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Talk:Historical Jesus

Historical Jesus was a Philosophy and religion good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
February 5, 2012Good article nomineeNot listed


Post-Enlightenment historiansEdit

I have stated most Post-Enlightenment historians, but I think it means all present-day historians, except truly believing Bible scholars. As Bart Ehrman stated at Video on YouTube (55:25-58:00, longer story: 53:00-1:04:00) the history professors from US research universities never posit miracles or divine causation as historical explanations for historical events. Otherwise we would have peer-reviewed articles like "Have leprechauns dictated the Book of Isaiah? An alternative theory for the claim that angels have dictated the Book of Isaiah", "Historical proof that Attila the Hun was possessed by evil spirits", "Vespasian's godly status confirmed through archaeological finds" and "The role of elves and fairies in World War II combats". Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:03, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

Nature of miraclesEdit

The last sentence of the paragraph about miracles is this:

   However, there is some debate among scholars on which specific miracles can be considered historical,[104] and on whether Jesus' healings are supernatural in nature.[105]

I take issue with the implication that a number of scholars (in the context of the historicity of Jesus, historians) claim that Jesus' miracles were supernatural, and I think the linked reference[1] doesn't support this. In fact, it appears to me this page explicitly states Crossan doesn't believe Jesus to have performed supernatural feats with his healings or exorcisms, but the public at the time did. I may be wrong, but I assume this reference was mistakenly used as an example of scholars claiming the miracles were supernatural because Crossan identifies Jesus as a magician.

What do you think? Feor (talk) 03:12, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

There is a difference between supernatural magic and illusionism; also some of the faith healings might have been genuine (not miracles, just temporary improvements, like due to Popoff's radio or even the real deal). Tgeorgescu (talk) 03:31, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

Assuming these are historical events and not inventions of the Gospel writers, some of the illnesses of the people involved could be Psychosomatic disorders and symptoms caused by stress. "Although lay persons may interpret the field to suggest that a person's mental state can influence the course and severity of even the most severe physical diseases, experts in this area scientifically evaluate such claims through empirical research. For example, early evidence suggested that patients with advanced-stage cancer may be able to survive longer if provided with psychotherapy to improve their social support and outlook."

Henri Laborit "proposed that psychosomatic illnesses in humans largely have their source in the constraints that society puts on individuals in order to maintain hierarchical structures of dominance". Dimadick (talk) 10:25, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

  • The source given does not support that text, and I am removing it. The source -indeed- is describing the position of one particular scholar (Crossan), is in direct contradiction to that description (the source ascribes naturalistic views to Crossan) and the source gives the wrong page number, even. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:52, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

per requestEdit

Per request by Jytdog, I have now moved the entirety of the historical Jesus material from biblical criticism, here.Jenhawk777 (talk) 01:44, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

temporary moveEdit

This sentence: Because of this, more than any other group in present-day academia, biblical historians are under immense pressure to theologize their historical work. It is only through considerable individual heroism, that many biblical historians have managed to maintain the scholarly integrity of their work.[2][3]

The archived article cannot be found, and the quote from the book doesn't make the claim that "more than any other group in present-day academia, biblical historians are under immense pressure..." Who has quantified how much pressure other groups are under? Where is that referenced? This smacks of original work. Jenhawk777 (talk) 16:32, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

