Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... Remember that we are the largest free online dating service, so you will never have to pay a dime to meet your soulmate.
     
Show ALL Forums  > Religion  >      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 73
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?Page 3 of 12    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
These were already asked and answered on page one of this thread...

All of these sources have been thoroughly debunked as one of the following:

Later insertions by pious forgers (especially the Suetonius accounts of the "Christian" persecutions which NO other pagan writer speaks of occuring at the time of Nero)

Linguistic****ps by ignorant people who assume dim things like sound-similar words having the same meanings... eg. Chrestus = Christ? Not by a long shot.

Wishful thinking.

Not one person has been able to come up with an extra-Biblical source from a contemporaneous historian that isn't either completely debunkable, highly debatable or otherwise spurious.

More to the point, the only contemporaneous historians do not mention Christ or the Christian movement at all until late into the second century. All the ideas however, such as the Logos, are freely pinched by the emerging Christian movement from Philo...I'm sure he never saw a cent in royalties though.

Do I seriously have to go point for point AGAIN and debunk these? Really? I mean I will...but frankly I have a flu coming on and this is tiresome repeating the obvious
 Freya73
Joined: 9/5/2007
Msg: 74
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/8/2007 8:05:23 PM
I cannot get into the debate of whether Jesus truly lived. Who knows? If he did, he was not the messiah, divine or anything of that sort. Personally, I think the story of Jesus was taken from Mithra to lure pagans into accepting the religion.

However, I will say this.

Concerning the flood of Noah. It was either the History Channel or the Discovery Channel that did a show on this. There is absolutely no way that the earth would have flooded in 40 days and 40 nights. The common theory, with evidence to support it in the form of documentation of a large regional flood, is that it was a regional flood.

Now think about this.. if you lived all your life in one geographical area and never, ever had someone teach you that there were other places besides what you knew, and it flooded for as far as your eye could see, would you not think the entire world flooded? I should think so.

Now it has been over a year since I seen the show, however, I believe that as far as the ark was concerned, they theorized that Noah was a river merchant who would go up and down the river, selling what he picked up from where he was from and the ark was truly nothing more than a river barge. I would have to see the show again to make sure I am right on that.

Either way, that makes more sense to me than someone building this huge boat that would hold 2 of every animal, insect, reptile on this planet as well as Noah's family. Not too mention, the mere thought of living in an enclosed enviroment with that many animals (some of which would attempt to eat the humans or other animals) would be exceedingly disgusting. Think of the feces and urine!
 Freya73
Joined: 9/5/2007
Msg: 78
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/9/2007 10:37:24 AM
^^^OW! I have been thumped over the head.

OK, seriously, this is a discussion. Do you have anything of interest to add? Any evidence to back up your belief? Other than the world is here? Guess what hunnie, I can give you several creation stories and not one of them will be the bibical one. Just because the world is here does not give evidence that Jesus lived. It just shows that you believe it is proof.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 80
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/9/2007 11:40:20 AM


The source I'm particularly familiar with, The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, 43a, does indeed include a reference Jesus, but it was written after the Christian gospels, and the material taken from them.


Most relevant to the Talmudic sources whenever someone brings them up looking to verify an historical Gospel Jesus, I have to shake my head and say "pick one" as there are over a dozen people in and about the Galilee named Yeshu or some variant that show up in the historical record but none of them make the cut for matching the details of the character of the Gospel story in any significant way including this one.

Most saliently none of them spectacularly rise from the dead to the wonderment of all, nor are dramatic events like earthquakes involving the veil of the Temple being rent, darkness all day or more importantly MASS RESSURECTIONS of the DEAD occuring! Surely these things would qualify as MAJOR NEWS headlines in any historical account, yet not one of them is ever mentioned in any extra-gospel record and certainly not one of the other Yeshus or Yeshuas gets associated with them either.

