Jesus historicity
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15-11-2014, 01:07 PM
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 10:39 AM)Free Wrote:  Seriously, from a historical viewpoint the following is about all that can be said about Jesus:

A man named Jesus came from a town called Nazareth. He had a religious philosophy that many of the common Jews found attractive. He gained fame in certain areas of 1st century Judea, but this fame did not bide him well. The Jewish Sanhedrin feared Jesus because many of the common people were claiming this Jesus to be the Messiah, and to be proclaimed as a Messiah literally means that they were claiming him to be a king; King of the Jews.

The Sanhedrin feared a war with the Romans would break out if they supported Jesus of Nazareth as being a Messiah. They therefore determined that "one man must die for the nation," and set in motion a plan to capture Jesus and have him put to death. Since they couldn't do it themselves because of their laws during the Passover, they brought him to Pilate.

It was when Jesus was in the custody of Pilate that members of the Sanhedrin pressed for the execution of Jesus of Nazareth. When Pilate resisted, those Sanhedrin members then proceeded to blackmail Pilate by saying something to the effect of, "If you let this Jesus go free, we will tell Caesar that you let a rival king go free in Caesars kingdom."

Pilate's hands were tied, and forced by blackmail he crucified Jesus and wrote on the cross, "This is Jesus, King of the Jews."

And that is about all that needs to be said or known about this man. He didn't walk on water, raise the dead, or fly up into the sky.

He's dead, and he will stay that way.

How do you know what the Sanhedrin did or did not do, or what they were concerned about ? They were ALREADY occupied by Rome. Why would they fear a war with Rome at that point ? Is there evidence they attempted to silence any of the other Apocalyptic preachers that way ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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15-11-2014, 01:07 PM
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:01 PM)StorMFront Wrote:  Also, if he DID have Roman sources, why would he refer to Jesus as the 'Christus' and yet not even mention his name? To me this could also mean Tacitus was referring to someone completely different. It could be any of the numerous preachers that stated they were gods roaming around that time and area.

So you want us to believe he was speaking of someone entirely different, who was crucified by Pilate, and who had a following that called themselves Christians, that were also persecuted under Nero? And these similarities are just an uncanny coincidence?
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15-11-2014, 01:23 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2014 01:37 PM by Free.)
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:01 PM)StorMFront Wrote:  
(15-11-2014 12:13 PM)Free Wrote:  History is not something that can be conclusively proven, and never will be. We can only evaluate what has come down to us and reach towards what is most probable.

Tacitus on its own proves nothing. But taken with all other evidence, it is a bombshell for historicity.

As far as his sources are concerned, he constanty names more than just a few, including the works of previous Roman historians, the Roman registry, other official Roman records, and anything else that was ROMAN.

But not once does he mention ever using records of the Jews or Christians in any of his works. He deplored hearsay and states as such several times.

So does it prove Jesus existed? Nope, but it most certainly adds a few ounces to the scales of judgment favoring the probability factor.

Tacitus was a very proud ROMAN historian, and therefore only used ROMAN sources to illustrate ROMAN history. Hence, the part about Christus is ROMAN history, not Christian or Jewish, or any other.

The argument that he states that he does not use 'hearsay' seems to fail. How could we possible know for sure that he is being truthful? Simply because he says so? Or whether he was simply stating to such for his own benefit. So that others would be apprehensive of questioning his sources.

Is there any valid reason why we should think he is lying? I'm not saying it is impossible or anything. But since he names his sources numerous times- which does not include any sources other than Roman-, says that he despises hearsay, and was a Roman historian writing Roman history, what possible reason do we have to think he was lying? Consider

Using your brand of skepticism, we could throw out every last bit of ancient history because... *gasp* ... everybody was lying! The Caesars didn't exist? The Christian crusades never happened? Muhammad never existed?

Where do you draw the line dude? Pick a place.

Quote:The fact is, it opens up a whole new area of questioning that simply has no way of being known. Where as I have also read that many historians believe his reference to the 'Christus' was simply a mistake by later scribes, when they were copying his works at a later date.

Not true. "Many historians" do not say this at all. Believe me, I know.

Big Grin

Quote:Also, if he DID have Roman sources, why would he refer to Jesus as the 'Christus' and yet not even mention his name? To me this could also mean Tacitus was referring to someone completely different. It could be any of the numerous preachers that stated they were gods roaming around that time and area.

In Roman times, the word "Christus" = Jewish Messiah = King of the Jews. Now put yourself in a proud Roman historian's shoes:

Your country has been at war with the despicable "Jewish race" continuously. They are monotheists and you are a polytheist. You hate them and they hate you. It's all about religious ideology.

They had a King/Messiah whom they considered to be a savior. He was supposed to rescue them from Roman rule, but instead he ended up getting strung up like a side of beef, laughed at, spit upon, whipped, and killed by your countrymen.

Oh what a proud moment for you! And there's no fucking way that this part of your proud Roman history isn't going to be recorded.

Tacitus was proudly writing about how his powerful Roman empire killed and ridiculed the KING of their enemies.

