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Did Jesus exist?

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
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Do you believe Jesus existed?

Definitely
5
8%
Probably
22
34%
Probably not
21
32%
Definitely not
8
12%
Other
9
14%
 
Total votes: 65

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Nick
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#101 Post by Nick » July 16th, 2009, 3:34 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Alan C. wrote:First of all there was no Jesus, he is just a continuation/adaptation of the Mithras myth and many others, as for Nazareth there is archaeological evidence that it didn't exist 2,000 years ago (google it)
Hmmm. I have googled it, and I'm afraid I'm not convinced by that article.

Furthermore, though I am sure the Jesus of the bible and all his works and sayings are merely legends and later fabrications, it also strikes me as likely that there was one man who acted as a catylist. For example, why would the bible mention Nazareth otherwise? Much more convenient to have had Jesus living in Bethlehem all along. And what was it about the year 1CE which changed the way people viewed their religious history? The Mithras myth has been consciously bent to fit other (unknown) data. Why did this occur? If it wasn't a Jesus figure who claimed something, then maybe it was a St Paul figure who claimed it of someone else. It could have been in response to an event, rather than a person, but in that case, I'd expect some sort of reference to it in the text (and I don't think the sun stopping in the sky is likely).

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james1951
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#102 Post by james1951 » July 16th, 2009, 5:25 pm

Nick wrote:James,

It is immaterial what Hitchens thinks, though presumably he does think that Nazareth existed in CE300 or he would not have said what he did. I doubt he meant anything else (unlike the malleable flexible christian bible, which can somehow be made to face both ways at once. And I don't think you can accuse him of not knowing his subject. I was much more interested in resolving whether or not there is archaeological evidence for Nazareth in the 'time of Jesus'.

And rather than trying to derail the subject by asking an unanswerable question about Hitchens, I'd be much more interested to hear any evidence you may be able to provide in defence of Nazareth being at least 2000 years old.

Well?
Personally I don't have any evidence at all. And any I could find would be hearsay.
I don't even know when Jesus was around. Considering the Calendar year revolves around the purported birth of this character Jesus I doubt it would be an accurate measure.

The real question is, how long ago were the first books that recorded this story written? Not how long ago were they found.

Anything before the date they were written is pure speculation. Personally I think it is possible those stories were never intended to be taken literally or as historically accurate when they were written.

I choose to believe it until it can be proven historically unfounded. And even then I value the story for it's insight into human nature and the sociological and psychological needs of humans.

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james1951
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#103 Post by james1951 » July 16th, 2009, 5:38 pm

Paolo wrote:
Alan C. wrote:First of all there was no Jesus, he is just a continuation/adaptation of the Mithras myth and many others, as for Nazareth there is archaeological evidence that it didn't exist 2,000 years ago (google it)
Or look here.
James Strange, an American archaeologist, notes: “Nazareth is not mentioned in ancient Jewish sources earlier than the third century AD. This likely reflects its lack of prominence both in Galilee and in Judaea.”[12] Strange - supposing the existence of a settlement - originally guessed Nazareth’s population at the time of Christ to be "roughly 1,600 to 2,000 people", but later, in a subsequent publication, at “a maximum of about 480.”[13] Some have argued that the absence of textual references to Nazareth in the Old Testament and the Talmud, as well as the works of Josephus, suggest that a town called 'Nazareth' did not exist in Jesus' day.[14]
james1951, please show me one piece of historical evidence for Jesus, not hearsay or third hand stories but historical evidence. Ta.
To be fair, settlements normally grow and develop over time, but when small they are frequently overlooked. The village I am from (Essendon) is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, but it gets brief mention in a 10th Century manuscript, so it must have been there before then. Usually settlements are only mentioned in documentation for tax purposes or because of a notable feature. If a settlement is small then it will often be missed by tax inspectors (and let's face it, the inhabitants are hardly likely to draw attention to themselves to the taxman) and it is unlikely to have anything notable associated with it.

Nazareth may well have existed as a small settlement prior to its first mention - indeed, it MUST have, unless it was documented by its founders. Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.

The same can be said of Jesus, except someone who caused sufficient disruption to be dealt with by the authorities is much more likely to be mentioned in documents - particularly if they reach the attention of people like Pontius Pilot and the Roman bureaucracy. In this instance the lack of evidence actually leaves a glaring hole, suggesting that there may indeed be evidence of lack.
First it seems you have discarded the born in bethlehem, escaped to nazareth to be called a nazarene. Now you want to go back to the Jesus was dealt with by authorities because of his disruption.

It really makes no difference to me if the story is factual or anectdotal or a fable. The truths that I see in the story are in the teachings attributed to it's main character Jesus, The spirit of god in the flesh.

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Paolo
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#104 Post by Paolo » July 17th, 2009, 9:12 am

James, if the story is presented as fact (which it is) then if it is a fable how does that fit with your idea of truth?