In The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, By Michael R. Licona, on page 54 and 55, in footnote #94, he references the field of anthropology and biology in particular as being the fields where going against consensus can threaten careers. He references atheist philosopher Quenten Smith and a study published in Nature magazine, #394, July 23, 1998, page 313. Smith says theists never argue for theism in their scholarly works, that it would be academic suicide to do so, and gives an example. I don't know for sure who is right, but until these can be resolved, this does not belong in the article. Jenhawk777 (talk) 19:50, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Also from the same section, I think this is incorrect: He says that the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars are employed in institutions whose roots are in religious beliefs. I think it's actually about half and half in seminaries and Universities--in the States anyway. I've removed it for now, but I would like to see a source that has some data on the distribution before putting it back. Jenhawk777 (talk) 16:39, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the recent edits and additions to the article. My two cents regarding the possibility of inherent bias from the sentence you found objectionable regarding scholars employed by religious institutions is this: the opinions and work of atheists or irreligious scholars makes their summaries of the subject much more compelling... and also: not every religious person is blinded by their bias, but efforts an objective approach. Besides this, I think the article should avoid labeling the belief or stance of any particular scholar unless such terminology is found in their work. And your objection is noted in that it is a fallacious argument. Allowing such phrasing plays into the ideological wrangling that surrounds articles such as this. -- HafizHanif (talk) 20:21, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
you're welcome. I would take credit but I was somewhat forced into it. I assume when you say "that sentence" you are referring to the one about biblical scholars being employed in religious institutions??? It's not bias I am concerned about, it's accuracy. I think it's an incorrect fact--but I could be wrong--hence my request for a source. If you are referring to the sentence at the top--the more than any group--I am also concerned about factual error with that one--not bias--and original work. I reference Licona as saying something entirely different above.
I hope you are finding the arguments of atheists more compelling based on merit and not confirmation bias. Bias is an issue for everyone--not just the religious. We all tend to agree with those who state what we already think. I agree you are right about no labels.
Do I understand correctly that you are saying my argument is fallacious? What fallacy would that be since the only thing I do is question factual accuracy? What phrasing plays into wrangling? Please be specific if you want me to address this. Jenhawk777 (talk) 21:37, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
I was not pointing to your edits nor your words, more speaking generally and specifically to sentences you mentioned from the article. The sentence about religious institutions having lots to say is historically correct (only institutions of higher learning since the 1st century CE were religious (both pagan - Roman, and what later became Christianity). Thus every scholar of that vein were 'religious' or had an arguably inherent bias, usually viewing the world through their two eyes and single mindedness despite the effort towards objectivity.
What I meant about atheist or non-religious scholars (or those who perceive themselves as such - self-labeling another venture into nearsightedness) is that their findings that reflect the accuracy of history's past, even affirming that there indeed did exist someone called Christ, and that miracles were attributed to him, and also that he died and rose back to life, is quite remarkable... and it is these which, in my opinion, hold even more weight due to their opposed stance (not believing it, yet affirming that the historical accounts affirm the claims according to methodology).
I read a bit of the conversation you were having in another section, and wanted to point out (or repeat) what was mentioned. Historical methodology affirms the claim of a person's existence from a single mention, no matter how many years removed. The character Spartacus is a decent example. Little is known personally, but that man's exploits can be affirmed and his existence acknowledged by what historians / scribes wrote about him and his impact many centuries later. The scribes also went to previous writings, and only the popular scribes's writings are extant, while the yearly accounts of political issue is not. Similar to how the daily 'news' is written, but in the future only books are sourced, not so much the daily news. This is how it is when looking at the past.
The existence of wives of kings, or many characters outside the periphery of 'kings' and 'generals', for example, are affirmed by a single mention of them. Of course, where a weighty or extraordinary claim is made, the mind desires to have weighty or extraordinary evidence to confirm such a claim. Legends often grow from an ordinary person, where in one century they are simply 'ordinary', but a few centuries later you read about how they flew through the air or something. For example, looking at the case Muhammad's many dreams recited as poetry to his followers, the 'going to heaven' is understood as simply a dream. However, several centuries later that dream is conveyed as having actually happened or argued dogmatically as such, and building upon more legends and ideas. This is not seen, according to the methodology, regarding Christ and claims attributed to him. Why? Historical methodology affirms the accounts as not being far removed, but first-hand eye witness journals. The mention of secular scholars decades or centuries later simply affirms the Gospel accounts, while those sources extrapolate the details missing from the secular accounts.
Methodology also explores and differentiates bias and contrast. By deduction one can get closer to the truth of a past event (or the claims of an event) despite reading overt or hidden bias (or evidence of bias). The mention of something, in this case an extraordinary figure, can be acknowledged and affirmed because the methodology speaks for and establishes the claims as sound. The rational arguments made in favor of affirming the extraordinary claims are historically accurate despite their origins (by people closely associated or forwarding the claims). Thus factual events, in the case of Christ, have been established as having occurred... even the claims of miracles and resurrection, since these are part of the same methodology that affirms such a character having existed, having been baptized by someone named John, and having been killed by the state.
I personally find it a logical departure how some items are affirmed by scholars according to methodology, and these same scholars deny other things affirmed by the same methodology. Why? Well, of course extraordinary claims fall outside the typical human experience. This is why, according to secular or atheist scholars, the claims of the Gospel / letters is reinforced, since the methodology is extended to all subsequent claims found therein. This is quite remarkable, and when opposed one can identity bias opposition in the scholar / historian. This is why I think when an atheist scholar affirms, by methodology, what faith as proclaimed, they are unwittingly affirming the extraordinary by their work. Makes me giggle. -- HafizHanif (talk) 21:48, 14 September 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (1998). "Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee". Westminster John Knox Press.
  2. ^ Akenson, Donald (1998). Surpassing wonder: the invention of the Bible and the Talmuds. University of Chicago Press. pp. 539–555. ISBN 978-0-226-01073-1. Retrieved Jan 8, 2011. ... The point I shall argue below is that, the agreed evidentiary practices of the historians of Yeshua, despite their best efforts, have not been those of sound historical practice ...
  3. ^ {{cite web | url = | title = Queen's University:Department of History | accessdate = Jan 22, 2011 | quote = Don Akenson: Professor Irish Studies | deadurl = yes | archiveurl = | archivedate = 2011-01-24 | df =

