An argument for Jesus
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08-05-2012, 04:08 PM
An argument for Jesus
Ok so my Christian friend presented me with the following argument for the proof that Jesus performed miracles and is the son of god and what not.

1. The historian Josephus was a non-Chrisitan, lived during the time of Jesus and wrote about jesus's miracles. Therefore it is a reliable source that Jesus is who he says he is.

2. People didn't go around telling everyone about the story's of Jesus because they were afraid of kings and people high in society punishing then for being heretics or whatever else. Therefore, Jesus did perform miracles.

Now, I'm actually getting worried here because I find myself actually admitting he is right in a way. Maybe it's just my indoctrination. I just really need an opinion from you guys. Would appreciate it.
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08-05-2012, 05:32 PM
RE: An argument for Jesus
(08-05-2012 04:08 PM)Magoo Wrote:  Ok so my Christian friend presented me with the following argument for the proof that Jesus performed miracles and is the son of god and what not.

1. The historian Josephus was a non-Chrisitan, lived during the time of Jesus and wrote about jesus's miracles. Therefore it is a reliable source that Jesus is who he says he is.

2. People didn't go around telling everyone about the story's of Jesus because they were afraid of kings and people high in society punishing then for being heretics or whatever else. Therefore, Jesus did perform miracles.

Now, I'm actually getting worried here because I find myself actually admitting he is right in a way. Maybe it's just my indoctrination. I just really need an opinion from you guys. Would appreciate it.
Your friend is wrong on both counts. Most of the societies at that time were tolerant of religions - it was the Hebrews and Christians who were intolerant.

Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c.</abbr> 100) was obviously NOT a contemporary of Jesus.[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus#cite_note-1][/url]

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08-05-2012, 05:56 PM
RE: An argument for Jesus
What!?

My opinion is you bumped your head. Big Grin

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08-05-2012, 06:22 PM (This post was last modified: 08-05-2012 07:05 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: An argument for Jesus
(08-05-2012 05:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(08-05-2012 04:08 PM)Magoo Wrote:  Ok so my Christian friend presented me with the following argument for the proof that Jesus performed miracles and is the son of god and what not.

1. The historian Josephus was a non-Chrisitan, lived during the time of Jesus and wrote about jesus's miracles. Therefore it is a reliable source that Jesus is who he says he is.

2. People didn't go around telling everyone about the story's of Jesus because they were afraid of kings and people high in society punishing then for being heretics or whatever else. Therefore, Jesus did perform miracles.

Now, I'm actually getting worried here because I find myself actually admitting he is right in a way. Maybe it's just my indoctrination. I just really need an opinion from you guys. Would appreciate it.

Your friend is wrong on both counts. Most of the societies at that time were tolerant of religions - it was the Hebrews and Christians who were intolerant.

Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c.</ABBR> 100) was obviously NOT a contemporary of Jesus.[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus#cite_note-1][/url]


1. There are two references to Yeshua bar Josef, (or Yeshua ben Joseph...Jesus) in the present extant copies of Josephus. One is in Book 18, and one is in Book 20. The earliest extant manuscript is in the Museo Ambrosiano, (ring any bells Kim?), in Milan. There is no original text today, (known anyway), of Josephus' writings. The earliest is (at the earliest) an 1100 CE copy. All the extant copies are Greek "miniscules", (copied by CHRISTIAN monks). None are complete, and have had to be reconstructed from the copies, both Latin, and Greek. (The Jews hated him, and didn't keep anything he wrote).

The earliest reference to Josephus is by the 3rd Century (church) "Father", Origen, but he says NOTHING about any reference to Yeshua. The first time anyone said Yeshua was referenced in Josephus, was the writing of Eusebius, (early 4th Century). They both had read it in Greek, most likely. The Christians held onto Josephus because , supposedly it made references to Yeshua. In fact it doesn't. The paragraph in Book 18 is obviously, "inserted", (a forgery). You can see it for yourself. Go to Milan. (Such a GREAT place Weeping ). The "insertion" is in a different hand, and different ink. It's NOT part of the original manuscript. The reference in Book 20, is to James, Yeshua's brother. That's it. There is nothing else in Josephus. So no. Josephus is not evidence for anything, and he certainly did not write about "miracles". What Josephus IS evidence for, is that "christian" monks may have been forgers.

2. The second part is more complicated. There were many "sons of god". It was a common appelation, or honorific title, given to politicians, kings, generals, and famous heros of every sort. Saying "son of god" in those days, meant something entirely different than it does today. There also were many itinerant apocalyptic preachers running around. They were ALL seen to be "performing miracles". The title meant they saw him as "A" son of god, not "THE" son of god. And BTW, there is no "proof" of a miracle, (theologically speaking). The Christian says he "believes" he sees the hand of god, active in an event. If it's about "beleif" or "faith", there can be no "proof", or it's not about "faith". It's an oxymoron.

I'll leave the political climate to others. Mark F...care to weigh in? He's wrong about that also. Tongue

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08-05-2012, 07:47 PM
RE: An argument for Jesus
That second point doesn't make sense.
How does not going around preaching the word of Jesus out of fear of prosecution prove that Jesus preformed miracles?? If anything it proves that Jesus's miracles were not great enough to the extent that people would risk their lives in order to spread his word.

Prosecution never scared off civil rights leaders, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi etc... It never stopped Jesus..
The fear of oppression by superior forces history proves has never been a reason to sit by.
People forget, this is Jesus, fucking Jesus. It's a big deal, you don't just sit on it and mull it over for 70years.

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08-05-2012, 08:21 PM (This post was last modified: 08-05-2012 08:28 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: An argument for Jesus
(08-05-2012 04:08 PM)Magoo Wrote:  Ok so my Christian friend presented me with the following argument for the proof that Jesus performed miracles and is the son of god and what not.

