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Is there evidence that Jesus Christ existed? Yes, there is.

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posted on Apr, 15 2015 @ 06:20 PM
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a reply to: DeadSeraph

It sounds to me like he's trying to sell a book.

"There's abundant historical evidence of Jesus...in my book" or something like that.

Richard Carrier has also disputed Ehrman's claim that no scholar in the field doubts the historicity of Jesus, since he is such a scholar. Ehrman should have made a more conservative claim like "the majority of scholars believe that....".

Also his argument about evolution is weak. We can all examine the evidence for evolution, and the evidence for the historicity of Jesus, independent of any scholarly opinions, and on this basis the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. If anything this example shows precisely what is lacking in the way of evidence for historical Jesus, so I think it supports the view that opposes his, though he doesn't seem to realize this.

Sure the eyewitness evidence for many historical figures is weak, that's a more valid argument. But that doesn't mean the historical evidence for any of them is strong, and certainly not anywhere as strong as the argument for evolution. It is what it is.

Ehrman also said in the video posted before yours that more research has changed his opinion, and he looks older in that video so you should also consider he makes a big point out of how is opinions are changing based on his research, and he used to think there were eyewitness accounts of Jesus in the Gospels, which he no longer believes, etc.

edit on 15-4-2015 by Arbitrageur because: clarification




posted on Apr, 15 2015 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur




It sounds to me like he's trying to sell a book.


He chose to write the book because of the recent resurgence of mythicism, not because he needs the money. He has published multiple books.



Richard Carrier has also disputed Ehrman's claim that no scholar in the field doubts the historicity of Jesus, since he is such a scholar. Ehrman should have made a more conservative claim like "the majority of scholars believe that....".


Richard carrier is undisputably in the minority. While I agree that Ehrman could have framed his comments more conservatively, he's still right about what he is saying.



Also his argument about evolution is weak. We can all examine the evidence for evolution, and the evidence for the historicity of Jesus, independent of any scholarly opinions, and on this basis the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.


So is the evidence for a historical Jesus, which is why most scholars agree on the subject. However, I think you might be taking Ehrmans comments a bit out of context here. What he was saying, is that if you want to learn about evolution, you talk to people who are educated on the matter, and that if the majority of the worlds academics subscribe to the idea, you'd better have a good reason to say it isn't true.



Sure the eyewitness evidence for many historical figures is weak, that's a more valid argument. But that doesn't mean the historical evidence for any of them is strong, and certainly not anywhere as strong as the argument for evolution. It is what it is.


There is more evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for almost any other figure of his day. People really do need to set their bias aside and look at the issue objectively. I can't count how many times I've seen people base their opinions of this subject entirely on how they feel about Christianity as a religion, rather than on the topic itself.



Ehrman also said in the video posted before yours that more research has changed his opinion, and he looks older in that video so you should also consider he makes a big point out of how is opinions are changing based on his research, and he used to think there were eyewitness accounts of Jesus in the Gospels, which he no longer believes, etc.


The video I posted is fairly recent, and Ehrman just published the book in question. If he was talking about changing his mind based on research, he is probably talking about when he became an agnostic, as he was formerly a Christian and changed his mind about his faith (based on his research, according to his own words).

The point remains that it's interesting to me that people are using Ehrman as a source for mythicism when he himself contends that Jesus was a historical figure.

In this video, he even states that he is tired of being misquoted by mythicists:




posted on Apr, 15 2015 @ 06:46 PM
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When I first started reading up on the evidence that an individual correspending to the Biblical Jesus actually lived, I was frankly surprised by just how much evidence exists. Others in this thread have brought up the references in the works of Josephus, the Jewish Roman historian. Some explain them away as having been planted by later Christian scribes, but the reference isn't exactly what you'd call glowing. Josephus wasn't a fan. There are also the very early rumours regarding Jesus's true parentage, with Mary allegedly having been raped by a Roman soldier named Pantera.

There's also the Alexamenos graffito, one of my favorite examples of ancient graffiti. en.wikipedia.org... It's not been dated concretely, but with the earliest estimate being 1st century AD and the latest being 3rd, it's at least evidence that Christianity was widespread enough that early that people were engaging in some pretty serious religious ballbusting.

Let me make it clear that I don't think that this individual was the 'son of God,' or even proclaimed himself to be in his life. I think that he was simply a very wise man who made enough of an impact during his short life that people have remembered him for it for over 2000 years now, as muddled as the truth is at this point. And that's a pretty damn remarkable thing imo.
edit on 4/15/2015 by Monger because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2015 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: Monger




There's also the Alexamenos graffito, one of my favorite examples of ancient graffiti. en.wikipedia.org...


