Did Jesus exist?

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posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:16 AM
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Greetings,


Originally posted by d60944
There are some problems at the heart of the argument that Jesus is just another retelling of a godman-cornking. The first is that the story of Jesus is located specifically within historical time and events.


So what?
Many myths do exactly that - why didn't you cite them I wonder?
Odysseus, Hercules, Demeter, Dionysus - all myths with real places.


Originally posted by d60944The thing is that myths do not spring into being fully-formed, developed, extended and mature (in full plumage as it were). They develop over times and places, and slowly.


So did the Christian myth, as I showed above - based on :
* the Tanakh
* Homer
* pagan writings.

No-one claimed it sprang into being fully formed.
It grew over time, like all myths.




Originally posted by d60944Another point to notice is that the Gospels do not present themselves as mythic writing at all. We have very many examples of mythic writing from antiquity (some of the Old Testament in fact). The Gospels are almost painfully narrative in a way that is incredibly untypical.


Nonsense.
The Gospels are full of supernatural events - clear signs of myth making.


Preaching about Jesus beliefs started long long after the alleged events.
No Christian writer mentions the Gospels or their events until mid 2nd century - a CENTURY after the alleged events. After two wars had destroyed Jerusalem and it's people and the records:
qdj.50megs.com...



Originally posted by d60944Why on earth would these people write it all down immediately?
...
Their aim was to tell everyone about it.


What?
Their aim was to tell everyone,
so they DIDN'T write it down?
Makes no sense.



Originally posted by d60944The letters of Paul, Clement, various "quasi-apostles" (and others as we get later) are not letters meant to be used for conversion. They are letters of exhortation to a community already converted.


Then how could anyone be converted later?



Originally posted by d60944You should instead be telling us why you think that the early writers should have been writing such documents.


Pardon?
Why would early Christians write about their founder and god?
You really can't imagine why?
Then why did LATER Christians write about him?



Originally posted by d60944However, most importantly in this, you are denying the prevailing academic opinion about the dates of the formation of the written Gospels. The usual view is: Mk 60s-70s, Matt & Lk 80s-c.100AD, Jn c.100 (but arguments for later are vociferous).


I denied nothing.
When was the first Christian reference to the Gospels?
When was the first quote of the Gospels?

Mid 2nd century.

How come no Christian writer mentioned anything about the life of Jesus or the Gospel events till a century after the alleged events?

Later Christians wrote endlessly about these things, but the earliest Christians did not - why?



Originally posted by d60944One of the points I was getting to make earlier is that Clement tells us that Peter and Paul were in Rome.


Clement repeated Christian beliefs - so what?


Originally posted by d60944Given that Peter allegedly knew a historical Jesus,


There is no evidence any Peter met any historical Jesus.
The letters of Peter are forged.




Originally posted by d60944How do you explain the idea that Paul was inventing a mythological one? They worked together. Do you think perhaps Peter was a mute?


We have nothing historical from Peter, just a name.
Paul wrote about a spiritual Jesus, nothing about a historical life of Jesus.



Originally posted by d60944in 1961 we found the archaeological proof for the existence of Pontius Pilate. Which sets the Gospels firmly into a historical framework.


So what?
Pilate was always known to have existed - so what?
Setting a myth in a real place and time proves nothing.



Originally posted by d609441Cor2:8 says he was killed by rulers of "this age"


Wrong.
Scholars agree the "archons of this aeon" refer to spiritual beings.



Originally posted by d609441Cor15:3-8 says he lived within eyewitness times


This creed is possibly an interpolation - but anyway all it says is that Jesus APPEARED to many people, like he APPEARED to Paul. This is no more than a list of VISIONS of Jesus - so what?


Originally posted by d60944Gal - generally talking about the apostles and "brother" of Jesus


So what?
Being called a brother of the lord is just a spiritual title.
There are no historical details there at all.

See how weak all this "evidence" is when you look at it?
Weak as water.


Iasion




posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:21 AM
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You know something, Iasion, you don't cite your sources.

You throw stuff around like "scholars say" or "is an interpolation" without sourcing your statements.



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:30 AM
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Greetings,


Originally posted by whiterabbit
I just think it's illogical to think a movement could spring up about a man just years after he supposedly existed if that man never even existed.


You have not thought about this logically at all.

What you are trying to say is :
"why would people believe, if they knew he didn't exist?"

The answer is obvious :
They did NOT KNOW he didn't exist.

