Author Topic: Did Jesus Exist?  (Read 3046 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline reFORMer

  • < Moderator >
  • *
  • Posts: 1943
  • Gender: Male
  • Psalm 133
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2008, 09:26:55 AM »
When you say you would want proof of Jesus's resurrection you should realize no other human beings saw it, unless the ones in white at the tomb after the event.  Everybody is at a similar level of proof in this matter.

The only higher position relates to what you refer when you say you know Jesus the Way but have never met Jesus the human.  It could be said Paul's blindness was the result of seeing Him.  You should have a larger concept of what it is to be human.  God says, "I called you all Elohim, all of you sons of El Elyon."  Jesus reiterated it:  "...He called them Gods to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken..."
I went to church; but, the Church wasn't on the program!  JESUS WANTS HIS BODY BACK!!  MEET WITHOUT HUMAN HEADSHIP!!!

Offline 97531

  • Restricted
  • *
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
  • Truth is Freedom
    • Father's Love Forum
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2008, 09:58:20 AM »
Hi MH

Well if one is to take the bible away as a source of proof then all we have is the calendar change.  One must assume that the Roman empire making Christianity a state religion would therefore place some significance on the "myth" of Jesus the man.  Ancient texts are just that ancient.

On my blog and here, I say the bible is just a book.  It can point you in the right direction but for it, the words, to become life in you, it takes the Holy Spirit.

Many Atheists say this is the "voice in your head" but anyone that has had an encounter cannot use adequate words to describe it, the infilling of the HS.  The biggest challenge is to articulate carnally what we experience Spiritually, we then defer to our source and that is the text in the bible.  Following that we study NDE's and even that may be scientifically bogus.  Near Death is not death.

We have testimonies which are generally personal, similar but not the same and again is hearsay.

Probably why we are told to each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling; it is a personal thing, not corporate, no one size fits all.

The closest we have is the inner witness and followed by 2nd external witnesses that may come from others who have had similar experiences and/or see things the way you do, that I am afraid is all we have.  What gives me a level of assurance is that people from different cultures have similar experiences wrt God and salvation and miracles.

Blessings
My Blog       Father's Love Forum - New
IHWLAMAHOB
Christian Milkshake: Pressed down, shaken together and more than we can hope for

Offline Reverend G

  • Est
  • *
  • Posts: 273
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2008, 09:58:10 AM »
There are numerous texts that cover this question available in bookstores.  Unfortunately, it is after 2 am and I am not remembering titles, even having read some of them.  There were more than 2 historians that mentioned Jesus, what was the name of the Jewish military officer that became endeared to the Romans?  I wish it were not so late, some of those books were quite helpful.  "Know why you believe" may have been one of them.  I know one covered the issue in a legalistc sense, was it Greenleaf who converted after trying the case for Jesus in that fashion?  Also of course, C.S. Lewis.  Wish I could offer more help, been through it myself.  Actually, at one time I believe a letter from Pilate to his wife even existed.  Of course, documents from 2000 years ago are likely destroyed by age, and this is something used to advantage by those seeking to "dispel the myth".  Calling for a writ of habeus corpus 2 millenia after the fact is pretty bad, especially when it is common knowledge the body left!  Most honest historians of our time will tell you the existence of Jesus Christ, and His crucifixion, are as reliable as the life of Julius Ceasar.  They may question the resurrection, but not the other parts.

noname

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2008, 09:55:15 AM »
Two excerpts of secular history mentioning Jesus have been posted now. I'd say take it or leave it.

Unless you can prove Tacitus (a famous historian, not someone prone to lie) was lying (he would have no reason; romans and christians weren't exactly best friends. If anything, denying Jesus' existance would be favorable for them) it's a fact he existed. Period.

There's obvious evidence for his existance. We shouldn't have to prove a historical figure did exist, they should prove he didn't! I could make a webpage right now claiming hitler didn't exist, despite the evidence arguing to the contrary. Wouldn't people just say I'm a fool? And wouldn't they say I have to supply evidence that he didn't exist, rather than the other way around?

I agree with much of your post...much of what Josephus has to say is amazing and I do consider it...Tacitus as well...but yet there is scholarship to suggest the writings of Josephus have been added to, and if they were not, it is still heresay.  So, I think it is safe to say...there is no way to know. 

Dave...obviously you do not know enough about me to make a call like you did.  If you had read and understood my original post, it is evident I have "met" Jesus the WAY...I have never met Jesus the HUMAN.   Dave, I have read several of your posts as a lurker on this boad and you are quite adept at producing nice little "soundbytes."  I look for something more.  If you have nothing to offer, then I ask you please refrain from joining the discussion.  If you choose not to, then I will simply ignore you and you can rest assured that you will be writing for yourself only. 

