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Historical Jesus? -- new book on the subject

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posted on Jul, 18 2013 @ 05:59 AM
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Originally posted by windword
If the biblical character of Jesus is a composite of several messianic teachers, their sayings and deeds, then it can be said that many messiahs existed at the time. In my opinion the anonymous books of the gospels are not credible as proof for the existence of the continuous life of one man, birth to death.

Hiya windword.

I think that you're correct that the books themselves aren't proof alone, and I would even agree that there has been many alterations to the bible, but we can perhaps say at least the character or ghost of Jesus existed?

There is a fair amount of evidence to indicate that several different versions of the same manuscripts coexisted of the old testament with the theory that the stories were altered to suit the point at the time. This makes the old testament unreliable, so I'd share your reluctance in historically using the new testament, but ...

The stories within the old testament were a driving force for Messiah / Prophet lead rebellions as commented by Tacitus and likely directly witnessed by Josephus. Further to this, it wasn't unusual for attempted miracles to be involved in such rebellions.

In this context, the parables of Jesus are political speeches or teachings of the time often referring to very real problems the people of Galilee and Judea faced. Jesus's parables are a direct attack on the other teachings which are attempting to maintain the status quo (or push it somewhere incredibly violent).

It was compelling enough that Tacitus felt the need to comment on his existence ... being a Roman, some historians contend that Tacitus had another source to confirm his historical account, and the writings of the troubles in the area would match strongly with Jesus' teachings.


I get frustrated with forged, interpolated and mistranslated documents are constantly being presented at factual proof.

I think this is where I become a little fence sitty, but I still believe Jesus as a person existed ...

I think it's a challenge for Christians, knowing that there were false prophets who had supernatural deeds attributed to them ... and if the above is correct, it's a direct answer to why Jesus never addressed the things we struggle with today such as homosexuality; it wasn't really his concern at that point in time. Our inaccuracy at interpreting ancient Greek connected with our lack of social reference (we only have the literate point of view) and the politicizing of the text makes it quite hard.

I recently started reading multiple manuscripts and it's a head ache.


Originally posted by MrInquisitive
reply to post by charles1952
 

I qualified the historical veracity of Jesus being crucified because, as I understand it, there are no historical accounts that we have that were written at the time of his purported death. My understanding is that the primary accounts of Jesus, including the Book of Paul, were written years after the fact.

This is something that fascinates me, since it's actually a common thing even these days.

While we have sources such as news papers, it can often be several years or more before the first serious work of a barely known figure is known. A figure like Jesus wouldn't have their significance noted until several years after the fact given to some point he was just another rebel leader. (Interesting historians to look up are Josephus and Tacitus)

The 'event' of Jesus didn't actually occur until after his death when you think about it. For the Romans, it was the Christian movement that caught their attention; they were not witness to the miracles or resurrection of Jesus. That said though, unlike many myths it is hard to falsify purely on historical inaccuracy. The old testament is easy to discount in many places where the new ... much less so.

I've had a look at Zealot, but to be honest I might wait it out. There have been a pile of new journal articles and some fresh research, which I suspect Reza Aslan has mined to make his sensationalist points. Interview with him below:


Interesting the point he brings up about how the Romans labelled Jesus. I'm not aware of large numbers of historians making the 'joke' claim about 'King of the Jews' recently? I thought that was more of a popular understanding, but the Romans perhaps meant it quite literally. (They killed a lot of poor people who called themselves 'kings')

Just seems like taking advantage of modern context and understanding of a word to bend it.




posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 



One of the three objections which windword raised was the non-existence of Nazareth. I think I see where that idea comes from, but apparently there have been more recent finds which may not have been widely publicized.


www.evidenceforchristianity.org...

The fact is that there is plenty of evidence that there was Jewish occupation of the Galilean location known as Nazareth in the first century. The criticism above is based on rather old archaeological evidence which is now outdated. Recently, an arab merchant discovered the remains of a Roman bath house on the site of Nazareth from the first century AD.
See www.guardian.co.uk...

for more on this recent discovery. Professor Carsten Peter Thiede, a scholar in archeology and religion who spent 20 years excavating the area of Qumran and the Dead Sea with the Antiquities Authority, describes the place in his most recent book "The Cosmopolitan World of Jesus" (2005), in which he analyses the historical implications of the discovery of the bath house. Prof Thiede says in his book: “Returning to the discovery of the Roman baths in Nazareth, we realize that such an installation, should it really turn out to be Roman and to have been available to non-Roman inhabitants like Mary, Joseph and Jesus, would merely underline what we could have gathered from the sources anyway. The only real surprise to many may be the conclusion that Nazareth was anything but a nondescript village with a handful of poor Jews.”

Besides, the remains of a first-century synagogue in Nazareth were also found recently. www.uhl.ac...


Charles,

Please forgive my delay in responding. I am loath to wade through Catholic and other Christian apologetic sites. They make my blood boil!

I can't find any evidence of a synagogue being discovered at Nazareth, only a claim of the Synagogue de la rue Nazareth was, conveniently, built on top of one that was supposedly there. There are no remnants of the old synogogue, therefore no proof available for this claim.

