I changed my mind on the Historicity of Jesus

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by one_raven, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I have changed my view on this topic.

    People who claim that an historical Jesus never existed are making an unreasonable claim, in my view.

    Certainly, his life and times were exaggerated and even partially fabricated by the Roman Catholic Church who was attempting to codify a hero and build a religion, but that does not mean the man did not exist.

    First, people claim a lack of extra-Biblical evidence. Well, the Bible is hardly one book, it was written by numerous people, over many years – it is a collection of books and letters. Sure, we don’t have newspaper clippings of Jesus turning over the money-changers’ table or a YouTube clip of him reciting the Beatitudes, but to discount it as “just the Bible” is an oversimplification of the facts.

    Second, I think the Nag Hammadi library should not be overlooked – and it is an extra-Biblical source. It is a source that has been dated back to perhaps 80CE, it was not discovered until 1945 AND it is rejected by the Catholic Church. Why would the Church have written the Gospel of Thomas – which is really damning to the structure of the Church – and then disavow it as heresy? That makes no sense to me.

    Third, and most important to me, is the fact that had the Roman Catholic wanted to create a God-man out of thin air and totally fabricate his existence, I don’t think the Bible would read as it does. Why would there be four gospels in the Bible, instead of 12 (or 13)? Why would John not align with the Synoptic Gospels? Why would Revelation read like the maniacal ravings of a lunatic mind? Why the apparent contradictions? I believe if they had just decided to make him up, they would not have had to spin so much doctrine and dogma to fill in the blanks and account for these apparent contradictions. Why did it take so many years to determine the Canon? Why so much debate over it? Why were so many books rejected?

    While there is not doubt that the Roman Catholic Church did doctor, twist and pervert the story of Jesus, it seems entirely unreasonable to claim he did not exist, simply for the dearth of mention by historians. :shrug:
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  3. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Good point Ive never heard before.

    The history of scripture doesnt read like a grand conspiracy.

    I believe the Hammadi texts are later than 80CE though.
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  5. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    The same reasoning applies to the Gospel of Mary Magdalene.
    Why would the Church write the book, release it to the public, then later reject it as heresy and those who follow it as heathens?

    Let me apply Ockham’s Razor, as many Jesus deniers are apt to do…

    What makes more sense?

    The Church created all these books, released them as the words of this made up person Jesus, then denied the books and claimed them as heresy and fooled the world that he actually existed. The Church fathers, who were bright enough to run the Roman Empire, found the most powerful Church in the world and fool everyone into believing this imaginary person existed were too stupid to write a consistent story that plainly spelled out what their vast conspiracy wanted to accomplish.


    The Church picked and chose the reported works of Jesus which support their worldview and goals, doctored them a bit and rejected the reported works of Jesus that would throw a wrench into the works of their goals.

    The second makes a LOT more sense to me.
  6. Betrayer0fHope MY COHERENCE! IT'S GOING AWAYY Registered Senior Member

    Also the fact that by that time the word of Jesus had been spread enough for someone else to write about him, even without first hand knowledge of him.
  7. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    You're right.
    Th texts themselves date back to about 3rd century, but the Gospel of Thomas is believed to have been written about 80.
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Interesting idea.

    Now climb into the thumbscrews and let's keep spitballing.
  9. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    eh? :bugeye:
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Inquisition joke.
  11. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

  12. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    If we don't laugh at horror, do we ever learn from it?

    I'll just chalk this up on my "inappropriate things Geoff has done on SciForums". That list seems to have taken quite a jump in the last little while.
  13. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I don't think it's inappropriate at all.
    The Inquisition in History of the World Part I is one of the greatest scenes ever filmed.
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Can't remember that one. I'll look it up.
  15. chris4355 Registered Senior Member

    After googling the amazing things jesus has done...

