Scientific Approach to the Jesus question

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Cris, May 30, 2006.

  1. Cris

    Cris In search of Immortality

    This post was originally posted by Woody in the thread "The Scientific Study of Religion", where it was not quite appropriate. SkinWalker suggested we spin this off in a seperate thread, which I have done here. I recommend taking a factual approach rather than opinion or conjecture.
    Enjoy
    Cris

    SW: You have a nice summary on religion, but let's cut to the chase. You have been strangely silent on the subject of Jesus Christ. (whether he was real or not).

    So Let's split hairs here:

    Did a real man named Jesus (thought to be the messiah by his believers) really die on a cross? What is the basis for your decision yah or nah?

    If he was a real man, then that establishes a fact. It seems reasonable, even to an atheist, that a teacher named Jesus lived on this earth 2000 years ago.

    Next, when Jesus died on a cross, did he believe he was doing so for the salvation of mankind? Did he die believing he was doing it for God (whether or not God really exists)?

    I think Jesus did exactly that.

    Next question:

    How can a man decide his own fate the way it happened to Jesus? How can he conceive of it, and why? Did he face down death and an imaginary hell so the rest of us wouldn't have to worry about it? Mighty nice of him.

    Things to ponder.

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

    More things to ponder: What in your opinion is knowledge? Does it only come from scientific evaluation?

    We both believe knowledge is the ultimate reality, don't we? The difference between you and myself is how reality can be determined. I personally don't think human science does the whole job.

    I conclude the following difference between you and me:

    I believe knowledge logos is a living entity that transcends time and space.

    You believe logos is a state of mental awareness that comes as a result of human consciousness.

    So here it is in a nutshell: Which came first, logic or the universe? Is logic a result of the existence of the universe, or is the universe under the domain of logic, hence making logic the predecessor to existence of the universe?

    Last edited by Woody : Today at 04:59 PM.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2006
  2. Cris

    Cris In search of Immortality

    Woody,

    Why? And No it doesn't.
     
  3. Cris

    Cris In search of Immortality

    Woody,

    We should establish first that he actually existed before discussing what he might have said and how we know what he said, and that before we could discuss what he might have been thinking.
     
  4. SkinWalker

    SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology

    Strangely? Perhaps I simply don't find the Jesus myth all that compelling or important. Moreover, the thread you posted in wasn't a thread about any specific cult of religion but, rather, religion in general. Picking on a specific deity of a given cult without offering some overview of the various deities of other cults would have been objective and even an interesting undertaking, but, alas, not one I'm prepared to do at the moment.

    However, since Cris was kind enough to split the thread to its own topic, we can focus on the myth of Jesus, understanding that there are at least two threads that tackled this very topic that already exist in the religion sub-forum. I'll answer a few of your questions, but I'm going to take them out of order a bit.


    These questions assume that there is evidence that is indicative of a real individual named "Jesus" that existed, which there is –but only second hand. Archaeologically speaking, Jesus didn't exist. Not one single artifact exists that can be attributed to him: no buttons from his clothes; no writings by him; no pottery created by him; not one single, measurable or weighable item. But that, in itself, isn't evidence that an individual named Jesus did not exist. It seems reasonable to me, even as an atheist, that a person named Jesus may have existed. Indeed, there may have been many named Jesus. One or more may have been a "teacher." It seems likely that there may even have been a cult leader that the Jesus myth is built off of. But there exists evidence that the myth that exists as Jesus was completely invented!

    One thing that was very popular among prehistoric and proto-historic peoples of the Near East and Aegean/Mediterranean regions (as well as cultures everywhere, really) was hero worship and the borrowing of hero icons and deities of other cultures. There are analogs in the deities of Near Eastern cultures that match up to Greek gods and deities (and vice versa). One such example is the iconography of Aphrodite has which has its origins in Ishtar and Astarte of Near Eastern cultures. The Roman goddess Venus has her origin in the history of Aphrodite.

    While there are many, many other examples of this borrowing (and by "borrowing," it has to be recognized that if such themes of modern literature were borrowed to such extent –accusations of plagiarism would ensue), I'll focus on one that is relevant to the topic.

    Take this theme: a handsome young man in long hair and a beard that brings a new religion to the people; he's doubted by many and is alleged to be born of a mother who was a virgin and a father who was a god; he claims to bring salvation to the people and his followers are offered the opportunity to be "reborn" through baptism; he is slain but finds himself resurrected and his followers celebrate their salvation by eating his body and blood in the form of bread and wine; and his name means "the twice-born."

