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Old 04-14-2009, 03:01 PM   #1
GarfieldJL
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Whether or not a Man Named Jesus Existed

I'm not going to get into the argument as to whether or not he was the son-of-god, I'm just going to point out that scholars largely agree that Jesus existed.

Quote:
With few exceptions (such as Robert M. Price), virtually all scholars in the fields of biblical studies and history agree that Jesus was a Jewish teacher from Galilee who was regarded as a healer, was baptized by John the Baptist, was accused of sedition against the Roman Empire, and on the orders of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate was sentenced to death by crucifixion.
--wikipedia

You can argue about the miracles, you can argue about whether or not he was the son of god, but most scholars believe the man actually existed.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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Start a new thread with your assertions that Jesus Christ, as depicted in the bible, actually existed and what evidence you have to support that assertion, and I'll show you where your flaws are.
I never said he was actually how the Bible depicted him, I only said the man existed. And I accept your challenge and the idea it is between myself and you.

http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=197105

Oh and Archeological Evidence seems to refute you on another assertion.

Quote:
An inscription found at Tel Dan dated c.850-835 BC, as well as the Mesha Stele from Moab have been interpreted as containing the phrase 'House of David' (ביתדוד). Kenneth Kitchen has proposed that an inscription of c. 945 BC by the Egyptian Pharaoh Shoshenq I mentions "the highlands of David," but this has not been widely accepted.[22] "If the reading of בית דוד [House of David] on the Tel Dan stele is correct, ... then we have solid evidence that a 9th-century BC Aramean king considered the founder of the Judean dynasty to be somebody named דוד" (David).[23]

The Tel Dan stele is largely accepted as supporting the historical existence of a Judean royal dynasty tracing its descent from an individual named David[24].
--wikipedia.org

Seems there is evidence to suggest that King David may have existed too.

Last edited by GarfieldJL; 04-14-2009 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
Oh and Archeological Evidence seems to refute you on another assertion.

Seems there is evidence to suggest that King David may have existed too.
Hmm... a king named David. Wow. You've certainly got me there. No way can "David" be a common Hebrew name, etc.

In addition, I don't think I ever asserted that a king named David didn't exist.... perhaps you can link to my post where I did.

EDIT: I'll need to leave you guys at it... heading off to a bioarchaeology lecture/lab


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Old 04-14-2009, 03:04 PM   #4
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Did jesus actually exist?

Burden of Proof


First, since christianity makes the claim that Jesus existed and that he was the messiah, the burden of proof is on christianity to support the claim. It is not up to non-theists or theists from other religions to disprove this claim. Although we can clearly show that there is no evidence, it is not on us to prove that there never will be.

Second, this burden of proof is doubly burdensome for christianity. Not only would one have to provide evidence for a historical figure named Jesus (and not just any Jesus, but that Jesus), but they would then have to go on to provide evidence that this person was actually the messiah. While someone hoping to support such a claim would have to prove each point independently, the arguments I will present apply pretty evenly to both claims, so I will not be categorizing them.

With that established, I will present the problems that I see with arguments made by many christians on this topic.

Historical Evidence for Jesus the Man


This one is likely to be simplest and shortest of the sections. The fact is that we don't have any. We don't have any of his personal writings, nor the personal writings of anyone that knew him (friends, family, neighbors, etc). We don't have an official record of birth, death, marriage, etc.

Christians will mostly likely want to point out that literacy rates during that time were abysmal and that the likelihood of such a record existing, let alone surviving, is negligible. They would be absolutely correct. The problem remains that none of these things exist nonetheless, in other words, they cannot deny that there is no historical evidence for this specific man named Jesus. It may be that some day, we discover something (a diary, census data, etc) that clearly shows that this specific man existed, however until that day, the "evidence" box has to remain unchecked on this particular point.

Some other form of evidence will have to exist for rational belief.

Historical Evidence for Jesus the Messiah


Personally, I don't see how the first argument that I presented can be construed as anything other than a show stopper, but alas, this reasoning is not always shared, let alone recognized.

Again, we find ourselves in a situation in which we have no direct evidence, rather indirect evidence via a myriad of sources. Sources that we might use to find evidence for Jesus include:

* The Gospels

* Eyewitness Accounts

* Early Christian Writings

* Contemporary Historians

* Old Testament Prophecy

* Revelation


If there are others that I should have included here, but did not, please let me know and I'll edit as needed (with full credit given).

The Gospels
Based on my experiences, many people tend to consider the gospels eyewitness accounts. They are not.

In order to be an eyewitness accounts, they would have to have been written by contemporaries to Jesus. They were not.

