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Winston Smith26 Oct 2017 7:57 a.m. PST

What would one consider a contemporary historical source, not associated with the Bible?
New Jerusalem Times? Antioch Post? Drudge?

There's precious little sources available for that period.
If Judas were to appear in Josephus (does he?) it would be denounced by later scholars as a pious addition by some obscure monk copyist.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 10:03 a.m. PST

I would expect roman historians to write about a rebel jew that was successfully thwarted and got his roman justice. Yet they didn't. I'm also surprised that Jesus supposedly came from a town that didn't exist when lived. And there was no census around year 0. Nor would a census require Joseph to go were he was born (that's not how census works)
I'm also surprised no other place then in the Bible is there any mention of all boys under 2 getting killed.

The authors of the gospels had a check list to prove Jesus was the Messiah and they made damn sure to tick of all those requirements when they wrote the gospels.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 12:11 p.m. PST

1.) There is no "year 0" AD or otherwise, and never was, in any chronology or calendar anywhere. 0 means the absence of objects in a set, as 0 apples means there are no apples. So a 0 year would be a nonexistent year, literally "no year," which would be an impossibility. So the chronological count is down to 1 BC, then up from 1 AD.

2.) Furthermore, no serious biblical scholar has ever argued that Jesus was born in 1 AD since the Middle Ages; it has long been known that a monk made an error in creating the Christian calendar, and that the birth was most likely in (or around) 4 BC.

3.) I'm not sure what town you think didn't exist, but both Nazereth and Bethlehem existed at the time of Christ (indeed, millennia before) which continued archeology has shown. I've even been to the digs at Nazereth.

4.) Jesus was not an anti-Roman rebel. He was a rabbi, an itinerant teacher/preacher who neither advocated nor led a rebellion of any sort, nor was he executed for that offense. He was convicted for blasphemy by the local religious council and executed by the Romans as a political favor to the local political leaders of the day. So he would never have been recorded anywhere as a "rebel," much less a threat to Rome-- because in a real political sense as understood at the time, he wasn't. If there had been an actual rebellion or threat of one, more than Jesus and two minor criminals would have been executed; the Romans were pretty ruthless about that sort of thing.

5.) Regarding the census, that is solely from Luke, who did acquire his information third-hand, traditionally from Peter. However, my sources indicate that indeed two censuses occurred under the administration of Quirinius during the periods of 6-4 BC and 6-9 AD. I don't know where you get your information otherwise. I know nothing of the manner of Roman census operations, much less in a provincial region, or if any special considerations were in place due to the known volatility of the area, or the fact that it included an autonomous allied kingdom. I seriously doubt you do either.

6.) Matthew alone mentions the "slaughter of the innocents," but the action was not the mass execution of thousands of babies as traditionally depicted, but, as Matthew explicitly states, restricted to Bethlehem (a very small town) and would have amounted to a very few victims (albeit horrific on any scale). At the time the region was not yet a Roman province, but the kingdom of Herod the Great. It is therefore unlikely that any Roman would have bothered to note a raid by a king's soldiers in the king's own territory against the king's own subjects, none of whom were Roman citizens, which resulted in the death of at most a few dozen children. The locals would remember, but not the Romans--nor would the latter have cared.

So, again, none of your arguments discount the historicity of the documents in question, much less either Jesus or Judas. As I stated, it's not a matter of whether you believe the religious claims, but whether the historical claims are plausible. But even if your arguments, which pertain solely to the birth story, are valid, that still doesn't discount the historical account of the adults involved, any more than the absurd claims about Alexander's origins at his time discount the historical existence of Alexander the Great.

Now, can we set aside the nonsens and agree that, regardless of faith or theology, Jesus and Judas both existed and Judas was regarded as a traitor by the early records of the Christian faith?

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 1:45 p.m. PST

0 or 4 no census.
Nazarath exited before and after Jesus. Not during Jesus time. It was destroyed/abandoned and rebuildt.
There is also no none gospel source for the dead population of Jerusalem walking about talking to friends and family before ascending to heaven.

Would have thought that worthy of mention by other historians.

Later scholars trying to explain away total lack of credibly doesn't help.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 2:31 p.m. PST

Since you didn't even know that a year 0 is a mathematical and logical impossibility, I doubt you know anything at all about whether a census (two, actually) occurred in the period of 4 BC to 9 AD, nor anything at all about how a Roman provincial census did or didn't work. And you've cited nothing to suggest otherwise.
So I also seriously doubt you have any authoritative source to establish that the town of Nazereth did not exist circa 4 BC -- 40 AD (to broadly cover the possible expanse of Jesus' life and actions), as frankly, I've never heard such an assertion, which strikes me as a convenient fiction to bolster the absurd claim that Jesus didn't exist. (A claim which has been soundly and repeatedly refuted by historians and scholars, religious, non- religious, and atheist.) As I said, I've been there, including to the site of the 1st Century synagogue. The Hebrew University historian I toured it with would have no doubt been astonished or at least amused at your claim.

As for the rest, I'm not arguing in favor of miracles here. I'm merely stating that the stories, whether you believe the religious claims are not, are about actual people who actually existed. Your arguments otherwise are increasingly feeble.

So, again, Judas was real, and within 40 years of his life was regarded as a traitor by those who knew of him, his notoriety eventually making his name a synonym for traitor throughout the Western world. That is all I am arguing. Whether you believe anything else or not is completely irrelevant to the discussion.

Winston Smith26 Oct 2017 2:40 p.m. PST

Which historian do you expect to record rumors about some crackpot cult spreading Odd rumors in that fever swamp?
Do you have a handbook of how to conduct a Roman census? grin You Do? Oh good. Tell us how it was done. By an amazing coincidence I was involved with the US census in 2009. I doubt that experience was relevant though.
This was a minor cult that had no real impact on the world for many years.
You find few references to crackpot Thracian, Numidian or Gallic cults either. Mainly because worldly Greeks or Romans couldn't be bothered to record them.

