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Did Jesus Exist -- The Probing Mind

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posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 11:52 AM
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kinglizard, the stuff that you said was put into the wicker basket is what is attacked in the article...
and you have to exclude revelations, it's nothing about history

and i can't copy the citiations into this thread, so go to the original source for them




posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 12:46 PM
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Been there, done that...



posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by NowAmFound
Been there, done that...


so you've actually refuted every one of the points in that entire article?
if you have, i doubt it's been on ATS, because you haven't exactly been here long enough to do so for every possible argument against the existence of jesus

did you bother reading the excerpts i brought into the thread?

found, you've repeatedly said that the burden of proof is on me as a non-believer
i bring up evidence and you outright ignore at make a post that brings NOTHING to the discussion

[edit on 12/19/06 by madnessinmysoul]



posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 03:31 PM
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Madness:

My friend, please stop. Everything you've just said is a lie. You haven't presented any evidence. I, on the contrary, have presented a myriad of information and sources which defend my position. I also read the information you presented and have replied to it on various levels. I've explained to you the issue with burden of proof but you continue to act as if you don't understand, or really don't want to accept it.

If anyone has not added to an intelligent discussion on this matter, it has been you.


Here's more info. you probably won't read:

(I urge everyone else to. I know the Christians will definately enjoy it.)

www.thenazareneway.com...



posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 04:16 PM
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Madnessinmysoul the mistake you are making is that you are expecting a constructive (for a lack of a better term ) debate from people who let there "faith" override logic reasoning and facts.



posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 04:18 PM
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NowAmFound, did you not read the original post and the other posts on the 1st page quoting an 17ish page article?

read what i've brought up before saying i've brought no evidence forth



posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by xpert11
Madnessinmysoul the mistake you are making is that you are expecting a constructive (for a lack of a better term ) debate from people who let there "faith" override logic reasoning and facts.


That’s not the problem. To be perfectly honest here this member is presenting a 17 page document that was produced by a team of probably very scholarly people that want to prove the bible is false.

Now I’m just a simple follower of Christ that doesn’t have a “team” behind me and he expects me to start refuting this very complicated document….It’s absurd and not a very reasonable request.

How about this?

I go find a Catholic seminary that has produced a 20 page document from a team of leading theological scholars and prominent clergy and you try to refute their claims.

Does that sound reasonable to you?




And if you can't understand that then it's YOU that isn't using logic and reasoning.





[edit on 12/19/2006 by kinglizard]



posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 05:47 PM
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kinglizard, i did, however, pull out excerpts from the article to begin discussion
i was hoping to keep pulling out more and more as this thread kept going on and gaining momentum

it's not like i'm asking you to tackle the entire article at once

so, why hasn't anyone adressed what i've directly quoted from the article?



posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 05:56 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
so, why hasn't anyone adressed what i've directly quoted from the article?


OK here is your quote:


The notion that the four "gospels that made the cut" to be included in the official New Testament were written by men named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John does not go back to early Christian times. The titles "According to Matthew," etc., were not added until late in the second century. Thus, although Papias ca. 140 CE ('Common Era') knows all the gospels but has only heard of Matthew and Mark, Justin Martyr (ca. 150 CE) knows of none of the four supposed authors. It is only in 180 CE, with Irenæus of Lyons, that we learn who wrote the four "canonical" gospels and discover that there are exactly four of them because there are four quarters of the earth and four universal winds. Thus, unless one supposes the argument of Irenæus to be other than ridiculous, we come to the conclusion that the gospels are of unknown origin and authorship, and there is no good reason to suppose they are eye-witness accounts of a man named Jesus of Nazareth. At a minimum, this forces us to examine the gospels to see if their contents are even compatible with the notion that they were written by eye-witnesses. We cannot even assume that each of the gospels had but one author or redactor.


