The Instigator
smilinbobs64
Con (against)
The Contender
bobr
Pro (for)

Is there ANY evidence to support the existence of Christ

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 181 times Debate No: 106297
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

smilinbobs64

Con

I have spent a good deal of time searching for evidence for the existence of Christ and The evidence I have found all points to the Jesus story being completely fictional. There is no historical record of Christ except for the Q-document which from the best evidence was written at the earliest 35 years after the supposed death of Christ. The Gospels that we ended up contradict each other and have many historical problems which are difficult to rationalize if the story is historical and not fictional.
bobr

Pro

Regarding the Gospels, I believe they are highly regarded as historically accurate , especially Luke, although that is not their intent. I believe they are harmonious but I would interested in what you reference as historically inaccurate. Actually I believe there is quite a bit of historical evidence to validate the first century person of Jesus of Nazareth. First there is Josephus a famed Romano-Jewish historian with eye witness account of the final stages of the Jewish rebellion before Jerusalem was crushed by Titus and his Roman army in A.D.70. As a inheritor of Roman citizenship Josephus chronicled the Jewish history in exceptional detail having lived the life as a Pharisee and now Roman citizen.(1) Accepted by all historians, Josephus works are considered extremely historically reliable and he speaks of and references Jesus of Nazareth. He describes him as a wise man. and a worker of amazing deeds. Both Roman and Greek letters reference Christ as does the Talmud. The Talmud is an encyclopedia collection of rabbinic letters collected over the first few hundred years of A.D. Tacitus an early second century Roman writer when speaking of Nero's persecution of the Christians wrote of the founder of Christianity this "Christ" being crucified under Pontius Pilate.(2) "Tacit. Annal 15.44 - Nero, in order to stifle the rumor,.. ascribed it to those people who were hated for their wicked practices and called by the vulgar Christians, these he punished exquisitely. The author of this name was Christ, who in the reign of Tiberius was brought to punishment by Pontius Pilate the procurator." (3) These are Roman historical documents. There would be no reason for Romans and Greeks to perpetuate a story they did not hold or regard as true and they certainly had no religious reason. Why would they advance such a story? Not to mention it would be almost preposterous to think millions of people would collectively agree to deceive the nations for thousands of years. But I believe the facts speak for themselves.

(1) William Whiston, The Works of Josephus, (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishing Marketing LLC, 1987), Intro
(2) Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 439
(3) William Whiston, The Works of Josephus, (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishing Marketing LLC, 1987), 815
Debate Round No. 1
smilinbobs64

Con

I will start with The Jewish historian Josephus(37 - 101 AD) wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages about first century Judea, including John the Baptist, including other first century Jewish messiahs, but about (Christ), nothing (not counting two little ham-handed forgeries sneaked in later by Eusibus). These are globally accepted as forgeries by religious scholars, please research the subject in depth and you will find there is overwhelming evidence for this conclusion. Here is the basic reasoning: http://www.truthbeknown.com...
As for references to the claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. This Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E. There is no reference to Christ in the first century Midrash There are no references to any of the events mentioned in the New Testament writings by scribes and historians of the time (First Century) such as Philo, Tacitus, Pliny, Suetonius, Epictectus, Cluvius Rufus, Quintus, Curtis Rufus, Josephus, nor the Roman Consul, Publius Petronius. The small mention of a Christus (anointed one) is not a direct reference to Jesus (Christ). As at the time of Tacitus Christians were still part of the Jewish faith and had not yet become Christians. Followers of Serapis, and Osiris were also referred to in the same manner which makes it no more than wishful thinking that the reference was about Jesus (Christ) ref: Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled by by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S
Now to some of the historical inaccuracies, Let"s start with evidence for the "Slaughter of the Innocents" ""The Darkness at Crucifixion", "The Roman Census" These are major events that would have been documented by scribes of the time if they had occurred and written about by historians yet they are only mentioned in the religious texts. In the first century there is no Nazareth on any maps or mention in writings.
The authors of the Gospels write in third person and describe the thoughts and dreams of the characters as do most fictional stories. The authors of the Gospels contradict each other about important aspects of the story, for example the geneology of Jesus, the death of Judas and the trial of Jesus. If you would read Josephus, Philo, Tacitus you would see the difference between historical written texts vs allegorical fiction. The Gospels are written in the allegorical style
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b] 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
"I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way"[c]"
3 "a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
"Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.""[d]
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel"s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: "After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit."
The Baptism and Testing of Jesus
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[g] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Jesus Announces the Good News
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"
Now let"s look at non fiction writings:
We can begin with The Wars of the Jews, by Josephus.
WHEREAS the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the affairs themselves have gotten together vain and contradictory stories by hearsay, and have written them down after a sophistical manner; and while those that were there present have given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humor of flattery to the Romans, or of hatred towards the Jews; and while their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes encomiums, but no where the accurate truth of the facts; I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians; Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, Now at the time when this great concussion of affairs happened, the affairs of the Romans were themselves in great disorder. Those Jews also who were for innovations, then arose when the times were disturbed; they were also in a flourishing condition for strength and riches, insomuch that the affairs of the East were then exceeding tumultuous, while some hoped for gain, and others were afraid of loss in such troubles; for the Jews hoped that all of their nation which were beyond Euphrates would have raised an insurrection together with them.
We can also look at History of Rome, written by the Roman historian Livy around 30 BCE:
To begin with, it is generally admitted that after the capture of Troy, whilst the rest of the Trojans were massacred, against two of them--Aeneas and Antenor--the Achivi refused to exercise the rights of war, partly owing to old ties of hospitality, and partly because these men had always been in favour of making peace and surrendering Helen. Their subsequent fortunes were different. Antenor sailed into the furthest part of the Adriatic, accompanied by a number of Enetians who had been driven from Paphlagonia by a revolution and after losing their king Pylaemenes before Troy were looking for a settlement and a leader. The combined force of Enetians and Trojans defeated the Euganei, who dwelt between the sea and the Alps and occupied their land. The place where they disembarked was called Troy, and the name was extended to the surrounding district; the whole nation were called Veneti. Similar misfortunes led to Aeneas becoming a wanderer but the Fates were preparing a higher destiny for him. He first visited Macedonia, then was carried down to Sicily in quest of a settlement; from Sicily he directed his course to the Laurentian territory. Here, too, the name of Troy is found, and here the Trojans disembarked, and as their almost infinite wanderings had left them nothing but their arms and their ships, they began to plunder the neighbourhood. The Aborigines, who occupied the country, with their king Latinus at their head came hastily together from the city and the country districts to repel the inroads of the strangers by force of arms
It should be very clear the difference between historical style texts vs allegorical style texts
bobr

