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Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 35
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What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?Page 2 of 12    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
I think I'll toss Fiddler a crumb and say what about the Shroud of Turin?

and as for the tomb - James Cameron would never lie to us would he? He even did a DNA analysis - although what he compared to what I'd love to know, I haven't watched the documentary yet.
Joined: 8/18/2005
Msg: 36
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 2:52:39 PM

From an archeological standpoint, there isn't any. But, to put the NT into perspective, there isn't any evidence of Moses, the exodus, Noah's ark or the flood in the OT, either.

obviously, you haven't done your research.
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 37
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What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 3:31:07 PM

fitman2005: obviously, you haven't done your research.

Judging by this statement, it sounds like you have. Please, feel free to show the results of your research and cite your sources - I'd hate to think that your comment was hypocritical.
Joined: 3/29/2007
Msg: 38
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 3:32:10 PM
Hi flyguy51.
Your first paragraph was an excellent response.

The second unfortunately, is far from correct. During the last 50 years or so there has been a huge wealth of archeological evidence uncovered which confirms, to a possibly surprising degree, many of the stories in the Old Testament.
Joined: 3/29/2007
Msg: 39
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 3:35:55 PM
OOh The Shroud of Turin. Would someone care to start a separate post so we can all put in our two bob's worth?
Joined: 8/18/2005
Msg: 40
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 3:43:01 PM
^^^yes ...but unfortunately, there are not many truthseekers to be found here. I'll post what I can, when I can. And also--one doesn't need to start a new thread to refer to the Shroud of Turin here as it IS an artifact of evidence.
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 41
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 3:44:14 PM

as for the tomb - James Cameron would never lie to us would he? He even did a DNA analysis - although what he compared to what I'd love to know

I haven't watched the doc either, but as I understand it, the DNA testing was to see if the remains in the tombs were close relatives of eachother.

obviously, you haven't done your research.

Well, I obviously haven't done your research that led you to believe there is evidence for these things. Part of the issue might be that I don't trust a site such as Here's what just a bit of my research has turned up:

Regarding the ark:

Regarding Moses:
-here's a rabbi who's even ambivalent about the factuality of Moses:

Regarding the evidence for Jesus, well, that's what this whole thread is about, and you have yet to display your copious research.
Joined: 8/18/2005
Msg: 42
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 4:22:00 PM
From an archeological standpoint, there isn't any. But, to put the NT into perspective, there isn't any evidence of Moses, the exodus, Noah's ark or the flood in the OT, either.

have a look:

Regarding the Flood: (one excellant article)

about Jesus? Here's a second look at the Shroud:

The most controversial relic in Christendom, the Shroud of Turin - the linen cloth that covered Jesus when he was entombed and resurrected, made its first documented appearance some years after the suppression of the Knights Templar. The biggest discovery didn't come until the age of cameras when a "negative" of a picture taken of the shroud provided incredible details never before seen by just looking at the cloth. The dispute over the authenticity of this oddly stained cloth dates from its first public exposition when, in the 1350s, Henry, Bishop of Troyes, wrote:

Many theologians and other persons have stated that this could not be the real

Shroud of Our Lord having the Saviour’s likeness thus imprinted upon it, since the holy

Gospel made no mention of such imprint, while, if it had been true, it was quite unlikely

that the holy Evangelists would have omitted to record it, or that the fact should have

remained hidden until the present time.1

The earliest reference to what could be the Shroud dates from 1203, when Robert de Clan, a French crusader, described an object that he had seen exhibited in the Church of My Lady Saint Mary of Blachernae at Constantinople ‘... where was kept the sydoine in which Our Lord had been wrapped, which stood up straight every Friday so that the figure of Our Lord could be plainly seen there’. The translation of the key word ‘figure’ has caused considerable debate. Is it the modern French ‘face’ or in the English sense, the ‘full figure’ or body? Provocatively de Clari continued ‘no one, either Greek or French, ever knew what became of this sydoine after the city was taken’.

There are historians who claim that folded and framed, the Shroud may have been the
object exhibited as the Mandylion, the imprint of the face of Jesus on a cloth which, legend
tells us, Jesus sent to King Abgar of Edessa. Linking the Shroud of Turin and the Mandylion
is the consistent and powerful literary tradition that neither image was ‘made by the hand of
man. Is it simply coincidence that the known and provable history of the Mandylion completes
, with one short gap, the earlier missing history of the Turin Shroud? Were they one and the


The first known owner of the Shroud in France in the 1350s was Geoffrey de Charney, who died in 1356; the name of Jacques de Molay’s fellow martyr was Geoffroi de Chamey. If the Shroud had been brought to France from Constantinople by the Knights Templar, who had so recently been suppressed on charges of heresy, it is understandable why the de Chameys were reluctant to declare its origins. In The Shroud and the Grail, Noel Currer-Briggs, founder member of the Association of Genealogists and Record Agents and a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists, produces proof that Geoffrey de Charney was the nephew of Jacques de Molay’s companion in death, Geoffroi de Charney, Templar Master of Normandy. He also shows that this family are intimately linked by ties of blood and marriage with the families of Brienne, de Joinville and Burgundy. Could it be that Rex Deus ensured the preservation of the Shroud in the certain knowledge that, sooner or later, it would play an important part in disclosing that Jesus came to reveal the pathway to initiation and not to make any form of redemptive sacrifice?

The last member of the de Chamey line, the 72-year-old Marguerite de Charney, was childless when, in 1453, Duke Louis of Savoy ceded to her the Castle of Varanbon and the revenues of the estate of Miribel in return for certain ‘valuable services’, which included Marguerite’s gift to the duke of the Shroud. Geoffrey II de Chamey and Marguerite’s second husband, Humbert de Villersexel, had both been created knights of the Order of the Collar of Savoy by earlier dukes 2 Marguerite de Chamey had found a noble and trusted family to ensure the preservation of this remarkable relic, as the House of Savoy were Rex Deus.

By the 15th century, Church authorities had begun to refer to the relic as Jesus’ ‘burial shroud’. The theologian Francesco della Rovere wrote, in 1464, ‘This is now preserved with great devotion by the Dukes of Savoy, and it is coloured with the blood of Christ’.6 Within five years della Rovere became Pope Sixtus IV. His treatise on The Blood of Christ, published in 1468, was the first time that the Shroud was recognized as genuine by the papacy and the relic was even given its own feast day, 4 May.

Some time in the early 1500s, the Shroud suffered a degree of damage which appears to have been made by a red-hot poker being thrust through the folded cloth. Ian Wilson claims that ‘it seems very likely that they are the scars of some primitive “trial by fire” ceremony. .

In 1532 the cloth was damaged still further by a fire in the building which caught one edge of it and scorched all 48 folds before it could be extinguished. Fourteen large triangular-shaped patches and eight smaller ones, made from altar cloth, were sewn over the worst of the damage, and it was backed with a simple piece of holland cloth.

In 1578 the Duke of Savoy had the Shroud brought to Turin, where it has rested ever since. In the final decade of the 17th century a magnificent Baroque cathedral, dedicated to St John the Baptist, was commissioned from the architect Guarino Guarini. The relic took up its new abode on 1 June 1694, being carried into the building and locked behind a grille in the place of honour above the high altar and only exposed publicly at very special events such as important weddings in the House of Savoy, papal visits or great Church occasions.


The Shroud of Turin measures 14ft 3m (4.36m) long by 3ft 7in (1.lm) wide and consists of one single piece of cloth with the addition of a full length strip 3 .5in (8.5cm) wide joined by a single seam on the left-hand side. Imprinted in an almost pure sepia monochrome, like a stained shadow on the cloth, is the faint outline of the front and back of a bearded, long-haired man laid out as if dead.” The image is subtle and, except when viewed from a distance, very difficult to discern. Despite the poor quality of the image there is sufficient detail in the blood-like stains to convince the devout for many centuries that this is the burial cloth of Jesus.

The Shroud was photographed during the 1898 exposition by an amateur photographer, Secondo Pia. In those early days of photography nothing was ever certain until the plates had been developed and Secondo admitted to considerable relief when he first saw the image appear. His relief soon turned to wonder, for he was not looking, as he had expected, at a negative version of the shadowy figure he had seen on the cloth, but at an unmistakable and highly detailed photographic likeness, the light and shade of which gave the figure an almost three-dimensional quality, with the blood flows from the head, hands, feet and side showing up with magical realism. The overall impression was of a tall, impressively built man with a strikingly life-like face. The photographs caused a worldwide sensation and sparked in-depth investigations that have continued ever since. The Shroud was photographed professionally in 1931 and this time the results were even more remarkable, for considerable advances had been made in photographic techniques. Since then it has been photographed twice more, in 1969 and 1973.

