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

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posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 07:05 AM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse

“The Myth of Persecution”: Early Christians weren’t persecuted


Moss, professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, challenges some of the most hallowed legends of the religion when she questions what she calls “the Sunday school narrative of a church of martyrs, of Christians huddled in catacombs out of fear, meeting in secret to avoid arrest and mercilessly thrown to lions merely for their religious beliefs.” None of that, she maintains, is true. In the 300 years between the death of Jesus and the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, there were maybe 10 or 12 scattered years during which Christians were singled out for supression by Rome’s imperial authorities, and even then the enforcement of such initiatives was haphazard — lackadaisical in many regions, although harsh in others. “Christians were never,” Moss writes, “the victims of sustained, targeted persecution.”

Much of the middle section of “The Myth of Persecution” is taken up with a close reading of the six “so-called authentic accounts” of the church’s first martyrs. They include Polycarp, a bishop in Smyrna during the second century who was burned at the stake, and Saint Perpetua, a well-born young mother executed in the arena at Carthage with her slave, Felicity, at the beginning of the third century. Moss carefully points out the inconsistencies between these tales and what we know about Roman society, the digs at heresies that didn’t even exist when the martyrs were killed and the references to martyrdom traditions that had yet to be established. There’s surely some kernel of truth to these stories, she explains, as well as to the first substantive history of the church written in 311 by a Palestinian named Eusebius. It’s just that it’s impossible to sort the truth from the colorful inventions, the ax-grinding and the attempts to reinforce the orthodoxies of a later age.

Moss also examines surviving Roman records. She notes that during the only concerted anti-Christian Roman campaign, under the emperor Diocletian between 303 and 306, Christians were expelled from public offices. Their churches, such as the one in Nicomedia, across the street from the imperial palace, were destroyed. Yet, as Moss points out, if the Christians were holding high offices in the first place and had built their church “in the emperor’s own front yard,” they could hardly have been in hiding away in catacombs before Diocletian issued his edicts against them.

This is not to deny that some Christians were executed in horrible ways under conditions we’d consider grotesquely unjust. But it’s important, Moss explains, to distinguish between “persecution” and “prosecution.” The Romans had no desire to support a prison population, so capital punishment was common for many seemingly minor offenses; you could be sentenced to be beaten to death for writing a slanderous song. Moss distinguishes between those cases in which Christians were prosecuted simply for being Christians and those in which they were condemned for engaging in what the Romans considered subversive or treasonous activity. Given the “everyday ideals and social structures” the Romans regarded as essential to the empire, such transgressions might include publicly denying the divine status of the emperor, rejecting military service or refusing to accept the authority of a court. In one of her most fascinating chapters, Moss tries to explain how baffling and annoying the Romans (for whom “pacifism didn’t exist as a concept”) found the Christians — when the Romans thought about them at all.

Christians wound up in Roman courts for any number of reasons, but when they got there, they were prone to announcing, as a believer named Liberian once did, “that he cannot be respectful to the emperor, that he can be respectful only to Christ.” Moss compares this to “modern defendants who say that they will not recognize the authority of the court or of the government, but recognize only the authority of God. For modern Americans, as for ancient Romans, this sounds either sinister or vaguely insane.” It didn’t help that early Christians developed a passion for martyrdom. Suffering demonstrated both the piety of the martyr and the authenticity of the religion itself, and besides, it earned you an immediate, first-class seat in heaven. (Ordinary Christians had to wait for Judgment Day.) There were reports of fanatics deliberately seeking out the opportunity to die for their faith, including a mob that turned up at the door of a Roman official in Asia Minor, demanding to be martyred, only to be turned away when he couldn’t be bothered to oblige them.


Christians lying about being persecuted? Who would have thought? Oh wait, they do it all the time.




posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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originally posted by: windword

Gee, I don't know. Unicorns and satyrs are in the Bible too, not to mentions dragons.


You are using a Hebrew word רְאֵם "reym" or "re’em" that ancient Christian scholars didn't know how to translate. The animal in question could also very well have been the Elasmotherium, which is now extinct.