    The deity described above isn't Jesus –its Dionysus, who first appears on Linear B tablets that date to 1700-1100 BCE. Dionysus is adopted by the Romans around 200 BCE as Bacchus. The deity is then adopted by Christians, so it would seem, at around the first few centuries CE. Interestingly enough, there was another culture that shares characteristics with the Dionysus deity: the Egyptian god Horus. Horus was worshiped thousands of years before the alleged time of Jesus and its alleged that the followers of Jesus "borrowed" from the Horus myth in creating their own Jesus version.

    The foster father of Horus was Seb (Jo-Seph) and his mother was Meri, but was the sun of the god Osiris. His foster father's ancestry was of royal descent and ancient Egyptians were known to have reenacted the birth of Horus at a winter solstice festival where a manger containing a child was paraded through the streets. Witnesses of the birth were shepherds and three solar gods (perhaps they were wise gods?). Horus was baptized (as was Dionysus) by Anup the baptizer. Horus was slain by crucifixion, accompanied by two thieves, descended into hell and was resurrected 3 days later. Horus had 12 followers (ReligiousTolerance).

    But let us not forget Buddha, who was born of the virgin Maya; or Krishna who was born of a chaste virgin. And so on. Many of the same similarities exist with each of these deities of man that were worshipped as gods long before the Jesus myth was created.

    Sure, there are some points that can be quibbled about a given interpretation of one bit of iconography or another. Tekton Apologetics Ministries gives a treatment to each of these and more. Their motives are understandable, but their results are less than convincing.

    Most of this I typed from my memory of the gods and iconography involved. Where I've used dates, I've also gone from memory, so if I'm off a bit I'm happy to accept correction. I used Wikipedia to provide ready places of information available to anyone that reads this thread, but I can recommend some academic sources in the way of archaeological texts should anyone request a more in-depth look. The one exception to the themes I wasn't completely familiar with and don't currently have access to primary sources for is the Horus analog to Jesus. That Religious Tolerance placed it on their website is meaningful, since they've been relatively objective in much of their information to date. I just haven't poured through enough Egyptian mythology as yet and cannot offer more than what is alleged. I know Horus had a core group of followers akin to aposltes, but I couldn't tell you where it's mentioned that there are 12, for instance.


    References

    Parallels between Jesus and Horus, an Egyptian God.
    Greek Mythology – Wikipedia
    Dionysus – Wikipedia
    Horus - Wikipedia
     
  5. Medicine*Woman

    Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History!

    *************
    M*W: Well, supposedly there was supposed to be a census taken about the time Jesus was born. I don't know that anyone has ever seen that census should it even exist.
     
  6. Crunchy Cat

    Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!!

    Cris,

    Those are great questions. With Cristianity, there is one issue which I have found very interesting. The dead sea scrolls (that the septuigent was based on) were uncovered and radio-carbon dated to exist hundreds of years before the 'recorded life' of Jesus. The content of the dead sea scrolls 'prophecize' the upcoming life Jesus in pretty good detail and it matches the 'actual' recorded life of Jesus.

    Most Christians aren't even aware of this, which is a ironic because it's the closest thing to evidence they have that could be positioned as supernatural. Regardless, when we have two matching stories of the life of Jesus (one a 'prophecy' and one a live 'recording'), clearly a situation exists that violates reality if it's to be taken "as is". As we all know quite well, such violations don't occur in reality which means that the Jesus story was fiction (that doesn't necessarily mean that there wasn't an actor playing the part though... although it strongly suggests it).

    Some questions to ponder:

    * Could evidence of intent be found showing that the Jesus was fiction?
    * Could evidence be found showing the roots of Christianity existed before Jesus?
    * Could evidence be found showing an identiy between the Jesus story and some older story (I seem to recall that the life of Jesus matched something egyptian... it may just be faulty memory though)?
     
  7. Iasion

    Iasion Registered Senior Member

    Greetings all,

    As others have noted, there is NO contemporary evidence for Jesus or the Gospel events.