The first photographs stimulated the curiosity of the medical profession, particularly that of forensic pathologists and anatomists. Yves Delage, Professor of Comparative Anatomy at the Sorbonne in Paris, was the first to announce his findings publicly. On 21 April 1902 he gave a lecture entitled ‘The image of Christ visible on the Holy Shroud of Turin’. Not surprisingly he had an unusually large and attentive audience. The professor explained that, from a medical point of view, the wounds and anatomical data recorded on the Shroud were so accurate that it seemed impossible that they could be the work of an artist. He continued by explaining how difficult and utterly pointless it would have been for an artist to depict such a figure in a negative manner and that, furthermore, as there was no trace of any known pigment on the cloth, he was convinced that the image found upon it must be that of Jesus, created by some physio-chemical process that had taken place in the tomb.

Ber here - it is MY opinion , having a degree in physics and having been heavily involved in nuclear physics as well, that when God resurrected Jesus; a great burst of electomagnetic radiation emanated from all parts of his body, through the cloth, which made the imprint on the cloth that no one could really see until a photographic negative was taken of it in 1898. Electromagenetic radiation is just like light coming from a light bulb, the microwave energy that cooks your hot dog or delivers signals to your cellphone; differing only in frequency, wavelength, source and of course energy level. Electromagnetic radiation is a photon of energy traveling the speed of light in a sine wave through space with no mass. The X-Ray your dentist uses to search for cavities which marks the photographic plate is a good example of electromagnetic radiation in the form of x-rays, created by a beam of electrons striking a tungsten surface. Notice that your dentist looks at a negative to discern the cavity. It is strange God didn't allow such details to be seen and witnessed before the advent of the camera. But then, many things are being revealed by Him today that were unknown yesterday.

Delage’s lecture caused an uproar and Marcelin Berthelot, the secretary of the Academy, refused to publish the text of it in full. With the publication of the second set of photographs, the Shroud’s authenticity began to gain far wider acceptance among the medical profession. Research by Dr Pierre Barbet of St Joseph’s Hospital in Paris led to the conclusion that the wounds depicted on it were genuinely those of a crucified man.
These results were confirmed by the Cologne radiologist Professor Hermann Moedder and Dr Judica­Cordiglia, the professor of forensic medicine of the University of Milan. In the United States further study was made on the bloodstains by Dr Anthony Sava of Brooklyn. Most of the present-day medical opinion rests on research carried out by Dr Robert Bucklin of Michigan who now resides in California.

From Ber again - It should be noted that the latest DNA analysis of the bloodstains found on the shroud of Turin also came up with only 24 chromosones (23 from Mary and a y to make him a him) which coincides with the blood testing done of the dried blood found on the mercy seat of the ark of the convenant, which was found 25' under the crucifixion post. Remember the earthquake that occurred as Jesus was near the end; it opened up a crack in the rock beneath the crucifixion post and when the Roman soldier speared Jesus in the side; his blood and bodily fluids fell down the 25' crack and landed on the ark of the convenant that had been placed there almost 600 years beforehand. It appears the immaculate conception holds more truth that the Rex Deus theory that Mary was impregnated by the high priest Gabriel at the Temple School before being handed over to Joseph for marriage. God makes these things known in due time.

A life-size model of the head portrayed on the Shroud was made by the British photographer Leo Vala, who produced a three-dimensional image. The distinguished ethnologist, Professor Canton S. Coon of Harvard, who studied these photographs, described the face as that ‘of a physical type found in modern times among Sephardic Jews and noble Arabs’ The wounds depicted on the head, according to Dr David Willis, cannot be described except in the context of the crown or cap of thorns described in the Gospels. Marks on the back and front of the body from the shoulders downwards, found in groups of three, have been described by doctors as being physiologically accurate represen­tations of flogging. Bruising which is consistent with carrying the crossbeam of a cross has also been identified. Professor Judica-Cordiglia has classified the damage to the knees of the man in the image as being the result of repeated falls.


The wounds deriving from the crucifixion itself have naturally attracted considerable attention. The flow of blood originating from the wound in the left wrist indicates that at the time of bleeding the arm must have been raised at an angle between 55 and 65 degrees from the vertical. This is consistent with crucifixion, as in order to maintain his breathing the victim would have flexed his elbows to raise his body and so bring relief to his labouring lungs. Contrary to many medieval depictions of the crucifixion, the nail wounds on the Shroud are on the wrist and not the hand. This above all is a further indication of authenticity, as nailing through the hands would not have supported the weight of the body. According to Dr Pierre Barbet, who studied the wounds in the 1930's, the soldiers who had nailed the victim to the cross were experienced men who knew their anatomy. Barbet had experimented in reproducing the wounds by nailing a recently amputated arm at the same point as that on the Shroud image. The nail passed through a gap in the bones of the wrist known as ‘the space of destot’.

The most unexpected proof that derived from Barbet’s work was the contraction of the thumb as the nail was being driven through the wrist; the passage of the nail had stimulated the median nerve, causing the muscles of the thumb to contract. When he consulted the image on the Shroud he discovered that no thumbs were visible on either hand. He deduced that the nailing of the victim had produced exactly the same effect as his experiment. He then posed the question ‘Could a forger have imagined this?’ Barbet used the same techniques on amputated feet, again emulating the position shown on the Shroud. The nail passed easily between the second and third metatarsal bones, so that the body would have been supported by a single nail impaling the feet. The nailing of the wrists and feet, with the dependant body weight, made the victims secure and incapable of freeing themselves.

A clear wound is visible on the left-hand side of the image between the fifth and sixth rib which, due to mirror image reversal, would have been on the right side of the victim. The blood flow from the wound, which must have been inflicted when the body was erect, is broken by some clear areas which are believed to show the mixture of a clear fluid with the blood24 which, according to the German radiologist Professor Moedder, emanated from the pleural sac. Dr Anthony Sava noted that there is often an accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity as a response to injury. He is of the opinion that the scourging which is indicated by the marks on the back, shoulders and front of the body were the most probable cause of the accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity and this trauma-induced pleurisy was the principal cause of death, which was only exacerbated by the crucifixion. The consensus that arises from the medical experts who have examined the photographic evidence of the Shroud is that the cloth was, beyond all reasonable doubt, in contact with a victim of crucifixion.

Jewish custom and the Gospels show that the body of Jesus would have been laid out full-length in the tomb prepared by Joseph of Arimathea. The position of the body with the hands crossed over the pelvic area is identical to that discovered by Father de Vaux of the Ecole Biblique in his excavation of Essene burials at Qumran. It is ironic that this connection of Jesus with Essene practices was inadvertently confirmed by de Vaux, whose principal aim in his handling of the Dead Sea Scrolls seems to have been to deny all contact between them and Jesus. Contrary to Jewish practice, it is plainly obvious from all the evidence on the Shroud that the body depicted on it was not washed according to custom and law, but had been anointed with copious quantities of expensive ointment and hurriedly wrapped in the burial cloth.


In June 1969 a commission of specialists studied the Shroud so that they might recommend suitable tests in order to establish its nature and provenance. The commission was convened in secret, but the news leaked out and the cardinal and the custodians of the Shroud were accused of acting ‘like thieves in the night’ The commission reported on 17 June, noting that the Shroud was in an excellent state of preservation, and recommended tests which would require minimal samples of the cloth. The arrangement for taking samples was kept secret and was conducted on 24 November 1973, after a two-day exposition for the television cameras.

Seventeen samples of thread were removed from different areas on the Shroud, with great care being taken to avoid the slightest possibility of contamination. An expert from the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology, Professor Gilbert Raes, had joined the team and for his benefit, two samples, one of 1/2 x 1 3/4in (13 x 40mm) and the other of 1/3 x 1 3/4in (10 x 40mm), were taken from one side of the cloth. To add to these the professor had been given two individual threads to examine. One of 12 mm in length was taken from the weft and the second of 13 mm from the warp. The overall style of weave of the cloth was that of a three-to-one herringbone twill, which was used at the time of Jesus but was found more commonly in silk than linen. Examination of cloth fibres under polarized light satisfied him that it was linen. Microscopic examination disclosed unmistakable traces of cotton, which led Raes to conclude that the material had been woven on a loom that had also produced cotton fabric. Analysis of the cotton revealed that it was of a species known as gossypium hebaceum which is native to the eastern Mediterranean. This was extremely significant and, according to Raes, indicated that the fabric had been manufactured in the Middle East.

