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Although the Qumran community existed during the time of the ministry of Jesus, none of the Scrolls refer to Him, nor do they mention any of His follower's described in the New Testament.
ALL CLAIMS OF JESUS DERIVE FROM HEARSAY ACCOUNTS
No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus got written well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings. Although one can argue that many of these writings come from fraud or interpolations, I will use the information and dates to show that even if these sources did not come from interpolations, they could still not serve as reliable evidence for a historical Jesus, simply because all sources derive from hearsay accounts.
Hearsay means information derived from other people rather than on a witness' own knowledge.
Courts of law do not generally allow hearsay as testimony, and nor does honest modern scholarship. Hearsay provides no proof or good evidence, and therefore, we should dismiss it.
Although what follows may fairly be interpreted to be a proof of the non-historicity of Jesus, it must be realized that the burden of proof does not rest upon the skeptic in this matter. As always is the case, the burden of proof weighs upon those who assert that some thing or some process exists. If someone claims that he never has to shave because every morning before he can get to the bathroom he is assaulted by a six-foot rabbit with extremely sharp teeth who trims his whiskers better than a razor - if someone makes such a claim, no skeptic need worry about constructing a disproof. Unless evidence for the claim is produced, the skeptic can treat the claim as false. This is nothing more than sane, every-day practice.
The first set of historical records of course is the New Testament. The 27 books of the NT refer to the life of Jesus.
If Jesus was not real, why did Matthew and Luke go to such lengths to trace his lineage? Making up a person is one thing. But assigning him a set of relatives is another thing.
People also point to the discrepancies in the stories of Jesus among the four gospels as proof that Jesus was not real. But actually, it shows that all four had different perspectives of Jesus. It shows that all of them did not have a common source of information other than the life of Jesus.
All four writers give verifiable names and places in their testimonies. We can check out where is Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Golgotha, King Herod, and many other things. People making up a person would not go to the lengths of having everything verifiable except the main person in the story.
There are also many other secular writers that talked about Jesus.
In 112 AD, a Roman historian named Cornelius Tacitus wrote:
"Christus, the founder of the name(Christians), was put to death by Pontius Pilate."
Another Roman historian, Suetonius, wrote:
"As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome"
During the early second century, a Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, wrote:
"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure."
"The Roman sources show a vague awareness that Jesus was a historical figure as well as the object of a cult; the reliable Jewish sources tell us that he was a Jewish teacher who was put to death for sorcery and false prophecy and that he had a brother named James. The Jewish evidence is especially valuable because of the hostility between Jews and Christians at the time: it would have been easy for the Jewish side to question the existence of Jesus, but this they never did." (NGME 94)
Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
this is just the kind of info I was interested in. Thanks for those links.
Your conclusion about Rome not mentioning Jesus was interesting. So, you don't think they'd record those people they killed off, like a census of executions.
(Like brownie points from the colonies to the Emperor, if you get my drift?)
I don't agree with that at all. If we are to believe the story of the crucifixtion then it makes sense that the Romans try not to mention Jesus again, after all he was causing social tension and was a challenge to Roman rule in the area. They would most certainly try to bury his memory instead of keeping it alive by recording the details of his life. In addition I doubt that many Roman writings and documents concerning an area that they considered unimportant would be preserved for very long.
Did Jesus really exist? If someone cannot believe that Jesus Christ existed, that person would have a difficult time believing that anybody else has ever existed. There is a tremendous amount of evidence pointing to the life of Jesus Christ.
How do we even go about proving that any particular person actually lived? How can we even prove that George Washington lived? Or even Thomas Edison?
There are a couple of ways. One is to look at historical records. We know that George Washington lived by all the books, writings, biographies, newspapers that have documented his existance. We have paintings of him. We even have his wooden false teeth.