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No evidence for Jesus of Nazareth

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posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 07:40 PM
Greetings all,

Regarding the historicity of Jesus,
Logician made some claims in post -

This is a subject of some interest, so I thought I'd start a post dealing with the specific evidences for Jesus of Nazareth.

Logician: "Actually, no serious scholar today doubts the historicity of Jesus."

(Or its poisoning the well by calling any scholar who disagrees not "serious".)

Several contemporary scholars and authors argue that Jesus was not historical -
* Robert Price
* Prof. G.A. Wells
* Alvar Ellegrd
* Earl Doherty
* Freke and Gandy
* Herman Detering

Not to mention the large number of similar sceptics over recent centuries -
* C.F. Dupuis, 1791, Abrege De L'Origine Des Cultes
* Robert Taylor, 1829, Diegesis
* Bruno Bauer, 1841, Criticism of the Gospel History of the Synoptics
* Mitchell Logan, 1842, Christian Mythology Unveiled
* David Friedrich Strauss, 1860, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined
* Kersey Graves, 1875, The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours
* T.W. Doane, 1882, Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions
* Gerald Massey, 1886, Historical Jesus and Mythical Christ
* Thomas Whittaker, 1904, The Origins of Christianity
* William Benjamin Smith, 1906, Der vorchristliche Jesus
* Albert Kalthoff, 1907, The Rise of Christianity
* M.M. Mangasarian, 1909, The Truth About Jesus ? Is He a Myth?
* Arthur Drews, 1910, The Christ Myth
* John M. Robertson, 1917, The Jesus Problem
* Georg Brandes, 1926, Jesus A Myth
* Joseph Wheless, 1930, Forgery in Christianity
* L.Gordon Rylands, 1935, Did Jesus Ever Live?
* Edouard Dujardin, 1938, Ancient History of the God Jesus
* P.L. Couchoud, 1939, The Creation of Christ
* Alvin Boyd Kuhn, 1944, Who is this King of Glory?
* Karl Kautsky, 1953, The Foundations of Christianity
* Herbert Cutner, 1950, Jesus: God, Man, or Myth?
* Guy Fau, 1967, Le Fable de Jesus Christ

Logician: "All of these following historians ..."

Your list contains 13 names, which you call "historians" - yet by my count, the list contains no more than 5 historians, with the rest being various sorts of writings, some from centuries later.

Logician: "mention Jesus of Nazareth as a historical figure who existed in the first century CE, or they mention Christ......"

Whoa !
There is a VERY BIG DIFFERENCE between a mention of a spiritual Christ figure, and a historical refrence to a Jesus of Nazareth.

We know early Christians worshipped a risen Christ figure even as far back as Paul but the issue is whether there was ever a historical person Jesus of Nazareth AT THE TIME. The point is that mention of a Jesus of Nazareth all come from LONG AFTERWARDS, even by Christians.

So, let us see if the names on your list actually mention a historical figure Jesus of Nazareth -

Thallus (c. 50-75AD)

No mention of Jesus or Christ at all.

We have NO certain evidence when Thallus lived or wrote, there are NONE of Thallus works extant. The reading that Christians base this nugget on is false (see Carrier's essay.)
What we DO have is a 9th century reference by George Syncellus who quotes the 3rd century Julianus Africanus, who, speaking of the darkness at the crucifixion, wrote: "Thallus calls this darkness an eclipse".
there is NO evidence Thallus made specific reference to Jesus or the Gospel events at all, as there WAS an eclipse in 29. This suggests he merely refered to a known eclipse, but that LATER Christians interpreted his comment to mean their darkness. (Also note the supposed reference to Thallus in Eusebius is a mis-reading.)

Richard Carrier the historian has a good page on Thallus:

Thallus is NO evidence for Jesus at all - merely later Christian wishful thinking.

Phlegon (140s)

No mention of Jesus or Christ at all.

Phlegon wrote during the 140s - his works are lost, but were full of fantastic stories apparently. Later, Origen, Eusebius, and Julianus Africanus (as quoted by George Syncellus) refer to him, but quote differently his reference to an eclipse.
There is no evidence Phlegon said anything about Gospel events.

Phlegon is NO evidence for Jesus at all - merely later Christian wishful thinking.

Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, c.93),

The T.F. is at least corrupt, at worst it is completely fabricated.

So, this passage COULD MAYBE, JUST POSSIBLY, BE early evidence for Jesus, but from a couple generations later.

Peter Kirby has an excellent overview of the Josephus debate -

Letter from Pliny the Younger to Trajan (c. 110)

A repeat of later Christian beliefs.

