The Instigator
Murdoc
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
brontoraptor
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Jesus Christ was a Historical Person

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 345 times Debate No: 93162
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

Murdoc

Con

Pro presents arguments in round 1 and waves any arguments or rebuttals in the last round.
brontoraptor

Pro

Flavius Josephus
"Antiquities"

The extant manuscripts of the writings of the 1st century Roman Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

The extant manuscripts of the writings of the 1st century Romano Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews" includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18. Josephus was not a Christian nor a Christian sympathizer.

Josephus was an aristocratic Jewish historian."The Sanhedrin placed Josephus in control of Galilee during the uprising against the Romans."He would later settle in Rome following Nero's horrific persecution of the Christians."The major purpose of his writings seems to have been to recommend Judaism to Romans."A pharisee priest, Josephus wrote critically of the "zealots", who he blamed for the fall of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E."

Josephus makes two references to Jesus." In one reference, he refers to the stoning to death of James in the year 62 , calling James "the brother of Jesus who is called Christ."" The other, more significant reference to Jesus I will quote.

QUOTE:
"About the same time there lived Jesus, a wise man for he was a performer of marvelous feats and a teacher of such men who received his words with pleasure. He attracted many Jews and many Greeks."He was claimed to be the Christ."When Pilate sentenced him to die on the cross, having been urged to do so by the noblest of our citizens, but those who loved him at the first did not give up their affection for him." And the tribe of the Christians, who are named after him, have not disappeared to this day."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

*

Publius Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian who was hostile to the Christian movement.

The Roman historian and senator Tacitus referred to Christ, his execution by Pontius Pilate, and the existence of early Christians in Rome in one page of his final work, "Annals", book 15, chapter 44.

The "Annals", by Roman historian and senator Tacitus is a history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberius to that of Nero, the years AD 14"68. Jesus was crucified approximately AD 33.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...(Tacitus)

*

The Talmud-

The Talmud is the central text of mainstream Judaism." It is a library of rabbi teachings compiled over a period of about three hundred years. The Talmud contains many references to Jesus, but the one passage that most clearly describes the events surrounding Christ's death is the passage which suggests that Jesus was a person of much influence and a magical & a magician. The Talmud suggests that he encouraged people to apostasy, which under Jewish law was a crime to be punished by stoning."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

*

Letter from Mara bar Serapion to his son (73 C.E.) excerpt-

QUOTE:
"What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

*

Requoting of Josephus from "Antiquities".

"And the tribe of the original Christians, who are named after him, have not disappeared to this day."

In this quote he tells us that some people who actually knew Jesus face to face were still alive in the present day of his time of writing.

*

(Matthew 24:14)
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

If he was a fraud, this decleration could have easily died before it ever grew legs.

Christianity represents 1/3 of the entire world population. The Bible is available in 4,000+ languages.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

*

To fulfill just this one decleration, Christianity overcame the resistance of the most powerful empire on Earth, overcoming heavy persecution, death, genocide, and had to renounce their former faith with most certain death as their reward. A man will not die for what he does not believe, but a man might just die for what he DOES believe. And early Christians were lining up to face certain death in droves. Ironically, the very empire that crucified him annointed him as the king-god of their empire soon thereafter.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Murdoc

Con

Canned Argument:

Historical vs existence

Note that I did not mention historicity or existence. I’m sure there have been many rabbis named Jesus (a few were probably crucified in the first century) but they were irreconcilably different from the biblical account. If we had a historical record of two itinerant teachers named Jesus from the early first century we would not even have enough information to identify which the legend is attributed to.

They were not God, did not produce miracles and most certainly were not raised from the dead. Jesus is most definitely a myth or a legend as opposed to a historical person.

Legend:

a : a story coming down from the past; especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable [7].

b : a body of such stories <a place in the legend of the frontier>

c : a popular myth of recent origin

Jesus is not a historical person because we have no historical record of his life.

Legendary vs historical religious leaders

John Frum & Cargo cults:

John frum is a religious legend and Illustrates how difficult it is to distinguish fact from fiction with religious figures. In World War II many cargo cults sprang up in the South pacific. To those unfamiliar native tribes watched a constant stream of ‘cargo’ or supplies, food technology etc., flown in for GIs to support the war effort [4]. They reasoned that by recreating the rituals of the American soldiers they would also receive supplies.

