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islandtyme
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July 23, 2009 12:48 am  

Actually you stated that it was meant to keep the non believers (plural) happy....then asked us to confirm with rotor (singular).....so in essence you directed it at all non believers........
I know you meant it as a slam towards rotor, but it was a direct hit to every non.
Glad to see you back on the board Lizard & blessings to you as well.


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Lizard
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July 23, 2009 1:46 am  

Islandtyme.
The statement (Common Era doesn't exist it was a way to keep non believers "Happy") is a fact, not my opinion. Kindly research this and you will find this statement over and over again. Nothing was directed to all non believers just happy rotor. God Bless.To help you research this you can also look up bce/ce or vulgar era there are several other names that don't come to the top of my head at the moment.


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jogetz
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July 23, 2009 2:02 am  

Rotor,

OK, now back to the historical data that I have presented so far.

In my last post re the excerpt from the writings of Tacitus, I had drawn 7 points that I claimed were supported by his statement.

In your last post, you had quoted my points and made your responses. You had also provided a link to support your contention that this entire statement from Tacitus is in dispute. Let me deal with your point by point comments first, and I’ll save the issue of the statement being disputed for last. I have reproduced this section of your post below that I would like to continue with.

======================

JG - Point #1.) Christians derive their name from that of one “Christus” (a roman variant of Christ). This point serves to verify exactly who he is talking about here.

Rotor – response: OK

JG – Point# 2.) The fact of Christ’s crucifixion (he really was crucified)

Rotor – Response: The text says “suffered the extreme penalty”, you converted it to crucifixion.

JG – Point #3.) The place of the crucifixion (Judea)

Rotor – Response: You are the one who converted this text to crucifixion.

JG – Point #4.) The roman authority under which the crucifixion took place (Pontius Pilate).

Rotor – Response: Alleged crucifixion.

JG – Point #5.) By default the time period during which the resurrection must have taken place (Pilate ruled Judea circa 26 to 36 A.D.).

Rotor – Response: I didn't know that we had agreed that there was a resurrection.

JG – Point #6.) The fact that by the time of Nero's reign (circa 54-68 A.D.), Christians were present in large number in the city of Rome to the point that they had become targets of official persecution.

Rotor – Response: Depends on what you mean by large numbers.

JG – Point #7.) By default, the time period during which Christianity had spread from the distant outpost of Judea to heart of the empire (the city of Rome itself) was approximately 30 - 35 years.

Rotor – Response: OK

======================

I see OK’s for #1 & #7. So, putting the “dispute” issue on hold for a moment, I want to review #2-#6. You actually raise 2 very good points here, and I will address them now.

First, yes in point #2 I did “convert” the words “supreme punishment” to mean “crucifixion”. Good point and my apologies for being careless. So, let me restate # 2 thus:

#2 The fact of Christ’s execution (he really was put to death.)

I submit 2 references in support of the fact that the Latin word “supplicio” here used in the statement means, at the very least, execution / capital punishment.

First,

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/a15040.htm

This link will take you to the words of Tacitus in BOTH English and Latin.

Scroll down to section #44. The English translation is on the left, and the Latin is on the right. Looking in the English section, you will find the phrase

”Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus”.

Now looking to the Latin on the right, you will see the corresponding phrase

“auctor nominis eius Christus Tibero imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat”

The Latin word that corresponds to the English “supreme penalty” here is “supplicio”.

Now what does the Latin word “supplicio” mean? (Do bear with me here, I am taking great pains to make sure I am defining this word correctly as you requested via your objection).

Second,

This link supplies us with the answer to that question:

http://www.1902encyclopedia.com/S/SLA/slavery-07.html

This link will take you to an article discussing Roman legal penalties.

Scrolling down just a bit, you will come to the following passage:

“An accused slave could not invoke the aid of the tribunes. The penalties of the law for crime were more severe on guilty slaves than on freemen ; "majores nostri," say the legists, "in omni supplicio severius servos quam liberos punierunt." The capital punishment of the freeman was by the sword or the precipice,—of the slave by the axe or the cross.”

In this description of legal penalties, the penalties against guilty slaves are said to be “more severe”. Notice the Latin “supplicio severius” against the “servos” (slaves) than on the “liberos” (freeman). Then note the final description in English regarding what is being discussed in the passage: “The CAPITAL PUNISHMENT of the freeman was by the sword or precipice, - of the slave by the axe or cross”. The passage makes perfectly clear that the Latin word “supplicio” means capital punishment / execution / being put to death.

