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 What would have been your Golden Age?

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Mon 12 Aug 2013, 12:23

No need to despair - I am sure Tim will be along shortly to put us all in our place with the assurance that a majority of lax scholars outweighs a small minority of diligent scholars anyway.

The bottom line for me with regard to Pontius Pilate is that the very real desire to deaccentuate Roman involvement in the murder of the messiah on the part of those who formulated the texts that we now refer to as the gospels represents a considerably emphatic hindrance to any automatic acceptance of the content as being historically dependable on face value. Unless the author writing a book about the character of Pilate with a supposed intent to stick to historical probabilities can at least acknowledge this very substantial factor in how the data they are using as source has been compiled in antiquity then everything they draw as a conclusion is marred by this omission.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 08:36

nordmann wrote:
No need to despair - I am sure Tim will be along shortly to put us all in our place with the assurance that a majority of lax scholars outweighs a small minority of diligent scholars anyway.

Well, this is a history site, not a place to discuss our private belief or lack of it: I intrude on a debate between you and Tim about diligence and historical scholarship, not faith. I shall, therefore, add one more comment, then shut up.

The bottom line for me about Pontius Pilate - or anyone else in this strange business/narrative/myth (choose your own preferred word) - is that it is a dangerous thing when we come to regard facts as truths; or rather the only truths that we care to recognise. Pascal would have condemned such facts as truth without charity; they contribute little to experience or imagination, and they seem more and more to be taking the place of both.

Hence my despair.
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 14:00

Hi Nordmann

Sorry, been on holiday travelling across Canada by train, most enjoyable.


Quote :
No need to despair - I am sure Tim will be along shortly to put us all in our place with the assurance that a majority of lax scholars outweighs a small minority of diligent scholars anyway. 
Unless I have missed something while I am away you have not provided any examples of diligant scholars.  And I am sorry Nordmann that you have not come up with any 'diligent scholars' unless you are referring entirely to yourself.  And i am afraid I do not think that someone who can write 


Quote :
Paul, a near contemporary - seems never to have heard of him. he talks a lot about god, but nothing whatsoever of Jesus the character. He doesn't quote him once, says zilch about any miracles, teachings or crucifixion, and resurrection features on Paul's horizon with all the prominence of his sense of humour! 
qualifies as a diligent scholar.  I also think it is rather self regarding of yourself to condemn any scholar who does not agree with you as 'lax', just because you do not agree with them.  What actual evidence do you have that the scholars i have quoted are 'lax'?

And sorry Nordmann but you are completely wrong.  The Roman Prefect in charge in Judaea such as Pilate had the power to inflict the death penalty.  Pilate did not have to refer to his superior the legate in Syria on such matters even though the Legate of Syria did exercise some level of supervision.  This supervision was, however, only called for when the prefect was involved in serious troubles with the populous, such as Pilate was in AD36. 
 
Josephus lists several cases of Roman ‘Governors’ of Judaea executing prisoners ‘[The Romans] took a great many alive, the principal of whom … Pilate ordered to be slain.’ ‘James and Simon, whom Alexander [Tiberius Julius] commanded to be crucified’.  ‘Yet did Felix catch and put to death many of those impostors everyday’.  ‘he [Albinus] brought out all those prisoners who seemed most worthy of death and ordered them to be put to death accordingly’.  Josephus does mention one execution that he considered to be in breach of the laws. 
 
Tacitus expresses no surprise that Pilate executed ‘Christus’, which one would expect if that was not what Pilate should have done.   ‘There are good reasons for concluding with the vast majority of scholars that this passage is fundamentally sound’ Robert Van Voorst.  ‘His [Tacitus] reference shows that high-ranking Roman officials of the second century knew that Jesus had lived and been executed by a governor of Judea.’  Bart Ehrman.  Prof Martin Goodman specialises in Roman History at this period of time and also comments on the fact that Tacitus was aware that Pontius Pilate executed Jesus.  He nowhere in his book Rome and Jerusalem suggests that Pilate exceeded his authority in this matter, in fact he states that supreme power in Jerusalem, that is he power of life and death, was in his hands.  ‘He [Tacitus] knows ‘Christus’ is a Jew executed as a criminal under Pontius Pilate.’
 
‘The right of jurisdiction in capital cases was jealously reserved by provincial governors’ F.F.Bruce.  ‘There is good evidence for it [crucifixion] as a Roman death penalty in Palestine.’ Theissen and Merz.  According to Sherman Roman Society the trial of Jesus before Pilate was a cognitio extra ordinem.  The condemnation of Jesus would have been to Pilate ‘a minor incident’. F.V.Filson. I could claim the support of many scholars that I have read but I would just mention Martin Goodman, Bart Ehrman, Michael Grant, Geza Vermes, Tacitus and Josephus; as none of them are Christians. 
 
And your authority – Nordmann, as usual you do not provide any quotes from anywhere to substantiate what you claim. 
 

I realise that you consider that if there are a group of historians who specialise in this period of history who all say one thing and you say another, that you consider that you are right are right and they are wrong.  However, I will go with the group of historians who have written books on the subject, unless you can come up with some evidence, and evidence specific to Iudea.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 14:08

Tim wrote:
The Roman Prefect in charge in Judaea such as Pilate had the power to inflict the death penalty.
According to what original source?
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 16:25

Josephus, as already quoted.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Fri 16 Aug 2013, 23:58

But there is no original Josephus. Are you quoting from Arlenius or (I hope not) Lodge or Whiston?

And by the way, what are you quoting?
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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sat 17 Aug 2013, 14:05

And what are your sources Nordmann and who are the scholars, diligent or otherwise, that support your views, so far you have produced none.  

