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Reply #78: Much of everyone's arguments on the historicity of Jesus is based on supposition, kwassa. [View All]

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #73
78. Much of everyone's arguments on the historicity of Jesus is based on supposition, kwassa.
Edited on Fri Feb-09-07 08:52 AM by BurtWorm
You may cite as many Biblical scholars as you'd like, but behind every "fact" I've ever encountered about the historical Jesus, there's a "probably" or "appears likely." Supposer, unsuppose thyself!

I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about:

"The pattern appears to be that Aramaic was the common formal and informal language, also used in local commerce, Greek the language of administration and international commerce, and of the Jewish international meetings (like Passover or Pentecost), even in Jerusalem."

Recognize this quote? It's one you cited to support your claim that Judean Jews would use the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew Torah.

Now here's an interesting Internet discourse on the use of Hebrew in the first century, by Deborah Millier of Jerusalem University College (a Christian school based in Jerusalem and Rockford, Illinois--so take the historic supposition about what Jesus might have done with a grain of salt):


12. In Aristeas letter (200-100 B.C.E.) Demetrius is
quoted speaking to the king thus:

Translation is needed .
They are assumed to use Aramaic , but
such is not the case; it is
a different kind

We know that Demetrius, and hence the writer of
Aristeas letter, refer to Hebrew and not Aramaic
because the books in question were from the Hebrew

13. In the countryside of Judea decrees of marriage
were written in Hebrew while in more cosmopolitan
Jerusalem they were composed in Aramaic (Ketubot

14. Traders and Babylonians wanting to communicate
better with Jerusalemites learned Hebrew (Yoma 6:4, B
Pesakhim 116). Presumably they already knew Aramaic.

15. In one telling recorded instance, some students of
Yehudah Ha-Nasi, the compiler of the MISHNA who lived
in Tziporri in the Galilee (c. 200 C.E.), could not
figure out the meaning of a few Hebrew words so they
asked the maid, who explained the words to them (B.
Megillah 18). This lends evidence that Hebrew was
still alive among at least some of the more common
people in the Galilee region at this time.

16. Targumim were not so much translations of the
Bible to explain the lesser-known Hebrew, but
repositories of exegetical traditions. Because of
this they had value to Hebrew speakers (also fluent in
Aramaic), but were always distinguished from the
biblical text itself. The congregational translator
of a targum (itself a kind of translation) reading was
called a METURGEMAN, but the sermons following the
Scripture readings were, in the second temple period,
given in Hebrew. To the common people.

17. The Pharisees utilized Hebrew (not Aramaic) for
their *oral* transmissions of their traditions. They
found popularity (except for details on tithing and a
few other minutia) among the common peopleand were
apparently understood.

18. The structure of the Magnificat (Luk. 1:46-55)
shows that it came from a Hebrew, not Aramaic, source,
and that it is not merely a lukan composition based on
the LXX. If it came from Marys own mouth then she
could compose beautiful Hebrew poetry. If it came
from a later Christian community, then they too were
capable of producing exceptional poetry in Hebrew.
Evidence of a living language.

19. The evidence of Aramaic in the Gospels does not
prove that Hebrew was no longer widely used. In fact,
some words attributed to Aramaic are just as likely to
have been good MH (e.g. ABBA).

20. Jesus many references to someone (himself?) as
the son of man, an obvious allusion to the enigmatic
BAR ENOSH figure in Dan. 7, does not necessarily
signal that he was communicating to the masses in
Aramaic, since he just as easily could have been
teaching in Hebrew (standard rabbinic practice of the
time) and speaking the son of man title in Aramaic.

21. Lukes portrayal of Paul as speaking EBRAIDI no
longer poses a problem if one accepts that Hebrew was
indeed spoken at the time in Judea (Act. 22:2). In
fact, SYRISTI would be the most common way in Greek to
refer to Aramaic.


1) Hebrew certainly was vibrantly alive as a literary
language during the second temple period, particularly
in Judea.

2) Hebrew was also certainly utilized by some among
the scholarly and upper classes, and even among the
less-learned as a spoken language. Again,
particularly in Judea.

3) In the Galilee, Aramaic was probably the most
common tongue to converse in, except when religious
discourse was going on.

