Talk:Cultural and historical background of Jesus/Archive 7

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What happened to Archive 1? As of this writing it seems to be a broken link... Wesley 23:30, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC) It appears to be deleted. I have gone back well before my archive edits and the link is still broken. I did not find it on the deletion logs, however. So I dunno - Amgine 01:40, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Summary of Discussion upto 28th November 2004

Discussion of Summary

This page, at the time of writing is pushing 131K

This is despite the fact that 5 sections of the page are simply summaries.

In order to reduce the page size, and improve readability, this section summarises the summaries themselves.

In addition it summarises a further summary of summaries and the disputes made of that, and the disputes about the disputes, together with an off-topic discussion.

The original text this summary replaces can be viewed at archive 6. Archive 6 contains the summaries that this replaces NOT the text that the summaries themselves replace, these can be viewed at archives 2-5.

It is not in chronological order, but instead ordered by topic for ease of viewing

This summary was made by CheeseDreams, who asserts that in their opinion it is NPOV. This undoubtably will be disputed.

Any disputed paragraphs or sentences, or locations where others demand additions into the summary are marked (0) where this marking corresponds to the section about the dispute which follows after the summary.

Summary written Exclusively by CheeseDreams

Dispute of summary

CheeseDream's version of the disputed area of the summary

  • (1) -

??????'s version of the disputed area of the summary

  • (1) -

Original text (as per archive 6) of the disputed area of the summary

  • (1) -

The article ( a summary exclusive to Wikipedia by the author CheeseDreams )

Jesus and the Article(s)

The title should not be changed into The historical Jesus (4 votes against 1)
"the article, is neither about Christianity nor religion ...(it)... is about the culture and events..." (5 votes against 2)

Unopposed statement by Pedant

This article is about what its title says it is. ... It is only about the history and culture of the region as it bears on the (real or imaginary) person: Jesus, the central figure in Christian Theology. Anything that conflicts ... does not belong in THIS article.
This article should mention Jesus at least a non-zero amount (1st vote - 5 votes against 2) (2nd vote - 2 votes against 2)
This article is more background to 1st Century Roman Palestine than cross-referenced summary of Jesus' life (1st vote - 2 votes against 1) (2nd vote - 2 votes against 3)
  • Is this article the background to 1st Century Roman Palestine with asides if something is needed to understand Jesus' life
  • Is this article summarising Jesus' life, and cross referencing it to historical and cultural information about 1st Century Roman Palestine
Mild support for specific asides about things that happened to Jesus (vote-1
3 votes against 2) (vote-2:3 votes against 3) (vote-3: 4 votes against 1 (+1 both sides))
  • Should the article be split to make this a non-issue
The article should not be split into "background" and "Jesus in it" (general consensus against 1 vote)
  • is it better to have 2 articles
  • one mainly avoiding Jesus in 1st century Palestine and discussing background instead (keeping the title)
  • one predominantly about Jesus in 1st century Palestine and mildly the background (The historical Jesus )
  • or a single article including both

Introductary Paragraphs

"According to most Christians, Jesus lived in the first century in Judea" is POV not NPOV (3 votes against 1)
Introduction should comment that some dispute historicity (5 votes against 1)

Should the article (as its starting point)

  • The article should assume Jesus exists as its starting point
  • The article should not make assumption of historicity or non-historicity
Agreement that the basis for the first paragraph should be (5 votes to 2 (proposal A) to 1 (proposal B))
"Jesus is [traditionally/usually] held to have lived in the first century in Judea. Without addressing Jesus existence as an actual historic figure, this article discusses the cultural and political forces active at that time. see: Historicity of Jesus for information relating to the existence of Jesus as a historical figure."
The intro mentioned above makes clear that the existence of Jesus is not being asserted (8 votes against 1 digression)
The 1st and 2nd introductory sentences should be recast (input from 6 persons)
The main record of the life of Jesus are the Gospels, in the Christian New Testament. These sources place Jesus in what became Roman Palestine (modern Israel and Palestine) during the early 1st century.
The 3rd sentence should become (2 votes against 1)
The article Historicity of Jesus covers debates regarding the existence of Jesus, but if so then it is agreed by most Christians and academics who hold this view that it is necessary to understand the cultural and historical background in which Jesus is thought to have lived.
The 4th sentence should become (general consensus)
This was a volatile period marked by cultural and political dilemmas. Out of the Roman occupation of Palestine sprang two of the modern world's religions: Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.


