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news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Was Jesus A Real Person?

Posted by kayms99 on May 13, 2009

 From Y-Jesus.com
Part 1 of a 7 part series

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Did Jesus Christ really exist, or is Christianity built upon a legend? Few scholars question Jesus’ existence, but some enemies of Christianity are attempting to prove otherwise.

In a lawsuit against the Vatican, the Church was accused of inventing the story of Jesus’ existence. Although the case was thrown out of court in February, 2006, the plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, appealed, but ultimately his case was closed.

The argument against Jesus’ existence was made public on CNN TV when Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists, declared:

“The reality is there is not one shred of secular evidence there ever was a Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ and Christianity is a modern religion. And Jesus Christ is a compilation from other gods: Osiris, Mithras, who had the same origins, the same death as the mythological Jesus Christ.” – Ellen Johnson, atheist

Johnson and a blue-ribbon panel of religious leaders were discussing the question, “What happens after we die?” on a Larry King Live CNN broadcast. The usually unflappable King paused reflectively and then replied, “So you don’t believe there was a Jesus Christ?”

With an air of certainty, Johnson responded, “There was not. It is not what I believe; there is no secular evidence that JC, Jesus Christ, ever existed.”

King had no follow-up and went to a commercial break. No discussion of any evidence for or against Jesus’ existence was forthcoming. The international television audience was left wondering.1

Fifty years earlier, in his book Why I Am Not a Christian, atheist Bertrand Russell shocked his generation by questioning Jesus’ existence. He wrote: “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him, so that I am not concerned with the historical question, which is a very difficult one.”

Is it possible that the Jesus so many believe to be real never existed? In The Story of Civilization, secular historian Will Durant posed this question: “Did Christ exist? Is the life story of the founder of Christianity the product of human sorrow, imagination, and hope—a myth comparable to the legends of Krishna, Osiris, Attis, Adonis, Dionysus, and Mithras?”3 Durant pointed out how the story of Christianity has “many suspicious resemblances to the legends of pagan gods.” Later in this article we will see how this great historian answered his own question about the existence of Jesus.

So, how can we know for sure that this man, whom many worship and others curse, was real? Is Johnson right when she asserts that Jesus Christ is a “compilation from other gods”? And is Russell right when he says that Jesus’ existence is “quite doubtful”?

Myth vs. Reality

Let’s begin with a more foundational question: What distinguishes myth from reality? How do we know, for example, that Alexander the Great really existed? Supposedly, in 336 b.c., Alexander the Great became king of Macedonia at 20 years of age. A military genius, this handsome, arrogant leader butchered his way through villages, towns, and kingdoms of the Greco-Persian world until he ruled it all. In a short eight years Alexander’s armies had traversed a total of 22,000 miles in his conquests.

It has been said of Alexander that he cried when he ran out of worlds to conquer. (I’m thinking, this is not the person I want to play Monopoly with.)

Before he died at age 32, Alexander reportedly accomplished greater military deeds than anyone in history, not only of the kings who had lived before him, but also of those who were to come later, down to our own time. But today, other than a bunch of cities named Alexandria, a boring film by Oliver Stone, and a few books, his legacy is all but forgotten. In fact, the name Colin Farrell had more drawing power at the box office than Alexander’s.

In spite of the box office flop, historians believe Alexander existed because of three primary reasons:

written documentation from early historians
historical impact
other historical and archaeological evidence
 

Historical Documents About Jesus

The historicity of Alexander the Great and his military conquests is drawn from five ancient sources, none of whom were eyewitnesses. Although written 400 years after Alexander, Plutarch’s Life of Alexander is the primary account of his life.

Since Plutarch and the other writers were several hundred years removed from the events of Alexander’s life, they based their information on prior accounts. Of the twenty contemporary historical accounts on Alexander, not one survives. Later accounts exist, but each presents a different “Alexander,” with much left to our imagination. But regardless of the time gap of several hundred years, historians are convinced that Alexander was a real man and that the essential details of what we read about his life are true.

Keeping Alexander as a reference point, we’ll note that for Jesus there are both religious and secular historical accounts. But we must ask the question, were they written by reliable and objective historians? Let’s take a brief look.

The New Testament

The 27 New Testament books claim to be written by authors who either knew Jesus or received firsthand knowledge of him from others. The four Gospel accounts record Jesus’ life and words from different perspectives. These accounts have been heavily scrutinized by scholars both inside Christianity and outside it.

Scholar John Dominic Crossan believes that less than 20 percent of what we read in the Gospels are original sayings of Jesus. Yet even this skeptic doesn’t dispute that Jesus Christ really lived.

In spite of Crossan’s views, and those of a few other fringe scholars like him, the consensus of most historians is that the Gospel accounts give us a clear picture of Jesus Christ. Whether the New Testament accounts are trustworthy is the subject of another article (See “Jesus.doc”), so we will look to non-Christian sources for our answer as to whether Jesus existed.

Early Non-Christian Accounts

So, which first-century historians who wrote of Jesus did not have a Christian agenda? First of all, let’s look to Jesus’ enemies.

His Jewish opponents had the most to gain by denying Jesus’ existence. But the evidence points in the opposite direction. “Several Jewish writings also tell of His flesh-and-blood existence. Both Gemaras of the Jewish Talmud refer to Jesus. Although these consist of only a few brief, bitter passages intended to discount Jesus’ deity, these very early Jewish writings don’t begin to hint that he was not a historical person.”5

Flavius Josephus was a noted Jewish historian who began writing under Roman authority in a.d. 67. Josephus, who was born just a few years after Jesus died, would have been keenly aware of Jesus’ reputation among both Romans and Jews. In his famous Antiquities of the Jews (a.d. 93), Josephus wrote of Jesus as a real person. “At that time lived Jesus, a holy man, if man he may be called, for he performed wonderful works, and taught men, and joyfully received the truth. And he was followed by many Jews and many Greeks. He was the Messiah.”6 Although there is dispute about some of the wording in the account, especially the reference to Jesus being the Messiah (scholars are skeptical, thinking that Christians inserted this phrase), certainly Josephus confirmed his existence.

What about secular historians—those who lived in ancient times but weren’t religiously motivated? There is current confirmation of at least 19 early secular writers who made references to Jesus as a real person.7

One of antiquity’s greatest historians, Cornelius Tacitus, affirmed that Jesus had suffered under Pilate. Tacitus was born around 25 years after Jesus died, and he had seen the spread of Christianity begin to impact Rome. The Roman historian wrote negatively of Christ and Christians, identifying them in a.d. 115 as “a race of men detested for their evil practices, and commonly called Chrestiani. The name was derived from Chrestus, who, in the reign of Tiberius, suffered under Pontius Pilate, Procurator of Judea.”

