ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
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04-03-2013, 06:55 AM
ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
Been having a debate with a theist who claims there is a lot of clear evidence that Jesus existed. I have repeatedly asked him to show me evidence from historians who were alive at the same time as Jesus, who have documented any of the stories from the Gospels. All the writers they normally churn-out lived after Jesus died. Are there any?
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04-03-2013, 08:00 AM
RE: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
(04-03-2013 06:55 AM)anotherother Wrote:  Been having a debate with a theist who claims there is a lot of clear evidence that Jesus existed. I have repeatedly asked him to show me evidence from historians who were alive at the same time as Jesus, who have documented any of the stories from the Gospels. All the writers they normally churn-out lived after Jesus died. Are there any?
There are a few tidbits of writers mentioning names that can be construed by an extreme amount of spin to somehow be referring to Jesus, but that
is about it.

The biggest problem is not the the writings that do exist but those that DON'T exist. For example there are Roman political/religious satirists that lived at the supposed time when Jesus was crucified, yet they make no mention of him ever, not even a blip on the radar. The silence is deafening.



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04-03-2013, 08:07 AM
RE: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?



Obama promised you change. Reach in your pocket, feel those coins? There's your change...
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04-03-2013, 08:10 AM
RE: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
I would not use that argument. There are undoubtedly a few real world historical persons in which we don't have first hand accounts of. If we find a record recounting some mundane King who lived a 100 years prior to the written account, we might find that as reasonable evidence. Kings have existed, Kings existed around the supposed time, we see whether the other information in the written account is reliable or not, etc.

But if the account stated that the King was an alien from another dimension that could break space and time as we know it... then we'll require extraordinary evidence for this extraordinary claim. That written account alone (whether from an eye witness or not) will no longer be sufficient evidence.

So, did some person with some variation of the name "Jesus" exist? Possibly. Was this person magical? There is no evidence.

note: we have people alive today, possibly one living on your street, who can promise you with all sincerity that they were the first hand witness to aliens, or gods, or what have you. They still have no evidence. And what evidence there is goes against their claims.
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04-03-2013, 08:14 AM
Re: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
To sum it up... The evidence is really just authors acknowledging Christians exist at the time and they believed in Jesus. That's all it proves.

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04-03-2013, 08:55 AM
RE: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
Other than Egor? Consider

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04-03-2013, 10:08 AM
RE: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
(04-03-2013 08:00 AM)Superluminal Wrote:  
(04-03-2013 06:55 AM)anotherother Wrote:  Been having a debate with a theist who claims there is a lot of clear evidence that Jesus existed. I have repeatedly asked him to show me evidence from historians who were alive at the same time as Jesus, who have documented any of the stories from the Gospels. All the writers they normally churn-out lived after Jesus died. Are there any?
There are a few tidbits of writers mentioning names that can be construed by an extreme amount of spin to somehow be referring to Jesus, but that
is about it.

The biggest problem is not the the writings that do exist but those that DON'T exist. For example there are Roman political/religious satirists that lived at the supposed time when Jesus was crucified, yet they make no mention of him ever, not even a blip on the radar. The silence is deafening.



Just read a couple of Amazon comments about the above speaker's book 'Nailed' and thought they might be interest here:

1.
A confused amateurish mess

"This is one of a number of self-published books along these lines that have appeared in recent years and one of several that has been written by a hobbyist who is also an atheist activist. While the idea that Jesus may not have existed is a perfectly valid one, there is a reason this position does not have any serious academic traction - it is very difficult to sustain without resorting to a lot of supposition and some highly contrived arguments. Unfortunately this writer's anti-religious agenda gets in the way of his objectivity, and I'm saying that as an atheist myself. The result is a work of clumsy amateurish polemic where the author's rhetoric far outruns his argument or even his grasp of the relevant material This book is a object lesson in the dangers of starting with an ideologically-based conclusion and working backwards to your argument.
Fitzgerald tries to argue that no historical Jesus existed, but most of the book consists of arguing against the Jesus of the gospels, as though the two are necessarily the same thing. This means that many of his arguments may give pause to Biblical literalists and fundamentalists, but anyone with a grasp of modern historical Jesus studies will be struck most by Fitzgerald's ignorance of the field and the naiveté of his ideas about who or what the historical Jesus probably was. Arguing that the gospels aren't eye witness accounts or that they contain historical errors might work as arguments against a fundamentalist Christian conception of Jesus (to an extent anyway), but leaves the Jesus of critical scholars entirely unscathed. Vast swathes of the gospels can be shown to be utterly false, but this does nothing to show that there wasn't a historical Jewish preacher as the ultimate point of origin for the later stories.

