If Jesus Never Existed...
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11-05-2017, 02:02 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2017 02:07 PM by Robvalue.)
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
We have the same evidence in front of us that the experts do. Scholars are fantastic for determining the age of documents, comparing styles to assess forgeries, and giving us lots of other very useful details. But when it comes to determining the probabilities about what actually happened, they have to present their reasoning. They don't have a magic mirror, any more than we do.

I've never heard any convincing reasoning for a solid, single historical figure. It's always desperately trying to elevate the evidence above what it actually is, or dragging down evidence for other things down to its level, as Aractus has tried to do here. The "arguments" are always highly speculative and seem to rely on incredulity, most of the time. Oh yes, and attacking anyone who disagrees rather than addressing their arguments, calling them "not a real scholar" and such.

I'm fully aware of what evidence there is, and what it represents. I don't need someone to draw conclusions for me. There's so little of it that it's not a hard task to comprehend it.

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11-05-2017, 08:00 PM
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
If we are going to just look at "what scholars believe", then it makes no sense to include Christian Biblical scholars in the figures. They are 100% obliged to believe Jesus was a historical figure, regardless of what the evidence says. The only alternative is some weird version of Christianity where Jesus was never human and the entire NT is allegorical. That's theoretically possible, since religion can just be whatever you like, but I've not heard of any such thing.

If I was studying the historicity of Clark Kent, I wouldn't be too interested in the opinion of people who think Superman is real.

Of course, if they presented solid evidence and strong arguments, it wouldn't matter if they were Christian or not. But if this was the case, it would be readily apparent to us and there would be no need to be quoting percentages of what scholars believe in the first place.

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13-05-2017, 07:40 AM
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
(25-04-2017 07:48 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I know some think Jesus did not exist, and some think he did exist but was merely human. This got me thinking if Jesus didn't exist, how did all the stories about him originate?

This isn't the same as asking how did the stories of Zeus/Odin etc exist because they are obviously 'gods' and were never deemed to be human. But there's this story about a man called Jesus, who walked and talked in Galilee and spoke to people etc.

So the question is, if Jesus did not exist, how did the stories start? For me, I think there was a 'man' called Yeshua and he was an apocalyptic prophet of the Jews who spoke against their beliefs. They didn't like it so they brought up charges against him and had him killed.

I can understand how the supernatural stories might be called a myth, but surely that myth had to have come from somewhere?

Many existed with the name at that time as it was a popular name. There were at least three that were in that area that preached. I think a charismatic fellow existed at that time with that name that was executed and used as a martyr to spread a new cult. There is a pattern throughout history prior to the "jesus of nazareth" from which these story tellers used, plagiarized, embellished and spun the tales of jesus. Many books have been written laying these facts out. I have several listed on my resource list here

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid735241

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13-05-2017, 08:34 AM
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
Hey there soldier! Wink

Good to see you again, Gwog. You on extended stay with us or just a cinderella? Shy

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13-05-2017, 08:36 AM
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
(13-05-2017 07:40 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(25-04-2017 07:48 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I know some think Jesus did not exist, and some think he did exist but was merely human. This got me thinking if Jesus didn't exist, how did all the stories about him originate?

This isn't the same as asking how did the stories of Zeus/Odin etc exist because they are obviously 'gods' and were never deemed to be human. But there's this story about a man called Jesus, who walked and talked in Galilee and spoke to people etc.

So the question is, if Jesus did not exist, how did the stories start? For me, I think there was a 'man' called Yeshua and he was an apocalyptic prophet of the Jews who spoke against their beliefs. They didn't like it so they brought up charges against him and had him killed.

I can understand how the supernatural stories might be called a myth, but surely that myth had to have come from somewhere?

