Did a historical Jesus exist?


#1

Hey gang,
Thought this site might be interesting. I never heard this in sunday school.

jeromekahn123.tripod.com/newtestament/id28.html


#2

[quote=Sparetherod]Hey gang,
Thought this site might be interesting. I never heard this in sunday school.

jeromekahn123.tripod.com/newtestament/id28.html
[/quote]

You weren’t paying attention!

Just kidding - the article is nothing particularly interesting.
It excludes Paul as being an eyewitness to the “earthly” and therefore excludes him from testimony of the historical Christ. That is pretty lame.
It rejects John’s testimony as well due to the authors opinion that we don’t know who wrote the gospel. That is weak again. In reality, we cannot ascertain any author of a work definitively - its simply a question of likelihood.
Im not sure what you think it proves, but it didn’t prove much to me.

Phil


#3

There’s a good reason you never heard it in Sunday school, they try to refrain from lies in Sunday school.
It is absolutely absurd to attempt to contend that the number one, most famous, historical person did not actually exist. It really isn’t even worth discussing. Surly you’re not serious?


#4

well, one of the most obvious things to me is the assertion that

“The editing and formation of the Bible was performed by members of the early Christian Church. Since the fathers of the Church possessed the texts and determined what would appear in the Bible, there occurred plenty of opportunity to change, modify, or create texts that might bolster the position of the Church or the members of the Church themselves.”

if they were gonna change, modify or create texts… then why not
create texts as written by Jesus?? the writer himself says that
the lack of first person, or eyewitness writing, is his major
’evidence’ that Jesus didn’t exist… so if the early church
fathers were only ‘creating’ texts… why not create something
more… convincing…

could it have been because they used what they had, as led
by the Spirit, and didnt’ change, modify, or create anything??

:slight_smile:


#5

“The editing and formation of the Bible was performed by members of the early Christian Church. Since the fathers of the Church possessed the texts and determined what would appear in the Bible, there occurred plenty of opportunity to change, modify, or create texts that might bolster the position of the Church or the members of the Church themselves.”

And let’s just nevermind that there is absolutely zero evidence that anyone too advantage of these alleged plentiful opportunities to falsify the record.

– Mark L. Chance.


#6

<< Hey gang, Thought this site might be interesting. I never heard this in sunday school. >>

Naw you won’t hear it in Sunday school, but the G.A. Wells books, and books by the “Jesus Seminar” folks are in the popular bookstores. Two sites are particularly good in response:

Shattering the Christ Myth by J.P. Holding

Refuting the Jesus Myth by Bede’s Library

The claim Jesus didn’t exist has as much credibility as sedevacantism, that there is no validly elected Pope.

Phil P


#7

If Historical Jesus did not exist, then why did of his twelve apostles die violently proclaiming his divinity? You’d think one of them would have recanted, eh? Eh? This is poor scholarship and i’m pretty sure this is only coming up because of that ignorant atheist over in Italy trying to make a name for himself by slamming religion. It’s a fairly easy way to get fame nowadays. Madonna is using it to stay relevant now that she can’t think of anything to top her act of lesbian pedophilia. I mean, honestly! If you are anti-Christian, you automatically have credibility. If you can use big words, you’re a scholar. Whatever. :mad:


#8

If Historical Jesus did not exist, then why did of his twelve apostles die violently proclaiming his divinity?

If there was no mother ship behind the comet, why did dozens of the Millenium Cult commit suicide? Sincerity is not proof is it?

It is absolutely absurd to attempt to contend that the number one, most famous, historical person did not actually exist. It really isn’t even worth discussing.

In his time, it might have been Hercules…did he exist? An appeal to tradition doesn’t prove anything, does it?

Im not sure what you think it proves, but it didn’t prove much to me.

The thing is, it shouldn’t prove much to either one of us. So why would you put unquestioning belief in the results either way?

The thing I find interesting is that nobody said “He’s wrong, and I have objective evidence to prove it?” The scientific method and research are ignored. Faith and denial are the default mode. My only purpose…to get you to think like rational people.


#9

PhilVaz,
I checked out the Shattering the Christ Myth referance. Like I suspected he relies on faith and tradition, not real evidence, then admonishes doubters as sinful…nice touch. He says:

I highly recommend that you provide a clear presentation of the Gospel, then leave them alone. It is a waste of time to deal with such people (except to the extent that they are deceiving others), we perform no service any time that we so much as imply that their views should be taken seriously. Their views are the result of a fallen and sinful human nature, of rampant egotism and arrogance, and nothing more.

Is that all you got?


#10

Its a waste of time talking to atheists about God. They want tangible scientific proof of God’s existence. That can never be provided so discussions with atheists just go round in circles.
The existence of God can never be proved or disproved.
We, who believe, don’t and will never need proof.

Science is understanding the measurable.
Faith is believing the incomprehensible.


#11

Its a waste of time talking to atheists about God. They want tangible scientific proof of God’s existence. That can never be provided so discussions with atheists just go round in circles.