Some would (correctly) point out that it is not uncommon for oral histories to be passed down for generations before finally being put to paper. Yes, this did happen, however we have no evidence that this happened here. Furthermore, even if we accept this to be the case, we have to accept the very strong likelihood that the story changed quite a bit between the alleged witnessing of events and when they were recorded by whomever it was that recorded them (the anonymous authors commonly referred to as "Mark", "Matthew", "Luke", and "John").

Oral histories with many sources will naturally break down over time (as seen is social experiments such as "the telephone game"), so even if we were to assume that the first gospel (G.Mark) was founded in oral tradition, his telling would have cherry-picked details from a wide variety of available tellings. G.Matthew and G.Luke/Acts are based, in part, off of G.Mark and G.John is mostly a separate writing.

Despite some commonalities, each gospel has a differences in their telling of Jesus' story. In several cases, these tellings contradict one another (the day of Jesus' death being just one of more obvious examples).

So the canonical gospels, which cannot be proven to be eyewitness accounts and have no clear authorship, complete with contradictory details, cannot be reasonably taken for evidence for Jesus.

Eyewitness Accounts
There are no known eyewitness accounts of Jesus' life and death. The closest thing that we have historical evidence for is Saul's (Paul's) vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Again, the is not to say that such eyewitness accounts might not be discovered someday, however that still means that we have no evidence now. Furthermore such accounts, once shown not to be forgeries, would only solve the historical Jesus problem, not the messianic Jesus problem.

Early Christian Writings
Many early christian writings, specifically those made by historians, are presented as evidence for historical Jesus. Some of these include the writings of Josephus, Tacticus, Justin Martyr, and others. Besides the obvious fact that none of these authors are contemporaries of Jesus, most of the non-contested passages simply make reference to christianity (many of the works that site Jesus directly have been shown to be forgeries or clerical "enhancements" made during the hand-copying process).

Having knowledge of a religious cult is not proof of the validity of its doctrine, only that it exists. This would be the equivalent of the some future generation using a journalist's report to conclude that David Koresh was the messiah. Therefore, even the historical documents that we do have do not make a strong case for the existence of Jesus.

Contemporary Historians
As alluded to in the previous sections, there are no known contemporary references to Jesus. Even if one were to argue that there would have been no reason to have such references, that would not change the fact that we don't have any. Therefore, no evidence from this area either.

Old Testament Prophecy
I've seen several argument made that Jesus must be the messiah because he meets the qualifications set forth by the prophecies of the OT. Despite the fact that some passages of the bible contradict this argument (Jesus as Isiah) or create logical problems (Jesus comes from the line of David even though he has no biological father), some people still point to this claim as support for their argument.

Paul claims to have been a Pharisee, therefore he would have had working knowledge of OT prophecy. Considering that he's our only "eyewitness" and christianity's first evangelist, it seems pretty obvious that if he wanted to create a cult based on the messiah, all he would have to do is write a story about a guy that meets the conditions of the prophecies and presto...instant messiah. The fact that Paul's fictitious story corroborates key points from the OT's fictitious prophecies is not impressive nor is it convincing.

Revelation
Revelation is the claim that Jesus is real because it has been revealed to someone. Usually this revelation is spiritual in nature, however sometimes there is a physical manifestation. The physical manifestations can usually be dismissed quite readily as mental illness, tricks of light, mass hysteria, or the mathematical probability that some potato chips are just going to bear quasi-accurate resemblances to outlines of cultural icons.

The spiritual revelations might appear to be a harder nut to crack until you consider that people have such "revelations" regardless of culture or era...and most of them have had nothing to do with Jesus. If a christian goes into a cave and meditates/prays for 10 days, he or she is going to claim to have had spiritual contact with Jesus. If a muslim does this, they will claim to have had spiritual contact with allah. If a buddhist does this, they will claim to have spiritual contact with....well, themselves, but you get the point. The only common thread here is that deep introspection causes most humans to have deeply spiritual experiences. To claim that one's own religion is the only one that can do this is to ignore the evidence. To claim that such an experience is proof of their respective deity is foolish.

Experiments using MRI technology have shown that there are "spiritual centers" in our brain. They are active when test subjects pray or meditate. They are also active in atheletes when they "go into The Zone". All these experiments show is that our brain and achieve higher states of consciousness. This is not a christian-specific phenomena.

Therefore, as with all the other examples provided, "revelation" is not evidence for Jesus.

The Story of Jesus is Not Unique



At this point, some might be wondering "well then, where did the story of Jesus come from?".