The Swiss criminologist, Dr Max Frei, took samples of some of the particles adhering to the cloth and was able to identify small particles of mineral, fragments of hair and fibres deriving from plants, bacterial spores, spores from mosses and fungi, and pollen grains from flowering plants. Some of the pollens were halophytes from desert varieties of tamarix, suaeda and artemisia, which are to be found almost exclusively growing around the shores of the Dead Sea. Frei stated simply:

These plants are of great diagnostic value for our geo­graphical studies as identical desert plants are missing in all the other countries where the Shroud is believed to have been exposed in the open air. Consequently, a forgery, produced somewhere in France during the Middle Ages, in a country lacking these typical halophytes could not contain such characteristic pollen grains from the deserts of Palestine.

Pollen from the surface of the Shroud includes six species of plant that are exclusively Palestinian in origin. He also states that there is pollen from a significant number of plants from the Anatolian Steppes of Turkey, as well as eight species of Mediterranean plants that are consistent with the Shroud’s admitted exposure in France and Italy.

In March 1977 the United States hosted a scientific conference of research on the Turin Shroud which was attended by clergy from different denominations and a large number of scientists, including Dr Robert Bucklin, the pathologist, and Professor Joseph Gambescia.

The majority of the scientists were from a diverse range of backgrounds, which included the US Atomic Energy Commission, the Pasadena Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Albuquerque Sandia Laboratory and the spectroscopy division of the Los Alamos Laboratory Bishop John Robinson was deeply impressed not only with the calibre of the scientists involved but also with the seriousness with which they approached the question of the authenticity of the relic. He stated:

‘There is no one in this thing who is being either gullible or just dismissive.’ The physicist Dr John Jackson and the aerodynamicist Dr Eric Jumper reported that the image had not been created by direct contact but by some form of emanation from the body and that there was a precise relationship between the intensity of the image and the degree of separation between the body and the cloth.

Dr Jackson then used a 3 x 5in (7.5 x 12.5cm) transparency of the Shroud in a modern Interpretation Systems VP-8 Image Analyzer to display a figure in perfect three-dimensional relief. An ordinary photograph analysed by the same machine simply does not carry sufficient information regarding distance and proportion to create such an accurate image. However, there was one strange anomaly in this image; the eyes displayed a curious unnatural bulge as if something had been laid upon them. Jackson discovered that it was a long-standing Jewish custom to lay coins or a broken potsherd over the eyes of a corpse prior to burial. He realized that a coin laid over the eyes in this way would exactly match these unnatural bulges.

As a result of the American experiments, the hardened sceptic, Dr John Robinson, was moved to claim that with the accumulated evidence already available, the burden of proof had shifted and it was now up to those who doubted the Shroud’s authenticity to prove their case, rather than the reverse. To the distress of those who supported its authenticity, this is apparently what happened.


After the death of ex-King Umberto of Italy in 1983, the Shroud of Turin passed into the hands of the Vatican, who gave permission for carbon dating as a result of intensive lobbying from a wide spectrum of interested parties. Three laboratories were involved, the University of Arizona in Tucson, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and the Oxford Research Laboratory.

The samples were taken in total secrecy, but the Church did allow representatives from all three laboratories to be present. One 2 3/4in (7cm) sample was cut from one corner and divided into three. Each piece was sealed in appropriate containers, one for each of the laboratories concerned. The whole process was videotaped. The results of the carbon dating were announced by Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero in Turin on 13 October 1988 and later the same day by Dr Tite of the British Museum Research Laboratory, who had supervised the entire process. The results disclosed that it was 99.9 per cent certain that the Shroud of Turin had its origins in the period from 1000—1500 CE and 95 per cent certain that it dated from somewhere between 1260 and 1390. The world reeled with shock from the announcement that the Shroud of Turin had been scientifically shown to be a fake. The papal hierarchy’s attitude was oddly ambivalent. Professor Luigi Gonella, the scientific adviser to the Vatican, made a strange comment: ‘The tests were not commissioned by the Church and we are not bound by the results.’

Journalists and fantasists had a field day; articles on the dating of the Shroud were soon replaced by multiple allegations of conspiracy concerning the tests. Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, the extreme right-wing luminary of La Contre-Reforme Catholique au XXeme Siecle, accused Dr Michael Tite of switching samples taken from the Shroud with those from a 13th-century cope, and implied that Tite received a professorship for his pains. This eminent Christian claimed that the tests were a deliberate attempt by scientists to undermine Christianity. Professor Werner Buist denounced the scientific community on television, and fell back to a tried and trusted defence by claiming that it was all a masonic anti-Catholic plot.

The German authors, Holger Kersten and Elmar Gruber, wrote that the carbon-dating results were rigged by the scientists acting in collusion with the Church. For reasons that are completely unexplained, the video cameras had been switched off after the samples had been taken and were not switched on again until after they had been sealed into their containers. Thus there was ample opportunity for a deliberate breach of protocol and for Tite to have switched the samples as has been alleged by Brother Bonnet-Eymard. They also allege that there are serious discrepancies between the descriptions of the samples that were taken and those made by the scientists in respect of the samples that they had received. Viewed from the perspective of the hidden streams of spirituality, the motivation they ascribe to the Church to explain this alleged conspiracy is particularly interesting, for they assert that the Church wished to discredit the Shroud because it proves that Jesus was still alive when he was taken down from the cross.39


The validation of the carbon dating by three leading laboratories of international repute should have put an end to the argument over the authenticity of the Shroud once and for all. However, an American scientist made a discovery which appears to discredit the results. Carbon dating techniques are subject to massive distortion by extremely minute amounts of contamination, which is why the samples used for dating the Shroud were cleansed by the most reliable techniques then known. Yet despite all the precautions taken, one significant form of contamination that was unknown at the time arose from the very nature of the doth that was being tested.

Many commentators, including Ian Wilson, have described the holy relic as having ‘a damask-like sheen’.41 This shiny appearance has recently been discovered to arise from a natural growth of micro­biological organisms which completely envelop each constituent thread of the cloth. The extent of this contamination, which has been proven to be completely resistant to the cleansing methods used by the three authorized laboratories, is such that what was in fact being tested was slightly less than 40 per cent Shroud material and more than 60 per cent living organism. Recent tests have proved that the cleansing agents used by the laboratories doing the carbon dating were completely ineffective in respect of the microbiological organisms coating the Shroud, but do tend to dissolve part of the cellulose from the flax, thus increasing the distortion created by the microbiological coating. The end result is that there is such a gross distortion of the results that the whole question of the age and authenticity of this controversial relic is still wide open.

The existence of a microbiological coating of living organisms has already been demonstrated on jade and stone carvings from the Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica and on mummy wrappings from ancient Egypt. The initial discoveries that led to this re-evaluation of carbon dating techniques were made by Dr Leoncio A Garza-Valdes from San Antonio, who held the chair of microbiology at the Health Sciences Centre of the University of Texas. He noticed that jade and stone carvings of the Mayans all had a particularly lustrous sheen. He found that the carvings had been coated by millions of bacteria which produce a pinkish pigment and also by some fungi which varied in colour from dark brown to black. This strange mixture combined to form a yellowish ‘plastic coat’ over the entire surface of the carving and the resultant lustrous gloss he called a ‘bioplastic coating’. One of the artifacts he examined was a pectoral formed of several pieces of carved jade held together by strong cotton filaments. Using an electron microscope he discovered that these cotton threads were also covered with fungi and bioplastic coating. A further examination of the coating by an industrial analysis laboratory in San Antonio confirmed his findings and proved that the lustre on the artifacts was organic and not man-made.

He then proceeded to study the textile wrappings on two very different Egyptian mummies, one of a 13-year-old girl which was found during excavations by Sir Flinders Petrie and which now rests in the Manchester Museum in England, the other of an ibis from his own private collection. Both the mummy and the wrappings of the girl were carbon dated by the University of Manchester with disturbing results. The bones were dated to 1510 BCE but the wrappings to 255 CE — a discrepancy of more than 1,700 years. In January 1996 Dr Garza-Valdes discovered that the flax fibres making up the cloth all carried a thick bioplastic coating similar to those he had found on other ancient textiles. Similar tests were performed on the mummified ibis and the presence of a bioplastic coating on the fibres of the bird’s wrapping was also clearly established. When both the ibis mummy and the wrappings were carbon dated the age discrepancy between the wrapping and the bone was 400—700 years.

The samples of the Shroud taken for radio carbon dating in 1988 were cut by Professor Giovanni Riggi Numana who showed small fragments of the original samples to Dr Garza-Valdes as well as pieces of Scotch tape with blood samples taken from the back of the head of the image. Riggi removed a thread from one of the original samples which Dr Garza-Valdes placed under the microscope and immediately discerned bioplastic coating completely covering the fibres.46 He is of the opinion that if the carbon dating tests were to be repeated today, in exactly the same manner as they were conducted in 1988, the results would indicate an even later date because the bacteria have multiplied considerably in the last 12 years and will have skewed the date even further. He has been able to culture the bacteria from the Shroud and prove that they are still living and multiplying organisms, therefore the proportion of organism to thread is increasing. This American scientist has not restricted his investigations to the bioplastic coating alone, however, but has also rigorously examined the pieces of Scotch tape and the so-called ‘blood’ samples taken from the back of the head of the image.

