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Jesus never existed
Religion

dukerollo
May 14, 2011
21 votes
19 debaters
4
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7
Jesus never existed


dukerollo
May 18, 2011
2 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to do better than that. It's highly unacceptable in a debate to toss out the name of a book and say "go read it". I'm not doing your homework for you. Substantiate your claim with specifics or retract it.

 
dukerollo
May 14, 2011
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Jesus never existed. The person in the new testament (NT) was an invention of the time. Consider the following:

Philo of Alexandria was a first century hellenized Jew that lived during the alleged time of Jesus. He was literate, wrote about Jewish philosophy, and even hung out with Pontias Pilate. In all his writings, Philo never mentions Jesus once. Neither positively or negatively. He doesn't say things like "there was this person who could work miracles" nor does he say "There was this charlatan who tricked people into thinking he could work miracles." He's utterly silent. Which doesn't agree with the tales in the NT where Jesus was allegedly having trouble being mobbed by throngs of people. I use Philo as an example, but NO ONE mentions Jesus during his alleged lifetime. Not a single author.

Consider Justin Martyr. In his Apologies, he addresses the issue that the tale of Jesus resembles earlier stories and myths. What's the early church father's answer to these accusations? He alleges the devil(s) put these earlier religions in the way of humanity to try to trick people... to make people think that Jesus isn't really a savior and just another copy of earlier myths. This ham-handed and obviously flawed rebuttal is, to this day, still official doctrine of the Catholic church.

Consider Athenagoras of Athens. He's a second century Christian convert who wrote a document called "A plea for the Christians". It was meant to explain Christianity to the sitting Roman emperor of the time (and also the Alexandrian church). In his 34 paragraph-length chapters, he never once mentions that Jesus was a person. In fact, he does the exact opposite. In chapter 10 where he explains that Christians are not atheists, he explains that god has a son, but explain that this son was not a person (like Hercules or the like). He explains that the son is the "logos" of the father. A spirit... certainly not a flesh and blood person.

So, we have an early church father who's copping out when it comes to where Jesus was copied from. We have a first century Jewish writer & philosopher who knows who Pilate is, but has never heard of Jesus. We have a 2nd century Christian who is _sure_ Jesus _wasn't_ flesh & blood...

... and yet we have 21st century Christians who (somehow) "know" Jesus was a real person.

 
dukerollo
May 15, 2011
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

It's funny you should say that. Consider the following.

Imagine you met a Scientologist who told you that human beings are alive on this planet because we were all brought here be Xenu the space general millions of years ago on space ships that looked like modern day DC10's (which is pretty close to what Scientologists actually believe). Imagine this individual was _sure_ this is true and insisted they'd done all the research they needed to conclude it true. When pressed, this "research" actually comes down to reading books printed by the church of Scientology (what passes as scripture for them) or books written by Scientologists (people like Tom Cruise). What would you say to that person?

Very likely, you'd tell them "look at something outside of Scientology".

Now, that's pretty easy for Scientology. The church of scientology hasn't had a strangle hold on western culture for 1600+ years. Scientologists haven't ingrained their religion into European & North American society for over a thousand years.

Point being, that what passes for research by Christians is usually every bit as one sided as the above example. Christians (the vast majority of them, but not all) are indoctrinated by their parents from toddlerhood to believe in Christianity. Most never challenge this teaching and grow up to teach their children to believe in the Christian god, thus perpetuating the cycle. The various churches of the world, long instantiated into society, are each ready to help their flock "investigate their faith" by asking the same handful of anemic and circular questions. The end goal is to help intelligent people (because most Christians are intelligent people) feel like they've done their homework on what they believe in... when in reality they've done nothing of the sort.

It's why you had to google Athenagoras of Athens :)

 
joryrferrell
May 14, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Prove he did. DNA evidence is preferred.

 
joryrferrell
May 15, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

...................and this PROVED what? That there are in fact biblical scriptures SAYING Jesus existed and performed all these supposed miracles? Yeah..........we know. XP

 
dukerollo
May 15, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

Ah. This argument. Again.

The passage that you're referring to is a forgery. It's very obviously a forgery. If you read Josephus, it reads like a speedbump. It's tossed in as something akin to a footnote... as though an incarnate Jewish godman performing miracles (somehow) WOULDN'T rate an entire chapter. But that's neither here nor there. The real issue is this:

NO ONE quotes that passage of Josephus until the FOURTH century.

Period.

All those early church fathers like Justin Martyr... all of them arguing with early pagan churches and Jewish authorities... all of whom knew of Josephus, yet they never quoted this so-called "golden paragraph". It's very obviously a forgery.

The passage that Tacitus writes has a similar problem (as well as several unique problems). Since someone is likely to bring up Tacitus, I'll go ahead and pre-empt that tired old argument. It goes something like this:

Christian(C): "Tacitus writes about Jesus so therefor he helps prove Jesus was a real person."

Non-Christian (N): "What was Tacitus' source? How did he know about Jesus?"

C: "Uhm... uhh... No clue. lol But we DO know that Tacitus was a REALLY trustworthy and respected historian. So he wouldn't write about Jesus if he hadn't really existed."

N: "But... Tacitus says that Christianity is a "pernicious superstition". If he was a great historian and we're to believe his writings, shouldn't we discount Christianity entirely?"

C: "No no. We can TOTALLY use him as a source. Because (somehow) it's OKAY to say Tacitus is a trusted historian _AND_ to ignore what he's writing as untruth."

