non-Biblical evidence of Jesus' Existence? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 02-03-2005, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought that his crucifixion was on record with the Romans. And that other non-Biblical texts referred to him as well. Now, some say this is wrong?
What is the evidence? How do you judge it to be authentic or not?

If you don't believe that Jesus existed, do you believe that Paul (who apparently knew Jesus) was real? What about Simon Peter (the first pope)?
Thanks!
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#2 of 40 Old 02-03-2005, 10:13 PM
 
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If you google for "historical jesus" you'll get thousands of different points of view! Nobody knows for sure, and it seems nobody can agree on the issue, either.
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#3 of 40 Old 02-04-2005, 07:58 PM
 
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Interesting link, NM. I like it.
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#4 of 40 Old 02-05-2005, 12:54 AM
 
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Jesus is mentioned a surprising amount in the Talmud, both directly and indrectly. Sometimes euphemism is used to refer to him, such as "a certain Galilean" in lieu of saying his name.

Some of the mentionings are very "un pc" to put it mildly, some are neutral, some are just kinda strange.

Mary is also mentioned. She is called a hairdresser, which again may be a euphemism. A whole book could be written about the use of euphemism and double entendre in the Talmud but that is another subject.
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#5 of 40 Old 02-05-2005, 03:15 PM
 
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Try this site:

http://pages.ca.inter.net/~oblio/home.htm

Quote:
Historical Jesus or Jesus Myth: The Jesus Puzzle
Did Christianity begin with an historical Jesus or a Jesus myth? Was the original Jesus a man or a mythical savior god? Solving the Jesus Puzzle through the Christian and ancient-world record, from the Pauline epistles to the Gospels to the second century Christian apologists, from Philo to Josephus to Jewish and Hellenistic philosophy.

Christian faith evolved from a Jesus myth to an historical Jesus. New Testament scholarship needs to uncover that original evolution and rewrite the history of Western religion.
and this:

http://www.medmalexperts.com/POCM/index.html

Quote:


The POCM web site introduces you to the mainstream modern scholarship about Christianity's origins in ancient Pagan religion.

You already know Christmas trees and Easter eggs were originally Pagan, and you probably know the traditional mid-winter and spring timing of the two holidays was Pagan too. Mildly interesting. Not what you'll find here.

What you'll discover here is that Christianity inherited everything from the Pagans. The core of Christianity -- the worship of a dying Godman who is resurrected, ascends into heaven and brings salvation to mankind -- was also the core of a number of ancient Pagan religions that began in the Near East two thousand years before Jesus.

Christian theology borrowed more than the archaic myth of the dying-resurrected Godman. Initiation by baptism, communion with the God through a holy meal that represented the flesh of the dead God, the Holy Spirit, monotheism, and immortality of the soul were all core beliefs of many ancient faiths. They were simply part of ancient Mediterranean culture.

Christianity also borrowed elements of Jesus' mythology: the virgin birth, the miracles (including turning water into wine, walking on water, and especially healing the sick) were all common elements of pre-Christian Pagan religions. Mithras had 'em. So did Dionysus, Attis, Osiris, and Orpheus. And more. And they had them centuries before Christianity was a twinkle in Saint Paul's eye.

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#6 of 40 Old 02-05-2005, 03:45 PM
 
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Of course there's nothing new under the sun, and every religion that ever existed borrowed metaphors, rituals, and stories from the ones before it. Saying that doesn't strike me as evidence that a particular religion or religious story is invalid, or that Jesus didn't exist.

CS Lewis wrote about his conversion in his letters. He and some of his friends met regularly to discuss religion and philosophy, and one night he had a realization.
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What Dyson and Tolkien showed me was this: that if I met the idea of sacrifice in a Pagan story I didn’t mind it at all: again, that if I met the idea of a god sacrificing himself to himself (cf. the quotation opposite the title page of Dymer) I liked it very much and was mysteriously moved by it: again the idea of the dying and reviving god (Balder, Adonis, Bacchus) similarly moved me provided I met it anywhere except in the Gospels. The reason was that in Pagan stories I was prepared to feel the myth as profound and suggestive of meanings beyond my grasp even tho’ I could not say in prose ‘what it meant.’

Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened: and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God’s myth where the others are men’s myths: ie the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as he found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call ‘real things.’ Therefore it is true, not in the sense of being a ‘description’ of God (that no finite mind could take in) but in the sense of being the way in which God chooses to (or can) appear to our faculties.
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#7 of 40 Old 02-05-2005, 09:35 PM
 
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I think that there are several questions here that need to be separated. The first question is whether Jesus actually existed as an historical person. The second is whether Jesus was God. The third is whether the various accretions that have occurred in Christianity over the years are actually Christian in nature. A subset of the third question is whether something drawn into Christianity from the outside, like Christmas, can be "Christianized" or whether it is always tainted by its non-Christian religion.

This is a topic where we need to work forward. To say that non-Christian things have been drawn into Christianity tells us nothing about whether Christ existed in history or whether Christ was God. To attack the notion that Christ was God by saying that the various god like things about Him were derived from other religions says nothing about whether He existed in history as such.

The historical record of Christ's existence is contained in the gospels. Even if we discard the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we still have the post-resurrection books. To say that those are all fakes would imply that some sort of massive conspiracy existed in historical time perpetrated by people who would have been Christ's contemporaries. So the obvious question is not where is the extra biblical evidence that Christ existed, but where is the contemporary evidence that He did not.

As for extra biblical evidence about the existence of Christ, why should there be any? Christ wasn't Caesar. There were no monuments to Him in his lifetime. He ruled no nations. He won no wars. In history at the time, He was an insignificant person. A lack of an extra biblical record proves nothing. There is not, for example, any evidence in Egypt that Moses existed. This does not mean that Moses did not exist. On the face of things, given that Christ as a historical personage was a poor carpenter and a non-citizen of the Roman Empire, I would say that books of the New Testament provide an extremely rich historical record of him for the time. I don't think we know as much about any other common person of the era.
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#8 of 40 Old 02-06-2005, 02:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Unagidon
I think that there are several questions here that need to be separated. The first question is whether Jesus actually existed as an historical person.
Thi is the question of the OP.

Quote:
The second is whether Jesus was God.
This is not and is irrelevant.

Quote:
The third is whether the various accretions that have occurred in Christianity over the years are actually Christian in nature. A subset of the third question is whether something drawn into Christianity from the outside, like Christmas, can be "Christianized" or whether it is always tainted by its non-Christian religion.
Also

gtg. More later...
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#9 of 40 Old 02-06-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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You already know Christmas trees and Easter eggs were originally Pagan, and you probably know the traditional mid-winter and spring timing of the two holidays was Pagan too. Mildly interesting. Not what you'll find here.

What you'll discover here is that Christianity inherited everything from the Pagans. The core of Christianity -- the worship of a dying Godman who is resurrected, ascends into heaven and brings salvation to mankind -- was also the core of a number of ancient Pagan religions that began in the Near East two thousand years before Jesus.
I agree that the divinity of Christ and the relationship of pagan ritual to Christian ritual is off topic and irrelevant. But I was responding to the quote above and I think my point was that these things are irrelevant to the question of whether Jesus existed in history.
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#10 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it is quite a conspiracy theory to say that Jesus of Nazareth (regardless of his manli- and/or godliness) never walked the earth.

People who do not think Jesus was an historical person-- Do you think that John the Baptist was real (apparently he has more evidence)? and the 12 apostles? What do you say of the execution of Jesus' brother, James? Is there good reason to think that these people did not exist as well? Just curious. The idea that Jesus is completely mythical is new to me. Thank you for your well-thought out replies, I am learning from everyone here.

I'd also like to give my opinion, though it isn't completely formed. I think that Jesus was a real and remarkable man. The most important part of his life was neither his birth nor his death. These have been embellished with pagan myth as the POCM article says. It's what Jesus said and did as he lived that is most important, and which does not get enough attention. The Sermon on the Mount. Ministering to Women, "sinners", lepers and other socially disadvantaged people. How many pagan gods did that? Love one another as I have loved you. Was that not original? More important to me than a virgin birth or a resurrection.
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#11 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 09:42 AM
 
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Katiemare, I suggest you read the Jesus Puzzle site and then talk about conspiracy theories.