There are already conflicting scientific reports in this respect. The Italian scientist Dr Bauma-Bollone reports that these stains were human blood of the AB group. Drs Adler and Heller, examining the same tapes used by Dr McCrone, supported the statements of their Italian colleague, that these were indeed bloodstains. Dr Garza-Valdes examined the sample given to him by Professor Riggi and proved that it contained human blood of the AB group, which has historically been the most common blood group found amongst Jewish people. He was able to state that the bloodstains were ancient because of the degree of degradation in the small amount of blood he had found on his sample. He also examined everything else that could be found on the samples and Scotch tape provided by Riggi. In the sample taken from the occipital area of the image he found several microscopic tubules of wood which, if the Shroud is authentic, could only have come from the part of the cross that Jesus carried to Golgotha. These tubules proved to be of oak.

Dr Garza-Valdes’ research was published early in 1996 in an article which described his work on the Mayan artefacts and the Shroud of Turin, including the results of the DNA testing of the blood samples. The front cover of the journal carried the facial image of Jesus taken from the Shroud over the caption ‘Secrets of the Shroud — Microbiologists discover how the Shroud of Turin hides its true age’. The article concluded that the Shroud of Turin is many centuries older than its carbon date would suggest. Even Dr Harry Gove of Rochester University in America, the prime inventor of the methodology used to carbon date the Shroud, was quoted as saying ‘This is not a crazy idea’. Thanks to the immaculate research by the American microbiologist the validity of the 1988 carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin is now highly questionable.


If we first assess the scientific comment in chronological order we start by considering the words of Professor Yves Delage of Paris, who claimed in 1902 that the wounds and anatomical data recorded on the Shroud are so accurate that it seemed impossible to conceive that they could be the work of an artist. The research by Dr Pierre Barbet concluded that the wounds depicted on the relic were genuinely those of a crucified man and these results were confirmed by Professor 1-Iermann Moedder of Cologne, Dr Judica-Cordiglia, professor of forensic medicine, Dr Anthony Sava of Brooklyn, and Dr Robert Bucklin of California. Then we have to include in our deliberations the views of the ethnologist Professor Coon of Harvard, who described the three-dimensional image derived from the face on the Shroud as ‘of a physical type found in modern times among Sephardic Jews and noble Arabs’. The professional opinion of Dr David Willis and Professor Judica-Cordiglia in respect of the wounds depicted on the Shroud are given further credence by the work of Dr Pierre Barbet, whose experimentation on amputated limbs replicated many of the depicted details which could not possibly have been known by any artist of the medieval era.

The comparative studies of the weave of the cloth indicate that the cotton used derived from the Middle East, not Europe. Dr Max Frei’s analysis of the small particles found on the Shroud indicate that the relic had been exposed to the air in the desert areas near the shores of the Dead Sea. The experiments in technological image processing conducted in 1976 moved Dr John Robinson to state unequivocally that the burden of proof had shifted and that it was now up to those who doubted the Shroud’s authenticity to prove their case rather than the reverse.

We believe that it is now almost certain that the Shroud of Turin is genuine, that it IS the shroud or cloth in which Jesus was wrapped when he was taken down from the cross nearly 2,000 years ago or used to cover him with when he was entombed and resurrected.

The resurrection, in my opinion, is the only means by which such detailed imagery of Jesus could have been transferred to this cloth. There are those in the Rex Deus lineage who claim Jesus was NOT dead when taken down from the cross; and the anointment with oil was to bring him back to health, but it does not account for the details found upon the cloth which could only have come from an intense radiation occurring during the resurrection; and certainly no one would get up and walk away from that ordeal a couple days later.
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 43
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 5:10:30 PM is a site very much like In other words, they both lack scientific rigor and peer review. Here's a relatively balanced article on the shroud of Turin, from a Christian site, even:

It basically says that there are several points for and against the shroud being genuine, but that a Christian's faith should not hinge on that point, regardless.
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 44
view profile
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 5:57:27 PM

Regarding the Flood: (one excellant article)

I was just reading their "evidence" for the flood:

Also consider the abundant fossil remains of marine life found atop every mountain range in the world. For example, clusters of hundreds of gigantic (300kg/650lbs) oysters found atop the Andes Mountains in South America. [3]

Fossils on mountains are easily explained by uplift of the land. Although this process is slow, it is observed happening today, and it accounts not only for the fossils on mountains but also for the other geological and paleontological features of those mountains. The sea once did cover the areas where the fossils are found, but they were not mountains at the time; they were shallow seas.

A flood cannot explain the presence of marine fossils on mountains for the following reasons:
1) Floods erode mountains and deposit their sediments in valleys.
2) In many cases, the fossils are in the same positions as they grow in life, not scattered as if they were redeposited by a flood.
3) Other evidence, such as fossilized tracks and burrows of marine organisms, show that the region was once under the sea. Marine fossils are not found in sediments that were not formerly covered by sea.
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 45
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/11/2007 8:07:43 PM
I'm not the author of the following article, but I does prove that a global flood as described in the Bible is impossible. Enjoy.
The Flood? Well, here's how it could never happen.

Marty us the 'why's' of why the Flood could not happen.

First- the global flood supposedly (Scripturally) covered the planet, and Mount Everest is 8,848 meters tall. The diameter of the earth at the equator, on the other hand, is 12,756.8 km. All we have to do is calculate the volume of water to fill a sphere with a radius of the Earth + Mount Everest; then we subtract the volume of a sphere with a radius of the Earth. Now, I know this won't yield a perfect result, because the Earth isn't a perfect sphere, but it will serve to give a general idea about the amounts involved.

So, here are the calculations:

First, Everest

V= 4/3 * pi * r cubed
= 4/3 * pi * 6387.248 km cubed
= 1.09151 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.09151x102 km3)

Now, the Earth at sea level

V = 4/3 * pi * r cubed
= 4/3 * pi * 6378.4 km cubed
= 1.08698 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.08698x1012 km3)

The difference between these two figures is the amount of water needed to just cover the Earth:

4.525 x 10 to the ninth cubic kilometres (4.525x1009 km3) Or, to put into a more sensible number, 4,525,000,000,000 cubic kilometres

This is one helluva lot of water.

For those who think it might come from the polar ice caps, please don't forget that water is more dense than ice, and thus that the volume of ice present in those ice caps would have to be more than the volume of water necessary.

Some interesting physical effects of all that water, too. How much weight do you think that is? Well, water at STP weighs in at 1 gram/cubic centimetre (by definition),

4.252x1009 km3 of water,
X 106 (= cubic meters),
X 106 (= cubic centimetres),
X 1 g/cm3 (= grams),
X 10-3 (= kilograms),
(turn the crank)
equals 4.525E+21 kg.

Ever wonder what the effects of that much weight would be? Well, many times in the near past (i.e., the Pleistocene), continental ice sheets covered many of the northern states and most all of Canada. For the sake of argument, let's call the area covered by the Wisconsinian advance (the latest and greatest) was 10,000,000,000 (ten million) km2, by an average thickness of 1 km of ice (a good was thicker in some areas [the zones of accumulation] and much thinner elsewhere [at the ablating edges]). Now, 1.00x1007 km2 X 1 km thickness equals 1.00E+07 km3 of ice.

Now, remember earlier that we noted that it would take 4.525x1009 km3 of water for the flood? Well, looking at the Wisconsinian glaciation, all that ice (which is frozen water, remember?) would be precisely 0.222% [ the math](that's zero decimal two hundred twenty two thousandths) percent of the water needed for the flood.

Well, the Wisconsinian glacial stade ended about 25,000 YBP (years before present), as compared for the approximately supposedly 4,000 YBP flood event.

Due to these late Pleistocene glaciations (some 21,000 years preceding the supposed flood), the mass of the ice has actually depressed the crust of the Earth. That crust, now that the ice is gone, is slowly rising (called glacial rebound); and this rebound can be measured, in places (like northern Wisconsin), in centimetres/year. Sea level was also lowered some 10's of meters due to the very finite amount of water in the Earth's hydrosphere being locked up in glacial ice sheets (geologists call this glacioeustacy).

Now, glacial rebound can only be measured, obviously, in glaciated terranes, i.e., the Sahara is not rebounding as it was not glaciated during the Pleistocene. This lack of rebound is noted by laser ranged interferometery and satellite geodesy [so there], as well as by geomorphology. Glacial striae on bedrock, eskers, tills, moraines, rouche moutenees, drumlins, kame and kettle topography, fjords, deranged fluvial drainage and erratic blocks all betray a glacier's passage. Needless to say, these geomorphological expressions are not found everywhere on Earth (for instance, like the Sahara). Therefore, although extensive, the glaciers were a local (not global) is scale. Yet, at only 0.222% the size of the supposed flood, they have had a PROFOUND and EASILY recognisable and measurable effects on the lands.

