I'm not sure why Jesus' existence, apart from any miraculous events, is considered so unlikely. There are references to his existence, death, and/or teachings in many non-Christian sources: the Roman historian Tacitus (who specified Jesus' death took place under Pilate and during the reign of Tiberius), one of the Emperor Hadrian's scribes, Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, Pliny the Younger, and many others referred to Jesus and the beliefs and actions of his followers.
Originally Posted by Frunchy Mama
I don't think the story needs to be literally true to be significant and meaningful. I think that requirement takes away from the purpose of the story itself.
That presumes the purpose of the story is something other than the relating of facts. It seems to me that the reason the Gospel writers were so specific about dates and places was to indicate that this was not just a story, but actual events which took place.
|What if it were proved untrue? Just humor me here. Does that then mean that all the messages of the story mean nothing and should be just tossed out with yesterday's celebrity rumors? The meaning is in the story, IMO, not in it's literal occurance.
What meaning or message is found in "the story," assuming everything it says is untrue? Very little, as far as I can see.
Aesop's fables were written to illustrate a point. The point is very clear and obvious, and is just as valid even if the story illustrating it is a nonsense tale about talking animals. Yes, in this case, it is the story that matters.
In the written Gospels, however, the whole point is that certain things, very significant things, actually took place, and that these things affected us and the universe profoundly. If these things did not take place, the "story" is worthless. Worse than worthless, because we are called on to live our lives based on fiction.