Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
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01-07-2016, 04:25 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 11:00 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 10:55 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Mark's analogy is quite applicable to the Gospels. The three synoptic Gospels share many passages that are word-for-word identical -- not just speaking of the same events, but doing so in the exact same words. This means that they either copied from each other, or they all copied from a common source, or both. And that fits Mark's analogy.

To the Gospels ALONE, perhaps. But the problem with his analogy is that it excludes all other texts that are not gospels.

And that is exactly why it fails.

I am not a Mythicist, and I think that Jesus was a real teacher whose followers embellished his story over time to create (in the course of the next century) the version of Christianity that became the Canon, when the bishops voted on what was and wasn't orthodoxy.

As for "multiple witnesses", we have nothing of the sort that you are claiming.

You have admitted yourself that the Gospels are not reliable sources, and we have readily covered the reasons why that would be, so I'll leave that alone... I will only add that the hypothetical Q-document from which the other Synoptic Gospels seem to be sourced does not make Jesus a magic man, but a teacher of kindness and wisdom. I can accept this version as real, despite the hypothetical nature, because it's based on comparing the Synoptics in a way that compares the stories' DNA (so to speak) and thereby excludes the later additions.

The other sources you reference (as does every apologist), Josephus and Tacitus, are not eyewitness reports, as neither was born at the time. That means they got their information from hearsay accounts, a generation removed. Since we already know the story was being expanded and embellished over time, it's hardly surprising that the version they picked up a generation or two later was the embellished version.

Tacitus is often claimed to make a direct reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate, but reading the passage makes it clear that he is merely explaining to his audience exactly what a Christian is, including their belief in an executed savior, since he is describing how they were blamed by Nero for the fires in Rome to distract the people from his political machinations. I have seen several allude to Tacitus' usual practice of noting when he is using non-reliable sources, but it is not necessary for a simple "oh by the way" sentence, such as the infamous reference to Pilate. As you know, the Romans recorded nearly everything, and even if the records had been lost to history, we can still ask the question of whether Tacitus had the records before him as an outside source, rather than working from hearsay.

Had Tacitus been working from official Roman records of the execution, it is unlikely he would have made the mistake of referring to Pilate as the Procurator of Judea, rather than the Prefect. It may seem like a small error to make, but Prefect is a military governor's designation, while Procurator (the same Latin root from which we get the verb "to procure") was essentially "the official tax collector for the Empire". Procurators were not allowed to rule over Judea until 44 C.E., by official edict. The obvious conclusion is that Tacitus was just repeating the testimony that he was given by the soon-to-be-executed, second-generation Roman Christians of whom he is speaking in the passage, as to what they considered their own identity... including worship of a Roman-executed savior. By the time of Tacitus' life, the governor of Judea was a Procurator, so it's unlikely he'd have thought twice about the error in the face of testimony to that effect, and we see the Christians' error repeated in the words of Tacitus. This would not have been true if he had been reading a document.

As nearly every scholar now admits, the Josephus passage that refers to the execution of Jesus, the Testimonium Flavianum, is heavily interpolated, and the "historical" elements may even have been added almost entirely out of whole cloth by Eusebius, a bishop working two centuries later, who had openly admitted he considered pious fraud, or "lying for Jesus" (as we call it), to be acceptable practice. That Jesus was mentioned, minus the interpolations, was previously detailed by Bishop Origen, when he complained that Josephus seems not to have noticed the special nature of Jesus.

I conclude that it is more likely than not that there was a real apocalyptic preacher named Yeshua, whose followers considered him an "annointed one" (a Teacher of Righteousness), and who was executed for sedition, forcing them to do theological somersaults in order to keep believing what they did. Under these high-stress circumstances, it's hardly surprising that we see the rise of the magical Jesus tales in the religion that would become Christianity. The problem is that once we reject the magical elements of the story, there becomes zero reason to care about the existence of a random apocalyptic preacher in Judea in the opening years of the first century. It is only the culture of Christianity, always expanding and adding new bits (the most recent seems to be their decision that God hates abortions, for some reason), that makes it even remotely relevant.

May I recommend this neutral article (by Christian authors) on the ways in which the story is demonstrably embellished, and how we know that it was?

The Strange Ending of the Gospel of Mark, and Why It Makes All the Difference
http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily...ifference/

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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01-07-2016, 04:38 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 12:26 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 12:13 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  As I said, you totally missed the point. It's NOT ABOUT YOU. The people who sentenced the women to death, thought it was reasonable to do it. THAT is the point. It's about what THEY thought was reasonable. Not you. Not me.
It's not about whether magic is real.

I realize you are no historian, but you're doing THIS.
You're committing this fallacy : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historian%27s_fallacy
It's NOT ABOUT what we can prove. Pay attention gramps. It's about the worldview of the WITNESSES. Not about yours.