There is no credible evidence of the authenticity of the date that this bathhouse was built either. And, there isn't going to be any in near future. From your link.......


Further excavation of the site, however, is not yet assured: Shama's discovery is mired in financial difficulties and the sectarian acrimony that has blighted the Middle East for centuries. Given the find's significance, it is surprising to learn that Shama, a Christian Arab, is receiving no outside support, even from the state. Since he and his wife sank the last of their life savings in excavating and developing the site, the shop is close to collapse - and with it perhaps the bathhouse project.

The most powerful player in the Christian world, the Vatican, has so far refused to throw its weight behind the dig, possibly fearing that Shama's find threatens its own dominance where tourism in the city is concerned. Its Basilica of the Annunciation, the Middle East's largest church, is on the other side of town from Mary's Well. There has been a long-running dispute between the Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches about whose church is on the true site of the Annunciation.



With a great leap of faith the partisan diggers declared what they had found was 'the village of Jesus, Mary & Joseph' – though they had not found a village at all, and certainly no evidence of particular individuals. The finds were consistent, in fact, with isolated horticultural activity, close to a necropolis of long-usage.

Rather conveniently for the Catholic Church, questionable graffiti also indicated that the shrine was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, no less!

- See more at: www.jesusneverexisted.com...


I would think, given the controversy over the city of Nazareth having existed at the time of the life of Jesus, one would think the Church would make this issue a priority.

Lets look at the apologetics' arguments against those who claim that Nazareth wasn't the city that is described in the Bible:


1. First of all, it is simply not true.


Call the detractors liars


2. Second of all, even if it were true (that there is no hard physical evidence of Nazareth from the first half of the first century), it would still be an extremely weak argument.


Lack of archaeological evidence is a weak argument.


3. Third, it requires an assumption which is so far fetched as to make the argument verge on ludicrous


Call the detractors crazy. Good stuff!


The world has been blessed by the fact that excavation at Nazareth has been conducted by Catholic archaeologists. In an earlier age they may well have "found" sandals neatly inscribed with "property of Jesus Christ". As it is, they diligently extract every last drop of sanctity from some pretty meagre findings. Yet for all their creative interpretations even the Franciscans cannot disguise the fact that the lack of evidence for a pre-Jesus village at the Nazareth site is virtually total.


edit on 19-7-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Additionally,


• Nazareth is not mentioned even once in the entire Old Testament. The Book of Joshua (19.10,16) – in what it claims is the process of settlement by the tribe of Zebulon in the area – records twelve towns and six villages and yet omits any 'Nazareth' from its list.
• The Talmud, although it names 63 Galilean towns, knows nothing of Nazareth, nor does early rabbinic literature.
• St Paul knows nothing of 'Nazareth'. Rabbi Solly's epistles (real and fake) mention Jesus 221 times, Nazareth not at all.
• No ancient historian or geographer mentions Nazareth. It is first noted at the beginning or the 4th century. - See more at: www.jesusneverexisted.com...


Archaeologist do know that Nazareth was the site of a rather large funerary, that was most likely used by the residents of the nearest "real" city, Japha.


Christian Hero No 1. 1955-1960 Excavations conducted by Father Bellarmino Bagatti (Professor, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum at Flagellation, Jerusalem). Beneath his own church and adjoining land, Bagatti discovered numerous caves and hollows. Some of these caves have obviously had a great deal of use, over many centuries. Most are tombs, many from the Bronze Age. Others have been adapted for use as water cisterns, as vats for oil or as 'silos' for grain.

Apparently, there were indications that Nazareth had been 'refounded' in Hasmonean times after a long period when the area had been deserted. Yet overwhelmingly, archaeological evidence from before the second century is funerary. Obliged to admit a dearth of suitable evidence of habitation, none the less, Bagatti was able conclude that 1st century AD Nazareth had been 'a small agricultural village settled by a few dozen families.'

With a great leap of faith the partisan diggers declared what they had found was 'the village of Jesus, Mary & Joseph' – though they had not found a village at all, and certainly no evidence of particular individuals. The finds were consistent, in fact, with isolated horticultural activity, close to a necropolis of long-usage.

Rather conveniently for the Catholic Church, questionable graffiti also indicated that the shrine was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, no less!

Yet one point is inescapable: the Jewish disposition towards the 'uncleanliness' of the dead. The Jews, according to their customs, would not build a village in the immediate vicinity of tombs and vice versa. Tombs would have to be outside any village.

"The tombs, both those discovered by Bagatti and others known from earlier explorations, would have been placed outside the village and serve, in fact, to delimit its circumference for us. Looking at their locations on the plans drawn up by Bagatti (1.28) or Finegan (27), one realizes just how small the village actually was ..."

– J.D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus.


But just how small can we get before giving up on a 'village'? The presence of numerous rock-cut tombs that close to the 'grotto' is evidence that, in the 1st century, in that area, there was no village. The area was not inhabited, even if it was used.