N: "Riiiiiiiiiiight."

Yeah. Jesus never existed.

 
vennyficus
May 15, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Did you Jesus freaks know that the Jesus story had been told at LEAST 10 times before Jesus stared in the last "Christianity" version of that story? Really - look it up, you'll be surprised. Here are the aspects of the story that matches MANY stories earlier then Jesus:
-12 Disciples + 1 that betrays the main character
-Birth/Resurrection dates
-Miracles
-Entire life story
-Method of death
-Birth by a virgin

And the list goes on. I mean, it wasn't even original... It's really sad that people believe all that crap. Now do I think Jesus existed? Even if he did, he was just some random dude playing his part.

 
dukerollo
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

I'm baffled as to why you would offer that as a rebuttal to my argument.

My claim (summarized): "Josephus' passage was a forgery. Someone came along later on and added a part about Jesus."

Your answer: "The part that's about Jesus is JUST like what's in Luke."

Who ever doctored Josephus' writings would have been doing so long after Luke was written and would have had easy access to the gospel. So saying that Josephus matches Luke only tells us that the forgery was an accurate one.

It in absolutely no way addresses the problem of the forgery, itself.

 
dukerollo
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

Ah yes. The "wise king" argument. The problem with this letter is fourfold. First, scholars can't date it with accuracy: it could be as early as 70 ce or as late as the third century. Second, it has the same problem Tacitus' writings suffer from: we have no source information. Sarapion is simply doing what people have been doing for 1900 or so years: assuming there was a Jesus based on hear say. Third, he mentions Pythagarus and Socrates by name, but not Jesus. Lastly, it doesn't make any reference to the Romans executing Jesus. So... like Tacitus... we are once again demanded to see this as evidence AND ignore parts of it. What a terrible argument?

Furthermore, Jesus' tale isn't unique. It's simply a retelling of several other individuals and myths. There is no one individual or myth Jesus was copied from. It was a whole host of sources. Clearly you've never heard of Yeshua ben Pandira who, during the rule of Alexander Janaus (circa 88 bce), angered the king by weaving prophecies about end times... and being executed after being condemned by Jewish authorities. He was hung from a tree on the eve of passover. Sound familiar?

I'm hoping you don't intend on using the tired & trite apologist defense that says "If it's not a 100% carbon copy of the tale of Jesus then it couldn't possibly have influenced the tale of Jesus." The truth is that the tale of Jesus isn't very original. Arguments to the contrary fall flat when we see that Justin Martyr... one of your early church fathers... ADMITS this in one of his First Apolgoy*:

"And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter"

He goes on to list some of the many gods who had sons. His answer to these very obvious similarities?

"But, as we said above, wicked devils perpetrated these things. "

Were you planning to address that part or no?


*http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-firstapology.html See section XXI

 
dukerollo
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gatorsf80 Show

This is a trap.

It's very intuitive to believe that there was a wise man who did the things that Jesus did, but never actually had anything supernatural happen. The "Jeffersonian Jesus", if you will.

However, when you start to look at what actually was happening back then, you see the truth. Claiming what you claimed is a little like saying, "Well I don't believe that Superman has super powers, but there clearly was a guy who wore a costume and fought crime in New York that the comic was based on."

It's simply not the case.

There isn't a shred of evidence for that individual.

And even without supernatural powers, his story STILL doesn't make sense. In a way, even if we take away the miracles, Jesus still has magical powers that we can't account for. Consider the disciples. If Jesus is just some guy who says good things, why did these people leave their families to go wander around in poverty with him? People can be moved by pretty words and even run off and join cults but that doesn't just HAPPEN. It takes a lot of psychological manipulation. If you stop Jesus from bringing people back from the dead and healing the sick, he really starts to sound like some crazy hippy type.

Furthermore, no one person could be everything that Jesus was. Think about aaaaalllllllllll the things that Jesus is. He's fully god and fully man. He's part of the line of David, but (somehow) god's son. He's a king and worth of being worshiped by kings & nobles... buuuuuut he's also impoverished and hung out with commoners so can be worshiped by commoners. When you look at everything Christians want Jesus to be (Supernatural set aside) it smacks of a character that was engineered to be the perfect selling point. The product anyone and everyone can agree on... able to be marketed to any class or station. The chances of him existing simply are too astronomically small to take seriously.

 
theenemyisprofit
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
At least not in the way the Bible proclaims. Biblical historians face enormous pressure to theologize their work. Whether the "historical Jesus" existed as a person or many people, or did not exist, is a question pursued leaving tainted tracks. I've not invested the time or energy to find the researchers who employed agnostic methodological approaches.

 
theenemyisprofit
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gatorsf80 Show

You are correct that the consensus among the "scientific community and historians" is "that Jesus did exist." That is the mainstream view. Though this carries great authority, it is not necessarily correct. Scrutiny exposes how problematic constructing a historical Jesus has been and why.

 
dukerollo
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

Ah. So we both agree that there are so-called "facts" from the Christ myth found in earlier religions.

Good.

If only Justin Martyr had denied this. Then the arguments for the uniqueness of the bible tale would hold water. As it stands, they do not. How could they? Martyr offers nothing resembling an argument. "TheDevilsDidIt" isn't an argument. It's his way of admitting that parts of the Jesus tale are borrowed. I get that wasn't his intent, but it doesn't matter.

 
dukerollo
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

Explain what?

