Any authentic historicity about Jesus Christ?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Saint, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

    Not only that Saint, there are many demi-god figures throughout history, there are many ancient manuscripts that claim to be the word of god, there are literally thousands of religions, What makes one right over the other? All it has caused is confusion, controversy, conflicts. Nothing more, beliefs in gods is nothing more than a virus of unevolved minds..

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  3. mis-t-highs I'm filling up Registered Senior Member

    why do you believe theres no hope for the future.
    why do you think man cant stand on his own two feet, and go foreward, why do you think he needs a god crutch.
    but why the necessity, what is this need for a crutch.
    but why promise something, you are not sure you can deliver,
    maybe so but again why give them false hopes, when your not sure it can be delivered, is'nt it better to alleviate the suffering, instead of telling them to accept there lot, because it maybe better tomorrow.
    I dont, but the good done now, can be seen, something that can never be known is just callous and cruel.
    all that is done, whilst we live, can be seen, nobodies ever came back from the dead.
    to deny something it must have first, shown it exists, it is infantile to deny that which does not exist.
    we can show when the life has left the body, we can show when a brain ceases to function, can we show whether a soul/spirit continue to function after it has aledgedly left the body, no.
    I have no prejudice, you can believe what you like, but telling others what you think might happen, as the truth, is callous and cruel.
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  5. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Umh, sounds very serius!
    Anyway, you can say that there is nothing good in Bible for us to learn how to live our lives, right?

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  7. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

    Well I wouldn't go that far. There are some examples of moral behavior that are good about the bible, howver I just don't take the bible to literal truth that's all.
  8. ggazoo Registered Senior Member

  9. Iasion Registered Senior Member


    ggazoo posted a site with alleged extrabiblical evidence for Jesus.

    some of them are not about Jesus at all, merely historical figures from the time.

    So what?
    James Bond mentions real people - does that make James Bond real?

    none of them are contemporary, and some of them are not even about Jesus at all, even though claimed to be.

    JOSEPHUS (c.96CE)

    The famous Testamonium Flavianum in the Antiquities of the Jews is considered probably the best evidence for Jesus, yet it has some serious problems :
    * the T.F. as it stands uses clearly Christian phrases and names Christ as Messiah, it could not possibly have been written by the Jew Josephus (who remained a Jew and refused to call anyone "messiah" in his book which was partly about how false messiahs kept leading Israel astray.),
    * The T.F. comes in several versions of various ages,
    * The T.F. was not mentioned by any of the early CHurch fathers were reviewed Josephus. Origen even says Josephus does NOT call Jesus the Messiah, showing the passage was not present in that earlier era.
    * The T.F. first showed up in manuscripts of Eusebius, and was still absent from some manuscripts as late as 8th century.
    * (The other tiny passage in Josephus is probably a later interpolation.)
    An analysis of Josephus can be found here:

    (The 2nd reference may be to ANOTHER Jesus.)

    In short - this passage is possibly a total forgery (or at best a corrupt form of a lost original.)
    But, yes,
    it COULD just be actual evidence for Jesus - late, corrupt, controversial but just POSSIBLY real historical evidence.

    TACITUS (c.112CE)

    Roughly 80 years after the alleged events (and 40 years after the war) Tacitus allegedly wrote a (now) famous passage about "Christ" - this passage has several problems however:
    * Tacitus uses the term "procurator", used in his later times, but not correct for the actual period, when "prefect" was used.
    * Tacitus names the person as "Christ", when Roman records could not possibly have used this name (it would have been "Jesus, son of Joseph" or similar.)
    * Tacitus accepts the recent advent of Christianity, which was against Roman practice (to only allow ancient and accepted cults and religions.)
    * This passage is paraphrased by Sulpicius Severus in the 5th century without attributing it to Tacitus, and may have been inserted back into Tacitus from this work.

    This evidence speaks AGAINST it being based on any Roman records -
    merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)
    this passage is NOT evidence for Jesus,
    it's just evidence for 2nd century Christian stories about Jesus.

