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 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 177
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?Page 7 of 12    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)


So, fiddler, did you do all this testing regarding Gamaliel? And if you did, what did you find? Or did you just dodge my questions?


Gamaliel seems to be at least partly mythological. His biographical details have unusual parallels with Moses. For example they both reportedly lived 120 years. On the flip side he had offspring so there's a good chance he actually existed.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 178
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/6/2007 11:24:53 AM


For example, how can there be so much mention of a man who never lived?


Do you similarly believe that Zeus, Hercules, Osirus, Horus, Mithra, and thousands of other (demi)gods existed?



It has been mentioned that Jesus had followers by the insurrection of 66 AD, who were then scattered around the eastern part of the empire, spreading the Word, as it were, that it would be after 70 AD that a real need for written information exceeds the demand for eye witness testimony.


I'm not sure that Jesus had these followers. What evidence do you have for them?



The letters of Paul are assigned dating around 50 AD, though Paul admits to not ever having seen Jesus himself. He is, nevertheless, alive at the same time.


Then what good is his testimony if he's never seen Jesus?

The oldest epistle, 1 Thess, has been dated to about 51 or 52 AD. It's directed to a group of former pagans (as evidenced by 1 Thess 1:9). Our earliest record of Christians are that they were former pagans from Macedonia! Paul never writes any epistles to the Jerusalem church. Paul mentions almost nothing about the life of Jesus. I'm beginning to suspect that the Jesus of Paul had nothing to do with Jesus of Nazareth. ather, it was Luke who tried to link the two together.



Moreover, Mark is assumed to be of 50-70 AD, and was said to be written before the 66 uprising.


Mark is likely post 70 AD. He has Jesus making a prophecy about the destruction of the Temple. The faithful will no doubt see that as Jesus fortelling the future. IMO, it's more likely that Mark was written after 70 AD and that this prophecy was created after the fact. The "Little Apocalypse" of Mk 13 sounds like the aftermath of the First Jewish Revolt.



Testimonium Josephus postdates this tragedy, of course, but is certainly of the first century.


The Testimonium Flavium is a 4th century forgery. This was discussed in detail earlier in the thread.



In Tacitus, Nero presumably burns Rome and, "acribes it to those people who were hated for their wicked practices, and called by the vulgar, Christians: these he punished excuisitely.


This backs up what Seutonius says. There were a group of rebels in Rome and Judea who called themselves Christians because they were followers of a man named Chretus. Chrestus is a Greek name meaning "the good". For Seutonius, this Chrestus was alive in 54 AD when he caused the riots in Rome. Jesus in Rome in 54 AD? Is that some new Christian belief?



how many fictional characters do we have today who are written of in nonfictional accounts?


Neither Tacitus nor Setonius mention anyone named Jesus. Josephus mentions several people named Jesus, none of whom fit the description of Jesus of Nazareth.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 180
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/6/2007 9:45:57 PM


I looked at Josephus, and found his account mostly hearsay derived from the gospels, rather than independent material. This is partly because of the timing of his writing, but also because of the probability that Josephus would have been familiar with the gospel writings.


This would actually be better explained by someone in the 4th century interpolating a comment into Josephus based on the account in Luke. Other Luke-Josephus parallels can be explained by Luke's use of Josephus.



Worth noting is that the title Christus is used, rather than Jesus, and Tacitus has the wrong rank for Pontius Pilate, but not too bad for that many years later. The main thing that sways my judgment is that I would think it was unlikely that Tacitus would have encountered a gospel account previously to his writing his history, and so I assume this is an independent account.


Well it's unclear that this has anything to do with Jesus. There were many people executed by Pilate, and 1st century Christians didn't call themselves Christians. Let me ask you this, if Tacitus didn't get his information from a gospel, where did he get his information from? Is it possible that he got it from Christians?
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 181
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/6/2007 9:53:17 PM


See my post #211, then pull your Bible off of your bookshelf and look at Acts 22:3 and 5:34.

I'm afraid he was not quite mythological. You've managed to pick some of the best documented figures in history. (Actually there were two of them)


I know he's mentioned in Acts. All in all the evidence for him is rather skimpy. Like I said, he apparently had kids so he's probably real. Moses, on the other hand, is fictional. There's no evidence he existed, and lots of evidence that the exodus is a complete fiction. The evidence has Judaism arising out of the Canaanites, not invading and slaughtering the Canaanites. With no invasion of Judah, no evidence of any wandering in the desert for 40 years, no evidence of a mass escape of Jews from Egypt, no evidence for Jewish slaves in Egypt, and not a word about Moses in Egyptian records, I don't see how Moses is one of the best documented people in history. Moses is as real as Jesus and the Easter Bunny.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 184
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/7/2007 6:30:50 PM


Sorry, that won't do. That's just sour grapes. What was asked for was non-Jewish evidence. The New Testament certainly qualifies. If you want to include Jewish evidence on Gamaliel the Talmud is full of his writings. He was so respected in his era that he is even mentioned in "Recognitions of Clement I", lxv, lxvi.