The following facts about Jesus were written by early non-Christian sources:
Jesus was from Nazareth.
Jesus lived a wise and virtuous life.
Jesus was crucified in Palestine under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius Caesar at Passover time, being considered the Jewish king.
Jesus was believed by his disciples to have died and risen from the dead three days later.
Jesus’ enemies acknowledged that he performed unusual feats they called “sorcery.”
Jesus’ small band of disciples multiplied rapidly, spreading as far as Rome.
Jesus’ disciples denied polytheism, lived moral lives, and worshiped Christ as God.
Theologian Norman Geisler remarked:

“This general outline is perfectly congruent with that of the New Testament.”9

All of these independent accounts, religious and secular, speak of a real man who matches up well with the Jesus in the Gospels. Encyclopedia Britannica cites these various secular accounts of Jesus’ life as convincing proof of his existence. It states:

“These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus.”10

Historical Impact

An important distinction between a myth and a real person is how the figure impacts history. For example, books have been written and movies produced about King Arthur of Camelot and his Knights of the Roundtable. These characters have become so notorious that many believe they were real people. But historians who have searched for clues to their existence have been unable to discover any impact they have had on laws, ethics, or religion. A kingdom with the grandeur of Camelot should certainly have left its footprints on contemporary history. This lack of historical impact indicates King Arthur and his Knights of the Roundtable are simply mythical.

The historian Thomas Carlyle said, “No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”11 As Carlyle notes, it is real people, not myths, who impact history.

As a real person, Alexander impacted history by his military conquests, altering nations, governments, and laws. But what of Jesus Christ and his impact on our world?

The first-century governments of Israel and Rome were largely untouched by Jesus’ life. The average Roman citizen didn’t know he existed until many years after his death, Roman culture remained largely aloof from his teaching for decades, and it would be several centuries before killing Christians in the coliseum became a national pastime. The rest of the world had little if any knowledge of him. Jesus marshaled no army. He didn’t write a book or change any laws. The Jewish leaders hoped to wipe out his memory, and it appeared they would succeed.

Today, however, ancient Rome lies in ruins. Caesar’s mighty legions and the pomp of Roman imperial power have faded into oblivion. Yet how is Jesus remembered today? What is his enduring influence?

More books have been written about Jesus than about any other person in history.
Nations have used his words as the bedrock of their governments. According to Durant, “The triumph of Christ was the beginning of democracy.”12
His Sermon on the Mount established a new paradigm in ethics and morals.
Schools, hospitals, and humanitarian works have been founded in his name. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Oxford are but a few universities that have Christians to thank for their beginning.
The elevated role of women in Western culture traces its roots back to Jesus. (Women in Jesus’ day were considered inferior and virtual nonpersons until his teaching was followed.)
Slavery was abolished in Britain and America due to Jesus’ teaching that each human life is valuable.
Former drug and alcohol dependents, prostitutes, and others seeking purpose in life claim him as the explanation for their changed lives.
Two billion people call themselves Christians. While some are Christian in name only, others continue to impact our culture by teaching Jesus’ principles that all life is valuable and we are to love one another.

Remarkably, Jesus made all of this impact as a result of just a three-year period of public ministry. If Jesus didn’t exist, one must wonder how a myth could so alter history. When world historian H. G. Wells was asked who has left the greatest legacy on history, he replied, “By this test Jesus stands first.”13

Documentary evidence and historical impact point to the fact that Jesus did exist. If Jesus did really exist, we also would expect to discover his footprints imprinted within the details of history. Myths don’t leave such confirming details.

One of the keys here for Durant and other scholars is the time factor. Myths and legends usually take hundreds of years to evolve—the story of George Washington never telling a lie was probably a lie, until two centuries turned it into legend. News of Christianity, on the other hand, spread too quickly to be attributed to a myth or legend. Had Jesus not existed, those who opposed Christianity would certainly have labeled him a myth from the outset. But they didn’t.

Such evidence, along with the early written accounts and the historical impact of Jesus Christ, convince even skeptical historians that the founder of Christianity was neither myth nor legend. But one expert on myths wasn’t so sure.

Like Muggeridge, Oxford scholar C. S. Lewis was initially convinced that Jesus was nothing more than a myth. Lewis once stated, “All religions, that is, all mythologies … are merely man’s own invention—Christ as much as Loki.”15 (Loki is an old Norse god. Like Thor, but without the ponytail.)

Ten years after denouncing Jesus as a myth, Lewis discovered that historical details, including several eyewitness documents, verify his existence.

Jesus Christ has impacted history’s landscape like a massive earthquake. And this earthquake has left a trail wider than the Grand Canyon. It is this trail of evidence that convinces scholars that Jesus really did exist and really did impact our world 2,000 years ago.
One skeptic who thought Jesus was a myth was British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge. But on a television assignment to Israel, Muggeridge was faced with evidence about Jesus Christ that he didn’t know existed. As he checked out historical places—Jesus’ birthplace, Nazareth, the crucifixion site, and the empty tomb—a sense of Jesus’ reality began to emerge.

Later he stated

“It was while I was in the Holy Land for the purpose of making three B.B.C. television programmes on the New Testament that a … certainty seized me about Jesus’ birth, ministry and Crucifixion. … I became aware that there really had been a man, Jesus, who was also God.”14

Some German higher-critical scholars in the 18th and 19th centuries had questioned Jesus’ existence, pointing out that such key figures as Pontius Pilate and the chief priest Joseph Caiaphas in the Gospel accounts had never been confirmed as real. No rebuttal was possible until the mid-20th century.

Archaeologists in 1962 confirmed Pilate’s existence when they discovered his name included in an inscription on an excavated stone. Likewise, the existence of Caiaphas was uncertain until 1990, when an ossuary (bone box) was discovered bearing his inscription. Archaeologists have also discovered what they believe to be Simon Peter’s house and a cave where John the Baptist did his baptizing.

Finally, perhaps the most convincing historical evidence that Jesus existed was the rapid rise of Christianity. How can it be explained without Christ? How could this group of fishermen and other workingmen invent Jesus in a scant few years? Durant answered his own introductory question—did Christ exist?—with the following conclusion:

That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature in the history of Western man.
Scholars’ Verdict

Clifford Herschel Moore, professor at Harvard University, remarked of Jesus’ historicity, “Christianity knew its Saviour and Redeemer not as some god whose history was contained in a mythical faith. … Jesus was a historical not a mythical being. No remote or foul myth obtruded itself on the Christian believer; his faith was founded on positive, historical, and acceptable facts.”16

Few if any serious historians agree with Ellen Johnson’s and Bertrand Russell’s assertions that Jesus didn’t exist. The extensive documentation of Jesus’ life by contemporary writers, his profound historical impact, and the confirming tangible evidence of history have persuaded scholars that Jesus really did exist. Could a myth have done all that? All but a few extremely skeptical scholars say no.

Dr. Michael Grant of Cambridge has written, “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.’ In recent years ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus.’ ”17

Yale historian Jaroslav Pelikan declared, “Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost twenty centuries. … It is from his birth that most of the human race dates its calendars, it is by his name that millions curse and in his name that millions pray.”

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33 Responses to “Was Jesus A Real Person?”

