Constantine, and the council of nicaea.

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posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 05:17 AM
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I cannot believe that you are ignorant of the writers who did write about Jesus.
Your problem is that you want to be selective.
Look at this logic...

I want to know of writers from the 1st century who wrote about Jesus. This will prove he exists
One qualifyier...
None of them are allowed to believe in Jesus as the Son of God.
Why exclude the writers in the bible? Before they were writers in the bible..THEY DIDNT BELIEVE EITHER.

Now follow this..
The very reason you CANNOT FIND writers who do NOT believe...PROVES JESUS was the Son of God.

YOU try to find writers that didnt believe. You wont. Why? Because anyone who saw, believed. This proves it was real




posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 06:35 PM
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Greetings,


Because anyone who saw, believed. This proves it was real


What a a load of bollocks!

Have you even READ the NT?

There are MANY people who did NOT believe - even in your OWN STORIES !

Pilate did not believe.

The Sanhedrin did not believe.

The Jews Jesus had to magically FLEE did not believe.

The Eunuch Paul spoke to did not believe.

The people of Damascus did not believe.

The Areopagus did not believe.

2 John warns of those who don't "acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh".

The Gnostics didn't believe.


In the external record we see much evidence of people who did NOT BELIEVE -
even some Christians as late as late 2nd century who did NOT BELIEVE in a physical Jesus at all :

Pliny mentions Christ - he did not believe.

Marcion, in mid 2nd century, claimed Jesus was a phantom or spiritual entity, and not born of Mary.

Polycarp's epistle refers to those who do not agree Jesus came in the flesh.

Lucian satirised Christians - he did not believe.

Minucius Felix, in mid 2nd century, explicitly denies the incarnation and crucifixion

Celsus, in late 2nd century, attacked the Gospels as fiction based on myths :
"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"

Hegesippus, late 2nd century reports sects that did not believe in the resurrection.


So,
it is complete and utter nonsense to say that anyone who saw believed.

Because we have no clear evidence of ANYONE who actually saw a historical Jesus -
just
STORIES which include people who didn't believe,
and
evidnce of many other people who DIDN'T BELIEVE.


Iasion


[edit on 15-6-2005 by Iasion]



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 06:38 PM
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Greetings,


Iason


Another person whose reading skills are so poor they can't even get my name right.


I cannot believe that you are ignorant of the writers who did write about Jesus.


I can't believe you are ignorant of my analysis of these writers - here it is again :


Alleged evidence for the existence of Jesus

Apologists frequently cite various ancient authors as evidence for Jesus' existence.

However, this evidence has serious issues, with all of it being late, suspect, or irrelevent, as follows -


JOSEPHUS (c.96CE)

The famous Testamonium Flavianum is considered probably the best evidence for Jesus, yet it has some serious problems :
* the T.F. as it stands uses clearly Christian phrases and names Christ as Messiah, it could not possibly have been written by the Jew Josephus (who refused to call anyone "messiah"),
* The T.F. comes in several versions of various ages,
* The T.F. was not mentioned by Origen when he reviewed Josephus - Origen even says Josephus does NOT call Jesus the Messiah, showing the passage was not present in that earlier era.
* The T.F. first showed up in manuscripts of Eusebius, and was still absent from some manuscripts as late as 8th century.
* (The other tiny passage in Josephus is probably a later interpolation.)

An analysis of Josephus can be found here:
www.humanists.net...


In short - this passage is possibly a total forgery (or at best a corrupt form of a lost original.)


But,
its COULD be actual evidence for Jesus. late, corrupt, but just POSSIBLY real historical evidence.

Such is the weakness of the evidence that this suspect passage is considered some of the best "evidence" for a historical Jesus of Nazareth.



TACITUS (c.112CE)

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,
but
merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)



PLINY the Younger (c.112CE)

About 80 years after the alleged events, (and over 40 years after the war) Pliny refered to Christians who worshipped a "Christ" as a god, but there is no reference to a historical Jesus or Gospel events.


So,
Pliny is not evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth,
just evidence for 2nd century Christians who worshipped a Christ.


SUETONIUS (c.115CE)

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 (from "good") and is also a mystic name for an initiate, it is not the same as "Christos"
* this Chrestus was apparently active in Rome, 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.



CLEMENT (late 1st)

Clement was a prominant early church father, but :
* he does NOT mention a historical Jesus,
* NOR any mention of the Gospels or their events,
* merely a couple of SAYINGS attributed to Jesus
(along with many specific references to OT scripture and Paul.)

So,
Clement is no evidence for a historical Jesus, indeed seems to know nothing about Jesus or the Gospel events.


