Author Topic: Did Jesus really exist?  (Read 2105 times)

ManxLoaghtan

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Re: Did Jesus really exist?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2016, 04:05:13 AM »
So many people from that period of time with the same name...Joshua, Jesus... whichever, I suspect stories were told and the exaggerations were thrown in and the whole concept grew over time. No more or less than any other story of "God's" and a lot of it taken from those said stories. Yes he has always existed; so many guises and forms throughout history of mans imagination. 

Lowpassfilter

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Re: Did Jesus really exist?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2016, 02:31:07 AM »
A couple of things to add. The reference in Tacitus is regarded by many as a likely redaction by a much later copyist -- I only know this because I took a class at university in codicology (manuscripts and such), and this came up. We take it for granted in the 21st century that important events will be recorded in writing straight away, or soon after, and the resulting text distributed to the general public, but historically it was normal for textual records to appear long after things actually happened. The best scholarship seems to indicate that the very earliest manuscript copies of the Gospel of Mark (Mark? I think it's that one...) date from around about 50 years after Jesus's death. As if that's not problematic enough, there were no standards placed upon writers to check facts, do research, interview witnesses, etc. You could pretty much write whatever you wanted and pass it to others as the truth, which happened all over the place. And even if the author of Mark did in fact interview witnesses of Jesus's life, or if he was there himself, think of how badly the passage of time would have mangled the memories... Man, I have problems remembering things that happened last week!

David Waring

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Re: Did Jesus really exist?
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2016, 11:18:19 AM »
Personally I learn on the side that a historical Jesus did exist. Many atheists jump very quickly to agree with Jesus Myth theories, because wouldn't it be funny if we could show Christians that Jesus never existed.

I wouldn't want to solely rely on an appeal to authority, however most biblical scholars and related historians agree that there was a Jesus including Bart Ehrman, a distinguished atheist new testament academic. Jesus Myth theories have gained substantial ground to be recognised and responded  to.

Paul's letters are our  earliest reference to an historical Jesus. He hasn't meet him personally, but claims to know people who did, such as Peter and James his brother. To argue against this you have to have a good argument that Paul was only referring to a spiritual Christ who only ascended to lower realms but not as far as earth and that this figure was later historicized in the gospels. This I think is roughly Richard Carrier's argument.

But it would be odd, if this were the case, that of all the heresies of the early church, the denial of a historical Jesus want one of them.

And it's not enough just to assume that the majority of biblical scholars are simply biased, because in my experience biblical scholarship is a serious discipline, and it's not uncommon for many to reach conclusions that would run counter to their own faith traditions,if any. And most peer reviewed new testament scholarship would view the gospels as reliable as historical documents of the life of Jesus.

A historical Jesus makes absolutely no difference to an atheist position.

Yet I still keep an open mind on this one, because the most robust Jesus myth theories haven't been around that long.

In short, there's absolutely no reason to go against the consensus on this, but you'd need a really good argument and dialogue.

Lurker

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Re: Did Jesus really exist?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2016, 06:42:43 AM »
I have noticed a striking preoccupation with Jesus here. Now, I'm new, so be easy on me.

To answer the question, yes, I think he existed. He could have been a manipulative figure like Jim Jones...I see that a bit more than an exceptionally kind person. "Miracles" are used to awe and inspire devotion, they could only be self-serving, because they didn't happen, so....would a modest, kind man lie?

I do hope that the fascination with Jesus ends....he's a relic, a holy figure in a book of mythology.

I want to look to the future.

David Waring

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Re: Did Jesus really exist?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2016, 02:13:12 PM »
I meant to say there is no reason NOT to go against the consensus.

MALucifer821

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Re: Did Jesus really exist?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2016, 05:22:27 PM »
I for one tend to side with the "if Jesus did exist, Jesus was a woman, or a hermaphrodite" hypothesis/theory
http://jdstone.org/cr/files/genetics-proves-that-jesus-was-a-woman.html

BeforeTheThrone

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Re: Did Jesus really exist?
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2016, 01:25:10 PM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3985150/Is-written-mention-Jesus-2-000-year-old-lead-tablets-remote-cave-genuine-claim-researchers.html

I saw this article a few days ago, which talks about the recent authentication of a set of tablets which are now the earliest reference we have to Jesus by name, dated within a few years of his life. According to the article, the contents of the tablets suggest that the God that Jesus worshipped was both male and female, and that he was trying to revive a tradition from the time of David rather than start his own religion. The tablets also mention the names of multiple Apostles.

Overall, the evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus seems to be overwhelming, and I have never seen a strong argument not to believe the sources we have, so I believe that Jesus was a historical person, even though I do not necessarily believe every claim about what his life was like.

For anyone interested, I think that the book "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" by Reza Aslan is a great one about the historical Jesus, rather than the theological one, and the historical context of his life, which does not rely as much on the New Testament as many other books about Jesus seem to be.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 01:27:23 PM by BeforeTheThrone »