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the method of hypothesis and investigation

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  • joseph baxter
    ... By hypothesis I mean an explanation that accounts for a set of facts that can be tested for further investigation. This is a scientific method. Are you
    Message 1 of 49 , Apr 30, 1999
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      At 08:56 AM 4/30/99 +0200, Ian wrote:

      >>Well, Father H, the church should not make fun of these souls because they
      >>have left the fold. Some like Crossan may be truly lost, and some like
      >>Eisenman may be Dannikenesque, but to their credit most of these souls at
      >>least reject dogma. To their discredit they create their own dogma, like
      >>their lockstep view that Jesus was not around after the cross.
      >>
      >>To a large extent the study is based upon circumstantial evidence, and
      >>inferences which can be drawn therefrom. For the most part HJ employ a
      >>plausible hypothesis approach. In some cases, a hypothesis advances to a
      >>level of most plausible. In some cases the power of reasonable inferences
      >>is stronger, and reaches the level of reasonable probability, or better,
      >>such as the probability that the man's name was Yeshu.
      >
      >Plausible hypothesis approach is what
      >leads to Chamberlain believing there will be peace in our time, the
      >American population trusting Nixon, the big lie.

      By hypothesis I mean an explanation that accounts for a set of facts that
      can be tested for further investigation. This is a scientific method. Are
      you saying that the method of hypothesis should be abandoned in scholarship?

      Your analogies to Chamberlain and Nixon are inapt, Inane. What's more,
      their explanations didn't account for all the facts. Scholarship, moreover,
      can afford to keep hypotheses on the shelf, awaiting further evidence. It
      invites study into new areas. This is the lifeblood of science.

      >I have seen so many fanatics reconstructing Jesus's "original" name to be
      >Yeshu, Yeshua, Yehoshua. People love going beyond the valid information
      >because they don't have enough information to sooth their religiosity
      >levels.

      What about the valid knowledge that Iesu is not shown to be a Hebrew or
      Aramaic name? Do we simply ignore that information? Do we ignore the fact
      that the name logically and inferentially appears to be a translation of
      Yeshu, just as Yuz is a Persian translation, just as Issa is an Arabic
      translation? Do we ignore the historic human tendency of cultures to
      translate his name into culturally comfortable format? By what principle
      of logic are we barred from weighing all this information, along with
      other relevant information, and exercising our human judgment?

      >Just stick to the facts

      You sound like Joe Friday. But you don't warrant a detective badge when you
      ignore clues.

      and only those hypotheses that will lead to more
      >facts.

      How do we know which hypotheses will lead to more facts if we are afraid to
      form hypotheses? For example, the Jesus went east after the crucifixion
      hypothesis is the explanation which best accounts for the known reported
      Asian facts (as recently set out by Tom, myself and others) about Yeshu.
      Indeed, absolutely no one has yet offered a hypothesis which explains any
      of the Asian facts we have set out. What should we do with this evidence?
      The birch bark Indian scripture dated 115 CE, referring to Jesus in
      Srinegar circa 78 CE (which date just happens to coincide with a
      inscription reference to Jesus at the Seat of Solomon temple in Srinegar,
      in connection with its rebuilding), the reports of dozens of Christian
      priests in the second century court of the Kashmiri kings, the variety of
      very old Kashmiri historical references to Jesus' presence in Kashmir. The
      fact that the most straightforward reading of GThomas suggests that it
      describes Jesus sometime after his crucifixion. By what method of
      scholarship do you ignore this evidence, rather than study it? Possibly
      study will disprove a hypothesis. But maybe not. Shouldn't the birch bark
      scripture be tested? Should we ignore the straightforward language of
      GThomas simply because it conflicts with our old assumptions? Or is it a
      church cat that has your tongue?


      Anything else should be done in the privacy of your own bedroom.

      I take it, Ian, that is the only place on earth you are willing to give
      your opinion regarding the res-erection.