<BW: And what language, kwassa, do you think she means to imply was spoken in Galilee when religious discourse was going on?>
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  -What do you admire most about Jesus of Nazareth? BurtWorm  Feb-06-07 12:18 PM   #0 
  - His refusal to affiliate himself with any religious institution  Old Crusoe   Feb-06-07 12:20 PM   #1 
  - Jesus was a liberal  PhilipShore   Feb-06-07 12:20 PM   #2 
  - I don't know if he really existed or not  blonndee   Feb-06-07 12:20 PM   #3 
  - such a person probably existed but  bambino   Feb-06-07 12:25 PM   #7 
     - I don't know why people think he "probably" existed.  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 12:43 PM   #10 
        - If you repeat this enough times, does it become true?  kwassa   Feb-06-07 01:24 PM   #15 
           - It's understandable that a Christian would believe the mythological Son of God lived  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 01:38 PM   #20 
              - Who said my answers are based on faith?  kwassa   Feb-06-07 02:54 PM   #26 
                 - I do not say that he did not exist.  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 03:23 PM   #30 
                    - Virtually, you did.  kwassa   Feb-06-07 04:11 PM   #34 
                       - The difference is that I don't pretend to *know* he didn't exist.  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 07:52 PM   #43 
                          - Jesus' central teaching was the coming of the kingdom of Heaven.  okasha   Feb-06-07 09:12 PM   #46 
                             - Isn't that eschatology totally appropriated from Isaiah?  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 09:52 PM   #50 
                                - Quick answer, no.  okasha   Feb-06-07 10:47 PM   #54 
                                   - That is a very progressive reading of Jesus's words.  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 11:49 PM   #55 
                                      - How do you know how the early Christians read it?  kwassa   Feb-07-07 05:05 PM   #57 
                                         - Knowledge of minds of early Christians is possible through the miracle of reading  BurtWorm   Feb-08-07 09:54 AM   #64 
                                            - Name one historian in Judea during the lifetime of Jesus  kwassa   Feb-08-07 08:32 PM   #71 
                                               - You mean with a degree in history?  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 08:51 AM   #79 
                                                  - I knew you couldn't do it.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 09:38 AM   #81 
                                                     - So Josephus did pull Antiquities out of his ass?  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 09:42 AM   #82 
                                                     - Nope  kwassa   Feb-09-07 09:58 AM   #85 
                                                     - Recordings about Jesus  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 10:25 AM   #86 
                                                     - Excellent question.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 10:54 AM   #90 
                                                     - Nothing, but you are ducking the point in my post.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 12:18 PM   #95 
                                                     - Talk about ducking a point!  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 12:28 PM   #98 
                                                     - and you don't give the same creedence to those who speak of Jesus?  kwassa   Feb-09-07 12:32 PM   #100 
                                                     - Who speaks of Jesus outside the Gospels and Paul?  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 12:44 PM   #103 
                                                     - Who speaks of anything in Judea in that era outside the Gospels and Paul?  kwassa   Feb-09-07 01:13 PM   #107 
                                                     - You dodged my important question in that post.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 01:16 PM   #109 
                                                     - Kwassa, just because you don't know them it doesn't mean...  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 01:54 PM   #111 
                                                     - Thank you, Mr. Wiggles.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 02:21 PM   #112 
                                                     - Why would I have to name a historian?  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 12:31 PM   #99 
                                                     - should I write it in crayon?  kwassa   Feb-09-07 12:38 PM   #101 
                                                     - No need for crayons, Kwassa  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 01:44 PM   #110 
                                                     - You both have evaded my central point for a long time.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 03:19 PM   #117 
                                                     - My opinion  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 03:39 PM   #121 
                                                     - How is my argument weak?  kwassa   Feb-09-07 03:50 PM   #122 
                                                     - The entire thing  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 04:08 PM   #123 
                                                     - Lame? Desperate?  kwassa   Feb-09-07 04:25 PM   #127 
