Jon Curry's arguments are getting increasingly ridiculous. Not only does he deny that Jesus existed as a historical figure, but he now also argues that every New Testament document attributed to Paul is a forgery, and he proposes absurd theories like the following:
"Maybe the 10% [the percentage of the Christian population that was more reasonable than the other 90%] left Christianity, and as Christians assumed power under Constantine they destroyed all evidence they could which showed their claims to be false. I'm unaware of any anti-Christian polemics that survived the Christian purges other than that which is preserved in the writings of Christians themselves (and hence rebutted)....Had the people at Nag Hammadi not hidden away some of those old texts about Jesus in response to Constantine's orders to have everything burned we'd have never known that some people viewed Jesus as the reincarnation of Seth, or Zoroaster. The orthodox tradition burned the evidence away."
When Jon is asked about the presence of eyewitnesses and their contemporaries in early Christianity, one of his responses is to try to date the death of the apostles and other relevant sources as early as possible. He'll suggest that Christians of the early second century, for example, may not have been influenced by sources like the apostles as much as Christians think they were, since the apostles might have died significantly earlier. The Christians of the second century may have been far enough removed from the apostles so as to have a radically inaccurate view of who the apostles were, what they taught, etc.
One of the problems Jon's argument faces, among many, is the evidence we have for the apostle John's long lifespan. In a recent thread, Jon attempted to dismiss that evidence with the following comment:
"We have other historical reports of John dying early along with James. So it's kind of hard to say. See my above link on the discussion of Papias."
When we go to that link, we find that it's yet another thread that Jon Curry left without interacting with reasonable objections to his claims. And what evidence does he cite there relevant to the lifespan of the apostle John? He cites a passage from Papias, as described by a fifth century source, Philip of Side.
For those who don't know, the writings of Papias were extant until the Middle Ages, but aren't extant any longer. Some sources of earlier centuries, such as Philip of Side, discussed what was in Papias' writings, though, so we thereby have indirect access to some of what Papias wrote.
Here's what Philip of Side tells us:
"Papias in the second volume says that John the theologian and James his brother were done away with by Jews."
We can't assume that Philip meant to say that Papias refers to James and John as dying at the same time. Philip doesn't say that. John could have died later, even if he died in the same general manner. The involvement of Jews in the death of James and John doesn't assume a death before the late first century either. James was martyred by Herod through the influence of the Jews (Acts 12:1-3). The same sort of involvement in John's death wouldn't require that the temple still be standing. Jewish opposition to Christianity, including participation in the persecution of Christians, continued after the destruction of the temple, as multiple post-70 sources report. And Jon Curry is assuming the Biblical chronology of Acts 12, in which James died long before the close of the first century. Given how Jon assumes that the New Testament is radically wrong on so many other issues, shouldn't he give us a justification for accepting Biblical chronology here? But even if we accept the chronology of Acts 12, Philip of Side doesn't claim that Papias refers to James and John as dying at the same time or prior to the year 70. Thus, the source Jon cited to support his claim doesn't actually support it. And this was explained to him months ago, in the thread where he cited Philip of Side. Why does Jon keep repeating arguments that have already been refuted?
Another source who had access to Papias' writings, George the Sinner, wrote:
"And, after Domitian, Nerva ruled as king for one year, who, having called John back from the island, released him to house in Ephesus. Being then the only one still alive from the twelve disciples, and having composed the gospel according to himself, he was held worthy of martyrdom. For Papias, the bishop of Heirapolis, who was the eyewitness of this man, in the second volume of the lordly oracles claims that he was done away with by Jews, having clearly fulfilled with his brother the prediction of Christ about them and their own confession about this and submission."
George the Sinner seems to be citing the same passage of Papias that Philip of Side mentioned (both of them cite Papias' second volume), and George explicitly dates John's death to the late first century.
See, further, my documentation of other early sources supporting John's long lifespan here. Compare the quality of the evidence I've cited to the quality of Jon's evidence. See if you agree with Jon that it's "kind of hard to say" which side of the argument is more credible.
I think that Jon reaches such a conclusion for much the same reason why he concludes that Jesus didn't exist, that every Pauline New Testament document is a forgery, etc. He's careless and dishonest about Christianity. Here's what he wrote about himself in another thread, when he was trying to explain why it took him so long to notice some allegedly obvious errors in the Bible:
"I believed for years because I was indoctrinated to believe as a young child, as are many people. I'd sing 'Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.' I'd see as Christians would beg and plead with others to convert and guilt people that didn't tow the line. That has an effect on people. I didn't want to see the inconsistencies and the unrealistic nature of the gospel accounts because like a lot of cultists I was conditioned to not see such things. It's a hard nut to crack. And maybe I'm a little slow."
It seems that he has much the same mindset now. But instead of following sources like his parents and his church in the manner he describes above, he now follows sources like Robert Price and whatever other skeptical material he finds on the web with a Google search.