Yet, the supposed flood of Noah, supposedly global in extent, supposedly much more recent, and supposedly orders of magnitude larger in scale; has exactly zero measurable effects and zero evidence for it's occurrence.

Golly, Wally. I wonder why that may be...?

Further, Mount Everest extends through 2/3 of the Earth's atmosphere. Since two forms of matter can't occupy the same space, we have an additional problem with the atmosphere. Its current boundary marks the point at which gasses of the atmosphere can escape the Earth's gravitational field. Even allowing for partial dissolving of the atmosphere into our huge ocean, we'd lose the vast majority of our atmosphere as it is raised some 5.155 km higher by the rising flood waters; and it boils off into space.

Yet, we still have a quite thick and nicely breathable atmosphere. In fact, ice cores from Antarctica (as well as deep-sea sediment cores) which can be geochemically tested for paleoatmospheric constituents and relative gas ratios; and these records extend well back into the Pleistocene, far more than the supposed 4,000 YBP flood event. Strange that this major loss of atmosphere, atmospheric fractionation (lighter gasses (oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, neon, etc.) would have boiled off first in the flood-water rising scenario, enriching what remained with heavier gasses (argon, krypton, xenon, radon, etc.)), and massive extinctions from such global upheavals are totally unevidenced in these cores.

Even further, let us take a realistic and dispassionate look at the other claims relating to global flooding and other such biblical nonsense.

Particularly, in order to flood the Earth to the Genesis requisite depth of 10 cubits (~15' or 5 m.) above the summit of Mt. Ararat (16,900' or 5,151 m AMSL), it would obviously require a water depth of 16,915' (5,155.7 m), or over three miles above mean sea level. In order to accomplish this little task, it would require the previously noted additional 4.525 x 109 km3 of water to flood the Earth to this depth. The Earth's present hydrosphere (the sum total of all waters in, on and above the Earth) totals only 1.37 x 109 km3. Where would this additional 4.525 x 109 km3 of water come from? It cannot come from water vapour (i.e., clouds) because the atmospheric pressure would be 840 times greater than standard pressure of the atmosphere today. Further, the latent heat released when the vapour condenses into liquid water would be enough to raise the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere to approximately 3,570 C (6,460 F).

Someone, who shall properly remain anonymous, suggested that all the water needed to flood the Earth existed as liquid water surrounding the globe (i.e., a "vapour canopy"). This, of course, it staggeringly stupid. What is keeping that much water from falling to the Earth? There is a little property called gravity that would cause it to fall.

Let's look into that from a physical standpoint. To flood the Earth, we have already seen that it would require 4.252 x 109 km3 of water with a mass of 4.525 x 1021 kg. When this amount of water is floating about the Earth's surface, it stored an enormous amount of potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy when it falls, which, in turn, is converted to heat upon impact with the Earth. The amount of heat released is immense:

Potential energy: E=M*g*H, where
M = mass of water,
g = gravitational constant and,
H = height of water above surface.

Now, going with the Genesis version of the Noachian Deluge as lasting 40 days and nights, the amount of mass falling to Earth each day is 4.525 x 1021 kg/40 24 hr. periods. This equals 1.10675 x 1020 kilograms daily. Using H as 10 miles (16,000 meters), the energy released each day is 1.73584 x 1025 joules. The amount of energy the Earth would have to radiate per m2/sec is energy divided by surface area of the Earth times number of seconds in one day. That is: e = 1.735384 x 1025/(4*3.14159* ((6386)2*86,400)) = 391,935.0958 j/m2/s.

Currently, the Earth radiates energy at the rate of approximately 215 joules/m2/sec and the average temperature is 280 K. Using the Stefan- Boltzman 4'th power law to calculate the increase in temperature:

E (increase)/E (normal) = T (increase)/T4 (normal)

E (normal) = 215 E (increase) = 391,935.0958 T (normal) = 280.

Turn the crank, and T (increase) equals 1800 K.

The temperature would thusly rise 1800 K, or 1,526.84 C (that's 2,780.33 F...lead melts at 880 F...ed note). It would be highly unlikely that anything short of fused quartz would survive such an onslaught. Also, the water level would have to rise at an average rate of 5.5 inches/min; and in 13 minutes would be in excess of 6' deep.

Finally, at 1800 K water would not exist as liquid.

It is quite clear that a Biblical Flood is and was quite impossible. Only fools and those shackled by dogma would insist otherwise.

Let me add that Jesus believed in the Flood. If so that would prove that Jesus is not god which would prove that the Biblical Jesus didn't exist (assuming the Trinity is true).
Joined: 8/18/2005
Msg: 46
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 2:30:49 AM
Here's why it did happen:

The Flood - Physical Evidences
The Flood "myth" is not just some ancient allegory meant to teach us about God's judgment on sin. The Flood was a real historical event and earth's crust bears witness to this in many compelling ways. Consider the fossil record: billions of dead things buried in sedimentation ("laid-down-by-water rock") found all over the earth. Geologist Dr. John Morris explains, "Sedimentary rocks, by definition, are laid down as sediments by moving fluids, are made up of pieces of rock or other material which existed somewhere else, and were eroded or dissolved and redeposited in their present location." [1] Over 70% of the earth's surface rock is sedimentary rock (the rest of earth's surface rock is volcanic igneous and metamorphic rock). In these sedimentary rock layers, geologists find some very odd features. For example, fossilized trees buried at all angles, upside-down and right-side-up, often passing through multiple rock layers, obviously the result of a marine cataclysm. These "polystrate" fossils (poly, meaning more than one; strate, meaning rock layer) are a worldwide phenomenon.

Consider the ratios of dead things we find buried in this sedimentary rock: "95% of all fossils are marine invertebrates, particularly shellfish. Of the remaining 5%, 95% are algae and plant fossils (4.74%). 95% of the remaining 0.25% consists of the other invertebrates, including insects (0.2375%). The remaining 0.0125% includes all vertebrates, mostly fish. 95% of the few land vertebrates consist of less than one bone. (For example, only about 1,200 dinosaur skeletons have been found.)" [2]

Also consider the abundant fossil remains of marine life found atop every mountain range in the world. For example, clusters of hundreds of gigantic (300kg/650lbs) oysters found atop the Andes Mountains in South America. [3]

1. John D. Morris, The Young Earth, 2001, p. 51.
2. Ibid. p. 70.
3. David Catchpoole, Creation magazine, vol. 24:2, pp. 54-55.

The Flood - We've Just Scratched the Surface
We've barely even begun to consider the available evidences for the Flood. Dr. Walt Brown writes, "The origin of each of the following is a subject of controversy with the earth sciences. Each has many aspects inconsistent with standard explanations. Yet all appear to be consequences of a sudden and unrepeatable event - a cataclysmic flood whose waters erupted from worldwide, subterranean, and interconnected chambers with an energy release exceeding the explosion of ten billion hydrogen bombs. Consequences of this event included the rapid formation of the features listed below. The mechanisms involved are well-understood." [1] Dr. Brown then goes on to list and explain these features [2]:

* The Grand Canyon and Other Canyons
* Mid-oceanic Ridge
* Continental Shelves and Slopes
* Ocean Trenches
* Seamounts and Tablemounts
* Earthquakes
* Magnetic Variations on the Ocean Floor
* Submarine Canyons
* Coal and Oil Formations
* Methane Hydrates
* Ice Age
* Frozen Mammoths
* Major Mountain Ranges
* Overthrusts
* Volcanoes and Lava
* Geothermal Heat
* Strata and Layered Fossils
* Metamorphic Rock
* Limestone
* Plateaus
* Salt Domes
* Jigsaw Fit of the Continents
* Changing Axis Tilt
* Comets
* Asteroids and Meteroids

The Flood - Explore the Evidence for Yourself
When it comes to the Flood evidences listed above, we highly recommend Dr. Brown's comprehensive and highly referenced treatise, In the Beginning. Dr. Brown is a highly respected member of the scientific community. "Walt Brown received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He has taught college courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science. Brown is a retired full colonel (Air Force), West Point graduate, and former Army ranger and paratrooper. Assignments during his 21 years in the military included: Director of Benet Research, Development, and Engineering Laboratories in Albany, New York; tenured associate professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy; and Chief of Science and Technology Studies at the Air War College. For much of his life, Walt Brown was an evolutionist, but after many years of study, he became convinced of the scientific validity of creation and a global flood. Since retiring from the military in 1980, Dr. Brown has been the Director of the Center for Scientific Creation and has worked full time in research, writing, and speaking on origins." [3]


1. Walt Brown, In the Beginning, 2001, p. 40.
2. Ibid. pp. 40, 84-225.
3. Ibid. back cover.
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 47
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 10:12:58 AM

"Walt Brown received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering

Not outside his field of study AT ALL...:roll eyes:

Might as well conduct a lecture on anatomical medicine...I'm sure he's equally qualified since God made the human body...he made woman from Adam's rib so he can tell us about uterine function if he ever sat down at a rib BBQ and looked at a plate of ribs by this logic... Just ask a scientician...