So maybe there's a few single family farms in the area, and Jesus grew up playing around in a necropolis, but I doubt it. How would Joseph survived as a carpenter in such a small population? Also, if Nazareth was only a small farming community, not a city as the Bible says, would it have a synagogue and could the people afford precious scrolls for Jesus to have read from, as the Bible says?

So, we know that Nazareth wasn't a city, as the Bible says, and rated no comments from historians or even early church fathers.

If Jesus wasn't from Nazareth, there can be no "Jesus of Nazareth". Does that mean that there was no Jesus, not necessarily, we still have "Jesus the Nazarene".



And there's a time line problem as well. OK, assume that Nazareth didn't exist. That would mean that the Gospel writers, living in the first century, would have to invent and name a village which didn't exist until the second century. That doesn't seem very likely at all.


And this is where the conspiracy starts. Only a few miles from Nazareth, on the slopes of Mount Carmel, there was a community of Jewish aesthetics called the Nazareans. They did have a synagogue and they had lots of precious scrolls.



The Nazareans followed the tradition of Elijah, and in fact their settlement was near the site of "Elijah's Cave." Who was at the "Transfixion of Jesus"? Elijah! Who was John the Baptist? Elijah!

It's far more likely that Jesus was a Nazarean than that he was from Nazareth.

It's well known that the early Christians weren't called Christians at all, they were called Nazarenes.

Jesus the Nazarean / Nazarene probably did exist, but the Catholic Church rejects that Jesus.

edit on 19-7-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by windword

(sic)
Rather conveniently for the Catholic Church, questionable graffiti also indicated that the shrine was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, no less!

- See more at: www.jesusneverexisted.com...


I would think, given the controversy over the city of Nazareth having existed at the time of the life of Jesus, one would think the Church would make this issue a priority.

Agreed this is probably posturing to get grant money, and the church would agree with this too.

The Catholic Church is amazingly well read on this subject. Keep in mind that most of my knowledge comes from having religious tattoos (it invites argument) so is just things to consider.

One thing that leads me to believe this isn't significant is that ancient graffiti is not the same as modern graffiti. It wasn't uncommon for Greek and Roman people to write on the interior of their homes or businesses, often including religious references. All of these finds are valuable, but unless the site has something else going for it than a wall with some religious graffiti it isn't actually as impressive a claim as it seems. It may really not be that interesting to the Church.


Lets look at the apologetics' arguments against those who claim that Nazareth wasn't the city that is described in the Bible:

Agree with you on this, too regarding apologetics being unreliable, but they're useless to argue with in the first place nine times out of ten because they're taking an English translation literally.

I think it's best to address the counter arguments and discussions rather than this dig and the handful of apologetic quotes. I think its also important to note that we still don't know where certain European battle grounds and towns were from 1300AD nevermind 1AD.

The historians not mentioning areas isn't really that significant from my understanding and reading. Part of the issue with the history of these small areas is most people spoke Aramaic and didn't write. The major elephant in the room could be the fact that the Romans wrote 'Nazareth' on the cross of Jesus..

If Tacitus was reading from Roman sources about Jesus being nailed to a cross with the word Nazareth on it, why didn't he point out the inconsistency? Josephus has the excuse of not knowing its significance, but Tacitus could have known this. Even at one hundred years out Tacitus would have noticed the invention of a city or town? Perhaps not, perhaps towns vanished a lot back then and geography wasn't Tacitus' strong suit. (No sarcasm!) Also why didn't the followers of John the Baptist (the mandaeans) raise this?

Given the earliest manuscripts are scraps and complete manuscripts don't show up till hundreds of years later, I also wouldn't put the term 'city' above an over enthused copy artist 'correcting' the manuscript;; this would tentatively suit the later origin of the extant manuscripts. There are other examples of similar seemingly interest notations in history ... such as Scotland being referred to as Scotland before it ever existed completely ignoring its prior titles.This is a modern error we make every day.

There are quite a few journal articles about this and issues to do with translation / locating Nazereth but I'd be more convince about the lack of existence of the place if Tacitus or Josephus disputed it. (If they're writing about false Messiahs I'd have to say inventing a village that Romans allegedly tax but don't is a big one)

This last thought on Nazareth is that Jesus simply wasn't welcome there for a good time. It alters the perception and relevance of Nazareth at the time for me.


Also, if Nazareth was only a small farming community, not a city as the Bible says, would it have a synagogue and could the people afford precious scrolls for Jesus to have read from, as the Bible says?

This is an interesting one in that we've sometimes interpreted scroll to mean book and a few other funny things.

The main thing here for me though is ... Paul being Greek educated. These scrolls would have been written in Hebrew that most people couldn't read, and they would be speaking Aramaic.

There is some growing suggested evidence of Greek influenced stylings in Paul's writing (beyond just writing in the language) and perhaps this wording tells us more about Paul than it does about Jesus. The coexistence of different takes on the same story within Hebrew manuscripts maybe indicates that there was no single authorial scripture and therefore Paul's interpretation of Jesus having to read from a Hebrew scroll to Aramaic speakers could be less proof of Jesus' not existing and more proof of Paul having a very Greek understanding of the past.

