The Mystery of Jesus Christ. (Page 83)
GeraldtheGnome: No. Far from it. First of all answer a question rather than think that you should do a victory lap with your current confirmation bias on display. Do you agree that Jesus and the Koine Greek name that it did originate from and is that it is similar are not similar in any way and that it is only guessed now and possibly back in the second century (in The Iron Age) to be like the names Y’shua, Yeshua and Yehoshua ?
Here’s another thing to think about while you have a cup of tea, if you do that, the Washington Post article named ‘Did the historical Jesus really exist ?’
Apart from the fact that the article would have been better if a better selection of words was used at times and things like using a comma before the word and wee not need at all it was still a good article. It was not an article that disproved everything unfortunately and the confirmation bias that there was a Paul and that it was written earlier than it most likely was is disappointing. I first want to narrow things down in your mind in order for you to have as many excuses as you have now and to stop you having even more excuses in the future. So I want to narrow down the timeline first from both sides. So just answer the question first so I can hopefully get rid of your evasive tactics.
ghostgeek: Maybe there was a Matthew scribbling away in the first century and maybe there wasn't. Either way it makes no difference to the fact that the gospels are most likely nothing but fiction.
GeraldtheGnome: To Ghostgeek. If you look at the translations and transliterations of each of those verses of what is referred to in Modern English as The Book of Matthew, chapter one you will notice once you work out the names that were given there which words match up with Modern English names just originating from Koine Greek and ancient forms of Hebrew (if the translations and transliterations are right, which may most likely not be the case) versus that of the Modern English names of Jesus and God. Jesus is similar to the Koine Greek name Iesous (if that is correct), but it is not even similar to any Hebrew or Aramaic name that is claimed to be where the Koine Greek name came from. It means that someone who wrote in Greek dreamt up the name much like the Anglo-Saxon dreamt up the Early English name God and before that one of them came up with the name god (in lower case) in The Middle Ages. The Koine Greek name Iesous and variations of it came from The Iron Age if that is correct. Just have a look at The Gospels in full and tell me just how much of it is not made up. That's the thing, not all of it is made up, the minority of it is true, the thing though is that some of the stories are like claiming that Doctor Who met Winston Churchill, it never happened, one existed and the other one never existed, also the latter one does not exist.
I did overlook something. In The Book of Matthew, chapter one the words 'being interpreted' was not used in verse 23, either it couldn't be read or it was missing, I do not know exactly what is true there, either it was guessed what the words were and they maybe possibly wrong, then again it is very possible that the entire verse is different than anyone thinks. I also made the mistake of using either about three names, I have since corrected that in reference to verse one.
When you look at the actual photo of the manuscript you will notice that no title is attached, no author's name is there, no verse numbering, no chapter numbering and also maybe several anonymous authors wrote chapter one as well, there is not even one known author of it. Theos is and (most likely) was the Greek name for what most English users refer to as God, both of the names are nothing like Yahwe, Yahweh or any other known and guessed about Hebrew names of the past and present. So one way or the other the names God and Jesus are different than every Hebrew and Aramaic name, so they are the wrong names about the imaginary gods.
Now the above is about what in Modern English is known as The Book of Matthew, chapter 21. Roughly the same story applies to it as does to chapter one. Papyrus 104 was found in the same location as Papyrus one. How come they both come from Egypt rather than from that of The Middle East ? Is it possible that Papyrus 104 is the one and only from the original author of The Book of Matthew ? Possibly, some have that it is from the early second century or the mid second century, some have that it was written in 140 AD. Either way it's from the second century, form when exactly is unknown and exactly when may never be known. Well I'll go off the guess that it was written in 140 AD and find out what bits of The New Testament were written in the mid second century or earlier than that. So do you want to reconsider that there possibly was an author of it named Matthew who wrote his book in the first century ? The only thing certain at the moment is that all of it was first written in The Iron Age.