But Fitzgerald seems totally unaware of the work putting Jesus back into his Jewish context done by scholars like Ehrman, Fredriksen, Vermes, Sanders, Allison, Casey, Ludemann and many others, most of whom are not Christians. He does not seem to understand, therefore, that disproving the Jesus of a face-vaulue reading of the gospels doesn't constitute disproving a historical Jesus. The Jesus of the scholars noted above does not depend on the gospel accounts being substantially true at all. Over and over again Fitzgerald seems think that he is on the side of "critics who (dispute) Christian claims" who are battling against "Christian apologists". He doesn't mention and seems totally ignorant of the leading, non-Christian scholars who definitely "dispute Christian claims" (far better than he does, in fact) but fully accept the existence of a Jewish preacher called Jesus.

As I reads this book I began to suspect that Fitzgerald's main source of information has been other atheist amateur hobbyists and activists, most of whom also dispute the existence of any historical Jesus. In fact, it reads very much like the work of a Creationist whose only exposure to evolutionary biology is second-hand, via the works of other Creationists. This could explain some of the blunders and weird omissions in the book.

For example, while discussing the reference to Jesus in Josephus' "Antiquities" XVIII.3.4 he dismisses the idea that most of the passage is original to Josephus and was simply added to by Christians as a hopeful theory by "wishful apologists". In fact, it is the majority consensus of most modern scholars. I'm sure eminent non-Christian scholars like Bart Ehrman and Geza Vermes would be amused at being described as "wishful apologists" by this amateur hobbyist. Not surprisingly, he seems to have no knowledge of the Arabic and Syriac paraphrases of this Josephean passage, which provide strong evidence that it is original to Josephus and not a wholesale interpolation. Similarly, he makes a totally erroneous statement about Origen taking Josephus to task "for failing to mention Jesus in (his) book", while citing a reference to Origen where Origen actually *quotes* Josephus mentioning Jesus! And he is oblivious to the fact that this is one of *three* places where Origen directly quotes Josephus' reference to Jesus. This in turn undermines his claim that this reference by Josephus, in "Antiquities" XX.9.1, contains a Christian interpolation, since the supposedly interpolated words are found in all three references by Origen, who wrote too early for this to be an interpolation by Christian scribes.

Fitzgerald's book is highly confused. He seems to be trying hard to undermine fundamentalist Christianity but leaves a more scholarly and nuanced non-Christian conception of the historial Jesus unscathed. His grasp of the material is shaky and some of his blunders with the Greek are simply funny. This book is one reason why self-published works by amateurs need to be treated with care, especially when they have an axe to grind.




2.
hm, said God, I hadn't thought of that, and promptly vanished in a puff of logic",
"That quote is from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, detailing the theories around the Babel-fish and its implications for god. The line before that being "It proves you exist and so therefore you don't". And in many ways it's the same thought-process that I went through when reading the book.

I'm not a God-fearing person by any means. I've been an atheist since childhood, living in a secular Scandinavian country but one thing that I never questioned until recently was exactly what this book is about. The truth that Jesus' life is well documented and notes of his crucifixion was scribbled down by Romans as it happened. As the bureaucratic Romans usually did for all sorts of things. The tale was just embellished to ridiculous proportions as the hearsay of his life spread. Well, as it turns out, that's not exactly the case. And the proof is right there in the bible.

Listing not only contradictions between the gospels, and the gospels and the other books of the new testament, but also a slew of other factors he makes it surprisingly clear. Reading the texts in the order that they were written a fascinating story appears. The character of Jesus appeared suddenly 300 years after his supposed lifetime as a figment of the imagination (aka divine revelation) and then it was retroactively inserted into history. And the plot thickens as Fitzgerald points out how the gospels builds on each other in succession to make the original pitiful Jesus into, in his own words "Super-Jesus". Adding to that the lack of contemporary active historians in the days of the supposed time-periods even mentioning the events though they had all reason to do it. Those were many, and they reported on much more trivial things than the earthquakes and solar eclipses in the latter gospels. And adding to all that, the evidence of intentional tampering of texts to insert Jesus and his growing number of stories.

My interest in this started with youtube-videos listing the startling similarities between the stories of Jesus and the ones of the Egyptian god Horus. Planting the first seeds of disbelief that there ever was a single man behind the Jewish cult of Christians in the way that we are told. And by now, after reading this book it becomes increasingly clear that if you read the bible and the history-texts in a critical manner. Jesus seems to disappear in puffs of logic for each page read and analyzed.

