Sunday, 8 June 2014

DID JESUS REALLY EXIST?

DID JESUS REALLY EXIST?
Edmund from Oban in Scotland asked me yesterday to Blog about whether or not Jesus Christ was or is a myth.

This topic has been exercising me lately and I have very firmly come up with the answer that Jesus of Nazareth was a real man that lived - and there is ample evidence available to prove his existence.

For me the best modern book about this topic is Bart D Ehrman's DID JESUS EXIST which is available on Amazon in print form and as a Kindle book. 

Ehrman is a highly regarded Biblical scholar and for me the fact that he is an agnostic or atheist even gives his arguments more credability. In other words he is not a a Christian trying to justify his faith. He is an academic and a scholar.

As far as Ehrman is concerned the "JESUS AS MYTH" is a theory mainly promoted by people who have no training as New Testament or early Christianity scholars. He says that this "IGNORANT SKEPTICISM" is spreading mainly on the internet.

Ehrman says that Jesus did really exist as a person. He also says that to comment adequately in this area you must have:

a. Years of work in this field.
b. Know languages like Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Aramaic, Syrian, Coptic, German and French.
c. Have a knowledge of early texts.
d. Know your theology.
Bart Ehrman

Ehrman says: "All scholars agree that Jesus was a Jewish man, known to be a preacher and teacher who was crucified by the Romans in Jerusalem during the reign of the roman emperor Tiberius when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea".

He lists the most famous proponents of the Jesus myth:

1. Albert Schweitzer.
Albert Schweitzer

2. Constantin Francois Volney - French - 18th century.
3. Charles Francois Dupuis - French - 18th century.
4. Bruno Baur - German - German - 19th century.
5. J M Robertson - British - 20th century.
6. Arthur Drews - German - 20th century.
7. Earl Doherty - modern.
8. Robert Price.

Ehrman says that there are no "physical" sources to prove Jesus existed - which is not surprising because Jesus was lower class and only upper class people leave sources behind them. Nor did Jesus leave and writings. Nor are there any non Christian sources from the 1st century.

But there are some non Christian sources for the life of Jesus:

1. Pliny the Younger who was the Roman governor for what is now Turkey.
Pliny the Younger

2. Suetonius who was the biographer of the Roman emperors.
3. Tacitus who wrote about the emperor Nero.
4. Josephus who wrote The Antiquities of the Jews.

Ehrman also says that the GOSPELS are real and are historical sources.

He also mentions other Christian writings of the time that have not been included in the Bible:

1. GOSPEL OF THOMAS - discovered in 1945.
2. GOSPEL OF PETER - discovered in 1886.
3. PAPYRUS EGERTON 2 -
4. The testimony of Saint Paul who never met Jesus.

It would take a massive work of scholarship and massive new discoveries to refute Bart Ehrman's proof that Jesus, as a man existed.

WAS JESUS GOD?

The question of whether Jesus was God or the Son of God of course is a different matter.

We Christians believe that on the basis of our faith.

I certainly believe it.

But of course I cannot prove it!

But no one can prove that Jesus was not God either!

+Pat Buckley
8.6.2014

27 comments:

  1. The quickest way to get a reaction in the modern world is to shout ‘religion!’ on a crowded server. From diehard fundamentalists to rabid atheists, the internet is a breeding ground for lunatics—all of whom will throw the world’s most-condescending temper tantrum if you question their insanity. Luckily, when it comes to answering some of the most important questions in history—such as ‘did Jesus really exist’—we have centuries of work by scholars and archaeologists to build on. This blog could not even begin an introduction?

    May I ask Bishop - are you a believer?

    Joan

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  2. The historicity of Jesus is virtually beyond dispute. The real question is that of his own ministry and the claims of himself and his followers. It takes someone who cares very, very much indeed about the outcome to try to argue that Jesus never wasn't at the center of a messianic ministry and was crucified by Pontius Pilate as a threat to social order in Judaea; much less that he was never born at all.

    H

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  3. The resurrection (of the sun) happens every morning. That's all it ever meant. All of Christianity and most other religions are a parody of pagan Sun worshiping.
    Also, the story was basically plagiarized at least 6 times over many thousands of years. The Jesus version is simply the most recent.

