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Jesus Never Existed. End of story.

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posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 08:57 AM
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The original poster seems to have gone AWOL, but I think the point made has been misunderstood by all but a few of the responses in this thread.

I see the same old crap arguments over and over.

1. Documentation by historians
Josephus, Tacitus, ...

2. Comparison to other historical figures
Julius Caesar etc...

3. Swoon theories etc.

4. You're a hate filled monster going to hell and other absurd emotional pleas

Why do I call these crap? Because they do not address the theory being proposed. The theory is that Jesus is a mythical figure derived from astrotheology. It is a valid proposition based on similarities between Jesus and other ancient mythical figures.

When investigating a theory, the evidence must be examined in terms of "does this fact falsify the theory".

The Historians

Having read through much of what the typically listed historians wrote about Jesus, I have noticed that nothing they wrote is incompatible with the "Jesus as myth" theory. None of them could possibly have been eyewitnesses as they were all born after the "facts". The earlier you look, the less detail there is, which is congruent with a growing myth. The only things these writings demonstrate is that Christianity really did exist beginning no later than the 1st century.

Comparative history

The argument goes something like "if you discount Jesus, then you have to discount Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, etc.", to which the proper response is "so what?" If we have reason to suspect these men are mythical, then those who have an interest are welcome to investigate that theory.

The big distinction of course is that there is no reason to suspect they are myth. They are not said to have performed miracles, been born of virgins, rose from the dead, etc. They are not said to be god incarnate.

Swoon Theories etc.

The problem with this approach is that they presume there was an actual man Jesus who was not the magic godman of the Bible, but just an ordinary man, and then they try to explain away all the magical aspects.

If you strip away the magical aspects of Jesus, and if you further remove the wisdom teachings that predate the first century, and the stories that closely resemble pre-existing pagan stories, you are left with nothing at all regarding a historical Jesus. If there was a figure intertwined with the Biblical Jesus somehow, nothing whatsoever is known about him.

If you are willing to start from the premise Jesus was less than the godman of the Bible, you really can not claim to know anything at all about him. The prototype for the myth could easily have lived hundreds of years prior to the first century in another part of the world.

Emotional pleas

Can't we have an adult discussion here? Go sit in the corner and read your Bible silently.


The real argument against this theory

The evidence that is the strongest challenge to the jesus-is-pure-myth theory was only briefly alluded to, which is the Essenes and Ebionites.

The Ebionites saw Jesus as an ordinary human being, conceived in the normal way, without miracles, without a sacrificial death, without resurrection. To them, he was an ordinary wise and good man. They held James to be a blood relation to Jesus. This evidence negates the reason for the myth-theory (the magic aspects of Jesus) and also provides a direct claim of the existence of Jesus by someone who would be an eyewitness (James).

The Essenes had a Teacher of Righteousness (TOR) who lived ~150 years BCE. His teachings closely resemble those attributed to Jesus. Of course, this somewhat contradicts the Ebionite claim that James was Jesus brother. James might have been Jesus prodgeny or distant cousin in such a case, but then he is no longer an eyewitness.

Of course if you accept this evidence, you no longer have the Jesus of the Bible, but just an ordinary man. You can't rationally use evidence based on a fundamentally contradictory premise (Jesus as ordinary human) to support the Biblical Jesus. This would be like saying that since we have historical evidence of Saint Nicholas as an ordinary human, therefor Santa flies around on Christmas morning delivering gifts.




posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 09:27 AM
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Did a man called Jesus exist? It is actually flatly impossible for any of us to know with absolute certainty. None of us were there. All we have to support or refute the fact of his existence are the words of other men, fallible men, human men, and as capable of error or impure motives as any of the rest of us are.

I think it’s not if the belief is absolutely factual or not, but what people do with it that truly matters. Some, as we have seen in this very thread, use it to place themselves on a pedestal of self-rightousness and ego, from which they use the name of Jesus to condemn others. Some use his story as an example of how to live a positive life in peace with their fellow humans. Some never hear his name or understand his story but lead good lives regardless, helping others and enriching lives with peace and giving.