Therefore, my points #2 – 4 with a very minor revision:

#2) The fact of Christ’s execution (he really was put to death.)
#3) The place of the execution (Judea).
#4.) The roman authority under which the execution took place (Pontius Pilate).

The point is that Jesus was put to death. The exact way in which it was done, is really just a secondary issue here, so it need not let us proceed.

(Your second objection) On my original point #5, there is indeed a faux pas on my part (the original should have read “crucifixion” not “resurrection”.). I appreciate the thoroughness you showed in catching it. I revise the point here as to how it should have read taking into account the revision I have just made to 2-4:

#5) By default the time period during which the execution must have taken place (Pilate ruled Judea circa 26 to 36 A.D.).

So, I have now restated my points 2-4 with the supported definition of “supreme penalty” as “execution”, and I have corrected the faux pas in my point #5 with the same supported word, “execution”.

This should remove your objections to points 2-5, you gave me OK’s on 1 & 7, so that leaves only #6. (Yes, I know about your reference to support the fact the entire statement that I have presented is in dispute. I haven’t forgotten about that. I will deal with it in a moment.)

Again, my point #6 & your response to it:

JG – Point #6.) The fact that by the time of Nero's reign (circa 54-68 A.D.), Christians were present in large number in the city of Rome to the point that they had become targets of official persecution.

Rotor – Response: Depends on what you mean by large numbers.

Based on the passage from Tacitus, the Christians punished by Nero amounted to “an immense multitude”. Does that sound like a large number to you, Rotor? Here again is the link to Tacitus’ words for you convenience:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/tacitus.html

So I think I am on safe ground with my original point #6. If you want to disagree about the exact number, that’s fine. The fact that it was a large number seems evident.

I also mentioned, in passing, my speculation (and I was quite clear that that was all it was) on what the “mischievous superstition” Tacitus refers to might actually be. I note that you offered no suggestion of your own as to what it might be, except to say that my speculation was a “leap”. Perhaps, but I think it more a plausible possibility as the rest of our discussion to come will show.

Now, I am sure by now you are quite anxious to remind me about the reference you gave to support the idea that the entire statement from Tacitus is suspect / in dispute. Here is the reference you gave:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ#Authenticity_and_reliability

A couple of things must be said in response to this reference.

1.) I am glad you have begun to show us where you are drawing the support for your arguments from. This is progress, indeed.

2.) Yes, there are some who dispute the authenticity of the text, but Rotor, ANYTHING can be disputed. Simply because person B chooses to dispute something person A has said, does not make what person A said to be false. After all, Antiqueone has disputed many of the things you have posted here. Because your statements are thereby “in dispute”, should I therefore write them off as invalid? Of course not. It’s the merit of why the person makes the dispute that tips the scales one way or the other, not the mere existence of the dispute.

3.) Did you notice the little notation at the very top of the web page you referenced? It says this:

"The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (May 2009)"

Do you see what has happened here? You have actually provided me with a reference whose very own validity is itself in dispute in order to prove that the words attributed to Tacitus by me are in dispute. Unfortunately, such a flawed reference is simply not credible to support your point.

And right here is the crux of the problem with your reference. You are attempting to use Wikipedia to support your argument. Do you understand, Rotor, just what Wikipedia is and how it works? Wikipedia is a community / web encyclopedia to which ANYONE can add or delete words. Even you or me! Here is how another website describes the “machinery” of wikipedia:

“A wiki allows a group of people to enter and communally edit bits of text. These bits of text can be viewed and edited by anyone who visits the wiki.
That's¬ it. What it means is that, when you come to a wiki, you are able to read what the wiki's community has written. By clicking an "edit" button on an article, you are able to edit the article's text. You can add or change anything you like in the article you are reading.”

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/wiki.htm

That is why you don’t see any name above the articles there taking credit for what is written.

Unless there are direct quotes with references to some kind of recognized scholarship, all you have is just some musings of some people on the internet. Even then, if there is a point in dispute, one side can easily stack the deck in their own favor by deleting opposing references and inserting favorable ones. Truly by using this reference you have built your objection on a very sandy mound.

