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Did Jesus really exist?

decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
Click on the link from CNN.com.

Will this case even stand a chance against the might of the Most Holy Roman Catholic Church? :confused:
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Comments

  • Actually it will not stand in any type of legal proceeding.

    http://www.carm.org/questions/Jesus_myth.htm

    I suggest the book The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.

    http://www.zondervan.com/Books/Detail.asp?ISBN=0310226465
  • albert_sy2albert_sy2 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    How can you trust the Bible when it couldn't even get the genealogy of Jesus straight?
  • ^" There is no discrepancy because one genealogy is for Mary and the other is for Joseph. It was customary to mention the genealogy through the father even though it was clearly known that it was through Mary."

    "Breaking up genealogies into male and female representations was acceptable in the ancient Near East culture since it was often impolite to speak of women without proper conditions being met: male presence, etc. "

    "...otice that Luke starts with Mary and goes backwards to Adam. Matthew starts with Abraham and goes forward to Joseph. The intents of the genealogies were obviously different which is clearly seen in their styles. Luke was not written to the Jews, Matthew was. Therefore, Matthew would carry the legal line (from Abraham through David) and Luke the biological one (from Adam through David). "

    Source: Matthew J. Slick
    http://www.carm.org/questions/2geneologies.htm
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    easter wrote:
    Actually it will not stand in any type of legal proceeding.

    From the little that I know about legal proceedings, courts of law do not generally allow hearsay as testimony - information derived from other people rather than on a witness' own knowledge. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people, since all documents about Jesus reveal that its authors wrote well after his life.

    A valid historian's own writing gets cited with sources that trace to the subject themselves, or to eyewitnesses. None of the historians about Jesus give reliable sources to eyewitnesses, therefore all we have is hearsay.

    Oh no easter, not this site again.

    From [url]www.carm.org:[/url]
    According to the Christian church, the four Gospels were written by the apostles and/or those under the direction of the apostles of Jesus. That means that they were written under direction of eyewitnesses of the actual events.

    Not true.

    The Gospels did not come into the Bible as original and authoritative from the authors themselves, but rather from the influence of early church fathers, such as Irenaeus of Lyon who lived in the middle of the second century. Many gospels existed by that time, but Irenaeus considered only some of them for reasons, well, unknown to me. The titles "According to Matthew, Mark, etc." were not added until late in the second century.

    No one knows who actually wrote any of the Gospels. We cannot even assume that any of the Gospels had one author.

    The Gospels of Matthew and Luke could not possibly have been written by an eye-witness of the tales they tell. Both writers plagiarized up to 90% of the Gospel of Mark, to which they add sayings of Jesus and would-be historical details.

    The Gospel of Mark acheived its final form probably as late as 90 CE but containing core material dating possibly as early as 70 CE. It does not have the entire traditional biography of Jesus. The post-resurrection appearances reported in the last twelve verses of Mark are not found in the earliest manuscripts.

    It is clear the Mark was a non-Palestinian non-disciple.

    1.) Mark shows no first-hand understanding of the Palestinian society. We see this when he has Jesus say that if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery. Let me quote G.A. Wells in The Historical Evidence for Jesus:
    Such an utterance would have been meaningless in Palestine, where only men could obtain divorce.

    2.) Mark displays a profound lack of familiarity with Palestinian geography. This is evident when he tells the tale about Jesus crossing over the Sea of Galilee and casting demons out of a man and making them go into about 2,000 pigs, which "ran violently down a steep place into the sea... and they were choked in the sea", in a place called Gerasa (which was really in a different country, the so-called Decapolis). The pigs has to run a course of 31 miles, just to find a place to drown. Plus, if one considers a "steep" slope to be at least 45 degrees, that would make the elevation of Gerasa at least six times higher than Mt. Everest. :lol:
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    "Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria." Also, see Luke 3:1-2, "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 2in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness." We clearly see numerous historical statements that have been verified through archaeology. This is precise record keeping, not extravagant additions. In fact, "Sir William Ramsey has shown that in making reference to 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 islands he made no mistakes!"1 Sir William Ramsey (1851-1939) was a classical scholar and archaeologist. He taught at Oxford England, Aberdeen. He authored several scholarly books dealing with archaeology and had a major influence upon it as a science.
    Nevertheless, there are many verifiable things found in the gospel accounts.