    I would LOVE to believe God exists but it simply not true.

    Youtube..."Religion Comes From Ancient Astrology and Sun Worship" in three 9-minute parts.

    Ribo

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  4. As a christian it's apparent to me that we aren't God and hence not our job to judge others of their believes. Those who does so have yet to understand the new testament. There is no need to fight with words or ideas, it's a simplier believe it or not and it is pretty much a choice of an individual , there is no wrong or right answer to it. We don't even know if there is a heaven or hell as we have yet to die... at least I have not seen it but at least many religion speaks about it's existences. The problem with humanity is that we tend to blame the uncomfortable circumstances on someone or even God. Humanity are often their own creator of their own sufferings. A person who cannot believe in a God would not believe in a God even if God appeared before him, simply having a mind that is too "intellectual" and explain it as a logical "magic show" I guess. My 2 cents.

    Daniel

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  5. jesus is real. the people who wrote that book ( the bible) are telling the truth. that's all I know. regardless of the suffering in the world and bad guys

    C

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  6. The main difference in ideas of the Christian God is that it's core message centered around love. Love of God being the closes to parental love ... but one which would be difficult for those who receive little love from their earthly parent or those who were orphan. Another key is that in Christianity you cannot pay for your own sins by doing good. The price of sin is paid for... but this does not means that Christian don't have to do good. It's clearly written in the bible that anyone who is indeed a covert of Christ would do good naturally , because that pleases God according to the law. And Jesus did simplify those laws written in old testament ... stating that if Christians loved God and people then we would certainly perform those law instinctively.

    J Girl

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  7. Probably in some cases. Or more accurately, religion may copy it's pattern from it predecessor but the ideology and mechanism of the believe system can be very different. Meaning if you read the whole scripture from beginning to end on various common faiths you may find similarities, but the final ideas that it's conveying is totally different from one another. Hence it's important to read the whole bible or sutra.

    Vicy

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  8. The question is Jesus existed or not the question is did Jesus REALLY DIE and did he really resurrected. Most of the time people who were assumed dead were actually alive and the Jesus thing happened some 2K years ago when people barely knew 10% of Medical science as today.

    Mandrill Baboonington

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  9. There will be no flame war. Militant Atheists are as bad as Christ-less Christians: they try to hide behind that they like to call "logic" but when presented with facts they either ridicule or play dead.

    Why, you think only believers have moments of doubt?

    Dan

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  10. If you cannot recognize militant atheists, try checking out the writings and interviews of Dawkins, Watson and the late Hitchens. Dawkins, for example, wastes more time in trying to attack the faith to God than actually doing science.

    And "logic" will stay in quotation marks as long it makes use of Abrahamic anthropocentricity to miraculously transform human logic into Universal logic. Would you do the same with simian or dolphin logic? Why not? Is there a scientific reason to consider humans anything more than a very recent evolutionary experiment?

    Having faith to a religion based on divine revelation a priori has no need for humanly-limited "logic". And yet militant Atheists accuse people of Faith of ignoring the facts and forgoing of proof, when they themselves choose to ignore historical facts and logical conclusions. But they are not alone.

    The contemporaries of Jesus witnessed miracles and yet they still willingly closed their eyes to them, limiting their acceptance to only the things their "logic" could contain. Because, when reality surpasses your ability to comprehend, it always has been and always will be a matter of choice. And, because (no matter what the serpent assured us of in the garden) we are not Gods, every choice comes with consequences.

    Kong

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  11. Flavius Josephus

    According to his Wikipedia entry: “Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100), was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70.”



    His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation (66–70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into 1st century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity.

    Josephus was a Jew who did not believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God or Christianity. In The Antiquities of the Jews, book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3 the famous historian Flavius Josephus writes:


    “Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” (source)

    Later Josephus writes:


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

    Josephus considered one of the greatest historians of antiquity, independently provides proof and evidence that Jesus was a real person who did exist and also confirms the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross under the orders of Pontius Pilate, thus confirming the Biblical account as well.