Do you have any?
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sat 17 Aug 2013, 14:13

Hi Temperance


Quote :
Tim and nordmann - I wonder if either of you has read Ann Wroe's book, "Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man"? It's excellent; Wroe is definitely no lightweight, and her study examines how "each generation has unloaded on to Pilate its own hopes, fears, prejudices and obsessions. Yet he was probably an average, even ordinary Roman administrator."
Sorry that I failed to reply to your query earlier, but as mentioned was crossing Canada and then busy 'putting Nordmann in his place'.  A thankless task but he will keeping making erroneous statements and then refuses to provide any evidence or quote from any scholars [diligent or lax] that agree with him.  I gues he considers it the divine right of Nordmann that as this is his site what he says must be automatically true even when its wrong! Smile 

Anyway, to answer your question, no I have not read it.

regards

Tim
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sat 17 Aug 2013, 16:21

"Putting nordmann in his place"! There is no emoticon that can adequately express my profound shock, horror and outrage at that example of lese-majeste.

Actually, speaking as a mere woman who should really keep silent while these religious matters are debated, I have to say that, contrary to what you might think, I can fully appreciate the Benevolent One's argument. He is an historian and, as an historian, he is quite correct: the historical evidence for Pilate's involvement in the trial of Christ is pretty thin. But then the historical evidence for most of the New Testament is also pretty thin - or, indeed, is quite suspect. (See Robin Lane Fox's book: The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible,, mentioned above, and Diarmaid MacCulloch's A History of Christianity) But that doesn't matter!

But then you see, Tim, for me, woolly and confused High Church Anglican Agnostic Gnostic that I am, the narratives of the NT have nothing whatsoever to do with evidence and "history" at all. I think the exchanges between you and nordmann (fascinating and informative as they are) over whether Pilate - indeed whether Christ - ever existed miss the whole point, relevance and profundity of the stories. And their beauty and sadness.  It's a bit like trying to argue whether the themes and philosophy of King Lear are worth bothering with or not on the basis of their historical accuracy (dubious indeed!). There was no King of France, no Duke of Burgundy or Duke of Albany when Lear was a king in these islands - if he ever was a king. Does that make a nonsense of the play?

But I must stop - this is not what this thread is about and I'm about to quote chunks of Bishop John Spong and that will irritate you all - Christians and atheists alike. Sigh.

There are so many moving representations of the famous "Ecce homo!" scene, but I particularly like this 15th engraving by Martin Schongauer:



PS May I quote this from Chapter 3 of Diarmaid MacCulloch's A History of Christianity? It is a story I like very much indeed.

"It is important to realise that a book of good news is not the same as straightforward reported news, or its more aged and academically respectable relative, history. The writer Jan Morris once recalled being advised by the Sudanese Minister of National Guidance, soon after the Second World War, that as foreign correspondent she should try to report 'thrilling, attractive and good news, corresponding, where possible, with the truth.' That might sound cynical, but Ms Morris felt that the minister, an austere man, spoke more wisely than might at first appear, and she fruitfully bore it in mind in her career in journalism. The minister's words provide a model of how we might approach the Gospels in a spirit that goes beyond cynicism. We may pare away the non-historical from the probably historical elements in Christian sacred literature, but that is in order better to understand the motives and preoccupations which led to the shape of the good news constructed by the first generations of Christians..."  (page 78).

MacCulloch goes on: "Nowhere is that more apparent than in the stories of the birth of Jesus." Perhaps we should add "or in the stories of his death and Resurrection."

I type this with a wry smile: I once read this passage from MacCulloch's brilliant and scholarly book at a local Bible Study group - a group which had become infested with fundamentalist Christians. It was greeted with a stunned and shocked silence, and it was later suggested to me that it might be better if I left the group - unless I could moderate my opinions. See why I despair?


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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sun 18 Aug 2013, 07:19

I have been reading this morning that a new film is to be made about Pontius Pilate - starring Brad Pitt. I think this will unite us all - Christians, atheists and woolly ones alike. Unite us in something, but I'm not quite sure what...

Brad Pitt. Dear Lord - I'd rather have Michael Palin and the Wowdy Webbles any day.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jan/08/brad-pitt-pontius-pilate
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Mon 19 Aug 2013, 07:55

Thanks for adding the quotation from McCulloch with regard to the function of applying historical analysis to New Testament scripture. Identifying the motivations of early Christians (and this is a complex exercise even when the data is good as early Christians did not always agree about their own interpretations of received scripture) is indeed the only valid historical exercise in relation to applying such analysis. The notion that "truths will be debunked" in the process is, as you have also implied, dependent completely on what "truth" is and the dichotomy in this case is purely and simply that historical truth and what constitutes truth in a religious sense are often quite different, even at times fundamentally contradictory.

When an historian chooses to accommodate assumed truths that have been largely defined through religious precepts they should, by right, explain why they are doing so. They should always explain when they are doing so. It is the absence of this in many of the works to which Tim refers that is palpable and which, in my view, often borders on dishonesty (though I have chosen to be more charitable and refer to it as "sloppy" when it occurs - as it often occurs in the case of a published book directed to a mass readership rather than for academic peer review). Tim, who has communicated that he now no longer wishes to debate this or any other point with me, challenges me often to produce "scholars" from within this genre to back my assertion and has cited my reticence to do so as indicative of a weak argument. What he does not consider is that my inability to do so is largely because such an historiographical argument is not as a rule (or indeed generally at all) represented by the authors within this genre. I would however recommend several scholarly authors (in that their works are considered seminal and have undergone academic review) - I have sent him some names from my recent reading along which I of course should add Collingwood (referred to in an earlier discussion if I recall), James D. Winn (who in his reviews sums up quite neatly the disparity between historiographical definitions of what constitutes an "objective historian") and last but not least on this list E.H. Carr whose "What Is History" from 1961 remains a perfect starting point for the identification and comparison of the many disparate historiographical techniques employed by historians throughout the life of history as a recognised academic pursuit. In all of these works (and those of many other scholars within this discipline) the thorny issue of how best to explain differences of approach to analysis of myth as history is addressed, and how this then concerns christian myth is tackled either explicitly or implicitly. I have attempted to provide some condensed indications of the particular difficulties in this regard though would appear to have failed to communicate them, at least to Tim.

