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Did Christianity start with a real human Jesus?


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Suits me. Your expectation of a pat on the back, for the lamest of argument is tiresome. And claiming a consensus for it, as justification is laughable. What it says is, I can't justify it with my own

Eise often backs up his claims with an imaginary consensus. He often claims to know what many/most/all scholars/historians/scientists think. If this is a scienceforum then his comments in this thread

That's a lie. Did you watch his videos?

20 hours ago, Ten oz said:

We get what we know about Thales from Aristotle whom is thought to have had access to Thales work

In writing? Hearing? Citations by other antique philosophers? Who? What was the name of this book? Who thinks so and why? 

I gave you the link to the fragments of Thales. Please show me why citations (or better, presentations: they are not literal citations) of 200 years after Thales was supposed to live, are more reliable than sources written about 30 years after Jesus death (earliest gospel, with recognisable traces of older sources), a report of events only a few years after the crucifixion (Paul), and a few non-christian sources (Josephus 60 years later, Tacitus 80 years later) would be worse than what we know of Thales.

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5 hours ago, Eise said:

In writing? Hearing? Citations by other antique philosophers? Who? What was the name of this book? Who thinks so and why? 

I gave you the link to the fragments of Thales. Please show me why citations (or better, presentations: they are not literal citations) of 200 years after Thales was supposed to live, are more reliable than sources written about 30 years after Jesus death (earliest gospel, with recognisable traces of older sources), a report of events only a few years after the crucifixion (Paul), and a few non-christian sources (Josephus 60 years later, Tacitus 80 years later) would be worse than what we know of Thales.

Some of Aristotle's work is still around today via manuscript transmission. Note that I at no point in this discussion have ever challenged whether or not Paul Letters or the Gospels were real and are dated back accurately despite originals not being available to today. Please do not mix my arguments with those of others. I accept the methods which were used to record manuscripts as reliable. At no point have I argued Josephus or Tacitus quotes are forgeries or mistranslated. Per those methods Aristotle's work has survived which means Aristotle was very probably (as your like to say) a real person. Aristotle had access to Thales work. That is a quality first hand account of Thales existence from a very probably real source. Paul never met Jesus and cannot/did not speak first hand about Jesus. Josephus and Taciitus also never met Jesus and the subject matter of their quotes were neither first hand accounts or directed at the existence of Jesus. It is not the same level of quality evidence as The Corpus Aristotelicum. 

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The Corpus Aristotelicum is the collection of Aristotle's works that have survived from antiquity through medieval manuscript transmission. These texts, as opposed to Aristotle's lost works, are technical philosophical treatises from within Aristotle's school. Reference to them is made according to the organization of Immanuel Bekker's nineteenth-century edition, which in turn is based on ancient classifications of these works.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Aristotelicum

 

 

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The Josephus quotes are blindingly obvious forgeries. The worst one is so bad, that in modern terms you would say that they were taking the piss. The more subtle one is not so obvious, but it's starkly out of place, and pretty obvious from that point of view. It's also tainted by the more obvious one. It would be special pleading to treat the two as having no link. The motive is clearly there to create history, where there was none. 

The safest thing, from an historical point of view, is to regard both as obvious forgeries, and note the practice of trying to change history to include a real Jesus. There was so much forging going on, including nearly half of Paul's Epistles, that the message comes over loud and clear. Regard everything with suspicion.

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1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

Some of Aristotle's work is still around today via manuscript transmission.

That is not the point. For Aristotle we have lots of historical references. But Aristotle himself lived 200 years after Thales. There is the problem.

1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

Note that I at no point in this discussion have ever challenged whether or not Paul Letters or the Gospels were real and are dated back accurately despite originals not being available to today. Please do not mix my arguments with those of others.

I don't. The sidetrack we are going here is that we compare the certainty of Jesus with another example, Thales in this case. My point is that the sources we have are 200 years after Thales, where the sources of Jesus are 'only' 3 years (what Paul describes), 30 years (when Paul wrote his letters and Mark his gospel, 60 years (Josephus), and 80 years (Tacitus) after Jesus death.

1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

Aristotle had access to Thales work.

He seemed to have knowledge of what Thales had claimed. But he nowhere says where his information comes from.

1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

That is a quality first hand account of Thales existence from a very probably real source.

So this breaks down. Reading Aristotle's remarks about Thales, I do not think he was referring to any primary source, or contemporary source of Thales.

1 hour ago, Ten oz said:

It is not the same level of quality evidence as The Corpus Aristotelicum. 

No. It is better

 

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42 minutes ago, Eise said:

That is not the point. For Aristotle we have lots of historical references. But Aristotle himself lived 200 years after Thales. There is the problem.

