Talk:Historicity of Jesus/Archive 3

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WikiProject Jesus

In order to try to work out the relationship between all the various pages and hopefully get some consensus, I have opened a WikiProject to centralize discussion and debate. We've got several "conflicted" pages at the moment, and without centralizing discussion, it's going to get very confusing. Please join the project, if you're interested in the topic, and start discussions on the talk page. (We need to create a to-do list, but I think the current state is too conflicted to decide even that.) Mpolo 10:49, Nov 8, 2004 (UTC)


So, sam, are you going to discuss this in a civilised manner? CheeseDreams 22:13, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I have no idea what you mean, but I do intend to be polite, reasonable and helpful, as is my nature :). Sam [Spade] 22:24, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I mean that given your propensity to revert things you don't like without explaining why, are you actually going to explain why you have been doing it on this page? CheeseDreams 00:14, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I should explain why. The article should present the views of different scholars in detail and what they think. It should not be a pamphlet that you copied from anti-Christian web sites where the article is trying to prove that Jesus is a pagan myth. OneGuy 01:55, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
if you actually read the above sections, you will note that I will be putting other views in, and am aware it is POV at the moment. Also note that if you are explaining why because you put the totally disputed notice on. Then you are Sam. Therefore you are misrepresenting yourself by using a different username. I will mention in the other places that you have commented that you are Sam Spade. CheeseDreams 08:57, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I am Sam Spade?? LOL. No, I am not Sam Spade. Now is your accusation that I am Sam Spade a Personal attack or what?OneGuy 10:45, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
CheeseDreams, sock puppetry accusations are considered very grave here. Please don't make them unless you are absolutely sure and have convincing evidence. Gady 12:08, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Are they? In that case, ill make a file. CheeseDreams 20:10, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

In the meantime, well, Sam, are you going to (under the username "Sam Spade") actually explain? CheeseDreams 20:10, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Explain what, that you made a crazy mess of this page? What I aught to do is list it on Vfd. Sam [Spade] 21:46, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
No, why you think it is factually inaccurate, and non-NPOV, since you added the tag stating that you did. CheeseDreams 22:23, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Vfd= DELETE THE WHOLE ARTICLE. To state that there ought (aught=nothing (the word is usually used by those with a strong northern scottish accent - do you have one?)) to be no article about "Historicity of Jesus" is tantamount to stating that the Historicity of Jesus ought not to be discussed, which is absolutely massively extreme POV. CheeseDreams 22:23, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It should be merged then, is that better? Sam [Spade] 22:39, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No, thats only stating what we already know you would like. We need to know WHY. CheeseDreams 23:46, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

New version

I copied CheeseDreams' version into a new page, Historicity of Jesus/New version. CheeseDreams, please work on the temporary page, and when you are done copy the results to the existing page (assuming people agree). Others, please comment on Talk:Historicity of Jesus/New version. Can some admin unprotect the page so it can be returned to a stable version in the meantime? Gady 04:10, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

NO. IT SHOULD STAY PROTECTED until we have consensus. CheeseDreams 08:54, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

CheeseDreams, you simply cannot leave an important page in a "work in progress" state for a week. There is absolutely no justification for that. Use the subpage. I am doing the same in another page as we speak. Gady 12:10, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I agree that the page ought to be reverted to a stable version with the rewrite going on in parallel on the temp page. CheeseDreams, if you want, we could put the NPOV notice, followed by a notice that work is proceding at Historicity of Jesus/New version, so that that page is available to the reader as well. We did the same thing when I rewrote Shroud of Turin. We edit it as a temp article until there is concensus, then ask an admin to move it, so as to preserve the edit history. Mpolo 13:19, Nov 9, 2004 (UTC)

Do you have enough tags on the top of this page? Maybe we could drag out some more! Mark Richards 18:47, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I looked at this page and it was a mess. It wasn't an article on the historicity of Jesus -- it wasn't even an article. I looked at the previous version and while I am sure it has its flaws, as all articles do, at least it looked like an encyclopedia article. Folks, by all means lets address POV issues and verifiability and whatnot, let's work on this article -- but let's keep it an article, okay? Slrubenstein

Protectionism Again

I warned you that reverting the page as soon as it was unprotected would just result in the page being protected again. You should have listened.

