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The Evidence For Jesus' Existence is Overwhelming

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posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:36 PM
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What can we say about the history of Jesus? Is it reasonable to conclude that Jesus never existed, based on the weight of all the historical evidence? Or is it more reasonable to conclude that Jesus was an unparalleled historical figure; that not only was he a great teacher and "doer of wonderful works", but that something extraordinary - perhaps even supernatural - happened in history to spark a movement that "turned the world upside down".

Christianity presents a founder who is unmatched in history - one who really lived, taught unlike any other, performed miracles that testified of His authority, really died, and really rose from the dead to be seen by literally hundreds before His ascension.

Either He existed, and was who He claimed to be - Lord and Savior; or not. If He did exist, fulfill prophecy, perform miracles, die in our place, and rise again, then you, I -- we all -- have to deal with the ramifications of this.

Consider the written historical evidence of Jesus from these varied sources ...

1. Non-Christian, non-Jewish sources (principally Roman, Greek). These consist of the writings of a number of Greek or Roman historians, and refer to the history of Jesus because of the trouble the Christian movement was causing in the empire at the time. The records are normally antagonistic, since they have nothing to gain by admitting the historicity of the events.

2. Jewish sources - Josephus, the Talmud. Josephus, a Jewish aristocrat turned politician, was recruited by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt to act as a mediator and write a historical record of events at the time. He records that Jesus was a wise man that did many wonderful works, and that many people - both Jews and Gentiles - followed after him. The Talmud, written by Jewish sources at the time, is (not surprisingly) unfriendly toward the founder of Christianity. The important point, however, is that Jewish sources do not deny that Jesus was a real historical figure -- they only promote a different interpretation of of his conception.

3. Christian sources - the Gospels, early church fathers and historians. The four gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - are judged by most scholars to be reliable, historical testimony of eye-witnesses. These gospels, as well as the Acts of the Apostles, the letters of Paul and the other Apostles, are judged to have been written from 40 A.D. to 100 A.D. -- all within a few decades of the life of Jesus. The early church fathers were the leaders and teachers in the church who followed the apostles - many were also disciples of these same apostles.

Non-Christian, Non-Jewish Historians Comment on the History of Jesus

Cornelius Tacitus (c. A.D. 55-120)

A Roman historian who lived through the reign of over a half-dozen Roman emperors1, Tacitus has been called "the greatest historian of ancient Rome. His most famous works are the Annals and the Histories. The Annals covers from 14 A.D. to approximately 68 A.D. (the death of Augustus up to the time of Nero), while Histories proceeds from 68 A.D. (Nero's death) to 96 A.D. (the time of Domitian).

Here is what Tacitus wrote concerning the history of Jesus, and the existence of Christians in Rome:

"But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the price could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also." (Annals XV, 44)1.

Some points to note about the narrative from Tacitus:

He mistakenly refers to Jesus as "Christus", however this was a common practice among the pagan writers at that time.
He supports the fact that Christ existed, and was put to death by Pontius Pilate - agreeing with the Christian scriptures.
He alludes to "the pernicious superstition" which broke out, was repressed, but then spread even more - even throughout the city of Rome itself. This may indeed be referring to the core belief which caused the early church to explode and "turn the world upside down" -- that Jesus had died indeed, but that He had also risen from the grave.


Thallus, a Samaritan-born historian who lived and worked in Rome about 52 A.D., wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world (Habernas, VECELJ, 93). Although the original writings of Thallus are lost to us, Julius Africanus, a Christian historian of the late second century (2221 A,D.), was familiar with them and quotes from them. One very interesting passage from Thallus relates to the darkness that enveloped the land at the time of Christ's crucifixion. Julius Africanus writes as follows:

"Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away this darkness as as an eclipse of the sun - unreasonably, as it seems to me (unreasonably, of course, because a solar eclipse could not take place at the time of the full moon, and it was at the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died." (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18.1)

Points to note:

This quote testifies that the gospel accounts of darkness falling upon the land about the time of Christ's death were well known, and thus required a naturalistic explanation from non-Christians.
Thallus did not dispute that Jesus has been crucified -- he was more concerned with coming up with another explanation for the darkness that enveloped the land.

How many more references do you need? If you need more, then I would refer to this passage in Luke 9, of Jesus' instructions to His Apostles: "Take nothing for your journey--neither staffs, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats apiece. Into whatever house you enter, stay there, and depart from there. As many as don't receive you, when you depart from that city, shake off even the dust from your feet for a testimony against them."




posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:40 PM
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Jesus is real I've met him he live a few houses down from me... last names Hernadez though don't know where Christ came from.... LOL just kidding i couldn't resist great post and good info..