They built fake airports and planes out of bamboo and carried stick rifles to emulate the soldiers. Their religious leader, an American John Frum, is said to have promised to return one day with food, clothing, housing, transport and other supplies. He taught that the locales should reject European culture, that one Day the missionaries, soldiers and immigrants would all leave them alone and leave their wealth with the cargo cultists. Less than one century later no one knows If John Frum existed or if anything about the record of his involvement is accurate, he’s a legend not a historical figure. We have no accurate account of him or his life and the same is true of Jesus.

Joseph Smith and Mormonism:

Joseph smith, however, we know a lot about. When he found the golden tablets containing the book of Morman or the other miraculous aspects of his life and the book we can say that is part of the legend of his life and religion. We also have a historical record and timeline of his life [5].

Problem of miracles

According to the bible Jesus fed 5,000 people with two loafs and fish,( John 6:1-14; Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17) he heals the blind and deaf, (John 9:1-41, Mark 7:31-37) raises the dead, (John 11:1-46) and was raised from the dead to fly to heaven (Matthew 28:6). When he was raised himself many saints were also raised from their graves and wandered around town appearing to many people (Matthew 27:52-54).

Today we understand that miracles do not occur. Since the majority of Jesus’ life is surrounded by miracles, and that this was a major proof for his Messianic persona, we understand that his life is a fiction. Since the majority of his life is a fiction Jesus is accurately described as a legend as opposed to a historical person.

No contemporary historical documents even mention Jesus (there is no historical record of Jesus).

If Jesus had in fact produced miracles and followed with apocalyptic warnings its strange that no historian documented anything about his life. There is not one contemporary historical source that even mentions his existence much less his miraculous evidence and apocalyptic warnings and solution to the one grave problem of hell [2]. Something truly historical was happening but no historian was even interested. From the classic work “The Christ” the author lists 40 famous historians who documented Jewish history at the time of Jesus’ supposed miraculous life.

One example, “Philo was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived until long after the reputed death of Christ. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ's miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. He was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

We have 40 well known historians that would have had knowledge of the amazing supernatural events of the gospels that mention nothing of the life of Jesus. They don’t mention the slaughter of thousands of baby boys in Bethlaham [3], the resurrection of the dead saints in Jerusalem or the many miracles of Jesus. The bible is a book full of religious legends not confirmed by history.

This makes all of the gospels nothing more than heresay. Jesus is not a historical person because history does not mention him. Did he exist? That’s another question but we have a religious/legendary account of Jesus, not a historical account.

It’s more likely that Jesus did not exist.

Let’s say I’d like to argue that batman existed in the 1950s but he really didn’t have a cape or a mask. He didn’t really fight crime, didn’t call himself batman and most certainly wasn’t a hero. Virtually all information about him was fabricated. Bruce Wayne was middle class and got in a fight with a guy named Joker who wore eyeliner at a bar once.

This is about the situation Jesus is in. We can’t confirm he lived or died because there is no historical record. All we have about him is unreliable fantastical religious texts we classify as fiction. Everything that makes him Jesus is an obvious fabrication. We have no evidence that God’s can exist much less that Jesus was part of a god trio. No evidence that he rose from the dead, produced miracles or even taught the things the bible says he did. We have no historical confirmation to verify anything about Jesus. In fact, all evidence we have collected suggests that miracles are impossible and gods do not exist.

Was there a rabbi named Jesus? I’m sure there were a few, but virtually everything related to the biblical Jesus mythos is false. He is most certainly more a religious/legendary figure than he is a historical person.

The gospels (only record of Jesus) are based on heresay

The earliest gospel was written around 70 AD , almost 40 years after the supposed crucifixion, and we have no idea who the authors were. They are full of miracles, inaccurate historical accounts (such as the slaughter of all baby boys in Bethlehem) and prophetic pronouncements. Nothing significant about the life of Jesus is confirmed by history. Jesus is a religious legend as opposed to a historical figure.

The accounts of Jesus life are wildly different

There are many accounts of Jesus’ life (roughly 30) and they are very different [6]. There is no reason so expect that the biblical accounts of his life are more accurate. If the gospels were based on one Jesus, that is a big if, we have no idea which record is accurate.

-

Several Rabbis named Jesus undoubtedly existed in the first century AD. None of them had the iconic features ascribed to the biblical Jesus. They were not Messiahs, did not produce miracles, were not gods, did not rise from the dead and were in no way supernatural. The biblical Jesus is most accurately described as a religious legend as opposed to a historical person.

[1] http://www.stnicholascenter.org...

[2] http://www.positiveatheism.org...