This is a good question and luckily one that has an answer. Remember that the christian myth takes part during the Roman Empire. The Romans (proper) were pagans that pretty much stole Greek mythology and changed all the names. The stories of Zeus and Jupiter are largely similar, except the names have changed. Hermes is Mercury, Aphrodite is Venus, Poseidon is Neptune, the list goes on and on. To summarize, during the time that christianity is developing, there are a myriad of pagan mythologies available but one of the most prevalent was Greek/Roman myth (keep in mind that christianity is an spin-off of judaism, which itself is one of many religions and not even a very big one at the time).

So what are the components of Jesus' story that really make him special. I believe the following list is representative:

* The Virgin Birth/Son of God

* Miracles

* Death/Sacrifice

* Resurrection/Ascent



The Virgin Birth/Son of God
Ok, this may be the only item in this list that is arguable unique to christianity. However, ignoring the debate of the translation, the fact remains that there are several myths of gods impregnating women. Some of the more well-known Greek heroes resulting from zeus consorting with a mortal woman include:

* Hercules

* Perseus

* Dionysus


There are at least a dozen more myths of about the children that mortal women bore for zeus. And this is just one of the many Greek gods that consorted with mortal women. And this is just one set of myths amongst a myriad of others.

So the idea that a god made a child with a mortal woman is hardly news. In the ancient world, kings and rulers were frequently considered to be the offspring of the gods. Jesus is merely a drop in the ocean of demi-gods.

Miracles
Again, stories about miracle workers are nothing special. All religions contain stories of miracles, and while christianity is no exception, neither is it groundbreaking or unique in this regard.

Death/Sacrifice
I grouped death and sacrifice together because I wanted to limit myself to myths where the hero's death was a sacrificial one.

* Prometheus - son of Zeus. Stole fire from the gods so that mankind could learn and prosper (tree of knowledge anyone?). Zeus punished his son by having him shackled to the side of mountain, where a giant eagle eats his insides every day and his body is magically renewed every night. Prometheus sacrifices for all mankind.

* Dionysus - son of Zeus. Was fed to the titans as a sacrifice (sacrament?). Zeus slew the titans and from their ashes created mankind. Dionysus sacrifices for all mankind.


Here we have just two examples from one religion where the son of a god is sacrificed for mankind.

Resurrection/Ascent
This is another all-too-common theme is mythology. The aforementiond renewal of Prometheus is one example. Hercules mortal body was shed when he died, however his divine spirit returned to be with his father in olympus. Adonis was killed and then brought back to life by Aphrodite.

I'm sure that someone will want to point out that none of these myths match the Jesus myth precisely. To them I would want to point out that no one is going to be compelled to accept a story that sounds exactly like the story they already have. Authors, novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, poets, etc are constantly making variations on a theme in an effort to pass their work of as "new" or "innovative". The early christian writers were exactly the same as our modern writers. They wrote stories that their audiences would accept and enjoy. No surprise that the stories aren't exact duplicates. I think the similarities are much more telling than the differences.

To summarize: The burden of proof is on christians to show that their belief system is true. I've summarized each of the areas where we currently lack any evidence for Jesus' existence, let alone divinity. Finally, I've shown the story of Jesus is not unique or special by comparing it to just one contemporary pagan religion.

I welcome any and all comments, arguments, contrary evidence, etc.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:09 PM   #5
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Okay. I'll agree. A man named Jesus could have existed and he could have been a cult leader of the time.

There is little doubt, however, that the character of Jesus the alleged Christ (the messiah of the Jewish people and the son of a god who performed sorcery and magic) could not have existed as portrayed in the New Testament. If a man named Jesus was a religious figure in antiquity, it isn't the same character of the bible.

For that Jesus (clearly a different person), there is no evidence.


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Old 04-14-2009, 03:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SkinWalker View Post
Okay. I'll agree. A man named Jesus could have existed and he could have been a cult leader of the time.

There is little doubt, however, that the character of Jesus the alleged Christ (the messiah of the Jewish people and the son of a god who performed sorcery and magic) could not have existed as portrayed in the New Testament. If a man named Jesus was a religious figure in antiquity, it isn't the same character of the bible.

For that Jesus (clearly a different person), there is no evidence.
And what's so incredible of the man named Jesus might be the Jesus talked about in the Bible?

Is it the fact the man supposedly worked miracles? For the longest time they thought certain cities didn't exist until they found them. If they've had problems tracking down a city, do you really think you can say definatively that a man didn't exist?

Quote:
He came to his conclusion after re-examining a theory from two amateur scientists that he had earlier dismissed as being from "the lunatic fringe".

Sue Benford and Joe Marina, from Ohio, suspected the 1988 sample was from a damaged section of the linen shroud repaired in the 16th century after being damaged in a fire.

Rogers said: "I was irritated and determined to prove Sue and Joe wrong."