Many existed with the name at that time as it was a popular name. There were at least three that were in that area that preached. I think a charismatic fellow existed at that time with that name that was executed and used as a martyr to spread a new cult. There is a pattern throughout history prior to the "jesus of nazareth" from which these story tellers used, plagiarized, embellished and spun the tales of jesus. Many books have been written laying these facts out. I have several listed on my resource list here

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid735241

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13-05-2017, 08:41 AM
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
(11-05-2017 08:00 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  If we are going to just look at "what scholars believe", then it makes no sense to include Christian Biblical scholars in the figures. They are 100% obliged to believe Jesus was a historical figure, regardless of what the evidence says. The only alternative is some weird version of Christianity where Jesus was never human and the entire NT is allegorical. That's theoretically possible, since religion can just be whatever you like, but I've not heard of any such thing.

I have pointed out many times there are two known mythicist scholars that are Christians out of only about six. They are Thomas L Brodie, and Thomas L Thompson. So the view is 1/3rd put forward by theist scholars - as far as I can tell, and I welcome any further insights.

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13-05-2017, 10:09 AM (This post was last modified: 13-05-2017 10:28 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
I thought he was leaving. Facepalm
I guess not, and it was all a stunt. Weeping

Anyway, one of the *real* examples of Fundamentalism here, is the assertion that Gnosticism didn't arise until the Second Century.
That is totally false, and in a previous thread, there were many many links provided, that prove the assertion false.
Here's a link to many of the know early Christian texts :
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/index.html
http://www2.cruzio.com/~zdino/psychology...tm#Gnostic

Here is a REAL scholar (Dr. Elaine Pagels - Princeton) discussing the impact of Gnosticism on some of the early writings, including the Gospel of John.



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13-05-2017, 12:30 PM
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
(13-05-2017 08:41 AM)Aractus Wrote:  I have pointed out many times there are two known mythicist scholars that are Christians out of only about six. They are Thomas L Brodie, and Thomas L Thompson. So the view is 1/3rd put forward by theist scholars - as far as I can tell, and I welcome any further insights.
You don't seem to understand that it really doesn't matter what the prevailing "school" of thought is, or how many or what percentage of scholars subscribe to it. All that matters is whether anyone can substantiate their position, in even the smallest way. Taking Brodie as an example, I am not so sure he can rightly claim to have definitively "proven" that Jesus is ahistorical, even though I think it likely he is correct. It seems to me that he held this position since the 1970s for good and sufficient reasons and just got tired of tap-dancing around it, which speaks to the ecclesiastical pressures to toe the party line. But that doesn't mean he's "proven" anything although he arguably has the preponderance of the very thin evidence on his side, particularly if you understand the importance of the skeptical default where evidence is thin / lacking.

That said, yes there are roughly six living mythicists if you don't count Kryvelev in Russia, as well as Kuhn, Allegro, and Harpur, and it's a minority position which is far enough from core Christian dogma that it's not surprising if most of them are not professing Christians. But again, all these things are irrelevant to the (in)validity of their arguments and evidence.

Stepping back yet another level, I wonder how much the (a)historicity of Jesus really matters. Sure, its a toe-hold on the long and tortuous road towards building some sense of probability and credibility for the more fantastical claims about Jesus as god-man, but if it could be shown that the Jesus that Christianity worships was a discrete historical character it would still be light-years away from substantiating that we have an even partially accurate account of his earthly ministry and teachings. We still lack eyewitness accounts, incidental secular corroboration, and we still have a very squirrelly and variable dogma about him from the early days of the cult, which had to be hammered out politically at church councils rather than coalescing around anything like a universal consensus.

Establishing that Jesus was or wasn't historical is like strapping on your climbing equipment and driving your first piton, but it's a long way from the summit of Everest.
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13-05-2017, 01:06 PM
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
(13-05-2017 08:34 AM)kim Wrote:  Hey there soldier! Wink

Good to see you again, Gwog. You on extended stay with us or just a cinderella? Shy

busy as hell but will try to do some drive-bysDrooling

"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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13-05-2017, 01:20 PM
RE: If Jesus Never Existed...
Hey SeaJay! If you ever come back to this thread and see this post, I remember you saying you have a deep and profound fear of hell that's difficult to shake. I don't know if you still feel that way, but I found this video from a guy on youtube who calls himself CosmicSkeptic (A brilliant lad) an atheist who says he still feels a fear of hell from time to time, and I think it has some good insights. Thought it might help you in some way!





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