And my point remains the same. What is more reasonable:

1. Attestations from people regarding the practice of real magic?

2. Attestations from people regarding the mere existence of a person?

Which one has more credibility? How do you compare attestations from a group of superstitious people believing exactly the same superstitious things to another group of of people with varying degrees of different superstitions who believe in something as benign as the mere existence of a human being?

You simply cannot make this comparison whatsoever.

It's false on every level.


Quote:The witnesses in Salem thought they were really witches. The witnesses of Jesus thought they saw miracles. They are very similar.

Ah-ha! We are not talking about miracles, but only his existence. You continue to insist that because the Gospels have him painted as a miracle worker that it somehow invalidates ALL other records attesting to his mere existence.

Now you are tasked with explaining how the Gospel records of a miracle worker completely invalidates all other records of his existence.

I will await this explanation.

Quote:Exactly.
As I said, old man, you are totally out of touch with the present debate, and are totally ignorant of the current state of the debate.

I am not out of touch, as there really isn't much of an actual debate on the subject. It is virtually unanimous that Jesus existed.

"It is virtually unanimous that Jesus existed."

Ah...no. You are out of touch.

But let's say "he" did exist. What's your point? Who do you think "he" was? What is "his" relevance to you and to the world? Why do you get so worked up about people who think he didn't exist?

I live on the opposite side of the world to you. I may or may not have a pet dog. I hazard a bet you don't give a toss one way or the other. Why is this Jesus any different to my possibly non existent dog?
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01-07-2016, 04:53 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 01:23 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 01:06 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Well now, aren't you just desperate to dispense ad hominems?

If this is your attitude "kid," I am very proficient with the ignore feature on these forums, so if you want any kind of discussion with me, the next excessively negative response from you will dictate what form of action I will take.

it's up to you.

So you will demonstrate the integrity needed to address me with some degree of respect before I respond to this, or be ignored.

Simple enough?


Ooh, did that hurt? You dont expect people to usually critically examine your BS, you are just used to baffle em with science (which doesnt support your position at all, but hey, they usually are too baffled to read what you actually link to), dontcha?
Do you really think i do care a fuck what a dishonest stupid cunt threatens me with on a fucking forum? A fucking stupid cunt who doesnt even know what an ad hominem is? I didnt say you are wrong because you are stupid, i said you are stupid because you are wrong. I didnt attack your character but the content of your post which was
1) dishonest
and
2) uneducated
demonstrably so

You claimed that
Quote:This certainly is evidence that can be used to accept as possible that somethings can indeed defy natural explanation.
while both links you provided just show that two teams of scientists demonstrated how counter intuitive quantum mechanics is. Nothing "defies natural explanation" but maybe your dishonesty, stupidity, and butthurtery.

YOU first show some respect by being honest and getting some education first before you engage here. My points still stand on the topic (team Bonn and team Heidelberg) of quantum superposition. I am sure others will follow up if you decide to ignore me.

Now you have a couple of reasons to put me on ignore, kid.

You and I are done.
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01-07-2016, 05:27 PM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2016 05:34 PM by GoingUp.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 01:50 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 01:24 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  It's obvious you are misusing the Historian's Fallacy position, as it appears you do not understand how it applies.

It applies perfectly, and you are committing it. YOU are slapping YOUR view of witchcraft onto the 16th Century.

Not at all. The concept of witchcraft in the 16th century mainly applied to women, and accused these women of conjuring up evil spirits et al.

I am projecting nothing from this century into that century. Nothing whatsoever.

Your accusation is false, and amounts to nothing more than an attempt to detract from the point, which you still have not addressed.

Quote:
Quote:It's all about an evaluation of evidence pertaining to what is reasonable, and what is not reasonable.

Exactly. Reasonable to YOU. THAT IS THE HISTORIANS Fallacy.

Reasonable to any reasonable person.

Your accusations of a fallacy are in effect fallacies themselves. You are trying to insist that any evaluation of history must, by necessity, employ the Historian's Fallacy, which you do not even understand.

What you so desperately appear to be trying to do is accuse me of is something called "Presentism," another fallacy somewhat related to the Historian's Fallacy, but even that doesn't apply here.

Your analogy of the Salem Witch Hunts in comparison to the existence of Jesus of Nazareth is false on every level.

Quote:
Quote:It is not reasonable to accept that people actually observed the practice of real witchcraft magic.

For YOU. It doesn't matter what YOU think about it.
THEY thought it was. THEY thought they had evidence for it. Just as some thought they had evidence for a miracle working Jebus. You utterly FAIL to grasp the points here.

THEY can think whatever THEY want. It changes nothing whatsoever in regards to your misuse of the analogy. You are trying the Apples and Oranges fallacy, which is a false comparison because there is no comparison.

Did people believe that those women were witches? Yes.

Did people believe that Jesus was a magic man? Yes.


Now, that is the only valid comparison between the two, but the question here does not involve THAT comparison. The question here is one of the existence of Jesus as an actual human being. So ...


Did people believe- that those women who were accused of being witches- were actual living persons? Yes.