I don't even need to touch the logical flaws about finding remains in the first one...

Moving right along could we leave off the pseudo-scientific bullcrap and stray back on topic? Hmm?
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 48
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 10:24:39 AM
Not at all. If it is verifiable, or repeatable, or submitted to peer review then it is not just a matter of opinion. If you do not do things like that however, your evidence will carry less academic weight.

Other people in your field of study must be able to use your methods, research your claims and arrive at data similar to yours to ensure that you simply did not fabricate your results in the Easy-Bake Crackpot Oven of your own for instance the Creation Scientists seem to like to do when they thown in the magic ingredient God (tm).

Repeated arrival at the same destination generally means the data is not fudged.

Mmm data fudge

So what about historical Jesus then? How did he survive this flood? Enchanted water wings (In other words, can we get back to the topic?)
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 49
view profile
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 11:34:46 AM

"Also consider the abundant fossil remains of marine life found atop every mountain range in the world."

the important word here is 'every'. or does he perhaps just mean mountains made of 300 million year old sedimentary rocks by any chance. do these flood deposited fossil animals also occur on top of non sedimentary mountains? maybe walt brown can cobble together another convoluted explanation from a flood perspective why not.

Walt Brown's proof for a global flood is actually proof against one. If those mountains were in their present form and underwater at the time that the fossils were forming, they wouldn't have formed there - they would have washed down into adjacent valleys. Brown apparently didn't take many geology classes during his education in mechanical engineering.

And marine fossils aren't found in every mountain range, they were found in the ones that were formerly covered by sea.
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 50
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 11:56:00 AM
OK, madfiddler's right; we need to steer this one back. There's a relevant flood thread here:

I was just making the point that Jesus is not the only Biblical subject lacking any archeological (peer reviewed scientific) evidence. So far, we have "evidence" that has been pretty well refuted. Then we have the all-too-common "Oh, there's evidence for Jesus; believe me." Well, we don't believe you. That, and the thread is not about belief; it's about evidence.
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 51
view profile
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 5:12:19 PM

"Walt Brown received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He has taught college courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science. Brown is a retired full colonel (Air Force), West Point graduate, and former Army ranger and paratrooper. Assignments during his 21 years in the military included: Director of Benet Research, Development, and Engineering Laboratories in Albany, New York; tenured associate professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy; and Chief of Science and Technology Studies at the Air War College."

sounds quite accomplished to me--why shorten it??-- and few men could boast such a record of achievement.--shame on 'ya.

So in other words, he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Kinda curious why you're proving yourself wrong and madfiddler right. Just because he can design engines and had a military career doesn't mean he knows anything about geology - and his claims show that he doesn't. According to your post, he claims that a cataclysmic flood caused the formation of asteroids, comets, and meteroids - ummm, yeah.

Now if he did have a PhD in geology, that would mean that his false claims are...still false. Credentials aren't what holds sway, its evidence. His evidence rests on flawed reasoning. Brown's hopes to fool people into believing his flawed logic rely on the human tendency to be believe people who have a PhD. An informed person doesn't allow themselves to be spoon fed information, regardless of the credentials of the person doing the feeding (and in this case, even the credentials are useless to the subject matter) - and a brief look at the evidence show his conclusions are false.
Joined: 8/18/2005
Msg: 52
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 6:59:34 PM
They have sophisticated the boogy man and called him god, but he's still isn't real, and neither is the illusive mythical jesus.

actually He illustrates His existence to us every day in the universe around us--it's just the blind leaders of the blind that aren't seeing it.
Joined: 7/26/2006
Msg: 53
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 8:19:04 PM
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 54
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 4/12/2007 8:46:19 PM
Read back to message 25.

See the link.

Pretty much all of these sources have been thoroughly debunked or are sufficiently questionable/debatable that you cannot use them as in any way an unimpeachable source.

The Tacitus claim is dealt with specifically in post 25.

Pliny, Lucian, Josephus...all of those are a bust... but let us go back to Philo because I don't think a lot of you get the real significance of his silence on the matter of Jesus...moreover that he may have indirectly helped contribute to the mythologizing of what became the Jesus story in later years as later writers lifted material chapter and verse from Philo's own words:

As it happens, we have an excellent witness to events in Judaea and the Jewish diaspora in the first half of the first century AD: Philo of Alexandria (c25 BC-47 AD).

Philo was an old man when he led an embassy from the Jews to the court of Emperor Gaius Caligula. The year was 39-40 AD. Philo clearly, then, lived at precisely the time that "Jesus of Nazareth" supposedly entered the world to a chorus of angels, enthralled the multitudes by performing miracles, and got himself crucified.

Philo was also in the right place to give testimony of a messianic contender. A Jewish aristocrat and leader of the large Jewish community of Alexandria, we know that Philo spent time in Jerusalem (On Providence) where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. His brother, Alexander the "alabarch" (chief tax official), was one of the richest men in the east, in charge of collecting levies on imports into Roman Egypt. Alexander's great wealth financed the silver and gold sheathing which adorned the doors of the Temple (Josephus, War 5.205). Alexander also loaned a fortune to Herod Agrippa I (Antiquities 18).

One of Alexander's sons, and Philo's nephews, Marcus, was married to Berenice, daughter of Herod Agrippa, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, 39-40. After the exile of Herod Antipas – villain of the Jesus saga – he ruled as King of the Jews, 41-44 AD. Another nephew was the "apostate" Julius Alexander Tiberius, Prefect of Egypt and also Procurator of Judaea itself (46-48 AD).

Much as Josephus would, a half century later, Philo wrote extensive apologetics on the Jewish religion and commentaries on contemporary politics. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words are extant. Philo offers commentary on all the major characters of the Pentateuch and, as we might expect, mentions Moses more than a thousand times.

Yet Philo says not a word about Jesus, Christianity nor any of the events described in the New Testament. In all this work, Philo makes not a single reference to his alleged contemporary "Jesus Christ", the godman who supposedly was perambulating up and down the Levant, exorcising demons, raising the dead and causing earthquake and darkness at his death.

With Philo's close connection to the house of Herod, one might reasonably expect that the miraculous escape from a royal prison of a gang of apostles (Acts 5.18,40), or the second, angel-assisted, flight of Peter, even though chained between soldiers and guarded by four squads of troops (Acts 12.2,7) might have occasioned the odd footnote. But not a murmur. Nothing of Agrippa "vexing certain of the church" or killing "James brother of John" with the sword (Acts 12.1,2).

Strange, but only if we believe Jesus and his merry men existed and that they established the church. If we recognize that the Christian fable was still at an early stage of development when Philo was pondering the relationship of god and man, there is nothing strange here at all.

What is very significant, however, is that Philo's theological speculations helped the Christians fabricate their own notions of a godman.

Where did they get their ideas from?

Mocking Jesus – or Agrippa? The mocking of a real Jewish king
The death of the Herod the Great's son, Philip, in 34 AD, left the tetrarchy of Panias and Batanaea without a local king. In 39, Caligula sent Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, into exile. Caligula now turned to Herod the Great's grandson, Herod Agrippa, for a client king and Agrippa was made ruler of all the Jewish lands apart from Judaea.
On the voyage home from Rome, this new King of the Jews, stopped over in Alexandria where his presence in the city provoked anti-Jewish riots. Agrippa became the target of ridicule and lampoon.
Philo described the course of events in his work named for the anti-Jewish governor of Egypt, Flaccus. His work was familiar to the early Christians when decades after his death they composed the gospels. One passage of Flaccus contains a curious pre-figuring of several famous verses found in the Gospels.
But then the Lord moves in curious ways.
The Works of Philo Judaeus – Flaccus, VI.

(36) There was a certain madman named Carabbas ... this man spent all this days and nights naked in the roads, minding neither cold nor heat, the sport of idle children and wanton youths;

(37) and they, driving the poor wretch as far as the public gymnasium, and setting him up there on high that he might be seen by everybody, flattened out a leaf of papyrus and put it on his head instead of a diadem, and clothed the rest of his body with a common door mat instead of a cloak and instead of a sceptre they put in his hand a small stick of the native papyrus which they found lying by the way side and gave to him;

(38) and when, like actors in theatrical spectacles, he had received all the insignia of royal authority, and had been dressed and adorned like a king, the young men bearing sticks on their shoulders stood on each side of him instead of spear-bearers, in imitation of the bodyguards of the king, and then others came up, some as if to salute him, and others making as though they wished to plead their causes before him, and others pretending to wish to consult with him about the affairs of the state.

