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Tags existed , jesus , historical

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Old 21st April 2003, 08:43 PM   #1
Shroud of Akron
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historical proof that jesus existed

please provide it for me. i am not being sarcastic, i just have never seen any evidence that was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.
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Old 21st April 2003, 08:47 PM   #2
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http://lordco.virtualave.net/content/tcp/index.shtml

There you go, birth certificate, licence, everything.
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Old 21st April 2003, 08:48 PM   #3
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We really shouldn't go there yet again...

Perhaps you can give us the historical proof that Josephus existed. Or Socrates, or Mark Anthony. We accept or deny the historical records based on little more than personal preference. I mean even today we are screaming for the "real" Sadaam to please stand up-- and we are buried over in technology.

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Old 21st April 2003, 09:17 PM   #4
Shroud of Akron
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Quote:
Originally posted by stamenflicker
We really shouldn't go there yet again...

Perhaps you can give us the historical proof that Josephus existed. Or Socrates, or Mark Anthony. We accept or deny the historical records based on little more than personal preference. I mean even today we are screaming for the "real" Sadaam to please stand up-- and we are buried over in technology.

Flick
i am not looking to for proof of josephus, socrates, or mark anthony. i am not trying to stir sh*t up, i just wondered if anyone has evidence. it stems from a debate i have been having with my wife, i claim that there is no proof, she claims that there is. no more than a request, and i will not criticize anyone.

Quote:
Originally posted by Torment
http://lordco.virtualave.net/content/tcp/index.shtml

There you go, birth certificate, licence, everything.
BRILLIANT!!!!
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Old 21st April 2003, 10:32 PM   #5
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Well, one thing that makes Jesus different from most other figures in history is that his existence is a core belief of a very large group of people, and it is upon what they consider the truth of his words that they have based much of their lives. If it were proven tomorrow that Plato never existed, it wouldn't matter very much, since it is the works attributed to him that are important. However, it if were conclusively proven that there never was a Jesus, and that the New Testament is some sort of historical fraud, then it would have a profound effect on every modern Christian.
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Old 21st April 2003, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sanamas
Well, one thing that makes Jesus different from most other figures in history is that his existence is a core belief of a very large group of people, and it is upon what they consider the truth of his words that they have based much of their lives. If it were proven tomorrow that Plato never existed, it wouldn't matter very much, since it is the works attributed to him that are important. However, it if were conclusively proven that there never was a Jesus, and that the New Testament is some sort of historical fraud, then it would have a profound effect on every modern Christian.
Its never going to happen, If it were possible to prove the non existence of anything jesus would be on the list. His existence cannot be disproven, It could only be proven...so lets sit back and wait for the proof, I'm a patient person.....2000 years so far.
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Old 21st April 2003, 11:05 PM   #7
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I have been interested in this question for awhile and have read through quite a few of the secular historical Jesus sites.

The most extreme position is presented by this guy:
http://mama.indstate.edu/users/nizra...efutation.html

My own view, after reading this site and several others is that there was an historical Jesus, although even the phrase "historical Jesus" is ambiguous and there is a line of argument that goes something like this: "even if there was an individual that served as the inspiration for Christianity, if the content of the gospels is mostly made up there was no historical Jesus.

My view is that the content of the gospels was mostly made up, they aren't written contemporaneously with the life of Jesus (let me say here just once this is disputed and so is everything else about Jesus, but I'm giving you my take), they contain some stories that are pretty iffy on their face (virgin birth, water into wine, etc.), they are not consistent with each other, reconciling them to historical details is difficult, Paul who seems to be the most contemporaneious writer doesn't corroborate most of the stories and there is no other contemporaneous corroboration.

The best information outside the bible that Jesus existed was in some writings of Josephus. Unfortunately they are scant and what there is, is believed to be entirely planted by some scholars. Some scholars think that just some of the Jesus stuff was planted. I read through some of the arguments one night and decided that I thought the guys that thought only some of it was planted were most likely to be correct, but if I had to choose between all true or all planted I'd pick all planted.

So after that you've got the Ossuary with the James the son of Joseph and the brother of Jesus inscription. That's a really good fake if it is one, but there's some really good hoaxers around and they've been around for a long time so an early forgery is also possible and then maybe even if it's not a forgery it may have nothing to do with the Jesus in question.