This is the main reason why I have sought to avoid using Wikipedia as a reference in my posts and I suggest you stick to other sites in the future for your references. Now I don’t want to discourage your efforts here, I just want to make sure they are of value to the discussion.

Having said all that about your Wiki reference, am I trying to say that NO ONE is disputing whether or not the words I have attributed to Tactius actually came from him? Not at all. Even without a better, more solid reference from you, I have no problem admitting there are some who dispute the authenticity of the passage we are discussing. Even the website that I originally gave as my source for Tacitus’ words presents a discussion of the few who dispute the passage along with responses to them from other historical scholars. Here it is again:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/tacitus.html

Take a look at the discussion presented just below the words attributed to Tacitus.
The section provides a quote from Robert Van Voorst’s book: “Jesus Outside the New Testatment”, P. 42-43, where he writes:

“But there are good reasons for concluding with the vast majority of scholars that this passage is fundamentally sound, despite difficulties which result in no small measure from Tacitus' own compressed style.”

I know of no reference to counter Van Voorst’s claim that the “VAST MAJORITY” of historical scholars consider the quote from Tactius to be “fundamentally sound”. Apparently no one has seen fit to challenge it. If you have a reference to the contrary, I would be most interested to read it. Now I realize, of course, that it is, in fact, the merit of the arguments put forward by the disputers that counts, but apparently very few scholars out of the VAST MAJORITY have been convinced by those arguments to join them in their disputations. Nor have I found their arguments to be convincing either.

So where are we now? I think we are pretty well done with Tacitus and it is time to move on. And, no, I’m not even going to ask for concessions from you on my 7 points before we do. Unless you can provide something more to counter what I have said, I will consider exhibit #1 to be complete.

In my next post, I’d like to move on to exhibits 2 & 3.

Best regards to you, Rotor.

More Later.

JG


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stiphy
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July 23, 2009 5:52 am  

Stiphy,
Well According to IRS code 508(c)(1)(A) In IRS own words Churches are "Automatically Tax-Deductible and Exempt" Churches need not apply for 501(c)3 status. Google IRS Publication 526. Churches and the USA have been around a little Longer than the IRS. The First Amendment guarantees ( NO Tax) for religion, did it before the IRS. The Church is outside jurisdiction of the Civil Government as related to taxation. Your analogy of taxation with murder and pedophile Priests is a little over the top to say the least. Superior Court Constance Sweeny said no interpretation of the First Amendment grants houses of worship "unqualified immunity from prosecution". Again try to keep up. Congress did codify the Tax issue which only means to reduce to a code, that would be the IRS Code.

Lizard,

Again, overlooking the attitude, I'll thank you for pointing me in the right direction to look up that section. I found this page http://hushmoney.org/501c3-facts.htm that explains it very nicely.

To go back to my original statement, I still find that this is a rather scary interpretation of the Constitution. I never said that you were wrong RE taxes I simply said that I thought this was "an interesting, often scary interpretation of the constitution." I used the case of the pedophiles to show where the courts did not agree with this interpretation and I think you and I actually agree that the church is not infinitely "above the law."

So the question becomes if the church IS subject to civil law when it comes to certain things why is it NOT when it comes to taxes? Has the court ever ruled on this interpretation? The fact that congress deemed the need to codify this interpretation into the tax code is very interesting to me, and shows that it's probably not all that self evident. How often does a congress's constitutional interpretation get codified into law (in this case tax code)?

FWIW, I am not the only one who finds this interpretation questionable. Apparently this has been debated throughout history with James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, James Garfield, and Ulysses S. Grant all being against this interpretation ( http://www.gainesvillehumanists.org/chrchtax.htm).

Clearly you have a lot to add...but I seriously doubt I'm the only one here who was not familiar with 501c3 of the IRS code. The attitude is kind of annoying and highly unnecessary in what I view as a fun and friendly debate.

Sean


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Lizard
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July 23, 2009 8:02 am  

Hey Rotor,
The First Amendment clearly places the Church outside the jurisdiction of the Civil Government: "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of Religion, nor prohibiting the FREE exercise thereof". religion cannot be FREE if you have to pay the Government, through Taxation, to exercise it.

