Did Jesus Really Exist?
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14-09-2011, 10:33 PM (This post was last modified: 14-09-2011 10:59 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Did Jesus Really Exist?
(13-09-2011 05:19 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  Mark, that is fascinating, but remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I have read many claims such as James being the great teacher referred to in the Dead Sea scrolls and have read that many of Jesus' sayings were from them as well.

I definately want to read your book once it is released; however, I'm afraid that your book will be considered too fantastic to be taken seriously.

Mark,
This isn't really fair, as you know I HAVE read your book, and agree with a lot of it. I find it very valuable that you, among other great things, point out the important roles that Paul, and James played in the early church, (I believe there would have been NO "church" without the Pauline invention of "salvation" and most of the other important "inventions" that the early church "slapped" on top of the Yeshua teachings, and stories). Yeshua taught in SYNAGAGUES !!! Christianity was INVENTED by Paul, (a ROMAN), in GREAT tension with the James community in Jerusalem, who just wanted to be good Jews. The idea that Yeshua was "divine", (whatever THAT means), would NEVER in a MILLION YEARS have occurred to James. The whole "payback" scheme, (death for sin, bla bla bla), was invented by Paul, (and NEVER spoken of by James or Yeshua himself). But whatever the historical threads prove to be in the end, (and they certainly WON'T be the traditional ones), at least people are starting to take a second look at things, and see that there are other ways to look at the few historical facts we do still have.

I do still have trouble with Yeshua being anything more than a "nobody from the sticks of Gallilee", (until Constantine saw an opportunity to use him for political reasons, and "said" he "converted", while not REALLY converting, and continued to sacrifice to his many Roman gods, as was documented), who was done away with for being an economic threat to the temple economy. But you do make a good case for his being more than that. Hope all is well, "down under".

Oh, and BTW, yes Yeshua DID exist. Josephus documents him, at least in passing, as did a few others.

I prefer to take the long, philosophical view. 10,000 years from now, 25,000 years from now, no one is going to care what some itinerant preacher from planet Earth did or said, in the Ancient near East, or what his followers said or did about him. There will be completely different political arrangements, and the humans who have left this planet will no longer practice "religion" of any sort. They will laugh about all the insignificant crap that humans fought over, (boarders, and ideas and some resources etc., etc.). Maybe by them we will know more about quantum gravity, and it's fluctualtions, Dark Matter, and Dark Energy. We are SO arrogant . We know NOTHING. But, as Kurzweil says, "The Singularity is Near". When humans get hooked into self-evolving machines, intelligence will, at long last, begin to take off, and the REAL evolution of Homo sapiens will begin. Religion will be a quaint thing of the long-ago past, and everything about it long gone.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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15-09-2011, 06:18 AM
RE: Did Jesus Really Exist?
(14-09-2011 10:33 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(13-09-2011 05:19 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  Mark, that is fascinating, but remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I have read many claims such as James being the great teacher referred to in the Dead Sea scrolls and have read that many of Jesus' sayings were from them as well.

I definately want to read your book once it is released; however, I'm afraid that your book will be considered too fantastic to be taken seriously.

Mark,
This isn't really fair, as you know I HAVE read your book, and agree with a lot of it. I find it very valuable that you, among other great things, point out the important roles that Paul, and James played in the early church, (I believe there would have been NO "church" without the Pauline invention of "salvation" and most of the other important "inventions" that the early church "slapped" on top of the Yeshua teachings, and stories). Yeshua taught in SYNAGAGUES !!! Christianity was INVENTED by Paul, (a ROMAN), in GREAT tension with the James community in Jerusalem, who just wanted to be good Jews. The idea that Yeshua was "divine", (whatever THAT means), would NEVER in a MILLION YEARS have occurred to James. The whole "payback" scheme, (death for sin, bla bla bla), was invented by Paul, (and NEVER spoken of by James or Yeshua himself). But whatever the historical threads prove to be in the end, (and they certainly WON'T be the traditional ones), at least people are starting to take a second look at things, and see that there are other ways to look at the few historical facts we do still have.