As for the word you claim means satyr, once again it is not what you claim it means. The Hebrew word is שָׂעִיר "sa`iyr" or שָׂעִר "sa`ir" which most often referred to a male goat used for sacrificies.

lexiconcordance.com...

The word was also used on occasion to label what was seen as a demon possessed goat.


edit on 22-4-2015 by ElectricUniverse because: add and correct comment.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse

LOL I'm not using any Hebrew words. I'm reading the Bible as given to us, inerrant, and breathed by God.

Unicorns, dragon and satyrs, oh my!
edit on 22-4-2015 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:10 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

That's quite a claim to make when we have pagan Roman historians who have admitted that Christians were persecuted. Not all Roman emperors persecuted Christians to the same extent as others did, but to claim that there was no persecution is to ignore what ancient Roman scholars themselves wrote happened.


Christianity and the Roman Empire

By Dr Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe
Last updated 2011-02-17

Beginnings of persecution

The story of Christianity’s rise to prominence is a remarkable one, but the traditional story of its progression from a tiny, persecuted religion to the established religion in the medieval West needs some debunking.

Although in the first few centuries AD Christians were prosecuted and punished, often with death, there were also periods when they were more secure. Secondly, the rise of Christianity to imperial-sponsored dominance in the fourth and fifth centuries, although surprising, was not without precedent, and its spread hardly as inexorable as contemporary Christians portrayed it.

Christians were first, and horribly, targeted for persecution as a group by the emperor Nero in 64 AD. A colossal fire broke out at Rome, and destroyed much of the city. Rumours abounded that Nero himself was responsible. He certainly took advantage of the resulting devastation of the city, building a lavish private palace on part of the site of the fire.

Perhaps to divert attention from the rumours, Nero ordered that Christians should be rounded up and killed. Some were torn apart by dogs, others burnt alive as human torches.

Over the next hundred years or so, Christians were sporadically persecuted. It was not until the mid-third century that emperors initiated intensive persecutions.
...

www.bbc.co.uk...



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:15 AM
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a reply to: windword

No, you are using a translation, of a translation, of another translation. To understand what was written originally you have to use the earliest texts. Or are you claiming that originally the books of the bible were written in English?... Now, that would be a myth if i ever saw one.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:17 AM
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BTW, does everyone remember what the thread is about?
The evidence that shows Jesus was a historical figure?
edit on 22-4-2015 by ElectricUniverse because: correct comment.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:22 AM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse

Oh no! You mean I can't trust the Bible?



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:26 AM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse

That article DIDN'T make the claim that persecution didn't happen. It clearly spelled out that it DID happen. It just wasn't as widespread as Christians like to believe. Did you not read the article or something? Heck, you didn't even have to read the article, the part I snipped out of it, says that alone.
edit on 22-4-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:33 AM
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originally posted by: Cogito, Ergo Sum
originally posted by: StalkerSolent


If...if...if. At this stage it's not certain that any of them were even written in the 1st century.


But it is probable.




If I was writing religious propaganda/folkloric stories about Judea in the 70's, I imagine I would get a lot wrong.

Me too




In fact the gospels so heavily plagiarise each other, no one can really agree on which one was written first. Yet even while heavily plagiarised, they are still wildly contradictory. There are passages that try to align it with prophesy, that seem to be a result of a poor understanding of hebrew.


Wow. The poor Gospels just can't get a break, can they? If they agree, the plagiarize. If they disagree, they contradict each other! And if they explain prophecies in a way we didn't expect, they don't understand the Hebrew.




It's likely Josephus was used as a major source (at least for some of them).


Ah, yes, because of course he knew (and listed) the names in use in Palestine at the time, in order of frequency, despite the fact that he was born *after* Christ's death! Amazing! And yet, when the Gnostic Gospels were evaluated using the same method, they failed spectacularly. I guess the Gospel writers had better research assistants.



The "census" claim was written by people who had no understanding of how and why (possibly even when) such things were conducted.

I...wasn't...talking about a census.