1. The historian Josephus was a non-Chrisitan, lived during the time of Jesus and wrote about jesus's miracles. Therefore it is a reliable source that Jesus is who he says he is.

2. People didn't go around telling everyone about the story's of Jesus because they were afraid of kings and people high in society punishing then for being heretics or whatever else. Therefore, Jesus did perform miracles.

Now, I'm actually getting worried here because I find myself actually admitting he is right in a way. Maybe it's just my indoctrination. I just really need an opinion from you guys. Would appreciate it.

Hi Magoo, your friend obviously knows next to nothing of history, and is not thinking clearly, as very well pointed out by Chas, Bucky and earmuffs.



When discussing Jeebus' miracles, you could also point out the following:

Was Jesus a Miracle Worker?
Cults that had existed for hundreds or thousands of years before Jesus all had miracle working prodigies. Isis, an Ancient Egyptian goddess, healed the sick. Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology, walked on water, as did Horus, an ancient Egyptian deity. Dionysus, the Greek god of the grape harvest, turned water into wine. Aesclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing, raised the dead, as did Apollonius, a Greek philosopher who also cast out demons. Buddha fed five hundred men with one loaf of bread, cured lepers, and helped the blind to see. Jesus’ miracles were all rather “old hat” by the time the Gospel authors wrote about them.

It could be argued it was just coincidence Jesus shared these miracles with others, or that he mimicked them to raise his own status. Both are weak arguments. The average person would have been unaware of most of these legends, so the authors thought they had free rein to borrow attractive stories from other cults. They were not writing for informed modern readers.

The Old Testament also contained hundreds of miracles. Jesus, the next great prophet of Israel, was cast in a role similar to the
miracle working Moses and Elijah of the Old Testament.


If Jesus was really God, he should have pulled off some original tricks. If he had conducted a concerto, turned on a television with a remote control, or water-skied on the Sea of Galilee, everyone would be seriously impressed. If he had cured the world of smallpox,
leprosy, or cancer, he would have made a serious case for his divinity. As it was, the miracles were nothing out of the ordinary.


There were cures, exorcisms, and risings from the dead. Those with paraplegia, cerebral palsy, leprosy, blindness, and insanity were healed on the spot. People must have been mightily impressed. The social security system would have saved a lot of money. If all this were true news of Jesus would have spread like wildfire. Consider how faith healers can attract crowds of thousands today with only the promise of miracles. There would have been no doubt he was divine, someone truly special, much more than a “dime a dozen” rabbi pushing worn out ideas. Such a man would be exalted above sectarian squabbles with Romans, Sadducees, and Pharisees, not someone who was plotted against, rejected, mocked by crowds, tortured, and crucified. He was obviously no superstar in his own time, so he didn’t perform miracles.

What about evidence for miracles from sources other than the gospels? Paul, who knew his original disciples, and wrote at least six genuine letters in the bible, didn’t mention a single miracle. The reason is obvious. Paul’s writings predated the gospels, so he didn’t know his Christ was going to become a miracle worker via the pen of imaginative Gospel authors. Nor does a scrutiny of all the first-century Epistles in the Bible—James, Jude, 1 and 2 Peter, and 1, 2, and 3 John—reveal a record of any miracles. They too were written before or without knowledge of the Gospels. The only place in the Bible the miracles were documented was in the Gospels themselves, and they copied similar fables from other cults and then copied each other.

Evangelical Gospel writers invented Jesus’ miracle stories, a fact easily deduced from an objective examination of the Bible!

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08-05-2012, 08:28 PM
RE: An argument for Jesus
A democrat is convicted of murdering a republican in a small Texas town.
The only evidence that led to the guilty verdict was as follows;
  1. A fellow democrat who was a journalist knew both, and blogged and gave testimony against the accused, describing how the democrat murdered the republican.
  2. The accused democrat was a well-liked sheriff, from a much respected family that no one ever spoke ill of.
Does this seem like evidence? For me, it does not prove anything on its own. I do not see any more proof in the arguments your friends lay out for the miracles attributed to the Jesus.

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08-05-2012, 09:10 PM
RE: An argument for Jesus
(08-05-2012 04:08 PM)Magoo Wrote:  1. The historian Josephus was a non-Chrisitan, lived during the time of Jesus and wrote about jesus's miracles. Therefore it is a reliable source that Jesus is who he says he is.
Everyone has pretty much covered this from all angles, but I just wanted to ask a question:

Are you familiar with the role that empirical evidence plays in the scientific method of inquiry?

Even if what your friend had told you about Josephus was true, it still wouldn't mean much. A single individual's writings/recollection of events doesn't qualify as evidence.

Also, I highly suggest that you Google stuff that people assert. Google can often be a skeptic's best friend.

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08-05-2012, 09:36 PM
RE: An argument for Jesus
It looks to me like three options:
1 - Jesus is a total myth which is the basis of a fabricated religion by a Roman tyrant.
2 - Jesus was a religious leader who may have actually believed he was the son of man, who became a martyr for his cause of social justice.
3 - Jesus was the son of god who became man, died for the sins of man at the hands of man, but rose again to defy death and sits at the right hand of god, but he is god.
All the evidence is vague and questionable. Given the three options what would be the rational position? I've read much on this and my position is settled on option 2. I am open to the fact that I could be wrong pending additional evidence.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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08-05-2012, 10:02 PM
RE: An argument for Jesus
Re Josephus and references to Jesus


This has been covered historically by others; even if a man with supernatural powers was performing
'miracles'..........so what? The Good Book tells us that even the demons can perform them!

Sai Baba, the Eastern mystic, does a lot of tricky stuff too as do many so called mystics and seers.
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