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Was Jesus a real person?


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1. A majority of real historians think Jesus was a myth...

 

 

2. Or all the magical stories are made up.

 

 

3. There are hints that Mars is inhabited according to some people, hints do not evidence make..

 

 

4. You keep violating the rules of the forum by making assertions that you do not back up with any evidence.

Remember, that which can be asserted with no evidence can be dismissed with no evidence...

 

1. I backed up my claims in my first posting in this thread.

 

2. Of course the magical stories are made up. Did I say otherwise?

 

3. Obvious you do not know how the sciences physics and history differ.

 

4. I violate no rule: in the first place this is the philosophy forum. In philosophy there is not necessary evidence; but there is rational investigation. In the second place I backed up my assertions with sources, I mentioned a book of a well know scholar in new testamentical history (who is not a christian but an agnostic). And in the third place, in the case of antiquity we often have not the kind of evidence you are asking for.

 

And one other thing: a rational discussion is only possible when you read what others wrote, and do not just repeat view points that were countered already in postings before.

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Jesus. Who is Jesus ? GOD, that's according to Hinduism Generator, Operator and Destructor. In every religion around the world, we find God. But, who is God? Does he have a real existence? Perhaps, ma

Sorry, Moontanman, I will not start a quote war: 'Citation please'.   Just for the info: I said my quotations come from Wikipedia. You will find them.   And you missed my remark about Acharya S ab

I'm just pointing out the problem with your "evidence".   "who is said to have been"...   Who said it? Which I believe was Ten Oz's point... is the author of your quote merely referencing a passa

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Ah, forgot about this great web page on reddit.

 

Lifelong atheist with a PhD in New Testament and Early Christianity: AMA.

 

As the title says, I've been an atheist my entire life, but I chose to get a PhD in New Testament and Early Christianity because the subject matter fascinates me. I look at Christianity and the New Testament through a sociological lens. I don't have any deep-seated anger toward Christians or Christianity, though I do believe religion is misguided, so I am relatively objective in the way I approach the subject.

If you've ever had questions about the "historical" Jesus, early Christian history, Judao-Christian myths and so on, without having to get your answers filtered either through religious dogmatists or crackpot atheists, ask me anything!

 

I think that nearly all your objections are discussed there.

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There are hints that Jesus has been a real existing person, but no more than hints. On the basis of these hints, a majority of historians think that the assumption that he existed is the most probable.

From the same Wikipedia source you have referenced.

 

"The sources for the historicity of Jesus are mainly Christian sources, such as the gospels and the purported letters of the apostles. The authenticity and reliability of these sources has been questioned by many scholars, and few events mentioned in the gospels are universally accepted.[30]"

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

 

The page also references that there are scholars who do not believe in Jesus.

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

 

 

 

 

 

The mythicists have no positive evidence that it was all a coverup. All the magical stories told about Jesus might just as well be explained by exaggeration and the drive of the authors of Gospels, of Paul and others, to give him a divine status. It seems nearly impossible to me to separate a complete coverup from a lot of projections on a real historical figure.

Coverup and exaggerations are your words. As I have already pointed out many major religions are often based on inspirations sent to authors by god. Normally written as first hand accounts. Most all Gods have back stories as well. Nothing different about Jesus. We could just as easily be debating whether or not Noah and Moses were real. Their stories are part of a religion's foundation and aslo treated as actual history. Why must Jesus be anymore real then they may or may not be? Christ myth theory doesn't seek to explain the motives of the New Testement's authors.

Krishna has a story and history as elaborate if not more so than Jesus'. Do you have any trouble with the idea that Krishna may not have been real?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna

 

 

I know there is no strict evidence that Jesus existed. I only say that there are hints that are strong enough that to assume he existed, and therefore the assumption that he existed is the most probable. I could be wrong. Just as you.

 

I suggest you compare how historians decide if some historical or legendary person really existed, and compare the criteria they use with those they use for the question of the historicity of Jesus. But that is nice work for you, not for me. The topic is nearly not as hot as it is obviously for you. I am sorry you get so irritated by this, but for me the question is closed, unless new evidence for another viewpoint is found.

 

I think you are over looking the fact that history can often be bias. Most scholars of antiquity believe Jesus was real just as many native Indologist believe Lord Krishna was real. The Historical view about Jesus has been written primarily by culturally Christian people. It is not a coincidence that as western society has become more secular and less christian things like the historocisy of Jesus and other biblical histories are being more closely scrutinized. Of course a hundred years ago and back the majority of western historians believed Jesus was a real man. The majority of them also prayed to him as well. Or at the very least pretended to pray to him so not to be outcasts. Which is partly why Jewish references like the Talmud have been dismissed. It challanges dates and stories in the New Testament which for better or worse has been part of western history for over a thousand years. Cultures prefer their own interpretations of history over that of other cultures. Which is why growing going through school we studying Greek mythology, Roman history, the "new world" discovery, and etc. On my own, essentially an adult, I finally bothered to wonder what had happened in the rest of the world throughout history.