Using Pontius Pilate as a starting point has actually been very useful, I found. In his case we are on much more stable ground than, say, with Jesus. Pilate represents a person for whom evidence of existence even according to the most rigorously applied criteria survives scrutiny. The issue is not therefore one likely to be reduced to a simplistic "did he exist" debate, but rather how and why he was assimilated into a mythical cycle, what happened to him as a result of that treatment, and therefore where exactly do the strands take us when we retrospectively attempt to work backwards through the historical record to identify anything sustainable historically about the man. This, as McCulloch implies above, brings us probably nowhere near identifying the original bearer of the name but right into the heart of the issue regarding dichotomous definitions of "truth" and how the very real differences between these definitions is glossed over or even ignored completely in many so-called "historical" works, especially those directed to a mass readership.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Mon 19 Aug 2013, 13:24

nordmann wrote:
Tim, who has communicated that he now no longer wishes to debate this or any other point with me...

That is a great shame. The lively exchanges between Tim and yourself have been interesting and informative. I for one have learnt much from you both.

I hope Tim changes his mind.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 20 Aug 2013, 10:59

Decided to delete earlier post: the questions I'm mulling over at the moment as I read Hyam Maccoby's book are not really appropriate to what is being discussed here.

Usual apologies for deviation.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Thu 03 Oct 2013, 20:57

Hi Temperance
 
Caro mentioned to me that you were sorry to see me leave the site, for which thoughts I thank you.  I am afraid, however, that I am not changing my mind and returning to the site. 
 
Nordmann sent me an email concerning someone having commented on an aspect of my father’s history and asking if I could provide further information.  While visiting the site to read the comment on that I thought that I might also have a quick look at this post.  

Caro had also mentioned that Nordmann had posted some evidence and ,after I had got over my initial shock (I had come to the conclusion that Nordmann as ‘Q’ did not consider that he had to provide any evidence as he thinks that anything that he states is automatically true) I decided also to read.  It was therefore almost with relief that when I read Nordmanns’ post that it was standard Nordmann fare, erudite, well written, intelligent, seemingly knowledgeable but ultimately like the replies of Lord Dorwin in Asimov’s Foundation.  It does not provide any evidence for what Nordmann originally stated nor any answers to the evidence that I provided demonstrating that what he had said was incorrect.  The fact is that I do not miss Nordmann’s stile of debating and I am not the only one. 
 
I was interested in your description of yourself as a ‘confused High Church Anglican Gnostic Agnostic’.  Modern Gnosticism has really very little if anything to do with the Gnosticism of the period of the early church.  I would be very surprised if you were a Docetist, for example.  In fact there are now amongst scholars views that the term ‘Gnosticism’ is misleading and that it gathers together a number of quite disparate groups of which the most important is Valentinism.  However, two common beliefs appear to have been that creation was the result of an evil or ignorant demiurge and that concerning salvation and the receipt of knowledge of one’s divine origin.  Again I would be surprised if you subscribed to either.
 
I was interested in your quoting of Robin Lane Fox's book: The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible,, and Diarmaid MacCulloch.  I have read Lane Fox’s book and have a copy of MacCulloch, I even have the passage that you quoted marked.  What interests me is that they both agree with me and not with Nordmann, as of course does virtually every scholar, that Jesus existed and was crucified by Pontius Pilate.  ‘The Romans killed Jesus‘, ‘the starting point of this [Christian] faith is an individual human being in recent times, not some abstract Platonic supreme soul’.
 
I do not think that your comparison of King Lear with the gospels really works.  I do not know if Shakespeare did or did not think that Lear existed, but the gospel writers had no doubt that Jesus existed.  They were writing not that long after Jesus’ life, 70 to 100AD, and Paul was writing even earlier.  In Paul one has a primary source who started out hostile to Christianity but who was both in Judaea soon after Jesus and who met his brothers and followers.  Mythical people do not normally have real brothers.  The gospel writers were not of course writing historical biography, they were writing to convince people that Jesus was the Messiah.  However, as I have said before, I see the gospels as a mixture authentic historical material, such as him being crucified by Pilate, and theological interpretations of Jesus that developed between his life and the writing of the gospels.  In that I am in line with the vast majority of scholars unlike Nordmann.  I do not know how he has reached his views but it is certainly not through studying the New Testament.  His knowledge of it is at times so lamentably poor as to cause me much amusement when reading his posts.  You said about being asked to leave a bible study by some fundamentalists and I suspect that I would also be asked to leave.  However, it is Nordmann who could so with the bible study, he might then not make so many mistakes. 
 
‘Jesus existed, and those who deny it do so not because they have considered the evidence with the dispassionate eye of a historian, but because they have some other agenda that this denial serves.  From a dispassionate point of view, there was a Jesus of Nazareth.’  That, by the way, is a quote from an author who is not a Christian and whom Nordmann once quoted with approval.
 
Thanks again for hoping I would change my mind but I suspect that Nordmann is really pleased to see me leave, that way there will be no one to point out his ‘manifold errors’!
 
Tim
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Thu 03 Oct 2013, 21:47

I still hope you will change your mind and return! I thoroughly enjoyed your exchanges with nordmann and, as I said above, I have learnt much from you both.

Will you forgive me if I don't answer your post tonight? I'm too tired to think straight at the moment, and your message deserves careful thought and a serious reply.

Temperance.

PS I'm a confused High Church Anglican Agnostic Gnostic, not a confused High Church Anglican Gnostic Agnostic. The difference is important! I'm also a Neoplatonist, but only after a third glass of a decent Chateauneuf du Pape. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Fri 04 Oct 2013, 11:44

And I don't know what I am inside or out of any kind of Chateau.

Not that I think that out will read it Tim, but you have much to contribute so it is sad when someone takes the knitted farewell - on loan only though , mate.