It has been a while since I read the bible cover to cover, so I'd have to look for more examples of Jesus reading I guess from earlier writers.

Gee I hope we're not too mega off topic!

Edit: as a side note, I totally agree that Christians don't follow the historical Jesus for the most part and in fact ignore the field of study, or worse bend it into a right angle ... that said I had a glance over the jesus didn't exist web site and wasn't mega happy with what I've read so far but I go back there soon maybe.
edit on 19-7-2013 by Pinke because: Edit:



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by Pinke
 


Hi Pinke,

Thanks for the reply and taking the time to check out the link. There are actually a lot sites that argue against Nazareth, not just the Jesusneverexisted site. I used that source because it seemed to include most of the arguments presented elsewhere in one coherent essay.



The historians not mentioning areas isn't really that significant from my understanding and reading. Part of the issue with the history of these small areas is most people spoke Aramaic and didn't write.

The major elephant in the room could be the fact that the Romans wrote 'Nazareth' on the cross of Jesus.. If Tacitus was reading from Roman sources about Jesus being nailed to a cross with the word Nazareth on it, why didn't he point out the inconsistency? Josephus has the excuse of not knowing its significance, but Tacitus could have known this. Even at one hundred years out Tacitus would have noticed the invention of a city or town? Perhaps not, perhaps towns vanished a lot back then and geography wasn't Tacitus' strong suit. (No sarcasm!) Also why didn't the followers of John the Baptist (the mandaeans) raise this?


I think it's highly significant that Nazareth is never mentioned in the Old Testament, which carefully documented every settlement. And Josephus, who lived in Japha, just a few miles from Nazareth, never mentions it. Plus, Josephus initiated with the Carmel Mountain Essenes, the Nazoreans, also just a few miles from Nazareth. Josephus followed the Roman army from town to town, documenting the Jewish wars. I don't think he would have not known of Nazareth if it had existed as a city, a town or a village, he documented them all, 63, I believe in Galilee alone.

The Tacticus argument has also been pretty well debunked. In 64 AD, Christians were still referred to as Nazarenes, not Christians. Chestus was a pagan construct that evolved from an Egyptian mystery school, and Chrestus cults existed centuries before the advent of Jesus. At the time of Jesus, Caesar was the holder of the Pagan title of Chrestus on earth, and expected the Jews to acknowledge him as such. They wouldn't and thus, drew his ire. Jesus wouldn't be referred to as the "Christ" until much, much later. www.truthbeknown.com...


Tacitus, another second-century Roman writer who alleged that Christ had been executed by sentence of Pontius Pilate, is likewise cited by Righi. Written some time after 117 C.E., Tacitus' claim is more of the same late, second-hand "history." There is no mention of "Jesus," only "the sect known as Christians" living in Rome being persecuted, and "their founder, one Christus." Tacitus claims no first-hand knowledge of Christianity. No historical evidence exists that Nero persecuted Christians--Nero did persecute Jews, so perhaps Tacitus was confused. There was certainly not a "great crowd" of Christians in Rome around 60 C.E., as Tacitus put it, and, most damning, the term "Christian" was not even in use in the first century. No one in the second century ever quoted this passage of Tacitus. In fact, it appears almost word-for-word in the fourth-century writings of Sulpicius Severus, where it is mixed with other obvious myths. Citing Tacitus, therefore, is highly suspect and adds virtually nothing to the evidence for a historical Jesus.
ffrf.org...


Josephus wrote nothing of Jesus. Anything attributed to him writing of Jesus has been thoroughly debunked.


“For this group did not name themselves after Christ or with Jesus’ own name, but “Nazarene.” All Christians were called Nazarenes once, before the disciples began to be called “Christians” at Antioch…They were so-called followers of the apostles…they dedicate themselves to the law…However, everyone called the Christians Nazarenes as I said before.” (Epiphanius, Panarion 29)

How Epiphanius could admit this and not come to the conclusion that maybe the Nazarenes are the original and true followers of Jesus is mind boggling, yet he called them heretics because their beliefs were different from Roman Catholic beliefs.

My contention is that there wasn’t a city named Nazareth but in the vinicnity of Mount Carmel and modern day Nazareth there lived a sect of Essenes called Nazarenes and that Jesus was a member of this sect which is why his early followers were also called Nazarenes. This is contrary to the book of Matthew which says Jesus was called a Nazarene because he lived in a town called Nazareth.
lostchristianity.wordpress.com...


The Nazoreans, Edomites and Mandeans became problemmatic for the Catholic Church, and they tried to obliterate them from history. That is why, it is my belief, that the scriptures were tampered with, adding a city called Nazareth to the narrative to cover up the truth, Jesus was of the Nazorean sect.

edit on 19-7-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by windword
 



Josephus wrote nothing of Jesus. Anything attributed to him writing of Jesus has been thoroughly debunked.

That's not true.