After that there's an Occam's razor kind of argument. It's just simpler to believe that there was a charismatic, rebellious priest who inspired some folks to tell stories about him than that one or a few folks just started writing about a completelely fictional Jesus and the stories caught on. I find it more likely than not that Paul was writing about a real person. Of course, given the almost complete lack of known contemporaneous writing on Jesus, a person that was far less well known at the time than the biblical accounts would suggest.

Lastly, the consensus amongst secular sbiblical cholars seems to be that he probably did exist, perhaps a far stronger argument than my ramblings about stuff I know so little listed above.
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Old 21st April 2003, 11:46 PM   #8
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Yeah, I know all about the impossibility of proving a negative, I'm just speaking hypothetically.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 04:01 AM   #9
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While there's no proof that Jesus existed historically, there is evidence to that effect. It's not dispositive evidence. I would say rather that it is more likely than not that Jesus existed historically, or that there is good reason to believe that Jesus existed historically.

This has been discussed in several older threads, including the "Titulus from Jesus' cross" thread. (I note in passing that the alleged titulus itself is not good evidence, but simply provided an excuse to assess the various arguments during the course of the thread.)
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Old 22nd April 2003, 04:56 AM   #10
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Well, it's a virtual certainty that there were one or more itinerant preachers with gaggles of followers running around the right area at the right time.

The real question is this: Is there any hard evidence that such a guy articulated, let alone originated, the religious and philosophical ideas in the New Testament?

(Taking it for granted there's no hard evidence of silliness like walking on water that was clearly a later addition).
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Old 22nd April 2003, 06:02 AM   #11
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The historical documentation for Christ's existence is rather sketchy. He isn't mentioned by in any contempory source which is rather surprising considering the amount of trouble he's supposed to have stirred up. All of the historical accounts (including what went in to make up the New testament) is dated from several decades after his death.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 08:46 AM   #12
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One of my favorite topics! I'll put together a summary of the historitcal evidence that supports that Jesus existed. It'll take me a few days since there is so much historical evidence.
I'll post it ASAP...
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Old 22nd April 2003, 08:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Agammamon
The historical documentation for Christ's existence is rather sketchy. He isn't mentioned by in any contempory source which is rather surprising considering the amount of trouble he's supposed to have stirred up. All of the historical accounts (including what went in to make up the New testament) is dated from several decades after his death.
Plus there is the assertion that he rose into heaven in front of dozens of witnesses after his resurection. Given the fact that the Romans were literate and very good record keepers one would think that if a criminal that they executed was walking around three days later and then flew up into the sky, more than one account would have been written about it
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Old 22nd April 2003, 09:00 AM   #14
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I assume that the question is whether Jesus existed historically. Whether the "miraculous" aspects of his life are true or not is another question. As an analogy, we can pretty much agree that George Washington existed. There are documents and know many facts about his life are known. There are many "stories and legends" about him that are pretty much known to be not true, i.e. cutting down a cherry tree, etc. So I suggest that we focus on the debate of whether or not Jesus existed then move on from there.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 10:18 AM   #15
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LCBOY,
I think you make the situation out to be a little simpler than it is. There are really two questions here:
1. Was there a single individual that was the inspiration for the Biblical stories about Jesus.
2. Were the events of the life of that person close enough to the Biblical Jesus to say that he was the historical Jesus.

As the above posts have indicated the answer to question one at this point in history can probably not be answered with certainty. I, and it looks like several others that have posted, think probably yes, but this guy thinks probably not:
http://mama.indstate.edu/users/nizra...efutation.html

The answer to the second question depends both on the facts and a personal subjective decision about what constitutes "close enough".

You used the example of George Washington. Yes there are a lot of myths concerning George Washington, but there is no doubt that the major events in his life as historically recorded did actually occur. Suppose on the other hand that there were doubts about whether George Washington was the leader of the continental army and as to whether he actually served as president of the US. Would it still be obvious to you that the historical George Washington existed?