The area should be called "Palestine" or something similar (4 votes against 2)
  • is it more important that Roman Palestine did not exist at the time in question
  • or is it more important that Palestine is the only term covering the whole area
The area should be referred to as "Roman Palestine" (7 votes against 1)
"pharisees were considered living saints" is either not accurate or inapropriate best wording (4 votes)
"at the time of Christ" is an inappropriate phrase (1 vote against 1)
"at this time" is an acceptable phrase to replace "at the time of Christ" (7 votes against none)

Other Messiahs

Other groups who believed in different Messiah figures should be mentioned (8 votes)

One (and only one) speaker opposed detailed listing of the known movements in this section

Contemporary understanding of the meaning of messiah should be included (general uncontested consensus)

Uncontested statement

In Judaism, "Messiah" means "annointed". It was the symbol of high office. There were two officers routinely annointed this way - a priest messiah, and a king messiah. The hope of a "messiah" to save them would usually have meant simply, some king or priest who would stand up to the romans or whoever was felt oppressing them at the time. The meaning of "Messiah" in christianity, that of a godhead, a unique being who would save them in the sense of salvation, was not part of Judaism, though it may have formed part of the hopes or mystic beliefs of some cults or splinter groups.
The phrase "Son of Man" is not always apocalyptic (1 vote (+3 informal) no other votes)

Undisputed statement by User:FT2

Many historians claim that Jesus himself did not claim to be a "messiah" in any way unlike other messiahs.
dispute over the meaning of "saviour of Israel"
  • there is no evidence anyone thought that a messiah would be a saviour of Israel
  • many expected to be saved from the judgement of God
  • the expectation of a messiah was the expectation of a saviour of Israel
  • many considered the Romans to be the judgement of God
  • the articles Mosiach and Messiah explain the understanding of the term
discussion of the paragraph on other messiahs
  • A compromise text was developed
  • One user (user X) produced an alternative proposal
  • A new compromise text is proposed taking into account elements of User X's proposal
  • User X disputes elements of the compromise text
  • User X proposes a 2nd alternative text
  • Some users dispute the willingness of User X to collaborate
  • A new compromise text is proposed taking into account discussions around User X's 2nd proposal
  • User X disputes elements of the compromise text and considers their own proposal superior
  • A new compromise text is proposed taking into account discussions around User X's comments
  • User X disputes elements of the compromise text
  • A new compromise text is proposed taking into account discussions around User X's comments
  • User X restates their intolerance of elements of the compromise text
  • User X restates their 2nd alternative text
  • A new compromise text is proposed taking into account suggestions from User X and others
  • The new text is voted on after "packing the house" has occurred.
  • The result of the vote is (2 supporting the compromise text, 5 against it)
dispute on Mandaeans and John the baptist
  • Mandaeans first came into existance in the 2nd/3rd centuries BC
  • There is no evidence that Mandaeans were followers of John the baptist
  • Mandaeans considered John the baptist a messiah
  • Mandaeans first came into existance in the 2nd/3rd centuries AD
  • Mandaeans were followers of John the baptist
  • John the baptist was Nazorean
  • Mandaean was a dialaect at this time
  • Mandaean is a modern synonym for Nazorean
  • Modern Mandaeans refer to themselves as Nazorean
dispute on divinity and the existance of other messiah's
  • first century messiahs and prophets never claimed they were divine
  • Josephus is not acceptable to cite
  • some first century messiahs and prophets claimed they were divine
  • Jesus did not claim he was divine
  • Josephus is acceptable to cite
  • Jesus did claim he was divine
  • Josephus states that the persons supposedly "messiah"s were actually thought to be prophets
  • the Jews had considerable law on false prophets
  • Josephus supports the idea that there were people claiming to be and thought to be "messiah"s

Structure of the article

This article should not just be a historical narrative (majority consensus, though with a large minority disputing it)
  • The article should be an historical narrative with asides
  • The article should be structured into topics such as Political situation (regional rulers, high priests, notable militaristic action), Religious organizations (major schools, prophets, messianic groups), Later developments (political control, emergence of more modern Judaism and Christianity)