 

In my opinion some of the most honest reviews of history are being done now. We (the world) are becoming more secular, less racist, and more interconnected which is allowing for less bias and honestly about what we believe and why. Dogma of the past should not be ignored merely because it is the think of old anymore than its persistence and pervasiveness lend it extra consideration.

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From the same Wikipedia source you have referenced.

 

"The sources for the historicity of Jesus are mainly Christian sources, such as the gospels and the purported letters of the apostles. The authenticity and reliability of these sources has been questioned by many scholars, and few events mentioned in the gospels are universally accepted.[30]"

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

 

English is not my native language, but afaik 'few events' means that, well, there are at least some events that are universally accepted. That means that the historicity of Jesus is accepted, but that it is close to impossible to make a reliable reconstruction about his life.

 

The page also references that there are scholars who do not believe in Jesus.

http://en.m.wikipedi...ist_myth_theory

 

Sure. And from exactly that article:

 

Nevertheless, Christ Myth theories find very little support from scholars

 

In antiquity, the existence of Jesus was never denied by those who opposed Christianity, as would have been expected if there had been any doubt at the time

.

 

As I have already pointed out many major religions are often based on inspirations sent to authors by god. Normally written as first hand accounts. Most all Gods have back stories as well. Nothing different about Jesus. We could just as easily be debating whether or not Noah and Moses were real.

 

You cannot compare Joseph Smith and Mohammed with Jesus. Both Smith and Mohammed were clearly historical persons, who claimed to have gotten insights in the 'true teachings of God'. And the difference between stories about Moses, Noah and Krishna on one side and Jesus on the other, is that the stories about Jesus are placed in a historical context we know of: the occupation of Jewish territory by the Romans. And then you can take as a fact that the first Christian appeared in Rome already in the first century. If Jesus would not have existed at all, his existence would already have been disputed in those days (see citation above).

 

And don't forget: in the 19th and 20th century old documents were discovered that perfectly fit in the picture that present day historians have. So it is not just a question of interpreting the same old stuff again and again.

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I still dont get why all the fuss about debating if there was a jesus, or not. I believe there was, based , and I repeat- the credible accounts of Roman history overall, but that doesnt mean I even CARE. If there was a jesus, and he was a "good" man, thats great- there were /are many "good" men, and women. Whats all the fuss about jesus? He cant be the son of god because there is no proof of any god anyway. Im an atheist, and true scientist (thats what this forum represents, right? If not, maybe some religious types should post on the scores of jesus sites on the web).

 

Its cool that there probably was such a "jesus", and he probably lived a life of a great role model, but theres no reason to elevate him to status that most of the Christian world does today. Ignorance, wishful thinking, praying for wanting stuff for "free", etc etc etc. Im a scientist, and live my life based on that. I quit going to church years ago, and took a stand. If I go to hell, it will be because of god's revenge.

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You cannot compare Joseph Smith and Mohammed with Jesus. Both Smith and Mohammed were clearly historical persons, who claimed to have gotten insights in the 'true teachings of God'. And the difference between stories about Moses, Noah and Krishna on one side and Jesus on the other, is that the stories about Jesus are placed in a historical context we know of: the occupation of Jewish territory by the Romans. And then you can take as a fact that the first Christian appeared in Rome already in the first century. If Jesus would not have existed at all, his existence would already have been disputed in those days (see citation above).

 

And don't forget: in the 19th and 20th century old documents were discovered that perfectly fit in the picture that present day historians have. So it is not just a question of interpreting the same old stuff again and again.

Everything you are saying makes its own sense and very well may be true. I am not sure if Jesus was a real man or not. I have no way to be sure. However I just don't feel that Christianities popularity or growth in Rome during the first century supports the idea that Jesus was a real man.

In the cases of Moses and Noah the scale of events described were so massive that the lack of physical archeological evidence to support the stories can not be overlooked. Regardless of what has been written historians must acknowledge that the events did not happen. Once the events are shown to be fiction it becomes clear that the men are most probably fiction as well. Their importance and written record being tied too directly to the archeologically impossible events. Jesus is a different case. His story is regional enough that lack of physical or contemporary archeological evidence can be ignored in favor of literary reference. His scientifically impossible acts dismissed as possible exaggerations or misunderstandings. However, can Jesus the human man be removed from his acts and still be Jesus? You imply he must have been real is so many Romans became Christian in the first century. By that logic he must have done something very special. Since we both know it wasn't walking on water, raising the dead, or turning water into wine what was it? No alternate story based in reality exists providing insight as to whom the real life man Jesus may have been. His stories are attached to Gospels which contain tremendous amounts of fiction and possibly nothing true.

