19 Jul 2014 
#96 Carrier on Heb 8:1-5 ("proving" Jesus never was on earth) from his book OHJ

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This is what Carrier wrote about Hebrews 8:1-5 in his book 'On The Historicity Of Jesus' (OHJ) with my inserted comments.
 
The gospel repeatedly emphasized throughout the book of Hebrews is that 'Jesus the Son of God is the great high priest who has passed through the heavens' (Heb. 4.14; see also 6.19-20, in reference to the account in Heb. 5; etc.). You might notice that that sounds exactly like the celestial high priest named Jesus in early Jewish theology (Element 40)
 
[reference to Philo of Alexandria & Jesus, son of Josedec, a far-fetched and fallacious proposition]
 
undertaking the very task described for the celestial Jesus in the Ascension of Isaiah (Chapter 3, §1).
 
[the 'Ascension of Isaiah', a vastly interpolated text and difficult to date, has become the gospel of Carrier, while the canonical gospels are all trashed as total fiction!]
 
We saw that in the earliest discernible redaction of the latter, the Jesus who passes through the heavens dies in outer space, in the sublunar heaven, not on earth.
 
[in order to pass through the heavens, with the ultimate destination being the highest heaven, next to God, what would be the starting point? Earth.
And 'Ascension of Isaiah' does not say the "Beloved" is killed in the air: see here and here]
 
This also appears to be what the author of Hebrews believes:
The sum of what we've said is this: we have such a High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of His Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices, therefore it is necessary that this One have something to offer, too. For if He were on earth. He would not be a priest, since there are already priests who offer gifts according to the law. and who only give service to the copy and shadow of heavenly things [because Moses was instructed to make on earth copies of the things he saw in heaven] (Heb. 8.1-5).
 
[Correction: according to Exodus 25-28, Moses, when on top of mount Sinai, is not shown anything from heaven, but told by God how to make sacred objects on earth, without saying they exist in heaven] 
 
This certainly seems to say Jesus died in outer space.

[according to "The sum of what we've said is this: we have such a High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of His Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle that the Lord set up."the "celestial" temple is not in the air, where death could occur but in the highest heaven, next to God, where death cannot happen, therefore also Jesus' sacrifice]
 
Because here we're told that Jesus not only performed his sacrifice in the celestial temple (as in Heb. 9, as we'll see in a moment), but that he had to do so. Otherwise the magic of it wouldn't have worked. We're also told that Jesus wasn't ever on earth—instead, he could only have been God's celestial high priest (so as to perform the ultimate sacrifice) if he wasn't on earth. Because "if he were on earth, he would not be a priest', since earth already has its priests—but Jesus needs to be a priest, in order to mediate the new covenant (Heb. 8.6).
 
[Heb 9 never states Jesus' sacrifice occurs in any celestial temple: Carrier made it up! Also, he is deliberately combining the lower heaven (the air below the moon) and the upper one, above the firmament, the domain of (good) spirits and immortality. Both heavens have become the celestial realm for him. And it seems he has this "celestial temple" stretching from the sublunar realm all the way up to God's vicinity in the highest heaven!
Certainly Jesus was not like the other priests servicing the old covenant, but a different high priest who, after sacrificing his own body, had to go to heaven in order to mediate the new covenant.
I do not see why the sacrifice cannot be on earth according to the quote. Certainly the sacrifice in the highest heaven does not make any sense. And by demons, on a cross, in a "celestial temple"? how bizarre! 
See my rebuttal on Heb 8:4-6 here.
Also, see here for mention of an earthly human Jesus in Hebrews]
 
We're also told here the same thing Isaiah was told in the Ascension: that everything on earth has a duplicate version of it in the heavens (hence Ele­ment 38).
 
['Ascension of Isaiah' again (very dependable!!!), the gospel of Carrier. Once again, the duplicate would be in/or the highest heaven (as in Revelation 7:15, 11:19, 15:5, 16:17 and Philo of Alexandria's On Dreams 1.215), not in the air below the moon. Furthermore, the duplication in 'Ascension of Isaiah' is only about where the angels of Satan are fighting each other: firmament and earth:
7:9-10 "And we ascended to the firmament, I and he, and there I saw Sammael and his hosts, and there was great fighting therein and the angels of Satan were envying one another. And as above so on the earth also; for the likeness of that which is in the firmament is here on he earth."]

The implication is that Jesus' blood must have been spilled on the heavenly duplicate of God's altar—not on earth, where there already are priests making blood sacrifices, which are less effective than celestial ones. Yet Jesus, being perfect, was the most powerful sacrifice of all (Heb. 7.27-28).

[there no mention of any God's altar in heaven in the whole of Hebrews. Furthermore Hebrews specifies this sacrifice was done on a cross, not an altar (6:6, 12:2). Again, "celestial" includes God's highest heaven. How convenient! A blood sacrifice in heaven right by God's side!
Or rather the blood here is symbolic, not real, typifying Jesus' past sacrifice (on earth). That would be a lot more plausible]

PS: I had to ask Dr. Carrier on his own blog :

Dr. Carrier,
“1. There are imperfect earthly copies of heavenly things. 2. Animal sacrifices are an imperfect copy of Jesus’ sacrifice, Therefore: Jesus’ sacrifice was a heavenly sacrifice.”

The logic is greatly flawed.
I do not see why that would prevent Jesus’ sacrifice to be on earth.
I do not see why the ultimate sacrifice could not be done on earth.
Furthermore, in the air, below the moon, among demons, is not a perfect environment (not God’s heaven and not any better than earth), and rather strange for someone in a flesh & blood human body (even if generated from a sperm of David & an allegorical woman).
It is therefore more logical for the sacrifice to be done on a human/earthly being, even if he is an incarnated deity.

Note: the Jerusalem temple is a copy of God’s heaven, according to Heb 9:11-12 & 23-24, and nothing else earthly is said to be a copy of heavenly things.

On the same topic, you wrote in OHJ:
“Because here we’re told that Jesus not only performed his sacrifice in the celestial temple (as in Heb. 9, as we’ll see in a moment), but that he had to do so. Otherwise the magic of it wouldn’t have worked.”
Are you saying it was believed by the author of Hebrews there was a celestial temple in the air, below the moon. And that “celestial” temple (or sanctuary) is not in (or the whole of) God’s heaven, where it is located according to Heb 9:11-12 & 23-24?
So where is that celestial temple where the sacrifice was performed?

Cordially, Bernard

In his reply to me, Richard Carrier said

Bernard, you don’t know how logic works. You claim the syllogism is flawed, but fail to identify any flaws in it. Just because you don’t like the conclusion doesn’t mean the logic is flawed. The syllogism in fact already answers your questions. You are simply ignoring what it actually says.
Because you are a crank. As has been well established, again and again and again.
Case in point, you quote mine. Honest people would admit to what I say just a few pages later: pp. 543-45. You are not honest people.


A few pages later on OHJ, Carrier wrote the Sacrifice occurs in the sublunar realm. But is it compatible with "Jesus not only performed his sacrifice in the celestial temple" and "the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle that the Lord set up, not man" next to God"?
That was the essence of the question, which Carrier did not answer.

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {Carrier} {Carrier's OHJ} {Hebrews} {Hebrews 8:1-5} {Jesus' historicity} {mythicism}
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