    1. He made the blind see.
    2. He made the deaf hear.
    3. He healed the woman who was bleeding for years.
    4. He healed the paralytic.
    5. He drove out a group of demons from a man.
    6. He brought Lazarus back to life from the dead.
    7. He walked on water.
    8. He fed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 pieces of fish.
    9. He never yeilded to temptation, however hard the deceiver tried.
    10. He never sinned all His life as a man.
    11. He rose from the dead the third day.
    12. And the best, He wilfully gave His life for us, while we were still sinners.

    Not 1 historian has written about him while he was supposedly alive. Does not sound too logical to me.

    So now you are going to claim Jesus was just a regular dude walking around and those things stated above are just made up or something.

    Then answer me this...

    Exactly how historically inaccurate does somebody have to be until you can consider him a mythical being?

    I am sure there was a guy at that time that preached his beliefs to many people, might have made some kind of an impact and ended up getting persecuted - along with probably hundreds of others.

    Jesus as described by the bible and what people perceive him to be did not exist. Nor does it make sense that the Chritian religion along with the bible emerges over a hundred years AFTER the supposed death of Jesus.

    It just does not add up.
  16. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Again, I have no doubt that the Church exaggerated and fabricated parts of his life and times.
    If you look at the oldest and least touched texts, they don't talk about his "miracles" at all just his philosophy - his words.
    He was a teacher - the Church made him out to be a God man.

    Show me one place in any of Jesus' words from any o fthe canonical or extra-canonical textx where he claims to be anything more than a man.
    You won't find it.

    There were certainly many thousands of philosophers and teachers at that time - how many did the historians write about?
    If you leave his "miracles" aside, why WOULD they write about him?


    The point is that the details of his life don't mean anything - the point is what he was teaching.
    The point is his philosophy - and that does appear to have come from a real person.
    I see no reason at all to believe his words are not real or did not come from a real person.
    In fact, if they were made up, the Church would not have made him say the things he did.

    Hundreds of others teaching the same thing he was teaching, with the same style of speech and the same message at the same time with teh same followers?

    Of course it does.
    Religions don't pop up and spread around the world overnight.
    Especially in a time when the only forms of communication traveled by foot.
    Do you think he sent a viral email?
    People tell people tell people tell people.
    The first Buddhist council was held 200 years after Siddhartha's death because it had finally started to spread to different regions and differing philosophies were being developed.

    I think your math is skewed.
  17. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    We have evidence of established Christian sects existing at MOST 50 years after his death.
    It wasn't until the Roman Catholic Church co-opted the image of this philosopher, turned him into a God-man and decided to codify the "religion" that it started to become the powerhouse that it became.
  18. chris4355 Registered Senior Member

    So asides from Jesus of the bible, what do we know about him? What do we know historically about him?

    I do not think its that difficult to accept the idea that people can believe in a religion where the "founder" of it has never existed as long as he is dead.

    Just taking a look at UFO's, scientology, signs and horoscopes can just give a glimpse of just how capable humans are of taking mythical ideas and events and turning them into reality - often times backed by persuasive and seemingly logical reasoning to convince someone to believe it.
  19. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    We know of his teachings - his philosophy.
    Why do the details of his life matter?

    No, it's not so hard to believe at all.
    But in this case, I think the evidence supports the notion that he was a real man, who actually existed.
  20. chris4355 Registered Senior Member

    Didnt see top post...

    My math is fine, no historical evidence for someone as critical as him leads me to believe he was not there.

    Even if there might have been someone named Jesus who had similar teachings, his current description is so distorted and out of proportion that I have to conclude he is simply a myth.
  21. chris4355 Registered Senior Member

    I think there was a real man who wrote his teachings, and he existed. But his name did not have to be Jesus, nor did he have to be one man, nor did he have to live at the time Jesus was supposedly alive.
  22. chris4355 Registered Senior Member

    All your points are based off assumptions, though fairly well reasoned and seemingly logical. Without any HARD evidence, they will always simply remain assumptions.

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