02 Dec 2012 
#1 INTRO POST c/w admin general comments

To Blog Entry Page / To Tags Complete List / To My Website
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Welcome to this blog. Let's have exchanges of ideas, good discussions and sharing of information. Let's be civilized throughout. Do not expect to convince others, but rather thrive to develop good arguments supported by evidence. Not allowed are insults and personal attacks.

Remark on general matters or proposal for new posts can be introduced in the comments here.

Cordially, Bernard

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Comment from: gakuseidon

Thanks for creating this blog, Bernard! I'm looking forward to some great discussions with people around the origins of Christianity. I'll be responding to your "Paul and Jesus pre-existence" post in the next 24 hours.

Other possible topics:

1. Does "high context" culture satisfactorily explain why Paul and other early Christians are silent about historical details around early Christianity?
2. What did the "Jerusalem group" believe?
3. According to the heretics, what was the origin of Christianity? (More accurately, according to the heresiologists like Tertullian at all, what did the heretics believe was the origin of Christianity?)

Just a thought about "Mythicists are not welcome" in the by-line, which sounds a bit harsh. I agree that the assumption should be that a historical Jesus existed. I'd hate this to become another FRDB board, where specious Acharya S-like arguments are a dime-a-dozen, so it would be good to have them deleted without notice here. But "mythicists not welcome"? I'd welcome them if they stick to the following rules:

1. Historical Jesus is assumed to exist (I know that sounds like a strange thing for a mythicist to accept, but there is still overlap for some mythicist positions, say around Second Century Christianity or early heresies. Certainly one can question some or even most of the evidence for a historical Jesus, without committing to mythicism or historicity. So mythicists are free to post, but just not on mythicism. They can go to FRDB if they want to do that.)
2. No insults. We only want friendly discussions (I think this would rule out more mythicists than Rule 1!)
3. No faith-based posts, either for or against any faith position. No arguments for or against miracles. No arguments for or against the supernatural.

Maybe change the by-line to "Historical Jesus is assumed"? We'd probably need to have a blog post on the best possible case for a historical Jesus, and soon, but if we are going to assume a historical Jesus existed, we should say why. What do you think?
Comment from: mullerb

Hi Gakuseidon,

Good idea for other topics. Please note I made you an administrator and you can create new posts yourself. Also note that I addressed fully your second question on this webpage: http://historical-jesus.info/hjes2x.html And on this very short one, I summarized my findings:
So many times I get frustrated when "historicists" on FRDB get into trouble when, if they had read my website, they would more knowledgeable and able to argue with effectiveness.
I got my own idea about new topics such as: what is the value of scholarly works on HJ? What would be a good definition for HJ?
I'll be more specific about no insult or personal attack, but I do not think we should complicate things. Let's see how and if that blog will fly first. That could be a learning experience.
Tomorrow morning, I'll start contacting the ones you listed and inform them about the new blog.
Comment from: TedM

Finally a readable captcha! Good start!

I don't have much to suggest at present, and as has been my history, my contributions are likely to be sporadic over time, as I have more pressing matters yet a persistent interest in these topics!

One suggestion is with regard to the website appearance. I like either white lettering on dark background or black/dark grey lettering on light background.

I've always admired your work Bernard, so I hope this turns into something you like. Same goes for you Don.

I'll bookmark the site and check in over time.

Comment from: mullerb

Nice to hear about you TedM,
Why don't you become a member?
You can use that blog either to solicit opinions, data or explore new ideas. Or show your disagreement.
See you again!
Cordially, Bernard
Comment from: apostateabe

Thanks for inviting me here, Bernard. This blog is at an uncommon level of sophistication. I get the feeling that when you said, "So many times I get frustrated when 'historicists' on FRDB get into trouble when, if they had read my website, they would [be] more knowledgeable and able to argue with effectiveness," you were referring to me, at least in part.

So, as you know, I recently started a "Wiki of Mythicist Claims" (http://mythicistclaims.wikispaces.com). I know you can find a bunch of things wrong with it, and I would love to see corrections. It is open for anyone to edit, like any Wiki.

I see little reason to exclude faith-based arguments, though it isn't a deal-breaker. After arguing with mythers for too long, that would be a relief for me, like a chance to relax. Apologists can at least agree that ancient Christian texts count as "evidence." It isn't just that--my mind was changed away from Christianity in large part by arguing about it on the web, ten years ago. I have seen it happen again several times since.
Comment from: mullerb
Hello, ApostateAbe,

Thanks for becoming a member. Feel free to suggest a post, or as a admin (if you so desire), you can post yourself. I already put out some posts which relate to your Wiki website, such as about early Christian churches not being mystery cults. I hope it will help you in your endeavour.
I followed your advice about removing the clause about faith-based arguments. And I certainly agree that ancient Christian texts count as evidence, as long as you are critical & careful in your analysis.
What this blog needs is viewers and members and commenters. Can you tell me where I may find & contact those, who would be interested in this kind of blog "at an uncommon level of sophistication" (oh, I love that!)?
Cordially, Bernard
Comment from: premo316

Hello, Bernard I would also be interested in reading your thoughts about the Pauline epistles and the high- context culture they were written in.

Also are you familiar with christian apologist James Patrick Holding and his website tektonics.org
Comment from: mullerb To prem316,

Welcome, Yes I spent considerable efforts on the Pauline epistles, more so the Corinthians. But I was more interested on the ''low'' context, that is the worldly context of those. It is explained on my website and start in the middle of http://historical-jesus.info/appb.html at 3.2 What's your point on JP Holding? No, I am not familiar with his website.
Cordially, Bernard
Comment from: premo316

My reason for bring up JP Holding is one of the foremost christian apologist online and I think you should be at least familiar with his work.

Actually, all of the new testament epistles are ''high-context'' documents reflecting the surrounding culture. Mr. Holding has a few things to say about the differences between the culture of the ancient world and that of the modern west.
Comment from: mullerb

I am not disagreeing with that "high context" thing about the epistles, but "high context" for me means lofty speculations.
Can you provide the URL of Holding's article on the matter?
Cordially, Bernard