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Proof That Jesus Of Nazareth Existed?

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posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by Al Davison
 


I am by no means conceding, but because I can see this going on ad infinatum, I will conclude by stating that I do not think that the Jews would have ever felt required to refute Christianity, but it would have been very hard to explain if they could have but didn't. Jews, like adherents of many other religions, often have very heated debates in print on religious subjects that outsiders would consider trivial and of no practical consequence.




posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 07:54 AM
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Of course, some individual Jews will hold forth in some media or another - same as any other individuals who have some strong opinion on something and the desire to be heard.

I believe your premise was that there should have been some official response or some major form of protest. I think I've explained why that was so very unlikely to have happened in the first century and is unlikely to happen today.

You need not concede your opinion on anything - even in the face of evidence to the contrary. You are entitled to hold any opinion you like. But, you proposed some piece of "evidence" and I pointed out a number of different reasons why that evidence cannot be credited.

Happy to help!



posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 01:04 PM
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posted by Al Davison

posted by uberarcanist
I will conclude by stating that I do not think that the Jews would have ever felt required to refute Christianity, but it would have been very hard to explain if they could have but didn't. Jews, like adherents of many other religions, often have very heated debates in print on religious subjects that outsiders would consider trivial and of no practical consequence.


Some individual Jews will hold forth in some media or another - same as any other individuals who have some strong opinion on something and the desire to be heard. I believe your premise was that there should have been some official response or some major form of protest. You need not concede your opinion on anything - even in the face of evidence to the contrary. You are entitled to hold any opinion you like. But, you proposed some piece of "evidence" and I pointed out a number of different reasons why that evidence cannot be credited. Happy to help!


I think this differing POV over the same situation is the result of our lack of a good time line history of the orthodox versus the dissident Jews around Jerusalem. Remember they were called “The Way” before they were called Christians at Antioch. I do not foresee any help in that area for now. I don’t think we have any documents dating before the 3rd or 4th century. The Dead Sea Scrolls end at 70 AD. There are still many as yet un-found documents out there but we can’t wait on that wispy event.

Everybody speculates over what transpired between 4 BCE and 200-300 CE. I have read “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Sir Edward Gibbons, first published in 1776. That was long ago, perhaps in the early 1960s. Confession: After the 2nd or 3rd volume, the remaining books of the 6 volume set got progressively more tedious. I began to read the first sentence in each paragraph, lingering only in those cases where it was interesting. Which were not many.

There is one important question to me that Mr. Gibbons did not answer, nor have I seen anyone do so. Here it is in long form. In the canon’s 27 books out of perhaps 200 considered on order of Emperor Constantine, it is mentioned that each congregation (sometimes called church) of Christians is a stand alone autonomous group. That is very important to my understanding of what happened after the Second-Third Century AD.

I believe the doctrine of the episcopacy grew gradually over the following half millennium. Gradually one bishop would exercise suzerainty over lesser bishops. One more prosperous congregation may have supported the "junior" churches financially. My take is consistent with Gibbon’s “History” which may explain why the Catholic Church has denounced Gibbon’s seminal work.

The groups of Christians - congregations - are sometimes referred to as “churches.” But NEVER as THE Church. Each congregation was instructed to choose its own spiritual guides, called elders, bishops or presbyters. Because this office is always used in the plural, it is assumed there were to be 2 or more men of equal standing. While the elders or bishops did the spiritual work, the temporal work was left to the office of deacons. Where “elder” speaks for itself in terms of age or maturity, deacons were to be “sober” and of “good report.” Both elders and deacons were to be men of obedient children and of one wife.

The very early Christian congregations were likely to be found one to a city. Larger cities may well have had many churches. Or congregations. We know from the text we have that the very earliest meetings were held in synagogues and apparently involved disputations with the other Jewish members. In other places the “Called Out” met in private homes. Just as buildings were not of consequence, so it was that sites germane to the early followers of Christ not remarkable.