(39) Then from the multitude of those who were standing around there arose a wonderful shout of men calling out Maris!; and this is the name by which it is said that they call the kings among the Syrians; for they knew that Agrippa was by birth a Syrian, and also that he was possessed of a great district of Syria of which he was the sovereign;

27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Philo: author of Christianity?
"Now the image of God is the Word, by which all the world was made."
– Philo, "The Special Laws", I (81)
Philo was an eclectic philosopher who borrowed freely from the Platonists, Stoics and Cynics. Yet he remained tenaciously loyal to his Jewish faith, and regarded Mosaic scripture as a source not only of religious revelation, but also of the philosophic truths propounded by the Greeks.

According to Philo, the Greek philosophers had "borrowed from Moses" and had received their insights from the God of the Jews. To substantiate this dubious claim Philo found subtle and obscure nuances in the biblical sagas. Simply put, the wisdom of the Greeks was to be found entire within the books of Moses – all that one had to discern was the "hidden meaning" of words that, to the uninitiated, patently had no bearing on Greek philosophy. Philo was thus able to preserve the arrogant superiority of the Jews who in reality had been subsumed into the Greek world.

How did a transcendent God communicate with the world? Here, a term from the Stoics proved most useful. According to Philo, "Logos" – Greek for "word" or "reason"– equated to divine reason. The Logos or Word emanated from the ineffable God and communicated with his creations. Thus it was the Logos that spoke to Moses from the burning bush, and it was the Logos that infused the righteous High Priest. When one experienced religious ecstasy it was because the Logos had entered one's own soul.

Philo defined the curious nature of God's intermediary thus:

"And the Father who created the universe has given to his archangelic and most ancient Word a pre-eminent gift, to stand on the confines of both, and separated that which had been created from the Creator.
And this same Word is continually a suppliant to the immortal God on behalf of the mortal race, which is exposed to affliction and misery; and is also the ambassador, sent by the Ruler of all, to the subject race.
And the Word rejoices in the gift, and, exulting in it, announces it and boasts of it, saying, 'And I stood in the midst, between the Lord and You; neither being uncreated as God, nor yet created as you, but being in the midst between these two extremities ... For I will proclaim peaceful intelligence to the creation from him who has determined to destroy wars, namely God, who is ever the guardian of peace.' "
– Philo, Who is the Heir of Divine Things? 42.205-6.

The "Word" made "Flesh"
When the works of Philo were studied by early Christian theorists (the Alexandrian school of Clement, Origen, etc.) not just the construct of the Logos but the "allegorical method" proved a godsend: the Old Testament presaged not merely Greek wisdom but the Christian godman himself! Thus the scripture of the Jews could be scoured for subtle clues supposedly prophesying a saviour in human form.

Again, Philo pointed the way:

"And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his first-born word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for he is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God's image, and he who sees Israel."
– Philo, "On the Confusion of Tongues," (146)
Philo was himself undoubtedly influenced by ancient notions of Hermes Trismegistos ('thrice greatest' Hermes), a Hellenized version of the Egyptian god Thoth – a god of wisdom and a guide to the afterlife.

Philo knew nothing of Jesus but when, a century after Philo's death, the Christians were historicizing their godman from preconceived notions of what the Saviour should be, they borrowed freely from Philo's work. Thus the Christian apologist Justin Martyr multiplexed "divine reason" into the myriad forms that populate the landscape of Christian theology:

"I shall give you another testimony, my friends," said I, "from the Scriptures, that God begat before all creatures a Beginning, a certain rational power from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos."
– Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, LXI – Wisdom is begotten of the father, as fire from fire.
About the same time that Justin was finessing "God's Wisdom" into human form, the author of John's Gospel combined the opening phrase of Genesis with the speculations of Philo's logos to produce the famous opening verse of his gospel.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
– John, 1.1.

Bringing Philo on Message
In the 4th century so impressed was Church propagandist Eusebius by Philo's descriptions of the Therapeutae (Hellenized Jewish Buddhists of Alexandria) that the church historian decided the Therapeutae were in fact early Christian monks. As for Philo himself, Eusebius cheerfully disregarded chronology and credibility and had the grand old Jewish philosopher reading the (as yet, unwritten) gospels and epistles – and conversing with Peter in Rome!

"It seems likely [Philo] wrote this after listening to their expositions of the Holy Scriptures, and it is very probable that what he calls short works by their early writers were the gospels, the apostolic writings, and in all probability passages interpreting the old prophets, such as one contained in the Epistle to the Hebrews and several others of Paul's epistles.
It is also recorded that under Claudius, Philo came to Rome to have conversations with Peter, then preaching to the people there ... It is plain enough that he not only knew but welcomed with whole-hearted approval the apostolic men of his day, who it seems were of Hebrew stock and therefore, in the Jewish manner, still retained most of their ancient customs."
– Eusebius (The History of the Church, p50,52).
Philo played a major role in the Hellenization of Hebrew scripture, unwittingly preparing the ground for an upstart heresy to supplant and marginalize the ancestral religion he set out to defend. The fate of his co-religionist Josephus was to become a bogus witness to Christ – but Philo himself was rendered a closet Christian!
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 55
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 8/31/2007 11:33:52 PM

In his film,"The God Who Wasn't There",Brian Flemming points out two glaring holes in the NT story that bear pointing out.Is it really conceivable that the San Hedrin,a group of nit picky,anal Jews would have held court on the Eve of Passover?Also,is it really feasible,that Pilate would've allowed Barrabas,an insurrectionist and murderer of Romans to be set free?

No on both counts. The Passion story is preposterous. The teachings ascribed to Jesus were quite similar to those of the Pharisees. The Pharisees didn't go around killing each other over minor theological differences!

Also, if Pilate had set Barabbas free he would have been crucified for treason. That simply didn't happen. In the fable Pilate claims that there was a tradition about setting someone free, but neither the Jews nor the Romans had any such tradition. However, there is a very simple explanation for this. During Yom Kippur part of the ceremony involved two goats, the goat for the Lord and the goat for Azazzel. The goat for Azazzel was a scapegoat upon which all the sins of the people were placed and it was driven from the land (generally driven over a cliff so that it couldn't wander back to town bringing sin back with it). This goat was represented by Jesus Barabbas (Barabbas means son of the father, which is strikingly similar to Jesus being the Son of God whom he called Father). The goat for the Lord was a sin offering for the priestly class. The story of Pilate setting Jesus Barabbas free is just a clumsy attempt at metaphor. It's made more clumsy by the gospels writers' attempt to mix elements of Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Pesach into one story.
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 58
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 9/2/2007 8:09:31 AM

I need a little clarification. Current Christians say that Jesus is god. But he used to be the son of god.

Most Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God and God at the same time. That's been their position for about 1700 years. Before then there was much less uniformity of opinion. Nothing has changed in the past 15 years.

It is also my understanding that Ala is the same god, from Abraham and his first born son to a wife’s mistress, but that was all before the exodus.

Allah is derived from the Canaanite god El(ah). This is also where Jews got the name El from (very common in names like Michael, Israel, etc.). The Jews had merged a couple gods, Yahweh and El, together when Judaism was first separating from the Canaanite religion.

The bible was collaborated by the Catholics with thanks to Amen. As far as I know, the Jewish give thanks to Amen. (If anyone knows and can cite Judaism and correct me on that, then please do.) All Christian prayers are sent thankfully with the name of Amen.

The word amen comes from the Hebrew meaning "truth". Since the Egyptian and Semitic languages are related (kind of like how German and Russian are related) it's possible that both amen and Amen are related words.
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 61
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 9/16/2007 1:19:24 PM

I was visited by the Virgin Mary at age 6, so if she exists then it's not too much of a stretch then, huh? One doesn't have visions if there wasn't a spiritual world. I have visions, both waking and sleeping.