Further more many aspects of Jesus' story is often claimed to be plagiarized from other gods. Miraculous birth being a common story in religion. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miraculous_births The familiar concepts on Christianity that more broadly appealed to individual rebirth and second chances while still fully embracing the traditional beliefs on the Old Testament could easily explain it popularity in the first century. Rather than being something completely new it was just a modification of Judaism centered around a new Messiah for which religious tradition is rich with.

I still dont get why all the fuss about debating if there was a jesus, or not. I believe there was, based , and I repeat- the credible accounts of Roman history overall, but that doesnt mean I even CARE.

 

There is only one lone Roman reference to Jesus that I am aware of. What "credible accounts of Roman history" are you referencing?

 

"In conjunction with Biblical sources, three mentions of Jesus in non-Christian sources have been used in the historical analyses of the existence of Jesus.[34] These are two passages in the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and one from the Roman historian Tacitus.[34][35]"

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus

 

As for why I care; the universal acceptance of Jesus amongst the majority of people I know based on such little information confuses me. I accept that Jesus may have been real but I also think that he may not have been. I have found in my life that most people feel more certian about his life than I but seldom have a reason for being so outside of the popularity of the view.

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Hi Ten oz,

 

Well, at least we agree on the point that we are both not sure if Jesus really existed.

 

One small point of misunderstanding: I wrote that Christians appeared in Rome, with which I really meant that Christians traveled to Rome, not that Romans became Christian (which of course happened too). The importance for me lies in the fact that people coming from Syria, Lebanon or Israel to Rome in the first century were possibly only 1 or 2 'communication generations' away from the actual witnesses of Jesus. That is short enough that the stories they told had a historical core.

 

And that is my main point: the easiest explanation for the continuity between an occupied area in which apocalyptic beliefs existed (a Messias would come, a great King like David, and he would throw the Romans out, and God would care about the people of Israel again) and the growing Christian belief is that a charismatic person existed that was put to death by the Romans. Together with the many writings that at least agree on a few points (Jesus existed, he was a religious teacher, and he was crucified), and the possible authentic mentionings of Jesus by Josephus and Tacitus, the most probable is that he actually existed.

 

You correctly say that he must have been special. I think he was, but we know of special people. I think that, in the wrong way, Hitler was special. And I have another, smaller, example: the philosopher Leonard Nelson (1882- 1927). As you see from the small Wikipedia article, as a philosopher he is not very important. But he was a charismatic person. Just as an example: he gave a talk about his Socratic method, and a physicist (Gustav Heckmann, promoted with Max Born) changed his life plan: he left physics and started to learn this method. The movement of the Socratic dialogue still exists, and is growing. Sometimes it needs such a charismatic person to start a movement. If it will continue to exist depends then on many historical accidents.

 

Jesus' miraculous birth is of course not that miraculous. The 'virgin stuff' can easily explained by some wrong translations of the Hebrew word 'ha-almah', which means 'maid', not 'virgin'. Dreams and Angels prophesying Jesus' birth can always easily added.

 

pippo is of course right. The reason I care is that I think that what historians have to say about Jesus is so deconstructing for the 'God man' Jesus, that there is not much left: a preacher who believed that God's dominion would be renewed in his lifetime and thought that only the moral righteous would live in God's earthy domain.

 

I think the truth, in this case that Jesus probably existed, but seeing who he really was, is a much better antidote against Christianity's silly beliefs than heated debates about his existence sec.

 

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I listened to the video in the OP and found it very rushed and extremely biased. OK I am Christian by nature so my life seems to be based on the fact (by faith) that Jesus was real. OK I do wish there was more proof that would prove it. I find it frustrating that there isn't this perfect rock solid proof.

Would we all be Christians if this proof was there? If Jesus had thrust his hand into a rock and wrote his name on the stone would we all be believers then?

Would there be no room for faith to play a part then?

I spent years trying to find proof and in the end I felt there was enough evidence and I will try and recall all that. (Now that was 24 years ago, and that was in the days prior to the internet, when information took weeks to arrive via library interloans.)

What would be the proof that would be sufficient to substantiate the reality of Jesus?

I know the fact that the darkness wasn't recorded all over the world goes as a negative, but had that darkness been recorded would that have been sufficient, or would it then just be classed as coincidental.

