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Proof That Jesus Of Nazareth Existed?

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posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 02:33 PM
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The central figure in Christianity, next to God, is Jesus of Nazareth. He is so central to Christian religion that, without him, there would be no Christian religion. There are only 4 books in the entire Bible actually report on Jesus life and ministry. These books, of course, are the 4 gospels that open the New Testament. Tradition tells us that they were written by Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John.

What kind of proof do we need to know that anybody actually existed? Written material by that person or persons that are witnesses to that person's life are valid. How do we prove without this that someone actually existed? The Bible says that Jesus of Nazareth is the most important person to ever walk the face of the earth. Yet, there is not any physical evidence of his existence.

This leads us into my topic: Are the gospels trustworthy eyewitness accounts of Jesus? The Bible names the authors of these gospels as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Who were these people?

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not sign their Gospels so we do not know if these people even existed.

Because Christianity was a new religion it was looked at as a cult. The Government at the time burned documents according to Biblical history.

I have seen a lot of argument that the Bible is one big lie and Jesus never existed. I have also seen remarks about Jesus being a magician of some sort. I'd like to know every-one's thoughts on whether Jesus existed and what kind of person was Jesus. Do we have proof of his existence? Are we willing to accept the 4 gospels as proof of his existence when we don't even know if the 4 people named even wrote the gospels.




posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 02:57 PM
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I personally believe that he never existed. The story of Jesus, and so many other religions before his elegid existence, make me believe that the bible is a work of plagiarism. Sometimes word for word and event for event.

Also the fact that there is no physical proof of the existence and no writers or notable peoples had recorded his life while he was living. I find this strange, being who he supposedly was, that a man who walked on water, fed 1000's with little food, healed the sick, raised the dead....never even showed up in a tabloid (lol, but you get the idea) during his living days.

Just on a side note... I use to be a minister, received the holy ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues and was baptized in his name. I had given complete control of my life over to Jesus. But, I took the whole, seek and ye shall find bit, probably a little farther than HE would want me to.

Like most religions, Christianity is based on Faith----the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Taken straight from the horses mouth. Believe or don't believe, but you will never find proof of his existence. The bible tells me so.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by Alien Abduct
 


prepare to be flamed and have ridiculous arguments like "there's more evidence for jesus than julius caesar" thrown at you



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 04:06 PM
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He is real guys dont worry, i always thought he was created and was part of a alien program for religion.

video.google.com...



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 05:19 PM
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Here is an essay which I thought readers may be interested to see :

Are the Gospels eyewitness accounts?


by Diogenes the Cynic (from Internet Infidels)
www.iidb.org...


Only two of the canonical Gospels, Matthew and John, are alleged by tradition to have been written by eyewitnesses - but I will also address Mark and Luke.

First of all, I should say that none of the four canonical Gospels names its own author, none of them claim to be eywitness accounts or even to have spoken to eyewitness of Jesus. All are written in the third person and none of the authors tell us anything about themselves. All of the traditional ascriptions of authorship come from 2nd century tradition.



Iasion

Posting work written by others. **ALL MEMBERS READ**

[edit on 9-18-2007 by worldwatcher]



posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 05:59 PM
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You basically have hit on ultimate question for mankind..who was Jesus of Nazareth and what you do with that knowledge is why we are here..

Here is some food for thought
www.biblebb.com...



posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 09:15 PM
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Hi again,

OK,
I will post this essay using 'ex' tags.

Note - I specifically obrained permission from Diogenes to post this work right here :
www.iidb.org...




G.Mark

The first gospel written is Mark. Mark is not by tradition an eyewitness account but 2nd century tradition casts him as a secretary of the Apostle Peter who haphazardly wrote down everything Peter said in no particular order.

The basis for this tradition stems from a single claim by Papias who said (c. 130 CE) that he got the information from John the Presbyter (not to be confused with John the Apostle). That's it. That's the entire case for Mark as a secretary of Peter.

Now let's examine the credibility of this claim.

First, Mark does not say that he knew Peter, talked to Peter, ever met Peter or got any information from any eyewitness.

Secondly, the author is extremely hostile to Peter. Mark is a decidedly Pauline, anti-Jewish and anti-Petrine diatribe. Mark is very hostile to the apostles in general and to Peter in particular. He takes every opportunity to depict the apostles as being dense and not getting Jesus' true message (reflecting the tension between Pauline communities and the Jerusalem cult in the last half of the first century). More to the point (and this is important) Mark does not give Peter any redemption after his betrayal. Mark does not grant Peter and appearance from Jesus. Mark's Peter denies Jesus, runs away and that's it. Now why would a Petrine memoir not include a Petrine witness of the resurrection? Wouldn't that be the most important part? How does it make any sense to exclude it?

