30 Jan 2013 
#40 Probably the best evidence for an earthly & human Jesus in "to the Hebrews". Updated from OHJ

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For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.” Heb 7:14

Doherty wrote, regarding Heb 7:14 (without providing any evidence):
“Melchizedek was traditionally seen as part of pre-Abrahamic (thus Canaanite) dynasty of priest kings, a line that continued through David when he conquered Jerusalem, and thus Melchizedek's line became associated with the tribe of Judah.”

I object: this Melchizedek, not even an Israelite, could not be associated with the tribe of Judah (which did not exist yet). And in the OT, he is never connected to any tribe, and never said part of the same line as the one of David.
Then Doherty followed through this unevidenced (and illogical) assumption later:
“The scriptural Melchizedek has provided this new High Priest [Jesus] with a tribe, that of Judah”

Then Doherty mentioned some Qumran scrolls, 2 Enoch, other little known Jewish texts (not in the OT) and associated scholarly speculations who would have Melchizedek as a messianic, possibly angelic figure and a priest in Heaven.
He wrote next: “Beside, if a Melchizedek in Heaven could be identified with the tribe of Judah, there seems little reason to deny that convenience to the High Priest Jesus”

The problem here is that the author of 'Hebrews' never described Melchizedek (besides not identified with the tribe of Judah) as operating as a priest in Heaven. Instead, in 7:1-10 (except for priest forever), he kept very close to the OT description, with Melchizedek being always a human (even if described as a priest forever, because, I think, his origin & death are not stated in the OT). That would render null most of Doherty's argumentation.

The point that the author was making is that Melchizedek, just like Jesus (7:13, 14), was not from the Levite tribe (7:6, 10) and therefore both were rather unique (not associated with those who made Jewish animal sacrifices for centuries) “you are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek” (7:17)

And that Jesus from the tribe of Judah was evident (according to 'Hebrews'). But Doherty wrote "it is evident" (prodelon) of 7:14 needs to be seen as a reference to the clarity bestowed by scripture.”

What scriptures? Sectarian ones (that is later not classified as canonical) that the author cannot be proven to know or follow?
And no OT scripture has Melchizedek associated with the tribe of Judah, which did not exist yet.

But why would it be so evident? Jesus was then believed to be a descendant of David (himself from the tribe of Judah). Even Paul had to accept that (Ro 1:3 & 5:12). But the author of Hebrews (and Paul) never saw Jesus as a King (in past, present and future), so he had no reason to mention a descendance from David and that was not part of the point he was making. All he needed was Jesus being from a different tribe than the Levites. And if it was evident that Jesus came from David's descent, then the same could be told about Jesus being from David's tribe, Judah.

So what is left is that Jesus was known to have been a human being on earth (as any member of a Jewish tribe), and also as believed for Melchizedek.

For confirmation, consider the following from 'Hebrews' (RSV):
2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
2:15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.
2:16 For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham.
2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people.

Doherty thinks the "semblance" would apply between humans with physical flesh & blood and a Jesus, believed by him with spiritual flesh & blood (when below heaven). I cannot agree with that.
Also, Doherty wrote (JNGNM, p. 116) he would expect the author to use the word "identical" if both humans and Jesus (when below heaven) had physical body. Well I am as human as my neighbours, but certainly not identical to them.

Also, another evidence is Heb 5:7
"In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death,"
"his flesh" is describing a flesh & blood physical human condition:
Ro 6:19 Darby "I speak humanly on account of the weakness of your flesh."
2 Cor 7:5 Darby "For indeed, when we came into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest ..."
Gal 4:14 Darby "and my temptation, which [was] in my flesh, you did not slight nor reject with contempt; ..."
Gal 6:8 Darby "For he that sows to his own flesh, shall reap corruption from the flesh ..."
Gal 6:13 Darby "... but they wish you to be circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh ..."
Heb 12:9 Darby "Moreover we have had the [real!] fathers of our flesh as chasteners, and we reverenced [them] ..."

Note: Carrier in OHJ (page 549) did not address the issue directly and posit Jesus would have been in flesh in the sky (for days, waiting to be captured by demons!)

More updates related to OHJ:

1) Carrier, in "On The Historicity Of Jesus" (OHJ) (page 550), indicated that 'prodelos' (usually translated by "manifest" or "evident") means "foretold" in Hebrews 7:14 "For it is evident [foretold?] that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests."
But this is incorrect: the same Greek word is used (twice) also in '1 Timothy' and just cannot mean "foretold":
1 Ti 5:24-25 "Some men’s sins are clearly evident [foretold?], preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident [foretold?], and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden."

Here are two examples from Josephus' Wars about the usage of 'prodelos':
II, 3, 1 "This was foreseen by Varus, who accordingly, after Archelaus was sailed, went up to Jerusalem to restrain the promoters of the sedition, since it was manifest [foretold?] that the nation would not be at rest;"
IV, 4, 5 "prodigious storm ... very strong winds ... largest showers of rain ... continual lightnings ... terrible thunderings ... These thing were a manifest [foretold?] indication that some destruction was coming upon men,"

2) On page 544 of OHJ, Carrier wrote: "The author says that to perform his sacrifice Jesus 'once and for all', appeared [phaneroo] in order to put away sins by sacrificing himself' (Heb. 9.26), the verb here being a common term for divine revelations and manifestations (it actually means 'make known, make clear, reveal')."

The Greek word 'phaneroo' is used often in the NT, but rarely with the meaning that Carrier gave to the word.

Here are six examples where it signifies a physical & visible entity (on earth!), previously somewhat not in view:

John 1:30-31 "... A man [Jesus] comes after me [John the Baptist] who takes a place before me, because he *was* before me; and I knew him not; but that he [Jesus] might be manifested ['phaneroo'] to Israel, therefore have I come baptising with water."

John 7:4 “For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show ['phaneroo'] yourself to the world.”

John 21:1 "After these things Jesus showed ['phaneroo'] himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:"

John 21:14 "This is now the third time Jesus showed ['phaneroo'] himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead."

Josephus' Wars, III, 7, 36 "And on this day it was that the Romans slew all the multitude that appeared openly ['phaneroo']; but on the following days they searched the hiding-places, and fell upon those that were under ground, and in the caverns"

Josephus' Wars, III, 10, 7 "As for Panium itself, its natural beauty had been improved by the royal liberality of Agrippa, and adorned at his expenses. Now Jordan's visible stream arises ['phaneroo'] from this cavern, and divides the marshes and fens of the lake Semechonitis"

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {Carrier} {Carrier's OHJ} {Doherty} {earthly & human Jesus} {Hebrews} {mythicism}
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