I have to wonder who is more correct in the eyes of God (assuming for the sake of argument that there is one), those who profess belief in Jesus but hate, enslave, and destroy in his name, or those who don’t believe in deification of Jesus, but live good lives in the way Jesus is said to have taught, according to the wisdom and grace found in their own hearts and minds, and what can be learned from other imperfect humans like themselves?

Did Jesus exist? I think it’s the wrong question to ask and one that is unanswerable. The more important questions are about how you are living today. Are you spreading love or hate? Is the energy you put forth positive or negative? Are you afraid of death because it’s unknown, letting others control you through that fear, or do you trust that death is just another step on our spiritual evolution and an essential part of life? Is your mind open to the wonder and splendor of the Universe, or closed and locked into a spiritual prison of your own making, turning your back on the Universe, only looking forward to a time when you are compelled to leave it?

These are the important questions, and all are equipped in their own fashion to each find their own answers to them.



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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The only person who claims he was there and mentions Rabbi Yehoshua Bar Joseph in his works is Josephus, besides the NT. Alot of people who were there didn't mention him. I like to think he lived, even if only for the reason that otherwise alot of good folk have been duped. The message is the thing to focus on, period.



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
The only person who claims he was there and mentions Rabbi Yehoshua Bar Joseph in his works is Josephus, besides the NT. Alot of people who were there didn't mention him. I like to think he lived, even if only for the reason that otherwise alot of good folk have been duped. The message is the thing to focus on, period.


EH! Have a look at this:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A bust that is believed to be Flavius Josephus.Josephus (c. 37 – c. 100 AD), who introduced himself as "Joseph, son of Matthias, [a Jew by ethnicity], a priest from Jerusalem"
Notice the date of birth 37 CE, 4 years after the supposed death of Jesus and also there is only a brief mention of Jesus by Josephus which has been quite possibly added after by another author possibly Eusebius.
As I said before why would a pro Roman Jew( Josephus) name Jesus as the messiah when most Jews at the time did not especially Jews that preferred the Roman way of life?


G



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 02:33 PM
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Create a story that accuses the Jews and generates anti-Jewish sentiment, which could solidify control of the area, and a person would likely become quite favoured. I haven't read much on Josephus, but what I have heard is that his tales are very tall indeed, in some cases. He was allegedly a historian who was occasionally careless with the truth.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 09:20 AM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
I haven't read much on Josephus, but what I have heard is that his tales are very tall indeed, in some cases. He was allegedly a historian who was occasionally careless with the truth.


I had never heard this before, so I did a bit of investigation, and you are indeed correct. This is the other side of Josephus that apologists never concern themselves with:


Josephus, "War of the Jews", book VI, chapter 5, paragraph 3
...Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year.
...
and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour.
...
Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night.
...
Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.
...
Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence."


In one paragraph, we have 5 miraculous events reported by Josephus as if they were fact. In an age of gods and magic, should it really be surprising that even historians would be incapable of separating legend from reality?



[edit on 19-12-2005 by spamandham]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 09:41 AM
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Yep, Josephus gets a bad rap sometimes and I think that there are some instances in which he brought it on himself. There are also many scholars who firmly believe that some of his writings were altered in copying to discredit him.

Either way, Josephus is only reliable on certain issues and up to certain points. His "Jewish Wars" writings are considered reasonably accurate and reliable except the parts he wrote about himself.

Like with any and all historical texts, you can't rely upon any single work by any single individual and you have to be very careful when folks try to use the writings of others to verify. For instance, Tacitus and Iannus both quoted Josephus and some people would try to argue that this provides us with 3 sources - nope. One source quoted by other sources is still just one source.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 05:21 PM
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The bottomline is NO ONE knows with 100% certainty if this character Jesus ever set a foot on this planet.