[3] https://www.christiancourier.com...

[4] http://www.smithsonianmag.com...

[5] http://www.pbs.org...

[6] http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com...

[7] http://www.merriam-webster.com... dictionary/legend

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org...

brontoraptor

Pro

If he was not historical, his unhistorical self was the greatest guesser of all time.

Christ gave us the timeline from himself to the end. He gives some bold claims for a Jewish carpenter 2,000 years ago. Could it be possible? Absolutely...

1)
(Matthew 24:14)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Per the "Worldwide Web", this is reality.

http://www.jesusiscoming.education...

The full Bible has been translated into 531 languages, and 2,883 languages have at least some portion of the Gospel.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

*

1)A great "false" antichrist prophet will arise denouncing Jesus as the Son of God.

Muhammed arrived and denounced Jesus as the Son of God, put the kaaba stone in place to be bowed to in the name of Allah, and directed that no other religion could be allowed on the Arabian Penninsula.

http://carm.org...

http://www.hope-of-israel.org...

*

2)This prophet will set up a graven image to be bowed to or the result is death.

In Revelation 13:15 the followers of Antichrist bow to an image set up by the "great prophet" in mass.

Picture bowing to Kaaba

https://edaccessible.com...

(Time lapse video of Muslims bowing to the Kaaba)

http://youtu.be...

*

3)He will empower a false God who will literally be declared to be God in the temple of God and does not accept that Jesus is the Son of God. He is set up at the temple mount.

There is a "god" set up in the temple in the exact location: temple mount. Here is the inscription on that temple.

"Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son."

http://www.islamic-awareness.org...

*

4)His followers behead Christians.

Muhammed's followers behead Christians.

http://www.ijreview.com...

(Quran 8:12) says that Allah will "terrorize unbelievers" and Muslims are to behead them.

*

5)His followers will make up 1/4 of the world in the end and will live and spread "by the sword".

Muhammed's followers make up 1/4 of the world, and their symbol is the sword.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

http://www.islam101.com...

"And I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green like a corpse. And Death was the name of its rider, who was followed around by the grave. They were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword." (Revelation 6:7-8)

*

(Luke 21:25)
"And upon the earth there will be a distress of nations, with perplexity."

That would be an understatement...

www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!

http://www.theatlantic.com...

*

(Luke 17:26)
"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the end."

What was it like in the ancient story of Noah? The world was filled with unimaginable violence.

http://www.gotquestions.org...

(Luke 17:28)
"And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot."

Since 2001, 14 countries have fully legalized homosexual marriage, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, Uraguay, France, with parts of North and South America doing the same. And the list is growing all the time. And yet what did God's Word say in Jude 1:7? That Sodom was set as an example to the world.

http://www.endtimes-bibleprophecy.com...

*

End times prophecy-

(Isaiah 17:1)
A prophecy against Damascus: "See, Damascus will no longer be as it was, but will become a heap of ruins."

Damascus has been destroyed by the Syrian war.

http://americanvision.org...

http://www.raptureforums.com...

(Video Drone footage of Damascus)

http://youtu.be...

Here is a Biblical scholar pointing out this point before Damascus was ever hit.

http://www.alamongordo.com...

*

(Daniel 11:42-43)
"It shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape." But it shall have power over them, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at its mercy."

Egypt did not escape. Libya and Ethiopia are in submission.

http://mobile.nytimes.com...

http://www.colinagyles.com...

*

(Revelation 17:5)
"The name written on her forehead was a mystery: babylon the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth."

It told us exactly what and where it is. A city. By the Red Sea. Hated by Iran. Against Christ. The place where they bow to its image....

http://youtu.be...
Debate Round No. 2
Murdoc

Con


Pro has not really provided a real rebuttal and has not provided any substantial arguments. Round one is second and third hand references to some rabbi named Jesus, which does not constitute a historical figure/record. If we had 5 historical candidates (we don’t have one) we would have no way to determine if one is the inspiration for Christianity because we have no verified historical information to start with. Pro’s round 2 is just some vague references to prophecy not related to the resolution.



Historical vs existence


Pro presented some loose references to Jesus that are second and third hand. Legends and myths are referenced in historical documents all the time. It’s possible that there was a rabbi in the first century that inspired a movement. We have no historical information about him. Not even a verified birth date. There are several men that king Arthur may be based (wiki page lists six) on but that does not mean there are any historical facts in the legendary accounts [9].