Mississippi Heretic,
You are quite right in your assessment that there is NO proof of the historical Jesus Christ either archealogically or written by people living in the same era as him (ie eye witness accounts) except for the Biblical narratives (gospels)....and they were written 70 to 90 years AFTER his birth

This in itself is quite an anomaly as the Bible states that "multitudes followed him"...the Jews, Romans, Samaritans even Egyptians and Persians should have heard about him if he caused such a commotion in Judea, Samaria and Galilee that someone MUST have written about him...his doctrines...his teachings...someone contemporary with him who lived at the same time...BUT...the first we find written about the historical Jesus is supposedly Mark in 70AD...40 years AFTER his death?

In the cultures/nations I mentioned above there were many historians and/or religious scholars that could have written about this "god-man" walking the earth...but there is NOTHING written about the historical Jesus from someone during or even shortly after the supposed life of Jesus Christ....NO eye witness accounts that can be verified

for anyone reading this, we must remember that we are talking about the historical Jesus (ie life and times) NOT about his supposed followers ie Christians...

Christians were first called that name in Antioch where Paul preached...Jesus NEVER went to Antioch...this is a very important fact we have to take in
hence many history scholars state that Christianity should be called Paulianity...and that the "sect of Christianity" was not started by Jesus Christ, but by Saul of Tarsus

and to give the example of Paul seeing the light on the way to Damascus...where is the second witness to that as demanded for a prophet according to the Bible?
We only have one man's account, his own (or of his scribe Luke)

now further...

many Christians believe that the story of Jesus Christ as son of God...Saviour of the world...begat by God's spirit with an earthly woman who was a virgin...being born poor with animals in a manger/cave...growing up and being a sage at a young age with incredible spiritual insight...healing the sick and the lame...and dying for his beliefs...and being resurrected...many think this story is unique to Jesus Christ...

this is NOT so...

Jesus Christ shares striking similarities with other god-men of almost ALL other religions/sects/cults, some predating him by 3000 years!...examples are the lives/myths of Osiris, Horus and Isis of Egypt...Mithras of Persia and Rome...Krishna of India...Dionysus/Bacchus of the Greeks/Romans...as well as to some extent Hercules/Apollo...also Attis of Phrygia...Zoroaster/Zarathustra of the Persians...Buddha of the Easterners

similarities include:
- born of a virgin
- birth celebration on 25th December,
- only begotten son of God,
- healer,
- saviour,
- redeemer,
- annointed one (ie Christ/Messiah),
- resurrection,
- his teachings (especially the Sermon on the Mount)

...and there is more...

from studying the above lives/myths it is clear that there has been a need in man's heart since the beginning of mankind (of what we have evidence) for a saviour god to come to earth and save man from iniquity/himself...

it is also important to note that more is written about these other god-men in ancient literature than about Jesus Christ (outside of the Bible that is)...this in itself seems a bit odd don't you think?


« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 10:03:30 AM by noname »

Offline Reverend G

  • Est
  • *
  • Posts: 273
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2008, 03:29:02 PM »
Actually, I though the latest for evidence for the gospels places at least some of them in existence as far back as 40 A.D.  (bce).  That would put them within 5 years of the crucifixion.

Offline jfraysse

  • Est
  • *
  • Posts: 283
  • Gender: Male
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2008, 04:06:47 PM »
Brother Noname:  So, do you believe Jesus did not exist?  Is this what you are saying? 

Grace & Peace, John :HeartThrob:
I'm smart enough to know that I'm not always smart enough!

Offline Reverend G

  • Est
  • *
  • Posts: 273
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2008, 11:33:48 AM »
With regard to previous mythic figures similar to Jesus, if we see a common ancestor, and common Father, to all men, it makes perfect sense.  So the Jews were set apart (made holy), as an example of His desires.  This does not mean other peoples would not have shreds of memory of God's plan, corrupted as it may have gotten through time and separation.  That they could remember a prophesied man/god, and various things about him, would be a given.  Their mythological fulfillments of this prophetic figure, in their own tales, would be natural.  The thing that sets the myths and Jesus apart is that only He was a real historical person.  Makes perfect sense.   