I don't. The sidetrack we are going here is that we compare the certainty of Jesus with another example, Thales in this case. My point is that the sources we have are 200 years after Thales, where the sources of Jesus are 'only' 3 years (what Paul describes), 30 years (when Paul wrote his letters and Mark his gospel, 60 years (Josephus), and 80 years (Tacitus) after Jesus death.

He seemed to have knowledge of what Thales had claimed. But he nowhere says where his information comes from.

So this breaks down. Reading Aristotle's remarks about Thales, I do not think he was referring to any primary source, or contemporary source of Thales.

No. It is better

 

We can get into the weeds and debate whether or Aristotle or Diogenes had direct access to Thales work or manuscripts based on Thales work but that only muddies the water. Aristotle was clearly very probably a real person and Aristotle made it crystal clear he believed Thales was real and had studied his work. The closest thing we have to that for Jesus is Paul. Paul was neither Philosopher or Historian and is not believed or claimed to have had access to anything written or otherwise produced by Jesus. Not manuscripts based on things written or produced by Jesus or anything. Whether you believe Aristotle studied works of Thales or works that referenced Thales work either way the assessment is that works of Thales had existed. No works of Jesus are assumed to have ever existed. No one believes Jesus wrote or produced anything. Thus the Pauline epistles are a weaker testimony to the existence of Jesus than is Aristotle work to the existence of Thales. Moreover if you argued that one or more of the Pre-Socratic Philosophers may not (50/50) have existed or were composites of others I would agree. I consider the odds that all have accurately been accounted for as low. Even an occurrence with a 9 in 10 chance of being correct will still fail once in 10 times which is still a lot in my opinion. 

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On 9/28/2018 at 4:46 PM, Ten oz said:

We can get into the weeds and debate whether or Aristotle or Diogenes had direct access to Thales work or manuscripts based on Thales work but that only muddies the water.

'Muddling the water'? Now it seems you are going too fast to conclude that Aristotle had reliable written sources available. I think he hadn't, because he nowhere use literally statements like "Thales wrote: 'The first principle of all being is water' ". He uses indirect speech when discussing Thales:

Quote

As to the quantity and form of this first principle, there is a difference of opinion; but Thales, the founder of this sort of philosophy, says that it is water (accordingly he declares that the earth rests on water), getting the idea, I suppose, because he saw that the nourishment of all beings is moist, and that warmth itself is gene- rated from moisture and persists in it (for that from which all things spring is the first principle of them); and getting the idea also from the fact that the germs of all beings are of a moist nature, while water is the first principle of the nature of what is moist.

(Made everything small because from "I suppose": obviously Aristotle doesn't really know why Thales said the first principle is water.) None of the Thales-fragments use direct citations. Further we have only this remark of Theophastrus:

Quote

It is said that he left nothing in writing except a book entitled 'Nautical Astronomy.'

Such a title does not fit very well to (natural) philosophy.

On 9/28/2018 at 4:46 PM, Ten oz said:

Paul was neither Philosopher or Historian and is not believed or claimed to have had access to anything written or otherwise produced by Jesus.

You do not have to be a historian to assume Jesus existed, when you meet one of his companions (Peter) and one of his brothers (James) only about 3 years after Jesus' death. I consider this much better proof than 'he left nothing written', and 200 years between his assumed life and the first traces of him in writing, in Aristotle, Theophastrus, Hippolyte, Plutarch, etc.

On 9/28/2018 at 4:46 PM, Ten oz said:

Moreover if you argued that one or more of the Pre-Socratic Philosophers may not (50/50) have existed or were composites of others I would agree.

Well, then at least I have done my task. You said the same of Jesus (50/50), so I have given you an example of the assumed existence of somebody who take historians for granted, even if the basis for that is relative small.

I would rather stop the discussion: the differences between us seem to be gradual, not principal. We could go on endlessly. But of course I would like to have your opinion on Ehrman's Did Jesus exist, so if you ever read it, let us know what you think. Anyway, I will be away for a week.

 

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@Eise, you are obscuring the fact that written works by Thales were believed to have existed by individuals whom were very probably real. We can debate whether or not those very probably real people had access to that work or interpretations of that work but ultimately work was thought (by Aristotle and others) to have existed. Even Paul didn't believe any work of Jesus existed. Not only that but the work credited to Thales would take an elitely educated person to write. It is very sophisticated for it's time. Thales is credited with contributions to geometry for example. If Thales didn't exist whomever invented Thales had insight and intellect at the level credited to Thales. Thus, Thales by another name.  Jesus's story is full of common lure and tropes which were well worn by the time the Gospels came along. Only a Thales level mind could have invented Thales. While any literate person familiar with Judaism could have invented Jesus. You have already clearly argued about Old Testament Messiah prophecy with others. Jesus's story isn't original. 

The existence of E=mc2 is excellent proof in of itself that either Einstein or someone with all of Einstein's attributes had to have lived. 