It is most likely that no one really knows what every bit of each Koine Greek and every early Hebrew and Aramaic version of any verse, chapter or book that now makes up the Bible actually had. We're really going off what is guessed to be most likely what each of them was about, no one will ever really know if each or any translation and or transliteration of them is correct. I have read what possibly is the Koine Greek, possibly Aramaic and possibly early Hebrew versions of the name Matthew, if they are right then the names are similar to the name Matthew, if they are all wrong then each there was no one even with a similar name to Matthew where Koine Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic names were used in The Iron Age. The Iron Age ended in 476 AD and of course it was followed by The Middle Ages. I've mentioned the ages of The Middle Ages many times to you so I won't repeat what they are and when each of them started and finished.
Now with Mark, I cannot find anything form the same time as Papyrus 104 (even though it is most likely that I am wrong about that) in regards to The Book of Mark and certainly nothing earlier than any of The Book of Matthew Manuscripts. Do you at least have anything that shows that the author (of which in reality the name is unknown) that you refer to as Mark existed and wrote The Book of Mark in the first century ? I have no reason to believe that there ever was a Mark or any similar name to it who wrote that book. the earliest example known of came from Egypt and if you just look at the manuscript then nothing on it has what the name of the book is, nor any chapter or verse number. The author's name is never mentioned.
If it is right then earliest known version of The Book of Luke (with Papyrus four) is from 150 AD, later than that of Papyrus 104 of The Book of Matthew, if not then the earliest possible year that it was written in was in 125 AD or at the latest 175 AD. Whenever it was written it was written in Egypt. So do you have anything to tell me that it is at least possible that he an author by any name wrote the original version of that book in the first century ? I have no reason to think that any author by any name wrote that book in the first century. So far everything about them and about the one that you mistakenly name Jesus indicates that they were made up, that only anonymous authors wrote about the myth only as early as the second century. It doesn't indicate that Christianity or anything like it started up in the first century. I will deliberately edit this to add a website address.
I just decided to challenge my thoughts because I had some doubts. The only one I was right about was the name Matthew, if the modern names are supposed to be similar to any Hebrew names then they should appear with similar names in Hebrew, only one did, the others except for Luke I didn’t check out if similar Aramaic names are used for them, it is possible though most unlikely that the Aramaic name of what is now known as Luke was similar. Check out the site My name in Hebrew for any New Testament name. I checked Peter, Paul, John and Saul, there are no similar names there. Check for any possible Aramaic similarities though, if there even is one of them that is similar.
(Edited by GeraldtheGnome)
ghostgeek: One of the supreme ironies of biblical scholarship is that it fails to recognize the literary genius of the story called the Gospel of Mark, because it presumes the writing is something that it is not. For Christians, the “Gospels” must be historical works – biographies.
The Gospel of Mark was long the least appreciated of the Gospels. It appears that the Gospel of Matthew was the first well know Gospel story. Matthew is actually a recasting of the Gospel of Mark, and what Matthew does is it takes the story from Mark and makes it appear more like a biography, more like “real history”. The Gospel of Luke does the same thing. Both Matthew and Luke read much more like “historical accounts”.
So it seems that the historical nature of the other Gospels colored how people interpreted Mark as well. Believing that Mark was supposed to be a “true historical account” caused readers with that expectation to view Mark as a “poorly written” biography that “get’s many things wrong”. The geography of Mark is all messed up, the main characters in Mark are portrayed poorly, there aren’t any real lessons in Mark, scenes like the cursing of the fig tree seem unlikely and nonsensical, and many details seem to be left out. From the perspective of a “historical account”, this story seems to be a real mess.
But the reality is that Mark isn’t a work of history; it’s not a biography, it’s an entirely fictional story and a work of literary genius. Matthew and Luke aren’t the “real and accurate accounts”, with Mark being a poor parallel – Mark is the real story, from which everyone else copied.