    PLINY the Younger (c.112CE)

    About 80 years after the alleged events, (and over 40 years after the war) Pliny referred to Christians who worshipped a "Christ" as a god, but there is no reference to a historical Jesus or Gospel events.
    Pliny is not evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth,
    just evidence for 2nd century Christians who worshipped a Christ.

    SUETONIUS (c.115CE)

    Roughly 80-90 years after the alleged Gospel events, (about 75 years after the war) Suetonius refers to a "Chrestus" who stirred the Jews to trouble in Rome during Claudius' time, but:
    * this "Chrestus" is a Greek name (from "useful"), and is also a mystic name for an initiate, it is not the same as "Christos"
    * this Chrestus was apparently active in Rome, Jesus never was.
    this passage is not evidence for Jesus,
    it's nothing to do with Jesus,
    it's evidence for Christians grasping at straws.

    IGNATIUS (107CE? 130-170CE?)

    The letters of Ignatius are traditionally dated to c.107, yet:
    * it is not clear if he really existed, his story is suspicious,
    * his letters are notoriously corrupt and in 2 versions,
    * it is probable that his letters were later forgeries,
    * he mentions only a tiny few items about Jesus.
    Ignatius is no evidence for Jesus himself,
    at BEST it is 2nd century evidence to a few beliefs about Jesus.

    QUADRATUS (c.125CE)

    Quadratus apparently wrote an Apology to Hadrian (117-138), but:
    * we have none of his works,
    * it is not certain when he wrote,
    * all we have is 1 sentence quoted much later.
    Quadratus is uncertain evidence from about a century later.

    THALLUS (date unknown)

    We have NO certain evidence when Thallus lived or wrote, there are NONE of Thallus' works extant.
    What we DO have is a 9th century reference by George Syncellus who quotes the 3rd century Julianus Africanus, who, speaking of the darkness at the crucifixion, wrote: "Thallus calls this darkness an eclipse".
    there is NO evidence Thallus made specific reference to Jesus or the Gospel events at all, as there WAS an eclipse in 29. This suggests he merely referred to a known eclipse, but that LATER Christians MIS-interpreted his comment to mean their darkness. (Also note the supposed reference to Thallus in Eusebius is a false reading.)

    Richard Carrier the historian has a good page on Thallus:

    Thallus is no evidence for Jesus at all,
    merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.

    PHLEGON (c.140)

    Phlegon wrote during the 140s - his works are lost. Later, Origen, Eusebius, and Julianus Africanus (as quoted by George Syncellus) refer to him, but quote differently his reference to an eclipse. There is no evidence Phlegon actually said anything about Gospel events, he was merely talking about an eclipse (they DO happen) which LATER Christians argued was the "darkness" in their stories.
    Phlegon is no evidence for Jesus at all -
    merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.

    VALENTINUS (c.140CE)

    In mid 2nd century the GNOSTIC Valentinus almost became Bishop of Rome, but:
    * he was several generations after the alleged events,
    * he wrote of an esoteric, Gnostic Jesus and Christ,
    * he mentioned no historical details about Jesus.
    Valentinus is no evidence for a historical Jesus.

    POLYCARP (c.155CE)

    Polycarp wrote in mid 2nd century, but :
    * he is several generations after the alleged events,
    * he gives many sayings of Jesus (some of which do NOT match the Gospels),
    * he does NOT name any evangelist or Gospel.
    Polycarp knew sayings of Jesus,
    but provides no actual evidence for a historical Jesus.

    LUCIAN (c.170CE)

    Nearly one-and-a-half CENTURIES after the alleged events, Lucian satirised Christians, but :
    * this was several generations later,
    * Lucian does NOT even mention Jesus or Christ by name.
    Lucian is no evidence for a historical Jesus, merely late 2nd century lampooning of Christians.

    GALEN (late 2nd C.)