While it's pretty obvious that one of two quotes from Josephus was embellished by some pro-Christian scribe, there is no evidence that the original, non-embellished text, or that the other note of his, was forged.

There is sufficient non-Christian historical evidence that a movement existed in the First and Second Centuries, which had a central figure referred to as Jesus Christ, that it is unlikely that Josephus would have missed it, though, as his unaltered text indicates, he didn't think too much of it.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by windword
 



The Nazoreans, Edomites and Mandeans became problemmatic for the Catholic Church, and they tried to obliterate them from history. That is why, it is my belief, that the scriptures were tampered with, adding a city called Nazareth to the narrative to cover up the truth, Jesus was of the Nazorean sect.

Let's look at these one at a time.


Mandeans

A vague grasp at a Gnostic group, for which no evidence exists.


Edomites

Pretty much a non-issue by the time of Christ.


Nazoreans

Do you mean Nazarenes? They missed Jesus by about 300 years.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 12:36 AM
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Originally posted by Phoenix267
Thanks for sharing this information. In my opinion I doubt Jesus was a real historic figure. Probably real and mythological figures influenced the earliest stories of Jesus and then he just evolved as he became a revered figure throughout the world.


Despite the fact that his Apostles tombs were discovered in Bethany on the Mt of Olives, with his Aramaic name and crosses etched into their funerary boxes? Not likely, since the tombs of the very people who walked with him and were written of in the NT were discovered. Obviously they thought he was real or they wouldn't have bothered with declaring who they believed in on their ossuaries.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Adj, I hate to be contrary, but you know I have to be.



While it's pretty obvious that one of two quotes from Josephus was embellished by some pro-Christian scribe, there is no evidence that the original, non-embellished text, or that the other note of his, was forged.


Josephus mention several Jesuses, but in the quote in question, he supposed singles one of them out as "the Christ". Really? Josephus was Jewish and so was Jesus, why wouldn't he refer to Jesus as the Messiah, a Jewish title, rather than the Greek?


But, on the contrary, in chap. 25th of the first book of that work, Origen openly affirms that Josephus, who had mentioned John the Baptist, did not acknowledge Christ. That this passage is a false fabrication is admitted by Ittigius, Blondel, Le Clerc, Vandale, Bishop Warburton, and Tanaquil Faber.'" (CMU, 47)

Here, in Origen's words, is the assertion that Josephus, who discusses more than a dozen Jesuses, did not consider any of them to be "the Christ." This fact proves that the same phrase in the TF is spurious. Furthermore, Origen does not even intimate the presence of the rest of the TF. Concerning Origen and the TF, Arthur Drews relates in Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus:

"In the edition of Origen published by the Benedictines it is said that there was no mention of Jesus at all in Josephus before the time of Eusebius [c. 300 ce]. Moreover, in the sixteenth century Vossius had a manuscript of the text of Josephus in which there was not a word about Jesus. It seems, therefore, that the passage must have been an interpolation, whether it was subsequently modified or not." (Drews, 9; emph. added)



Regarding the TF, as well as the James passage, which possesses the phrase James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, Jewish writer ben Yehoshua makes some interesting assertions:

"Neither of these passages is found in the original version of the Jewish Antiquities which was preserved by the Jews. The first passage (XVII, 3, 3) was quoted by Eusebius writing in c. 320 C.E., so we can conclude that it was added in some time between the time Christians got hold of the Jewish Antiquities and c. 320 C.E. It is not known when the other passage (XX, 9, 1) was added... Neither passage is based on any reliable sources. It is fraudulent to claim that these passages were written by Josephus and that they provide evidence for Jesus.



Remsburg also recounts: "Cannon Farrar, who has written an ablest Christian life of Christ yet penned, repudiates it. He says: 'The single passage in which he [Josephus] alludes to him is interpolated, if not wholly spurious' (Life of Christ, Vol. I, p. 46).


www.truthbeknown.com...



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 01:43 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
reply to post by windword
 



The Nazoreans, Edomites and Mandeans became problemmatic for the Catholic Church, and they tried to obliterate them from history. That is why, it is my belief, that the scriptures were tampered with, adding a city called Nazareth to the narrative to cover up the truth, Jesus was of the Nazorean sect.

Let's look at these one at a time.



Mandeans

A vague grasp at a Gnostic group, for which no evidence exists.


The Mandeans were the followers of John the Baptist.


Furthermore, there were the Mandeans, the last group of Essenes but one to come into existance, who were formed after the baptism of Jesus by John, in the Jordan (under the rule of the Mischna, of which authentic copies from the time of Jesus were found the river Jordan was considered unclean, so it would of course be very clear you were not a Pharisee or Saddusee if you took part in activities like that... In the same Mischna it is stated that it was considered unclean, and forbidden, to hold poultry in Jerusalem, unlike of course a "pagan" place like Rome. This makes the alledged crowing of a cock there very suspicious, certainly even three times...This could only point at the nearby Essene suburban quarter, on the outskirt, by the Essene Gate).

