Jesus Christ, the person, Did Exist
Debate Rounds (3)
I will be taking the con perspective on this issue for the simple reason that while it is not impossible that there was a man called Jesus who lived in the area described by the New Testament, there simply isn't a stable foundation of evidence upon which to place that assertion. While the Bible does give an account of Jesus' life, it also speaks of outlandish things such as global floods and talking snakes which have just as much evidence behind them as Christianity's head figure has behind him. My point is that religion does not count here as it is faith based and this is a debate that requires substantial evidence, whereas faith is belief without evidence.
I will bring much more to this debate in the next rounds, evaluating the claims to be made by pro and the evidence provided by him, as it will be since he has the burden of proof. I look forward to arguing this topic and I hope that Pro will be able to keep it respectful and focused as I am.
They knew for a fact that Jesus existed, and in reality, he was a threat to them.
Jewish polemic shared with Christians the conviction that the sepulcher was empty and then gave natural explanations for the event. Such positive evidence within a nonchristian based source is the heaviest type of evidence.
Let us ask ourselves, why did the Jews attempt to explain away Jesus" tomb if there was no Jesus in the first place? It is simply because Jesus existed.
John Crossan, of the "Radical Jesus" Seminar, writes:
"That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be."
Gerd Ludemann, known Atheist said this:
"Jesus" death as a result of crucifixion is indisputable."
Quadratus was an Athenian bishop and direct disciple of the actual Apostles. He is often seen as the first Christian apologist because of his defense he gave to Emperor Hadrian during early church history.He points out that some who were healed and resurrected by Jesus lived until modern times. (They would be eye witnesses of the man Jesus)
"The deeds of our Savior were always before you, for they were true miracles. Those that were healed, those that were raised from the dead, who were seen, not only when healed and when raised, but were always present. They remained living a long time, not only while our Lord was on earth, but likewise when he had left the earth. So that some of them have also lived to our own times."
Backing up your point of view with the words of a former Catholic Priest, while Catholics and other Christians certainly aren't inherent liars, does have quite an issue with it. Said issue demonstrated by the fact that even if you were able to place the most convincing evidence against their beliefs many Christians will try to find a way around it or simply ignore it. Consider this, if a Christian were to say that the crucifixion of Christ wasn't historical, what sort of Christian would they be? Their logical mind may or may not recognize the lack of evidence for such an event but regardless their religious convictions prevent them from truly acknowledging it, I can speak from personal experience as a former Christian. You of course help to make up for this by supplying the words of "known Atheist" Gerd L"demann, who claims the crucifixion is historically indisputable. Not too bad, though it should also be noted that he seems to believe that all disciples and followers of Jesus experienced 'visions' of him in such a widespread way that jump-started Christianity as we now know it, so don't put it past him to believe in unlikely and unsupported events.
I feel I should note that outside of a religious group, the claim by a bishop that there were people healed by Jesus who lived well around another hundred years or more from the time they were healed, among mentions of other miracles, is a purely religious statement and does not qualify in a historical debate.
Now that I have addressed your statements (any thing not addressed much will be negated by the arguments to come) I will be arguing what historical evidence, or lack thereof, actually points to. Other than that which you have cited, there was plenty of other writings about the area in which Jesus would have been living. Let's take Philo of Alexandria for example, he wrote quite a bit about early Palestine, even mentioning some others who claimed to be messiah-like figures, but not one mention of Jesus of Nazareth. You'd think that he'd write quite a bit about the fellow too, considering he'd have probably thought him a heretic of sorts. Many other contemporary writers covered the same area, neither do they mention Jesus, or was he not famous enough at the time then? I find it funny that the story of Jesus, having little to no historical backing, is also largely similar (as if sharing a 'template' of sorts) to the savior gods of other religions such as Osiris, Dionysus, Mithra, and Attis.
It must be mentioned that other than historians living long after Jesus would have, or religious writers, historians didn't write about the alleged Christ. As I sort of mentioned earlier, you'd think a man of such character and growing influence who wanders throughout the lands would attract the attention of many historical writers in the area, but not a sentence written. I feel I am beginning to make this a bit wordy, so I conclude with the simple fact that the historical existence of Jesus has been unproven simply because sufficient evidence does not exist.
Here is historical evidence for Tiberius Caesar"s existence for comparison. This will be used because no one refutes the existance of Tiberius Caesar.
Tiberius Caesar, the Roman head who ruled during Jesus" life, has 10 authors who mention his existence within reasonably close proximatey of his life: Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Seneca, Paterculus, Plutarch, Pliny the Elder, Strabo, and Valerius Maximum.
There are 9 secular, or nonchristian sources for Jesus. This means that there are a comparable number of secular sources for Jesus" existence as compared to Tiberius Caesar"s. And, for comparison, the TOTAL number of sources between Jesus and Tiberius Caesar is a ratio of 42 to 10. Therefore, there are more than four times as many sources for Jesus" life and deeds than there are for Tiberius Caesar"s life and deeds. Are we to disbelieve Tiberius ever existed? Surely not. The same prosecution of the proof of Jesus' existance must be applied to Tiberius as well.
I trust the voters know enough to realize that the "Jesus has more evidence than Caesar" argument is little more than overused Christian rhetoric, it's been debunked so many times that it's be ridiculous for me to even recognize this assertion as any fraction of legitimate.
I end this argument asserting that, while not an impossibility, there is not enough historical evidence to conclude that Jesus existed as a man. We must not allow religion to cloud the objective view of history, we must remember that unfalsifiable claims invalidate themselves.
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