Publius Cornelius Tacitus


I don’t see a reference to Jesus or his death in Pro’s source. I’ll need a quote and reference to reply.



Jesus in the Talmud


The Talmud contains second hand references to Jesus. The Talmud is religious as opposed to historical. The references are a response to Christianity and the assertion that there was a rabbi named Jesus who is the Messiah. It does not establish a single historical fact.



"And the tribe of the original Christians, who are named after him, have not disappeared to this day."


Like all quotes this is second hand and says nothing about the non-existent historical record of Jesus. Again, you can find quotes about the religious John Frum, "E look like you. 'E got white face. 'E tall man. 'E live 'long South America [11]." We still have no idea if he existed or any facts about him. You can find eyewitness accounts of alien abduction.


Raëlism is a religion based on reptilian aliens. If I say Raëlians are a form of reptilian alien and there is a cult named after them did I just confirm that there is an accurate historical record associated with them? It’s just a confirmation of the founding of Christianity and in no way confirms any historical fact about any founder.



“What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king?”


“It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men.”


This in no way confirms any historical record. It’s second hand 40 years after the alleged execution (73 CE). There were at least 40 historians available to document the many miracles in the remarkable legend of Jesus life.


We can’t even get a first hand confirmation of his execution or a conformation of the general date. The destruction of Jerusalem took place around 70 AD. The quote indicates his death and the end of Jerusalem were the same and includes a reference to a supernatural god.



1) The gospel will be preached to all nations.


Pretty mundane claim I don’t see how it relates to the resolution. Christianity itself carries a strong mandate to proselytize. That it was successful and predicted it’s success does not prove that we have an accurate historical record or even a single accurate fact about a rabbi named Jesus.


It’s a logical fallacy to say that we have a historical record of Jesus because a lot of people believe it to be true (ad populum). This is especially true when in the same breath you say that Muslims have it exactly wrong when this is an equally popular idea.



A great "false" antichrist prophet will arise denouncing Jesus as the Son of God.


Pro attributes this to Muhammad. Again, this doesn’t relate to the resolution. Roughly 68% of the world are not Christian [10]. There are thousands of leaders that have resisted any number of leaders but this doesn’t make them fulfillment of biblical prophecy.



2) This prophet will set up a graven image to be bowed to or the result is death.


There are likely thousands of leaders who have worshipped idols and this is in no way evidence for the resolution.



3) He will empower a false God who will literally be declared to be God in the temple of God and does not accept that Jesus is the Son of God. He is set up at the temple mount.


This is still the same line of reasoning. It’s not remarkable that two religions are fighting for rights to a religious site. Where is this in the bible?



4) His followers behead Christians.


Pro continues with confirmation bias and an irrelevant argument. That he’s managed to link a few facts out of thousands associated with Christianity to events in reality has nothing to do with the resolution.



5)His followers will make up 1/4 of the world in the end and will live and spread "by the sword".


Where is this in the bible and what does it have to do with the resolution? Pro continues along this line Cherry picking scriptures he believes represent fulfilled prophecy. These have nothing to do with the resolution.



-



Pro cannot confirm a timeline of Jesus’ life. He has not established that there is one contemporary source to establish a single fact about his life, not even a birth date. What we have are 30 extremely different gospel accounts. I’ve stipulated that there were probably rabbis in the first century named Jesus. We have no historical information to establish if one of them inspired Christianity. Jesus is most accurately described as a legendary/religious figure.


[9] https://en.wikipedia.org...


[10] http://www.pewforum.org...


[11] https://en.wikipedia.org...


[12] https://en.wikipedia.org...


brontoraptor

Pro

Con:
"If we had 5 historical candidates (we don"t have one)."

If Con is claiming there were 5 Jesus Christ characters, my burden of proof in this debate is complete.

*

Con:
"The Talmud contains second hand references to Jesus. The Talmud is religious as opposed to historical."

And it is Jewish and of the very group who rejected Jesus and had him crucified. They had no logical motive to invent a threat to their own religion.

*

Con:
"It"s just a confirmation of the founding of Christianity."

Con admits we have a non-Christian confirmation from the first century of the founding of Christianity.

*

Con:
"This is especially true when in the same breath you say that Muslims have it exactly wrong when this is an equally popular idea."

Islam believes Jesus existed. Our number of "Jesus existed " believers just went up to more than half of planet Earth.

*

Con:
"There are likely thousands of leaders who have worshipped idols and this is in no way evidence for the resolution."