About 80 years after the alleged events (c.114CE), Pliny refered to Christians who worshipped a "Christ" as a god, but :
there is no reference to a historical Jesus at all,
no mention of event or actors from the Gospels,
merely a report of 2nd century Christian worship of an un-named Christ

Pliny is no evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth.

Tacitus (Annals, c.115-120)

A repeat of later Christian beliefs.

Roughly 80 years after the alleged events Tacitus allegedly wrote a (now) famous passage about "Christ" - this passage has several problems however:
* Tacitus uses the term "procurator", used in his later times, but not correct for the actual period, when "prefect" was used.
* Tacitus names the person as "Christ", when Roman records could not possibly have used this name (it would have been "Jesus, son of Joseph" or similar.)
* Tacitus accepts the recent advent of Christianity, which was against Roman practice (to only allow ancient and accepted cults and religions.)
* (No-one refers to this passage for a millenium, even early Christians who actively sought such passages.)

Thus, even if the Tacitus passage is not a later interpolation, it is not evidence of a historical Jesus based on earlier Roman records,
merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)

Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars, c. 125) ,

Not about Jesus of Nazareth.

Roughly 80-90 years after the alleged Gospel events, Suetonius refers to a "Chrestus" who stirred the Jews to trouble in Rome during Claudius' time, but:
* this "Chrestus" is a Greek name (common for slaves, from "useful") and is also a mystic name for an initiate, it is not the same as "Christos"
* this Chrestus was apparently active in Rome - which Jesus never was,
* Jesus was never said to have lead the Jews in Rome into trouble during Claudius' time.

So, this passage is unlikely to refer to Jesus of Nazareth at all - I am surprised that this obviously un-related passage is cited so often.

Galen (various writings, c.150),

Later repeats of Christian beliefs.
Galen wrote a few vague comments in late 2nd century this is not historical evidence for Jesus.

Celsus (True Discourse, c.170)

Late attack on Gospels as fiction.

About a century and a half after the alleged events, Celsus attacked the Gospels as being FICTION based on MYTH just when they arose to prominance. The church found his critique so damaging they ordered all copies burnt. Yes, its true Celsus assumed Jesus did exist he simply had no reason not to in those primitive times.

But to claim Celsus as evidence for Jesus is ridiculous, considering he wrote things like this -
"Clearly the christians have used...myths... in fabricating the story of Jesus' birth...It is clear to me that the writings of the christians are a lie and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction"

Mara Bar Serapion (pre-200?)

No evidence it refers to Jesus.

A fragment which says -
"... What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?",
in the context of ancient leaders like Socrates.
This fragment refer to leaders much earlier than Jesus - there is nothing to suggest it refers to Jesus.

Talmudic References

Late, vague, conflicting Jewish polemic.

There are some possible references in the Talmud, but:
* these references are from 3rd century or later, and seem to be unfriendly Jewish responses to Christian claims.
* the references are variant and quite different to the Gospel stories (e.g. one story has "Jesus" born about 100BC.)

"(written after 300 CE, but some refs probably go back to eyewitnesses),"

It is nonsense to say these reports are from eye witnesses firstly they tell completety different stories, secondly there is no mention in the Jewish record before the 3rd century.

Lucian (Second century)

Nearly one-and-a-half CENTURIES after the alleged events, Lucian satirised Christians and their views, but does NOT mention Jesus or Christ by name.

This is no evidence for Jesus.

Numenius (Second cent.)

No mention of Jesus.

We have no writings from Numenius, and know little about him.
In the 3rd century, Origen claimed Numenius "quotes also a narrative regarding Jesus--without, however, mentioning His name"

So, Numenius did NOT mention Jesus at all.
Origen merely read a story in Numenius which HE (Origen) later believed was a Jesus narrative.

Galerius (Second Cent.)

There is no such evidence.
I am not even sure who you are referring to the only mention of this Galerius seems to be on apologist web sites which mirror your post word for word, such as -

of your 13 historians, we find -

* 5 do NOT actually mention Jesus at all (Thallus, Phlegon, Suetonius, Mara, Numenius)
* 4 are merely LATER mentions of Christian beliefs (Tacitus, Pliny, Lucian, Galen)
* 1 is a mish-mash of conflicting attacks from centuries later (Talmud)
* 1 is an attack on the Gospels as FICTION !
* 1 seems to be completely fabricated (Galerius)

The best item is Josephus -
* from 60 years after the events
* at least corrupt, at worst forged.

