Why Doesn't God Heal Amputees?

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JoC's picture
Where are these people

Where are these people mentioned? Let's move this conversation forward.

"Abu Isa
Abraham Abulafia
Athronges
Simon bar Kokhba
Moses Botarel
Egyptian (prophet)
Eve Frank
Jacob Frank
Judah ben Shalom
Shukr Kuhayl I
Lukuas
Menahem ben Hezekiah
Menahem ben Judah
Mordecai Mokiach
Solomon Molcho
Moses of Crete
Nehemiah ben Hushiel
Judah Leib Prossnitz
Jacob Querido
David Reubeni
Simon of Peraea
Theudas
Sabbatai Zevi"

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@JoC

@JoC

Where are these people mentioned? Let's move this conversation forward

So you ask for the names and now want me to do your spadework? Why?

Are you too frightened to find out the truth about the origins of your religion? We all know that when the phrase is typed "moving the conversation forward" it mean "that is a solid point but I am going to ignore it"

That is a bit dishonest isn't it? Did you not think that students of history here would have the names?

I will help you out of your funk though: search 'Jewish Messiahs' in Wikipedia and you will find a similar list ( it may have a few more or a couple less than mine) but they are all helpfully linked to their sources...not too hard now is it?

JoC's picture
Fine. Pick one. You need not

Fine. Pick one. You need not do all the rest. Let's make it easier. Choose one of them then I'll do my research on that one then we can compare him and Jesus. Sound good?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

Here is what was posted:

There are comparable figures to Jesus in the Near East who were mentioned in contemporary sources."

By Sapporo

You replied:

- Interesting. Who? Are they contemporary or also written after their deaths? I know Josephus wrote about possible Messiahs but as it turns out, those passages are merely hearsay in this thread. Or at least it's considered hearsay when Josephus mentions Jesus. Though really, please tell me who. Thanks!

(my bold)

I then jumped in and gave you a list of EXACTLY what you requested...now you want ME to research them for you? Then when I refused to do YOUR legwork you throw down a challenge?

How does that work?

Do your own homework like I did when I was researching 'faith' it takes a bit of effort but the results are worthwhile. I will not respond to your challenge because three of the names I have researched in depth, others enough to know who they were, and all will become the subject of essays I will publish on this site after my next work on the Marcionites.
So...its not a fair challenge.

Why don't YOU pick one at random, research him, find the references, his disciples, followers and eventual fate then compare that to the 'records' of your jesus figure? I will even help you if you have questions. Then it isn't a challenge it is a co operative effort.

Or is your fear too large?

(edit tags)

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

Why this special treatment of Jesus?

Because one of the greatest empire/tyrannies/theocracies was built on the foundations of the Roman Empire and ruled the mass of the European populace in "jesus' name. Such an important figure is bound to attract attention.
The special attention for several hundred years (almost two millennia) was spent trying to find evidence to prove the existence of the Jesus figure as described in the gospels.
Not until the 19th Century do we have the glimmerings by German scholars of a critical analysis of the evidence and it took the rebirth of History in the mid 20th Century to wrest the Theologians away from what they considered their privileged and untouchable area of study
Now we have Universities and Great Libraries all over the world collaborating and rediscovering forgotten archives and evidences...and contradictions....

'Jesus' is no longer getting special treatment (so stick that on your victims card) he is getting the exact same treatment as any other historical character. Sorting myth and legend from fact.

Here is how history works JoC: here is the Historical Method : “
Depending on the degree of importance of knowing the truth of something we make sure we are being told the truth by checking such things as:
Who is telling us this?
How do I know if I can trust them?
Can their claims be confirmed somehow?”
How do I know if this document is genuine?

hence I can claim in confidence that"there is no contemporary evidence for a Jesus as described in the gospels. None

(Edit spelling)

JoC's picture
We've been through this back

We've been through this back and forth before. Granted the earliest records we have could have been written 60 to a 100 years after they happened. Let's compare that to a figure like Julius Caesar and what we know about his life? I'll grant you that Caesar has some coins with his face on them and Jesus didn't but that's to be expected considering their differences in social status. It's about their lives I'm talking about. Here's a good link comparing the two side by side.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/sources-for-caesar-and-jesus-...