Thirdly, the book is quote obviously a literary construction and is manifestly not a transcription of oral anecdotes. The literary structure of Mark, both in its chiastic forms and its use of the Hebrew Bible as a allusory template or "hypertext" preclude the possibility of transcribed oral tradition. GMark is a carefully constructed literary work.

It should also be mentioned that Mark is a Greek composition which shows no signs of translation from Aramaic, the language of Peter and the language he would have dictated his memoirs in.

Fourth, Mark makes a number of errors regarding Palestininan geography and Jewish laws and customs which show that his information could not have been collected from a Palestinian Jew. Mark's passion, in particular, is so riddled with factual. historical and legal inaccuracies that it cannot be historical and cannot have come from an eyewitness. (I will address the specific errors in the section devoted to that subject)

Fifth, the book could not have been written during the lifetime of Peter. Mark knows about the destruction of the Temple which means that Peter was dead (at least by Christian tradition) when the book was written.

To summarize, the canonical Gospel of Mark is an anonymous book written outside of Palestine in a Gentile language to a Gentile audience sometime during or after the Jewish-Roman War. The author is hostile to Jews and to the apostles. He does not know Jewish laws or customs. He does not know the geography of Palestine. He does not like Peter. He never makes any claim to have known Peter or to have ever been to Palestine.

In 130 CE some guy said he heard from another guy that the author was a secretary of Peter's.


G.Matthew

Let's move on to Matthew. The Gospel of Matthew, by tradition, is attributed to the apostle of that name. Like Mark, this authorship tradition stems from Papias (it was also claimed by Irenaeus but he was probably parroting Papias). Papias clamed that, "Matthew composed the sayings [of Jesus] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could." In Adv. Haer. 3.1.1.

If such a Logia ever existed, it is not Canonical Matthew. GMatt is not a sayings gospel for one thing and was not written in Hebrew for another. Furthermore, GMatt is largely dependent on Mark and (most probably)another written sayings tradition (in Greek, not Hebrew) called Q. Matt's dependence on Mark also puts its date somewhere around 80 CE (if not later) which is pushing the envelope for the plausibility of the author being a contemporary of Jesus. It's not impossible, of course, but this is an era when people generally didn't live much past forty or fifty years of age.

The bigger obstacle for apostolic authorship is that fact that Matthew copies so extensively from secondary sources. An eyewitness should not be expected to copy verbatim from a non-eyewitness.

There is also the fact that GMatt contains some of the more demonstrable fictions and signs of OT cannibalism but more on those aspects in their proper sections.

It also bears repeating that the author Matthew never claims to have been an apostle or a witness, never states his name and never claims to have known any other witnesses.

To sum up for Matthew:

Papias claims that an apostle named Matthew compiled a sayings Gospel in Hebrew.

The Canonical Gospel of Matthew is written in literary Greek and is not a sayings gospel. The author never claims to have been an apostle or an eyewitness. It relies heavily on secondary Greek sources as well as the Septuagint. Once again, an eyewitness would not rely on the accounts of non-witnesses to recount events that he had supposedly seen for himself. It was written at least 50 years after the alleged crucifixion. The author includes demonstrable fictions which can clearly be shown to have been derived from the Septuagint.

Papias' Logia, if it existed, has never been found.



posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 09:16 PM
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...

G.Luke

The traditional author of Luke-Acts is supposedly a physician and travelling companion of Paul named Luke. Neither Luke nor Paul is a witness of Jesus even by tradition so I suppose I could stop right there but I think I'll take the time to point out that even the tradition which does exist is dubious. First of all, the author of Luke-Acts never claims to have known Paul. The earliest known claim for this tradition comes from Irenaeus in the late 2nd century who probably based his conclusion on the "we passages" from Acts as well as a stray mention of someone named Luke in Philemon (the name turns up in a couple of the non-authentic Pauline letters as well but the authentic corpus onle mentions the name once in passing).

There is no reason whatever to suppose that the Luke mentioned by Paul has aything to do with either GLuke or Acts.

The "we" passages in Acts are those passages during which the narrative voice changes from third person to first person plural. This is the source of the supposition that the author of Luke-Acts was a companion of Paul's but Vernon Robbins has shown that this was merely a Greek literary device for describing sea voyages.

Furthermore, Luke knew Josephus, which puts that gospel into the mid 90's CE at a bare minimum and probably later. This means that Paul had been dead 30 years before Luke-Acts was written. It is highly unlikely, then, that the book was written by a companion of Paul and there is absolutely no reason to connect the "Luke" who is so casually mentioned by Paul in one letter to the composition of Luke-Acts.