Actually what was asked was non-Jewish influenced evidence. Acts was Jewish influenced. The Talmud, as I understand it, wasn't written down until the 3rd or 4th century. I've never heard of this "Recognitions of Clement I" so I can't comment on that.



As to Moses, I'd have the same difficulty as a Christian finding historical evidence for Jesus. My best guess, and it is a guess, is that it has something to do with the Hyksos.


I thought so too when I first heard about them, but apparently the timing is off.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 186
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/8/2007 4:39:36 PM


Oh, come now! Acts is the New Testament. If that isn't Christian and not Jewish, I don't know what is.


Well he did say Jewish influenced. Acts certainly is Jewish influenced, even though it is a Christian document. Parts of it were taken right from the writings of Josephus.



In simple terms, there are a lot of legendary figures in religion. It turns out that Gamaliel was not only a real person, but very well known. He was not only a prominent Rabbi, but a Doctor of Law. His Gamaliel Principle is a known legal principle.


I think you might misunderstand. I'm not denying that he existed. I am saying that he's been mythologized. This is similar to my position on Paul. Jesus, however, I view as pure fiction.
 maxxoccupancy
Joined: 2/5/2007
Msg: 187
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/11/2007 8:46:50 AM
I think it impossible to separate Jewish from Christian, at least in the first century. Christianity was widely viewed by all as a Jewish sect--and perhaps not even a religious sect. What we think of as Christian is due to Pauline influence. Jesus did preach to Greeks, but Paul insisted that gentiles did not need to be converted to Judeism first, a minority view at the time.

As for the OP issue, I liken Jesus to Nathan Hale. Here is a man who lived 200 years ago. Very little was written about him at the time, and most writings from the 18th century probably will not survive another thousand years. Perhaps some modern high school students will have a few documents about Hale, and maybe some will insist that he survived the hangman's noose, somehow. Others may credit him with the glorious ride of Paul Revere, who did not actually ride that far as far as a lesser known associate, but met just a few people in each town who he knew could stir up resistance from that town.

Think of how much has been lost in two centuries. Nevertheless, the fact that these two individuals existed is not in dispute. It seems unlikely that we would have so much material written on these two in the 21st century if neither had existed.

"Nathan Hale was presumed to be another name for Nathaniel Hawthorne, and was responsible for the Destiny Manifesto."
--from a history textbook dated 4007 AD
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 190
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/11/2007 11:28:19 PM


While what Jesus taught was indeed "powerful, wise, and often very relevant", most of it was already within mainstream Judaism.


This is one of the reasons that the whole story of Jesus is fishy. His teachings were not radical and would not have raised the ire of the Pharisees and Sadducces. They certainly wouldn't have violated Jewish laws to get him killed.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 191
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/12/2007 1:33:39 AM


"What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?"

This is unimportant.

"What evidence do we need that the historical Jesus lived, if he has had the effect he obviously has had, regardless of his actual existence?"

That makes more sense.

Regardless of who, what, or even whether he was, he had an effect that cannot be ignored, as even ignoring it requires that we acknowledge the concept before we decide to negate it.

What "Jesus" had to say was powerful, wise, and often very relevant. I take it with a grain of salt, but then again salt is always good for you, otherwise the water just goes in one hole and out the other, anatomically speaking. (See how these sayings reflect on truth?)


Well it all depends. If you are interested in spirituality, healing, and goodwill to your fellow man, it really doesn't matter who said the message, so long as someone said it.

If you are however, interested in the history and development of world religions, what shaped world events in a certain way, what other faiths may have had an effect on Christianity or vice-versa, the evolution of its cosmology as it relates to others, etc. then any historical evidence becomes of paramount importance as you try to find the man, if any within the myth.

Otherwise, I guess we really wouldn't be talking about it now, would we? The applicability of Jesus' message has many other threads ongoing...but this one is specifically for historical evidence, so , here I suppose is the only place where actually, Yes, it is important. It is in fact the central question of the thread.
 chrylann
Joined: 12/8/2007
Msg: 193
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/18/2007 6:23:06 PM
Because God said so. That is part of being a Christian, faith. Believing without seeing.
 themadfiddler
Joined: 10/16/2006
Msg: 194
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/18/2007 8:11:21 PM


Because God said so. That is part of being a Christian, faith. Believing without seeing.