Pro

So in summary you contend the writings of Josephus (or just those referencing Jesus ) are forgery. The works of Josephus are highly regarded scholarly, academic and historical text. It is utilized often and accepted everywhere. I will take society"s position on its acceptance as opposed to a website.

Secondly you contend the Bible is written as allegory. Again these works have been reviewed more often than any on the planet and the at large the determination is not allegory but poetry, yes, narrative, yes, prophetic, yes, historical, yes. Completely allegory, no.

Finally you continue to speak against works dated after Christ to once again contend collusion. The Jewish scribes were excellent record keepers, who by the way sent Christ to his crucifixion. You speak of the Hebrew Talmud and other works like the documents at Qumran, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Murtatorian fragments, the Codex Leningradensis, documents proven and verified as early period A.D. as invalid because they are not dated the first thirty years A.D. Do you realize the mass collusion you would have to orchestrate to get millions of people to perpetuate a lie over the course of millennia? These writings would have never got out of the first century having been fabricated as you contend, let alone preserved and transcribed with the detail it has. Finally since you are already online vested, I included another website to further points.

https://youtu.be...
Debate Round No. 2
smilinbobs64

Con

As I said in my previous response if you take the time to research what the scholars of Josephus say about the small blurb the "testimonium flavianum" It was inserted into the surviving copy of antiquities held by the catholic church by Eusibius. There are many aspects of the "TF" that don"t fit the works of Josephus but most damning is that before the 3rd century Origen clearly states that Josephus did not believe in a Christ (messiah). This is not my opinion but the most accepted belief of biblical scholars.
You are correct about the Bible being reviewed by many but the majority of the people reviewing it were doing so for religious purposes. The object of the review is only to find religious meaning in the words. If you read and study the texts with an open mind in a critical sense to see where it leads you, there are many historical inaccuracies and contradictions. You claim that it is historical, can you offer any accurate historical facts from the Bible? There are many historical inaccuracies as I had mentioned in my previous statement.
The ancient texts that you refer to are religious texts. These are not written as historical documentation but as stories of religious events and miracles to gain followers and give people a false hope of eternal life. Yes people want to believe that it is hope that they are immortal no one wants to face mortality. You talk of mass collusion, Yes that is what religion is that is why it is perpetrated on the young and impressionable. I would like you to offer historical evidence from the Bible which is historically accurate. We know that many of the events did not happen
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 2 weeks ago
FollowerofChrist1955
smilinbobs64;
Couple of things?
Youve heard of God? you must have heard of Hell then? You must have heard of Heaven?

Okay ... here"s the point! You KNOW that all those reputed to "not" come to God for salvation are GOING to a place called Hell to spend eternity in Hells Flames. And the only importance that is to you is to search the internet? What do you live in Nirobe? Is Church 40 miles from you and you don"t own a car?

You see, the truth is? Your not interested! Nobody Finds God second hand! I mean do you ACTUALLY REALIZE who your talking about?

God! The creator of all things. And the best you can show Him, is your willing to sit in your chair and scan the internest? And you wonder WHY, your gonna end up in Hell. Gonna wonder why, God didn"t SAVE YOU?

To find God, get a Bible, go to Church attend Sunday School, ask questions of the mature Christians ... you will know who they are! Pray and read your Bible everyday. Ask God Himself to reveal Himself to you, to guide you. IF your serious God HIMSELF WILL PROVE HIMSELF TO YOU, personally. You will actually MEET God and you will KNOW IT! Don"t ask for explanations you won"t understand you HAVE to experience it!

In closing understand that I serve no Ghost, No imaginary person, who I have to have FAITH is Real, I serve a VERY REAL God who is actively moving in the World and IN MY LIFE, He doesn"t Hide, He isn"t bashful, He answers prayers, protects those He loves and guides them in Life and Death. Your here for a specific purpose ... at the end of which you WILL DIE, going immediately to Heaven or immediately into the Flames of Hell!

God says:19This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life,
Deuteronomy 30:19
Posted by ANANIGMA 2 weeks ago
ANANIGMA
There are a ton of documented sources talking about Yeshua, or Esus. The Babylonian Talmud says "Yeshua who was Son of Miriam and Pandera (Pantera)". Pantera was a Roman Soldier (22 BCE " CE 40). It's more than likely Yeshua existed but whether he is the same as the Jesus in the Bible is always a controversy.
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