    Herod, king of Judea, (Matt. 14:1; Luke 1:5).

    Herodias, the wife of Herod's brother Philip, (Matt. 14:3).

    Pool of Bethesda, (John 5:115).

    Pool of Siloam, (John 9:7).

    I dont even see the point why www.carm.org would make such a flawed argument. Homer's Odyssey, describes, in detail, many locations that existed in history and still exist today. Can this be evidence that the Greek gods and goddesses really exist?
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    They Should Have Noticed

    John E. Remsburg, in his classic book The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence (The Truth Seeker Company, NY, no date, pp. 24-25), lists the following writers who lived during the time, or within a century after the time, that Jesus is supposed to have lived:

    Josephus
    Philo-Jud?us
    Seneca
    Pliny Elder
    Arrian
    Petronius
    Dion Pruseus
    Paterculus
    Suetonius
    Juvenal
    Martial
    Persius
    Plutarch
    Pliny Younger
    Tacitus
    Justus of Tiberius
    Apollonius
    Quintilian
    Lucanus
    Epictetus
    Hermogones Silius Italicus
    Statius
    Ptolemy
    Appian
    Phlegon
    Ph?drus
    Valerius Maximus
    Lucian
    Pausanias
    Florus Lucius
    Quintius Curtius
    Aulus Gellius
    Dio Chrysostom
    Columella
    Valerius Flaccus
    Damis
    Favorinus
    Lysias
    Pomponius Mela
    Appion of Alexandria
    Theon of Smyrna

    According to Remsburg, "Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ." Nor, we may add, do any of these authors make note of the Disciples or Apostles - increasing the embarrassment from the silence of history concerning the foundation of Christianity.

    The Gospels portray Jesus as known far and wide, by great multitudes of followers, by all the chief priests and scribes (including the high priest Caiaphas), by the Roman governor Pilate, and by Herod. If the Gospels are to be believed, who could have not heard of Jesus? Yet, not one person records his existence during his lifetime?

    According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst." Yet, not one astronomer or astrologer even mentions this event?

    Matthew 2 describes Herod and all of Jerusalem troubled by the worship of the infant Jesus. Herod then had all of the children of Bethlehem slain. Not one person wrote about this great infanticide?

    Matthew 27:45-53 decribes the events that happen after Jesus died on the cross, where "the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." Not one person records this astonishing event?
  • rickymrickym PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    aside from the bible are there any other references of jesus' life?
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    ^ During the life of Jesus? None.

    Josephus Flavius, a Jewish historian, mentions Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews (it was easter who first mentioned this to me in an older thread). However, Jesus was supposedly crucified in 30 CE. Josephus was born in 37 CE, and he wrote Antiquities in 93 CE, so again, his information could only serve as hearsay. Besides, scholars believe that Josephus' short account of Jesus was forged by Eusebius in 324 CE. No sane Pharisee would refer to Jesus as "Messiah".
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Bah, st.anger I thought you were going to back me up here. :lol:
    JOSEPHUS: (37-101 A.D.)

    Josephus was born in Jerusalem only four years after Jesus' crucifixion. He was an eyewitness to much of what he recorded in the first century A.D.

    But he was not an eyewitness to the life of Jesus. He never saw Jesus.
    Josephus mentions many events and people from the Gospels. Josephus was an Orthodox Jew who was commissioned by the Romans to write a history of the Jewish people and Rome up until that point.

    And he was not being a very credible historian in his very brief mention of Jesus. As I have mentioned previously, a valid historian cites sources that trace back to eyewitnesses. All the information that Josephus has about Jesus, like the rest of the "ancient" writers in the web page, is hearsay.
    Mentions Jesus: Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.

    There are good reasons to believe that this is forged interpolation:

    - Let me quote an article from American Atheists:
    The story of Jesus is intrusive in Josephus' narrative and can be seen to be an interpolation even in an English translation of the Greek text. Right after the wondrous passage quoted above, Josephus goes on to say, "About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder..." Josephus had previously been talking about awful things Pilate had done to the Jews in general, and one can easily understand why an interpolator would have chosen this particular spot. But his ineptitude in not changing the wording of the bordering text left a "literary seam" (what rhetoricians might term aporia) that sticks out like a pimpled nose.

    - In 891, Photius in his Bibliotheca (which devoted three "Codices" to the works of Josephus) shows no awareness of the passage, even though he reviews the sections of the Antiquities in which one would expect the disputed passage to be found.