And in case for some startling reason you couldn't read the post right above your own which very patiently and politely phrased it...your post is also off-topic. This thread is not about belief. It is about evidence. Feel free to read the preceeding pages to see what has or has not been discussed to see if you can add something new to the debate...more off-topic preaching, or commentary about belief or faith will simply be reported to the mods for immediate deletion as it is not germane to the topic of this thread...there are plenty of other threads to discuss issues of belief and faith.

Thanks.
 zotbwj
Joined: 1/15/2007
Msg: 196
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/20/2007 7:26:21 PM
The Qur'an has many references of Isa (Jesus(pbuh)) with in it
 zotbwj
Joined: 1/15/2007
Msg: 197
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/20/2007 7:28:42 PM
It wasn't the Romans who did it Nergal, it was certain Jewish leaders. But at the same time it wasn't Jesus(pbuh)
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 198
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/20/2007 7:42:37 PM
The Q'uran, however, is not an independant source. It is partially derived from the Bible, and was written hundreds of years later. Therefore, it cannot provide any valid evidence.
 dkaul
Joined: 3/15/2007
Msg: 200
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/20/2007 11:58:13 PM
Dear Nergal
Crucifixion is exactly the way Romans executed people at that time. (See the historian Josephus) The Romans were experts in creating excruciating ways to torture.

What Bible archaeologists get paid for their work would not attract many people. They do their work out of interest. Most people who try to work from a Christian perspective are not very popular and get a lot of negative press. Dave
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 202
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/21/2007 8:00:19 AM


I'm also suspicious that the fact that it supposedly took place at the time of the Passover was another attempt to fit in with Jewsih and pagan traditions.


There are lots of things to be suspicious about. John and the Synoptics don't even agree on when he was crucified (either the day or time of day). But there's an even bigger problem. Jesus supposedly entered Jerusalem and people threw palm leaves on the ground. This was supposed to be shortly before Passover. But why would everyone have palm leaves the week before Passover. It's the wrong holiday for them! Palm leaves were used for the Feast of Tabernacles which occurs in the fall, whereas Passover is in the spring. Why would the Jewish people be stocking up on dead palm leaves?

Clearly the authors of the gospels are making up stories. The triumphant entry into Jerusalem was invented to fulfill a prophecy by Zechariah, IIRC (Matthew's account is amusing because he was working with a mistraslation or misunderstanding and has Jesus riding two animals). However, they needed to have Jesus crucified on Passover because he was supposed to represent the sacrificial lamb that releases men from bondage (bondage of sin that is).
 dkaul
Joined: 3/15/2007
Msg: 205
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 12/21/2007 2:20:50 PM
To Tuppenhapenny
I concur with you response to starpoet. The carpenters tool issue is.........? well...out there!
The thing about the fish if I might add was that when Christians would meet someone during persecution they would draw one side of the fish and if the other person drew the second side they would both know that they were believers. Dave
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 210
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 2/22/2008 7:53:55 AM


I believe he did, though. Apparently the bible goes out of its way to thread a lot of needles regarding his birthplace. It seems like, were he fictional, that aspect of the story would be a lot tidier.


The authors apparently couldn't decide between Nazareth and Bethlehem. The Bethlehem location was chosen to fulfill what the author (Luke IIRC) thought was a prediction regarding the Messiah's birthplace. There is no such prediction but the confusion arose over a mistranslation. Therefore the author makes up an implausible story about having to travel to Bethlehem for a census (that's not how censuses were taken because that defeats the point of a census). That would seem to point to Nazareth, except in the first century Nazareth was a necropolis and Jews were forbidden by law from living there. The confusion probably arose because Jesus was originally meant to be a Nazarite (someone dedicated to god, like Samson was). Eventually a Christian community sprung up in Nazareth in the second century and so Nazarite got misinterpreted as someone from Nazareth, which then made its way into redactions of the gospels.

I don't think that a Jesus ever existed. If he did the gospels would have been tidier with regards to his birth place.
 pappy009
Joined: 2/3/2008
Msg: 213
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 2/23/2008 2:17:35 PM
The greatest evidence that Christ was alive is the fact that the church was created to thwart a threat of the early Christian gnostic beliefs and something had to be done about it because they promoted Common Law, do unto others, in a society that was basically falling apart because of it.
 dkaul
Joined: 3/15/2007
Msg: 214
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 6/20/2009 12:15:36 AM
Response to Nergal

Nergal..........The Jewish leaders where instrumental in convincing the Romans that Jesus needed to be killed. Eventhough Pontius Pilate tried to avoid having it done to Jesus by offering them Barabas. So in a sense your right, the Jews didn't directly kill him but they were the instigators.

