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The Evidence For Jesus' Existence Is Nothing But Hearsay

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posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:12 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


Good post.

Like many others who are not Christian, I tend to look at the negative side of Christianity and find all the faults that it has. I can't honestly say that I'm now totally convinced of Jesus' reality, but thank you for reminding us of some of the positive things that the Christian philosophy and religion have contributed to the world and our society. I'll try to remember to see the upside of Christianity and have more respect for all that Christians have done for us.

Thanks!


[edit on 5-9-2008 by Heike]




posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:23 PM
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Originally posted by AshleyD


Actually, yes there are. lol There are some really, really odd things written about him in his biographies. Supernatural and embellished facts. Not that it matters- it's just funny. It does kind of make a point, though. Historians can at least acknowledge He existed- they just deny all the crazy 'super hero' stories told about him. Skeptics about Jesus can't even do that. They can't say, 'Ok. So He was a genuine historical figure. He just wasn't God, ok?'



I guess my point was that no legitimate teaching of his biography includes him walking on water. It is pretty much accepted that ATG did not perform miracles. Like you said, people can throw it out for him but not for Jesus.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:30 PM
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reply to post by Azrael75
 


I understand- just wanted to share. Wasn't trying to be argumentative or anything. It was just funny to me. There were A LOT of funky, fantastic things written about Alexander. Thought you might find it interesting. Then I realized after typing that out to you how it kind of relates to the topic when you think about it.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:33 PM
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reply to post by 19DCW71
 





If anything is being forced on anyone, it's the reverse. EVERY single religion other than Christianity has the privelages of this country. Christianity is just like Americans and Caucasians. We have been raped of our rights by the garbage that flees to this country and it's Ideals they claim to hate, yet they are fighting for their rights here. FORCING it down my throat. As far as a do or die attitude. Ever read the Torah, or the Quran? Get your facts straight and stop misinterpreting my posts.


I get so tired of this victim and persecution stance by Christians. If you lived where I did in the South, you would see that agnostics, atheists, and other religions are far more persecuted. Some employers in this bible belt area where I live have bible studies (including county government!) in the morning and lunch time. If you don't attend, you are treated like crap. A fried of mine who was of the Unitarian faith was admitted to a hospital and checked the "denomination" box according on the admittance application. She was utterly scorned by the admitting nurse! Get off this Christian victim/persecution complex, as it's pure manipulation rubbish (at least in the US)!


[edit on 5-9-2008 by whatsup]



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by gYvMessanger
We have no evidence of him ?


No contemporary historical evidence, no.



Originally posted by gYvMessanger
How about the second largest religion in the world.


Millions of scientologists believe in Xenu - so, you believe he is real then?




Originally posted by gYvMessanger
What evidence do you expect to find other than the legacy left by his passage through the world, I doubt we have detailed records from the roman time referring to their occupation of the middle east,


We have quite a few books from that period, some of who WOULD probably be expected to mention Jesus (Philo, Seneca, Justus of Tiberias.)



Originally posted by gYvMessanger
nor do we have records from writers at the time wondering where this weird jewish cult with a non existent dead leader came from.



Wrong.
We have writers saying the Gospel stories are based on MYTHS, are FICTION, LIES, FABRICATIONS...

Celsus,
in late 2nd century, attacked the Gospels as fiction based on myths :
"Clearly the christians have used...myths... in fabricating the story of Jesus' birth...It is clear to me that the writings of the christians are a lie and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction"

Porphyry,
in late 3rd century, claimed the Gospels were invented :
"... the evangelists were inventors – not historians”

Julian,
in the 4th century, claimed Jesus was spurious, counterfeit, invented :
"why do you worship this spurious son...a counterfeit son", "you have invented your new kind of sacrifice ".
Julian was “convinced that the fabrication of the Galilaeans is a fiction of men composed by wickedness.. ”


Tatian,
in later 2nd century, compared Christianity with pagan mythology and wrote:
“Compare you own stories with our narratives. Take a look at your own records and accept us merely on the grounds that we too tell stories


And, we have early Christians who DENIED the incarnation and cruifixion entirely :

Minucius Felix,
in mid 2nd century, explicitly denies the incarnation and crucifixion along with other horrible accusations.
"...he who explains their ceremonies by reference to a man punished by extreme suffering for his wickedness, and to the deadly wood of the cross, appropriates fitting altars for reprobate and wicked men ... when you attribute to our religion the worship of a criminal and his cross you wander far from the truth", and also: "Men who have died cannot become gods, because a god cannot die; nor can men who are born (become gods) ... Why, I pray, are gods not born today, if such have ever been born?"