Nick
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#105 Post by Nick » July 17th, 2009, 12:43 pm

james1951 wrote:It really makes no difference to me if the story is factual or anectdotal or a fable. The truths that I see in the story are in the teachings attributed to it's main character Jesus, The spirit of god in the flesh.
James, it is ridiculous to suggest that the teachings of Jesus were written, or taken as written, as anything other than a factual record. Even then, if one is just looking at his so-called moral teachings, you have to make a choice. Either they are divine revelation (and how does that work? A friendly word in the ear from a passing angel?) or the work of man. If the former, then some evidence would be nice. If the latter, then either there is no god, or he created a duff model, created evil within us, or had a dodgy evolutionary model. Take a look at Epicurus, he said it best. I cannot see, but any logical progression your theory has any legs whatsoever. :sad2:

skyblackwater
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#106 Post by skyblackwater » July 17th, 2009, 2:26 pm

It doesn't matter if jesus existed, the afterlife does: doesaccount.com.

Maria Mac
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#107 Post by Maria Mac » July 17th, 2009, 2:31 pm

skyblackwater wrote:It doesn't matter if jesus existed, the afterlife does: doesaccount.com.
Don't be silly.

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Paolo
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#108 Post by Paolo » July 17th, 2009, 5:07 pm

skyblackwater wrote:It doesn't matter if jesus existed, the afterlife does: doesaccount.com.
Of course it does, all the people who I know who have died have popped back and told me about it. Sometimes they tap into electromagnetic signals and call me on my phone or sometimes they just drop me an email by manipulating the keys on my computer - it's as easy for them as guiding an ouiji board. There are so many lines of evidence that I don't think anyone can doubt it. Anyone disagreeing with the concept of an afterlife is clearly deluding themselves, they simply don't want to admit that they will meet their loved ones again when they die - they are so caught up in their own fantasy world of wishful thinking that they are blind to the vast wealth of robust proof of an afterlife.

They need to realise that wishful thinking achieves nothing beyond temporarily assuaging deep-rooted fears.

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Lifelinking
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#109 Post by Lifelinking » July 17th, 2009, 5:14 pm

try this

Image
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney

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Alan H
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#110 Post by Alan H » July 17th, 2009, 6:43 pm

You're forgetting the cat:

Image
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#111 Post by Alan H » July 17th, 2009, 6:44 pm

...or other important bits...

Image
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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james1951
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#112 Post by james1951 » July 20th, 2009, 1:14 pm

Paolo wrote:James, if the story is presented as fact (which it is) then if it is a fable how does that fit with your idea of truth?
1. People mmake mistakes. Some one may have dug up this story of philosophical truths written as a metaphor of what the Son of God would say and do as a human, and assumed it was an historically accurate document.

2. Sometinmes people simply believe what they want to be true and interpret anything in that vein.

3. Some people do try to manipulate people by interpretting things to suit their purpose even though even they believe it is not really true,

I am sure all this and more is covered in the teachings attributed to the prophet/son of God, Jesus character/person/spirit.

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james1951
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#113 Post by james1951 » July 20th, 2009, 1:35 pm

Nick wrote:
james1951 wrote:It really makes no difference to me if the story is factual or anectdotal or a fable. The truths that I see in the story are in the teachings attributed to it's main character Jesus, The spirit of god in the flesh.
James, it is ridiculous to suggest that the teachings of Jesus were written, or taken as written, as anything other than a factual record. Even then, if one is just looking at his so-called moral teachings, you have to make a choice. Either they are divine revelation (and how does that work? A friendly word in the ear from a passing angel?) or the work of man. If the former, then some evidence would be nice. If the latter, then either there is no god, or he created a duff model, created evil within us, or had a dodgy evolutionary model. Take a look at Epicurus, he said it best. I cannot see, but any logical progression your theory has any legs whatsoever. :sad2:

Everything is of necessity a product of man's mind as man must sense it and give it definition.
Man can iindeed make laws and come up with reasons and excuses and justifications to back up any claim, whether or not those reasons are believed as truth by the individual or just made up lies to manipulate others, we even lie to ourselves for various reasons.

But sometimes we become aware of things we do not want to believe, or things we never realized before. They are revealed to us when we are ready to understand or accept them which many times we are not ready simply because we do not want to accept them. We would rather believe the lie. This is where the "spirit of truth" must supercede our "desire for untruth".

This is when and where the revelation takes place. This is the god of the spirit of truth and righteousness meets man.

His moral teachings are boiled down to 2 teachings. 1. Love truth and rightness above all else. 2.Love your neighbor as yourself.

Any other teaching is just an example of how to do that, explained to ignorant peoiple who really do not want to know the truth.

The story about the rich person who wanted to know what he had to do to be saved. Jesus said follow the ten commandments. The rich ruler said I hjave done that my entire life,

Jesus said now all you have to do is sell everything you own and give the money to the poor and follow me and you will enter the kingdom of heaven. The rich ruler went away very sad.

See the rich ruler had broken the first commandment. The rich ruler put money before his love of God. That was all Jesus was showing when he said give away all your stuff and money.

You dont have to be poor to follow god. SOlomon and Job two of the richest people in the bible were so called godly men. But you have to be "willing" to give it all up for god.