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC
Yes we have been through this before, the answer remains the same, there are coins, independent writings, Caesar's own writings, records from the Roman Senate...really please do not link apologist sites that are notoriously inaccurate.

The Caesar vs Jesus thing has been thoroughly debunked. It is a spurious and ridiculous argument.

You can't ride over the facts with wishful thinking: There is NO special treatment for "jesus" in historical terms except by theists.

That was the answer you got, you just do not like it and so go off waving red herrings and apologist nonsense as some sort of diversion.

JoC's picture
I'm talking about details

I'm talking about details about Caesar's life though. Going by your standards and granting we'll treat all ancient figures the same, the only thing we'll ever know about Caesar was that he existed and that he was Caesar. Nothing about his life will ever make the cut as they are not contemporary sources.

The writings you mention, we don't even have any proof they were written when he was alive. The earliest sources we have were written 100 years after the supposed events they record. The oldest manuscript we have is dated to 900 years before the events they record. Even if they tried to copy the records well, that's 900 years between the original and the oldest manuscript they have. If we go by your standards, we have to trash all of these records and simply say we have absolutely no idea what Caesar did when he was alive.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

Moronic Caesar post

Do some research JoC and stop wasting my time with apologist website nonsense. This whole argument (argument...by that I mean rubbish) has been comprehensively debunked if you just used google. You have plagiarised an apologist website for this argument and it is still nonsense.

If you want reasonable, well researched and reasoned replies to your posts don't repeat rubbish. It's contemptible.

JoC's picture
All you say is the arguments

All you say is the arguments have been debunked. Doesn't mean they have been. Answer me then why at best the theory that Jesus never existed or the Jesus myth theory is a fringe theory by most reputable historians.

Diotrephes's picture
JoC,

JoC,

"Answer me then why at best the theory that Jesus never existed..."

There was no guy named "Jesus" 2,000 years ago because the name "Jesus" didn't exist until about 1630 AD. If he existed he had another name. And if you don't now the correct name then you won't be able to find the character.

From a practical matter it is irrelevant if the character wasn't real because the fairy tale still works and has become its own reality.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

All you say is the arguments have been debunked.

Then do some research. Google is a thing you know. And Libraries have been round for a long time.

answer me then why at best the theory that Jesus never existed or the Jesus myth theory is a fringe theory by most reputable

A strawman. I have never said that. Dishonesty is part of the theist make up is it not JoC?

I Have said : "In conclusion the best that we can say is, as I have stated many times: “There is no contemporary evidence for a Jesus figure as described in the gospels. None.”
That some people may take this as a starting point to mythicise the Jesus figure is understandable, others may deny the existence. Absence of evidence can, indeed, be 'evidence of absence.' However I prefer the Scottish verdict in Law ”Not Proven”.

(Edit :tags)

JoC's picture
And I ask you, why do

And I ask you, why do contemporary sources matter so much. In studying ancient civilizations, contemporary sources are great to have, for sure. But in the absence of that, you go to whatever secondary sources you have. In the case of Luke and Mark, they had primary sources close to them, Paul and Peter. Matthew is also a primary source and so is John.

I've heard your arguments on this and you'll claim that none of the gospels claim to be written by the people who's names I've mentioned but style in the 1st century was just like that. Many ancient works weren't signed, "Written by Homer" but we go by what the ancient people said about these works. Mark had always been attributed to Mark. Luke had always been attributed to Luke. John had always been attributed to John and Matthew to Matthew.

If you're going to say that the early Christians needed to attach an apostle's name (or one of their companions) to make it more credible, why then would Christians still consider Hebrews as part of the Bible when it is truly anonymous (no early attestations). Also, if they really wanted a credible name, they could've simply gone with Peter, or Thomas, or Paul.

Nyarlathotep's picture
JoC - And I ask you, why do

JoC - And I ask you, why do contemporary sources matter so much[?]

Well for starters, we have people lying to us telling us their are contemporary/eyewitness accounts when there are none (well no known ones anyway, it is always possible someone will dig one up in the future):

AJ777 - The books titled Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, etc... are all contemporary documents containing eyewitness accounts of Jesus life, death and resurrection.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Joc

@ Joc

And once again your ignorance goes before you like a banner:

In the case of Luke and Mark, they had primary sources close to them, Paul and Peter. Matthew is also a primary source and so is John.

