Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
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03-11-2015, 07:10 AM
Thumbs Up RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
(03-11-2015 01:33 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  This got linked to me in facebook. I don't know this website and never heard of it, nor these sources they are quoting or the names given. What do you people think?

http://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-...an-sources

I say that if the Christians want to use the Talmud to prove the historicity of Jesus, then they have to use the whole Talmud, and not just the part that they like. Evil_monster



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03-11-2015, 07:25 AM
RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
(03-11-2015 07:10 AM)Aliza Wrote:  I say that if the Christians want to use the Talmud to prove the historicity of Jesus, then they have to use the whole Talmud, and not just the part that they like. Evil_monster

They don't read all of their own book, why would you expect them to read all of yours?

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03-11-2015, 08:11 AM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2015 08:56 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
(03-11-2015 01:33 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  This got linked to me in facebook. I don't know this website and never heard of it, nor these sources they are quoting or the names given. What do you people think?

http://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-...an-sources

It's a decent compilation of some non-christian sources. Is it all evidence of Jesus being a historical person, sure.

Those who attempt to interpret it all away, tend to border on creationist territory.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-11-2015, 08:27 AM
RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
(03-11-2015 08:11 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  It's a decent compilation of some non-christian so? Is it all evidence of Jesus being a historical Jesus, sure.

Those who attempt to interpret it all a way, tend to border on creationist territory.

Blink

Say... what now?

The site quite happily promotes/supports Intelligent Design.

A rather poor indication of it's reliability, wouldn't you think?
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03-11-2015, 08:42 AM
RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
(03-11-2015 08:11 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-11-2015 01:33 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  This got linked to me in facebook. I don't know this website and never heard of it, nor these sources they are quoting or the names given. What do you people think?

http://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-...an-sources

It's a decent compilation of some non-christian so? Is it all evidence of Jesus being a historical Jesus, sure.

Those who attempt to interpret it all a way, tend to border on creationist territory.

Do you ever plan on learning how to construct a correct sentence in the English language ? Some "non-Christian WHAT ? "a way " ??
Are you really as uneducated as your writing makes you appear ?

The fact is, there IS no evidence outside of Christian sources for a specific Jesus. There were many, and there is no way of knowing who anyone was referring to. There are multiple objections to each of those posted "sources".

So maybe there was a Jesus. So what. Was he what later believers came to claim about him ?

Ahahahahaha.




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03-11-2015, 08:43 AM
RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
I don't see any evidence, even in their best light possible, contained in that article that says Jesus was God; every bit of the evidence they present (expect perhaps the Talmud passage) speaks only of the Christians. No one contests that Christians existed, nor that the early Christians revered a god-guy they believed was executed by Rome.

Presenting evidence of Christianity as if it is evidence for Jesus is dishonest. To put it nicely.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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03-11-2015, 08:55 AM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2015 09:02 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
(03-11-2015 08:27 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  
(03-11-2015 08:11 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  It's a decent compilation of some non-christian so? Is it all evidence of Jesus being a historical Jesus, sure.

Those who attempt to interpret it all a way, tend to border on creationist territory.

Blink

Say... what now?

The site quite happily promotes/supports Intelligent Design.

A rather poor indication of it's reliability, wouldn't you think?

The reliability of the site is almost irrelevant, surely it's easy to feather and tar the site itself, but if we're just reserving ourselves to the merits of their overall argument on the one particular question, and this particular case the sources they reference, are decent.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-11-2015, 09:05 AM
RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
Nothing new here....but for shits and giggles let's look at what's really going on.

What if we start with the person presenting this alleged evidence. A simple google search pulls up Michael Gleghorn - Christian Apologetics, on the first hit. Wow, now isn't this telling?? A christian apologist who thinks there is ancient evidence for Jesus...and from non-christian sources no doubt! This is not to say that Mr. Gleghorn isn't an intelligent person but the position he takes is very telling of which side of the evidence he seems to present. Isn't it odd that he doesn't seem to present the issues that call this alleged evidence into question? These are the same responses apologists have been offering for years and they have readily been properly handled/debunked for years as well. It should be said that the information in this article does nothing to prove or even give evidence for Jesus...it AT MOST serves only to tell that there may have been evidence of a story or even myth that was passed down.

I'll tackle Tacitus and Josephus since I'm running late to work and don't have time to grab the rest.