We don't know when jesus was born (conflicting accounts).


Hmm?



The "star in the east" account is clearly mythology.


*ahem* [activating sports announcer's voice]

Ah! A death blow to the Christ myth! If God sent His Son to die on earth, He would never have announced His coming with astral prophecy!



The "slaughter of the innocents" is clearly mythology, probably lifted straight out of the OT.


[Sports voice continuing]
Yet more stunning evidence! Based on the fact that babies are hacked to death in the New and Old Testaments, we can now say without a doubt that the New Testament was influenced by the Old Testament! This is backed up by the New Testament itself, which claims in no uncertain terms to be influenced by the Old. Clearly, this is a death blow to Christianity!



We know nothing of the first 30 yrs or so of jesus life.


Aha! The final piece of the puzzle! God's failure to provide autobiographers to His Son to catalogue His younger years, in which He did nothing interesting, spells doom for the Christian religion!



There is doubt as to the viability of the Nazareth, as described, even existing at the requisite time (to all but a few "biblical archeologists").


The clever hoaxers, to provide credence to their claim, invented a town instead of picking a prominent city where thousands of people were born every year! Incredibly cunning, but since we now know the location of every small town that ever existed, we are on to them!



The "miracle worker/healer" who drew great crowds from far and wide, was unnoticed by every relevant social commentator/historian.


The clever forgeries in Tacitus that are widely regarded as not forgeries were merely another part of this diabolical scheme, because nobody would believe it if no records existed of a wandering Jewish rabbi whose homeland was devastated by Roman hordes shortly after his death!



The temple incident is fiction. Next time you're at a large marketplace, try throwing the many hundreds of merchants out. Tell them you're "jesus" see if it makes a difference. When you wake in hospital, imagine doing this in 1st century Judea contending with armed guards. This 'badass' jesus is fiction.


The idea that the Son of God could have superpowers is ridiculous!



The "third person" stories of when jesus was alone have no possibility of being other than fiction.


Because nobody tells their friends what they are thinking! And nobody ever spies on other people! And God *definitely* wouldn't tell people what His Son was thinking!



The Sanhedrin trial breaks so many Jewish laws it is clearly christian propaganda. It didn't happen.


Because people always follow their own rules, especially governments!



The dramatic trial with Pilate, where he allowed himself to be a pawn in petty Jewish squabbles, is every bit as ridiculous re genuine history. The only meeting jesus might have had if Pilate decided he was persona no grata, is with the pointy end of a gladius. There was no "custom" of letting enemies of Rome go.


Because Romans weren't at all concerned about the Jewish rabble, and would take no steps to appease them!



This is leaving out the "miracles", as we know they are folklore.


Because the Son of God could definitely not perform miracles!



Can you glean one personal fact about the man jesus from any of this?


No, because you have proven beyond a doubt that nothing in the New Testament makes sense


[end sports announcer voice]

I've been teasing you, but I do have a serious point. You seem so dead-set *against* the possibility of Christ's existence that you're unwilling to consider (even very good) evidence contrary to your position. That's fine, I suppose, but it strikes one more as evidence of desperation and less of one who's interested in truth (although that's probably not the case at all.) I'm interested to know: what do you lose by moving to the mainstream position that Jesus existed, and was a real guy? It's neither a stretch of the imagination nor an "odd" position to take, plenty of smart people hold to it, and there's plenty of evidence for it.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:33 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Yet the claim of that book is that "early Christians weren't being persecuted". That alone shows how historically inaccurate the premise is.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse

That's actually the title of the article.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 11:43 AM
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To try to get back on topic, since it is obvious that some members are very adamant in trying to derail the thread, let me re-post a video that ATS member DeadSeraph posted in this thread on page 29.



In the video Bart D. Ehrman presents the argument that Jesus did in fact exist, despite claims from mythicists that he didn't.