Did people who believed that Jesus was a magic man also believe he existed as a human being? Yes.


And now another ...

The people in Salem embellished the lives of ordinary people by claiming them to be witches.

The people of Judea embellished the life of an ordinary man by claiming him to be a magic man.


There's the only reasonable and logical comparison you can make from the two.

But what you cannot reasonably and logically do is make a false comparison in which you attempt to show how the Salem Witch Hunts can contradict the existence of a human person.

Quote:
Quote:It is perfectly reasonable to accept that people claim that another person existed as a mere human being.

But that's not all they said they witnessed, and you know it. They said the saw FAR MORE that was unreasonable in the same context.

Sure they did, and so did the people at the Salem Witch Hunts, but nobody disputes the fact that the accused in the Salem Witch Hunts existed, now do they?

Quote:
Quote:Using your standard, should we then claim that nobody was ever executed in Salem because witchcraft isn't real, and thereby those supposedly executed persons didn't exist?

There is BETTER evidence for Salem witches than there is for Jesus. Yet you reject the better evidence. THAT is a dishonest standard. My point stands. If you reject witches which has BETTER evidence than Jebus, you must reject Jebus.
You're really quite clueless here.

It doesn't matter in the slightest if there's better evidence or not, because the two cannot be fairly compared.

False analogy.

Quote:
Quote:Your double standard is very obvious, and indicative of your extreme distaste for religion insomuch as your judgement is clearly flawed.

More lying judgmental Church Lady presumptuous crap. You have no clue what I think about religion. You fools always go to that garbage, about how atheists "hate religion".

I have read your posts on this forum before I signed up.

I got you pegged correctly.

Quote:"In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary".[18] Robert E. Van Voorst states that biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted."

1977 ? Really ? Really ? Carrier is a damn serious scholar.

He can be as serious as he wants, but he will never be taken seriously by the scholarly community.

He doesn't even get mentioned.
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01-07-2016, 05:33 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(29-06-2016 07:48 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 12:11 PM)seoq Wrote:  I have a few questions and I apologize in advance if they're hard to understand.

I'm wondering if there are any contemporary accounts of Jesus. To be more specific, were there any people who lived during his time who were close to the areas his ministry (supposedly) visited who should have written about him or told others about him? How about people who were not so close but were known to write reliable accounts of what was happening in that region during that time? I'm also wondering if it's reasonable to expect that there should be non biblical contemporary accounts of him, considering that he (supposedly) preached to thousands and preformed miracles in front of many (possibly thousands)? Surely there were literate people who would have witnessed him first hand that would have wrote about him, and considering the nature of his ministry (legitimate miracles) even non literate people would have spread word about him that would have ended up being chronicled by others. Am I asking reasonable questions? I feel like they're obvious and I would appreciate it greatly if someone could take the time to help me understand why these things don't exist. I've asked Christians and was basically told that the accounts in the bible are sufficient to prove that he did in fact do the things written about him in the gospels (and so forth).

To be clear I'm asking for reliable contemporary accounts that didn't end up in the Bible or a part of Christian tradition. For example someone writing a letter to someone else about Jesus and what he was doing.

Thank you.

Of course there are.

All 4 Gospels are 1st century. All the letters of Paul. Josephus was very close to a contemporary and qualifies. So was Cornelius Tacitus, the Roman Historian.

All the writers of the works listed above were from the 1st century.

The definition of "contemporary" is: "of about the same age or date."

Welcome aboard!!!

No, by the way, you are conclusively wrong on all accounts, allow me to elaborate. Ex xtian here by the way, both parents ministers, and I have a degree in religious studies with specialization in Christianity from Saint Leo University so I am fluent in the woo.

No one who ever wrote of jesus, actually knew him. When you learn this, and validate this, it throws the whole Christianity belief basis out the window, thus discrediting it. Lets look at this real quick..

The epistles were written after the mythical jesus's death;

1) paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. See the bottom where I get into Paul a bit more.

2) James - Epistle of James mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief. Nowhere does the epistle reference a historical Jesus and this alone eliminates it from an historical account.

3) Peter - Many scholars question the authorship of Peter of the epistles. Even within the first epistle, it says in 5:12 that Silvanus wrote it. Most scholars consider the second epistle as unreliable or an outright forgery. The unknown authors of the epistles of Peter wrote long after the life of the traditional Peter. Moreover, Peter lived (if he ever lived at all) as an ignorant and illiterate peasant (even Acts 4:13 attests to this). In short, no one has any way of determining whether the epistles of Peter come from fraud, an author claiming himself to know what Peter said (hearsay), or from someone trying to further the aims of the Church. Encyclopedias usually describe a tradition that Saint Peter wrote them. However, whenever you see the word "tradition" it refers to a belief passed down within a society. In other words: hearsay. This is the definition of Pseudepigrapha; a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it.

