2011-10-31

More responses from Earl Doherty

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by Neil Godfrey

I see Earl Doherty is back into engaging with certain critics of mythicism:

  1. On the Freethought and Rationalist Discussion Board: http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?p=6967160#post6967160
  2. On Exploding Our Cakemix (© by T.W.): http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/2011/10/14/doherty-mythicism/#comment-350717525

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Neil Godfrey

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  • 2011-10-31 12:43:00 GMT+0000 - 12:43 | Permalink

    “(Even Q, with its supposed focus on Jesus’ sayings, fails to include a founder Jesus as such a preacher [i.e. a doomsdayist] alongside its reference for such to John the Baptist.)” (Doherty)

    But Q doesn’t really exist, so what kind of argument is this?

    “We also have reason to think, based on certain witness to Marcion’s version of Galatians, and common later tinkering with this passage by orthodox scribes, that the phrase ‘born of woman, born under the Law’ was not in the original.” (Doherty)

    I agree with this point. But it seems to me that mythicism assumes that Pauline priority of written sources means Pauline priority of ideas, that because Paul’s writings can be dated to being earlier than the gospels, therefore, Paul’s ideas must have come first. But Paul himself disproves this in Galatians when he talks about apostles before him who teach a different, more Jewish, gospel. Surely it will not be argued that this also is an addition by later orthodox scribes, since orthodox scribes would obviously want to present all the apostles as in agreement not as teaching different gospels.

  • 2011-10-31 14:04:56 GMT+0000 - 14:04 | Permalink

    We can’t say Q doesn’t exist because the arguments for it have been widely accepted and need to be dealt with, regardless of whether we think there is a better explanation than Q for the Synoptic Problem.

    As for your second point — Doherty’s arguments still stands. There is evidence that the key phrase may not have been in the original.

    Yes Paul mentions apostles who were before him, but there is no evidence to lead us to think that these were the same apostles as we later read about in the Gospels. The evidence points the other way, in fact. There is no suggestion of a body of twelve authoritative persons who could be appealed to as any sort of unique authority for anything until we read the Gospels.

    • Steven Carr
      2011-10-31 18:50:35 GMT+0000 - 18:50 | Permalink

      Has there ever been a wandering preacher who wanders around with a group of 12 disciples?

      What sort of authority did they have? Why did Jesus need 12 disciples to explain to people what he meant (assuming that was their job description)

      I’ve seen quite a few apocalyptic preachers wandering around proclaiming that the end was nigh. They never seem to have an entourage.

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