Open main menu

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




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)
Return to "Historical Jesus" page.