Ehrman, who happens to be an Agnostic with atheist beliefs says that even ahteist scholars like him know that there is overwhelming evidence that corroborates the fact that Jesus Christ was a historical figure and not a myth. Yet, as can be seen in this thread there are those who cannot for the life of them accept such a fact.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 12:46 PM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse


Richard Carrier, New Atheism activist and proponent of the Jesus myth theory wrote a scathing review of Bart D. Ehrman's book Did Jesus Exist in 2012 resulted in lengthy responses and counter-responses on the Internet. Carrier holds the view that it is more likely that the earliest Christians considered Jesus to be a celestial being known only through revelations rather than a real person. In 2014 Carrier released a book, On the Historicity of Jesus, where he gave a probabilistic estimate that Jesus was a historical figure: "With the evidence we have, the probability Jesus existed is somewhere between 1 in 12,500 and 1 in 3".
en.wikipedia.org...





posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 01:32 PM
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a reply to: windword

Yet, once again you are ignoring, alongside Carrier who happens to be a mythicist and others, the evidence that includes non-Christian Roman historians, and orthodox Jewish historians who wrote about Jesus Christ.

Again, if you think that the existance of a person can only be shown to be true if only historians wrote about those people when those historical figures were alive, then I am guessing that you want to deny the fact that Pontius Pilate lived, or Alexander the Great, or any number of other historical figures whose only surviving accounts we have today date decades and even centuries after their deaths.

BTW, weren't you the one to mention a Jesus Anunis( or something) i read it in passing, as you were trying to claim that any mention of Christus could be any number of other "Jesus" at the time?



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse

And, once again you're ignoring the fact that your evidence fails to stand up scrutiny and is too weak to bear the burden of proof of the historic Jesus of Nazareth, let alone Jesus "Christ".

If your God wanted to provide proof that he sent his son to die for our sins, he would have done so, IN STONE! But he didn't, so your Jesus Christ is matter of faith, not fact. That seems to be the way "God" wanted it, if he even exists.




edit on 22-4-2015 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: windword

First of all if you want to talk about "faith" Jesus and God wanted/want people to believe in "faith", not based in evidence.

But the fact is that even though religion is based on "faith", there is evidence that does corroborate Jesus Christ did exist.

You can deny it all you want. But even most atheist scholars admit that Jesus as is described in not only the gospels, but described by non-Christian scholars did exist and was seen as being a "magician who performed some miracles". Whether or not you believe he was the son of God, that's another story. But the fact is he did exist historically and it can be demonstrated.

As for your claim, and that of other members, that only accounts of him were written after his death hence he must have been a myth fabricated"... AGAIN, if that was so then Alexander the Great, Pontius Pilate, and many other historically known figures were also a myth according to your 'belief".


edit on 22-4-2015 by ElectricUniverse because: add and correct comment.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 02:54 PM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse




But the fact is that even though religion is based on "faith", there is evidence that does corroborate Jesus Christ did exist.


There is ZERO evidence that Jesus Christ existed, and in reality, even if Jesus of Nazareth did, Jesus Christ certainly never did. Even the Catholic church agrees.


Only after the Resurrection did the title gradually pass into a proper name, and the expression Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus became only one designation. www.newadvent.org...


No man named Jesus Christ ever walked the face of planet Earth.

Now, the evidence for one Jesus of Nazareth is shaky and tenuous, at best.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 07:45 PM
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a reply to: windword

Again with the zero evidence lies...

Do you forget yet again that the evidence from the roman historians was written after his death?... Hence Christians called him Christ and so did the Romans because that's what Christians called him...


edit on 22-4-2015 by ElectricUniverse because: add comment.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 07:54 PM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse

Which Roman historians?



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: windword

Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, and even Josephus' accounts are considered by most scholars as being at least partly true.

Then there is the Hebrew Talmud, remember again that orthodox Jews did not deny he existed. Then there is the letter from Mara bar Serapion the Syrian prisoner to his son. And the pagan satirists who tried to make jokes of Jesus and his mother, or the Roman pagan accounts that Jesus' father was a Roman soldier who they "claimed" raped his mother Mary, etc.


edit on 22-4-2015 by ElectricUniverse because: add and correct comment.



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