The expression, "Buhbee, you have bupkiss," comes to mind.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 81
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/9/2007 6:27:39 PM
I really want to know why no historian mentions the zombie invasion of Jerusalem.
 fitman2005
Joined: 8/18/2005
Msg: 85
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/10/2007 6:57:18 AM

This wasn't a spiritual appearance; it says their bodies were actually raised and they crawled out of their tombs. A real life zombie phenomena. And, on top of that, they supposedly appeared to many people. Yet we don't have a single account of this in the historical record. Of all the miracles in the Bible, including the resurrection of Jesus, this seems to be the most wide-reaching. If there was any one single event a first-century historian would have noticed it is a bunch of bodies rising from the dead and wandering through Jerusalem. But no one wrote anything.


yayotters--if it wasn't a 'spiritual' experience--what kind would you say it was? Or do you think they just did it on their own? Also--how much historical evidence is there for Lazarus' resurrection? In 1stThessalonians 4, verses 13 thru 17, a similar event is foretold. I guess you would see that as a 'future' coming zombie invasion.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 86
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/10/2007 10:38:59 AM

yayotters--if it wasn't a 'spiritual' experience--what kind would you say it was? Or do you think they just did it on their own? Also--how much historical evidence is there for Lazarus' resurrection? In 1stThessalonians 4, verses 13 thru 17, a similar event is foretold. I guess you would see that as a 'future' coming zombie invasion.


I think you are missing the little detail here that yayotters and I are trying to get across which is that one story of a ressurrection could be a mythologized tale of a medical misunderstanding made larger than life in the retelling... a story of the Temple veil being rent and the tombs of Jerusalem breaking open and many of the long dead being seen walking the streets as the result of an earthquake at the time of the crucifixion is something that is so noteworthy that it could not have been mistaken for something else.

That is, unless the story was entirely a tacked on metaphor and not meant to be real in any way...

In which case I certainly take no issue with it. But as an historical event, I say unapologetically, not a snowball's chance.

 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 87
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/10/2007 10:53:13 AM
Oh come ON! Everyone KNOWS that happened. There's TONS of evidence outside the Bible for zombies walking the Earth. They've made MANY documentaries on it for Pete's sake! REAL historians made those documentaries. Dawn of the Dead ring any bells? How about Shaun of the Dead? Cripes. Read the Good Book! All the facts are there, it's OBVIOUS they're true and will be backed up by independant, carefully-Christian-filtered sources.

*Sigh* Unwashed masses, indeed.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 89
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/10/2007 1:38:26 PM


Anyway, getting back to the main part of this thread, I think that the gnostic gospels, particularly those of Mary Magdalene and Thomas, provide some support for the idea that a historical Jesus existed. Whether or not these should be treated as independent sources is certainly debatable.

But one thing is clear, at least to me. They do not support the kind of Jesus portrayed in the official gospels. Instead they rather detract from those versions.


This is my conclusion as well. There is some evidence to support that some Jewish teacher with a name like Yeshu or Yeshua lived at some point likely a within a century or so of the start of the common era, preached a message focussing on love and service, but was well within Judaism. But, the historicity of the Gospel Jesus was what was at issue in this thread and alas there seems to be little to no evidence for this person to have existed. On the contrary there seems to be ample evidence that such an entity is a compilation of several other factors including perhaps the story of the older Jewish teacher, solar divinity myths/astrotheology, and mystery religion.

Literalists may choose to view this as an attack on their beliefs but it is in no way an attack; rather, it is an attempt to understand their origins from the viewpoint of a rational outside viewer from the modern era who has access to the historical and cultural record.

Those looking for information dealing with the historicity of Jesus and the accuracy of the sources can do a simple search at http://www.infidels.org/ under Jesus and historicity for large FAQ's and essays on that subject.

Of course the particular bias at the site http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/ may prevent some from viewing it's information, but for those not afraid to view the arguments presented there, the well cited historical information is thorough.
 maxxoccupancy
Joined: 2/5/2007
Msg: 91
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 9:44:47 AM
Many books have been written on the historical Jesus, and there are numerous experts out there who prefer to believe that Jesus either survived his crucifiction or that he died, and the rest was made up. Others have posited that Jesus was not the man taken to the cross. However, in those times, the Romans would flog and crucify religious revolutionaries, then bury them alive, so it's possible that Jesus survived the crucifiction, and many Christians and scholars believe that to this day.

In fact, 80 gospels were written about Jesus, many while he was still alive. Aside from the four in the New Testament, only two other gospels have been found. It's important to recall that written documents were not too reliable in those days, so important information was memorized, word for word, as Jesus' followers would have to have done.