Peace


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posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:40 PM
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The thing is, there is absolutely NO evidence that Jesus existed. There is evidence that a man who would later be turned into jesus by historians lived, but none that the man jesus, as christians believe in him, existed.

A large number of historians now agree that the man labeled jesus was actually an egyptian pharoah. Others think he was a mythical being, nothing more. Some think he was a metaphor.

But I defy you, show me one piece of hard evidence that the christian "jesus" lived.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
The thing is, there is absolutely NO evidence that Jesus existed. There is evidence that a man who would later be turned into jesus by historians lived, but none that the man jesus, as christians believe in him, existed.

A large number of historians now agree that the man labeled jesus was actually an egyptian pharoah. Others think he was a mythical being, nothing more. Some think he was a metaphor.

But I defy you, show me one piece of hard evidence that the christian "jesus" lived.


Oh, oh, A large number" huh? Source please?



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by Bombeni

Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
The thing is, there is absolutely NO evidence that Jesus existed. There is evidence that a man who would later be turned into jesus by historians lived, but none that the man jesus, as christians believe in him, existed.

A large number of historians now agree that the man labeled jesus was actually an egyptian pharoah. Others think he was a mythical being, nothing more. Some think he was a metaphor.

But I defy you, show me one piece of hard evidence that the christian "jesus" lived.


Oh, oh, A large number" huh? Source please?


If you arent going to debate the topics, why even respond? There are plenty of sources out there on this, and I in no way claimed that I believe them, so why do I need to post a source?

Typical deflection by a troll.

Once again, show me one piece of hard evidence. Just one.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:55 PM
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What do you want as hard evidence? The lunchpail he carried?



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:55 PM
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reply to post by cautiouslypessimistic
 


there are none, that's the point.
He only exists through faith (in the heads of believers)

there is no external documented proof of jesus, as the figure claimed by followers today.

he was (if he existed at all) just a normal preacher like hundreds of others at the time.... not even the most followed.

Obviously after his death, his followers wanted to carry on the name of their favourite preacher so they made up stories about him and said he rose from the dead.

2000 years ago, people would have ate this up, as they all wanted to believe something and the fear of hell and damnation scared them to death.

There was no such thing as christianity at the time of jesus, he was JEWISH... and the idea of christianity wasn't even thought of.

he was just a jewish preacher, like many before and after...but with some creative writing and blatant lies...the myth was born.

thats why in this day and age, this kind of primitive rubbish still exists.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 12:59 PM
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What do you want as hard evidence? The lunchpail he carried?


You are the one who claims it is undeniable. Yet you can't show anything other than heresay as your "proof". I guess the question is, are you really this gullible, and do you always take heresay as proof? If so, just so you know, I am god. The almighty. The alpha. The omega.

I can get somebody to write that down, if thats all it takes for youi to believe something.

One more time, show me proof, or admit that you are absolutely full of it.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by Bombeni

What do you want as hard evidence? The lunchpail he carried?


reliable first hand accounts

and by reliable i mean ones that cant already be proven to have been modified like the NT gospels

no ...... hmmmmm


reliable second hand accounts?

and by reliable i mean using more then just varied spellings of christos which is a title not a name

so you have the bible, third party documents written much later and a whole lot of nothing else



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic

What do you want as hard evidence? The lunchpail he carried?


You are the one who claims it is undeniable. Yet you can't show anything other than heresay as your "proof". I guess the question is, are you really this gullible, and do you always take heresay as proof? If so, just so you know, I am god. The almighty. The alpha. The omega.

I can get somebody to write that down, if thats all it takes for youi to believe something.

One more time, show me proof, or admit that you are absolutely full of it.


Maybe you should read my original post. I named the "historians" who validate that Jesus lived. You merely say "historians" believe he didn't. Which historians? What are their names? That is what I call hard evidence.

You are welcome to get someone to write that you are god. Jim Jones did. Jose Luis, some guy in Mexico I think, claims he is Jesus. David Koresh tried it. I think even a member here at ATS claimed it just a few posts ago -- LOL. I can't think of anyone more desireable to imitate.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:16 PM
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Maybe you should read my original post. I named the "historians" who validate that Jesus lived. You merely say "historians" believe he didn't. Which historians? What are their names? That is what I call hard evidence.

You are welcome to get someone to write that you are god. Jim Jones did. Jose Luis, some guy in Mexico I think, claims he is Jesus. David Koresh tried it. I think even a member here at ATS claimed it just a few posts ago -- LOL. I can't think of anyone more desireable to imitate.


Maybe you ought to work on your reading comprehension. I am not claiming these people are right. I am saying there are those who think that way. That they do is fact. There are dozens of books written on the subject. I'll give you one of the simple ones, start you out slow..."Cloak of the Illuminati" by William Henry.