Luke and Matthew are tertiary sources being ( in the main) copies of Mark (A secondary anonymous hearsay source), each differing to the tastes of the intended audience.

a) The Synoptic gospels are all anonymous, and, are not contemporary at all. The earliest fragment being P137 dating from 160 CE. Although there is mention of the 3 synoptic gospels before then (Even at the turn of the 1st Century) we have no idea of the original content. The current versions we have cannot “evidence” the Jesus figure.

b)The Gospel of John. Earliest known fragment,(P52) earliest possible date is 125CE. Most scholars now agree that 'John” is the work of up to four authors over a period of years. Not evidence.

c)The 1st and 2nd Century CE, Gnostic, Ebionite, Syriac and Marcionite gospels we know had considerable difference to, and with, the finally accepted (4th Century) versions of the Roman gospels. This further casts doubt on any content of the current version synoptic gospels and that of John.

d)The Epistles. i) the Epistles are anonymous. We do not know who 'Paul' was ii) Only the first three Epistles can be confidently assigned to the same writer. ii) The rest of The Epistles excluding the final three are either 'mash ups' of many letters, some interpolations, but all unreliable. iv). Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy and Hebrews are NOT by the same author and appear to be much later forgeries.
This renders most of the contents especially when describing the Jesus figure, as unreliable at best. And is certainly not evidence for a Jesus figure as described in the gospels.

e) A comparison of Acts and the Epistles quickly shows up glaring contradictions. Almost as if Acts is describing a different person. One can confidently disallow The Epistles as “evidence” of any Jesus figure.

Does that give you some idea of the importance of the 'contemporary sources?" We are not talking Joe Bloggs the potter in 1st century Judea. We are talking about someone you and a billion or so others claim to be the saviour and the killer of a large percentage of mankind. I would hazard to say, without fear of contradiction, an immensely important figure if he actually existed.

And there lies the rub....there is no contemporary evidence, or reliable third party corroboration for the existence of this "immensely important figure for the future of mankind" None.

That many of the books in the current bible are obvious later efforts, trying to pass themselves off as originals is not puzzling or in any way unlikely. The legend had become self pollinating by the middle of the Second Century CE and by the time the Roman influence had subsumed the original Messianic traces of the legend then anything went...and did. Lets examine known later forgeries/ anonymous entries...2 Peter, All but 3 of the the Epistles, including Titus 1 and 2 Timothy which are obviously much later pro Roman propaganda. 1 Peter is anonymous as is not mentioned until mid 2nd Century. Acts are both late 2nd century...

Does not leave you any original material as the gospel of Mark is anonymous and probably not written down until at least 70 to 80 CE if not much later.

Mark had always been attributed to Mark. Luke had always been attributed to Luke. John had always been attributed to John and Matthew to Matthew.

And that is just a lie. They were not attributed until the mid to late Second century it is just your Church Tradition. No direct evidence of authorship at all. None.

If you want credibility JoC, try for some accuracy.

(Edit 1st Century corrected to Second Century)

JoC's picture
Okay, let me just make things

Okay, let me just make things clear. You don't deny that a Jesus existed. You only say we can't know much about his life due to the absence of contemporary sources. Can we say confidently though that Jesus for sure existed? What we're arguing about is whether the Jesus as described by the Gospels, epistles, later Christian writings did the things he did.

arakish's picture
JoC: "Can we say confidently

JoC: "Can we say confidently though that Jesus for sure existed?"

I can. He did not exist. The only evidence he may have existed is in the Gospels. Yet the Gospels were written by multiple anonymous persons over a hundred years AFTER he supposedly existed. Before then, it was just a word-of-mouth myth.

rmfr

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

Okay, let me just make things clear. You don't deny that a Jesus existed.

As I have said many times to you and others on many forums: " There is no contemporary evidence for a jesus as described in the gospels. None. " I hold with the scots judicial verdict "not proven".

You only say we can't know much about his life due to the absence of contemporary sources. Can we say confidently though that Jesus for sure existed?

We can't know anything about a jesus (divine or not) alleged life because there are no contemporary sources. None.
We cannot say for sure that a jesus figure existed or not. A purely human jesus? Possible. That is the theory embraced by Ehrmann and refuted by Carrier. A human jesus? "Not Proven"

What we're arguing about is whether the Jesus as described by the Gospels, epistles, later Christian writings did the things he did.