      With kind regards,

      Joe

      joe
    • joseph baxter
      ... Well, is your example apt? Was he born in Russia? If so, was John sometimes given as a name in Russia during the period of his birth, the way Sascha is
      Message 49 of 49 , May 2, 1999
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        At 10:24 PM 5/1/99 +0200, Ian wrote:

        >>What about the valid knowledge that Iesu is not shown to be a Hebrew or
        >>Aramaic name? Do we simply ignore that information? Do we ignore the fact
        >>that the name logically and inferentially appears to be a translation of
        >>Yeshu, just as Yuz is a Persian translation, just as Issa is an Arabic
        >>translation? Do we ignore the historic human tendency of cultures to
        >>translate his name into culturally comfortable format? By what principle
        >>of logic are we barred from weighing all this information, along with
        >>other relevant information, and exercising our human judgment?
        >
        >Got a mate called John Trubretsky. Russian ancestors. Perhaps you wanna
        >tell me that his real name is Ivan?

        Well, is your example apt? Was he born in Russia? If so, was John sometimes
        given as a name in Russia during the period of his birth, the way Sascha is
        sometimes given here in the United States?

        Your example aside, the fact of the matter is, all of us are really
        weighing the same information here regarding the Man's name. Exercising the
        powers of human judgment. Evaluating the same circumstantial evidence. On
        the one side we have Ian. Other the other side we have just about everyone
        else in the world who has evaluated the question closely.

        As for your position, you will have to admit, you also drawing inferences
        from circumstantial evidence. You are reading a Greek name in a Greek text
        and assuming the name has not been translated into a native language
        friendly format. That's like your reading a world map in Encyclopedia
        Britannica and blindly assuming that Japan, India, and Germany are native
        language names for those countries. So your position is also a hypothesis.
        While your hypothesis is based on some rather blind assumptions, the other
        hypothesis is based on relative probability. Both could be wrong, of
        course, but both fall within the realm of hypothesis. Which is part of my
        larger point.

        >
        >>>Just stick to the facts
        >>
        >>You sound like Joe Friday.
        >
        >You don't appreciate good advice.
        >
        >>But you don't warrant a detective badge when you ignore clues.
        >
        >There are clues and there are clues. The detective's job is to sift through
        >the clues, putting aside those that don't seem to be fruitful.

        So when you read Britannica and see the names Japan, India, and Germany, do
        you put aside the fact that the volume in your hand is written in English?
        When you go to texts written in the native language of those countries and
        don't see those names, is that a clue to be put aside?


        >>Indeed, absolutely no one has yet offered a hypothesis which explains any
        >>of the Asian facts we have set out. What should we do with this evidence?
        >
        >Test it.
        >
        >>The birch bark Indian scripture dated 115 CE,
        >
        >Dated by whom, when, using what methods?

        This is where western critical methods and reporting can help. While I have
        read repeated references to this scripture as dating to 115, none of these
        works have described the precise dating method. The scripture is written in
        the Shardic alphabet of ancient Kashmir on birch bark papyrus. The
        passages in question, about 300 words are part of a much larger work which
        are reported to have been compiled by Sutta in 115 CE.

        It is my understanding that Sutta is a known historical compiler who did
        his work around 115 CE. His work is part of a larger work known as
        Bhavishya Maha Purana, one of the sixteen Maha Puranas. Generally speaking
        this section of the Puranas relates to Brahma, the creator god. More
        specifically, it is a book of events, information, and prophecies started
        by the devotees of a solar cult which existed in the third century BCE.

        The manuscript in question is a copy of the pre-115CE writings and
        continues from it. As best as I can determine, the dating is based upon
        the work of the Oriental Research Institute in Poona, India. It was
        recently examined by the Kashmiri Director of Archaeology.

        Why would a solar cult be interested in Jesus? Apparently they viewed him
        as a sun god, or associated him with worship of a sun god.

        This is fairly interesting since the work seems to place him as an
        incarnation of God, in a context which does not suggest a Christian
        propagandizing source (like Paul). Instead, we find a Hindu type
        understanding. Thus, the Man says, "Know me as Isvara Putaram (Son of the
        Lord, or Son of God) Kanaya Garbam (born of a virgin, or born of a girl ).