So if I murder in the name of God I can't be prosecuted invoking the first amendment? To suggest that the first amendment puts Religious institutions above the law is an interesting, often scary reading of the Constitution of the US. The court's have not agreed with this in numerous cases, for instance the Catholic church tried to protect it's pedophile priests from prosecution by invoking this same argument and failed: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-100545282.html

Sean

stiphy.
Your hypothetical assumption that the First Amendment entertains murder only enforces your lack of comprehension on the subject to taxation. Please try to keep up. You're another one that is not good with smoke and mirrors.

Lizard,

Ignoring you're patronizing tone I will civilly try to discuss what you claimed...hopefully you will show me the same respect.

You said "The First Amendment clearly places the Church outside the jurisdiction of the Civil Government." I stated that I thought this was an interesting reading of the Constitution, one that could be used as a murder defense, and one that the courts have disagreed with in the case of pedophile priests. This seems to me to prove that you're reading of the first amendment is not supported by the courts. The church is most definitely under the jurisdiction of Civil Government and not outside it.

Second, my research indicates that the First Amendment has not been the basis for the tax exemptions enjoyed by the churches. They were codified by Congress as part of the tax code as specific exemptions. http://www.churchsolutionsmag.com/articles/951Fina1.html. So again, it appears that you're reading is not supported by the courts.

Sean


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Lizard
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July 23, 2009 8:54 am  

Stiphy,
I think you should read what you wrote. This one kills me (so again, it appears that you're reading is not supported by the courts. "you're should have been your". What Court and what case doesn't support the First Amendment Rights of Religion? I think you should research your Cite's Like Madison etc,regarding a state church. Oh I almost forgot, You accuse me of an attitude and patronizing tone, that perception could come from a diet of eating a little crow. I' m sorry I couldn't let this one go either.(How often doe's congress's Constitutional interpretation get codified into law (in this case tax code). Here is your answer; When they disban the IRS and and invent a new agency to collect Government tax. "note Congress did not codify into law the First Amendment" That first Amendment was already ratified into law by Congress, to codify is to reduce to code. In this case the TAX CODE for the new agency IRS. Kinda like a play book, let's them (the IRS) know what they can/can't collect from who and what entity. Try to keep up. God Bless!


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rotorhead
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July 23, 2009 2:14 pm  

JG,

Sorry I was busy yesterday and didn't get a chance to post.

In order to move this along I would like to make a concession on the first topic of our discussion. I have not found sufficient evidence to conclude that the resurrection story of the jesus mythology is based on one of the earlier resurrection stories. Since it is sufficiently different from the other two stories mentioned I will therefore concede that the jesus resurrection story might in fact be a unique work of fiction.

I am not willing to concede that any of the resurrections actually occurred.

As for the Tacitus manuscript, let's not go so fast, we still have much to discuss there. More later.

John


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stiphy
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July 23, 2009 3:05 pm  

Stiphy,
I think you should read what you wrote. This one kills me (so again, it appears that you're reading is not supported by the courts. "you're should have been your". What Court and what case doesn't support the First Amendment Rights of Religion? I think you should research your Cite's Like Madison etc,regarding a state church. Oh I almost forgot, You accuse me of an attitude and patronizing tone, that perception could come from a diet of eating a little crow. I' m sorry I couldn't let this one go either.(How often doe's congress's Constitutional interpretation get codified into law (in this case tax code). Here is your answer; When they disban the IRS and and invent a new agency to collect Government tax. "note Congress did not codify into law the First Amendment" That first Amendment was already ratified into law by Congress, to codify is to reduce to code. In this case the TAX CODE for the new agency IRS. Kinda like a play book, let's them (the IRS) know what they can/can't collect from who and what entity. Try to keep up. God Bless!

I don't know how I could eat crow when I've never once claimed to be "right or wrong" in regards to this matter...I am here to learn and discuss not listen to myself talk. I think those who have interacted with me on this forum can attest to that. As for my VERY minor grammatical mistake at 2am...are you kidding me?

I didn't pose the question about "why the church get's tax exemptions" but do find it interesting. I am surprised that the legal backing for it, which you've kindly illuminated is, in my opinion so flimsy. I am not the only one who feels this way: The Supreme Court ruled in 1970's Walz v Tax Commission of the City of New York in a 5-4 decision that exempting church property was permissible, but not constitutionally required ( http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1030). The plaintiff actually tried to have the constitution interpreted the opposite way, that the exemption was breaking the first amendment because a tax exemption amounts to a subsidy which violates the establishment clause of the first amendment. In 1983's Regan v. Taxation with Representation the court ruled 8-3 that a tax exemption is in fact a subsidy. All this seems to setup a situation where the exemption could actually be viewed as being in direct violation of the first amendment rather than supported by it.