Mind you: those Mandaeans are still existing in our time, in spite of heavy persecution in all the countries in the Near East where they have lived since then. Refugee Mandeans are living in many countries around the world, have kept all of their secret scriptures and traditions and even have websites on the Internet, where one can find out more about their identity and ideas.




Edomites

Pretty much a non-issue by the time of Christ.


Sorry, I mistyped. I meant the Ebionites.

EBIONITES (from = "the poor"):
Sect of Judæo-Christians of the second to the fourth century. They believed in the Messianic character of Jesus, but denied his divinity and supernatural origin; observed all the Jewish rites, such as circumcision and the seventh-day Sabbath; and used a gospel according to Matthew written in Hebrew or Aramaic, while rejecting the writings of Paul as those of an apostate (Irenæus, "Adversus Hæreses," i. 262; Origen, "Contra Celsum," ii. 1; Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." iii. 27; Hippolytus, "Refutatio Hæresium," vii. 34; Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah, i. 3, 12; on Matt. xii. 13). Some Ebionites, however, accepted the doctrine of the supernatural birth of Jesus, and worked out a Christology of their own (Origen, l.c. v. 61).
www.jewishencyclopedia.com...




Nazoreans

Do you mean Nazarenes? They missed Jesus by about 300 years.


I'm sure you can back this up?

edit on 20-7-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 04:11 AM
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Originally posted by windword
I think it's highly significant that Nazareth is never mentioned in the Old Testament, which carefully documented every settlement.

I don't believe it did? I would have to see firm evidence to the contrary to agree I suppose. If anything the Old Testament is less relevant and accurate than the New Testament.


And Josephus, who lived in Japha, just a few miles from Nazareth, never mentions it.

Was there anything significant about it? Further to that, if the area was later renamed does it disprove a person's existence entirely?

The main work of Jesus wasn't accomplished there, and Josephus may even have viewed Jesus as a 'lesser' rebel given that Jesus never really had much of an uprising. (Which is why this Zealot book is curious). I do feel the impact of Jesus wasn't really known till long after his death ...


I don't think he would have not known of Nazareth if it had existed as a city, a town or a village, he documented them all, 63, I believe in Galilee alone.

Is an interesting point, but do we have some measure of proof of this? In my understanding Josephus' didn't cover everything.

Further to that, Pontius Pilate was (based on evidence) a real person, and Jesus's teachings are about economic strife and hardship which also has a firm basis on reality. The style of teaching and uprisings in the area would also support his existence. Perhaps we miss some critical works of Romans denying this event or Jesus was forgotten with the rest of the rebels.


The Tacticus argument has also been pretty well debunked. In 64 AD, Christians were still referred to as Nazarenes, not Christians.

The term Judaism didn't meant what it means today back then either I suppose.

There are multiple variant spellings for the term 'Christ' and the term has a rich history that didn't amass over night. The creation of the word was also between Hebrew, Aramaic, Jewish and Roman sources combined with Greek language ... I don't think its easy to say Tacitus has been debunked because his writings on a lot of things are quite accurate.

Further to this the term Nazarene is used within the Gospels in reference to Christians. Not having a solid identity at the formation of a movement does not mean the movement didn't exist. It's like old evolution question:

When did a single celled organism become a mammal? It didn't flip like a switch, it was a gradual process and the term 'mammal' is now an identifier for it.


At the time of Jesus, Caesar was the holder of the Pagan title of Chrestus on earth, and expected the Jews to acknowledge him as such. They wouldn't and thus, drew his ire.

I think this is a simplification perhaps?

Socrates reached 70 before being burnt. Futhermore some of the few documents we have such as the Senate discussions of the Bacchanalia cult and its erradication don't really discuss a lack of worship but a danger. They clearly discuss immoral activities, sexual perversions, under aged sex, and a threat to the empire.

Monotheism and thus the Jewish people were a danger specifically because they rejected all Gods bar one. The reason I'm saying this is in response to:


There was certainly not a "great crowd" of Christians in Rome around 60 C.E., as Tacitus put it, and, most damning, the term "Christian" was not even in use in the first century.
source
Given Judaism wasn't the same term we use today in Jesus's time, given Rome's treatment of the Jewish people, and the fact (which won't be popular with Christians) that Christianity was a Jewish sect ... this would be like trying to differentiate between sects of Christianity today. I know protestants that don't even know they are protestant. They associate it with bombings in Ireland. >.<

I'd be more wary if 'Christianity' formed as cement in 50AD complete with a name, symbols, and a badge! The Chrestus argument I think originates at the start of 1900 or even earlier? I'm assuming this is based on the translations for the most part which I'd strongly encourage reading at the source. (Especially for terms like Messiah which isn't as straight forward as one would think)

I wish I had more time to have a proper academicish discussion but each topic I could write *so much* on. I'm not the bestest scholar but hopefully it gives people things to think about.

I'd really encourage getting away from those websites though! Atheist websites draw my face palms out more than Christian websites, especially the Jesus 'myth' ones ... I went through a phase of being a very one sided Atheist, but I suppose am reformed now. I was also once very religious.