Offline Cardinal

  • < Moderator >
  • *
  • Posts: 8130
  • Gender: Female
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2008, 04:47:39 PM »

and to give the example of Paul seeing the light on the way to Damascus...where is the second witness to that as demanded for a prophet according to the Bible?
We only have one man's account, his own (or of his scribe Luke)

 :cloud9: Paul did say the person traveling with him saw the light, but did not hear the voice, so wouldn't that be a second witness in the natural? Not to mention Cornelius whom the Lord had ready and used to heal Paul's temporary blindness. And besides that, the Spirit is our witness that all these things be true. That's what I love about God.......He witnesses Himself, so that none have to doubt.

The Spirit of God is what witnesses to us that we are a new creation after we believe on Him who rose from the dead, even if only to question the reality of that statement. In my own case, the Spirit witnessed it to me, for 4 days before I even knew what had happened to me when I, alone and un-coached, said that seemingly innocuous prayer from my heart. Prior to the Spirit witnessing to me, I only knew or thought of Jesus as a historical personage of some note.

Imagine my shock, when I discovered He was the son of God who comes with power, signs and wonders. I was SO different, I thought I was getting ready to have a nervous breakdown, and couldn't figure out if that was so, then why did I have such joy, like I had never known? Not to mention the shock of my family members, who were presented with a totally different person from one day to the next. Different, as in someone who said they would never set foot in a church to one who woke up asking to go to church, and reading the Bible from the first waking moment that day, and continuing to do so for next 2 years without ceasing. So........that's MY story.......Blessings to you.......

quotes
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 01:15:49 PM by SeekerSA »
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

noname

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2008, 09:47:43 AM »
Brother Noname:  So, do you believe Jesus did not exist?  Is this what you are saying? 
it is not a question of my belief...but a question of proof...this is what this thread's about as i understand it
as for proof of a historical Jesus...outside the gospels, there are NONE
if you have proof of an eye witness account of the life of the historical Jesus (other than the gospels)...please share it with everyone

Reverend G  said:
Quote
Actually, I though the latest for evidence for the gospels places at least some of them in existence as far back as 40 A.D.  (bce).  That would put them within 5 years of the crucifixion.

if you think this, then provide the proof

@ Cardinal
I clearly stated in this thread that we shouldn't confuse spiritual things with historical...spiritual things are subjective ie each person has their own spiritual experiences/awareness or not...and it differs from person to person, not even Christians' experiences of Jesus are the same...

Missipppi Heretic asked a simple question in the beginning of this thread...let's concentrate on the historical/archealogical facts to prove/disprove a historical Jesus?



Offline Cardinal

  • < Moderator >
  • *
  • Posts: 8130
  • Gender: Female
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2008, 03:34:23 PM »
 :cloud9: Sorry about that.....it'd been so long since I viewed this post, I actually forgot this was the one where someone was asking for proof outside the Bible. Forgive the intrusion......carry on...... :thumbsup:
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline Reverend G

  • Est
  • *
  • Posts: 273
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2008, 09:36:54 AM »
Hmm, wish I took notes when i read, then I could give specifics.  I'll look into it.  I think it is from either Qumran or an egyptian dig where fragments were found, that they have ascertained the earlier date for existence.

noname

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2008, 09:17:22 AM »
anyone been able to dig up some truth?
an archeological find...an eye withness account outside the Bible?

I'm still waiting...

Offline Reverend G

  • Est
  • *
  • Posts: 273
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2008, 03:05:22 PM »
With regards to the Gospels, fragments of all were present at Qumran (dead sea scrolls), and since the community was eradicated in 70 ce, we can be certain they existed pre 70.  Also a number of scholars studying language usage have placed dates in the 40's and 50's ce on the various Gospels.  It isn't fresh news.

Offline Reverend G

  • Est
  • *
  • Posts: 273
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2008, 03:30:57 PM »
Regarding secular sources, I can offer these: Josephus, Jewish Historian (37-100ce), related the crucifixion and resurrection as a historical event, Thallus and Phlegon, both lost books, referred to by Julius Africanus, both related the events but hoped to find natural explanations for them (including the eclipse and Jesus' miracles), Tacitus, Roman Senator and later governor of Asia, despised Christians but in 116ce wrote of Jesus crucified under Pilate, and the pernicious outbreak of the cult who followed Him, Mara Bar-Serapion in the 70's ce to his son from prison wondered what good the Jews did in persecuting their wise king, Jesus.  Do you not find it strange that none of the Roman emperors who wished to eradicate Christianity tried to do so by declaiming His existence?  They always tried to force Christians from their faith, or marginalize them, or blame them for evil deeds, but never did they try to tell people that He had not existed, been crucified, they did not even question His resurrection.  Wouldn't that have been easier?  At least stemmed the flow of converts?