Now the dangerous part. As on-reader of your discussions with nord - on two Boards - as I see it, he wants knowledge which is faith-independent and contempory recorded witness of Jesus - a root source. The wealth of evidence you present from a depth of many sources may stem from that root but is a secondary root system and your link to it is the great Christian leap of faith. Nrdmann's clinical detachment of historical investigation does not accept that. And so you both leap about the stairs of knowledge in an elegant, eloquant clash of verbal spat to which neither can yield. As long as you both can put that aside and discuss other stuff then why leave? But, I suspect that you would take this as a  denial of your faith with which you must always identify. I have lived in a country with close friends of many faiths, interpretations and sects.  Leaving such personal beliefs aside, apart from a warm jest or too, friendships and social interaction thrived among us with a richness that I miss in UK. In my book to stand your ground is an act of faith just don't put up a 'To Let' sign if you want peace. I think now I ought to go to Tesco's and stay there for some time and reflect on my wisdom in most things.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Fri 04 Oct 2013, 16:13

I tried to write out a long reply, Tim, complete with lots of quotations, but I've just thrown it in the bin. Let me just explain briefly what I have come to believe, or what I think I believe. Sad to admit at my age maybe, but I'm still trying to puzzle things out. I am a work in progress.

I do believe that Jesus of Nazareth - a great and charismatic teacher and healer - existed, and that he was executed by the Romans. I am not sure, however, that he is the same Jesus whom St. Paul and other early Church intellectuals "invented". I'm not going to say more here - what is the point? I will just add, however, that, like Diarmaid MacCulloch, I am happy to describe myself as "a candid friend of Christianity". Let's leave it at that.

PS I wish you could settle an argument for me though about the meaning of "Messiah". I know the Hebrew "Messiah" and the Greek "Christos" both mean "anointed one", but didn't that term have a very different meaning according to whether one was Jewish or Greek? Is it true to say that Messiah was a title Jesus was prepared to claim, whereas "Christos" would have seemed to him to have been blasphemous? I am genuinely confused about this (reading Robert Graves doesn't help!).

PPS Anyway, whatever you decide to do, best wishes, but please consider Priscilla's words.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 19 Nov 2013, 07:58

Hi Temperance and Priscilla and thank you for your responses

I have popped back briefly to the site as I am planning to give a sermon on the existence of Jesus at some point.  I did give one many years ago before Nordmann and I first crossed swords on the BBC.  However, as a result of much I have read since and the various discussions, there is a lot more to add.  I was also considering referring to his statement below 

‘The description of the social dynamics prevalent in Judaea at this time as inferred by the popular interpretation of the Christian New Testament is, at various levels, in contradiction of the same dynamics as inferred from other sources.’

and his repeated failure to provide those ‘other sources’.

Below are some more posts from Nordmann as follow ups, but what is notable from all of them is that nowhere does he provide any evidence for what he claims.  If there are ‘other sources’ that contradict the description of the social dynamic prevalent in Judaea [Iudaea] as inferred by the popular interpretation of the Christian NT then why can he not provide those ‘other sources’?  He first stated that on 9th July, now over four months ago but, despite all my best endeavours to get you to provide these ‘other sources’ he has failed to do so.  In none of your posts below does he quote from any sources to justify what he says which, to me, makes any reasonable debate impossible and that is why I have left the site.  

I do entirely agree, by the way, on the importance of what Nordmann is claiming, if it was correct.  It is just that he has provided no evidence from ‘other sources’ that it is correct while I have provided evidence from ‘other sources’ that it is incorrect.

Wishing you both a rather early Merry Christmas

Tim

'Well, to name but one point of contention - administration. The NT infers that Iudea, despite being a satellite of Syria in the Roman administration with neither senatorial nor imperial province status and therefore nominally run by a prefect of the equites class (Pilate in the story), yet has a devolved justice system in keeping with that administered through provincial assemblies in which the said prefect can dispense and oversee internal judicial matters since he has an assembly to which adjudication can be referred (in fact must be referred). In the story Pilate behaves in a manner that would have seen him quickly withdrawn from his office and very likely disciplined harshly by his superiors - a prefect assuming the role of provincial adjudication reserved for men of higher rank would have been seen as a huge threat within imperial and senatorial circles. Not only that but he takes the action he does in the story at the time of a Parthian invasion, partial encroachment by Dacian and German tribes, and with Tiberius in self-imposed exile on Capri, meaning that the senate is now basically running the shop in a period of heightened military activity and with all provincial revenues and those responsible for collecting them under intense scrutiny.'

'You are correct about Iudea's status, both as client state and as part of the Syrian province. It therefore of course could never have had a governor even under direct or indirect Roman rule, and nor did it. Pontius Pilate, in exercising promagisterial authority as he does in the story we all know, would therefore have been perceived in Rome as a startlingly dangerous precedent and disciplined accordingly by his employers (with extreme prejudice I would imagine), not least the actual governor whose power he was usurping - one of Lucius Aelius Lamia, Lucius Pomponius Flaccus or Lucius Vitellius, depending on which arbitrary time scale one wants to apply to the narrative. This apparently did not happen, indicating therefore that this story is not actually history at all, no matter how many sloppy historians might state it as such or set Pilates up as "governor" in the process.'

'The problem here is not in the employment of semantic latitude when using the term "governor" but in the very real - and quite erroneous - implication in doing so that Pilate as a governor had promagisterial authority. This authority is crucial to the sense of the story as related in the New Testament. However it is totally at odds with the political reality of the day. This discrepancy is rarely adequately addressed in historical terms since for those who wish to believe in the story as historically factual in that respect it is rather an obvious fly in the ointment, while for those who dismiss the historical accuracy outright an examination of this aspect would tend to simply lend credibility to the other aspects of Pilates' office which they tend to have already dismissed as lacking evidence. A case of affirmation through strenuous denial, as it were, which every student of rhetoric is advised against and trained to avoid at an early stage of their studies.'
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 19 Nov 2013, 09:07

As you also sent me this post as a private message it has been responded to in kind, Tim.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Wed 29 Jan 2014, 13:50

Quote :
Nordmann

 
had a problem with the display  and so reposted


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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Wed 29 Jan 2014, 14:04

Nordmann

 

On 9th July 2013 you made the following claim

 

‘The description of the social dynamics prevalent in Judaea at this time as inferred by the popular interpretation of the Christian New Testament is, at various levels, in contradiction of the same dynamics as inferred from other sources.’