PHLEGON (c.140)

Phlegon wrote during the 140s - his works are lost. 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.

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


THALLUS date unknown

We have NO certain evidence when Thallus lived or wrote,
there are NONE of Thallus works extant.
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".
But,
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:
www.infidels.org...

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



IGNATIUS (107CE? 130-170CE?)

The letters of Ignatius are traditionally dated to c.107, yet:
* it is not clear if he really existed, his story is suspicious,
* his letters are notoriously corrupt and in 2 versions,
* it is probable that his letters were later forgeries,
* he mentions only a tiny few items about Jesus.

So,
Ignatius MAY be a 2nd century reference to a few details about Jesus, but the date is not certain (130s or 170s are possiblities.)



QUADRATUS (c.125CE)

Quadratus apparently wrote an Apology to Hadrian (117-138), but:
* we have none of his works,
* it is not certain when he wrote,
* all we have is 1 sentence quoted centuries later.

So,
Quadratus is uncertain evidence from about a century later.



VALENTINUS (c.140CE)

In mid 2nd century the GNOSTIC Valentinus almost became Bishop of Rome, but:
* he was several generations after the alleged events,
* he wrote of an esoteric, Gnostic Jesus and Christ,
* he mentioned no historical details about Jesus.

So,
Valentinus is no evidence for a historical Jesus.


JUSTIN MARTYR (c.150CE)


Justin wrote in mid 2nd century, but :
* he is several generations after the alleged events,
* he quotes "memoirs of the apostles" ("called Gospels")
* these memoirs are NOT yet named for the evangelists,
* these memoirs are DIFFERENT to our modern Gospels,

So,
Justin quotes un-named proto-Gospels,
but
provides no actual evidence for a historical Jesus.


POLYCARP (c.155CE)

Polycarp wrote in mid 2nd century, but :
* he is several generations after the alleged events,
* he gives many sayings of Jesus (some of which do NOT match the Gospels),
* he does NOT name any evangelist or Gospel.

So,
Polycarp knew sayings of Jesus,
but
provides no actual evidence for a historical Jesus.



LUCIAN (c.170CE)

Nearly one-and-a-half CENTURIES after the alleged events, Lucian satirised Christians, but :
* this was several generations later,
* Lucian does NOT even mention Jesus or Christ by name.

So,
Lucian is no evidence for a historical Jesus.



TALMUD (3rd C. and later)

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.)

So,
the Talmud contains later Jewish responses to the Gospel stories,
but
the Talmud contains NO evidence for a historical Jesus.



MARA BAR SERAPION 3rd century? later?

A fragment which says -
"... What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?",
in the context of ancient leaders like Socrates.

It is NOT at all clear who this is referring too, but there is no evidence it is Jesus.



GALEN

Late 2nd century, Galen makes a few references to Christians, and briefly to Christ.

This is far too late to be evidence.



NUMENIUS

In the 3rd century, Origen claimed Numenius "quotes also a narrative regarding Jesus--without, however, mentioning His name"

This not any evidnce for Jesus, its 3rd century wishful thinking.



SUMMARY

So, whilst that list of alleged citations to a historical Jesus may have looked impressive to those who didn't know the details, in fact they turned out to be very weak indeed - to summarise :

* an interpolated or forged passage (JOSEPHUS)

* a first century Christian father who mentions NOTHING about a historical Jesus or the Gospel events, merely some sayings (CLEMENT)

* a 2nd century passage, at best a late reference to Christian beliefs (TACITUS)

* a 2nd century reference to Christians beliefs, not Jesus (PLINY)

* a reference to someone else entirely (SUETONIUS)

* a made-up reference (THALLUS)

* a few tiny details in a suspect, probably forged, 2nd century corpus from (at least) 75 years after the alleged events (IGNATIUS)

* a writer of uncertain date from whom we have a SINGLE SENTENCE cited centuries later (QUADRATUS)

* a mid 2nd century Gnostic view about an esoteric Jesus (VALENTINUS)

* a mid 2nd century work which quotes un-named proto-Gospels called "memoirs of the apostles" (JUSTIN)

* a mid 2nd century writer who merely knew some sayings of Jesus (POLYCARP)

* a late 2nd century reference to Christians, not Jesus (LUCIAN)

* some 3rd century Jewish polemic (TALMUD)



None of these references are contemporary, most of them contain no reference to a historical Jesus anyway - and the few that do are all suspect or far too late.

Such is the "evidence" for Jesus.


Iasion



[edit on 15-6-2005 by Iasion]



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 06:57 PM
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So,
it is complete and utter nonsense to say that anyone who saw believed.



