Did Jesus Really Exist?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by paynedaniel, Mar 15, 2005.

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  1. CB3

    CB3 New Member

    I honestly believe that these scriptures were written in advance for others to know that the Messiah would be coming and etc..

    467 prophecies of the OT have been verified. But the one’s pertaining to Christ all came true as predicted; and because these came true, there exists others that will (reasonably believable) come true, which can only be if the resurrection of Christ is true.

    I respect how you look at things regarding this issue. However, prophecy as whole will be a great answer provider for non-believers. It's worth the time and research even if it takes years to understand that the truths set forth in the Bible are 100% accurate. I also recommend reading to Torah..Dead Sea Scrolls. I believe it is imperative that we look at this in a Jewish way and not totally as an American view.
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Re: Re: So what are we supposed to believe?

    Have you actually seen Pluto? If not, how can you believe it exists?

    If you say scientists say so, then I can say the contemporaries of Jesus said He existed.

    How many solar systems do you believe in?
     
  3. BrianH

    BrianH Member

    CB3
    I see you honestly believe this and I also respect how you think.

    I have different presuppositions on this whole matter.

    I will try to collect my thoughts, after I finishing applying for my third doctoral program-thanks NCU :) -and post about my views that Paul "won" and all of the new testament must, if I am correct, be viewed through those lenses....right down to how Peter denied Christ...might I add the same Peter who had a conflict with Paul...I will see what i can put together...
    BH
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2005
  4. CB3

    CB3 New Member

    I would like to send a congrats on applying to your doctoral programs. I would be very interested in reading anything you have to say. I enjoy your scholarship regarding theological discussions.
     
  5. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    If your opinion expresses a belief that cannot be proven, is that not faith? If your opinion conveys zeal, are you not a zealot? If one has zeal for a faith that cannot be verified, is that not religion? You don't appear to be either a theologian or a scientist, capable of critically evaluating either the Bible or scientific literature, but you express a weak faith in the Bible but a strong faith in science. Hence, the faith in what you cannot critically evaluate functions much like the faith of a religious zealot. In sum, folks forget that the brain chemistry, psychological constructs and semantic differential scales to measure faith in science would be nearly identical to that required to measure faith in the Bible.

    May God bless you in your search for the truth!

    Blessings,

    Dave
     
  6. BinkWile

    BinkWile New Member

    I can't even beleive I'm going to post in this forum, considering all of ideaologies in here. I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.

    In any case, I will come out and state first and foremost, that I was raised a catholic. When I turned 18 I moved out of the house, joined the marines and traveled all over the world, spending many years in Japan.

    After seeing so many different cultures ideaologies, and religions, I reassesed my own faith one day and realized that I did not believe in Jesus as God. Nor did I ascribe to any other religion. I find myself to be agnostic, and try to incorporate the message of religion, rather than the "theology" or "mythology" of it all (believer and non believers take your pick).

    With that being said, I don't have anything against Jesus or his followers.

    Now, here is an interesting website with an iteresting read on the historical and biblical evidence on the existence of Jesus:

    http://www.atheists.org/christianity/didjesusexist.html
     
  7. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Why not take a utilitarian approach to the choice of religion? You could maximize your utility by adhering to the religion with the strongest upside, instead of taking the average of all religions. A thought...

    Man, these atheists.org guys are really smart:

    "We thus need to end the pointless debate about whether to "bash" or not "bash" religion in the process of promoting secular humanism. The opponents of religious dogma should be able to attack and ridicule religious beliefs the same as opponents of any other belief system can attack and ridicule that belief system. "

    Source: http://www.atheists.org/Atheism/bash.html

    Don't you think these atheists.org guys are a bunch of deep thinkers? ;-)

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  8. paynedaniel

    paynedaniel New Member

    re:

    John E. Remsburg, in his classic book The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence (The Truth Seeker Company, NY, no date, pp. 24-25), lists the following writers who lived during the time, or within a century after the time, that Jesus is supposed to have lived:

    Josephus
    Philo-Jud?s
    Seneca
    Pliny Elder
    Arrian
    Petronius
    Dion Pruseus
    Paterculus
    Suetonius
    Juvenal
    Martial
    Persius
    Plutarch
    Pliny Younger
    Tacitus
    Justus of Tiberius
    Apollonius
    Quintilian
    Lucanus
    Epictetus
    Hermogones Silius Italicus
    Statius
    Ptolemy
    Appian
    Phlegon
    Ph?rus
    Valerius Maximus
    Lucian
    Pausanias
    Florus Lucius
    Quintius Curtius
    Aulus Gellius
    Dio Chrysostom
    Columella
    Valerius Flaccus
    Damis
    Favorinus
    Lysias
    Pomponius Mela
    Appion of Alexandria
    Theon of Smyrna

    According to Remsburg, "Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ." Nor, we may add, do any of these authors make note of the Disciples or Apostles - increasing the embarrassment from the silence of history concerning the foundation of Christianity.