4) Jude - Even early Christians argued about its authenticity. It quotes an apocryphal book called Enoch as if it represented authorized Scripture. Biblical scholars do not think it possible for the alleged disciple Jude to have written it because whoever wrote it had to have written it during a period when the churches had long existed. Like the other alleged disciples, Jude would have lived as an illiterate peasant and unable to write (much less in Greek) but the author of Jude wrote in fluent high quality Greek..more forgery.

Then there are the non-christian sources as follows;

1) Josephus Flavius, (37–100 CE) the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written. Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.

Josephus, a prolific and comprehensive Jewish historian, who would frequently write a few pages on the execution of common Jewish thieves, has not one authentic line that mentions Yeshua. “He” does mention “Christ” on two occasions, yet both have been convincingly exposed as interpolations.

2) Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

3) Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

4) Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

5) Talmud: Amazingly some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, (a collection of Jewish civil a religious law, including commentaries on the Torah), as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

6) Thallus/africanus, In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Sextus Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: 'Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong.' All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote. Third century would have put him being born long after jesus's alleged death, thus hearsay.

7) Phlegon of Tralles was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, who lived in the 2nd century AD. case closed, more hearsay, born after the alleged jesus's death.

Christian apologists mostly use the above sources for their "evidence" of Jesus because they believe they represent the best outside sources. All other sources (Christian and non-Christian) come from even less reliable sources, some of which include: Mara Bar-Serapion (circa 73 C.E.), Ignatius (50 - 98? C.E.), Polycarp (69 - 155 C.E.), Clement of Rome (? - circa 160 C.E.), Justin Martyr (100 - 165 C.E.), Lucian (circa 125 - 180 C.E.), Tertullian (160 - ? C.E.), Clement of Alexandria (? - 215 C.E.), Origen (185 - 232 C.E.), Hippolytus (? - 236 C.E.), and Cyprian (? - 254 C.E.). As you can see, all these people lived well after the alleged death of Jesus. Not one of them provides an eyewitness account, all of them simply spout hearsay.

So when we consider that during times of miraculous events, no one AT THE TIME thought they were significant enough to even write down, it kind of of makes a thinking person contemplate the validity of a story told and written down based on myth and hearsay 60-150 years later..For example;

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-48 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

Unfortunately, there is not one shred of evidence that this happened...zero, all of the royal scribes, historians, philosophers, and literate people who wrote down and recorded EVERYTHING of any significance, failed to note the whole earth going dark mid-day for three hours...an eclipse lasts about 7.5 mins max, so it wasn’t that....nothing, .....zero. Never happened.

Another example:

Matthew 27:51-53
King James Version (KJV)
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Again…no one thought a zombie invasion was worthy of writing down…seems rather odd.

When you research authorship of each book of the bible, you find out they were not written by whom you think, which makes them suspect for any level of validity. Let’s look at the gospels a bit more…

Writings of the Gospels: Mark (60 to 75 CE), Matthew (80 to 90 CE), Luke (80 to 90 CE based on the Gospels of Mark), and John (80 to 110 CE) (Albl 283). I have shown before in various venues the issues with the Gospels, the fact that we don’t know who wrote the gospels, the community effort that put them together, and the fact that they don’t agree with one another, all of which make them a suspect source of empirical evidence. When one posits a super natural, extraordinary story, one requires extraordinary evidence....sadly it doesn't exist, except philosophically.

Matthew: generally believed to have been composed between 70 and 110, with most scholars preferring the period 80–90; a pre-70 date remains a minority view. The anonymous author was probably a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, and the disciple Matthew was probably honored within his circle. The author drew on three main sources to compose his gospel: the Gospel of Mark; the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source; and material unique to his own community, called "Special Matthew", or the M source. Note the part where I said...disciple matthew honored...and anonymous writer.

I find it interesting that the writer of matthew refers to "matthew" in the third person. Matthew claims jesus was born in "the days of herod the king." Yet Herod died in 4 BCE. Luke reports that jesus was born "when Cyrenius (Quirinius) was governor of Syria." Cyrenius became governor of Syria in 6 CE...that is a discrepancy of 9 years. Luke says Jesus was born during a roman census, and it is true there was a census in 6 CE. This would have been when jesus was 9 years old according to matthew. There is no evidence of an earlier census during the reign of Augustine. Which is true?

Matthew also reports that Herod slaughtered all first born in the land in order to execute jesus. No historian, contemporary or later, ever mentions this alleged genocide, an event that should have caught someones attention....like the many miraculous stories of jesus, no one at the time thought they were cool enough to record...odd don't you think?

Mark: Most modern scholars reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative. Mark is the oldest of the synoptic gospels, of which the authors of matthew, and luke based their stories. All scholars agree that the last 12 verses of Mark, are highly dubious and are considered interpolations. The earliest ancient documents of mark end right after the women find the empty tomb. This means that in the first biography, on which the others based their reports, there is no post-resurrection appearance or ascension of jesus.