Well now...seems we got you off topic a bit.

I believe you wanted eyewitness authors ?
I gave them to you from the bible and a few extrabiblical texts like the book of thomas.
Mathew,

Mark,

Luke,

John,

Peter,

Paul,

Jude,

John,

James,
Now throw on top of that the OT books where the authors saw Jesus

Daniel

Moses

Ezekiel

Isaiah

Zacheria(sp?)

David

Now lets get back to my post.

We were talking about authors who saw/met Jesus.
It seems ...


Another person whose reading skills are so poor

You are talking about yourself. It doesnt pay to be a wiseguy if you are going to put your foot in your mouth like that.


Now go back and look at your wasted post about people who did not believe.

Back to my point....

There ARE indeed AUTHORS who wrote about Jesus. THe problem is, they believe. Now YOUR PROBLEM is that you refuse to read them because they believe.

You want first century writers? There they are. You want first century writers who met Jesus and did not believe? Good luck Iason



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 08:10 PM
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I'm no scholar nor am I an expert but I'm pretty certain that no more than 2 (and maybe only 1) of those in Jake1997's list actually wrote anything themselves - that kinda goes against the definition of "author" if I am not mistaken.

It is a common misunderstanding to credit authorship of those books of the bible which bear those names to those for whom the books were named. In fact, we really don't know who wrote those books. It's kinda like saying that George Washington himself wrote all those books about his life and times. In fact, given that most scholars believe those books to have been authored a century or more after the death of the person named, it's very much like my Washington analogy, I think.

Maybe this would be a good investment of your time and money: Who Wrote the Bible? and Who Wrote the NT?

Or, if you're really lazy, ask your preacher-man. ;P

P.S. Since I'm banished to Jake's ignore list, he will not see this post so don't expect him to respond.

[edit on 15-6-2005 by Al Davison]

[edit on 15-6-2005 by Al Davison]



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 09:39 PM
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Greetings,


Well now...seems we got you off topic a bit.


YOU made the claim that everyone who saw, believed.

I pointed out that was wrong by citing many who allegedly saw (according to your OWN STORIES) who did NOT believe.

Of course,
you ignore this point now that I showed you were wrong.

Why can't you admit there WERE some people who DID see and did NOT believe - according to YOUR OWN STORIES?

Because you can never admit you were wrong - a clear sign of a close-minded ignorant fundie.


I believe you wanted eyewitness authors ?
I gave them to you from the bible and a few extrabiblical texts like the book of thomas.


Legends and stories about earlier legends and stories.

Scholars mostly agree that no NT book was written by anyone who met any historical Jesus.

Paul did not meet a historical Jesus, even by YOUR OWN STORIES.

Mark did not meet Jesus, even by YOUR OWN STORIES.

There is NO EVIDENCE that ANY NT book was by anyone who met a Jesus.

You can repeat your FAITHFUL BELIEFS as many times as you like - we can all see you have totally failed to provide any evidence for your claims - you just preach faifthful Christian beliefs over and over - did you think we wouldn't notice?



Now throw on top of that the OT books where the authors saw Jesus


Good grief !
You really BELIEVE this nonsense?

That Daniel, Moses etc. saw a HISTORICAL JESUS of Nazareth?

Myths from centuries earlier ?
You think that is evidence for a HISTORICAL JESUS of NAZARETH?

This is complete fantasy - to think that legends from the 8th-6th century BC or so provide evidence for a person in the 1st century.

There could be no clearer sign that jake is a faithful believer who will swallow any tall tale - provided it comes from HIS set of myths of legends. We can be sure that jake dismisses such tales from Greek or Hindu or Gnostic writings.



You are talking about yourself. It doesnt pay to be a wiseguy if you are going to put your foot in your mouth like that.


Well,
I get people's names right
I check the facts before I post
I post detailed facts which can be checked
I answer the points rasied by others
I check my post for errors before sending.
(No, I don't claim perfection, of course there are errors sometimes.)

You don't get people's names right
You don't check the facts before you post
You don't post detailed facts which can be checked
You don't answer the points rasied by others
You don't check your post for errors before sending.

We can all see who put their foot in their mouth.



There ARE indeed AUTHORS who wrote about Jesus. THe problem is, they believe. Now YOUR PROBLEM is that you refuse to read them because they believe.


False.
You seem to have serious comprehension issues.

I did not refusse to read them because they believe.

I posted a LENGTHY analysis of these very writers in recent posts here - showing conclusively that I did read them - you bear false witness, you lie.