If you think an article is a mess. Tidy it up.

Grow up. Don't delete articles because you don't like the facts expressed in them, and prefer the cosy POV of earlier versions which had NPOV issues. CheeseDreams 23:50, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

How is anyone supposed to "tidy it up" if it is protected? Ben Standeven 08:00, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I was referring to when it is unprotectedCheeseDreams 08:23, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The protected article is not an article on "the historicity of Jesus." It is not even an encyclopedia article. It is a mess. Slrubenstein

If you think an article is a mess. Tidy it up.

Grow up. Don't delete articles because you don't like the facts expressed in them, and prefer the cosy POV of earlier versions which had NPOV issues. CheeseDreams 23:50, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've made some edits to the New Version, but it needs some serious reorganizing. Ben Standeven 08:16, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Now it's been reorganized; the Sources section still needs to be merged into Jesus and Textual Evidence. Ben Standeven 01:07, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Just wondering if anybody could defend a claim that the current version of the article is better than the pre-CheeseDreams version to be found here. All that seems to have happened is that a complete hash has been made out of a perfectly decent article. john k 23:37, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Once again, the article was half way through a re-write, and I was about to tidy it up substantially before a revert war happend and consequently protection occurred (the first time). After it was unprotected, I attempted to start tidying it up again (look at the history if you don't believe me), but a revert war happened producing the current protection. CheeseDreams 23:57, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The new version is more or less done now. Ben Standeven 08:18, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

CheeseDreams, since this seems to happen to you frequently, perhaps it would be best to work on your rewrites on a test page (User:CheeseDreams/Historicity of Jesus, for instance), and then solicit comments on your new version, and then, if it meets with general approval, replace the old article. This would allow people to judge your versions based on how they finally turn out, rather than on some intermediate stage in the middle, and prevent most edit wars. john k 09:02, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Darling, I had already worked on the re-write here. And the continued reverts only happen because a gang of fundamentalists (of which, I might add, you are a part) is stalking my edits. CheeseDreams 16:42, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I wasn't saying you do anything differently here. Just that you're far more likely to get reverted if your edits seem to turn the article into an incoherent mess than if you finish writing your new version and then invite comments before replacing it. As to "a gang of fundamentalists", do you mean fundamentalist in the sense of "people who believe in the literal truth of the Bible"? I can assure you that I am neither a Jewish nor a Christian fundamentalist in that sense. I'm fairly certain that Slrubenstein is not one, either, based on my observations of his work before this particular conflict. Just because someone disagrees with you about the best way to write an article does not mean that they are religious fundamentalists. john k 20:15, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Having reviewed both of your contributions, I stand by my claim. CheeseDreams 22:40, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, having reviewed your contributions, I believe you to be an insane troll. What sort of fundamentalist do you believe me to be, by the way? I'm fairly certain that I'm not at all religious, so I'm curious to see what the hell you're talking about. john k 23:54, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I believe you to be the sort of fundamentalist that misrepresents themselves in order to appear to have a disinterested stance, thus able to persuade weak-willed editors that their views are unreasonable (see User:Rednblu for this tactic, and various comments about it in his talk page archives, and on an ongoing RfC) CheeseDreams 02:04, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

