To regulate the tempo of our increasingly pointless discussion, I'm going to withhold the cleartext version of my obfuscated response (below) until sometime next week.
[The response is hereinafter de-obfuscated; see here for the original.]
BH:: you don't know very much, or [..] you cannot do "your own research" to re-verify all the things you think you know.No, there are obviously other possible definitions of "knowing much" in which said knowledge correlates highly what is in encyclopedias.
D: But I haven't claimed that things written in the EB are things I know.
BH: That would fall under the first of the two alternatives I identified.
Only if you define "knowing very much" as "the ability to defend/re-verify claims made by the EB".
I am confident in my ability to defend the conclusions I accept as true.Not the issue. Reread my claim above if you've forgotten what we're talking about.
I can defend what [EB] states on that subject. I think that constitutes a passing grade for your odd testLook up the word "all".
BH: That's what they say, as you even quoted me telling you...Both were direct quotes of the relevant material.
D: I quoted your second attempt to paraphrase the conclusions of the EB.
I have no idea what the EB actually concludesNone? Even though I quoted the article's discussion that "Nazareth [..] was the hometown, and then certainly also the birthplace"?
you have claimed that they identify both Judea and a village in Galilee as the birthplace of Jesus.I too am puzzled by their introductory one-sentence description of "Jesus of Nazareth" as being born in Judaea. But as I said, the term 'Judaea' may not be completely precise:
"it was also sometimes used for Palestine generally" [http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/judea.html]
"The limits of this district varied greatly, extending as the Jewish population increased, but in many periods with very indefinite boundaries." [http://www.studylight.org/enc/isb/view.cgi?number=T5185]
"In a wide and more improper sense, the term Judea was sometimes extended to the whole country of the Canaanites" [http://www.searchgodsword.org/dic/sbd/view.cgi?number=T2510]
In other words, it is a lot like saying Ronald Reagan was born in Iowa and Tampico, Illinois.<g>Only if you can find quotes saying 'Iowa' sometimes means all of the midwest.
D: [..] I don't think you have to be a professional scholar to recognize the numerous flaws in such convoluted reasoning.You're equivocating between "flaws" you alleged in the specific EB material I quoted, and flaws in the evidence for the date of the nativity. Ironically, the EB article itself is an example of scholars "openly discuss[ing]" e.g. that the nativity sources are "widely divergent", and that the date is "speculative" (viz., is only an "estimate").
BH: Feel free to imagine that you've identified any such flaws, or that the scholarly consensus for Jesus' birth year is very far from 6 BC.
D: I don't have to imagine the flaws exist, they are openly discussed by scholars when they acknowledge this date to be speculative in nature.
It isn't my imagination that this conclusion requires one to pick and choose from conflicting texts that even Catholic scholar, John Meier, states "should not be taken as historical".Is this quote supposed to constitute an argument that "7-6 BC" is an untenable "estimate" of Jesus' nativity, or that the scholarly consensus is very far from that estimate?
"It is unfortunate that the work of the third giant has not been translated into English, since more than anyone else he established that the narrative framework of Mark (and, a fortiori, the other evangelists) should not be taken as historical: Karl Ludwig Schmidt, 'Der Rahmen der Geschichte Jesu' (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche uchgesellschaft, 1969; 1st ed, 1919)." ('A Marginal Jew', vol2, pg.49)Is this quote supposed to constitute an argument that "7-6 BC" is an untenable "estimate" of Jesus' nativity, or that the scholarly consensus is very far from that estimate?
it difficult to see why choosing specific portions of unreliable stories makes a conclusion reliable.Strawman. Who is calling the nativity dating "reliable"? I quote it being called an "estimate".
You clearly have sufficient intelligence to recognize the truth of my observationsYou indeed have a habit of making many true observations, and then falsely concluding that you've convincingly contradicted anything I've said. In general, unless what you assert to me clearly contradicts a direct quote of something I've written, you're probably preaching to the choir.
so I suspect your reluctance to acknowledge them has another basis entirely.I'm not in the habit of acknowledging tangential observations I agree with. And I'm indeed reluctant to agree that such observations contradict anything I've written when I can instead demonstrate that they don't.
I seem to have made you defensiveI enjoy successfully defending my assertions. If you want to imagine you've "made me defensive", feel free.
and I apologize since that appears to have caused you to feel obligated to defend an unreliable claim.I don't assert Jesus was "born in Judaea". I merely point out that you haven't established that it's clearly mistaken for a scholarly reference work's summary sentence about "Jesus of Nazareth" to say he was "born in Judaea". But since you've already admitted that mainstream scholarship accepts the historicity of Jesus, I'll probably have increasingly less to say in response to your crusade to convict EB on this possible mistake.
BH: That Jesus was born is hardly a mere "assumption".Saying a claim "is taken for granted" implies that there has been essentially no effort to substantiate it or critically examine it. It's ludicrous to say that this accurately characterizes the treatment of the historicty of Jesus by mainstream scholarship.
D: On the contrary, it is something taken for granted by the vast majority of scholars.
As Carrier points out in his review of Doherty, too little effort has been made on the part of mainstream scholars to actually defend this assumption.Change "this assumption" to "the historicity of Jesus", and you'd actually have a defensible position.
If the claim was not substantiated, then it would be accurate to characterize it as an "assumption".Calling a claim an "assumption" implies that there has been essentially no effort to substantiate it or critically examine it. It's ludicrous to say that this accurately characterizes the treatment of the historicty of Jesus by mainstream scholarship.
There are many otherwise unsubstantiated claims in ancient texts that are merely assumed to be true because they do not conflict with confirmed facts.Indeed. However, it's not tenable to say that the historicity of Jesus is merely such a claim.
BH: In discussions of the New Testament, 'Paul' means the figure who wrote the Pauline letters and is discussed in Acts.I'll take your apparent emoticon as an admission that your assertion is not tenable.
D: Only in discussions between fundamentalist scholars.<g>
The majority of New Testament scholars are careful to make a distinction between what Paul, himself, says and what the author of Acts says about him.Thank you for this wonderful example of a true statement by you that does not contradict anything I've written.
the question of how a Galilean preacher became a Risen Christ taken completely out of any historical context in little more than a decade remains.People believe weird things. For example, you believe that after being insufficiently appreciated by mainstream scholarship for centuries, subtle inconsistencies in early Christian writings now prove that Jesus could not have actually existed.