I'd love to know what evidence would be beyond doubt? Even the existence of Nazareth has been brought into doubt. But finding a town that could be Nazareth would not be proof, so it seems easier to cast doubt than to find supporting evidence. Is that the problem?


Tacitus on Christ is covered in Wikipedia and give extensive references to cross check. From memory the video in the OP refers to the same and makes the point about whether Pilate was prefect or a procurator. I can think it is quite likely that a person's rank changes over the years and really nothing can be made of any apparent discrepancy in title.

 

 

The rank of Pilate[edit]
220px-Pilate_Inscription.JPG
The Pilate Stone, now at the Israel Museum

Pilate's rank while he was governor of Iudaea province appeared in a Latin inscription on the Pilate Stone which called him a prefect, while this Tacitean passage calls him a procurator. Josephus refers to Pilate with the generic Greek term ἡγεμών, hēgemōn, or governor. Tacitus records that Claudiuswas the ruler who gave procurators governing power.[26][27] After Herod Agrippa's death in AD 44, when Judea reverted to direct Roman rule, Claudius gave procurators control over Judea.

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Hi Ten oz,

 

Well, at least we agree on the point that we are both not sure if Jesus really existed.

 

One small point of misunderstanding: I wrote that Christians appeared in Rome, with which I really meant that Christians traveled to Rome, not that Romans became Christian (which of course happened too). The importance for me lies in the fact that people coming from Syria, Lebanon or Israel to Rome in the first century were possibly only 1 or 2 'communication generations' away from the actual witnesses of Jesus. That is short enough that the stories they told had a historical core.

 

And that is my main point: the easiest explanation for the continuity between an occupied area in which apocalyptic beliefs existed (a Messias would come, a great King like David, and he would throw the Romans out, and God would care about the people of Israel again) and the growing Christian belief is that a charismatic person existed that was put to death by the Romans. Together with the many writings that at least agree on a few points (Jesus existed, he was a religious teacher, and he was crucified), and the possible authentic mentionings of Jesus by Josephus and Tacitus, the most probable is that he actually existed.

 

You correctly say that he must have been special. I think he was, but we know of special people. I think that, in the wrong way, Hitler was special. And I have another, smaller, example: the philosopher Leonard Nelson (1882- 1927). As you see from the small Wikipedia article, as a philosopher he is not very important. But he was a charismatic person. Just as an example: he gave a talk about his Socratic method, and a physicist (Gustav Heckmann, promoted with Max Born) changed his life plan: he left physics and started to learn this method. The movement of the Socratic dialogue still exists, and is growing. Sometimes it needs such a charismatic person to start a movement. If it will continue to exist depends then on many historical accidents.

 

Jesus' miraculous birth is of course not that miraculous. The 'virgin stuff' can easily explained by some wrong translations of the Hebrew word 'ha-almah', which means 'maid', not 'virgin'. Dreams and Angels prophesying Jesus' birth can always easily added.

 

pippo is of course right. The reason I care is that I think that what historians have to say about Jesus is so deconstructing for the 'God man' Jesus, that there is not much left: a preacher who believed that God's dominion would be renewed in his lifetime and thought that only the moral righteous would live in God's earthy domain.

 

I think the truth, in this case that Jesus probably existed, but seeing who he really was, is a much better antidote against Christianity's silly beliefs than heated debates about his existence sec.

 

I think this is an excellent post. I don't believe his existence is the probable view but you explained yourself well and I appriciate that. As stated I don't know if Jesus existed or not. I don't lean either way. Perhaps one day an artifact will be found that definitively reflects Jesus was real. I don't see that as beyond the realm of something that could happen.

A hundred years ago many scholars would have argued that parts of, if not most of, the Exodus story were true. Lack of evidence of something so large has changed that view over time. So the acceptance of Jesus by scholars does not strike me as meaningful. Lots of things are accepted until they are not. Lots of histories are not simply not true. Sometimes not even a little. A lot of people here in the United States believe Christopher Columbus discovered the earth was round for example. Some falsehoods are very pervassive and long lasting.

I listened to the video in the OP and found it very rushed and extremely biased. OK I am Christian by nature so my life seems to be based on the fact (by faith) that Jesus was real. OK I do wish there was more proof that would prove it. I find it frustrating that there isn't this perfect rock solid proof.

Would we all be Christians if this proof was there?

I spent years trying to find proof and in the end I felt there was enough evidence and I will try and recall all that. (Now that was 24 years ago, and that was in the days prior to the internet, when information took weeks to arrive via library interloans.)

What would be the proof that would be sufficient to substantiate the reality of Jesus?