Of course, you didn't even BOTHER to read my post or answer it - you just spout the same old faithful crap over and over.



You want first century writers? There they are.


I dealt with every single one - you ignored my arguments of course.



You want first century writers who met Jesus and did not believe?


No 1st century author met any Jesus.

If YOU think they did - please post the EVIDENCE.

Evidence -
not faithful beliefs and opinions,
not lists of others who also believe.



Good luck Iason


Still can't get my name right?


Iasion


[edit on 15-6-2005 by Iasion]



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 10:59 PM
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I just thought I would point out that an argument from silence is a logical fallacy.



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 11:01 PM
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Greetings,

jake claimed various NT writings were by eye-witnesses.

Modern scholars do not agree.
Every single NT book has been examined closely - it is generally the modern consensus that no NT book was written by any eye-witness to Jesus.

Only the faithful believe this anymore.

For more specific information -
I posted Diogenes essay about the Gospels not being eye-witness accounts over in the
Did Jesus Even Exist?
thread.

Readers can check the details of every single NT book at
Peter Kirby's Early Christian Writings.

This site is the PREMIER ONLINE RESOURCE for NT studies.
earlychristianwritings.com...


Meanwhile, let's consider one example - the book of James.

Now James was allegedly the BROTHER of Jesus,
so
we would expect his letter to be chock-full of personal details about Jesus.

Well,
guess what?

The letter of James only even MENTIONS the name "Jesus" twice in the whole letter !
It has NO personal details at all !
NOT one shred of historical information about Jesus can be found in the letter allegedly from a member of his FAMILY !

Hello?

The person who wrote the letter of James had OBVIOUSLY never even HEARD of a historical Jesus.

Let examine the letter to see what I mean -


The ONLY 2 places to use the name Jesus are here

1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion: Greetings.

The introduction of the letter, mentions he is a "servant" of God and of Lord Jesus Christ (ie. a typical faithful phrase invoking their highest names) - totally FAILS to mention he is brother to Jesus.

2:1 My brothers, don't hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality.

Another faithful phrase telling us nothing about Jesus. No mention James is his brother.


What DON'T we see in James :

NO mention of Jesus' family at all - NO Mary or Joseph or siblings.
NO mention of the birth stories - NO Bethlehem, Nazareth, Magi, Herod, the flight...
NO mention of teachings Jesus - NO sermon, Lord's prayer, food regulations
NO mention of miracles - NO Lazarus, feeding the multitude, healing the sick...
NO mention of any Gospel event - NO Teaching at the Temple, Temple Cleansing, Triumphal Entry, Temptation, Baptism in Jordan etc, etc...
NO mention of the trial of Jesus - NO Pilate, Sanhedrin, Judas etc...
NO mention of the empty tomb, the crucifixion, the resurrection !!! hello?

I can not find a SINGLE PIECE of information about a historical Jesus in the whole epistle of James.

From a person who was supposedly in Jesus' very family and probably would have experienced many of these events if they had really happened.



Even worse, if you do read James, there are many places where you would expect him to mention Jesus or his teaching -

Chapter 1 talks about resisting temptation - NO mention of the temptation of Jesus !

Chapter 2 starts like this in some versions - "do you .. really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?" (a different translation of the phrase which in the Greek goes something like this: "do not with partiality believe in Jesus Christ the glorious").

Here is James trying to convince them to believe in Jesus Christ, and he totally fails to even mention he knew Jesus, let alone was his brother - instead all he gives to try and prove Jesus is some preaching about the poor and the rich WITHOUT mentioning anything Jesus said about the poor.

James quotes "Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself" - but NOT from Jesus, just "scripture".

James preaches about adultery - NO mention of Jesus' teachings.

James argues that faith without works is useless - when he provides examples, it's from the OT - Abraham, Rahab - NO mention of Jesus.

James reminds people not to curse or speak evil - NO mention of Jesus' teachings on that.

James preaches about suffering and patience - NO mention of Jesus as example, just Job and the prophets.

James talks about the church elders bringing healing and forgiving sins - NO mention of Jesus doing that.

James even invokes Elijah who was a "human being like us" - NO mention of Jesus !


James never knew any Jesus

In dozens of places, James preaches something that CRIES out for a mention of Jesus or his teachings - but it looks like James has never even HEARD of Jesus of Nazareth - just the risen Christ, a spiritual being.


Note that James uses the phrase "my brothers (and sisters)" DOZENS of times - NOT the slightest hint that HE is the brother of Jesus anywhere in the letter.


Apologists like Ryan seem unable to read the letter for comprehension, no matter how many times I ask Ryan to provide actual evidence, all he does is preach his beliefs. His failure to produce any evidence should make it clear.