Please provide supporting evidence for all of THEIR claims in this one paragraph and every paragraph that you are asking others to do the same. Not just people that say the same thing but scientific evidence that supports time frames, dates, people, places and anything els that is mentioned. This is your exercise so I would expect that you would be willing to do the same thing you are asking other people to do. I mean to refute any of this stuff a person would need to do the same right?



posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
it's not like i'm asking you to tackle the entire article at once


btw- I will go find that document produced by a Roman Catholic seminary from a team of leading theological scholars and prominent clergy and you can refute their claims one paragraph at a time.

it's not like I would ask you to tackle the entire article at once


EDIT: I'm having trouble finding a document from a seminary but you wouldn't believe what the Vatican has online. I'm going through it now.


[edit on 12/19/2006 by kinglizard]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 04:38 AM
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Originally posted by kinglizard
That’s not the problem. To be perfectly honest here this member is presenting a 17 page document that was produced by a team of probably very scholarly people that want to prove the bible is false.


Well it wouldn't be a good idea to say that the Bible is entirely true or false buts thats another topic.




I go find a Catholic seminary that has produced a 20 page document from a team of leading theological scholars and prominent clergy and you try to refute their claims.


I cant seem to find a link to this document on this thread.
Is it the article NowAmFound posted a link to ?



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 12:35 PM
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madness:

maybe i missed it? the atheist article with no info. on geographical errors was the one i saw? sort of like asking a nazi if the holocaust really happened?



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by NowAmFound
maybe i missed it? the atheist article with no info. on geographical errors was the one i saw? sort of like asking a nazi if the holocaust really happened?


How do the accounts of Jesus retain any creditability if they are geographically wrong ?
If the accounts had come from 500 years later I would be inclined to put the errors down to poor or incorrect maps.
You cant compare Holocaust deniers to people who make geographically errors.



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 09:05 PM
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The article attempts to dispute the authenticity of scripture...I addressed that in one of those massive threads a while back, and I think you had read it, Madness, though I'm not 100%.

In his book "Why I Am Not A Christian", Bertrand Russell states,


Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him.


Russell, it seems, has either turned a blind eye to the extra-biblical information (information outside of the Bible that speaks of Jesus), or he also doesn't believe Queen Elizabeth, Alexander the Great, Ramses the Great, Cleopatra nor Agustus Caesar ever existed or, if they did, that we know nothing about them. Kind of an audacious claim...Let's see what information is out there that talks of Christ.

Cornelius Tacitus was a Roman historian who was typically seen as the greatest historian of ancient Rome, according to Gary Habermas in The Verdict of History. Tacitus wrote two histories, one called The Annals that talks about the time from Augustus's death, 14 AD, to the death of Nero in 68 AD. The other book, The Histories, follow from 68 to 96 AD. In the Annals, he writes,


But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus [common pagan misspelling of Christ], the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also.


So in a rather unflattering manner, Tacitus notes that Jesus did exist, and had been put to death by Pilate. Norman Anderson even suspects that this passage alludes to Jesus's resurrection, when it notes that the superstition was checked for a moment before again breaking out.

Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist who lived in the latter half of the second century, spoke rather sarcastically of Christ and Christians in his The Death of Peregrine, never doubting Christ's existence, but rather mocking Christians for their worship of Him.


The Christians, you know, worship a man who to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account... You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.


Then there's Suetonius, yet another Roman historian under Hadrian. He stated in his Life of Claudius,


As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome.


This event was described in Acts 18:2:


There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,


I expect you've heard of Pliny the Younger, a familiar name to any who have seriously researched Christ in secular and anti-Christian accounts. He was the governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor around 112. He was writing a letter to the emperor Trajan to find how to treat the Christians, noting he'd been killing them left and right, male and female, adult and child, but so many were being put to death he wondered if he should stop killing them all and instead only kill certain ones. He went on to write of their crime:


They affirmed, however, that the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to do any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falisfy their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it us.


This was a mere 80 years after Christ's crucifixion. There may have still been some first hand accounts of what took place on that hill several years ago, and many who had heard of it from first hand accounts. The fact that Christianity had spread to Asia Minor alread validates Paul's travels, among others. Were they telling of this when people who had witnessed the crucifixion were around, such as when Paul took the gospel to Asia Minor, people would have stepped in and denied Christ's existence, or at least said it happened a different way.

