Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

33 Comments

  1. Roman
    December 19, 2015 @ 4:56 pm

    The whole argument about Paul not mentioning the historical Jesus (other than being patently wrong) is so stupid I can’t believe people actually say it with a straight face. I mean I’m absolutely sure we can find letters from Engels which talk about the ideas of Marx the organization of movements around his ideas and so on without taking much at all about the historical Marx, letters which are dated before any biography of Marx.

    To think that fact would be an argument against the existence of Marx, putting aside the rest of the evidence for him, is stupid.

    I find people who deny the historicity or Jesus of Nazareth fascinating, it’s almost as if they are afraid that if they accept the fact unanimously accepted by historians that Jesus of Nazareth, roughly described by the gospels, lives and died and was a historical person, they might be forced to become Christians or something.

    • Rivers
      December 20, 2015 @ 9:27 pm

      Roman,

      Good points.

    • Cygnus
      December 22, 2015 @ 7:04 pm

      “The whole argument about Paul not mentioning the historical Jesus[…] is so stupid”
      ===
      Paul didn’t need to mention a historical Jesus when he came up with a Christianity based on a mythological Jesus appearing on his way to Damascus.

      • Roman
        December 23, 2015 @ 5:01 am

        The vision on the road to Damascus didn’t tell him anything until he met with the Apostles in Jerusalem.

        Listen if you have an argument make it … so far all you’ve provided is a statement, this is what Paul did, but no argument for it …

        • Cygnus
          December 24, 2015 @ 2:18 pm

          What argument do you want me to do? That a “vision” supports a mythical Jesus?

          All you know about Paul is that he persecuted Christians that believed in a resurrected carnal Jesus.

          • Roman
            December 26, 2015 @ 8:53 am

            No one argues that Pauls vision is evidence for the historical Jesus, so that’s a srawman ….

            An argument I want you to do is one that would establish why it’s more reasonable to believe Jesus was not a historical figure than the fact that he was.

            • Cygnus
              December 26, 2015 @ 11:21 pm

              I didn’t use Paul as straw man. I used Paul to specifically argue that a mythical Jesus in Paul’s vision, is more reasonable theory than a historical Jesus theory.
              Paul seemed to be the one who started a “historical/mythical” Jesus religious competition on Christian arena.

              • Roman
                December 27, 2015 @ 8:16 pm

                What’s the argument?

                Markean and Q traditions go farther back than Paul, as does information Paul quotes. The gospels are records of the historical Jesus …

                But you haven’t presented any argument …. Present one, if you have one.

                • Cygnus
                  December 27, 2015 @ 10:09 pm

                  Try to get some correct information about the order of writings.
                  Paul is the first guy who wrote about a mythical Messiah Jesus, that appeared on his way to Damascus and that resurrects in spirit by following whatever religious doctrines Paul thought of.

                  Nobody denies that there was a religious sect that believed in a Messiah who reportedly said: “Don’t try to see a carnal resurrection, just believe it” (I think it was said to someone called Thomas)

                  THEN the gospels were written by anonymous priests of incipient Christian religion, trying to place a historical Jesus piggybacking on Roman history using traditions a religious sect started.

                  • Roman
                    December 28, 2015 @ 11:33 am

                    Ok, that’s your claim, but why should we believe it?

                    Paul talks to Jesus’ brother, the last supper was a tradition, he quotes Jesus at certain times, talks about those who were with Jesus in the flesh, he talks about Jesus crucifixion and so on.

                    The gospels were written later but in the lifetime of the eye witnesses, and from earlier oral tradition, and traditions that only make sense within a second temple period, they also did so seperately, without collaboration. John wrote his gospel last so the whole thing where you quote “Thomas” wouldn’t have the implications you claim since almost all the eye witnesses would have been dead.

                    The gospels also have plenty of things which would be embarrassing for the early church.

                    But so far all you’ve given is an account, but no reason to believe it’s plausible. I mean there is no reason to believe your huge conspiracy, (which none of the enemies of early Christianity thought to call out, amazingly), over the obvious fact that Jesus existed, people wrote down the eye witness traditions within their generation, and that we have writings from a prominent member of his movement who joined after Jesus’ death, who pushed a specific interpretation of it.

                    • Cygnus
                      December 30, 2015 @ 9:33 pm

                      It’s in the bible that Paul talked to a mythical Jesus that appeared on his way to Damascus. I’ve heard some guys saying about Paul talking to a Jesus brother, now you say you have quotes from Paul quoting a carnal Jesus talking with Paul. I’ve read the bible many times, but I’ve never read what you say, in the bible.

