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RichardB
24-01-2013, 02:14
First of all, this should not be a discussion about religion. This is about the historical character called Jesus. NOT about any son of god etc hence this not being in the religion section.

Rusmeister's tenacity in his beliefs is what led me to do some reading up on this subject. There are many sources (biased and otherwise) about Jesus as a historical character but as I wanted something that should be unbiased I have only used Wikipedia for reference.

Historicity of Jesus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus)

The Pauline epistles (http://expat.ru/forum/Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul)

Two events that almost all scholars and historians agree on are his Baptism of Jesus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism_of_Jesus)and his Crucifixion of Jesus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_of_Jesus). The remaining events are given various degrees of reliability.

The Synoptic Gospels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synoptic_gospels) are almost universally accepted to be a factual account of his life (ignoring the religious dogma associated with them).

The Ministry of Jesus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Jesus) started after his baptism.


Questions:

Given that the gospels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Dating)are generally accepted to have been written at the earliest 10 years after the death of Jesus and at the latest 70 years after his death how reliable are these accounts?

Is there any other evidence, either for or against, for his existence?

If anyone starts spouting religious arguments then expect abuse in return - you have been warned Rus! :)

Jack17
24-01-2013, 02:46
It's all anecdotal at best. None of the Gospel writers had any first hand personal knowledge of a Jesus of Nazareth. There are no birth or death records for a Jesus of Nazareth, itinerate Jewish Essene Rabbi.

Rus will go on for pages, as he's done many times in recent years; but there's no first hand evidence of anything.

The only source outside the New Testament for the existence of Jesus is the Testimonium Flavianum of Josephus; but that was written around 90 AD; so, again, anecdotal at best.

yakspeare
24-01-2013, 03:01
First of all, this should not be a discussion about religion. This is about the historical character called Jesus. NOT about any son of god etc hence this not being in the religion section.

Rusmeister's tenacity in his beliefs is what led me to do some reading up on this subject. There are many sources (biased and otherwise) about Jesus as a historical character but as I wanted something that should be unbiased I have only used Wikipedia for reference.

Historicity of Jesus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus)

The Pauline epistles (http://expat.ru/forum/Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul)

Two events that almost all scholars and historians agree on are his Baptism of Jesus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism_of_Jesus)and his Crucifixion of Jesus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_of_Jesus). The remaining events are given various degrees of reliability.

The Synoptic Gospels - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synoptic_gospels) are almost universally accepted to be a factual account of his life (ignoring the religious dogma associated with them).

The Ministry of Jesus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Jesus) started after his baptism.


Questions:

Given that the gospels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Dating)are generally accepted to have been written at the earliest 10 years after the death of Jesus and at the latest 70 years after his death how reliable are these accounts?

Is there any other evidence, either for or against, for his existence?

If anyone starts spouting religious arguments then expect abuse in return - you have been warned Rus! :)

There is some...100,000 manuscripts exist from the first century as well as Roman records and Jewish history on the subject plus various sects that sprung up.

the real debate is why the debate. basically Jesus is being singled out here. We except many historical figures as facts and historic writers like Herodotus make claims about history and people we take as fact but are no more reliable than the gospels. the works of buddha found are much much later than his death, the same as zarutha(sp) and more....heck even plato and aristostle works date much later. but these are not unchallenged. the gospels were written supposedly by the eye witnesses-people have found manuscripts within 1-2 decadesof that time-doesnt mean they are origials and were penned then,just that is what we have at the moment. It IS extraordinary that so much survives, considering the materials used and the length of time-which certainly suggest a great deal of copies were made and very quickly.

That's about all we know. he probably existed for christianity to spread so fast over such a wide area-the followers were the most zealous in history.

Jack17
24-01-2013, 03:08
the gospels were written supposedly by the eye witnesses-

"Eye witnesses" of what? Of Jesus? Tell me one biblical scholar of New Testament writings who believes any of the actual writers of the Gospels knew Jesus personally.


-the followers were the most zealous in history.

More zealous than the Muslims? :wazzup:

RichardB
24-01-2013, 03:21
First of all, it is doubted by most scholars that the gospels were written by eyewitnesses of the public ministry of Jesus (Raymond E Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament). So, the New Testament gospels were necessarily based on received information. Moreover, we do not really know who wrote the gospels, as they were not attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John until the second century CE.

