07 Dec 2012 
#7 Paul's historical Jesus (continued)

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1) His name is Jesus. Jesus was a common name then, but less common than Simon, Judas and Joseph. However Josephus listed 3 "Jesus" among the last 28 high priests. I am going to postulate that 10% of male Jews then were named Jesus (or "Jeshua" in Aramaic, rendered as "Jesus" in Greek).
2) He was a Jew. Estimates of the number of Jews in the 1st century AD vary greatly, but it seems, to me anyway, that 4 millions might be realistic. So let's take that number, and say that Jesus was one of 2 millions male Jews.
3) He was a minister to Jews. Few Jews, would, in any way, be considered as such. Likely priests, preachers, teachers & healers would be thought as minister. I give 10% here. That might look too generous, but, as you will see, the higher the number, the more  detrimental to my case.
4) Not used
5) He was crucified. Here, I have to guess from scratch. Also we have to consider that crucifixion was not likely the most common way of execution (it would be decapitation). There, I'll venture 5%, among all male Jews for a generation.
6) Not used
7) He had brothers (contemporaries of Paul). See 8)
8) These brothers were travelling with "a sister, a wife". How many male Jews would be known to travel, and if doing so, with a woman? Most, if not travelling alone, would do it with male companions. I'll estimate no more than 40%.
9) One of Jesus' brothers was named "James". I did some calculation and figured out, very roughly, only 25% of male Jews could claim, that among at least 2 brothers, one was named "James" (I estimated, according to Josephus' writing, that no more than 5% of Jews were called James/Jacob, even if the NT features a few of those (at least 4)).
10) James lived for a long time in Jerusalem. In view of the area covered by Jerusalem then, it has been estimated this city had no more than 100,000 people in the first century (before 70 CE). That's 50,000 male Jews among 2,000,000, which gives a ratio of 2.5%.
11) James was also an important member of some Jewish sect. 5% seems more than generous here.

So we have 2,000,000 x 10% x 10% x 5% x 40% x 25% x 2.5% x 5% = 0.1250
which means that the ensemble of the pieces of data supplied by Paul can only relate to one individual.
Feel free to disagree with my math, my ratios, or anything else ... 

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {earthly & human Jesus} {historical Jesus} {Paul} {Paul's historical Jesus}
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