Furthermore, Luke is dependent on both Mark and Q which (contrary to some Christian folklore) means that Luke had no access to first hand accounts from other witneses.

There are also historical inaccuracies in Luke as well as contradictions with other Gospels which I will get to in time.

So, to sum up Luke, it is an anonymous gospel whose author makes no claim to first hand knowledge and no claim to knowledge even of Paul. It was written more than a half century after the crucifixion, is dependent on secondary sources and contains numerous historical errors and contradictions with the other gospels.

The fable of a physician named Luke who travelled with Paul comes from a claim made 150 years after the crucifixion and is corroborated by nothing in the text itself.


G.John

By tradition, the GJohn is written by the apostle of that name and is also identified as the mysterious "Beloved Disciple" mentioned within the text. This tradition, like Luke, stems from a late 2nd century claim by Irenaeus (who is known to have confused John the Apostle with another John, called 'the Presbyter" and may have been doing so again).

As with the other canonical Gospels, the author of GJohn does not identify himself or claim to be a witness (The seeming self-identification in 21:24 is a later redaction to the book, not part of the orginal manuscript and did not name the author "John" in any case. It is also not really a first person singular assertion, ("I wrote this") but a first person plural avowel that "we know" these were the words of a disciple (without naming the disciple).

Looking at the text of GJohn, we can see that any claim to the book as an eyewitness account does not hold water. First of all there is the very late date (c. 100 CE if not later) which puts it at the absolute edge of any plausible lifespan for a contemporary of Jesus. It also shows a heavy Hellenistic influence, both in its literary style and its theology. How does an illiterate Palestinian fisherman suddenly become proficient in stylized literary Greek and become aware of Alexandrian Jewish-Greek concepts like the Logos?

GJohn is also arguably the most anti-Jewish work. It goes beyond being just a polemic against the Pharisees or the priests and becomes a full on indictment of all Jewish people. Kind of weird since the author (like Jesus) was allegedly a Jew.

GJohn contains some of the longest, most otherwordly and most implausible speeches for Jesus. The length of the discourses in itself mitigates against their historicity simply by virtue of the implausibilty of those speeches surviving verbatim for 70 or more years in the memory of this fisherman (and nowhere else. These discourses are found nowhere else in early Christian literature). They do not have the short and sweet anecdotal quality of the Q pericopes which are easy to remember and transmit through oral tradition.

GJohn also shows layered authorship. It is not the contiguous work of a single author but the result of multiple redactions by multiple hands.

What is really the nail in the coffin, though, is that GJohn anachronistically retrojects the expulsion of Christians from Jewish synagogues (an event which occurred c. 85-95 CE) to within the life of Jesus. An eyewitness could not have made this mistake.

To sum up for John, it is an early 2nd century book which is heavily Hellenistic in its language and theology. It is markedly anti-Jewish, it contains speeches for Jesus which are not only incompatible with the character of Jesus as he is presented in the synoptics (not to mention that it simply strains all credulity that a 1st century Jewish audience would tolerate a guy claiming he was God) but simply cannot be credibly defended as authentic transcriptions of speeches remembered verbatim for 70 years by an illiterate Palestinian fisherman (and by nobody else) and then translated into Greek by that same fisherman. It contains contradictions with the synoptics which I will get to in time. It shows muliple hands of authorship and it contains an anachronism so glaring that it is a fatal blow to any consideration of eyewitness testimony.

Its traditional authorship stems from a single unreliable claim by Irenaeus (a guy who couldn't keep his "Johns" straight) around 180 CE.



Iasion



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by Alien Abduct
 


Alien Abduct The central figure in Christianity, next to God, is Jesus of Nazareth. He is so central to Christian religion that, without him, there would be no Christian religion. There are only 4 books in the entire Bible actually report on Jesus life and ministry. Tradition tells us that they were written by Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John.

Many students of religion credit St. Paul as the “founder” of Christianity. I have learned that Emperor Constantine is more the founder of the Christianity we know than any other single person, including Jesus. He, and not any bishop, called the Council of Nicea that produced the Nicene Creed. He and not any bishop called for the selection of the 27 books making up the New Testament so he could add that to the Septuagint (Hebrew Bible) and make a whole Bible.

Constantie had 50 copies made and chained one to the lectern in each of the 50 churches he authorized in Constantinople. None of the Bibles survive. Mark was probably written first, around 45-50 AD. The others were not written until after the 66-70 AD Revolt. Prior to that the smallish Christian sect of Judaism believed Jesus would return any day. Afterwards, they began to record their memories as it was apparent no one knew for sure if Jeus would ever return.