However, when he came to examine threads taken in 1978 - luckily from the same section as the 1988 sample - he found cotton in them.

He said: "The cotton fibres were fairly heavily coated with dye, suggesting they were changed to match the linen during a repair.

"I concluded that area of the shroud was manipulated by someone with great skill.

"Sue and Joe were right. The worst possible sample for carbon dating was taken.
-- telegraph.co.uk

So now that might be the actual burial shroud...

Last edited by GarfieldJL; 04-14-2009 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
And what's so incredible of the man named Jesus might be the Jesus talked about in the Bible?
What evidence do we have for such a man? Just because a man named Jesus could have existed doesn't mean that he did.

A man named Bob the Muffin-Maker could have existed 2000 years ago, however I suspect that no one is going to take the claim seriously without some form of evidence.

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
Is it the fact the man supposedly worked miracles?
Every mythological figure from that era performed miracles. The fact that there are stories of a miracle worker is hardly shocking, compelling, unique, etc.

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
For the longest time they thought certain cities didn't exist until they found them.
That's great. But until they found them, they weren't confirmed pieces of the historical record. Same thing applies here. Until we find evidence for jesus, it's just a story.

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
If they've had problems tracking down a city, do you really think you can say definatively that a man didn't exist?
Good thing that isn't how burden of proof works then, huh?
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SkinWalker View Post
Okay. I'll agree. A man named Jesus could have existed and he could have been a cult leader of the time.

There is little doubt, however, that the character of Jesus the alleged Christ (the messiah of the Jewish people and the son of a god who performed sorcery and magic) could not have existed as portrayed in the New Testament. If a man named Jesus was a religious figure in antiquity, it isn't the same character of the bible.

For that Jesus (clearly a different person), there is no evidence.

Okay, for one, Jesus was not a "cult leader." Two, He did not perform sorcery or magic.


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Old 05-18-2009, 09:01 PM   #9
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Again that is my position.
Unfortunately, it is an incorrect position.

Just because you believe/don't believe doesn't change the facts. "Jesus Existed" - it's a normative claim.

_EW_



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Old 05-19-2009, 04:48 PM   #10
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Okay, for one, Jesus was not a "cult leader." Two, He did not perform sorcery or magic.
Huh? What do you call transmutation? Magic happens at Catholic churches every Sunday.
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Originally Posted by Darth Eclipse
The christian community can and does verify its claims that Jesus existed. Where have you been?

There is tons of proof supporting Jesus' existence and that he was the messiah and that he performed miracles. SD Nihil, or whatever (I probably got your name wrong) you say that we christians have "what we consider proof," and before you say that science or whatever has proof. We don't consider it proof, it IS proof.
Fantastic! I am anxious for a link, a peer-reviewed publication, or something, anything tangible, to support this absurd claim.
Also, you have contradicted yourself substantially, if you recognize the similarity of "miracle" and "magic".... er, how are they different again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EW
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Nihil
Again that is my position.
Unfortunately, it is an incorrect position.

Just because you believe/don't believe doesn't change the facts. "Jesus Existed" - it's a normative claim.
Bingo. SD Nihil, fence-sitting is for watching the match, not for being in it. You need to pick a side in this debate, and find evidence, or keep sitting on the fence and stay out of the fray.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail - the longest book full of names I have ever forced myself to finish - still produced nothing concrete about Jesus, only about Jesus' fanatical followers. As many have noted in this thread, there is no genuine article to substantiate the claim that Jesus was.

Falling back on "faith" is what angers both non-believers and believers alike. Faith is something you keep, and hold as a hope, something that may be, and you can believe it to be true if you like; we are all entitled to deceive ourselves as much as we like. Believing in God does not prevent people from thinking critically, and many devout believers of the pantheon can recognize that proof is lacking, can admit to it, and finally do not need it - that is the place of faith. It supplants the need for proof.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:21 PM   #11
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Believing in God does not prevent people from thinking critically
I agree that it doesn't necessarily "prevent" people from thinking critically, however it would seem that people who do think critically, don't accept supernatural claims.

This is also why religious people with doctorates scare me.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:25 PM   #12
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I agree that it doesn't necessarily "prevent" people from thinking critically, however it would seem that people who do think critically, don't accept supernatural claims.

This is also why religious people with doctorates scare me.
Yeah... my sister's mother-in-law has dual degree's in Phil/Theol, and is a born again Christian.

I am still shaking my head on that one. And I wouldn't dare discuss it with her, because she knows many of my arguments as well or better than I do.

That she is completely self-contradicting escapes her nevertheless.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:22 PM   #13
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Let me just say, in the Bible, it says that Jesus said the He is the Son of God. So, he was either lying, he was crazy, or he was telling the truth.