Luke: Tradition holds that the text was written by Luke the companion of Paul (named in Colossians 4:14). However, many modern scholars reject this view. The most probable date for Luke-Acts is around 80-100 CE, the anonymous author using as his sources the Gospel of Mark, a sayings collection called Q, and some unique Lukan material called the L source.

The author is not named in either volume. According to a Church tradition dating from the 2nd century, he was the Luke named as a companion of Paul in three of the letters attributed to Paul himself; this view is still sometimes advanced, but "a critical consensus emphasizes the countless contradictions between the account in Acts and the authentic Pauline letters." (An example can be seen by comparing Acts' accounts of Paul's conversion (Acts 9:1-31, 22:6-21, and 26:9-23) with Paul's own statement that he remained unknown to Christians in Judea after that event (Galatians 1:17-24).)

He admired Paul, but his theology was significantly different from Paul's on key points and he does not (in Acts) represent Paul's views accurately. In summary, the Gospel of Luke was written by an anonymous author. The Gospel wasn't written and does not claim to be written by direct witnesses to the reported events.

He was educated, a man of means, probably urban, and someone who respected manual work, although not a worker himself; this is significant, because more high-brow writers of the time looked down on the artisans and small business-people who made up the early church of Paul and were presumably Luke's audience.

Most experts date the composition of Luke-Acts to around 80-90 CE, although some suggest 90-110. The eclipse of the traditional attribution to Luke the companion of Paul has meant that an early date for the gospel is now rarely put forward. There is evidence, both textual (the conflicts between Western and Alexandrian manuscript families) and from the Marcionite controversy (Marcion was a 2nd-century heretic who produced his own version of Christian scripture based on Luke's gospel and Paul's epistles) that Luke-Acts was still being substantially revised well into the 2nd century.

John: The gospel identifies its author as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Although the text does not name this disciple, by the beginning of the 2nd century, a tradition had begun to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus' innermost circle). Although some notable New Testament scholars affirm traditional Johannine scholarship, the majority do not believe that John or one of the Apostles wrote it, and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John.

paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 7: (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon). 2 of them (Ephesians, Colossians) scholars are divided on their authenticity, and of course 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus are pseudepigrapha. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations - Bible interpolation, or Bible redaction, is the art of adding stuff to the Bible). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

There’s no indication from Scripture that Paul and Jesus ever met before the Damascus Road incident. And Acts 9:4-7 doesn’t specify whether the Lord’s encounter with Paul was physical or not. It only says Paul saw a bright light and heard a voice. (hallucination/lie)The men with him heard a loud sound but didn’t see anything. In subsequent re-tellings of the encounter Paul never indicated that He had actually seen Jesus at that time.

Various works cited or used:

Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.

Albl, Martin C. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2009. Print.

The Catholic Study Bible: The New American Bible 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University press, Inc., 2011. Print.

Moule, C. F. D., The birth of the New Testament. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. Print

Lieu, Samuel N. C., and Montserrat, Dominic, Constantine: History, Historiography, and Legend. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

O'Collins, Gerald, Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Carrier, Richard, On the historicity of jesus: why we might have reason for doubt. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix press, 2014. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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01-07-2016, 05:33 PM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2016 05:49 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 01:24 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 01:04 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Totally true. You're still committing the Historian's Fallacy.
You pick and chose what you witnesses you chose to call reliable, not based on what THEY thought was what they were seeing. You totally miss the point, (or reject it as it's inconvenient).
It's not about what YOU reject. The educated witnesses in Salem testified to what they saw. The witnesses of Jesus, who also claimed IN THE SAME breath, he did miracles, walked on water etc. etc. were far less educated and far less reliable. You chose to accept the less educated and less reliable, as you are desperate to maintain your delusions.

You're attempting to create a difference with no distinction.

It's obvious you are misusing the Historian's Fallacy position, as it appears you do not understand how it applies.

"The historian's fallacy is an informal fallacy that occurs when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision."

That simply does not apply here at all.

My point has not even been addressed by you, as it would appear you are only merely attempting to circumvent it because you have no real answer for it.

it's all about an evaluation of evidence pertaining to what is reasonable, and what is not reasonable.

It is not reasonable to accept that people actually observed the practice of real witchcraft magic.

It is perfectly reasonable to accept that people claim that another person existed as a mere human being.

Using your standard, should we then claim that nobody was ever executed in Salem because witchcraft isn't real, and thereby those supposedly executed persons didn't exist?

Therefore, because Jesus was claimed by some of his followers to be some kind of a magic man, we therefore must conclude that he didn't exist at all?

What's the difference here? You accept that those people in Salem existed despite being claimed to be some kind of magic persons, yet you reject the existence of Jesus just because he was also claimed to be some kind of magic person?

Your double standard is very obvious, and indicative of your extreme distaste for religion insomuch as your judgement is clearly flawed.



Quote:Then prove it.
You have no poll of "objective" scholars, and you know it.
You don't even know the current names, books, and arguments of current scholars, and in fact refuse to even address them.

