Lee Moore, Brian Allen, and Reap Paden are joined by the always awesome Christopher Altman.
Podcast: Play in new window
Whole bunch of good stuff. Most of what Christopher Altman said I concur with but some of it is limited or popular rather than factual. Most important is his decision to personally believe in an historical Jesus despite the lack of any reliable evidence. I recommend Robert M Price. He lays out the assumptions on Bart Ehrman’s part in this regard.
The tale of Jesus telling the crowd “render unto Caesar” is not a loophole for paying taxes. In context it is easily understood as an attack on the Roman control of the Jewish priesthood. When he asks for a Roman coin the Pharacies have them and toss one over. Jesus holds it up to show who owns the Pharacies and the crowd knows it. This is why they want to kill him. You see, there was still a local Jewish currency.
I bet Price would be game for an interview. He is awesome.
Awesome show guys. Good form
PS . Pork is less prone to parasites than beef or chicken. Hitchens wrote of the reason for pig restrictions in Israel. Pig was too close to the human sacrifices that once occured in that region in many ways. Ask a fireman about the similar smell
Thanks for your thoughtful comments on my positions. I hope that I clarified that a number of these points are indeed my opinions and that they are not to be taken as facts–although I would like to think that my positions are based on valid interpretations of facts. I also hope that I clarified that there are indeed valid arguments against the historical Jesus–and that those arguments are worth our best consideration. If I did not convey those points clearly, I apologize.
I would question the definition of “popular” in regard to some of the points I presented. “Popular” is a relative term. Sure, these may be very well known to Biblical scholars and to those (like ourselves) who keep up with Biblical scholarship (and your knowledge, Corey, is impressive indeed! We should chat sometime.), but at the same time, these points are not popular at all to many everyday Americans and even to many atheists, especially those who hold the view that “the Bible is just an ancient, superstitious text that is not worth my time.” I thought of these groups as my audience when presenting my points. I am sorry if I overlooked people like you, but it was for purposes of meeting the needs of a larger audience.
I would also encourage you to reconsider the point about taxes and “giv[ing] unto Caesar.” I was not trying to argue that this is merely a matter of Biblical tax evasion (although we may have made some jokes about that point). Multiple works of scholarship (including Ehrman) discuss this passage, and I based my discussion of this passage on that body of scholarship. This story presents a scenario in which the Jewish leadership tries to trap Jesus in a dilemma so that they can find reason to have him killed (or, at least, discredited). It has less to do with the question of whether to pay taxes, than it has to do with simply trapping Jesus in an unresolvable dilemma. Just as Alexander broke the Gordian knot with which he was presented, Jesus solves what appeared at first to be an unresolvable dilemma by presenting a third proposition–one that his questioners had not considered before presenting their rhetorical trap.
Again, I thank you for your comments, and I hope that I have clarified my position on these matters here, in writing.
Chris, I return the complement. I really enjoyed the program and can tell that you are very knowledgeable about biblical history, etc. I think your issue with my use of the word popular is fair and I didn’t intend to give the impression I had a dim view of your points. Like the guys said to you, I could listen to you or any well informed guest on the bible. We may not see eye to eye on everything but that is normal.
I’m up for chatting anytime but I should warn, though I have a few years of university under my belt, I am a mere truck driver. Any knowledge I have has come from incredible authors and programs. For me, shows like this episode allowed me to finally escape the many restraints of evangelical Christianity. Knowing the bible from a scholar’s point of view stole every bit of power from the faith. And skepticism lead me straight out of “spirituality.” So keep discussing it. Knowledge can be freedom.
Shit, now I have to look up Gordon knot.
At least it’s a cool story
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