Now, don't get me wrong. There are some messages in the bible, I FEEL, that do have some importance. What I believe is there's a message behind the message but it definitely is not that Jesus was the son of God. It is NOT that simple. How many times has the bible been edited and misrepresented? Words cannot even describe. This is why I think reading the bible through the eyes of Astrology makes a lot more sense when translating these stories.

But again, I'm not sure myself. But that's a good thing. The problem is those who are believers do not listen, do not read, and do not open up their minds to other possiblities of what this universe is all about, what WE are all about.

For all we know we could all be part of a extraterrestrial race. Who knows?


Let's be honest. The world is better off not believing these folklore legends that were either invented by man or exaggerated to fit into an agenda that would cause conflict and control over people for generations to come.


Are you one of those being controlled?


Let truth and love be your only guide and god.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 06:49 PM
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i'm proud to be one of those former sheep that broke off and joined a religion preaching nothing having to do with worship of anything, theravada buddhism.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by eudaimonia
The bottomline is NO ONE knows with 100% certainty if this character Jesus ever set a foot on this planet.


The standard is not 100% certainty, but ordinary certainty. Which is the simpler explanation?

1. Bible Jesus is pure myth/largely myth

2. A magical godman walked the earth teaching pre-existing Essene traditions, mimicking pre-existing magical stories, died and raised himself from the dead playing out pre-existing solar mythological stories, and yet not a single contemporary found such things worthy of being recorded.

3. Jesus was an alien who decided to teach pre-existing Essene tradition and recreate pre-existing magical stories using advanced technological tricks in order to trick the human race into having faith.


Originally posted by eudaimonia
This is why I think reading the bible through the eyes of Astrology makes a lot more sense when translating these stories.


I agree. Some books, such as the birth story in Matthew as well as Revelation are solar mythology grafted to Hellenistic Judaism. The story of Jesus' ministry in the Gospels may well be encoded solar mythology as well, as his ministry plays out the Zodiac over the course of a year. There are hidden clues that suggest this.



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 03:58 AM
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Greetings GrendelsBacon,


Have you ever heard of Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, Mara Bor, or any of the other historians not only documented Christ the PERSON, but his crucifixion.
...
I figured I would list some more historians who document Christ's existence: Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Tertullian, Origen, Dyonisius. Even the Talmud documents the crucifixion of Jesus.


Really?
Have you ever CHECKED these references?
Most of them are NOT historians,
NONE of them were contemporary.

The fact is -
NO contemporary historical evidence exists for Jesus.

The references you cite do not hold up to scrutiny,
here are the facts :


Josephus

Yes,
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, yes,
it COULD just be actual evidence for Jesus - late, corrupt, controversial 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,

Roughly 80 years after the alleged events (and 40 years after the war) 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 millennium, even early Christians who actively sought such passages.)

This evidence speaks AGAINST it being based on any Roman records -
but
merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)
So,
this passage is NOT evidence for Jesus,
it's just evidence for 2nd century Christian stories about Jesus.



Lucian,

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, merely late 2nd century lampooning of Christians.



Mara Bor[sic]

Possibly in mid-late 2nd century Mara Bar-Serapion, wrote: "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."

It is NOT at all clear WHEN this manuscript was written, nor exactly who it is referring too, but there is no evidence it is Jesus.


Clement of Rome,

Late 1st century, Clement the faithful Christian made a few comments about the spiritual risen Christ - nothing about a historical Jesus of Nazareth.

This is NOT historical records of Jesus.


Ignatius,

Early 2nd century the FORGED writings of Ignatius give a few Gospel snippets (without namign a Gospel.)

This is NOT historical records of Jesus.


Tertullian,

A CENTURY and a half later, the Christian Tertullian wrote at length about Christian beliefs.

This is NOT historical records of Jesus.



Origen

A CENTURY and a half later, the Christian Origen wrote at length about Christian beliefs.

This is NOT historical records of Jesus.


Dyonisius.

Who?


the Talmud

Pardon?
You have never checked these have you?