Still waiting for the definition of "eternal".

From the scholars themselves:

"In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman wrote, "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees".[14] Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church's imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more".[15] Robert M. Price does not believe that Jesus existed, but agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars.[16] James D.G. Dunn calls the theories of Jesus' non-existence "a thoroughly dead thesis".[17] Michael Grant (a classicist) wrote in 1977, "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary".[18] Robert E. Van Voorst states that biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted.[19]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus#cite_note-exist-25

You wrote
"Therefore, because Jesus was claimed by some of his followers to be some kind of a magic man,"

What is your evidence for this?

I don't think any of Jesus' "followers" ever thought he did magic. The author of James, who just may have been Jesus' brother, writes nothing about a magic Jesus. Nor does "Jude," possibly another brother.

Some anonymous writers, (the gospels' authors,) who never met a flesh and blood Jesus, wrote stories about him that contained magic, but they were not his "followers." They were employed by the gentile (ie non Jewish) world.

Do you know what a "Nazarene" was? Jesus' "followers" were Nazarenes. They were fundamentalist Jews, not Christians. Look it up.

PS Just now saw the above post from GWG. It is excellent. Please read it and read it again, and learn. The truth is beautiful.
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01-07-2016, 06:09 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 05:33 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(29-06-2016 07:48 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Of course there are.

All 4 Gospels are 1st century. All the letters of Paul. Josephus was very close to a contemporary and qualifies. So was Cornelius Tacitus, the Roman Historian.

All the writers of the works listed above were from the 1st century.

The definition of "contemporary" is: "of about the same age or date."

Welcome aboard!!!

No, by the way, you are conclusively wrong on all accounts, allow me to elaborate. Ex xtian here by the way, both parents ministers, and I have a degree in religious studies with specialization in Christianity from Saint Leo University so I am fluent in the woo.

No one who ever wrote of jesus, actually knew him. When you learn this, and validate this, it throws the whole Christianity belief basis out the window, thus discrediting it. Lets look at this real quick..

The epistles were written after the mythical jesus's death;

1) paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. See the bottom where I get into Paul a bit more.

2) James - Epistle of James mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief. Nowhere does the epistle reference a historical Jesus and this alone eliminates it from an historical account.

3) Peter - Many scholars question the authorship of Peter of the epistles. Even within the first epistle, it says in 5:12 that Silvanus wrote it. Most scholars consider the second epistle as unreliable or an outright forgery. The unknown authors of the epistles of Peter wrote long after the life of the traditional Peter. Moreover, Peter lived (if he ever lived at all) as an ignorant and illiterate peasant (even Acts 4:13 attests to this). In short, no one has any way of determining whether the epistles of Peter come from fraud, an author claiming himself to know what Peter said (hearsay), or from someone trying to further the aims of the Church. Encyclopedias usually describe a tradition that Saint Peter wrote them. However, whenever you see the word "tradition" it refers to a belief passed down within a society. In other words: hearsay. This is the definition of Pseudepigrapha; a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it.

4) Jude - Even early Christians argued about its authenticity. It quotes an apocryphal book called Enoch as if it represented authorized Scripture. Biblical scholars do not think it possible for the alleged disciple Jude to have written it because whoever wrote it had to have written it during a period when the churches had long existed. Like the other alleged disciples, Jude would have lived as an illiterate peasant and unable to write (much less in Greek) but the author of Jude wrote in fluent high quality Greek..more forgery.

Then there are the non-christian sources as follows;

1) Josephus Flavius, (37–100 CE) the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written. Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.

Josephus, a prolific and comprehensive Jewish historian, who would frequently write a few pages on the execution of common Jewish thieves, has not one authentic line that mentions Yeshua. “He” does mention “Christ” on two occasions, yet both have been convincingly exposed as interpolations.

2) Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

3) Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

4) Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

5) Talmud: Amazingly some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, (a collection of Jewish civil a religious law, including commentaries on the Torah), as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

6) Thallus/africanus, In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Sextus Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: 'Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong.' All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote. Third century would have put him being born long after jesus's alleged death, thus hearsay.

7) Phlegon of Tralles was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, who lived in the 2nd century AD. case closed, more hearsay, born after the alleged jesus's death.

Christian apologists mostly use the above sources for their "evidence" of Jesus because they believe they represent the best outside sources. All other sources (Christian and non-Christian) come from even less reliable sources, some of which include: Mara Bar-Serapion (circa 73 C.E.), Ignatius (50 - 98? C.E.), Polycarp (69 - 155 C.E.), Clement of Rome (? - circa 160 C.E.), Justin Martyr (100 - 165 C.E.), Lucian (circa 125 - 180 C.E.), Tertullian (160 - ? C.E.), Clement of Alexandria (? - 215 C.E.), Origen (185 - 232 C.E.), Hippolytus (? - 236 C.E.), and Cyprian (? - 254 C.E.). As you can see, all these people lived well after the alleged death of Jesus. Not one of them provides an eyewitness account, all of them simply spout hearsay.