There simply is NOTHING about Jesus in the letter of James.

Who-ever wrote this letter knew NOTHING about a historical Jesus of Nzareth.

And this is the CLOSEST we tget the Jesus - his brother.
Other people are even MORE removed.

The letters of Peter and Jude and John are the same - no details about a historical Jesus.

It's all originally about the Risen Christ - a spiritual being who never came to Earth.


Iasion



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 11:10 PM
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Greetings Raphael_UO,


I just thought I would point out that an argument from silence is a logical fallacy.


False.

It is a perfectly good, even powerful argument when we see :
* numerous failures to mention the event
* even when it is EXPECTED

We DO see :
* MANY Christian writers DO fail to mention a historical Jesus
* even when the context CRIES out for a mention of Jesus.


Consider -
I could claim that aliens landed on the White House lawn yesterday.

This could easily be proven wrong by showing -
* no mention of it in papers
* no mention on TV
* no mention in White House records
* no mention ANYWHERE.

This would be pretty good proof it did not happen.

The argument from silence is perfectly valid, even powerful, when used correctly.


Furthermore,
the Christ Myth argument is NOT just an argument from silence -
It is an Argument to the Best Explanation,
part of it is based on silence - overwhelming silence by CHRISTIANS.

Earl Doherty's case is that the evidence we have is best explained by a Mythical Christ.

Tell me Raphael,
are YOU prepared to even READ Earl's site and respond?

So far,
only ONE PERSON here has even TRIED -
and they gave up after MIS-INTERPRETING the title of the first section.

Seems like the faithful here are TOO SCARED to even read the argument -
www.jesuspuzzle.org...


Iasion


[edit on 15-6-2005 by Iasion]



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by Iasion
Greetings Raphael_UO,


False.


Don't believe me. Research logical fallacies, and convince yourself.

Your argument can conclude that the early writers may not have known of a historical Jesus. But, to conclude they did not is a fallacy.

Take Care.

[edit on 15-6-2005 by Raphael_UO]

As a note, logical fallacies always make powerful arguments against those who are not aware they are arguing against a fallacy.



[edit on 15-6-2005 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 03:54 AM
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I can't believe you are ignorant of my analysis of these writers - here it is again :


Since almost no-one agrees with you, Iasion, perhaps it would be appropriate to be less belligerent?

Since some in this forum may not have seen this post before, may I add some comments on the statements made?



Alleged evidence for the existence of Jesus

Apologists frequently cite various ancient authors as evidence for Jesus' existence.


Historians do also. The problem with what follows is that it (a) ignores the patristic and heretical testimony; (b) considers that pagan testimony can be ignored if some kind of excuse can be manufactured. This will not do. This sort of approach is the approach of the debunker, and, as we all know, is entirely selective. Theory must not be treated as if it were evidence.

Your comments have often been reviewed online. It would be nice if these points were considered sometimes.



However, this evidence has serious issues, with all of it being late, suspect, or irrelevent, as follows -

JOSEPHUS (c.96CE)

The famous Testamonium Flavianum is considered probably the best evidence for Jesus, yet it has some serious problems :


None of them conclusive. Everyone considers that there is some kind of problem with the TF; none of the statements that follow are objective.



* the T.F. as it stands uses clearly Christian phrases and names Christ as Messiah, it could not possibly have been written by the Jew Josephus (who refused to call anyone "messiah"),


Argument from what Josephus 'must' have written. But since all it does it is identify him as Christ, this argument is simply false.



* The T.F. comes in several versions of various ages,


So do many ancient texts. Are they all non-existent, then?



* The T.F. was not mentioned by Origen when he reviewed Josephus - Origen even says Josephus does NOT call Jesus the Messiah, showing the passage was not present in that earlier era.


I'm sorry that you do not mention that Origen *does* refer explicitly to the other passage. You also mis-cite Origen; he says that Josephus did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah; which might have been inferred easily enough, even from the TF as it stands.



* The T.F. first showed up in manuscripts of Eusebius, and was still absent from some manuscripts as late as 8th century.


There is no evidence of absence from 8th century manuscripts. Eusebius quoting it is evidence it existed at that time.



* (The other tiny passage in Josephus is probably a later interpolation.)


According to a recent study of all historical opinion on Josephus and Jesus, this passage has been almost universally considered genuine throughout history, even when the TF was considered fake. Since the idea that Jesus had brothers was unwelcome to the early church, it is fairly clearly not forged.



In short - this passage is possibly a total forgery (or at best a corrupt form of a lost original.)