    Joe

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  12. Tacitus

    Cornelius Tacitus was a Roman Historian who lived from 55-120AD. In 115 AD, P. Cornelius Tacitus wrote the following passage that refers to Jesus (called “Christus,” which means “The Messiah”) in book 15, chapter 44 of The Annals after a six-day fire burned much of Rome:


    “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. 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.” (source)

    Despite the fact the clearly despised Christianity as a “mischievous superstition”, Tacitus no less confirms once again the existence of Jesus and His crucifixion on the cross, it also states Pontius Pilate as the procurator who oversaw the crucifixion again giving non-Biblical proof of Jesus’ existence as recorded in the Bible.

    Fra .QUB

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  13. Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, (61 AD – ca. 112 AD) : “better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. According to Wikipedia: “Pliny is known for his hundreds of surviving letters, which are an invaluable historical source for the time period. Many are addressed to reigning emperors or to notables such as the historian, Tacitus. Pliny himself was a notable figure, serving as an imperial magistrate under Trajan (reigned AD 98–117). Pliny was considered an honest and moderate man, consistent in his pursuit of suspected Christian members according to Roman law, and rose through a series of Imperial civil and military offices, the cursus honorum.”

    In his correspondence with the emperor Trajan (Epistulae X.96) he reported on his actions against the followers of Christ. He asks the Emperor for instructions dealing with Christians and explained that he forced Christians to curse Christ under painful torturous inquisition:


    “They were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of a meal–but ordinary and innocent food.” (source)

    So not only was Pliny aware of Jesus Christ, he also provides description of the activities of the early church. In a later writing he details persecution against Christians:


    “Even this practice, however, they had abandoned after the publication of my edict, by which, according to your orders, I had forbidden political associations. I therefore judged it so much more the necessary to extract the real truth, with the assistance of torture, from two female slaves, who were styled deaconesses: but I could discover nothing more than depraved and excessive superstition.

    In the meanwhile, the method I have observed towards those who have denounced to me as Christians is this: I interrogated them whether they were Christians; if they confessed it I repeated the question twice again, adding the threat of capital punishment; if they still persevered, I ordered them to be executed. For whatever the nature of their creed might be, I could at least feel not doubt that contumacy and inflexible obstinacy deserved chastisement. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.” (source)

    So here we see that not only did Pliny not follow the Christian faith, he was torturing Christians and threatening death against them. And he even records that under threat of execution (just for believing in Jesus Christ as God) the early church members refused to deny their faith in Jesus. This is remarkable evidence of Jesus’ existence outside of the Bible.

    Mary

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  14. Julius Africanus and Tallus

    Sextus Julius Africanus (c.160 – c.240) was a Christian traveller and historian of the late 2nd and early 3rd century AD. He is important chiefly because of his influence on Eusebius, on all the later writers of Church history among the Fathers, and on the whole Greek school of chroniclers
    Julius Africanus quotes the writings of Tallus, who was a first century non-Christian historian. In his Chronicles, Africanus quoting the historian Tallus, explains the reason for it being so dark during the day time on the day of crucifixion of Jesus Christ:


    “An eclipse of the sun’unreasonably, as it seems to me (unreasonably of course, because a solar eclipse could not take place at the time of the full moon, and it was at the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died.” Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18.

    The importance of this quote is two fold as it shows: 1) non-Christian proof of Jesus’ existence and 2) yet another confirmation of the Bible’s account of Jesus’ crucifixion. The Bible states in reference to the time Jesus was put on the cross: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour” The “sixth hour” is noon and the ninth hour is 3:00PM. Thus we see that the historian Thallus was trying to explain the odd occurrence of the sky being dark at noon during the crucifxion of Jesus as an eclipse. Africanus also quotes the secular scholar Phlegon, a Greek Historian who lived in the 2nd century AD and also wrote of an eclipse occuring on the day Jesus was crucified. This again provides proof from a non-Christian source that confirms the account of Jesus being a real person who lived as well as confirming the account of His crucifixion straight from the Bible.

    John

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  15. The Bible is Historical Proof That Jesus Existed


    The amount of New Testament manuscript evidence of Jesus Christ is greater than any other figure in antiquity.