Names of historians who **THINK** one way or another is proof of nothing. All I ask is for you to back up what you are claiming (it was YOU, afteral, who started the thread).

You really do show all the signs of being a troll...outlandish claims, no evidence, no answers to direct questions, always turning it back on the person asking....pretty sure this will be my last response here, unless you have anything of actual substance to say.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by blupblup
reply to post by cautiouslypessimistic
 


there are none, that's the point.
He only exists through faith (in the heads of believers)

there is no external documented proof of jesus, as the figure claimed by followers today.

he was (if he existed at all) just a normal preacher like hundreds of others at the time.... not even the most followed.

Obviously after his death, his followers wanted to carry on the name of their favourite preacher so they made up stories about him and said he rose from the dead.

2000 years ago, people would have ate this up, as they all wanted to believe something and the fear of hell and damnation scared them to death.

There was no such thing as christianity at the time of jesus, he was JEWISH... and the idea of christianity wasn't even thought of.

he was just a jewish preacher, like many before and after...but with some creative writing and blatant lies...the myth was born.

thats why in this day and age, this kind of primitive rubbish still exists.


An important distinction between a myth and a real person is how the figure impacts history. For example, the Olympic Games originated on Mount Olympus in Greece, home of the temple of the Greek god Zeus. But Zeus has not changed governments, laws, or ethics.

The historian Thomas Carlyle said, “No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” As Carlyle notes, it is real people, not myths, who impact history.

As a real person, Alexander impacted history by his military conquests, altering nations, governments, and laws. But what of Jesus Christ and his impact on our world?

The first-century governments of Israel and Rome were largely untouched by Jesus’ life. The average Roman citizen didn’t know he existed until many years after his death, Roman culture remained largely aloof from his teaching for decades, and it would be several centuries before killing Christians in the coliseum became a national pastime. The rest of the world had little if any knowledge of him. Jesus marshaled no army. He didn’t write a book or change any laws. The Jewish leaders hoped to wipe out his memory, and it appeared they would succeed.

Today, however, ancient Rome lies in ruins. Caesar’s mighty legions and the pomp of Roman imperial power have faded into oblivion. Yet how is Jesus remembered today? What is his enduring influence?
• More books have been written about Jesus than about any other person in history.
• Nations have used his words as the bedrock of their governments. According to Durant, “The triumph of Christ was the beginning of democracy.”
• His Sermon on the Mount established a new paradigm in ethics and morals.
• Schools, hospitals, and humanitarian works have been founded in his name. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Oxford are but a few universities that have Christians to thank for their beginning.
• The elevated role of women in Western culture traces its roots back to Jesus. (Women in Jesus’ day were considered inferior and virtual nonpersons until his teaching was followed.)
• Slavery was abolished in Britain and America due to Jesus’ teaching that each human life is valuable.
• Former drug and alcohol dependents, prostitutes, and others seeking purpose in life claim him as the explanation for their changed lives.
• Two billion people call themselves Christians. While some are Christian in name only, others continue to impact our culture by teaching Jesus’ principles that all life is valuable and we are to love one another.
Remarkably, Jesus made all of this impact as a result of just a three-year period of public ministry. If Jesus didn’t exist, one must wonder how a myth could so alter history. When world historian H. G. Wells was asked who has left the greatest legacy on history, he replied, “By this test Jesus stands first.”

Documentary evidence and historical impact point to the fact that Jesus did exist. If Jesus did really exist, we also would expect to discover his footprints imprinted within the details of history. Myths don’t leave such confirming details.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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The problem is, you don't have a single first hand account of Jesus or any of his deeds. A historian that was born 40 years after Jesus died is not a reliable source and doesn't answer why nobody thought it was worth writing about the guy while he was alive. They wrote about all sorts of other people that did nothing, compared to walking on water and rising from the dead.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by Bombeni
 


Something being named after jesus is not proof that he existed. That is a pathetic stretch.

That so many people choose christianity is not proof that he existed. Afterall, early christians had to literally erradicate pagans (and steal their traditions) because too many people were choosing earth based religions over christianity. There are more muslims in the world than any other religion....so by your logic, they are correct, and you are wrong.

Addicts generally turn to christ because the entire addicition recovery
program in america is christian based.

The elevated role of women in the west had more to do with ww1 & 2 than jesus. If it was jesus that taught that women are equal, why were women treated as lower class citizens until the 1920'S?

I'm not even going to touch on your slavery claim, as it is so completely outlandish that I cant keep a straight face trying to reply.