    Late 2nd century, Galen makes a few references to Christians, and briefly to Christ.
    This is far too late to be evidence for Jesus.

    NUMENIUS (2nd C.?)

    In the 3rd century, Origen claimed Numenius "quotes also a narrative regarding Jesus--without, however, mentioning His name" - i.e. Numenius mentioned a story but said nothing about Jesus, but by Origen's time it had become attached to Jesus' name.
    This not any evidence for Jesus, it's just later wishful thinking.

    TALMUD (3rd C. and later)

    There are some possible references in the Talmud, but:
    * these references are from 3rd century or later, and seem to be (unfriendly) Jewish responses to Christian claims.
    * the references are highly variant, have many cryptic names for Jesus, and very different to the Gospel stories (e.g. one story has "Jesus" born about 100BC.)
    the Talmud contains NO evidence for Jesus,
    the Talmud merely has much later Jewish responses to the Gospel stories.

    MARA BAR SERAPION (date unknown)

    A fragment which includes -
    "... What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?",
    in the context of ancient leaders like Socrates.
    It is NOT at all clear WHEN this manuscript was written, nor exactly who it is referring too, but there is no evidence it is Jesus.


    In short,
    * there are no Roman recods of Jesus,
    * there is no contemporary evidence for Jesus,
    * the claimed evidence is very weak - late, forged, suspect or not about Jesus at all.
    * the T.F. is probably the best "evidence", but it is at best corrupt, at worst forged.

  10. Lawdog Digging up old bones Registered Senior Member

    most of your sources listed which fail to demonstrate the history of Jesus are not valid scrutiny.

    In the early years of Christ and the Apostolic Age, most Graeco-Roman historians would have looked upon Christians as a condemned Jewish sect not worthy of historical mention. Even the famous Essenes are only mentioned by Jewish historians.
  11. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member


    Why not?
  12. Iasion Registered Senior Member

    What does that even MEAN?

    Do you disagree with my analysis?
    On which writer?

    What is your point?

    The Romans DID mention Christianity.

    But NOT Jesus,
    and NOT the Gospel events or characters.

    We have records of many minor figures, including various figures called Jesus from the 1st century, who nobody has ever heard of.

    If Jesus DID exist, he was less known, less important, than the most minor nobody.

  13. ggazoo Registered Senior Member

    I've seen some crazy questions on here trying to disprove God, but this one takes the cake.

    Why isn't Jesus mentioned anywhere outside the Bible? Where do you come up with that nonsence? I have read books outside of the cannon and have found them to speak of Christ. My very calendar is numbered based on Jesus life. We celebrate holidays based on his birth and resurrection. I don't understand this absurd question.
  14. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

  15. KennyJC Registered Senior Member

    The fact that we celebrate the virgin birth and resurrection through tradition only demonstrates the popularity of the myths and our gullability of this particular religion. And anyway, these traditions are direct from the Bible, I would find it unlikely that any other source mentioning Jesus, didn't first come aware of his name through the Bible. Even his disciples didn't put him to paper decades after his death.

    It is certain that nobody has ever lived, that was born of a virgin, or resurrected in the manner in which the Bible states. I use the common sense as my evidence for stating this, in exactly the same way I use common sense to judge that Zeus or the FSM never existed.
  16. ggazoo Registered Senior Member

  17. KennyJC Registered Senior Member

    Your awfully smug for a grown man who thinks Jay-a-sus The Lawd was resurrected

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  18. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Heresy! Burn the witch!
  19. see from both sides Registered Member

    There is quite a bit of evidence of the historical Jesus. Scientific and historical research has been done and agreed upon by believers and non believers alike. Of course, there is no historical data confirming such things as his relation to God or his performing of miracles. In some cases, authors have tried to take the historical side and tell a more down to earth story of Jesus, with imagined details based on historical knowlege. A famous work, which I have not read is: "The Search for the Historical Jesus", by Albert Schweitzer. Probably the formost expert on the historical Jesus today is Marcus Borg. His scholarship is well respected. His book, "Meeting Jesus Again For the First time " is excellent, though considered slightly heretical by some main stream Christians.
  20. Iasion Registered Senior Member


    Because he was a myth.

