaver, a "Biblical archaeologist" ... "I am not reading the Bible as Scripture… I am in fact not even a theist. My view all along—and especially in the recent books—is first that the biblical narratives are indeed 'stories,' often fictional and almost always propagandistic, but that here and there they contain some valid historical information. That hardly makes me a 'maximalist." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_G._Dever

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#99

Let's be biblically literary
Yeah, there is a distinction to be made between the Edward Robinson / William Foxwell Albright school of archaeology ( which dispatched preachers with a shovel in one hand and a bible in the other to Palestine ) to "prove the bible" and more modern scholarship.

The dispute began with the findings of Yohanan Aharoni in the 50's and was really touched off after the Six Day War in 1967 when teams of young Israeli archaeology students suddenly had access to Sinai and the West Bank.  They set out to gather evidence that the heroic mythology they had been handed was true and when they found exactly the opposite they reacted far differently than the jesus freak apologists who seek only to make excuses for what they don't have.  Scholars like Finkelstein surveyed the West Bank and found no evidence of Israelite occupation in the Late Bronze Age.  His colleague, Amihai Mazar was off to Kadesh Barnea in Sinai where the "Hebrews" were supposed to have lived for 38 years and they found no evidence of any habitation at the site prior to the Iron Age.  I believe it was Aharoni himself who led the search for the supposed Kingdom of Arad and found oogatz.  They were the Klingons of their day.  A made up straw man enemy that the Israelites could defeat as concocted by the authors of the bible's horseshit.

Instead of insisting that the fucking bible was inerrant these scholars developed a whole new theory, that of Indigenous Origin, and the OT has been nothing more than a crock of shit ever since.  And here we sit.
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Let's be biblically literary
(09-15-2019, 08:50 PM)mordant Wrote:
(09-15-2019, 08:37 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: That is what I'm saying. Almost ALL of the OT has been debunked as historical, by archaeology and Biblical archaeology. 
It was William Albright (Biblical archaeologist who went to Israel to confirm the Bible, and discovered archaeology does not confirm the Bible at all, and in fact proves that the stories in the OT not only did not happen, but could not have happened). Also it was he who brought the group together, and edited "The Interpreter's Bible" in which the quote above was found. Another example was the discovery in the 1880's of the Royal Library at Ashurbanipal in which the Epic of Gilgamesh was found, as well as many many other cultural precursors to the Bible, (such as the fact that Yahweh was a Babylonian deity (the war god) etc etc  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Ashurbanipal Yahweh has a wife, (early Judaism was not monotheistic, proven by archaeologists who found statues of her in Jerusalem and a few other sites ... archaeologists interested in the ancient Near East). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah

Quite so. Titles taken at face value may be misleading. It is possible to have a degree in Biblical archaeology and not be a believer, and it is certainly possible (common, even) to have such a degree and to be very liberal, even if you are a believer.  All the field is, is archaeology as it relates to things mentioned / claimed in the Bible. In and of itself, it does not have to be presuppositionalist in any way. And as you point out, even if there are some presuppositions in play, applying archaeology to the evidence may well invalidate those presuppositions.

In an effort to simplify one's attitude toward the religious, it would be nice (fun, even) if we could dismiss them all as 100% crackpots and people who argue in bad faith. Alas, this is not so.

I left evangelical Christianity a generation ago, and consider it a scourge on humanity. However, even in that realm, I knew a mix of asshats and kind, generous people, as well as a wide range of intellectual capability and integrity. And the evangelical world is only somewhere between a sixth and a third of all of Christianity.

In any event, archaeology is "the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains". Prefixing it with "Sumerian" or "Egyptian" of "Greek" or some other specialty or area of concentration, doesn't make it invalid. Prefixing it with "Biblical" in and of itself, does not invalidate it either. What invalidates it is faulty reasoning or bad faith argument or unprofessional, sloppy work, which can be engaged in by believers and unbelievers alike.

Let's consider titles.  How does one get called a "Biblical Archaeologist".  One gets it by studying the christian bible for evidence.  If not, then one is simply an "archaeologist".   So, a "biblical archaeologist" is by definition "biblical" in orientation.  I have no use for such religious -searchers.

I fully agree that "archaeology" is "the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains".  But it also does not have a presupposition.  Like religion.  "Biblical Archaeologists" start from that presupposition.

"Sumerian" or "Egyptian" or "Greek" is a place, not a belief.

Try replacing "Biblical" with "Mithrandic" and you might see what I mean.
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