What about earlier, though? Around the time of Christ's death, during the period spoken of in the book of Acts. It would be foolish to think that a carpenter would be spoken of in any histories during his life, or even an influential rabbi who had only been preaching for 3 years, but what about after? Thallus is one of the first secular historians who mentions Christ, around 52 AD. His writing has been quoted by others, but, sadly, does not still exist today. One such individual who quotes him is Julius Africanus. He quotes a passage in Thallus' work that talks about the darkness enveloping the land in the late afternoon when Jesus died on the cross. Africanus writes in his Chronography,


Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away this darkness as an eclipse of the sun--unreasonably, as it seems to me (unreasonably, of course, because a solar eclipse could not take place at the time of the full moon, and it was at the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died).


And already in 70 AD, philosophers were trying to call Jesus a philosopher instead of who He claimed to be during His life. Mara Bar-Serapion, a Syrian philosopher wrote his son from prison,


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 that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: The Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good; He lived on in the teaching which He had given.


So to say there is no extra-Biblical source showing Christ ever existed is to turn a blind eye to all of history and essentially claim nothing existed before your memory. These were the secular, pagan writers speaking of Christ. I didn't even mention Josephus, nor any of the other Jewish or Christians who wrote about Him extra-Biblically. That will be for another time when I have more time



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 11:21 PM
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JJ, hold that thought
i'm going to come up with a long, thoughtful response to your post, because i honestly respect that you are actually talking about the article

but, right now with the hectics of the holiday season, i'm pressed for time and cannot come up with a long argument



posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 12:21 PM
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All I want to say is, Great post JungleJake!



posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 01:48 PM
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jesus did not exsist if he did he would be the bigest sinner in the world



posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 07:18 PM
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A remarkable phenomenon I’ve seen when discussing the existence of Christ is that Christian sources are not allowed to weigh in because they’re biased. Let’s apply this mentality to another ongoing debate that I’m sure many here are familiar with, evolution. If we were to hold the evolutionary debate to the same standard, that would mean that as soon as you come to accept evolution as being true, the only opinions and information you have that would be considered valid to the debate would be in regards to supporting creationism, because you’re biased towards evolution.

I summarily dismiss this attempt to discredit valid opinion and information simply because the individuals believe what they are saying is true, so in this part, we’re going to explore some Christians that supported the existence of Christ.

First, there’s the big one. Emperor Nero became Caesar in 54 AD, and lasted 14 years, to 68 AD. It is widely accepted that, assuming He existed, Christ died around 33 or 34 AD. It was probably in 64 AD, after the great fire in Rome, that Nero began his passionate persecution of Christians. This is 30 years after Christ’s death; you have living eye witnesses who could corroborate Christ’s existence, as well as the accuracy of what Christians believed. Yet, by the droves, Christians were willing to be killed in the name of Christ. If Christ were a myth, those sources in my previous post would be mocking Christians not for the superstition that Christ rose up from the grave, but rather that they believed He ever existed. Yet these people, including 10 of His 12 disciples, were willing to die for Him. Would you die for a lie? Would you be able to get 10 people to die for a lie, none of which would say anything to the Roman authorities after being tortured? If Christ’s existence was a lie, those who were spreading the lie were so committed to it that they were willing to be tortured and killed for it without every detracting it. As Josh McDowell puts it,


These early Christians had nothing to gain and everything to lose for their testimony that these things had actually happened. For this reason, their accounts are highly significant historical sources.


There were many extra-biblical sources of a Christian nature that spoke of Christ. For example, Clement of Rome, a bishop of the church in Rome near the end of the first century wrote a letter called Corinthians (not the Biblical letters Paul wrote) trying to settle a dispute. In the letter, he said,


The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order. Having therefore receivevd a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come. So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their first-fruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons unto them that should believe.


So about 60 years after the fact, Clement believed Christ to be an historical figure.

