How would you prove/disprove the historical Jesus in a court of law?


#1

How would you your present the case for the historical Jesus in a court of law? What evidence would you subpoena and present? What experts would you call?


#2

[quote=Maranatha]How would you your present the case for the historical Jesus in a court of law? What evidence would you subpoena and present? What experts would you call?
[/quote]

When they asked me to raise my right hand I’d say, “to who?”.


#3

Not a Catholic book, but there is a guy who takes a law angle on Jesus–Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ


#4

[quote=Maranatha]How would you your present the case for the historical Jesus in a court of law? What evidence would you subpoena and present? What experts would you call?
[/quote]

Is this about that Priest in Europe somewhere who has to defend himself in court because some athiest?

Read about it a few weeks ago, but havn’t heard anything about it since. Was it dismissed? Anyone know what happened?

Adam


#5

[quote=Mijoy2]When they asked me to raise my right hand I’d say, “to who?”.
[/quote]

Well, yes, that’s actually a pretty good thing to say, but we don’t know how they run their court system over there in Italy, whether they have us pledge to God or swear on his name or what have you.


#6

I would start with the burial box with his name on it, then move onto historical records.

Cornelius Tacitus

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberious at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths, Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed.”

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas, chief secretary of Emperor Hadrian, wrote, “Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from the City.” Chrestus is a variant spelling of Christ.

Flavius Josephus

“…he brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.”

“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and (he) was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive, accordingly, he was perhaps the messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”

Thallus wrote about the crucifixion of Jesus. His writing date to circa 52 A.D. and the passage on Jesus was contained in Thallus’ work on the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to 52 A.D. Thallus noted that darkness fell on the land at the time of the crucifixion. He wrote that such a phenomenon was caused by an eclipse. Though Christ was not proclaimed a deity until the fourth century, Pliny the Younger, a Roman author and administrator who served as the governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, wrote in 112 A.D., two hundred years before the “deity” proclamation, that Christians in Bithynia worshipped Christ.

The Talmud

"On the eve of the Passover, Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf. But since nothing was brought forward in his favor, he was hanged on the eve of the Passover."If Jesus had been stoned, his death would have been at the hands of the Jews. The fact he was crucified shows that the Romans intervened. The Talmud also speaks of five of Jesus’ disciples and recounts their standing before judges who made individual decisions about each one, deciding that they should be executed. No deaths are recorded.

Greek satirist Lucian

“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day, the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account…You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods, alike, regarding them merely as common property.”

Then I would move onto the Gospels and NT, Church Fathers

In that court case one need only show that a man named Jesus did in fact exist.

Also, there is the floor of that oldest church that was found recently.


#7

[quote=Daniel Marsh]…Then I would move onto the Gospels…
[/quote]

Historians give the highest level of credibility to eyewitness accounts. The Gospels of Mathew and John qualify…they were his apostles.


#8

[quote=Unfinished]Is this about that Priest in Europe somewhere who has to defend himself in court because some athiest?

Read about it a few weeks ago, but havn’t heard anything about it since. Was it dismissed? Anyone know what happened?

Adam
[/quote]

Yes Adam, this is in Italy and according to the Fox network, yesterday I believe, the athiest showed up to court but the priest didn’t, however the priest atternies did. I think they might have set a court date.
Sorry, but I didn’t watch the whole news release.


#9

The best way to prove Jesus in court is for him to come and prove it again when he said he would. Y2K was the expected date and that is when it happened again. It was a war that was fought behind closed doors in 5 Massachusetts courts between mid 1998 and the end of 2001. Twenty or so appearances and two trials as a defendant the State of Massachusetts tried very hard to commit or convict with no success. The Messiah was way more capable than the Judicial system and dominated defiantly in every courthouse start to finish. The jury convicted hi in the second trial but the State had to overturn the verdict immediatly when several rules of law were not satisfied by the prosecutions argument.


#10

Truly embracing the Word has brought healing to many. I’d use the healing as testimony to the Christ in spirit, and not worry about the historicity. I know that wasn’t the question, but I think the most compelling evidence of the Good News is the healing it brings today – once one really becomes unified and transformed one begins to see these types of healings more often than not.

Alan


#11

[quote=Jake99]The best way to prove Jesus in court is for him to come and prove it again when he said he would. Y2K was the expected date and that is when it happened again. It was a war that was fought behind closed doors in 5 Massachusetts courts between mid 1998 and the end of 2001. Twenty or so appearances and two trials as a defendant the State of Massachusetts tried very hard to commit or convict with no success. The Messiah was way more capable than the Judicial system and dominated defiantly in every courthouse start to finish. The jury convicted hi in the second trial but the State had to overturn the verdict immediatly when several rules of law were not satisfied by the prosecutions argument.
[/quote]

What is this about? Jake what are you saying? That the Lord has come again? I hope i misunderstand you, when He comes in His glory, there will be no mistaken it…

only the truley historically ignorant would believe and proclaim that Jesus never existed. There are no reputable scholars or historians who would take sucha stance. There is abounding historical evidence for the existence of the person of Jesus of Nazareth. God forbid this case should stand up in court…but there is an all out war going on against faith in schools, the media and the courtroom…God help us…