                      I mentioned a “Thomas” because a Jesus told him that’s better to have resurrection as a myth (to have faith in his resurrection), because, I guess, carnal resurrection were common happening in those times Matthew 27:52

                      I am not interested in a historical/mythical Jesus fights, I just don’t care if a Jesus was historical or mythical. I think that it’s possible that a guy called Yesuhah existed, but also that Christianity is based on a mythical Jesus. Whatever gospels say, they are not intended as historical documents, thus the embarrassing confusions and Christian contradictions in placing a Jesus in the Roman history.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      December 31, 2015 @ 7:38 am

                      “It’s in the bible that Paul talked to a mythical Jesus that appeared on
                      his way to Damascus. I’ve heard some guys saying about Paul talking to a
                      Jesus brother, now you say you have quotes from Paul quoting a carnal
                      Jesus talking with Paul. I’ve read the bible many times, but I’ve never
                      read what you say, in the bible.”

                      The NT does not teach that Paul talked to a “mythical” Jesus (=imaginary, not real). That’s your spin on the presentation.

                      What proponents of a mythical Jesus don’t realize is that the scholarly apparatus of historical investigation has to be thrown out in order to sustain mythicism. No serious historian accepts the notion that the very tools that comprise their trade should be discarded, and so mythicism is typically not considered a valid historical enterprise.

                      ~Sean

                    • Cygnus
                      January 1, 2016 @ 11:02 pm

                      The NT is a church collection of stories, one of them says that a Paul had a vision of a Jesus, not that a Paul met a carnal Jesus.

                      There’s a story of a Paul who’s said that he persecuted people of a religious Jewish sect that believed that their teachers resurrected carnally, not that a Paul was in relationship whatsoever with that religious sect that believed the guy they got some teachings from, had a proof of carnal resurrection. Just that a guy named Jesus existed. So what?

                      However, Paul was a religious guy too, a Hellenistic Jew who could found a carnal resurrection ridiculous, so he came up with a “spiritual” one, or a mythical one that resurrects through teachings of a “Christ”.

                      Whatever could raise a new religion.

                    • Roman
                      December 31, 2015 @ 8:08 am

                      No, Paul talked about the ressurected Christ, which, even if you believe he wasn’t ressurected, implies he lived and died, and then he talked about meeting those that knew him in the flesh including his relatives.

                      The thing with Jesus and Thomas is absolutely irrelevant to the historical Jesus, it’s really pointless for you to bring it up.

                      There most definitely were thousands of people named yeshua, that isn’t the question, the question is about Jesus of Nazareth as described by the gospels. There is a reason almost no serious historian doubts that Jesus existed.

                      I don’t know what you mean by “historical documents,” I mean do you believe Josephus was a historical document? Or how about Tacitus or Herodotus? These were ancient historical documents. So of course the gospels were historical in that they were doing a biography of Jesus of Nazareth based on eye witness traditions.

                      You obviously do care about the historical Jesus debate (which isn’t really a debate among serious historians, they all accept the fact that Jesus or Nazareth was a historical figure), otherwise you wouldn’t be making the claims you are.

                      Yet, none the less, you still, after being asked more than once, haven’t given one single argument as to why we should accept the myth hypothesis over the historical one, you’ve given plenty of strawmen (no one here ever claimed Paul knew Jesus in the flesh) and red herrings (no one argues about the historical Jesus primarily from Paul), and you’ve given a conspiracy theory account, but no rational reason why anyone should believe it.

                      I guess you just take it on faith.

                    • Cygnus
                      January 1, 2016 @ 11:16 pm

                      I don’t deny that a Paul talked about a Christ resurrected in his vision on his way to Damascus. Paul talks a lot about spiritual resurrections through the teachings of a Christ, or a Messiah, NOT a carnal historical Jesus. I don’t know why Christians that believe in a “historical” Jesus are irked by that.

                      In the case of a Jesus, there is NO historian who met a Jesus. At most they described only what a religious sect believed. In those times there were a lot of religious sects, did Christians fabricated the best one? Apparently yes, their religion was put in power and became totalitarian until it has fallen flat on its face, when the masses got more educated.

                      There are historical personalities who historians met and wrote about them, if a Jesus was more than those historical personalities, it is expected more clarity about that, not just faiths and beliefs.

                    • Roman
                      January 3, 2016 @ 3:52 pm

                      No, Paul also talked about Jesus before he was reasurecred, crucified under Pilate, had the last supper, had siblings, gave instruction and so on.

                      Paul talked about both, the reason people are “irked” by that, is because it’s simple false.

                      There is almost no historical person in history (ancient history that is) that mett a historian, especially 1rst century peasants, nor would anyone expect that. The Synoptics are based on eye witness testimony, which is why all historians today believe in the historical Jesus.

                      Anyway, I’m going to ask one more time, this is getting tiring. Why is it more rational to believe the Jesus myth theory than in the historical Jesus, assertions (which are all you’ve made so far) are not arguments, you’ve made baseless assertions with no arguments attached, so why should anyone believe your theory?