CheeseDreams, do you have any comments on the "New Version" Ben has been working on? Wesley 02:58, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I have had a brief look at it. The sources section has already been merged with the appropriate article and just contains duplicate information - I have already written a summary (but it, along with everything else, has been reverted during the revert row). I will try to merge his other changes into the version I am working on where appropriate - the article (of his), as it stands is currently a restructuring of the intermediate article, with a bit of content added - I have added more content and fleshed out some outlines, resulting in other, earlier (in date) sections consisting predominantly of duplication.CheeseDreams 08:22, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

thrice blah

It looks like this is another example of CheeseDreams hijacking a good article. Historicity of Jesus originally had the simple objective of laying out arguments/evidence for and against the existence of Jesus. This is plenty for an article to do and all this article need do. But now I look at it nd the first several sections of the article are on other divinities that have nothing at all to do with the historicity of Jesus. Look, I understnad the argument that the Jesus myth that developed in the ancient near East was syncreticitic. But this shouold simply be ANOTHER ARTICLE. Not this one. Let's u block the article, move all material on synretism to its own, linked article, and restore the arguments over whether or not Jesus exited to this article. DOes this make sense? Why would anyone be oppoese? Slrubenstein

This assessment (suffering from heavy verbosity) is 100% refuted. CheeseDreams 12:12, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Let's GO!!!

The article at Historicity of Jesus/ seems to be ready to replace this one now. Ben Standeven 22:09, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

If you want. The 4th section (3rd main one) is only an sketched outline at the moment though. And this one is still locked.CheeseDreams 23:10, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Historicity of Jesus/ appears to be an almost completely different article than what was here before. It duplicates far too much content from Jesus and syncretism. I think the original article was better by far, in terms of polish, in terms of content, and in terms of scope and balanced NPOV. The old article, did mention similarities with Mithras etc., and an additional link to Jesus and syncretism would not be inappropriate, if it wasn't already there. It should be restored, rather than replaced. Wesley 18:18, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The old article hardly made mention. It is a poor shadow of its potential. I see attempts to resurrect it as a POV campaign to supress questions of the historicity of Jesus.
Reverting to the original article after unlocking will simply restart the revert war, as it did before. Such action is clearly going to be percieved by some parties as deliberate antagonism, so I would respectfully suggest you don't try it. CheeseDreams 19:26, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I agree that there is too much material in the "Jesus and syncretism" section. If it is supposed to be a summary section, then it should summarize, not try to edge in every single the 19th century argument possible, while omitting the evidence against those theories. It would be good to indicate that those arguments in particular are largely discarded by serious scholars (at least they were in the 1950s -- maybe someone has resurrected them, in which case, you would have to indicate who). I wouldn't support bringing in this new article until we see what you have planned with your Gnosticism section. While you appear to be convinced that Paul was a gnostic, an overwhelming majority of scholars would dispute your opinion there, and the outline makes it look as though the majority opinion of scholars (that is, the probable truth) is going to be marginalized to present a pet theory of the author of the article. This is not neutrality. Mpolo 20:42, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)
I have no objection to adding the "evidence against those theories", but I haven't seen any on my searches, so until some comes to light, it will default to not being in there. CheeseDreams 00:22, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The section currently known as "gnosticism"

