The Instigator
Octavian
Pro (for)
Losing
38 Points
The Contender
rougeagent21
Con (against)
Winning
79 Points

Jesus Christ Never Existed

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,928 times Debate No: 8811
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (27)
Votes (21)

 

Octavian

Pro

Jesus Christ, contrary to popular public opinion, never existed.

First to define who Jesus Christ was according to the "Holy Bible": Jesus Christ is a central figure in Christianity who supposedly lived from around 4 B.C. to 30 A.D. He was a prophet of Judaism who many believed was the Messiah, the one who would deliver the Jews to salvation. He began a new religious movement, called his ministry, that was composed of 12 disciples and other followers. He was sentenced to death by the Jewish authorities of Judea and was crucified by the Roman authorities.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Now to define the term existence: The term existence means in simple Latin form to be.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Jesus Christ never existed because he never lived. All documents that are about his life were written many years after his death, with the first gospel being written in 70 AD, 30 years after Jesus' supposed death in 40 AD. He was made up from a conglomeration of myths of the Roman and earlier time periods, and his story was significantly altered to meet the needs of Christians and the Jewish prophecies of the Messiah. Even if this is not the case Jesus could have been a conglomeration of various Jewish messianic cult leaders of the time.
Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org...

One of the more prominent religions that Christianity borrowed from for the story of Jesus was Mithraism, with many elements of the story of Mithra in Mithraism being very similar if not identical to the story of Jesus:
"Mithra was a fictional character who was worshipped as a Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth and the Light, the Redeemer, the Savior, and the Messiah. A religion in his name was founded in the 6th century BCE. 5 Mithraism one of the most popular of religions in the Roman Empire, particularly among its soldiers and civil servants. It was Christianity's leading rival. 19 Mithra was also believed to have been born of a virgin. Like Jesus, their births were celebrated yearly on DEC-25. Mithra was also visited by shepherds and by Magi. He traveled through the countryside, taught, and performed miracles with his 12 disciples. He cast out devils, returned sight to the blind, healed the lame, etc. Symbols associated with Mithra were a Lion and a Lamb. He held a last supper, was killed, buried in a rock tomb. He rose again after three days, at the time of the spring equinox, circa MAR-21. He later ascended into heaven. Mithraism celebrated the anniversary of his resurrection, similar to the Christian Easter. They held services on Sunday. Rituals included a Eucharist and six other sacraments that corresponded to the rituals of the Catholic church" (Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org...).

Another god-figure that Jesus shared many similarities with was Horus of Egyptian myth. Both of them were born by a virgin, and were the sons of a God (Yahweh and Osiris), their births were both heralded by a star, they were both of royal descent, had step fathers, both their births were celebrated around the winter solstice, their births were announced by angels, three wise men/deities witness their births, Herut tried to have Horus murdered and Herod tried to have Jesus murdered when they were babies, they were both baptized in rivers, both of their baptisers were later beheaded, they were both tempted on mountains in the desert by Set and Satan, they both: Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, and stilled the sea, they both had a sermon on the mount, Horus died by either a scorpion sting or crucifixion and Jesus died by crucifixion, they were both buried in tombs, and they were resurrected in three days and this was announced by groups of women.
Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org...
rougeagent21

Con

Right off te bat, we must realize that my opponent has set himself an impossible goal. He has made the absolute statement that Jesus Christ NEVER existed. He allows no room for possibility. Therefore, if I can show even a shred of possibility of His existence, I have won the debate.

==WHEN THE GOSPELS WERE WRITTEN==

My opponent is incorrect when he dates the writing of the Gospels. Luke mentions the Temple being torn down in its 20th chapter. That prophesy was FULFILLED in 70 AD. Therefore, the gospels must have been written beforehand. In any case, the dates of the Gospels does not make a huge difference. By my opponent's logic, I could not have existed if writing about me is dated after I died. (If I am ever written about at all) Someone could have easily existed even if writings about Him came after He left the Earth.

==Mithraism==

My opponent makes the assumption that stories of Jesus were borrowed from other religions. I would first ask for where Mithra is written about. I would secondly point out that Jesus and Mithra could have been the same person, known to different people by different names. With the similarities my opponent pointed out, it is just as reasonable to say that stories from Mithraism were borrowed from Jesus' life. This reasoning is also valid for Horus.