Scholars say that the first gospel, the Gospel According to Saint Mark, was written (in Greek) approximately 70 CE, an entire generation after the time attributed to the ministry of Jesus, so the author was unlikely to have even met a living eyewitness of Jesus' ministry. There is clear evidence that Matthew's Gospel and Luke's Gospel were substantially based on Mark's Gospel. Similarly, John's Gospel appears to have been drawn from Luke's Gospel and, to a certain extent, Mark's Gospel.

This effectively means that if we can ascertain how the author of Mark's Gospel knew about Jesus, then we can say how all the gospel authors knew about Jesus.

Parallels have been detected between Mark and Paul's Epistle to the Romans and First Epistle to the Corinthians. A reasonable hypothesis could be that Mark developed his Gospel from what he could find in Paul's Epistles, combined with some oral testimony and a good deal of conjecture. While few scholars would doubt that John the Baptist was a historical preacher, Shimon Gibson (The Cave of John the Baptist) says that commentators are obliged to view the historicity of the information about John in the gospels with a healthy dose of suspicion.

Matthew and Luke also relied to some extent on sources other than Mark for their information about Jesus. The most important of these is a hypothetical sayings document called the 'Q' document. When quoting sayings from the Q document, Matthew and Luke use exactly the same words in Greek, but place the sayings in totally different contexts, including time and place.

Q document (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_source)

robertmf
24-01-2013, 03:38
[I]First of all, it is doubted by most scholars that the gospels were written by eyewitnesses of the public ministry of Jesus (Raymond E Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament). So, the New Testament gospels were necessarily based on received information. Moreover, we do not really know who wrote the gospels, as they were not attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John until the second century CE.



Just so. Such 3d party "received information" is deemed "hearsay" and not admissible as evidence in the expat.ru Forum courts :smokin:

yakspeare
24-01-2013, 03:55
First of all, it is doubted by most scholars that the gospels were written by eyewitnesses of the public ministry of Jesus (Raymond E Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament). So, the New Testament gospels were necessarily based on received information. Moreover, we do not really know who wrote the gospels, as they were not attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John until the second century CE.

Scholars say that the first gospel, the Gospel According to Saint Mark, was written (in Greek) approximately 70 CE, an entire generation after the time attributed to the ministry of Jesus, so the author was unlikely to have even met a living eyewitness of Jesus' ministry. There is clear evidence that Matthew's Gospel and Luke's Gospel were substantially based on Mark's Gospel. Similarly, John's Gospel appears to have been drawn from Luke's Gospel and, to a certain extent, Mark's Gospel.

This effectively means that if we can ascertain how the author of Mark's Gospel knew about Jesus, then we can say how all the gospel authors knew about Jesus.

Parallels have been detected between Mark and Paul's Epistle to the Romans and First Epistle to the Corinthians. A reasonable hypothesis could be that Mark developed his Gospel from what he could find in Paul's Epistles, combined with some oral testimony and a good deal of conjecture. While few scholars would doubt that John the Baptist was a historical preacher, Shimon Gibson (The Cave of John the Baptist) says that commentators are obliged to view the historicity of the information about John in the gospels with a healthy dose of suspicion.

Matthew and Luke also relied to some extent on sources other than Mark for their information about Jesus. The most important of these is a hypothetical sayings document called the 'Q' document. When quoting sayings from the Q document, Matthew and Luke use exactly the same words in Greek, but place the sayings in totally different contexts, including time and place.

Q document (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_source)

sorry that is bogus. Most put Mark around 45-50 AD but th best evidence is the other letters of Paul etc which are easier to date, as well as the church fathers (Orthodox/Catholic) who quote from these books meaning they were in circulation much earlier.

As for "most scholars" there are massive bias issues on both sides. a non religious biblical scholar is pretty much an oxymoron. sure they exist but they have a distinct agenda, as does of course christian scholars. Christian scholars, who by far make up the majority, certainly mostly favour the disciples of Jesus as authors of the tomes.So that wiki post is just way off in what is thinks "most" scholars believe.