Alien Abduct What kind of proof do we need to know that anybody actually existed? How do we prove without this that someone actually existed? The Bible says that Jesus of Nazareth is the most important person to ever walk the face of the earth. Yet, there is not any physical evidence of his existence.

Outside the New Testament, there are but 2 references to Jesus, both in the writings of Flavus Josephus. Those references are much suspect, most likely added in the 200-300 AD time frame by an overeager scribe. If you can labor through those books you may agree with me the context of those references does not “jive” with the Jesus narrative.

Alien Abduct This leads us into my topic: Are the gospels trustworthy eyewitness accounts of Jesus? I'd like to know every-one's thoughts on whether Jesus existed and what kind of person was Jesus.

I take the position that Jesus was a composite creation of a desperate people. The last historically verifiable event recorded in the Hebrew Bible our Old Testament, was the capture of Jerusalem by Babylonia and the release of the Jews by Persia’s Darius the Great. In the 500s BC. 6th century. The area was then under a Seleucid hegemony centered in Syria. NOTE: This coincides with the disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant, never to be mentioned in writing again. Most secular scholars doubt there ever was an Ark of either variety. Moses or Noah.

From 164 BC to 63 BC, the Maccabees family ruled out of Jerusalem. The Romans conquered the area in 63 BC. The Jewish High Holy Day of Hanukkah celebrates the Maccabean era.

There was much anit-Roman agitation by the local populace and finally in 66 AD, the First Jewish Revolt was begun. First Vespasian followed by his son Titus put down the Revolt. Later, in 115-117 was Kito’s War, which some historians say was mostly a riot that went on 2 years. A few people refer to it as the 2nd Jewish Revolt but most don’t.

The more widely designated Second Jewish Revolt is also known as the Bar Kokhba Revolt from its leader Simon bar Kokhba. Because many of the Jewish people in Judea believe bar Kokhba was THE MESSIAH predicted in Isaiah, I assert this is proof that Jesus was NOT what the Bible says he was. A resurrected savior. If the people in Jerusalem did not know about Jesus, then what happened? He was no Messiah to the people who lived there or their descendants.

In one place in the Gospels, a man named Ditimus is mentioned. Ditimus is a Greek word meaning TWIN. Suppose Ditimus was Jesus’ identical twin? Serendipity had people seeing Ditimus after the crucifixion of Jesus and hoping beyond hope that Jesus had indeed returned from the dead to liberate them from the Romans. That was the meaning of Messiah to many - not all - of the Jews. Liberation. Not a harp in heaven. Like a modern rumor, old time rumors spread and soon people had enhanced the story and finally they reported Jesus had actually been on a mountain with Moses and Elijah. Significant to those people but lost on us.

All the writings that either refuted those claims or denied them outright have been destroyed either by time or purposely by those who preferred the surviving claims. We would nave almost no super-old Gnostic writings but for the cache hidden in the Egyptian desert nearly 2000 years ago. It makes you want to cry to learn the boy’s mother used half the books for kindling.

I think Jesus was a revolutionary. Old time Jewish followers claimed he was born in Bethlehem. Less strict Jews knew him to be from Nazareth. He and John the Baptist agitated for Jewish independence. We all know what happened to John. Jesus gained a large number of followers. Not 5,000, but perhaps 500. You must divide all Bible people numbers by 10 or 100. (Or account for water, food and sewage).

He posted the larger body (500) outside the city gates of Jerusalem. He led a small commando-type band on a special Ops mission. The 12 disciples. Task: Capture the Temple by surprise and throw open the city gates before the Romans know what has happened. Once the populace see this organized group entering the city, they will join in a popular revolt. A secret informer, perhaps Judas, perhaps not, revealed to the Romans the default rendevous point Jesus planned if the mission went awry. The Garden of Gethsemane. The Romans surprised Jesus. He and 2 others were captured but the other plotters got away.

The Romans did not crucify thieves. The Romans put those under a 20 years sentence at the oars in a galley. Only rebels were crucified. You don’t waste good men on a tree. Oddly enough, despite 10s of 1000s of people being crucified, we do not know if it was done on a single pole or if it was done with a crossbeam as we see today. Jesus and 2 of his companions were executed for high treason and that was the end of that. All the rest of the story was “filler” to make it appeal to various audiences.

[edit on 9/21/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
Mark was probably written first, around 45-50 AD. The others were not written until after the 66-70 AD Revolt.