    The CANNON?
    Oh, the canon.

    There is no contemporary references to Jesus - only later response to Christian beliefs.

    It's very simple, even if you can't grasp it.
    There is NO historical evidence for Jesus.

    Just legends and myths from long after the alleged events.

    where we would EXPECT evidence, we do NOT find it :

    early even Christians showed no knowledge of a historical Jesus or the Gospel events:

    Our calendar is also based on pagan gods : this is the month of August, this Augustus really was a god; and today is Thursday, so the God Thor was real.

    How silly.

    I think you understand just fine, but refuse to admit it.

    If YOU think there is historical evidence for Jesus, please cite it (but do look at my list above first.)

  21. Iasion Registered Senior Member


    There is no contemporary historical evidence, just legends and myths spread by later believers.

    If YOU think there is evidence, then please cite it (but please check my list above first.)

  22. Gordon Registered Senior Member

    This is factually inaccurate. Christianity is only in decline in some parts of the western world. It is increasing at a vast rate in large parts of Africa, South America and even more so in China. Estimates of the latter mean that there are now more christians there than there are people in total in the UK!

    If there is to be a factual discusion, it needs to be on a world basis not on just one (idiosyncratic) view of the western nations.

    I have just returned from a week's conference in Kent in the UK where 2,000 people will tell you that the living Holy Spirit was present throughout. There were people whose lives were changed, physically, mentally or spritually (or any combination) and this is the reality. We can have arguments over what historical records may or may not have survived (and saying what) after the destruction of Jewish homeland and their dispersion by the Roman Empire but ultimately christainity is not just an intellectual exercise. Surely even the most ratinalistic of you will accept that there are other things in the world, such as love?!

    In respect of documents, the disputed Josephus text is well known but in Antiquities xx.9.1 Josephus states,

    'But the younger Ananus who, as we said received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the part of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Abinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stones.'

    We have records that Thallus, a gentile non christian, wrote a book in AD 52 about Greece and its connections with other people. In the third book he claimed that the darkness that fell over the Middle East at Christ's crucifixion was an eclipse of the sun (this is of course scientifically impossible as Passover is held at full moon not new moon but presumably either Thallus did not understand that or he did not understand Jewish festivals).

    A Syrian, Mara Bar Serapion wrote in the first century to his son Serapion (letter still and in the British Museum) :

    'What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death?.... What advantage did the men of Samos gainf rom burning Pythagoras?.... What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men ... Nor did the wise king die for good; He lived on in the teaching which he had given.'

    Clearly he was not a christian or he would have beleieved Christ had risen from the dead and said so but he clearly knew that such a person existed, just as Socrates and Pythagoras had done.

    In fact even those most opposed to early christianity (the Jewish religious establishment and the Roman authorities) are nowhere on record as doubting Jesus' existence, nor indeed do orthodox Jews to this day.

    Giventhe circumstances of a minority religion starting in a politically very dangerous part of the Roman Empire where the indigenous inhabitants were later scattered, it is perhaps not surprising that there are not lots of records but the balance of evidence is such that there are very few serious historians (of any or no faith) who doubt that a character Yeshua who some people believed to be the messiah certainly physically existed in first century Judea. The few who do not, usually have their own dogmatic reasons for their view.


  23. Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History! Valued Senior Member

    M*W: The NT itself is a "forgery" of sorts. It was probably written as a Roman satire about a fictional dying demigod savior.

    Some people in those days may have followed a philosophy called "christianity," but that did not require a real person to be at its core.

    Your very calendar is numbered based on earlier pagan feast days which were copied by the RCC to lure in the pagan population. Your very calendar is not in any way based upon the mythical character Jesus.

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