 

Thank you for your response. My threshold for "evidence" isn't really that high. Had either Josephus or Tacitus intentually written about Jesus as a means of biographing his life I would accept that as proof Jesus had most probably been real. Rather both mention Jesus in context used to describe others as Christian. I would also find any contemporary writings very compelling evidence. Rather than people writing that they had visions of a resurrected Jesus if they wrote about first hand interaction with a human Jesus that would be evidence. Any works credited to Jesus himself would be incredible evidence. It seems reasonable to think a teacher traveling the country side ministering to people might have written something down at some point. I also think a relic saved by his followers would be good evidence if it could be dated to a time frame matching the life of Jesus.

To summarize: contemporary writings, non Christian attempts to biography his life within the first century after, or relics dated to his supposed time frame of existence. Any of that would work for me.

 

I know the fact that the darkness wasn't recorded all over the world goes as a negative, but had that darkness been recorded would that have been sufficient, or would it then just be classed as coincidental.

 

I do not understand this part. What darkness are you referencing?

 

I'd love to know what evidence would be beyond doubt? Even the existence of Nazareth has been brought into doubt. But finding a town that could be Nazareth would not be proof, so it seems easier to cast doubt than to find supporting evidence. Is that the problem?

I don't think Nazaareth must have existed during Jesus' life in order for Jesus to have been a real man. Knowing for sure might help clear the water but the two are not inseparable in my opinion.

 

 

Tacitus on Christ is covered in Wikipedia and give extensive references to cross check. From memory the video in the OP refers to the same and makes the point about whether Pilate was prefect or a procurator. I can think it is quite likely that a person's rank changes over the years and really nothing can be made of any apparent discrepancy in title.

I think it is usual to incorporate real people and real place into fiction. For example they edited in footage of JFK and Nixon into the movie Forrest Gump. That doesn't not make Forrest Gump anymore real.

Tacitus was written about Nero blaming Christians for a fire. His reference to Jesus was a description of Christians. It was not an entire meant to chronicle the life of a real man.

 

 

If Jesus had thrust his hand into a rock and wrote his name on the stone would we all be believers then?

Would there be no room for faith to play a part then?

No I don't think it would change how many believers in Jesus there is. I find that most everyone I know pretty much believes Jesus was a real historical figure. My peers and I were told as much in grade school. As to the faith issue I don't see why it matters. Jesus is said to have performed miracles infront of people. So Jesus was not above proving who he claimed to be.

 

I apologizes for moving the order of these questions. I did so just for my own ease of answering it.

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Would we all be Christians if this proof was there?

 

No, of course not. There should be proof that he really was the 'Son of men', 'Son of God' or the 'Messiah'. There is no way to proof that. Based on present day scientific knowledge it is also very hard to believe in Jesus' miracles. As usual in (skeptical) science: extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. I am sure we will never have that about Jesus.

 

You should also realise that Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher: he believed that God's kingdom would come in his lifetime, on earth. In this respect he was just as wrong as so many sects that predict the end of the world again and again. He also might have identified himself as the Jewish long expected Messiah. But this Jewish Messiah was thought of as a man of worldly power, that would throw out the Romans of Palestine, and restore the relation between the Jews and God. In Christianity that was turned into the Kingdom of God as a place not on earth.

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....

 

I do not understand this part. What darkness are you referencing?

 

I don't think Nazaareth must have existed during Jesus' life in order for Jesus to have been a real man. Knowing for sure might help clear the water but the two are not inseparable in my opinion.

 

 

I think it is usual to incorporate real people and real place into fiction. For example they edited in footage of JFK and Nixon into the movie Forrest Gump. That doesn't not make Forrest Gump anymore real.

Tacitus was written about Nero blaming Christians for a fire. His reference to Jesus was a description of Christians. It was not an entire meant to chronicle the life of a real man.

 

 

No I don't think it would change how many believers in Jesus there is. I find that most everyone I know pretty much believes Jesus was a real historical figure. My peers and I were told as much in grade school. As to the faith issue I don't see why it matters. Jesus is said to have performed miracles infront of people. So Jesus was not above proving who he claimed to be.

 

I apologizes for moving the order of these questions. I did so just for my own ease of answering it.

That is one of the drawbacks of referring to an hour long YT video. The author did mention the darkness that came over the land at the time of the crucifixion and says this is not recorded anywhere else.

A lunar eclipse is said to have happened the night before so you can't say it was a solar eclipse the day after (that combination doesn't happen). It was obviously "like a solar eclipse" but it wasn't. What was the cause and how extensive it was I have real no idea.

 

Wikipedia covers "Crucifixion darkness" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_darkness (does that link work for everyone?)