There are OTHER reasons to believe the authors are not eye witnesses-this is from a Jewish perspective. Jesus' disciples were Jews but the New Testament smells of flavian Rome and a complete misunderstanding of Jewish lore AND law-suggesting Roman authorship. Greek and Roman beliefs in the afterlife , contrary to what Jews believe in, are all through it. It goes against thousands of years of history over such things and the nature of God etc.

but timeline wise the latest book, revelation, was probably written by a very old John-with dates up to AD 90 suggested. But that is the last date and everything else was in wide circulation decades before that.

yakspeare
24-01-2013, 04:00
"Eye witnesses" of what? Of Jesus? Tell me one biblical scholar of New Testament writings who believes any of the actual writers of the Gospels knew Jesus personally.



More zealous than the Muslims? :wazzup:

yes more zealous than the muslims. Considering the number and how it spread throughout the entire Roman empire and onto distant lands so quickly, it made the muslims pedestrian in comparison.

RichardB
24-01-2013, 04:21
sorry that is bogus. Most put Mark around 45-50 AD but th best evidence is the other letters of Paul etc which are easier to date, as well as the church fathers (Orthodox/Catholic) who quote from these books meaning they were in circulation much earlier.

As for "most scholars" there are massive bias issues on both sides. a non religious biblical scholar is pretty much an oxymoron. sure they exist but they have a distinct agenda, as does of course christian scholars. Christian scholars, who by far make up the majority, certainly mostly favour the disciples of Jesus as authors of the tomes.So that wiki post is just way off in what is thinks "most" scholars believe.

There are OTHER reasons to believe the authors are not eye witnesses-this is from a Jewish perspective. Jesus' disciples were Jews but the New Testament smells of flavian Rome and a complete misunderstanding of Jewish lore AND law-suggesting Roman authorship. Greek and Roman beliefs in the afterlife , contrary to what Jews believe in, are all through it. It goes against thousands of years of history over such things and the nature of God etc.

but timeline wise the latest book, revelation, was probably written by a very old John-with dates up to AD 90 suggested. But that is the last date and everything else was in wide circulation decades before that.


Estimates for the dates when the canonical gospel accounts were written vary significantly; and the evidence for any of the dates is scanty. Because the earliest surviving complete copies of the gospels date to the 4th century and because only fragments and quotations exist before that, scholars use Historical criticism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism) to propose likely ranges of dates for the original gospel autographs. Scholars variously assess the majority (though not the consensus [28] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-28)) view as follows:

Mark: c. 6873,[29] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-Brown-29) c. 6570[30] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-ReferenceB-30)
Matthew: c. 70100.[29] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-Brown-29) c. 8085.[30] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-ReferenceB-30)
Luke: c. 80100, with most arguing for somewhere around 85,[29] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-Brown-29) c. 8085[30] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-ReferenceB-30)
John: c. 90100,[30] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-ReferenceB-30) c. 90110,[31] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-31) The majority view is that it was written in stages, so there was no one date of composition.
Traditional Christian scholarship has generally preferred to assign earlier dates. Some historians interpret the end of the book of Acts as indicative, or at least suggestive, of its date; as Acts mentions neither the death of Paul the Apostle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Tarsus), generally accepted as the author of many of the Epistles, who was put to death by the Romans c. 65, nor any other event post AD 62, notably the Neronian persecution of AD 64/5 that had such impact on the early church.[32] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#cite_note-France-32) Acts is attributed to the author of the Gospel of Luke, which is believed to have been written before Acts, and therefore would shift the chronology of authorship back, putting Mark as early as the mid 50s. Here are the dates given in the modern NIV Study Bible (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIV_Study_Bible):

Matthew: c. 50 to 70s
Mark: c. 50s to early 60s, or late 60s
Luke: c. 59 to 63, or 70s to 80s
John: c. 85 to near 100, or 50s to 70
Such early dates are not limited to conservative scholars. In Redating the New Testament John A. T. Robinson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._T._Robinson), a prominent liberal theologian and bishop, makes a case for composition dates before the fall of Jerusalem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_(70)) in AD 70.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Dating

Russian Lad
24-01-2013, 04:21
The society developed, multiple gods were not helping gathering the sheep into one herd, so one God substituted them all, to facilitate the manipulation process. It is so very simple that the thought about how many people don't realize it simply makes me sick sometimes. I wanted to become a priest, frankly, just to make a good living out of it, but I was so nauseated about the whole thing over time that I just could not continue. I think many could... I just wonder sometimes how many genuine believers there are among priests - 1%? 0.01? 0.001%? :AngelPray::11157::thumbdwn:

rusmeister
24-01-2013, 04:23
My one question for Richard is why he would think Wikipedia to be an unbiased source? On any topic on which there is serious disagreement, it is absolutely biased. The version, view or take on a thing you see most of the time is that of the most fanatical and determined people to have their version up.

