The Instigator
Pennington
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Stephen_Hawkins
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Jesus Christ of Nazareth actually existed.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Pennington
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/26/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,175 times Debate No: 30752
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

Pennington

Pro

This is my very first debate. I would like to thank my opponent for accepting to debate this topic. We should should set some rules to start.

1.No useless semantics.
2. No plagiarism.
3. No round forfeits.

This debate will examine if Jesus Christ actually existed or not. Since I am the positive it will be on myself to have the BOP. Though my opponent has the burden to dispose of my evidence and provide evidence of their own. First round is only for acceptance for both.

To clarify my position and resolution I will define my choice of wording.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth can also be referred to as Jesus of Galilee or simply Jesus Christ. Estimated birth around c. 6-4 bc to c. 30 ad. He was born in the town of Bethlehem and died in the Jewish capitol of Jerusalem. He is most commonly known as the Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible. http://www.britannica.com...


I have the BOP to show that Jesus Christ of the Bible in fact existed as a human being. To show evidence that makes it more likely that He did exist rather than He did not. My BOP does not include any miracles or supernatural event. My BOP does not include establishing that Jesus Christ was part God.

I truly do appreciate anyone who excepts and wish you luck. Thanks!

Stephen_Hawkins

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Pennington

Pro

Thanks to Steven_Hawking for accepting this debate.

Let's start by saying that the discussion here isn't about the validly of the Bible. We are discussing whether or not the Jesus Christ described within the Bible has sufficant evidence for His existence.

A1.) The Bible's historical significance

The Bible has been scrutinized throughout its history. It is one of the most well documented accounts of human history. The qualities of both the OLD & NEW Testaments are considerably better then any other ancient document. Of all the documents in the time of Jesus Christ only a handful survived. Out of all those documents of that era the Bible stands as the most creditable. [7]The Bible itself holds alot of credence in its record of Jesus Christ.[15]

Evidence of the validly of the Bible continue to be uncovered today. With each piece of evidence uncovered gives even further credence of the life of Jesus Christ. No one person in all of ancient history has so much documentation of their life. The existence of Jesus is the best explanation of the origin of Christianity. All sources point to Jesus as the originator of the Christian religion.

A2.) Ancient Historian accounts

We have a number of sources that lived during the time of Jesus Christ that recorded His life. One of these sources comes from a non-Christian Jewish source in Josephus. Josephus lived in the span of 37ad - 100ad, putting him living directly after the life of Jesus Christ. [3]

"About this time arose Jesus, a wise man, who did good deeds and whose virtues were recognised. And many Jews and peoples of other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. However, they who became his disciples preached his doctrine. They related that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive. Perhaps he was the Messiah in connection with whom the prophets foretold wonders." [2]

[Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, XVIII 33]

"And so he convened the judges of the Sanhedrin, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, the one called Christ, whose name was James, and certain others, and accusing them of having transgressed the law delivered them up to be stoned. " [1]

(Flavius Josephus - Jewish Antiquities 20:29)

Then we have another Jewish source from the Talmud. The Talmud recorded what the Jews accounted about the Christian's and Jesus Christ dating from 70ad to around 200ad.

'On the eve of the Passover, Yeshu(Jesus) was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and has enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forth in his favour, he was hanged on the eve of the Passover.' [8]

(The Babylonian Talmud. Volume 4 Sanhedrin, 43a pg 281.)

We also have the Roman accounts made by Tacitus, a Roman historian and senator. His account takes place during the reign of Nero. [9]

'Nero fabricated Scapegoats, and punished with every refinement, the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were popularly called). Their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius' reign by the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilatus. But in spite of this setback, the deadly superstition had broken out afresh, not only in Judea (where the mischief had started) but also in Rome.' [10]

A3.) Modern Historians

There have been only a few historians throughout history that doubts the existence of Jesus. In being experts in the subject of the Bible and Jesus Christ's life makes these historians that agree Jesus did lived the ultimate authority on the subject. I offer a few accounts of modern historians that have deeply studied and wrote about Jesus Christ and the Bible.

Bart Ehrman is a leading New Testament scholar, he has authored four New York Times bestsellers. He wrote: "He(Jesus Christ) certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees." [11]

Robert E Van Voorst is a Professor who has published scholarly works in early Christian writings and New Testament Greek. He states that, "Modern scholarship views the theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted." [13]

Michael Grant a author of numerous popular books on ancient history states that, "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." [14]

James D. G. Dunn is a leading British New Testament scholar who states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis." [5]

Richard A. Burridge is a Professor of Biblical Interpretation published in 1992 as What are the Gospels? A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography and it is highly influential. He states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that anymore." [12]

Conclusion:

We have good reason to think Jesus did exist, therefore we ought to assume he did. Almost every source we have suggests that Jesus Christ did exist. If we take out the miracles that Jesus life is surrounded by then there is nothing extraordinary about the existence of Jesus. By all means there is no reason to think that Jesus did not exist if no reliable source suggest he didn't. With the thousands of years since His life there are no real source that gives reason for Him not exist just as a man.

Sources:

Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Stephen_Hawkins forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Pennington

Pro

I am extremely disappointed in my opponent. I extend all my second round until my opponent addresses it. I think argument points should be forfeited by opponent for his forfeited 2nd round. I also reserve rights to argue in the last round if my opponent show chooses to debate in further rounds.

I await my opponents 3rd Round.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Stephen_Hawkins forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Pennington

Pro

I extend all arguments again. These is now two forfeited rounds and that should result in a loss.


Awaiting for any response my opponent may make. Thanks to the readers for their time.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Stephen_Hawkins forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Pennington

Pro

Thanks to anyone who reads this.


All votes should be awarded to myself because Con forfeited all rounds.


Thank everyone for any votes the submit.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Stephen_Hawkins forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
PenningtonStephen_HawkinsTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro because of Con's forfeits, arguments to Pro because he made some and Sources to Pro because he used some.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
PenningtonStephen_HawkinsTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros' sourcing was atrocious: 1) The reference #'s were not in order. 2) The only links that worked properly were 6,7,8,11,12,14,15. 3) reference # 6 was not found in the argument
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
PenningtonStephen_HawkinsTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Another FF from Stephen Hawkins on excactly the same debate topic....Dissapointed to say the least.
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 3 years ago
TrasguTravieso
PenningtonStephen_HawkinsTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF