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?Impact

Was the virgin Mary a clerical error

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why do we have tabloids and they're selling so well?

The world population at the time was .05% what it is today, and the literacy rate was 1% of that today. Combined that makes the potential tabloid audience 0.0005%. That explains in part why there are limited written accounts from the time period. Gossip however would still have existed, just that it would be mostly verbal.

We know how accurate the tabloids are today, there is not much to suggest they would have been more accurate 2000 years ago. What were the journalistic standards of the time? Did Mark like to sensationalize like Ezra? From most accounts, Mark appears to be the closest to the actual events, some speculate that he might have even been an eyewitness to the cruxifixction but there is no evidence to support that. Matthew and Luke are another level (or more) removed, and John is several beyond that. While Peter is written in the first person, it is presumed to be written around the time of John or later (is there a term for a ghost writer of an autobiography without any connection to the principal). The non-Christian accounts tend to either try and find explanations for the alleged miracles (e.g. a solar eclipse for the darkness after crucification), or mock the events like some of the accounts in the Talmud. There are many references to Jesus (Yeshu) in the Talmud, but the jest of the offensive story is he was an evil sorcerer that led Jews astray and was tried and stoned and hanged for his crimes. He was originally a Jew, but after some incident with the innkeepers wife he was punished and left the true religion for idol worship.

It is interesting to draw parallels between the Roman Catholic church in later years as it gained power and the Church of Scientology today. The Roman Catholic church had a massive censorship campaign to remove the offensive passages from the Talmud. While they didn't try and wipe out the Jewish religion, they would destroy the offending paragraphs in copies of the Talmud. While far more practical in the days before Gutenberg, it proved impossible to destroy all copies and those that survived have been found and redistributed in modern time. Where the modern Church of Scientology has very little power on a global scale, they do wield power over their members and have forbidden them from looking for information on Scientology on the Internet or other non-approved sources. China and Iran with their massive state budgets and firewalls are unsuccessful in their censorship campaigns so the Church of Scientology doesn't have a prayer, yet still they have about 10 million members (about 3% of the world population throughout the rise of the Catholic Church).

Edited by ?Impact

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Slick

Josephus - mentioned Jesus twice, but it has been shown that there were added later. One an intentional forgery, one a scribal error. The forged passage was actually using the Luke gospel as the source.

However, there were other biblically-related incidents that was mentioned by Josephus, and they are not being disputed. Therefore, that points to the likelihood, and supports the validity that Josephus indeed knew about Jesus, and he wrote about Him.

This source also shows the comparison between the Arabic and Greek versions for Testimonium.

Two researchers (Edwin Yamauchi and John P. Meier)1 have constructed a copy of the "Testimonium" with the probable insertions in brackets and underlined. The following paragraph is Yamauchi's:

“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man [if indeed one ought to call him a man.] For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. [He was the Christ.] When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. [On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him.] And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”

The Arabic version was copied from a Greek version. What is not known is which one. But if you notice the comparison below, if the Arabic version was a direct translation of the Greek, then why the differences? Nevertheless, what is important in the Arabic Version is that the resurrection of Christ is maintained.

To summarize, the "Testimonium Flavianum" cannot be so easily dismissed as pure Christian interpolation (insertion into the text). Though it seems probable that interpolation did occur, we cannot be sure what was added. Also, the Arabic version contains very similar information as the Greek one regarding Jesus in His resurrection.

Even if both versions have been tampered with, the core of them both mention Jesus as an historical figure who was able to perform many surprising feats, was crucified, and that there were followers of Jesus who were still in existence at the time of its writing.

http://carm.org/regarding-quotes-historian-josephus-about-jesus

Edited by betsy

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The world population at the time was .05% what it is today, and the literacy rate was 1% of that today. Combined that makes the potential tabloid audience 0.0005%. That explains in part why there are limited written accounts from the time period. Gossip however would still have existed, just that it would be mostly verbal.

We know how accurate the tabloids are today, there is not much to suggest they would have been more accurate 2000 years ago. What were the journalistic standards of the time? Did Mark like to sensationalize like Ezra? From most accounts, Mark appears to be the closest to the actual events, some speculate that he might have even been an eyewitness to the cruxifixction but there is no evidence to support that. Matthew and Luke are another level (or more) removed, and John is several beyond that. While Peter is written in the first person, it is presumed to be written around the time of John or later (is there a term for a ghost writer of an autobiography without any connection to the principal). The non-Christian accounts tend to either try and find explanations for the alleged miracles (e.g. a solar eclipse for the darkness after crucification), or mock the events like some of the accounts in the Talmud. There are many references to Jesus (Yeshu) in the Talmud, but the jest of the offensive story is he was an evil sorcerer that led Jews astray and was tried and stoned and hanged for his crimes. He was originally a Jew, but after some incident with the innkeepers wife he was punished and left the true religion for idol worship.