But recognizing the literary genius of Mark means recognizing that Mark is fictional, and thus Christians are incapable of actually recognizing Mark for what it really is. It’s as if someone started a religion based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and took his account of Middle Earth as the real literal early history of the world. It’s as if they took Tolkien’s stories as actual factual accounts and thus failed to recognize the real symbolism and creativity in them. Followers of such a religion would be incapable of recognizing Tolkien as a creative genius because that would mean that he wasn’t an accurate chronicler of real events.
That’s the situation Christians are in with the Gospel of Mark. Christianity is a religion founded on a fictional story and Christians can’t recognize the literary genius of the writer of the story they worship, because to do so would be to recognize that the figure they are worshiping is a fictional character, not a real god. This is a shame, because this story that Christians call the Gospel of Mark is actually one of the most ingeniously written stories ever composed, which has a lot to do with why a religion ended up forming around it.
[ http://www.rationalrevolution.net/blog/?p=22 ]
ghostgeek: The writer of the story incorporated so many layers of meaning and symbolism into the story, along with so many puzzles and mysteries, that the story mesmerized its audience. It was a story unlike anything anyone had read before, not in its basic outline, but in the tantalizing clues that hinted as deeper secrets. Many of the mysteries and puzzles got corrupted when they were inartfully copied by the writers of the other Gospels, but enough of them shone through to excite readers even through the other Gospels.
The way that the Gospel of Mark was written literally must have required a true genius to compose. The writer must have been deeply familiar with a wide body of works, including the works of the Jewish scriptures, the letters of Paul and likely other apocalyptic Jewish works and Greek classics. The writer was then able to take references to so many other works and weave all of these references together into a coherent multi-layered narrative. The story is compelling on its own with a superficial reading, but the story actually has two layers, and if you follow all of the other literary references made in the story you can see that there is a second narrative, or rather that the superficial narrative is augmented by the “hidden narrative”.
Making all of this work, especially at a time when the only way to really construct such complexities would be in your mind, is mind-blowing. Today it would be far easier with the ability to have many references on a computer to draw from, but whoever wrote this story must have memorized many writings and also had copies of them so that he could quote from them directly as well. But the writer would still had to have memorized them in order to be able to build the overall plot and have ideas about what references he wanted to use where.
Just thinking about how this story had to have been constructed is awe inspiring. Yet, Christians cannot recognize the genius of this story because doing so is to acknowledge its fictionality. I think the story called the Gospel of Mark (which really needs to be re-named to something else), should be recognized as one of the great master works of ancient literature and studied far more broadly in a secular context. The story truly is a masterpiece and deserves appreciation on par with the works of Homer, Virgil, Ovid, etc.
To be sure there were a handful of people worshiping “Jesus” prior to the writing of this story, but it is this story that really founded the religion. It is easy to see how this story and its derivatives inspired a religion, but its time to recognize the creative genius of the author instead of worshiping the fictional protagonist.
[ http://www.rationalrevolution.net/blog/?p=22 ]
“Biblical scholarship… fails to recognize the literary genius of the story called the Gospel of Mark”
Literary genius??? It doesn’t take genius to record events or compose a lie. No classical work of fiction has ever become an enduring household name. What a crazy comparison - Homer, Virgil, Ovid - very, very few people have read them; even fewer have read them twice.
A photographic memory, now that’s impressive; and, it’s not apparent in any of the accounts. The only wisdom in the Gospel narratives are credited to Jesus Christ.
Of course, the Gospels aren’t biographies! There’s no focus on any of the characters except for the central figure, Jesus; even then, there’s no description of His personality, physical appearance, mannerisms or individual attire, other than tied sandals.
The combined accounts of all Gospel writers concur, leading the reader to an image of Jesus as a gentle guru, not a leader of a nation.
A leader consults with other leaders; a king makes direct contact with other kings.