scarcity of sourcesEdit

@Smeat75: It is absolutely true that there is nothing unusual about "none of them written during Jesus' lifetime" and I think you should feel free to add that statement, but it is not a good reason for removing the original statement. It is a fact. It is accurate and sourced. It is an accurate, sourced and relevant fact to the topic heading it is under. Every point here has a refutation, not just this one. I thought about including them all. I did include the one about the Romans not keeping the records people seem to think they did. But it's supposed to be criticisms, so I didn't include any real "rebuttal" even though valid rebuttal exists. If think rebuttal of criticisms should be included—somewhere on this page—I am 100% behind you on that one. But then we should change the heading to Criticism and rebuttal. I'm good with that too! As you wish! Jenhawk777 (talk) 21:43, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

I know that Martin and Ehrman both have a habit of stressing that it's not unusual or even remarkable every time they mention that the sources attesting Jesus weren't written during his lifetime, and I've seen other historians do the same when writing about other historical figures (even using Jesus as a comparison to make the point). So even without looking at the source, I'd bet ten bucks the statement that it's not at all unusual would be supported by it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:49, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
I can't really keep up with all the changes that are happening to a range of articles around this subject at the moment but there are certain things that I try to keep accurate, one of the main ones being that there is something suspicious or unusual about the supposed lack of references to Jesus in antiquity. It is a canard, there are literally thousands of persons from antiquity known only from one passing reference to them in one of the pitifully few works of history that survive from the ancient world written a hundred years or more after their deaths. Actually whether the Romans kept records or not is also rather irrelevant as we do not have a single document from ancient Rome, they are all lost. There are the texts of some that were copied into books or inscribed on to walls but not a single document from Rome survives. I will put the clause back as you request but will add clarification and if you think that means the section needs to be called something else, that's OK with me.Smeat75 (talk) 22:04, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
It absolutely is supported as "not unusual," I agree canard is the right word, everything you said is completely correct. I do not disagree. But the validity of the point is sort of beside the point within this particular category. It is a criticism people have been throwing at the historical Jesus for a long long time, as you say, therefore it sort of has to b e listed. Because it's out there as a criticism. Which is what this is titled. This is just a listing of criticisms--not an evaluation of them. If we want to evaluate them, that's cool, let's do so--in a section titled that way. Then please evaluate them all.
I object to "only" three, that is three times as many as for most people from antiquity so add that. This is part of the mythicist argument--these criticisms are all part of their argument. I don't agree with the conclusions they reach, but it's only right to acknowledge all the points they have--every one of them. That's what I think neutral and unbiased is: include it all--don't shave and shade. It's okay. It's good even. Change the heading and answer them. Include the counterarguments. They are valid rebuttals. Or make a separate heading beneath criticisms and write up all the rebuttal you can come up with. I'm willing to help. But it isn't right to exclude information because there are arguments against. If that was how we made choices on what to include here, all Bible articles would be empty. So yes please put it back--but also yes please--add responses! Jenhawk777 (talk) 22:15, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
@Smeat75: I am really liking the idea of a section directly beneath criticisms titled Rebuttal. What do you think? Jenhawk777 (talk) 22:23, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
Fine with me, I don't care where the material goes as long as these arguments that there is something unusual about a supposed lack of references to Jesus are not allowed to stand unrefuted.Smeat75 (talk) 22:30, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
Absolutely! I love this! It's usually me making these arguments and taking the hits for it! No hits here though, just encouragement. Go forth and type! Jenhawk777 (talk) 22:35, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
I am too busy to really focus on this for a while (actually work on opera articles more than anything else and am in the middle of a big re-write)but I try to keep an eye on things.Smeat75 (talk) 23:09, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
You and Gerda! It's perfectly okay, keep checking on us whenever you are able. It's good to know someone else is out there keeping an eye on things.Jenhawk777 (talk) 23:36, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I changed the wording a bit. I think it reads better, a bit less like a rebuttal, and more like it's just explaining something worth noting when considering the three sources. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:59, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks User:MPants at work.Smeat75 (talk) 23:11, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
I like it--and for that, the title doesn't really need to change unless someone else thinks it's necessary. More could be said! But this is good! Jenhawk777 (talk) 23:19, 12 September 2018 (UTC)