  1. Princess said

    Flavius Josephus, does he mean this Josephus?

    “According to Josephus, however, in circumstances that are somewhat unclear, Josephus found himself trapped in a cave with forty of his companions. The Romans asked him to surrender once they discovered where he was, but his companions refused to allow this. He therefore suggested a method of collective suicide: they draw lots and killed each other, one by one, counting to every third person. The sole survivor of this process was Josephus (this method as a mathematical problem is referred to as the Josephus problem, or Roman Roulette [7]) Josephus and one of his soldiers then surrendered to the Roman forces invading Galilee in July 67 and became prisoners”

    how convenient. he suggested and allowed 38 of his companions to kill each other and then surrendered. sounds like a trustworthy and upstanding type of guy.

    i should get him to write my biography. or at least invite him to my next party.

  2. Jesus’ historical existence is proven by his skeletal remains found in Talpiot, Jerusalem in 1980. The Bone Box

  3. dorian9 said

    good and interesting read, kay.
    i like history and would read these over those devotionals which border on hysteria.

  4. makarios said

    Good effort. Too bad it’s all a waste of time. Atheists aren’t atheists for a lack of evidence nor do they disbelieve in the historical Jesus for a lack of evidence. Like those who deny the holocaust out of need / desire, so too the atheist’s denial of God.

  5. dorian9 said

    hello makarios, good site. http://makarios-makarios.blogspot.com/

    in reading mr. mcdurmon’s article, what caught my eye was nietzsche’s misogyny in his regard of george eliot: “little moralistic females à la eliot…”
    and mr. mcdurmon’s own misogyny in “nietzsche spies the inconsistency and condemns her (and thus Dawkins) as a weak, effeminate, and illogical atheist…”

    eliot’s calling the christian faith “immoral” did reveal her inconsistency. morality is not a word that atheists speak of, is it? i wonder whether ms. eliot would have been so dismissed had it not been known that she was female. there was a reason for the pseudonyms of georges sand, george eliot, and vernon lee.

    mr. mcdurmon seems disappointed by the lack of intellectual superiority amongst modern atheists and refers to nietzsche as “arch atheist”. this type of snobbery and highest regard for those who consider themselves superior is found easily in atheist circles. there are christian bigots and there are atheist bigots. both are detrimental to the well-being of society.

    oh, thanks for the new oxymoron. no , i haven’t met any “humble atheists”.

  6. kay~ms said

    Makarios.. I agree, people are atheists, for the most part, out of a need to pacify their egos. But I do believe there are many out there who are open to the truth but may need some “scientific” support. I believe that God does fulfill those needs while still leaving room for a person to meet Him half way with some amount of faith. At that point, the people who desire Him will “grow” their faith and those that don’t, won’t.

  7. dorian9 said

    kay – what do keller and oprah have in common? keller is a billion dollars behind her but find the answer in the last line of makarios’ latest post:

    http://makarios-makarios.blogspot.com/

  8. Moonsray said

    When Osiris is said to bring his believers eternal life in Egyptian Heaven, contemplating the unutterable, indescribable glory of God, we understand that as a myth.

    When the sacred rites of Demeter at Eleusis are described as bringing believers happiness in their eternal life, we understand that as a myth.

    In fact, when ancient writers tell us that in general ancient people believed in eternal life, with the good going to the Elysian Fields and the not so good going to Hades, we understand that as a myth.

    When Vespatian’s spittle healed a blind man, we understand that as a myth.

    When Apollonius of Tyana raised a girl from death, we understand that as a myth.

    When the Pythia , the priestess at the Oracle at Delphi, in Greece, prophesied, and over and over again for a thousand years, the prophecies came true, we understand that as a myth.

    When Dionysus turned water into wine, we understand that as a myth. When Dionysus believers are filled with atay, the Spirit of God, we understand that as a myth.

    When Romulus is described as the Son of God, born of a virgin, we understand that as a myth.

    When Alexander the Great is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman, we understand that as a myth.

    When Augustus is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal , we understand that as a myth. woman

    When Dionysus is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman, we understand that as a myth.

    When Scipio Africanus is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman, we understand that as a myth.

    So how come when Jesus is described as
    the Son of God,
    born of a mortal woman,
    according to prophecy,
    turning water into wine,
    raising girls from the dead, and
    healing blind men with his spittle,
    and setting it up so His believers got eternal life in Heaven contemplating the unutterable, indescribable glory of God, and off to Hades—er, I mean Hell—for the bad folks…
    how come that’s not a myth?

  9. dorian9 said

    nice list of greeks romans egyptian magicians and prophets there, moonsray!

    i’m impressed by all and it’s possible that not all were myths because there are historical accounts evidencing their existence . but then that’s just my opinion. i favor the israelite. why? he is still relevant to multitudes of people and more important than historical account (that big book everybody talks about), his teachings and example are still being followed and instill faith in people’s hearts. walking on water, turning water in to wine, raising the dead, etc…? may be symbolic or myth, or it may be that Jesus was the best magi ever. or just maybe he was a perfected soul, a Christ. but there needs to be no justification for faith or any other thing that comes from the heart.

    there is hades/hell here on earth and a touch of heaven too. i believe that there is not just One way to follow the Christ even if others insist their way is the right and only way. just as the bard said, ” a rose by any other name…”

  10. Princess said

    well, i don’t know who originally wrote that, but i found the same thing at this website:

    http://www.pocm.info/getting_started_pocm.html

    i have a question, D9, if we copy & paste are we required to give our resources?

  11. Moonsray said

    he is still relevant to multitudes of people … his teachings and example are still being followed and instill faith in people’s hearts.

    Am I correct then that Buddha’s miracles were real? And Krishna’s? And Ganesha’s?

  12. Jesus’ historical existence is proven physically by his ossuary found in Jerusalem in 1980.

  13. dorian9 said

    real to those receiving the effects of those miracles – past present and future. that’s my belief. others, as you know, will follow a particular religious dogma. it’s not about religion for me, but faith.

  14. Princess said

    Makarios, although I am labeled an atheist, I do not consider myself to be morally superior or even equal to believers. My morals are next to nothing. If you have a problem with that, tell it to eecummings.
    Perhaps you used to feel that you were a morally superior athiest, now you just think you are a morally superior Christian. Doesn’t sound like you have really changed that much.

    Moonray, did you write that or did you just borrow it from:
    http://www.pocm.info/getting_started_pocm.html ?

  15. Princess said

    Makarios, although I am labeled an atheist, I do not consider myself to be morally superior or even equal to believers. My morals are next to nothing. If you have a problem with that, tell it to eecummings.
    Perhaps you used to feel that you were a morally superior athiest, now you just think you are a morally superior Christian. Doesn’t sound like you have really changed that much.

  16. Princess said

    moonray, did you write that? seems like i have read that somewhere else.
    you know, what you said about the god psoriasis.
    sounds familiar. ???????????

  17. kay~ms said

    Moonsray… what a great question… but I think your point supports the argument for Jesus. If He was just another myth He would have faded away like the rest of them.