We see early Christians who believed Jesus never came in the flesh :
2 John warns of those who don't
"acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh".

We early Christians who argue Jesus was a PHANTOM :
Basilides,
in mid 2nd century, denied Jesus was really crucified, and the physical resurrection :
"Christ sent, not by this maker of the world, but by the above-named Abraxas; and to have come in a phantasm, and been destitute of the substance of flesh: that it was not He who suffered among the Jews, but that Simon was crucified in His stead: whence, again, there must be no believing on him who was crucified, lest one confess to having believed on Simon. Martyrdoms are not to be endured. The resurrection of the flesh he strenuously impugns, affirming that salvation has not been promised to bodies"




Originally posted by gYvMessanger
In fact if you look at jewish writers at the time you see them readily admitting that such a man did indeed walk the earth.


Wrong.
There is just one Jewish writer of the time - Philo.
He talks about the Logos, and the Holy Spirit, about Jewish sects and beliefs and leaders - in great length.
If he had known of Jesus he WOULD have mentioned him.
But Philo is completely silent.

Jewish comments about Jesus come from well a CENTURY or two later.
And, they make all sorts of claims about Jesus :
* he was the bastard son of Roman soldier conceived during menses
* he learned black magic from egypt by sneaking the magic word past the magic gaurd dog concealed on a scroll hidden in a cut on his thigh
* he burned his food and worshipped a brick-bat
* he had 5 disciples
* he was stoned to death in Lydda
Is that what you call historical evidence of Jesus, gYvMessanger?



Originally posted by gYvMessanger
I don't think there can be any doubt Yeshua of Nazeroth existed,


There is much doubt, as seen on this forum.
Even in the earliest times there were claims the Gospels were fiction, myth, lies.


Iasion



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:52 PM
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reply to post by Iasion
 


Wouldn't all those sources be 'too late to be reliable?'

I mean, if that's the theme you're wanting to go with, and all.

Many of those were also quote mines but let's go with the theme:

They weren't contemporaries!

Ya, it's weak but I'd hate to be the one to change the line of argument.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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Iasion dude... you are beyond silly. Even our method of reckoning years BC & AD is based on his life. All the great universities were founded as seminaries. No serious scholar would contend he never lived. His influence is too profound. He is THE most influential historical figure of all time.

If you don't want to follow the rules - just run and play - but your attempt to justify is laughably trite at best - pure deceit at worst. I suspect a combination of both is the truth.


[edit on 9/5/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by Iasion
Hi all,


Originally posted by Alienmojo
How strange you would say this, but understandable I suppose. However, you are totally wrong and there is lots of evidence.


Apologists often talk about this "lots of evidence", but can only seem to ever come up with a few feeble fragments.



Originally posted by Alienmojo
2) Cornelius Tacitus, Roman Historian, Writing of the reign of Nero, Tacitus alludes to the death of Christ and to the existence of Christians at Rome. His misspelling of Christ as "Christus", was a common error made by pagan writers. "Christus, the founder of the name was PUT TO DEATH BY PONTIOUS PILATE."


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.


I guess this is a forgery too, how convenient.


Originally posted by Iasion
* 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.)


That may seem logical to you.

My opinion is that as CHRISTianity grew around the beginning of the first century and the followers called him "Christ".

He never was Jesus, son of Joseph. When He arose on the third day, His friends, anybody that knew Him, would have known He was Christ, the Son of God.


Originally posted by Iasion
* 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.


May have been, may not have been


Originally posted by Iasion
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.)


Disagree, in science, however small a fragment of evidence it is, if it shows any support for theory it is used.


Originally posted by Iasion
So,
this passage is NOT evidence for Jesus,
it's just evidence for 2nd century Christian stories about Jesus.


Disagree, see last comment


Originally posted by Alienmojo
3)Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist of the latter half of the 2nd century, Lucian spoke scornfully of Christ and the Christians... "The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day--the distinquished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account..."



Originally posted by Iasion
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.


Again disagree, by itself I would agree, but the list is growing.



Originally posted by Alienmojo
This can all be found in the book THE NEW EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT by Josh McDowell.