I look forward to reading the summary of the historical evidence that you mentioned. This is also one of my favorite topics.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 10:25 AM   #16
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Originally posted by Nyarlathotep


Plus there is the assertion that he rose into heaven in front of dozens of witnesses after his resurection. Given the fact that the Romans were literate and very good record keepers one would think that if a criminal that they executed was walking around three days later and then flew up into the sky, more than one account would have been written about it
This account did not appear in the earliest Gospel, Mark. Matthew and Luke both appear to be elaborations on the Gospel of Mark, using it as a framework and adding new details (for instance, the two Nativity stories).
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Old 22nd April 2003, 10:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by davefoc


You used the example of George Washington. Yes there are a lot of myths concerning George Washington, but there is no doubt that the major events in his life as historically recorded did actually occur. Suppose on the other hand that there were doubts about whether George Washington was the leader of the continental army and as to whether he actually served as president of the US. Would it still be obvious to you that the historical George Washington existed?
.
It depends on whether the doubts had serious merit. Again when it comes to history we will always be missing some information or knowledge. Using GW as an example with the information we have it is clear that he did lead the Continental Army and was President. Any person that make a counter claim would have to produce the following

#1 evidence that shows that the knowlwdge the GW was a General and President is false or lacking

or

#2 evidence that someone else led the Continental Army and was the 1st President.

Even if #1 were true that doesn't prove that GW wasn't the leader of the Continental Army and President because there maybe other evidence that shows this or all evidence is lost. Kind of the "if there is no one in the forest and a tree falls is there any noise?"
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Old 22nd April 2003, 10:55 AM   #18
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When the name "JESUS CHRIST" is mentioned it always generates a mulititude of reaction. Many people try to disprove his existence or at least debate that it is possible that he didn't exist. I don't see as many people agruing over the existence of Alexander the Great, or Socrates, or Plato. Is there lots of evidence that these men ever lived?
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Old 22nd April 2003, 11:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by LCBOY
When the name "JESUS CHRIST" is mentioned it always generates a mulititude of reaction. Many people try to disprove his existence or at least debate that it is possible that he didn't exist. I don't see as many people agruing over the existence of Alexander the Great, or Socrates, or Plato. Is there lots of evidence that these men ever lived?
Well, does proving or disproving that these people existed have any effect on the appreciation of their works? Plato can be a hoax created by Franko for all I care, and I will still enjoy his dialogues. I don't need to believe in Plato.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 11:17 AM   #20
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Originally posted by c4ts


Well, does proving or disproving that these people existed have any effect on the appreciation of their works? Plato can be a hoax created by Franko for all I care, and I will still enjoy his dialogues. I don't need to believe in Plato.
By "enjoy" do you mean that Plato's writings and teachings are vaild and worthy of study and as a way to live one' life?
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Old 22nd April 2003, 12:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by LCBOY


By "enjoy" do you mean that Plato's writings and teachings are vaild and worthy of study and as a way to live one' life?
They are indeed worthy of study, and if you examine your own life, you may find that some of it is quite valid indeed. Plato presents us with a way of living, which is to live the just life in the pursuit of knowledge, questioning everything and everyone. (On the boards, we call that "critical thinking.") I don't have to agree with everything Socrates says, because it's the ideas which bring me enjoyment.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 01:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by LCBOY


By "enjoy" do you mean that Plato's writings and teachings are vaild and worthy of study and as a way to live one' life?

As far as I know Jesus didn't write anything.. His teachings weren't very original, and there are many aspects of his reported life that really are not very admirable.

People who who seem to be caught up in the myth of the perfect, sinless son of God, haven't read the Gospels very closely or ignored what is obvious to some people.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 01:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diogenes



As far as I know Jesus didn't write anything.. His teachings weren't very original, and there are many aspects of his reported life that really are not very admirable.

People who who seem to be caught up in the myth of the perfect, sinless son of God, haven't read the Gospels very closely or ignored what is obvious to some people.
The first statement is true, but did Socrates write anything himself? The other statements are really just opinions not assertions that can be either true or false.

As Dark Cobra would say, "Where's the evidence."
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Old 22nd April 2003, 01:15 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diogenes



As far as I know Jesus didn't write anything.. His teachings weren't very original, and there are many aspects of his reported life that really are not very admirable.

People who who seem to be caught up in the myth of the perfect, sinless son of God, haven't read the Gospels very closely or ignored what is obvious to some people.
I'd like to see what is so obvious if you don't mind.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 01:17 PM   #25
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Yeah', it's just my opinion that the person who said this, was being rude, hateful and uncompassionate.