The word used to describe the occupation of Joseph (which mean wiseman) was artisan, not carpenter, and probably meant Rabbi. Sons took the occupations of their fathers.

The Romans kept extensive written records, especially concerning taxes and inmates. They have an entry for a man named Immanuel, as Jesus would be known. The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Library of Nag Hammadi, the Bible, the 76 gospels burned at the council of Nicea... there has been a lot of written evidence of Jesus life, although some of it has been destroyed over time.

--Max
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 92
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 10:38:41 AM


Hmm, there were about 12 or so Jesus' living in the area at the time. My favorite was the Jesus that defied the romans and got smashed by a rock from a catapult.


Jesus, or rather Yeshua, was a common name back then. Josephus mentions a Jesus, who was called Christ. He had a brother named James who'd been stoned to death (along with his companions) by the religious authorities of his time for "breaking the law". This action was very unpopular amongst the people. This must be Jesus of Nazareth right? Well, no. After James was stoned to death, the High Priest was removed from office, and replaced by Jesus. Jesus' father's name was Damneus. He was removed from office because of the sedition that broke out amongst the high priests between themselves. He was succeeded by a man named Jesus, son of Gamaliel.

Anitiquities, Book XX, Chapter 9
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 93
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 10:51:15 AM


Suetonius once wrote of a wave of riots which broke out in a large Jewish community in Rome in 49 A.D. In his chronicle called Claudius, Suetonius explains that the Jews were banished from the city.

Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius] expelled them from the city.


Wait a minute. You're trying to tell us that Jesus was in Rome in 49 AD???



The name Chrestus used by Suetonius is a variant spelling of Christ. It is virtually the same as that used by Tacitus.


Actually Chrestus was a name at the time.
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 95
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 11:24:54 AM
Riiiight. So accuracy is measured by the number of copies? Would that be considered an "appeal to majority" fallacy?

The Bible contains bits and pieces which are accurate. It contains great chunks which can't be confirmed by any means, including other publications. Accuracy isn't measured how many copies there are. There are a vast number of books which have been published in the millions of copies each. Most of them are fiction. Are we to consider them factual because copy A agrees with copy B?

Historical accuracy is measured by confirmation of information from other, independant writings, and archaeology. 25000 copies of the Bible don't provide either of these.

VVV amusing point. I was rather condescending. There's a reason for that - the argument was ludicrous.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 97
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 1:40:09 PM
So we don't keep going over the same tired, rehashed arguments, maybe some of the new posters might want to take the time to read the first few pages of the thread before unloading the killer point they have to see that it may likely already have taken ten shots below the waterline and is on it's way to Davey-Jones Locker as a courtesy to those of us who have been here for the whole five pages...

Thanks awfully.

Now THAT's condescending. But seriously...it would be nice if everyone would check the earlier parts first and see what's been covered...in fact it might help you take a new tack on something.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 100
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 6:34:55 PM
You are aware of what an appeal to authority is aren't you?

In any case starting out with misquoting sources is really not classy.



As far as Mr. Humphrey's "knowledge" of the Bible, it is laughable at best. I am reading his article "The 12 Apostles--Fabricated Followers of a Fabricated Savior." Mr. Humphreys claims that Peter was beheaded by Nero. That's simply not true. Peter was the Apostle to the circumcision as it says in Galations 2:11-13. Peter would have had no reason to ever go to Rome. Paul was beheaded by Nero after spending time in jail in Rome.


Humphreys makes no such claim at all. If you're going to actually going to attack a man's arguments be sure to get the argument right



"Beheaded by Nero?" No, not really. This legend was dreamed up by the mid-2nd century pope Anicetus (156-166) when he became locked in a conflict with the venerable Polycarp of Smyrna. Polycarp had tried to win the argument (over the dating of Easter) by insisting that he spoke with the authority of the apostle John. In response, Anicetus staked a claim to Peter, and Peter, "Prince of the Apostles", trumps John.

2nd century texts known as the "Clementines" had made Peter the "first Bishop of Rome" and 3rd century invention gave him a 25-year pontificate – which made it a tad tricky for him to have died at the hands of Nero but, hey, this is "tradition."

3rd century Church Father Origen dreamed up a colourful flourish: Peter, feeling himself unworthy to be crucified the same way as his Lord, chose option 'B' – crucifixion upside down!