                                                     - and one other point that you might relate to ...  kwassa   Feb-09-07 04:11 PM   #124 
                                                     - We don't use the Talmud  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 04:24 PM   #126 
                                                     - No, it makes perfect sense.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 04:28 PM   #128 
                                                     - "No, it makes perfect sense" -- be careful because it might hurt your case! :-)  MrWiggles   Feb-10-07 06:43 AM   #133 
                                                     - The outlines of the Spartacan revolt are pretty well known because history recorded it.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 04:17 PM   #125 
                                                     - Drat those epistles.  okasha   Feb-09-07 10:49 PM   #131 
                                                     - You're telling me that the people of the Book who worship Jewish history  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 10:53 AM   #89 
                                                     - You are the king of the circular argument  kwassa   Feb-09-07 12:17 PM   #94 
                                                     - But there *is* a written history of that era that you are happy to cite  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 12:40 PM   #102 
                                                     - I have never cited those sources as proof of Jesus's existence.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 01:05 PM   #106 
                                                     - Would you regard Jesus' life as newsworthy?  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 01:14 PM   #108 
                                                     - In an era where there were no newspapers? or other media outlets?  kwassa   Feb-09-07 02:32 PM   #113 
                                                     - Why should we think any event before the age of newspapers or media outlets  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 03:02 PM   #115 
                                                     - I don't know. Why should they leave a trail? No good reason I can see.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 03:27 PM   #118 
                                                     - The NYT of the era  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 03:34 PM   #120 
                                                     - The asses out of which Josephus pulled the Antiquities,  okasha   Feb-09-07 07:00 PM   #130 
  - am i at democratic underground? n/t  NotGivingUp   Feb-06-07 12:21 PM   #4 
  - What is that supposed to mean?  Heaven and Earth   Feb-06-07 12:23 PM   #5 
  - Yes, in the "Religion" forum. Take a wrong turn?  jobycom   Feb-06-07 12:25 PM   #6 
  - yes, i caught it on the latest threads...oops!  NotGivingUp   Feb-06-07 03:07 PM   #28 
  - Hmmm. One bizzarre response deserves another  bryant69   Feb-06-07 02:14 PM   #22 
  - Also I respect that he stood up for the adulteress when the shitheads  Old Crusoe   Feb-06-07 12:27 PM   #8 
  - I have little doubt he existed.  jobycom   Feb-06-07 12:39 PM   #9 
  - You mean the turning water into wine, raising the dead, curing the blind  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 01:02 PM   #13 
     - I mean that, as an historian who studied that era for a while  jobycom   Feb-06-07 01:25 PM   #16 
        - Where is this testimony of these witnesses outside of the gospels?  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 01:35 PM   #19 
           - Aramaic would be the language  MrWiggles   Feb-06-07 02:26 PM   #23 
           - Wouldn't the Torah have been in Hebrew? Or would that have been Aramaic?  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 03:07 PM   #27 
              - The Torah was written in Hebrew  MrWiggles   Feb-06-07 04:03 PM   #33 
           - how many times do we got through this?  kwassa   Feb-06-07 02:32 PM   #24 
           - What language were the Dead Sea Scrolls in?  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 03:15 PM   #29 
              - Uh, do you have a rebuttal, burtworm?  kwassa   Feb-06-07 03:57 PM   #31 
                 - I am addressing one of your points by asking this question.  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 04:12 PM   #35 
                    - I say this.  kwassa   Feb-06-07 05:21 PM   #39 
                       - You said this...  MrWiggles   Feb-06-07 07:47 PM   #42 
                          - I apologize, because I misstated something in my post  kwassa   Feb-07-07 05:21 PM   #60 
                             - Which language did Judaean Jews speak amongst themselves ordinarily?  BurtWorm   Feb-08-07 10:37 AM   #65 
                                - Actually ...  kwassa   Feb-08-07 08:38 PM   #73 
                                   - Much of everyone's arguments on the historicity of Jesus is based on supposition, kwassa.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 08:49 AM   #78 
                                      - I don't know who you are quoting, but it isn't me.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 09:49 AM   #83 
                                         - Actually, I'm quoting one of your sources, but from a different article  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 10:35 AM   #87 
                                            - Good catch Burtworm  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 10:59 AM   #91 