It was not until the 4th century, when Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem and proceeded to FIND all the Holy Sites now enshrined in Christian history and liturgy. It is safe to say that none of the sties now given demigod status are in any way provable to really be what they claim to be. Which is more proof if any is needed, that believing something does not make it so. End of today's discourse.

[edit on 9/29/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 3 2007 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by Al Davison
 


Al Davison I believe your premise was that there should have been some official response or some major form of protest. I think I've explained why that was so very unlikely to have happened in the first century and is unlikely to happen today.

Proof of Jesus? There is no direct evidence. There is only indirect evidence. And that is all circumstantial. What we do know is that the Jewish people in the area around Jerusalem - Judea - were in a constant state of turmoil. Perhaps for the first time in their history, the Jewish people living there were free and independent under the Maccabees. 2nd century BC until 63 BC when the Romans conquered Judea and put Herod on the throne as their agent.

The next big event came in 66 AD in the First Jewish Revolt. That was finally quashed in 70 AD and the Temple was destroyed. The last remnants of the rebels held out until 73 AD when the Romans captured Masada. It must surely be telling that no one mentioned Jesus or the resurrection or the other stories told about him. From 33 AD to 66 AD is only 33 years. It just seems unreasonable that no one remembered Jesus in 66 AD. I think everyone accepts or concedes the references to Jesus found in Josephus’ writings are spurious.

In the early 2nd century - 110-113 time frame - there was another revolt but it did not rise to the level of the First Jewish Revolt and is usually referred to as more like an on-going RIOT than a genuine revolt.

Finally came the Second Jewish Revolt under Simon bar Kokhba. This spelling is taken from Wikipedia but "Kokhba" is spelled several different ways. This Revolt was from 132 to 135 AD. For a time, perhaps 18 months, Bar Kokhba was in charge of Judea and coined money.

Again, not only was Jesus not mentioned, but early on, bar Kokhba was hailed by many as THE MESSIAH promised by Isaiah and Jeremiah. It seem incredulous to me that the people living in Jerusalem would have no memory of such a person as Christianity has offered us.

By the bye, historic “Judea” means to me about 15-20 miles around Jerusalem. About 500 square miles. After the bar Kokhba Revolt was quashed the Romans changed Judea's name to Syria Palaestina. Palestine has had many boundaries but the one we use today was established in 1922 when the League of Nations created the Palestine Mandate out of the old Ottoman Empire, and assigned it to Great Britain. About 6,500 square miles. See Comment #1.

In summary I say again, the real FOUNDER of Christianity as we know it was the Emperor Constantine. He added Christianity to his repertoire of religions in order to aid him in his military conquests. He did not replace others with it. That came later, in or after the 400s. See Gibbons for a play by play recounting.


Comment #1. Large population numbers are tossed around as if authentic. The biggest story has it that 1 million people were trapped in Jerusalem in 135 AD. I can tell you this. Human waste does not go away. It piles up. Food was a big problem in those days. When you traveled you had to carry your own food.

In World War 2, Japanese soldiers on the march were issued 1 kilo of dried rice, 3-6 dried fish and a half liter of cooking oil. Each week! They forayed for water, fire making materials and green vegetables.

Water. In an arid country like Judea water is of prime concern. At 1 liter a day - not enough to sustain life for 60 days - per person, that is 250,000 gallons of water a day. After Napoleon conquered Egypt in 1799, the British discreetly sent a lieutenant of artillery into Jerusalem to reconnoiter. He surveyed (surreptitiously) for artillery in case of war there. He made a famous model of Jerusalem in 1800. It shows every building to scale. I believe that model is in the British Museum. Anyone can count the buildings but no one knows how many people lived in each.

A lot of people including me believe the population of First Century Jerusalem was about 10,000 people and that on feast days, as many as 25,000 people may have been present for a day or two. Food, water and sewage requirements do not allow for more.

There is no other record of the census mentioned in Matthew. The only census known to have been taken in that time frame is the famous one in China. 4 BCE I believe. Problem is, it no longer exists. It is known only by references to it by other writers. We don’t know what was counted. People or pigs or both. Or neither. “Census” may not have meant the same to Chinese as to Americans. You can divide the numbers in Numbers by 100 to get a more likely count. If not by 1,000.