As well, here is an article by Robert Price who has written 2 books on the Jesus Myth topic. This article is part of a debate, so you can see both sides. Price argues that historians have to depend on probabilities. And the idea a supernatural godman really existed, so similar to the hero archetype common in many other previous religions, is just not probable. If one wants to put aside reason and depend on faith, that is a choice one can make, of course.

But it is a choice, not a given.

http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...in/price1.html
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#12 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 09:45 AM
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Daryll, why do you try so hard to convince everyone that Jesus is a myth and the Bible isn't believable?
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#13 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 09:58 AM
 
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And now, the extra- Biblical "corroborating historical evidence" the OP asked for:

Quote:
Philo, one of the most renowned writers the Jewish race has produced, was born before the beginning of the Christian Era, and lived for many years after the time at which Jesus is supposed to have died. His home was in or near Jerusalem, where Jesus is said to have preached, to have performed miracles, to have been crucified, and to have risen from the dead. Had Jesus done these things, the writings of Philo would certainly contain some record of his life. Yet this philosopher, who must have been familiar with Herod's massacre of the innocents, and with the preaching, miracles and death of Jesus, had these things occurred; who wrote an account of the Jews, covering this period, and discussed the very questions that are said to have been near to Christ's heart, never once mentioned the name of, or any deed connected with, the reputed Savior of the world.

In the closing years of the first century, Josephus, the celebrated Jewish historian, wrote his famous work on "The Antiquities of the Jews." In this work, the historian made no mention of Christ, and for two hundred years after the death of Josephus, the name of Christ did not appear in his history. There were no printing presses in those days. Books were multiplied by being copied. It was, therefore, easy to add to or change what an author had written. The church felt that Josephus ought to recognize Christ, and the dead historian was made to do it. In the fourth century, a copy of "The Antiquities of the Jews" appeared, in which occurred this passage: "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works; a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

Such is the celebrated reference to Christ in Josephus. A more brazen forgery was never perpetrated.
http://www.infidels.org/library/hist...ally_live.html

Interesting article.
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#14 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 09:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sleeping queen
Daryll, why do you try so hard to convince everyone that Jesus is a myth and the Bible isn't believable?
Because they ask me to, dear one. I present the evidence. People can make up their own minds. I really don't care.
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#15 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 11:20 AM
 
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#16 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 01:29 PM
 
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Non-Biblical writings: Tacitus, Pliny, Josephus, Seutonius, Thallus:

http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...er/hojfaq.html

Quote:
Some Christian apologists commonly claim that the events described in the New Testament are independently attested to in writings by non-Christians, thereby supporting the accuracy of the New Testament. ... I have omitted discussion of references to Jesus in the Talmud...as well as the gnostic Christian texts. While these writings are themselves important, they tend to contradict New Testament accounts...
... it is known that some texts have been corrupted over time, or have been changed by unscrupulous copyists. Thus, it is not always possible to separate later interpolations from the original writings. ...Second of all, some texts have been lost, and are only known through quotations in secondary sources. In addition, not only have some alleged references to Jesus been lost as primary sources, but some early criticisms of Christianity were suppressed by the early Church and no longer survive. Furthermore, of the surviving texts, both pro-Christian and otherwise, many texts cannot be dated with precision, or survive in more than one form. ...

A reader of the ancient texts is struck by how little the literature has to say about events in the New Testament. For example, Herod's infamous murder of the Innocents...

... if a writer is merely repeating what he was told by Christians, who in turn derive their information from the New Testament, then the text in question does not provide independent confirmation of the New Testament, as the claims involved are ultimately derived from the NT. An example of what might constitute independent confirmation would be an eyewitness account by a non-Christian author, or an entry in a Roman legal document...
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#17 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nursing Mother
This quote can be debated.

