Wednesday, December 17, 2008

J. P. Holding (no bars against all comers) vs. American Atheists

Was Jesus An Historical Figure

This was a very odd debate, taking place in fairly unique manner which resembles a cross between an online forum and a traditional written debate. Possibly the most surprising thing about this was the comments (snarky as they were) were also fairly scholarly:
Tacitus was far from refusing to make judgments on them. He was merely indirect in the statement of his judgments. A good analysis of the issue is Inez Scott Ryberg, "Tacitus' Art of Innuendo", Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol.73 (1942), pp.384-404. He might get the flavor of Tacitus' approach by actually reading a few pages of the old Roman senator.

There is no pleasing Mr Holding. He refuses to consult the original text, preferring to rely on appeals to authority. When one supplies even one reference for him to read, specifically on the issue of how Tacitus indirectly develops his criticism of his subjects, Mr Holding denies the value of secondary sources.
If you have loads of spare time and a willingness to do loads of homework, you might really enjoy this one.

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