If you read the rest of the article which it appears you have not, he actually is critical of the pious frauds of history who made up imaginary biographies for each of these apostles for whom we really have no actual information.

As to the rest of this, it is absolutely correct to be critical of someone's lack of expertise IF they are making an argument of an area that requires specific dedicated knowledge of detailed information. The part where your analogy falls flat is that in this area, anyone with a working brain, access to a good library and reading comprehension can make these arguments...it is augmented perhaps with skill in the Biblical languages and knowledge of the source material but there is no good reason to accept their argument as more valid unless there is a specific point of debate that requires their specific branch of knowlegde.

Sour grapes.

As I said before, address the argument and not the man. If it was an argument in the specific meaning of the Hebrew language, then YES, a PhD Hebrew language scholars word on the issue would be far more acceptable than a Baptist minister from Florida with a mail order dictionary on Hebrew-English translation and the "Spirit" telling him what words mean what.

Otherwise, this is just ad hominem and appeal to authority nonsense and not worth touching...

Crackpots? I suggest you dismantle their arguments. If you can. Put up or shut up.
 Strmn7
Joined: 11/5/2006
Msg: 101
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 10:23:57 PM
Jesus.........Who.....all that exists is NOW the Eternal Present.......why should i care to beleive someting people say took place 2000 yrs ago....as i think one of Jesus most famous sayings........Words are Turds...are none of them Absolute...from wonder into wonder existence opens....Ahhhhhhh.....and the Word was made Flesh
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 102
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 10:29:52 PM


Now that we have established that your "expert" is nothing of the sort, Dr. Edwin Yamauchi, a renowned expert in ancient history says this about the passage in Tacitus:

"This is an important testimony by an unsympathetic witness to the success and spread of Christianity, based on a historical figure--Jesus--who was crucified under Pontius Pilate. And it's significant that Tacitus reported that an 'immense multitude' held so strongly to their belief that they were willing to die rather than recant" ("The Case for Christ," Lee Strobel, p. 83 Zondervan 1998).


I note in your long winded appeal to authority that you did not offer one scrap of evidence that Jesus existed. A few things should be noted about Tacitus. First, he never mentions Jesus. He says the founder of Christianity was someone called Christus. This is an important distinction because there were a score of Messianic claimants at the time, any one of whom could claim the title Christ. Second, he makes an error in calling Pilate a procurator instead of his proper title of prefect. He makes other mistakes as well. It's not clear how much this unfinished book should be trusted. Third, and most important, Tacitus wasn't born until 55 AD and didn't write Annals until 117 AD. In no way is he an eyewitness of Jesus. Anything he has to say about Jesus (whom he didn't even name) would be thrown out of a court of law for being hearsay!
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 103
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 10:39:18 PM


As far as Mr. Humphrey's "knowledge" of the Bible, it is laughable at best. I am reading his article "The 12 Apostles--Fabricated Followers of a Fabricated Savior." Mr. Humphreys claims that Peter was beheaded by Nero.


Is this what the phrase "Lying for Christ" refers to?
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 104
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/25/2007 11:43:37 PM


Third, and most important, Tacitus wasn't born until 55 AD and didn't write Annals until 117 AD. In no way is he an eyewitness of Jesus. Anything he has to say about Jesus (whom he didn't even name) would be thrown out of a court of law for being hearsay!


Eusebius in the 4th Century does not make mention of the Tacitus quotes. Neither does Origen in the famous debate with Celsus even earlier. That these early Christian writers do not make mention of the writings of Tacitus which were surely available to them, especially Origen in his famous responsa and defense of the "reality" of Jesus - where he also didn't cite the Testamonium Flavianum or any of the other extra-biblical sources for Jesus often cited by apologists - should be more than enough evidence to submit that these are latter day pious frauds.

These specific Tacitus quotes do not appear in the real historical record until the fifteenth century C.E. and of course have the obvious mistakes of Pilate's rank and referring to Jesus as "The Christ", something which no Roman report would do.

It is FAR more telling however that the early church fathers make no mention of these words and that these and other pious frauds do not appear earlier in history until, usually, they do at their hands...Eusebius strangely being one of the biggest fabricators of pious fraud didn't mention the Tacitus gems. Funny that.