  18. kay~ms said

    Dorian… it’s the opposite that would make your point correct… if Bill were to preach the opposite of what he preaches then he would have a much much larger following.

    Oprah is saying that we can do no wrong in a sense…THAT’S what everyone wants to hear… Bill is saying the opposite, that we are all sinners… NO ONE wants to hear that…

  19. dorian9 said

    my point was bill, like oprah, are both preaching what their individual audiences want to hear. bill is telling you want you want to hear, right? same idea, different audiences. they’re both getting money for their words. why is oprah so popular? i would think it’s because she’s positive, glass half-full and all that. instead of threats of damnation and rants about sinners, why not tell bill to put a more positive spin to his preaching? he always sounds like a resentful and jealous person. couldn’t he be more forgiving? it’s all in the delivery sometimes. he could use a p.r person, don’t you think?

  20. dorian9 said

    yes sources need to be referenced for cut and pasted copy

  21. Princess said

    thanks, that is what i thought.
    “thou shalt not steal” – Moses.

    pompous athiest,
    conservitude christians,
    these 2 groups should go out on a speeddate.
    i could just sit there and ring the bell or buzzer, or whatever.
    i don’t mind, i’m willing to make the sacrifice.

    anyway, the other site where i saw it was total athiest from the look of it, i didnt check it out too much. i think the color scheme was brown. had some sounds, some chick screaming about christmas. no torture pictures. kinda boring.

    i wonder if i can get wyndee to put up the link for the honors system.? kay is not the only one that needs to brush up on being nice to people.

  22. Princess said

    http://web.mac.com/itamarbernstein/iWeb/Site/The%20Bone%20Box.html

    “the bone box” – itamar bernstein.

    that site seems interesting and relevant to this debate. i will read that later.
    cocktail time.

  23. Princess said

    “WAS JESUS REAL?”….
    hmmmmm!!!…………
    well,…………….
    if bill keller of liveprayer.com is any indication of what jesus was like,
    those bloodthirsty jews were making a “BIG” mistake.
    what they were doing was “TOTALLY ALL WRONG”.

    really, what they should have done was to hammer a nail in every square inch of his body.
    When you start to dismember,
    the parts tend to crawl away.
    just like in that movie “the thing”
    if you haven’t seen it you should netflix it now,
    it has a lot of great ideas for handling a situation like this.

    SO BE CAREFUL

    then, remove the head, it must be taken to another continent,
    preferably africa.
    africa, the forgotten continent.
    by the year 2012 when sarah palin is elected president. everyone is going to think africa is just another country, similar to brazil.
    but who cares, they are only gonna have a few week to live anyway,
    dec 21, 2012.

    at least we will get to have thanksgiving.
    sounds like the christian thing to do,
    especially since there won’t be any christmas. too bad for wal-mart.

    burn the remains before the chinese make won tons out of it.
    they will probably never get over how they got shafted after the collapse of the tower of babel. poor chinese. no wonder they are so uptight. we should probably chisel their language into some granite somewhere, place it upright, in case they survive, again. really, we should probably try to be nicer to them next time.
    and the native americans, boy, did they get a bum rap.

    i know the head won’t shut up, just deal with it.
    duct tape the mouth and place the head in a recyclable bag.
    the bag will rot over time, but the head won’t.
    eventually it will start to multiply.
    so bury it real, real deep. like a bunch of cubits or something.
    use as many slaves as you need. sky’s the limit.
    if they act up, get moses to smite them. he really is quite good at it.
    i think he has been practicing.
    build something over it like a pyramid or a stonehenge, but try to be more creative next time. try using fractals.
    in the future, those things will be protected by laws,
    the monuments, not the heads.

    eventually, the heads start to branch out.
    that usually takes about a couple 1000 years or so, give or take.
    after a while it just gets crazy. wait till you see it.
    i know, i could hardly believe it myself.
    don’t write about it,
    don’t blog about it,
    try to keep this thing, hush, hush.
    that was probably our biggest mistake to begin with.

    then, just sit back and keep your fingers crossed that mel gibson doesn’t cash in on making a film about “that” god-awful scenario.
    you know he would.
    hollywood is for the jews,
    not anti-semantics.

    gee whiz,

    and whatever you do,
    do NOT let the catholics get their sticky little fingers on the head.
    they will make such a big deal about it,
    they always do.

    watch out for guys named martin luther,
    they always put a wrench in the plan.
    they could be moles or something. ?????

    watch out for yoko ono, she must be chinese or something, she sticks her nose into everything. then she has to go and write a song about it.
    hell…..who needs hell?
    that should be punishment enough, don’t you think?

    but the good news is,
    i doubt jesus is anything like bill keller,
    so, we can let it slide this time
    but, never let it happen again…..ok?

    so, “WAS JESUS REAL?”
    i suppose he could be real if he wanted to be,
    i can do it,
    it seems to be easy,
    and i’m kinda a moron.

    that is just my 2 cents.

  24. makarios said “Atheists aren’t atheists for a lack of evidence nor do they disbelieve in the historical Jesus for a lack of evidence.”

    I disagree. Atheism is the lack of a belief in gods. If atheists had evidence for gods, why wouldn’t they believe in them? Do you think they are deliberately seeking eternal punishment from vindictive gods? That doesn’t make much sense.

    Atheists don’t believe in gods for the same reason Christians don’t believe in 99% of the gods that humans have ever believed in and for the same reason I think it’s unlikely Jesus existed – there just isn’t any credible evidence to support the hypothesis. Atheists are interested in truth. The list of gods & monsters that *might* exist is endless. Are we to believe in all of them? If not, which? It seems logical to me that we believe only in those that are supported by hard evidence.

    In the case of Jesus, the evidence against his existence is pretty overwhelming.

    1. There isn’t a single eyewitness account nor a contemporary account of his life.

    2. Not a single Jewish scholar living in the Judaea region from 20 – 40 CE mentions any messiah figure doing miracles and angering the Sanhedrin.

    3. The details of Jesus’ supposed life and deeds mirrors the list of other messiah figures Moonsray cut & pasted above (as well as others such as Krishna & Heracles). If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, Occam’s Razor says it probably *is* a duck.

    4. This last point is important when people make comparisons to Alexander (or anyone else in ancient history). If Alexander had been described as just another messianic figure, historians would be right to be skeptical about his existence as well. I love it when people like the author of this post compare Jesus’ existence to someone like Alexander and not to someone like Heracles or Krishna, much better comparisons.

    Keep in mind that, as an atheist, it doesn’t matter a great deal to me if Jesus existed or not. If he did I would still have a very hard time believing he was anything other than a man. So atheists have nothing to gain by suggesting Jesus didn’t exist. Christians, on the other hand, *do* have a bias. Without Jesus’ existence, their whole belief system crumbles. However if he did exist, it means little to an atheist.