2. The term cross (Stauros in Greek)......literally means stake or pale. Latin = crux The cross beam cross had its origin in ancient Chaldea and was used as a symbol of Tammus taken from Vines Expository Dictionary. .................Ungers Bible Dictionary states that the cross was either a plain vertical stake to which the person was nailed or such a stake provided with a cross bar to which the victime was fastened with arms out stretched. (nevertheless.....the victims were often nailed) [Not sure what you mean by practicality. The Roman's were known for their extensive cruelty as well]

3. It was a Mosaic (Jewish) Law that said that the bodies could not be left on the cross on the Sabbath Day....which would have been the next day. So the soldiers would break the legs of the crucified to hasten the death. Jesus was already dead when the came to do that so it wasn't necessary. The Sabbath was on saturday so friday, Saturday and Sunday do not add up to 4 days? Can you tell me where the prophecy in the Old Testament about Jesus being 3 days in the grave?

4. The fact that Biblical scenario doesn't fit with custom holds no water. Joseph of the Sanhedrin asked Pilate for Jesus body and had him buried in his own personal tomb.

5. This whole thing took place at exactly the time of the passover because it was planned that way. Since the Exodus when the Passover was first implimented and a lamb would be slain and blood shed. Well Jesus was the Lamb (as he is indicated to be in several passages of scripture) slain for the sins of mankind on the passover. The timing was on purpose..................yes to fit in with Jewish traditions.
 dkaul
Joined: 3/15/2007
Msg: 215
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 6/20/2009 12:54:20 AM
Where did you ever come up with such stories? There was indeed a prediction/prophecy that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. (Michaiah 5:2). The author Luke didn't make up any "plausible" story. If you check your history you would find that Caesar Augustus made a decree that all the world should be taxed. That was done when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.

2. So Joseph had to return to the city of his birth Bethlehem to pay his tax. You are right about the character of this city. It is a place that lacked culture, the people had a "rude dialect" and the place was known for its laxity of morals. The Hebrew word for Nazereth means "germ". Also it is stated in scripture about Jesus by others, "Can any good thing come out of Nazereth? " and Jesus was derogatorily referred to as Jesus of Nazereth. So you are right about the badness of Nazareth.

4. I'm sorry about the idea of Jesus being a Nazerite. Many people make that mistake but he was not a member of that sect. The word comes from the word Nazar and has nothing to do with the town of Nazareth. (Where do you get these stories...like the term was misinterpreted to mean "as some one from Nazareth" ????
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 217
view profile
History
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 6/20/2009 4:17:11 PM
RE Msg: 264 by dkaul:
The Jewish leaders where instrumental in convincing the Romans that Jesus needed to be killed. Eventhough Pontius Pilate tried to avoid having it done to Jesus by offering them Barabas. So in a sense your right, the Jews didn't directly kill him but they were the instigators.
This is expressly forbidden under pain of death in Jewish Law. Jews have a very strict code about certain things, that they are not to cause a Chillul HaShem, any situation that causes people to look upon G-d unfairly, and one of those is to give the impression that any Jew is being really nasty. If it was absolutely necessary, Jews might be required to act on their own to kill Jesus in secret. But to show the Romans that the Jews would turn on each other, would be such an immoral reflection on the Jewish G-d, that this is what His people might be reduced to, that they would be required to let Jesus preach his views till the end of his life, even if it meant many thousands of Jews turn away from Judaism, rather than cause a Chillul HaShem as big as that. The crime of Chillul HaShem is so serious, that to take such an affront, could have meant everyone involved would be under a heavenly death sentence, and would have lost their portion in the world to come, losing their physical life, AND their spiritual soul.

So there is simply no way for any Jew to be allowed to do this, ever, especially a Rabbi. The sin would be unimaginable.

2. The term cross (Stauros in Greek)......literally means stake or pale. Latin = crux The cross beam cross had its origin in ancient Chaldea and was used as a symbol of Tammus taken from Vines Expository Dictionary. .................Ungers Bible Dictionary states that the cross was either a plain vertical stake to which the person was nailed or such a stake provided with a cross bar to which the victime was fastened with arms out stretched. (nevertheless.....the victims were often nailed)
The Romans had used crucifixion extensively. They had an uprising in Syria, and crucified 5000 Syrian Jews.

