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Old 03-17-2001, 07:48 AM   #11
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Thanks for the responses.

It appears that there was not a single ancient historian who called into question the existance of Jesus as a real person. While many openly questioned many of the myths of their day, the fact that none of them questioned that Jesus lived should kind of make this an easy call, no?

I just can't see a reasonable basis to question what no one in that day and time questioned, and there were many who claimed to be eye-witnesses to, no matter how biased one suspects them to have been.

That Jesus lived seems to be quite plain.

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Old 03-18-2001, 08:31 AM   #12
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I just can't see a reasonable basis to question what no one in that day and time questioned, and there were many who claimed to be eye-witnesses to, no matter how biased one suspects them to have been.

Out of curiosity, how would someone at that time go about proving Jesus hadn't existed? Check birth records? Roman execution records? Talk to people who didn't see Jesus?

You seem to think that turning a fictional character into a real one is difficult. It isn't.

Ronald Reagan did it quite recently. He repeatedly told a story of a WWII Medal of Honor recipient. When a reporter finally checked the records (an option unavailable to Josephus), he learned the story Reagan told was actually a movie plot.

Now what would have happened if we had no records, and all we had to go on were stories handed down from “eye witnesses?” If historians two thousand years from now had no proof of this man's existence except the fact that many repeated his story, including the President of the United States? Doubtless, they would believe the story to be true.
 
Old 03-18-2001, 08:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by RGlenCheek:
. . .
I just can't see a reasonable basis to question what no one in that day and time questioned, and there were many who claimed to be eye-witnesses to, no matter how biased one suspects them to have been. . .
</font>
The point that the Jesus-myth proponents make is that Christians themselves did not start to talk of a "person" named Jesus (as opposed to a spiritual being) until several generations after his alleged death. And it was not until several centuries later that Christianity became such a signficant social force that anyone would have seen the point of trying to prove that Jesus never existed. By that point there were no eyewitnesses left, if there ever were any.

The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. undoubtedly erased any real proof one way or the other.
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Old 03-18-2001, 09:49 PM   #14
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The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. undoubtedly erased any real proof
one way or the other.


In 70 C.E. the Christians headquarters were in Ephesus. Jesus had died about 4 years earlier and a pesher gosip (we have open minds) is that the bones of St. Peter cherished by the Vatican are actually HIS bones.

thanks, offa
 
Old 03-19-2001, 08:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Toto:
The point that the Jesus-myth proponents make is that Christians themselves did not start to talk of a "person" named Jesus (as opposed to a spiritual being) until several generations after his alleged death. And it was not until several centuries later that Christianity became such a signficant social force that anyone would have seen the point of trying to prove that Jesus never existed. By that point there were no eyewitnesses left, if there ever were any.

The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. undoubtedly erased any real proof one way or the other.
</font>
What on earth makes you think that the early Christians did not start talking about Jesus as a human being until several generations after his death? Paul clearly does, Mark does, Q does. Do you have some earlier sources that every other historian and New Testament scholar does not?

And I think you are very wrong about no one having an interest in questioning Jesus' existence until several centuries later. It appears that the early Christians were in pretty serious conflict with other Jewish sects. From Jerusalem throughout the diaspora, many, many Jews would have had an interest in questioning the existence of Jesus.

 
Old 03-19-2001, 09:15 AM   #16
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Jesus Puzzle URL: http://infoweb.magi.com/~oblio/jesus/home.htm

And yes, Earl Doherty discusses all the "evidence" for Jesus Christ's existence, and concludes that Paul had viewed him as a divinity, Mark's "biography" of him was an allegory, and Q was a set of sayings that had either been passed down or invented as a response to the early Christians' being viewed as a weird cult.

As to those in antiquity not questioning Jesus Christ's existence, what reason might they have had to do so? To them, he had seemed like yet another self-styled prophet and miracle-worker with no real difference from the likes of Apollonius of Tyana.

I note also that early Christian apologists never questioned the existence of pagan deities; does that mean that they exist?
 
Old 03-19-2001, 09:27 AM   #17
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
Jesus Puzzle URL: http://infoweb.magi.com/~oblio/jesus/home.htm

And yes, Earl Doherty discusses all the "evidence" for Jesus Christ's existence, and concludes that Paul had viewed him as a divinity, Mark's "biography" of him was an allegory, and Q was a set of sayings that had either been passed down or invented as a response to the early Christians' being viewed as a weird cult.