  25. kay~ms said

    Hi Cameron… first #1 is completely incorrect… there are several books in the New Testament of detailed eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life. And to say that there are no “contemporary” accounts is also false… there are many books written about Jesus that didn’t make it into the Bible. And beyond that… you cannot say there are no accounts, contemporary or otherwise, of Jesus life… all you can say is there are no known (to you) accounts. Jesus lived here on Earth 2000 years ago… lots of things can happen, lots of variables that could affect the documentation that has survived to today. Lots of agendas in that time by the Jews and the Romans, could easily affect the documentation that we have or don’t have today. To not take into account these things is somewhat ignorant and to make statements of fact that are not so is irresponsible and biased.

    As to #3… if it “walks like a duck” and “talks like a duck” but survives for 2000 years when the ducks just died out… then it’s not a duck.

    Now, I want to post this comment that Makarios made on his blog site… and I would really like to get your explanation / thoughts …

    Makarios said…
    Dear Kay, in the sincere hope that Hump the atheist gets a hernia reacting to this evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord and Saviour, I give you the following

    Absolutely none of what you’re about to read has anything to do with the Bible being inspired or infallible or any other trappings of religion. These are historical facts attested to by the vast majority of secular, atheist and Christian historical scholars.

    The reason that I’m not using the documents that were later compiled into what we now know as the New Testament is of course, atheists have a double standard when it comes to judging ancient documents.

    Something that critics like Hump seem to forget is that the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as well as Acts of the Apostles and the other letters that are included in the New Testament weren’t written FOR inclusion into the Bible. What are now part of the Bible were once independent documents circulating throughout the Christian and non Christian community. These guys weren’t journalists working for something like, “Bible Magazine.” The documents that were compiled into what we know today as the New Testament were separate ancient documents, written by people who were interested in the life of Jesus. Some had been followers of or students of Jesus. Others, like Dr. Luke were historians. These people had no idea that what they’d written would one day become part of the biggest and most important movement in history.

    While there will always be those on the lunatic fringe who attempt to deny historical facts (eg. holocaust), to deny that there is extra Biblical factually accurate information regarding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus requires that you be either profoundly ignorant or a determined liar and most importantly, you must lie to yourself about what is factually and historically true. The question that needs to be asked by Hump and anyone else looking into the resurrection of Jesus is, “Why would the following have occurred if the facts of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection weren’t as described?”

    There is absolutely no sustainable reason for the following historical events to have occurred unless the essential facts of Jesus death and resurrection are true.

    If Jesus didn’t die on the cross:
    Why would Josephus, Matthew, Tacitus, Mark, Lucian of Samosata, Dr. Luke, Mara Bar-Serapion, John, The Babylonion Talmud and John Dominic Crossan, the Founder of the “Jesus Seminar” all attest that Jesus’ crucifixion is historical fact? And why would that be when all but Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are non Christians?

    If Jesus didn’t die on the cross, why would these historians and scholars write that He did? Why would they simply invent these stories? There was/is absolutely nothing of earthly value to be gained by concocting this as a lie.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    . Why do we have multiple, independent, extra Biblical sources attesting to the risen Jesus?
    . Why do we have virtually unanimous modern historical scholarship agreeing that the disciples truly believed they saw Jesus alive after His death on the cross.
    . Why would atheist historian and New Testament critic Gerd Ludemann say, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”
    . Why would atheist historian Paula Fredriksen say, “I don’t know what they saw, but as a historian I know they believed they saw Jesus.”
    . Why would highly critical New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann agree that historical criticism can establish “the fact that the first disciples came to believe in the resurrection and that they thought they had seen the risen Jesus.”
    . Why would atheist and founder of the Jesus Seminar state, “The Jesus was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be” if Jesus wasn’t a historical figure?

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make sense. Why would the ENEMIES of Christianity affirm the historical facts regarding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus if the evidence isn’t accurate and compelling?

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    . Why would all the disciples, plus hundreds and hundreds of others believe that they saw Him alive?
    . Why would they say that they spoke with Him?
    . Why would they say that they ate with Him at various times and various places?
    . If none of that is true, why would they be willing to die for making up the lie of seeing Jesus alive? There was absolutely nothing of earthly value to be gained, and everything to lose by concocting the supposed lies about Jesus life, death and resurrection.

    REMEMBER these people didn’t believe someone else’s lie. Over the centuries many people have died for believing someone else’s lies. But if THESE people died for a lie, it was THEIR lie! They died for saying they saw Jesus alive again after His death. Liars simply do not make martyrs of themselves.

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, their willingness to die for the “truth” doesn’t make any sense.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why do we have Paul’s testimony about His encounter with Jesus and why do we have his radical transformation in character from a persecutor of the Church and a killer of Christians to the greatest missionary that the Christian Church has ever seen?

    Remember, Paul:
    . Was a rabid sceptic when Jesus appeared to him.
    . Was an enemy of the Church when Jesus appeared to him.

    This is not like most conversions whereby the person reads or hears something that persuades h/her to change. Paul’s evidence for the risen Jesus was first hand and so convincing that he endured years of hardship, persecution and rejection for proclaiming the risen Lord, before finally being beheaded by Nero in 64AD.

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this change in Paul’s character doesn’t make any sense. He had absolutely nothing of earthly value to gain, and everything to lose by concocting a story of meeting Jesus while on His way to persecute the Church.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    . Why in the world would Jesus’ brothers James and Jude go to their deaths proclaiming that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead?
    . Why would they claim that they had seen Him alive after His death?
    . Why would they confess that Jesus is the Lord God, Messiah?
    Think about it! This was their half-brother, someone that they’d previously mocked and ridiculed. James’ and Jude’s conversions were a drastic change from thinking their Brother was insane and an embarrassment to the family.

    What would it take for you to make this kind of change? What would it take for you to die for that change? For me, it would take nothing LESS than a resurrection.

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this change in the beliefs of Jesus’ siblings doesn’t make any sense. They had absolutely nothing of earthly value to gain and everything to lose if what they said about Jesus appearing to them after His death was not true.

    Remember, Both Paul and James were sceptics at the time that Jesus appeared to them. Why would they become His followers if His resurrection wasn’t historical fact?

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why was His tomb empty?
    . Jesus’ ENEMIES were the ones to CONFIRM that the body was missing by proposing that the disciples stole it.
    . The disciples didn’t have the power nor the inclination to steal His body. They were hiding behind locked doors.
    . Jesus’ enemies had no reason to steal the body and every reason to keep it right where it was. They posted an armed guard, and sealed the tomb with the Governor’s seal to make sure that nothing happened to the body.
    . The first proclamations of the empty tomb were made right there in Jerusalem where Jesus was murdered and buried. The tomb could have been easily checked out.

    If the resurrection isn’t historical fact, how is it that the tomb was empty with no sound explanation other than the resurrection?

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why do the ancient documents written by Jesus’ followers make the “mistake” of saying that women (who at the time were seen as lower than dogs and not capable of telling the truth) were the ones who discovered the empty tomb and encountered the risen Lord. If it wasn’t true, if the disciples were trying to convince others of a lie, if the resurrection wasn’t historical fact, why would the writers invent the testimony of women to say that it was true?