If you don't believe in the Bible, I will just say that the Bible has been more historically accurate than any other ancient manuscript.


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Old 05-20-2009, 10:44 PM   #14
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Let me just say, in the Bible, it says that Jesus said the He is the Son of God. So, he was either lying, he was crazy, or he was telling the truth.
Or the bible is fiction.

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If you don't believe in the Bible, I will just say that the Bible has been more historically accurate than any other ancient manuscript.
Which part?
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:47 PM   #15
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Let me just say, in the Bible, it says that Jesus said the He is the Son of God. So, he was either lying, he was crazy, or he was telling the truth.
The character portrayed in biblical mythology didn't actually write any of it. There are several accounts by several anonymous authors of Jesus the alleged christ, but they vary in ways that are inconsistent and occasionally even contradict each other. Moreover, stating that Jesus is real because Jesus says he is is a circular argument and one that is dismissed from intellectual discourse. If you're willing to accept this argument, then you must, necessarily, accept that the crazy guy in Miami, FL who claims to be Jesus is, in fact, Jesus.

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If you don't believe in the Bible, I will just say that the Bible has been more historically accurate than any other ancient manuscript.
Not even close. Just off the top of my head, the Armarna Letters and the writings of Plato have been shown to be more accurate. Very little in biblical mythology has been born out as factual. Just out of curiosity, what is it, specifically, that leads you to believe that the bible is historically accurate?


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Old 05-21-2009, 09:28 AM   #16
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The character portrayed in biblical mythology didn't actually write any of it. There are several accounts by several anonymous authors of Jesus the alleged christ, but they vary in ways that are inconsistent and occasionally even contradict each other. Moreover, stating that Jesus is real because Jesus says he is is a circular argument and one that is dismissed from intellectual discourse. If you're willing to accept this argument, then you must, necessarily, accept that the crazy guy in Miami, FL who claims to be Jesus is, in fact, Jesus.



Not even close. Just off the top of my head, the Armarna Letters and the writings of Plato have been shown to be more accurate. Very little in biblical mythology has been born out as factual. Just out of curiosity, what is it, specifically, that leads you to believe that the bible is historically accurate?
Okay, the people who wrote the Bible are not anonymous. They say who they are. Some even write about their own experiences.

You've never read the Bible, have you? I would suggest reading it, then coming back to this thread and tell me what you think. Anyways, you tell me where in the Bible it contradicts itself. Tell me one place. Just one place. You can tell me more if you would like but I only need one.

Here is one example of how historically accurate the Bible is: Shechem, Bethel, Haran, and Gerar have all been excavated and proven to be in existence at Abraham's time. Even his home town of Ur has been discovered and excavated. An abundance of evidence surfaced to disprove the notion that Abraham's era was one of ignorance. Found were receipts for business transactions; temple hymns; others were mathematical tables with formulae for calculating square and cube roots as well as simpler sums. All these were strangely contemporary. According to Millar Burrows "...his name appears in Babylonia as a personal name in the very period to which be belongs." (What Mean These Stones?, p.259).

Another: Forty-six times the Hittites are mentioned in the Bible (Joshua 3:10). No mention is made of them in secular history. Before the 20th century, many said this was a fictitious empire. A.A. Sayce suggested that he found Hittite writings in Syria. Hugo Winckler excavated Boghazkoy, the Hittite capital, in 1906. Over 10,000 tests were found. Now you can graduate with a doctorate degree in Hittitolgy at the University of Pennsylvania.

And another: Jericho was excavated by Dr. John Garstang between 1930 and 1936. He found that the great wall was 12' think and the outer wall 12' thick both being thirty feet high, fell "down flat". "As to the main fact, then, there remains no doubt: the walls fell outwards so completely that the attackers would be able to clamber up land over their ruins into the city." (The Foundations of Bible History; Joshua, Judges, p. 146). Walls normally fall inward. "So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city (6:20). Joshua chapter six and verse twenty-four says, "They burnt the city with fire". Garstang found charcoal and ash and pockets of white ash. God commanded them to "keep yourselves form the devoted thing" (6:18). Again, Garstang found storerooms full of food turned to charcoal by fire.

If you want some more, I can give you more. Just ask.

