Disciples weren't lying because they were tortured

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watchman's picture
OK...

OK...
a/ How is changing their name from something that is rooted in history (Chrestians) to a name that has never been used before (Christians) "desperately grasping at anything that would give their religion a more impressive grounding in real history"

Well ...it is trying to give the impression that 1/ christians were persecutedfrom the very begining....(not true) 2/ that christians were so important as to be regarded as a threat by one of the greatest empires the world has ever seen.....so it all must be true...mustn't it..? Whereas the truth is more likely that at 60 AD they would have been regarded as nothing but a minor cult splintering from mainstream Judaism...although most citizens would have viewed them as Jews ,with some odd ideas and odder rituals.

No...the time lag is of no real import..other than calling into question the accuracy of the report....perhaps Justin and Clement actually believed what they wrote....but that don't make it true.

2/ "However a "procurator" isn't far from the truth "....well....not sure how to answer that....its a different rank...its a different word with a different spelling...and a different meaning....Prefects were military men while procurators were civil administrators.... Now as Tacitus was himself at times an official of the state...this would seem to be a bit more than just a slip up....and it can do nothing other that make him an unreliable source.

UnKnown's picture
1. How is changing their name

1. How is changing their name:
a. Trying to give the impression that Christians were persecuted from the beginning
b. Trying to emphasis their importance in Rome
2. For my second point, do you agree that Tacitus:
a. Could tell the difference between 'Prefect' and 'Procurator'
b. Had access to Roman imperial records
c. Was a Senator
I can prove the three above, but it would take longer. It would be quicker whether or not you agreed with the above.
(BTW, you seem to know your history, what is your personal relation/profession with history, like are you a historian. If you don't feel like saying, that's alright)

watchman's picture
Apologies....am unable to

Apologies....am unable to maintain an exchange at present....

my laptop ,long held together with duct tape and elastic bands has finally given up the ghost....am sourcing a new laptop but transferring files etc is going to take a some days...I'll be back in a few days .....

UnKnown's picture
Yeah sure don't worry :)

Yeah sure don't worry :)

watchman's picture
OK...I seem to have some sort

OK...I seem to have some sort of service.....so....

"1. How is changing their name:
a. Trying to give the impression that Christians were persecuted from the beginning"

This is the Christian attempt to claim the high ground by insisting that their followers had existed in numbers in Nero's time and achieved a "noble death"... in the same philosophical terms as Socrates .

b. Trying to emphasis their importance in Rome

Rome ,the centre of the world ... being able to claim a presence ,even if unwanted , was important to the feeble little movement that was the early Christian cult.

Look at the pressure they were coming under... not everyone was taken in by the tales...

'Clearly the Christians have used ... myths ... in fabricating the story of Jesus' birth ...
It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction.'

– Celsus (On The True Doctrine, c178 AD)

Celsus was one of the foremost thinkers of his age.
His critique of the Christians was so damaging that Christians
destroyed every copy of his work they could find.

2. For my second point, do you agree that Tacitus:

a. Could tell the difference between 'Prefect' and 'Procurator'............ Yes

b. Had access to Roman imperial records ..... Yes

c. Was a Senator ....... Yes

....... and your point is ???

UnKnown's picture
1. How is changing their name

1. How is changing their name:
a. An attempt to claim high ground?
b. Claiming a presents in the Roman world, when the best claim in the Roman world was to stick the 'Chrestus', the name that has been constantly used to describe them, and that they themselves identified as?\
2. Sir Fergus Millar FBA is a British historian and Camden Professor of Ancient History Emeritus, Oxford University. Millar numbers among the most influential ancient historians of the 20th century. He concludes that Procurators, including Pilate, were Procurators AND Prefects. The common practice throughout the early Roman Empire was not to defy established constitutional offices by creating new ones or radically changing their powers,but by accumulating offices and thus accumulating the powers already constitutionally provided. I got this information from "http://www.richardcarrier.info/TheProvincialProcurator.pdf?x23333". The analysis and conclusion is done by Richard Carrier, whom believes that Jesus never existed. Richard's conclusion is: "The abundant evidence adduced by Jones and Millar, and even Brunt, sufficiently confirms this. And not only confirms it, but confirms it had been that way in the time of Jesus (when Pilate governed Judaea, he was, and was known by his peers to be, both a prefect and a procurator, even if that fact was not always mentioned) and in the time of Tacitus (as inscriptions of his time attest), and in all years in between." (Sorry about the length).

watchman's picture
@ Unknown .....