Modern NT scholars (Ehrman, Brown, Metzger, Fitzmyer, Crossan) do not agree.

The current consensus is as follows :
G.Mark is dated to 65-80.
G.Matthew to 80-100.
G.Luke to 80-130.
G.John to 90-120.

(Not one book of the NT was written by anyone who met any historical Jesus, according to modern NT scholars.)


Iasion



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by Iasion
 


Iasion Modern NT scholars (Ehrman, Brown, Metzger, Fitzmyer, Crossan) do not agree.
The current consensus is as follows :
G.Mark is dated to 65-80.
G.Matthew to 80-100.
G.Luke to 80-130.
G.John to 90-120.


Thanks for clarifying the dates. It is interesting to me that many scholars are puzzled why no biblical writer mentions the Jewish Revolt of 66-73 AD.

The selection of the NT books was done around 330 AD and the book of Revelations almost did not make it into the canon. Merely trying to read it confirmed why to me. Unless you know from other sources what the writer was trying to convey to his audience - the audience is identified - then it is worthless. I’m not sure anyone today knows that.

[edit on 9/21/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 07:50 PM
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Well, yes , Christ lives and was dead but conquered sin and death!
You have to take His free redemption on faith and if you want proof then look at all the supernatural Bible prophecy's that were confirmed through history.
He proved Himself to me- He is God and the Creator and He came down to rectify the sin problem we started in the Garden of Eden.
Read your bible and dont listen to the devil who is a liar , thief and killer and the prince of this fallen world. He does not want you out from under his dominion and only Christ as your personal saviour can release you.
Its like the Matrix only true
if Christ makes you free- you are free indeed
Serious seekers will find Him
Carpers will carp
Y



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 07:54 PM
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reply to post by Yacov
 


provide the historical evidence, not the stuff i've heard through door to door preaching.



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 08:01 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
. Merely trying to read it confirmed why to me. Unless you know from other sources what the writer was trying to convey to his audience - the audience is identified - then it is worthless. I’m not sure anyone today knows that.

[edit on 9/21/2007 by donwhite]

\Don,
You will never be able to understand fully what God says in the Books of the Bible unless you have come to Him in faith and accept His sacrifice for your sins
As it is He is waiting on your response to His free gift of salvation and if you accept Him and get a relationship then He will send the Holy Ghost and the bible will be an open book to you
not till then
It is a supernatural book and you are a natural fallen man - you need to make the first step in faith and talk to Him - picking His message apart wont help because my God makes no mistakes and Christ is your ONLY hope
read the Book of John
and be aware that you are responsible
y



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by Yacov
 


provide the historical evidence, not the stuff i've heard through door to door preaching.


OK
go through the blueletter bible audio of Chuck Missler on the Book of Genesis
good place to start. or the Book of Isaiah
Tons of stuff in there
also
home.teleport.com...

[edit on 21-9-2007 by Yacov]



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by Yacov
Read your bible and dont listen to the devil who is a liar , thief and killer and the prince of this fallen world. He does not want you out from under his dominion


The introduction of fear.


...and only Christ as your personal saviour can release you.


The solution: Become one of us and be saved.



...Serious seekers will find Him Carpers will carp


Belittle/discount/attack those who disagree.

It's the age-old formula for getting the masses to do the will of authority. It worked for every tyrant in history, from Caesar to Hitler to Bush, and it is equally effective in winning religious converts.



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 08:13 PM
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Hey, I am just agreeing with God
only one door- Christ
He exercised His love and He died for us
What else can you ask?
He said:
'I am the door- no man comes unto the Father except through me'
its too free I guess

We are already under condemnation because of the original sin and God rectified it so we could have fellowship with Him-the Creator of all
He is a God of Love but we need to make the step because we caused the problem!



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by Yacov
 


sorry, none of this is historical evidence to show that the figure known as jesus of nazareth existed.



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by Yacov
 


sorry, none of this is historical evidence to show that the figure known as jesus of nazareth existed.


according to you
lol
I dont lie
know Jesus ......know peace
no Jesus ........no peace




posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 07:19 AM
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Originally posted by Yacov
sorry, none of this is historical evidence to show that the figure known as jesus of nazareth existed.


according to you
lol
I dont lie


i never said you lied, i said it isn't evidence. show me a document in support of the existence of the figure of jesus of nazareth. all you provided were circular arguments, jesus existed because the bibles says so is a logical fallacy.



know Jesus ......know peace
no Jesus ........no peace


i think you mixed it up
know jesus, no peace
no jesus, know peace

but i guess that depends on the point of view.

the lack of evidence, however, isn't a point of view problem



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