Development of later religion

This article should describe who followed the Pharisees (4 votes against 1, 1 abstention)
"Later forms of Judaism" followed the Pharisees rather than "Rabbinic Judaism" (1st vote-unresolved) (2nd vote - 3 votes against 1)
Discussion of the subsequent development of Christianity and how it connected to the gentiles belongs elsewhere not here (4 votes against 1 (+1 for a brief mention))
FT2s version of the paragraph discussing how christianity emerged is preferred (general consensus)
Originally the intent was to preach to the Jews. Some but not all requirements were removed, as it was felt that the new emphasis was on faith and not detailed laws. Thus there were 'Jewish Christians', Jews who believed in Christ Messiah. When the Jews as a community rejected this, the Christian message was taken to the gentiles instead. To make it palatable, and draw a line separating them from the Jews (who were by now becoming politically dangerous associates) many more of the restrictive laws were removed and the emphasis was shifted. The message that reached the gentiles was therefore a more universal one, in the sense that it was easier to digest, its appeal was more emotional than legalistic, and it did not contain many of the practices beliefs and rituals by which the Jews kept themselves separate from others.
Anything later than bar Kochba is irrelevant
  • Is it important that the manner in which christianity emerged indicates the historiography of the Gospels

The editors ( a summary exclusive to Wikipedia by the author CheeseDreams )


early discussions
  • Early discussions focused on achieving consensus, and included voting
  • A visible solution was reached on most of the issues
  • A version for discussion was drafted at a user talk page
  • Discussions were had
  • Submissions were made with regard to compromise
  • The article was unlocked
  • A draft of the changes was made on the article
  • A request for 48 hours non-editing to discuss the article was made
  • Most users respected the request
reversion war
  • User Y violated the request, rewriting the article substantially
  • User Y's version predominantly went against the consensus and the voting
  • User Z reverted user Y's version to the version about which a 48 hour non-edit was requested
  • User Y reverted it back to their version
  • User Z insisted on the concensus version being restored
  • User Y reverted it back
  • User Z reverted it once more
  • User Y's associates reverted it to User Y's version
  • User Z restored the discussion version
  • The revert war continued
  • The article was locked in the User Y state.
disputed behaviour
  • it is acceptable to make some changes
  • it is unacceptable to make large changes for this article in that state
  • it is fundamentally important to ask for a pause in editing to prevent edit wars
  • it is acceptable to make major changes to the article when it is so contested
  • Slrubenstein has the right to revert from FT2s version although the opposite is not true
  • if a page is not protected, editors have a right to work on it
  • the way forward is discussion on talk pages
  • it is inappropriate to ask for a pause in editing for the purpose of discussion
  • respect and decency demand that though one has rights, one should sometimes abstain from them
  • Saying one editor can revert, but the other editor cannot, is hypocrisy
the resulting 2 versions
  • The people User X invited to this page all support his version
  • 3 users (none of whom invited the other) do not support User X's version
  • The value of a split depends on the nature of the articles
  • User X sarcastically suggests splitting the article
  • Splitting the versions into two articles will solve this problem
  • User X's version is NPOV
  • User X refuses not to edit both articles to how they think it should be
  • User X admits User X will never tolerate the other version
  • User X's version is POV not NPOV
  • The not-User-X version is complicated
  • The not-User-X version complies more than satisfies journalistic standards for readability
  • User X's version is appallingly unreadable
  • User X's version is exquisite

Issues with users on this talk page

"Packing the house" occurred between the sets of voting
  • It is a more important fact that Gerrymandering is unethical
  • It is a more important fact that Gerrymandering is currently allowed
Mediation was formally requested
  • It became apparant that Slrubenstein, Amgine, and CheeseDreams should formally request mediation between them (which has is now occurring)
FT2 as a mediator
  • At an early stage FT2 arrived and behaved in the manner of a mediator
  • Slrubenstein disputes that FT2 was ever treated as a mediator
  • Slrubenstein and JDG think that FT2 is agenda driven
  • Wesley, Amgine, CheeseDreams, think that FT2 is fair
Worth of scholarship
  • Amgine has secured access to ATLA.

Mud-slinging occurred

Slrubenstein stated about FT2 that

  • FT2 is not acting in good faith
  • FT2 is a nut
  • FT2 is masturbating Slrubenstein
  • FT2 uses silly argument
  • FT2 is ignorant
  • FT2 has no business working on this article because he thinks Slrubenstein's arguments suspect.
  • FT2s reasoning is specious and ignorant.