I have heard it is really interesting book, I need to read it myself.



Originally posted by Iasion
Which is thoroughly refuted in
"Evidence that demands a refund"
www.infidels.org...
by Jeff Lowder.


I would have expected more facts, less arrogance.



Originally posted by Alienmojo
I'm not gonna bore everyone and keep quoting, but there are also: Suetonius,

SUETONIUS (c.115CE)


Didn't bore me at all!




Originally posted by Iasion
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...



Wonder how good the editing was back then?

Alienmojo has ruled out coincidence by all accepted scientific standards.





PLINY the Younger (c.112CE)


THALLUS (date unknown)


PHLEGON (c.140)




It sounds to me like the only evidence Iasion will accept is the kind that caused Saul to change his name to Paul.


[edit on 5-9-2008 by mhc_70]



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:27 PM
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[edit on 5-9-2008 by OldThinker]



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:40 PM
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Its not supposed to be easy to believe thats the point of faith if there was proof it would cheapen it cause there would be no need for faith not that im particularly faithful i went to catholic school thats something that will ruin religion for you thats just the explanation a nun gave me



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:47 PM
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For me the strongest evidence would be that the Bible was compiled from a collection of manuscripts having many different Authors.

The Greek Septaugint and the Latin Vulgate were both translated from Aramic and Hebrew manuscripts and are the earliest complete Bibles.

Almost 2k years later a discovery is made...The 2,000-year-old scrolls, found in the late 1940s in caves near the Dead Sea east of Jerusalem, contain the earliest known copies of every book of the Hebrew Bible (missing only the Book of Esther), as well as apocryphal texts and descriptions of rituals of a Jewish sect at the time of Jesus. The texts, most of them on parchment but some on papyrus, date from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D.


The Dead Sea Scolls are in Aramic and Hebrew and the translations that have been done confirm the accuracy of the Bible.

I am perplexed by the idea that this too is coincidence.


[edit on 5-9-2008 by mhc_70]

[edit on 5-9-2008 by mhc_70]



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by OldThinker
 


Just a tip: Use the 'ex' tags. Look above your text box when you are writing a post. You will see 'EX' in red in one of the little white boxes. Make sure your external quotes of information between those brackets. It will look like this:


Insert external information here.


I've seen some people just paste and cite or place it in quote tags but the way to ensure it isn't removed is to place it in the proper 'ex' tags. Hope that helps.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:55 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


Thanks for that...I'm still figuring this all out...



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by Heike
reply to post by OldThinker
 


Good post.

Like many others who are not Christian, I tend to look at the negative side of Christianity and find all the faults that it has. I can't honestly say that I'm now totally convinced of Jesus' reality, but thank you for reminding us of some of the positive things that the Christian philosophy and religion have contributed to the world and our society. I'll try to remember to see the upside of Christianity and have more respect for all that Christians have done for us.

Thanks!


[edit on 5-9-2008 by Heike]



Yes, Christians have been a great source of good!

Here's the link of all the content....I had just put a 'source' link on the bottom...will use EXT next time (if I can figure out how?)

www.faithfacts.org...



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 10:35 PM
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Originally posted by NOTurTypical
LOL!!!!!! The most reputable authority for Alexander the Great comes from "The Life of Alexander" by Plutarch. This was written 4 CENTURIES after his death.:

www.amazon.com...
[edit on 5-9-2008 by NOTurTypical]


If you believe that our main reason to believe in Alexander the Great comes from "The Life of Alexander", then you are mistaken. We have coins dated back to his lifetime, cities founded by him, a history of his battles. Most importantly, his story FITS in this timeline, and makes sense given what we know.


Alexander's conquests can be reliably mapped to the square kilometre and dated to the day and the hours of battle. Also, as he was the son of another conquering ruler, Philip II of Macedon, we have reliable knowledge of his birth and antecedents.


Jesus on the other hand, has nothing to support him but the gospels, and other texts which are based on the gospels.
If you can't see the obvious difference, then I just don't know what to say.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
And the things about the coins? I almost wanted to laugh at that. There are depictions of many figures- both fictional and historical. Physical depictions do not verify anyone's historicity. Like the Harry Potter analogy someone used. There are pictures of him 'doing things' but that doesn't mean he is real. If Christians provided a self portrait of Jesus that dated to 30 A.D. with His bloody fingerprint on it, it would still be denied by the hardcore skeptics. So, I guess they can go play or do whatever it is they do.


