Did a historical Jesus exist?

Did a historical Jesus exist?

Created by M7levels on Dec 1, 2007

2,012 votes

Click on an option to vote

Yes

No

Not Sure

The Bible said do

Absolutely not

I don't know

I don't care

Who is Jesus

Christians think he did

Muslims say No

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“Is this thing on”

Since: Nov 07

Naples, Italy

#1 Dec 1, 2007
Before you start killing each other please read this

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

Interesting, informative, and Factual. Enjoy

“Knowledge is true opinion”

Since: Mar 07

Chesapeake, VA

#2 Dec 1, 2007
M7levels wrote:
Before you start killing each other please read this
http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm
Interesting, informative, and Factual. Enjoy
Excellent information.

“Knowledge is true opinion”

Since: Mar 07

Chesapeake, VA

#3 Dec 1, 2007
I think the question here is more than a bit misleading.

There are actually two qestions involved.
1) Did a Jewish teacher named Jesus live during that time frame?
2) Did Jesus "the son of god" live during this time frame?

The answer to #1 would really be "who cares". Christians don't worship a Jewish teacher.

The answer to #2 would really be "who knows". Since there is zero evidence that even if the Jewish teacher lived, that he was actually "the son of god".

“Is this all there is?”

Since: Dec 06

North America

#4 Dec 1, 2007
Since he is part of the Roman Empires census and in papers sent back to Rome by the local administrator he existed.

By the way, Jesus is a figure in the Holy Quran so Muslim's believe he existed. He was along with Abraham, Moses and others of the old testament one of the profits before Allah sent Mohammed to reveal the true word. As written in the Holy Quran

“Is this thing on”

Since: Nov 07

Naples, Italy

#5 Dec 1, 2007
JustWow wrote:
I think the question here is more than a bit misleading.
There are actually two qestions involved.
1) Did a Jewish teacher named Jesus live during that time frame?

Indeed My bad. The facts show he did not. I keep pondering where is the evidence...*sigh*

2) Did Jesus "the son of god" live during this time frame?
The answer to #1 would really be "who cares". Christians don't worship a Jewish teacher.
The answer to #2 would really be "who knows". Since there is zero evidence that even if the Jewish teacher lived, that he was actually "the son of god".
Indeed. O¿O

“Is this thing on”

Since: Nov 07

Naples, Italy

#6 Dec 1, 2007
nailman wrote:
Since he is part of the Roman Empires census and in papers sent back to Rome by the local administrator he existed.
By the way, Jesus is a figure in the Holy Quran so Muslim's believe he existed. He was along with Abraham, Moses and others of the old testament one of the profits before Allah sent Mohammed to reveal the true word. As written in the Holy Quran
I would be interested in where you have this information. References?

“Knowledge is true opinion”

Since: Mar 07

Chesapeake, VA

#7 Dec 1, 2007
nailman wrote:
Since he is part of the Roman Empires census and in papers sent back to Rome by the local administrator he existed.
And of course you can point to where everyone else can find these records that say Jesus "Son of Joseph" and "son of god" was entered into the Roman census.

If you are saying you can prove that a man named Jesus existed during that time frame, I would agree as it is my understanding that it was (and still is) a fairly common name.

“Is this all there is?”

Since: Dec 06

North America

#8 Dec 1, 2007
Sometime after 32 AD and prior to Tiberius death in 37 AD, Jesus was brought before Pilate for treason against Rome. As the story goes, which is told most importantly in the Gospel of Mark, by Josephus and also by Tacitus, the Jewish leadership wished Jesus killed essentially for being a blasphemer against their faith and against them personally. Jesus and his teachings were subversive to ancient Jewish culture, and they had to have him removed in order to preserve their tradition and authority. However, only Pilate had the authority to address the matter, and Pilate, as has been suggested, was normally in position to oppose Jewish desires at any opportunity. Pilate's attempts to free Jesus, regardless of any numerous false stories regarding divine intervention, likely only stemmed from his desire to boost anyone who opposed the Jewish leadership. Jesus was just such a man to continue stirring the Roman policy of incitement. However, what Pilate was ultimately faced with was the potential for the treason trials of Tiberius back in Rome.