 

Specifically you referred to Pontius Pilate executing Jesus as related in the gospels and elsewhere as being contrary to ‘other sources’.  It is now over 6 months since you made that claim and in all that time you have been unable to provide any quotes from those ‘other sources’ to verify what you claim nor have you been able to provide a quote from a single academic work to support it.  I, by comparison, am able to provide quotes from numerous academic works and from ‘other sources’ to show that your claim is incorrect. 

 

I have returned to this site for the last time because in a private message to me you claimed that ‘The Cambridge Ancient History’ (CAH), an august series, supports what you claim.  Specifically Chapter 15 of Volume IX of the history on administration written by Prof John Richardson.  I would note that you do not actually quote from the chapter to prove your assertion but just make a vague claim.  I have the very volume in front of me and it does not support what you claim.  I presume that you have actually read this at some point but Volume IX does not even cover the period that we have been discussing as its title is ‘The Last Age of the Roman Republic 146 – 43BC’.  Possible the title of the chapter ‘The Administration of the Empire’ confused you, but it only covers the period mentioned above.  To use information on administration 146 to 43BC to infer information concerning Pontius Pilate who was in charge in Judaea (I am following the usage in the CAH) from 26 to 36AD would be like using a book on United Kingdom during the reign of Queen Victoria to argue concerning the administration of Ted Heath.  The chapter, however, does not mention the praefecti at all, the entire volume only mentions the praefecti once and that is the Praefecti urbi, which, as I am sure you are aware, is a post that has nothing to do with the provincia.  Nor does the volume mention the ius gladii.  Richardson, by the way, does use the term ‘governor’ which you seemed to object to when I used it.

 

If instead you had referred to Volume X of the CAH, ‘The Augustine Empire 43BC – 69AD, you would at least been in the correct time frame.  Additionally that volume does actually refer to both the praefecti and the ius gladii.  In Chapter 14d ‘Judaea’ on page 751 it states the following ‘All those chosen were of equestrian or lesser rank; the province was too small to insult a senator with its rule, especially since no legions were stationed there.  The title praefectus on an inscription set up by Pilate, governor c AD26 to 36 shows the earliest governors to have exercised military authority. The term procurator used after Claudius, and by Josephus in discussing also the early governors, reflects a change in terminology rather than function.  All governors owed their position to the direct patronage of the emperor, to whom they also reported.  All retained the military ius gladii.’  [My underlining and bold].  [The right to absolve from, or condemn a man to death] as Pilate did with Jesus and also with others.

 

The reason why you are unable to provide any evidence to support what you claim is because you do not have any and the reason you do not have any evidence is because what you state is incorrect.  I presume that you believe what you are saying is correct, but if so, then you have clearly not researched the subject.  I do not know why you feel the need to make statements that you cannot substantiate and are incorrect, but it something that you have done repeatedly in our discussions on both this site and on the BBC site.  Not once when I have challenged you concerning one of your statements that I have disagreed with have you ever provided any evidence in the form of academic support or quotes from ‘other sources to substantiate your claims.

 

The CAH, by the way, does refer to Jesus and does not doubt his existence.  On page 752, in the same chapter, it refers to his crucifixion.  It devotes the entire chapter 17 to ‘The origins and spread of Christianity’ and page 849 and 850 briefly discuss Jesus’ life and death.  The author in a footnote states that he only refers to ‘the non-controversial ministry of Jesus’.  He also states that he ‘preferred to follow the contemporary witness of Paul.’ 

 

Pauls’ letters seem to me to a good point at which to end this last exchange between you and I as it returns to our first ever exchange on the BBC pages.

 

You wrote “Probably most damning of the lot is the fact that Christianity’s greatest spreader of the faith in the early days - Paul, a near contemporary - seems never to have heard of him. he talks a lot about god, but nothing whatsoever of Jesus the character. He doesn't quote him once, says zilch about any miracles, teachings or crucifixion, and resurrection features on Paul's horizon with all the prominence of his sense of humour! Of course, if we conclude that Paul has as dubious historical grounds for existing as Jesus, we still have to ask ourselves why those who invented him neglected to include a convincing 'tie in' with the Jesus character.”

 

When I read this it immediately told me 3 things.

 

1. Your knowledge of the New Testament documents was extremely limited as only someone who had never studied them could write something so erroneous.

 

2. Despite your lack of knowledge of them, you were quite happy to post as if you were as extremely knowledgeable about them as you are about other subjects.

 

3. Unfortunately due to your high level knowledge on other subjects most people on the BBC site seemed to be in awe of you and would not dare challenge you even when you wrote something as erroneous as the above.  In fact most people seemed to assume that just because you had stated something it was automatically true.  Unfortunately that also seems to apply to this site.

 

This is my last post on this site and I have only returned to clear up with one outstanding matter and will not return again.  If you chose to reply then it will be purely for your benefit or for those on this site who believe what you state.

 

If I stayed on your site you would not doubt make yet more statements for which you have no evidence and which are incorrect.  I would be the only one to challenge you to provide evidence which you would again fail to do.  You would dismiss all the evidence that I provided just as you dismissed Paul’s letters as historical evidence (unlike the CAH and the rest of the academic world).  This was of course only once I pointed out to you that they did not state what you thought they did, up to them you had been quite happy to claim that they supported your views.  At the end of the discussion you would probably refer to a book that you claim supports your views but in fact does not.

 

And the end of all our exploring

 Will be to arrive where we started

 And know the place for the first time.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Wed 29 Jan 2014, 22:19

I just read the end of this thread. I find it a pity end.
As I read not all the subfora of this Res Historica...
Can we not as I learned from the English on the ex-BBC forum, "agree to disagree" and go on with our life...Tim, and what with your father's diary, which seems to be stopped?

I wanted to comment on the Plato thread with a discussion from the old BBC forum between Nordmann and me, about atheists and religious ones, where you said Tim that it was worthfull to consider and where Islanddawn said that she didn't understand your comments....

If you find it inappropiate, Tim, to answer here in public, please contact by private message...