Foot Note: I’m using standard Christian nomenclature, BC - Before Christ - and AD - Anno Domini - After Christ - although I personally prefer BCE - Before Common Era - and CE - Common Era - which is more respectful of Jewish people who do not accept Jesus as the promised Messiah. A courtesy.

[edit on 10/3/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 5 2007 @ 01:14 PM
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I personal believe that he existed. I dont believe that he is god in the flesh or the trinity thought. I Believe that Jesus is the Son of God the perfect manifestion of God. I believe cuz i have faith, you will never find proof that God or Jesus is out there, cuz it would destroy free will, free will of choice. Faith is the key to true christian belief.



posted on Oct, 5 2007 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by slymattb
 


slymattb I personal believe that he existed. I don’t believe that he is god in the flesh or the trinity though. I Believe that Jesus is the Son of God the perfect manifestation of God. I believe cuz I have faith, you will never find proof that God or Jesus is out there, cuz it would destroy free will, free will of choice. Faith is the key to true Christian belief.

At one level, you are on firm ground. At the level I prefer, it is necessary for me to find the history of GOD. When I do that, I can see the idea of super natural beings has evolved over many millennia.

After I learned the story of Gilgamish preceded Noah by 1000 years, then I was obliged to concede the story of Noah is an old Hebrew re-telling of an older Babylonian myth. The West did not know of Gilgamish until the late 19th century. We have been assured for a couple millennia by those we trusted that it was Noah who preserved the human race. It is 'disagreeable' to learn the story was a copy of another older story. Worse, it means the writer of Noah was not divinely inspired. That claim by the way was never made by the first writers of our Holy Writ. Professional religious successors to the early writers made that claim to enhance their own power, prestige and importance.

It is disconcerting for many to learn that Christian after-death theology is pure Egyptian cult of Osiris. Anyone can ignore that, but that in itself raises questions about personal integrity. Hmm? Intellectual honesty. You can see my problem?

[edit on 10/5/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 12:02 PM
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I do see some what of a problem. Some people think to much. No offense. Like I said Christian belief is based on faith. You wont find proof. History (the past) can only provent the future to which you have. Look around you to know the truth. For the truth walks around you.



posted on Oct, 13 2007 @ 08:16 PM
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Josephius, a secular historian, wrote accounts of Jesus.



posted on Oct, 14 2007 @ 06:33 AM
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reply to post by exitestablishment
 


Flavius Josephus is a man of mixed blessing to th e scholarly world. I have read some of his works but like most writers of that era, he is too tedious in areas about which I know nothing. In other words, he is hard to follow. He is unabashedly a Roman sycophant. which saved his life so who among us would not save his own life if given the chance? On the issue of Josephus and Jesus, modern secular scholars doubt the authenticity of the two references to Jesus. Those were just too convenient and most likely added in the 4th or 5th century by some wistful scribe. Sorry to burst your bubble.



posted on Oct, 14 2007 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by exitestablishment
Josephius, a secular historian, wrote accounts of Jesus.


Doubtful on so many, many couts.

1) "Jesus" was, of course, not his given name

2) that name was common in that time

3) Messiah was a great cottage industry in that time - lots and lots of Messiahs and more than one was named "Jesus"

4) all the "historic references" that modern Christians like to toss around as "proof" were really nothing more than a reporting of what Christians had to say about the subject - meaning that it was accurate to report that Christians believe this or that about this "jesus" guy.

5) Don White is correct - pretty much every historian (even the Christian historians) believe that some translator added the whole 1-line, 8-word reference.

Thanks for playing.



posted on Oct, 16 2007 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by Al Davison

Originally posted by exitestablishment
Josephius, a secular historian, wrote accounts of Jesus.


Doubtful on so many, many counts.

1) "Jesus" was, of course, not his given name


May I ask on what you base this? All the evidence says otherwise, at any event.



2) that name was common in that time


No doubt. Unfortunately you haven't indicated how this links with your argument.