It may well be corrupt -- there is evidence for this. But none of that is reviewed above. There is no doubt that Josephus mentioned Jesus.



TACITUS (c.112CE)

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.


Indeed. He used the term used in his own day for the corresponding official. Quite why this is a problem is not stated.



* 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.)


Argument from what you think he 'must' have stated. This is a fallacious argument; and since every Roman reference refers to Christus, wrong in point of detail.



* Tacitus accepts the recent advent of Christianity, which was against Roman practice (to only allow ancient and accepted cults and religions.)


This is a horribly confused thought. Roman practise on the recognition of cults was to prefer antiquity; but Tacitus is not 'recognising' Christianity; on the contrary.



* (No-one refers to this passage for a millenium, even early Christians who actively sought such passages.)


Which Christians, specifically? References please? Christian writers did not bother with such things.

The complaint that the passage is unreferenced for a 1000 years -- the Dark Ages -- is unhistorical, and ignores the very limited knowledge of Tacitus at all in that period.



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


The arguments made above do not support this conclusion, tho.



PLINY the Younger (c.112CE)

About 80 years after the alleged events, (and over 40 years after the war) Pliny refered to Christians who worshipped a "Christ" as a god, but there is no reference to a historical Jesus or Gospel events.


Rather misleading, I'd say. Pliny feels no need to identify Christ.



So, Pliny is not evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth,
just evidence for 2nd century Christians who worshipped a Christ.


This conclusion is not justified by the statements made.



SUETONIUS (c.115CE)

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 (from "good") and is also a mystic name for an initiate, it is not the same as "Christos"


But it is. See Tertullian for Christians frequently being called Chrestians.



* this Chrestus was apparently active in Rome, Jesus never was,
* Jesus was never said to have lead the Jews in Rome into trouble during Claudius' time.


True; but Suetonius may have got his information mixed up. What he did know was that the Jews were fighting among themselves over this guy Christ.



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.


While it is not certainly a reference to Jesus, it is otherwise inscrutable. It's half a reference, if you like.



CLEMENT (late 1st)

Clement was a prominant early church father, but :
* he does NOT mention a historical Jesus,
* NOR any mention of the Gospels or their events,
* merely a couple of SAYINGS attributed to Jesus
(along with many specific references to OT scripture and Paul.)


Why should he? He wasn't writing a gospel. Again, we have a straw man created; that Clement 'must' say this, and, since he doesn't, this 'proves' he didn't know of it. This is a crass fallacy, surely?

I think this fallacy will appear again, so to save words, I will refer to it as the 'must-fallacy.'



So, Clement is no evidence for a historical Jesus, indeed seems to know nothing about Jesus or the Gospel events.


Not on the evidence offered above. You do not mention that he probably knew apostles personally, on the statements in Eusebius.



PHLEGON (c.140)

Phlegon wrote during the 140s - his works are lost. 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.


The references to Phlegon have no meaning unless they refer to Gospel events, tho. So in fact they are clear evidence that he DID.



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


Not on the above evidence.



THALLUS date unknown

We have NO certain evidence when Thallus lived or wrote,
there are NONE of Thallus works extant.
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".
But, 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:
www.infidels.org...


Carrier's page makes the curious error of relying on the numerals in the corrupt Armenian version of Eusebius and using them to ignore the plain testimony of the text. But in ancient texts, numerals are frequently corrupt, while the text is preserved. His argument then falls apart.

That Thallus refers to the darkness at the time of the death of Jesus is explicitly stated by the ancient sources, so the statements above seen like evasions to me.



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


Wishful thinking indeed.



IGNATIUS (107CE? 130-170CE?)

The letters of Ignatius are traditionally dated to c.107, yet:
* it is not clear if he really existed, his story is suspicious,


Why?



* his letters are notoriously corrupt and in 2 versions,


They are not corrupt. Three versions exist. But does this mean any work later interpolated is a forgery in its original version? If so, why?



* it is probable that his letters were later forgeries,


Why?



* he mentions only a tiny few items about Jesus.


'Must-fallacy' appears again.



So, Ignatius MAY be a 2nd century reference to a few details about Jesus, but the date is not certain (130s or 170s are possiblities.)


Ignatius cannot have written so late, since he was executed under Trajan.



QUADRATUS (c.125CE)

Quadratus apparently wrote an Apology to Hadrian (117-138), but:
* we have none of his works,
* it is not certain when he wrote,
* all we have is 1 sentence quoted centuries later.

So, Quadratus is uncertain evidence from about a century later.


Quadratus did know people who had seen Jesus. That this is not mentioned shows this to be polemic, not reasoned discussion.



