Ten oz

Was Jesus a real person?

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Ten oz    595

Many accept as a matter of fact that Jesus, as described by Christianity, was a real person and it is only his divinity that is up for debate. I grew up believing as much. As an adult I realized that I have never read credible information that proved a historical Jesus. In discussions with people through the years I have found that challanging a real life historical Jesus quickly becomes battles where I am asked to prove he wasn't real person. Ultimately there seems to be a general lack of proof either way. So I ask the forum for thoughts. Is the Christian story of Jesus based on an actual living man named Jesus who live around 2,000 years ago?

 

 

Here is what I find to be a compelling explanation for why a historical Jesus most likely did not exist.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mwUZOZN-9dc

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apocalyptic and miracle working rabbi's like Christianity's Jesus were apparently common around that time with some being written of in the talmud. jesus is probably an amalgam more than a real person.

 

christianity survived just because it had luck and government on it's side, imagine what religions could've been in it's place; worship of honi the circledrawer perhaps? haha

Edited by andrewcellini
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Ten oz    595

^^Good post, I agree.

It will be interesting to see if anyone tries to make a more definitive agrument one way or the other.

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pippo    12

The whole jesus story for sure has been embellished, to say the least- to fit one's own end. But, Yes, a "jesus" was here, as far as the Romans have documented. The Romans' historical documentation, on many varied subjects, has been reliable. Now, weather this jesus person had the supernatural powers which are ascribed to him- thats where the embellishments begin.

Edited by pippo

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Ten oz    595

The whole jesus story for sure has been embellished, to say the least- to fit one's own end. But, Yes, a "jesus" was here, as far as the Romans have documented. The Romans' historical documentation, on many varied subjects, has been reliable. Now, weather this jesus person had the supernatural powers which are ascribed to him- thats where the embellishments begin.

As noted in the OP I once believed the same. However when I investigated I found that it was not so clear cut. I only found one Roman reference. Tacitus references the crucifixion of Christ in a collection of writings called the Annals. The reference refers to Christ as the founder of Christians. It is a brief mention without any details. Tacitus did not live during the same time period as Christ. Christians as a group were already part of Roman society when Tacitus was born. Without acknowledgement of Tacitus's source it is fair to believe he may have just been repeating Christian folklore considering that the text actually is recording Nero blaming the Christians for the 6 day fire in Rome. Outside of that there are no other non Christian documents that support the historicity of Jesus that I am aware of.

"Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. His writings cover the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in AD 14 to the death of emperor Domitian in AD 96.

 

Tacitus' work called the Annals (written c. 116) is important to Christianity because it is considered by many Christians to confirm the historicity of Jesus. Book 15.44 mentions Christ as a person executed by Pontius Pilate during Tiberius' reign. However, as Tacitus does not disclose his source of knowledge and specific details are not given, the authority of Annals is controversial among Biblical scholars such as Bart Ehrman and Charles Guignebert."

https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Tacitus_on_Christ.html

 

 

Here is a full quote of the cite of our concern, from Annals 15.44. Jesus and the Christians are mentioned in an account of how the Emperor Nero went after Christians in order to draw attention away from himself after Rome's fire of 64 AD:

 

"But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."

http://www.british-israel.ca/tacitus.htm

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ydoaPs    1581

Yes, a "jesus" was here, as far as the Romans have documented.

 

Are you sure there are contemporary Roman sources saying Jesus existed?

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the earliest account of the supposed jesus of nazareth is by roman historian josephus, who was born well after the supposed life and death of jesus or at the very least was a child and not a historian during this time.

Edited by andrewcellini

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ydoaPs    1581

the earliest account of the supposed jesus of nazareth is by roman historian josephus, who was born well after the supposed life and death of jesus or at the very least was a child and not a historian during this time.

Except that's a well-known forgery.

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Tzurain    2

In my opinion, I think Jesus was an existing man.

He has not only been referred to by the bible, but from other religious books too, from the Quran (Islam) and the Torah (Jewish).
The proof is of what we see, and what we CAN see is the scroll, texts and words that were brought down by the people from the past to our current generation.

This is the only proof we have of Jesus for the current moment.

It is up to the individual to choose whether to believe in his existence or not.

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In my opinion, I think Jesus was an existing man.

 

He has not only been referred to by the bible, but from other religious books too, from the Quran (Islam) and the Torah (Jewish).

i'm not so sure about the torah claim, but the quran's account of jesus is much different than the new testament; jesus never died by execution, jesus wasn't the son of god etc. the fact that jesus is mentioned is because the quran is an amalgam of abrahamic faiths and arabic tradition.

Edited by andrewcellini

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Ten oz    595

In my opinion, I think Jesus was an existing man.

He has not only been referred to by the bible, but from other religious books too, from the Quran (Islam) and the Torah (Jewish).

The proof is of what we see, and what we CAN see is the scroll, texts and words that were brought down by the people from the past to our current generation.

This is the only proof we have of Jesus for the current moment.

It is up to the individual to choose whether to believe in his existence or not.

The books that make up the New Testment were written over a period of time spanning around 100yrs and known of them were written during the supposed life of Jesus. The Quran was written a few hundred years after that. As for the Torah, it speaks of the messiah prophecy for which Christians belief believe Jesus was but not of Jesus himself. Jewish people do not believe the messiah has come yet. They do not believe in Jesus. So known of the three religious books mentioned are contemporary accounts of Jesus. One, the Torah, actually doesn't mention Jesus at all.