3) Messiah was a great cottage industry in that time - lots and lots of Messiahs and more than one was named "Jesus"


Do you know this? And, which of them can be described thus by Josephus?



4) all the "historic references" that modern Christians like to toss around as "proof" were really nothing more than a reporting of what Christians had to say about the subject - meaning that it was accurate to report that Christians believe this or that about this "jesus" guy.


This seems a bit like an excuse. We don't know what the sources of non-Christian writers were, so those who assert that they must have got this from the Christians and thus can be disregarded seem to me to be engaged in evasion, not evaluation of evidence.



5) Don White is correct - pretty much every historian (even the Christian historians) believe that some translator added the whole 1-line, 8-word reference.


Which reference was this?

All modern scholars consider the short reference genuine (and indeed very few down the centuries have questioned it); a century ago the long reference was generally considered an interpolation but today is generally considered genuine but corrupt. There was a book on the history of scholarship published by Alice Whealey a few years ago (probably still available at Amazon).

But the historicity of Jesus does not depend on all this, of course; and his ahistoricity cannot be shown by old-style debunking of all the data and then arguing from a silence so manufactured. This is why every professor of ancient history in every university in the world smiles at the very idea.

I hope that helps.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Oct, 16 2007 @ 04:53 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite
This is a popular debate topic, and there are strong feelings on both or all sides...
There was one noteworthy effort made in the 1980s. The Jesus Seminar. It lost its impetus for a variety of reasons. Now in 2007, the cause has gained new momentum and is about to begin anew in December, 2007...
R. Joseph Hoffmann, Ph.D.
Chair, Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion...


Hoffmann's project self-destructed after it became clear that he had posted a list of fellows for his project without asking those on the list if they wished to be fellows.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Oct, 16 2007 @ 05:02 AM
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For the benefit of those not familiar with Iasion's posts, he has been peddling this idea online for some years. His posts usually contain claims referring to ancient writers, but are never referenced by him (which makes it seem as if he would rather people didn't check them). The posts no longer contain much of the supporting material, which has been shown to be wrong, but the thesis is still advanced.


Originally posted by Iasion

Originally posted by uberarcanist
The Jews of the time could have easily refuted the Gospels if the events depicted were distortions or outright fabrications. The utter lack of such a refutation speaks volumes in favor of the veracity of the Gospels.


Rubbish.

Firstly -
Many ancient myths were never refuted - e.g. The Golden Ass of Apuleis - therefore. according to YOUR argument, he really DID turn into an ass and meet the Gods.


This seems to be a category confusion. The "Golden Ass" is a novel. The gospels are the biographies of Jesus. The former was not illegal. Christianity was.



Secondly -
The Gospels were unknown until early-mid 2nd century (e.g. Papias, Justin),


Neither Papias or Justin say any such thing, nor is there any evidence for such an absurd claim. All the data gives a first century date for them, as would be natural.



There were no Jews left there, and only few left living in other parts. There were NO Jews left to refutre it at all.


The idea that Jews ceased to exist before the gospels were written seems very strange.



Thirdly -
When the Jews finally DID start hearing about Jesus, here is what they said about him :

* he was a bastard son of Roman soldeir Pantera
* he was conceived during menstruation
* he learned black magic in Egypt
* he worshipped a brick-bat


Perhaps we might have references for these claims? How any of this indicates anything except disagreement is not clear, tho.



Does that sound like accepting Jesus, or rejecting him?
They just never realised he was a myth.


Probably because he wasn't.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Oct, 16 2007 @ 05:09 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion

Originally posted by Steff
I dont think many people ever doubted his existence as a historical figure.......More likely, "some" people are doubtful wheter the storys are indeed true.


Justin has a Jew Trypho saying this (from c.130) :

"But Christ —if He has indeed been born, and exists anywhere—is unknown, and does not even know Himself, and has no power until Elias come to anoint Him, and make Him manifest to all. And you, having accepted a groundless report, invent a Christ for yourselves, and for his sake are inconsiderately perishing."


