Poll: Did Jesus Exist?
He was a real person.
Jesus is a complete myth.
He may have been real, but has become so shrouded by myth that we can't know anything about him.
Other- please explain.
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Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
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07-06-2014, 12:34 AM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2014 12:52 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(24-02-2014 12:34 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(24-02-2014 10:35 AM)wazzel Wrote:  Somehow or another in less than 30 years after this guys death there was noticable numbers of followers.

...I don't see how this follows. How would the existence of a historical Jesus make Christianity spread faster - considering that few people 30 years later could possibly have ever met him? Further, it's only if you start by assuming there was a historical Jesus, that you end up concluding Christianity began around 30CE.

The origin of the movement could be much older than that. The New Testament itself states Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, suggesting the possibility of the Baptist cult as the source of Christianity. another group, the Essenes, sound almost exactly like early Christians, but are recorded in 1st century sources to be very ancient.

MY 2c WORTH ON THIS....

The Essenes
The third important group (after the Saducees and Pharisees) was the Essenes. We know a fair bit about them, not only from Flavius Josephus, (http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/josep...senes.htm) who may have been an Essene, but also from Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, and from the (probably) Essene Qumran community who hid the Dead Sea Scrolls.

They were a heterogeneous group, but some generalizations can be made about them. They were well respected amongst most Jews. Josephus numbered them at about four thousand, and writes they had a strong affection for each other, and lived in groups scattered throughout Judea. They preferred to wear white and were particular about certain bathing rituals, including baptism. Most were celibate, which was quite unusual, as most Jews considered it as living an incomplete life. They rejected the pursuit of pleasure, preached poverty, humility, chastity, loving one’s neighbor, and penitence. They believed in a war between the forces of good and evil, and in the need for God’s grace. They strove to speak gently and quietly, to never swear, and were strong believers in justice and that all Jews were equal. They rejected the accumulation of wealth, and shared all their possessions. They claimed to love the truth and to never steal. Unlike the other Jewish sects, they spurned animal sacrifice. They thought of themselves as healers, to be able to cast out demons and restore the dead to life. They were said to foretell the future and to have little fear of death. They were convinced that after death their souls were destined for paradise, provided they had been righteous.

They deeply resented the Sadducees, so set up their own priesthood separate to the temple. They mistrusted most of the Pharisees, regarding them as corrupt or hypocritical.

Josephus leaves out one important fact about them; that many of them were intensely anti-Roman. We know this from the Dead Sea scrolls. Many authors have unknowingly misled modern readers by stating that Essenes were pacifists, which is true, yet once they’d decided God justified a war —a holy war—they would fight. Josephus was writing for a Roman audience, and was trying to present his countrymen in the best possible light, so this omission is understandable.

Yeshua the Essene

I think Yeshua was an Essene, for the following reasons. (http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/018...sene.php). They had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus. Some of the sayings attributed to Jesus are also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (yet his existence is never mentioned in them.) Jesus and his disciples pooled their funds, which were administered by a treasurer, a feature of Essene communities. Many scholars believe John the Baptist, who could have been Yeshua’s cousin, was an Essene. John baptized Yeshua, so Yeshua clearly had the same beliefs as him. (http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/jlgi/jlgi05.htm).
The Gospel’s writers and editors didn’t mention the existence of the Essenes even once. If it was suggested or implied that Yeshua and the disciples were Essenes, it would have meant they were too fundamentally Jewish and too anti Roman. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...nes.html).

One minor fact that doesn’t fit is that Yeshua and his disciples allegedly ate fish, and the Essenes were strict vegetarians.

There was a particular group of Essenes known as Nazarenes. I believe John, Yeshua, his family, and his disciples were all Nazarenes.