I do still have trouble with Yeshua being anything more than a "nobody from the sticks of Gallilee", (until Constantine saw an opportunity to use him for political reasons, and "said" he "converted", while not REALLY converting, and continued to sacrifice to his many Roman gods, as was documented), who was done away with for being an economic threat to the temple economy. But you do make a good case for his being more than that. Hope all is well, "down under".

Oh, and BTW, yes Yeshua DID exist. Josephus documents him, at least in passing, as did a few others.

I prefer to take the long, philosophical view. 10,000 years from now, 25,000 years from now, no one is going to care what some itinerant preacher from planet Earth did or said, in the Ancient near East, or what his followers said or did about him. There will be completely different political arrangements, and the humans who have left this planet will no longer practice "religion" of any sort. They will laugh about all the insignificant crap that humans fought over, (boarders, and ideas and some resources etc., etc.). Maybe by them we will know more about quantum gravity, and it's fluctualtions, Dark Matter, and Dark Energy. We are SO arrogant . We know NOTHING. But, as Kurzweil says, "The Singularity is Near". When humans get hooked into self-evolving machines, intelligence will, at long last, begin to take off, and the REAL evolution of Homo sapiens will begin. Religion will be a quaint thing of the long-ago past, and everything about it long gone.

Hi Bucky, thanks for your encouraging comments. Yeah.....you get it......you understand how foreign Christianity was to the real historical Jesus. If only Christians took an interest in the real history!

This is the story I'm trying to get out there...the very foundation of Christianity is rotten to its core, and that can be proven by a rational assessment of history. As I've said before , Christianity is the biggest scam ever inflicted on mankind.

My opinion on your second paragraph? Mmmmm....depends on who's perspective. We could talk for a long time on this.

Re 10-25,000 years time......I totally agree! In fact, I would say, give us 200 years and Christianity will be virtually extinct. In the next few decades I believe it will become a "dirty" word, just like "cigarette" or "misogynist" or "homophobe". It will survive in isolated areas, but the world is becoming informed and "global" which means Christianity is doomed. So in a sense we are discussing bullshit....the problem is that in 2011 one sixth of our fellow humans believe that bullshit and that matters.

I am, of course, assuming that religious fanatics don't blow our world up first.

Have a look at my new post "you gotta watch this". I highly recommend this documentary to anyone who hasn't seen it before. You and I have had discussions about why J overturned the tables....listen carefully to why the makers of the documentary think it happened. They don't go as far as me, but they hint at what I think was fact. ( I could be totally wrong though LOL ).
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15-09-2011, 08:48 AM (This post was last modified: 15-09-2011 09:07 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Did Jesus Really Exist?
This is the story I'm trying to get out there...the very foundation of Christianity is rotten to its core, and that can be proven by a rational assessment of history. As I've said before , Christianity is the biggest scam ever inflicted on mankind.

Re 10-25,000 years time......I totally agree! In fact, I would say, give us 200 years and Christianity will be virtually extinct. In the next few decades I believe it will become a "dirty" word, just like "cigarette" or "misogynist" or "homophobe". It will survive in isolated areas, but the world is becoming informed and "global" which means Christianity is doomed. So in a sense we are discussing bullshit....the problem is that in 2011 one sixth of our fellow humans believe that bullshit and that matters.

I am, of course, assuming that religious fanatics don't blow our world up first.

Have a look at my new post "you gotta watch this". I highly recommend this documentary to anyone who hasn't seen it before. You and I have had discussions about why J overturned the tables....listen carefully to why the makers of the documentary think it happened. They don't go as far as me, but they hint at what I think was fact. ( I could be totally wrong though LOL ).


