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Researching the historical jesus?

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posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 05:52 PM
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Does anyone know if there is any way to research wheather jesus actually existed or not? Does anyone know if there was any archeolical finds that show that he could have existed? Any new discoveries? I'm not a jesus freak, i'm just interested in learning that a man could be able to do some of things that he did? thanks!




posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 06:04 PM
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Hi,

Try this site. You may find it helpful.

www.westarkchurchofchrist.org...

It has references to Jesus that are not from the Bible.

Eric



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 06:49 PM
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No physical evidence that Jesus ever existed. The bible is plagerization, stories stolen from other sacred texts and belief systems written to fit the times and control the people. All texts in the bible were written well after the death of the supposed Jesus and his deciples. No historical evidence during the time of Jesus are recorded, no record of his execution by Pontius Pilate, no historical writings by theologians during that time, no paintings, coins, artifacts for any in the family..NOTHING.
One might ask to prove that there was a William Shakespeare or Alexander the Great, but you can definitely prove these figures existed. There is physical and historical evidence.

The first part of the movie "Zeitgeist the Movie" has a great theory as to where the idea of Jesus and all religions came from. It makes perfect sense.

www.zeitgeistmovie.com...



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 11:59 PM
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Originally posted by tator3
No physical evidence that Jesus ever existed. The bible is plagerization, stories stolen from other sacred texts and belief systems written to fit the times and control the people. All texts in the bible were written well after the death of the supposed Jesus and his deciples. No historical evidence during the time of Jesus are recorded, no record of his execution by Pontius Pilate, no historical writings by theologians during that time, no paintings, coins, artifacts for any in the family..NOTHING.
One might ask to prove that there was a William Shakespeare or Alexander the Great, but you can definitely prove these figures existed. There is physical and historical evidence.

The first part of the movie "Zeitgeist the Movie" has a great theory as to where the idea of Jesus and all religions came from. It makes perfect sense.

www.zeitgeistmovie.com...


It is obvious that you have done zero research o the life of Christ!
The Christian church is physical proof of Christ's existance. How much more physical proof do you need.

The Bible was actually written by men of God as they were instructed by the Holy Spirit

I think you need to read some of the dead sea scrolls and Flavious Josephus and you will find that you will find that most books in the New Testament were written prior to 70 AD and the Diaspora. Also, Foxes Book of Martyrs chronicals the deaths of every one Christs desciples. They all chise death rather than recant their belief in the diety of Christ. Certainly he had some sort of profound effect on them all.

Neither Shakespear nor Alexander the great had as much impact on people today as Jesus had.

The real reason for peoples hatred of Religion and the denial of Christ is due to the fact that Satan has been trying to undermind God's creation from the time of his fall and the creation of this Earth. He also found a willing and nieve' helper in man.

You don't have to use so much energy to prove your hate of Christ and everything God. You don't have to admit his existance at all, therefore you have no need to obey his commandments or change your lifestyle.

Jesus loves each one of us as though we were his own child! My wish is that you would research his life more carefully and quit believing every word that is written which tries to disprove his existence.

NO man that has ever lived has impacted this world more than Jesus! That should be all you need to know to realise that he did in fact exist!



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by malakiem
Does anyone know if there is any way to research wheather jesus actually existed or not? Does anyone know if there was any archeolical finds that show that he could have existed? Any new discoveries? I'm not a jesus freak, i'm just interested in learning that a man could be able to do some of things that he did? thanks!


It's a bit of an absurd allegation by some ill-informed and heavily propagandized wholesale stubbornly narrowly biased etc. folks . . . to assert that He did not exist.

But you can check out

JOSH MCDOWELL'S

NEW EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT.

Also, his MORE THAN A CARPENTER is good though with less in-depth refs.

Josh was the son of an Alcoholic Roman Catholic who beat Josh's mother all Josh's growing up. Josh would as a young fellow take to drawing his drunken dad to beating Josh up to spare his mother such extreme pains.