    See here for a list of the contemporary and early writers :
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~quentinj/Christianity/EarlyWriters.html

    There ARE however, various references cited as evidence for Jesus - here is my sceptical analysis of that list :


    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:
    http://www.humanists.net/jesuspuzzle/supp10.htm

    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 -
    but
    merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)
    So,
    this passage is NOT evidence for Jesus,
    it's just evidence for 2nd century Christian stories about Jesus.
    http://oll.libertyfund.org/ToC/0067.php


    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.
    So,
    Pliny is not evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth,
    just evidence for 2nd century Christians who worshipped a Christ.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/pliny.html


    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.
    So,
    this passage is not evidence for Jesus,
    it's nothing to do with Jesus,
    it's evidence for Christians grasping at straws.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/suetonius.html


    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.
    So,
    Ignatius is no evidence for Jesus himself,
    at BEST it is 2nd century evidence to a few beliefs about Jesus.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ignatius.html


    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.
    So,
    Quadratus is uncertain evidence from about a century later.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/quadratus.html


    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".
    But,
    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:
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/thallus.html

    So,
    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.
    So,
    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.
    So,
    Valentinus is no evidence for a historical Jesus.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/valentinus.html


    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.
    So,
    Polycarp knew sayings of Jesus,
    but provides no actual evidence for a historical Jesus.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/polycarp.html


    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.
    So,
    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.)
    So,
    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.


    Iasion
     
  8. SkinWalker

    SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology

    Great to see you stopping by Iasion! As usual, your posts are a wealth of information. Its too bad you're not a more prolific poster/writer around these parts. I'm glad you posted this info - I was trying to decide whether to link to the post you made about a year ago (sitting in my bookmarks) or to simply copy/paste it here... you rescued me from the dilemma :)
     
  9. Medicine*Woman

    Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History!

    No need to repeat the entire post. Cris.

    *************
    M*W: These writers you mentioned were members of the Roman Piso Family. This family was noted for writing the New Testament in its entirety. It was a combination of a politico-satirical novel based on astro-theology.

    I believe this is the true secret of Rennes-le-Chateau. It's been known for millenia that the Bible is a farce and that there is no savior, no Jesus.

    I would like to discuss any comments on this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2006
  10. Cris

    Cris In search of Immortality

    MW,

    This is subjective and difficult to prove. Please stay within the guidelines of scientific reasoning. I'll delete posts by anyone who significantly deviate.
     
  11. Woody

    Woody Musical Creationist

    Also, practically speaking, it appears the other thread "died." So whatever it is you consider to be more important or compelling doesn't get much interest from others.

    You had a pretty good list of "significant others" in your list of messiahs. Might I also add the originator of the Zoroastrian religion.

    In your list of "look alike" messiahs, might I also add many of them were "politically backed", meaning the citizens had to worship the created diety or die.

    Christianity did not originate this way, and went completely against the grain of extablished religion and government. This is a fact from the writings of Justin Martyr to the roman senate before Rome politicized christianity hundreds of years later.

    So as I pointed out recently to Snakelord, why didn't the Jewish religion and the roman government quash the christain religious rebellion with the simple facts? What evidence can you provide that they did? In philosophy the absense of "opposing evidence" in the face of "known evidence" is called "begging the question."

    I've heard reasons such as " it just didn't matter" and that's pure crap. It mattered a lot to the Jewish temple that was losing money and membership to the christianity movement, and it mattered enough to the roman government to write laws against its practice, and put christians to death.

    Then there's the reason " the roman government started christianity for convenience" -- again pure crap, not supported by history texts.

    The only reasonable conclusion is that there was a christian movement in the first century that was likely started by a religious teacher named "Jesus" that was rightly or wrongly thought to be the messiah by his followers.

    If you expect a "Jesus fossil" to prove he existed, then you won't find it. His followers believe he was ressurrected -- which surely you will deny. This shows a weakness in human science -- it has not come along far enough to bring a deceased person back to life. Do you think someday (not 2000 years ago), that science might possibly be able to do this (resurrect someone)? Why or why not?

    Do any of your clothes and buttons or pottery prove you ever existed? Probably not, because they don't have your name on them. As for the writings of Jesus, he was the speaker, and his disciples were the stenographers. It works in court anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  12. Cris

    Cris In search of Immortality

    Woody,

    Much like the Christian inquisition, and the crusades.

    Yet would it have survived had it not been adopted by Constantine? Bear also in mind that the peoples of those times had for centuries been subjected to the Greek and Roman gods whose perceived powers had fallen into disrepute, almost any new religion would have been appealing. The time was ripe for a new concept to emerge, and the original Christian concept had such appeal. Whether its alleged martyr figure had been real or not was immaterial to the emerging new thinking.

    But hardly scientific. And no it doesn’t follow that the hero figure had to have been real.