I don't know why you must approach this as a fight where someone "wins" and someone "loses" but if that's what amuses you have at it. I can assure you that I have better things to do with my time then try to get one over on someone on the internet. Again I appreciate your input, but your need to wrap it in disrespectful personal attacks reflects on you personally and I will attempt to ignore them.

Regards,
Sean


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trw
 trw
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July 23, 2009 3:42 pm  

i always thought that the resurection myth was based on the cycles of nature,things die off in winter and are reborn in spring, i always thought it was something pagan that the early christians adopted,like christmas


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rotorhead
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July 23, 2009 4:14 pm  

JG,

Again my comments are in bold below.

Therefore, my points #2 – 4 with a very minor revision:

#2) The fact of Christ’s execution (he really was put to death.)
#3) The place of the execution (Judea).
#4.) The roman authority under which the execution took place (Pontius Pilate).

The point is that Jesus was put to death. The exact way in which it was done, is really just a secondary issue here, so it need not let us proceed.
I accept this translation of the manuscript. I still think that we are getting ahead of ourselves since we have not yet established the authenticity of the manuscript.

#5) By default the time period during which the execution must have taken place (Pilate ruled Judea circa 26 to 36 A.D.).

So, I have now restated my points 2-4 with the supported definition of “supreme penalty” as “execution”, and I have corrected the faux pas in my point #5 with the same supported word, “execution”.

Sounds good to me.

This should remove your objections to points 2-5, you gave me OK’s on 1 & 7, so that leaves only #6. (Yes, I know about your reference to support the fact the entire statement that I have presented is in dispute. I haven’t forgotten about that. I will deal with it in a moment.)

Again, my point #6 & your response to it:

JG – Point #6.) The fact that by the time of Nero's reign (circa 54-68 A.D.), Christians were present in large number in the city of Rome to the point that they had become targets of official persecution.

Rotor – Response: Depends on what you mean by large numbers.

Based on the passage from Tacitus, the Christians punished by Nero amounted to “an immense multitude”. Does that sound like a large number to you, Rotor?

As I indicated, this is a very subjective statement.

Now, I am sure by now you are quite anxious to remind me about the reference you gave to support the idea that the entire statement from Tacitus is suspect / in dispute. Here is the reference you gave:

[en.wikipedia.org]

I am very much aware of what wiki is and is not. I point to wiki because it IS an open encyclopedia and therefore becomes a nexus for discussion on many issues. You will find many definitions in wiki which are not disputed. This one is. The nice thing about using wiki as a source is that the claims made are marked with their attributions. These attributions can then be referenced. So by using wiki I was simply avoiding having to list all of the references that it contains. You can simply click on one of the references and look at that document.

"The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (May 2009)"

Do you see what has happened here? You have actually provided me with a reference whose very own validity is itself in dispute in order to prove that the words attributed to Tacitus by me are in dispute. Unfortunately, such a flawed reference is simply not credible to support your point.

As I said I think wiki is a good place to start in researching a topic. Certainly a better place that simply referencing christian websites. We will look at some of the references in a moment.

Take a look at the discussion presented just below the words attributed to Tacitus.
The section provides a quote from Robert Van Voorst’s book: “Jesus Outside the New Testatment”, P. 42-43, where he writes:

“But there are good reasons for concluding with the vast majority of scholars that this passage is fundamentally sound, despite difficulties which result in no small measure from Tacitus' own compressed style.”

I know of no reference to counter Van Voorst’s claim that the “VAST MAJORITY” of historical scholars consider the quote from Tactius to be “fundamentally sound”. Apparently no one has seen fit to challenge it. If you have a reference to the contrary, I would be most interested to read it. Now I realize, of course, that it is, in fact, the merit of the arguments put forward by the disputers that counts, but apparently very few scholars out of the VAST MAJORITY have been convinced by those arguments to join them in their disputations. Nor have I found their arguments to be convincing either.