Now for me god = truth and rightness =- love others. If you put your own wants before your love of truth and others you are putting what you want before god.

What is truth and right god? Because if you are not true and right then your self esteem suffers because what do you think of people who lie and harm others, especially of those who lie to and harm you...... Logically your brain knows you must think the same about yourself if you lie to or harm others.. no matter how many lies and excuses you make up to try and justify your lies and harmful ways, you still know under that neurological burden what you really are.

And that will punish you with guilt and shame and suppression and denial and projection and all those other psychological goodies and the manifestation of them in your life.

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james1951
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#114 Post by james1951 » July 20th, 2009, 1:38 pm

skyblackwater wrote:It doesn't matter if jesus existed, the afterlife does: doesaccount.com.
No the afterlife does NOT exist ... yet. All that exists is NOW. If an after life does happen to occur, it wont exist until that after life is NOW. So only NOW will ever really exist.

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james1951
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#115 Post by james1951 » July 20th, 2009, 1:42 pm

Paolo wrote:
skyblackwater wrote:It doesn't matter if jesus existed, the afterlife does: doesaccount.com.
Of course it does, all the people who I know who have died have popped back and told me about it. Sometimes they tap into electromagnetic signals and call me on my phone or sometimes they just drop me an email by manipulating the keys on my computer - it's as easy for them as guiding an ouiji board. There are so many lines of evidence that I don't think anyone can doubt it. Anyone disagreeing with the concept of an afterlife is clearly deluding themselves, they simply don't want to admit that they will meet their loved ones again when they die - they are so caught up in their own fantasy world of wishful thinking that they are blind to the vast wealth of robust proof of an afterlife.

They need to realise that wishful thinking achieves nothing beyond temporarily assuaging deep-rooted fears.
That goes for atheists as well. Wishful thinking that there is no judgement and punishment for the evil they do and the lies they tell, very deep rooted fears.

But god is not the judge or the punisher according to Jesus. In fact God does everything he can to try to convince us to do the right thing that will bring us eternal happiness. Just do the right thing. Its as simple as that.

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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#116 Post by james1951 » July 20th, 2009, 1:44 pm

Alan H wrote:...or other important bits...

Image
From the previous picture I wouldn't have imagined what the bottom half of you looked like.

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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#117 Post by Lifelinking » July 20th, 2009, 3:30 pm

Please, my sides..
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney

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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#118 Post by Alan C. » July 20th, 2009, 9:52 pm

2. Sometinmes (sic) people simply believe what they want to be true and interpret anything in that vein.
That's you James.
You dont (sic) have to be poor to follow god. SOlomon (sic) and Job two of the richest people in the bible were so called godly men. But you have to be "willing" to give it all up for god.
So James.............You don't have to actually give up all you own, just say you are willing to give it up?
That goes for atheists as well. Wishful thinking that there is no judgement and punishment for the evil they do and the lies they tell, very deep rooted fears.
James, as an Atheist I take offence at the fact that you assume that I "do evil" or "tell lies" Neither of which is true.
You're very mixed up James (ill) I think you should seek medical help.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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james1951
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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#119 Post by james1951 » July 22nd, 2009, 3:18 pm

Alan C. wrote:
2. Sometinmes (sic) people simply believe what they want to be true and interpret anything in that vein.
That's you James.
You dont (sic) have to be poor to follow god. SOlomon (sic) and Job two of the richest people in the bible were so called godly men. But you have to be "willing" to give it all up for god.
So James.............You don't have to actually give up all you own, just say you are willing to give it up?
That goes for atheists as well. Wishful thinking that there is no judgement and punishment for the evil they do and the lies they tell, very deep rooted fears.
James, as an Atheist I take offence at the fact that you assume that I "do evil" or "tell lies" Neither of which is true.
You're very mixed up James (ill) I think you should seek medical help.
Not very polite to make such a comment. But oh yeah, atheists, all see no evil say no evil and do no evil. The same thing happens to christians who partake in " Wishful thinking that there is no judgement and punishment for the evil they do and the lies they tell,"

I did not say you have to "say" you will I said you have to be "willing to" give it away if it is the right thing to do.

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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#120 Post by james1951 » July 22nd, 2009, 3:21 pm

It is sad when you have to explain every little thing someone should do if they love truth and rightness and others. It should be obvious but we are too busy being nasty to others and denying or justifying it, to realize and admit that what we are doing is nasty and wrong.

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Re: Did Jesus exist?

#121 Post by freddofrog » December 24th, 2009, 12:47 am

Maria wrote:I agree with the view that it doesn’t matter whether he existed or not. However, I have in the past enjoyed sparring with Christians on this evidence and I reproduce here the saved draft of a post I did on another forum some years ago, in case it’s of interest. Although my academic background – such as it is – is as a historian, I don’t claim expertise on the period and the 'research' I did was simply surfing the web.
Excellent work, Maria!

It appears that many people think that Christ is Jesus' last name, when it should read Jesus THE Christ, where Christ is the English term for the Greek Χριστός (Khristós) meaning "the anointed one".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ

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