I've never asked, yet you're still trying to convince me
It's all about you, isn't it NM? Were you the OP of this thread?
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#18 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Katiemare
People who do not think Jesus was an historical person-- Do you think that John the Baptist was real (apparently he has more evidence)? and the 12 apostles? What do you say of the execution of Jesus' brother, James? Is there good reason to think that these people did not exist as well?
asking you, mostly, Darylll. So Paul made it all up?
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#19 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 03:12 PM
 
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Katiemare, I appreciate your curiosity. It is a huge subject and I provided links to help you. Paul was working within the Hellenised Judaic community. His ideas were not plucked out of thin air. They were drawn from Essenic Judaism, the proto-rabbinic community, and neo-Platonism. He did not know of John the Baptist or 12 disciples.

Please read the links at your leisure. Also check out the Was Paul Gay? thread for more on Paul.
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#20 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 03:46 PM
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Ancient non-christian sources

Quote:
Often people are uncertain about the existence of Christ, but few scholars would disagree that a man named Jesus lived roughly between 2 BC and about 33 AD. History documents that this man was not a myth but a real person and the historical evidence for this is excellent. For instance, the Roman historian Tacitus, writing in about 115 A.D., records the events surrounding Emperor Nero in July of A.D. 64. After the fire that destroyed much of Rome, Nero was blamed for being responsible:
http://www.xenos.org/classes/papers/doubt.htm
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#21 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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... it is known that some texts have been corrupted over time, or have been changed by unscrupulous copyists. Thus, it is not always possible to separate later interpolations from the original writings. ...Second of all, some texts have been lost, and are only known through quotations in secondary sources. In addition, not only have some alleged references to Jesus been lost as primary sources, but some early criticisms of Christianity were suppressed by the early Church and no longer survive. Furthermore, of the surviving texts, both pro-Christian and otherwise, many texts cannot be dated with precision, or survive in more than one form. ...

A reader of the ancient texts is struck by how little the literature has to say about events in the New Testament. For example, Herod's infamous murder of the Innocents...

... if a writer is merely repeating what he was told by Christians, who in turn derive their information from the New Testament, then the text in question does not provide independent confirmation of the New Testament, as the claims involved are ultimately derived from the NT. An example of what might constitute independent confirmation would be an eyewitness account by a non-Christian author, or an entry in a Roman legal document...
Good quote.

If we had to prove the existence of anyone from the Roman World through the existence of a legal document, we be unable to prove that almost anyone existed. As for eyewitness accounts, even the histories of the Caesars are full of contradictions.

Leaving aside the miracles for a moment, can we prove that Jesus existed through a non-Christian source? Probably not. But to prove that Jesus did not exist would require one to disprove the historicity of the Christian sources. I don't think that this has been done.

Our understanding of the times of Christ are often influenced by what Christianity became later; Big, Organized, and Produced by Cecil B DeMille. Since Christianity is big now, we are looking for signs that it was big then. But it wasn't. At one point it was one poor carpenter and some guys. One can accept this or not. But at its origins, it just wasn't on the radar screen. One can believe the Bible or not, but not only do we not have outside evidence for miracles, the people who were there to see them weren't seeing them either. Fact is, to Rome and to the local authorities in Jerusalem, Christ was a petty criminal and a heretic. Not worth anyone's notice. So I think we should be surprised if He appeared in the same chronicles that were documenting Tiberius or Claudius.

One of the biggest historical mysteries is how Christianity expanded so quickly. If it was through a conspiracy, it was a conspiracy of illiterate fisherman in a backwater country where Romans were sent to govern as a punishment. Yes, there was Paul, the Roman citizen. But who was he? He was a nobody too. I know that the spread of Christianity doesn't prove that Christ existed. But it doesn't support the idea that He was concocted either.

I suppose that we don't have much more evidence for the historicity of Christ than we do for any other common inhabitant of the Roman Empire. We have a succession of early popes whose names we hardly know; yet no one is claiming they don't exist. Almost all the evidence is in the Christian texts. And our historical (as a science) support for Christ in these texts comes from the application to them of modern historical and archeological methods. Not much more to say.

If you want to get more controversial about this (and maybe provoke a more interesting discussion), start a thread with a topic like "If it turned out that some of the Bible were not factually true, would Christianity immediately come crashing to the ground?"
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#22 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, D. Yes, I did "ask for it." and this thread IS for everyone who has ideas to offer!
(from the pocm site) "The core of Christianity -- the worship of a dying Godman who is resurrected , ascends into heaven and brings salvation to mankind -- " Yes, that is the core of the organized religion, Christianity. It is NOT the core of Christ the man. I don't think the embellished myth around his life and death can prove that Jesus did not live. Christ was a social activist who did not call himself god. Why is the message of loving one's enemies mixed in with all the myth??