@ Unknown .....

An attempt to claim that Christianity was bigger ,more important than it actually was.

No...the better claim would be to imply the word Chrestus meant Christ...when ,in fact it was a common name amongst slaves ,difficult to push an all powerful deity with the name of a slave.

Chrestus?
"Christian defenders like to cite a passage in Suetonius that refers to someone named 'Chrestus' as a reference to their Savior; however, while some have speculated that there was a Roman man of that name at that time, the name 'Chrestus' or 'Chrestos' meaning 'useful' was frequently held by freed slaves."
– Acharya S.

Solution....claim the word means something else...... favourite Christian tactic..... (Christmas from Yule ,Easter from Eostre... All Hallows Eve from Samain......and suddenly the festivities that people have always celebrated have become Christian....you know the way it works.)

With regard to the confusion over "procurator" / "prefect" title....

You may be right...the truth may well lie in the middle of the two positions......

From my own books I have found....that Josephus uses the title "procurator"..... (Jewish Antiquities 3:1)

While in Vegetius , Epitome of Military Science .....(bookII page 41 note 6) .... "praefectus legionis"...the title is not known before the second century AD.

I'm beginning to think that it may be ,as your post implies ,both.....with the one title referring to powers used in a military arena and the other in a civil arena.

UnKnown's picture
So, what does your Chrestus

So, what does your Chrestus/Christ problem have to do with Tacitus?

Edit:
Chrestos was used in the original New Testament to identify Jesus:
We also find seven uses of the word chrestos in the New Testament: Mt 11:30; Lk 5:39, 6:35; Rom 2:4; 1 Cor 15:33; Eph 4:32; and 1 Pe 2:3. In this regard, Luke 6:35 also associates God with chrestos, demonstrating an ongoing tradition concerning the "Good Lord," beginning centuries before the common era and extending decades into it:

...καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ τοῦ ὑψίστου ὅτι αὐτὸς χρηστός ἐστιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀχαρίστους καὶ πονηρούς

...and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.

Here Luke uses another term from antiquity, πονηρούς or ponerous , "selfish," previously mentioned, as contrasted with chrestos in ancient pre-Christian Greek philosophy. Obviously, the term chrestos as used here in the NT verse comes from (Greek) Paganism, along with, we submit, much else.

The verse at Romans 2:4 uses two different forms of chrestos, both applied to God, the second instance of which refers to τὸ χρηστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ or the "chrest of God."

The epistle 1 Peter (2:3) - which does not emerge clearly in the literary record until the second century - also calls "the Lord" χρηστὸς or chrestos, in reference to God, not Jesus:

ἐγεύσασθε ὅτι χρηστὸς ὁ κύριος

you have tasted that good [is] the Lord

Essentially, this phrase reads "the Lord Chrest," apparently based on Psalm 34:8 (LXX 33:9):

γεύσασθε καὶ ἴδετε ὅτι χρηστὸς ὁ κύριος...

taste and see that good [is] the Lord

This passage was confounded in antiquity by Church fathers such as Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–c. 215), who depicted it as saying: "Taste and see that Christ is God" (Exhortation to the Heathens, 9). This fact demonstrates the Chrest-Christ confusion around the beginning of the third century.

The word appears at Ephesians 4:32 as well:

γίνεσθε δὲ εἰς ἀλλήλους χρηστοί εὔσπλαγχνοι χαριζόμενοι ἑαυτοῖς καθὼς καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἐν Χριστῷ ἐχαρίσατο ὑμῖν

Become to others chrestoi, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, as God in Christ forgave you.

It should be emphasized that the good/kind followers of "Christ" were called "chrests," a fact that might explain why "Christians" were also styled "Chrestians."