Why is it every time people see an ancient "cross" they think it represents Jesus? Pilate probably crucified someone's loved one every Friday, not to mention the Roman Crucifixion crews that were on the road crucifying rebels as they found them, no trial required. Did you know that the Romans crucified 6000 Jewish men outside the walls of Jerusalem during the "Seige of 69 AD" alone?

Not only that, but the "cross" has a rich shared background in all kinds of religions. When Julius Caesar died in 44 BC, his effigy was hung on a cross, crosses were placed in temples and minted on coins.








edit on 15-4-2015 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 01:12 AM
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a reply to: windword




posted on Apr, 16 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:18 AM
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a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

What a joke.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 07:16 AM
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originally posted by: DeadSeraph
a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

What a joke.

Come on Seraph, chin up old boy. I wish I could genuinely make you laugh (as opposed to sneer). I don't understand why a mythical Jesus would be such a burden. There is still the paranormal one that Christians idolise.

It is a fact that no (as in 0) genuine scholars accept the biblical Jesus or promote it in a scholarly way. Genuine historians don't accept magic. Which leaves us with very little re Jesus. What little there is is consistent with fiction/myth.

Here is an interesting article from a relevant Ph.D whose dissertation was on "Jesus ahistoricity" theories. This fellow thinks it not only very reasonable to be sceptical of a historical Jesus, but (like Prof. Hector Avalos), sceptical of this field of scholarship in general. Not only is there no genuine evidence for a historical Jesus, there are more mythicists among scholars (both know and historically) than people might realise.

www.religiousstudiesproject.com...



edit on 17-4-2015 by Cogito, Ergo Sum because: for the heck of it



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 07:25 AM
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a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

What your meme implied: The argument for a historical Jesus of Nazareth rests entirely on the New Testament (and the new testament is a completely unreliable collection of documents)

What the truth is: The argument for a historical Jesus of Nazareth doesn't even require the New Testament, and not only is there historical data contained in the NT, it simply serves as a corroborative body of literature to the extra biblical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth.

For someone that is constantly lambasting people on this website for not following the evidence in arguments pertaining to science, you have certainly presented yourself as a hypocrite here.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 07:28 AM
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a reply to: DeadSeraph

It gets tired Seraph. You probably know quite well why the normal sources (Josephus, Tacitus etc.) aren't accepted. They have not only been changed, they are hearsay at best. That the early apologists scoured (and mentioned) such works, yet didn't seem to be aware of the relevant verses further makes it doubtful. That there is no mention of the Tacitus one until after it appeared almost word for word in a 5th century Christian work (by Sulpicius Severus), doesn't inspire confidence either. There really is nothing outside of the claims of the new testament (which, apart from being mythology, it is also unlikely they even have the possibility of being first hand accounts).

That you accept such things is up to you. Surely you can understand why others wouldn't?

There is evidence of a historical Jesus, but it is quite poor. It is no better than the evidence for a historical Romulus. They are both myth. IMHO, of course.



edit on 17-4-2015 by Cogito, Ergo Sum because: for the heck of it



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 07:52 AM
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a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

you don't even have the facts straight... Tacitus isn't accepted? By whom? Just go read the thread, or save yourself the effort and watch the bart ehrman videos linked previously.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 08:01 AM
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originally posted by: DeadSeraph
a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

you don't even have the facts straight... Tacitus isn't accepted? By whom? Just go read the thread, or save yourself the effort and watch the bart ehrman videos linked previously.

By me...and many others.

Bart Ehrman...lol.



edit on 17-4-2015 by Cogito, Ergo Sum because: for the heck of it



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 08:02 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: Gryphon66



PS. WHY OH WHY can we not have a history forum?


This, a history forum would be pretty epic. Ive always wondered what other nations say about historic events. This forum would be a perfect place to explore that.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 08:09 AM
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originally posted by: DeadSeraph
a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

What your meme implied: The argument for a historical Jesus of Nazareth rests entirely on the New Testament (and the new testament is a completely unreliable collection of documents)

What the truth is: The argument for a historical Jesus of Nazareth doesn't even require the New Testament, and not only is there historical data contained in the NT, it simply serves as a corroborative body of literature to the extra biblical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth.


Uh... Without the NT, no one would even know a Jesus Christ existed. You certainly wouldn't know such a thing from studying the secular sources like Tacticus and Pliny seeing as how those descriptions are rather vague.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 08:40 AM
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originally posted by: Cogito, Ergo Sum

originally posted by: DeadSeraph
a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

you don't even have the facts straight... Tacitus isn't accepted? By whom? Just go read the thread, or save yourself the effort and watch the bart ehrman videos linked previously.