Here, read this: Throughout the years critics have attacked the Bible because it was filled with historical blunders. They viewed it as fictional and highly imaginative. At one time the records of secular history didn't mention some 47 kings found in the Bible.
If the book is inspired of God we can expect it to be historically correct. If the Bible is not accurate historically then is accurate concerning spiritual matters? This lesson will forcible demonstrate that the historical record of history and the Bible record are very compatible.
The Bible is not a history book. Nonetheless, whenever God's Word incidentally touches on any aspect of history it is always accurate. "Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history." (William F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religions of Israel, pp. 127,128). Merrill Unger wrote, "Old Testament archaeology has rediscovered whole nations, resurrected important peoples, and in a most astonishing manner filled in historical gaps, adding immeasurably to the knowledge of Biblical backgrounds." (Unger's Bible Dictionary, p. 15). "Archeology is a real help in understanding the Bible. It yields fascinating information which illustrates what might otherwise be obscured, and in some instances confirms what some might otherwise regard as doubtful." (Paul E. Little, Know Why You Believe, p. 88).
Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. More than 25,000 sites showing some connection with the Old Testament period have been located in Bible lands. Dr. Robert Dick Wilson, former professor of Semitic philology at Princeton Theological Seminary, said, "After forty-five years of scholarly research in Biblical textual studies and in language study. I have come now to the conviction that no man knows enough to assail the truthfulness of the Old Testament. Where there is sufficient documentary evidence to make an investigation, the statements of the Bible, in the original text, have stood the test." Furthermore, the noted Dr. J.O. Kinnaman said, "of the hundreds of thousands of artifacts found by other archaeologists, not one has ever been discovered that contradicts or denies one word, phrase, clause, or sentence of the bible, but always confirms and verifies the facts of the Biblical record." If one discards the Bible as being unreliable, then he must discard almost all literature of antiquity.

Please, make sure to read everything I posted.


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Old 05-20-2009, 10:52 PM   #17
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Let me just say, in the Bible, it says that Jesus said the He is the Son of God. So, he was either lying, he was crazy, or he was telling the truth.

If you don't believe in the Bible, I will just say that the Bible has been more historically accurate than any other ancient manuscript.
Praise Harry Potter the magical flying kid that saved us all from Voldemort. Either believe his story or don't! What makes the Bible any more "special" than any other book out there?
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:35 AM   #18
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Praise Harry Potter the magical flying kid that saved us all from Voldemort. Either believe his story or don't! What makes the Bible any more "special" than any other book out there?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

That is one out of tons of things that make it special to me. It probably doesn't mean anything to you, but all you asked is what makes it special. And that makes it special, if you believe it.


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Old 05-20-2009, 11:14 PM   #19
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Let me just say, in the Bible, it says that Jesus said the He is the Son of God. So, he was either lying, he was crazy, or he was telling the truth.
Well this is some compelling evidence.
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If you don't believe in the Bible, I will just say that the Bible has been more historically accurate than any other ancient manuscript.
Hmm, and is this your opinion? Or do you actually have some basis for this claim? Either way, you telling me that God exists because the Bible ["The Word of God"] says God exists is a bit of a tautology, isn't it?

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Old 05-20-2009, 11:18 PM   #20
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Either way, you telling me that God exists because the Bible ["The Word of God"] says God exists is a bit of a tautology, isn't it?
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:06 PM   #21
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I highly doubt you guys are intelligent enough to change yours, therefore this topic and this forums is useless.
Hmm, this isn't rude at all.

Just because you bit off a little more than you can chew whilst having this debate doesn't mean that anyone is less intelligent or that this is "useless".

I assure you, I have found use for it.

Well, bye bye then. It's too bad you're mad about losing one little logical skirmish (per se) especially considering it was seemingly not over yet.

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Old 04-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #22
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I was under the impression that this debate was between SkinWalker and myself...
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:53 PM   #23
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I was under the impression that this debate was between SkinWalker and myself...
nope.



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Old 04-14-2009, 06:05 PM   #24
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I'm even willing to restrict the thread to just you and I, booting any commenters out, making it a formal debate. Its your decision. Whatever the outcome of such a thread, I promise no one will doubt my "claims" of anthropology and archaeology following its conclusion.
I say again, I was under the impression that this debate was between SkinWalker and myself only...
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:34 PM   #25
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Like I said, I was "willing" to restrict it. I also said I was willing to debate if you posted "your assertions that Jesus Christ, as depicted in the bible, actually existed and what evidence you have to support that assertion."

But when you didn't stipulate a desire to debate one-on-one and when you moved the goal post to "just a guy named Jesus who was a teacher," there really wasn't anything left to debate.

It seemed prudent to move Achilles thread here since he posted just seconds after yours.


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Old 04-15-2009, 12:08 AM   #26
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Like I said, I was "willing" to restrict it. I also said I was willing to debate if you posted "your assertions that Jesus Christ, as depicted in the bible, actually existed and what evidence you have to support that assertion."
The only reason I posted this topic was because of the restriction part. I want an intelligent conversation not a liberal member pile-on.