"Chrestos appears in the Bible, in verses about God in both the Old and New Testaments."

As we can see, the usage of "Chrestos" in conjunction with deity is pre-Christian, continuing well into the common era, within the Bible as well, in verses about God in both Old and New Testaments.
http://www.truthbeknown.com/suetoniuschresto.html (One draw-back is that this is answering SUETONIUS' use of "Chrestos") (BTW, I'm pretty sure this site is somewhat atheistic)

watchman's picture
Sorry... perhaps I missed

Sorry... perhaps I missed something .. but I don't have a "Chrestus" problem.....

If however you are saying ,"Chrestos was used in the original New Testament to identify Jesus:"...

I would have to ask....just what are you referring to as the "original New Testament"......

I myself use the Codex Sinaiticus (http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/codex/)

As far as I can see.... the verses you quote do not reference Christ ....but are mainly read as "good" ,"goodness"...

Any confusion comes only from theists continued attempts to read chrestus/chrestos/chrestianos as referring to Christ/Christians...

which I note your own reference concludes is inaccurate.....

"In summary, the "Chrest" under whose instigation at Rome the Jews were revolting could have been their Lord God, called "the Good" or chrestos in the Old Testament. No "historical Jesus of Nazareth" would be needed, and we may retire this purported Suetonian "proof" from Christian apologetics."

UnKnown's picture
1. When I say Chrestus

1. When I say Chrestus problem, I mean does the use of the word Chrestus infringe on the reliability of Tacitus?
2. "I would have to ask....just what are you referring to as the "original New Testament"......" - What was originally recorded.
3. "As far as I can see.... the verses you quote do not reference Christ ....but are mainly read as "good" ,"goodness"..." - Because, according to the Gospel authors, good and goodness is a MASSIVE attribute of Jesus.
4. "which I note your own reference concludes is inaccurate" - It concludes about Suetonius. The argument that we are having is that of Tacitus. Suetonius may not have been talking about Christ/Christians, but what I got from his site I used to argue Tacitus, not Suetonius.
Edit:
5. "In summary, the "Chrest" under whose instigation at Rome the Jews were revolting could have been their Lord God, called "the Good" or chrestos in the Old Testament." - The first Christians were Jews, and these Jews believed Jesus to be Yahweh, so any attribution called Yahweh, can easily be used to identify Jesus as the same.

watchman's picture
@ Unknown ....

@ Unknown ....

Thankyou for the clarification.....

1. When I say Chrestus problem, I mean does the use of the word Chrestus infringe on the reliability of Tacitus?

No..not directly....however.....the fact that the word "Chrestiano" was demonstrably altered to read Christianos .... (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ) ..... does nothing to disuade one from concluding that Tacitus (in relation to the early christians is unreliable.
At best ,his writings , merely parroting the tales told to him by the christians of his day .... or at worst ,altered and corrupted at some later date by the christians for their own purposes.
At any event he must be considered "suspect".

2. "I would have to ask....just what are you referring to as the "original New Testament"......" - What was originally recorded...

I see......."What was originally recorded"......

and just what was that ?....do you have a source for it ? where is it recorded ? .....originally ?

3. "As far as I can see.... the verses you quote do not reference Christ ....but are mainly read as "good" ,"goodness"..." - Because, according to the Gospel authors, good and goodness is a MASSIVE attribute of Jesus.

I see......."goodness is a MASSIVE attribute of Jesus" ... (I always get suspicious when I see inappropriate capitals )

....so.....

Luke 14:26. "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple."

Matthew 10:24, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send [or bring] peace, but a sword."

Luke 19:27, "But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.'"

Yes...... I have to say....I'm having trouble seeing that goodness.....however MASSIVE you say it is.

4. "which I note your own reference concludes is inaccurate" - It concludes about Suetonius. The argument that we are having is that of Tacitus. Suetonius may not have been talking about Christ/Christians, but what I got from his site I used to argue Tacitus, not Suetonius.
Edit:

Yes....as I said....thank you for the clarification...