The statement by Van Voorst has been challenged. You seem to think that because the article is in dispute that only the objections to the manuscript are in dispute. Not true. If you look at the talk page for this article you will see that Van Voorst is flagged as a christian apologist. He is a theologian and the author of a book which you mention above. He has a vested interest in this manuscript being authentic. He makes the VAST MAJORITY statement in his book without offering any supporting evidence. Does he speak for the vast majority of scholars? Is he referencing a poll which was conducted. We don’t know. He only throws the statement out there with nothing to support it. You seem to think that anyone can make a claim without evidence and it is true unless someone can disprove it. I feel that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim.

So where are we now? I think we are pretty well done with Tacitus and it is time to move on. And, no, I’m not even going to ask for concessions from you on my 7 points before we do. Unless you can provide something more to counter what I have said, I will consider exhibit #1 to be complete.

This is an extremely arrogant statement. You don't prove your point but you are going to move on. Why are we even having this discussion?

We haven’t even started with Tacitus yet. Let’s examine the points of contention.
1) The earliest copy of the Tacitus manuscript dates to the 11th century. That means that it had been hand copied for 1000 years. The people doing the copying during this period were mostly Christians who tend to embellish documents during the copying process.
2) The 11th century document mentioned above shows signs of having been modified in the area which we are discussing, the early Christian story. Even wiki mentions this but I will provide additional references later.
3) Tacitus usually based his historic information on accounts that he was told. This is the case here since he was not present at the burning of Rome himself. We have no idea who told him this story. Possibly a Christian? There is only one other account of the burning of Rome being associated with Christians and that is the Sulpicius Serverus story from the 4th century. The two stories are markedly similar and possibly have a common origin.
4) There are factual errors in the account, such as the rank of Pontius Pilot. Something that Tacitus would have known but early Christians might not.
5) Instead of going on and on with objections I will simply point you to the references to the objections mentioned in the wiki article. http://users.drew.edu/ddoughty/Christianorigins/persecutions/tacitus.html and http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/jesus.shtml

At best the Tacitus story is hearsay. The source of the story is unknown, Tacitus is merely reporting what he was told and does not reveal his sources.
So as I originally stated, how can Tacitus be used as the proof for anything?


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Lizard
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July 23, 2009 5:52 pm  

Hey Stiphy,
I think you should read your 2 cite's over again. ROTFLMAO Try to keep up!


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no0ne
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July 23, 2009 10:08 pm  

This is one of the main reasons why people, like rotor and I, are so against organized religion:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/22/christianity-religion-texas-history-education?76

FTA: "Members of a panel of experts appointed by the board to revise the state's history curriculum, who include a Christian fundamentalist preacher who says he is fighting a war for America's moral soul, want lessons to emphasise the part played by Christianity in the founding of the US and that religion is a civic virtue."

These Christians want to FORCE Christianity on us, at any cost. This why people like rotor are arguing so hard against Christianity in general.

Go ahead, have your beliefs. I really could care less. Teach your kids at home, at private religious schools, and at Church on Sunday. Fine. Do NOT try to force these beliefs upon a country that was SPECIFICALLY based upon NOT being a religious country. For this reason, and this reason alone, is why the USofA is so great.

A belief in God is one thing. Saying whatever version of Christianity, or Islam, or Judaism (although Jews generally don't push their religion on others - some do, though) or Scientology, etc. is the one true religion and the rest are sinners going to hell, and we need to have a "moral" (although I find most people who say they are moral, are really not moral, at all) reform of America, is flat out against what our founding fathers wanted for us.


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stiphy
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July 24, 2009 3:13 am  

Hey Lizard, why don't you get off the floor and try to be constructive? Do you behave like this in person too?

Further reading has led me to confusion over Walz v NY Tax Commission of NY. While the http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1030 made it seem that this case was a 5-4 ruling that said "the exemption was permissible, but not constitutionally required" other research indicates that this was an 8-1 decision largely in favor of the tax exempt status. Are the faithful at religion-online.org just dead wrong? The author of the article is based out of Waco so maybe I shouldn't be surprised 🙂 I also found this blog: http://www.jeffschweitzer.com/blog/?p=2022 which is touting the 5-4 ruling. I'm really not sure what to believe in regards to this case.