There's no real discussion about changing the article going on in this thread, only bickering. It's time to stop before any watchers who've not yet gotten sucked into it, do. The last thing we need is another shitstorm on an article like this one, so let's all get back to editing other things unless and until someone comes up with an RS claiming that the majority of scholars don't reject the CMT. Anyone who appreciates the humor in the top third of this thread is welcome to watch my talk page for more. You'll quickly see there which other user talk pages to watch for even more zany Wikipedian comedy. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:43, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I reverted your edit because it is an accurate statement supported by good sources (even if only three scholars are listed here) and because your objection to it is not based on sourced information that contradicts it. I believe there are already two other statements in this article on what the majority of scholars believe about Jesus, and even though it is impossible to list all scholars, it is possible to find more references for this statement if you need that to happen. Please don't remove it again without a good sourced reason for doing so.Jenhawk777 (talk) 07:43, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Unigolyn, the article Historicity of Jesus has content and citations showing how it is a fringe, and now identified as irrational, minority that deny Jesus existing. I'm sure some of that article's points can be echoed in this article. -- HafizHanif (talk) 18:01, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
That's a rather nasty thing to say about an awful lot of people. Must Christians really be so rude about non-believers? HiLo48 (talk) 02:48, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
It was a nasty thing to say, but please don't assume that person is a Christian either. Thinking mythicists are a little off the board does not automatically make one a Christian. Bart Ehrman is not Christian and he thinks that. There are a lot of nasty people on Wp of all kinds and stripes. Who knows who or what this guy is? Whatever their prejudices are--the thing is to try not to let them manipulate yours into a like response. Jenhawk777 (talk) 05:55, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I shall simply say that describing people with different views as irrational says a lot more about the writer than the targets. HiLo48 (talk) 07:47, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
"Irrational" isn't necessarily an insult (for example, I'm highly irrational about my tastes in music), and I'm an atheist who agrees that people who buy the Christ myth theory are irrational about it. This is neither a Christian view nor an inappropriate one: the available evidence contradicts mythicist claims, so one must be either ignorant or irrational to be a mythicist. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:27, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Let me guess. Spice Girls? :) Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 12:37, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Not quite. ;) BTW, that music video is decidedly NSFW. There's nudity, violence, vomiting and a geisha girl who gets raped to death by a guy with a giant anthropomorphic baby-faced strap-on. If that's too much for you, then you can try this one, which only contains very minor elements of brief nudity near the end, in black and white. Not enough for a coworker to notice unless you watch fullscreen.
Or, if you want me to prove how irrational my tastes are, I also like this, which I'm sure the Spice Girls are also fans of. Check out This section on my talk to really appreciate the insanity of it all. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:57, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Ok, ok!!! I believe you!! Unfortunately, I don't think I can un-see those first two videos and now I feel like I'm going to hell. LOL!! Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 13:06, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
If you watched the entirety of the second, you very well may. The singer supposedly composed it as a hymn to Satan, being a Theistic Satanist himself.
Well, maybe not (forgiveness is a thing, after all). But if you sang along, Jesus will be very disappointed. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:11, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
LOL! Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 13:21, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── LOL indeed! You guys are hilarious. I don't know who's going to Hell for what but thank you for proving that common decency can in fact be found anywhere by anyone! Jeez! This is going to haunt me now... :-) Jenhawk777 (talk) 16:15, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

Yikes! Jenhawk777 (talk) 17:57, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
The citations summarize the denial is motivated via bias, and thus unscholarly and not objective. That irrational fringe carries a similar tone reflected in this thread. The claim of ad hominem fallacy in my statement (and fallacies countering my words) are clearly refuted. Read what atheist and agnostic scholars say about this irrational fringe's arguments. -- HafizHanif (talk) 18:36, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
If I didn't exist, how could I be writing this? Checkmate, atheists. Yeshua AKA Jesus (talk) 18:59, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Ah... where would we be without trolls? Likely reading and watching fiction... oh wait. -- HafizHanif (talk) 19:23, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
HafizHanif The citations do not say the denial is motivated by bias, they say it is motivated by bedrock historical facts. You called people an irrational minority --that's ad hominem. Jenhawk777 (talk) 21:31, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
FWIW, not all ad hominem arguments are fallacious. If, for example, you are discussing physics with a physicist, you disagree with them on something and they respond by asking where you got your physics degree from, that's not a fallacy, though it certainly is an ad hominem. I don't really think we need to worry about whether Hafiz is being polite enough to the mythicists in calling them irrational when we're all in agreement that they're wrong. And for anyone who didn't bother to look, that's me posting from the Yeshua AKA Jesus account. It's a joke. If you don't think it's funny that's fine, but please let the rest of us keep up our good cheer without getting upset over it, thanks. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:36, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Totally agree not all ad hominem is fallacious. I didn't directly address that. You're right. But I would say his statement is a fallacy of more than one type--over-generalization, jumping to conclusions, assuming--etc. since there is no proof all mythicists are irrational people, and chances are, it's not true that they are--even if they have what we consider to be an irrational belief. Us thinking they are wrong does not prove them irrational. Probably should have focused on the claims of fallacy and refutation up front--but it seemed way too serious for this discussion--and since my personal goal here on Wp is "keeping good cheer" (and that sometimes that means limiting interaction)--I just didn't bother. Sorry. He was rude--and he used fallacious reasoning. And he makes ipse dixit claims. Let's talk about crazy music instead! :-) Jenhawk777 (talk) 22:13, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Not that I want to continue arguing this, so I won't say more past this: I didn't read the comments as saying they were fundamentally irrational people, but that they were being irrational about this subject. I agree with the latter, but I disagree with and discourage others from saying the former. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:08, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