    If the resurrection isn’t historical fact, it doesn’t make any sense that His followers would do that.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why did Josephus, Hegesippus and Clement of Alexandria all non Christians and all historians write about Jesus’ brother James, his leadership in the Jerusalem Church and his martyrdom for proclaiming Jesus as risen Lord and Saviour?

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense. I think they would only write these things if the evidence convinced them that it was accurate.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why do we have an early oral tradition or creed that dates from the second or third month after Jesus’ death attesting to the fact of Him rising from the dead. 1st Corinthians 15:1-10

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense. There is no hint of legend or exaggeration in this oral tradition. And these people had their lives to lose by repeating it. Why would they do that if it wasn’t true?

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why do we have the written works of the early Church with hymns, poetry and creeds, stemming from the early oral history telling about Jesus rise from the dead?

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, we simply wouldn’t have this.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why do we have the Christian Church? Paul told early Christians, “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, your faith is worthless.”

    Without the resurrection being historical fact there wouldn’t be any Christianity. Yet here it is today, over 2 billion strong.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    How did Paul know what He knew about Jesus prior to any contact with the apostles and why would they accept Paul as one of their own based on what he was teaching about Jesus? This was an “outsider” eager to kill the leaders of the early Jesus movement, now coming to them with a knowledge of Jesus’ teaching equal to those who had been insiders.

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, and without Jesus appearing to Paul and teaching Paul about Himself, this doesn’t make any sense.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why do we have the four ancient biographies of Jesus, one of them by historian and physician Luke (Which was written before Acts which was written before Paul died in 64AD) who got his information from eyewitnesses all affirming the resurrection of Jesus? Why would they tell Luke that these things happened if they weren’t true? They paid for that “lie” with their lives.

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    Why do we have Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Polycarp and others, all saying that they had been taught by the apostles that Jesus had risen from the dead. And THEN, all of these men were themselves martyred based on the believability of what the disciples had told them. These were not ignorant, gullible men. Yet the evidence made sense to them.

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, how could that happen?

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
    What would account for the disciple’s radical transformation from fearful and cowardly men who denied Jesus and who ran away from Him during His trial, to bold individuals who were so confident of the truth of what they saw and heard regarding His resurrection, that they were willing to undergo years of persecution as well as torture and death rather than change their story.

    Peter watched his own wife being crucified just prior to his own crucifixion. Surely, if the risen Jesus was a lie concocted by Peter himself, he wouldn’t have allowed that to happen.

    Without the resurrection, this type of behaviour doesn’t make any sense.

    If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
    . Why was it that Polycarp wrote of the endurance under torture of Paul, Ignatius, Zosimus, and Rufus for their belief in the risen Christ?
    . Why was it that Ignatius also wrote of the suffering and death of the apostles?
    . Why was it that Polycarp and Ignatius were both martyred?
    . Why would they be willing to die in such a manner if the accounts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection weren’t accurate?

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense.

    If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
    Why would we have confirming accounts of the disciples teaching and deaths in Roman public records called “Lives of the Caesars.”

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense.

    If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
    Why would Origen write, “Jesus, who has both risen AND led His disciples to believe in His resurrection and so thoroughly persuaded them of its truth that they showed to all men by their suffering how they were able to laugh at life’s troubles beholding to life eternal and a resurrection clearly demonstrated to them in word and deed by this one Jesus.”

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, it doesn’t make any sense that Origen would write that.

    If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
    Why do we have Eusebius, Dionysius of Corinth, Tertullian, Hegesibous, Josephus, Clement of Alexandria, all of these sources, Christian and non Christian alike affirming the historicity of Jesus and the disciples willingness to die for what they believed to be true.

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, it doesn’t make any sense that these many and varied individuals would make this stuff up.

    If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
    . Why is it that Luke writes that Jesus spent about 40 days with the disciples after He rose from the dead, and
    . Why can it be further calculated that about 50-55 days after His death, Jesus’ followers started proclaiming His resurrection, and
    . Why did Tacitus, an ENEMY of Christianity, write “Jesus’ execution by Pontius Pilot checked, for the moment, the Christian movement but it then broke out with force not only in Judea but even in Rome.”
    . Why would these accounts, one from a follower of Jesus and one from a secular historian and enemy of Christianity be so similar unless they’re true?

    Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense.

    Absolutely none of what I’ve just written has anything to do with the Bible being inspired or infallible or any other trappings of religion. These are historical facts attested to by the vast majority of secular, atheist and Christian historical scholars. While there will always be those on the lunatic fringe who attempt to deny historical facts (eg. holocaust) to deny that there is extra Biblical factually accurate information regarding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus requires that you be either profoundly ignorant or a determined liar and most importantly, you must lie to yourself about what is factually and historically true. There is absolutely no sustainable reason for the above historical events to have occurred unless the essential facts of Jesus death and resurrection are true.

    These questions, stemming from this evidence demands more than just a flippant, “People rising from the dead is impossible.” Something totally “other” happened back then and ignoring it is not a rational nor a logical thing to do.

    If Jesus did in fact supernaturally rise from the dead, then what He taught about being the Son of God and about the existence of Creator God must also be true. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus demands a verdict. With the evidence so overwhelmingly pointing to the fact of His resurrection, one can do three things:

    . Submit to Jesus as Lord and Saviour – Or

    . Lie to yourself that none of this proves anything – Or

    . Say to yourself, “I don’t care if God is real, I’m going to live my life, my way.”

  26. @kay~ms

    The most important concept to understand why we should be skeptical about the Jesus myth is that we do not have a single direct eyewitness or contemporary account of the life of Jesus. Many people, both Christians and non-Christians, assume that the canonical gospels contained in the New Testament are first-hand eyewitness accounts. However, there is no evidence to support this position and most biblical scholars, including Christians, agree that the NT gospels are probably not first-hand eyewitness accounts.

    In fact, we cannot even be certain who wrote the NT gospels, as they are written anonymously. The names attributed to them (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) were provided by Papias somewhere around 150CE. We know this because Eusebius, writing around 330CE, tells us so.

    So, the best we can say is:

    A guy living in 330CE (Eusebius) tells us that a guy who lived 180 years earlier (Papias) was told by someone else (we don’t know who) that another guy (Mark) knew a guy (Peter) who said he witnessed the life of another guy (Jesus) who performed miracles.

    It’s a terrible case of Chinese whispers that loses even more credibility when you realize that everyone involved was a religious zealot living in the Middle East 1700 – 1900 years ago.

    The Argument From Silence

    Before I get to the people mentioned by the PRO side, it’s important to understand that aside from the fact that we don’t have a single eyewitness account of the life of Jesus, we also don’t have a single CONTEMPORARY account, or a recorded mention of such an account, that was written during his lifetime. There were plenty of literate people, including writers and historians, that lived in and around Jerusalem in the 1st century. None of them even mentions Jesus.