Consequently, Josh grew up fiercely atheistic. And would debate Christians in college.

He was studying to prove The Bible a worthless bunch of myths etc. as grounds for more hostility toward Christianity etc.

Trouble was, he had a lot of integrity as a researcher--in addition to being quite thorough.

Until one day, Holy Spirit grabbed him firmly and taught him some unexpected insights in the process . . . because of all the undeniable evidence.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 07:54 AM
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Originally posted by EricD
Hi,

Try this site. You may find it helpful.

www.westarkchurchofchrist.org...

It has references to Jesus that are not from the Bible.

Eric


Tacitus doesn't reference "jesus" he references "christus"
"christus" is a title, not a name.

Josephus has been found to be a forgery

Tranquillas only mentions CHRISTIANS, not jesus

it even mentions theActs of Pontius Pilate... which nobody has been able to really verify...

and none of the sources come from before 55 CE



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 12:57 PM
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Madnessinmysoul is correct:


Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Tacitus doesn't reference "jesus" he references "christus"
"christus" is a title, not a name.

...and he's just reporting what he's been told by other sources, some 50 or so years after the presumed death of Jesus.


Josephus has been found to be a forgery

Correct. And the mention of "Chrestus" in Josephus isn't consistant with Jesus (the comment indicates that Chrestus was inciting the Christians (not Jews) to riots and other acts... in Rome, not Israel.
skeptically.org...


Tranquillas only mentions CHRISTIANS, not jesus

it even mentions theActs of Pontius Pilate... which nobody has been able to really verify...

Actually, that's a forgery.


and none of the sources come from before 55 CE

Exactly.

Several things mentioned in the Bible about Jesus' life are demonstratably false:
Herod never enacted a census (Quirnius did, but only for Judaea)
There was no slaughter of infant boys (there are no graveyards full of male toddlers and babies and no Jewish tradition records this slaughter... and believe me, they would have revolted against Rome and the records of this would be very prominent.)
...and so forth:
home.freeuk.net...

Now, to balance things out: the early Christians (300 AD to 500 AD) apparently destroyed sources with negative information about Jesus, which means they MAY have destroyed documents that called him a 'mad prophet' or a 'deranged homelsess street preacher'.

Where would you find such things? There could be (but haven't been reported) references to the negative reports in old letters (Roman, Greece, Israel circa 0 AD to 50 AD) or manuscripts. The best place to look for those is in the trash heaps of the large cities of the time.

The site mentioned above has a much better review of the historical documents than are found on most church websites. Even though the author takes the position that Jesus was not a real person, the texts he mentions are worth a look -- and you can find copies of them to confirm what the author is saying :
home.freeuk.net...

For the skeptics, the above page provides some very strong evidence of "who knew what and when did they know it."



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 09:45 AM
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byrd, the truely super mod to the rescue. i tried my best to deal with the sources, i guess i need to read up more.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 11:02 AM
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Bird,
FreeUK (whatever it is)
quoted some pretty ridiculous stuff ie...




Protestant churchgoers were displeased to see how many converted Jews went to church and demanded that they should not have to take the eucharist next to these Jews, whom they wanted banned from the services'.
Prof. R. Gellately, Backing Hitler (OUP, 2001), pp.14,105,131


Protestants do not take the eucharist.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by Clearskies
Protestants do not take the eucharist.


incorrect, certain protestant sects do perform a eucharistic ritual. they eat regular bread and drink grape juice.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

Originally posted by Clearskies
Protestants do not take the eucharist.


incorrect, certain protestant sects do perform a eucharistic ritual. they eat regular bread and drink grape juice.


Actually, I find the paucity of solid accurate historical info on this thread to be appauling.

Of course the chronic, reflexive, knee-jerk derisiveness is in full flower as usual.

I doubt the solid thinking Christians will bother much with offering the tons of proof otherwise on such a stacked-deck thread . . . Oh, wait, the whole site is an enormously stacked deck of chronic derision against authentic Christianity. Silly me. What a brain blip to think otherwise.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 07:51 AM
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Originally posted by BO XIAN
Actually, I find the paucity of solid accurate historical info on this thread to be appauling.


example?



