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The Extra Biblical Evidence for the existence of Jesus

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posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 07:50 PM
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Though I am sure there are plenty of these threads already I wanted to make one for fun, so enjoy and because I believe it is sad to see the people fall prey to the whole Jesus is a myth thing.

Tacitus 56-117AD


"A disaster followed, whether accidental or treacherously contrived by the emperor, is uncertain, as authors have given both accounts, worse, however, and more dreadful than any which have ever happened to this city by the violence of fire. It had its beginning in that part of the circus which adjoins the Palatine and Caelian hills, where, amid the shops containing inflammable wares, the conflagration both broke out and instantly became so fierce and so rapid from the wind that it seized in its grasp the entire length of the circus. For here there were no houses fenced in by solid masonry, or temples surrounded by walls, or any other obstacle to interpose delay. The blaze in its fury ran first through the level portions of the city, then rising to the hills, while it again devastated every place below them, it outstripped all preventive measures; so rapid was the mischief and so completely at its mercy the city, with those narrow winding passages and irregular streets, which characterised old Rome. Added to this were the wailings of terror-stricken women, the feebleness of age, the helpless inexperience of childhood, the crowds who sought to save themselves or others, dragging out the infirm or waiting for them, and by their hurry in the one case, by their delay in the other, aggravating the confusion. Often, while they looked behind them, they were intercepted by flames on their side or in their face. Or if they reached a refuge close at hand, when this too was seized by the fire, they found that, even places, which they had imagined to be remote, were involved in the same calamity. At last, doubting what they should avoid or whither betake themselves, they crowded the streets or flung themselves down in the fields, while some who had lost their all, even their very daily bread, and others out of love for their kinsfolk, whom they had been unable to rescue, perished, though escape was open to them. And no one dared to stop the mischief, because of incessant menaces from a number of persons who forbade the extinguishing of the flames, because again others openly hurled brands, and kept shouting that there was one who gave them authority, either seeking to plunder more freely, or obeying orders.

Nero at this time was at Antium, and did not return to Rome until the fire approached his house, which he had built to connect the palace with the gardens of Maecenas. It could not, however, be stopped from devouring the palace, the house, and everything around it. However, to relieve the people, driven out homeless as they were, he threw open to them the Campus Martius and the public buildings of Agrippa, and even his own gardens, and raised temporary structures to receive the destitute multitude. Supplies of food were brought up from Ostia and the neighbouring towns, and the price of corn was reduced to three sesterces a peck. These acts, though popular, produced no effect, since a rumour had gone forth everywhere that, at the very time when the city was in flames, the emperor appeared on a private stage and sang of the destruction of Troy, comparing present misfortunes with the calamities of antiquity


classics.mit.edu...

I am aware that some people believe this is not speak of Jesus Christ, so I quoted the context.

There were at least five circulating stories about the great fire of Rome under Nero:

en.wikipedia.org...

Motivated by a desire to destroy the city, Nero secretly sent out men pretending to be drunk to set fire to the city. Nero watched from his palace on the Palatine Hill singing and playing the lyre. Cassius Dio

Motivated by an insane whim, Nero quite openly sent out men to set fire to the city. Nero watched from the Tower of Maecenas on the Esquiline Hill singing and playing the lyre. Suetonius. "Life of Nero". Lives of Twelve Caesars.

Nero sent out men to set fire to the city. Nero sang and played his lyre from a private stage.Tacitus, Anal XV.38–44
The fire was an accident. Nero was in Antium. Tacitus, Annals XV.38–9


Obviously some issues here as the accounts are not all in sync, but the most likely conclusion is that Nero did it or at least most people believed he did. We can tell Tacitus is looking at other sources based on the text I have bolded. Now to the point everything lines up with there being a fire and people thought Nero was responsible. Then we get to the section in the Annals that mentions Christus. This is obviously Jesus Christ. Right before Tacitus mentions that Nero attempted to put the blame on to Christians, and he even goes so far as to say that the man he was talking about that started this sect of people was crucified under Pontius Pilate. So here we have one source.

en.wikipedia.org...

Lucian of Samosate 125-180 AD

The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day,--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. Well, the end of it was that Proteus was arrested and thrown into prison.