    For example, Philo of Alexandria (c25 BCE – c47 CE) wrote extensively about the Jewish religion and commentaries on contemporary politics. We have copies of about thirty manuscripts. Yet Philo doesn’t write a single word about Jesus, Christianity nor any of the events described in the New Testament.

    Surely such writers would have written about a Jew who was raising the dead, overturning tables at the temple, healing the sick, walking on water, and who rose from the dead? Even if it was to deny that he was the Messiah, he would have deserved a mention.

    The Case of Tacitus

    This clause in Tacitus has problems.

    For a start, no early Christian writers refer to Tacitus. The Christian defense is that this is because his reference is negative, but Tertullian, Lactantius, Eusebius and Augustine of Hippo don’t even make reference to Tacitus when discussing Christian persecution by Nero, when it would have been entirely relevant. Perhaps they weren’t aware of the work, but that presents a problem in the case of the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (c. 363 – c. 425), where the a clause is present almost word-for-word, without reference to Tacitus.

    Tacitus:

    Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.

    Severus:

    He therefore turned the accusation against the Christians, and the most cruel tortures were accordingly inflicted upon the innocent. Nay, even new kinds of death were invented, so that, being covered in the skins of wild beasts, they perished by being devoured by dogs, while many were crucified or slain by fire, and not a few were set apart for this purpose, that, when the day came to a close, they should be consumed to serve for light during the night. (1)

    The Tacitus passage also mistakenly calls Pontius Pilate a procurator instead of a prefect. Procurators didn’t control Judea until after Herod Agrippa’s death in 44 CE. Tacitus, who himself became first a consul and then proconsul, had a precise knowledge of significance of the terms involved and it is unlikely he would have mistaken “procurator” for “prefect” to describe the governor of Judea.

    Furthermore, recent investigations by Oskar Augustsson, Institute for Higher Critical Studies, using ultraviolet photography on the oldest existing copy of Tacitus, shows what appears to be alterations of the word chrestianos (“the good”) overwritten as christianos (“the Christians”) by a later hand. (2)

    Josephus

    The section of Josephus’ “Antiquities Of The Jews” most commonly referred to by Christians, the “Testimonium Flavianumm”, is considered a forgery by most scholars. This in itself is a telling point. We have to accept that the early Christian authorities were happy to, and felt the NEED to, create forgeries in order to bolster their assertions that Jesus actually lived. Once they had become a major power in Rome in the 4th century, they had the ability to destroy documents that didn’t suit them and doctor whatever other documents they required.

    The section of Josephus referred to, which is found in Book 20 of the Antiquities, mentions SEVERAL men called Jesus, including Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, and Jesus, the son of Damneus, who were both high priests. If we accept that the works of Josephus were tampered with by Christian authorities, we should automatically be skeptical of any reference contained within them about to Jesus. The oldest versions we have of Josephus date from around 1000CE (3). How can we possibly know if the words “the so-called Christ” were inserted by Christian authorities between the original writing of the document in 95 CE and the earliest version we have from 900 years later? We don’t. However we do not, from the fraud contained in the TF, that inserting sections into Josephus wasn’t beyond Christian authorities.

    Extrabiblical Accounts

    Reference in the Gospels to actual living persons is not evidence that the Jesus in the Gospels actually lived. The Iliad and The Odyssey of Homer are just two examples of mythologies involving Gods and humans with supernatural powers set in actual places and involving characters which may have been historical. Surrounding a myth with historical characters and in historical places gives it an additional dimension of trustworthiness.

    Insufficient Time

    Apologists typically suggest that “there was not enough time between Jesus death and the writing of gospels for there to have been a formulated Jesus legend hypothesis”. This argument makes no sense. If Jesus never existed or, as some people believe (4), the story was based on the legends of Yeshu ben Pandera (a Jewish mystic whose mother was Mary, who was born out of wedlock, who performed magic feats in Egypt, challenged the authorities and was crucified around 70 BCE), then there was plenty of time for a mythology to evolve before Paul started writing his Epistles.

    The Rule of Parsimony

    The Rule of Parsimony actually works in FAVOUR of the Jesus myth hypothesis.

    See my conclusion for details.

    Comparisons with Mediterranean mystery religions

    As this debate is trying to determine the historicity of Jesus, and not where the individual elements of the Jesus myth may have been adapted from, there is no need to attempt to draw analogies between other Mediterranean mystery religions. All that we need acknowledge is that other Mediterranean mystery religions not only existed but were commonplace during the 1st century CE as they had been for many centuries and that the fables of Mithras, Krishna, Dionysos, and other mystery gods contain elements of the Jesus story (5) (born on the Winter Solstice, virgins birth, a son of a god, the saviour, was crucified, resurrected, ascended into the sky, etc), although none matches all of the elements.

    Harkening back to the “Rule Of Parsimony”, we might say that if it looks like a mystery cult and it smells like a mystery cult, and there is no firsthand eyewitness evidence to the contrary, then it probably *is* a mystery cult.

    Conclusion

    Here are the basic facts as I understand them:

    1. Not a single firsthand eyewitness account of Jesus exists.
    2. Not a single contemporary account of Jesus exists.
    3. The majority of historians writing in and around Judea in the 1st century make no mention of Jesus.
    4. The few historians who do seem to mention him are either proven frauds or suspect.
    5. The details of Jesus’ life and his deeds are paralleled in the story of many other mystery gods that predated or co-existed with him.
    6. Logic states that if it looks like a mystery cult and it smells like a mystery cult, and there is no firsthand eyewitness evidence to the contrary, then it probably *is* a mystery cult.

    Sources:

    1. Severus http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf211.ii.vi.ii.xxix.html
    2. Augustsson http://chrestianos.jesuspusslet.se/
    3. Josephus http://www.windmillministries.org/frames/CH11A.htm
    4. Ben Pandera http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeshu_Ben_Pandera
    5. Mystery Cults http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/JesusEvidenceCrucifiedSaviors.htm#Krishna

  27. kay~ms said

    Cameron… how can you say…

    “1. Not a single firsthand eyewitness account of Jesus exists.”

    How do you conclude that this is a fact?? James, Peter & Jude; all 3 of these authors knew Jesus personally, and James was His brother. They identify themselves as the authors.

  28. Gottfried Liebchild said

    Where in non-Christian sources do you find Nazareth, Passover time and “sorcery”? Talmud is much too late to be a valid source. By the way, Tacitus does not mention Chrestus, but Christus.