 

The Crucifixion darkness is an episode in three of the Canonical Gospels in which the sky becomes dark in daytime during the crucifixion of Jesus.

Ancient and medieval Christian writers treated this as a miracle, and believed it to be one of the few episodes from the New Testament which were confirmed by non-Christian sources. Pagan commentators of the Roman era explained it as an eclipse, although Christian writers pointed out that an eclipse during Passover, when the crucifixion took place, would have been impossible; an eclipse cannot occur during a full moon.

I don't want to rewrite the entire Wikipedia page!

 

 

Another possible natural explanation is a khamsin dust storm that tends to occur from March to May.

A dust storm would be most likely, in that the dust could be at a higher altitude. I think if you are in a dust storm you know it, but if it passed over at a higher altitude it would give the appearance that it covered the entire land.

I have had no real experience of dust storms (others might know). But in NZ from time to time bushfires in Australia affect the meteorological conditions here.

 

As far as Nazareth goes, that wasn't covered in the YT but is a separate criticism leveled at the story of Jesus. In your reply you say "but the two are not inseparable in my opinion." I have a feeling from the context you mean the two are separable, but if you have time could you please re-explain yourself on this?

 

No, of course not. There should be proof that he really was the 'Son of men', 'Son of God' or the 'Messiah'. There is no way to proof that. Based on present day scientific knowledge it is also very hard to believe in Jesus' miracles. As usual in (skeptical) science: extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. I am sure we will never have that about Jesus.

 

You should also realise that Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher: he believed that God's kingdom would come in his lifetime, on earth. In this respect he was just as wrong as so many sects that predict the end of the world again and again. He also might have identified himself as the Jewish long expected Messiah. But this Jewish Messiah was thought of as a man of worldly power, that would throw out the Romans of Palestine, and restore the relation between the Jews and God. In Christianity that was turned into the Kingdom of God as a place not on earth.

The question is "was Jesus a real person", and I take that to mean historical rather than "truthful in every aspect of his teaching at the time" (I won't go there on a science forum. I might in a blog later).

Does anyone doubt that Jesus existed at all? Some might. It was those I wonder what would make them change their minds for it is endlessly possible to deny any evidence as fake or irrelevant or something, so I feel it is really near impossible to satisfy everyone. But I challenge them to tell us what they really want.

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it's more likely the crucifixion darkness is symbolic rather than an account of an actual event.

That is your opinion, it isn't really any analysis of likely events. Looking at the Wikipedia page again it says:

 

 

it says that after Jesus was crucified at nine in the morning, darkness fell over all the land, or all the world (Greek: γῆν gēn can mean either) from around noon ("the sixth hour") until 3 o'clock ("the ninth hour").

So imagine you are living where you are and "darkness fell over the land', you would not be certain it fell over the entire world would you?

But if from one horizon to the next it was darkness you might think this is some global event but it would be a trick of one's imagination. We commonly get earthquakes and you do wonder who got the epicenter. You don't think of them just being localized to your own area.

A symbolic darkness would hardly be limited to a time frame would it?

I'm going to look into high altitude dust storms. Is there such a thing? Edit: Here is an article describing a global dust storm.

http://phys.org/news167315325.html

Massive dust storm in China circled the world in 13 days: study Edited by Robittybob1
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the entire new testament is probably a fabrication, and as such the events that supposedly occurred cannot be treated as actual events.

 

are there contemporary records of the crucifixion eclipse?

Do you mean the eclipse the night before Jesus' arrest. Yes if you time the Passover to the year 31 AD as I did after my years of study.

Astronomers know there was a lunar eclipse that year as they are on a very regular pattern.

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I wonder why no other source, even internally, mentions the dead walking the streets. Matt 27:50-54, even the other gospels failed to mention this..

This is obviously a mystery. I wonder what it means. It was mentioned again AFAIK. I'll edit or add on when I have looked into it again.

It certainly seems a one off and I have no experiences that helps me relate to it.

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@ Robittybob1, I posted the YT video in the OP as a discussion starter and not as a direct representation of how I feel. It made some points I felt were relevant. Richard Carrier is far from the only scholar out there who challanges whether or not here was truly a historical Jesus. The Jesus Seminar is a group of hundreds of scholars who have done work on this issue. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

 

I do not believe that any of the gospels are text from which truth can be brought out. There are questions of authorship, obvious bits of fiction, and translation/editing issues. I just don't see how fact can be sorted from the fiction. That doesn't not mean Jesus couldn't have been real. Doesn't mean a real man did not influence the fictionalized bits of the gospel. The problem is there is no other source that chronicles his life. Neither Josephus or Tacitus chronicle his life.