So when we consider that during times of miraculous events, no one AT THE TIME thought they were significant enough to even write down, it kind of of makes a thinking person contemplate the validity of a story told and written down based on myth and hearsay 60-150 years later..For example;

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-48 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

Unfortunately, there is not one shred of evidence that this happened...zero, all of the royal scribes, historians, philosophers, and literate people who wrote down and recorded EVERYTHING of any significance, failed to note the whole earth going dark mid-day for three hours...an eclipse lasts about 7.5 mins max, so it wasn’t that....nothing, .....zero. Never happened.

Another example:

Matthew 27:51-53
King James Version (KJV)
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Again…no one thought a zombie invasion was worthy of writing down…seems rather odd.

When you research authorship of each book of the bible, you find out they were not written by whom you think, which makes them suspect for any level of validity. Let’s look at the gospels a bit more…

Writings of the Gospels: Mark (60 to 75 CE), Matthew (80 to 90 CE), Luke (80 to 90 CE based on the Gospels of Mark), and John (80 to 110 CE) (Albl 283). I have shown before in various venues the issues with the Gospels, the fact that we don’t know who wrote the gospels, the community effort that put them together, and the fact that they don’t agree with one another, all of which make them a suspect source of empirical evidence. When one posits a super natural, extraordinary story, one requires extraordinary evidence....sadly it doesn't exist, except philosophically.

Matthew: generally believed to have been composed between 70 and 110, with most scholars preferring the period 80–90; a pre-70 date remains a minority view. The anonymous author was probably a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, and the disciple Matthew was probably honored within his circle. The author drew on three main sources to compose his gospel: the Gospel of Mark; the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source; and material unique to his own community, called "Special Matthew", or the M source. Note the part where I said...disciple matthew honored...and anonymous writer.

I find it interesting that the writer of matthew refers to "matthew" in the third person. Matthew claims jesus was born in "the days of herod the king." Yet Herod died in 4 BCE. Luke reports that jesus was born "when Cyrenius (Quirinius) was governor of Syria." Cyrenius became governor of Syria in 6 CE...that is a discrepancy of 9 years. Luke says Jesus was born during a roman census, and it is true there was a census in 6 CE. This would have been when jesus was 9 years old according to matthew. There is no evidence of an earlier census during the reign of Augustine. Which is true?

Matthew also reports that Herod slaughtered all first born in the land in order to execute jesus. No historian, contemporary or later, ever mentions this alleged genocide, an event that should have caught someones attention....like the many miraculous stories of jesus, no one at the time thought they were cool enough to record...odd don't you think?

Mark: Most modern scholars reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative. Mark is the oldest of the synoptic gospels, of which the authors of matthew, and luke based their stories. All scholars agree that the last 12 verses of Mark, are highly dubious and are considered interpolations. The earliest ancient documents of mark end right after the women find the empty tomb. This means that in the first biography, on which the others based their reports, there is no post-resurrection appearance or ascension of jesus.

Luke: Tradition holds that the text was written by Luke the companion of Paul (named in Colossians 4:14). However, many modern scholars reject this view. The most probable date for Luke-Acts is around 80-100 CE, the anonymous author using as his sources the Gospel of Mark, a sayings collection called Q, and some unique Lukan material called the L source.

The author is not named in either volume. According to a Church tradition dating from the 2nd century, he was the Luke named as a companion of Paul in three of the letters attributed to Paul himself; this view is still sometimes advanced, but "a critical consensus emphasizes the countless contradictions between the account in Acts and the authentic Pauline letters." (An example can be seen by comparing Acts' accounts of Paul's conversion (Acts 9:1-31, 22:6-21, and 26:9-23) with Paul's own statement that he remained unknown to Christians in Judea after that event (Galatians 1:17-24).)

He admired Paul, but his theology was significantly different from Paul's on key points and he does not (in Acts) represent Paul's views accurately. In summary, the Gospel of Luke was written by an anonymous author. The Gospel wasn't written and does not claim to be written by direct witnesses to the reported events.

He was educated, a man of means, probably urban, and someone who respected manual work, although not a worker himself; this is significant, because more high-brow writers of the time looked down on the artisans and small business-people who made up the early church of Paul and were presumably Luke's audience.

Most experts date the composition of Luke-Acts to around 80-90 CE, although some suggest 90-110. The eclipse of the traditional attribution to Luke the companion of Paul has meant that an early date for the gospel is now rarely put forward. There is evidence, both textual (the conflicts between Western and Alexandrian manuscript families) and from the Marcionite controversy (Marcion was a 2nd-century heretic who produced his own version of Christian scripture based on Luke's gospel and Paul's epistles) that Luke-Acts was still being substantially revised well into the 2nd century.