Such is the evidence for Jesus flimsy, fake or forged.


posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 08:20 PM
did any of them consider, different ethnic interpretations of the name? For instance, in some biblical text, Jesus is refered to as; Yahweh (God), Yashua, Joshua, Josiah,etc.

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 09:20 PM
Although I have only skimmed your list, and read your intro to each, I would say it is a good representation of your case. While I believe Jesus did exist, as one of several high-priests of his day, but as the leader of a very radical sect of Pharisees, similar in thinking to the Essenes, and no doubt of a sect which was physically fighting with the other two or three, and their followers for control. A sect also openly opposed to Roman rule and responsible for many subversive tactics, otherwise, Pilate under Roman law, had no case to crucify mere heretics or whatever he would have been considered to be.

You will find that logician has often cited in support of his Christ, many church elders and historians. Unfortunately for him, he must have pulled these from google searches or rather biased supporters who, like he, did not bother to actually take the time to research what they had to say about Jesus, where saints Ignateus, Clement, and Ireneaus in particular, manage to contradict both Logician and the NT as regard the messiah called Jesus. Actually Logician promised some praise from Suetonius, which I have not seen, perhaps he actually read his works and wisely decided they did not support his position. Logician has yet to explain how Jesus could have died at age 33, and be alive at least age 50, in fact he has yet to explain anything, when cornered he employs either schoolyard tactics of accusing you of being atheist or not knowing anything, or by injecting diversion disguised as condescension.

You may find this thread interesting, where I and another have butted heads with Logician and provided him with the realities of his references:

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 10:05 PM
Thats why its called "Faith"

and my arguement for Christ would be "time".

1,000 "B.C" , its not for "before cartoons"

Even the people that dont belive in a god still call this year 2004, almost 2005. 2004 years after christ!

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 10:20 PM
actually the whole time thing is changing. Because B.C. became B.C.E (Before Common Era) and give some time, A.D. will go from (year of the lord) to (Common Era)

Besides, only western cultures that were born from christianity have A.D. China has their own time.

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 10:36 PM
Well it would be hard to find evidence of a person who is a fiction character!, But that is my opinion!

posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 10:40 PM
B.C To me is "Before Cookies" and A.D is "After Dorks"!

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 03:16 AM

We knowsome,but not all early Christians worshipped a risen Christ figure even as far back as Paul
bolding added.

also the last I heard there was no evidence that Nazareth existed until after 70CE. however the Nazareans were around long before the CE.

[edit on 31-12-2004 by stalkingwolf]

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 03:25 AM
I'm sorry... I have to laugh. Not at you but the idea in general. Jesus of Nazareth had to exist. The very fact that this is the year 2004 proves it. But that doesn't mean he was a man of any special power. People believed he was somebody and the ball got rolling. You can believe in him as a person of mystical power or whatever or you can believe him to be Joe Average. Lets fact it the books people base their faith on were written by normal humans with a gift for writing stories. And who knows how many stories over the years got tossed because they simply stunk. But next time you wonder if Jesus of Nazareth really existed just look at the calendar

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 02:04 PM
Considering that even Christians can't decide what year Jesus was really born in, I consider that a moot point. Some place his birth as early as 7 BCE. I don't see how a Christian tradition of guessing when Jesus was born really means he existed.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 05:15 PM
Indy, surely you jest? How can the calendar possibly be proof of Jesus's existence? he did not create it, the 12 month calendar we use today comes to us courtesy of the Romans, thanks in large part to a pre-Jesus emperor known as Julius Caesar, followed by a further modification by a 16th century Vatican librarian named, Aloysius Giglio, and finally later in that refined by order Pope Gregory. Ikku is absolutely correct also, in that in the 6th century a monk, Denis The Short using Biblical references, determined the years from his day to Jesus' birth, however, later evidence showed his calculation to be incorrect. Herod supposedly died in 4BCE, which makes tomorrow at least 01/01/2009, while at least two more years must be added to account for Herod supposedly calling for all infants under 2 years old to be executed as he searched for Jesus. That makes tomorrow, at a minimum, 01/01/2011.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 05:53 PM
Sorry.. I am refering to the year... not the months.

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 06:22 PM
Greetings all,

Thanks for your comments...
Glad to see (mostly) sceptical and knowledgeable people here :-)

c00ster -
The issue of names is interesting - e.g. Jesus and Joshua are the same name in the Greek, but translated differently according to context (see Hebrews 4:8 Iesous = Joshua; 4:14 Iesous = Jesus.)