The Roman's were known for their extensive cruelty as well
That is very true. A while ago, they had a documentary on the Roman Games. In the preludes to the games, before the main event of the gladiators, they would take female slaves, and put them before wild animals who had been trained to have sex with human women. The women would be raped by the animals, and die in the process.

3. It was a Mosaic (Jewish) Law that said that the bodies could not be left on the cross on the Sabbath Day....which would have been the next day. So the soldiers would break the legs of the crucified to hasten the death. Jesus was already dead when the came to do that so it wasn't necessary.
Jews are not allowed to bury a body on the Sabbath. I've been to a funeral of a Jew who died on the Sabbath, and was buried on Saturday night, as soon as the Sabbath went out. However, Jews are never allowed to hasten death, as hastening death is a form of death itself, and would be considered murder, and ordering any non-Jew to hasten death would be similar to ordering someone to kill, which is still a very serious sin in Judaism, as one is required to die rather than to follow orders to kill. The Jews would not be allowed to say anything to the Roman soldiers that MIGHT cause them to hasten Jesus' death.

4. The fact that Biblical scenario doesn't fit with custom holds no water. Joseph of the Sanhedrin asked Pilate for Jesus body and had him buried in his own personal tomb.
The tradition for Jews in Jerusalem is to bury them on the Mount of Olives, and all Jews buried there are buried in a wood coffin, with a simple shroud, so that the body can return to the ground. Although the are tomb monuments, they are above ground, and the actual burial is below in the soil. That is the only way that any member of the Sanhedrin would have had any Jew buried, in the ground, but maybe with a stone monument above it.

5. This whole thing took place at exactly the time of the passover because it was planned that way. Since the Exodus when the Passover was first implimented and a lamb would be slain and blood shed. Well Jesus was the Lamb (as he is indicated to be in several passages of scripture) slain for the sins of mankind on the passover. The timing was on purpose..................yes to fit in with Jewish traditions.
The Jewish tradition of celebrating Passover is that G-d "passed over" the houses of the Jews that marked their lintels with sheeps blood, on the night of the Plague of the First-borns. There is no tradition that the lambs were slaughtered to pay for the sins of the Jews, or mankind, for even if a Jew killed 1000 sheep, but didn't mark his house with sheep's blood on the lintel, then G-d would have "visited" his house. Every year, the Jews would re-enact this in the temple, by offering a sheep as sacrifice, the Paschal Lamb, in memory of how G-d "passed over" our houses and brought us out of Egypt. Every year, on the night of Passover, Jews tell each other the story of Passover by reading the Hagaddah ("story"). It even explicitly says in the Hagaddah, that the more you discuss the story of Passover that night, then you are more meritorious. We are required to read in the Haggadah that had G-d not brought us out of Egypt, that we would still be slaves to Pharaoh even to this day, and we are all required to see ourselves as if G-d had personally taken us out of Egypt as a result.

There is simply no connection between sin and slaying in the Passover tradition. Passover is the Jewish Festival of Independence. The eve of Passover is Jewish Independence Day.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 219
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 7/13/2009 4:48:06 PM

This is expressly forbidden under pain of death in Jewish Law. Jews have a very strict code about certain things, that they are not to cause a Chillul HaShem, any situation that causes people to look upon G-d unfairly, and one of those is to give the impression that any Jew is being really nasty. If it was absolutely necessary, Jews might be required to act on their own to kill Jesus in secret.


This is one of the most implausible parts of Christianity. When you compare the teachings of Jesus to the Pharisees and Essenes then there's nothing new under the sun. Why would the Jewish leaders secretly gather in a conspiracy to get the Romans to execute Jesus (including getting witnesses to bear false witness against him) for teaching things that they themselves taught?


There is simply no connection between sin and slaying in the Passover tradition. Passover is the Jewish Festival of Independence. The eve of Passover is Jewish Independence Day.


My own theory is that the people who were inventing Christianity confused the Judas Goat with the Paschal Lamb. This would explain the odd story of Pilate releasing Jesus Barabbas and executing Jesus of Nazareth because of a tradition that the Jews supposedly had. Jesus N would have been the slaughtered goat and Jesus B would have been the goat driven from the town.
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 221
What evidence do we have that the historical Jesus lived?
Posted: 2/23/2012 7:20:20 PM
I hear your point of view and considered the same things. I had even asked a question here wondering if someone would “show me the light” but alas, I was essentially told that I was correct in my belief.

What is that belief? No one has shown me ANY p-r-o-o-f as there is is, stories passed from person to person. But NONE of it has any proof behind it.
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