5. "In summary, the "Chrest" under whose instigation at Rome the Jews were revolting could have been their Lord God, called "the Good" or chrestos in the Old Testament." - The first Christians were Jews, and these Jews believed Jesus to be Yahweh, so any attribution called Yahweh, can easily be used to identify Jesus as the same.

I see....then this must be how the confusion is created.... so Jesus is called Yahweh and Yahweh is called Jesus...and they can both be called Chrest.....

OR.....

.how about this.....

Romans were familiar with ,if not accepting of , Judaism . Jesus is called Jesus.....Yahweh is called Yahweh and chrest means good and Chrestus is the name of a jewish agitator in Claudian Rome......

Just as possible..... a lot simpler and not requiring of such strenuous mental/linguistic gymnastics..

UnKnown's picture
1. I don't think there is any

1. I don't think there is any evidence of Christian tampering, like with Josephus.
2. "What was originally recorded". This is a fault on my behalf. We do not have the very first original letters written by the apostles and others. When I said originally recorded, I mean the oldest NT copies that we do have (In the tens of thousands). This is an improper communication on my behalf.
3. "Yes...... I have to say....I'm having trouble seeing that goodness.....however MASSIVE you say it is." - Whether Jesus is actually good is a theological concern, rather than an historical concern. The early Christians identified Jesus as good, so that's what they called him, or attributed to him, thus "Chrestus".

watchman's picture
UnKnown...

UnKnown...

1. I don't think there is any evidence of Christian tampering, like with Josephus.

Indded there is no evidence of Christian tampering....
however there is indisputable evidence of the actual tampering...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

Chapter headed "Christians and Chrestians"

"In 1902 Georg Andresen commented on the appearance of the first 'i' and subsequent gap in the earliest extant,
11th century, copy of the Annals in Florence, suggesting that the text had been altered, and an 'e' had originally
been in the text, rather than this 'i'.

With ultra-violet examination of the MS the alteration was conclusively shown."

Now... if you read across to the extreme right hand side... you will see an inserted illustration of the altered word.

2. "What was originally recorded". This is a fault on my behalf.
We do not have the very first original letters written by the apostles and others.
When I said originally recorded, I mean the oldest NT copies that we do have (In the tens of thousands).
This is an improper communication on my behalf.

Ok... so " I mean the oldest NT copies that we do have"....
And this is what ,exactly ? Please...name your source...
what do you consider to be "the oldest NT

3. "Yes...... I have to say....I'm having trouble seeing that goodness.....however MASSIVE you say it is." -
Whether Jesus is actually good is a theological concern, rather than an historical concern.
The early Christians identified Jesus as good, so that's what they called him, or attributed to him, thus "Chrestus".

Yes.. I do see your point ..... but we have to remember these people were somewhat deluded......

believing that any day now Jesus would be returning and bringing with him the end of the world ,
Armagedon and the day of judgement. (HelterSkelter) Actualy wanting it ,working towards it.....

I'm not sure I'd trust what these people would call "good"....

UnKnown's picture
1. What the tampering is, is

1. What the tampering is, is the changing of "Chrestus" to "Christus". I agree that it was "Chrestus"
2. Some sites are:
a. http://www.bible.ca/ef/topical-the-earliest-new-testament-manuscripts.htm
b. http://www.religionfacts.com/new-testament-manuscripts
c. http://www.dts.edu/read/wallace-new-testament-manscript-first-century/
(I just skimmed the articles, I haven't actually read them)
3. "I'm not sure I'd trust what these people would call "good"...." - Fine, trust them or not in what is 'good'. Again, this is a theological concern rather than an historical concern. Whether Jesus was good or not doesn't change what people identified Jesus as.

Greensnake's picture
Watchman:

Watchman:

Interesting post! Thanks for the resource.

watchman's picture
Greensnake ....

Greensnake ....

No problem...... although I guess from your posts you have resources of your own...

mykcob4's picture
@ unknown

@ unknown
Obviously, you know nothing about REAL history. The Romans accepted everyone's religion. They didn't single out christians to torture. The people sent to the forum to be slaughtered by wild beast for entertainment were all criminals. Now to become a criminal, you had to actually do something against the state. Even when the Roman Senate gave way to an emperor every person accused got their day in court. Being christian was never illegal under Roman law. Christians being persecuted for being christian is a myth.