Amusing folks, but waaayyyy off topic. My concern about religious (and nearly religious) people resorting to the views of moderns scholars on matters such as the existence of Jesus is that the vast majority of such "scholars" are themselves religious (or near religious). Most atheist scholars couldn't be bothered studying the matter, and nobody would fund them to do so anyway. So it is a very biased sample of scholars. I'll stick to objectively provable facts, and logic thanks. HiLo48 (talk) 22:23, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

What is a "nearly" or "near" religious person? "resorting to views of modern scholars" is what we do on WP about everything. The question of Jesus' existence is nothing to do with religion but is a matter of history. I would be interested to have the names of historians who say there is any doubt about it.Smeat75 (talk) 22:45, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
You have failed to understand my point. HiLo48 (talk) 23:15, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
HiLo48 That is a prejudice and in no way an reflection of the actual quality of scholarship. Try reading the section on bias here in the article. Jenhawk777 (talk) 22:51, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
You have failed to understand my point, which is a comment on the logic of the position, rather than on the quality of scholarship. HiLo48 (talk) 23:15, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
We do not use our own powers of logic here on WP to decide that the leading scholars and professors in any given field are producing poor quality scholarship, we just summarize what they say. You really ought to understand that by now, you have been making these entirely erroneous and misguided claims on articles such as this one for years.Smeat75 (talk) 23:25, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Just avoiding a personal attack there, I guess. We DO use logic all the time to judge the credibility of sources. Religion just happens to be a special area, where a lack of interest in the matter is likely to lead to not studying it. And those interested tend to be believers to start with. HiLo48 (talk) 02:54, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
This is not an article about religion. There is a clue in the article's title "Historical Jesus". It is about history. Religion has nothing to do with it.Smeat75 (talk) 11:37, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
No idea both who that's addressed to, and what it's trying to tell us all that we don't already know. HiLo48 (talk) 06:15, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I would note that the vast majority of secular scholars also agree that Jesus existed. Even if they're in the minority; they share the same demographics. Hell, there are some religious mythicists out there. There may indeed be a link to atheism, but that link fails once you leave the general population and enter the realm of qualified scholars. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:08, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
"Even if they're in the minority..." Just how small a minority, do you reckon? HiLo48 (talk) 02:55, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
If you think the answer to that question matters, then you hjave completely failed to grasp my point. Which is odd, because I stated it explicitly in the very first sentence of my comment. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:38, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Friends, to quote a single scholar which should be sufficient, but could be the beginning of a long and drawn out exercise in correcting objections in this thread, the article entitled Did Jesus Exist? (Ehrman) regarding mythicists reads: Ehrman says that they do not define what they mean by "myth" and maintains they are really motivated by a desire to denounce religion rather than examine historical evidence. He discusses leading contemporary mythicists by name and dismisses their arguments as "amateurish", "wrong-headed", and "outlandish". If my use of the term "irrational" and "bias" was construed as insulting to anyone personally, that was not my intent and I apologize if that was interpreted as such. Notice the title of this news piece quoting Ehrman. I don't desire a petty back and forth. I simply echoed a sentiment that, according to logical deduction, points to inherent bias. This inherent bias has a section in the article we are discussing, btw. Some respondents have shared their opinions, and that is fine, yet where is the discussion of how historical methodology is understood and the effort to get work done? And to the sock puppet, I wonder how others feel about multiple handles.. even in the spirit of having fun. Some of these discussions are not even worth responding to, let alone the effort to better wikipedia. I think some folks should focus on popular culture articles rather than those demanding critical thinking skills. -- HafizHanif (talk) 16:55, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
that last bit of snarky was really quite unnecessary. We have mostly been good natured here. Let's keep to the high road shall we? I know I will be sorry I asked this--but who exactly are you accusing of bias and on what basis? Jenhawk777 (talk) 18:24, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
@HafizHanif: WP:ANI is thataway, hoss. If you want to throw a bitch fit about a joke, you go right ahead, but don't whine to me when it blows up in your face. Be sure to point out that I'm the only person who's defended your bad attitude in this thread. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:38, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Person "MjolnirPants": I have been skimming over most of the responses since they sway beyond the subject. I appreciate your mention of supporting some points I've made. @Jenhawk777: my mention of bias was not directed to anyone in this thread, nor even scholars mentioned in the article, but the general statement that all humans have inherent bias. See this and this. -- HafizHanif (talk) 17:52, 23 September 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


HafizHanif Since the previous discussion got closed because it is not really discussing content--valid point--but since I still wanted very much to answer, (and since I enjoy chatting), I decided to open another section. I like that you have actually made the same point on bias that is made in the article. Of the two articles you reference, the second one contains the conclusion (2) Psychological factors that bias inferences away from any currently accepted criteria need not enhance the likelihood of error. That too is actually discussed in the article's section on bias, however, I do not think it is assumed in your statement above concerning the application of the concept.

