29 Jun 2014 
#91 Carrier's overall mythicist theory in "On The Historicity Of Jesus" (OHJ)

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Carrier lays out the mythicist theory he is defending on page 53 of "On The Historicity Of Jesus":

"1. At the origin of Christianity, Jesus Christ was thought to be a celestial deity much like any other.
 
 2. Like many other celestial deities, this Jesus 'communicated' with his subjects only through dreams, visions, and other forms of divine inspiration (such as prophecy, past and present). 
 
 3. Like some other celestial deities, this Jesus as originally believed to have endured an ordeal of incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection in a supernatural realm."
 
So the prime evidence here is the other celestial deities. And Jesus had to be just like one of those deities, according to Carrier!!!
And the main example that Carrier can give about a deity, being heavenly first, and then (see next points 4. & 5.) set in an earthly environment, is Osiris:
"The manner in which Osiris came to be historicized, moving from being just a cosmic god to being given a whole narrative biography set in Egypt during a specific historical period, complete with collections of wisdom sayings he supposedly uttered, is still an apt model, if not by any means an exact one. Which is to say, it establishes a proof of concept [for Carrier's minimal Jesus myth theory]. It is in essence what all mythicists are saying happened to Jesus." (page 53)
Note: not all mythicists would accept that concept. Actually, any of the contemporary mythicist author I know of thinks that, not even Doherty: "The simple answer is that the original ‘human’ figure of Jesus first took shape as the perceived founder of the Q-style Kingdom-of-God preaching movement centered in Galilee during the course of that movement’s evolution over time...
Since this perceived founder (we don’t know if he was originally called “Jesus”) reflected and symbolized the nature and activities of the Q preachers himself, he took on their characteristics, including a Galilean origin. He was not developed out of a heavenly Christ concept–that concept belonged to a separate religious movement on the first century scene, and only with the Gospel of Mark do we see the first amalgamation of the two strands....
Quite simple, really.
Earl"

And many (probably most) of the today mythicists think Jesus, along with Peter, James, John, Paul, etc., were total inventions originating in the 2nd century.
"4. As for many other celestial deities, an allegorical story of this same Jesus was then composed and told within the sacred community, which placed him on earth, in history, as a divine man, with an earthly family, companions, and enemies, complete with deeds and sayings, and an earthly depiction of his ordeals."
This story, as allegorical, is far from being proven in the case of Jesus. Once again, another leap of faith.
 
Paul enters into play here because he described Jesus as having been earthly, with an earthly family, with some members still alive in Paul's days (see Note below) (and could be contacted when in Jerusalem!).
But if the Pauline epistles are the earliest known Christian texts, what is the evidence for pre-Pauline points 1., 2., & 3.?
Of course, that's the other celestial deities, that is Osiris, with, according to what precedes, a bit of Inanna, a Sumerian goddess and a lot of Ascension of Isaiah!!!
 
"5. Subsequent communities of worshippers believed (or at least taught) that this invented sacred story was real (and either not allegorical or only 'additionally' allegorical).
 
Note: According to Paul's seven deemed authentic epistles:
1) Jesus was a man "the one man Jesus Christ" (Ro 5:15).
2) He was a Jew (said to be descendant of Abraham (Gal 3:16), Israelites (Ro 9:4-5), Jesse (Ro 15:12) & David (Ro 1:3). (See here for Carrier's objections in OHJ)
3) He came from a woman (Gal 4:4).
4) He had been a minister to Jews (Ro 15:8).
5) He was poor, in poverty (2 Cor 8:9) and humble & of "no reputation" (Php 2:7-8).
6) He was crucified (1 Cor 1:23, 2:2, 2:8, 2 Cor 13:4).
7) This crucifixion happened in the heartland of the Jews.
8) He had brothers (contemporaries of Paul) (1 Cor 9:5).
9) These brothers were travelling with "a "sister", a wife" (1 Cor 9:5).
10) One of Jesus' brothers was named "James" (Gal 1:19), whom Paul met several times in Jerusalem (Gal 1:19, 2:9).
11) James lived for a long time in Jerusalem (Gal 1:19, 2:9).
12) James was also an important member of some Jewish sect based in Jerusalem (Gal 2:2, 9, 12).
 
Also to be added: Paul & his Christians of Corinth had been subjected to a worldly depiction of Jesus in the past, which Paul wanted his Christians to forget and move on to his own (spiritual) view. See here.
 
Of course, Carrier objects to many of these points, as for Jesus having flesh & blood brothers (see tag: {brothers of the Lord}), with one called James (see tag: {brother of the Lord}). Also, Carrier takes the woman in Gal 4:4 as being allegorical (see tag: {Galatians 4:4}), and has Jesus believed being poor in power, crucified & buried in some celestial realm below the moon, and having ministered to Jews from above in a Jewish body.
 
About point 2, I recently asked Richard about what he wrote on his blog:
"Richard, You said,
“So we could have predicted in advance that a final cosmic Jesus would be imagined to have been Davidic and Jewish.”
I disagree. Only somebody who has been human on earth would be imagined Davidic and said Jewish. Cosmic Michael, the Messiah for the Jews in Daniel 12 did not have to be Davidic or a Jew.
From where did you get a cosmic entity could be descendant of an earthly man who lived long ago and part of an ethnic group?
Cordially, Bernard"
 
Richard did not answer the question but accused me of being a crank:
"Thanks for not at all reading my book or addressing any of the evidence or arguments in it.
Bernard, you are a crank. Every regular here knows you are a crank. Stop commenting on my blog unless you have something honest to say. ..."
 
I replied:
"Richard,
What is dishonest in my posting and the question I asked you? My remark was not on your book, but on what you wrote on your blog. I got no answer. Instead a personal attack.
I suppose your answer would be, as you exposed in one of your lecture, in 2 Samuel 7. I have a blog post on that:
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 an eternal heavenly Messiah from David's seed
I tried honestly not to misrepresent you. Does someone have to be a crank to oppose your theory?
Cordially, Bernard"
 
You can read Carrier's answer on his blog

Despite his far-fetched ill-evidenced explanations against mention of an earthly & human Jesus in the epistles, Carrier wrote on page 595 of OHJ: "the evidence of the epistles is exactly 100% expected on minimal mythicism and has a probability of 6% on minimal historicity ... Because they [the evidence of the epistles] are simply so very strange on minimal historicity, but not at all strange on minimal mythicism ... the historicity of Jesus is not defensible ..."

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {Carrier} {Carrier's OHJ} {earthly & human Jesus} {Jesus' historicity} {mythicism} {Paul}
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