Evidence from Tacitus:

Tacitus lived from 55 - 117 CE and the reference mentioned in the article i'll add again below:
"Nero looked around for a scapegoat, and inflicted the most fiendish tortures on a group of persons already hated for their crimes. This was the sect known as Christians. Their founder, one Christus, had been put to death by the procurator, Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. This checked the abominable superstition for a while, but it broke out again and spread, not merely through Judea, where it originated, but even to Rome itself, the great reservoir and collecting ground for every kind of depravity and filth. Those who confessed to being Christians were at once arrested, but on their testimony a great crowd of people were convicted, not so much on the charge of arson, but of hatred of the entire human race." (Book 15, Chapter 44).

Now, I will concede that you will find many scholars who hold this as a genuine passage that identifies a number of facts, namely:

1) there were a sizable number of Christians in Rome at the time &
2) it was possible to separate Jewish / Christianity factions at the time

However, a few scholars, will argue (Richard Carrier included) that these so called "facts" are tenuously established because of errors like the rank that Pilate held or certain spellings / sources that seem blatantly false. Some have suggested that this was possibly a later interpolation of christian writing as well although this seems to be a minority view. This doesn't necessarily mean the minority view is incorrect.

The fact is, Tacitus was probably around 7 years old at the time of the Great Fire of Rome, and when he was growing up he would have most likely heard about the fire that destroyed the city, and Nero's accusations against Christians. When he wrote his account, Tacitus was the governor of the province of Asia, and as a member of the inner circle in Rome he would have known of the official position with respect to the fire and the Christians. The fact that he states what he does, only gives evidence for what he heard, not necessarily for what had actually happened.

It is also worth mentioning that Tacitus never gives the source for his statements. If he was copying this from an official source of Rome archives wouldn't one think he would have given Pilate his proper position as a prefect, not a procurator?

Walter Weaver even noted in his book The Historical Jesus in the Twentieth Century, that Tacitus spoke of the persecution of Christians, but no other Christian author wrote of this persecution for a hundred years.

Hilton Hotema noted in Secret of Regeneration (and I paraphrase) that this entire passage laid mysteriously hidden and was not used by any church leaders until somewhere around the 15th century. This seems odd since it would have been of a lot of use to them. An argument from silence? Yes, but it still must be considered and makes the idea of 'a later interpolation' entirely plausible. However, I will grant that the historian doesn't rest on what is possible but what is probable. Hotema also made note that the passage refers to christians being a multitude but it's quite probable that the population would have been a small minority considering the multiple number of sects that were around at the time.

I would echo Guignebert's sentiments in that as long as it is possible that Tacitus is just parroting what he had heard other Christians say then the entire passage is up for debate. Nothing is settled.

Evidence from Josephus

Gleghorn at least concedes the obvious later interpolation in the Josephus passage but he's still trying to hang on to some vestige that we're still left with corroborating evidence for Jesus. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. This passage was a direct fabrication by later Christians. What were they attempting to do here? Most likely they were attempting to fabricate evidence because there was very little or none at all! Wake up and smell the fuckin' coffee bitches!

Furthermore no writer before the 4th century makes a single reference to Josephus. Let's list them: Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, Arnobius, etc. – in all their defenses against the pagan religions to prove that their religion was the true religion because of their leader, nothing is mentioned.

Don't apologists think of the types of questions we do? How could Josephus claim that Jesus had been the the Messiah yet remain an orthodox Jew? If Josephus really thought Jesus had been 'the Christ' wouldn't he have dedicated more than one paragraph to him?

The website jesusneverexisted.com has this to say about Josephus:

Josephus knows nothing of Christians

It was the around the year 53 AD that Josephus decided to investigate the sects among the Jews. According to the gospel fable this was the period of explosive growth for the Christian faith: " the churches ... throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria ... were edified... and ... were multiplied." – Acts 9:31.

This is also the time of the so-called "Council of Jerusalem" when supposedly Paul regaled the brothers with tales of "miracles and wonders" among the gentiles (Acts 15.12).

And yet Josephus knows nothing of all this:

"When I was sixteen years old, I decided to get experience with the various sects that are among us. These are three: as we have said many times, the first, that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Saduccees, the third, that of the Essenes. For I thought that in this way I would choose best, if I carefully examined them all. Therefore, submitting myself to strict training, I passed through the three groups." – Life, 2.