They thought he existed, other thought he existed, there was no-one alive from the time of Jesus to say otherwise, so they BELIEVED he existed.

Just like many people nowadays believe he existed.
It proves nothing.

Poeple in India believe Krishna existed,
Do YOU believe he did?



Originally posted by whiterabbitIs it possible there was no Jesus and one or more of the apostles just cooked up a good story to rile everyone up against the Roman empire?


Firstly, there WERE no apostles who followed Jesus - they are part of the story. None of the actual Christian writers met any Jesus - not one.

No-one "cooked up a story" to rile anyone.
Please take the time to READ my posts above, I explained it clearly -
Paul wrote what he belived was true about Iesous Christos.
Later, Mark wrote a great new book filling out the story.
Later, others copied it.
Later, others believed it was true.


Originally posted by whiterabbitIt's hard to swallow that they could fool that many people in that short a time, but it's certainly possible.


NO-ONE tried to lie, or fool anyone.
OK?

It was NOT a short time at all.
Read the history please.

The Gospels did not come to prominance until early-mid 2nd century - that's a full CENTURY after the alleged events.

After :
* two wars with Rome,
* Jerusalem was razed to the ground
* the Temple was destroyed
* the Jews were dispersed
* Judea was erased from the map

A full CENTURY, after everyone was long dead, all the records were gone, nothing was left.

The Gospels stories were not finalised until mid-late 2nd century, with some changes even into the 4th and 5th centuries.

Thats not a short time at all.



Originally posted by whiterabbitPerhaps Paul and the others later made up the story of his divinity.


Paul spoke entirely of a spiritual being.
Nothing of any Jesus of Nazareth.



Originally posted by whiterabbitBut we know (approximately) when the Christian movement started, and I just don't think it's logical to think it could've come about (in the way that it did) without their having actually been a founder named Jesus.


So you keep saying,
but you haven't studied the facts at all.
Essentially your argument amounts to :
"I believe there was a Jesus"
Adding the word "logical" to your opinion every time does not actually make it logical at all.

There WAS a founder - Paul (and Mark).
Christianity grew through people who BELIEVED in Jesus, but none of them ever met him at all.

This proves conclusively and logically that no Jesus was needed for Christianity to grew and spread - because no Christians met him at all.


Iasion


[edit on 1-4-2007 by Iasion]



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:32 AM
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Iasion, I don't think anyone would have found a sudden change from "Jesus is just a spiritual being!" to "Maybe Jesus actually lived a little over a hundred years ago!" as persuasive.



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:33 AM
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Greetings,


Originally posted by uberarcanist
You know something, Iasion, you don't cite your sources.
You throw stuff around like "scholars say" or "is an interpolation" without sourcing your statements.


If you ask for a source on any issue, I'll be happy to give it.

My sources include :
* the NA27
* Raymond Brown
* Bruze Metzger
* Bart Ehrman
* Kurt Aland
* earlychristianwritings.com (a modern masterpiece)

For instance - the sholarly consensus is that not one single NT book was written by anyone who met any historical Jesus.

Pick ONE, if you think there is, we'll discuss it.


Iasion



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:39 AM
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Greetings,


Originally posted by uberarcanist
Iasion, I don't think anyone would have found a sudden change from "Jesus is just a spiritual being!" to "Maybe Jesus actually lived a little over a hundred years ago!" as persuasive.


There was no "sudden change" at all.

The Gospel stories took over a CENTURY to grew into the current form - that's several generations - not sudden at all.

Even up to late 2nd century, there were CHRISTIANS who did not believe in Jesus at all - such as Minucius Felix, or Athenagoras.

The argument about whether Jesus was a phantom, or real, or whatever raged for over a century.


Iasion



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:40 AM
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Question: do you think Buddha was mythical?



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 05:52 AM
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Yup,

It's seems pretty clear that all these figures were myths :
* Lao Tzu
* Buddha Gautama
* Abraham, Moses, Joshua
* Zoroaster
* Krishna
* David, Solomon

Incredibly, it is not even certain that Mohamed existed - although it's an extreme minority view that he didn't.

Humans love to invent founder figures AFTER a movement gets going to explain thier inception.


Iasion



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 06:04 AM
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I don't think there are many people making a case for a non-existence of David.

Hmph, kind of makes you wonder if people will eventually think George Washington was mythical, no?



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 06:55 AM
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Hiya,


Originally posted by uberarcanist
I don't think there are many people making a case for a non-existence of David.


Really?
The archeological and historical evidence for Solomon and David is :
zero.