Sean


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stiphy
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July 24, 2009 3:40 am  

More interesting information on the "is the tax exempt status of the church a constitutional right" issue:

This is an interesting article by a CPA and an attorney, from a 1996 edition of "Ministries Today" which states the following:

"Many believe that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution requires the government to grant tax exempt status to churches and other religious organizations. However, while it is true that our tax system has long granted tax exempt status to religious organizations, nothing in the Constitution actually commands the granting of such tax exemptions."

http://www.guinnsmith.com/article_privilege.html

It seems that the "tax exemption as a right" mantra has been under attack due to the political nature of many church's speech. Here is a decision that seems to further erode that notion: http://1stam.umn.edu/archive/fedctapp/branch-ministries.txt.

Sean


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Lizard
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July 24, 2009 4:05 am  

Stiphy,
When something strikes me funny "Yes"! I'm going to give you a little hint regarding your cites. I'm not going give you the answer I want you to do some real research. What is the difference between a church that has not incorporated within any of the 50 states and a church that has filed for and granted 501c3 status. What is considered a STATE Church, What did the framers construe as a STATE Church, The end result of the First Amendment part and parcel. It's going to take a little time and effort on your part.


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stiphy
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July 24, 2009 4:15 am  

Lizard,

Simple request, can you provide evidence where the court has ruled that the tax exempt status of churches is derived from the first amendment of the US Constitution as you have asserted?

Sean


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trw
 trw
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July 24, 2009 4:41 am  

it's long and wordy but this might help http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/amdt1.html


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Lizard
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July 24, 2009 4:58 am  

Cantwell v Connecticut


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rotorhead
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July 24, 2009 5:51 am  

Lizard,

That's great to know. Here is a link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantwell_v._Connecticut .

So this means that until we can get enough Obama liberal judges on the Supreme Court to over turn this ruling, the best way to beat the system is to create a religion.

What does it take to become a legitimate religion? Scientology did it in the 1950's. It took them until 1997 to actually be recognised by the IRS as a religion. But now they are accustomed to new religions popping up so another new one might be easier.

I'm sure we could come up with a way to work cheap golf into it. You know instead of big cathedrals and stuff we need really great golf courses to worship our god. Oh and maybe MJ for Bombi. I mean some American Indians can use peyote in their religious ceremonies.

John


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rotorhead
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July 24, 2009 6:08 am  

In case there is anyone out there interested in the Tacitus discussion but doesn't like reading. You can listen and watch the explanation.


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Lizard
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July 24, 2009 7:02 am  

Rotor,
You can file a 501c3 status, but than you would have to keep your mouth shut, because the First Amendment doesn't count under that status and rules. Don't want to comment on the MJ-Bombi thing, I'm in enough trouble with the women and Stiphy, they already kicked me out of the sand box.


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Bombi
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July 24, 2009 10:40 am  

The church of divine and immaculate truth. Someone will think of a better name. Golf, pasta, herb and intelligent conversation.


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jogetz
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July 24, 2009 12:38 pm  

Rotor,

Good to see you back.

Towards the end of your last post to me, you quoted me saying:

JG - “So where are we now? I think we are pretty well done with Tacitus and it is time to move on. And, no, I’m not even going to ask for concessions from you on my 7 points before we do. Unless you can provide something more to counter what I have said, I will consider exhibit #1 to be complete.”

Rotor – “This is an extremely arrogant statement. You don't prove your point but you are going to move on. Why are we even having this discussion?”

Arrogant? Not at all. I am sorry you took it that way. It is, of course, one of the shortcomings of the Internet that mere words on a screen cannot convey the tone in which they were expressed, and the reader is left to imagine the tone himself, often incorrectly.

I simply thought you might be tiring of this subject. If you wish to continue our discussion of Tacitus, then I will be more than happy to exhaust whatever arguments you may choose to put forward. Unfortunately, as you were a day ago, I now am also in another busy spot with my work (my boss is on vacation next week and, of course, EVERYTHING needs to be done before she is gone).

However, I don’t want to leave you with such an unsatisfying end to my post as that. So I will mention that I have noted the videos you have posted to the board concerning the text of Tacitus. Very interesting. Can you provide any information on the guy who does the narration? I would be curious to know exactly what qualifications he possess that would make him a credible authority on Latin textual criticism. I will be most anxious to comment on the methodology he uses and on conclusions he draws in the videos (not to mention his historical outlook on Jesus in general). Not to mention the other points you proposed in that last post.