John: The gospel identifies its author as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Although the text does not name this disciple, by the beginning of the 2nd century, a tradition had begun to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus' innermost circle). Although some notable New Testament scholars affirm traditional Johannine scholarship, the majority do not believe that John or one of the Apostles wrote it, and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John.

paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 7: (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon). 2 of them (Ephesians, Colossians) scholars are divided on their authenticity, and of course 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus are pseudepigrapha. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations - Bible interpolation, or Bible redaction, is the art of adding stuff to the Bible). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

There’s no indication from Scripture that Paul and Jesus ever met before the Damascus Road incident. And Acts 9:4-7 doesn’t specify whether the Lord’s encounter with Paul was physical or not. It only says Paul saw a bright light and heard a voice. (hallucination/lie)The men with him heard a loud sound but didn’t see anything. In subsequent re-tellings of the encounter Paul never indicated that He had actually seen Jesus at that time.

Various works cited or used:

Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.

Albl, Martin C. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2009. Print.

The Catholic Study Bible: The New American Bible 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University press, Inc., 2011. Print.

Moule, C. F. D., The birth of the New Testament. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. Print

Lieu, Samuel N. C., and Montserrat, Dominic, Constantine: History, Historiography, and Legend. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

O'Collins, Gerald, Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Carrier, Richard, On the historicity of jesus: why we might have reason for doubt. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix press, 2014. Print.

Hello.

Despite everything you wrote above, none of it explains why all these different historical texts from Christians, Jews, Romans, and non Christians depict this Jesus as someone who, at the very least, existed as a human being who was crucified by Pontius Pilate.

Since you are so well learned, then perhaps also you can explain to me how there is not one single historical document in existence that disputes the mere existence of this same Jesus as a mere human being?

Perhaps you would like to explain the comments of Celsus, which state:

Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.

So here we have historical validation from a non Christian about this same Jesus, depicting him as nothing more than a mere man who learned a few magic tricks in Egypt which enabled him to present himself as some kind of a god.

And what of Lucian of Samosata (115-200 A.D.) who wrote:

The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account ..."

So there we have two hostile accounts from two different people not far removed from the time of the crucifixion validating Jesus as one who existed as a man, with one mentioning his crucifixion.

How do you explain these comments from people who vigorously opposed the Christian religion, yet both validate the existence of this very same Jesus?
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01-07-2016, 06:36 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 05:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
Quote:"Therefore, because Jesus was claimed by some of his followers to be some kind of a magic man,"

What is your evidence for this?

The Gospels.

Isn't that obvious?
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01-07-2016, 06:47 PM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2016 06:56 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 06:36 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 05:33 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  What is your evidence for this?

The Gospels.

Isn't that obvious?

????

Go back and read post 506. I think you might be embarrassed by your question.

PS I have spent 7 years in my spare time studying the origins of Christianity, and I have even written a book on the subject. (https://www.amazon.com/Over-Christianity...1492824313 ). You should at least pay me the respect of reading what I wrote.
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01-07-2016, 06:53 PM
RE: Contemporary Accounts of Jesus
(01-07-2016 04:38 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(01-07-2016 12:26 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  And my point remains the same. What is more reasonable:

1. Attestations from people regarding the practice of real magic?

2. Attestations from people regarding the mere existence of a person?

Which one has more credibility? How do you compare attestations from a group of superstitious people believing exactly the same superstitious things to another group of of people with varying degrees of different superstitions who believe in something as benign as the mere existence of a human being?

You simply cannot make this comparison whatsoever.

It's false on every level.



Ah-ha! We are not talking about miracles, but only his existence. You continue to insist that because the Gospels have him painted as a miracle worker that it somehow invalidates ALL other records attesting to his mere existence.

Now you are tasked with explaining how the Gospel records of a miracle worker completely invalidates all other records of his existence.

I will await this explanation.


I am not out of touch, as there really isn't much of an actual debate on the subject. It is virtually unanimous that Jesus existed.

"It is virtually unanimous that Jesus existed."

Ah...no. You are out of touch.

Really? Well, by all means please produce just 5 world renown history scholars currently living that claim Jesus to be a myth.

Quote:But let's say "he" did exist. What's your point? Who do you think "he" was? What is "his" relevance to you and to the world? Why do you get so worked up about people who think he didn't exist?

I am not worked up about that. Why would I be?

From what I see online, the arguments that he was a complete myth fly directly in the face of reason and the available evidence.

The position that he existed as a mere man who's life was embellished by many of his followers is far FAR more credible as it explains all the ancient texts from Christians, Jews, Romans, and others that all agree that he did- at the very least- exist as a human being. The fact that we also have ancient texts from people who vigorously opposed the religion of Christianity, yet confirm the existence of Jesus, is exceptionally good evidence to support his existence.

After all, if he didn't actually exist, why then wouldn't we see these very same people disputing his existence? Why do we not see one single ancient text anywhere that disputes his existence?

All available non-Christian historical evidence indicates and supports his existence.

There is no available non-Christian historical evidence to dispute his existence.
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