There are vvarious bizarre stories in the Talmud about Jesus, from CENTURIES afterwards, such as :
* Jesus is a bastard (a mamzer) born from Mary's adultery with a Roman soldier,
* Jesus is a child conceived in the "time of separation" (during menstruation),
* Jesus was a evil magician who tried to lead people astray,
* Jesus was stoned to death

Do you think these are historically true?


Frankly, GrendelsBacon,
you never checked that infomation at all,
you just repeated it from some other Christian who got it from some other Christian ...

Those who can be bothered to CHECK THE FACTS, unlike you, might like to read this page which sumarises the early writers and their mention, or lack thereof, of Jesus :

members.iinet.net.au...


Iasion



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 04:07 AM
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Greetings,


Originally posted by just me 2
If He didn't rise from the dead, then why was His body never found?


Because the whole thing was a story.
There was no tomb, no body, no Jesus.


Originally posted by just me 2
Because He rose into Heaven after many people had seen Him after the resurrection.


Many people in the STORIES has a vision of Christ.

Iasion



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 08:16 AM
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Originally posted by eudaimonia
The Bible - The Greatest STORY ever told. Think about that.

But it is also the greatest LIE ever told.


This sounds awfully like the start of the sort of thing Nazi orators are depicted as saying in their anti-semitic rants. In our age there is surely strong competition for this title?



For man who looks up to the skies for salvation is a fool. Look inside yourself. Change your ways and you will change others.


And what is inside myself? Selfishness, rage, spite, hatred... as well as a mix of other emotions. What values are inside me? Whatever were around in my environment -- the values of the society in which I grew up, as modified by my inclinations and the changes during that time in the consensus of those who control the media agenda of our time. I hate whom they tell me to hate. I don't say a word against those whom they tell us it is 'hateful' to detest.

What is the value of all this? Little or nothing. What we need is rational evaluation of all values. In posts of this nature we find nothing but antipathy to others. Little is achieved by this, other than gulags and gas-chambers!



Love is the ultimate truth. And it is the only real thing that can and will turn this planet around to the paradise that once was.


These statements seem empty of meaning. Hitler could have said them.



Most important question: Where's the historical evidence? Even if he did exist, the church probably used him for their own twisted agenda to enslave the minds of many. Having the world believe that the true way to the heavens.


Pejorative language indeed. Anyone can be accused of having a 'twisted agenda'.



By the way, the word church comes from the witch goddess Circe.


Etymologically this sounds deeply unlikely. But this is neither here nor there. Whatever is the writer saying -- that church=Circe? That would be an obvious falsehood. What then? Well, we do not know. Is it much of an argument, when the writer won't even make his argument but expects us to infer it?



Here is the definition of the word "CHURCH" from the FINAL AUTHORITY on word meanings: the Oxford English Dictionary:

"CHURCH: FORMS: (a) cirice, cyrice, chiriche, churiche, chereche, (b) CIRCE, cyrce, chyrce, cirke, etc., etc.,
"The ulterior derivation has been keenly disputed. The L. circus, and a Gothic word kélikn 'tower, upper chamber' (app. originally Gaulish) have both been proposed (the latter suggested by the Alemannic chilihha), but are set aside as untenable; and there is now a general agreement among scholars in referring it to the Greek word, properly kurion adj. 'of the Lord, dominicum, dominical' (f. Kurios lord), which occurs, from the 3rd century at least, used substantively (sc. doma, or the like) = 'house of the Lord', as a name of the Christian house of worship. Of this the earliest cited instances are in the Apostolical Constitutions (II. 59), a 300, the edict of Maximinus (303-13), cited by Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. ix. 10) a 324, the Councils of Ancyra 314 (Canon 15), Neo-Caesarea 314-23 (Can. 5), and Laodicea (Can. 28). Thenceforward it appears to have been in fairly common use in the East: e.g., Constantine named several churches built by him Kuriaka (Eusebius De Laud. Const. xvii),"(Oxford English Dictionary)."


It is good that the writer was honest enough to include this ringing demolition of his argument, although baffling!



The Church is corrupt. It is far from being holy.


