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Ken Humphreys site - how much truth?

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posted on May, 5 2005 @ 10:03 PM
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OK, I've been "challenged" to start a thread to have a serious discussion regarding the research and findings on this web site that another poster referred to on this site.

!!!WARNING!!!

The name of this web site is going to set off fire alarms with some of you but, woe unto you if you respond without first READING the content.


!!!DISCLAIMER!!!

I'm not saying that I believe everything on this web site! I am saying that I find the research and findings to be compelling and worthy of further study.

Here it is: jesusneverexisted.com...

There is some very good info regarding the mulitple Jesuses (Jesi? Jesiae?) and some really good stuff about the town of Nazareth and some of the tales from the NT about what happened there.

I fully expect that the devout Christians on this board will go ape over this - I wish you would not. I'd really like to hear your thoughtful responses. (Those from whom I've come to know will not give thoughtful responses are already in my "Ignore" list so, I won't see those, anyway.)

So? What do you think?




posted on May, 6 2005 @ 10:20 PM
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hmmm...I really thought this one would light up the board.

maybe folks are still reading the site. I know it took me about 5 days to get through it.



posted on May, 6 2005 @ 10:24 PM
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Or, it simply could be that this subject of whether Jesus existed or not has been done to death, maybe?

I see three such like topics on the 1st page of this forum alone.





seekerof



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 02:56 AM
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I read the first dozen articles on that site, and that was only about a third of the way down the main page, but I had had enough. Humphreys, from what I got out of his writings, is what I think of as a 'selective researcher'. What I mean by that is he starts with a predetermined conclusion in mind, looks for historical evidence that, with the proper spin on it, appears to support his 'conclusions', and ignores anything that could possibly disprove him.

The trouble I find with religious researchers is that so few of them are unbiased. The vast majority are like Humphreys, determined to tear down all religion, or else the opposite; they seek to bolster the claims of religion through equally spurious reasoning as the sort Humphreys uses. (this problem is by no means limited to religion, unfortunately)

I'm a Christian (so obviously biased against Humphreys and those like him). Still, I think most people, whether for or against religion, can see this guy is allowing far too much of his own personal opinions to taint his research. He likes to take a few facts and then weave his own stories around them.

For example: (from his articles, word in brackets identifies article, if you go to the website it will be obvious which i refer to)

(surfeit)-KH claims that there was 'a surfeit of jesuses'. Fair enough; it was a common name at the time; the modern name Joshua is derived from it. However, not one of the Jesuses KH mentions fall within the time frame that Christians assert Christ lived, the closest one being 62 A.D. Virtually all historians agree that a man named Jesus was born around a few years B.C. (most figures I've seen are 7 to 2 B.C) and died in his early thirties. He definitely existed, although as to whether he was what he claimed he was, well, that can be debated forever.

(nazareth)-KH says that there was no city of Nazareth before the fourth century A.D. Scholars used to say there was no city of Troy, either, or that no cities were built in North America before Columbus. We found Troy, and we found loads of pre-Columbian cities in the Americas, such as Macchu Picchu. That of course does not prove the existence of Nazareth, but it does render his argument rather silly.

(apollo)-according to KH, the changing styles of art over the centuries is a direct proof that Christ never existed. I wonder what Picasso's cubism 'proves', then? Or the idealized Greek art phase, with statues that showed human perfection? Or the stiff Egpytian art style? Or children's stick-men drawings? You get the point, I think.

(preparing)-nothing of value here to critique, just a bunch of pictures of pagan gods and KH's opinions.

(caesar)-KH presents a bunch of evidence that Julius Caesar was a real person. Sure, I'll concede that. The evidence for Caesar's existence is pretty clear. So is the evidence for Christ's existence, despite KH's false claims to the contrary. Any historian worth anything knows both were real people. Were some of the stories about each exaggerated? Probably. Are some of them false? Probably. Today we have people like Holocaust deniers. I'm not old enough to remember the Holocaust, but I know it happened, and I know not to listen to people who say it didn't, because evidence shows that it did happen. Evidence shows that Christ was a real person, too. As for the miracles and resurrection, there is no evidence, but Christ definitely existed. Ask any history professor.