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On 9/28/2018 at 10:04 AM, mistermack said:

There was so much forging going on, including nearly half of Paul's Epistles

I think you might be overstating the idea that these epistles were forged.  The main issue with the letters is that of authorship.  For example, Hebrews doesn't state an author, so people try to figure out who it was.  Many think it was Paul, while others think it may have been Barnabas or someone else in Paul's close circle of church leaders at the time. (And there were many.)  Even Martin Luther favored Apollos as the author.  So while the authorship is in question, it's not considered a "forgery."

Also, Ephesians, Colossians and 2 Thessalonians are not necessarily considered forgeries either.  It's just believed that there are discrepancies that call into question the authorship, unlike the seven undisputed letters of Paul.  I should note that while the authorship is in question, it's held that the letters may have still been written by Paul.

The most disputed are the pastoral letters.  One discrepancy is that the letters seems to use a somewhat different style and vocabulary, but considering that Paul might have been writing these letters near the end of his life to other leaders in the same profession rather than mere lay people, we might expect some differences.  

Another discrepancy is that the letters seem to address problems with Gnosticism which was originally believed to have more prevalence in the 2nd century, however, R.Wilson contended that  H. J. Holtzmann's  supposed parallels were unsupported.  Furthermore, arguments designed around the idea of these letters refuting "2nd century" Gnosticism may be outdated given that "recent scholarship into 1st century Gnosticism has suggested an earlier dominance of Gnostic views."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorship_of_the_Pauline_epistles

 

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I just read Hebrews. I agree there's no claim of authorship. I don't think there's much chance that they were written by Paul. The intro and ending are a very different style, and the content seems to be a lot more rambling and less to the point, even than Paul's. It does come over as if someone is imitating Paul, but not trying to pass it off as his. Otherwise, they would have put something personal to Paul in the intro and/or ending.

One thing that really hit me though, it the similar lack of reference to the life of Jesus. It reinforces the lack of it in Paul's writing. Now you have two people, writing about a recently executed son of god, who make virtually no reference to his life or family. I find that more than twice as remarkable. There has to be a reason. In Hebrews, he calls Jesus the son of God. But makes no mention of his other parent. Or family. Or sayings or teachings or events in his life. And yet he's writing to recently converted Jews, who are supposedly shaky in conviction, and thinking of reverting to ordinary Judaism. (according to wiki). 

You have to make a huge leap of faith not to find that remarkable or odd, or significant.

I think these epistles were written in a period of transition, before all of the detail of the life of a real Jesus had been dreamed up. 

There's plenty about the human sacrifice angle. That seems to be what they were pushing. He goes on about sacrificing goats and bulls etc, and how the sacrifice of Jesus for human sin was significant in the same way. The details of the actual dying on the cross, at the behest of the Jewish authorities, are glaringly missing. Especially, in a letter to Jewish Christians.

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On 9/30/2018 at 8:01 AM, Ten oz said:

any literate person familiar with Judaism could have invented Jesus.

Even if that was true, why would they want to?

First, we have to ask the question if most people at the time were really that familiar with Judaism in the first place?  It appears that Jesus was continually at odds with the Jewish leaders of the time.

They repeatedly questioned and tried to "trick" him into saying something that would "legally" condemn him.  Multiple times he asks people, "haven't you read?  Matthew 12:3, Matthew 12:5, Matthew 19:4, Matthew 22:31 - Haven't you read, Haven't you read, Haven't you read, Haven't you read?  At one point he flat out tells them that they're mistaken because they know neither the scriptures nor the power of God - Matthew 22:2

Many times Jesus's answers "amazed" or "astonished" the people.  It got to the point that the sadducees and pharisees  were so embarrassed that they stopped asking him questions in public altogether - Matthew 22:46: "No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question."

And tho I find Jesus's answers interesting, perhaps even clever and humorous at times, it's not like he was saying anything that radical with respect to Judaism.  It was just that the religious leaders at the time perverted Judaism to the point that it was practically unrecognizable.  Jesus, Matthew 23:4 - "They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden."

The point here is that Jesus was a threat to the power and authority of the religious leaders at the time, which is why they wanted to get rid of him in the first place.  And they got the chance when he finally claimed that he was God.

While some people state that Jesus never claimed he was God,  the Jewish people at the time (as ignorant as they may have seemed) at least knew what Jesus meant when he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  He also implied that he was God multiple times throughout the NT and  stated that "I and the Father are one," which is why they shouted "Blasphemy" and tried to stone Him on the spot.