Many people (Chrustians and Jews and more) have looked very hard for a long time, convinced they are real - yet not one single piece of hard evidence has turned up for David or Solomon.

There is the famous BetDwd carving - claimed to be "House of David".
In reality it's actual meaning is not at all certain.

I suggest you check out this book :
www.amazon.com...

It's by two scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman (archeologists) who live and work in Israel, who have studied the historical basis of the Tanakh (the O.T.) - this is a must read for all interested in this field.

Essentially they show that the writings of the Old Testament (the Jewish Tanakh) do not date from 2nd millenium BCE, but their political situation and cultural background shows it to be more like 8th-6th C. BCE. In other words the OT was created as just before the captivity.



Originally posted by uberarcanistHmph, kind of makes you wonder if people will eventually think George Washington was mythical, no?


No.
Not at all.

Sorry,
but I keep hearing this all-or-nothing attitude :-)
It's quite wrong.

No-one is not trying to dismantle real figures from history at all - Washington cannot by compared to these ancient figures at all, there is vast evidence for him.

Jesus is completely different - there is NO evidence for Jesus at all. It is entirely logical to doubt his existence.

UNLESS you believe in him, in which case you will not even consider it.

OR if you follow along like most people and say - "well, it seems reasonable there was a Jesus. It seems logical that there was a founder."

Yes - it DOES seem "likely" there was a Jesus.
It DOES seem "reasonable" there was a Jesus.
It DOES "seem" logical.
That's just agreeing with yourself.

But sometimes things happen that may NOT seem logical or reasonable - history is full of that - people DO strange things.

There is a HUGE momentum to thinking there WAS a Jesus - because almost everyone in out culture has always though he did.

No-one was even allowed to question it for a millenia or more - on pain of death FROM the Christians.

Nowadays, there is still pressures cultural and historical and personal which keep us believing in Jesus - because to admit he was a myth is a bit like finding out we still believed in Santa Claus.

Thus, it is much more comfortable to go along with the crowd - to just assume Jesus existed based on little more than "it seems reasonable", or "logical".

So, I urge you all to THINK about this -
do you REALLY want to just go along with the crowd and believe what seems reasonable?
or do you actually want to look hard at the evidence and make up your own mind?

Please, I urge you all, to read this easy reading here :
home.ca.inter.net...
It's 12 simple pieces to the Jesus puzzle, won't take long - but it summarises the argument about Jesus.


I had puzzled over Jesus for years - when I finally stumbled on this site, it hit me like a bolt from the blue - THIS is the single best explanation for Jesus I had ever read.


Iasion


[edit on 1-4-2007 by Iasion]



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion
Nowadays, there is still pressures cultural and historical and personal which keep us believing in Jesus - because to admit he was a myth is a bit like finding out we still believed in Santa Claus.


Well, good example. I firmly assert that St Nicholas of Myra existed though. The Santa Claus overlaying I do not believe to be true.

Cheers.



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 12:36 PM
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You have voted Iasion for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

you deserve that. but the whole problem with claiming mohammed didn't exist is that we have a couple of things

1: his body in a huge mosque
2: his descendants. i'm not an expert on genetics, but i'm pretty sure we could use this to validate the claim that mohammed existed.

and as a former buddhist, i know that most buddhists don't even care if buddha existed because the teachings are good anyway.

what's the big deal in calling something a myth?

myths can still teach us plenty.



posted on Apr, 1 2007 @ 01:45 PM
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No-one was converted by the Bible text. You must not forget that the scripture was inaccessible to the laypeople for much of the church's history. Conversions were carried out by preaching.


Why would early Christians write about their founder and god?
You really can't imagine why?
Then why did LATER Christians write about him?


This is to place the demands of today's ultra-literate society onto a society that did not operate that way. Today we publish papers, we read the news. If you at least consult the opening of the gospel of John you will find a radically different philosophical viewpoint about the nature of reason and the Greek concept of reason through words.

But in any event, the early church did write about him on occasion. Paul did so for example (and whatever you say, if there was no other writing, Paul's documents read just as sensibly as about a real person as they do about a myth). Except he was not interested in where he was born, what he ate for breakfast, what his mother did. He was interested in making sure that people knew how to "get to heaven" instead. He seemed to think that was the important issue. As for the gospels, it is precisely because people wanted to preserve the original oral gospel that it started to be written. As you will know biblical scholarship does not think that the three synoptic gospels are now in their original form. It adduces previous sources for them, a couple of decades (not centuries) earlier. And this is based on textual criticism (i.e. structural features of the gospels, not on some kind of perverse wish to prove anything). What more do you want? As time goes on we see an increase in the size (and therefore literacy) of the church. As you rightly suggest, more and more people do start writing stuff down. Stuff they have heard from preachers. This grows. Most of it gets lost 2000 years later. Papyrus decays, new copies get made. It does not all happen at once in 35AD and then put into a time capsule. It all seems perfectly natural to me.