There can be no fair trial in a kangaroo court. When all minds are already thoroughly closed, the verdict has already been passed before the trial ever began.

Yak said what I would have said well enough. I don't think it worth arguing here his claim that the authors were (presumably all) non-Jewish Romans; otherwise I agree.

You accept a Wikipedia claim, written by a very biased person, saying "most scholars" and so dismiss out of hand thousands of scholars at theological seminars out of hand. You are only willing to consider evidence, including poorly supported claims, that agrees with the conclusion you have already come to.

I see no open willingness to conduct honest inquiry, which demands attempting to thoroughly understand the position you disagree with. Only quoting of enemies of faith and the Church, claiming that the truth is on their side.

RichardB
24-01-2013, 04:34
My one question for Richard is why he would think Wikipedia to be an unbiased source? On any topic on which there is serious disagreement, it is absolutely biased. The version, view or take on a thing you see most of the time is that of the most fanatical and determined people to have their version up.

You accept a Wikipedia claim, written by a very biased person, saying "most scholars" and so dismiss out of hand thousands of scholars at theological seminars out of hand. You are only willing to consider evidence, including poorly supported claims, that agrees with the conclusion you have already come to.


I (and you and everyone else here) have no idea who wrote the various articles so we cannot judge them as biased or otherwise. You will see them as wrong because of your beliefs. I see them as subjective because I don't know and seek knowledge. Others will see them through their own views and opinions.



Only quoting of enemies of faith and the Church, claiming that the truth is on their side.

PLEASE do not turn this into a religious discussion. This is about the HISTORICAL person, not the religious person. Leave religion out of your answers for once.... please.

Jack17
24-01-2013, 07:22
Well, for those of us who have been posting here for years, this is an argument that has been debated more than once.

First, on the subject of the Savior of all Mankind, who is not biased? Rus, are you claiming to be a thoroughly objective commentator? Rus can speak for himself; but his arguments in the past for the existence of the historical Jesus have focused on the issue of the martyrs. Rus would say that so many people would never have sacrificed their lives for someone who never existed. I'd say, if hundreds of thousands of Americans sacrificed their lives for slavery, then why not a fictional Orphic deity?

Frankly, as much as I love my fellow shipmate Yaks, I don't understand what he's saying. Whether one biblical scholar dates Mark to 50 AD and another 70 AD, the fact remains, neither Mark, Matthew, Luke nor John had come anywhere near a Joshua of Nazareth. The Epistle of Peter, though it purports to have been written by the Apostle himself, certainly could not have been, since it speaks of persecution of Christians which didn't begin until the Emperor Diocletian in 80 AD - long after the Apostle Peter would have died.

Dating and identifying the authorship of any writing that is nearly 2000 years old is not an exact science. There's no proof of anything, only a consensus; and that consensus is we have nothing from anyone who personally knew a Joshua of Nazareth.

As for Christianity spreading faster than Islam, I'd say going from Mecca east to India, west to Spain and south to Somalia in a hundred years is pretty damn fast and much further than Christianity spread in its first century.

yakspeare
24-01-2013, 10:45
Well, for those of us who have been posting here for years, this is an argument that has been debated more than once.

First, on the subject of the Savior of all Mankind, who is not biased? Rus, are you claiming to be a thoroughly objective commentator? Rus can speak for himself; but his arguments in the past for the existence of the historical Jesus have focused on the issue of the martyrs. Rus would say that so many people would never have sacrificed their lives for someone who never existed. I'd say, if hundreds of thousands of Americans sacrificed their lives for slavery, then why not a fictional Orphic deity?

Frankly, as much as I love my fellow shipmate Yaks, I don't understand what he's saying. Whether one biblical scholar dates Mark to 50 AD and another 70 AD, the fact remains, neither Mark, Matthew, Luke nor John had come anywhere near a Joshua of Nazareth. The Epistle of Peter, though it purports to have been written by the Apostle himself, certainly could not have been, since it speaks of persecution of Christians which didn't begin until the Emperor Diocletian in 80 AD - long after the Apostle Peter would have died.

Dating and identifying the authorship of any writing that is nearly 2000 years old is not an exact science. There's no proof of anything, only a consensus; and that consensus is we have nothing from anyone who personally knew a Joshua of Nazareth.