In the meantime, here’s one for you to ponder.

Enjoy!

More later.

JG


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trw
 trw
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July 24, 2009 2:31 pm  

Just thought this very interesting.

An engineering professor is treating her husband, a loan officer, to
dinner for finally giving in to her pleas to shave off the scraggly
beard he grew on vacation. His favorite restaurant is a casual place
where they both feel comfortable in slacks and cotton/polyester- blend
golf shirts. But, as always, she wears the gold and pearl pendant he
gave her the day her divorce decree was final. They're laughing over
their menus because they know he always ends up diving into a giant
plate of ribs but she won't be talked into anything more fattening
than shrimp.

Quiz: How many biblical prohibitions are they violating?
Well,
wives are supposed to be 'submissive' to their husbands (I Peter 3:1).
And all women are forbidden to teach men (I Corinthians 14:35, and repeated
by Paul for additional emphasis at I Timothy 2:12), wear gold
or pearls (I Timothy 2:9) or dress in clothing that 'pertains to a
man' (Deuteronomy 22:5). Shellfish and pork are definitely out
(Leviticus 11:7, 10) as are usury (Deuteronomy 23:19), shaving
(Leviticus 19:27) and clothes of more than one fabric (Leviticus
19:19). And since the Bible rarely recognizes divorce, they're
committing adultery, which carries the rather harsh penalty of death
by stoning (Deuteronomy 22:22).


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jogetz
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July 25, 2009 4:03 am  

Rotor,

When we last left off our discussion, you were commenting on my previous post. Much of the commentary concerned Wikipedia. While I would agree with you that it is a good place to “start”, I don’t consider it a credible place to use as a reference in itself. There are often sub-references for several points of view, and simply providing a link to such a site does not indicate which, if any, you agree with. Better to use Wikipedia to find sub-references that you want to point to, and then provide those references to the discussion directly. I will continue to refrain from using any Wiki as a reference in itself. You, of course, are free to do whatever you like. I would appreciate it, however, if you would be more specific as to what you expect me to look at when I go there if you use a Wiki in the future.

The next portion of your post is directed more back to the center of the discussion. In response to my quote of Van Voorst:

JG –
You said:

ROTOR - “The statement by Van Voorst has been challenged. You seem to think that because the article is in dispute that only the objections to the manuscript are in dispute. Not true. If you look at the talk page for this article you will see that Van Voorst is flagged as a christian apologist. He is a theologian and the author of a book which you mention above. He has a vested interest in this manuscript being authentic. He makes the VAST MAJORITY statement in his book without offering any supporting evidence. Does he speak for the vast majority of scholars? Is he referencing a poll which was conducted. We don’t know. He only throws the statement out there with nothing to support it. You seem to think that anyone can make a claim without evidence and it is true unless someone can disprove it. I feel that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim.”

JG - Van Voorst’s statement has not been countered / challenged by anyone with credentials as a historical scholar. The fact that Van Voorst has been “flagged” on Wikipedia as a Christian apologist really doesn’t matter. He might as well be the Cat in the Hat. What matters is: Is what he says true? Simply because some one might have a vested interest in a particular outcome, does not mean that everything that they say is invalid. You state that he offers NO evidence (“nothing to support it”) for his statement. Yet his book does have references to scholars who do, in fact, consider Tacitus to be sound with no reference to the “Christos” passage as an exception to the rule (and there are others that he does not mention by name as well). Van Voorst’s statement is simply based on his familiarity with those various authors, and he is a sober researcher not given to making wild, unverifiable claims. Does Van Voorst speak for the “vast majority” of scholars? Of course not! Can Van Voorst make a statement about the vast majority of Scholars? Of course he can, and anyone is free to correct him if his statement is in error. To date, no one has stepped forward to do so.

So, at this point, I owe you two replies. The first is to your claim that there is no evidence for Van Voorst’s claim that the vast majority of scholars do not question the authenticity of Tacitus’ “Christos” passage, and the second is to deal with the points and supporting references (Darrell Doughty and Gordon Stein) that you provided in your last post to me.

Be patient and you will get what you have requested. We will continue with Tacitus. Right now, time to get some shut-eye.

JG


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