Again a reference to Christians and the man they follow who was crucified. Not to mention Lucian is a hostile source. He does not speak fondly of Christians. Why would he say that they followed a man who was crucified if there were records in existence that said he didnt exists. You see this is the problem with the jesus myth hypothesis. There are no ancient records that say this man never walked the earth, and plenty that do.

en.wikipedia.org...

Suetonius 70-130
4 Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus,75 he expelled them from Rome.

The earliest copy of this work we have is ninth-century Codex Memmianus so a mispelling of the name in this copy is quite possible though this is disputed among scholars.


Harris also says that because Suetonius did not say, "at the institution of a certain Chrestus," the historian expected that his readers would know the person that he was referring to - hence, this "Chrestus" could not have been merely a Jewish agitator, for there was only one possible "Chrestus" that Suetonius could have been referring to that would have been so well kn



edit on Wed Aug 17 2016 by DontTreadOnMe because: EXTERNAL QUOTE TAGS, SOURCEs ADDED IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS




posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 07:50 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Still working on this



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 08:14 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb




because I believe it is sad to see the people fall prey to the whole Jesus is a myth thing.


I don't believe in God, but I am not atheist either. My fall back plan is to explain to God if you wanted me to believe in you; You should of left more than a book that sounds more fictional than Game of Thrones.

Seriously though a choice between Heaven and Hell Ill just take death please. A bunch of people dancing on clouds doing ring-a-ring-a-roses with no alcohol sounds unbearable.

Edit: Nice effort put into your OP though.
edit on 17-8-2016 by WanderingNomadd because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 08:19 PM
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Be careful of succumbing to the "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" thing. That's been pretty well debunked as a myth as well. But even if you can point to ancient accounts that some people believed in Jesus after the fact, it still begs the question. I'm not one who falls into the "Jesus is myth" crowd, but there is precious little material that can prove it one way or another. As Albert Schweitzer said last century, (paraphrased) "Not only do we not know the circumstances of the life of Jesus, we CANNOT know them." He was one of the most noted Christian theologians ever (before he got into his army ant thing), who wrote one of the most seminal books about Jesus ever, The Quest for the Historical Jesus. I really think we need to listen to what he had to say on the subject.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 08:30 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

So far your op has only proven that romans knew that christians believed in a person named christus/chrestus. But i think we already knew that. Believing that there was an actual person named jesus who started a death cult is not the difficult part. Believing that he is the son of god who conducted miracles and healed people with magic, talking donkeys, talking snakes, ressurecting...... These things are impossible. You should know this but for some reason your childlike mind won't catch up with the rest of the world.


Please stop making the same threads over and over.
edit on 17-8-2016 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 08:35 PM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Let him finish, maybe?

Edited to add:


originally posted by: Woodcarver

Please stop making the same threads over and over.

But you seem to enjoy being a total dick so much, and actually edited your post to be an even bigger one than you were initially.

Without threads like these, what would you do with yourself?

If you don't want to read his threads, you have the choice to not read his threads. In fact, you can avoid the religious forums altogether if you so choose.

Some of us want to read what he (or she, I have no idea) has to say without your bigoted, off-topic drivel polluting the thread with smug.

Sorry, OP, I'm way off topic myself but my gears are grinding a little today.


edit on 8/17/16 by NthOther because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 08:52 PM
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Like anybody will stop him.......

a reply to: NthOther



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Chrestus has a completely different meaning than Christus. 1st century Christians, as we understand them today, weren't the first Christians, not by a long shot. As a matter of fact people were being called Christians well before the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, if he even existed.

"Christ" is/was a pre-Jesus pagan concept, not a man and certainly NOT the same as the prophecied Jewish Messiah. "Christ" was a title granted those who had passed through the Eleusinian Mysteries and were considered priests and leaders of the neophytes.

Besides, heed your own biblical warning:
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not..

However, even if a person named Jesus of Nazareth did exist, that doesn't mean the virgin birth, miracles, his supposed sacrificial death and resurrection were anything more than myth.



edit on 17-8-2016 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Pliny the younger

Epistuale 10

"These accusations spread (as is usually the case) from the mere fact of the matter being investigated and several forms of the mischief came to light. A placard was put up, without any signature, accusing a large number of persons by name. Those who denied they were, or had ever been, Christians, who repeated after me an invocation to the Gods, and offered adoration, with wine and frankincense, to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for that purpose, together with those of tbe Gods, and who finally cursed Christ�none of which acts, it is said, those who are really Christians can be forced into performing�these I thought it proper to discharge. Others who were named by that informer at first confessed themselves Christians, and then denied it; true, they had been of that persuasion but they had quitted it, some three years, others many years, and a few as much as twentyfive years ago. They all worshipped your statue and the images of the Gods, and cursed Christ.