Of course the chronic, reflexive, knee-jerk derisiveness is in full flower as usual.


stop pointing fingers until you have something to point them at



I doubt the solid thinking Christians will bother much with offering the tons of proof otherwise on such a stacked-deck thread . . . Oh, wait, the whole site is an enormously stacked deck of chronic derision against authentic Christianity. Silly me. What a brain blip to think otherwise.


poor christians, they're being oppressed...
come on, give me a brake. exactly how many mods on ATS are atheists? now how many are christians?



posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 10:37 PM
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You can locate a critical review of Part I of "Zeitgeist" here:

www.preventingtruthdecay.org...



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by Clearskies
Protestant churchgoers were displeased to see how many converted Jews went to church and demanded that they should not have to take the eucharist next to these Jews, whom they wanted banned from the services'.
Prof. R. Gellately, Backing Hitler (OUP, 2001), pp.14,105,131


Protestants do not take the eucharist.

In fact, they do:
en.wikipedia.org...

The practices held in the churches today are not the same ones practiced back in the 1960's and earlier (when social revolutions caused changes in church policies and practices (preachers today sound like they're praying to a Cosmic Valley Girl... much different than the style of prayers I heard as a child.)

The ceremony varied according to sect... sometimes you had the wine passed to you and sometimes you went to the minister for the bread and wine. In some groups it was monthly, in some groups it was done only during Easter and other high holidays.

Your church and others you've been to may have dropped the ceremony in the past 40 years or so, but historically it was a practice that was kept along with other elements of Catholocism when the Protestants split from the Catholic church.



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by Byrd

Protestants do not take the eucharist.

In fact, they do:
en.wikipedia.org...

The practices held in the churches today are not the same ones practiced back in the 1960's and earlier (when social revolutions caused changes in church policies and practices (preachers today sound like they're praying to a Cosmic Valley Girl... much different than the style of prayers I heard as a child.)
I agree with you on some of the money oriented churches who act like spoiled children(or thieves)
but, the Eucharist is a sacramental ceremony, whereby the priest
transubstantiates the wafer into the actual embodiment of christ.
Unlike the protestant churches which take communion symbolically in "Remembrance" of christ until he comes.
thousands of christians were killed (burned, tortured) by the roman church for not believing in transubstantiation.
Some Presbyterian churches or other may hold to the eucharist, but it isn't biblical.
It is much like the legend(?) of marriage ceremonies of the israelites, whereby the bride-to-be would remember her betrothed while he was away, arranging the home for them.I have not studied that too much.


Your church and others you've been to may have dropped the ceremony in the past 40 years or so, but historically it was a practice that was kept along with other elements of Catholocism when the Protestants split from the Catholic church.


Our church still practises communion every once in awhile, no specific holidays or anything, just whenever the preacher announces it.
You can even do it alone away from church, just you and the lord...



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 05:17 PM
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Originally posted by malakiem
Does anyone know if there is any way to research wheather jesus actually existed or not?


Indeed - by carefully studying the evidence for his existence.

Many writers and scholars have attempted this - here is a handy summary of the various theories of what Jesus really was :
www.earlychristianwritings.com...

What is notable is that there are SO many different theories.

And so few facts.

I also was interested in the evidence for Jesus, so I went and carefully checked it myself - I was shocked to see that there is NO contemporary historical evidence for Jesus at all !

Here is the results of my analysis :


JOSEPHUS (c.96CE)

The famous Testamonium Flavianum (the T.F.) in the Antiquities of the Jews 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 devout Jew Josephus (who remained a Jew and refused to call anyone "messiah" in his book which was partly about how false messiahs kept leading Israel astray.),
* The T.F. was not mentioned by any of the early Church fathers who reviewed Josephus.
* Origen even says Josephus does NOT call Jesus the Messiah, showing the passage was not present c.200CE.
* 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 refers to Jesus, son of Damneus. The phrase "so-called Christ" may have been a later addition by a Christian who also mis-understood which Jesus was refered to.