It is a depressing comment on human nature that the most corrupt and most unholy churches of our day -- such as the leadership of the Episcopalian Church of the USA, who are actively promoting unnatural vice and actively persecuting Christians and seizing their churches -- are those whom writers who write such criticism tend to endorse. They criticise the church for the unfashionable things, not for the fashionable evils.

I have snipped the remainder out of pity for the writer. It's something we must all consider: if we spend our time 'proving' how stupid our fellow man is, we become narrow, hateful, and indeed dull, boring and foolish. Let us instead get out and pursue our enthusiasms, not our hatreds.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by spamandham
The original poster seems to have gone AWOL, but I think the point made has been misunderstood by all but a few of the responses in this thread.

I see the same old crap arguments over and over.

1. Documentation by historians
Josephus, Tacitus, ...

2. Comparison to other historical figures
Julius Caesar etc...

3. Swoon theories etc.

4. You're a hate filled monster going to hell and other absurd emotional pleas

Why do I call these crap? Because they do not address the theory being proposed.


It is depressing to reflect that a theory can be propounded where evidence from antiquity is apparently not relevant to a discussion of a matter of fact.



The theory is that Jesus is a mythical figure derived from astrotheology. It is a valid proposition based on similarities between Jesus and other ancient mythical figures.

When investigating a theory, the evidence must be examined in terms of "does this fact falsify the theory".


Unfortunately this approach is compromised by the terms in which it is expressed. It amounts to "I assert this -- prove me wrong." Such arguments invariably resolve to a determination to ignore any evidence presented, since if this can be achieved, the proposition is deemed proven.

In reality any thesis must command support from the ancient evidence, and data that is best explained by that thesis rather than any other. It is hard for any theory which has significant evidence against it to pass this test.



Having read through much of what the typically listed historians wrote about Jesus, I have noticed that nothing they wrote is incompatible with the "Jesus as myth" theory.


A truly curious statement. I can only presume it means "no-one actually states that this person was not a myth." A powerful argument indeed, and one that could prove J.R.R.Tolkien a myth.

But why are the plain and simple statements not incompatible? We read:



None of them could possibly have been eyewitnesses as they were all born after the "facts".


Oh dear. The 'reasons to ignore evidence' process begins.

So nothing they say counts, not because they were not well-informed, not because they had infinitely better information than ourselves. No, they can be ignored because of the calendar.

This is a simplification used in modern history, where a plethora of sources is available. In ancient history it is never used, since to do so would dispose of the majority of our evidence about most things.

Nor is a contemporary source necessarily better. In a country without a free press, contemporary sources can mean those censored to agree with the official line. We see this by comparing the account of Tiberius given by Tacitus with that by Velleius Paterculus. A historian will ignore neither.



Comparative history

The argument goes something like "if you discount Jesus, then you have to discount Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, etc.", to which the proper response is "so what?" If we have reason to suspect these men are mythical, then those who have an interest are welcome to investigate that theory.


It is depressing to note that here again investigation is for others.



The big distinction of course is that there is no reason to suspect they are myth. They are not said to have performed miracles, been born of virgins, rose from the dead, etc. They are not said to be god incarnate.


Here we see the introduction of a religious or political bias. The statements made are not in accordance with the views of those who set the media agenda of our time -- the whole source must be ignored. Again the purpose is clear -- to ignore evidence.

We cannot do any objective study of anything in this manner. History must be studied in the same manner for everyone in the period, using the same sources, without prejudice for or against. Let the ancients speak -- and, tho we may be unconsciously affected by their biases, at least we will not be troubled by ours.



Emotional pleas

Can't we have an adult discussion here? Go sit in the corner and read your Bible silently.


It is difficult to disguise one's contempt with a bigoted poster who then patronises his intellectual superiors. I have tried.



The real argument against this theory

The evidence that is the strongest challenge to the jesus-is-pure-myth theory was only briefly alluded to, which is the Essenes and Ebionites.


Very little is known about either. A discussion of the sources in each case would reveal evidence that could be discarded using the above arguments also.