I will watch this.
Actually, turns out science and religion and philosophy, to any thoughtful logician, have spelled the end of religion. For me, it's mostly a matter of human linguistics. Humans say things, not really examining what they are really saying. For example, to say, as I implied above, Yeshua was "divine", is a meaningless sentence. Either one is, or is not, human. If "divine" one cannot ALSO be something "else" or it doesn't meet the definition of the other. It's MEANINGLESS. It's human semantics, which have NO REAL MEANING. No one can tell us what exactly they "mean" when they say some(one) is "divine", (a meaningless term),... (??"superhuman"...usually). To say a deity "created" the universe, (an ACT, which had to have a "beginning", a middle, and an "end", BEFORE time-space was created, is a meaningless string of illogical human words/terms. No one knows what they MEAN, when they say that, or examines the fact that it has no real logic or makes any sense). So I dismiss the WHOLE religion thing, out of hand, because, not only is the historical reality FAR different from the "usual" drivel we are fed, (as you point out), but beyond that, when examined by linguists, it falls apart, totally. It simply can't stand the heat, logically, (apart from the usual crap..."oh we just don't understand yet". "god works in mysterious ways"...bla bla bla.), the religious "anti-anthropic" principle. Cheers.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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16-09-2011, 08:46 PM (This post was last modified: 16-09-2011 08:54 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Did Jesus Really Exist?
(15-09-2011 08:48 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  This is the story I'm trying to get out there...the very foundation of Christianity is rotten to its core, and that can be proven by a rational assessment of history. As I've said before , Christianity is the biggest scam ever inflicted on mankind.

Re 10-25,000 years time......I totally agree! In fact, I would say, give us 200 years and Christianity will be virtually extinct. In the next few decades I believe it will become a "dirty" word, just like "cigarette" or "misogynist" or "homophobe". It will survive in isolated areas, but the world is becoming informed and "global" which means Christianity is doomed. So in a sense we are discussing bullshit....the problem is that in 2011 one sixth of our fellow humans believe that bullshit and that matters.

I am, of course, assuming that religious fanatics don't blow our world up first.

Have a look at my new post "you gotta watch this". I highly recommend this documentary to anyone who hasn't seen it before. You and I have had discussions about why J overturned the tables....listen carefully to why the makers of the documentary think it happened. They don't go as far as me, but they hint at what I think was fact. ( I could be totally wrong though LOL ).


I will watch this.
Actually, turns out science and religion and philosophy, to any thoughtful logician, have spelled the end of religion. For me, it's mostly a matter of human linguistics. Humans say things, not really examining what they are really saying. For example, to say, as I implied above, Yeshua was "divine", is a meaningless sentence. Either one is, or is not, human. If "divine" one cannot ALSO be something "else" or it doesn't meet the definition of the other. It's MEANINGLESS. It's human semantics, which have NO REAL MEANING. No one can tell us what exactly they "mean" when they say some(one) is "divine", (a meaningless term),... (??"superhuman"...usually). To say a deity "created" the universe, (an ACT, which had to have a "beginning", a middle, and an "end", BEFORE time-space was created, is a meaningless string of illogical human words/terms. No one knows what they MEAN, when they say that, or examines the fact that it has no real logic or makes any sense). So I dismiss the WHOLE religion thing, out of hand, because, not only is the historical reality FAR different from the "usual" drivel we are fed, (as you point out), but beyond that, when examined by linguists, it falls apart, totally. It simply can't stand the heat, logically, (apart from the usual crap..."oh we just don't understand yet". "god works in mysterious ways"...bla bla bla.), the religious "anti-anthropic" principle. Cheers.

Hi Bucky, I agree 100% about the human linguistics of "divinity" being meaningless. Try explaining that to an average theist though!

Their brains are not wired to think rationally.

I've taken the approach of trying to prove to them that their bible is not built on a foundation of historical reality. For them to get that takes intellectual effort on their part too, in other words, they need to think rationally.

How do we get them to do that?




(14-09-2011 05:02 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  
(13-09-2011 08:56 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(13-09-2011 05:19 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  Mark, that is fascinating, but remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I have read many claims such as James being the great teacher referred to in the Dead Sea scrolls and have read that many of Jesus' sayings were from them as well.

I definitely want to read your book once it is released; however, I'm afraid that your book will be considered too fantastic to be taken seriously.

Hi....thanks for your comments. I agree that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to be accepted as the definitive truth.

Firstly, bear in mind, I am not claiming "THIS IS HOW IT IS". I can't do that, because the evidence is not good enough. No one knows for sure what happened all those years ago. I am saying there may be truth in this theory, and I do put some evidence forward for it. That evidence however is not rock solid.

I will also say that this story makes infinitely more sense than conventional Christianity.