Big Grin

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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15-11-2014, 01:35 PM
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:04 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(15-11-2014 11:35 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I've read the Tacitus lines.. it comes off to me as proving that people believed Jesus existed. We know Christianity was spread around by the time he wrote and that people had the texts believing it... It doesn't really prove evidence he existed, it proves people believed in the story.

So a Roman historian speaking of Jesus being crucified under Pilate isn't evidence of his existence?

How about when someone write of meeting his followers and his brothers, and the various conflicts he had with them?

If you want to argue for ahistoricity, you have make better sense of all these aspects than that of a historical picture.


He never mentioned Jesus at all, so I fail see how you can simply assert that he was referring to Jesus to begin with. Speculation is all you can use in such a vague statement. Where as Tacitus still remains a non-contemporary account, with no valid way to know where he derived to his information from.

Free himself is only speculating that Tacitus is not taking it on hearsay alone. Also, every translation I could find, 'Christus' is defined as either 'anointed one', 'liberator', 'saviour' and not 'King of the Jews' as Free states. Putting into question where he is getting his information from and how reliable it is.

Arguing with a Christian is a lot like playing chess with a pigeon. You can be the greatest player in the world, yet the pigeon will knock over all the pieces, shit on the board and strut away triumphantly.
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15-11-2014, 01:40 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2014 01:48 PM by ClydeLee.)
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:23 PM)Free Wrote:  
(15-11-2014 01:01 PM)StorMFront Wrote:  The argument that he states that he does not use 'hearsay' seems to fail. How could we possible know for sure that he is being truthful? Simply because he says so? Or whether he was simply stating to such for his own benefit. So that others would be apprehensive of questioning his sources.

Is there any valid reason why we should think he is lying? I'm not saying it is impossible or anything. But since he names his sources numerous times- which does not include any sources other than Roman-, says that he despises hearsay, and was a Roman historian writing Roman history, what possible reason do we have to think he was lying? Consider

Using your brand of skepticism, we could throw out every last bit of ancient history because... *gasp* ... everybody was lying! The Caesars didn't exist? The Christian crusades never happened? Muhammad never existed?

Where do you draw the line dude? Pick a place.

Quote:The fact is, it opens up a whole new area of questioning that simply has no way of being known. Where as I have also read that many historians believe his reference to the 'Christus' was simply a mistake by later scribes, when they were copying his works at a later date.

Not true. "Many historians" do not say this at all. Believe me, I know.

Big Grin

Quote:Also, if he DID have Roman sources, why would he refer to Jesus as the 'Christus' and yet not even mention his name? To me this could also mean Tacitus was referring to someone completely different. It could be any of the numerous preachers that stated they were gods roaming around that time and area.

In Roman times, the word "Christus" = Jewish Messiah = King of the Jews. Now put yourself in a proud Roman historian's shoes:

Your country has been at war with the despicable "Jewish race" continuously. They are monotheists and you are a polytheist. You hate them and they hate you. It's all about religious ideology.

They had a King/Messiah whom they considered to be a savior. He was supposed to rescue them from Roman rule, but instead he ended up getting strung up like a side of beef, laughed at, spit upon, whipped, and killed by your countrymen.

Oh what a proud moment for you! And there's no fucking way that this part of your proud Roman history isn't going to be recorded.

Tacitus was proudly writing about how his powerful Roman empire killed and ridiculed the KING of their enemies.

Big Grin

I was gonna respond to that other guy.. but whoa whoa whao... You think the Jewish Race was a strongly hated or cared about populous? They were a far off rather minor aspect of the Roman empire. I think that smiley must mean you don't think these last few paragraphs are some definitive truthful statement. I would hope not at least.

To Tomsia anyway, you have to look at what he is actually saying. He's talking about Christians being persecuted by Nero...then mentions where they achieved their name from. These people called Christians who take their name from Christ... all this is evidence of is that Christians exist and that the claims of Christs punishment existed in this era. It's not evidence of the historical facts of who Jesus was or if he was truly 1 real person.

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15-11-2014, 01:40 PM
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:35 PM)StorMFront Wrote:  
(15-11-2014 01:04 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  So a Roman historian speaking of Jesus being crucified under Pilate isn't evidence of his existence?

How about when someone write of meeting his followers and his brothers, and the various conflicts he had with them?

If you want to argue for ahistoricity, you have make better sense of all these aspects than that of a historical picture.


He never mentioned Jesus at all, so I fail see how you can simply assert that he was referring to Jesus to begin with. Speculation is all you can use in such a vague statement. Where as Tacitus still remains a non-contemporary account, with no valid way to know where he derived to his information from.

Free himself is only speculating that Tacitus is not taking it on hearsay alone. Also, every translation I could find, 'Christus' is defined as either 'anointed one', 'liberator', 'saviour' and not 'King of the Jews' as Free states. Putting into question where he is getting his information from and how reliable it is.