    *taken from the American Atheist website

    Peace,
    Daniel
     
  9. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Re: re:

    You've made an error in reasoning as many in the Historical Jesus movement have done by not including the NT in your documents to search for the history of Jesus. And how many of the early copies of Greek and Latin manuscripts ofnsome of these authors have survived, versus the New Testament? In fact, the works you describe are nearly unsupported in antiquity next to the mountains of manuscripts documenting the New Testament... What sets of works are more susceptible to forgeries and copying errors? The few documents that can hardly be corroborated or the many NT manuscripts which can be checked against one another?

    Blessings,

    Dave
     
  10. adamsmith

    adamsmith member

    Jesus may have existed, but who was this Jesus? Is he the Jesus of the New Testament, or some other character?

    As Gibbon in that famous 15th chapter of his work 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' observes; if this man Jesus was going about causing the lame to walk, the blind to see, the sick to be healed and the dead to rise; if demons were being expelled and the laws of nature frequently suspended for the benefit of the church, 'the sages of Greece and Rome ...apeared unconscious of any alterations in the moral and physical government of the world.'

    In a time when records of 'great phenomena of nature, earthquakes, coments and eclipses' were so meticulously recorded, there is no contemporary record of the darkness that was suppose to cover the earth during the death of Jesus!

    A good contemporary example is the 'faith' of the Mormon church in believing that Jospeh Smith, their prophet of the 19th century, translated an Egyptian manuscript at a time when our understanding of the Egyptian language was still nil. He translated the manuscript, claiming it was additional Biblical revelation.

    The manuscript, thought lost to the world, was found in a New York museum in the late 1960's. Egyptian scholars have now translated it and found it has nothing to do with Biblical history (the Book of Abraham) but is simply an pagan Egyptian burial rite!

    The evidence is overwhelming, but if the Mormon brethern, in the face of undisputable evidence, still 'believe' and have 'faith' in the translation and the prophet, how can answer?

    Like all religions, it all comes down to that one word "faith". If someone says that they 'believe' in something or someone and have 'faith' in the available evidence, then normally the opportunity for rational discussion and discourse has been closed down.
     
  11. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Matthew 28:45, Mark 15:33, and Luke 23:44 do not say that...

    Blessings,

    Dave
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: re:

    And........certainly you are not implying that you by into that rather ridiculous argument. My reply is....so what??

    As to some other arguments, even if Hitler had written what was posted it became amply evident that he was not a Christian and intended to replace Christianity but gave up. I seem to recall their was some quote about the weakness of Christianity and his desire to replace it with the strength of nature worship/culture worship.

    So, while there is some passive responsibility on the part of some Christians and not a shining period, no one who is not terribly biased would blame the holocaust on Xians. Those particapting could not call themselves Xians. Even the issue of Pius XII is hotley debated by some Catholic historians as anti Catholic bigotry (example the distored Picture of Pius getting out of a car and German soldiers appearing to welcome him. Was well prior to the Nazi's but disorted by the author of the book to sell his point.

    Unlike the person who slapped some Hitler quotes up, let me provide references.

    William Shirer notes "The Nazi regime intended to eventually destroy Christianity in Germany, if it could, and substitute the old paganism of the early germanic Gods and the new paganism of Nazi extremists"(pg 240)

    Hitler stated "The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both the invention of the Jews" History of Christianity Dowley pg 589-90.

    Now, to the person who made the statement that Christianity was responsible for more blood and blah...blah

    D James Kennedy makes the point that:

    Hitler (at best a pagan & Kennedy states operating an atheistic state) killed 11- 16 million plus millions more in the war, Stalin another anti Christian 40 million and Mao 72 million. Probably around 170 million. By contrast his estimate (which some Catholics consider an exaggeration) of the Inquisition was 12,000 in Spain and 30,000 altogether.

    He then makes the point that in the 20th century alone more people have been killed by atheistic states than in all other wars-religous and otherwise.