Kind regards and with high esteem to all the contributors of this thread,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Thu 30 Jan 2014, 12:39

Hi Tim

Thanks for another last post - they're always entertaining.

You do realise that the term "military ius gladii" is not to be confused with "ius/potestas gladii" as defined under the Antonine Constitution two hundred years after Pilate? You have underlined and highlighted a statement that Pilate could execute Roman soldiery. You are also confusing "ius gladii" anyway with "coercitio". One applies to Roman citizens, the other to non-citizens. In 66CE the Jews were to find out just what "coercitio" meant. Prior to that however there is no recorded instance of its use to order crucifixions in Judaea.

The two historians generally very respected as authorities on late republican and early empire judicial and gubernatorial matters were Theodor Mommsen in Germany and later Arnold H M Jones in Britain. Even before evidence was found strongly indicating Pilate's prefectural rank both of these authors questioned Pilate's alleged authority to act without consulting his comites and without sanction from the governor in Syria. The former inferred from this that the traditional story regarding Jesus was a later confection, the latter that it was recorded by individuals who left out these details failing to see their relevance. Either way the story as handed down does not fit that which is historically referable.

Poor Saul/Paul. No matter how much you defend his acquaintanceship with Jesus's biography you can never back this up with any biographical detail about Jesus for which we can thank him and him alone. A rather surprising omission on Paul's part for someone who was a dab hand at theologising but who somehow failed to see the value of both Jesus's words and examples in doing so (which after all must have been out there to be known given the importance the later gospel writers placed on their inclusion in scripture and the general uniformity of this content). A lot of mention of christ but little of Jesus. A lot of theological interpretation of resurrection and little concerning the life lived before that important death. Not a typical Christian by any means. And lousy as an historical source for the life in question.

I look forward to your next last post!
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sun 02 Feb 2014, 17:36

Is there not a certain irony in all this wrangling? The poor bastard writes sublime stuff (see below) and all you two can do is argue about trifles. Can't we have a spot of charity, gentlemen both, and less of the brassy tinkling?


1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sun 02 Feb 2014, 17:41

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

From a letter (ironically enough) to Timothy.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sun 02 Feb 2014, 18:01

nordmann wrote:
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.


From a letter (ironically enough) to Timothy.


Well, I'm sure we've hit on something in Holy Scripture that you and (our) Timothy can agree on.   Smile 

PS The Pastoral letters are forgeries, aren't they?
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sun 02 Feb 2014, 18:55

Re PS above: Maybe. I have my doubts about much of the stuff myself. However the criteria for maintaining that some of this stuff is "real" and some "forgery" is itself a dodgy area.

It is however a good thing, I agree, that Paul had the sense to compose his epistles in early 17th century English. They read so much better than that crass Greek translation from sixteen hundred years beforehand.


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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Sun 02 Feb 2014, 19:00

nordmann wrote:


It is however a good thing, I agree, that Paul had the sense to compose his epistles in early 17th century English. They read so much better than that crass Greek translation from sixteen hundred years beforehand.

 Smile Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Fri 07 Feb 2014, 21:48

PaulRyckier wrote:
I just read the end of this thread. I find it a pity end.
As I read not all the subfora of this Res Historica...
Can we not as I learned from the English on the ex-BBC forum, "agree to disagree" and go on with our life...Tim, and what with your father's diary, which seems to be stopped?

I wanted to comment on the Plato thread with a discussion from the old BBC forum between Nordmann and me, about atheists and religious ones, where you said Tim that it was worthfull to consider and where Islanddawn said that she didn't understand your comments....

If you find it inappropiate, Tim, to answer here in public, please contact by private message...

Kind regards and with high esteem to all the contributors of this thread,

Paul.


Tim of Aclea and others,

it is perhaps not that important if I post it in this thread or in the Plato one, as my understanding of philosophy is not that high.
But back on our discussion of the ex-BBC:
I can perhaps find the discussion back on the ex-BBC forum...
If I recall it well it was a thread from Nordmann about the danger as a non believer in revelated religions to be forbidden to out our opinions as the revelated religions would become the political majority in a country...
We came in a discussion about religions...
I said to Nordmann, I think that humankind has a nearly genetic predisposition to adhere to all kind of religions, especially in the lack of an understanding of the realities in the universe...
I ended with the thought that it even for me was not easy to stay in that little place in the universe with all these hunderd thousands possible worlds equal to our earth, knowing that all my prestations in my short life would only be a remembrance in my family and perhaps if a bit renowed in a more larger circle...how much easier to "believe" in one Almighty, who knows everybody and is allover present (exists allover) in that universe and to who you are responsible for your deeds...

On that you Tim responded that it were indeed pertinent thoughts and Islanddawn saw not such interests in the thread...

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Mon 29 Sep 2014, 19:33

Hi Nordmann

I am glad that you find my responses entertaining, I find your one equally so – or at least I would if you ever provided any evidence to substantiate what you claim.  However, why should break a habit of a lifetime.  I am afraid that you are wrong about the ius gladii, or at least if you are right then the CAH is wrong as the chapter on Judea is quite clear.  Personally I will go with the CAH or at least until they hire you rather than Martin Goodman to rewrite the chapter.  Given his rather more impressive qualifications on the subject, a rather unlikely eventuality.

Concerning Mommsen, rather dated, Jones is I agree a bit more recent.  However, given your propensity to claim the support of books when they do not in fact support you, you will have to come up with some quotes preferably supported by scanned copies of the relevant page.  You are also wrong about crucifixions in Judea prior to AD66 (what Common Era?) as I have already posted.  Josephus lists several cases of Roman governors of Judaea executing prisoners, prior to AD66 including by crucifixion. 

Lastly

‘Poor Saul/Paul. No matter how much you defend his acquaintanceship with Jesus's biography you can never back this up with any biographical detail about Jesus for which we can thank him and him alone. A rather surprising omission on Paul's part’

For someone so poor Paul does not seem to have done that badly, all those reprints of his letters that he wrote to deal with, except for ‘Romans’, short term situations.  However, you are once again wrong as you inevitably wrong when it comes to Paul.  After all what was it you first wrote about him?