The Ebionites saw Jesus as an ordinary human being...

The Essenes had a Teacher of Righteousness (TOR) who lived ~150 years BCE...



Why either point is relevant is not made clear.

In short, it is impossible to take the 'mythical Jesus' position seriously. The pose of objectivity does not survive two minutes knowledge of human nature and of the impudence of those who post it.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

[edit on 20/12/2005 by roger_pearse]



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion
Because the whole thing was a story.
There was no tomb, no body, no Jesus.


The simplest explanations are summarily rejected by the faithfull. To them, it makes more sense that god incarnate came to earth and no contempraries found that interesting enough to write about, yet decades later suddenly people began to think it was interesting and started writing vague mystical things about Jesus with details that grew over time.

Oh no, that can't possibly be a myth being developed, because Josephus (born after the purported crucifixion) had a tiny later-redacted blurb about Jesus and he was a historian - never mind that he also wrote about flying chariots and other urban legends that supposedly happened in his own adult life.



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by spamandham
The simplest explanations are summarily rejected by the faithfull...[etc]


I've snipped the rest of this century-old and stale-smelling stereotyping. I would merely ask why those who idly repeat such stereotypes invariably refuse to discuss their own conformity to the values and ideas of our day. Intelligent people don't bother with stereotypes, don't just conform to a purely period consensus, think for themselves and follow a philosophy that wasn't invented yesterday.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion
Greetings GrendelsBacon,


Have you ever heard of Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, Mara Bor, or any of the other historians not only documented Christ the PERSON, but his crucifixion.
...
I figured I would list some more historians who document Christ's existence: Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Tertullian, Origen, Dyonisius. Even the Talmud documents the crucifixion of Jesus.


Really?
Have you ever CHECKED these references?


All references should be checked. I do wonder, slightly, at your impudence in criticising others for what you consistently fail to do yourself.



Most of them are NOT historians,
NONE of them were contemporary.


I am unclear why we must exclude, as evidence of events, everyone unless they were contemporary and a professional historian. In antiquity we never ignore evidence purely because of the calendar!



NO contemporary historical evidence exists for Jesus.


Quite why you ignore those who knew him you do not say.



The references you cite do not hold up to scrutiny,


Few facts cannot be ignored by those determined to do so. What we never see from such people is evidence for their own position. They demand their position to be taken as a default. I do hope that this is not the thrust of what follows.



Josephus

Yes, 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"),


This is a strawman argument, since no-one supposes Josephus in that phrase is asserting that Jesus was the Messiah; rather he is identifying him to his Roman audience.

The assertion that Josephus refused to call anyone messiah is interesting, but sadly unreferenced.



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


The point of this is unclear. The Greek text is homogeneous.



* 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.


It is unclear why Origen *must* mention the TF. He does mention the other phrase in Josephus which refers to Christ. The second point involves several layers of speculation.



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


An interesting but again unreferenced claim. Please document any manuscripts that did not contain the TF.



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


Why -- reference? I should add that I find from Alice Whealey, "Josephus on Jesus" (2003) which is a study of the historiography, that even in the period when the TF was universally rejected, ca. 1900, the short passage was almost universally accepted. Today it is even more so.



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


Amateur websites don't show much.



In short - this passage is possibly a total forgery (or at best a corrupt form of a lost original.)
But, yes,
it COULD just be actual evidence for Jesus - late, corrupt, controversial 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.


Strawman.



Tacitus,

Roughly 80 years after the alleged events (and 40 years after the war) Tacitus allegedly wrote a (now) famous passage about "Christ" - this passage has several problems however:


Name any Tacitus scholar who holds this view.



* Tacitus uses the term "procurator", used in his later times, but not correct for the actual period, when "prefect" was used.


It is not absolutely certain that procurator was not used. But since A.N.Sherwin-White in his paper on imperial procurators dismisses it as merely giving the modern name for a title which has changed, why should we worry?



* 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.)


Why? Support this from the ancient sources? Every Roman reference to Jesus is to Christ.