                                               - That arrangement makes perfect sense.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 11:16 AM   #92 
                                                  - Sure  MrWiggles   Feb-09-07 12:25 PM   #96 
                                                  - Now if we could just get this through to kwassa...  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 12:26 PM   #97 
           - You can find answers to that in hundreds of books and web pages  jobycom   Feb-06-07 02:52 PM   #25 
              - Of course my questions are not conlcusive evidence. They're questions.  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 03:59 PM   #32 
                 - Received wisdom is called "scholarship"  kwassa   Feb-06-07 04:40 PM   #38 
                    - 1) Sacred writing is "business?"  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 07:32 PM   #41 
                       - Adding to number 4  MrWiggles   Feb-06-07 08:04 PM   #44 
                       - You're right about that.  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 09:56 PM   #51 
                       - You should probably make sure you know the answers to questions  okasha   Feb-06-07 09:09 PM   #45 
                          - Are you saying Greek is the language of the Sadducees and Pharisees?  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 09:44 PM   #49 
                             - Uhm, where in the Temple?  okasha   Feb-06-07 10:18 PM   #52 
                                - And do you know a lot of Israelis in Israel who speak English to each other outside the synagogue?  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 10:44 PM   #53 
                                - Language  MrWiggles   Feb-07-07 05:50 AM   #56 
                                   - Your point?  kwassa   Feb-07-07 05:13 PM   #58 
                                      - Nothing to do with the Gospels  MrWiggles   Feb-07-07 05:25 PM   #61 
                                      - It raises the question why, if Jesus was so potentially essential to Judean Jewishness  BurtWorm   Feb-08-07 10:40 AM   #66 
                                         - The literature isn't culturally Greek, it is written in Greek.  kwassa   Feb-08-07 08:34 PM   #72 
                                            - Greek language isn't Greek culture?  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 09:02 AM   #80 
                                               - Not necessarily.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 09:54 AM   #84 
                                                  - You haven't shown even ONCE that Greek was the language of Jews in religious context.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 10:43 AM   #88 
                                                  - I gave you the evidence and quotes  kwassa   Feb-09-07 12:49 PM   #104 
                                                  - I cite the overwhelming propensity of scrolls among the DSS to be in Hebrew  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 12:52 PM   #105 
                                                  - You are doing the supposing, of course.  kwassa   Feb-09-07 02:51 PM   #114 
                                                  - "one can assume" "presumably" "probably" "compel us to assume"  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 03:04 PM   #116 
                                                  - Should I accept the views of the mass of biblical scholars, or burtworm?  kwassa   Feb-09-07 03:34 PM   #119 
                                                  - You should use your critical judgment.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 04:52 PM   #129 
                                                  - PS: I don't know what you mean about my "dismissing" Philo.  BurtWorm   Feb-09-07 11:46 AM   #93 
  - Jesus brags to much for my liking.  Evoman   Feb-06-07 12:47 PM   #11 
  - Check out the "Jesus Seminar"  keith the dem   Feb-06-07 01:08 PM   #14 
  - Humility. n/t  igil   Feb-06-07 12:48 PM   #12 
  - It was false humility.  Evoman   Feb-06-07 04:13 PM   #36 
  - His compassion.  Geoff R. Casavant   Feb-06-07 01:26 PM   #17 
  - His ability to be "whole brained".  Stanchetalarooni   Feb-06-07 01:27 PM   #18 
  - I never thought of that injunction as evidence of "whole-brainedness."  BurtWorm   Feb-06-07 02:13 PM   #21 
  - I like the portrayal of Jesus of Galilee in Paul Park's THE GOSPEL OF CORAX.  Old Crusoe   Feb-06-07 04:17 PM   #37 
  - The Love!  applegrove   Feb-06-07 05:25 PM   #40 
  - His shelf life. eom  varkam   Feb-06-07 09:25 PM   #47 
  - Nothing  toddaa   Feb-06-07 09:41 PM   #48 
  - Having done a quick read through this thread...  Chorophyll   Feb-07-07 05:15 PM   #59 
  - Who said you're not allowed to admire him. Admire away.  BurtWorm   Feb-07-07 10:33 PM   #62 
  - Okay. Just checking. ;)  Chorophyll   Feb-08-07 07:38 AM   #63 
     - Well, I think it's possible to find it meaningful and illuminating  JerseygirlCT   Feb-09-07 07:10 AM   #76 
        - Definitely!  Chorophyll   Feb-09-07 07:22 AM   #77 
  - Me too. nt  JerseygirlCT   Feb-08-07 07:49 PM   #70 
  - His willingness to suffer and die for my sins.  Zebedeo   Feb-08-07 11:42 AM   #67 
  - That he was reputed to be a storyteller  Book Lover   Feb-08-07 04:46 PM   #68 
  - In Matthew:  JerseygirlCT   Feb-08-07 07:48 PM   #69 
  - Me too, Jersey Girl. n/t  Chorophyll   Feb-08-07 09:14 PM   #74 
  - That one's hard to beat.  okasha   Feb-08-07 11:14 PM   #75 
  - He basically said nobody's perfect, just try your best to be kind...  Jamastiene   Feb-10-07 04:59 AM   #132 

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