A coin alone would prove nothing. We take the coin, and the face portrayed on the coin and combine it with what we know about the owner of this face, and guess what? It fits. The only account that we have of the face portrayed on the coin is the account we know of Alexander the Great. If we found a coin with Jesus' face on it, then it would not be considered evidence for Jesus' existence, as the account we have of Jesus would not warrent currency made in his image, therefor it does not fit.

Is this 100% pure solid proof? No, but it's a hell of a lot more than Jesus had.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


TruthParadox, I can't prove...the rock was thrown in the water...but if I look up after the splash...I can see the ripple effect, the waves, correct?

Jesus' splash on earth left a positive ripple effect...

Please go to this link when you have time and let's discuss earth-life without the "Jesus-ripple!"

www.faithfacts.org...

There's a lot of good here you won't deny, I hope...

OT

I had a little difficulty with how to use the EXT, but I think I understand now...but here's the full link, be interested in your thoughts sir?



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
Jesus on the other hand, has nothing to support him but the gospels, and other texts which are based on the gospels.
If you can't see the obvious difference, then I just don't know what to say.


Sorry to butt-in to your conversation with another member but that is really similar to Socrates. Not exact- but similar. His philosophies were not penned by himself but, like Jesus, by his students. This leads us to what is known as the 'Socratic problem,' as I am sure you are aware. The fact remains, even then no one questions a historical Socrates- just what were his true teachings and his historical actions compared to his recorded actions and recorded philosophies. I don't know but when I see things like this occur, I can't help but think anything else but a willful denial of history. People might question Socrates' teachings and actions but they don't question his existence. I see a serious problem with the intellectual bias in this regard.

Edited to add: Sorry, I just saw your comment to me as well. Glad we agree that a physical depiction is not evidence. As for everything else, it's looking like a good idea to just keep my mouth shut at this point. There are physical descriptions of Jesus floating around in ancient documents but I simply don't consider them convincing or reliable evidence. An artistic depiction or physical description really means nothing because even mythical figures have such things. Not to mention it would never be enough to convince the hardcore skeptic.

[edit on 9/5/2008 by AshleyD]



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by OldThinker
TruthParadox, I can't prove...the rock was thrown in the water...but if I look up after the splash...I can see the ripple effect, the waves, correct?


The story of Jesus made a ripple effect, not Jesus himself. Even if you believe Jesus existed, I'm sure you can agree that it was the story that caused the effect, as few people knew about it until centuries after. I'm not sure if you meant this to be evidence of Jesus' existence, but it's not.


Originally posted by OldThinker
Jesus' splash on earth left a positive ripple effect...


Some good has come of it, however, in my opinion more bad than good. Of course you're well aware of the crusades, but even aside from this, those in power used the Bible to gain more power and more of a stranglehold on the people. If a scripture existed that went against their motives, they ignored it, and if a scripture existed that exalted their power, they used it. This is not only seen in history, but with many Christians today, sadly. I hate when men talk about how they are better than women because the Bible says so. I'm a guy, but that still pisses me off to see such hypocrisy.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 11:23 PM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
Sorry to butt-in to your conversation with another member but that is really similar to Socrates. Not exact- but similar. His philosophies were not penned by himself but, like Jesus, by his students. This leads us to what is known as the 'Socratic problem,' as I am sure you are aware. The fact remains, even then no one questions a historical Socrates- just what were his true teachings and his historical actions compared to his recorded actions and recorded philosophies. I don't know but when I see things like this occur, I can't help but think anything else but a willful denial of history. People might question Socrates' teachings and actions but they don't question his existence. I see a serious problem with the intellectual bias in this regard.


It's all about probability. The probability that Jesus existed is the same as the probability that Socrates existed, except for one thing. Socrates did not perform miracles, nor did he claim to be the son of God. The thing is, the only source we have of Jesus claims that he did perform miracles. If there was another source that stated that existed but did not perform miracles, then the probabilty would be likely and no one would question it. Just as you do not believe in Hercules because of his claims of being the son of Zeus. If the story of Hercules was that he was just a regular chippie, then I'm sure many people would believe in him today.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
The story of Jesus makes extraordinary claims but does not have extraordinary evidence, or even any reliable evidence for that matter.



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