How come no Christian writer mentioned anything about the life of Jesus or the Gospel events till a century after the alleged events?


And back at you, how come four seperate writers in different parts of the world all managed to tell the same story (in three cases astonishingly closely the same) if there had been no preserved oral and written traditions of that story for them to draw on? And how come textual criticism places the adduced souces at what happen to be extremely "sensible" times if you think that their central figure actually existed around the time claimed?


Pilate was always known to have existed - so what?


No he was not. The sources that mention him are subject to the same attack as the gospels are. It was fairly important when the archaeological evidence turned up unexpectedly.


Scholars agree the "archons of this aeon" refer to spiritual beings.


What scholars?


This creed is possibly an interpolation - but anyway all it says is that Jesus APPEARED to many people, like he APPEARED to Paul. This is no more than a list of VISIONS of Jesus - so what?


So we'll chuck that bit of source out cos it doesn't agree with us? Or at least we'll make it appear to say something to suit our viewpoint instead of face value.


So what?
Being called a brother of the lord is just a spiritual title.


Where do you get that idea from? I don't know of anyone ever being called that except James.

I'm sorry but I must bow out of this thread now. Iasion has made some good posts but unfortunately:

1) does not seem to know what the entire discipline of textual criticism is (for example in my ealier post the argument about "legend" was an argument from text criticism, not from mere "plot");
2) sweeps all "evidence" they do not like away as "lies" and assumes all evidence they do like as "truths";
3) has not read mainstream Biblical analysis either (or at least refuses to weigh all the sources and criticisms up in an objective balance); and
4) is not well-equipped with a knowledge of the development of the christian communities in the first couple of centuries.

If you set out firm in the belief that Jesus was a myth (and I do not think that most people posting here know what a "myth" is either - as opposed to merely a fictional story, or even an allegory), then you can surely make all the data fit your belief by simply saying that everything that comon-sense otherwise would lead against you is a lie and/or fabricated. You also seem ultimately to refuse to believe that people speak to each other and that the only infallible method of communication is the written document.

The difficulty to me does not really seem to be a difficulty in accepting the historical testimony refers to someone real - the difficulty seems to be that the historical testimony is suspect and claimed to be myth becasue of the story it tells. This problem is summed up with this:


The Gospels are full of supernatural events - clear signs of myth making.


This is to confuse an essential point in textual criticism: the difference between mechanism of textual articulation (syntax, structure, semiology, sources, etc.) and the actual "plot" itself. We might eventually claim that the battle of Mons in WW1 never took place because there are stories of angels appearring beforehand by this logic.

But anyway, bye for now.

Cheers.

[edit on 1-4-2007 by d60944]



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 12:52 AM
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Clearly, if any proof existed which was from his day, one of his devout followers would have stumbled across it. It is faith alone, that he was a real person. That is not a problem for me. My gut tells me he was real. It is also true, though, there is not a shred of proof that he nor any of his peers was real. Writers in the area, at the time, didn't write anything about any of them which has survived to today. Maybe it was lost, maybe it never was written, and maybe his story is completely fictional. I don't know, but I feel, in my heart, he was. That said, I also feel he was a Rabbi, a jewish teacher, from the Nazarene, or Essene sect, and was married, and didn't die on the cross, but was taken down still alive, hence the empty tomb. Also, I found that the bible contains evidence supporting my theory that John, the beloved, was actually Joanna, as painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, and that Mary Magdalene bore Jesus children. Maybe it is totally wrong, could be, but that is my conclusion from my reading on it. Bottom line... no proof of him or his peers period, so saying he existed as I am is a statement of pure faith.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion
For instance - the sholarly consensus is that not one single NT book was written by anyone who met any historical Jesus.


Uh, you're right, but the scholarly consensus is also that there was probably a real historical Jesus, a teacher or a healer or somesuch, who got crucified by the Romans.



posted on Apr, 2 2007 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion
You have not thought about this logically at all.


Uh, actually, of course I have. In fact I can boil it down as simply as I know how:

There's simply more reason and evidence to think Jesus was a real historical man than there is to think he was a myth.


