The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Jesus Christ, the person, Did Exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/1/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 366 times Debate No: 80371
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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Jesus Christ, the man of whom Christianity follows as the Son of God/Christ, did exist. A religion consisting of 2.3 billion people are the outcome of the life of a real man from Nazareth who did exist. The argument is not "is Jesus God or the Son of God, but the man himself simply did exist. I take the pro argument on this debate because I believe he did exist.


I accept your assertion pro, and I also thank you for the opportunity to debate on this topic. Before we begin I would like to establish that the BOP does lie on PRO as he is making the claim, said claim being that Jesus of Nazareth existed and that there is proof of his existence. I want to establish this because had I not been made aware of this claim or position by Pro, or others of the Christian Faith, I would not come to this conclusion myself. On the other hand, one can come to the conclusion that Adolf Hitler existed through the documented evidence of his actions and the remaining physical evidence of his life.

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.
Debate Round No. 1


If Jesus really was a figure who did not exist, in history it would be expected that some anti-Christian group would have made this known. In reality the most shielded group towards Jesus and early Christianity were the Jews, and ironically, they affirmed Jesus existence when they attempted to accuse the disciples of stealing Jesus" body from the tomb. Also we find Jesus material, and not in his favor, in the Jewish Talmud accusing him of treachery and leading Israel astray. Those that hated Christianity the most had to have discovered that Jesus was a figment of the early Christians imagination if he was, and expose it, and that should have been the end of Christianity. This is not what happened.

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."


I don't know if this occurred to you, but the Jews would have had an interest in smearing the image of Jesus even if he didn't truly exist. Simply denying his existence would not be nearly as beneficial as encouraging hatred towards the head figure of a rival faith. I should add also, in regards to your mention of the Talmud, that Jesus being within a religious text that was not under control of the Christians doesn't validate his existence. Imagine I create a faith dedicated towards another messiah-like figure and a rival has his own religion with which mine is somewhat intertwined (to better form an analogy to the mentioned situation), he's going to want to put my faith down to keep his elevated. So it is likely that in the pursuit of his faith's elevation he would include the main figure of mine in his 'holy' texts in a negative view, regardless of whether he believed the figure existed or not. Fast forward a few thousand years and you have the same situation, both faiths have books with 'eyewitness accounts' backing them. Alright let me make one final point here, searching other religions for the existence of Jesus Christ is not valid because this is a secular, historical, debate. From a historical point of view, while some holy texts like the bible may contain some shoddy history it is mixed with a large amount of fantasy and falsehoods, the same can be said of a text written and controlled by any other faith. So to answer the question of "why did the jews attempt to explain away Jesus" tomb if there was no Jesus in the first place?" with "It is simply because Jesus existed" does not logically follow, I do apologize for the inconvenience.

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.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent disreguards secular sources for proof of Jesus' existence which seems fair and reasonable to me seeing the context of this type of specific debate. There are multiple secular sources that give us proof of Jesus' existance as a real and historical figure: Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger , Phlegon, Luci, Celsus, Mara Bar Serapion, Suetonius, and Thallus.

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.


Many of the 'secular' sources frequently named by Christian Apologists are questionable at best and debunked at worst. Josephus is a writer who is constantly dug up and thrown out by apologists who then say "Look! There is your proof, how can you ever disbelieve now?" without realizing that the writings of Josephus in regard to Jesus have already been discredited. These supposed words from him did not show up until centuries after his death, and have been shown without a doubt to be a forgery. In fact just reading the things he supposedly wrote don't even sound like him, for example why would a Jewish historian refer to Jesus as the Christ? On top of that, Josephus' alleged writings don't even add anything to the story of Jesus, were such an important historical figure around you'd expect to hear more about his deeds and accomplishments. However all we get is stuff that sounds like it was regurgitated from the Bible itself, centuries after the time! So it is clear that Josephus is not a reliable source on the existence of Jesus, though believers haven't seem to grasped that yet. Tacitus, another second century Roman writer cited by apologists, is an example of what we call "second hand" history. There is no true mention of Jesus in his writings, only the "sect known as Christians" being persecuted in Rome and their founder (never confirmed or said to be Jesus). The worst thing for Tacitus' writings is likely that they almost seem to be plagiarized from those of Sulpicius Severus, written in the 4th century, and mixed with other mythology. Unfortunately for believers it seems, as with Josephus, that these writings add nothing to the historicity of Jesus. Now moving onto Pliny the Younger, his writings don't much suffice either for a couple reasons. One reason that has been present within a few of these authors is the lack of the name Jesus, making it entirely possible that they were referring to some other figure claiming to be the 'Christ'. Another thing, his writings dealt with events people at the time believed happened, it's not as if he wrote of seeing Jesus directly, so it'd be like if I wrote of the Mormons believing in Moroni as a historical figure and future Mormons used my writings as proof. Now I can go on and on explaining why these writings don't constitute historical evidence, but id end up sounding like a broken record. So I will leave it to the audience to research further (try to stay away from the Christian blogosphere if you do) and you'll find the same problems over and over.

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.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by IntellectVsSpirit5000 1 year ago
Whatever you want is fair game to me.
Posted by TheWORDisLIFE 1 year ago
No votes have been placed for this debate.