Justin Martyr was doing his writings around the middle of the second century CE.* He's just one of the myth makers making myths based on writings that had been in existence since the early part of the second century. As for the tax records, that's nonsense for a variety of reasons:

1) Galilee, unlike Judea, at the time of Jesus' alleged birth was not a Roman province. There was no reason for Joseph to make the trip to Bethlehem.

2) History records no census from the Romans at that time.

3) Roman taxes weren't based on counting individuals. They were based on property.


--

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/justin.html

 
dukerollo
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

A few points here:

First, you're invoking a logical fallacy called "shifting the burden of proof". You cannot solve the problem Martyr's works presents ("Jesus DOES resemble earlier gods because the devil set it up that way") by impotently attempting to twist the argument back on me. You cannot erase the paragraph where Martyr freely admits that Jesus is similar to earlier religions. You must address this without invoking logical fallacies if you want to present a tenable argument.

Second, when you insist pagan myths are not close to the Jesus myth, you are contradicting Justin Martyr.

Third, Constantine is absolutely the right answer to your question (which I sense you already knew making me wonder why you bothered to ask). For those who are following along, but not in the know I find that Ken Humphreys explains it better than I do:

"In Constantine's day, the eastern provinces were by far the richest and most populous of the Roman world. Some of its cities – Pergamon, Symrna, Antioch and so on – had existed for almost a millennium and had accumulated vast wealth from international trade and venerated cult centres. Through its numerous cities passed Roman gold going east in exchange for imports from Persia, India and Arabia. Flowing west with those exotic imports came exotic 'mystery religions' to titillate and enthrall Roman appetites.

In contrast, the western provinces now ruled by Constantine were more recently colonized and less developed. Its cities were small 'new towns', its hinterland still barbarian. During the crisis decades of the 3rd century many provincial Romans in the west had been carried off into slavery by Germanic raiders and their cities burned. The province of Britain and part of northern Gaul had actually seceded from the empire in the late third century – and had been ruled by its own 'emperors' (Carausius, Allectus) with the help of Frankish mercenaries (286-297).

Constantine had no power-base in the east from which to mount a bid for the throne – but he had been at Nicomedia in 303 when Diocletian had decided to purge the Roman state of the disloyal Christian element. He had also served under Galerius on the Danube and witnessed at first-hand how the favoured Galerius – designated heir and rival – in particular despised the cult of Christ.

The ambitious and ruthless prince, from his base in Trier, immediately proclaimed himself 'protector of the Christians.' But it was not the handful of Jesus worshippers in the west that Constantine had in mind – there had not, after all, been any persecution in the west – but the far more numerous congregation in the east. They constituted a tiny minority within the total population (perhaps as few as 2%) but the eastern Christians were an organised force of fanatics, in many cities holding important positions in state administration. Some held posts even within the imperial entourage.

By championing the cause of the Christians Constantine put himself at the head of a 'fifth column' in the east, of a state within a state."


 
dukerollo
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

I'm highly skeptical of this. You're going to need to provide a link here.

 
dukerollo
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: mberns Show

Saying that Jesus existed because the new testament documents him is a little like saying "Xenu existed because the Scientologist book Dianetics claims he existed." What Most people miss in this discussion is the fact that Jesus is the focal point of a religion... a religion that struggled for centuries to legitimize itself. (in much the same way that Scientology and Mormonism have struggled)

We simply cannot equate historians attempting record history with myth makers trying to justify a religion. It's apples & oranges. It's completely inappropriate to trust religious accounts as though they were historical accounts. To do so opens the door to scenarios where people conclude that spider man existed because A) New York exists and B) all the people who record Spider man agree on spider man's back story.

 
dukerollo
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Something all of you keep ignoring as well (and shame on me for not bringing it up) is how perfect first century Judea was for the Christ myth.

What is the one concept of Judaism that keeps popping up over and over? The idea that the Jews (somehow) offend god, suffer for it, but are saved later on by some hero or sage.

If you were a Jew living in first century Judea, you'd be waiting for that hero. The Romans had conquered. There was political unrest. There were taxes being levied. The temple was on it's way to falling (circa 70ce). It was NOT a good time to be a Jew.

So... if you were living back then, you were ready to hear a tale of an incarnate godman who was JUST here and is going to come back any minute to give the Romans their comeuppance. And that's exactly the tall tale that emerged from this era. Only not everyone agreed on what the story was (see Athenagoras, gnostics, etc.) and it wasn't until much later they got their story straight.

There wasn't an incarnate godman. I'm very sorry to tell you this, but it simply did not happen.

 
dukerollo
May 18, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

It doesn't matter what Martyr's intention was, my friend. It's all there in black and white: his admission that Jesus resembles earlier myths and his incredibly bad justification for it. I've had this argument before with other Christians and I've seen them argue as you have... and frankly it just amazes me that you even use arguments like this. You see it's very obvious that Justin slipped up and acknowledged how much Jesus resembles earlier religions. Your counter argument, in a nutshell, is "well that wasn't his INTENT so it doesn't count". Yet you'd NEVER accept that sort of argument for anything else. If I presented an argument where I slipped up and admitted I thought Jesus was a real person, do you really expect me to believe you'd accept me saying, "Well, my INTENT was to illustrate this other point, so nevermind that I just borked my whole argument."???