VALENTINUS (c.140CE)
In mid 2nd century the GNOSTIC Valentinus almost became Bishop of Rome, but:
* he was several generations after the alleged events,
* he wrote of an esoteric, Gnostic Jesus and Christ,
* he mentioned no historical details about Jesus.
So, Valentinus is no evidence for a historical Jesus.


I wonder, a little, how it is known that Valentinus mentioned no historical details about Jesus in his (lost) works.

But the existence of heretics indicates the presence of the church, and its orthodox teaching, so I really don't see how we can ignore him; although not sure quite how to use him either.



JUSTIN MARTYR (c.150CE)

Justin wrote in mid 2nd century, but :
* he is several generations after the alleged events,
* he quotes "memoirs of the apostles" ("called Gospels")
* these memoirs are NOT yet named for the evangelists,


Justin does not say this.



* these memoirs are DIFFERENT to our modern Gospels,


Nor this.



So, Justin quotes un-named proto-Gospels, but provides no actual evidence for a historical Jesus.


By which point we start to wonder what evidence could exist today that would not be ignored in this summary way.



POLYCARP (c.155CE)

Polycarp wrote in mid 2nd century, but :
* he is several generations after the alleged events,
* he gives many sayings of Jesus (some of which do NOT match the Gospels),
* he does NOT name any evangelist or Gospel.


He did know the apostle John personally. He did teach Irenaeus. He did reject the heresy of Marcion. And he wrote one very short letter.



So, Polycarp knew sayings of Jesus, but provides no actual evidence for a historical Jesus.


He knew a chap who lived with Jesus, but 'provides no actual evidence'? A curious statement.



LUCIAN (c.170CE)

Nearly one-and-a-half CENTURIES after the alleged events, Lucian satirised Christians, but :
* this was several generations later,
* Lucian does NOT even mention Jesus or Christ by name.


A curious statement, which raises integrity issues. Lucian does mention the founder of the Christians.



So, Lucian is no evidence for a historical Jesus.


Why?



TALMUD (3rd C. and later)

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.)

So, the Talmud contains later Jewish responses to the Gospel stories,
but the Talmud contains NO evidence for a historical Jesus.


The above excuses are not enough reason to ignore information, tho.



MARA BAR SERAPION 3rd century? later?

A fragment which says -
"... What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?",
in the context of ancient leaders like Socrates.

It is NOT at all clear who this is referring too, but there is no evidence it is Jesus.


Really? Why?



GALEN

Late 2nd century, Galen makes a few references to Christians, and briefly to Christ.

This is far too late to be evidence.


Why?



NUMENIUS

In the 3rd century, Origen claimed Numenius "quotes also a narrative regarding Jesus--without, however, mentioning His name"

This not any evidnce for Jesus, its 3rd century wishful thinking.


Why? I note you offer no reference for this statement, so we can't check it. One point I have made before is that your failure to do this invariably casts doubt on your claims.

You then move into summarise:



None of these references are contemporary, most of them contain no reference to a historical Jesus anyway - and the few that do are all suspect or far too late.

Such is the "evidence" for Jesus.


Rather an impressive body of citations by a wide range of unrelated people. The reasons to ignore this are by contrast very feeble indeed.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by Iasion
Greetings,


Well now...seems we got you off topic a bit.


YOU made the claim that everyone who saw, believed.

I pointed out that was wrong by citing many who allegedly saw (according to your OWN STORIES) who did NOT believe.

Of course,
you ignore this point now that I showed you were wrong.


We were talking about writers.

Quote me on it. I will do it for you.



Iason

I cannot believe that you are ignorant of the writers who did write about Jesus.
Your problem is that you want to be selective.
Look at this logic...

I want to know of writers from the 1st century who wrote about Jesus. This will prove he exists
One qualifyier...
None of them are allowed to believe in Jesus as the Son of God.
Why exclude the writers in the bible? Before they were writers in the bible..THEY DIDNT BELIEVE EITHER.

Now follow this..
The very reason you CANNOT FIND writers who do NOT believe...PROVES JESUS was the Son of God.

YOU try to find writers that didnt believe. You wont. Why? Because anyone who saw, believed. This proves it was real



Now lets look at your further response that is ignorant of the above quote.




What a a load of bollocks!

Have you even READ the NT?

There are MANY people who did NOT believe - even in your OWN STORIES !


There are no writers in the NT that disbelieved in Jesus.

I responded with



Well now...seems we got you off topic a bit.

I believe you wanted eyewitness authors ?


Now you respond with anger and hate.






YOU made the claim that everyone who saw, believed.