You might want to seek professional help for your delusions.
Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 64
view profile
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 9/16/2007 5:11:44 PM
Indicators of Jesus' existence or non-existence in the early 1st century CE:

• Documents written during his lifetime which mention Jesus: There are none that date from the period 7 BCE to 33 CE.
• The Gospel of Q: This is believed by many theologians to be a collection of sayings, "which included moral teachings, prophetic admonitions and controversy stories, plus a few miracles and anecdotes." 1 These had been transmitted orally and are generally believed to have been first written down by his followers circa 50 CE. Unfortunately, the gospel does not include any dates for Jesus' life. If Jesus had been executed circa 30 CE, then many who saw and heard him preach would still have been alive and could have verified that the gospel was accurate. But a case can be made that the gospel was assembled out of sayings from the 1st or 2nd century BCE.
• Epistles from the Christian Scriptures (New Testament):
• Liberal theologians believe that some of these were written as late as 150 CE, up to 4 generations after Jesus' death, by authors who were not eye witnesses of his ministry. Those writers could have based their letters on traditional sayings attributed to Jesus which dated from an earlier era. An analysis by G.A. Wells showed to his satisfaction that the authors definitely believed in the existence of Jesus, but did not cite any evidence that he lived in the 1st century. 17 They were vague about the location, timing and nature of his birth. Paul does not describe Jesus as a miracle worker, healer or teacher. Paul blames Jesus' death on Satan and demons, rather than the Roman government. (2 Timothy does blame Pilate and "the Jews" for his death. It thus ties the execution of Jesus to a person known to be alive in the 1st century CE. However, this epistles was written long after Paul's death, and may have picked up the concept from the synoptic gospels which had been widely circulated by that time.)
• Conservative Christians believe that all of the books which state that they were written by Paul were actually authored by him prior to his death in the mid 60's CE. Although there is no evidence that he was an eye witness to Jesus' ministry, Paul wrote that he received personal revelations directly from Jesus, presumably in the form of visions. Paul mentioned that a fellow Christian, James, the brother of Jesus, headed up the Jerusalem Church. That would be a strong indicator that Jesus had lived in the early 1st century CE.
• The canonical Gospels:
• Liberal and mainline theologians generally believe that Mark was the first gospel written, and that it was composed about 70 CE. Matthew and Luke were authored up to 15 years later. John was written after Luke. None of the authors identities are known. If these dates are correct, then it is unlikely that any of the authors were eyewitnesses to Jesus' ministry. In spite of their claims, they were relying on secondary or tertiary sources, and accumulated church tradition.
• Conservative theologians date the gospels much earlier. The Scofield Bible asserts that Matthew was written by a tax collector by that name who was mentioned in Matthew 10:13. Dr. Scofield accepted what he referred to as the traditional date of 37 CE. If the authorship and date are correct, then the gospel represents convincing support that the author was a disciple of Jesus and an eyewitness to his 1st century CE ministry.
• The Christian Scriptures (New Testament) overall:
• Many liberal theologians view the Christian Scriptures as being composed of some accurate material said and done by Jesus, mixed in with a many descriptions of Jesus' sayings and acts that never happened. The latter came from a variety of sources:
• Religious propaganda directed at enemies of the author's religious group. (Anti-Judaic passages in John which imply that "The Jews" are responsible for Jesus' execution is one example.)
• Events that never happened, but were added to satisfy prophecy from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). (The identification of Bethlehem as the birth place of Jesus is one example.)
• Other acts and sayings that were either distorted versions of Jesus life, or which were created out of nothing. These were added in order to bolster the traditions that had arisen within the author's faith group. (Jesus instructing his apostles to baptize in the name of the Trinity is one example.)
• Material copied from other religions in the Mediterranean area in order to make Jesus' claim to be the God-man. (e.g. the virgin birth, resurrection, status of Jesus as savior are some examples.)
• Stories of miracles that never happened but were added to bolster the importance of Jesus. (e.g. raising the dead, or healing people of leprosy, blindness, hemorrhaging, indwelling demonic spirits, etc. are some examples).
• Probably some other components that the author has missed.

Some liberal theologians might believe that there is little or no accurate information about Jesus that has survived to the present time. As Bertrand Russell wrote in "Why I am not a Christian.": "Historically, it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him."
• The Gnostics: The early Christian movement was composed of Gnostic Christians, Jewish Christians, and Pauline Christians. Gnostics in particular maintained that God could never take human form. Some denied Jesus' existence as a historical person.
• Flavius Josephus: He was a Jewish historian who was born in 37 CE. In his book, Antiquities of the Jews, he described Jesus' as a wise man who was crucified by Pilate.
• Most historians believe that the paragraph in which he describes Jesus is partly or completely a forgery that was inserted into the text by an unknown Christian. The passage "appears out of context, thereby breaking the flow of the narrative." 18
• Josh McDowell, Don Stewart and other conservative Christians accept the entire passage as legitimate.

There exists no consensus on a second passage in Antiquities which refers to Jesus' brother James, having being tried and stoned to death. Some consider it legitimate; others assess it to be a forgery.
• Cornelius Tacitus: He was a Roman historian who lived from 55 to 120 CE and wrote a book Annals, circa 112 CE. McDowell and Stewart accept his writings as a strong indicator of Jesus' existence in the early 1st century CE. 8 However, the information could have been derived from Christian material circulating in the early 2nd century.
• Suetonius: He was the author of The Lives of the Caesars circa 120 CE. He wrote to "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Emperor Claudius in 49 CE] expelled them from Rome." This passage is often used to support the historicity of Jesus, assuming that Jesus' title was misspelled. But Chrestus was in fact a common Greek name. It is likely that the reference is to a Jewish agitator in Rome by that name.
• Other ancient Roman historians: There were about 40 historians who wrote during the first two centuries. 5 With the exception of the above, none stated that Jesus existed in the 1st century.
• Jewish literature: The Talmud states that Jesus lived in the 2nd century BCE. However, this passage itself dates from the early 2nd century CE. The authors were probably basing their writings on a reaction to some of the dozens of Christian gospels circulating by that time.
• Pope Leo X (1513-1521): Some believe that he considered Jesus to be a mere legend.
• Barbara Walker in her Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Page 471, quotes him as as having said "What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!"
• Rev. Taylor, in The Diegesis, Page 35, has a slightly different quote "It was well known how profitable this fable of Christ has been to us."
• The Catholic Encyclopedia refers to a widely circulated remark: "How much we and our family have profited by the legend of Christ, is sufficiently evident to all ages."

These quotes appear fraudulent, and unrelated to any actual statement by Pope Leo X. They have the flavor of folktales. One reason is than they have appeared in so many different wordings. Their origin appears to be in a fictional work by John Bale. The Catholic Encyclopedia refers to him as an: "...apostate English Carmelite, the first to give currency to these words in the time of Queen Elizabeth" (1533 - 1603). 23 Even if Leo X said something like one of these "quotes" the meaning is not clear. He may have been referring to legends and fables arising about the life of Jesus which accumulated after his death.
• Present-day theologians: The assertion that Jesus is not a historical figure or that he did not live in the early 1st century CE is held by a small number of academics.

Possible source of material about Jesus' life:

Robert M Price 4 writes:

"In broad outline and in detail, the life of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels corresponds to the worldwide Mythic Hero Archetype in which a divine hero's birth is supernaturally predicted and conceived, the infant hero escapes attempts to kill him, demonstrates his precocious wisdom already as a child, receives a divine commission, defeats demons, wins acclaim, is hailed as king, then betrayed, losing popular favor, executed, often on a hilltop, and is vindicated and taken up to heaven."

He asserts that there are a number of historical and mythical figures whose life stories contain these elements, including Jesus. But just as we do not regard Hercules as a historical figure, a case can be made that Jesus was also a mythical character.

Some theologians and historians believe that many of the details of Jesus' life were "borrowed" from a competing, contemporary religion, Mithraism.

Mithra was a fictional character who was worshipped as a Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth and the Light, the Redeemer, the Savior, and the Messiah. A religion in his name was founded in the 6th century BCE. 5 Mithraism one of the most popular of religions in the Roman Empire, particularly among its soldiers and civil servants. It was Christianity's leading rival. 19 Mithra was also believed to have been born of a virgin. Like Jesus, their births were celebrated yearly on DEC-25. Mithra was also visited by shepherds and by Magi. He traveled through the countryside, taught, and performed miracles with his 12 disciples. He cast out devils, returned sight to the blind, healed the lame, etc. Symbols associated with Mithra were a Lion and a Lamb. He held a last supper, was killed, buried in a rock tomb. He rose again after three days later, at the time of the spring equinox, circa MAR-21. He later ascended into heaven. Mithraism celebrated the anniversary of his resurrection, similar to the Christian Easter. They held services on Sunday. Rituals included a Eucharist and six other sacraments that corresponded to the rituals of the Catholic church. Some individuals who are skeptical about stories of Jesus' life suspect that Christianity may have appropriated many details of Mithraism in order to make their religion more acceptable to Pagans. St. Augustine even stated that the priests of Mithra worshipped the same God as he did.
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 65
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 9/16/2007 7:46:31 PM
Racer_x, I'm not trying to attack or insult you. I seriously think you need professional help. Religious delusions like yours have a habit of turning ugly. I don't want to see your picture in the newspapers in a few month because you drowned some babies at the behest of the Virgin Mary.
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