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


??? 'Accepts'??? In what sense?



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


Reference? Who specifically 'actively sought' such passages? Does every passage in ancient literature not mentioned in the Dark Ages fall under the same objection? Do we take our copy of Tacitus and tear out every leaf which fails this test? Not much will survive!

This is obscurantism, pure and simple.



This evidence speaks AGAINST it being based on any Roman records -
but merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)


No evidence is offered for this speculation.



So, this passage is NOT evidence for Jesus,
it's just evidence for 2nd century Christian stories about Jesus.


Or for this. What this is, is definite evidence that we are in the realm of religious polemic rather than reason. Sensible people do not try to find excuses to dispose of evidence.



Lucian,

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, merely late 2nd century lampooning of Christians.


It seems like perfectly good evidence for an obscure figure to me. Why not?



Mara Bor[sic]

Possibly in mid-late 2nd century Mara Bar-Serapion, wrote: ...

It is NOT at all clear WHEN this manuscript was written, nor exactly who it is referring too, but there is no evidence it is Jesus.


Even if it referred to Jesus explicitly, on the evidence of this post it would still be ignored. This is why this argument is so worthless. It is certainly a reference to Jesus, but the date of the text is uncertain and some (real) scholars think it is a 4th century text.



...Clement the faithful Christian made a few comments about the spiritual risen Christ - nothing about a historical Jesus of Nazareth.

This is NOT historical records of Jesus.


Why not? Since no-one knows of this 'spiritual risen Christ', we are entitled to dismiss this as a strawman also.



Ignatius,

Early 2nd century the FORGED writings of Ignatius give a few Gospel snippets (without namign a Gospel.)

This is NOT historical records of Jesus.


Quite why the epistles of Ignatius are supposedly forged, it would be idle to ask.



Tertullian,
A CENTURY and a half later, the Christian Tertullian wrote at length about Christian beliefs.
This is NOT historical records of Jesus.


In view of the explicit reference to Christ by Tertullian, it is hard to see why this is dismissed. What is not present in Tertullian is any reference to this supposed 'spiritual Christ.' But then Iasion hasn't read Tertullian.



Origen

A CENTURY and a half later, the Christian Origen wrote at length about Christian beliefs.

This is NOT historical records of Jesus.


Dalek-like repetition of an excuse is a poor substitute for reason.



the Talmud

Pardon?
You have never checked these have you?


I think you should apologise, in view of the number of unchecked and unreferenced statements you have posted over the years.



There are vvarious bizarre stories in the Talmud about Jesus, from CENTURIES afterwards...


The most obvious point, regardless of the date, is the lack of mention of this 'spiritual Jesus'. This is because this falsehood was only invented around 1700.



Frankly, GrendelsBacon,
you never checked that infomation at all,
you just repeated it from some other Christian who got it from some other Christian ...


No doubt he did so repeat it. But YOU of all people, cannot complain.



Those who can be bothered to CHECK THE FACTS,


A group which does not include yourself...



(sneer snipped) might like to read this page which sumarises the early writers and their mention, or lack thereof, of Jesus :

members.iinet.net.au...


Only if they like fairy tales, written by the writer of this post in defence of a religious position which he can't even discuss.

Reject obscurantism. Think, reason, and work from the evidence.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
The only person who claims he was there and mentions Rabbi Yehoshua Bar Joseph in his works is Josephus, besides the NT. Alot of people who were there didn't mention him. I like to think he lived, even if only for the reason that otherwise alot of good folk have been duped. The message is the thing to focus on, period.


Actually, Josephus doesn't. His is "heresay" testimony... "I heard from someone who heard from someone who said...."



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by roger_pearse
Intelligent people don't bother with stereotypes,


Think about what you typed roger.

(btw, thanks for the new sig line!)



[edit on 20-12-2005 by spamandham]



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 05:55 PM
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isn't the real devate here more fueled by christianity and possible conspiracies to gain power?

shouldn't this be moved to the conspiracies in religion forum?



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