Naturally, Jesus chatted with other teachers; yet, during His mission, no dignitaries interviewed Him except for Nicodemus. Otherwise, He only came face to face with leaders as a prisoner under trial.
It’s not ours to be critical of ancient language and commentaries, comparing them to modern style and thought, worlds away from theirs.
GeraldtheGnome: Mistakes were made on here. Please do not repeat his words unless you want to continually show yourself to be rude by doing that over and over again in the future. You used quotation marks for no valid reason. There was too many question marks and some other things. Jesus Christ never exited, not maybe he did, he never existed and of course he does not exist right now. There’s no need for a comma before the word and either.
The anonymous authors of the fantasy book were not geniuses. Go to a site named ‘My Hebrew name’ , just tell me if even anything similar comes up when you type up the name Mark. That Mark name or anything similar to it never existed.The word stories is better than the word narratives. Better suited words are the best ones to go for. I don’t consider anything that is a text message a commentary.
(Edited by GeraldtheGnome)
ghostgeek: Zanjan, this is where our thinking diverges. I'm for accepting that the Gospels are fiction and you, clearly, believe they are historical accounts.
ghostgeek: Anyway, try this for a little bedtime reading:
Prior to publishing my new book, Deciphering the Gospels Proves Jesus Never Existed, I had not yet read Tom Dykstra's book, Mark, Canonizer of Paul. I knew of it and had read some reviews and summaries of it. I became aware of it prior to publishing my book, but intentionally avoided reading it because I didn't want to be influenced by it. I prefer to approach my research and my undrstanding of subjects from primary sources, or at least as close as possible to such. However, I began reading Dykstra's book once my manuscript was completed and I see that his work is extremely compelling, well composed, and of significant importance. Of critical note, however, Dykstra is not a mythicist and does assume that Jesus was a real person. Nevertheless, I believe that our works complement each other very nicely. His book fills in gaps in mine and provides stronger academic support for some of the positions taken in my book. My book fills in gaps in his and provides additional material not found in his.
I believe that a synthesis of our works, and others mentioned by him, provides an extremely compelling explanation for how and why the first Gospel was written - an explanation that completely overturns traditional biblical scholarship. The fundamental conclusion reached by both Dykstra and myself is that the Gospel of Mark is a “fictional story,” in which the life and teachings of Jesus are based on the letters of Paul. This is the core upon which both Dykstra and I agree.
What exactly is meant by saying that the Gospel of Mark is “fictional”? What is meant by this is that the writer of the story knew that the narrative he was creating was not literally true, and the writer was not attempting to convince anyone that it was true. If the writer of Mark wasn’t attempting to record history or convince anyone of the literal truth of his narrative, then what was the purpose of the story?
Dykstra offers an explanation that I believe is correct but incomplete. Dykstra states that, “Mark’s primary purpose was to defend the vision of Christianity championed by Paul the Apostle against his ‘Judaizing’ opponents.” (Mark, Canonizer of Paul pp 23) Dykstra goes on to conclude that the narrative is not based on testimony from the disciples or any oral tradition, rather that it is based on the Old Testament, Homeric epics, and the Pauline epistles.
I think the assessment of Mark’s narrative being a defense of Paul against “his ‘Judaizing’ opponents” is correct, but fails to really address why this defense was needed. As I explain in my book, I think it was the First Jewish-Roman War, and the destruction of the temple in 70 CE, that precipitated this defense. I think the writer was a follower of Paul, who saw in the outcome of the war the proof that Paul had been right. I think the writer’s view was, “See, if they had listened to Paul none of this would have happened”, or perhaps, “This was destined to happen, in accordance with Paul’s gospel.” So I think a critical piece that is missing from Dykstra’s work is the relationship between the war and the Markan narrative.
I think the perspective of the writer of Mark was that the war happened because of Jewish opposition to Gentile integration, or rather because of those Jews who did not believe that their god was a god of all people as opposed to being just a god of the Jews. So the message of the writer is that the Jews brought the war upon themselves because they failed to heed Paul’s teachings.