You are probably familiar with "Q". "Q" was only discovered in the 1800's, yet it is very obvious once one becomes aware of it. The evidence for it was staring people in the face for 1500 years, and nobody recognised it. "My" ideas are not as original as Q, but they do make sense (in my opinion). My point is that if we are willing to keep our minds open, some ideas such as "mine" are not as extraordinary as they first appear.

PS I have fixed up the links in my previous post so they now work....they are worth a read.

Two comments: first, I would agree that your theories are immensely more likely to be true than "a man rose from the dead and ascended to heaven."

Second, what you have written makes total sense and I am unaware of any evidence that contradicts your theories, but I will be looking for any. If I find any problems I'll let you know.

OK, I have another comment after all... Good work! You've obviously worked long, hard and passionately and it shows. I can't wait to read it all!

Thankyou my friend! I can sure use some encouragement! Its a big world out there, full of opinionated 'Mark Fultons" , so to get noticed and have some impact is very difficult. I will just do my best, so even if it doesn't amount to much, I can hold my head high.
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16-09-2011, 10:59 PM
RE: Did Jesus Really Exist?
I've spent years of my life studying ancient history and the simple fact is this: You CANNOT find the historical Jesus. You can't. That does not DISPROVE Jesus (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and all that).

No matter how much you run around in circles with it, you wont' find the Historical Jesus the same way you won't find the Historical Socrates. Why? Because like Socrates, Jesus wrote nothing himself. Nothing. The best you can know of him as got at by second hand (and, given the dating of the Gospels, most likely third-hand) accounts.

All we know of Socrates is pure fiction. Everything. From Plato to Xenophon to Aristophones, we know exactly nothing about the real man. All we know is what those three authors choose to show us, and it's likely everything Plato wrote he simply made up to demonstrate various philosophical points (same with Xenophon) and Aristophenes was a playwright and satirist who was just making fun of Socrates.

Now, unlike Jesus, we are fairly certain these two men witnessed Socrates' life and were taught by him. We can also infer Socrates existed from a few other independent documents and sources, but they are next-to-nonexistent.

So what we have of Socrates is essentially all myth. We know what 3 highly unreliable narrators spoon-fed us and it's likely mostly bullcrap. Even the Trial of Socrates is HIGHLY suspect as being any kind of sincere/accurate account.

So it's just a moot point. You're going to just come to whatever decision you WANT to come to, not what the evidence demonstrates.


And it's all even further moot by the most important point of all: Regardless of whether this exact dude named Jesus existed and was nailed to a cross, SOMEONE sat down and thought out deep philosophical and religious problems dealing with the Jewish religion. They taught these principles, wrote them down, and spread them throughout the 1st century CE. It's fairly irrelevant whether this person was nailed to a cross or not (not if you're a Christian, but as a historian it's 100% a pointless question). You may as well say that the Oddyssey depends upon the identity of Homer. It simply doesn't.

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17-09-2011, 12:20 AM
RE: Did Jesus Really Exist?
Does it fucking matter?

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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17-09-2011, 01:44 AM
RE: Did Jesus Really Exist?
(16-09-2011 10:59 PM)17thknight Wrote:  I've spent years of my life studying ancient history and the simple fact is this: You CANNOT find the historical Jesus. You can't. That does not DISPROVE Jesus (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and all that).

No matter how much you run around in circles with it, you wont' find the Historical Jesus the same way you won't find the Historical Socrates. Why? Because like Socrates, Jesus wrote nothing himself. Nothing. The best you can know of him as got at by second hand (and, given the dating of the Gospels, most likely third-hand) accounts.
[...]
So what we have of Socrates is essentially all myth.

The harder it is to believe, the more evidence we require...

The stories about Socrates indicate that the was a normal human being, and we wont get into too much trouble if we accept those stories, even if there is not a lot of evidence for them.

The Jesus story, on the other hand, can be dismissed out of hand because almost all of it is impossible - born to a virgin, a miraculous baptism, turned water into wine, exorcised demons, spoke to the devil, walked on water, cured blindness with spit, raised people from the dead, calmed a stormy sea, fed 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes, healed ten lepers at one go, died, came back to life, ascended into heaven, and dozens of other impossible-to-believe stories as well.

I accept the stories about Socrates because they could have happened.

I reject the stories about Jesus because they could never have happened.

Believe nothing you hear and only half what you see
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