Everyone is biased. Absolutely. We agree. That doesn't have to lead to error. Error depends on how aware and how much effort is made to deal with bias. That level of effort is not determined by the nature of the bias. Which means a Christian or a non-Christian or a Muslim or a Satanist or a metaphysical materialistic atheist or a worshipper of ice-cream sandwiches--whatever--will all come with biases--and are no more and no less likely to be willing to work to overcome those biases based solely on what those biases are or even how intensely they are held.

Objectivity depends entirely upon how willing a person is to see the other guy's POV and how willing they are to acknowledge their own. That is more about personality and commitment to scholarship --in my POV. Beginning from "everyone is biased" is true as far as it goes; concluding that means the "other guy's" conclusions are all likely to be wrong because of it, is not. Jenhawk777 (talk) 20:07, 23 September 2018 (UTC)

Agreed. This is why in one of my earliest responses I stated that the conclusions of avowed atheists seem stronger to the passive wiki reader than those who openly profess a faithful position (or their work / title / association reveals such). I mentioned that according to your descriptive response just now. When people let methodology make conclusions, they may be challenged by the preconceived notions they hold.
This is why Bart's work (and others who perceive themselves as atheist, or secular, or whatever) is so convincing. Some scholars openly express their bias and struggle through it. Some individuals acknowledge that inherent bias exists in themselves and others. Thus their work expresses an effort that shows themselves perhaps not believing the metaphysical claims of the Gospel, yet by following rudimentary logical methods, the claims that are not controversial are found to be conclusive according to historical methodology.
This is due to the same methodology applied to all other historical figures (objectivity). Thus why non-controversial conclusions regarding Jesus' baptism, death, et al. are clear. This is, however, also why the fringe of CMT are labeled as such, for they fail to adhere to at least the rudiments of the methodology they claim to be following. They fail to face their inherent bias (or at least deal with it honorably) so their work reflects an irrational denial due to their failing to adhere to methodology and separate themselves from their work (identity crisis).
Therein is found motivation. This same dishonorable manner, whether due to immaturity or simply repeating the low manners of others, is found in the way some respondents express their sentiments... and how you aptly pointed out that I also mirrored such bad manners, to my shame. -- HafizHanif (talk) 20:30, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
No shame required here--it is Wikipedia after all--where we all screw up repeatedly! Good thing we have community to call us on it. And it's a good person who can see and acknowledge that. Best wishes mate. No worries. Jenhawk777 (talk) 23:00, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
"They fail to face their inherent bias (or at least deal with it honorably)" And yet again, a hard core believer shows their lack of manners. Sad. HiLo48 (talk) 23:51, 23 September 2018 (UTC)
Excuse me?!? He said he was ashamed; your response is gloating with an attitude of superiority while exemplifying innate bias for which you denigrate him. Just stop. Jenhawk777 (talk) 00:57, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
This comment looks like pure irony to me, given that HiLo seemed to be arguing in the section above that the only reason that Mythicism is rejected is due to most NT scholars being religious. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:49, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
Amen my brother. :-) Jenhawk777 (talk) 14:23, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
Be careful: I may be an atheist now, but I was brought up Southern Baptist. Spontaneous "Amens" have been known to send us into hand clapping, leg bouncing, upbeat hymns at a moment's notice. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:50, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
It seemed a fitting response under the circumstances, but I shall beware of all spontaneous hand clapping. Everyone knows spontaneous hand clapping can lead to all kinds of dangerous activities--like dancing. The heart pales. Jenhawk777 (talk) 20:56, 24 September 2018 (UTC)


In the section on Jesus as divine, there is a sentence that needs rewriting. It contains a non-sequitur and its references do not support it. Some scholars see him as accepting a divine role, and that his role was that of a "divine king", while other scholars opine he mistakenly believed that the apocalypse was approaching. This reads a bit like "Joey said Sam really loves pizza, except Susie said Sam doesn't like wearing blue suits." Huh?