I sincerely do hope that this become a widely read book all over the world. And if Fitzgerald is wrong in his assertions, I hope that the rebuttals is at least as well researched as this book, and not only resorting to "thau hast to have faith!"




http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/...2J7L6VCKLX

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04-03-2013, 11:24 AM
RE: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
Philo of Alexandria was a contemporary Jewish historian of that day. He recorded all the earthquakes of the time, and a lot/most of what happened in Jerusalem at the time. They think he actually was IN Jerusalem at the time of Jesus would have been arrested and executed. CERTAINLY he would have recorded the event of the Jewish temple Holy of Holies curtain spontaneously tearing, and an event so monumental as 500 dead people rising and being seen by people, rocks being broken spontaneously. He says nothing about any of it. It really proves nothing, but it raises a huge question.

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04-03-2013, 11:49 AM
RE: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
(04-03-2013 06:55 AM)anotherother Wrote:  Been having a debate with a theist who claims there is a lot of clear evidence that Jesus existed. I have repeatedly asked him to show me evidence from historians who were alive at the same time as Jesus, who have documented any of the stories from the Gospels. All the writers they normally churn-out lived after Jesus died. Are there any?
Superliminal's video shows one thing to be taken seriously -- the lack of mention in contemporary texts by authors who ought to have written about Jesus but didn't. It may speak volumes louder of Jesus' non-existence in the cases where Jesus should have been mentioned but wasn't rather than the alleged cases where Jesus was mentioned. One of the main problems with written accounts of a religious figure is bias, so there are plenty of good reasons why people would manufacture sources of the religion's truth.

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04-03-2013, 12:13 PM
RE: ANY contemporary evidence for Jesus ?
.
Actually, there is a lot of evidence that Jesus existed as a real person.


Firstly, the circumstantial.
The N.T. is a hopeless record for the 'Jesus Never Existed' brigade. If one were making a text de-novo, one could make a much better fairy story than the NT. Why record that this so-called Prince of Peace ordered his disciples to buy swords (Luk 22:36). That he declared he would bring war to Judaea (Mt 10:34). That he would bring civil war to families (Mk 13:2). Or that he would ask for his enemies to be killed:

Quote:
Jesus said ... Those enemies, who would not acknowledge me as their king, bring them here and kill them in front of me (Lu 19:27)



Secondly, the Talmud mentions Jesus on many occasions. In fact, the Talmud gets very abusive, saying that Jesus was the Criminal of Israel who should have been boiled in semen and shit. The Talmud then goes on to say that Mary Magdalene was a Nazarene priestess, and she was the richest woman in Judaea (the daughter of Simon Boethus). It also says that Mary married Jesus of Gamala, which is another reason for assuming that Jesus of Gamala was the biblical Jesus. And it goes on to say that Mary bought the position of High Priest for Jesus, for the extortionate sum of 75 kilos of silver (the biblical Jesus became High Priest of Jerusalem in Hebrews 7).

References:
Boiled in shit Gittin 55-57
Mary bought the high priesthood Yebamoth 61


There would be no point in the Jewish rabbis getting quite so animated about a fictional Jesus. They only poured forth their bile because in reality Jesus was the leader of the Jewish Revolt, and therefore caused the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and the exile of all Jews from Jerusalem. This is why they were so upset. And you will note that the other character despised in the same tractate was Titus, the commander (and thence Emperor) who destroyed Jerusalem.

This is why, in the crucifixion scene, the NT says of the compatriot of Jesus:
Jesus Barabbas lay bound with him who had made revolution with him, and had comitted murder in the revolution. (Mr 15:7)

The revolt here was the Jewish Revolt. Yet we know who the leader of the Jewish Revolt was, he was alternately called Jesus of Gamala or Izas of Adiabene - the very same character that the Talmud says married Mary Magdalene.


Thus Jesus was a real person, but the Church doesn't want you to know who he was because the warrior-monarch called Jesus-Izas does not match the pauper-carpenter imagery they have sold as a sob-story. It is far easier to ask for pity for the poor persecuted artisan who was crucified by the horrid Jews/Romans, than to ask for pity for the warrior monarch who launched a bitter war against Rome and lost (and was crucified in the Kidron Valley, and saved by Joseph, as Josephus Flavius narrates in this 'Vita' or 'Life').

Thus the Jesus story was originally a secular history of Judaea, rather than a spiritual intervention by a god. It was Saul (Josephus) who took this story and crafted it into a spiritual fantasy.

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