Ah yes

‘Probably most damning of the lot is the fact that Christianity’s greatest spreader of the faith in the early days - Paul, a near contemporary - seems never to have heard of him [wrong]. he talks a lot about God, but nothing whatsoever of Jesus the character [wrong]. He doesn't quote him once, [wrong] says zilch about any miracles, teachings [wrong] or crucifixion [wrong], and resurrection features on Paul's horizon with all the prominence of his sense of humour! Of course, if we conclude that Paul has as dubious historical grounds for existing as Jesus, we still have to ask ourselves why those who invented him neglected to include a convincing 'tie in' with the Jesus character.’ 

All compete rubbish, as you have had to admit

So instead of claiming that Paul says nothing about Jesus you now claim just that he does not say anything that is not in the gospels.  Well it is a far more limited claim and there is no reason in reality why Paul should not say anything in his letters that is not in the gospels, after all Paul met Jesus’ disciples and brothers, not Jesus himself.  However, you are wrong, Paul says in his letter to the Roman church that Jesus had married brothers, not something you will find in the gospels.  Additionally in 1 Thessalonians he quotes from Jesus a statement that is not found in the gospels concerning His return.  I will let you find it.

Someone on another website who knew you from the BBC pages commented about the impossibility of ever getting any hard evidence from you.

Temperance, if you read this I wish you all the best and you are perfectly correct that the vast majority of scholars agree that either did not write the letters to Timothy and Titus or only a small part of them, very naughty of Nordmann to quote from them.

Paul – I hope you are well and sorry to duck out of the debate but it is very hard debating with Nordmann when he makes things up as he goes.

All the best Nordmann

Tim

Ps I have another paper being published.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Mon 29 Sep 2014, 19:34

Hi Nordmann
I am glad that you find my responses entertaining, I find your one equally so – or at least I would if you ever provided any evidence to substantiate what you claim.  However, why should break a habit of a lifetime.  I am afraid that you are wrong about the ius gladii, or at least if you are right then the CAH is wrong as the chapter on Judea is quite clear.  Personally I will go with the CAH or at least until they hire you rather than Martin Goodman to rewrite the chapter.  Given his rather more impressive qualifications on the subject, a rather unlikely eventuality.
Concerning Mommsen, rather dated, Jones is I agree a bit more recent.  However, given your propensity to claim the support of books when they do not in fact support you, you will have to come up with some quotes preferably supported by scanned copies of the relevant page.  You are also wrong about crucifixions in Judea prior to AD66 (what Common Era?) as I have already posted.  Josephus lists several cases of Roman governors of Judaea executing prisoners, prior to AD66 including by crucifixion. 
Lastly
‘Poor Saul/Paul. No matter how much you defend his acquaintanceship with Jesus's biography you can never back this up with any biographical detail about Jesus for which we can thank him and him alone. A rather surprising omission on Paul's part’
For someone so poor Paul does not seem to have done that badly, all those reprints of his letters that he wrote to deal with, except for ‘Romans’, short term situations.  However, you are once again wrong as you inevitably wrong when it comes to Paul.  After all what was it you first wrote about him?
Ah yes
‘Probably most damning of the lot is the fact that Christianity’s greatest spreader of the faith in the early days - Paul, a near contemporary - seems never to have heard of him [wrong]. he talks a lot about God, but nothing whatsoever of Jesus the character [wrong]. He doesn't quote him once, [wrong] says zilch about any miracles, teachings [wrong] or crucifixion [wrong], and resurrection features on Paul's horizon with all the prominence of his sense of humour! Of course, if we conclude that Paul has as dubious historical grounds for existing as Jesus, we still have to ask ourselves why those who invented him neglected to include a convincing 'tie in' with the Jesus character.’ 
All compete rubbish, as you have had to admit
So instead of claiming that Paul says nothing about Jesus you now claim just that he does not say anything that is not in the gospels.  Well it is a far more limited claim and there is no reason in reality why Paul should not say anything in his letters that is not in the gospels, after all Paul met Jesus’ disciples and brothers, not Jesus himself.  However, you are wrong, Paul says in his letter to the Roman church that Jesus had married brothers, not something you will find in the gospels.  Additionally in 1 Thessalonians he quotes from Jesus a statement that is not found in the gospels concerning His return.  I will let you find it.
Someone on another website who knew you from the BBC pages commented about the impossibility of ever getting any hard evidence from you.
Temperance, if you read this I wish you all the best and you are perfectly correct that the vast majority of scholars agree that either did not write the letters to Timothy and Titus or only a small part of them, very naughty of Nordmann to quote from them.
Paul Rickier – I hope you are well and sorry to duck out of the debate but it is very hard debating with Nordmann when he makes things up as he goes.
All the best Nordmann
Tim
Ps I have another paper being published.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Mon 29 Sep 2014, 20:46

Tim,

happy to see you once again on this board. I hope "from the ground of my heart" that there is a "modus Vivendi" possible on these boards, even with a Nordmann Wink ... and I hope that you go further with your book: "Only a servant"...

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Mon 29 Sep 2014, 22:18

Hello Tim. Do come back and argue with El Nord again. I promise not to say a word, just listen quietly. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 30 Sep 2014, 09:59

Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed.
Faith must trample underfoot
all reason, sense, and understanding.


— Martin Luther

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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 30 Sep 2014, 10:19

Tim of A,

I think I must have joined the board (a little over a year ago) around the time you stopped posting. I came along initially for a very low-brow reason I have to own [I googled "[insert name of bodice-rippery novelist] is inaccurate" or something of that ilk and the term brought up this site.  Other than yourself, Temperance and Sincerely Thine are the only people I know of to have admitted on the board that they are Christians.  But then in modern times lots of people brought up as Christians drift away in adulthood. A friend of mine saw to her grandson being christened (with the consent of his parents) because the Mum and Dad don't believe in anything any longer.  I belong to the Catholic church and I think the revelations about some "religious" having abused children discouraged a lot of people.  Message boards and cyber-space apart, if I only spoke to people who are of the same religious persuasion as myself (apart from people I know from the church) I would hardly speak to anyone.  I don't think it's true that nobody ever calls Nordmann out - Minette, I believe, has been known to do so, though that is concerning Richard III rather than religion (Minette, if you read this, I hope you do not feel I am taking your name in vain here).  Mind you, despite being a Christian there are some parts of the Bible I find very anti-female:- I know it's but a myth but the story of the awful woman persuading the poor innocent man to eat the forbidden fruit for example, and can remember a time (over now) when women were expected to wear a scarf or some form of head covering in church thanks to the words of St Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 30 Sep 2014, 14:53

nordmann wrote:
Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed.
Faith must trample underfoot
all reason, sense, and understanding.