Now concerning his death, it appears that even Jesus's followers were ignorant of Isaiah's prophesy about the crucifixion.  They were apparently all giddy thinking that they were going to be rulers of the kingdom and asking Jesus to sit with him on the throne.  Even Peter takes Jesus aside and rebukes Him for even talking about his own death, saying “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” Jesus replies, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

So now we have the leader of the religion being mocked, spit on, beaten and brutally killed.  Peter denies him, yet eventually finds the strength to carry on his ministry where they (apostles/leaders) are repeatedly beaten and imprisoned for their beliefs.  Paul says that "the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (emphasis mine)  The idea of a crucified God was ridiculous not only to the Jews but also to the Greeks.  And Paul, along with all the other apostles are presumably martyred with the possible exception of John, and Christians continued to be brutally persecuted for hundreds of years until the edict of Milan in 313 C.E

So given all that, why would any "literate" person "familiar" with "Judaism" in that time even want to invent Jesus in the first place?

Personally it's amazing the religion even survived given the amount of disdain and outright hatred of it.  It's amazing that  Paul's writings even survived and weren't destroyed along with anything else that influenced 1st century Christianity.

Given that, I find this comment of Paul's rather interesting:  "when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.  For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."

 

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22 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

Even if that was true, why would they want to?

People do unlikely things all the time in life. I don't need to understand why one would do something to understand could've done something. I can't explain foot fetishes or people who swallow buttons yet each exists. People do weird things for odd reasons. Asking why in no way diminishes from the fact it could've happened. 

30 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

First, we have to ask the question if most people at the time were really that familiar with Judaism in the first place?  It appears that Jesus was continually at odds with the Jewish leaders of the time.

I didn't imply a specific number of people were Jewish. Ultimately Jesus is said to have been the Messiah Judaism references. Jesus's family and community per his mythology were all Jewish. 

38 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

They repeatedly questioned and tried to "trick" him into saying something that would "legally" condemn him.  Multiple times he asks people, "haven't you read?  Matthew 12:3, Matthew 12:5, Matthew 19:4, Matthew 22:31 - Haven't you read, Haven't you read, Haven't you read, Haven't you read?  At one point he flat out tells them that they're mistaken because they know neither the scriptures nor the power of God - Matthew 22:2

Many times Jesus's answers "amazed" or "astonished" the people.  It got to the point that the sadducees and pharisees  were so embarrassed that they stopped asking him questions in public altogether - Matthew 22:46: "No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question."

And tho I find Jesus's answers interesting, perhaps even clever and humorous at times, it's not like he was saying anything that radical with respect to Judaism.  It was just that the religious leaders at the time perverted Judaism to the point that it was practically unrecognizable.  Jesus, Matthew 23:4 - "They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden."

The point here is that Jesus was a threat to the power and authority of the religious leaders at the time, which is why they wanted to get rid of him in the first place.  And they got the chance when he finally claimed that he was God.

Jewish leaders. Judaism was the religion of the time and is the religion referenced. One would have to be familiar with Jewish prophecy to invent Jesus. 

41 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

While some people state that Jesus never claimed he was God,  the Jewish people at the time (as ignorant as they may have seemed) at least knew what Jesus meant when he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  He also implied that he was God multiple times throughout the NT and  stated that "I and the Father are one," which is why they shouted "Blasphemy" and tried to stone Him on the spot.

  How do you know this? Nothing Jewish contemporary to Jesus's time frame referencing Jesus exists. 

47 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

So now we have the leader of the religion being mocked, spit on, beaten and brutally killed. 

Sort of the point of Jesus's whole existence through. Had Jesus been revered he wouldn't have died for humanities sins and Christianity wouldn't exist. What you are describing is a mandatory plot device which Jesus's story requires. 

53 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

So given all that, why would any "literate" person "familiar" with "Judaism" in that time even want to invent Jesus in the first place?

To replace/update Judaism which is what both Islam and Christianity seek to do with Jesus and Mohammed. The traditions from the Torah remain in both Islam and Christianity.  

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23 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Asking why in no way diminishes from the fact it could've happened. 

Perhaps not, but you can't just ignore or underestimate the importance of establishing a strong motive as the foundation to support your case.  

 

23 hours ago, Ten oz said:

How do you know this? Nothing Jewish contemporary to Jesus's time frame referencing Jesus exists. 

You stated that Jesus could've been invented, so it's relevant at some point to actually examine the text in question so as to make reasonable inquires into it's meaning.  How is it relevant and consistent with the historical, cultural and circumstantial context?  Why would they possibly invent this?  What did they stand to gain?  What was their motive?

If the only evidence we had of 1st century Christianity came from the mouth of Constantine in the 4th century and documents from the Christian Roman Empire during the same time period onward, then establishing a strong motive would be rather easy.  We could say that they simply invented Jesus for power and control  through the establishment of a state religion.

But that's not the only "evidence" we have, not only do we have 1st century writings preserved in manuscripts that predate Roman Christianity by 100-250 years, (well before they or anyone else considered using them for state sponsored religion) but we also have thousands of artifacts that indicate a strong presence of Christianity during the time that Jesus would have lived till the end of the 1st century.

"Today we can reconstruct very accurately many, many aspects of the daily life of the time of Christ."