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.


TACITUS (c.112CE)

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.)
* This passage is paraphrased by Sulpicius Severus in the 5th century without attributing it to Tacitus, and may have been inserted back into Tacitus from this work.

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.


PLINY the Younger (c.112CE)

About 80 years after the alleged events, (and over 40 years after the war) Pliny referred 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.
www.earlychristianwritings.com...


SUETONIUS (c.115CE)

Roughly 80-90 years after the alleged Gospel events, (about 75 years after the war) Suetonius refers to a "Chrestus" who stirred the Jews to trouble in Rome during Claudius' time, but:
* this "Chrestus" is a Greek name (from "useful"), 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.
So,
this passage is not evidence for Jesus,
it's nothing to do with Jesus,
it's evidence for Christians grasping at straws.
www.earlychristianwritings.com...



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 is no evidence for Jesus himself,
at BEST it is 2nd century evidence to a few beliefs about Jesus.
www.earlychristianwritings.com...

...



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 05:19 PM
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...


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 much later.
So,
Quadratus is uncertain evidence from about a century later.
www.earlychristianwritings.com...


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 referred to a known eclipse, but that LATER Christians MIS-interpreted his comment to mean their darkness. (Also note the supposed reference to Thallus in Eusebius is a false reading.)

Richard Carrier the historian has a good page on Thallus:
www.infidels.org...

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


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 actually said anything about Gospel events, he was merely talking about an eclipse (they DO happen) which LATER Christians argued was the "darkness" in their stories.
So,
Phlegon is no evidence for Jesus at all -
merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.


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.
www.earlychristianwritings.com...


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.
www.earlychristianwritings.com...


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, merely late 2nd century lampooning of Christians.


GALEN (late 2nd C.)

Late 2nd century, Galen makes a few references to Christians, and briefly to Christ.
This is far too late to be evidence for Jesus.


NUMENIUS (2nd C.?)

In the 3rd century, Origen claimed Numenius "quotes also a narrative regarding Jesus--without, however, mentioning His name" - i.e. Numenius mentioned a story but said nothing about Jesus, but by Origen's time it had become attached to Jesus' name.
This not any evidence for Jesus, it's just later wishful thinking.


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 highly variant, have many cryptic names for Jesus, and very different to the Gospel stories (e.g. one story has "Jesus" born about 100BC.)
So,
the Talmud contains NO evidence for Jesus,
the Talmud merely has much later Jewish responses to the Gospel stories.



MARA BAR SERAPION (date unknown)

A fragment which includes -
"... 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 WHEN this manuscript was written, nor exactly who it is referring too, but there is no evidence it is Jesus.



In short,
* there are no Roman recods of Jesus,
* there is no contemporary evidence for Jesus,
* the claimed evidence is very weak - late, forged, suspect or not about Jesus at all.
* the T.F. is probably the best "evidence", but it is at best corrupt, at worst forged.



Iasion



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Tacitus doesn't reference "jesus" he references "christus"
"christus" is a title, not a name.


Very good, now, what is the title "christus" for?



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by malakiem
Does anyone know if there was any archeolical finds that show that he could have existed?


Hang on !
COULD HAVE?
James Bond COULD HAVE existed.
So could many fictional figures.

But
the issue is whether Jesus DID exist :

There is NO contemporary archeological evidence for Jesus or the Gospel events.

There is NO contemporary evidence for Jesus of ANY kind.

Furthermore, according to modern NT scholars (e.g. Brown, Ehrman, Fitzmyer) -

NOT ONE of the NT books was written by anyone who met any Jesus.


Iasion



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
poor christians, they're being oppressed...


What was the point of this statement? And, do you honestly believe in your heart that all Christians feel this way?


Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
exactly how many mods on ATS are atheists? now how many are christians?


Why does this matter? Is the truth up for popular vote?



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