Nope, we are not arguing about the existence of a magical jesus as described in the gospels because there is absolutely no contemporary independent evidence for such a figure or the alleged events described in the gospels.. You are presenting no evidence for its existence so there is no argument.
The balance of probability and possibility on the assertion that a jesus according to the synoptic gospels and John existed? No, a magical jesus of divine origin did not exist.

JoC, do you understand that if incontrovertible evidence was to be unearthed today that a man named jesus preached in judea in the first third of the 1st century CE and then was executed does not mean divine origin?

To prove the gospel account of that human life and then divine insemination as opposed to adoptionist creeds and the Gnostic or Marcionite interpretations would be a mammoth undertaking and probably end in failure? The existence of a human jesus does not prove anything else. Certainly not the divine succession of corrupt and corrupting Popes from the 5th Century onwards....

JoC's picture
I don't get why you disagree

I don't get why you disagree with me so much. I'm not actually trying to convince anyone of Jesus' divinity. What gets me to comment on this forum (I know this is an atheist forum) is when people claim Jesus never did exist. I can concede that one can read the gospels and say, "Maybe the miracles are an over exaggeration of natural phenomenon."

But one cannot look at the gospels and simply throw them out since they're not "contemporary". Surely one can say that they were written years after but many things happened in the ancient world which were written about or mentioned many years after. Conversely, we also cannot say that just because something doesn't have contemporary sources, we cannot know anything about them.

Diotrephes's picture
JoC,

JoC,

"What gets me to comment on this forum (I know this is an atheist forum) is when people claim Jesus never did exist."

There was no one named "Jesus" 2,000 years ago because the name didn't exist until around 1630 A.D. If the character did exist it was under another name but it was not "Jesus".

JoC's picture
I think you've used this

I think you've used this argument before. It does not work. If that's the case, I can make claims like, Mao Zedong doesn't exist. 毛澤東 did. Or that Kim Jong-Un doesn't exist. 김정은 does. When I say Jesus, you know exactly who I mean. If we can't agree on anything, at the very least, let's agree that when I say Jesus, I'm talking about the man related to the founding of Christianity. The man who allegedly performed miracles and died by being crucified.

Jesus is simply the transliteration of the name of the man I just described. Just as Mao Zedong is but a transliteration of Chairman Mao and Kim Jong-Un is but a transliteration of the leader of North Korea.

Diotrephes's picture
JoC,

JoC,

"...let's agree that when I say Jesus, I'm talking about the man related to the founding of Christianity."

The Jesus character didn't found Christianity, the Paul character (whatever his name was) did.

IMO it's best to be as accurate as possible because of all of the lies about the fairy tale. Now suppose the fairy tale is true. How would the character ever answer your prayers if you never use his correct name? Have you ever wondered why the writers gave all of the main characters "Westernized" names?

arakish's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

What did someone say about the Bible being a claim and NOT evidence?

The Bible claimed that Heysoos did this, did that, said this, said that. However, there is no evidence your Heysoos even existed. Since your deity is a human-created make-believe fignation of imagiment, that also says so was Heysoos. And since the Heysoos myth was not written until about 90 to 120 years later, does not exactly mean the stories were even contemporary. Hmm...

rmfr

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

But one cannot look at the gospels and simply throw them out since they're not "contemporary"

Nobody is suggesting that the gospels be discarded as interesting historical documents.
The problems with the gospels as historical references are:
- That they are written many years after the events. (Not contemporary)
- The authors are unknown.
- The synoptic gospels are copies of one master document, subtly and not so subtly altered to appeal to different audiences.
- 'John" was written by up to four authors over a long period.
- The subject matter deals with extraordinary (supernatural events) with absolutely no corroboration from contemporary sources.
- The gospels have indubitable signs of later tampering, interpolations and alterations.
- Early versions existed without the supernatural birth and surrounding events.
- The author of the first three Epistles recounts no supernatural events and they are the closest to being contemporary accounts.
- Only fragments of the original gospels dating to the 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE exist. No certitude can be given to the contents of the gospels circulating in the 1st century (if indeed there were any)

It follows the gospels must be regarded as inadmissible as 'evidence' for a human or divine jesus. The claims are so extraordinary and the accounts are so detailed that contemporary evidence for those fantastical claims is surprising in its complete absence.