"About 40,000 artifacts are dug up in Israel each year. A third of all the antiquities found attest to the ancient Christian presence in the Holy Land"

https://phys.org/news/2017-03-israeli-warehouse-clues-jesus-life.html

It must've been a very large undertaking to invent Jesus in an attempt to "update Judaism" and have it spread so quickly to the point that we find thousands of christian artifacts during that same time period.  How many people would it take to pull off a conspiracy like like that?  How many dedicated Jews familiar with Judaism would be willing to conspire together and pervert their very own religion by telling a bunch of lies about the messiah that they knew never existed yet?  And why would they do it in a way that was likely to piss everyone off and get them killed?  What would be the point in that?  What was in it for them?

And then, on top of that, how would they convince thousands of Jews  that their beloved messiah actually came to their town just recently, fulfilled all the prophecies and then was suddenly killed without seeing or hearing anything about it?

A much more likely scenario is that there was a man that was widely known for causing a disruption in the status quo of religion in that area at that time.  Some may have seen him teaching in the streets or the synagogue, some may have heard it from countless others that have seen or heard him teaching.  The disruptive nature of all of this could've easily been spread by word of mouth throughout the area much more quickly than a handful of conspirators, especially after possibly witnessing or receiving word that this man was finally arrested and killed.

There was really no reason to question his existence because it could've very well been known and accepted that such a man really was causing a big disruption.  The only question was whether or not you agreed with him.  Those that did, continued spreading the word till Christianity becomes what it is today.

 

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29 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

Perhaps not, but you can't just ignore or underestimate the importance of establishing a strong motive as the foundation to support your case.  

I already have in my previous post. I don't need to know why someone did something to understand they are able to do it. You are pushing a fallacy. 

31 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

so it's relevant at some point to actually examine the text in question so as to make reasonable inquires into it's meaning.

Religious text full of inaccuracies written by authors who were not contemporary to Jesus and have never been identified. 

33 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

Why would they possibly invent this?  What did they stand to

These questions absolutely do not matter on any level to me. 

34 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

It must've been a very large undertaking to invent Jesus

No larger an undertaking than it was to invent Zeus, Apollo, Horus, or any other God. What of biblical figures like Moses, Adam, Noah, and etc were they all invent or were they real too. If Jesus were real, which he may have been, he is they only meaningful figure who communicated with God who wasn't invented. 

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4 hours ago, Ten oz said:
4 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

Perhaps not, but you can't just ignore or underestimate the importance of establishing a strong motive as the foundation to support your case.  

I already have in my previous post. I don't need to know why someone did something to understand they are able to do it. You are pushing a fallacy. 

You said that you "don't need to understand why one would do something to understand they could've done something" and that "asking why in no way diminishes from the fact it could've happened."  

Saying, "the fact that it could've happened" is not evidence for anything nor is it indicative of any meaningful fact.

 

4 hours ago, Ten oz said:
5 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

so it's relevant at some point to actually examine the text in question so as to make reasonable inquires into it's meaning.

Religious text full of inaccuracies written by authors who were not contemporary to Jesus and have never been identified. 

But you said that Judaism was the religion that was referenced. That Jesus was said to be the messiah, and that one would have to be familiar with Judaism and Jewish prophesy to invent him.

How could one know that if they didn't examine the text in question?  

 

4 hours ago, Ten oz said:
5 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

Why would they possibly invent this?  What did they stand to gain

These questions absolutely do not matter on any level to me. 

Right, because you can't establish a strong motive that makes sense on any level.  No motive for money, power, or control unlike the Roman Church that was establish hundreds of years later.

If you could, I bet it would matter to you a lot, at least on a fundamental/foundational level.  You'd be repeating it just as much as everything else in this thread that supports your argument.  Why wouldn't you?

 

4 hours ago, Ten oz said:
5 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

It must've been a very large undertaking to invent Jesus

No larger an undertaking than it was to invent Zeus, Apollo, Horus, or any other God. What of biblical figures like Moses, Adam, Noah, and etc were they all invent or were they real too. If Jesus were real, which he may have been, he is they only meaningful figure who communicated with God who wasn't invented. 

Both your selective quoting and reply ignore the point that I was trying to make, which is the inherent, and rather annoying problem of deliberate, selective quoting out of context in this manner.

This thread is not about Zeus, Apollo, Horus, etc.  It's not about whether Jesus communicated with God or not.  It's about his existence and a discussion of the evidence for or against that idea.

You've  mentioned how archaeological artifacts would be the "best possible" evidence in this matter.  And tho they are not directly linked to Jesus, I made a reference to thousands of archeological artifacts found every year that attest to a strong christian presence in the same place and time that Jesus would have lived.

If you really were interested in the artifacts as you say, this would've been the perfect time to have a discussion about that evidence, but you just ignored it and selectively quoted a post, replying to a point that had nothing to do with what I was saying.