Despite several attempts to resist demands of Jesus death, Caiphas and the Jewish leadership wisely invoke the use of the term 'Amicus Caesaris' against Pilate to get their way. This term 'friend of Caesar' were not just theoretic words of friendship but practically functioned as a title. Losing that title, in Pilate's case by not following Tiberius' new Jew-favorable policies, might not only cause him to lose his job as Prefect, but potentially his social standing, and at worst his life. The Jews with full knowledge of Roman politics, because of Pilate's previous behavior and relation to the known traitor Sejanus, knew exactly how to force their will. Faced with a man accused of being 'King of the Jews', a crime against Tiberius himself, Pilate had no choice but to relent, and crucified Jesus in order to preserve the peace, and his own skin.

Though the facts of the historical Jesus and the life of Pilate are debatable, it is quite clear that had Jesus lived, he would've faced crucifixion after the fall of Sejanus. By late 36 Pilate had been recalled to Rome, though perhaps fortunately for him, Tiberius died while he was en route. By that reasoning the historical Jesus must have been crucified between 32 and 36 AD. Regardless, of the 'truth' of the matter, the story of the Christ spread from this point and throughout the Roman world. Initially under the missions of men such as James and Paul, the fledgling faith spread first among the Jews than into the eastern provinces. Under Peter, Christians began to appear in Rome and within approximately 400 years, the cult that started under mysterious circumstances during the reign of Tiberius, and Sejanus, was the dominate faith of the western world. As for Pilate, after his recall from Rome, virtually no evidence exists of his fate. Stories of his conversion to Christianity, suicide out of guilt or to avoid punishment are completely unverifiable and Pilate disappears from the historical record with the passing of Tiberius.

“Knowledge is true opinion”

Since: Mar 07

Chesapeake, VA

#9 Dec 1, 2007
nailman wrote:
Sometime after 32 AD and prior to Tiberius death in 37 AD, Jesus was brought before Pilate for treason against Rome. As the story goes, which is told most importantly in the Gospel of Mark, by Josephus and also by Tacitus, the Jewish leadership wished Jesus killed essentially for being a blasphemer against their faith and against them personally.
Sorry I thought you said you had actual Roman records.
Silly me for expecting that you could produce those instead of the 30-70 year old stories of the believers.
Phillip

Edgartown, MA

#10 Dec 1, 2007
M7levels wrote:
Before you start killing each other please read this
http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm
Interesting, informative, and Factual. Enjoy
A simple two second scan reveals inaccuracies, irrelevancies, poorly written parts, poorly connected parts and contradictions, poor scholarship, and incomplete arguments. It's just sloppy and piss poor.

I would have expected better.

“Is this thing on”

Since: Nov 07

Naples, Italy

#11 Dec 2, 2007
Phillip wrote:
<quoted text>
A simple two second scan reveals inaccuracies, irrelevancies, poorly written parts, poorly connected parts and contradictions, poor scholarship, and incomplete arguments. It's just sloppy and piss poor.
I would have expected better.
Well then read these..
http://www.nobeliefs.com/freethinkers.htm#anc...
http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/Paine/Defa...
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert...

You can do as much research as you would like. I believe if it is written it can be disputed in this day and age. But I welcome free thinking and intelligent opinions.

“Is this thing on”

Since: Nov 07

Naples, Italy

#12 Dec 2, 2007
JustWow wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry I thought you said you had actual Roman records.
Silly me for expecting that you could produce those instead of the 30-70 year old stories of the believers.
DItto. I want to know that we are having an intelligent "Informed" facts.

“Is this thing on”