I am sure what he meant to say, somehow, was that making such a mistake would, of course, disprove divinity, which is what Schweitzer maintained. In modern scholarship however, whether Jesus was expecting an immediate end of the world is actually highly disputed. N.T.Wright and others claim that in Mark 13 Jesus "this generation" statement was referring to the fall of Jerusalem and not the end of the world. If they are correct, Jesus' statement would have come true and would provide support for divinity--the opposite of what this sentence is trying to say--if I am following the thought line of the non-sequitur correctly. But even if Wright are wrong, the dispute exists, and that would need to be included instead of the assumption that's here.

There is no source here that actually says what this sentence implies either. The first reference is to Sanders who states clearly in the intro to his book, on page 2, that "I shall discuss neither what God accomplished or did not accomplish through the life and death of Jesus, nor how Jesus does or does not partake of divinity. I shall discuss Jesus the human being..." Sander's book cannot be used as a reference for something he specifically excludes. The Theissen and Mertz reference has several references to "divine" "Mark 13" "Son of God" and so on--but not a one that makes the implication of this sentence. Page 464 interprets Mark 14 as a post-Easter perspective concluding Jesus' claim there is not historically him, but that's the closest that source gets to what this sentence wants to say.

Neither of these sources support the sentence.

I am loathe to exclude the idea entirely since there are clearly many who dispute Jesus' divinity and that must be included. But this needs reworking to better reflect what good sources actually say. Schweitzer's view should be mentioned, and even though it is no longer the modern view, the disagreement over whether Jesus saw the end coming soon can be mentioned. There are others who reject divinity for other reasons, and those other reasons should be found, stated, and properly referenced.

I don't know who wrote this sentence, but if you are reading, I ask you to please come and rework it to fix its issues. Jenhawk777 (talk) 16:50, 24 September 2018 (UTC)

Well, "a divine role" is not necessarily actual divinity, per se, so I don't think that the quote you provided from Sanders necessarily invalidates the notion that some other Sanders passage supports part of this. It reads to me like two different claims that got mashed together during a re-write. I'm going to look a bit deeper and either just fix it or comment here again. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:47, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure "divinity" and "divine role" are used interchangeably and mean the same thing. Sanders was saying "I am not going to talk about whether or not Jesus was God in this book." That's what I get from it. At any rate, there must be better sources, and just fixing it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for picking up that baton and running! :-) Jenhawk777 (talk) 20:51, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
They certainly can be, I'm just saying that "role" can often times indicate a pretense. See Wikt:role, specifically definitions 1 and 2. That being said, after looking into this further, I don't think that's the sense in which it was being used here.
  • The sentence as it appears was added in this edit by HafizHanif, which was attempting to correct some grammatical mishaps in this edit by Doug Weller. The original text before that read:
Jesus was a charismatic preacher who taught the principles of salvation, everlasting life, and the Kingdom of God.[ref name = "TM1998"] Scholars see Jesus a someone who mistakenly believed that the apocalypse was approaching, and that his role in it was to be that of a "divine king".[ref name = "Sanders 15"] Jesus' use of three important terms: Messiah, Son of God, and Son of Man, reveals his understanding of his divine role.[ref name = "TM1998"][ref name = "Sanders 15"]
ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 01:05, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for this. You inspired me. I started writing something that began with what you have here, adding in Schweitzer's full opinion, and a couple others, then realized it didn't directly discuss arguments about divinity, and could be seen as off-topic, so I moved it up to portraits of Jesus, and wrote something else about divinity, then I moved the paragraph from Portraits back into divinity, then I moved it back out again and into portraits. In other words, I can't make up my mind. Right now there are additions in both portraits and divinity. Sigh... at least there aren't any non sequiturs. Jenhawk777 (talk) 05:41, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
Did I get into trouble again? -- HafizHanif (talk) 19:12, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
Nah. Your version was weird, but version you changed it from was weirder still. Check out what Jen did, I'm impressed! ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:16, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
I have no idea how I managed that, although I obviously didn't preview it. I did have a laptop which magically mangles my magnificent words. Doug Weller talk 19:25, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
I had one of those, too. It was called a "Macbook" and I quickly conned some fool into giving me money for it. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:29, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
It's much better. Is there any scholarship that explains what John attributed to Jesus? Namely John 1: 1, 14, 18 (to cite three) and also later in John 5: 18 and 10: 33 regarding accusations of divinity claims? Perhaps something about Thomas' affirmation in John 20: 28? I think such findings may compliment the high Christology found in the Pauline letters. Such mention can show that Jesus did perceive self-divinity while also speaking in human terms and according to human ideas. -- HafizHanif (talk) 19:35, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
There are 17 texts in the book of John that possibly refer to Jesus as God (θεός), but at least ten of them are generally set aside because of punctuation issues, syntax, textual pedigree, or other problems. John 1:18 is one of the most famous, since it contains an important doctrinal statement, but also because it contains a notoriously difficult textual problem; only one letter would have differentiated the reading between the "only begotten Son" and the "only begotten God". Ultimately the decision between them depends on the presence or absence of the article (ó).
The term translated “only begotten” in English expresses a true metaphysical relationship. In Greek, it was used of an only child (a son [Luke 7:12, 9:38] or a daughter [Luke 8:42]). It was also used of something unique (only one of its kind) such as the mythological Phoenix (1 Clem. 25:2). From here it passes easily to a description of Isaac (Heb. 11:17) (and Josephus, Ant., 1.13.1 [1.222]) who was not Abraham’s only son, but was a one-of-a-kind because he was the child of the promise. The word means “only” “unique” “one-of-a-kind,” in all its uses, and it is reserved for Jesus in John’s gospel. While all Christians are children of God, Jesus is God’s Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense--at least in the book of John. The word is used in this way in all its uses in the Gospel of John (1:14, 1:18, 3:16, and 3:18).
So there is evidence--but there is so much dispute over John's theology and the date and authorship of the book--and all things John--that I opted not to include any of it. You could make an argument that it is completely wrong of me to do so, since the majority of the texts saying Jesus was divine are there. I will cooperate with your joint decision on this, whatever it might be. Jenhawk777 (talk) 19:58, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
I appreciate that thorough explanation. I think as the article now reads, what you mentioned regarding the literal claims to divinity at least establishes the conveyance of a very high Christology being present despite the issues of anomalies and/or scribal errors. It is interesting to see how every person has their understanding of what is written, how it was written, and also what they perceive it to mean. Therein we find the variety of opinions, most of them valid and useful, in speaking to man's complexity in understanding things beyond. Personally, I think this speaks to subtle nuances humbly expressed. I suppose the message is clearly conveyed despite the variety of jot and tittle. -- HafizHanif (talk) 20:17, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
So you think perhaps one sentence "A high Christology is also present in the book of John" placed after the Pauline epistles sentence would be sufficient? Jenhawk777 (talk) 21:14, 25 September 2018 (UTC)
MjolnirPants Would you like to weigh in on adding or not adding anything--something--from John? Jenhawk777 (talk) 18:05, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
I think so, for balance. As the divinity section currently reads, it argues a universal consensus when that is not the case (regarding divinity claimed, inferred, and explained in the Gospel / letters as mentioned by scholars). -- HafizHanif (talk) 22:19, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
I haven't been following this discussion since my last comment, but it has always been my understanding that "A high Christology is also present in the book of John" so I have no objections to it. I think it might actually be a verbatim quote from Erhman, as well, from How Jesus Became God. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:24, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
You're right, it is there--man, I'm impressed! :-) HafizHanif do you want to do the honors and type it in since it was your idea? If you need a source, MPants is correct, it is in Ehrman, "How Jesus...", on page 4. Jenhawk777 (talk) 00:29, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Jenhawk777, my apologies for the late response, I had not gotten around to wiki the last two days. Your edit is perfect. -- HafizHanif (talk) 17:14, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── No problem! I like perfect! Thank you! Jenhawk777 (talk) 17:17, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