 

That doesn't prove or disprove Jesus was real person.

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EdEarl    650

 

Wikipedia

Since the 18th century a number of quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, and historical critical methods for studying the historicity of Jesus have been developed. Unlike for some figures in ancient history, the available sources are all documentary. In conjunction with Biblical sources such as the Pauline Letters and the Synoptic Gospels, three passages in non-Christian works have been used to support the historicity of Jesus. These are two passages in the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and one from the Roman historian Tacitus. Although the authenticity of all three passages has been disputed to varying degrees, most biblical scholars believe that all three are at least partially authentic.

It seems there is disagreement among scholars.

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Tzurain    2

That doesn't prove or disprove Jesus was real person.

And nothing else can prove or disprove or Jesus was a real person.

 

As I said, it's up to the individual. :P

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Ten oz    595

And nothing else can prove or disprove or Jesus was a real person.

 

As I said, it's up to the individual. :P

That last statement was meant to reflect that I wasn't being combative. : )

 

While nothing can 100% prove Jesus was not a man there is actually a number of this that could prove he was. Contemporary writings about him, a tomb (empty or not), evidence of something he made or wrote, and etc would be proof of his life. Disproving seems like the tougher task. Richard Carrier make a really good argument against real life Jesus in the link I put in the OP.

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ydoaPs    1581

i'm just saying it's the earliest.

 

you can't expect a fictional character to have a non forged history.

 

I'm not sure the evidence available allows for the conclusion that Jesus never existed. Then again, the gospels are fictions and Jesus is a character in them, so he would in fact be a fictional character. But this only makes him a fictional character to the extent that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter makes old Honest Abe a fictional character.

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Ten oz    595

But this only makes him a fictional character to the extent that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter makes old Honest Abe a fictional character.

That comparison is a little off in my opinion since we know for fact that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is fiction which merely utilized a known historical figure. In the case of Jesus and the New Testement it is not known if the events are 100% fiction or if Jesus was ever a real person. Its more akin to King Arthur and Excalibur than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Like Jesus it is not clear if the events in the story of Excalibur is based on a single King, loosely based on several Kings, or just a total work of fiction not meant to reflect any specific King. Merlin, Arthur, Lancelot, etc characters may or may not have been based on real people.

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I'm not sure the evidence available allows for the conclusion that Jesus never existed. Then again, the gospels are fictions and Jesus is a character in them, so he would in fact be a fictional character. But this only makes him a fictional character to the extent that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter makes old Honest Abe a fictional character.

i don't think this is a fair comparison given lincoln has plenty more sources to verify his existence than a fiction book. how many primary sources exist for jesus?

Edited by andrewcellini

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Ten oz    595

That's like asking," Are your parents real " ? If they are dead and there is a grave...and nowadays there is DNA testing. But in 2000 years who knows ?

There is a historical record. We know about the existence of many historical figures based on contemporary written accounts, first person writings, contemporary art work, and etc. Your implication that at 2,000yrs "who knows" is not accurate.

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Matronics    0

There is a historical record. We know about the existence of many historical figures based on contemporary written accounts, first person writings, contemporary art work, and etc. Your implication that at 2,000yrs "who knows" is not accurate.

Well, for starters, if those written accounts, first person writings, contemporary art work, and etc; had to survive, then they must have to be preserved in some way like with Otzi.

 

 

 

And also about the 2000 Years. That "Who Knows" Leads us to nowhere.

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Ten oz    595

Well, for starters, if those written accounts, first person writings, contemporary art work, and etc; had to survive, then they must have to be preserved in some way like with Otzi.

 

 

 

And also about the 2000 Years. That "Who Knows" Leads us to nowhere.

Many texts are in the form of carvings in stone and in some cases copper. While others have been transcribed over time to preserve their information. Cuneiform, Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Indus script, and so on are much older than 2,000yrs and texts have survived. As have art, evidence of construction, tools, jewelry, and etc. All that information can be assemble to aint pretty clear pictures of how many people live and who many of them were.

How that relates to Christ; a tool with a carving indicating it had belong to Jesus which could be dated to the time frame he is believed to have lived would be compelling evidence of his existence.

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Eise    161

Wikipedia is your best friend:

 

virtually all scholars of various disciplines who have commented on the subject consider Jesus to have existed

 

And here:

 

Sources for the historicity of Jesus

 

Of course there is no proof in any 'hard scientific way'. But the evidence for an apocalyptic preacher called Jesus is as strong as a historian needs to accept any person in antiquity as having existed.

 

The discussions are sometimes ferocious: 'hard atheists' do everything to deconstruct Christianity; Christians of course everything to state that he did exist.

 

If you are really interested, read Bart Ehrman.

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Moontanman    1952

Wikipedia is your best friend:

 

virtually all scholars of various disciplines who have commented on the subject consider Jesus to have existed

 

And here:

 

Sources for the historicity of Jesus

 

Of course there is no proof in any 'hard scientific way'. But the evidence for an apocalyptic preacher called Jesus is as strong as a historian needs to accept any person in antiquity as having existed.

 

The discussions are sometimes ferocious: 'hard atheists' do everything to deconstruct Christianity; Christians of course everything to state that he did exist.

 

If you are really interested, read Bart Ehrman.

If these links are indeed true then why does no record of Jesus exist except for the writings about him by his fan club many decades after he supposedly existed...

 

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

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