Josephus elsewhere does record a "fourth sect of Jewish philosophy" and reports that it was a "mad distemper" agitating the entire country. But it has nothing to do with Christianity and its superstar:

"But of the fourth sect of Jewish philosophy, Judas the Galilean was the author. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord.

They also do not value dying any kinds of death, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man Lord ...

And it was in Gessius Florus's time that the nation began to grow mad with this distemper, who was our procurator, and who occasioned the Jews to go wild with it by the abuse of his authority, and to make them revolt from the Romans. And these are the sects of Jewish philosophy." – Antiquities 18.23.

Nothing could better illustrate the bogus nature of the Testimonium than the remaining corpus of Josephus's work.

The question of context.

Antiquities 18 is primarily concerned with "all sorts of misfortunes" which befell the Jews during a period of thirty-two years (4-36 AD).

Josephus begins with the unpopular taxation introduced by the Roman Governor Cyrenius in 6 AD. He presents a synopsis of the three established Jewish parties (Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes), but his real quarry is the "fourth sect of philosophy ... which laid the foundation of our future miseries." That was the sect of Judas the Galilean, "which before we were unacquainted withal."

At the very point we might expect a mention of "Christians" (if any such sect existed) we have instead castigation of tax rebels!

"It was in Gessius Florus's time [64-66] that the nation began to grow mad with this distemper, who was our procurator, and who occasioned the Jews to go wild with it by the abuse of his authority, and made them revolt from the Romans; and these are the sects of Jewish philosophy."

"Nor can fear of death make them call any man Lord." Sound a tad familiar?

Chapter 2 notes the cities built to honour the Romans; the frequent changes in high priest (up to Caiaphas) and Roman procurators (up to Pontius Pilate); and also the turmoil in Parthia.
Chapter 3, containing the Testimonium as paragraph three, is essentially about Pilate's attempts to bring Jerusalem into the Roman system. With his first policy – placing Caesar's ensigns in Jerusalem – Pilate was forced to back down by unexpected Jewish protests in Caesarea. With his second policy – providing Jerusalem with a new aqueduct built with funds sequestered from the Temple, Pilate made ready for Jewish protests. Concealed weapons on his soldiers caused much bloodshed.

At this point the paragraph about Jesus is introduced!

Immediately after, Josephus continues:

"And about the same time another terrible misfortune confounded the Jews ..."

There is no way that Josephus, who remained an orthodox Jew all his life and defended Judaism vociferously against Greek critics, would have thought that the execution of a messianic claimant was "another terrible misfortune" for the Jews. This is the hand of a Christian writer who himself considered the death of Jesus to be a Jewish tragedy (fitting in with his own notions of a stiff-necked race, rejected by God because they themselves had rejected the Son of God).[i]

Because the Testimonium is so readily exposed as a forgery, Christian apologists have tried to grab on to another reference in book 20:

[i]"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was put upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, (or some of his companions). And when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned."
Josephus (The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20, Chapter 9)

Yet Josephus's second reference depends upon the earlier (false) reference for explanation – and because it actually refers to "Jesus, the son of Damneus" who was made high priest by king Agrippa, not Jesus of Nazareth, (also now known to have not even existed at the time he allegedly lived.)

Earl Doherty summed it up nicely when he said:

"Here is an historian who remembers and records in his work with staggering efficiency and in voluminous detail the events and personalities and sociopolitical subtleties of eight decades and more. Can we believe that Josephus would have been ignorant of this teaching revolutionary and the empire-wide movement he produced, or that for some unfathomable reason he chose to omit Jesus from his chronicles?" - The Jesus Puzzle

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03-11-2015, 09:08 AM
Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
"The reliability of the site is almost irrelevant..."

No, the reliability and credibility of any given source of information is entirely relevant. Christians believing in a historical and/or mythical Jesus has no bearing on the paucity of evidence for both. Facepalm

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03-11-2015, 09:09 AM
RE: Supposed "evidence" for jesus.
(03-11-2015 08:55 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The reliability of the site is almost irrelevant, surely it's easy to feather and tar the site itself, but if we're just reserving ourselves to the merits of their overall argument on the one particular question, and this particular case the sources they reference, are decent.

Riiiight...

So, they can be pretty much shite for pretty much most of the things they have put on their pages... but that one glimmer of a gem or an article should have merit because...?

One would think that all the articles would be of the same level of merit. Wouldn't you?

Consider
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