Unfortunately, when someone takes a word or point out of context in a handful of sentences it can take a 10, 000 word reply to explain to them. I find those websites a bit like that.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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reply to post by Pinke
 





If anything the Old Testament is less relevant and accurate than the New Testament.


To you and me, perhaps, but I grew up in a Christian environment where you learned your Old Testament. According to fundamental Christians, the Old Testament foreshadows and validates the advent of Jesus. And certainly the Jewish fathers used the Old Testament to document their land conquest and property, "inheritance", settlements, towns and villages. However, I'm perfectly willing to accept omissions and errors in the record. I'm not willing to accept that title that Jesus would bare, Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus the Nazarene, wouldn't be foreshadowed in the old text.

The sects of the Essenes claim to have been founded by Enoch, sustained by Melchizedek and revived by Moses through the THE VOW OF THE NAZIRITE. Now, while the Bible doesn't list those who took the Vow of the Nazirite, we know Samson did, and we can probably assume that Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, David and Solomon, just to name a few, also took the vow.



The style of teaching and uprisings in the area would also support his existence.


It isn't my intention to assert that Jesus didn't exist, but to suggest Jesus of Nazareth didn't exist, Jesus the Nazarene did. Jesus Christ didn't exist, because "Christ" was a title bestowed on him after his death, by the Greeks as they were compiling the Gospels. "Christ" = "Messiah".



I don't think its easy to say Tacitus has been debunked because his writings on a lot of things are quite accurate.


It isn't my intention to invalidate Tacticus, but to illustrate that the uprising Tacticus writes about identifies, not Christians, who were called "Nazarenes" at the time, but another, different pagan rebel cult in Rome. It's a mistranslation on the part exuberant Christians.



I'd really encourage getting away from those websites though! Atheist websites draw my face palms out more than Christian websites, especially the Jesus 'myth' ones ... I went through a phase of being a very one sided Atheist, but I suppose am reformed now. I was also once very religious.


I hear ya!


I grew up in a networked community of Church of the Nazarene of Mount Carmel, who were in our sister churches. Fundraisers, revivals, choir trips, youth camps, visiting and guest pastor programs, etc. kept us together as a united Christian community. The line of thought that I'm putting out is the same line of thought that I grew up with, never questioning. Although we were "Assembly of God", we were taught that Jesus was an Essene of the Nazorean sect, thus, Jesus the Nazarene.

While, today, I reject the virgin birth, the sacrifice for sin and the resurrection of Jesus, I still believe the above to be true, and I think there's plenty of evidence to back this theory up, I just have to search for it. It's unfortunate that most of the relevant information necessary to debunk pious forgeries are on so called atheist's sites. But for some (ironic) reason, they are the only ones willing to stand against the mainstream Catholic infused doctrine and support the "Essene theory" of Jesus. Present day Essenes and Nazarenes, just ignore the Catholic apologetics and go about their business unaffected.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by windword
reply to post by adjensen
 


Adj, I hate to be contrary, but you know I have to be.



While it's pretty obvious that one of two quotes from Josephus was embellished by some pro-Christian scribe, there is no evidence that the original, non-embellished text, or that the other note of his, was forged.


Josephus mention several Jesuses, but in the quote in question, he supposed singles one of them out as "the Christ". Really? Josephus was Jewish and so was Jesus, why wouldn't he refer to Jesus as the Messiah, a Jewish title, rather than the Greek?

Because Josephus didn't think that he was the Messiah, his followers were known as Christians, not as "Messiahans" (or whatever the usage would be,) and Jesus was being referred to as "the Christ", and that's what Josephus said, "the so-called Christ."



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by windword

Originally posted by adjensen
reply to post by windword
 



The Nazoreans, Edomites and Mandeans became problemmatic for the Catholic Church, and they tried to obliterate them from history. That is why, it is my belief, that the scriptures were tampered with, adding a city called Nazareth to the narrative to cover up the truth, Jesus was of the Nazorean sect.

Let's look at these one at a time.



Mandeans

A vague grasp at a Gnostic group, for which no evidence exists.


The Mandeans were the followers of John the Baptist.

I'm not sure that you can characterize people who were baptized by John the Baptist as being followers of his. There is no evidence that John taught anything remotely like what they believed.

Maybe there was more than one group by that name, but according to their beliefs, the Essenes would be diametrically opposed to them.




Edomites

Pretty much a non-issue by the time of Christ.


Sorry, I mistyped. I meant the Ebionites.

Yes, I'm well aware of the Ebionites, I covered them in my series on early Christian heresy a couple of years ago.




Nazoreans

Do you mean Nazarenes? They missed Jesus by about 300 years.


I'm sure you can back this up?

Back what up? Their dating? Jerome wrote about 'em in the year 404AD


In our own day there exists a sect among the Jews throughout all the synagogues of the East, which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. The adherents to this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes; they believe in Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary; and they say that He who suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again, is the same as the one in whom we believe. But while they desire to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither the one nor the other. (Source)

I'm not sure why you think that the Catholic church's stand against teachings that they viewed as being heresy is somehow suspicious. What would you expect them to do, just ignore it?