Dykstra’s vision doesn’t extend far beyond the scope of Mark. Dykstra concludes that Mark is a literary invention that tells us nothing (or very little) about any actual teachings or deeds of Jesus, but fails to fully assess the implications of this conclusion. As I show in my work, once we recognize that the Gospel of Mark is entirely fictional, it becomes clear that every single biography of Jesus actually flows from the Gospel of Mark, and that thus no account of the life of Jesus has any basis in reality. It’s not just that the Gospel of Mark is fictional, the human Jesus himself is entirely fictional.
What is so important about Dykstra’s work, however, is the academic support and background it provides for the “fictional Mark” assessment. Dykstra points out that many elements of this conclusion have been in place for some time and have been supported by various esteemed scholars over the years. Dykstra also provides background on opposition to this view and explains in-part why it has taken this assessment so long to come to light.
After reading Dykstra’s book, I am more confident than ever in the “fictional Jesus” theory and believe that it is only a matter of time before this view becomes widely accepted. As Dykstra noted, the idea that the Gospel of Mark is a fictional allegory based on the letters of Paul goes back at least to Gustav Volkmar in the mid-nineteenth century. Dykstra explains how and why Volkmar’s assessment was rejected and addresses the faults of Volkmar’s critics. The difference between now and then, however, is that there are much more sophisticated tools available today for intertextual analysis and the internet provides a means to publicize findings beyond an insular group of conservative academics.
[ http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/fictional_jesus_synthesis.htm ]
ghostgeek: Biblical scholars, by and large, haven’t employed scientific methods or thought processes to their work. They have, in fact, done the exact opposite and fallen into the very cognitive traps that the scientific method is designed to avoid. They have started with assumptions and then developed explanations that support their assumptions. This is exactly what the scientific process is designed to prevent.
Instead of creating testable hypotheses, biblical scholars build logical “proofs” that justify starting assumptions. This is no surprise, because this is a methodology that has been a part of Christian theology from the very beginning. This is how theology has been done for almost two thousand years. You start with something that you “know is true”, e.g. God caused a global flood, and then explain how observed evidence can be interpreted to support this assumption. The scientific process is the exact opposite. Using the scientific process, you take no starting assumptions - you start instead with collecting data. You use that data draw conclusions. You may then form a hypothesis and conduct explicit tests that can validate or invalidate your hypothesis. This isn’t how mainstream biblical scholarship has been done.
[ http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/fictional_jesus_synthesis.htm ]
ghostgeek: Mainstream biblical scholarship, and the entire popular concept of where our knowledge of Jesus comes from, is all dependent on the supposition that the Gospels are rooted in some early “oral tradition.” Yet the reality today is that the hypothesis of “oral traditions” underlying the Gospel narratives has been completely and thoroughly disproven by reputable scholarship. This reality does not yet seem to have sunken in, but it is the reality.
“Oral tradition” is debunked, and with it all possibility that the Gospels could tell us anything real about Jesus is gone as well. The understanding of Gospel origins has basically taken the following path from the earliest days of Christianity: First it was believed the Gospels were independent eye-witness or second-hand accounts. Then it was realized that some borrowing had occurred among the Gospels. Then it was realized that the Gospels couldn’t be eye-witness accounts. Then the idea was developed that if the Gospels weren’t eye-witness accounts they had to be based on other written or oral accounts from people who were eye-witnesses. There was no evidence for written accounts, so it was supposed that the narratives are based on oral stories handed down from eye-witnesses to Jesus’s life. We can now see that the Gospels are purely literary works, the narratives of which are developed from other sources that have no direct relationship to a real Jesus, such as the story of Elijah and Elisha, the letters of Paul, other “Old Testament” passages, possibly Homeric epics, the letters of Philo, and the works of Josephus.