The Nazarenes

Yeshua was a Nazarene, as stated in the bible: Acts referred to “Jesus Christ the Nazarene” (Acts 2:22, 3:6, 4:10, 6:14, 22:8, 26:9, NJB.) Most Christians assume the term “Nazarene” referred to the fact that Jesus came from the village of Nazareth. This was, after all, what Matthew claimed, (Matt. 2:23) but Nazareth the place was probably not the real origin of the term. On (almost) every occasion that Jesus was referred to as being “of Nazareth,” the real meaning is “the Nazarene” (http://www.essene.com/What is a Nazarene.htm.) As mentioned, Nazareth the village probably didn’t exist in Yeshua’s time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxEJHO8KIXY). Calling him Jesus “of Nazareth” was a ploy to distract from his sectarian affiliations. The bible made it clear the term “Nazarene” referred to a sect, when in the book of Acts, Paul is accused of being a Nazarene.
“The plain truth is that we find this man a perfect pest; he stirs up trouble among Jews the world over, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.” (Acts 24:5, NJB.) An important religious sect would not have been named after an obscure Galilean village.

Hugh Schonfield, who devoted his life to studying Judaism and Yeshua, claims Nazarenism was an ancient version of Judaism. (http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A”Hugh J.Schonfield” AND subject%3A”Nazarenes”). He thought the original founder of the Nazarene sect may have been a Jewish-Arabian prophet named Essa in approximately 400 BCE. So, if he was right, they were already well established in Jesus’ time.

Many eminent scholars have linked the Nazarenes with the Essenian sect at Qumran. One might consider the Nazarene sect a strongly developed messianic form of “Essenism.” (http://www.essene.com/History&Essenes/TrimmNazars.htm).

John the Baptist, Yeshua’s family, disciples and followers were all Nazarenes. The “pillars” Paul refers to (James, Peter, and John) in his second letter to the Galatians, were the leaders and key figures of this group after Yeshua’s death. They too were Jews, not Christians. They practiced circumcision, believed in baptism, and were strict about the Sabbath. They were vegetarians who didn’t approve of the slaughter of animals, either for food or sacrifice. They developed their own “Halacha,” which was their interpretation of the Torah. They were true believers in the power and glory of Israel, saw themselves as God’s chosen people, and were vehemently opposed to the Romans. I think they were zealots, willing to take the Romans on, which was why the Roman world considered a Nazarene “a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over.”

They considered the temple was the house of God, but were opposed to the Sadducees who they regarded as Roman collaborators. They had a broad base of support among Jews throughout Judea and much of the Roman Empire. Many ordinary Jews and Pharisees would have considered the Nazarenes brothers in the struggle against Rome.

Yeshua became their chief after John the Baptist’s death, and he remained in charge for (probably) a few years. Leadership was inherited from blood relations, which explains it passing from John the Baptist to Yeshua, and after Yeshua’s death, on to James, his brother.

James and the other Nazarenes didn’t think Yeshua was the son of God, or that he needed to die to save anyone from their sins (http://www.petahtikvah.com/Articles/nazarenes.htm). They believed he was a (human) prophet who they hoped could be Israel’s messiah.

We read very little about this group in the pages of history because mainly Gentiles wrote that history, and the early Christians ignored the Nazarenes, or wrote them off as heretics, or tried to claim that some of them believed in the divinity of Christ. I think the modern reader interested in Jesus should be interested in their story.
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07-06-2014, 12:39 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
Despite the dearth of reputable evidence, I think a man named Yeshua probably did exist, and that parts of the Gospel plots are loosely based on his life. My reasoning is as follows.

There is non-biblical evidence for the existence of John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, and for James, Jesus’ brother. John and James were leaders of a Jewish sect, the Nazarenes, and many scholars claim Yeshua was their boss between these two, an idea that I think fits with what we know about Yeshua. The Nazarenes soldiered on for a few centuries after Jesus’ death, weren’t Christians, and there’s evidence from the church fathers’ writings that they believed Yeshua had existed.

Paul, the creator of Christian theology, claimed he met James and Peter, who may have been Yeshua’s brother and disciple. I don’t think this is a Christian interpolation, as he doesn’t write of them with much respect.

I propose that Yeshua probably existed, but his life story was far less remarkable than the Gospels would have us believe. I think his genuine historical record, if it ever existed, would have recorded his insignificance, so was destroyed by evangelical Christians sometime in the second, third or fourth centuries.
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07-06-2014, 02:28 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
There could be a person by that name from that time area. There is no evidence what so ever that that person ever really existed.


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10-06-2014, 11:08 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
The sense I get is that historians just pretty much have to accept that these ancient important historical figures did exist, because the ancient writers appear to have been certain they existed, and we aren't there, so we have to take their word for it.