FT2 states about Slrubenstein

  • Some people think Slrubenstein is not acting in good faith
  • Slrubenstein is disrespectful

Slrubenstein implied about CheeseDreams

  • CheeseDreams is a racist

CheeseDreams stated about Slrubenstein that

  • Slrubenstein is uncivil
  • Slrubenstein uses personal attacks
  • Slrubenstein is a hypocrit
  • Slrubenstein has no interest in consensus
  • Slrubenstein is vain and arrogant
  • Slrubenstein's case is so weak that he feels the need to round up supporters from elsewhere in order to win discussions

JDG implied about CheeseDreams

  • CheeseDreams is rude
  • CheeseDreams starts revert wars
  • CheeseDreams is a gay atheist
  • CheeseDreams should be banned

CheeseDreams implied about JDG that

  • JDG threatened a revert war
  • JDG was referred to as Darling
  • JDG is neither neutral nor reasonable
  • JDG is crassly aggressive
  • JDG stated he would ignore the result of this discussion and revert the article to Slrubenstein's version

Discussion regarding the role of priests in the context being more administrative than all-powerful. Disagreement over generalization of their antecedents.
Saducees vs. Pharisees
A discussion regarding some of the relative differences, especially as seen by the culture at large, between these two groups in the context. A question regarding the nominal control of synagogues degenerated into irrelevancy, which colored many further sections. The net discussion found no disagreement with the concepts that Saducess had more political power, while Pharisees were more popular, and there was probably more than a little overlap between the two groups.
Further comments disputing the above paragraph's summary and supporting it devolved again to a digression irrelevant to the article.
  • CheeseDreams objected to only two religions.
General discussion
Consisting entirely of Slrubenstein's addition of merging tags for Jesus and textual evidence and Historicity of Jesus, and the unanimous disagreement with same (1).
Less wordy please

Slrubenstein thinks that when we define the word "messiah," of course, we should say that kings and priests were anointed, but annointed king and annointed priest is not acceptable and is meaningless.

Wesley asks

  • That the article not contain "original research"

To which CheeseDreams responds that

  • Slrubenstein has admitted in the mediation request that he has not cited his sources, and only has 5/6 books, implying he is committing personal research

CheeseDreams wonders whether Slrubenstein's claims to extensive and valid research should be trusted based on his claim elsewhere that Hinduism dates from the 18th century (as he claims is the majority opinion amongst historians)

Jayjg states

  • Slrubenstein's knowledge of scholarship of Jesus seems entirely accurate
  • Slrubenstein's opponents knowledge on the subject seems entirely ignorant

To which CheeseDreams responds that that is an unbalanced opinion in bad faith.

Wesley thinks that his past experience with Slrubenstein (of 3 years) has given him trust in him.

Please read

The article was unprotected at this point, and FT2 tried to adjust it so as to take on board the votes, suggestions, and neutrality. A request was made that editors should, with regards to his changes,

  • review the article systematically
  • not make major edits to it
new round of revisions

Version #1 of rewrite

FT2 states

  • SIrubenstein - 1st temple era - I like, its neutral enough to stand, and informative.
  • SIrubenstein - persian era onwards - I worry if we have too much detail here. Its really needing to be an overview of history as background, rather than a full history. Some like the sanhedrin is relevant.
  • SIrubenstein - Jesus and after jesus - Some may be relevant. for example, sedition. But overall this is not really key to the article, and can be made more NPOV.

Wesley states:

  • He likes FT2s introduction as it seems to cover nearly all the points mentioned in the joint discussion.
  • (5) He has exception to the sentence by Slrubenstein which states The meaning of "Messiah" in Christianity, that of a godhead, a unique being who would save them in the sense of salvation, was not part of Judaism, though it may have formed part of the hopes or mystic beliefs of some cults or splinter groups. as he doesnt think this represents any version of Christianity very well.
Appropriate sources (r.e. other messiahs)

Wesley thinks that sources should be cited as it should be the consensus of historians, not the consensus of wikipedians. FT2 states that he has also documented over 125,000 hits on Google supporting in some way his case. Slrubenstein disputes the accuracy of Google (10).