So that would make "fourthly."
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 107
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/26/2007 1:52:46 AM

The "liar, lunatic, etc." trichotomy is based on the premise that the historical Jesus is the Jesus of faith. This simply isn't the case. And no one in the academic world believes it to be the case. You only have high-paid apologists like McDowell claiming such things.


I believe this mess of illogic was first and most popularly promoted in the wretched mess known as "Mere Christianity," by C.S. Lewis. I never could finish it. That an Oxford Don could concoct such a mess of distorted thinking was truly a sad thing...no wonder that despite their initial friendship, and his introducing him to Christianity, Tolkien soon became annoyed and embarrased over him. The book began with faulty premises and it just went downhill.

Howabout D) A possibly real Jewish rabbi who's teachings and story later became distorted over time when combined with E) A solar god-myth compounded with a variety of other stories and mythologies including but not limited to Jewish predecessor stories, and now worshipped as a seperate triune deity. I'm sure many other arrangements will suggest themselves...

And in case you didn't read my comment regarding Josephus...and it appears you didn't, the fact that the Testimonium Flavianum was not cited in Origen Contra Celsum is sufficient evidence that it is a late pious fraud and that Josephus himself never wrote it.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 109
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/26/2007 2:54:53 AM

That is called an argument from silence and is no more "credible" that green cheese on the moon.


In abductive reasoning it is a perfectly valid form of argumentation...this is not an argument based on pure reasoning therefore is not one that need class it as a fallacy necessarily.

As you can't actually do anything to attack the position, lacking the actual information or wherewithal, you just want to take your ball and go home...well no one's stopping you. You haven't done anything to attack or dismiss the position other than attempt a cheap end run.

Nice try though.

From the wiki entry on argument from silence:



The most famous argument from silence often used by skeptics regards Herod the Great's supposed slaughter of the innocents. Since no one other than Matthew records this (not even Luke) many skeptics say this slaughter was made up by Matthew to support a passage Matthew misreads as prophesy.

The argument from silence is very convincing when mentioning a fact can be seen as so natural that its omission is a good reason to assume ignorance. For example, while the editors of Yerushalmi and Bavli mention the other community, most scholars believe these documents were written independently. Louis Jacobs writes, "If the editors of either had had access to an actual text of the other, it is inconceivable that they would not have mentioned this. Here the argument from silence is very convincing."[4]

Contrary to the claims of Christan Apologists the skeptics against the virgin birth of Christ do not use an argument from silence but rather use syllogistic logic:

Major premise: In the first century CE it was widely believed that women were the 'soil' into which a man planted his seed [5]
Minor premise: In Roman 1:3 (KVJ) Paul says: "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Seed here comes from the Greek word 'spevrma' from which the modern word 'sperm' comes from) [6]
Conclusion: Paul refutes the virgin birth--by his own words.


The analogy is identical. It is inconceivable that Origen would not have used the Testimonium or Tacitus or Suetonius in the Contra Celsum had they been of contemporaneous authorship...

Anymore timewasting remarks you'd care to make? I won't comment on what baloney you're jerking.
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 117
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/26/2007 10:20:42 AM
The subject of the mythical Jesus has been dealt with extensively in other threads and isn't directly relevant here. Whether or not previous myths contributed to the Biblical perspective does not actually have any influence on whether there was a physical being 2000 years ago to associate these stories with. I find it to be interesting conjecture...just not useful here as anything beyond the most tenuous circumstancial evidence.

As a relatively* unbiased reader, I think AndCanItBe makes an interesting legal case, but MadFiddler [in particular] offers the vast majority of logic and evidence.


*relatively, meaning I don't believe in deities, but I have no reason to care whether Jesus existed. If anything, I suspect he did exist, just not in as literal a fashion. I'm just seeing that all evidence to show he existed at all is unreliable at best.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 118
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/26/2007 12:30:53 PM


I do a minimal amount of research and see that they are built on toothpicks. They crumble at the slightest investigation. Now you must rehabilitate your witnesses to restore their credibility so that "the jury," a.k.a. the readers, will believe you.


Actually you have done no such thing. You have relied entirely upon appeal to authority to avoid addressing any of the arguments presented AND you have also now constructed a tremendous strawman argument by suggesting that these two men and two websites are the only ones who present such arguments as if they are "lone fringe crackpots."