 

You seem to under the impression that for some people no amount of evidence would ever be enough. I do not agree. I have already listed for you various types of evidence I would accept and believe. I can not think of another historical figure for which such little evidence exists that is so universally accept by the general public to have been 100% real. Can you provide examples? Eisen used Thales as an example earlier. However unlike Jesus Thales had several historians write in detail about his life and his works. And unlike Jesus Thales work was mathematical so there is no obvious bits of fictions to discredit any of Thales Biographies. You can review my full to Thales response in post #38. If historians had written Jesus' life story down in the first century I would accept that as proof he was a real man. The gospels were not written by historians. They were written by people he claimed visions of a resurrected God whom they worshiped and seeked salvation in. You post earlier that you found the scholar Richard Carrier to be bias, but what of the apostle?

 

I understand that some information can be crossed referenced. The mention of a city or judge who can be proven real historically. Trouble I have with that is fiction often uses real references. The example I gave earlier was that the inclusion of JFK and Nixon in Forrest Gump doesn't prove Forrest Gump was a real man. Which is why something other than the New Testement is need in my opinion to validate the story. I also believe that evidence may still come some day. Who knows what writings and relics the Catholic church has hidden away. One might assume they would make any evidence of a historical Jesus public but I don't believe that is true if that evidence was at odds with the gospels. Let's not forget that for long stretches of history between now and the assumed life of Jesus refuting Jesus' existence could literally result in ones execution. If work on the topic had been done it may have been hidden away or purposely destoryed.

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I can not think of another historical figure for which such little evidence exists that is so universally accept by the general public to have been 100% real. Can you provide examples? Eisen used Thales as an example earlier. However unlike Jesus Thales had several historians write in detail about his life and his works. And unlike Jesus Thales work was mathematical so there is no obvious bits of fictions to discredit any of Thales Biographies.

 

It is not true. I looked it up.

 

We have 18 pieces of text concerning Thales (Die Vorsokratiker, Jaap Mansfeld, Suhrkamp 1983), who lived from circa 624 – 546 BCE. Some text are just one single line, others are complete paragraphs, most are in between.

 

The sources are:

 

Herodot (484–425 BCE, 62 years later): 4 fragments

Plato (428 - 347 BCE, 118 years later: 1 fragment),

Aristotle: (384–322, 162 years later): 5 fragments

Seneca (4 BCE - 65 CE, 542 years later): 1 fragment

Hippolytus (170–235 CE, 734 years later!): 1 fragment

Diogenes Laertius (3rd centrury CE, i.e. 800 years later!): 3 fragments

Proclus (412 - 485 CE, 958 years later!): 3 fragments

 

Some of them of course just repeat what others have said ('The world is made of water'). We do not find a continuity from Thales himself (a gap of 62 years, more than Jesus) to his first mentioning, or from writings about him (several versions of the same writings so we can track at least a little of the history of the 'scriptures').

 

So the situation looks in my eyes much worse than for Jesus. The only difference I see is that there is not so much at stake with Thales for modern day people. For Jesus the criteria for historicity are artificially made much stronger by the mythicists.

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.... Trouble I have with that is fiction often uses real references. The example I gave earlier was that the inclusion of JFK and Nixon in Forrest Gump doesn't prove Forrest Gump was a real man. Which is why something other than the New Testament is need in my opinion to validate the story. I also believe that evidence may still come some day. Who knows what writings and relics the Catholic church has hidden away. One might assume they would make any evidence of a historical Jesus public but I don't believe that is true if that evidence was at odds with the gospels. ....

@Ten oz - thank you for your detailed reply, I just wish I had the time to reply right now but I don't. I might reply to another part later in the heat of the day.

As I stated earlier I did a lot of study on the topic. I feel reluctant to detail my findings, for it surely gets me into trouble, but over the years and on various forums it has been said, OK they too got sanitized and the threads were not only closed but removed, so I can't refer to them again, but basically I looked at the information in the Gospels and ran an experiment on myself to see if they worked. My family thought I had gone nuts, but I was only hospitalized for one afternoon (and no meds were ever taken). I don't suggest everyone try it. Could the Gospels be written with another message underneath the obvious text? One that the Jesus Seminar missed. I wanted to know.

Edited by Robittybob1
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Do you mean the eclipse the night before Jesus' arrest. Yes if you time the Passover to the year 31 AD as I did after my years of study.

Astronomers know there was a lunar eclipse that year as they are on a very regular pattern.

source of such an astronomy study?

 

31 AD is not necessarily the death date of jesus of nazareth, it seems to fall into the range though. i don't doubt that such an eclipse happened, but the earliest account is in the gospels (matthew mark and luke to be specific) which should be taken lightly as they're probably parables and not historical documents, though they may mix the real with the imaginary. later accounts are noncanon literature and myths and there are no comptemporary historians who talk about such an event.