There isn’t one shred of credible evidence for an “oral tradition” going back to the life of a real Jesus, and there is a mountain of tangible evidence for the literary basis of Gospel origins.
The second major pillar that mainstream biblical scholarship rests on is the idea of some “Q” document. If not oral traditions, then maybe this theoretical “Q” document can save Jesus? No. Q is another theoretical bridge to nowhere. And just like the “oral traditions,” there significant tangible evidence against it. Q is the hope that there is some unknown document that goes back to the time of Jesus, something that someone actually wrote down to record his sayings while he was alive. But the “Q” material is clearly highly integrated with the Markan narrative. If the narrative from Mark is a later literary invention, then dialog that fits directly into that narrative, seamlessly tied into key scenes, has to have either been invented along with the narrative or after it. Whatever the source of the Q dialog is, it doesn’t pre-date the Markan narrative.
This is where the scholarship is today; this is what the evidence clearly shows. The Gospel of Mark is a fictional story. As Tolbert stated in 1989, “Mark is a self-consciously crafted narrative, a fiction, resulting from literary imagination.” (Sowing the Gospel pp 30) As goes Mark, so goes Jesus, and it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes that.
[ http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/fictional_jesus_synthesis.htm ]
ghostgeek: The Gospel of Mark can be read either as creative literature featuring many of the literary devices common to well known Greek epics, tragedies and novellas of the time. It can also be read as a patchwork of a many different oral and written sources stitched together to create the original template of later gospels. Maurice Casey tends to read it according to the latter perspective; I find fewer problems with the text if I read it as creative literature by an author who is deceptively crude in his grammatical constructions. The author was called by Hippolytus in the third century “stump-fingered” and some interpreters understood this to be a reference to the lack of sophistication in his writing style. Some scholars have suggested that Mark’s apparent crudity of expression is really a masterful use of natural speech idioms of his day. There are simply too many well-turned creative moments in his Gospel for the author to have been a semi-illiterate. A number of these are discussed in Michael Turton’s commentary on the Gospel of Mark. Joseph Wallack has discussed Mark’s literary style in ErrancyWiki. I have addressed a few small aspects of Mark’s literary character (including his “bookend” or “inclusio” structures) on vridar.info. I plan to do more posts here in the future examining the literary devices this Gospel shares with Greek tragedy, epics and Hellenistic novellas.
Many biblical historians stress the importance of genre and literary forms of their sources to explain apparent difficulties in the New Testament epistles. It is the literary form and function of the letter genre that is used to explain the paucity of details of Jesus’ life and sayings in them. The apocalyptic genre is understood and interpreted through its conventional use of visions, prophecy and symbolism. Similarly, a number of scholars have identified literary devices and reader-impacts in the Gospel of Mark that testify of an author who was well accomplished in the arts of creative literature. One of these is Werner H. Kelber. And one of his easier to read publications for general readers in which he discusses literary and theological creativity in Mark’s Gospel is Mark’s Story of Jesus.
[ https://vridar.org/2010/11/10/make-a-path-evidence-of-an-aramaic-source-for-marks-gospel-or-creative-fiction/ ]
Zanjan: Ghost, that’s amusing – you lifted an article from a “Go Fund Me” page. What more need one say about the author?
“an explanation that completely overturns traditional biblical scholarship.”
Ego balloon. Did you notice how many times he repeats “I think”?
Zanjan: “Biblical scholars, by and large, haven’t employed scientific methods or thought processes to their work.”
This is because they’re neither defending or attacking. They’re aiming to understand the applications of known truths. Scholarship isn’t laboratory research – it’s high level learning, which produces intellectual evolution.
The author talks about scientific investigation as being unbiased, the method he supposedly chose to test information. Yet in his own work, and this article, he admits his investigation began with the opinion the texts are fictional, then ended the investigation with the same opinion. If this isn’t bias, what is?