This is my position once more: the verdict for an entirely human Jesus figure is "Not Proven".
The verdict for a divine Jesus figure as described in the gospels is "improbable" at best for the reasons listed above.

That is how real history works JoC, not proceeding from a presupposition and trying to bend the evidence to prove it.

Sheldon's picture
"Can we say confidently

"Can we say confidently though that Jesus for sure existed?"

You can say what you like, the evidence such as it is doesn't support a definitive answer either way. Now given Christians claim this to be not just the most important event EVER, but the reason every thing exists at all, I find the lack of definitive evidence makes those claims so unlikely as to be risible.

Again, and this goes without saying. There is no evidence whatsoever to support any of the supernatural biblical claims.

Like all theists and religious apologists, you seem to think claims represent evidence, and especially that the more claims you cite, the more they lend credence to the general belief.

I don't know if Jesus existed or not, but all of the claims about him are anecdotal, and none of them are contemporary, with many of them being compiled centuries after he was purported to have died.

Believing anything on such flimsy unevidenced and anecdotal claims is a very low bar for credulity indeed. Believing that a deity was made flesh and all the baggage that comes with it is nothing short of delusional. One could literally believe anything if this was the standard one set for credulity and evidence.

Sheldon's picture
"why do contemporary sources

"why do contemporary sources matter so much."

They don't if you're happy to believe something no matter how little credible evidence there is for it. Also the Gospel of John, differs greatly from those of Mathew, Mark, and Luke. As always there is zero evidence anyone witnessed anything supernatural, how could there be?

JoC's picture
I mean why do the sources

I mean why do the sources need to contemporary? Many things happened in the ancient world which weren't written about until years later! Should we throw all of those away too? Even things as fantastic as an eruption killing around 16,000 people (eruption of Mt Vesuvius) was only mentioned once in passing in a letter 25 years after the fact (not contemporary) but having just one mention doesn't mean we disregard it altogether.

I laugh at your comparing John to the synoptics. It's the classic, damn if you, damn if you don't. I've heard that Matthew, Mark and Luke can only be considered one source since they're very similar. You, on the other hand, criticize John for being too different. Here's a possible explanation. John is widely regarded as the last one written. It's quite possible that John decided to write about events the other 3 didn't.

arakish's picture
JoC: "I mean why do the

JoC: "I mean why do the sources need to contemporary? Many things happened in the ancient world which weren't written about until years later! Should we throw all of those away too? Even things as fantastic as an eruption killing around 16,000 people (eruption of Mt Vesuvius) was only mentioned once in passing in a letter 25 years after the fact (not contemporary) but having just one mention doesn't mean we disregard it altogether."

One word: E V I D E N C E.

rmfr

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

All you say is the arguments have been debunked. Doesn't mean they have been. Answer me then why at best the theory that Jesus never existed or the Jesus myth theory is a fringe theory by most reputable historians.

Dont be so absurdly dishonest. You used an argument about Caesar conflated with your Jesus figure. I said it had been debunked..(the Caesar argument)...why do you try and change the goalposts? Is is something you learnt at apologists 101?

I am very much on record for saying and I write once again In conclusion the best that we can say is, as I have stated many times: “There is no contemporary evidence for a Jesus figure as described in the gospels. None.”
That some people may take this as a starting point to mythicise the Jesus figure is understandable, others may deny the existence. Absence of evidence can, indeed, be 'evidence of absence.' However I prefer the Scottish verdict in Law ”Not Proven”.

Surely this should be clear enough even for a one eyed apologist like yourself JoC?

Sheldon's picture
It has always amused me that

It has always amused me that when religious apologists offer a claim and it's refuted, they offer another, and it's refuted, then another and so on and so forth.

Then they turn around and try to claim that all these claims refuted singly must surely add up to somethingtangible when taken together.

It's the most bizarre reasoning process that fails to see the inherent a priori bias.

Just ask yourself what evidence itwouldxtake for you to belief Hercules was real and the legends about him true? Or for you to believe that the Japanese Emperor was a living deity descended from the sun God. Or that the Aztec God of gluttony was real. Or Zeus Thor Apollo at al...

If claims are enough, then you could believe in any of those and thousands more besides.

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