They affirmed, however, the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food..."


So he again we have a hostile source. Pliny is basically writing Emperor Trajan to find out how he should deal with Christians. The part that mentions Christ is bolded. The context of this sentence implies they sing to someone who was not a god as a god. Again a reference to the mans existence in relation to his followers. All thru out antiquity we find that Christians are related to a man crucified under Pontius Pilate.

www.vroma.org...

Mara Bar-Serapion makes these casual remarks in a letter to his son from prison around 70 AD:

What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King? It was just after that their Kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good; He lived on in the teaching which He had given

Here he mentions Jesus along with other people from antiquity.

Babylonian Talmud
"AND A HERALD PRECEDES HIM etc. This implies, only immediately before [the execution], but not previous thereto.33 [In contradiction to this] it was taught: On the eve of the Passover Yeshu34 was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostacy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!35 —"

Josephus son of Matthias descended from the priestly order of the Jehoiarib, which was the first of the twenty four-orders of Priests in the Temple in Jerusalem, better known as Flavius Josephus:



3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.


sacred-texts.com...


AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, (23) who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa],

www.sacred-texts.com...

Now the first portion of this text is debated among. To my knowledge no one questions this off the cuff comment about Christ when referencing James.

At the source below you can find a reconstruction of the larger passage. I believe the majority of scholars hold the partial authenticity view.

www.bede.org.uk...

Not to mention the James Ossuary a burial box with the inscription “James Son of Joseph Brother of Jesus”:

file.scirp.org...
www.forananswer.org...


There are more but this is all I feel like doing for now enjoy

edit on 17-8-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: Forgot the source below


edit on Wed Aug 17 2016 by DontTreadOnMe because: EXTERNAL QUOTE TAGS ADDED IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:22 PM
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a reply to: WanderingNomadd

Thanks. I just want to show people why scholars like Bart Ehrman say is is a fact of history that Jesus lived and died.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:24 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

I personally prefer to study the translated versions of the manuscripts my self and then read different opinions. Now if we take all these with the Gospels and Paul's writings who spoke with the apostles we can assume we know a good bit.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

Okay. But this thread was simply to lay the evidence out for his existence not his deity. I agree these things are impossible from a naturalistic view of the world. That is simply not my view of the world.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: windword




Chrestus has a completely different meaning than Christus. 1st century Christians, as we understand them today, weren't the first Christians, not by a long shot. As a matter of fact people were being called Christians well before the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, if he even existed.


You want to give me a source from antiquity to back that up? Yes but maybe you missed the earliest copy we have is from the 9th century. A spelling mistake over a few copies is very common. Not to mention there are no historical documents from antiquity mentioning Christians as the follower of Chrestus. You are ignoring context.




"Christ" is/was a pre-Jesus pagan concept, not a man and certainly NOT the same as the prophecies Jewish Messiah. "Christ" was a title granted those who had passed through the Eleusinian Mysteries and were considered priests and leaders of the neophytes.


Christ is the greek word chosen to take the place of messiah. Again. i've taken the time to give sources I'd appreciate if you'd do the same.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:40 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

The 1st century, and beyond, followers of Serapis were also known as "Christians".


In AD 134, after a visit to Alexandria, the Emperor Hadrian wrote a letter to his elderly brother-in-law, Servianus, in which he commented: "So you praise Egypt, my very dear Servianus! I know the land from top to bottom . . . In it the worshippers of Serapis are Christians, and those who call themselves Bishops of Christ pay their vows to Serapis . . . Whenever the patriarch himself comes to Egypt he is made to worship Serapis by some and Christ by others."


There is a reason why the, so called, "Christians" sacked and burned the hundreds of extant Serapis Temples, in 380 BC, and after the After the Council of Nicea.

dwij.org...
www.bibliotecapleyades.net...



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:45 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Chestus meant "Good man", or "man of good reputation".