What you are trying to say is :
"why would people believe, if they knew he didn't exist?"


No. My argument is: Why would that many people believe that quickly if nobody ever laid eyes on the guy?

I mean, cults fool people all the time with wacky made-up stories--but they don't start huge region-wide movements that begin running rampant through the local population.

To think that that could've happened without there being a real founder to base it on just doesn't make logical sense.


The Gospels did not come to prominance until early-mid 2nd century - that's a full CENTURY after the alleged events.


Right... But we know for a fact the Christian movement sprang up in the first half of the first century. We know that those Christians, in their lifetimes, were persecuted and martyred. We know that the movement became large and notable.

I don't believe something like that could've happened if there hadn't been some real historical person who inspired those actions.

I don't really know why you're so bent on disbelieving in a historical Jesus, but whatever. I'm not a Christian, and I have no problem thinking he existed.

There's far more circumstancial and physical evidence that he existed than that he was just a made-up story.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 01:38 AM
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Originally posted by whiterabbit
There's simply more reason and evidence to think Jesus was a real historical man than there is to think he was a myth.
I don't really know why you're so bent on disbelieving in a historical Jesus, but whatever. I'm not a Christian, and I have no problem thinking he existed.

There's far more circumstancial and physical evidence that he existed than that he was just a made-up story.

In every Christian post claiming there is physical evidence there is also an absence of any support for that claim. Not one of them point to an actual piece of proof. Their 'proof' has always turned out to be something that is from writers who lived after Jesus' death, and is therefore hearsay. Though you say there is more evidence he was real, there is in fact none. As for proof he is a myth... that is also hard to find, though there is certainly a lot of myths predating his story which are eerily similar to his. That is not proof, but it is interesting to note. I have no problem thinking he lived, and also am not Christian, but I see no proof of it.
Ironically, the best proof I have seen is the research and findings about this new tomb which Christians refuse to even look into. When will the Christians admit that there is no proof Jesus is real? None can be produced, so why not just say so? Faith needs no proof anyway, so what is the problem with admitting the obvious?



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 01:46 AM
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BlackGuard, I think you should substitute "proof" with "evidence". One can't even "prove" Julius Caesar existed. Well, think about this. Do you really, really, really think it's credible that anyone could have believed the story of Jesus only about a century after his alleged death if he really didn't exist?

If you say yes, you're just being dishonest.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 02:01 AM
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Originally posted by uberarcanist
BlackGuard, I think you should substitute "proof" with "evidence". One can't even "prove" Julius Caesar existed. Well, think about this. Do you really, really, really think it's credible that anyone could have believed the story of Jesus only about a century after his alleged death if he really didn't exist?

If you say yes, you're just being dishonest.

Evidence is a better word. Julius Caesar is mentioned in other non-biblical texts, though I admit I have not researched the number or age of them. Not that the bible is not a credible source, it is just that one cannot use their own book as proof that the book's own contents are true, other sources must be found, or you are just saying we can prove it is true because the book it is written in says it is. I do think many could have been led to believe in Jesus within a 100 years. Josephus could have made the story up to generate negative Roman public opinion towards the Jewish people, so they would support a war. It is a known tactic. I am not lying. What about JFK? The lone nutter story? Or the Blair Witch thing, Celestine Prophecies, The Da Vinci Code? Recent fiction, which people believe is true despite the authors' claims it is fiction. That shows people believe what they want, and how so many people don't bother to take the time to think for themselves.



posted on Apr, 3 2007 @ 06:45 AM
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Originally posted by uberarcanist
BlackGuard, I think you should substitute "proof" with "evidence". One can't even "prove" Julius Caesar existed. Well, think about this. Do you really, really, really think it's credible that anyone could have believed the story of Jesus only about a century after his alleged death if he really didn't exist?

If you say yes, you're just being dishonest.

I just love it when someone mentions Julius Caesar in the same context as evidence for christ. First off the evidence for the existence of Caesar far outweighs the evidence for christ. With christ we have the NT and about 24 lines from non-contempory historians etc (which are very vague and debateable) - Thats IT!!!.
Caesar however, we have multiple contempory accounts, we have treaties and other documents written by the fair hand of Caesar himself, we have statues of Caesar, we have other countries rulers mentioning Caesar. Etc etc

So using this body of evidence I can conclude that the likelyhood of a person named Julius Caesar ruling Rome over 2000 years ago is true - which cannot be said for the jesus story.


G





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