We have previously had discussions of @Andrew_Loke’s and Youtuber Paulogia’s views on whether Jesus was resurrected. Andrew had dismissed Paulogia’s account as a “fringe” belief that is not held by scholars. However, Bart Ehrman has responded positively to that account, and now religious scholar Dale Allison, who believes the resurrection happened, has also praised it:
No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to Christians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus got written well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings. Although one can argue that many of these writings come from fraud or interpolations, even if these sources did not come from interpolations, they could still not serve as reliable evidence for a historical Jesus, simply because all sources derive from hearsay accounts.
Hearsay means information derived from other people rather than from a witness’ own knowledge. Courts of law do not generally allow hearsay as testimony, and nor does honest modern scholarship. Hearsay provides no proof or good evidence, and therefore, we should dismiss it.
Death of Hector and the Crucifixion of Jesus
Iliad — Mark 15:21-41
Iliad: The reader knows throughout that Achilles will slay Hector.
Mark: The Jewish leaders will slay Jesus.
Iliad: Hector, Apollo’s favorite had long elided death.
Mark: Jesus, God’s Son, had eluded death.
Iliad: Hector’s troops fled the city for safety, leaving him to face his fate alone.
Mark: Jesus’ disciples fled for safety, leaving to face his fate alone.
Iliad: Zeus passed judgment: hector must die. Achilles and hector made taunts.
Mark: Pilate passed judgment: Jesus must die. Carious hostile groups taunted Jesus; he was silent.
Iliad: Hector called to Deiphobus for help, but he had vanished.
Mark: [The bystanders thought Jesus was calling to Elijah for help, but he never came.]
Iliad: Hector then knew he would be killed, for his gods had forsaken him.
Mark: Jesus knew he would be killed and complained that God had forsaken him.
Iliad: Hector’s soul went to Hades with a lament.
Mark: Jesus uttered a loud shout and expired.
Iliad: Trojans mourned him as though their city had been destroyed “from top to bottom.”
Mark: Jesus’ death anticipated the fall of Jerusalem and the temple, whose veil was rent “from top to bottom.”
Iliad: Achilles gloated that he had just slain the one Trojan considered a god.
Mark: The centurion gloated that he had just executed the so-called son of God.
Iliad: The women of Troy, watching Hector’s death from their walls, cried laments
Mark: The women watched Jesus’ death “from afar” and presumably lamented.
Odyssey 9.101-565 — Mark 5:1-20
The Cyclops and the Demoniac
Odyssey: Odysseus and his crew, in a convoy, arrived at the land of the Cyclops.
Mark: Jesus and his disciples with other boats arrived at the land of the Gerasenes.
Odyssey: On the mountains innumerable goats grazed.
Mark: On the mountains about two-thousand swine grazed.
Odyssey: Odysseus and crew disembarked.
Mark: Jesus and his disciples disembarked.
Odyssey: They encountered a savage, lawless giant who lived in a cave.
Mark: They encountered a savage, lawless demoniac who lived among the caves.
Odyssey: He asked if Odysseus came to harm him.
Mark: He asked Jesus not to torment him.
Odyssey: The giant asked Odysseus his name.
Mark: Jesus asked the demoniac his name.
Odyssey: Odysseus answered, “Nobody.”
Mark: The demoniac answered, “Legion.”
Odyssey: Odysseus subdued the giant with violence and trickery [Circe had turned Odysseus’s soldiers into swine.]
Mark: Jesus subdued the demons with divine power and sent them into the swine and then into the sea.
Odyssey: The shepherd called out to his neighbors.
Mark: The swineherds called on their neighbors.
Odyssey: The Cyclops came to the site asking about Polyphemus’s sheep and goats.
Mark: The Gerasenes came to the site to find out about their swine.
Odyssey: Polyphemus usually was depicted nude.
Mark: The demoniac, once naked, is now clothed.
Odyssey: Odysseus and crew reembarked.
Mark: Jesus and his disciples reembarked.
Odyssey: Odysseus told the giant to proclaim that he had blinded him.
Mark: Jesus told the healed demoniac to proclaim that he had healed him.
Odyssey: The giant asked Odysseus, who was now aboard the ship, to come back.
Mark: The demoniac asked Jesus, now aboard ship, if he could be with him.
Odyssey: Odysseus refused the request.
Mark: Jesus refused the request.