At jesusmystery.com they state that there are 19 secular writings of His existence,after discounting Josephus as religiously motivated, and both Gemaras of the Jewish Talmud, since it was religiously motivated and attempted to discount His diety.  Is this enough?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 03:47:55 PM by Reverend G »

noname

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2008, 09:36:53 AM »
again Rev G...you have failed to give me any eyewitness account of the life of Jesus...only some references made by so-called historians after they have heard the story themselves

as for Josephus...it has been proven that certain texts were added to his original texts to favour the myth of Jesus...and I would not trust Josephus so much...if you learn more about his life you will realize that he was a Jewish traitor who walked over to the Romans to spare his own life...and in turn got his childhood friends killed which have stood by him unto the end

as for the Romans prosecuting Christians, it means nothing...they also prosecuted Jews, followers of Zoroaster, followers of any other religion than their own...their religion included the worship of the Caesar and most other religions did not bow down to Ceaser

if you use this straw man argument...then I can ask you why Constantine murdered all the pagans and outlawed their religion/s once he MADE Christianity the official state religion...
and I can also ask you why Christians slaughtered millions of Muslims AND Jews AND Pagans in the Middle Ages on their crusades...
does that make pagan gods real or is Allah the real god then if the prosecution of others is used for an argument that their god is real?

as far as the Dead Sea Scrolls are concerned...do you even know what has been discovered there or are you relying on hearsay again? nothing about Jesus my friend...only fragments of some of the Hebrew scriptures...checkit...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea_Scrolls

Quote
Also a number of scholars studying language usage have placed dates in the 40's and 50's ce on the various Gospels.
I dissagree...the dates you refer to are references to paul's writings...not the Gospels...but again, if you have proof...let's see it

if you claim all these things as true...give us some web links and veritable facts to support your arguments

Offline CHB

  • Silver
  • *
  • Posts: 2071
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2008, 05:13:21 PM »

noname,

Have you read the book called "The Jesus Dynasty" written by James Tabor? This book is worth the read even though James Tabor doesn't believe Jesus was resurrected, he gives pretty strong evidence that Jesus existed.

CHB

Offline Reverend G

  • Est
  • *
  • Posts: 273
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2008, 02:02:05 AM »
It is obvious that you prefer to deny Jesus existence.  That is sad.  That nobody can prove through the showing of an eyewitness any historical character, I suppose you also do not believe in your own great great grandfather.  They faked the whole thing.  Especially since there is much less data available on him.  And certainly nobody has built a belief system around him.  Basically what I am hearing from you is that sources that are perfectly acceptable for proving the existence of any other historical person are not acceptable to the person of Jesus. Any historical document can be questioned, and never can true 100 percent proof be established.  Even G. Washingtons personal signed letters can not be 100 percent authenticated, well I guess they could, if they dug him up, took a DNA sample, and found some dead cells on the letter.  But even that would not prove he wrote it.   
What you are trying to accomplish after the fact is indeed negated by prior existing facts.  Why would authorities not just have denied His existence years ago, why not just call Him the mythical Jesus 1700 years ago?  So much easier than trying to dispel what He was, as that supposes His existence.  Perhaps Jesus was really Francis Bacon?  Even competing monotheistic religions accept His existence, both Judaism and Islam. It would be so much easier to say He never happened, than try to say He isn't what He claimed to be. Of course, realistic scholars accept His existence too, so should I conclude you are unrealistic?  I will not, though I will pray for you.
As to the dead sea scrolls, yes, I do know what I am saying, am aware of your "fragment" argument, and also know the counters to that argument. Actually, if you choose to look, there is more than just easily dismissed fragmentary evidence.  Of course, once your mind has been set against believing something, no amount of credible evidence will be believed. 
Of course, I am definitely a crackpot, I believe that all electronics work on smoke....you let the smoke out of the electronic item, it no longer works...lol.  I witness that happening, though I guess most realistic people believe it is about electron flow or something.  Sorry guys, I'm done here, it is to the point of silliness.

jabcat

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2008, 02:37:45 AM »
There will be many to whom God will give faith after this life, or as I saw posted elsewhere, cause an "earthquake" in their life in this lifetime to open their cell door.  Some arguments are fruitless, as until God gives the ability to believe, some will just refuse to see it...many did so with Jesus standing face to face with them, and as with many others, will have to be correctively punished and cleansed in the lake of fire before every knee bows and every tongue confesses Jesus is Lord. God is good, and He knows what to do with ALL of us.  God's blessing.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 02:39:39 AM by jabcat »

jenna

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2008, 05:02:54 AM »
Noname, you seem dead set on proving Jesus did not exist. Where is your proof that He did not?  :blah: :spank:
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 05:48:39 AM by jenna »

Offline 97531

  • Restricted
  • *
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
  • Truth is Freedom
    • Father's Love Forum
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2008, 05:48:45 AM »
The last 3 posters, I suggest you read the entire thread again.

