Criterion of multiple attestation is not a bad one

No, I don’t mean because we have four Gospels that are at times independent of one another. I mean something else.

Of course I do. I always mean something else.

I was having a rather enjoyable conversation about the Historical Jesus today with a new found friend and we were talking about the Historical Jesus. Um… anyway… (see, you can believe me because I mentioned the same thing twice).

Anyway, I don’t believe in the Historical Jesus.

I’ll let that sink in.

The Historical Jesus is a Myth.

Oh dear…

The Historical Jesus is a scholarly concoction. As I noted to my friend, the one time I will insist on a Historical Jesus is when it must be done to confront the Aryan Jesus or the American Jesus. Otherwise, to search for the Historical Jesus purports to use the Gospels as a history book. A history book on the American Revolution doesn’t mean that George Washington existed.

So I was asked as to how I know that Jesus existed.

Why, the criterion of multiple attestation I said.

By that, I mean that we have various communities reflecting on Jesus even before Paul and often in competition with one another. (Read Romans and Galatians) But, the idea that we do not have just one community, but many, several, that remained within Judaism until the destruction of the Temple is, in my opinion a criterion to suggest that their was indeed a historical figure named Jesus that lived, taught, and died in 1st century Palestine.

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7 Replies to “Criterion of multiple attestation is not a bad one”

  1. I think minimal facts is a pretty convincing form of argumentation about events and circumstances from which we are dramatically removed. Though the Historical Jesus does represent a challenge to coherent historiography, it is not unresolvable.

    Also, Not to be critical but you’re starting to sound more and mor like Jim West with these “if you don’t believe this, then you may be a moron” statements. Maybe you’re just the yin to his yang.

  2. Um … Romans and Galations were written by one person … Paul. So what we have is one attestation of multiple attestation.

    Still, as NT historians are fond of assuming, “Why would Paul lie?” (or the countless Christian copyists who kept the words on paper – and never, ever, added a jot or tittle of their own biased understandings into the text).

    One more point. Evidence against mythicism is only one use of multiple attestation. More often, apologists toss the phrase around as evidence of an empty grave or a resurrection.

    1. I’m not sure you get what I was saying about Romans and Galatians. First, Romans was written to a non-Pauline Christian Church. Galatians was battling non-Pauline Christians.

      I was unaware that mythicism was the dominant idea and that it needed to be disproved.

      1. Yes, thanks for the clarification, but I did understood what you were saying about Romans and Galatians.

        I don’t think I suggested that mythicism was the “dominant idea”; it just seemed to be the idea you were dealing with in your post:

        “So I was asked as to how I know that Jesus existed.
        Why, the criterion of multiple attestation I said.”

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