Having shot down my opponent's arguments, I bring up the point that none of us were around during the time of Jesus. Neither of us can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that He existed or did not exist. Since my opponent has the clear burden of proof, the resolution is easily negated. Thank you.

==Sources==

http://www.carm.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Octavian

Pro

First, thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate.

The dating of the Gospels do make a crucial difference. Since the Gospels were written at least 40 years after Jesus' death that means that means it was very unlikely that any could have ever met or encountered Jesus if he was real. Just as well, Mark could have easily written Jesus to have prophesied the destruction of the temple when it was obviously going to happen (the Jewish-Roman war) or after it occurred (Source: http://wiki.answers.com...). Also, Since many documents were later tampered with by Christians during the 3rd and 4th centuries to prove Christian ideas (for example, Josephus' text was tampered with to make a mention of Jesus) the mention of the prophecy of the temple destruction could have been added much later. Finally, you should probably not cite a Christian website as your source when discussing such a sensitive and controversial topic about when the Gospels were written, for it will clearly show bias. (For example, would you visit a Nazi website to learn about the Holocaust?)

As for your argument about Mithra copying from Jesus or Horus copying from Jesus, both myths had been around long before Jesus Christ supposedly lived. Mithra originally came from Zoroastrianism, which had been around since the 5th century B.C. (Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org..., http://en.wikipedia.org...). As for Horus, he was a central figure of Egyptian mythology, which extends as far back as around 2600 B.C. (Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org..., http://en.wikipedia.org...)
rougeagent21

Con

==ABSOLUTE STATEMENT==

My opponent has not addressed this, so I can only assume that he agrees. Voters, please keep this in mind.

==GOSPELS==

This still does not make a huge difference in evidence. People can write about a deceased person and the person will still have existed. Concerning the tampering of Josephus' writings, you cited no sources on which I could read about it. "Nowhere else in all of Josephus' voluminous writings is there strong suspicion of scribal tampering." www.bede.org.uk/Josephus.htm Jesus' existence is cited from extra-biblical sources. From a historiography standpoint, this is mostly an 'academic' exercise, since the 'existence' of Jesus of Nazareth could easily be established with only a tiny fraction of our New Testament documents. The mere existence of someone in history is often easily established on the basis of small textual samples (sometimes even single paragraphs). The amount of data we have about Jesus in the New Testament, especially historically 'incidental' data-and the appearances that the authors were not collusive--gives us a very, very high level of assurance in this matter. http://www.christian-thinktank.com...

Dealing with sources, mine are completely valid. First of all, there is no such thing as an unbiased source. Your wikipedia answers came from a biased opinion. Second, I can only find Christian evidence on Christian sites. If I look for evidence on sites that agree with you, I am contradicting my own case. Clashing sources are part of a debate.

==MITHRAISM==

Jesus was prophesied about long before Mithra was ever invented. Isiah wrote about Jesus in 8 BC. Zechariah was specific about dating his writings in 520-518 BC. In addition, the Psalms were written over the course of about 1500 years before Christ's arrival. Jesus was talked about LONG before any Mithra, Horus, or other false god.

www.bibleprobe.com/300great.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

==CONCLUSION==

Even if ALL of my arguments are shot down, the default win goes to me. My opponent has absolutely no way to PROVE that Jesus never existed. My opponent did not live when Jesus did, nor does he have any living friends that did. He has no time machine, and thus no way to disprove His existence. Even so, I have provided quite a bit of evidence supporting Jesus' existence. The resolution remains negated. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Octavian

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for participating in this thought provoking and interesting debate.

Now, firstly, I would like to dispel my opponent's statement that the Christian website he cited (carm.org) is a viable source. Besides posting information that is backed by no proof, (except by the Bible, which is not the most viable source), for example from the "Jesus Saves" section of the web site: "Jesus is the most important figure in all of human history. He is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9), physically risen from the dead, Lord (Luke 24:34; John 2:19-21) and Savior (Acts 5:30-32). He came to die for sinners (Rom. 5:8) to deliver people from the righteous wrath of God upon us."

http://www.carm.org...

Also, the man who founded and runs carm.org has also been proven to be contradictory and lacking in consistency in debates concerning the Bible.

http://www.examinethetruth.com...