Quote:
Matthew 15:22
And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

15:23
But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

15:24
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

15:25
Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

15:26
But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
Should I bother with any more?
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Old 22nd April 2003, 01:29 PM   #26
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I was so busy digging out my " Mean things Jesus did" notes, I fortgot to address this...

Quote:
Originally posted by LCBOY


The first statement is true, but did Socrates write anything himself?

I don't know. Why do you ask?
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Old 22nd April 2003, 01:39 PM   #27
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Re: historical proof that jesus existed

Quote:
Originally posted by Shroud of Akron
please provide it for me. i am not being sarcastic, i just have never seen any evidence that was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I don't know if anyone can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt most of the great figures in ancient history.

Still, there is a lot of evidence for the existence of Jesus.

Some extra-biblical sources are used as evidence. There was Cornelius Tactitus...a Roman historian who made some mention of Jesus and especially of the existence of Chrstians. Other sources came from: Lucian Samasata; Suetonius; pliny the younger; Thallus; Phlegon. There was also Josephus.

Justin Martyr recorded the deaths of all the apostles...save one..John.

There were also writings by Clement of Rome; Ignatius; Quadratus; Barnabas; Aristides; Hegesippus...
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Old 22nd April 2003, 01:59 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diogenes
Yeah', it's just my opinion that the person who said this, was being rude, hateful and uncompassionate.



Should I bother with any more?
First of all, you need to read the entire passage Matthew 15 22- "And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed." But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us."
But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once. "

Jesus did heal this woman. He was only putting her off to prove to others how great her faith was...as she was not Jewish. The word "dogs" actually means "little puppies" .
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Old 22nd April 2003, 02:01 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruby

Jesus did heal this woman.[/color]
Evidence?
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Old 22nd April 2003, 02:07 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruby




Jesus did heal this woman.

It's O.K. to be hateful if you follow it up with kindness?

He was only putting her off to prove to others how great her faith was...as she was not Jewish. The word "dogs" actually means "little puppies" .


I don't see where it says this. Sounds like a good explanation if it doesn't read too well the way it is written, though.
added:

Why did Jesus say this?
Quote:
"I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Was it a lie?
Did he disobey God, if we are to believe he didn't?
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Old 22nd April 2003, 02:19 PM   #31
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Originally posted by LCBOY


The first statement is true, but did Socrates write anything himself? The other statements are really just opinions not assertions that can be either true or false.

As Dark Cobra would say, "Where's the evidence."
Socrates didn't write anything himself. He may not even have existed. And it doesn't change the ideas, whether or not he did, and the logic which Socrates uses does not diminish at all. Why do you insist that Socrates must be interpreted at face value for the arguments he makes with other characters, so that his philosophy would become invalid if he were knocking down strawmen? Are we to play with shadows all day long?
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Old 22nd April 2003, 02:44 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by c4ts


Socrates didn't write anything himself. He may not even have existed. And it doesn't change the ideas, whether or not he did, and the logic which Socrates uses does not diminish at all. Why do you insist that Socrates must be interpreted at face value for the arguments he makes with other characters, so that his philosophy would become invalid if he were knocking down strawmen? Are we to play with shadows all day long?
Whoa there! That's wasn't my point at all. I was responding to someone else who said that Jesus didn't write anything. I was trying to make a point that doesn't really mean anything, that Jesus didn't write anything. Socrates didn't write anything either but that is not really important either. People find value and truth in what he said and Christians find value and truth in what Jesus said, regardless if Jesus existed or not. Though, I believe he did.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 03:36 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by LCBOY


Whoa there! That's wasn't my point at all. I was responding to someone else who said that Jesus didn't write anything. I was trying to make a point that doesn't really mean anything, that Jesus didn't write anything. Socrates didn't write anything either but that is not really important either. People find value and truth in what he said and Christians find value and truth in what Jesus said, regardless if Jesus existed or not. Though, I believe he did.
Sorry. I'm so used to defending something, it's become a kind of reflex. Must have spent too much time dealing with morons.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 03:41 PM   #34
LCBOY
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Socrates makes an interesting subject for a new thread...
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Old 22nd April 2003, 05:50 PM   #35
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LCBOY,