If you want to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of such evidence, great.  It'll give me a chance to expound a bit on the arguments that you ignored in my previous post.

 

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2 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

Right, because you can't establish a strong motive that makes sense on any level.  No motive for money, power, or control unlike the Roman Church that was establish hundreds of years later.

If you could, I bet it would matter to you a lot, at least on a fundamental/foundational level.  You'd be repeating it just as much as everything else in this thread that supports your argument.  Why wouldn't you?

 Do you have any idea what the motive was for Apollo being invented? If not do you feel perhaps Apollo was real? the question you are asking is has no value to me. Many gods have been invented and I can't speak to the motive for none of them. So what? I do not know why Zeus or Iris were invented. It doesn't matter. Not knowing the motives behind inventing Poseidon doesn't lend credence to the notion Poseidon was real. 

2 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

Both your selective quoting and reply ignore the point that I was trying to make, which is the inherent, and rather annoying problem of deliberate, selective quoting out of context in this manner.

I am ignoring bits because you insist on re-asking about things I have already clearly stated I do not think matter. 

2 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

This thread is not about Zeus, Apollo, Horus, etc.  It's not about whether Jesus communicated with God or not.  It's about his existence and a discussion of the evidence for or against that idea.

My point was that many Gods have been invented which proves it can be done. Not only have other gods but the Christian faith is full of invented characters. If Noah, Adam, Moses, then it follows characters can be invented. In Christianity few humans have communicated with God. All those said to have like Adam, Moses, Noah, Abraham, and etc are invented figures. Jesus being real would actually buck the trend of invented ones. 

2 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

You've  mentioned how archaeological artifacts would be the "best possible" evidence in this matter.  And tho they are not directly linked to Jesus, I made a reference to thousands of archeological artifacts found every year that attest to a strong christian presence in the same place and time that Jesus would have lived.

If you really were interested in the artifacts as you say, this would've been the perfect time to have a discussion about that evidence, but you just ignored it and selectively quoted a post, replying to a point that had nothing to do with what I was saying.

If you want to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of such evidence, great.  It'll give me a chance to expound a bit on the arguments that you ignored in my previous post.

I have never questioned the existence of Christianity. So what is there to discuss? The existence of Christianity is not proof of Jesus anymore than the existence of the Hellenistic period is proof of Zeus. 

 

 

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14 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

But you said that Judaism was the religion that was referenced. That Jesus was said to be the messiah, and that one would have to be familiar with Judaism and Jewish prophesy to invent him.

How could one know that if they didn't examine the text in question?  

 

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Paul of Tarsus (Hebrew name: Saul) was a 1st-century Hellenized Pharisee Jew with Roman citizenship, and the author of many letters addressed to various groups of 1st-century Christians. They comprise most of the New Testament, and as such have been (and are still) the highest influential texts in the history of Christianity and Christian theology.[1]

Paul, who described himself in his letters as a proud, zealous[note 1] and observant Jew (Philemon 3:6, Galatians 1:13-14, Acts 22:3-4), fiercely opposed to the new messianic sect founded by Jesus of Nazareth, called the Way (Acts 9:2; Acts 18:25; Acts 19:9, Acts 19:23), which would later become Christianity as we know it; he persecuted Nazarenes (i.e., the first followers of Jesus movement: Acts 24:5) all over the Jewish Diaspora (Acts 7:58, 8:1-4, 9:1-2, Acts 9:5, 9:13-14, Acts 9:21, 22:3-4, 26:9-11, Acts 26:14; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13, Galatians 1:23; Philemon 3:6; 1 Timothy 1:13). This lasted until his alleged conversion following a vision on the road to Damascus, in Syria.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Ten oz said:

The existence of Christianity is not proof of Jesus

My reference to the abundance of christian artifacts from the mid to late 1st century wasn't to prove Christianity's existence, but to illustrate how it was already well established, indicating a sudden and rapid rise in Christianity by that time.

In that post, I questioned the willingness and ability of a handful of dedicated Jews to efficiently perpetrate such a fraud effectively enough to create such a sudden and rapid rise in Christianity, especially with so many antagonistic factions within 1st century Hellenistic Judaism.

I tried looking into mythicist beliefs regarding those questions to see if they had any answers, (snicker) but all they really do is attempt to cast doubt as broadly as they can, practically dismissing the entire paradigm of Christianity except when it supports their biased narrative.  They are like conspiracy theorists without a theory.  They never offer any alternative scenario, let alone a more compelling one than what we already have.

 

 

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4 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

My reference to the abundance of christian artifacts from the mid to late 1st century wasn't to prove Christianity's existence, but to illustrate how it was already well established, indicating a sudden and rapid rise in Christianity by that time.