FT2's Ultimate Version

Criticism of FT2s version by Slrubenstein:

  • FT2 cut important historical contexts
  • it is a mess
  • the way to write a good article is not to accomodate all discussants;
  • the intro is a mess
  • Slrubensteins version is concise, accurate, and NPOV
  • Mentioning the Gospels as prime historic source is NPOV
  • the statement "law of the land was Jewish religious law, which was for the most part legislative and not harsh," is poorly written and unclear
  • "third, it caused religious and cultural difference to escalate into conflicts with the secular authority" is either dumb or really POV
  • if you think the Greek or Roman authorities were "secular" and had not religious and cultural agenda, you are ingorant.
  • The notion that the middle east is a "powderkeg" in which religious difference has to be contained by secular leadership just mimics the view most people today take towards the middle east.
  • Why focus on the Jewish notion that nakedness is an abomination?
  • The the real issue was that the Greeks thought circumcision was an abomination.
  • The statement "Politically as time passed, the foreign powers often came to view the wish of some Jews not to become integrated as a divisive and therefore political wish, and often considered it a personal affront to the emperor" might be true, but why not summarize Bickerman and Tcherikover's views
  • The Pearlman quote is inappropriate in in encyclopedia. He was not a scholar, he was a former Israeli army officer.
  • The view that there was a split between hellinized and "traditional" Jews is anachronistic and simplistic.
  • "Culturally the Jews were for the most part hard-working, God-fearing, deeply religious farming villagers," is tripe, how do we know what they did?
  • It is a little confusing to me to call the Hasmonean kingdom the second kingdom.
  • The statement "By 1 CE, the Roman Empire was somewhat more corrupt than it had been" is POV and unnecessary.
  • In the section "Jewish Revolt and aftermath," FT2 replaced an essential account for the background of Jesus, with a series of questions that were answered in the passages he deleted.
  • There is no evidence that the Mandeans were a messianic group in Judea (or the Galilee or Samaria) at that time -- why are they mentioned?
  • "The early Christians were often in conflict with groups they considered heretical" completely distorts the situation, and is utterly at odds with recent work by historians.
  • the sentence implies that "heretics" were not "early Christians" and that "early Christians" were not "heretics." What is really going on is that there were several groups with competing visions of Christianity.
  • To suggest that because ancient Israelites had a Temple and priests, and a Torah and scribes, and a King who ruled by divine right, that they therefore had a "dual core" consisting of a political and spiritual authority is another anachronism that ignores all current scholarship on Jewish history.
  • To say that the "Children of Israel" had the Mishnah is at best misleading, at worst very confused and sloppy. The Mishnah wasn't edited until 200 CE. The "Children of Israel" were long gone.
  • In the section on struggles with Hellenism you cut the stuff dealing with the implications of a universal God, and Greek interest in Judaism.
  • The word "apocalypse" was not borrowed from Hebrew or the Jews, it is a Greek word.
  • In judiasm the priesthood is more of an administrative role than anintermediary between Jews and God? nonesense!
  • The paragraph on the zealots makes it seem as if the sicarii were a subset of zealots, which is of course wrong.
  • To claim that Christianity is "more aeasier to digest" is just the worst kind of POV editorializing.
  • the sentence "It is hypothesised that to make it palatable, and draw a line separating them from the Jews (who were by now becoming politically dangerous associates due to their rebellion against Rome) many more of the restrictive laws were removed and the emphasis was shifted." is a poor one for an encyclopedia. Jews never believed non-Jews should obey Jewish law.
  • I have no idea what scholarship the section on Jewish reactions to cults and messianism is based on, it all seems speculative.
  • Ditto the section on the Jewish rejection of Christianity.
  • "Yohanan" is not Hebrew for Jonathan; the Baptist's name was "John" (or it's Hebrew equivalent, Yohanan).
  • The organization is an utter mess.

Slrubenstein thinks the above criticism makes things a lot easier to return to my version than to edit this version.

SIrubenstein edits

Slrubenstein responds

  • Scholars do not dispute Slrubenstein's text
  • FT2s version is full of inaccuracies, oversimplifications, anachronisms, sloppy scholarship, and lack of NPOV.

Slrubenstein thinks the nature of the Pharisees changed over time

Disputed NPOV

With respect to Slrubenstein's version, Amgine raises points

In the opening paragraph, biblical and western historians exclusively are cited.

  • Slrubenstein justifies this apparant POV by stating that there are only three points of view: Christians, sceptics, and critical scholars (6).

The vast majority of the text in the First Temple Era and Second Temple Era sections deals with the millenia prior to Jesus, and is not specifically relevant.