As to those in antiquity not questioning Jesus Christ's existence, what reason might they have had to do so? To them, he had seemed like yet another self-styled prophet and miracle-worker with no real difference from the likes of Apollonius of Tyana.

I note also that early Christian apologists never questioned the existence of pagan deities; does that mean that they exist?
</font>
Oh look, I can cut and paste a link too:

http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f...ML/000265.html

Except this one happens to be to my own post discussing Paul's definitive belief in the human Jesus.

The Church in Jerusalem clearly proclaimed belief in the human Jesus. Heck, his brother was the leader of the church there. If they had been proclaiming this new religion, based to a large extent on events that happened publicly in Jerusalem, and there in fact was no Jesus and no crucifixion under Pilate, YES, I would expect there to have arisen a Jewish response based on the nonexistence of Jesus. The fact that the Jewish response, especially, was always that Jesus existed but was a false prophet is informative on this point.
 
Old 03-19-2001, 11:03 AM   #18
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pKa8tnabL[
The Church in Jerusalem clearly proclaimed belief in the human Jesus. Heck, his brother was the leader of the church there. If they had been proclaiming this new religion, based to a large extent on events that happened publicly in Jerusalem, and there in fact was no Jesus and no crucifixion under Pilate, YES, I would expect there to have arisen a Jewish response based on the nonexistence of Jesus. The fact that the Jewish response, especially, was always that Jesus existed but was a false prophet is informative on this point.

[Me:]
Earl Doherty discusses this whole question.

One difficulty is that the Jerusalem Church had been dispersed or destroyed when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE.

Furthermore, if JC had been so well-known in Jerusalem, then why didn't Josephus describe him in at least as much detail as he describes John the Baptist? Not to mention some other self-styled prophets. All we have are two short and disputed references.

It seems more likely that early Christianity had been a very obscure cult, totally unworthy of notice by most outsiders.
 
Old 03-19-2001, 11:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
pKa8tnabL[
The Church in Jerusalem clearly proclaimed belief in the human Jesus. Heck, his brother was the leader of the church there. If they had been proclaiming this new religion, based to a large extent on events that happened publicly in Jerusalem, and there in fact was no Jesus and no crucifixion under Pilate, YES, I would expect there to have arisen a Jewish response based on the nonexistence of Jesus. The fact that the Jewish response, especially, was always that Jesus existed but was a false prophet is informative on this point.

[Me:]
Earl Doherty discusses this whole question.

One difficulty is that the Jerusalem Church had been dispersed or destroyed when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE.

Furthermore, if JC had been so well-known in Jerusalem, then why didn't Josephus describe him in at least as much detail as he describes John the Baptist? Not to mention some other self-styled prophets. All we have are two short and disputed references.

It seems more likely that early Christianity had been a very obscure cult, totally unworthy of notice by most outsiders.
</font>
I noticed you failed to respond on Paul's belief in the human Jesus. Do you concede the point?

Yes, the Jerusalem church was dispersed after the destruction of the city in 70 CE. Fortunately, we have Paul's letters in which he describes his association with, and even visits to, the Jerusalem church.

We also have Acts description of the early church, including its leadership by James, the brother of Jesus. A point Josephus confirms completely.

The sum total of your argument seems to be that Josephus, although mentioning him twice, doesn't discuss him as much as he does John the Baptist. Of course, I wasn't aware that failure to be discussed as much as John the Baptist was enough to prove that Jesus was never thought to be a human being.

Your concession that Paul believed and reported a human Jesus, accompanied with both of Josephus' references, as well as the evidence in Acts, soundly refutes your notion that the church didn't believe Jesus was human until several generations later.
 
Old 03-19-2001, 11:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:
Celsus never questioned the existence of Jesus.</font>
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">"[Celsus wrote] But that certain Christians and (all) Jews should maintain, the former that there has already descended, the latter that there will descend, upon the earth a certain God, or Son of a God, who will make the inhabitants of the earth righteous, is a most shameless assertion, and one the refutation of which does not need many words." - Origen, Contra Celsum, Book IV Chapter II</font>
This at least, from Celsus' point of view, makes the existence of "historical Jesus" superfluous.
 
 

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