I don't buy the argument of the Jesus Puzzle website. If you are playing along at home, check this out to see who wrote TJP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Doherty btw, wikipedia has stolen HOURS of my life

This critique is written by a secular humanist scholar who believes in an historical Jesus (my own philisophical leaning at the moment). http://www.geocities.com/b_d_muller/djp1.html and there are useful links within that article as well.


Meowee-- what is hairdresser a euphemism for? Was that an unclean profession? After I get my grad school work done tonight I am going to look for some of the Talmud references. If you have links already, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks again, for all the links, muthas. Have a great day!
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#23 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unagidon
If we had to prove the existence of anyone from the Roman World through the existence of a legal document, we be unable to prove that almost anyone existed. As for eyewitness accounts, even the histories of the Caesars are full of contradictions.
Modern court cases tell us eyewitnesses are not 100% reliable.

Quote:
Leaving aside the miracles for a moment, can we prove that Jesus existed through a non-Christian source? Probably not. But to prove that Jesus did not exist would require one to disprove the historicity of the Christian sources. I don't think that this has been done.
The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man Robert Price.

Quote:
Fact is, to Rome and to the local authorities in Jerusalem, Christ was a petty criminal and a heretic. Not worth anyone's notice. So I think we should be surprised if He appeared in the same chronicles that were documenting Tiberius or Claudius.
Actually, I beleive one of the links I provided stated Josephus reported on quite a few minor Palestinian characters. I believe he also lists something like 13 Jewish insurrectionists named Jesus, none of whom are "of Nazareth."

Quote:
One of the biggest historical mysteries is how Christianity expanded so quickly. If it was through a conspiracy, it was a conspiracy of illiterate fisherman in a backwater country where Romans were sent to govern as a punishment.
No, it was a new Jewish movement, attractive to commoners, at a time when Judaism was under huge stress as its Temple was just destroyed and Jews were being exiled out of Jerusalem. Plus, the Roman State religion and the worship of Emperors as gods were nearing the end of their political usefulness.


Quote:
I suppose that we don't have much more evidence for the historicity of Christ than we do for any other common inhabitant of the Roman Empire. We have a succession of early popes whose names we hardly know; yet no one is claiming they don't exist.
Yes, they are actually! :LOL

Quote:
Almost all the evidence is in the Christian texts. And our historical (as a science) support for Christ in these texts comes from the application to them of modern historical and archeological methods. Not much more to say.
Correct.

Quote:
If you want to get more controversial about this (and maybe provoke a more interesting discussion), start a thread with a topic like "If it turned out that some of the Bible were not factually true, would Christianity immediately come crashing to the ground?"
Hm. Is the earth a flat disc covered by a domed sky with windows to let the rain fall? Do rabbits chew the cud? Are insects 4 legged? Is there a mountain tall enough to see the entire earth from when you stand on top of it? Is epilepsy caused by demons?


**CRASH!!!**
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#24 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SQ
Often people are uncertain about the existence of Christ, but few scholars would disagree that a man named Jesus lived roughly between 2 BC and about 33 AD. History documents that this man was not a myth but a real person and the historical evidence for this is excellent. For instance, the Roman historian Tacitus, writing in about 115 A.D., records the events surrounding Emperor Nero in July of A.D. 64. After the fire that destroyed much of Rome, Nero was blamed for being responsible:
There were probably hundreds if not thousands of Jesuses in Palestine in the 1st cent CE.

Just b/c there were "Christians" in Rome whom Nero blamed for his fire, does not prove the existance of a particular Jesus of Nazereth aka the Christ-Messiah.

From my link, which I think I can quote in its entirety, as it is short:

Quote:
In his Annals, Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 CE) writes that Christians

"derived their name and origin from Christ, who, in the reign of Tiberius, had suffered death by the sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate" (Annals 15.44)

Two questions arise concerning this passage:

1. Did Tacitus really write this, or is this a later Christian interpolation?
2. Is this really an independent confirmation of Jesus's story, or is Tacitus just repeating what some Christians told him?