  • Slrubenstein justifies this as FT2s version goes back further, in addition, Slrubenstein thinks there needs to be detailed historical introduction to the background of the Saducees, Pharisees, Temple, Monarcy, and Torah.

The First Temple Era section discusses "ancient land of Israel" exclusively as a land of the Jews for the entirety of its history, and is simplistic and generalized as POV, followed by paragraphs of unsupported conjecture.

  • Slrubenstein states that the area is not originally or exclusively Israelite, but disagrees with the assessment of the paragraph.

The article has continuous use of Judea, etc. as regional terms which are historically inaccurate and on which consensus votes had determined Roman Palestine as the most relevant compromise term.

  • Slrubenstein states he used Judea when speaking specifically of Judea, that David was king of Judea before he was king of Israel, that Israel and Judea later became separate kingdoms, and that Galilee is not the same thing as Judea.

The statement "In most ancient societies sacrifice was the only form of worship" is totally disputed and thought to be factually inaccurate and lacking NPOV.

  • Slrubenstein says that the article says "most ancient Near Eastern societies" which is accurate.

Exclusively discussing the Sadducees and Pharisees continues the misapprehension that there were only 2 primary religious groups when in fact it appears to have been a multi-party system with 4 or more larger "schools of thought".

  • Slrubenstein states that the other parties (Essenes, Zealots, etc) developed at a different time.

The use of sections such as The Hellenistic Period to discuss the Hasmonean Period, and the The Hasmonean Period to discuss merely a lineage, etc., is both misleading and non-encyclopedic.

  • Slrubenstein does not comprehend the accusation, and thinks it is not the case

Slrubenstein requests that Amgine sums up in a sentence or short paragraph what he believes the point of this article should be. And states that since this is about "historical" background he organized it historically.


  • is not satisfied that earlier discussions were resolved adequately
  • does not see why "political situation" should be seperate to "religious organizations?"
  • does not see why "notable uprisings" and "messiahs" are in two different sections
  • does not comprehend why "major schools" and "prophets" are in a different section from "political situation"

Amgine thinks it amusing that, having discarded wiki process Slrubenstein now complains he is not receiving collaborative support. In addition

  • Political Situation in this usage he meant who was actually in charge
  • The use of force to put down uprisings is inherently an element of governance
  • popular figures might be opposed for other reasons
  • The separation of political and religious is a modern one, and one which our modern audience insists upon

Maureen arrives from RfC, Maureen also thinks the constancy of "some people...and some people..." is unpleasent.

Process Fetishization

Slrubenstein then states

  • CheeseDreams and Amgine were asked several times what their sources were and they either could not, or would not, answer him
  • he has always provided reasons and sources

Mpolo states

  • Amgine and CheeseDreams have lost good faith in Slrubenstein

Slrubenstein responds

  • Voting is irrelevant (13)

Amgine responds (to Mpolo)

  • Slrubenstein has consistently failed to collaborate
  • Slrubenstein appears unable or unwilling to follow process
  • Slrubenstein has refuted prior votes

In consequence, Amgine thinks of Slrubenstein's version

  • is fatally flawed
  • a personal essay

Mpolo thinks

  • Slrubenstein's version has better structure as it has an historical arc
  • FT2's version seems like an incoherent random collection of themes
Counterproductive disputes

JDG arrives, and states

  • CheeseDreams' stance is unreasonable
  • CheeseDreams' stance is obstructing Slrubenstein
  • CheeseDreams is unscholarly and fringe unlike Slrubenstein

Cheesedreams claims that (by virtue of reading User Talk pages) JDG is clearly Slrubenstein's mate and therefore highly biased. Slrubenstein states this is not the case as they "fought in the past".

Many people prefer FT2s intro as the more balanced, neutral, and appropriate one, Slrubenstein thinks others prefer his, and that they should be merged.

FT2 thinks the article is written from the POV of what interests Christians, which is not appropriate, Wesley doesn't think Slrubenstein is pushing such a thing, and Slrubenstein wants proof of this FT2s claim.

FT2 thinks that to understand how Jews react to Rome and Messiahs, it is necessary to go back as far as the Macabees. He also thinks that there should be mention of the commonality of child prodigies to show that Jesus' ability to converse on the law in the temple wasn't that special, just a bit cleverer than many. Slrubenstein thinks that FT2s evidence that Jesus' ability was fairly standard, and indeed partly expected, is rubbish, and 100 years too late. Wesley point out to Slrubenstein what the context is.