Really?



 
dukerollo
May 18, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: christwarrior Show

Ah that reminds me of a quote I like:

"The Roman Empire lasted more than a thousand years and persecuted Christians for fewer than twelve of them. The 'Christian Empire' also lasted more than a thousand years and persecuted non-Christians through all of them."

The Romans had no idea who the Christians were until the second century. Most of the persecution that the Christians claim was actually directed towards Jews.

 
christwarrior
May 19, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: shirschfield Show

Christianity is not really a religion; it is a relationship with God. It is trusting in Jesus and what He did on the cross for you (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), not on what you can do for yourself (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christianity is not about ornate buildings, flamboyant preachers, or traditional rituals. Christianity is about truly accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.


 
sonicginger25
Jul 14, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: urbanchic Show

According to your logic, Harry Potter must exist because there are stories about him. The gospels read like an allegory, which is what they are. They are not historical, and there are no historical writings about Jesus. He wasn't real.

 
joryrferrell
Oct 14, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: trona Show

That was sarcasm. I don't have DNA evidence that a lot of people existed. I do however believe in them. Why. Because we have factual evidence......hold your breath cus' it may seem crazy..............that humans not sent by god as his messanger do in fact exist! Also, in prehistoric times, people were notorious for creating legendary and heroic figures to worship AGREED? So you admit that Zeus and Athena do not exist? Why? Because they don't have a book? Well friend, I assure you they do exist, because plenty of old world Greeks used to swear up, down and sideways that if you were naughty, Zeus f**ked you up. And all those dead Greeks can't possibly have been wrong. Besides, Hercules was an equivalent of your Jesus. You aren't seriously going to sit there and say that Hercules DID NOT exist are you? To do so would mean your trip through the underworld with the boatman (you have your fare of two gold pieces ready right?) is going to be most unpleasant. Uhm...btw....there is in fact evidence for the existence of prehistoric human beings in the form of fossils. While we can't extract dna from fossils, this proves to me that our prehistoric, monkey-like ancestors existed as a whole. Now if those prehistoric monkeys were writing books about the exploits of another monkey, while I believe my ancestors having existed, I would not believe their writings about a super-monkey sent on behalf of a spirit in the sky. To be honest, I seriously believe scientologists are LESS CRAZY than christians, muslims, and the jewish. At least their sh*t doesn't involve a single individual having created all this f**ked up mess for reasons yet to be explained. Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of scientology, nor do I myself believe it.

 
D.j. Ross
Oct 21, 2012
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: epsecretmapper Show

Belief by thousands, even millions in a person who has performed miracles, does not constitute proof that they are real. Take for example Santa Claus - a jolly mystical being, believed by millions, who delivers toys to all children in a single night! What about leprechauns, elves, fairies, trolls and unicorns?!

If you deal directly with facts, here is what you have:

The first human recording of God-like Savior born of Virgin mother and later being Resurrected from the dead is found in Egypt, 3-4,000 years before Christ. The Story focuses on Osiris, Isis, and Horus, reputably known as the original Holy family; the father, the mother, the son.

Horus originates in Pre-history, we can only date him to Egyptian times because we have no real records before that period of antiquity. The Egyptian “Book of Vivifying the Soul Forever” written over 5,000 years ago contains The Story of the Egyptian Horus and has remarkable similarities to the Story of Jesus Christ. In fact if you compare the Egyptian book of knowing the Evolutions, you can see very strong parallels to the Book of Genesis which came from God to Moses, who was raised in the household of the Egyptian Pharaoh, and later became the King of the Jews. Most later religions purporting Christ-Like saviors have their roots in the Early Egyptian religious system, which itself dates from an unknown source prior to any recorded History.

The Egyptian sun god Horus, who predated the Christ character by thousands of years, was first to:

Horus was born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th in a cave/manger with his birth being announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men.
His earthly father was named "Seb" ("Joseph"). Seb is also known as "Geb": "As Horus the Elder he...was believed to be the son of Geb and Nut." Lewis Spence, Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends, 84.
He was of royal descent.
At age 12, he was a child teacher in the Temple, and at 30, he was baptized, having disappeared for 18 years.
Horus was baptized in the river Eridanus or Iarutana (Jordan) by "Anup the Baptizer" ("John the Baptist"), who was decapitated.
He had 12 disciples, two of whom were his "witnesses" and were named "Anup" and "Aan" (the two "Johns").
He performed miracles, exorcised demons and raised El-Azarus ("El-Osiris"), from the dead.
Horus walked on water.
His personal epithet was "Iusa," the "ever-becoming son" of "Ptah," the "Father." He was thus called "Holy Child."
He delivered a "Sermon on the Mount" and his followers recounted the "Sayings of Iusa."
Horus was transfigured on the Mount.
He was killed, buried for three days in a tomb, and resurrected.
He was also the "Way, the Truth, the Light," "Messiah," "God's Anointed Son," the "Son of Man," the "Good Shepherd," the "Lamb of God," the "Word made flesh," the "Word of Truth," etc.
He was "the Fisher" and was associated with the Fish ("Ichthys"), Lamb and Lion.
He came to fulfill the Law.
Horus was called "the KRST," or "Anointed One."
Like Jesus, "Horus was supposed to reign one thousand years."