What we can know about these figures is a different matter. There is so much contradictory and fragmentary information to sort through.
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10-06-2014, 11:29 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(07-06-2014 12:39 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Despite the dearth of reputable evidence, I think a man named Yeshua probably did exist, and that parts of the Gospel plots are loosely based on his life. My reasoning is as follows.

There is non-biblical evidence for the existence of John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, and for James, Jesus’ brother. John and James were leaders of a Jewish sect, the Nazarenes, and many scholars claim Yeshua was their boss between these two, an idea that I think fits with what we know about Yeshua. The Nazarenes soldiered on for a few centuries after Jesus’ death, weren’t Christians, and there’s evidence from the church fathers’ writings that they believed Yeshua had existed.

Paul, the creator of Christian theology, claimed he met James and Peter, who may have been Yeshua’s brother and disciple. I don’t think this is a Christian interpolation, as he doesn’t write of them with much respect.

I propose that Yeshua probably existed, but his life story was far less remarkable than the Gospels would have us believe. I think his genuine historical record, if it ever existed, would have recorded his insignificance, so was destroyed by evangelical Christians sometime in the second, third or fourth centuries.
Mark, this makes logical sense, but one thing that bothers me is, unless Yeshua was doing something typical of the mythical Jesus - claiming to be the messiah, for example - why would anyone base a fictional Jesus on him at all? It seems that there must have been some basis for choosing him specifically; otherwise, why not choose someone else who at least was claiming to be the messiah? Do you have any thoughts or insight into what that basis might have been?

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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11-06-2014, 08:07 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
Jesus is a myth
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11-06-2014, 09:26 PM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(07-06-2014 12:34 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  They were a heterogeneous group, but some generalizations can be made about them. They were well respected amongst most Jews. Josephus numbered them at about four thousand, and writes they had a strong affection for each other.

I thought you said they were heteros ? Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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11-06-2014, 11:39 PM
Re: RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(10-06-2014 11:29 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(07-06-2014 12:39 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Despite the dearth of reputable evidence, I think a man named Yeshua probably did exist, and that parts of the Gospel plots are loosely based on his life. My reasoning is as follows.

There is non-biblical evidence for the existence of John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, and for James, Jesus’ brother. John and James were leaders of a Jewish sect, the Nazarenes, and many scholars claim Yeshua was their boss between these two, an idea that I think fits with what we know about Yeshua. The Nazarenes soldiered on for a few centuries after Jesus’ death, weren’t Christians, and there’s evidence from the church fathers’ writings that they believed Yeshua had existed.

Paul, the creator of Christian theology, claimed he met James and Peter, who may have been Yeshua’s brother and disciple. I don’t think this is a Christian interpolation, as he doesn’t write of them with much respect.

I propose that Yeshua probably existed, but his life story was far less remarkable than the Gospels would have us believe. I think his genuine historical record, if it ever existed, would have recorded his insignificance, so was destroyed by evangelical Christians sometime in the second, third or fourth centuries.
Mark, this makes logical sense, but one thing that bothers me is, unless Yeshua was doing something typical of the mythical Jesus - claiming to be the messiah, for example - why would anyone base a fictional Jesus on him at all? It seems that there must have been some basis for choosing him specifically; otherwise, why not choose someone else who at least was claiming to be the messiah? Do you have any thoughts or insight into what that basis might have been?

I don't claim to be very learned on this topic, but I'm pretty sure Jesus rarely claimed to be the Messiah. I think quotes where he did only come from John. Which is the extra wild magical gospel where Jesus is aggressive wiping guys out of the temple and saying to take up the sword.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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12-06-2014, 06:23 AM (This post was last modified: 13-06-2014 04:13 AM by Dee.)
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
I am atheist. To believe that Jesus existed would claim all the things that makes him Jesus (Christ) happened: messiah, miracle worker, son of God, died and rose from the dead, walked on water, and so on.

Myth, I am atheist.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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12-06-2014, 06:26 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(11-06-2014 08:07 AM)Rockingrandma Wrote:  Jesus is a myth

I like your post. It's short , true and to the point.Thumbsup
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