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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14-06-2014, 04:08 PM
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?

Yes. I do think that if Jesus ever existed he thought he was the Messiah of Israel. He tried to start a war with the Romans in Jerusalem at Passover, he was spectacularly unsuccessful, as they crucified him.

I think that about 40 years later the Roman government decided to create the Jesus myth by writing the Gospels. The Nazarenes still thought highly of their hero Jesus. The government used the story of a crucified zealot to create a pacifist Messiah who turned the other cheek, loved his enemies and told people to pay their taxes to Rome, and at the same time undermined the memory of the Nazarene hero.

They got as much mileage out of the propaganda that they could. The whole story never worked as the government hoped however, as they never prevented the second Jewish war of 132-5 CE.
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14-06-2014, 09:43 PM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(14-06-2014 12:15 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(13-06-2014 10:50 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  His point is that if we used the same criteria for other historical figures, then we'd have to reject many of them. And just because we accept that historical figures have had myths grow up around them, it doesn't mean we have to accept those myths as truth.

Every time I hear that argument, I grind my teeth. There is virtually no evidence outside of the various gospels, and they have been shown unreliable.

Please list a few non-Biblical historical figures for whom there is less evidence, and explain how their non-existence would matter.

I'm not a historian, so I can't answer that. But, I'll grant you... it's worth looking into.

Here are some of our exchanges.

Me: I understand that most serious scholars think there is enough evidence to suggest a historical Jesus, but I don't understand how or why they are so certain.

Answer: Because they've been studying this and similar issues for decades and have read thousands of books and articles on historical methodology to discuss issues of historicity.



Me: If someone could shed some light on the reasons for the number of scholars that are certain of a historical Jesus, I'd love to hear it.

Answer: Weight of evidence points strongly to a historical person existing that serves as the basis for the Jesus of the gospels, given the attitudes of the day (historical context), the analysis of the documents, the weak state of theories to the contrary, and comparisons to similar issues.
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14-06-2014, 09:48 PM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(22-02-2014 07:17 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(22-02-2014 05:12 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Except dying and rising gods where quite the fad. Lots of them were said to have died, and rose. It's fits perfectly with the common mythos of the day.

Muhammad did no such thing. His followers did, and there are many good reasons to think they invented Islam to unify, and politically mold the new empire.

Look at Robert Spencer's videos and books.

I also read that girls often proclaimed themselves to be pregnant with the messiah. It was quite the fad. I wish I could remember where I read it though.

By the way, your Kirk quote at the bottom is from the play Peter Pan. Did ga' know that?

I didn't know that. Thumbsup
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14-06-2014, 10:42 PM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
I know! My bad!

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15-06-2014, 09:01 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(14-06-2014 04:08 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(10-06-2014 11:29 AM)Impulse Wrote:  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?

Yes. I do think that if Jesus ever existed he thought he was the Messiah of Israel. He tried to start a war with the Romans in Jerusalem at Passover, he was spectacularly unsuccessful, as they crucified him.

I think that about 40 years later the Roman government decided to create the Jesus myth by writing the Gospels. The Nazarenes still thought highly of their hero Jesus. The government used the story of a crucified zealot to create a pacifist Messiah who turned the other cheek, loved his enemies and told people to pay their taxes to Rome, and at the same time undermined the memory of the Nazarene hero.

They got as much mileage out of the propaganda that they could. The whole story never worked as the government hoped however, as they never prevented the second Jewish war of 132-5 CE.
That's interesting. Thanks for the reply Mark. The more I read your posts and the posts of a few others here, the more I realize how much I don't know about that time period and how much of a difference it would make to learn more about it.

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16-06-2014, 11:34 AM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2014 11:46 AM by anonymous66.)
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(14-06-2014 12:15 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(13-06-2014 10:50 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  His point is that if we used the same criteria for other historical figures, then we'd have to reject many of them. And just because we accept that historical figures have had myths grow up around them, it doesn't mean we have to accept those myths as truth.

Every time I hear that argument, I grind my teeth. There is virtually no evidence outside of the various gospels, and they have been shown unreliable.

Please list a few non-Biblical historical figures for whom there is less evidence, and explain how their non-existence would matter.

Check out this list of people who have been considered deities.
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16-06-2014, 11:37 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
My assumption has always been that Jesus was just an old delirious homeless man who seemed smart and babbled on about nonsense that accidently impressed some locals. They began revering him and the Roman government had him killed in order to keep the peace and they ended up writing a bunco of false exaggerated stories about him decades later.

Crazy you say?
Wouldn't a crazy man ask another man if he was crazy?! Hobo
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16-06-2014, 12:51 PM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(22-02-2014 02:14 PM)Alexandro Wrote:  
(22-02-2014 01:50 PM)jersonf Wrote:  Did Jesus exist? Or was he a myth? Myth, its an amalgamation of previous myths.

Zoroaster pictured above, I believe was the only person who lived and created a religion whilst he was alive.

What about Joseph Smith.

And C.T. Russel?

Just because YOU believe in fairies doesn't mean anybody else should.
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16-06-2014, 12:54 PM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(16-06-2014 11:37 AM)Mr. Slave Wrote:  My assumption has always been that Jesus was just an old delirious homeless man who seemed smart and babbled on about nonsense that accidently impressed some locals. They began revering him and the Roman government had him killed in order to keep the peace and they ended up writing a bunco of false exaggerated stories about him decades later.

That makes me think of the janitor from scrubs!

Maybe Jesus was fired for mopping floors with blood.

Just because YOU believe in fairies doesn't mean anybody else should.
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17-06-2014, 06:26 AM
RE: Did Jesus Exist? Or Was He a Myth?
(16-06-2014 12:51 PM)Bible Belt Brawler Wrote:  
(22-02-2014 02:14 PM)Alexandro Wrote:  What about Joseph Smith.

And C.T. Russel?

And L. Ron Hubbard?
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