Indeed, we agree. "So who cares?"is the next question. It is the consequences of faith that are problematic. People act on their beliefs. The human mind can not up with a rational reason that condom use in the Third World is a “sin”. Dogma can.


#12

[quote=Sparetherod]The human mind can not up with a rational reason that condom use in the Third World is a “sin”. Dogma can.
[/quote]

http://home.houston.rr.com/mchance3/rolleyes.gif

No serious scholar denies the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth. There is simply too much historical evidence for anyone to credibly do so.

Anyone who says otherwise is merely obfuscating to cover up some other sort of objection to Christianity, such as selfish rejections of Christian teaching about sexual morality, which are most often disguised as compassion for the so-called Third World.

– Mark L. Chance.


#13

No historical Jesus huh?

Okay, what about Josephus ? He verifies from a non-Christian standpoint the story of Jesus.

You have eye-witness accounts in the Gospels.

Let’s consider something else…what are the odds that the guys who wrote all this would die for it if it was a pack of lies?

Would a non-historical personage have had the far reaching effects on society from that time to this?

If Jesus had not been an historical reality would Herod have massacred the innocents in an effort to locate and kill him? That is a historical fact, from a verifiable outside source.

There is probably more historical evidence for Jesus than there is for the man who wrote the article in that link.

Pax vobiscum,


#14

I skimmed the article. One of its implications that I don’t think is quite fair is this: that only Christian historians have a tendency to be biased. As if adherents of other systems of thought or faith, such as atheism or Judaism, don’t have their biases when examining history? Its true that some historians if they are Christian may not be as objective as they should because they are prejudiced toward their own beliefs, but to imply that non-believers are above such basic human shortcomings is arrogant. Lots of people can be pre-disposed toward examining Christianity, or any religion for that matter, in a skeptical light. Especially if there is a more or less sub-conscious need on the part of a person to justify their own atheistic lifestye. There may be an even bigger need for justification if they were once a believer. This, coupled with the fact that most historians, that is reputable ones who don’t maintain obscure and questionable websites like the one you provided the link for, count Christ’s existence as likely causes me to doubt that your source has come to some set of groundbreaking historical probabilities. Usually I see skeptics try to claim that the Apostles might have died for Christ because they were duped by a charismatic Jewish revolutionary; that they simply exercised human self-deception born of the faith and desire for something greater than this life that is common to many. I suppose one could find arguments for this. I find it highly unlikely however, and I think most do, that they would have so willingly gone to their deaths if they had never even seen or heard the Savior about whom they preached to the world.


#15

[quote=johnshelby] the writer himself says that
the lack of first person, or eyewitness writing, is his major
’evidence’ that Jesus didn’t exist…:slight_smile:
[/quote]

This is an argument from silence. This is the weakest form of argument out there. Not to mention it neglects to include the people who do claim to be eyewitnesses (i.e. the writers of Scriptures) as credible. That is a poor assumption on his part. Furthermore, I think if he did a little more research, he could find Jewish and pagan historians alike, that would provide testimony to Jesus’ existence. Poor scholarship.


#16

[quote=Sparetherod]Indeed, we agree. "So who cares?"is the next question. It is the consequences of faith that are problematic. People act on their beliefs. The human mind can not up with a rational reason that condom use in the Third World is a “sin”. Dogma can.
[/quote]

The consequences of faith are the problem? I don’t think so Chief. You can throw out accussations like this all day, but where does that get us. I could easily say it is the lack of true faith in the true God that is problematic. What has that accomplished? As far as condom use in the Third World being a sin, what’s your issue. Maybe we should get to the heart of it. Instead of trying to fix something with a band-aid, let’s get to the heart of the issue. Let’s hold up the ideal. Let’s teach it and PRACTICE it. When that starts happening, and people understand our sexuality as God created it, the idea of using a condom would seem ridiculous to us.


#17

[quote=Sparetherod]If there was no mother ship behind the comet, why did dozens of the Millenium Cult commit suicide? Sincerity is not proof is it?
[/quote]

Before I respond to this-- you could provide me with a link on the specific circumstances surrounding this? I’m pretty sure I’ve got it, but I’d rather not misspeak.

The thing I find interesting is that nobody said “He’s wrong, and I have objective evidence to prove it?” The scientific method and research are ignored. Faith and denial are the default mode. My only purpose…to get you to think like rational people.

How do you propose to use the scientific method on a question of history? The key point to the scientific method is that experiments are testable and repeatable. History is not repeatable. The scientific method does not apply.

As for research-- the documents we have remaining support his existence fairly well, which include Josephus and Tacitus, not to mention, of course, the actual gospels. You can always discount the gospels as far as their testimony to the existence of Christ by claiming a Christ-myth, but the formation of a mythology around a man in such a short period of time is simply unprecendented. It takes faith to believe the Christ-myth, not vice versa.

If I were an athiest-- and, gasp, yes, I’ve considered it-- I’d hold that Christ existed but was not God, which is the consensus of historians.

Oh and, drop the ‘get you to think like rational people,’ ****. If you want to be insulting, go somewhere else.