Second, you're mention of Jesus being prophesied long before the invention of Mithra carries little weight. First of all Zechariah's passage that supposedly talks about Jesus ("And they shall look upon him whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for an only son; and they shall grieve over him, as the manner is to grieve for the death of the firstborn."), is very vague in manner and makes no specific references to Jesus or his life. As well, when Isaiah supposedly foretold of Jesus he is very vague as well, "Behold, the young woman [ha-almah in Hebrew]is with child and will bear a son and she will call his name Immanuel." (This verse is commonly mistranslated as a virgin will have a child, but in fact it was the Hebrew word for young woman.) Finally, another passage by Isaiah, "But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations", is very vague and makes no direct references to Jesus.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

As for your source of www.bibleprobe.com/300great.htm, it is not very viable. For example, on the main page of the site there is a video about three people who supposedly "died, went to hell, and came back."

There are also blatant contradicitons between the New Testament and the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. Firstly, the Bible states that God cannot become man, as Jesus in the New Testament was the son of God. (Numbers 23: 19 "God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?" [1]). Next, there are a number of prophecies about the Messiah that the supposed Jesus did not fulfill: (1) The Sanhedrin will be reestablished. (2) Jews will return to full Torah observance and practice it (3) Jews will return to full Torah observance and practice it (4) The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (5) Nations will end up recognizing the wrongs they did to Israel (6) The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (7) The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (8) The Temple will be rebuilt[64] resuming many of the suspended 613 mitzvot (9) He will rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. (10) He will gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel.

Finally in conclusion, my opponent has provided no viable evidence for the historical existence of any man named Jesus Christ as pertaining to the New Testament. I have provided much evidence suggesting that Jesus Christ was created from myths or other things and that the Bible is full of contradictions on the matter. Vote con. T
rougeagent21

Con

Unfortunately, I have run out of time to dispel my opponent's arguments. For clarification, most of what has been recently posted in the comments section by History as IS is accurate. I cannot form a well-thought argument right now, but feel free to see what he has posted if you are interested into looking further into the topic. While my own argument is sadly a default argument, I will bring it up again.

Once again, my opponent concedes to his burden of proof. (Or disproof in this case) There is no feasible method to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus never existed. Neither my opponent, nor anyone he knows was alive when Jesus was. He has to time machine, wormhole, or any other device that could possibly transport him through time. He has no audio, visual, or tangible way to PROVE that Jesus never existed. As has been stated, if ANY possibility remains of His existence, Pro has not upheld his burden. Therefore, I urge a negative ballot. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jesusfreak012095 7 years ago
Jesusfreak012095
One not 4 B.C. For the time of A.D. started when He was born. For Ano Demini (A.D.) is Latin for the year of the Lord. an B.C. stands for Before Christ. So Jesus Christ, when born, then started Ano Demini.
Posted by theCall 8 years ago
theCall
The people later found the dinosaurs after billions of years, the scientists still believe dinosaurs are real, so if before that nobody had written anything about dinosaurs, do you think we can just say: "Dinosaurs are not real."?

Furthermore, we know that all the disciples were dead during the time they preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, let's say Jesus was just a legend then what's the motive that made them preaching that legend? I don't see the people who spread the legend of Hecules or my the Grims brothers who created the fairy tales died for their legendary characters.

Thank you for your arguments
Posted by Gasharko 8 years ago
Gasharko
I'm a Christian and regardless of my verdict on this particular round, I still stand firm in my beliefs.

However, I also do my best to avoid letting my personal beliefs cloud my judgement when I make a ruling and it seems pretty clear to me that Octavian has won this round. Regardless of the work HistoryasIS has done to argue his point (good for you, btw. you make sense), such a rebuttal was never actually articulated by rougeagent21.

Nevertheless, rougeagent21 was correct when he argued that your burden of proof is almost impossibly large. Perhaps this is because your thesis is too short and vague to give me more than a limited understanding of what you're trying to argue, but it seems to me that you would be able to accomplish the same goal of discrediting the Christian faith (if that is actually your goal) simply by arguing that whether or not Jesus Christ actually lived, he's not quite the man he's made out to be. The probability of a man named Jesus who moved the world in some enormous way is quite high. The probability of him being the Messiah and the Son of God who fulfilled hundreds if not thousands of prophecies and performed many miracles is decidedly smaller.
Posted by nephilim 8 years ago
nephilim
Truth is sacred.
Posted by Brock_Meyer 8 years ago
Brock_Meyer
Octavian, I don't think people are voting CON because they automatically think Jesus Christ is real.