    So, folks save the anti Christian bigotry. Not all of the acts of people claiming to be Christian are so, no doubt but the exageration and disortion is anti intellectual propaganda. Kennedy wrote an excellent book noting the many things the world owes to the existence of Christianity from the spread of hospitals and education, to many other areas including women's rights.

    North
     
  13. adamsmith

    adamsmith member

    Matthew 28 :45 - don't exist!

    Mark15:33 " Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darness over the whole land until the ninth hour"

    Luke 23:44-45 " Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened..."

    Apart from the unual contradictions - 'whole land' versus 'whole earth', there was a definite event of major magnitude in the heavens that is not recorded in contemporary secular scientific or historic literature.
     
  14. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Hi North:

    The "slapped up" quotes are quite accurate. I read that book in German and the quotes are accurate. Of course, that Austrian was not a Christian in any sense of the term; his movement and state were idolatrous rather than atheistic. Anyone who reads those quotes as implying anything about Christianity is grossly mistaken, but the quotes are real. They could be further multiplied from the Tischreden and the speeches; similar quotes are absent from the until recently unpublished so-called Second Book (Gerhard Weinberg of ?UNC has put out an edition of it in '03 or '04).

    The assertion that the Christian references in Pliny the Younger are fraudulent is not generally accepted among classicists (a discipline hardly hospitable to Christian views, BTW). I do not recall their authenticity being questioned. The Tacitus reference is problematic, and the Josephus more so. But the argument from silence is quite silly. Many of the writers listed do not write much about religion in any case; many of the rest would have disdained to write about one more barbarian religion--especially an offshoot of Judaism; and Petronius is simply a pornographer (very funny at times, but not the source for discussion of Roman or any other religion).

    Perhaps one should regard this list itself as a sort of Marian devotion or list of eevangelical base ball players or moronic book about Katie Luther: something nice to comfort the faithful but not probative, exactly. I have never much cared for soppy devotional literature of any variety.

    Janko
     
  15. paynedaniel

    paynedaniel New Member

    Re: Re: re:

    I'm not quite sure how it's a ridiculous argument to expect some mention of such an important "historical" figure in the writings of contemporaneous historians. It seems to me that anyone who did the things Jesus supposedly did would earn some mention apart from the disputed Josephus and Philo passages.

    I'm kind of disappointed that the Hitler conversation has been addressed in repsonse to my post - I have said nothing of Hitler.

    Peace,
    Daniel
     
  16. paynedaniel

    paynedaniel New Member

    Point taken about most of the historians listed not being interested in recording religious history, but I would think they would be quite interested in recording a religion so opposed to the Roman rule. Christian beginnings were not exclusively religious - in fact, many upstart Christian groups of the 1st century were probably quite political. It seems the historians would have been interested in the founder of such a politically charged religion.

    Peace,
    Daniel
     
  17. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Sorry, Matthew 27:45...

    Nope, try the NIV, the Greek text or another translation... There are no contradictions. Perhaps there was a large event visible outside of Palestine, but may I kindly suggest that you haven't researched enough to make your point?

    Blessings,

    Dave
     
  18. Kirkland

    Kirkland New Member

    From the references provided, it appears that there is a lack of (read "no") official, contemporary records of Christ (e.g. census records, court records, tax records, business records, stone engravings, contemporary writings, etc). It appears that the supplied historical and biblical references are writings 50-200 years after the fact which could be the genesis of myth and that could (perhaps unwittingly) describe a fictitious character who embodied the traits of religious/spiritual heroism. Anecdotal evidence such as the discovered tomb of a contemporary high priest only confirms the existence of the priest, not of any other individual during that period. So...if official and contemporary records of Jesus exist or there is any other tangible evidence, please point them out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2005
  19. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    If you would like to discuss some particular classical authors with careful citation and reference--on another thread--we might have an interesting discussion. Or not. But how on earth you can prove or even surmise that some given author didn't discuss Jesus because Jesus did not exist defies imagination. And your--or my--notions of what this or that classical author *ought* to have cared about are silly if stand-alone and eisegetical if used to warp readings of the texts themselves.

    Just two things. Columella wrote about farming. In Spain. Versified tech books on farming. In Spain. How many ag schools have theology courses? Lysias died quite some time before Christ (380 BCE). This might have lessened his interest in Jesus.

    Put that list away. It's dumb.
     
  20. Kirkland

    Kirkland New Member

    Janko, if your comments are directed to my post, your apparent rebuttal still does not offer anything tangible.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2005

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