Josephus mentions "Jesus", about 60 years after the fact.
There are enough references in the Wikipedia article to plow through to satisfy yourself. Or not.

But the Gospels were certainly more contemporary than Josephus.
But this thread is about "notorious traitors", not the historicity of Jesus.
The traditional view of Jesus, from the most contemporary sources, say He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. To a good proportion of the world, Judas is a notorious traitor. That's what this thread is about. Not whether the National Enquirer of Rome noted Odd going's on in Judea.

Winston Smith26 Oct 2017 3:00 p.m. PST

One final thing, gunfreak.
I think you are far too optimistic about the comprehensiveness and survival of the histories etc of ancient authors. What was written down, and more importantly what survived was entirely up to chance.
Livy is probably the most important Roman historian, and the most popular in his time.
Yet only 25% of his work survived.
That shocked me. I thought it was more.
Reason? Before the printing press, any surviving book had to be hand copied. Books decayed. Books weee eaten by worms. Books burned. Books were lost.
Sometimes the only thing we know about a book was when someone else quotes or mentions it in a fragment that survived.
If only 25% of Livy survived to be copied and handed down, what chance would a statement about some rabble rousing Jew have? Particularly if the monk copying it considered it blasphemous?

Absence of proof is proof of nothing.

Hafen von Schlockenberg26 Oct 2017 3:48 p.m. PST

First politics,now religion. Whatever Winston's original intent,this thread has,as expected, gone off the rails. Best it should dissappear.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 5:55 p.m. PST

Not religion, but the historicity of primarily religious texts, compared to the likelihood of the survival of any secular texts regarding an at the time minor local figure.

On to other traitors:
In light of current non-political events and historical documents, does Lee Harvey Oswald count as a traitor? Setting aside conspiracy theories (which I've probably just summoned, alas), Oswald did indeed "go over to the enemy," and, though not apparently acting under any orders, carried out a plan which he may well have considered in support of the Communist cause. Is it sufficient to desire to aid the enemy even if the enemy has no knowledge of or active wish that the action be taken?

On a similar side note, what if the enemy doesn't even want the treasonous act or actually would prefer otherwise? And can anyone think of an example of this?

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 5:59 p.m. PST

And does Aaron Burr count?

Winston Smith26 Oct 2017 9:23 p.m. PST

I'm still not quite sure what Aaron Burr intended to do. grin
He was probably a traitor, or at least intended to be one, but was stopped.
Now Jamie Lannister, err Wilkinson on the other hand… who did he NOT betray?

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 12:19 a.m. PST

If there is a plumber called Bob, he was a good plumber, had a wife, kids lived to the ripe old age of 82.

40-70 years after he died, someone wrights the story of Bob, where he was the son of RA, saved humanity from the evil dragons. The story claims Bob's wife was blond and worked as a doctor, while she was really a redhead and worked as a Lawer, The story claims Bob had 7 children, 5 girls, and 2 boys. But he really had 3 children, 2 boys, and 1 girl. The story claims Bob was an impressive 250cm tall, he was really a modest 178cm.

Can we really say Bob as in the stories existed?
Messiah's were dime a dozen in Judea at the time, one or more of them might have been crucified, one or more of them might have been betrayed.
Were one of them named Jesus and one named Judas? Maybe? We have no evidence of that outside of the gospels.
And any source that claims zombies and none existant mass infanticide is not valid.

If the only source/evidence we had for Hannibal's existence was Polybius, and he claimed Cannae was won because Baal himself came down from the heavens and sat on all the Romans. Yet Romans have never even heard of Cannae or Hannibal. Then, of course, it's not a valid source.

PS. It seems that my claim of lack of Nazareth around 0 was extremely faulty, and based on old/very bad sources

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 8:12 a.m. PST

Everything you've said so far has been extremely faulty. Give it a rest.
Back to discussing treason.

I see treason as requiring either a formal alliance or position of fealty, or specific membership in a group or tribe that implies expectations of loyalty. Furthermore, it then requires an action against that alliance, etc., in favor of a different group altogether. Thus, a friend can be a traitor to a friend, a soldier can be a traitor to his unit, a citizen can be a traitor to his country, and so forth, if the act of treason is directly and intentionally harmful to that bond of loyalty. However, rebellion is and of itself not necessarily treason, as it may not be so much a violation of loyalty if loyalty is also owed to others and the one loyalty requires the betrayal of the other. For example, if a government asks a man to act against his mother, is this not a demand for betrayal of the man's filial loyalty? If the man refuses, or instead protects his mother, is he a traitor to his country? Like many things, I believe this falls under "it depends," but that at least means that an act in opposition of one's supposed loyalties is not always an act of treason.

Thus, I do not consider Washington, et al, to be traitors to the crown. Rather, the crowned betrayed them by failing to extend to the colonists their due rights as Englishmen, and further by seeking to abrogate and alter the various charters of government which the crown (albeit on different heads) had already granted to the colonists. Thus, an act of rebellion to secure those same rights, which the government had failed to uphold as should have been its duty, was an act of righteous self-defense, and not treason at all.
Similarly, the actions of Lee, at least, and many other Southerners were not taken as acts of betrayal, but in response to stronger loyalties-- to home and state-- which they believed, rightly or wrongly, the Federal government was acting against. It is easy to say they were traitors acting against their nation (and I have thought so in the past), but I think that is too fine a line that ignores the realities of loyalties in the day. Yes, I think they were wrong, and the political leadership of the South was grossly wrong, but being wrong in such things is not necessarily the same as being treasonous.

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