Quote:
Christians find value and truth in what Jesus said, regardless if Jesus existed or not.
I've got to question that accuracy of that statement! Are you seriously claiming that *most* christians would be largely unaffected by the discovery that Jesus was a fraud? This can *only* be true if the christians in question treats the New Testament as entirely consisting of parables - in other words, the meaning is what matters, not the method of presentation. I'm sure such "liberal christians" exist (Stamenflicker may be such a beast?), but do you think this is actually true of the vast majority of christians?
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(Red Dwarf Newsreader): Good evening. Here is the news on Friday the 27th of Geldof.
Archeologists near mount Sinai have discovered what is believed to be a
missing page from the Bible. The page is currently being carbon dated in
Bonn. If genuine it belongs at the beginning of the Bible and is
believed to read 'To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within
this book are fictitous and any resemblance to persons living or dead is
purely coincidental'. .
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Old 22nd April 2003, 06:00 PM   #36
davefoc
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Ruby said:
Quote:
Still, there is a lot of evidence for the existence of Jesus.

Some extra-biblical sources are used as evidence. There was Cornelius Tactitus...a Roman historian who made some mention of Jesus and especially of the existence of Chrstians. Other sources came from: Lucian Samasata; Suetonius; pliny the younger; Thallus; Phlegon. There was also Josephus.
Ruby, there may be a lot of evidence for the existence of Jesus, but the folks that you mention seem to be suspect or were not contemporaneous with Jesus or both.

Pliny the younger seems like an interesting fellow who writes about torturing people with about the same degree of emotion that one might write an engineering paper but he seems to have been born well after the birth of Jesus.

here's a link:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/pliny1.html

Thallus is completely suspect. He wrote some strange stuff and no one is quite sure when he lived. Here's a link on him:
http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...r/thallus.html

Cornelius Tactitus seems to have written around 112 AD so presumably Jesus was way dead by the time Cornelius was around.

I believe the basic theory of the Jesus-didn't-exist people is that a few people soon after the time of his purported death started making up stories based very loosely on the lives of one or a few Jewish Priests. The stories contained so few facts that it is not reasonable to say that they represent the life of any actual person.

The kind of evidence that would refute this theory is to find contemporary writings and/or artifacts that corroborate the Biblical stories. To a lesser degree finding that the Biblical Jesus stories accurately report historical details and are self consistent with themselves would also argue for the existence of an historical Jesus.

At this time time, there are very few contemporaneous documents outside the Bible that have been put forth that mention Jesus at all. In fact there are significant historical inaccuracies in the Bible and it is difficult to find an exact correlation with between Biblical stories and other recorded history. And of course, as is often reported, the Gospels are self-contradictory.

So while, I personally think it is likely that Jesus existed, I also think the case is pretty weak. However, I would be very interested in any evidence that you supply that relates to whether a historical Jesus existed.
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Old 22nd April 2003, 06:09 PM   #37
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Ruby,

Quote:
I don't know if anyone can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt most of the great figures in ancient history.
True enough, but the discovery that we were wrong about the existence of Helen of Troy would hardly threaten a major world religion. Helen's historical role has little relevance, therefore assumptions of her existence can be granted by a certain level of proof. Jesus' historical role - for many - is central to our entire system of morals and laws, therefore the level of proof (to me) should be correspondingly much higher. It isn't, in my opinion.

Quote:
Still, there is a lot of evidence for the existence of Jesus.
All of it indirect, and none of it substantiating any of the major claims that make Jesus so important. I can easily grant the provisional claim "a man called Jesus probably existed in the time and place depicted by the New Testament" based upon the evidence you refer to. I find it impossible to extend that assumption of existence to the claim that "he was a man who walked on water and rose from the dead" based on the same evidence.

Quote:
Some extra-biblical sources are used as evidence. There was Cornelius Tactitus...a Roman historian who made some mention of Jesus and especially of the existence of Chrstians. Other sources came from: Lucian Samasata; Suetonius; pliny the younger; Thallus; Phlegon. There was also Josephus.

Justin Martyr recorded the deaths of all the apostles...save one..John.