    There is a great logical fallacy among Bible skeptics, atheists and those who like to challenge Christianity that says when discussing the historical aspects of the Bible “you can’t use the Bible as proof that Jesus existed. You must use non-Bible sources!!” To which this author says, “why not?” The four Gospels of the Bible are bibliographical accounts of the life of Jesus. The normal objective measure of the reliability of historical documents is: 1) The number of available copies of ancient manuscripts and 2) the time span between the original version and the date of those copies still in existence today. When examined under this standard, the Bible proves to provide a treasure trove of proof and evidence that Jesus really existed.

    Some of the earliest manuscript fragments of the New Testament are the John Rylands Fragment, Chester Beatty Papyrus and the Bodmer Papyrus which were written between 50-100AD. Copies of these papyri were reproduced in 125-200AD, meaning that the time span between the originals and the copies still in existence today is 29 years to 130 years, putting all these manuscripts beings written anywhere from 50-100 years after the death of Jesus Christ. Now some may object and say “Hold on! These manuscripts were written years after Jesus died. There’s no way they could be reliable!” But any expert on ancient documents would disagree.

    Let’s look at some of the more famous and universally accepted historical documents and see how they match up with the Bible:

    Plato — Plato wrote his works from 427-347 BC. The earliest manuscript copy of Plato’s writing in existence today was written in 900 AD. That is 1,200 years after Plato’s death! And there are only 2 copies of these manuscripts in existence. (source)

    Julius Caesar — One of the most celebrated and trusted historical figures. Caesar lived from 100-44 BC and the earliest manuscript copy of his writings dates back to 900 AD, putting our best evidence of Caesar ever existing 1,000 years after his death. And there are 10 copies of ancient manuscripts of Caesar’s Gallic Wars. (source) So if you question the Bible based on when it was written, being “translated so many times” (it was not – we still have the same Greek manuscripts today) and still question whether Jesus existed, then you must also be really sure that Julius Caesar and Plato were completely fictional characters and never really existed.

    Homer — Homer, who historians are not even sure ever really existed even today, is credited with writing the Iliad in ca 900 BC. The earliest manuscript copy of the Iliad dates to 400 BC. Meaning the only proof of Homer or the Iliad being accurate is from 500 years after the death of Homer. Additionally there are 643 copies of ancient manuscripts of the Iliad written over the centuries that when compared against each other by experts have a 95.3 consistency and accuracy, making it one of the most reliable and proven documents of antiquity. (source)

    That is of course, until you compare it to the New Testament. The New Testament manuscripts date to less than 100 years after the death of Christ. Additionally there are over 5,600 ancient manuscript copies of the New Testament giving it more copies to a degree that dwarfs any other figure of ancient history (to view actual copies of some of these ancient manuscripts, see here). And they have a 99% accuracy when compared to each other. The evidence is not even comparable. And it all points to Jesus Christ. The record of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has more evidence and proof than any other person from antiquity.

    Jim

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  16. The Proof and Evidence is Clear – Jesus Christ Really Existed

    The most amazing conclusion in all of this is not that Jesus really existed — it is that He still exists. And He sits in Heaven at the right hand of God offering forgiveness to those who will not just believe He was a regular man, but that He as the Son of God, gave His life on that same cross that so many historians knew about, to take the punishment for sins that all of humanity has committed. It just takes faith and trust in that sacrifice to receive him. Jesus said: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. - Revelation 3:20-21.

    Jesus wants us to believe in Him so we can be freely forgiven of the sins we have committed in our lives, have eternal life and reign with Him. So now that it is established that He existed, why not take the time to get to know Jesus Christ and who He said He is from His historically-verifiable perspective? Your eternal life may depend on it.

    Marie

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  17. I’m a Christian but my husband isn’t – we have a twelve year old son who sort of believes but his dad ridicules the whole existence of God. The one great thing that made my hairs stand up on the back of my neck was a visit to Rome in the 90′s. We visited the Church of St Sabastian, it was quite small but beautifully old and charming, the hidden gem however lay beneath the building in the catacombs. In early Christian times this would be the place where Mass was said because of persecution, when we visited they had just unearthed a scribble on a wall which was addressed to Peter and Paul – it asked them to pray for Victor. The inscription dated back to the time of the apostles so to know they had actually said Mass there was incredible.