#12

[quote=Anonymous_1]What is this about? Jake what are you saying? That the Lord has come again? I hope i misunderstand you, when He comes in His glory, there will be no mistaken it…

[/quote]

Notice one thing that there will be no mistaking it, but OTOH Christ never said He would come to each individual person at the same time. Therefore we cannot point this time out to each other. Personally I believe the Second Coming has already visited me, and helps to heal me on a regular basis for the past few months. Others believe it has taken a while. I do not know this to be contrary to scripture, as Christ never said everyone would know at the same time. I don’t believe that it is a “simultaneous shared” experience such as an impressive figure in the sky (people like to look for the huge instead of the subtle) because guess what? Blind people would be excluded. It has to be in a way that all Christians can notice it, which I believe is in the heart. Christ often talked about His kingdom – His Kingdom is in the heart where He planted a seed and gave us His spirit to help nurture it. It blooms at a different time for each person, and some who get to experience it before mortal death can help keep up hope and show the way to good work. This is all personal speculation, but I’m OK with it.

Alan


#13

Well you can’t use the Gospels because they’re articles of faith and not very good biographies anyway. Paul’s letters, maybe, but he never met Christ in person. Perhaps some of Peter’s letters. Better still would be to find an unbiased historian who made mention of Jesus. Maybe subpoena some archaeologists who have worked around ancient Christian sites. This isn’t a theological argument it’s a historical argument so I think secular science is your best bet. As an aside, I honestly can’t believe this trial is going forward. Doesn’t freedom of religion trump fraudulent advertising laws in Italy?


#14

Yes God the father has come back to Earth within a perfect human, just as he did with Jesus. Jesus was not recognized until after he was dead, because no matter how bold and loud he was no one was smart enough to investigate his claim. If God can come in the form of a man once, he can do it again. I suggest you stop looking for Jesus and investigate James who did a million times more than Jesus did, while on Earth.

When the most successful buisiness leader and athlete in US history parks his chariot of fire in front of a tomb and takes on your leaders in front of a court house with a bow and arrows over his shoulder that should have woke you up. But you are asleep claiming to be saved without the leader who’s job it is to do that.

The new world is not more of the same, it is the opposite of what currently exists and it fixes nearly all problems. Its the same thing that the Messiah has done to one of the largest companies in the US. The brink of bankruptcy to the top of the stock market in the twinkling of an eye is the same performance you will get on a global basis only without the gamblers and land owners being involved.

You asked and prayed for Christ to come again and he did just as he said he would, just as he did the last time. Born of a perfect woman, performed many, many, many miracles and then boldly revealed himself in the most alarming and legal way possible. It was time to prove that he was not a lunatic, a liar or an imposter. I suggest you look at the facts. Attached is a short, somewhat accurate defiant stand against the US and world leadership. It is easily the most dominant performance by a defendant in the history of the world. And it was not the first or the last time that Christ proved himself in court. Welcome to Y2K and the new Millenium behind a man who makes no mistakes and does the right thing everytime. And when you see what his six siblings did and can do the contest is no contest in comparison to anyone in all of time.Let the Messiah judge and lead you as he did for a thousand who followed him, the results and methods will be more of the same.

Time for the believers to stand behind the leader they prayed for.

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#15

The Gospels are famous as part of our faith, but they are also eyewitness accounts, attested to by other eyewitnesses besides the authors who put their lives at risk by doing so. They are indeed historical documents. There is no reason you could not present the Gospels as well as the Talmudic evidence as evidence in court. They are the best evidence we have from the period in question.

I was just listening to Openline on EWTN w Fr Mitch Pacwa, and he answered a question from a caller about the historical fact of Jesus’ life. It was near the end of the show. I believe you can download the openline shows from ewtn.com’s audio library (you might have to wait a few days for the latest show to be made available). It seems all the points Fr Mitch made were also made in Daniel Marsh’s great post (post #6 in this thread). Fr Mitch also mentioned he is working on a project to collect all these historical references to make them more well known.

Another thing Fr Mitch said made a lot of sense: “It would have been too hard to manufacture all this evidence.”

Also isn’t it true that nobody soon after the time of Jesus says he DID NOT exist? If He was simply a fantasy made up by Christians, this fallacy would have been addressed early on, in some reliable document. It wouldn’t make sense for opponents of Jesus to wait so many centuries to finally try to challenge His existence.

Given all this, the court proceedings may well end up shifting the onus upon the doubters to refute that Jesus actually lived, rather than the other way around.

One other thought I had - if we have to rely only on “unbiased historians” to establish that ancient events took place, wouldn’t this make it impossible to verify, for example, that many ancient wars took place?, since the vanquished were not usually allowed to put their history books on the library shelves of the victors, and there was no such thing as a United Nations to oversee everything back then.

PS: I also know a Muslim who says they definitely believe Jesus lived as a man (a prophet). Might their Koran qualify as an “unbiased” historical document that He did indeed live as a man?


#16

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