FT2 thinks that it is accurate to state that the lack of desire to integrate was seen as an affront. Slrubenstein states that Tcherikover claims this is not true, further, that the Romans were tolerant of beliefs but annoyed them with taxes. FT2 asks what situations did the authorities only get involved later in conflicts that jews had with non-jews. Slrubenstein replies that he doesn't know the exact details (1).

FT2 thinks it is necessary to include a quote from someone to present how jews felt rather than thought at the time. Slrubenstein thinks the quote does not reflect jews at the time, and a quote from Cohen (which does not express emotion, but does support Slrubenstein's view of the interaction between Judaism and Hellenism) should be used instead.

FT2 thinks that "X% lived in towns, Y% in villages" is demographic, and that most Jews at the time were hard working, God fearing, in villages. Slrubenstein asks for evidence. FT2 points out that in such circumstances there arent many "slackers", and that village people tended to be less hellenised than city people. Slrubenstein thinks FT2 is showing ignorance.

FT2 thinks that since early emporers thrived, but later ones tended to be murdered and were crueler, there was more corruption. Slrubenstein thinks this is not true. (2)

FT2 state that there was always 2 sides to Judaism - temple and halakhah/prayer. Slrubenstein thinks this is thick and ignorant, as prayer is a form of temple worship, and halakhah contains ritual. FT2 states that the temple worship (though not the temple) goes back to 1500-1300BC and Halakha went back almost as far orally. Slrubenstein claims most historians dispute that.

Slrubenstein thinks that the "Jewish rejection" statement is poorly written and made up, wheras FT2 thinks it is a general cultural description of factors which would have inclined the Jews to reject a variety of cults, groups and beliefs.

Slrubenstein disputes translating "Yohanan" as "Jonathan" rather than "John". FT2 points out how David's associate "Jonathan" is "Yohanan" in Hebrew, to which Wesley states that the New Testament is Greek. Slrubenstein states that "Yonatan" is "Jonathan" and "Yohanan" is "John"

FT2 thinks that purely an historical narrative is inappropriate, and difficult to understand. Slrubenstein states that history and culture are intertwined (though not so elegantly). Wesley thinks that a pure historical narrative is less interpretive and therefore easier to be NPOV.

Slrubenstein thinks that Jews never believed non-Jews should obey Jewish law, and that as many Gentiles turned to other religions with restrictive practices, there is no reason to think that these were in the way of appealing to gentiles. He asks for what he would see as valid evidence.

FT2 states that Early Christians had not made headway with what they felt their natural audience should be, namely the Jews, so they a) felt rejected and b) turned more to spread the Gospels amongst the Gentiles, so they seperated from the Jews, by throwing away many customs and beliefs the jewish-christians had perpetuated. Slrubenstein states that FT2 is being silly (6).

FT2 states that as a clear side effect, dropping more Jewish traditions made their beliefs more palatable. Slrubenstein says that the notion is illogical.

FT2 states that this separated them more from the Jews who had mostly rejected them, who were becoming seen as a 'problem' by Rome (it was politically useful not to in fact be Jews). Slrubenstein states that this is not true, and that even after Bar Kohba, Romans treated Jews better than Christians.

FT2 states that the replacement of halakhah by pure faith alone, simultaneously made them more accessible to gentiles. Slrubenstein counters that it is offensive, as an Orthodox teacher observing halacha does not mean that students will reject lessons in algebra.

FT2 refers to Sabbattai Lev in the 1400's, to show how Jews reacted to "other messiahs". Slrubenstein asks if he means Shabbatai Tzvi from the 1600s. Slrubenstein states that consequently FT2 has no business working on this article (7).

FT2 asks that given that Jews were under intense pressure from Rome (and we know what pressure does to Jewish sense of Identity from the Macabbes, all the way through to 1948), what would opinions be of people preaching non-mainstream beliefs. Slrubenstein says to have some evidence from the first century CE. Slrubenstein says that the above questions above are irrelevant.

FT2 states that the Jews as a group tend to be protective of their national identity and polarise under pressure. Slrubenstein states that FT2 is ignorant (8).