I pointed out that was wrong by citing many who allegedly saw (according to your OWN STORIES) who did NOT believe.

Of course,
you ignore this point now that I showed you were wrong.

Why can't you admit there WERE some people who DID see and did NOT believe - according to YOUR OWN STORIES?

Because you can never admit you were wrong - a clear sign of a close-minded ignorant fundie.


Now its clear in the quotes we were talking about 1st century authors. I show that all of them who saw Jesus, believed. You cannot find one that did see Jesus but NOT believe.

Furthermore... It has been proven that you cannot remember/show/prove what was said 5 minutes or 5 days ago...let alone 2000 years ago. Read the above quotes as many times as needed until it sinks in.


I see above that you are trying to convince Ralph that not all of the bible authors saw Jesus. This only further proves things because not only are first century eyewitnesses shown to become believers, but so are the early writers who heard of the fame.

Thank you for proving the point.



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by Raphael_UO
I just thought I would point out that an argument from silence is a logical fallacy.


Ralphy

Interesting.

I saw his expose' on James and decided to do a word search for the phrase "Jesus Christ" in the bible.

James - 2 hits (5 chapters)
Hebrews - 3 hits (13 chapters)

I am not going to list them all...but take a look at this

Mathew - 2 hits (28 chapters)
Mark - 1 hit (16 chapters)
John - 2 hits (21 chapters)
Luke - 0

It seems that your word about logical fallacy has been proven true.
I hadnt noticed it before. Surely the gospels make the case but it seems they do not mention the search string enough.

Now a reading of James will show more than 2 mentions. Just not by the search string "Jesus Christ". I found 4 certain and several others that could mean God, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus. This puts James well ahead of the average per chapter.



The other thing about James not mentioning family details shows a complete lack of understanding of who Jesus Christ really was. It shows that James knew the priority.



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 11:06 PM
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Originally posted by jake1997
It seems that your word about logical fallacy has been proven true.


The use of a fallacy does not automatically mean the conclusion is wrong. But rather, the method used to reach the conclusion is not logically sound. Proving or disproving the conclusion does not prove nor disprove the use of a fallacy.



posted on Jun, 19 2005 @ 05:04 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion

Does this then prove that Judah the Prince concocted the entire Mishnah? That all those sages and biographical blurbs and religo-legal rulings and moral tales we read about in the Talmud are something a bunch of Jews created out of thin air in order to subjugate the ignorant masses to their theology and cosmology, etc., etc., etc.?


No, you are raving.


You can argue non-existence from the lack of early documentation, but it's a pretty lame argument to use, IMO, especially with regard to a culture that had such a strong leaning toward Oral Tradition.


Oral tradition is another word for legends, stories, tall-tales, hearsay. That's my point - all you have is later legends, no evidence.


Okay, so you agree that Judah the Prince didn't concoct the Mishnah (et al). So, are you willing to accept that the "stories" recorded in this very late dated rabbinic literature about sages who date back to the beginning of the Common Era are indeed "stories" about real, historical personalities - setting aside for the moment whether or not these "stories" are accurate?

If you can accept them as being real, historical personalities, then ... why not a historical Yeshua? BTW, that's a rhetorical question. No need to answer, because I've read through the wealth of data you present. ::::WHEW!:::: My point is that the authorship of the Gospels pre-date the authorship of the Mishnah. So, why is the former bogus and the later kosher? No pun intended.


If not, then ... the Jews are living with a lie just like the Church, because the early sages of the Common Era they believe in and base their laws upon didn't exist anymore than Yeshua did. Why? Because they aren't mentioned by Josephus or Philo - let alone any Gentile historian of the Common Era. That's the point I was trying to make before.

Look.... I'm willing to hash this out, but ... take a deep breath and stop dogging me, okay? I did read more than the first sentence and argument on that website you suggested I read. I just wanted to take it line-by-line.

BTW, what's the reason for you beef with "Jesus"? What set you off on this pursuit? What happened in your life to turn you off to this degree? Are you a Jew? A former Christian? A neo-pagan? I'm asking because I've had my own negative experience with Christendom and I'm not a fan of Christianity by any stretch.

I just happen to think there's an original portrait underneath the paint-over the Church has done. We differ on that, of course, but I'm wondering where your problem with the "Jesus mythos" stems from? What caused you to take this route? If that's too personal a question, then I'll withdrawl it. Just curious.... Don't get huffy or offended, okay? I'm just trying to get to understand your bias and your method a little more. Shelf the Critical Parent-Ego state and let's talk to each other calmly and nicely, okay?


[edit on 19-6-2005 by smadewell]





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