This is a out of context, of course, from the dialogue with Trypho. The context is not whether Jesus existed, but whether he was the Christ. The point is argued endlessly in the text, which accessible here:

www.tertullian.org...

I think that we may legitimately ask why Iasion did not include a link.



Numerous other writers (even Christians) denied Jesus ever came in the flesh.


No-one in antiquity asserted that Jesus never lived. But note the cunning "came in the flesh" -- what Iasion is trying to do is leverage gnostics, who claimed that his flesh was not real, but a seeming. Anyone walking around would have seen Jesus. For religious reasons they asserted that his flesh was not like ours. This, of course, is not the same question.



Several 2nd century Christian writers describe Christian beliefs at length in detail and NEVER mention Jesus !


Misrepresentation, unfortunately.

www.tertullian.org...

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Oct, 16 2007 @ 07:11 PM
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A gospel was left out of the book, there are 5. Proof he existed? Only need faith. Physical proof are for the weak hearted.



posted on Oct, 16 2007 @ 07:33 PM
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There are other book that chronicle various times before and after Christ. During various periods of time, religious leader choose what are or are not considered as "Canon" or the basis of their holy text.

Biblical Canon

When your organize your religion you have to determine and edit what represents what your beliefs are, or are not.

If someone were to make a DVD to chronical the events of our era, do they choose news from CNN or Fox? More people watch Fox News, but Fox News might not reflects their beliefs.

I find that it is all subjective and trivial. The core values of all religions are fundemental and the same. From the far East to the modern West. Any religion that teaches hate, and to kills others over beliefs is flawed.



posted on Oct, 21 2007 @ 10:25 AM
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Nazareth did not exist during Jesus time. Jesus was a Naserine - a cult.

Jesus was a man. The Council of Nicea voted to make Jesus devine, which is why all references to him being a man were removed from the Bible.

The Catholics turned Mary Magdalene into a whore when she was really the successor to Jesus and an Apostle in order to subjugate women.



posted on Oct, 22 2007 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by Headhurts
Nazareth did not exist during Jesus time.


No evidence exists for this statement; the literary evidence contradicts it.



Jesus was a Naserine - a cult.


Ditto.



Jesus was a man. The Council of Nicea voted to make Jesus devine,


Ditto. The "Da Vinci Code" is *fiction*.



which is why all references to him being a man were removed from the Bible.


Not in my copy of the bible!



The Catholics turned Mary Magdalene into a whore when she was really the successor to Jesus and an Apostle in order to subjugate women.


No evidence of this exists either.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Oct, 22 2007 @ 09:54 AM
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reply to post by roger_pearse
 


you talk about evidence... yet you have none yourself

no credible evidence exists that jesus was alive, ever
the first reference to him in anything written was over 2 decades after he supposedly died by someone who didn't even live in the same area

and there was actually an argument over whether or not jesus was divine, there were 4 camps

jesus is wholly human
jesus is wholly divine
jesus is partially human and partially divine
jesus is 100% human and 100% divine

the decision over the nature of jesus was decided by committee



posted on Oct, 24 2007 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by roger_pearse
 


you talk about evidence... yet you have none yourself


To which statement of mine specifically do you refer? I merely pointed out the lack of data for the statements being made; does it anger you to have these failures pointed out?



no credible evidence exists that jesus was alive, ever


Every professor of ancient history in every university in the world would laugh at such a statement.



the first reference to him in anything written was over 2 decades after he supposedly died by someone who didn't even live in the same area


How very vague. I note the lack of any actual argument. Are you asserting that this supports your first statement? It would appear to refute it, in actual fact.



and there was actually an argument over whether or not jesus was divine,


I'm not convinced that you know this. Document this claim with references. Explain how this claim relates to your first claim, if at all.



there were 4 camps

jesus is wholly human
jesus is wholly divine
jesus is partially human and partially divine
jesus is 100% human and 100% divine

the decision over the nature of jesus was decided by committee


Which committee? Hint: the "Da Vinci Code" is *fiction*...

It is usually best not to assert as fact slurs on the religion of someone else when you yourself know nothing more of the statements than that you find them convenient.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



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