    I don’t think anyone denies that Christians believe this. Claiming that a resurrection occurred though cannot be substantiated and hence we must withhold belief until it can be shown true or possible.

    Hearsay is not acceptable in court and no writings about what an alleged Jesus might have said are from a direct witness source.
     
  13. Woody

    Woody Musical Creationist

    Chris said:

    Constantine legalized the Christian religion in 313 AD at the Edict of Milan.

    From the Wiki:


    Christianity was not adopted by Constantine. This is a historical error on your part. According to the source:

    :rolleyes:

    So the answer is yes, it would have survived without Constantine, and had survived against persecution up until the time Constantine reigned in western Rome.

    Also, the eastern orthodox church was not under his domain, because Constantine did not rule all of the Roman empire, the east was ruled by Lucinius. Therefore you have made two historical errors.

    Chris said:

    Shouldn't you get your history right first? Your conclusion about scientific evidence really doesn't make sense: history majors get a liberal arts degree, not a science degree. Drama, music, and sociology also offer liberal arts degrees. Because history and the others don't have a foundation in the physical sciences, should all of it be ignored as irrelevant to human existence?

    How about Luke's letter to Theophilus:

    Also, some forms of hearsay are acceptible in court under the right conditions.

    From the Wiki:

    So your lawyering is a little weak too. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
  14. SkinWalker

    SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology

    Actually, begging the question is simply put: circular logic. "God exists because the bible says so and the bible was written by god" is an example of begging the question. There is no real evidence involved in an assertion that begs the question, only the initial assumption itself. "The death penalty is necessary to deter crime" begs the question since it assumes that crime is deterred by the death penalty.

    So far, the only thing we've revealed in this topic is that, scientifically, Jesus did not exist.

    Clearly, with the information I posted, a real Jesus figure was unnecessary and unlikely because of the "borrowed" mythology from much older hero figures that were worshipped in the more ancient Greek, Egyptian, Anatolian, Hindu, other Eastern cultures. The Jesus myth is clearly an amalgamation of these.
     
  15. c7ityi_

    c7ityi_ Registered Senior Member

    christ...
    krishna....
    mithra...
    hercules...
    horus...
    odin...
    quetzacoatl...

    they're all the same... but "they" (it) do exist... what does the "dying demigod savior" mean? our [higher] self... crucified in the world/body by our desires... in space and time... symbol... cross... cube... matter...
     
  16. Medicine*Woman

    Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History!

    *************
    M*W: Cris, I think this fact should be implemented into the Religion Forum as a rule for debate/discussion. So, until it can be proven without a doubt that Jesus existed, no further conjecture that he existed will be allowed. That would certainly curtail all the preaching and the blind leading the blind.
     
  17. baumgarten

    baumgarten fuck the man

    That would curtail most any discussion of the Christian belief system whatsoever. What's the use of the religion forum?
     
  18. Woody

    Woody Musical Creationist

    SW said:

    Or circular logic is claiming Jesus did not exist and then producing no proof that he did not exist, when historical evidence indicates otherwise.

    You can also claim Jesus did not exist because there is no video footage of his existance. The error in such a claim would be that video technology did not exist in that day, and therefore begs the question.

    You can claim that Jesus did not exist because he did not write anything. The error in such a claim is the inefficiency of writing on a scroll papyrus and then having it hand-copied multiple times to distribute to even a small group of people. There was no Jerusalem Times News paper and printing press, nor was their a copier, fiche, internet, or many of the forms of communication we have today. Hence a sensible person would realize that oral communication makes much more sense. Again the writing argument begs the question with stenographers available to do the equivalent from an oral discourse.

    Your best circular point is the one about the "jesus" button. Do you really expect someone to write his name on a button? If there was one, could anybody prove it was authentic? Does your button have your name on it? Also Jesus was not a potter, but was a carpenter by occupation. You ask for a Jesus pot? Do you have a "Skinwalker" pot? Two thousand years from now, somebody can read about Skinwalker on Sci-forums and not know who the real person is. I don't even know your real name, as many posts as you have made.

    Scientifically speaking Skinwalker doesn't exist now, much less two thousand years from now. It's just a self-made moniker you came up with.

    Scientifically speaking nobody exists for long, and their identity eventually disappears as yours will after you die. I know Skinwalker doesn't exist at all, neither does Medicine Woman or Snakelord. Real people have real names instead of an alias. Even grave markers loose their identification, until finally all you have left is bones for some John Doe.