You didn't look very hard, because right on the most popular web encyclopedia we have:

"A messiah, literally, "the anointed"[1] has come to be seen as a saviour or liberator of a group of people, most commonly in the Abrahamic religions. In the Hebrew Bible, a messiah (or mashiach) is a king"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah

Dude, it is commonly known among historians.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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15-11-2014, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2014 01:55 PM by Free.)
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I was gonna respond to that other guy.. but whoa whoa whao... You think the Jewish Race was a strongly hated or cared about populous? They were a far off rather minor aspect of the Roman empire. I think that smiley must mean you don't think these last few paragraphs are some definitive truthful statement. I would hope not at least.

Back in those days, Christians were a subsect of the Jews. Aside from the orthodox Jews being hated by the Romans, so too were the Christians. The Christians had expanded greatly by the time Tacitus wrote Annals, and were hated as well as persecuted by the Romans, as was eloquently documented by Tacitus' friend, Pliny the Younger:

"Pliny, Letters 10.96-97

Pliny to the Emperor Trajan

It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.

Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.

Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred. An anonymous document was published containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.

I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved. For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded.

Trajan to Pliny

You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians. For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance. But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution. For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age."

http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/pliny.html

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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15-11-2014, 01:52 PM
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:40 PM)Free Wrote:  You didn't look very hard, because right on the most popular web encyclopedia we have:

"A messiah, literally, "the anointed"[1] has come to be seen as a saviour or liberator of a group of people, most commonly in the Abrahamic religions. In the Hebrew Bible, a messiah (or mashiach) is a king"

Dodgy

From
(15-11-2014 01:40 PM)Free Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah
you say? Let's see...

Wikipedia Wrote:A messiah, literally, "the anointed"[1] has come to be seen as a saviour or liberator of a group of people, most commonly in the Abrahamic religions. In the Hebrew Bible, a messiah (or mashiach) is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil.[2]

Dodgy

Any reason you dropped the rest of the sentence?

And later:
Wikipedia Wrote:The literal translation of the Hebrew word mashiach (messiah) is “anointed,” which refers to a ritual of consecrating someone or something by putting holy oil upon it. It is used throughout the Hebrew Bible in reference to a wide variety of individuals and objects; for example, a Jewish king, Jewish priests, and prophets, the Jewish Temple and its utensils, unleavened bread, and a non-Jewish king (Cyrus king of Persia).

Or this, for that matter...

... this is my signature!
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15-11-2014, 01:56 PM
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:52 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(15-11-2014 01:40 PM)Free Wrote:  You didn't look very hard, because right on the most popular web encyclopedia we have:

"A messiah, literally, "the anointed"[1] has come to be seen as a saviour or liberator of a group of people, most commonly in the Abrahamic religions. In the Hebrew Bible, a messiah (or mashiach) is a king"

Dodgy

From
(15-11-2014 01:40 PM)Free Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah
you say? Let's see...

Wikipedia Wrote:A messiah, literally, "the anointed"[1] has come to be seen as a saviour or liberator of a group of people, most commonly in the Abrahamic religions. In the Hebrew Bible, a messiah (or mashiach) is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil.[2]

Dodgy

Any reason you dropped the rest of the sentence?

And later:
Wikipedia Wrote:The literal translation of the Hebrew word mashiach (messiah) is “anointed,” which refers to a ritual of consecrating someone or something by putting holy oil upon it. It is used throughout the Hebrew Bible in reference to a wide variety of individuals and objects; for example, a Jewish king, Jewish priests, and prophets, the Jewish Temple and its utensils, unleavened bread, and a non-Jewish king (Cyrus king of Persia).

Or this, for that matter...

The point was to demonstrate that it is regarded as a king, regardless of what else it is considered to be.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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15-11-2014, 01:59 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2014 02:24 PM by ClydeLee.)
RE: Jesus historicity
(15-11-2014 01:50 PM)Free Wrote:  
(15-11-2014 01:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I was gonna respond to that other guy.. but whoa whoa whao... You think the Jewish Race was a strongly hated or cared about populous? They were a far off rather minor aspect of the Roman empire. I think that smiley must mean you don't think these last few paragraphs are some definitive truthful statement. I would hope not at least.

Back in those days, Christians were a subsect of the Jews. Aside from the orthodox Jews being hated by the Romans, so too were the Christians. The Christians had expanded greatly by the time Tacitus wrote Annals, and were hated as well as persecuted by the Romans, as was eloquently documented by Tacitus' friend, Pliny the Younger:

"Pliny, Letters 10.96-97

Pliny to the Emperor Trajan

It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.

Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.

Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred. An anonymous document was published containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.

I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved. For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded.

Trajan to Pliny

You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians. For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance. But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution. For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age."

http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/pliny.html

I don't see where you are putting things together logically here without taking leaps... To say Christians at that point(still) when they were popping up everywhere like you admit, were still just a subset of Jews and that justifies exaggerating hatred for jews?

Romans didn't like people who didn't worship the roman gods, yes... be they Celts, Goths, Jews, Christians, etc. For the most part this was true, but it doesn't make any claim to how they felt about Judea and the Jews, and by association Christians. By the 2nd century they were definitely a problem to Romans on their own non-determined by Jewish connections. I have never seen historians think that the Jews were just mostly a generic uncared for, more burden than hatred force of a group for Rome.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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