Since: Nov 07

Naples, Italy

#13 Dec 2, 2007
Jesus was eventually "historicized," redrawn as a human being of the past (much as Samson, Enoch, Jabal, Gad, Joshua the son of Nun, and various other ancient Israelite gods had already been). As a part of this process, there were various independent attempts to locate Jesus in recent history by laying the blame for his death on this or that likely candidate, well known tyrants including Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate, and even Alexander Jannaeus in the first century BC! Now, if the death of Jesus were an actual historical event well known to eyewitnesses of it, there is simply no way such a variety of versions, differing on so fundamental a point, could ever have arisen!
And if early Christians had actually remembered the passion as a series of recent events, why does the earliest gospel crucifixion account spin out the whole terse narrative from quotes cribbed without acknowledgement from Psalm 22? Why does 1 Peter have nothing more detailed than Isaiah 53 to flesh out his account of the sufferings of Jesus? Why does Matthew supplement Mark's version, not with historical tradition or eyewitness memory, but with more quotes, this time from Zechariah and the Wisdom of Solomon?
1) We deem them myths not because of a prior bias that there can be no miracles, but because of the Principle of Analogy, the only alternative to which is believing everything in The National Inquirer. If we do not use the standard of current-day experience to evaluate claims from the past, what other standard is there? And why should we believe that God or Nature used to be in the business of doing things that do not happen now? Isn't God supposed to be the same yesterday, today, and forever?
2) The apologists' claim that there was "too little time between the death of Jesus and the writing of the gospels for legends to develop" is circular, presupposing a historical Jesus living at a particular time. 40 years is easily enough time for legendary expansion anyway, but the Christ-Myth Theory does not require that the Christ figure was created in Pontius Pilate's time, only that later, Pilate's time was retrospectively chosen as a location for Jesus.
a) See Jan Vansina, Oral Tradition as History on the tendency in oral tradition to keep updating mythic foundational events, keeping them always at a short distance, a couple of generations before one's own time.
b) And even if there were a historical Jesus and we knew we had eyewitness reports, the apologists fail to take into account recent studies which show that eyewitness testimony, especially of unusual events, is the most unreliable of all, that people tend to rewrite what they saw in light of their accustomed categories and expectations. Thus Strauss was right on target suggesting that the early Christians simply imagined Jesus fulfilling the expected deeds of messiahs and prophets.
3) It is special pleading to dismiss all similar stories as myths and to insist that this case must be different. If you do this, admit it, you are a fideist, no longer an apologist (if there is any difference!).
Second, the "historical Jesus" reconstructed by New Testament scholars is always a reflection of the individual scholars who reconstruct him. Albert Schweitzer was perhaps the single exception, and he made it painfully clear that previous questers for the historical Jesus had merely drawn self-portraits. All unconsciously used the historical Jesus as a ventriloquist dummy. Jesus must have taught the truth, and their own beliefs must have been true, so Jesus must have taught those beliefs.(Of course, every biblicist does the same! "I said it! God believes it! That settles it!"). Today's Politically Correct "historical Jesuses" are no different, being mere clones of the scholars who design them."
This is all taken from this link
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert...
Nightflyer

Canada

#14 Dec 2, 2007
HEADLINE BREAKING NEWS!!!!

TOPIX.....

Another anti-christian God hating Jesus is a myth topic......YAWN YAWN YAWN.
Phillip

Boston, MA

#15 Dec 2, 2007
M7levels wrote:
<quoted text>
Well then read these..
http://www.nobeliefs.com/freethinkers.htm#anc...
http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/Paine/Defa...
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert...
You can do as much research as you would like. I believe if it is written it can be disputed in this day and age. But I welcome free thinking and intelligent opinions.
I have no doubt that somewhere in the world there is a well formed well written argument for the nonexistence of Jesus, but look at the choices.

Either 4 people randomly wrote stories about a man, and miraculously wrote some of the same stories, obviously about the same fictional person independently (nearly impossible)

OR

He actually existed which is why we have four different stories that are reasonably different but also similar that tell a plausible story about a plausible person

OR

a conspiracy occurred to invent a person and the conspiracy was never challenged, never exposed, never admitted to and we have no evidence whatsoever of the conspiracy.

You're trying to get people to not believe one thing for which there is some evidence in favor or something for which there is no evidence at all. That's not good reasoning.

In the mean time I am still curiously waiting on JustWow to show us a person who was widely believed to have existed by the most educated people on Earth (and uneducated alike) for a long time, and was then proven to have not existed. If anyone can do it, it's JustWow
Phillip

Boston, MA

#16 Dec 2, 2007
JustWow wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry I thought you said you had actual Roman records.
Silly me for expecting that you could produce those instead of the 30-70 year old stories of the believers.
JustWow out of curiosity do you know if we have any Roman records of anyone Pontious Pilate executed? If we can't find any or they don't exist should this imply he never executed anyone? Would it be likely that there would be records of Jesus' execution? Did they send back lists of names to Rome and the lists were archived and saved for 2000 years?