W.r.t. gnosticism, its a bit of a mess in my head at the moment, as I'm still trying to work out how to describe the James the Just vs. Paul argument w.r.t. the Ebionites and the Essenes. And how Ebionites vs. gnostics vs. early christians works, as most of the texts on these things have them all jumbled up everywhere, rather than a nice encyclopedic summary.
Oh, the title of the section is poor, I don't like the title being "gnosticism", but I haven't thought of a sensible replacement title yet (as opposed to paragraph long ones)
But essentially the arguments are thus (the order is sort-of chronological, and I still havent worked out which arrangement flows best) (p.s. its quite useful drawing this list up actually)
Acts and how it describes Paul's actions (and how his account is different) - power struggle of Paul vs. James, the nazoreans, James-ian christianity and its relation to the essenes, later christian attempts to see if their teaching deviated from the apostles (by searching for the church of Jerusalem, and only finding the ebionites (who were "heretics") - and the implications thereof)
Pauline epistles (1) (1st group of epistles - those generally considered genuine) - summary description of their general theology, lack of flesh-and-blood-ness of Jesus in them, similarities to gnostic views
Pauline epistles (2) incl. pastorals - essentially historiography - even early scholars (i.e. 2nd century) thought these dubious based on textual criticism etc. rather than their religious POV, show how they differ with the other paul, thus their evidence is doubted by some scholars
Mark & secret teachings - e.g. Secret Gospel of Mark (aside from much mention of "secrets" in the normal gospel, and mysterious obscure cryptic statements in it), Thomas Didymous (literally "twin twin" and the significance of the twin in gnosticism), the naked youth at gethsemene(and associated other/identical naked/semi-naked youths elsewhere - e.g. at the tomb of Jesus) and the potential mystery religion meaning thereof, and how this indicates Mystery religion.
Synoptics - markan priority + Q (compare Gospel of Thomas) + Matthewian additions + Lukan additions- how Q is just a series of wisdom from many sources (including Aesop) that someone added the name Jesus to at some point - how the Matthewian and Lukan additions don't match (i.e. how they could just be made up or syncretisms based on the "well we don't actually care about whether it is true, so it doesn't matter what stories we use" principle)
John - essentially a summary of the relevant part of Authorship of John (that link is a redirect - I can't spell the other word properly) - i.e. that John may not have written it, it doesn't match the synoptics (and differs on important points), it does match 2nd century anti-heretical texts (e.g. the first paragraph 100% defeats arianism - so its odd that arianism even existed if the gospel did), it may be a forgery, so some scholars think it unreliable - i.e a historiography discussion
Other Epistles - historiography again
Apocalypse of John-the-Divine - deconstructionism as a set of Jewish tales from the OT + anti-Rome polemic + Jesus, Mary, etc. references which look like syncretisms from Mystery religions (e.g. Mary with the moon at her feet etc.)
Persecution - explaining why the gnostics are not the orthodoxy now - cerinthus quote (the one that goes something like "people who take it literally are thick and lazy, but I guess thats why its popular") - ecumenical councils (rules and enforcement of exile to those who disagree) - Cathars and the EVIL albigensian crusade (and other inqusitions).
And Clement of Alexandria, Cerinthus, Origen and Marcion need to fit in there somehow, especially the first two.
There is quite a lot of material there, and it will probably be best to become a daughter article once it is put together.
Does that all make sense? CheeseDreams 00:22, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Are you familiar with The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty? A lot of this seems reminiscent of it. Incidentally, I would think Marcion would be very important to this discussion. Remember that as an encyclopedia article, the subject of Jesus' historicity needs to be approached from all sides, and not turn into a one-sided essay. Wesley 04:29, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

No, I haven't read it at all. It seems to be referenced a lot on the web though. My familiarity with this subject area comes from my background as associating with some of the UK's top theologians who would constantly go on about this sort of thing (particularly the Albigensian crusade). CheeseDreams 12:20, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What the heck?!

I notice we NOW have {{protected}}, {{TotallyDisputed}}, {{attention}}, {{cleanup}} and two {{merge}} tags on the article now! At least two can be removed, them being the attention and cleanup notices. - Ta bu shi da yu 08:48, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Explanation of my revert

I have reverted back to the material before CheeseDreams slapped an entirely new article on top of this one! This is totally unacceptable because it makes it extremely hard for anyone to now sort out this whole mess. If CheeseDreams wants to add material, then she is going to have to incorporate it into the article. Not add a brand new article on the top of this one! Also, I unprotected the page as this has been in a protected state and yet is unreadable because of the edits that were made. I advise people to refrain from adding CheeseDreams article on to the top of this one, but advise them to incorporate it into the article if they feel that material has been lost. Be warned though, I read quite a bit of her material and I don't see what it has to do with Jesus. It appears to be broader material, written from her POV. It also isn't referenced. I'll be watching what gets entered. - Ta bu shi da yu 09:15, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm. Have just noticed Historicity of Jesus/. Anyway, the page is unlocked now. - Ta bu shi da yu 09:20, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)