Noname is a believer, so why would he want to disprove?  Fallacy of assumption.  Read.

Blessings
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 07:36:36 AM by SeekerSA »
My Blog       Father's Love Forum - New
IHWLAMAHOB
Christian Milkshake: Pressed down, shaken together and more than we can hope for

Offline Pierac

  • Bronze
  • *
  • Posts: 1377
  • Gender: Male
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2008, 06:27:00 AM »
Quote from: noname
anyone been able to dig up some truth?
an archeological find...an eye withness account outside the Bible?

I'm still waiting...


Just because you don't have archaeological proof does not mean it doesn't exist. By using your example... In 1950 you could also have said that Pontius Pilate did not exist. Yet you would have been wrong! Because 11 years later in 1961 inscriptions found at Caesarea Martitima, confirmed that Pontius Pilate was the Roman prefect headquartered there. You could have said all the way up to 1961 that there was no archaeological proof that Pontius Pilate was a real person and you would have been WRONG! The proof was there for thousands of years. We just did not know about it yet.  Therefore, the absence of archeological data is not lack of proof/truth.

The same goes for Caiaphas the high priest during the time of Jesus. In 1990, the tomb and ossuary of Caiaphas, was found in Jerusalem. New discovery's are happening every year but slowly due to the restrictions placed by the goverments of the regions.

You got to have faith, that is proof of archaeological findings not yet seen
   :laughing7:

Paul
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 06:29:23 AM by Pierac »

jabcat

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2008, 07:16:31 AM »
It's OK, I want peace, my apologies, I'm sorry. I don't need to argue with the body.  I just personally don't see how the spirit of this thread is helpful, so I'll get off it.  You may sense a spirit of reconciliation in this topic, or some encouragement to the body.  If it's present, that's great.  Maybe it will bless someone.  God's blessing.

noname

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2008, 04:20:06 PM »
The last 3 posters, I suggest you read the entire thread again.

Noname is a believer, so why would he want to disprove?  Fallacy of assumption.  Read.

Blessings
uhmm...thanks SeekerSA...just now people will think I'm an atheist...

@Pierac
you mentioned proof of Jesus' existence can be obtained by proof of people supposedly living the same time as him...
well...history also proves that people/nations mentioned in Homer's Iliad did exist...are you also then going to believe in Zeus, Cronus, Apollo and all the other gods mentioned in his writings like they are for real?
didn't think so...

my quest in this thread as I'm sure Mississipi Heretic's was (when he still participated), was to find the historical Jesus
I have stated before that I haven't found any EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT evidence of him outside the Bible
I still find this hard to understand, don't you guys?

if the Truth is out there I want to know that the Truth I'm putting my beliefs in is REAL...does anyone get what I'm trying to say here?

Offline Pierac

  • Bronze
  • *
  • Posts: 1377
  • Gender: Male
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2008, 05:07:49 PM »
Quote from: noname
if the Truth is out there I want to know that the Truth I'm putting my beliefs in is REAL...does anyone get what I'm trying to say here?

Hey I'm playing along too.   :thumbsup:

Quote from: noname
you mentioned proof of Jesus' existence can be obtained by proof of people supposedly living the same time as him...
well...history also proves that people/nations mentioned in Homer's Iliad did exist...are you also then going to believe in Zeus, Cronus, Apollo and all the other gods mentioned in his writings like they are for real?
didn't think so...

Apples and Oranges, as Zeus, Cronus and Apollo were not born or lived on the earth. Jesus was born and lived on this earth.  No one who believed in Zeus would have said he was a man. Jesus was a man. And being a man who worked a trade it is still possible for Archeological findings to come to light showing Jesus was a historical figure.  What if they found a work order for a carpenter named Jesus who lived in Nazareth? Would that prove anything? Many would still say no.  :2c:


Paul

Kept

  • Guest
Re: Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2008, 05:31:49 PM »
Hi noname

I have yet to find any eye witness accounts outside the bible. I dont think it exists at this time. Maybe some day they will find something.

kept