Still waiting on any type of factual evidence.





posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic



Maybe you should read my original post. I named the "historians" who validate that Jesus lived. You merely say "historians" believe he didn't. Which historians? What are their names? That is what I call hard evidence.

You are welcome to get someone to write that you are god. Jim Jones did. Jose Luis, some guy in Mexico I think, claims he is Jesus. David Koresh tried it. I think even a member here at ATS claimed it just a few posts ago -- LOL. I can't think of anyone more desireable to imitate.


Maybe you ought to work on your reading comprehension. I am not claiming these people are right. I am saying there are those who think that way. That they do is fact. There are dozens of books written on the subject. I'll give you one of the simple ones, start you out slow..."Cloak of the Illuminati" by William Henry.

Names of historians who **THINK** one way or another is proof of nothing. All I ask is for you to back up what you are claiming (it was YOU, afteral, who started the thread).

You really do show all the signs of being a troll...outlandish claims, no evidence, no answers to direct questions, always turning it back on the person asking....pretty sure this will be my last response here, unless you have anything of actual substance to say.


We could debate all day on which of us needs to take Reading Comp I. If you "are not claiming these people are right" -- the so-called historians you suggest, then what is your point? I can accept if you are an athiest. Just spit it out. But anyone who questions if Jesus really lived or not must question if Caesar lived, or George Washington for that matter. Or the Pharoahs. Actually, I haven't even stated whether I am Christian, Athiest, Buddhist, or what. However I am smart enough to know Jesus was a real person. A third grader---who didn't have an agenda to disprove a man who made the biggest impact in world history in just three short years---would know that.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:27 PM
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are you trying to debate whether or not he merely existed? Or if he was, in fact, the messiah that his followers claimed him to be? Historical evidence may be able to prove that someone existed that was the basis for the stories in the NT, but can historical evidence prove that he was the son of god, savior, messiah, etc.?

A similar question: there may have been a man named Achilles, but was his mother really an nymph who conceived him with a mortal? Was he all that Homer's Iliad claimed him to be?



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:34 PM
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We could debate all day on which of us needs to take Reading Comp I. If you "are not claiming these people are right" -- the so-called historians you suggest, then what is your point? I can accept if you are an athiest. Just spit it out. But anyone who questions if Jesus really lived or not must question if Caesar lived, or George Washington for that matter. Or the Pharoahs. Actually, I haven't even stated whether I am Christian, Athiest, Buddhist, or what. However I am smart enough to know Jesus was a real person. A third grader---who didn't have an agenda to disprove a man who made the biggest impact in world history in just three short years---would know that.


The point of stating that many historians believe this (and many other theories on the subject) is to raise the question: What makes you right, and people that have spent their entire lives researching this subject wrong? Why is your so called "evidence" the only that matters?

Nope, not an atheist. Try again.

The thing about Caesar (which, by the way, is a title, not a name...I assume you are referring to Julius?) and George Washington is that there are first, second, third, fourth hand accounts of their lives. There are writings and the such that are DIRECTLY related to them.

With Jesus, there is nothing but the writings of people who lived long after him, or that heard stories of him. So no, I dont have to question every historical figure. Just the ones without a shred of evidence.

I dont need you to state your religious beliefs, as they are apparent for all to see. You were raised a christ believer. Your parents surely were as well. You were indoctrinated as a child, and now lack the ability to questions things.

The funny thing is, you talk about third graders, and it was right about that age that I started to think for myself and ask questions. As a 3rd grader, I knew something wasnt right.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by justxxme
are you trying to debate whether or not he merely existed? Or if he was, in fact, the messiah that his followers claimed him to be? Historical evidence may be able to prove that someone existed that was the basis for the stories in the NT, but can historical evidence prove that he was the son of god, savior, messiah, etc.?

A similar question: there may have been a man named Achilles, but was his mother really an nymph who conceived him with a mortal? Was he all that Homer's Iliad claimed him to be?


The fact that He was Messiah is not even up for debate, not for me. I simply find it almost humorous that people these days try to discredit that He even lived. That is a new stretch. And since you queried what my actual spiritual leanings are, well, if you insist:

I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life † of the world to come. Amen.



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:42 PM
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[edit on 12/9/08 by blupblup]



posted on Sep, 12 2008 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by Bombeni
 


Jesus the man existed and archeologists have found where he was born (it is not the tourist attraction where people go to, but much of the site has a highway over it). He was from a royal line as the son of Joseph, who was a direct descendant of David.
The fact is Jesus was real, but was a human who had a legal claim as King of the Jews because of his father. He was a rabbi, and therefor was married.
The myth of Jesus is what Christianity is now, so you have two choices: Jesus the Man, or Jesus the Myth.






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