#18

As far as condom use in the Third World being a sin, what’s your issue. Maybe we should get to the heart of it. Instead of trying to fix something with a band-aid, let’s get to the heart of the issue. Let’s hold up the ideal. Let’s teach it and PRACTICE it. When that starts happening, and people understand our sexuality as God created it, the idea of using a condom would seem ridiculous to us.

Well, I thought a human mind couldn’t come up with a reason to defend a principle that allows millions to die of HIV. I was wrong. If they would just behave like Catholics, they wouldn’t die. If it’s the consequence of sin, we probably shouldn’t even treat them, right? Don’t let compassion get in the way of dogma? The flu is part of His plan too. Where are you on flu shots?

Anyone who says otherwise is merely obfuscating to cover up some other sort of objection to Christianity, such as selfish rejections of Christian teaching about sexual morality, which are most often disguised as compassion for the so-called Third World.

Now my concern for the “so-called Third World” is a ruse so I can indulge my own sexuality. You guys are something. As a physician, I probably shouldn’t treat any more Catholic teens with the clap…it’s God’s punishment.

No serious scholar denies the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth. There is simply too much historical evidence for anyone to credibly do so.

I’m saying check it out yourself…did you read the site? There’s no evidence Nazareth existed either. The Nazerenes were a jewish political group…not a town.

Okay, what about Josephus ? He verifies from a non-Christian standpoint the story of Jesus.

Read the article!!! He was born after Jesus’ reported death and he only mentions a Christos…which hardly verifies the whole story, does it?

How do you propose to use the scientific method on a question of history? The key point to the scientific method is that experiments are testable and repeatable. History is not repeatable. The scientific method does not apply.

Let’s call it the historians method, then. Not a single eyewiness report, letter, scribe report, roman report, nada…until 30 years after his presumed death. Paul never knew Jesus, nobody knows who wrote the Gospels, that are in some places copies of one another. Hercules has as much evidence…and had a large following in his day.

You can always discount the gospels as far as their testimony to the existence of Christ by claiming a Christ-myth, but the formation of a mythology around a man in such a short period of time is simply unprecendented. It takes faith to believe the Christ-myth, not vice versa

Get real…I give you Joseph Smith and the Mormons…even Scientology, and their gods are aliens, for Pete’s sake.


#19

[quote=Sparetherod]I’m saying check it out yourself…did you read the site? There’s no evidence Nazareth existed either. The Nazerenes were a jewish political group…not a town.
[/quote]

As far as I know, there was another minor Jewish town in the Bible which no one else knew existed until in more recent times. Lack of evidence for the city doesn’t mean much, especially as it does not purport to be a large city.

Read the article!!! He was born after Jesus’ reported death and he only mentions a Christos…which hardly verifies the whole story, does it?

Let’s call it the historians method, then. Not a single eyewiness report, letter, scribe report, roman report, nada…until 30 years after his presumed death. Paul never knew Jesus, nobody knows who wrote the Gospels, that are in some places copies of one another. Hercules has as much evidence…and had a large following in his day.

  1. Have you ever read the tongue in cheek, Hannibal never existed? Our standards for history aren’t quite so high.
  2. I can’t see any reason that you keep trotting out the Hercules example. Are there any eyewitness reports of Hercules 30 years after his dead? These are clearly in two completely different classes. In 30 years time there were still people alive who knew Jesus, such a thing doesn’t quite equate to Hercules. I’ll just warn you, you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar-- and making an absurd comparison of Hercules to Jesus is just vinegar to us.

Get real…I give you Joseph Smith and the Mormons…even Scientology, and their gods are aliens, for Pete’s sake.

Joseph Smith added onto the impressionable template Protestantism, he didn’t create a myth centering around the person of Jesus Christ, he claimed to have the private revelation from angels. The existence of Jesus was based on public events, involved numerous people, and started an entirely different belief system (unlike Mormonism which is very much integrally related to its Protestant roots). As for Scientology, I can’t even see how it relates to this case. Did L. Ron Hubbard by any chance claim public revelation? The exact opposite, Scientology is well known as, well, a cult. Its teachings are secret and not even taught, except to the initiated, and even then, to highly devoted cult followers (who join, perhaps, because Scientology tells them that its beliefs aren’t conflicting with whatever religion of theirs, unlike the early Christians who knew that they’d have to forsake their pagan or Jewish beliefs in order to be Christian). L. Ron certainly existed. For a myth to have arisen about L. Ron they would have had to call him God or something… didn’t happen.


#20

Sparetherod:

Just semantics.

The title/question of the thread is a little misleading.

Rather we should ask, Throughout history, do we have historical records of a man named Jesus Christ who said he was God?

The deconstructionist use of ‘Historical Jesus’ as if to say, okay, there’s myths, but this is what really happened…how people from 20 centuries removed from the fact all of a sudden have a better account of the life of Christ is a mystery to my common sense.

What the new “experts” are really saying is: We know about this man named Jesus Christ, he couldn’t have done all that. This instead is what he said and did.

From hence we can start talking on an even playing field…the manipulation of language is subliminal and we should call it out from the outset, otherwise there’s no real dialog just railroading to individual agenda.

Thanks.

in XT.


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