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What about Tacitus? Historical 'Christus' reference

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posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:41 PM
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originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
Does it really prove anything? Tacitus was a 2nd century writer. He wrote of Nero and how Nero used the Christians as a deflection from himself for the fire that burned Rome in 64 AD.


"But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the Bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements Which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero From the infamy of being believed to have ordered the Conflagration, the fire of Rome."





"Hence to suppress the rumor, he Falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were Hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was Put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign Of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time Broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief Originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things Hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their Center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first Made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an Immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of Firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."


He gives the account of Christ that Christians believed in and were giving of themselves. I suppose from a writer's standpoint if you are going to write of Christian persecution under Nero you have to give some account of how they came to be.


More than that really he is speaking from known Roman history as it encounters Jesus and the christians. He is not getting information about this from Christians. We even see some say Pontius Pilate never existed.




posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:53 PM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

That is a perfectly reasonable position, imo. I don't take issue with people who might be critics of the NT or have trouble believing some of it's more fantastic claims. To me, that is a matter of faith. Where I tend to get my feathers ruffled is when people make spurious claims on the internet (or sell books by doing the same) that there is no evidence for a historical Jesus, when that simply isn't the case. Non-Christian, secular historians have largely agreed on the topic, and the consensus is that the NT was based around the events of a real persons life.

None of the arguments used by Christ Mythicists hold up to thorough scrutiny, and a wealth of scholarly literature has been published to demonstrate this fact by both Christian and secular academics. I have yet to see a good argument as to how Jesus could have been "invented" in such a short period of time. Richard Dawkins had a good go of it with his Cargo Cult comparisons, but they too fell apart under the weight of the historical and textual evidence, and even he eventually had to admit that Jesus "probably did exist".

The worst of the Mythicist arguments (Joseph Atwill and his claims the romans themselves invented Christianity) are so poorly researched and fanciful that they fall apart under even the most basic examination in light of non-christian historical facts concerning the roman empire itself, and it's own historians. Richard Carrier is one of the few Mythicists whose work I will actually read (since he has a PHD in ancient history), and he frequently fails to address the rebuttals his critics have levied against his work. He is however, a published academic, and has had his criticisms on the historicity of Jesus published under peer review. He admits that he holds a minority view within academic circles, but makes a good point that appeal to authority shouldn't be used to settle such matters (and to some extent I would agree with him). Unfortunately, he hasn't really done anything to prove that Jesus didn't exist, and the evidence in favor of Jesus historicity still remains convincing enough for many other secular, published academics.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:55 PM
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originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
a reply to: Utnapisjtim

What it means is he did not personally witness the existence of Christ and was only relating the origin tale of Christians in a secondhand fashion. To use this as "proof" of the existence of Christ is a logical fallacy. We have no Roman record, from Pilate or elsewhere, of any such execution of "Christ."



Again he is making a historic statement in regards to persons of known Roman history. This account hardly sounds like it came from an interview with a christian or an extrapolation on Roman urban folklore.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:56 PM
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originally posted by: thektotheg
As has been said, people who believe in Jesus do so IN SPITE of the facts, not because of them.


And also because they do not have the gumption to try and see past the Incredible Blinders that we have on, in this planet.

A take it or leave it approach, I might add.

A question, for Jesus, why do the Jews, not believe you at all?

Could it be, that not a one of THEM noticed you were a God-Man ???

Or is this just another Conspiracy placed on them............



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: Logarock

We didn't even have physical evidence (other than the writings of Tacitus and Josephus, which also mentioned Jesus and his execution) that Pilate existed. His very existence was actually called into question due to it's connection with Jesus crucifixion until as recently as 1961 when the pilate stone was found.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:05 PM
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originally posted by: ParasuvO

originally posted by: thektotheg
As has been said, people who believe in Jesus do so IN SPITE of the facts, not because of them.


And also because they do not have the gumption to try and see past the Incredible Blinders that we have on, in this planet.

A take it or leave it approach, I might add.

A question, for Jesus, why do the Jews, not believe you at all?

Could it be, that not a one of THEM noticed you were a God-Man ???

Or is this just another Conspiracy placed on them............


Even the Jews acknowledged that Jesus existed... They just didn't believe he was the Son of God (That's sort of why they crucified him, as reported in the New Testament).



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:48 PM
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a reply to: UMayBRite!