In that post, I questioned the willingness and ability of a handful of dedicated Jews to efficiently perpetrate such a fraud effectively enough to create such a sudden and rapid rise in Christianity, especially with so many antagonistic factions within 1st century Hellenistic Judaism.

I tried looking into mythicist beliefs regarding those questions to see if they had any answers, (snicker) but all they really do is attempt to cast doubt as broadly as they can, practically dismissing the entire paradigm of Christianity except when it supports their biased narrative.  They are like conspiracy theorists without a theory.  They never offer any alternative scenario, let alone a more compelling one than what we already have.

 

 

If Jesus existed he did not rise from the dead or perform miracles. So whether or not Jesus existed Christainity was perpetuated on fraud. So I silly don't follow your logic. Lying about who a real person named Jesus was and what he did is no easier or more difficult than just making making someone up. Either way fiction was applied. 

Do you believe Moses was a real person? 

 

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17 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Lying about who a real person named Jesus was and what he did is no easier or more difficult than just making making someone up.

It is much easier to spread rumors about someone that is known to exist, especially after their death than it is to convince thousands of Hellenistic Jews that some fictional character actually exists now in their lifetime, especially when that fictional character is their supposed messiah of the Davidic line that is to rule as King  - and then do it efficiently enough to cause a sudden and rapid rise in Jewish Christianity to produce thousands of related artifacts discovered in that region of the same time period.

So  again, a more likely scenario for such a sudden rise in Hellenistic Jewish Christianity is that a man, regardless of what you may think of his intentions, persona, mental state, etc., actually did exist in that time.  For whatever reason, he would've been the one that people looked at as being a possible messiah regardless of whether or not he ultimately satisfied everyone's particular variety of expectations.  He would've been the one causing such a major disruption that news of it would've quickly spread to thousands of people throughout the entire area. (Probably much more efficiently than any handful of inventive conspirators could've.)  After his death, many probably gave up, but many others persisted based on the belief that his death and suffering were the fruition of prophesies about the messiah found in Psalms, Isiah, etc.

 

17 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Do you believe Moses was a real person? 

If someone wants to start a 13+ page thread about Moses and provide evidence/scenarios either for or against his existence, I might be inclined to participate.  But don't hold your breath.  Most people seem to be more interested in Jesus for some reason. 

But I will say that the "rise" of Judaism, if that's what you can even call it, seemed to be a very slow and gradual process over the course of centuries.  But with foundational Christianity (Apocalyptic Judaism, Jewish Christianity, whatever you want to call it, etc.) it just seems to explode over the course of a couple decades, give or take.  And the abundance of thousands of archeological artifacts discovered each year, along with thousands of the earliest manuscripts regardless of who wrote them, or the various places they were found, attest to a very sudden, dramatic and isolated event in history for that very specific part of the world. . .

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10 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

But I will say that the "rise" of Judaism, if that's what you can even call it, seemed to be a very slow and gradual process over the course of centuries.  But with foundational Christianity (Apocalyptic Judaism, Jewish Christianity, whatever you want to call it, etc.) it just seems to explode over the course of a couple decades, give or take.

Likewise for Islam. Both Christianity and Islam are abrahamic religions that grew out of Judiasm. The foundation was already in place. 

Nearly all religious stories and individuals are based on fiction: Poseidon, Horus, Hercules, Noah, Moses, Adam, Apollo, Zeus, Iris, and etc. If Jesus were real it would be an exception to the trend and not vice versa. Religions do not need to be rooted in anything real to proliferate. History has proven that numerous times already. How quickly Christianity grew, when, among whom, and etc is not something which I consider evidence that Jesus was real. By itself, in my opinion, it would be evidence Jesus wasn't real. 

 

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6 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Likewise for Islam. Both Christianity and Islam are abrahamic religions that grew out of Judiasm. The foundation was already in place. 

Ya, Islam is based on Abraham's illegitimate son Ishmael that he banished to the desert with his mother Hagar, Abraham's servant.  It's summed up in OT text that God would protect them in the desert, and that Ishmael would become the father of a Great Nation.  A Nation today that is considered to be that of Islam.  It came about around 2500 years after it was believed to have been stated and about a 1000 years after it was written.

But again, this isn't about discussing the foundations of Islam.  While it's believed to have started somewhere in the region of Hejazi, it's not really certain.  We don't seem to see nearly the amount of early writings nor the concentration of archeological artifacts indicating a relatively precise time and place like it is for the advent of Christianity, not to mention that it's an entirely different time , place and culture. So there really is no "likewise" equivalence about it in that regard.

But none of this really matters, does it?  These religions had to start with someone, right?  So if you are so hellbent on the idea that Christianity was merely invented, then why not just say that Jesus was the source of that "invention," since you apparently can't articulate a more compelling scenario than that put forth by the consensus that actually fits the evidence we already have?   You don't even have to call him Jesus, you can call him Emmanuel, or whatever name that makes you feel comfortable.