As for Christianity spreading faster than Islam, I'd say going from Mecca east to India, west to Spain and south to Somalia in a hundred years is pretty damn fast and much further than Christianity spread in its first century.

Well they possibly didn't come near Yeshua of Nazareth, but the enire christian faith rests on the fact they did. As for Peter and so on-you don't know what level of persecution there was in any one province of the empire. details are scant. and then there is the habit of later authors adding or modifying parts of the text-which means a book could be mostly written by someone with later editing done(as is the case of Jospehus)

The other ossibility,from a religious point of view, and held by many protestants is God spoke through the writers-much as the claim Moses wrote Genesis which was obviously partly set before he was even born.

and there is some anecdotal evidence that christianity reached even India by the supposed disciples of Christ. and consider that the initial spread throughout the roman empire and beyond in 20 years or so was done without a sword.

rusmeister
24-01-2013, 14:10
On bias - everyone who has come to any kind of conclusion is biased. That bias may be reasonable or unreasonable. But the person who HAS come to a conclusion must not pretend to be neutral. No information that asserts truth really IS neutral.

It is my firm opinion that most of the efforts aimed at denying the Christian claims are unreasonable. They will grasp at anything to deny it. But setting that aside, the writers of Wikipedia articles, anonymous or not, HAVE come to conclusions and ARE peddling a biased product, one that is unreasonably biased, by omission of fact as well as choice of facts included.

Not discussing the teachings or effects of Christ - what you call "religion", is like saying, "Let us talk about Babe Ruth. But leave baseball out of the discussion. This is about the historical person, not the baseball player." since his life centered around baseball, you are talking about ignoring the central fact of his life. The very case for historicity is based in significant part precisely on the effect of His life and teaching. Scientists claim to be able to tell the existence of black holes, dark matter or whatever by the absence of things that should be there and the presence of things that (otherwise) should not. So it is here. Unless there really was a remarkable man who did truly remarkable things, the behavior of well-documented historical figures who followed Him makes no sense at all. Even without the Gospel accounts, everything else is explained by His existence, and made into nonsense by His non-existence. That makes His existence extremely probable; more probable than most historical figures whose existence we do not question.

And this brings us back to Yak's statement, which Jack "does not understand" - which certainly seems to be a willful choice to not understand - that Christ is singled out like no other historical figure. The bar is set unreasonably high for His existence vis-a-vis all other historical figures of periods both before and after into the Dark Ages whose existence we don't question. This shows unreasonable bias. There is no campaign to disprove the existence of the Venerable Bede or King Alfred, let alone Herodotus or Aesop. We have hundreds of historical voices asserting His existence over the following three centuries before Christianity became legal

As I said, the kangaroo court has already brought out its verdict. And there is no hint of justice in it.

RichardB
24-01-2013, 14:29
On bias - everyone who has come to any kind of conclusion is biased. That bias may be reasonable or unreasonable. But the person who HAS come to a conclusion must not pretend to be neutral. No information that asserts truth really IS neutral.

Correct.



It is my firm opinion that most of the efforts aimed at denying the Christian claims are unreasonable. They will grasp at anything to deny it.

I am not denying the Christian claims. What I am doing is separating the historical character from the religious character - I am not interested in the religious character as I will happily admit I am not a religious person. However, that does not mean that I cannot show an interest in the historical character.

You are quite happy to tell us that we are all wrong in our thinking about this subject but don't provide any links to relevant references.



But setting that aside, the writers of Wikipedia articles, anonymous or not, HAVE come to conclusions and ARE peddling a biased product, one that is unreasonably biased, by omission of fact as well as choice of facts included.

And the same can be said about you. You have come to conclusions and ARE peddling a biased product, one that is unreasonably biased, by omission of fact as well as choice of facts included.

yakspeare
24-01-2013, 15:08
See the thing is Richard-and I take you at your word that your being sincere-there are various campaigns to discredit or revise history which have a motive behind them.

If you could prove Jesus never existed-then everything else christianity claims is irrelevant. Even Dawkins asserts that he probably existed and that such a man did is a reasonable claim based on the balance of probabilities. But if you state he did not, and are bale to back that up then you never have to think about the supposed claims he made orwhat thers made about him.