    - In the 16th century, a scholar named Vossius had a manuscript of Josephus from which the passage cannot be found.

    - An early Church father (earlier that Eusebius), Origen, stated that Josephus did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Fascinating, since he studied the works of Josephus extensively.

    - No loyal Pharisee would say that Jesus is the Messiah. Josephus could report that Jesus had been restored to life on the third day and not be converted to Christianity?
    Mentions James, the half-brother of Jesus: Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 19.

    Nope. Josephus was referring to James (Jacob in Gree or Hebrew, a very common name) the Just, born with the title "brother of the Lord." It was the early Christian copyists who changed it to "the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ".
    TACITUS: (55-117 A.D.)

    Cornelius Tactitus is regarded as the greatest historian of ancient Rome. Writing on the reign of Nero, Tacitus alludes to the death of Christ and to the existence of Christians in Rome.

    Tacitus wrote at a time when the early Christians had come to believe that Jesus had suffered under Pilate. He is simply repeating what these Christians told him.

    If he consulted earlier records, he would not have given Pontius Pilatus the wrong title of procurator (Pilate was a prefect). He uses the title "Christ" as if it were a proper name. If he consulted Roman records, I don't think he would have found such an entry: "the Messiah is to be executed today." :bashful:

    Gotta run, will finish if I get a chance...
  • decoy47 wrote:
    ^ During the life of Jesus? None.

    Josephus Flavius, a Jewish historian, mentions Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews (it was easter who first mentioned this to me in an older thread). However, Jesus was supposedly crucified in 30 CE. Josephus was born in 37 CE, and he wrote Antiquities in 93 CE, so again, his information could only serve as hearsay.

    decoy47 maybe it would be good to look at the Talmud. What is the Talmud?

    "The Talmud is a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, which Jewish tradition considers authoritative. It is a fundamental source of legislation, customs, case histories and moral exhortations."

    The Talmud does not specifically mention the name Jesus but the account here has striking resemblance to the Saviour.

    ""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!'"

    Source:
    http://www.carm.org/questions/extrabiblical_accounts.htm


    There are other references detailing the life Yeshu which is similar to Jesus but somewhat twisted.

    Now take note that the first Talmud (It was of two parts) was written more than 100 years after Christ's death and resurrection.

    Why am I referencing a document much older than Josephus birth and writings?

    It is because at that time span so much enmity might have already developed between Christians and Jews. If this is the case, why did the Jews still consider this event in such an important document? They could've easily said that Jesus did not exist and branded these people calling them Christians as nut cases.

    Now if there are contradictions which is the more authoritative source historically speaking when it comes to Jesus...the Gospels or the Talmud? The date when the Gospels were written are so near the death and resurrection of Jesus that by historical standards, the Gospels are the more acceptable documents.
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    decoy47 wrote:
    Nope. Josephus was referring to James (Jacob in Gree or Hebrew, a very common name) the Just, born with the title "brother of the Lord." It was the early Christian copyists who changed it to "the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ".

    I meant Greek, damn, sorry.
    easter wrote:
    "The Talmud is a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, which Jewish tradition considers authoritative. It is a fundamental source of legislation, customs, case histories and moral exhortations."

    I wonder why this is even used as evidence that Jesus is a historical person. We must remember that "Yeshu" is a very common name in Jewish literature.
    easter wrote:
    "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!"

    The Rabbis were referring to either:

    1.) Jesus ben Pandira - stoned to death and then hung on a tree on the eve of a Passover in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 BCE) at Jerusalem.

    2.) Jesus ben Stada - lived in the early second century, stoned and hanged on the eve of a Passover at Lydda.

    Anyway, regardless of how we interpret the Talmud, it can only best serve as legend, since the Palestinian Talmud comes from the 3rd and 5th century CE, and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century CE.
    easter wrote:
    They could've easily said that Jesus did not exist and branded these people calling them Christians as nut cases.

    They did. :D

    Justin, in Dialogue with Trypho: "Ye follow an empty rumour and make a Christ for yourselves. If he was born and lived somewhere he is entirely unknown."

    All the knowledge which the Rabbis had of Jesus was obtained by them from the Gospels. They simply had no independent knowledge of Jesus.