  29. Kay I am sorry but truthfully I can probably write an account of Jesus’ life say the holy spirit moved me and told me what to write. But what if those things mention Jesus more as a man than son of God. What would you say if I wrote an account that I believed to be inspired by God, of his sons life and that he was married and had a family etc etc. I will tell you the first thing you would call me is a false prophet and say that Satan deceived me. In fact if anyone wrote anything that they said was inspired by God and God told him I want everyone to know this and he started to pass them out. He would be called a false prophet and probably commited. But if I was to teach something from the bible say this is what it means and declare myself a prophet of god, then I would be celebrated as a man of god. Yet, the same gospels were labeled as heresy by the Hebrew religion for at least 200 years. And those documents turned into what we know of the church today. But if it happened today it would go against the church and therefore not be of God. And every prophet in the bible was denounced at first by the Church of whatever time. God helped every prophet win over the hearts and minds of people. And if you refute my claim that you would not be blowing the false prophet fake word of god whistle. I have one name Joseph Smith.

    Did Jesus exist the answer is A man name Ysha (pronounce Yeshua not sure on the exact transliteration of Hebrew letters to english but I know it reads as that name.) This is the Hebrew equivalent to the name Jesus, but it is also equivalent to the name Joshua in modern Hebrew. One noteworthy case was mentioned an event that is similar to what is described in the bible. There is an account I forgot the exact date but it was dated roughly 100 to 150 years before the CE began. (0 CE) This is a Jewish account of a man who committed heresy against the leaders of the Jewish Church of the time. He was tried and executed In early summer but after passover. The account of this heresy was probably told orally until around 0 CE. This gives it enough time to grow into the myth it is today Oral History like Narratives always change with the times. There is astrological evidence (there were star charts back in those days it was how they navigated the oceans.) that between 36 and 40 years before this event happened a star appeared brighter than all of the other stars. These things are apart of written non christian history I cannot give an exact website because it cannot be found I I found this information while I was studying Hebrew and the Torah and Talmud. If I find them again and post it up. But Cameron is correct the name attributed to Jesus in Hebrew was a favored name of the time period I mentioned. The hebrew faith does have an extensive collection of genealogies, births, deaths, and criminal punishment. All of these records are intact transcribed with careful ease and not tampered with at all. But to my point this man I am talking about named Yeshua did something so horrible that for centuries that name was said with venom and disdain. Much like if I named my son Lucifer or any variant back in the middle ages, I would receive similar treatment.

    And Kay, taking into account that much of early christian writings were destroyed after the Council of Nicea we have nothing to compare to the gospels We do not have access to the original Oral Story undiluted by hundreds and thousands of retelling by different people. Each time that story retold it changed little by little. So in my version of the truth the bible, is not an accurate reference point. Cameron’s version of the truth will be different to mine, may seem similar but it will be different. Because there is evidence that supports a man with the same name who died under similar circumstances. I can say that this event that happened long before King Herod was even born, happened. A man was born, taught new things had a following, claimed to be the son of god, was executed by leaders of the church. Those events are recorded as happened. As for the first hand accounts they were diluted by many many many generations of Oral Story telling before written down. As I have said before the Council of Nicea more than likely changed those writings to portray thier version of Jesus as a divine being free of sin. And because having offspring is a sin in thier eyes. (which is impossible for it to be a sin in the eyes of the God that they claim to be worshiping because he told abraham be fruitful and multiply. That was God’s commandment to Abraham making the sex a sin thing wrong. Premartial sex theologically is a sin, but not sex in general as the Catholic Church taught/teaches. Which is still the Church that tells all of Christiandom what is heretical and what is not. The brands of christianity that does not conform to what the Vatican declares as cannon is not recognized as christianity and is labeled as a cult. All denominations still follow the cannon of The Holy Roman Catholic Church. ) So the story of Christ was trunicated things were taken out and things were added. History was rewritten by the belief of the majority the belief of the minority was destroyed. By burning the teachings and killing the followers, this stuff actually happened. The victors claim right to write an account of what happened but that does not mean that is what actually happened. I will expound more on this later today when I post my next post.

  30. Centuraol said

    Спасибо, пост действительно толково написан и по делу, есть что почерпнуть.

  31. Enkill_Eridos said

    Вы, Centuraol для ваших добросердечных слов я радостен вы принял время прочитать наш блог, я не запомните если вы используете ваш самый беглый язык. Я лично не знаю русского но я действительно хотел был бы выучить его. (Я использую вебсайт перевода текста для писания этого.) Но если возможно, то смогли вы использовать английскую язык? Не что я помню действительно если вы вывешиваете ваши комментарии в различном языке своем как раз блокатор, то спам маркирует различные языки как спам когда оно не должно быть. Но я благодарю вас для читать наш блог и вывешивать комментарий.

    According to babel fish Centuraol’s comment was as below.

    Thanks, post is actually intelligently written and on business, there is that to get.

    And my comment written above looks like this.

    Thank you, Centuraol for your kind words I am glad you took the time to read our blog, I do not mind if you use your most fluent language. I personally do not know Russian but I really would like to learn it. (I am using a text translation website to write this.) But if it is possible could you use English? Not that I mind really if you post your comments in a different language its just the spam blocker marks different languages as spam when It should not be. But I thank you for reading our blog and posting a comment.

  32. kay~ms said

    E.. I will start out by quoting Cameron and I think this point pretty much sums it up…”In fact, we cannot even be certain who wrote the NT gospels, as they are written anonymously. The names attributed to them (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) were provided by Papias somewhere around 150CE. We know this because Eusebius, writing around 330CE, tells us so.

    Why is it that writings other than the books of the Bible are taken as “gospel” but the Gospel is not? Atheists are so quick to disprove the truth of the Bible by using other ancient writings that they have no more reason( and really, much much less reason) to believe. They are picking and choosing because they don’t want to believe in the Bible’s teachings.

    And E.. you did it too…

    You presented an argument against the existence of Jesus based on a single account…

    “One noteworthy case was mentioned an event that is similar to what is described in the bible. There is an account I forgot the exact date but it was dated roughly 100 to 150 years before the CE began. (0 CE) This is a Jewish account of a man who committed heresy against the leaders of the Jewish Church of the time. He was tried and executed In early summer but after passover. The account of this heresy was probably told orally until around 0 CE. This gives it enough time to grow into the myth it is today”

    You are completely ignoring the many many different accounts of the Bible that claim Jesus’ existence and also His Deity. And also the many many other accounts that didn’t make it into the Bible.

    I know, you say that these accounts have been falsified and changed… but whose to say that your sources that you chose to believe weren’t also falsified, changed or otherwise manipulated?

    That then leads us to motive… maybe the writers of these other accounts may have no motive for giving false information… and maybe the writers of the books of the Bible have NO motives for giving false information either!

    There are so many different writters of the Bible, there is so much written, with so much detail… what an elaborate hoax!! What a lot of work to get people to believe in a lie… a lie that doesn’t benefit any one single person or group of people. Not to mention that many of these men DIED for these “lies”.

    But then we get to your conspiracy theory of the Council of Nicea… that the writings of the Bible were manipulated and falsified on the orders of a particular ruler. This is your opinion and there is no proof that that is the case. I don’t know a lot about the history of the Bible but I have yet to read anything that convinces me that the Bible that we have today is not true and correct and is just as God wants it to be.

  33. irishanglican said

    Michael Grant, first rate all the way!

    Fr. Robert (Anglican)

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