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



[The Roman governor] Festus was now dead, and [his successor] Albinus was still upon the road. So [the high priest] Ananus assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of that Jesus who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some of his companions. And when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned. [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 20.200]

www.livius.org...

There is no assertion of "so called" in this quote.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by windword
reply to post by adjensen
 



[The Roman governor] Festus was now dead, and [his successor] Albinus was still upon the road. So [the high priest] Ananus assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of that Jesus who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some of his companions. And when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned. [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 20.200]

www.livius.org...

There is no assertion of "so called" in this quote.

I underlined it for you



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 





Back what up? Their dating? Jerome wrote about 'em in the year 404AD


In our own day there exists a sect among the Jews throughout all the synagogues of the East, which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. The adherents to this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes; they believe in Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary; and they say that He who suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again, is the same as the one in whom we believe. But while they desire to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither the one nor the other. (Source)


That doesn't mean that they didn't exist during the time of Jesus. The Nazarenes, Nazoreans are a very old sect.


We know from ancient documents that both Essenes and Pythagoreans shared many things in common. Both were vegetarian, both wore white, and both were deeply immersed in Qabbalistic studies. Pythagoras was nicknamed "the long haired one" which further links him with the northern Nazarean Essenes who were all Nazarites (long hairs). History has preserved for us a link between Pythagoras and the Mt. Carmel Essenes:

"In Phoenicia he (Pythagoras) conversed with the prophets who were the descendants of Moses the physiologist, and with many others, as well as the local heirophants . . . . After gaining all he could from the Phoenician Mysteries, he found that they had originated from the sacred rites of Egypt, forming as it were an Egyptian colony. . . . On the Phoenician coast under Mt. Carmel, where, in the Temple on the peak, Pythagoras for the most part had dwelt in solitude . . . Mount Carmel, which they knew to be more sacred than other mountains, and quite inaccessible to the vulgar..."(Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus)
www.essene.com...


The Nazarenes were alive and kicking in the first century.


In the New Testament book of Acts, Paul is tried in Caesarea, and Tertullus is reported as saying:

“We have, in fact, found this man a pestilent fellow, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5, New Revised Standard Version).

It is clear that “Christian” was not the earliest term for the followers of Jesus, since Acts 11:26 reports its first use in Antioch – at a time and in a place at least 10 and possibly 20 or more years after the death of Jesus. essene.com...


This a very long essay on the Essenes of Mount Carmel that their relationship to Jesus.


This article will clear up that misconception. In the course of doing so, we will touch on various related items, some of them quite fascinating: We will learn of the lifestyle and traditions of the mystical Essenes of Mount Carmel; we will uncover the truth about "Nazareth" and how that word relates to the term "Nazarene"; we will name the likely location where baby Yahshua was taken for protection from Herod; and we will learn esoteric details about the baptism of Yahshua by John. All of the above is related to, and will help support, our central thesis: YAHSHUA (JESUS) WAS RAISED AND TRAINED BY THE ESSENES OF MOUNT CARMEL IN NORTHERN ISRAEL, not the Essenes of Qumran in Southern Israel.
www.essene.org...



I'm not sure why you think that the Catholic church's stand against teachings that they viewed as being heresy is somehow suspicious. What would you expect them to do, just ignore it?



Freedom of religion and tolerance was not the early church's strong point. They did a lot more than ignore those who weren't aligned with their cannon law and doctrine. They demonized them and tried to obliterate them.

Synod of Laodicea (4th Century)


edit on 20-7-2013 by windword because: Linky



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Whatever, this paragraph has been rejected by scholars as a "pious forgery." I have already posted the citations on that. www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:52 AM
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Well, I'm tired of arguing with you and your obsession with the Essenes, so I'm going to drop it.



I'm not sure why you think that the Catholic church's stand against teachings that they viewed as being heresy is somehow suspicious. What would you expect them to do, just ignore it?


Freedom of religion and tolerance was not the early church's strong point. They did a lot more than ignore those who weren't aligned with their cannon law and doctrine. They demonized them and tried to obliterate them.

I'm not going to defend their later practices, but, come on, get out of your Kumbayah, Hakuna Matata mindset -- of course they're going to attack people who teach something contrary to what they believe. Christianity wouldn't exist today, were it not for the defense of the faith by early church fathers like Tertullian and Jerome.

The fact that you don't agree with them doesn't make them evil -- here you are promoting this "Jesus didn't exist" guy, while he's demonizing and trying to obliterate Christianity, are you going to repudiate him, too?



edit on 20-7-2013 by adjensen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by windword
reply to post by adjensen
 


Whatever, this paragraph has been rejected by scholars as a "pious forgery." I have already posted the citations on that. www.abovetopsecret.com...

Actually, the citation that is generally rejected as having been tampered with by later Christians is the second one, the one with the "if he can be called a man" bit in it. I'm not aware of any credible scholar who rejects the one you have cited, and if there is, they would be in a significant minority.






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