It is interesting to draw parallels between the Roman Catholic church in later years as it gained power and the Church of Scientology today. The Roman Catholic church had a massive censorship campaign to remove the offensive passages from the Talmud. While they didn't try and wipe out the Jewish religion, they would destroy the offending paragraphs in copies of the Talmud. While far more practical in the days before Gutenberg, it proved impossible to destroy all copies and those that survived have been found and redistributed in modern time. Where the modern Church of Scientology has very little power on a global scale, they do wield power over their members and have forbidden them from looking for information on Scientology on the Internet or other non-approved sources. China and Iran with their massive state budgets and firewalls are unsuccessful in their censorship campaigns so the Church of Scientology doesn't have a prayer, yet still they have about 10 million members (about 3% of the world population throughout the rise of the Catholic Church).

We're not talking about the Roman Catholic Church.

The standard is excellent! Otherwise, there wouldn't be archeological findings that confirms some descriptions given in the Bible.

Not only are the Gospels consistent, but they are also in harmony with the Old Testament.

The unity woven throughout the Bible - from the first to the last page - is testimony in itself that it is God-breathed.

Edited by betsy

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Actually, it appears that Thallus never mentioned Jesus ...

There has been a lot of debate over the years about all ancient writings, and that is a good thing. I wouldn't suggest taking any summary from any side with a point to prove is the best alternative. When someone states conclusively that the item is valid/invalid then they probably have a predetermined conclusion they want you to accept.

I have no better example than betsy above who snuck in with her God-breathed unity.

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However, there were other biblically-related incidents that was mentioned by Josephus, and they are not being disputed. Therefore, that points to the likelihood, and supports the validity that Josephus indeed knew about Jesus, and he wrote about Him.

This source also shows the comparison between the Arabic and Greek versions for Testimonium.

Just as it was for Philo, it would have been odd for Josephus to know about Jesus and not ever mention him. That fact wasn't lost on Christian apologists hence the addition of the forged passage you listed.

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Just as it was for Philo, it would have been odd for Josephus to know about Jesus and not ever mention him. That fact wasn't lost on Christian apologists hence the addition of the forged passage you listed.

He mentioned Him twice!

Antiquities 20.9.1

But the younger Ananus who, as we said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.

http://tektonics.org/jesusexist/josephus.php

In the previous post, the probable insertions are in brackets. Did you read them? Here's one:

“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man [if indeed one ought to call him a man.]

He did name Jesus! The phrase that's allegedly added is, "if indeed one ought to call him a man."

The Jewish historian Josephus is especially interesting. In the pages of his works you can read about New Testament people like the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, King Herod, John the Baptist, even Jesus himself and his brother James.

There have also been interesting archaeological discoveries as well bearing on the gospels. For example, in 1961 the first archaeological evidence concerning Pilate was unearthed in the town of Caesarea; it was an inscription of a dedication bearing Pilate’s name and title. Even more recently, in 1990 the actual tomb of Caiaphas, the high priest who presided over Jesus’s trial, was discovered south of Jerusalem. Indeed, the tomb beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is in all probability the tomb in which Jesus himself was laid by Joseph of Arimathea following the crucifixion.

According to Luke Johnson, a New Testament scholar at Emory University,

Even the most critical historian can confidently assert that a Jew named Jesus worked as a teacher and wonder-worker in Palestine during the reign of Tiberius, was executed by crucifixion under the prefect Pontius Pilate and continued to have followers after his death.1

Edited by betsy

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There has been a lot of debate over the years about all ancient writings, and that is a good thing. I wouldn't suggest taking any summary from any side with a point to prove is the best alternative. When someone states conclusively that the item is valid/invalid then they probably have a predetermined conclusion they want you to accept.

I have no better example than betsy above who snuck in with her God-breathed unity.

What's the problem with me saying "God-breath" unity? I didn't sneak it in! Read your title and its premise.

The very title of your thread is about God! Is the virgin birth for real, or staged?

If it's real...... well, then we're talking miracle by God, aren't we?

The validity of the Bible is the core of your subject.

The Christian belief that the Bible is "God-breath," is at the core of your topic.

The harmony, consistency, and unity woven throughout despite thousands of years, and numerous authors from different time-lines...is one of the major evidence for the Bible.

Perhaps it is you who already have a "predetermined conclusion" about all this?

If someone states conclusively that the item is valid/invalid, perhaps it is. Or maybe, not.

The search for the truth becomes your responsibility, if the truth matters to you.

If you're presented with evidences and arguments.....at the end of the day, you'll just have to sit down and ponder upon them.....and do your own research.....and from critical thinking, you can come up with the most likely,

if not a downright conclusion.

Edited by betsy

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That's really not the case. There are more written accounts (both secular and religious) of Jesus than there are of most of his contempararies. That he existed is absolutely not in question whatsoever. The discrepancies are only over WHO he was.

Or what, which was obviously a humanist above all else.

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Of course, being that the Gospels were written long after the death of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and with limited first hand accounts, it is likely that much fiction was added for "flair".

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