— Martin Luther


I wasn't going to say anything, but seems a bit unfair to quote Luther out of historical context.  Was he using the word "reason" as we would use it today? Wasn't he rather having a swipe at medieval scholasticism?

LiR - "Christian" is rather a dangerous label to give to anyone these days. I rarely use it, because I do not agree with what some "Christians" say "Christians" must believe to qualify for their label. I have been told a fair few times  that I do not qualify, which bothers me not the slightest. Suffice to say I go along with Oscar Wilde when he calls Christ a "supreme artist" and the Gospels - Greek thought or not (OK, if you insist, Greek thought) - sublimely truthful "prose poems". I like those ideas very much. I no longer enjoy wrangling with others over dogma. ("Trifles" was the word Elizabeth I used for the arguments that tore life apart for so many in her time - dangerous trifles indeed, but then human foolishness and arrogance so often are - extremely dangerous.)

Religion - or rather what some choose to call religion - and politics are two twin elephants - rogues, both of them - perhaps best left standing behind the sofa, not discussed around here. Or perhaps best shot before they trample us all underfoot.

PS It is very easy to make Martin Luther appear to be a complete nutter. He wasn't. But this Positive Atheism's Big Scary List of Martin Luther Quotations does make for interesting reading:

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/luther.htm

This is my favourite, although I also like the reference to demons lurking in "dark, poolly places". "Poolly" is a delightful word.

Demons live in many lands, but particularly in Prussia.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 30 Sep 2014, 17:27

Sorry Temperance, maybe it was your name I took in vain rather than Minette's? One should of course never assume one can speak for another (without said other's express permission).  Hope I didn't cause any offence to you.  I have often heard it said that it is wise to avoid talking about religion and politics; yet I don't think I should have to be ashamed of what I believe though I know the majority don't agree with me.
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 30 Sep 2014, 18:23

Temp wrote:
I wasn't going to say anything, but seems a bit unfair to quote Luther out of historical context.  Was he using the word "reason" as we would use it today? Wasn't he rather having a swipe at medieval scholasticism?

No.

I know a few medieval scholars. Nice bunch. Will always stand their round.

The quote above was from Luther's last sermon delivered in Wittenburg on January 17th 1546, shortly after his dismissal of Copernicus's theory regarding the earth revolving around the sun as "foolish". He was addressing the very dangerous (to him) notions being put about by Sebastian Castellio and others that theology - like physics or any other philosophical pursuit - is devalued by being doctrinal. Today we would call Castellio's opinion "common sense" (many did then too). Luther was in a theological corner of his own making. Instead of admitting his blunders however in the end he just went completely batty - as his last sermons demonstrate vividly.

Hey, Tim. Whatever happened to your answer to my question regarding Paul's apparent lack of knowledge of Jesus the miracle worker, Jesus the virgin birth, Jesus the son of god etc? Hadn't news reached him yet? That stuff would have been like gold dust in his proselytising activities (in which I believe he dabbled occasionally). Seems weird he didn't use it. Anyway, like Vladimir and Estragon, I'm a patient bleeder (and far more charitable than you in how I talk to my adversaries, I might add). Your tone of late has really turned decidedly Christian! Smile


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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 30 Sep 2014, 18:25

You haven't given any offence at all, LiR.

I don't think we should be ashamed of what we believe either - it's just I get fed up with people, when they hear that awful, hijacked word "Christian", assuming that I'm something I'm not and rejecting me because of it. Fed up with people thinking that, because I love the old Book of Common Prayer services and because I like doing the flowers and polishing the ancient pews at the local Church, I must also persecute gays, not believe in dinosaurs and think that snakes can talk. Oh, and that I tell people they are going to Hell if they don't believe as I do. And that I wave my hands about in a silly way and am generally happy and/or clappy. I don't and I'm not. But I do think Jesus of Nazareth was a great teacher - light years ahead of his time - he may have been dumbed down Plato for the masses, but who cares? I rather think he was more than that though.

As I've often said here, I'm a woolly and confused person, but I can live - and die - with that. I'm reading a lot of George Herbert at the moment - a dead poet who really was a Christian: he too wrestled with doubts and conflicts, so there's hope for me yet. He died on March 1st (1633), so I've a bit of a wait before I can put a poem by him officially on Dead Poets.

I only mentioned elephants because  I'm annoyed at myself for starting elephant threads - whether political or religious. I should know better, but I don't.

Best regards.

T.

PS Did you ever get your trolley wheel fixed?
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 30 Sep 2014, 18:28

Since politics and religions are, and always were, the ideologies whereby societies organise themselves and through which individuals operate in those societies, a history board which avoids discussion of these would have very little to talk about. Since, try as we might, it's often through the prism of our personal attitudes to these that we see and interpret the past (and the present), these cannot be ignored.
No-one should be ashamed of their beliefs, but they should be prepared to justify them, and being in the minority is often the best place to be.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: What would have been your Golden Age?   Tue 30 Sep 2014, 18:41

Sigh - but we all get so cross at one another which is a shame.

Now shall I watch Episode Two of Downton or shall I struggle on with An Honourable Woman? The latter is superb drama, but I haven't a clue what's going on - it's worse than Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

PS He was a bit batty at times, nordmann -  I do have to admit that; but his treatise on Free Will was superb. He flattened Erasmus and not many people could do that. Passionate in his sincerity - a very dangerous man.
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