“There isn’t one shred of credible evidence for an “oral tradition” going back to the life of a real Jesus”
Christianity, in its infancy, had no Christian traditions. During the life of Jesus, all believers were Jewish converts. Any traditions they practiced were of Jewish origin. We know that Jesus was literate, as were all Rabbis and Priests. Sacred texts were chanted, whether read or memorized.
We don’t know how many of His disciples were literate, only that none of them were educated in rabbinic schools. Whether literate or not, all of them could save time by dictating to a scribe. Paul was literate and frequently used a secretary.
The disciples were students, who stayed with Jesus the whole time. If there were a first Christian-specific tradition, it would be performing its missionary work by traveling in a group from village to village and house to house to give free public sermons to non-believers.
Only when the students became Apostles would they need to dispatch letters by carrier to believers until they were able to see them in person.
(Edited by Zanjan)
ghostgeek: So the poor chap needs a few coppers to fund his toast habit. Doesn't mean we should give up on what he has to say.
ghostgeek: Science starts with a hunch and it's this that gets investigated. In the case above our toast-chomping chap has come to the conclusion, after much sweat and mind-numbing labour, that his original hunch was correct. OK, so not everyone is sold on this conclusion but that doesn't mean our intrepid investigator was acting in a deliberately biased manner. He may have made important discoveries that need to be studied with care.
ghostgeek: Zanjan, you yourself are making an assumption. You believe the Jesus of the Gospels existed. Well, the chap above says this assumption is wrong, so can you substantiate your belief in the Gospel's Jesus?
ghostgeek: If the Jesus of the Gospels never existed there wouldn't have been any disciples, so wondering how many of them were literate is getting ahead of ourselves. First we have to be certain that Jesus and his donkey were more than a literary creation. Well, that is a hard thing to prove in my opinion but you may be able to succeed where Biblical scholars have uniformly failed, so how about giving it a try.
ghostgeek: I'm happy to accept that there was a Jesus who got nailed to a cross and was purportedly seen after his death. Given how many people claim to have seen Elvis in the years after he died, what's said about Jesus and his supposed resurrection isn't so very spectacular, is it? Nor is it inconceivable that Paul made use of this rumour when he established his own brand of Jewish religious belief. No, what's to be questioned are the evolving claims made by the Gospels, none of which seem to be supported by extrabiblical sources.
Zanjan: “He may have made important discoveries that need to be studied with care.”
If he was so certain he was right and believed that to be an important message, he’d belong to a group, which shared its news through credible media outlets. Additionally, he’d present a scholastic paper to a panel of his peers for review; we could see what his peers determined.
Personally, I wouldn’t be bothered since, from the outset, his approach isn’t altruistic.
“after much sweat and mind-numbing labour, that his original hunch was correc”
It does take a lot of wrangling to twist/suppress truth to one’s advantage, doesn’t it? Yet, with all that effort, it backfires. Do you remember the Whitehouse Plumbers (initiators of Watergate)? Yeah.
Zanjan: “so can you substantiate your belief in the Gospel's Jesus?”
Absolutely. I’ve been doing that all along. Perhaps you haven’t noticed since we’ve covered so much material.
“First we have to be certain that Jesus and his donkey were more than a literary creation”
I’m not certain of Julius’s original intentions when he crossed the Rubicon but history says he knew beforehand it would start a war. Maybe he was only after booty. Maybe he was only interested in government reforms and removing Rome’s unmanageable debts to make life better for the people? Nothing is guaranteed except change.
Someone had to start the ball rolling, whether riding a horse or donkey.
In ancient Israel, donkeys were the preferred animal for their strength and loyalty – kings rode them. In the narrative, the donkey is a foal, a colt, meaning under 1 year old. They can carry 20-30 % of their body weight but can’t be ridden. Only Jesus could ride him. No wonder the people were astounded!
The ball that Jesus rolled kept moving way longer than Rome’s did. Obviously, somebody was MUCH greater than the Caesars.