How does the atheist who has gained notoriety attacking the historicity of Jesus handle this one?


What does an historical reference to someone described as "Christus" have to do with atheism or historical existence of someone whose name was Jesus? OK, everyone 'knows' that "Christus" referred to the Jesus referred to in the New Testament. Many treat the word "Christ" as if it was Jesus' surname, when in fact it is a title. He should be referred to in English as "Jesus, the Christ" if we are going for technical accuracy.

"Christus", meaning 'the annointed one' (I have also seen it translated as 'the Teacher') was a Greek translation of the Hebrew word "Messiah". In the first couple of centuries CE, there were dozens of miracle workers and faith healers doing the equivalent of the revival circuits we have today. Many had sizable followings and laid claim to the title "Messiah" just as today faith healers claim some special relationship to Jesus and God that is unavailable to the 'ordinary' or to their rivals - it is good for 'business' to make some such claim. So if we were discussing him in 40 C.E. perhaps we would more accurately refer to him as "Jesus, a Christ".

Israel was, like much of the Eastern Mediterranean, heavily influenced by the trend to 'Hellenization'. The common language and culture was Greek, much like modern Singapore is a European city. Even the name 'Jesus' is a Greek translation of the name 'Joshua' which is an extremely popular name in Israel. In general, Jews were rural while Pagans were city dwellers, which helps to explain why Jesus' appearances in cities was a 'big deal', and Jesus emphasis on fighting the pagan influences in the Temple. Since the name Joshua and its Greek form Jesus was so common, it is no surprise at all to find grave marker or other inscriptions with the name engraved. What is surprising is that there are so few such inscriptions.

Sure there are some scholars who doubt the historical existence of the person described in the New Testament, but they are very few. By the same token, there are very few scholars who believe that the New Testament is an accurate biography of the man. Neither position, historical existence nor biographical accuracy have anything what-so-ever to do with atheism or belief - it has to do with evidence. In most cases, Biblical scholars are anything but atheists - they are Rabbis and Priests and religious laymen; mostly atheists wouldn't care one way or the other whether Jesus, as described in the New Testament was an historical character or not.


edit on 6/10/2014 by rnaa because: sentence structure



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:58 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

Or that somewhere along the line, there was a difference in opinion of how to spell the word from one scribe to the next.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 11:07 PM
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Why didn't anyone record the Jesus figure when he was actually meant to have existed?



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: Iamthatbish




However it was brought to my attention that Jesus is a title not a name.


Not quite. "Jesus" is the Hellenic version of "Joshua" - a very popular name in Hebrew.

"Christ" (or "Christus") is a title meaning 'the Annointed One' or 'the Teacher'.

It occurs to me that that title may have been Jesus' downfall (on this Earth at least). Kings are annointed, and to refer to him as 'the Annointed one' is to indicate that he is a King. Of course he got into trouble because he was referred to as "King of the Jews" which caused all kinds of political angst with Herod and the Romans. Perhaps if his followers has chosen another word, one which more specifically described him as 'teacher' and couldn't be confused with Kingly ambition, he may have succeeded in his mission to reform the Jewish Priesthood and Temple practise.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 11:45 PM
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a reply to: Logarock



We even see some say Pontius Pilate never existed.


Until 1961 there was physical evidence for the existence of Pontius Pilate. There was only "a brief mention by Tacitus; Philo of Alexandria; Josephus; the four canonical gospels; the Gospel of Nicodemus; the Gospel of Marcion; and other apocryphal works" (quoted from Wikipedia: Pontius Pilate). The veracity of Tacitus' description was in doubt, because called him 'Procurator' when at the time his title would have been 'Prefect'.

Again from Wikipedia: Pontius Pilate:



The first physical evidence relating to Pilate was discovered in 1961, when a block of limestone, the Pilate Stone, was found in the Roman theatre at Caesarea Maritima, the capital of the province of Judaea (Iudaea). Bearing a damaged dedication by Pilate of a Tiberieum,[11] the dedication states that he was [...]ECTVS IUDA[...] (usually read as praefectus Iudaeae), that is, prefect of Judaea. The early governors of Judaea were of prefect rank, the later were of procurator rank, beginning with Cuspius Fadus in AD 44. The inscription was discovered by a group led by Antonio Frova and has been dated to AD 26–37. The inscription is currently housed in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, while a replica stands at Caesarea.