“Is this thing on”

Since: Nov 07

Naples, Italy

#17 Dec 2, 2007
Nightflyer wrote:
HEADLINE BREAKING NEWS!!!!
TOPIX.....
Another anti-christian God hating Jesus is a myth topic......YAWN YAWN YAWN.
Wrong I am a Roman Catholic, and I am trying to discuss a topic that has baffled me for years. Trying to understand why "christians" feel threatened by information. No need to judge or be sarcastic. Peace

“Is this thing on”

Since: Nov 07

Naples, Italy

#18 Dec 2, 2007
Phillip wrote:
<quoted text>

In the mean time I am still curiously waiting on JustWow to show us a person who was widely believed to have existed by the most educated people on Earth (and uneducated alike) for a long time, and was then proven to have not existed. If anyone can do it, it's JustWow
Yes there are choices, then it is a matter of faith not fact. But my faith has been shaken, therefore I ask questions.

“Knowledge is true opinion”

Since: Mar 07

Chesapeake, VA

#19 Dec 2, 2007
Phillip wrote:
JustWow out of curiosity do you know if we have any Roman records of anyone Pontious Pilate executed?
I don't know. It would be interesting research to see if we could find the actual execution orders for anyone during the time period.
I doubt we would be able to though.
Phillip wrote:
If we can't find any or they don't exist should this imply he never executed anyone?
No. Becuase as far as I know there are independant accounts that people were executed.

It could though imply that no one that was executed was of any great importance.
Remember public execution was the punishment of criminals and slaves. It was not used to kill anyone of any importance.
Phillip wrote:
Would it be likely that there would be records of Jesus' execution?
Only if he is nearly as important as people make him out to be.
Phillip wrote:
Did they send back lists of names to Rome
Yes
Phillip wrote:
and the lists were archived and saved for 2000 years?
No.
As I said, none of the people that were executed this way were of any significance.

“Knowledge is true opinion”

Since: Mar 07

Chesapeake, VA

#20 Dec 2, 2007
Phillip wrote:
Either 4 people randomly wrote stories about a man, and miraculously wrote some of the same stories, obviously about the same fictional person independently (nearly impossible)
Are you still assuming that the gospels were actually written by the person to whom the are attributed?

What we have is four (actually several more that are not in the bible) different representations of one story. As the story traveled, the differences arose from the different story tellers.
Phillip wrote:
He actually existed which is why we have four different stories that are reasonably different but also similar that tell a plausible story about a plausible person
Only if you find the stories plausible.
Phillip wrote:
a conspiracy occurred to invent a person and the conspiracy was never challenged, never exposed, never admitted to and we have no evidence whatsoever of the conspiracy.
No conspiracy needed.
One person to create the story and tell it to those that were not witnesses to the events.
That one person's story is then slightly altered with each retelling until you have dozens of versions of the same story each told from the perspective of a different "character" in the story.
These stories were rejected whole heartedly by the majority of the population until 300 years later when it became illegal to do so.
Phillip wrote:
You're trying to get people to not believe one thing for which there is some evidence in favor or something for which there is no evidence at all. That's not good reasoning.
Not true at all.
No one (not even christians) cares if there was a person named Jesus that lived in that area during that time period. I can be 100% sure that someone by that name lived during that time.

What you care about is if he was in fact "the son of god". Sorry, but I would need a little bit more than some 40 year old stories as evidence that that person existed.
Phillip wrote:
In the mean time I am still curiously waiting on JustWow to show us a person who was widely believed to have existed by the most educated people on Earth (and uneducated alike) for a long time, and was then proven to have not existed. If anyone can do it, it's JustWow
What you fail to understand and I try again and again to tell you is that it was a crime punishable by death for well over 1000 years for someone to publicly state that Jesus was not the son of god.
Of course everyone said they believed and no one questioned publicly whether the stories were true or not. But, how many of these educated people privately believed it was all BS we will never know.
It was not until relatively recently (last couple hundred years) that people have been free to openly discuss the actual evidence (or lack there of) for the existance of "the son of god" without fear of being executed by the church.

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