    I think it is also worthy to note that not only is Jesus missing in history, but also the entire city of Nazareth. :p
  • st.angerst.anger PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    decoy47 wrote:
    Bah, st.anger I thought you were going to back me up here. :lol:

    sorry, dude. :D

    however, i will cheer you on. go go go! ra ra ra! decoy! decoy! decoy! :cheerleader:
  • raikou_99raikou_99 PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    All the information that Josephus has about Jesus, like the rest of the "ancient" writers in the web page, is hearsay.

    agree. you are perfectly right. everything's just hearsay! :hiya:

    history has already been blurred by inaccuracies. some statements are true, some are misleading. even records can be fabricated. those who would really want to cover the truth will do anything at any cost. everyone is led to go back to that great affirmation of truth - faith.

    i am not really surprised why. after all, our salvation rests and begins in faith. it requires faith. everyone will claim anything, let them be. after all, those who mislead people are also mentioned in the Bible. they are bound to come.

    i believe in Jesus Christ, regardless of how some historical records may affirm or reject His existence to some degree. after all, who are we anyway? everyone, even those who claim to be so scholarly and scientific - they are also believers. they also rely on faith.

    but in my opinion, whoah, Jesus really did make it! :) look at this "historical commotion." the bigger it gets, the more it seems that Jesus did exist.

    if there's smoke, there must be fire. :D
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    st.anger wrote:
    sorry, dude.

    however, i will cheer you on. go go go! ra ra ra! decoy! decoy! decoy!

    :rotflmao:

    I'll try to answer more from that nice link you posted:
    PLINY THE YOUNGER: (112 A.D.)
    LUCIAN: (120-180 A.D.)

    This certainly proves that Christians existed during that time. But, erm, I don't know how this proves that Jesus really existed.
    Thallus: (52 A.D.)

    We know next to nothing about Thallus or his works. We don't even know if he wrote only one book or several. The only information we have about him, even his name, comes entirely from Christian apologetic sources beginning in the late 2nd century.

    Here's the complete passage:
    This event followed each of his deeds, and healings of body and soul, and knowledge of hidden things, and his resurrection from the dead, all sufficiently proven to the disciples before us and to his apostles: after the most dreadful darkness fell over the whole world, the rocks were torn apart by an earthquake and much of Judaea and the rest of the land was torn down. Thallus calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun in the third book of his Histories, without reason it seems to me. For....how are we to believe that an eclipse happened when the moon was diametrically opposite the sun?

    That is all we have - an obscure passage passed down to us second-hand which already shows signs of at least one interpolation. It isn't clear what Thallus actually said, or whether he even mentioned Jesus at all. There are several possibilities. Julius Africanus may have been simply pondering the possibility that the darkness at the death of Christ was a solar eclipse, and thus a natural rather than a supernatural event. Thallus may have simply recorded an eclipse that occurred around the time that Christ was believed to have died, with Julius Africanus connecting the events on his own.

    The problem is that we do not have the context of this quote, and we do not know what else Julius Africanus said about this event or about Thallus. But even if Thallus did mention the death of Jesus, he wrote in the 2nd century, not the first.

    Let me quote an article by Richard Carrier:
    One of the key pieces of "evidence" used to prove a 1st-century date for Thallus was actually innocently invented in the 18th century. The item in question is a supposed reference in Josephus to a Samaritan freedman of Tiberius, which places a man by the name of Thallus from Samaria, a region in the East (from where a historian of Syrian affairs might come), in a position which would produce historians in later years (Phlegon, a freedman of Hadrian, also wrote a chronicle), in a definite first-century date (Tiberius reigned from 14 AD to 37 AD). Too good to be true? Indeed. First of all, it has long been noticed that Josephus says nothing about this "freedman" composing any literary work, and thus it is already a leap to suppose it would be the same man. Thallus, as it turns out, is a common name, appearing regularly in inscriptions throughout antiquity.