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But when you didn't stipulate a desire to debate one-on-one and when you moved the goal post to "just a guy named Jesus who was a teacher," there really wasn't anything left to debate.
My contention is that Jesus the man, is the Jesus that is in the Bible, how much of it is real is a matter for debate. What I find interesting is that many archeologists try their darnedest to prove any ancient literary work to be complete and total garbage, only they end up with egg in their faces. Another thing to consider is that there are people in the Bible that did not have 'supernatural powers' and you can also argue that most of those people didn't really have those powers but they prayed to God, and God answered their prayers. The loan exception I believe is Jesus, and even then he often prayed to God.

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It seemed prudent to move Achilles thread here since he posted just seconds after yours.
The first post of his fine, the following posts of jmac and Achilles, uh no.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:41 PM   #27
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Regardless of who he was, I always thought people in that time period kept records. Especially of court cases which Jesus was in with Pilot. I'd think especially records of sentences and with it being such a high profile case of that time during passover it'd be something documented. As far as Wiki is concerned, you can edit pages. So whatever Wikis are concerned they are only as valid as to their sources, if those sources are baised, etc. So historically with artifacts we can tell the lifestyle, and other physical things, but if Jesus's case was not documented then that says to me either the documentation has already decayed to dust, has yet to be found, or court cases were not documented.


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Old 04-22-2009, 05:37 PM   #28
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Regardless of who he was, I always thought people in that time period kept records.
Okay. Could you please tell me where I can find copies?

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Especially of court cases which Jesus was in with Pilot. I'd think especially records of sentences and with it being such a high profile case of that time during passover it'd be something documented.
One might think, huh? All the more curious that to the best of my knowledge, no record exists.

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So historically with artifacts we can tell the lifestyle, and other physical things, but if Jesus's case was not documented then that says to me either the documentation has already decayed to dust, has yet to be found, or court cases were not documented.
Quoting mur'phon for emphasis.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:01 PM   #29
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Or maybe the case never took place
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:19 PM   #30
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Hey though I have my faith I like you was aslo asking a question regarding court case record keeping of that time. I'm curious too.


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Old 04-24-2009, 02:04 PM   #31
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Just like the other topic about asking is there any good reason to believe in god I said I really don't think it can be proven. Same for here. For some it's a matter of faith and for others it's a matter of physical evidence to back up the claim of the man Jesus or existence of a god. To be objective I doubt anyone can provide proof either way other than saying there is lack or the other side saying here's all of these miracles. And again another man's miracle is another man's luck.

As for documentation I don't think we'd have much left to this day. People often in that day at least from NatGeo says they wrote on papyrus from a papaya tree. That would be long time dust already. Now there was that Gospel of Judas document supposedly bought in the Israel antiquities community. Which by the way has been known to have forgeries, those creating forgeries, and other such items. And this gospel of Judas at least to my knowledge is the only thing with mention of Jesus I've heard of. But again some guy back then could've been making a ancient forgery from back then that now is continued by another who wanted to make money off of the forgery. And all you can prove by carbon dating because pieces of the document from the special I saw were burnt to determine how old the document was. All they could determine is that this material was as old as so number of years leading back to that time period of the speculated Jesus's day. So again even with that all you can say is forgery or not this document came from around this time period.

So again I doubt there is any evidence of Jesus to prove, or evidence to disprove his existence. Again with some it's a matter of faith that doesn't require or cares to look at evidence or lack there of. While the other side wishes to have proof.



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Old 04-24-2009, 02:22 PM   #32
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And this gospel of Judas at least to my knowledge is the only thing with mention of Jesus I've heard of.
The entire new testament discusses jesus. You are apparently unfamiliar with the text.

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So again I doubt there is any evidence of Jesus to prove, or evidence to disprove his existence.
Therefore, since the christian community can provide no means to verify their claims that a man named jesus existed, no rational person should not accept the claim that a man named jesus existed. kthxbai.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:45 AM   #33
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Therefore, since the christian community can provide no means to verify their claims that a man named jesus existed, no rational person should not accept the claim that a man named jesus existed. kthxbai.
The christian community can and does verify its claims that Jesus existed. Where have you been?

There is tons of proof supporting Jesus' existence and that he was the messiah and that he performed miracles. SD Nihil, or whatever (I probably got your name wrong) you say that we christians have "what we consider proof," and before you say that science or whatever has proof. We don't consider it proof, it IS proof.



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Old 05-18-2009, 11:57 AM   #34
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The christian community can and does verify its claims that Jesus existed. Where have you been?
Making other claims is not providing evidence for original set of claims. Unless you meant something else, in which case, please provide sources.