There were also writings by Clement of Rome; Ignatius; Quadratus; Barnabas; Aristides; Hegesippus...
The problem with these sources is that they *all* are indirect sources. At best, they quote other people who claim to have seen/heard Jesus. At worst, they simply mention christians (which obviously does not more than imply Christ).
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(Red Dwarf Newsreader): Good evening. Here is the news on Friday the 27th of Geldof.
Archeologists near mount Sinai have discovered what is believed to be a
missing page from the Bible. The page is currently being carbon dated in
Bonn. If genuine it belongs at the beginning of the Bible and is
believed to read 'To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within
this book are fictitous and any resemblance to persons living or dead is
purely coincidental'. .
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Old 22nd April 2003, 07:50 PM   #38
stamenflicker
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Dave,

At this time time, there are very few contemporaneous documents outside the Bible that have been put forth that mention Jesus at all.

That's just the problem though. The documents do exist, we just force them through more scrutiny than comparable documents for other figures based solely on the claims they make.

Loki,

The problem with these sources is that they *all* are indirect sources. At best, they quote other people who claim to have seen/heard Jesus. At worst, they simply mention christians (which obviously does not more than imply Christ).

The evidence doesn't suggest they are completely indirect and it should be noted that surviving documents of existing historical figures have been proven to be copies written much later (even as late as the 12th century) of earlier documents.

I would argue that "at best" the documents are true; and at worst, they are still historical documents in that they represent the thought of the early church-- real Jesus or not. Even at worst, they (as surviving documents), predate most surviving copies of existing histories.

Anyone looking for a historical Jesus is really looking to the wrong things anyway IMHO... as you have stated it's more interesting and beneficial to see if he is who the authors of these documents say he is, which cannot be objectively verified in the slightest. One is pretty much left to his or her own devices, and the meaning that can be extrapolated should the path be chosen.

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Old 22nd April 2003, 08:34 PM   #39
Loki
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Flick,

Quote:
The evidence doesn't suggest they are completely indirect ...
Hmmm...perhaps a terminology problem? I'm not aware of any document outside of the New Testament and the "rejected gospels" in which the author claims direct knowledge of Jesus. Do you any details on such documents?

But the real issue is why does Jesus not directly appear in "non-christian" writings of the time. Didn't *any* of the multitude fed by the loaves and fishes think to write a letter informing a friend or relative? No one in the general audience at the sermon on the mount was moved to try and record the event?
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(Red Dwarf Newsreader): Good evening. Here is the news on Friday the 27th of Geldof.
Archeologists near mount Sinai have discovered what is believed to be a
missing page from the Bible. The page is currently being carbon dated in
Bonn. If genuine it belongs at the beginning of the Bible and is
believed to read 'To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within
this book are fictitous and any resemblance to persons living or dead is
purely coincidental'. .
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Old 22nd April 2003, 08:52 PM   #40
stamenflicker
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Hmmm...perhaps a terminology problem? I'm not aware of any document outside of the New Testament and the "rejected gospels" in which the author claims direct knowledge of Jesus. Do you any details on such documents?

No I meant that some of the evidence would counter the notion that the gospels themselves are indirect references to the historicity of Jesus.... i.e. second hand.

But the real issue is why does Jesus not directly appear in "non-christian" writings of the time. Didn't *any* of the multitude fed by the loaves and fishes think to write a letter informing a friend or relative? No one in the general audience at the sermon on the mount was moved to try and record the event?

Besides the current opinion that much of the Josephus narrative is authentic, there is no good explanation. The portions were Josephus seems to validate Jesus are clearly "corrections" to the orginial text. But it does appear that Josephus made reference to him, probably a negative one, hence the "correction."

The idea that a group of peasants had the skills to write anything down is a bit much to assume. Given the costs of associated with writing, I'd bet only a small fraction, even if they had the notion and the ability, would have been able to do it. As to the fishes and loaves, Jesus ended up ticking a bunch of them off later in the story. The gospel of John says, "many left him on that day." Regarding the sermon on mount, most of the evidence suggests that someone did in fact right it down, and it became the imfamous Q document that was incoportated into the gospels. I suppose the same could be said of the fish and loaves. There is no reason to assume it was not written down, incoportated into the "official" version of the gospel after which no further versions were needed. We wrongly assume that the ancient man needed a plethora of sources. He seems quite content with few sources as evidence by the massive expansion of the church; and next to zero sources as evidenced by the mission of Paul.

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