    But most importantly, the name does not in fact appear in any extant text of Josephus. The passage in question (Antiquities of the Jews 18.167) does not have the word THALLOS in any extant manuscript or translation, but ALLOS. The addition of the letter theta (TH) was conjectured by a scholar named Hudson in 1720, on the argument that ALLOS didn't make sense, and that Thallus was the attested name of an imperial freedman of Tiberius in inscriptions: in his own words, "I put 'Thallos' in place of 'allos' by conjecture, as he is attested to have been among the freedmen of Tiberius, going by the inscriptions of Gruter" (p. 810, translated from Hudson's Latin). But there is no good basis for this conjecture. First, the Greek actually does make sense without the added letter (it means "another"), and all extant early translations confirm this very reading. Second, an epitome of this passage does not give a name but instead the generic "someone," which suggests that no name was mentioned in the epitomizer's copy.
    PHLEGON: (1st Century)

    Unbelievable. I thought it's sinful for a Christian to lie. Phlegon wrote in the 140's CE, not in the first century. Here is the complete passage by Julius Africanus:
    In fact, let it be so. Let the idea that this happened seize and carry away the multitude, and let the cosmic prodigy be counted as an eclipse of the sun according to its appearance. Phlegon reports that in the time of Tiberius Caesar, during the full moon, a full eclipse of the sun happened, from the sixth hour until the ninth. Clearly this is our eclipse! What is common about an earthquake, an eclipse, rocks torn apart, a rising of the dead, and such a huge cosmic movement? At the very least, over a long period, no conjunction this great is remembered. But it was a godsent darkness, because the Lord happened to suffer, and the Bible, in Daniel, supports that seventy spans of seven years would come together up to this time.

    Want more stories of forgery? :D Again let me quote Richard Carrier:
    The sentence mentioning Phlegon is grammatically and logically out of place. In Greek, new sentences are marked by certain special words, usually left untranslated, such as MEN or DE or OUN, etc. The Phlegon sentence is not marked. That is like not leaving a period at the end of the preceding sentence. Also, Africanus has just finished attacking Thallus' idea of a solar eclipse, yet here cites Phlegon favorably, who calls it the same exact thing. Moreover, the flow of thought is broken by this sentence. Africanus has begun a rhetorical argument with the phrase "let it be so," which is otherwise interrupted by interjecting a historical note about Phlegon. Remove that sentence (and the added "Clearly this is our eclipse!") and we have a continuous stream of thought that makes more sense. The Phlegon sentence, for all of these reasons, does not belong here.
    SUETONIUS: (69-140 A.D.)

    That's a false assumption. Chrestus does not mean Christ. :love:

    Gotta go again, it's Saturday night... ;) Will try to answer more when I get back.
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    A chronological list of events concerning the case can be found in Luigi Cascioli's website.
    raikou_99 wrote:
    history has already been blurred by inaccuracies. some statements are true, some are misleading. even records can be fabricated. those who would really want to cover the truth will do anything at any cost. everyone is led to go back to that great affirmation of truth - faith.

    It's nothing like that at all. Looking for Jesus in history is like saying that a certain Jose Rizal lived in the 19th century, and at the same time, we find nothing written about this Jose Rizal until the mid 20th century.
  • dec, what's your take on the historical theory that Jesus was a woman?
  • i think jesus did exist, although as far as i know, there is really no solid evidence that he existed. Unlike buddah or mohammad which i think left some relics.
    Jesus's story was passed verbally until someone decided to write it down, so there may be conflicts with the truth. I think the first recorded attemt to recover some relics of jesus was done during the time of constantine and reyna elena.

    but i think that the belief of jesus's existence is a matter of faith ...
  • decoy47decoy47 PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    The Philadelphia Inquirer

    News24.com

    Divine Intervention? :rotflmao:

    "Mr. Cascioli’s attorney at law, lawyer Mauro Fonzo, has spoken first. In the public speech he gave, as support to demonstrate the validity of the accusations brought forward in the denunciation, many examples of exegetes that deny the historical figure of Jesus, placing among them also others of Christian faith and believers, such as Renan. Attorney Severo Bruno, instead, ignoring all reasons concerning the existence of Christ, has diverted the main subject of the accusation, saying that the blame of a possible historical forgery is not to be put on Don Righi but on those who have sustained it before him. In other words, he meant to say that in case it came out that Christ had really never existed, the blame is to be put on the authors of the Sacred Texts, and not on Don Righi, who only limited himself to repeat what others have written. As if who is selling poison is not responsible for the consequences he produces when the formula has been invented by others. It is in this line of defense, aiming to discharge the responsibility on persons who do not exist any more – and therefore not prosecutable by the law – that the Church demonstrates all its weakness, knowing that it never will be possible to prove the historical existence of Christ."
  • hey guys! just came back from LAFI. The thread "some old philippine photos" is just excellent. Highly recomendable. So go go go try to visit it. >>>>> :drive:
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