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  1. #1
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Default Did Jesus exist?

    This is quite polemic. Some people believe Jesus was a divine being, some believe he is a fraud, but, ime, very few people question his existence. I have been through all these phases and today I sincerely believe the Church created him. What do you think?
    Jesus. 1.1. No Primary Source (First-Person) Accounts of Jesus Exist

    No historians of the time mention Jesus. Suetonius (65-135) does not. Pliny the Younger only mentions Christians (Paulists) with no comment of Jesus himself. Tacitus mentions a Jesus, but it is likely that after a century of Christian preaching Tacitus was just reacting to these rumours, or probably talking about one of the many other Messiah's of the time. Josephus, a methodical, accurate and dedicated historian of the time mentions John the Baptist, Herod, Pilate and many aspects of Jewish life but does not mention Jesus. (The Testimonium Flavianum has been shown to be a third century Christian fraud). He once mentions a Jesus, but gives no information other than that he is a brother of a James. Jesus was not an unusual name, either. Justus, another Jewish historian who lived in Tiberias (near Kapernaum, a place Jesus frequented) did not mention Jesus nor any of his miracles. It is only in the evidence of later writers, writing about earlier times, that we find a Jesus. What is more surprising (Jesus could simply have been unknown to local historians) is that academics note that the gospels themselves do not allude to first-hand historical sources, either!

    “The four Gospels that eventually made it into the New Testament, for example, are all anonymous, written in the third person about Jesus and his companions. None of them contains a first-person narrative ("One day, when Jesus and I went into Capernaum..."), or claims to be written by an eyewitness or companion of an eyewitness. Why then do we call them Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Because sometime in the second century, when proto-orthodox Christians recognized the need for apostolic authorities, they attributed these books to apostles (Matthew and John) and close companions of apostles (Mark, the secretary of Peter; and Luke, the travelling companion of Paul). Most scholars today have abandoned these identifications, and recognize that the books were written by otherwise unknown but relatively well-educated Greek-speaking (and writing) Christians during the second half of the first century.”
    Source: http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/chri...y_nojesus.html
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    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


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  2. #2
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    So what? What reason would any ancient historian have to mention a certain 'Jesus' during his lifetime? He was at that time a totally unimportant religious crazy like a ton of others in that part of the world. Nobody during that time could have expected that Christianity would at one point come out on top.
    I'm fairly convinced that there was a historical Jesus. I can remember that Tacitus mentions him, then there's the testamentum Flavianum etc. Now whether he was the 'son of God' - that's a completely diferent kettle of fish. But the one is thinking something is probable, the other is belief. I think it's quite probable that a man called Jesus lived at that time even though I'm certainly not a Christian.
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  3. #3
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    ^ yep, ditto.

    my personal best guess is that he was a minor jewish religious reformer who did not have the intention of creating a whole new religion, but rather to return judaism to what he believed it "should" be, and that christianity as a major belief system was largely inspired by the sociopolitical culture of the time and a long tradition of death-rebirth religions, including mithraism. i think it's easy to question a lot of the things that have been claimed about jesus, but out of sheer logic i think it's more likely that he did exist than he did not. why completely invent someone out of thin air when you can just tweak history? the former seems a little too "conspiracy theory" for my personal tastes.

    and yeah, that website isn't exactly a great looking source. it's got a distinctly geocities look to it.

    i think this is interesting, and provides a range of viewpoints:
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcno.htm

  4. #4
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
    So what? What reason would any ancient historian have to mention a certain 'Jesus' during his lifetime? He was at that time a totally unimportant religious crazy like a ton of others in that part of the world. Nobody during that time could have expected that Christianity would at one point come out on top. .
    i think it's easy to question a lot of the things that have been claimed about jesus, but out of sheer logic i think it's more likely that he did exist than he did not. why completely invent someone out of thin air when you can just tweak history? the former seems a little too "conspiracy theory" for my personal tastes.
    Very intersting points. Well, imo, the single fact that nobody mind mentioning him left plenty of space for people to twist the facts and create ''the man that was crucified for the humanity''. I agree that it would harder to invent a person and I accept that maybe there was a cool religious guy named Jesus back then, altough I doubt that he was even crucified, not to mention his miracles.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  5. #5
    Blind Guardian Haven's Avatar
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    So what if there was a guy named Jesus? There are lots of guys named Jesus.

    What if there was a guy named Zeus, and suddenly people started making up stories about him and how he had control over lightning? Every myth probably has an element of truth to it, but that's not enough to say "Jesus existed" or "Zeus existed". Jesus, as he is portrayed in the Bible, did not exist, or has been exaggerated to the point of mythical status, so it's pointless to say if he was real or not. Okay, maybe he's 5% real, 95% mythical.
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  6. #6
    Ginkgo
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    Jesus was just another number on Pilot's list. It's doubtful that Pilot would have even displaced the decision onto a crowd of Jews like the scripture suggests, as that would have compromised his authority.

    Apparently, Yeshua was a fairly common name at the time. So... yeah.

  7. #7
    Ginkgo
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    Yes, his real name was Yeshua, if he existed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member InTheFlesh's Avatar
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    Why does it matter?

  9. #9
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    I didn't expect you to be glad people were challenging your beliefs. I also made sure the topic wasn't being repeated.
    Quote Originally Posted by InTheFlesh View Post
    Why does it matter?
    Doesn't really affect my life but I believe there's no knowledge that is not power.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  10. #10
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheFlesh View Post
    Why does it matter?
    Why does anything matter?

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