    I think your requirement for "scientific" proof of someone's existence is quite unreasonable. Hardly anybody from 2000 years ago could stand up to that requirement. Does that mean almost nobody really existed back then? Of course not. For everyone you can prove existed there are probably a million that you can not prove. No reasonable person demands a beta risk of one out of one million in a scientific hypothesis test. This "test requirement" borders on outright ridiculous.

    Even then for those that supposedly existed, the proof really depends on someone's diligence in keeping records, and even then you can say they were untrustworthy, unreliable, had an agenda etc, etc. with all the trite arguments I'm hearing now.

    This discussion is getting pretty ridiculous in itself.

    OK so there is no scientific evidence that a teacher named Jesus existed and died on a cross, but that doesn't prove anything. If you are looking at all, then you are looking in the wrong place. The proof lies in the logic arena, not the science arena. The logic universe is bigger than the science universe, because it includes the science universe plus a lot more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  19. Iasion

    Iasion Registered Senior Member

    Are you trying to argue Luke was an eye-witness?

    Because that is certainly not what he says in that passage.

    But sadly, some apologists see the word "eye-witness" but don't properly read the rest.


    The actual passage reads :

    "Since many have undertaken
    to compile a narrative
    of the events that have been fulfilled among us,
    just as those who
    were EYEWITNESSES from the beginning and ministers of the word
    have handed them down to us,"

    I too have decided,
    after investigating everything accurately anew,
    to write it down in an orderly sequence for you,
    most excellent Theophilus,
    so that you may realize the certainty
    of the teachings you have received."



    Does Luke actually claim to be an eye-witness?
    No.

    Does Luke actually claim to have spoken to eye-witnesses?
    No.

    Does Luke actually identify any eye-witness?
    No.

    Does Luke directly connect his writings with the eye-witnesses?
    No.


    All that he says about eye-witnesses amounts to :
    "Many have written a narrative about the events based on what the eye-witnesses handed down to us."

    That's ALL he says about eye-witnesses.
    In a nut-shell : "many (others) have written ... based on eye-witnesses"


    No connection is made between the eye-witnesses and Luke or his writings.

    THEN
    Luke describes his OWN VERSION :
    "after investigating everything accurately anew,
    to write it down in an orderly sequence for you"

    NO mention of eye-witnesses here, merely the claim his version is ACCURATE and ORDERLY.


    In summary,
    the use of the word "eye-witnesses" has no bearing on Luke's writings.

    Luke was not an eye-witness,
    Luke met no eye-witnesses,
    Luke identified no eye-witnesses,
    Luke does not directly connect his writing with any eye-witnesses.

    Iasion
     
  20. Iasion

    Iasion Registered Senior Member

    Pardon?
    There is no contemporary historical evidence for Jesus - just LATER evidence for Christians who BELIEVED in Jesus.



    So how did the NT get written and passed on?
    We have NUMEROUS writings from many early Christians, Jews and Romans -
    NOTHING from Jesus, the alleged FOUNDER.

    We have many WRITTEN documents from e.g. Peter, Paul, etc. - WHY do we not have anything from Jesus?

    So what?
    Skinwalker WROTE - we have evidence of his writings and further evidence of his person - and he is merely a normal person.
    But Jesus was supposedly the son of God, the founder of a major religion - yet we have NO evidence of his existence, let alone any of his own writings.

    Bollocks.
    Skinwalker exists, we are discussing with him right now.
    What sort of bizarre nonsense is this?

    Scientifically speaking, Jesus did not exist at all - there is no evidence for him.


    What bizarre word game is this?
    Do you think it will distract us from the fact you have NO EVIDENCE for Jesus?


    Rubbish.
    We have direct, contemporary, historical and archeological evidnce for MANY people from 2000 years ago - writings, statues, coins, external references, archeological remains etc. etc.
    For Jesus - NOTHING, nada, none.

    Are you arguing that Peter, Paul etc. were also not real?


    What?
    Is this meant to be an excuse for why we have no evidence for Jesus?
    It does not make sense.


    What?
    Are you now trying to argue that NO-ONE existed 2000 years ago?
    We HAVE many records of those times - NONE of it mentions Jesus until after the alleged events.


    Great.
    You admit there is NO EVIDENCE for Jesus at all.

    Along with the other arguments (such as the obvious dependance of G.Mark on the OT.)
    This argues strongly that Jesus never existed, but was a myth.


    Iasion
     

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