So anyone writing today about the actual existence of Pilate is over 50 years out of date. You can argue whether or not Tacitus was accurate or not, but you cannot argue about a contemporary marble slab.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 11:54 PM
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a reply to: BasementWarriorKryptonite

He was one of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of faith healers and miracle workers wandering the countryside. He had no significance one way or another to any one in a position to be able to record his existence. Jews were farmers and fishermen, living outside the cities. They had no use for scribes or histories. The Priests did of course, but why would they record anything about one more lunatic would-be reformer telling them how to do their job?



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 02:31 AM
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originally posted by: ParasuvO

originally posted by: thektotheg
As has been said, people who believe in Jesus do so IN SPITE of the facts, not because of them.


And also because they do not have the gumption to try and see past the Incredible Blinders that we have on, in this planet.

A take it or leave it approach, I might add.

A question, for Jesus, why do the Jews, not believe you at all?

Could it be, that not a one of THEM noticed you were a God-Man ???

Or is this just another Conspiracy placed on them............


That's thektotheg you speak to. Jesus is over there. On the cloud....



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 03:18 AM
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originally posted by: Quetzalcoatl14
An interesting quote for sure. The Josephus quote oft brought up is considered a forgery by many scholars. I don't know about this.


Few still believe Josephus and Tacitus and other contemporary historians mentioning Jesus are fakes. The current consensus seems to be that Jesus most likely lived and if he didn't, now that would be amazing. But like many people point out in this thread, evidence of a historical Jesus doesn't necessarily mean that what NT has to say about the guy is true. Tacitus and others give credence to this historical Jesus, but that doesn't mean they mean he had to die for our sins or that his blood has magical healing properties. That's vampire lore and satanism btw.


For me, as a former Christian and now spiritual (not atheist) person, it really matters not. I would have no problem believing that a historical Jesus existed in some form. However, this has little to do with Christian theology or it's veracity. We know Muhammed existed, that answers nothing about whether an angel spoke to him or if he is the true prophet.


Agreed.



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 03:36 AM
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originally posted by: Quetzalcoatl14

originally posted by: Utnapisjtim
a reply to: Metallicus

Well put! This nonsense that you have to be recognised by contemporary eyewitnesses, who are also historians, the ones who aren't fakes-- in order to have existed-- it has to stop. Jesus Christ is mentioned by quite a few respected historians. Though the idea that Jesus is purely a mythical character is intriguing, it becomes something of an absurdity when you source out the matter. If Jesus didn't exist, that alone would be far more amazing than if he did. And he did live and he even made it to the history books.


Even if a historical person named Jesus existed, the Christian religion definitely seems to have appropriated a series of pagan myths such as from Mythra and Apollonius of Tyana and superimposed them over the name and life of Jesus, such as miracles, 12 disciples, etc.


Indeed. It's the same old news as yesterday. What the Church managed was to squeeze every religious denomination into one, the ultimate Mithras, the Jee-Zeus there to sort the blame seated high above the other gods. Religion takes over when politics no longer works. Who would want to fight the wars of TPTB if there was no God to receive you when you're buried in the mud, and who would fight for a king if it turned out he was just some ancient gang-leader with ermine and a diamond the size of a golf-ball in his forehead?



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 03:50 AM
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originally posted by: Logarock

originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
a reply to: Utnapisjtim

What it means is he did not personally witness the existence of Christ and was only relating the origin tale of Christians in a secondhand fashion. To use this as "proof" of the existence of Christ is a logical fallacy. We have no Roman record, from Pilate or elsewhere, of any such execution of "Christ."



Again he is making a historic statement in regards to persons of known Roman history. This account hardly sounds like it came from an interview with a christian or an extrapolation on Roman urban folklore.


Apparently, the writing style of the passage I cited in the OP bears much resemblance with Josephus' writing style, showing his Antiquities was probably the main source for Tacitus in these matters. At least according to a dissertation in the appendix of 'Josephus, the complete works' translated by William Whinston, A.M.



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 04:22 AM
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originally posted by: rnaa
"Christ" (or "Christus") is a title meaning 'the Annointed One' or 'the Teacher'.