FT2 states that jews as a group back then tended to be conservative (confirmed in gospels and history books), sceptical of radical new interpretations, disinterested in afterlife/salvation stories (mainstream judaism, but variable), and political tensions, and since jews in this period were making all sorts of original claims, what Slrubenstein calls "the mainstream" did not clearly exist back then. Slrubenstein replies that FT2s reasoning is specious and ignorant (9).

FT2 asks to be reminded why Slrubenstein rejects his statements of reasons Jews rejected many cults. Slrubenstein states that this runs counter to the diversity of beliefs and practices that characterized the Jews in pre-Temple, first Temple, and Second Temple periods. Slrubenstein claims that FT2 is "making stuff up". Slrubenstein does not think FT2s responses are satisfactory or have valid evidence.

Comments on Slr's version

John Kenney thinks that Slrubensteins version

  • Takes too long to get to the time period of Jesus.
  • The emphasis should be on the general historical and cultural context.
  • Thinks that emphasising the context is odd because this was a daughter of Jesus.
  • The Hasmonaeans claiming first the high priesthood (under Jonathan) and then the kingship (under Aristobulus I) should be mentioned
  • Antipater the Idumaean ought to be mentioned, no?
  • There should be a discussion of Herod's reign
  • There are too many citations
  • Although Slrubenstein states that bias and inaccuracy in the gospels is demonstrated by the way Christianity and later forms of Judaism emerged, there is too much detail on the subject
Suggestions for next set of revisions

Slrubenstein thinks

  • 2.4.1 is misnamed.
    • It should be "Kings, Procurators, and the Sanhedron" OR "Local Governance under Roman Occupation"
  • 2.5, on the Sicarii etc, should be made 2.4.4
  • 2.5.1, on Jesus in this context, should be simply 2.5
  • FT2's intro is poorly written, but the content is good.
  • We must state that the Gospels are the major textual source for information about Jesus to demonstrate NPOV.
  • We must explain how historiography works.
  • He shares concerns about excess of historical info
  • There could be a better transition between the 1st and 2nd temple periods,
    • which must stess that in both, the Temple and the Law were important.
    • which must stress discontinuity in "legitimacy"
  • There can be more discussion of Herod's reign
    • especially how Herod was an Idumean but also Jewish.
  • We can be clearer that the Pharisees developed under the Hasmoneans period.
  • We need to add more information about the Sicarii.
  • The major conflict was not Jews seeking political and religious freedom vs. Romans.
  • The Great Revolt was about poverty in the peasentry vs. the elite.
  • The primary target of the Sicarii were Jewish elites, not Romans.
  • The Sicarii rejected Roman rule but also rejected Jewish government.
  • There should be a section about economy and class inequality
  • There should be more (rather than less) views of historians about Jesus.

Response to FT2s Account

FT2 is partisan and resents criticism. These votes were not about style but about substance, and my objections were based on the historical record.

FT2, Amgrine, and CheeseDreams have done little or no research on this topic and are mistaken and ignorant about many things. In the meantime, FT2, Amgine, and CheeseDream continue to rely on a version riddled with the most ignorant errors. But FT2, Amgine, and CheeseDream add material that has no basis in fact.Slrubenstein

Just so that you're aware, theres a few inaccuracies up there. I haven't "resented" criticism. FT2 10:37, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)

Response to the Response to FT2s account

You have no right or reason to exclude or dismiss ANY wikipedian from commenting on this article -- for ANY reason. No matter what the reason, all editors have a right to comment and edit. Slrubenstein
I think CheeseDreams, FT2 and Amgine actually need mentoring on how to work in Wikipedia, but I don't think any of the old-timers want to get involved with them. I am not sure what to od. Above, I started a section on what kinds of changes are needed in the article. This talk page should be for talk on improving the article. Yet that hasn't happened at all. C, F, and A don't want to talk about content (I am not surprised as they don't know much 1st cntury history), all they want to do is repeat accusations. Slrubenstein
And Vanity. CheeseDreams 19:20, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Summary of Summaries

Contested points

  • NPOV (in this context) is representing the view that the majority think is neutral
  • This article is about Jesus in a historical context
  • Everything should be cite-d
  • NPOV (in this context) is representing equally all major views found in academia
  • Slrubenstein's version should be The historical Jesus not this article
  • Most things should be cite-able
  • This article is about what the background to Jesus was like
  • NPOV (in this context) is representing equally all views held by participating Wikipedians

Uncontested points

  • Herod should be mentioned