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There is tons of proof supporting Jesus' existence and that he was the messiah and that he performed miracles.
I'd be very interested in seeing it.

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SD Nihil, or whatever (I probably got your name wrong) you say that we christians have "what we consider proof," and before you say that science or whatever has proof. We don't consider it proof, it IS proof.
By what standards?
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:48 PM   #35
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Okay, for one, Jesus was not a "cult leader." Two, He did not perform sorcery or magic.
1.) He is alleged by biblical mythology to have set and/or maintained standards of worship and ritual and that he had a following. By that alone it's apparent that he was a cult leader... I don't understand the objection...

2.) We're in agreement. I, too, don't think he performed sorcery and magic since such silliness doesn't appear to exist in reality. It is, however, alleged that he did in biblical mythology, which is one of the reasons I assert that the Jesus of biblical mythology (as told in biblical mythology) didn't actually exist, maintaining instead that a cult leader of the time may have existed and may have been named Jesus (or Yesua, or any other name) and the myth could be based on this cult leader.

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The christian community can and does verify its claims that Jesus existed. Where have you been?
Where does it do this within the framework of reality?

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There is tons of proof supporting Jesus' existence and that he was the messiah and that he performed miracles.
I'd be interested in seeing a few ounces of this "tons of proof."


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Old 05-18-2009, 03:26 PM   #36
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The christian community can and does verify its claims that Jesus existed. Where have you been?

There is tons of proof supporting Jesus' existence and that he was the messiah and that he performed miracles. SD Nihil, or whatever (I probably got your name wrong) you say that we christians have "what we consider proof," and before you say that science or whatever has proof. We don't consider it proof, it IS proof.


Please, Darth Eclipse, enlighten me.

From one Christian to another, I do want to ask one question:
If we can verify that he performed miracles, why don't we all know about it? Why isn't the papacy using that to convert the masses (even further)? I'm not sure why it's still such a secret.

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Old 04-24-2009, 03:06 PM   #37
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Just like the other topic about asking is there any good reason to believe in god I said I really don't think it can be proven. Same for here. For some it's a matter of faith and for others it's a matter of physical evidence to back up the claim of the man Jesus or existence of a god. To be objective I doubt anyone can provide proof either way other than saying there is lack or the other side saying here's all of these miracles. And again another man's miracle is another man's luck.

As for documentation I don't think we'd have much left to this day. People often in that day at least from NatGeo says they wrote on papyrus from a papaya tree. That would be long time dust already. Now there was that Gospel of Judas document supposedly bought in the Israel antiquities community. Which by the way has been known to have forgeries, those creating forgeries, and other such items. And this gospel of Judas at least to my knowledge is the only thing with mention of Jesus I've heard of. But again some guy back then could've been making a ancient forgery from back then that now is continued by another who wanted to make money off of the forgery. And all you can prove by carbon dating because pieces of the document from the special I saw were burnt to determine how old the document was. All they could determine is that this material was as old as so number of years leading back to that time period of the speculated Jesus's day. So again even with that all you can say is forgery or not this document came from around this time period.

So again I doubt there is any evidence of Jesus to prove, or evidence to disprove his existence. Again with some it's a matter of faith that doesn't require or cares to look at evidence or lack there of. While the other side wishes to have proof.
*draws a big red circle ^^*

This is why Christians have no credibility when it comes to having a logical discourse. The rest of us get a bad reputation because of these people.

_EW_



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Old 04-24-2009, 03:16 PM   #38
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Both have their opinions of each other. The one side thinks the other is offlish and lacks credibility. They both have different idology, and of course they'd have apposing views of each other. Your viewpoint, and their viewpoint. Again both judge lack of evidence or proof of evidence in different ways. Both have drawn their conclusions. And that is that.


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Old 04-24-2009, 03:34 PM   #39
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This isn't a matter of opinion. Either there is evidence (and therefore cause) or there is not.

If the former is true, then people such as myself are wrong and can be shown to be so. If the latter is true, then people such as yourself are wrong and can be shown to be so. The problem is that one side wants to have it's cake and eat it too. They want to be able to admit that there is no evidence yet still convince others (themselves?) that they have good reason for their beliefs.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:26 PM   #40
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I'm speaking as to both sides and how each sees things. Science has their reasoning, idology, what they consider this and that, their rules. And then there is the religous commmunity that has their form of idology, thinking, reasoning, what they consider proof, etc. Like I said they'll believe they the way they want, and science will view them in tehir thinking. Reasoning to the two is different. Both think differently. Both can claim their right by their reasoning based on how one sees the other and how the other sees the world. So really the two are at an impass to which neither will yeild.


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