 

6 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Nearly all religious stories and individuals are based on fiction: Poseidon, Horus, Hercules, Noah, Moses, Adam, Apollo, Zeus, Iris, and etc. If Jesus were real it would be an exception to the trend and not vice versa

You're talking people and gods of a time and culture that predate Christianity by up to 3000 years, and provided no evidence of how it even remotely equates to that of the brief, yet exceptional period of antagonistic 1st century Hellenistic Judaism.

When you compared the motives of inventing Christianity to that of foot fetishes and swallowing buttons, I thought you were just joking and it made me laugh.  But now, your continued references to Horus, Apollo, etc.,  demonstrate how your arguments are the ones actually "pushing fallacy" rooted in the ignorance of false equivalence and "the fact that it could've happened," which I already stated is neither evidence nor indicative of any meaningful fact whatsoever.

 

6 hours ago, Ten oz said:

How quickly Christianity grew, when, among whom, and etc is not something which I consider evidence that Jesus was real.

Neither do I, what I posted is only a muffled representation of the best and only reasonable scenario that fits the actual evidence we currently have.  With the ongoing excavation of thousands of christian artifacts found every year, I'm confident that we will continue to discovery even more evidence allowing the consensus to modify their current prespective on the issue - you know, like science and all that jazz. . .

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7 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

But none of this really matters, does it?  These religions had to start with someone, right?  So if you are so hellbent on the idea that Christianity was merely invented, then why not just say that Jesus was the source of that "invention," since you apparently can't articulate a more compelling scenario than that put forth by the consensus that actually fits the evidence we already have?   You don't even have to call him Jesus, you can call him Emmanuel, or whatever name that makes you feel comfortable

Christianity was invented and it mythology is full of fiction. That isn't even up for debate. Adam and Eve weren't real, the Exodus never happened, Resurrection never happened, and so on. This discussion is about whether or not a real person inspired the story Jesus. It has already been established that the acts attributed to Jesus is the Gospels are not real. You are attempting to conflate the existence of Jesus with the existence of Christianity but it doesn't make any logical sense. 

7 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

When you compared the motives of inventing Christianity to that of foot fetishes and swallowing buttons, I thought you were just joking and it made me laugh.  But now, your continued references to Horus, Apollo, etc.,  demonstrate how your arguments are the ones actually "pushing fallacy" rooted in the ignorance of false equivalence and "the fact that it could've happened," which I already stated is neither evidence nor indicative of any meaningful fact whatsoever.

Motives are not relative to this conversation. Neither of us can speak to the motives of the authors of the Gospels. You have no idea who wrote them muchless what their motives  aere. Your just filling in an the unknown value with your own beliefs. The New Testament is full of fiction as is the Old. You cannot explain the motives for any of it.

7 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

Neither do I, what I posted is only a muffled representation of the best and only reasonable scenario that fits the actual evidence we currently have.  With the ongoing excavation of thousands of christian artifacts found every year, I'm confident that we will continue to discovery even more evidence

What you posted is your own personal belief. Your ability to imagine why someone would or would do something have no impact on what people would or wouldn't do. Imagining scenarios for why you think things may or may not have happened in the past proves nothing. 

In my opinion Joseph Smith's claim of golden tablets and Jesus in the Americas is stupid. Yet Mormonism is the fastest growing religion in the U.S. today. It is built on fiction. I do not know what Smith's or Brigham Young's motives were. I have no competing scenarios for why Smith would invent golden tablets, magic underwear, or etc. One doesn't need to know motive or invent competing scenarios to know that if Jesus were a real man 2,000yrs ago his absolutely didn't come to the Americas. 

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2 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Adam and Eve weren't real, the Exodus never happened, Resurrection never happened, and so on. This discussion is about whether or not a real person inspired the story Jesus.

Yet you continue to talk about Adam and Eve, Zeus, rainbow gods, Joseph Smith, golden tablets, and inquiring into my beliefs about Moses as if all that is somehow more relevant than talking about the possibilities of  how Jesus, or whoever else could've inspired the sudden rise of Christianity.

 

2 hours ago, Ten oz said:

Neither of us can speak to the motives of the authors of the Gospels. You have no idea who wrote them muchless what their motives  aere.

Trying to understand who and why given various textual and cultural reconstructions by historians are just as important, if not interesting to me as where and when.  Maybe you don't care about that stuff, that's fine as well.

And tho it's helpful to determine authorship, it's not necessarily more important than the text.  Common Sense for example didn't depend on an author to have a major influence on society and the world today.  Sometimes there are just good reasons to write anonymously.

Also, you keep bringing up how none of this or that proves anything.  Nobody has said anything about proof.  If we had scientific proof of Jesus's existence, then a more interesting question would be why does this thread exist,  and how is it that it persists for 13+ pages?

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