Christ cannot mean teacher. Jesus was called rabbi and rabbuni in the Gospel, which means teacher. Christ is from the Greek equivalent of Messiah, and is the word used instead of משיח ("meshiach", messiah, the anointed one) in the Greek LXX for instance in Leviticus and in the below quote from the Prophets:

Thus says the LORD to his anointed (LXX: χριστῷ, christ, Maso. למשיחו, messiah), to Cyrus… [ESV] Isaiah 45:1

I chose this quote since it also shows that the messiah-- as far as Isaiah's concerned-- was Cyrus the Great, the Persian emperor who conquered Babylon and ordered the Jewish temple to be rebuilt. Few Christians seem to be aware of this little tidbit.
edit on 7-10-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: masoretic

edit on 7-10-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: format



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 04:39 AM
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a reply to: Utnapisjtim

While you are correct that Christ can be interpreted as "Anointed one", the argument for Cyrus is somewhat weak. Jewish Kings and prophets were often anointed with oil. This is demonstrated elsewhere in the old testament (for instance, when King David is anointed).

Isaiah 45:1 reads thusly:


Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;


In this case, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that Cyrus is the anointed, but rather that the lord is speaking to his anointed (whom Cyrus eventually frees from captivity).

If however, we chose to interpret the passage as indicating Cyrus as anointed, it certainly doesn't mean he was the messiah, but rather that he was revered by the jew's due to his decision not only to free them from captivity, but also his edict permitting them to build their temple.

Christians are aware, they simply don't agree with your interpretation of the text.



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 05:49 AM
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originally posted by: DeadSeraph
a reply to: Utnapisjtim

While you are correct that Christ can be interpreted as "Anointed one", the argument for Cyrus is somewhat weak. Jewish Kings and prophets were often anointed with oil. This is demonstrated elsewhere in the old testament (for instance, when King David is anointed).

Isaiah 45:1 reads thusly:


Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;


In this case, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that Cyrus is the anointed, but rather that the lord is speaking to his anointed (whom Cyrus eventually frees from captivity).


Apart from God calling Cyrus his Anointed, lit. his Messiah, his Christ? Look at the former verse:

[the LORD] who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,
and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;
saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’
and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’” [ESV]
Isaiah 44:28


If however, we chose to interpret the passage as indicating Cyrus as anointed, it certainly doesn't mean he was the messiah, but rather that he was revered by the jew's due to his decision not only to free them from captivity, but also his edict permitting them to build their temple.


He was the messiah in all the essence of the word. God even calls him his shepherd who shall fulfill all his purpose. Sounds like a walking talking duck to me.


Christians are aware, they simply don't agree with your interpretation of the text.


What you and other Christians fail to understand is that being the Messiah or the Christ is nothing special really, apart from the fact that being exalted into kingship or high priest is rather special. In all essence it means being 'King of Jerusalem'. And there are no two kinds of messiahs, nor is there anything substantial other than Church doctrine and dogma, to support that Jesus is some kind of special higher messiah. That's the kind of argument you see between kids when they try to convince the others that his father is stronger then your father:

Pagan: "My dad is stronger than you, he's a fireman!"
Christian: "Hah, My Dad is God! He is All Powerful!"

You're talking semantics that just aren't there. It's doctrinated make-believe. The Messiah is the living ruling leader of the Jews. Not the dead Cyrus, nor the vacant Jesus. The current messiah, if any, since there is no functional Hebrew monarchy and Jews still consider themselves in diaspora, so no high priest either-- the closest you get to a current messiah, is Reuven Rivlin, the sitting president of Israel, and he has been so since 24 of July 2014, and he will remain so for seven years.

The Messiah part with Jesus is a political one, a burden you willingly and ignorantly lay on Jesus. We all know how that turned out. The Romans nailed him to a tree under a sarcastic inscription in four languages saying "Jesus, the Christ of the Jews" like some kind of trophy, as if to say, "This is what you get if you challenge Roman supremacy!"
edit on 7-10-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: typos and syntax



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 06:33 AM
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a reply to: Quetzalcoatl14



Even if a historical person named Jesus existed, the Christian religion definitely seems to have appropriated a series of pagan myths such as from Mythra and Apollonius of Tyana and superimposed them over the name and life of Jesus, such as miracles, 12 disciples, etc.


Even the Bible has stories from old civilizations like the flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Both flood stories are basically identical except for a few things, like one was polytheistic and the other monotheistic. Looking at history it's obvious to me that the Bible used stories from other civilizations. I see the Bible the same way I see the Greek Mythology.







 
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