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Was Jesus a real person?


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#1 Ten oz

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 01:52 AM

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...h?v=mwUZOZN-9dc
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#2 andrewcellini

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 07:18 PM

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, 27 September 2014 - 07:19 PM.

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#3 Ten oz

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 08:18 PM

^^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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#4 pippo

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 01:48 PM

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, 28 September 2014 - 01:49 PM.

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#5 Ten oz

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 02:50 PM

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.princeto..._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-i....ca/tacitus.htm
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#6 ydoaPs

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 01:46 AM

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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#7 andrewcellini

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 07:25 PM

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, 29 September 2014 - 07:26 PM.

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#8 EdEarl

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 12:22 PM

 

inquistr.com

Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts
Read more at http://www.inquisitr...uMT9crUZleG3.99

Perhaps someone will confirm this report by repeating the work.


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#9 ydoaPs

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 12:31 PM

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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"The universe is under no obligation to us not to be absurd."

#10 andrewcellini

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 12:43 PM

Except that's a well-known forgery.

i'm just saying it's the earliest. 

 

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


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#11 Tzurain

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 12:47 PM

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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#12 andrewcellini

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 12:50 PM

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, 30 September 2014 - 01:16 PM.

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#13 Ten oz

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:08 PM

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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#14 EdEarl

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:25 PM

 

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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If there is a god, he is addicted to dice.

 


#15 Tzurain

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:44 PM

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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#16 Ten oz

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 04:08 PM

 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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#17 ydoaPs

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Posted 1 October 2014 - 11:46 AM

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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"Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free."-Valerie(V for Vendetta)

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"The universe is under no obligation to us not to be absurd."

#18 Ten oz

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Posted 1 October 2014 - 12:53 PM

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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#19 magma time light

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Posted 1 October 2014 - 01:48 PM

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 ?


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#20 andrewcellini

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Posted 1 October 2014 - 05:25 PM

 

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, 1 October 2014 - 05:25 PM.

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