It's clear to see that the story of Jesus is just a recycling of the story of Horus

 
carnifax
Nov 10, 2012
0 convinced
Rebuttal
There is no evidence, historical or archaeological, that jesus ever definitly existed. I don't see why there would be because he was a nobody in the backwoods of the world and only a long time after did christianity start to affect the world. Certainly many people did claim to be the messiah at the time and the story of jesus could be true or be a combination of the stories of many similar men put together or it could be made up all together.

 
Vadim Petryuk
Jan 07, 2014
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: skiingfool435 Show

unicorns exist because i want them too.
you cant prove that my belief is wrong you can only prove that in the shared reality we live in unicorns do not exist
but when you go stating that GOD IS REAL, you have crossed the line of allowed believe and faith, and
become a deluded freak - called a fundementalist

 
+ Add Argument

14
Jesus did exist


mangalover
Jul 07, 2011
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Jesus did exist just not the son of god im not christian but i think he was a person just a great leader!!!!

 
skiingfool435
May 14, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
He exists because I think he does?

 
christwarrior
May 15, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
"Flavius Josephus (c. A.D. 37-100) was born to an aristocratic Jewish family, served as a priest, and later became the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee following the revolt against Rome that began A.D. 66. Captured by the Romans, Josephus spent his later life in Rome under the patronage of the Roman emperors where he composed his history of the Jewish people and his account of the Jewish war that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70."

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross , those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day , as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.


 
christwarrior
May 15, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: joryrferrell Show

so many arrogant people on here that can only prove there Ignorance. Did you read the first part??Josephus wrote that, and is not in the bible. I suggest start doing research. Are you afraid of finding out that you are 100% wrong on things you think you know?

 
christwarrior
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: dukerollo Show

it is found that the correspondences between Josephus' Jewish Antiquities 18:63-64 and the Emmaus narrative of Luke show they match each other more closely than any other two Jesus descriptions to a significance level of 98%.)


 
christwarrior
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
I'll agree that the quote from josephus had been added later. Josephus does write about James the Just Jesus' brother.


 
christwarrior
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Mara bar Sarapion "What else can we say, when the wise are forcibly dragged off by tyrants, their wisdom is captured by insults, and their minds are oppressed and without defense? What advantage did the Athenians gain from murdering Socrates? Famine and plague came upon them as a punishment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing THEIR WISE KING? It was just after that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea and the Jews, desolate and driven from their own kingdom, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates is not dead, because of Plato; neither is Pythagoras, because of the statue of Juno; nor is the wise king, because of the "new law" he laid down Many have interpreted the above passage as providing an early, extra-Biblical reference to the historical Jesus. Proponents of this view argue that the allusion to a "wise king" -- specifically, a Jewish king executed by other Jews—fits no individual in history except Jesus, and that it coincides with the many Biblical references to Jesus as "King of the Jews" (e.g., Matthew 2:2; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18:33)

 
gatorsf80
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
As a person who does not believe that Jesus is god, there is consensus among scientific community and historians that Jesus did exist, and was crucified. DNA evidence is lacking, because the body is missing. Moreover, the relatives of Jesus DNA is also missing. Unless Jesus had unique DNA, and assuming Jesus body is not decomposed, how would you prove it that this DNA is his?

 
christwarrior
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: dukerollo Show

I'll address that part. Justin martyr is saying:" that Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God, and our teacher; that before His incarnation, the demons, having some knowledge of what He would accomplish, enabled the heathen poets and priest in some points to anticipate, though in a distorted form, the facts of the incarnation. "The first he establishes in chap. xxiv-xxix.; the second in chap. xxx.-liii.; ccel.org

 
christwarrior
May 16, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Since you seem so set on Justin martyr. Explain this.

"There is a village in Judea, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was born, as you can see from
the tax registers under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea... He was born of a virgin as a man, and was
named Jesus, and was crucified, and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven... After He was crucified, all
His acquaintances denied Him. But once He had risen from the dead and appeared to them and explained the
prophecies which foretold all these things and ascended into heaven, the apostles believed. They received the
power given to them by Jesus and went into the world preaching the Gospel." First Apology, 34, 46, 50



 
christwarrior
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
The evidence shows that the early Christian spokesmen (martyr) steadfastly refused to accept anything contrary to the gospel, which had been revealed to him. The burden is on you. Connecting myths to the christian beliefs of baptism,sacrificial death of deity, resurrection, and rebirth that are in the bible. You will see looking through the pagan myths that they aren't very close at all to christian belief. Answer me this:Why did the mystery religions competing with Christianity eventually perish, leaving Christianity as the primary religion of the Roman Empire? Constantine wouldn't be the right answer since (Christians) preached the resurrection of an actual, recent person of history many years before him. The mythological stories of the mystery religions just couldn't compete.

 
christwarrior
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Archeological findings have now revealed that the Romans regularly recorded the enrollment of taxpayers and that they held censuses every 14 years (beginning with Augustus Caesar). In addition to this, An inscription found in Antioch tells of Quirinius being governor of Syria around 7 B.C. (evidently he was governor twice!) And a papyrus found in Egypt says the following concerning the administration of a census (confirming the tradition recorded in the Bible): The Luke account is accurate. (inscription)“Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residing for any cause away from their home should at once prepare to return to their own governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment...”

 
mberns
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Jesus did exist. To prove whether someone existed there must be historical evidence from multiple sources. Not only is Jesus's existence documented in the new testament, it is also documented in the Roman bible and in Rabbi's commentary.