Some scholars believe the passage may be a Christian interpolation into the text. However, this is not at all certain, and unlike Josephus's Testimonium Flavianum, no clear evidence of textual tampering exists.

The second objection is much more serious. Conceivably, Tacitus may just be repeating what he was told by Christians about Jesus. If so, then this passage merely confirms that there were Christians in Tacitus' time, and that they believed that Pilate killed Jesus during the reign of Tiberius. This would not be independent confirmation of Jesus's existence. If, on the other hand, Tacitus found this information in Roman imperial records (to which he had access) then that could constitute independent confirmation. There are good reasons to doubt that Tacitus is working from Roman records here, however. For one, he refers to Pilate by the wrong title (Pilate was a prefect, not a procurator). Secondly, he refers to Jesus by the religious title "Christos". Roman records would not have referred to Jesus by a Christian title, but presumably by his given name. Thus, there is excellent reason to suppose that Tacitus is merely repeating what Christians said about Jesus, and so can tell us nothing new about Jesus's historicity.
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#25 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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Well, you got me on the popes. But since you’ve fallen into my trap, you would want to note the parallels between the early pope debate and this thread. There are those who say that the earliest popes did not exist, because there is inadequate historical evidence for them and those that want to say that they did not exist, because there were no early popes (i.e. anti-papists).

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No, it was a new Jewish movement, attractive to commoners, at a time when Judaism was under huge stress as its Temple was just destroyed and Jews were being exiled out of Jerusalem. Plus, the Roman State religion and the worship of Emperors as gods were nearing the end of their political usefulness.
But as you know, the first emperor was Augustus, and he was “deified” in his lifetime only by some suck ass cities in Asia Minor. He was “deified” at his death, but even Tiberius who succeeded him did not promote the cult of a deified Augustus. Caius “Caligula” is said to have deified himself, but he was widely regarded as a nut case. Claudius was deified posthumously, although it is true that in his lifetime there was the start of a wider movement to deify sitting Roman emperors – in the provinces. The point is, emperor worship wasn’t ending when Christ appeared. It was only beginning, so your point is simply incorrect.

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Hm. Is the earth a flat disc covered by a domed sky with windows to let the rain fall? Do rabbits chew the cud? Are insects 4 legged? Is there a mountain tall enough to see the entire earth from when you stand on top of it? Is epilepsy caused by demons?


**CRASH!!!**
(Gosh, I hope you are an atheist.)

I don’t think that Christianity would exist after all these years if it could fall because of doubts thrown on the factual veracity of the Bible. Christianity is more than that. The question of why is probably more interesting than that of whether Christ made water out of wine.

What is interesting to me, though, is that someone who thinks that Christianity will fall if the Bible is not proved literally factual is coming from the same basic assumptions about the Bible and Christianity as the Fundamentalists. They of course accept the literalness of the Bible as a matter of faith, so historical or scientific arguments are irrelevant to them in any case. But this mirror image of doubt locks its holder into a shared presupposition. While the black and white rejection of something can be, or at least seem, deeply liberating, this kind of liberation is not necessarily transcendent. In effect, the people who you are arguing against are not going to listen and the people who would listen have probably already accepted a great deal of your argument, but remain Christians nonetheless because they don’t accept the basic fundamentalist assumption in the first place.
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#26 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Unagidon
Well, you got me on the popes.
Well, you got me on the emperors.
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#27 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 09:20 PM
 
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Oh, and I am not an atheist. Should I be?
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#28 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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If you are attacking Christianity because it has no historical foundation, I guess I would expect that you would demand a historical foundation for your belief system. I can't think of any religion that has an historical foundation. So I had to believe that you didn't believe in God.
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#29 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 10:20 PM
 
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Hm. I am not attacking Xtianity, I am critiquing it.

I am a gnostic inter-religionist.
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#30 of 40 Old 02-07-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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I am a gnostic inter-religionist.
Is there any more historical evidence that gnosticism existed? And what kind of gnostic are you? Wasn't it always associated with Christianity? Can it be disassociated from Christianity?
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