UnKnown's picture
Do you have any proof that

Do you have any proof that they accepted all religion, and that there was no religious persecution at all during 1st-2nd century AD.

Algebe's picture
@Mykcob4: "The Romans

@Mykcob4: "The Romans accepted everyone's religion."

One possible exception was the Druid religion in Britain, but that was because the Druids were actively involved in resistance to Roman rule, including the Buddica uprising. The Romans exterminated every Druid priest they could find. They were disgusted by the Druids' human sacrifice practices, including child sacrifices. I can't imagine the Romans seeing the Christians as any kind of threat.

MCD's picture
I don't understand your

I don't understand your comment. Are you suggesting that atheists are unaware of the stories in the bible? We are aware of the stories in the bible. We don't accept that the bible is true and the inspired word of a god... therefore we don't think these stories are relevant or true or accurate or correct or even interesting.

MCD's picture
They were persecuted you say.

They were persecuted you say. No shit. The Roman empire persecuted people. Wow. Who knew. I thought they ran their empire like the United States... you know with a Bill of Rights and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. But now that you have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that this happened, I am convinced that Apollo exists and is deserving of our love and respect and adoration

UnKnown's picture
?

?

Greensnake's picture
People die for false beliefs

People die for false beliefs all the time! Assuming that these stories were not made up out of whole cloth, why would this situation be any different?

UnKnown's picture
Because the people who die

Because the people who die for their beliefs, belief VERY intently that they are right. I am going to assume you do. With the people who die for their beliefs "all the time", are not eyewitnesses to what they believe. I am more likely going to believe someone who gave up their life for a belief that they have witnessed FIRST HAND than those who are just coping what other people said. The apostles dying for their beliefs doesn't make their beliefs true, but it makes it HIGHLY improbable that they were lying what they wrote. I want to make that point clear, proving that they weren't lying DOESN'T make Jesus God.

The Pragmatic's picture
@ UnKnown

@ UnKnown

- "The apostles dying for their beliefs doesn't make their beliefs true..."

A very good point.

- "...but it makes it HIGHLY improbable that they were lying..."

Perhaps it does, perhaps it doesn't. Can you really be sure that it is so improbable?
I think it would be quite plausible that some would die for a lie, especially if they think that their name would go down in history.

And I find it very plausible that they themselves (assuming they actually existed) would die for what they believed was true, even if they were deluded. Or even more plausible that the people who wrote down these "eyewitness accounts" a lifetime AFTER they supposedly happend, lied or exaggurated or just believed it was true, even if it wasn't.

UnKnown's picture
What I'm saying is this: Them

What I'm saying is this: Them dying doesn't make what they say true, but it shows that it is unlikely they didn't believe what they said.
"And I find it very plausible that they themselves (assuming they actually existed) would die for what they believed was true"

MCD's picture
Or that the legendary

Or that the legendary disciples existing, and were questioned, and refused to cooperate, and were tortured. Because of course this would support the idea that the god actually existed

Caesar's picture
Well, the disciples did

Well, the disciples did report (one of them did) that the resurrected Jesus appeared to a mass of 500 people who would now be witnesses. "Oh, I didn't see it, but I know this guy...." The problem with that is we were told of these 500 witnesses but none of them were ever brought to explain what they saw. We don't even have their names, or even their legendary names. This story was nothing more than that particular disciple grasping at straws.

UnKnown's picture
They would be confessing that

They would be confessing that they lied in some part of their preaching and writings about Jesus.

RadicalWhiggery's picture
I agree that we should be

I agree that we should be skeptical of the Gospel accounts because of the authors' theological bias. This is why the Christian classical apologetic ultimately fails. You can show that there is a first cause: however, you can't specify to certain ancient holy texts. Arguments from fulfilled prophecy or testimony fail because the only detailed accounts of the incidents in question were almost certainly influenced by the scribes' theology. If they wanted a prophecy to be fulfilled, they wrote about events such that they would fulfill the prophecy.

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