(changing)-I find it hypocritical that KH accuses early Christians and Romans of picking and choosing books for the Bible, when KH is picking and choosing from history to weave his arguments. Did people change the words of the early gospels? Sure they did. That's undisputed, I think, on both sides of the fence. How many early works, in any field, haven't been changed, edited, or partially lost? KH assumes that because there are differences, that every single word attributed to an early gospel writer is automatically false, which is illogical.

(good book)-KH quotes verses where the Bible states striking/curisng at your parents is bad, being a drunkard is bad, lying is bad, bestiality is bad, etc etc. As far as I am concerned, those are bad things, and KH is wrong to attack them. As for some of the other quotes, such as those on homosexuality, they neither prove nor disprove the Bible. KH doesn't prove anything one way or the other with this article. Incidentally, I find it hard to take an argument seriously when a picture of lego people in a threesome position are used to illustrate a point (yeah, he really did do that!)

(circus)-lots more KH opinions. He does make a couple of good points; for example, you should not take the Bible's claim that it is itself divine as the sole proof. There's hardly any factual information here, just a lot of 'KH's opinion is...'

(12 apostles)-varying accounts of the apostle's lives and deaths apparently proves that they didn't exist. Does that mean Elvis didn't exist, either? According to KH's logic, it does, but that's obviously foolishness. KH again uses the concept of 'selective researching', looking only for that which bolsters his claim and discarding everythingthat doesn't back him up.

(neighbour)-lots more KH opinion, with a few misquoted biblical verses to add a semblance of legitimacy to his claims.

(persecution) Jewish war of 66-70AD, Domitian's persecutions, Diocletian's persecutions, Nero's using Christians as scapegoating. That's just what I remember from the four history courses I've taken in university, apparently four more than KH has, and they add up to more than the '12 years of persecution' KH claims.

Wondering if there was more persecutions I hadn't remembered, I did an internet search, and found that Nero (64-68), Domitian(90-96), Antoninus Pius (138-161), Marcus Aurelius (161-180, with year 177 the worst in his reign), Decius (249-251), Gallus (251-253), Valerian (257), Diocletian (303-305), and Galerius (305-311) . (dates in brackets are all AD, naturally, and are the best dates of the range of persecution I could find; they do not necessarily represent the years the emperor ruled or lived, merely the years they persecuted Christians, which in some cases are the same) Adds up to a few more than twelve years, meaning that KH either can't do math or doesn't know history. (makes me wonder which 12 KH was considering, and how he missed all the others in his research, if even I could find all those) Also, it is commonly accepted amongst historians that there were ten great persecutions against Christians by the Romans. Google each of those emperors under 'christian persecution ' and you will find the same info I did. Open any history textbook and you'll find info there, too. I checked a couple of mine. KH seems to have a selective memory when it comes to reading history, or he would have remembered something as widely known in the historical community as 'the ten persecutions'.

(sin) -mostly KH discusses sexual sins here, plus a few others. Sounds to me like KH is condemning the idea of sin here, almost like he's trying to justify it. Lots more KH opinion here, too, plus a giant conspiracy theory concerning the Church and sin/confessions. In case you don't buy his arguments, he adds a picture of a lego guy doing a lego bear, to back up his points.

That was enough for me, I didn't read any more articles after that. I can respect the viewpoint that some people have against Christianity, but I cannot tolerate it when they use misquoted scriptures, twisted history, uninformed opinion, and blatant lies in order to fabricate a body of so-called evidence for a pre-formed conclusion. If people want to disbelieve in Christianity, that is their right, but those people should research from scholarly sources and not Mr. Humphreys, if they want to be informed on the issues.

Personally, I'd like to see some research done where Christians and anti-Christians worked together, but that will probably never happen (they would kill each other first, lol, then nothing would get done) Basically, the summary of this incredibly long-winded post is, don't trust any one single source for your information (on any topic), because some of them (like Ken Humphreys) will have no clue what they are talking about.

(sorry about the 2 ad hominem jabs I made regarding the lego stuff, I just couldn't resist, they were so silly for KH to include, I had to make fun of them)

Feel free to comment on anything I said above, just please 'comment thoughtfully', as Al Davison requested. I don't think anyone needs another mud-slinging religion thread on ATS, there's more than enough of those, already.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 03:05 AM
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No, unfortunately it's true.

The historical Jesus was actually a rebellious carpenter who couldn't stand organized religion.

Once he died they raided his tomb so that they could prove he was taken away be teh angels.