 
christwarrior
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
you said: Jesus' tale isn't unique It's simply a retelling of several other individuals and myths. There is no one individual or myth Jesus was copied from. It was a whole host of sources. If only Justin Martyr had denied this. Then the arguments for the uniqueness of the bible tale would hold water. -You brought up justin martyr referring to myths. Again the evidence shows that the early Christian spokesmen (martyr) steadfastly refused to accept anything contrary to the gospel, which had been revealed to him. There being myths at the time is irrelevant.Martyr was simply relating to his foreign audience. The burden IS on you since you believe that christianity came from these myths. YOU say they are similar. You need to parellel these myths of the time that are to christian beliefs, and since you believe the bible is dependent on these myths baptism,sacrificial death of deity, resurrection, and rebirth should be included. . The bible holds the belief of baptism which is a demonstration of the believer's identification with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection. what myths are even comparable to these beliefs?

 
christwarrior
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
you said :It was NOT a good time to be a Jew. Don't you mean christian jews.They were the ones being persecuted by all, for their beliefs.

 
christwarrior
May 17, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: dukerollo Show

http://www.biblehistory.net/newsletter/cyrenius.htm

 
christwarrior
May 18, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Why would Justin deny this? His whole argument is that their Gods do not exist. These things were said both among the Greeks and among all nations where they [the demons] heard the prophets foretelling that Christ would specially be believed in; but that in hearing what was said by the prophets they did not accurately understand it, but imitated what was said of our Christ, like men who are in error, we will make plain. The prophet Moses, then, was, as we have already said, older than all writers; and by him, as we have also said before, it was thus predicted: “There shall not fail a prince from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until He come for whom it is reserved; and He shall be the desire of the Gentiles, binding His foal to the vine, washing His robe in the blood of the grape.” read genesis 49:10( rabbinical judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE) But those who hand down the myths which the poets have made, adduce no proof to the youths who learn them; and we proceed to demonstrate that they have been uttered by the influence of the wicked demons, to deceive and lead astray the human race. For having heard it proclaimed through the prophets that the Christ was to come, and that the ungodly among men were to be punished by fire, they put forward many to be called sons of Jupiter, under the impression that they would be able to produce in men the idea that the things which were said with regard to Christ were mere marvellous tales, like the things which were said by the poets. And these things were said both among the Greeks and among all nations where they [the demons] heard the prophets foretelling that Christ would specially be believed in; but that in hearing what was said by the prophets they did not accurately understand it, but imitated what was said of our Christ, like men who are in error, we will make plain The devils, accordingly when they heard these prophetic words, said that Bacchus was the son of Jupiter, and gave out that he was the discoverer of the vine, and they number wine [or, the ass] among his mysteries; and they taught that, having been torn in pieces he ascended into heaven. And because in the prophecy of Moses it had not been expressly intimated whether He who was to come was the Son of God, and whether He would, riding on the foal, remain on earth or ascend into heaven, and because the name of “foal” could mean either the foal of an ass or the foal of a horse, they, not knowing whether He who was foretold would bring the foal of an ass or of a horse as the sign of His coming, nor whether He was the Son of God, as we said above, or of man, gave out that Bellerophon, a man born of man, himself ascended to heaven on his horse Pegasus. (The Illiad vi.155–203 contains an embedded narrative told by Bellerophon's grandson Glaucus) And when they heard it said by the other prophet Isaiah, that He should be born of a virgin, and by His own means ascend into heaven, they pretended that Perseus was spoken of. And when they knew what was said, as has been cited above, in the prophecies written aforetime, “Strong as a giant to run his course. Psalm 19:5. They said that Hercules was strong, and had journeyed over the whole earth. And when, again, they learned that it had been foretold that He should heal every sickness, and raise the dead, they produced Æsculapius.But in no instance, not even in any of those called sons of Jupiter, did they imitate the being crucified; for it was not understood by them, all the things said of it having been put symbolically. And this, as the prophet foretold, is the greatest symbol of His power and role; as is also proved by the things which fall under our observation. And, secondly, because we-who, out of every race of men, used to worship Bacchus the son of Semele, and Apollo the son of Latona (who in their loves with men did such things as it is shameful even to mention), and Proserpine and Venus (who were maddened with love of Adonis, and whose mysteries also you celebrate), or Aesculapius, or some one or other of those who are called gods-have now, through Jesus Christ, learned to despise these, though we be threatened with death for it, and have dedicated ourselves to the unbegotten and impossible God; of whom we are persuaded that never was he goaded by lust of Antiope, or such other women, or of Ganymede, nor was rescued by that hundred-handed giant whose aid was obtained through Thetis, nor was anxious on this account that her son Achilles should destroy many of the Greeks because of his concubine Briseis. Those who believe these things we pity, and those who invented them we know to be devils

 
christwarrior
May 18, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: dukerollo Show

It's the link that you requested.

 
shirschfield
May 18, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Jesus existed if you THINK he existed. Religion and belief go hand in hand.

--shirschfield

 
christwarrior
May 19, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Caesar Augustus, Quirinius, and the Census

By Dr. Richard P. Bucher http://www.orlutheran.com/html/census.html

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register" (Luke 2:1-3).


All those even vaguely familiar with Luke's Christmas story have heard of Caesar Augustus and his famous decree. It was this decree that sent Mary in the ninth month of her pregnancy 80 miles south to Bethlehem, along with husband Joseph. But could such a thing have really happened? Do we have any proof from historical sources outside of the Bible that the Roman emperor ever authorized a census? Yes, we do.