Just a note to say that I altered the sentence "The Jews of Jesus' time waited expectantly for a divine redeemer who would restore Israel, which suffered under Roman rule" to "The Jews of Jesus' time waited expectantly for a divine redeemer who would restore Israel, which had suffered foreign conquest and occupation for hundreds of years" because I felt the earlier version could be taken to mean that the Jews only started to wait for a Messiah at the time of Roman occupation, which is not the case.Smeat75 (talk) 05:13, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
It's cool. Jenhawk777 (talk) 05:22, 30 September 2018 (UTC)


IdreamofJeanie I'd like to discuss what exactly you reverted and why. Jenhawk777 (talk) 17:38, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

already self reverted. IdreamofJeanie (talk) 17:40, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
Okeedokee then! Jenhawk777 (talk) 18:10, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
Rollback really needs a confirmation prompt. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:16, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
MPants at work you are so right. But then I wouldn't have the opprtunity to say hey to you again! So hey! Jenhawk777 (talk) 02:47, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
Hey. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 03:07, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
Aragat - Armenia (2928579559)


Horse (4158930293)
Miley Cyrus. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:33, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
Sounds like a bromance to me. :) Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 21:38, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
I am female. Besides Mpants started it. I am innocent of all charges. Jenhawk777 (talk) 02:39, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
Okay--so I blatantly lied and no one even cares. What is the world coming to? I did it! I did it all! There. Sorry Mpants. I expected you to jump in with some good snark and defend yourself with flaming sword against my vile libelous accusation. The absence of snark worries me. It was just a joke, really. Jenhawk777 (talk) 20:42, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
Don't listen to to the haters. We can have a bromance if we want. It's the 21st century, women are more than welcome to experience Guy Love. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:45, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
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