SomewhereinBetween -
Thanks for your comments, I'll have a look at that thread :-)

PanzerDiv -
Yah, I think Jesus was completely mythical.

et is dead, Indy -
As others have pointed out, our dating system is not proof of Jesus at all. At best its proof that some people believe in Jesus - which we already know.
Consider other cultures who do NOT use our dating system - e.g. the Romans used dates A.U.C. (since Rome has been a city) based on the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus - according to you, this means Romulus and Remus and the she-wolf were REAL !


posted on Feb, 24 2008 @ 07:27 PM
A bump for those who still believe there is evidence for Jesus.


posted on Feb, 24 2008 @ 07:46 PM
Hi all,

Originally posted by IndyThe very fact that this is the year 2004 proves it. ... But next time you wonder if Jesus of Nazareth really existed just look at the calendar

It was only the year 2004 (2008 now) according to ONE calendar.
There are others :
* Assyrian calendar
* Armenian calendar
* Astronomical year numbering
* Bahá'í calendar
* Bengali calendar
* Berber calendar
* Buddhist calendar
* Chinese calendar
* Coptic calendar
* Ethiopian calendar
* Fiscal year
* Germanic calendar (still in use by Ásatrúar)
* Gregorian calendar
* Hebrew calendar
* Hindu calendars
* Indian national calendar
* ISO week date
* Iranian calendar
* Irish calendar
* Islamic calendar
* Japanese calendar
* Javanese calendar
* Juche calendar
* Julian calendar (still used by Orthodox churches for Easter)
* Revised Julian calendar
* Lithuanian calendar
* Malayalam calendar
* Maya calendar (parts still used by Maya Indians)
* Minguo calendar
* Nanakshahi calendar
* Nepali calendar
* Nepal Sambat
* Republic of China calendar
* Romanian calendar
* Runic calendar (Still in use by Ásatrúar)
* Taiwanese calendar
* Tamil Calendar
* Thai lunar calendar (still used for some Thai holidays)
* Thai solar calendar
* Tibetan calendar
* Zoroastrian calendar (including Parsi)
This shows your claim is nonsense.

our calendar has a month "June" - named after the God "Juno".
according to YOUR argument, Juno exists.

Our calendar also has a day called "Thursday" - named after the God "Thor".
according to YOUR argument, Thor exists.

This all proves your argument is rubbish.


posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 10:12 AM
This very thread is proof that I am "The Christ." And that Jesus was real.
Search above top secret for my name Gregory Gordon and the first result will be this thread No evidence for Jesus of Nazereth.

I am the "second" Christ. I say second as everything I've been able to accomplish has been on account of the red lettered words attributed to Jesus in the Bible. He must have existed at some level either in the hearts and minds of the writers of the Bible or as an actual God-Man here on Earth because his prophecies as found in Matthew, John and Revelation are flawless, coming true even today and physically proveable.

Case in point. The Revelation states that there will be a talking Image of the Beast. Well, there is actually a talking image of Ronald Reagan in the form of a talking doll. Reagan was the anti-Christ. He met all of the requirements to be named as such. Check my site for more information. I am new to posting so please forgive any overstepping of boundaries.

posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 11:24 AM
I'm not going to worry about the content of the OP since I've debated it a million times on ATS and the thread was started in 2004 but I do want to address ATS's resident Christ claimant.

Originally posted by lightoftheworld
This very thread is proof that I am "The Christ."

I am the "second" Christ. I say second as everything I've been able to accomplish has been on account of the red lettered words attributed to Jesus in the Bible.

Here, let me share with you some of Jesus' other 'red lettered words' that may have escaped your attention. It may benefit you greatly to read them closely:

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.

So if anyone tells you, "There he [The Christ] is, out in the desert," do not go out or, "Here he is, in the inner rooms," do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

So now we have several angels, demons, prophets, and Christs running around ATS. All of you should get together and put on a show for us if what you say is true.

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 01:03 AM
I am well aware that there are false Christs. That is what "I" told you would happen and if it did not it would make a liar out of "Me." But there are other red letter words that many are not aware of as found in Revelation chapters two and three. There "I" call for someone to overcome and upon clear reflection of those passages it becomes evident that the one who overcomes is the same as the "second" Christ.

I have written several books on the topic and have posted one for Free Download

I heard a voice one day centered in the back of my neck that said; "You shall Overcome." hundreds of times. All of this is told in the book. As one reviewer said of the Book: Ronald Reagan: Anti-Christ, "It is written so logically and is insightful... I would consider it the work of a genius." Harry Daniels author of "As Christ Was."

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