There is also an individual who was the bishop of Antioch named Ignatius. He was condemned, and on his way to be executed in Rome when he wrote 7 letters. In his letter titled Trallians, he wrote,


Jesus Christ who was of the race of David, who was the Son of Mary, who was truly born and ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of those in heaven and on earth and those under the earth; who moreover was truly raised from the dead, His Father having raised Him, who in the like fashion will so raise us also who believe in Him.”


In his letter titled Smyrneans, he wrote,


He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, but Son of God by the Divine will and power, truly born of a virgin and baptized by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch (of which fruit are we – that is, of His most blessed passion); that He might set up an ensign unto all ages through His resurrection.


Then, in the letter titled “Magnesians”, he said,


Be ye fully persuaded concerning the birth and the passion and the resurrection, which took place in the time of the governorship of Pontius Pilate; for these things were truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ our hope


This man, on his way to be killed for his belief in Christ (though, like that scene in Braveheart, escaping this fate was simple – just deny Christ), professed with his last words Christ’s existence. He is thought to be a disciple of Peter, Paul and John, so his account is most likely second hand, if not first.

Another church bishop, this one of Athens, Quadratus was one of the first apologists and a disciple of the apostles. Eusebius, a church historian, preserved the only remaining lines of Quadratus’s defense of the faith to Hadrian, the emperor of Rome in 125AD. He said, as quoted by Eusebius,


The deeds of our Savior were always before you, for they were true miracles; those that were healed, those that were raised from the dead, who were seen, not only when healed and when raised, but were always present. They remained living a long time, not only whilst our Lord was on Earth, but likewise when he had left the Earth. So that some of them have also lived to our own times.


Here he just stated that not only those who were healed and risen were, in fact, healed or risen, but that many of them were still alive in 125 AD, able to give account of what they experienced. You do not say that unless it can be backed up! That was a challenge, and one I’m sure the emperor, just as many had done before, took him up on it and questioned those who claimed some kind of healing from Christ.

There are, of course, others, including Justin Martyr, Hegesippus, and Aristides, but this gives you an idea. We have those who care little, if at all, about Christ’s existence verifying it in my previous post, and now we have those who have staked their entire lives on Him verifying His existence. Next time, I’ll get into those who had a motive to cover up and destroy any belief in Christ due to it shattering their religion. Next time, we’ll talk about Jewish references to Christ from around Christ’s time.


[edit on 1/4/07/04 by junglejake]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by junglejake
A remarkable phenomenon I’ve seen when discussing the existence of Christ is that Christian sources are not allowed to weigh in because they’re biased. Let’s apply this mentality to another ongoing debate that I’m sure many here are familiar with, evolution. If we were to hold the evolutionary debate to the same standard, that would mean that as soon as you come to accept evolution as being true, the only opinions and information you have that would be considered valid to the debate would be in regards to supporting creationism, because you’re biased towards evolution.


There is quite a difference between history and science. There are no test-tubes in which these writings can be placed to produce an objective measurement of their claims, no statistics to be applied. Just opinion on long dead writers writing long after the time.

Christians can bring forth their biblical YECism anytime they like, it is destroyed every time by real-world evidence without any reference to evolutionary theory.



[edit on 5-1-2007 by melatonin]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 11:09 AM
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Great debate. Outstanding posts junglejim.

I was just about to mention Josephus on Jesus, but you mentioned him. You got all the bases covered. No doubt... there is tangency between the Biblical and non-Biblical documentary evidence that Jesus existed as a true historical figure. Secular facts are great resources too because we never would have known the fate of Jesus' half-brother, James the Just. Josephus gives us the details of his being stoned to death.

I like your point about all those who were willing to die for Jesus. I suspect the rebuttal will be that many fought and died for "mythical" beings like Zeus.

As you know, the New Testament is filled with authentic geographical locations, and other genuine personalities that most don't seem to dispute such as Roman emperors, Roman governors and local rulers. The scientific evidence within archaeology could be another thread onto itself.



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