18 Mar 2015 
#110 Using Carrier's own math in OHJ, some (highly justified) corrections to his input data produce startling new results!

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1) Introduction:

On the charts about "Extrabiblical Evidence" (page 357), "Epistle Evidence" (page 594) and "Consequent Probability On Minimal Historicity" (page 597), I made the "corrections" as shown in red. They are amply justified by previous posts (as indicated later) or/and explanations further on into this blog post. These rectifications are relative only to Carrier's arguments against historicity for each point (and not to the ones of other mythicists).

Note: I have to thank Carrier here for the often extreme weakness of his argumentation and also for his multiplication of odds, which makes my job so much easier!
Please note my "corrections" are limited to a few components: this does not mean I accept the rating in odds that Carrier gave to the others. However, as you will see later, thanks to Carrier's math, there is no point to discuss these other components here at this time.

2) The corrections:

A) For "Extrabiblical Evidence" (page 357), I justified these corrections for "Josephus" in the following blog post:
Here are Carrier's comments on Josephus' Antiquities 20, 9, 1, trying to prove "Jesus called Christ" is an accidental interpolation
(I reproduced the whole of Carrier's text in OHJ on the matter, with many of my notes against his arguments)

B) For "Epistles Evidence" (page 594), I justified the corrections as follows:

a) On "Made from sperm" by this blog post:
Carrier's use of 2 Samuel 7 in order to demonstrate it was believed God had a cosmic sperm bank in outer space in order to make a heavenly Messiah from one of David's sperms.
(Richard uses that in order to dispel Romans 1:3 as showing Jesus had human & earthly origin)
And Carrier conveniently did not include in his points other verses from Paul's epistles which support Jesus as an earthly human such as:
Galatians 3:16 "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ."
Romans 9:3-5 "... my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, ..."

If we take in account Galatians 3:16 and Romans 9:3-5, with Romans 1:3 (each with 4/1 odds), then 50/1 (4x4x4) odds for "made from sperm (in heaven)" is amply justified.

b) On "Made from a woman" by this blog post:
Comments on Carrier's explanations in OHJ on "woman" in Galatians 4:4
(Carrier argued that "woman" in Galatians 4:4 is not a real woman but an allegorical one)

c) On "Brothers of the Lord", by these blog posts:
Carrier's lame arguments in OHJ against "James, the brother of the Lord" in Galatians 1:19
(The two arguments of Carrier in a nut shell about "James, the brother of the Lord" not being Jesus' blood brother: he was either John's brother or just a lesser Christian who happened to pay a visit to Peter when Paul was there!)
My discussion with Dr. Carrier about Christians being understood as "brothers of the Lord" from Paul or the converts
(I demonstrated there is no evidence that "brothers of the Lord", with a familial & spiritual/honorary meaning, was what Paul or his Christians (about themselves) believed, despite Carrier's objections)
Does Romans 8:29 indicate Paul considered Christians as (spiritual) brothers of Jesus?
(Carrier contends all Christians were considered by Paul "brothers of the Lord". However Romans 8:29 would deny it)
All about "the brothers of the Lord" in 1 Corinthians 9:5. Updated from OHJ
(Let's define who would be these brothers and then see how Doherty and Carrier "interpret" them within their mythicist outlook)

And of course, all these human/earthly attributes are corroborated by each other and also by Jesus being from the "seed" of Abraham (Gal 3:19) and descendant of Jesse (Ro 15:12) and Israelites (Ro 9:4-5 post #25). And let's not forget about Josephus, with "the brother of Jesus called Christ, James by name" (Antiquities 20, 9, 1), 'Hebrews' "from the tribe of Judah" (with Carrier's counter argumentation) and Jesus sacrificed in the Jewish heartland (according to Paul).
Note: Carrier used corroborations as part on his methodology all over OHJ, so I should not be blamed if I do the same.

C) For "Consequent Probability On Minimal Jesus" (page 597), I justified the correction for "gospels" as follows:

How did "Mark" handle the known "humble" Jesus testimony conflicting with the later preaching as a divine entity?
("Mark" reacting to the testimony of (an) eyewitness(es) when it was not in favor of Christian beliefs).
Also for signs of authenticity in Mark's gospel, please consider:
Another Markan problem: "Mark" and Jesus as "the king of the Jews"
(Did "Mark" devise Jesus as believed by some contemporaries to be (or will be) "the king of the Jews"? And for his gospel audience which appears to be mostly Gentile? It is most unlikely, for various reasons ...)
Did "Mark" invent Jesus' disturbance in the temple?
(The disturbance in the temple is treated as a minor event with (surprisingly!) no consequences. Then why did "Mark" bother to describe it (in a few words)?)
Analysis of the miraculous feedings in Mark's gospel
("Mark" added up (rather tentatively) a huge amount of fiction in some eyewitness' anecdote)

C) The overall results:

At the bottom of the last image, the resulting odd for all "consequent" odds is an astonishing 26539/1. The next step is to apply Carrier's Bayes theorem, first for "Best Odds On H(istoricity) (page 599). It goes as such:
[Best Odds On H] = [Prior Odds] x [Consequent Odds].
Carrier has 1/2 for Prior Odds, which is based on the Rank-Raglan hero scale. However I do not see why it would apply to Jesus: I explained, for various reasons, that scheme should be discarded:
Carrier's problem with the Rank-Raglan scale for Jesus in OHJ. Presented in a graph
(Carrier's rating for Jesus in the Rank-Raglan scale, according to two gospels, makes the mythical option very suspect (among other considerations), due to the short time for evolution from a strictly heavenly deity to an (alleged) fictional ultimate hero on earth)
Note: I indicated other reasons for dismissal at the bottom of the aforementioned blog post.
Another argument against using Rank-Raglan is presented here:
Carrier made a case against his theories in OHJ on Rastafarian faith and Haile Selassie
(Carrier's piece on the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie and the Rastafari religion (pages 18-20 of OHJ) is priceless and goes straight & strongly against Carrier's mythicist theory (more so the Rank-Raglan scale application on Jesus), despite his objections).
So no prior odds should be used and we are back with the final odd of 26539/1 for the historicity of Jesus, corresponding to a probability of 99.99623% (p%=(Ox100)/(O+1)). This is for best case for historicity. What about worst case?
If we apply the ratio of Carrier's overall consequent odds between "best" and "worse" ((373248/390625)/(3/2500)=796) on the new result, then the worst odd will be 26539/796=33.34/1 corresponding to a probability of 97.1% in favor of historicity.
The average odd would be (26539+33.34)/2=13301.17/1, corresponding to a probability of 99.99246%
Note: If we take in account Carrier's prior odd, the result for probabilities do not change much:
99.996623% => 99.99246%, 97.1% => 94.3%, 99.99246% => 99.97%

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {Carrier} {Carrier's OHJ} {earthly & human Jesus} {historical Jesus} {Jesus' historicity} {Rank-Raglan"}
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