Odyssey: Odysseus and crew sailed away.
Mark: Jesus and disciples sailed away.
It’s called trans-valuation. What you’re expecting is exact or almost exact copying like what the authors of Matthew and Luke did with the Mark’s Gospel. When the author of Mark borrowed from Homer, he wasn’t trying to hide what he was doing from his audience and he was not a slave to his models.
Most of us know that the main source for biblical flood story is Gilgamesh. However, the YECs eagerly point out it’s not an exact copy of Gilgamesh and therefore that can’t be the source of the Noah story. This is exactly what you are doing. Your criticism is akin to YEC and flat-earthism.
That was certainly an interesting exchange between Paulogia and Dale Allison. As a Christian who is skeptical about many things about Christianity, it reinforces my position that a lot of things in the Scriptures aren’t as straightforward as many Christians would like to believe. I was surprised to learn there is no historical information on most of the disciples of Christ and that there are pieces of the NT in the Gospels that are considered legitimate embellishments. Indeed, there is nothing better than a discussion that uses the best evidence available as a basis.
Faizal, you didn’t quote me properly. What I said previously was ‘I may have missed out one or two scholars… but hardly any scholar hold to this view.’ The view I was referring to is specifically Paulogia’s claim that there is only two individual appearances (Peter and Paul). In his interviews with Allison and Ehrman he says much more than that specific claim (e.g. he also mentions that Jesus existed and was crucified, which of course is true). Allison says he would give Paulogia an A grade if he engaged with the secondary literature, but this does not imply praising Paulogia for that specific claim of only two individual appearances. In fact, I asked Allison about it and he flatly rejected that claim (see screenshot below; I was given permission by Allison to share this: )
Ehrman praised Paulogia (1:28 onwards) for avoiding the extremes of saying that the Bible is all true or all false, but this does not imply praising Paulogia specifically for his claim that there is only two individual appearances. But even if he did, having one Bart Ehrman is still consistent with my claim that ‘I may have missed out one or two scholars… but hardly any scholar hold to this view.’
In short, my claim stands unrefuted: Paulogia’s theory IS a fringe theory which hardly any scholar holds (‘hardly any’ is consistent with perhaps only Bart + one more).
Thus, the situation is actually even worse now for Paulogia’s specific claim (that there is only two individual appearances) after he interviewed Ehrman (who inadvertently offered a reasoning that refutes Paulogia’s argument) and Allison (who still rejects Paulogia’s claim of only two individual appearances)
To ask an established scholar who has published with world leading academic publishers such as Cambridge University Press and Routledge in the field of historical-critical New Testament studies to ask another scholar for grading is plain silliness. Your question would not have been silly if it is directed to an undergraduate or a non-scholar like Paulogia. Moreover, I have pointed out errors in Allison’s books in my publications and send them to him, he responded to them (saying that his response is ‘just for this email’, which indicate that he is not willing for it to be shared publicly), and I replied to his response and pointed out further errors in his response, and he stopped responding. So my objections to Allison and Paulogia remain unrefuted.
Surely you do not expect me to believe your assertion that you refuted Allison without being provided details of what you actually said or wrote that refuted him, do you?
Especially given the observable fact that you are also quite certain you have refuted Paulogia, not to mention myself and many other members of this group, even though you have done nothing of the sort?
Most of what I wrote that refuted Allison can be found in my academic peer-reviewed publications (which are publicly available on my academia.edu website). This is a scholarly approach.
Faizal: ‘Especially given the observable fact that you are also quite certain you have refuted Paulogia, not to mention myself and many other members of this group, even though you have done nothing of the sort?’
*The observable facts are that in this thread you have misquoted me (see my first post) and made a silly remark (see my second post), as well as making assertion ‘you are also quite certain you have refuted Paulogia…even though you have done nothing of the sort’ without responding to the evidence and arguments I cited (see the links in my first post). The above facts show that you are someone who does not read and think carefully and who merely makes assertions without due consideration of the counter- evidence. These facts explain why you would hold to your opinions and fail to realize that I have already refuted yourself, Rumraket and ‘many other members of this group’ in our previous correspondences. Now I have many other messages which I need to reply to, and to use my time wisely I should only reply to those people who read and think carefully about what I write, rather than those who stubbornly refuse to consider evidence. So I am happy to just let my previous posts stand, and end our correspondence here.