"Caesar Augustus" reigned as emperor of the Roman empire from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D. (Or 727 A.U.C. to 767 A.U.C.), 41 years in all. The grandnephew of Julius Caesar (100- 44 B.C.), his real name was Gaius Octavius and he lived from 63 B.C. to 14 A.D. Because Julius Caesar had legally adopted Octavius as his son, Octavius took the name "Caesar" from Julius, which in later years became a name almost equivalent to "emperor." "Augustus" is a Latin term that means "worthy of reverence."

Caesar Augustus's reign was marked by peace and security - the famous Pax Romana - as well as by lavish building projects throughout the empire. In addition, according to Paul Maier, Augustus had such an intense interest in religion within his realm that, if not for his other great achievements, he might have gone down in history as a religious reformer. In his day, belief in the traditional Greco-Roman pantheon had decreased dramatically as philosophical skepticism grew and a growing number joined the foreign mystery religions. Augustus was convinced that belief in the old gods had made Rome great so he set out to encourage his subjects to return to the worship of these gods. He restored eighty-two temples in Rome alone! He became the pontifex maximus (highest priest) in the state cult.1


What exactly was it that Caesar Augustus decreed, according to Luke 2:1? The King James Version of the Bible says, "that all the world should be taxed." Most other translations say something like "that all the world should be registered" (NRS) or "that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world" (NIV). The Greek verb is apographo, which literally means to "enroll" or "register" as in an official listing of citizens.2 What was it then, a census or a taxing? Both: It would have been a census taken in part for the purpose of assessing taxes. But only in part. Augustus was very interested in the number of citizens in his empire; he was especially interested in whether that number was growing. This probably was the primary reason for the census (see below).

But what of the census that Luke 2:1 speaks of? Is there any record outside of the Bible that Augustus ever issued such a decree? Yes. As a matter of fact he authorized three censuses during this reign. How do we know this? The three censuses are listed in the Acts of Augustus, a list of what Augustus thought were the 35 greatest achievements of his reign. He was so proud of the censuses that he ranked them eighth on the list. The Acts of Augustus were placed on two bronze plaques outside of Augustus's mausoleum after he died.

The three empire-wide censuses were in 28 B.C., 8 B.C., and 14 A.D. In all probability the one in 8 B.C. is the one the Luke mentions in the Christmas story. Even though scholarship normally dates Christ's birth between 4 and 7 B.C., the 8 B.C. census fits because in all likelihood it would have taken several years for the bureaucracy of the census to reach Palestine.

The only apparent difficulty with identifying the census that Luke mentions in the Christmas story with the one in 8 B.C. is, ironically, something Luke seemingly included to clarify the dating. He tells us in 2:2 that "this was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governing Syria." Seems simple. All we have to do is find out exactly when Quirinius was governing Syria and then we will know exactly when the census was given, right? Right. But the problem is, according to records available to us, Quirinius was governor of Syria in 6-7 A.D. -- eleven years too late!

We know this because ancient historians have quite a bit to say about our man Quirinius. Roman historians Tacitus, Seutonius, and Dio Cassius, as well as Jewish historian Josephus all wrote of him.3 His full name was Publius Sulpicius Quirinius (d. 21 A.D.), who was what the Romans called a "new man." This means that he came to hold his political office on the basis of his own merits rather than by family tradition and inheritance. It was through his military conquests in Cilicia and elsewhere that Quirinius had been exalted by the emperor to the holding of governor in Syria in 6-7 A.D.

Does this mean that Luke is in error? Not at all, especially when he shows himself to be such a careful historian throughout both his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, his other historical work. Besides, we believe Luke's Gospel to be inspired by the Holy Spirit!

The key to solving this alleged puzzle, is in the phrase "first census" in the sentence, "This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governing Syria." What does Luke mean by a first census? One theory offered is that the Greek word for "first" (prote) is sometimes translated "prior to" or "before." This is a viable solution because the Greek text of Luke 2:2 can indeed be translated, "This census was before Quirinius was governing Syria."

A second theory holds that by saying "first census" Luke is telling his readers that there was another census that Quirinius oversaw. Was there a second one? Yes, and Luke mentions it in the Acts 5:37! The second census mentioned in Acts would have taken place in 6 A.D. Since it is well known that the Romans often held provincial censuses every fourteen years, it would follow that the "first census," the one at the time of Christ's birth, would have been held in approximately 8 B.C. -- if the fourteen year census cycle was in place at this time. The problem with this second solution is that Luke is specifically saying that the first census (the 8 B.C. one) took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria; and from all available extrabiblical sources, he wasn't. According to E.M. Blaiklock, however, evidence has been found that shows that Quirinius was in Syria for an earlier tour of duty, right around the time that Christ was born. He wasn't there as governor but in some other leadership capacity.4 Therefore, it is possible that Luke is alluding to this in 2:2.

Of the two theories the first has more to commend it, in my opinion. Ultimately, however, Luke was much closer to the historical sources and claims to have "investigated everything carefully" (Luke 1:3) and he did this under the Holy Spirit's inspiration. The bottom line is that the evidence that we have points to 8 B.C. as the date when the "Christmas census" would have been authorized.