    Issy

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  18. ” there is no evidence of the supernatural. Period.”

    We can all agree that the big Bang marks the beginning of space and time according to Penrose and Hawking. Einstein believed a in a creator who started it, Though it wasn’t a personal God, because of all the evil in the world, another great error he made, if evil didn’t exist we could not chose from good and evil. That’s why we got free will so people can chose to love god in eternity or reject God in eternity, so God does not send anyone to hell, you did that youreself because u chosed not to accept God’s love. The Big bang is the best evidence for God there is, many scientists does not ignore the evidence of design. Anthony Flew one of many. saying he “had to go where the evidence leads.”!

    So to determine if the God in the Bible is true we can test the claims. and the bible passes this test, no other holy book does that.

    First Truth claim 1:
    Genesis 1:1 in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

    Science today has proved the claim made by the prophets some 2500 years ago!
    i’d say one should expect to see the evidence through science if God is true.

    Fender

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  19. The existence of “evil” is not a proof of the existence of a God. “Good” and “evil” are merely two different perspectives created by men to distinguish certain acts and behaviours. For example, praising Jesus is good, but praising the Devil is bad. Eating health food is good, but eating junky food is bad. Being a law-abiding person is good, but being an outlaw, a criminal, is bad.
    A guy who like eating healthy food will agree with me that junky food is bad. However, a guy likes junky food will, instead, disagree with me, and will apply that junky food is good, and healthy food is bad. Just a matter of perspective, huh?
    Many scientists fashion the creation due to the lack of proofs and knowlege about what happened before the universe origin. The answer is still unknown, but I’m sure that is not a divine will. How do I know? Okay, let’s explain. In ancient times the people used to make rituals for the rainy days to appear. They used to believe that rain was a will of the gods. After many years later, we discovered that rain has nothing to do with a god’s will, but it’s simple a cloud that carries too much mass of water. The lightining was also claimed as a sing of a god’s fury. After years we discovered that was just, again, a cloud’s fault.
    We may not have the answer of what happened before the universe creation yet, but we also have not had access to all information needed to discover this. In some years, perhaps, we may discover what happened in that time.

    Oh, and about the bible passing the test, there’s this argument that I so damn like! In the bible it is said that the plants, living beings that need the sunlight in order to survive, were created before the creation of the sun. Furthermore, according to the prophets of that time, the Earth was the center of the universe! How odd is that, right? The Earth is not even the center of it’s own galaxy, who would say the universe!!

    Alexander

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  20. There is tons of proof of the Supernatural, if one looks for it. The biggest, and best natural piece of proof for Gods existence is the universe itself. Let’s go all the way back, to the very beginning, to the time that the Big Bang Theory speaks of, when everything came into existence. There was theoretically ‘this-and-that’ which exploded with tremendous energy…
    But where did the ‘this-and-that’ come from? A natural law, (such as ‘the Law of Gravity) called the Law of Energy Conservation dictates that energy cannot naturally be created from nothing. If the Law of Energy Conservation says that energy cannot naturally come from nothing (just like gravity says one can’t pull oneself up by their shoestrings), then where did the initial energy come from that sets the whole Big Bang (Theory) into place?
    A natural, observable law of the universe dictates that energy cannot naturally come from nothing… Logically then, the energy had to of supernaturally come from something!
    A Creator.
    An intelligent Designer.
    Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The more one researches with an open mind and a desire for truth, the more abundantly clear it becomes that there is a God.