Really though, jesus was just a dirty hippy.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 04:52 AM
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@DragonsDemesme
I am not surprised that you had quickly enough after reading some of the
articles and,of course,as a Christian you prefer to live from and with MYTHS.
No problem with that as long as you don't impose BY FORCE AND BLOOD
your opinions on non-believers,in the name of your Savior-God.
Some more reading could,eventually,open your mind:
"The Christ of the gospels is in no sense an historical personage or a supreme model of humanity, a hero who strove, and suffered, and failed to save the world by his death. It is impossible to establish the existence of an historical character even as an impostor. For such an one the two witnesses, astronomical mythology and gnosticism, completely prove an alibi. The Christ is a popular lay-figure that never lived, and a lay-figure of Pagan origin; a lay-figure that was once the Ram and afterwards the Fish; a lay-figure that in human form was the portrait and image of a dozen different gods."

Gerald Massey
www.truthbeknown.com...

Baloria



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 08:03 AM
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Quoting from DragonsD:
"Personally, I'd like to see some research done where Christians and anti-Christians worked together, but that will probably never happen (they would kill each other first, lol, then nothing would get done) Basically, the summary of this incredibly long-winded post is, don't trust any one single source for your information (on any topic), because some of them (like Ken Humphreys) will have no clue what they are talking about. "

Oh! Would that we could have that kind of "bi-partisan" research!

What DD says about not trusting any single source are words to live by, I think.
I understand just enough to know that I don't understand enough so, I'm committed to looking at as many points of view as possible. Someday, probably not soon, I may draw a conclusion in which I can honestly trust.

I appreciate your thoughtful post and your honest opinions.



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 02:13 PM
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Al said: "I appreciate your thoughtful post and your honest opinions"

Thanks, Al.

Baloria said: "am not surprised that you had quickly enough after reading some of the articles and,of course,as a Christian you prefer to live from and with MYTHS. No problem with that as long as you don't impose BY FORCE AND BLOOD your opinions on non-believers,in the name of your Savior-God. Some more reading could,eventually,open your mind"

Yes, I'm not likely to renounce Christianity anytime soon. As for the forcing beliefs on others, I don't like that idea, I think people should choose religion for themselves, not be beaten over the head with it. As for the opening of my mind, well, that is why I took a look at that website instead of dismissing it out of hand. I think a better thesis for KH to have taken, though, would be to try and argue that Christ was just a regular guy, like Moses or Mohammed or Caesar or Nero. He is trying to disprove that a real historical figure didn't exist, which is hard, to say the least. He would have more luck convincing people if instead he came at it from a different angle and argued that Christ was just another religious preacher, like so many others we have had. (I wouldn't be convinced, but at least you could make a case for it, unlike Christ's nonexistence)



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 03:46 PM
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al davison

I wish I had the time to spend on reading all of that...it looks quite interesting.

but I'm spread way too thin and can't afford the time.

thx 4 the link...



posted on May, 7 2005 @ 09:25 PM
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I Have one short Question:

Who was it that must had Know Jesus in order to get the time frame of BC and AD set up as our time frame for which most of the World goes by Now ???
I know there are olders Calenders, But If Jesus did not Live,, Why did they make the change and set the first century at or about the time of his death ??????



posted on May, 8 2005 @ 07:40 PM
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Originally posted by jfdarby
I Have one short Question:

Who was it that must had Know Jesus in order to get the time frame of BC and AD set up as our time frame for which most of the World goes by Now ???
I know there are olders Calenders, But If Jesus did not Live,, Why did they make the change and set the first century at or about the time of his death ??????


Good question! I have often wondered how this came about.

Anybody know?



posted on May, 8 2005 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by jfdarby
I Have one short Question:

Who was it that must had Know Jesus in order to get the time frame of BC and AD set up as our time frame for which most of the World goes by Now ???
I know there are olders Calenders, But If Jesus did not Live,, Why did they make the change and set the first century at or about the time of his death ??????
It is not that anyone knew Jesus in order to establish the AD calendrical year. A 6th century scholar by the name of Dionysuus Exiguus retraced as best as he could, Easter/Pesach celebrations to the birth of Jesus, and the advent of a new annum dating was borne which proved far less cumbersome than recording a date based on olympiads or the reigns of kings.

He was off the mark by 4-7 years, however this has not been corrected.




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