The same attempt is happening in the muslim world challenging whether Solomon or David existed or whether there was ever a Jewish temple and if there was was it THE temple. Because if these things were to be shown to be untrue-then the whole Jewish claim to the land falls apart. And so does Judaism.

We also see this in holocaust denial and peoples fascination with challenging the figures-or even if it was done at all or whether the Nazis were behind it.

We see it with the theories of 911 and claims explosives were used-this has gone from explosives helped bring the building down after the planes hit, to the planes were operated by the CIA to what we have now is the claim there weren't any planes at all and that footage on TV was faked. eyewitnesses seeing planes hit the building were in it, paid stooges etc.

So it is very much a way to deal with a claim by doing the ultimate job in discrediting something-by saying the person, the event, the place never existed at all. you might be naturally curious and finding answers but there are many obsessed with these religious topics who are not religious at all-and show more zeal than even a believer(dawkins again is a classic example.)

Even if the biblical books came even centuries after his death(btw some even claim that) the most that proves is that the accounts could be inaccurate-again it doesn't disprove the existence of the man himself. And the christian claims to miracles and rising from dead are so outrageous that you can only choose to believe them or not. EVEN if you lived in that time period and met someone who claimed they had seen it. Doubting thomas and the story of Lazarus both explain this natural human reaction rather well-if your best friend who you have known or your life saw the supernatural, an alien, or anything strange at all-is your first instinct to believe them? Even if what they saw is 100% true-it is a matter of choice in you and we are naturally skeptical. Just as when people from Australia claimed they saw a platypus it was considered nonsense by the then scientific community-and even when the remains of one were sent to London it was considered a fake and a hoax. The creature does exist-I have seen plenty of them-and you probably accept they exist by putting your trust in national geographic and your school teacher. I have never seen an electron or an atom, okay it is possible if I was a scientist to see one-but I am not and I don't have access to an electron microscope-but I accept, I believe, what books and my educators tell me that they exist-even though I don't have the means to check for myself. And I don't say until I see one with my own eyes, I won't believe in their existence. But this is exactly what people do to religious claims.

Russian Lad
24-01-2013, 16:51
We see it with the theories of 911 and claims explosives were used

Don't mean to digress, but there is a lot of evidence, both direct and circumstantial, that they were used. Many relatives of those who died demanded a repeat investigation - why do you think it wasn't carried out?
To my liking, there are too many unbelievable discrepancies and striking coincidences behind 9/11...
As to Jesus as a person - well, he may have existed, maybe he even had hypnosis skills, but I doubt he could turn water into wine and walk on the water, for example.

Jas
24-01-2013, 19:41
This talks about a lot of relevant stuff actually...


Army Of Lovers - Crucified (1991) HD - YouTube

JanC
24-01-2013, 22:11
Given that the gospels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel#Dating)are generally accepted to have been written at the earliest 10 years after the death of Jesus and at the latest 70 years after his death how reliable are these accounts?


If anyone starts spouting religious arguments then expect abuse in return

I think you're asking the impossible here Richard. The reliability of accounts regarding Jesus are always going to be pretty much a religious issue. You can't really separate them. Not least because if not for the religion we never would've heard of the bloke.

Would've been convenient had he written an autobiography but alas.

robertmf
24-01-2013, 22:31
I think you're asking the impossible here Richard. The reliability of accounts regarding Jesus are always going to be pretty much a religious issue. You can't really separate them. Not least because if not for the religion we never would've heard of the bloke.

Would've been convenient had he written an autobiography but alas.

Would carpenters have been literate back then :question:

MickeyTong
24-01-2013, 22:35
Would carpenters have been literate back then :question:



Irrelevant, Robert. The story is that the message of Jesus/God was not just for the people of that place and time, but for everyone everywhere everywhen.

Jack17
24-01-2013, 22:57
Indeed Mickey, it was the greatest story ever told.

MickeyTong
24-01-2013, 23:02
Indeed Mickey, it was the greatest story ever told.

Wasn't Charlton Heston in that film?

peppermintpaddy
25-01-2013, 06:23
Anyone read " a canticle for leibowitz"?

or seen "the Life of Brian"?......maybe theyre a lot closer to the truth than most people think.

I'm sure Jesus existed as yet another prophet messiah,they were a dime a dozen in those times....His teaching only spread because of Paul,and Christianity's adoption as the state religion of Rome.......otherwise,his sect would have died out ,and only students of arcane religions would have even heard of him......