    CLint

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  21. This concerns your article above titled “Did Jesus really exist”None of your claimed proofs above are any good at all.The paragraphs about Jesus in Josephus are easily proved frauds despite what biased apologetics and biased supposed scholars claim.Justin Martyr and Origen both quoted a lot from Josephus but neither mention the Jesus paragraphs.Why?Because they were not yet in Josephus writings,those paragraphs were inserted into Josephus writings no doubt by Eusebius in the mid 300 a.d,’s.Eusebius told on himself he stated of himself (quote)I have added anything favorable to christianity and ommited anything unfavorable(unquote).Eusebius also said (quote)It is o.k.to lie to further christianity (unquote).Origen stated Josephus was not believing in Christ Josephus died a believing Jew to claim he wrote the Jesus paragraphs is purely ignorant.
    Tacitus is no proof of a historical Jesus the earliest manuscripts of Tacitus date to the 11th.century or over 1000 years after he supposedly wrote,where is the original manuscript that they copied off of?As far as the word Christus he uses Christus(or anointed one)was used also for other pagan Savior sun gods which were a dime a dozen in the first and second centuries.Another suspious thing is whoever wrote this paragraph calls Pilate a procurator,Pilate was not a procurator he was a prefect,if Tacitus wrote this about 115 A.D.he would have known Pilate was a prefect not a procurator.A procurator in the first century was a financial advisor,a prefect had to do with the military.
    Pliny the Younger is zero proof of Jesus because just the mention of christians in the first century means nothing as far as proving Jesus because the christians would be Paul christians.Suetonius writing the word Chrestus has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus Christ it is not a mis-spelling.Chrestus was a common Greek name which only means “GOOD”or good one and was used to even describe slaves that were good slaves.Julius Africanus since there are no surviving works of Thallus could only be repeating christian heresay.The big question is Seneca who lived all the way through Jesus supposed time and who tracked and wrote about sun eclipses and earthquakes knows nothing of an earthquake or sun darkening supposedly at Jesus crucifixtion.
    Concerning your claim that the Bible including the N.T.are historical documents is of course a lie,the N.T.nor the Bible as a whole are historical documents they are religious works and are listed in librarys as religious works not under historical documents.If the Bible including the N.T.were brought before a court of law to determine if they are historical documents not even a kangaroo court would claim them historical documents.For just one reason no one, zero knows who wrote one word in the Bible the authors are guessed at and it’s for sure Matthew,Mark,Luke or John never wrote the 4 gospels.The Rylands fragment you mention dating about 125 A.D.does not prove John wrote it ,it just means those few words were included in a gospel claimed to be John’s later on.You didn’t mention the Talmud Jesus as proof of a historical Jesus but neither is it proof of the 4 gospel Jesus,the Talmud Jesus crucified on Passover Eve was actually a Jesus hung on a tree about 100 years before the 4 gospel Jesus ever lived.And yes there is real proof of Julius Caesar,friends and enemies wrote about him,he wrote himself there are artiacs of him.Jesus wrote nothing himself he has no artifacs or coins and no contemporary historian or philosopher knows one thing about a miracle worker,crucified and resurrected from the dead Jesus.Learn to produce facts not biased biblical mind control,biblical brainwashing and blind faith.
    Sincerely,without malice,just real truth,
    Jay Osborne

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  22. Man, myth or message: which Jesus is relevant?

    Believer but realist - Belfast

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  23. That's got to be eight or nine religions.

    Incidentally I'm currently wavering between Neo-Platonist Palamist Byzantine Catholic and Thomistic Aristotelian Roman Catholic.

    I serve Jesus and Mary.


    J H Granvey

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  24. I live in Japan, a country that derives its moral values from Confucianism and Buddhism (a religion that predates Christianity). The former is not even a religion but a philosophy on one's social obligations to others based on their relationship and placement in society. The modern Japanese is mostly pagan (Shinto) with a smattering of Buddhist-derived rituals for good luck. Yet they are a peaceful and incredibly considerate people. No religion required for their morality.

    In the average Japanese mind, Buddha and Jesus were great men, and if they possess any godhood, it is as two among many.

    Bender


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  25. Hey Fruitcake Buckley,

    You don't even believe in Jesus? Nuts! Should have stuck with D&C so!

    PP

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  26. Who cares if he did. The people pay up and are shut up by us Church men, perfect situation. I have a great lifestyle, a little busy but that is easily solved!

    Clergy member and non-believer - Belfast.

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  27. The key is in Resurrection. We take it for granted as part of our faith. When first posited Resurrection was such a daft idea that if people were not convinced of its reality our faith would have perished in the first century. Sean

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