So much for dating the census. What about motivation to authorize it in the first place? Do we have any clues from the historical sources about what might have motivated Caesar Augustus to issue his censuses? Perhaps one. Roman historian Dio Cassius tells us that Augustus was so concerned about the declining marriage and birth rate in his empire, that he passed legislation that made promiscuity a crime, which penalized bachelors in their right to inherit, and which bestowed political advantages on fathers of three or more children.5 Because of his demonstrated concern about marriage and birth rate in his empire, it is likely that one of the reasons that Augustus authorized the censuses was to see whether his legislation was working, or, at the very least, to see how birth rates fared.

Some scholars have scoffed at the notion that people in faraway Palestine (such as Joseph and Mary) would have had to travel to their ancestral birth place for a census. But we have evidence to show that such traveling was indeed done with a Roman census, in Egypt at least. A Roman census document, dated 104 A.D., has been discovered in Egypt, in which citizens were specifically commanded to return to their original homes for the census.6 Another census document from 119 A.D. has been found in which an Egyptian man identifies himself by giving (1) his name and the names of his father, mother, and grandfather; (2) his original village; (3) his age and profession; (4) a scar above his left eyebrow; (5) his wife's name and age, his wife's father's name; (6) his son's name and age; (6) the names of other relatives living with him. The document is signed by the village registrar and three official witnesses.7 This latter document is of special interest, because it gives us an idea of the kind of information that Joseph and Mary would have had to provide for the census.



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


1. Paul L. Maier, In the Fullness of Time (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991), 6.

2. Other than its occurrences in Luke 2, the only other occurrence of apographo in the New Testament is Hebrews 12:23 " to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect" (NAS).

3. See Tacitus, Annals, II, 30; III, 22, 23, 48. See Seutonius, Tiberius x1ix; See Dio Cassius 1iv, 48; See Josephus, Antiquities 17:355; 18:26; 20:102. See also Jack Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology, (Princeton, 1964), 234-238.

4. E. M. Blaiklock, "Quirinius," The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, vol. 5, gen. ed. Merrill C. Tenney (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 6.

5. Dio Cassius, Roman History, 1vi, 1-10. Dio Cassius tells of one occasion when Augustus was so vexed by the declining marriage and birth rates that he strode into the Forum, separated the married men and bachelors he found there into two different groups and then let the bachelors have it: "What shall I call you? Men? But you aren't fulfilling the duties of men. Citizens? But for all your efforts, the city is perishing. Romans? But you are in the process of blotting out this name altogether! . . . What humanity would be left if all the rest of mankind should do what you are doing? . . . You are committing murder in not fathering in the first place those who ought to be your descendants!" Quoted in Maier, In the Fulness of Time, 6.

6. This is cited in Maier, Fullness, 4, who is quoting from A. H. M. Jones, ed., A History of Rome through the Fifth Century (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), II, 256f.

7. Maier, Fullness, 4.



 
gatorsf80
May 25, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: dukerollo Show

you're underestimating the "power of suggestion", need for conformity, suicidal thoughts, power of exaggeration,

And most importantly you're forgetting Jesus was not the 1st prophet who claimed to be Messiah, but 6th, and the most successful at it (based on National geographic/historical records show)

 
orthodoxdeacon
Jul 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: dukerollo Show

Unless you can demonstrate that it was in Philo's interest to document the life of every major historical person in Judea (which it wasn't) or that in his philosophical writings he would be interested in documenting the lives of people he didn't believe in (as there were various secular messiahs popping around at the time) this argument is worthless.

Your second and third quotes are even worse. Unless you can clearly demonstrate to the contrary, the beliefs among second-century Christians are reflective of people who were taught by those who claimed to walk with Christ. Ironically, this is an argument against you: the reason Christianity was so convincing to many was because the EXISTENCE of Christ was never doubted; the arguments were focused primarily on demonstrated that He was in fact the Son of God, and not just a typical insurrectionist.

It is the direct contact and living link provided by Christ to the Apostles who taught their followers which acted as a guarantee of Christian Orthodoxy. Thus, we have 21st century atheists, who, 400 years after Protestantism, argue that the book they believe in isn't real.

This wasn't even a question in the early Church, and so the quotes in question aren't a proof of Christ's non-existence, but operative under the assumption that it is at least marginally known who Christ is.

 
epsecretmapper
Jul 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, both in secular and biblical history. Perhaps the greatest evidence that Jesus did exist is the fact that literally thousands of Christians in the first century A.D., including the twelve apostles, were willing to give their lives as martyrs for Jesus Christ. People will die for what they believe to be true, but no one will die for what they know to be a lie.

 
urbanchic
Jul 12, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Of course Jesus existed. If a person by the name of "Jesus" (or at least something along those lines) didn't exist we wouldn't have stories about him. However, my boyfriend and I have this theory that Jesus simply had schizophrenia. No special power, no "messages from god". No one has any proof, just stories from a book that's people seemed to think were good enough to keep around.

 
midgeman02
Aug 19, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Of course he did! He was nothing special though. As an Atheist I beleive that Jesus Christ was a real person, a very clever person, even a scientist. I think he was clever enough to make the nieve (spelling) people of those days beleive he was the son of 'God'.

 
trona
Oct 13, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: joryrferrell Show

" Prove he did. DNA evidence is preferred."

Give me DNA evidence of the first Roman kings... Oh whats that? you don't have any? well do they "not" exist anymore too? what about the first humans? Do they no longer exist?

Is DNA the only thing that determines ones "existence"?

 


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