        As for the latter, it could possibly mean virgin birth, or possibly he is
        just making it clear that he is human born.

        Isvara generally means the divine indwelling Lord. Patanjali uses this term
        to basically describe the "hole in one" which can be achieved through
        devotion to the indwelling Lord.

        The circa 78 CE dating is based upon the reference to Isha Masih's meeting
        with a Sakya king in about the year 78 CE at an ancient site near Pampur
        Kashmir. Isha is described as a foreigner wearing long white robes. He
        describes himself as hailing from a land far away where there is no truth
        and evil knows no limits. A land of unbelievers. He says he suffered at
        their hands. He says he was known as Issa (or Isha) Masih, i.e., Jesus Christ.


        >>(which date just happens to coincide with a
        >>inscription reference to Jesus at the Seat of Solomon temple in Srinegar,
        >>in connection with its rebuilding),
        >
        >So all you need to just happen to do is demonstrate the factual content of
        >the previous clause.

        By itself, the manuscript would mean next to nothing. It coincides,
        however, with a fairly large body of information. The Jews were ancient
        settlers in Kashmir. Apparently after the Diaspora, they built the Seat of
        Solomon temple in Srinegar. According to inscriptions on the temple, it was
        rebuilt in the year 78 CE. These same inscriptions also noted, "During this
        period Yuz Asaph declared his ministry. He was Yusu, the prophet of the
        children of Israel."

        Yuz Asaph is a common Asian name for this saint. We find reports of this
        name for this saint arising just outside the Roman Empire. You find his
        resting place at the Rozabal in Srinegar, with footprint etchings bearing
        stigmata. Thus, the suggestion is that his efforts spanned the Persian
        empire, and ultimately went east of the empire.

        The name Yuz Asaph is sometimes translated as teacher of the purified, or
        leader of the healed. Yusu, however, is the Persian form of Yeshu. So, it
        seems possible that Yuz is derived from Yus which is derived from Yusu.
        >
        >>the reports of dozens of Christian
        >>priests in the second century court of the Kashmiri kings, the variety of
        >>very old Kashmiri historical references to Jesus' presence in Kashmir.
        >
        >And then quote your ancient sources here, giving reliable dates for the
        >textual accounts. The Christian documentation in comparison with the Early
        >Indian materials is infinitely more documentable -- and you've seen how
        >flimsy that is.

        So far as I know the earliest reports on this come from a Persian
        historical source Kamal- u- Din, written by the historian Al Shaikh
        Said-us-Saddiq, who died in 912 CE. Reportedly the earliest Christians were
        called Nasara and Kristani. "The Nasara had forty priests who were well
        read in the Talmud, the Torah, the Bible and the Apocalypse of Abraham.
        They would sit in the royal court and give verdict on cases referred to
        them by the Raja of Kashmir." With the advent of Mahomet (post 570 CE) all
        traces of the Kristani were wiped out, except for the tomb of Yuzu Asaph at
        Rozabal.

        I have also heard it suggested that, even before Islam, Christianity was
        driven south, into India, around the third century as a result of
        barbarian invasions into Kashmir. There is also some suggestion of
        Nestorian influence in North India, but this is later than the royal court
        period referred to, which apparently refers to second and third century CE.

        Of course, a ninth or tenth century history cannot be relied upon, for the
        reasons you noted. But, it does represent the earliest recorded history of
        Kashmir, and is part of a large body of consistent information. I also
        think the matter deserves further investigation, since it describes a
        unique picture of the spread of early Christianity.

        >
        >>The
        >>fact that the most straightforward reading of GThomas suggests that it
        >>describes Jesus sometime after his crucifixion.
        >
        >Let me rephrase that: you believe that the best way to account for the
        >Jesus of GTh is to assume that it refers to a post crucifixion period. Why
        >exactly?

        This will take more time than I have today. I will get back to this.


        With kind regards,

        Joe


        joe
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