Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Holtz on 1st-Century Skeptics

Holtz.AAC.2002: "Christian apologists often claim that if false, the gospel traditions would have been refuted and discredited by the skeptics in 1st-century Palestine. However, there is no indication that the Jesus movement was important enough to merit the sort of early written debunking that would have been preserved despite skeptical apathy and Christian hostility."

On the contrary, as Glenn M. Miller points out, the skeptics were highly organized, vocal, confrontational, motivated to maintain the existing power structures and status quo, successful in gathering disciples in their circles of learning, effective in transmitting their teaching through their disciples, and preserved disagreements with Christians in their writings. They had every reason to try to refute Christianity in that honor and shame society. The most parsimonious explanation is that no contemporary skeptical account could be rationally and successfully composed due to the strength of the evidence for Christianity.

2 comments:

Steven Carr said...

'On the contrary, as Glenn M. Miller points out, the skeptics were highly organized, vocal, confrontational, motivated to maintain the existing power structures and status quo, successful in gathering disciples in their circles of learning, effective in transmitting their teaching through their disciples, and preserved disagreements with Christians in their writings.'

So there were writings against Christianity in the first century AD?

Brian said...

You quote me saying "there is no indication that the Jesus movement was important enough [...]". You reply "on the contrary", but you quote absolutely zero evidence about the importance of the Jesus movement. Care to try again?