I mean, I started this same debate as PRO quite recently and I won, so it's not impossible to prove to the voters that Jesus didn't exist (http://www.debate.org...) as a real person. But based on what I've read so far, even I would vote CON in this debate.
Posted by HistoryasIS 8 years ago
HistoryasIS
Octavian I think people are voting con becuase even mithra scholars do not hold to the conspiracy That christians barrow from Mithra but art alone and The connection of Horus to jesus does not even hold.

In ending Ronald nash wrote

Ronald Nash writes:
"Allegations of an early Christian dependence on Mithraism have been rejected on many grounds. Mithraism had no concept of the death and resurrection of its god and no place for any concept of rebirth - at least during its early stages.... During the early stages of the cult, the notion of rebirth would have been foreign to its basic outlook.... Moreover, Mithraism was basically a military cult. Therefore, one must be skeptical about suggestions that it appealed to nonmilitary people like the early Christians."5

Read more: http://www.comereason.org...
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
Or, you can stop pouting, and you can realize the impossible burden of proof you placed on yourself. Sound good?
Posted by Octavian 8 years ago
Octavian
OK, I can clearly see that many of the Christians on here are not looking at the actual debate and are just voting con because they automatically think without evidence Jesus is real. Based off of some of the comments here and on my profile.
Posted by HistoryasIS 8 years ago
HistoryasIS
Objection: 4.36. "Jesus can not be the Messiah because the Messiah had to rebuild the Temple, yet the Temple was standing in Jesus' day."

Answer: "There is a fatal flaw to your objection, since we know for a fact that many religious Jews in Jesus' day were expecting the coming of the Messiah in their lifetimes. This means that they were not expecting the Messiah to rebuild the Temple; the Temple was already standing! As for the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures associating the rebuilding of the Temple with the work of the Messiah, we should point out that they were delivered during the time of the Babylonian exile and pointed to the rebuilding of the second Temple – and that Temple has been destroyed for more than 1900 years now. This means that we must reinterpret these passages if we are to apply them to a future rebuilding of the Temple. In that case, it can be argued that these prophecies await the return of the Messiah, when he will establish his kingdom on the earth and build the third Temple." (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 3, pp. 170-179.)
Posted by HistoryasIS 8 years ago
HistoryasIS
Behold, the young woman [ha-almah in Hebrew]is with child and will bear a son and she will call his name Immanuel." (This verse is commonly mistranslated as a virgin will have a child, but in fact it was the Hebrew word for young woman.)

Do you reject a young women can be a virgin? Also do you have any knowledge of The greek old testament, which was written in greek duo the jews there only knew greek.

It taken about 70 rabbis to make It was not consider divine inspire duo to many people believe it should only stay in it Original language but they make use of the word virgin in it.

Firstly, the Bible states that God cannot become man, as Jesus in the New Testament was the son of God. (Numbers 23: 19 "God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

This verse have nothing to do what form God can take or not it have everything to do with God Character. The Character of fallen man can lie cheat steal do wrong etc.... But God doe not Hold anything attributes of fallen man. People need to remember Jesus was sinless He was God in the flesh without Sin and the desire to do his own will.

I also wonder if this person knows anything about theophany which means appearance of God in physical tangible form? The old testament is chalk full of them.

As for The rest of these so called contradictions, you can visit Dr. brown site which basic deals with jewish objections, which is what This person is bring us.

http://realmessiah.askdrbrown.org...

Objection: 4.36. "Jesus can not be the Messiah because the Messiah had to rebuild the Temple, yet the Temple was standing in Jesus' day."

Answer: "There is a fatal flaw to your objection, since we know for a fact that many religious Jews in Jesus' day were expecting the coming of the Messiah in their lifetimes. This means that they were not expecting the Messiah to rebuild
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Vote Placed by DeafAtheist14 6 years ago
DeafAtheist14
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro-Pro
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