By me...and many others.

Bart Ehrman...lol.




Yeah. By you and many others, as you laugh at a scholar that has laid out the mythicist position and demonstrated quite clearly why it holds no water.




posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 07:47 PM
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originally posted by: DeadSeraph


Yeah. By you and many others, as you laugh at a scholar that has laid out the mythicist position and demonstrated quite clearly why it holds no water.


He does no such thing. He tilts at windmills. The mythicist position is so foreign to Ehrman's dogmatic mindset, it is unlikely he understands it to begin with.


I faced opposition from within the department to the extent that I had considered abandoning the project. These challenges presented themselves despite the fact that I had not yet decided the angle, or of course, the conclusions. What was the topic that proved so challenging to research? Jesus mythicism, the contention that there may not have been a ‘historical Jesus’. I would eventually pass, with the examiners – themselves scholars of Religious Studies – agreeing that a review of the methods of many Biblical scholars is necessary (for example, the increasingly-maligned Criteria of Authenticity) and that it is entirely rational to be sceptical over the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. Such conclusions should not necessarily be so controversial in a field dedicated to the critical and non-confessional study of religion. More worryingly, there were instances where I felt pressure to alter the direction of the project, in order to allow for more ‘Christian-friendly conclusions’. But why would such respected scholars wish to interfere with the most fundamental of academic freedoms? It may have had something to do with their personal religious beliefs about Jesus. Interestingly however, such belief is not actually required for such a reaction.

One example is provided by noted Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman, one of many secular New Testament experts. Professor Ehrman is an outspoken atheist, yet dogmatically defends the historicity of Jesus and the usefulness of his teachings, while harshly and fallaciously (Lataster 2013) criticising those scholars that are audacious enough to be more sceptical than he (Ehrman 2012). Hector Avalos argues that even many non-Christian scholars are influenced by the political power, and finances, of pro-Christian organisations (Avalos 2007). Avalos claims that positive attitudes towards the Bible, Christianity, and religion in general, is often seen as necessary in order to keep these academic disciplines relevant, and funded.


Raphael Lataster Ph.D researcher - Religious Studies

www.religiousstudiesproject.com...






edit on 17-4-2015 by Cogito, Ergo Sum because: to add link to article



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 09:03 PM
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This from a historian, about the relevant Josephus material, from a paper appearing in a mainstream peer reviewed journal, complete with usual bibliography/citations etc.


Among the works of Josephus, scholars find two disputed passages on Jesus



Many scholars see this passage as fraudulent, in whole (65) or in part. (66)



Highly respected Josephean scholar Louis Feldman discusses the historical silence surrounding the Testimonium Flavianum:
The passage appears in all our manuscripts; but a considerable number of Christian writers—Pseudo-Justin and Theophilus in the second century, Minucius Felix, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Julius Africanus, Tertullian, Hippolytus and Origen in the third century, and Methodius and Pseudo-Eustathius in the early fourth century—who knew Josephus and cited from his works do not refer to this passage, though one would imagine that it would be the first passage that a Christian apologist would cite.68



If this passage contains Christian interpolations to some extent (agreed upon by both mythicist and historicist scholars), it might not be surprising if the whole passage was fraudulent, especially considering the relative historical silence. The precedent has already been set that the text was tampered with, raising serious questions as to its reliability. Ehrman also suggests that the removal of the entire passage makes the surrounding text flow more smoothly and that the first person to quote it is Eusebiusof Caesarea, a 4th century Christian bishop.69 This could be significant as Eusebius was arguably tolerant of pious fraud (Preparation for the Gospel 12.31),70 and by his own words raises questions as to his reliability as a historian (Church History 8.2.3)



A second passage from the works of Josephus that mentions Jesus is also from Antiquities of the Jews: Apart from the phrase “called the Christ,” this passage does not seem to offer any useful information on Jesus. The Jesus mentioned need not necessarily be Jesus of Nazareth. After all Jesus (or Joshua) and James (or Jacob) are very common Jewish names, and there are quite a few people named Jesus mentioned in the works of Josephus. In fact, soon after the “called the Christ” reference, Josephus makes mention of “Jesus the son of Damnaeus,” who became the high priest. It could be (or is even more likely) that this is the Jesus referenced earlier, as some mythicists speculate,74 and this would explain why James’ brother is mentioned; the high priest being a noteworthy figure.



Indeed, with the possible or likely fraudulent nature of the first passage, the second passage potentially raises questions as to who Josephus thinks this Christ is, given that he had otherwise not mentioned him.


Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies- Volume Six, Number One Spring 2015 (Utah State University Department of History).


edit on 17-4-2015 by Cogito, Ergo Sum because: source



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 09:51 PM
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From the same peer reviewed paper, regarding Tacitus.



In his Annals (15.44), Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus makes a possible reference to Jesus:

It is the phrase referring to Christus and his death under Pontius Pilate that is of great interest. It could be that this phrase (or even the whole passage and its context) could also be a later Christian interpolation.



there are reasons to have doubts over the authenticity or legitimacy of this passage. It is interesting that the name Jesus is never used, and that this is Tacitus’ only reference to Jesus. It is questionable if a non-Christian historian would refer to this person as Christ rather than the more secular Jesus of Nazareth. A Christian scribe, however, would have no issue in calling him Christ. Given that Jesus is not specified, there may also be a small possibility that this could refer to another Christ or messiah-figure. Though Annals covers the period of Rome’s history from around 14 CE to 66 CE, no other mention is made of Jesus Christ.78 This passage is also ignored by early Christian apologists such as Origen and Tertullian, who actually quote Tacitus in the 3rd century.



Like Josephus, Tacitus was born after Jesus’ alleged death, so could not have been an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’ life. He could merely be repeating what a Christian believer is claiming. Richard Carrier theorizes that Tacitus may have received this information from his colleague, Pliny the Younger, who had received it from Christians.80



Ehrman also somewhat dismisses Tacitus’ witness as Christian hearsay.81



Also of interest is that this supposed reference to the death of Jesus is made in Book 15 (covering CE 62-65) rather than in Book 5 (covering CE 29-31). Though Tacitus supposedly claims the death of Christ happened during the reign of Tiberius, he makes no mention of Jesus in the book covering the reign of Tiberius; he only makes this one comment among the books covering the later reign of Nero. Furthermore, most information from Book 5 and the beginning of Book 6 (covering CE 32-37) is lost.82 The Annals is suspiciously missing information from around 29 CE to 32 CE, a highly relevant timeframe for those that believe (historically or religiously) in Jesus. It is equally suspicious that the only section missing in the space dedicated to Tiberius’ rule happens to coincide with what many Christians would consider to be the most historically noteworthy event(s) to occur during Tiberius’ reign.83 Robert Drews theorizes that the only plausible explanation for this gap is “pious fraud;” that the embarrassment of Tacitus making no mention of Jesus’ crucifixion (or associated events such as the darkness covering the world or the appearances of resurrected saints) led to Christian scribes destroying this portion of the text, and perhaps later fabricating the Book 15 reference.



Finally, Josephus and Tacitus bestow scholars with the earliest non-Christian references to Jesus. Unfortunately, the best manuscripts date to the Middle Ages, so it cannot be known just how much Christian scribes may have manipulated them during the intervening centuries: As with Josephus, so with Tacitus our observation must be tempered by the fact that the earliest manuscript of the Annals comes from the 11th century.88



posted on Apr, 19 2015 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

You obviously missed the evidence provided here which is from NON-CHRISTIAN sources and it includes accounts by Pagan Roman historians, and the very people (Jews)who to this day say Jesus was not the son of God but they say HE DID EXIST...

But of course, like some people in this thread have already done, after those very people were claiming 'there is no evidence whatsoever outside the gospels" they are now claiming that the Pagan Romans, the Christians and the Jews were all lying... Amazing how some people CAN'T for the life of them accept that there is such evidence, they just have to destroy/dismiss it making false claims and fallacious arguments.

Again, from the first page, one of the main non-Christian pieces of evidence that Jesus was a historical person and he wasn't a myth.




In his Annals, Tacitus tells of a fire that swept through Rome in the 60s, for which some were blaming Nero himself...

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre 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. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.

www.mesacc.edu...



edit on 19-4-2015 by ElectricUniverse because: add and correct comment.



posted on Apr, 19 2015 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

Riiight, and the Christians also forced the Jewish people to accept the existence of Jesus even though to this day they say he wasn't the Christ and wasn't the son of God, but do say Jesus did exist?...

Again, if Jesus was a myth Tacitus, among others would have written about Jesus as a myth, and not as a man who lived, taught and was crucified under orders of Pontius Pilate. Tacitus was a historian who compiled the story of how much of Rome burned. Tacitus probably grew up hearing stories about Jesus, and if any story would have claimed that Jesus did not exist he would have written so as Tacitus was a pagan.

If Jesus was a myth, the Romans wouldn't have been bothering to claim that Jesus' father was a Roman soldier... That was an obvious attempt to humanize a man that existed. A man that was seen as the son of God by many people, and this was a threat to Roman rule.


edit on 19-4-2015 by ElectricUniverse because: add comment.




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