“The name was very commonly borne by slaves” (Lightfoot, p. 376). It means “Helpful,” “Profitable”; and such words were frequent as slave-names. Lightfoot (p. 376, note) quotes among others Chrestus (“Good”), Symphorus (“Profitable”), and Carpus (“Fruit”). Female slaves often bore names descriptive of appearance; Arescousa (“Pleasing”), Terpousa (“Winning”), &c.
biblehub.com...


Example: Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God

Christus was/is a spiritual/religious concept, and also a pagan priestly title.


edit on 17-8-2016 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:49 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb




Christ is the greek word chosen to take the place of messiah.


It was an existent Greek word. "Christ" isn't a concept owned by Jews, even though King Saul, King David, King Solomon and Cyrus the Great wore the "Christ" title. So did the Geek and Egyptian priests who had passed and were tasked to lead other through the Eleusinian Mysteries and baptism.

CHRISTIANITY EXISTED BEFORE BIRTH OF JESUS
edit on 17-8-2016 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:51 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: WanderingNomadd

Thanks. I just want to show people why scholars like Bart Ehrman say is is a fact of history that Jesus lived and died.


Actually Dr.Ehrmans definitive answer had to do with paul meeting James...

He considers most IF not all of the sources you quoted as spurious and or edited by Christian scribes




posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 09:53 PM
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a reply to: Akragon

Source? If I am wrong I will gladly correct myself.



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 10:00 PM
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originally posted by: WanderingNomadd
a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb




because I believe it is sad to see the people fall prey to the whole Jesus is a myth thing.


I don't believe in God, but I am not atheist either. My fall back plan is to explain to God if you wanted me to believe in you; You should of left more than a book that sounds more fictional than Game of Thrones.

Seriously though a choice between Heaven and Hell Ill just take death please. A bunch of people dancing on clouds doing ring-a-ring-a-roses with no alcohol sounds unbearable.

Edit: Nice effort put into your OP though.


No alcohol. you know Christs first miracle was turning water into wine, a god who created intimacy.
Your whole assumption is way confused



posted on Aug, 17 2016 @ 10:11 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: Akragon

Source? If I am wrong I will gladly correct myself.



It is obviously important for a historian to look at all the evidence. To most modern people, it is surprising to learn just how little evidence there is for Jesus outside the Christian sources. He is not mentioned in any Roman (or Greek, or Syriac, or… whatever – any pagan [i.e., non-Jewish, non-Christian]) source of the entire first century. Never. That strikes people as surprising. He is mentioned a couple of times within about 80 years of his life by two Roman sources (Pliny and Tacitus; I’m not sure Suetonius can be used). And he is almost certainly referred to twice in the Jewish historian Josephus, once in an entire paragraph. But that’s it for the non-Christian sources for the first hundred years after his death. It’s not much. But it’s something, and since these are not sources that based their views on the Gospels (since these authors hadn’t read the Gospels), it shows that Jesus was indeed known to exist in pagan and Jewish circles within a century of his life.

The really compelling evidence, though, comes in the Christian sources. Mythicists write these sources off because they are Christian and therefore biased, but that is not a historically solid way to proceed. Christian sources do indeed have to be treated gingerly, but they are sources every bit as much as pagan and Jewish sources are. What I show in Did Jesus Exist? is that there are so many Christian sources that can be used by historians that there is really no doubt at all that Jesus at least existed. Just to give an example (so as not to repeat my entire book here): by any credible dating, the apostle Paul must have converted to believe in Jesus within two or three years of the traditional date of Jesus’ death. And Paul knew some facts about Jesus’ life; he knew some of his teachings; he knew his closest disciple Peter; and he knew his brother James. Personally! If Jesus didn’t exist, you would think that his brother would know about it. The historian can not simply ignore what Paul has to say since he was a Christian. Taking his biases into account, we can use his letters for information about Jesus. And among other things, they show beyond a doubt that Jesus existed as a Jewish teacher in Palestine in the 20s CE.


Commentary from an interview when he released his book "did Jesus exist"... his conclusion was Yes he most certainly did exist from an historical point of view... Unfortunately he goes into greater detail on his website which one must pay to have access to... or just read the book... its really good actually

www.patheos.com...


edit on 17-8-2016 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



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