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

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf09.iii.i.html - more information including analysis of this gospel

http://books.google.com/books?id=eER0zsCkFxUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false - book on apocryphal gospels like gospel of peter

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It is not true. I looked it up.

 

We have 18 pieces of text concerning Thales (Die Vorsokratiker, Jaap Mansfeld, Suhrkamp 1983), who lived from circa 624 546 BCE. Some text are just one single line, others are complete paragraphs, most are in between.

 

The sources are:

 

Herodot (484425 BCE, 62 years later): 4 fragments

Plato (428 - 347 BCE, 118 years later: 1 fragment),

Aristotle: (384322, 162 years later): 5 fragments

Seneca (4 BCE - 65 CE, 542 years later): 1 fragment

Hippolytus (170235 CE, 734 years later!): 1 fragment

Diogenes Laertius (3rd centrury CE, i.e. 800 years later!): 3 fragments

Proclus (412 - 485 CE, 958 years later!): 3 fragments

 

Some of them of course just repeat what others have said ('The world is made of water'). We do not find a continuity from Thales himself (a gap of 62 years, more than Jesus) to his first mentioning, or from writings about him (several versions of the same writings so we can track at least a little of the history of the 'scriptures').

 

So the situation looks in my eyes much worse than for Jesus. The only difference I see is that there is not so much at stake with Thales for modern day people. For Jesus the criteria for historicity are artificially made much stronger by the mythicists.

18 for Thales vs 3 for Jesus and that is accepting both of Josephus' are legit. Big difference in my opinion. Plus the mathematical works of Thales are real. As a matter of exaggeration of fiction someone couldn't not have come up with those equations. Nothing in Jesus' story is so definitive. All of it could just be pure fiction. Edited by Ten oz
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source of such an astronomy study?

 

31 AD is not necessarily the death date of jesus of nazareth, it seems to fall into the range though. i don't doubt that such an eclipse happened, but the earliest account is in the gospels (matthew mark and luke to be specific) which should be taken lightly as they're probably parables and not historical documents, though they may mix the real with the imaginary. later accounts are noncanon literature and myths and there are no comptemporary historians who talk about such an event.

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

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf09.iii.i.html - more information including analysis of this gospel

http://books.google.com/books?id=eER0zsCkFxUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false - book on apocryphal gospels like gospel of peter

It is found throughout the internet if I Google "lunar eclipses jerusalem 31 AD" you'd find hundreds of results.

I just chose the first one here http://navsoft.com/html/___death_of_jesus.html

 

Three Lunar eclipses were visible in Judea during March and April between 26 AD and 36 AD

A Time Zone offset of 2h 20m is applied reflecting the longitude of Jerusalem.

Wednesday 25 April 31 AD 20:02 to 26th/ 00:32

OK as a result of my study I had to adjust the day of Jesus' crucifixion to a Thursday but that still works out fine.

Wikipedia gives that eclipse a number 04900

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_1st-century_lunar_eclipses

Edited by Robittybob1
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It is found throughout the internet if I Google "lunar eclipses jerusalem 31 AD" you'd find hundreds of results.

I just chose the first one here http://navsoft.com/html/___death_of_jesus.html

OK as a result of my study I had to adjust the day of Jesus' crucifixion to a Thursday but that still works out fine.

Wikipedia gives that eclipse a number 04900[/size]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_1st-century_lunar_eclipses [/size]

 

Wouldn't that have had to have been a solar eclipse instead of a lunar eclipse?

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_1st-century_lunar_eclipses [/size]

 

Wouldn't that have had to have been a solar eclipse instead of a lunar eclipse?

No at the passover it being at full moon you only get lunar eclipses. Solar eclipse are when the New Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun.

I forget the exact reason I thought there needed to be an eclipse but this passage gives a clue to further references:

http://holtz.org/Library/Social%20Science/History/Metals%20Age/Dating%20Jesus%20Death%20by%20Lunar%20Eclipse.htm

 

 

To this debate, Humphreys and Waddington add a new factor which previous scholars had not included. In the Acts 2, 14:21 it was reported that the Moon would be turned to blood and the Sun turned to darkness at the time of the Resurrection. This observation also appears in the so-called 'Report of Pilate' which was written by Pilate to Emperor Tiberius. If this is taken as a lunar eclipse, then the Crucifixion can be dated exactly. Lunar eclipses were frequently described in exactly this way, even verbatum, by contemporary historians.

So what does the "Report of Pilate" say? Doesn't seem that helpful.

Edited by Robittybob1
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