                      Especially given that no historian believes it.

                    • Cygnus
                      January 3, 2016 @ 7:51 pm

                      “Paul also talked about Jesus before he was reasurecred, crucified under Pilate, had the last supper, had siblings, gave instruction and so on.”
                      ===
                      How do you support those false assertions?

                    • Roman
                      January 4, 2016 @ 9:40 am

                      1 Corinthians 11:23 – Jesus betrayal and last supper

                      1 Timothy 6:13 – Jesus before Pilate

                      1 Corinthians 15: 3-5 – Jesus death and burial

                      Galatians 1:19 – James the brother of Jesus

                      1 Corinthians 7:12 – teaching from Jesus

                      Just to name a few, there are many many instances where Paul mentions Jesus prior to the redirection. I’m not going to list them all.

                      But still you have not ONCE defended any of your assertions, or given any reason why the myth theory is better than the one all historians accept? Care to give one?

                    • Cygnus
                      January 4, 2016 @ 10:53 am

                      A lot of made up letters by the church in the name of a Paul, are just that, fabricated letters.
                      Did I claim that the myth theory is better than the historical theory?
                      Christians are creating a false dilemma, that there are only two situations when it comes to talk about a Jesus, historical vs. mythical.
                      There’s a third situation: Nobody gives a rat’s ass about a Jesus.

                    • Roman
                      January 4, 2016 @ 6:25 pm

                      If you fall under the third situation I have no idea why you’re using your time and energy posting on a website called trinities.org and dialoguing with someone who does care about Jesus about his historicity.

                      It seems like you certainly do care, or just have nothing else to do, and like arguing about subjects you are ignorant of, and don’t care about.

                    • Cygnus
                      January 4, 2016 @ 10:19 pm

                      Thanks for reminding me that I am wasting my time with a Jesus.
                      Seriously. Thank you.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      January 5, 2016 @ 6:32 am

                      All who promote mythicism are wasting their time, not just you. Mythicists are taken even less seriously by professional historians than creationists are taken by evolutionary biologists.

                      ~Sean

                    • Cygnus
                      January 5, 2016 @ 12:35 pm

                      Sorry if I gave the impression that promote mysticism (or historical speculations). Actually I don’t care about any kind of Jesus, I was just amazed how Christians try to make their religion interesting by claiming historicity/mysticism of a Yeshuah

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      January 5, 2016 @ 3:09 pm

                      Not “mysticism” but “mythicism”. See:

                      http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/mythicist.html

                      Is that site not describing your approach?

                      ~Sean

                    • Cygnus
                      January 5, 2016 @ 4:39 pm

                      “mystic” – “mythic”

                      If you need more than a sentence to explain the difference, then the words have a similar sense. (I didn’t say “same sense”)

                      “Mythicism” is the name of a theory used by Christians who don’t believe in “historical” theory, or just don’t consider the difference between theories relevant to their faith.

                      I am a disbeliever in both theories.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      January 5, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

                      “If you need more than a sentence to explain the difference, then the words have a similar sense. (I didn’t say “same sense”)”

                      That’s one of the silliest things I’ve ever read.

                      “”Mythicism” is the name of a theory used by Christians who don’t believe in
                      “historical” theory, or just don’t consider the difference between theories relevant to their faith. I am a disbeliever in both theories.”

                      Well, I always say that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck, and based on what you’ve written here, you appear to be a mythicist.

                      ~Sean

                    • Cygnus
                      January 5, 2016 @ 9:18 pm

                      Nah, you aren’t successful in pushing me in that idiotic hysterical-metaphorical Jesus scandal, I let Christians do their usual infighting since Paul vs Gospels holy war.

                    • Sean Garrigan
                      January 6, 2016 @ 7:22 am

                      “Nah, you aren’t successful in pushing me in that idiotic
                      hysterical-metaphorical Jesus scandal, I let Christians do their usual
                      infighting since Paul vs Gospels holy war.”

                      No push was needed; you’re already there.

                    • Cygnus
                      January 6, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

                      That’s what you think 🙂

    • psstein1
      December 22, 2015 @ 7:26 pm

      Right, Paul isn’t writing a gospel (something that mythicists seem not to know), and there’s a very significant oral tradition circulation. As Graham Stanton pointed out, this is called a “high context” society.

      Also, Paul happens to meet James, “the Brother of the Lord,” as well as Peter. Tough to have a brother if you’re fictional.

    • Sean Michael Killackey
      September 6, 2016 @ 4:16 pm

      Marx didn’t exist either? Interesting . . . 🙂

      • Roman
        September 7, 2016 @ 3:46 am

        Of course he did, I think you missed the point I was making.

        • Sean Michael Killackey
          September 7, 2016 @ 1:28 pm

          I was being a bit tongue in cheek there, playing some buffoon Jesus myther.