How do you propose to establish, firstly that this is what I am proposing, and second, that they, in the entire field of study of the historicity of Christ, are the only people to propose the arguments that they are??? Do you realise how utterly absurd that sounds?

It is neither my job, nor my intention to research every single scrap of evidence or every single opponant of the historicity of Christ to provide you and a reader of this forum with an accredited education.

You have YET to deal with a single point raised by the arguments presented by either of these men and have only attempted to dodge that by addressing their credentials or lack thereof. This indicates to me that you either lack the ability, wherewithal or simply the basic knowledge to do so and are now just desperate to cling to the faint hope of the first mentioned basic fallacies.

You want the other experts...go Google them. I have to work in an hour. If I get bored during the week I'll make a list. In the meantime, you should concern yourself with actually addressing the meat of the problems raised by the historical fact...for a change.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 119
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/26/2007 5:12:15 PM

The problem that you have in putting forward the theory that Jesus never existed is that there is evidence in secular history for a man named Jesus. He was mentioned by both Josephus and Tacitus at the very least. Now you are faced with discrediting these references to Jesus in order to prove that He is a mythological character.


Tacitus did not mention anyone named Jesus. You can go read the text in any Christian apologist book to see this for yourself. As I've mentioned there were many Messiah's, i.e. Christs, or people claiming to be so, at the time. You don't have to take my word for it. The works of Josephus are online and free to read. Pilate crucified many of them. Tacitus needn't even have been talking about a Messianic figure. Christus, or Chrestus, was a common enough name. Seutonius tells us about a rebellion in Rome instigated by a man named Chrestus in the mid first century. Christians like to trot out the Seutonius reference as evidence for Jesus, however Jesus was not alive in the mid first century and certainly not in Rome. Tacitus and Seutonius are possibly talking about the same person (though not necessarily). If there was a rebel named Christus, then his followers would have been known as Christians, most likely. There's no reason to believe that either Tacitus or Seutonius were talking about Jesus of Nazareth.

However, for the sake of argument let's assume they were and so was Josephus. I hate to shout, but you really need to understand something: TACITUS, JOSEPHUS, AND SEUTONIUS WERE NOT EYEWITNESSES TO JESUS SO WHATEVER THEY MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE SAID ABOUT HIM IS HEARSAY AND WOULD NOT STAND UP IN ANY COURT!

Christians have yet to point out a single CONTEMPORARY secular historian who mentions Jesus. That leaves them with religious writings of the time. The earliest writings are by Paul who never claims to be an eyewitness to Jesus, except in post-resurrection visions. None of the gospel writers claim to be eyewitnesses. The Gnostic gospels aren't even accepted by Christians.

The historical record is silent. The archaeological record indicates that Nazareth was uninhabited at the time Jesus supposedly lived. Most of Jesus' adventures look to be borrowings from pagan sources and the OT. Jesus' miracles are no more plausible than accounts of Roman Emperors and others performing miracles, like Apollonius of Tyana. The non-miraculus parts of Jesus life are not credible. Matthew in particular has a penchant for claiming that Jesus fulfills some prophecy and then relating the story of how. Invariably he takes a non-prophetic passage out of context, and then invents a story (e.g. the Slaughter of Innocents which should have left John the Baptist dead). Jesus' prophecies never come true. The accounts of him in the NT contradict each other.

Put it all together and not only is there a lack of evidence that Jesus existed, it's downright impossible for him to have existed.
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 121
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 11/26/2007 8:10:56 PM
There are entirely separate threads dealing with those ideas. That being the case, addressing those issues is off-topic both because it strays to specific other topics, and because it doesn't address the specific topic of this thread. The other threads deal specifically with the mythical concepts, this one deals with history and physical existence. "May not have existed" is circumstancial and doesn't deal with the existence or validity of historical evidence.

Apart from that, I agree with your reasoning, and I strongly favor the ideas of borrowed myths. I'm just pointing out that this particular argument would cause the thread to stray until it becomes just one more in the morass of off-topic he-said/she-said preaching threads. Thus far, this thread has been fairly busy simply dealing with historical/archaeological documentation. Why muddle it further by effectively inserting the entirety of two or more other threads?
Show ALL Forums  > Religion  >