Not that renounce Jesus as the Son of God as a specific piece of their belief system. The Quran repeatedly states that Jesus is not the "Son of God". It is also on the inscription on the Islamic Dome of the Rock.

*

Con:
Point 4:
"Where is this in the bible?"

2 Thessalonians 2:4

*

Point 5:
"Where is this in the bible?"

(Rev 6:8)
"They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by the sword"

Islam is 1/4 of Earth. Their symbol is the sword. A central tenant of Islam is the "verse of the sword".

*

Con:
"I"ve stipulated that there were probably rabbis in the first century named Jesus."

Con admits there was a rabbi named "Jesus".

*

There is actually more evidence for Jesus than Julius Caesar. I assume Con believes Julius Caesar existed.

*

Jospehus did not believe Jesus was the Son of God. But he wrote about him. Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective. (book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3)

*

Cornelius Tacitus, the Roman historian mentioned Jesus death and crucifixion, so he was well aware of the event.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

*

Gaius Plinius Caecilius

In his correspondence with the emperor Trajan he reported on his actions against the followers of Christ. He asks the Emperor for instructions dealing with Christians and explained that he forced Christians to curse Christ under painful torturous inquisition: And they would not renounce Christ. They preferred death.

*

Lucian of Samosate

-Lucian was a well-known Greek satirist and traveling lecturer. More than eighty works bear his name. He mocked Christians in his writing, but at the same time provided evidence that Jesus really did exist:

*

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus

-He was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order in the early Imperial era. His most important surviving work is a set of biographies of twelve successive Roman rulers, from Julius Caesar to Domitian, entitled De Vita Caesarum.

He reports that the emperor expelled the Jews from Rome, since they "constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Christ".

*

The New Testament itself is Historical Proof That Jesus Existed-

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

The Gnostic gospels, unearthed in Egypt in 1945, is a collection of 52 writings concerning Jesus Christ.

http://www.pbs.org...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

http://www.neverthirsty.org...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

beginningandend.com/jesus-exist-historical-evidence-jesus-christ
Debate Round No. 3
Murdoc

Con

If Con is claiming there were 5 Jesus Christ characters, my burden of proof in this debate is complete.

I was clear that we don’t have a single historical Jesus that correlates to the bible. If Con thinks his burden equates to proving that there have been men in the past named Jesus he is grossly mistaken. It’s a common name in many cultures.


*


And it is Jewish and of the very group who rejected Jesus and had him crucified. They had no logical motive to invent a threat to their own religion.

This is just an assertion. The Talmud did not create Jesus. The references are a reaction to Christianity. Again there is no historical record. Just second hand references.

*

Con admits we have a non-Christian confirmation from the first century of the founding of Christianity.

Early Christianity was Chaotic and there were many competing views. Like a confirmation of the founding of Mormonism or scientology this in no way confirms that there is any truth to it.



Islam believes Jesus existed. Our number of "Jesus existed " believers just went up to more than half of planet Earth.

Adding more confirmed believers does not make this more than an ad populum fallacy. That the Quran, another religious document, has an opposing account of the Jesus myth does not add any weight to the claim.


I appreciate the biblical references but they are not remarkable and I’ve replied to the content.


Con admits there was a rabbi named "Jesus".

No, I’m saying that this was at one point a common name. We have no historical account off a Jesus that corresponds to the biblical account.


There is actually more evidence for Jesus than Julius Caesar

Con asserts this without providing evidence.


Jospehus/Cornelius Tacitus

Again second hand references to a mythical figure are not a historical record. They are references to a myth of a legend. Saying that group believes in a mythical figure is not a historical record.

The followers of Christ and references to Christians

Of course there are going to be early references to Christians and their legendary figure. We still do not have any reliable records about.


The New Testament itself is Historical Proof That Jesus Existed.

Pro asserts this without evidence. There is no reliable resource that will claim that the bible is a historical document or that it contains any reliable facts.

-

Pro’s arguments boil down to an assertion that there must have been a man the legend is based on. It’s possible but it’s not anything you can confirm. We have no historical record to base this idea on.

brontoraptor

Pro

Atheist historians assert that Jesus was a historical figure.

http://www.strangenotions.com...

As a matter of fact the numbers of professional scholars, out of the many thousands in this and related fields, who don't accept this view, can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Almost without exception, expert historians believe a man named Jesus, recognisable as the one described in the gospels, lived and died in first century Palestine.

www.is-there-a-god.info/blog/belief/what-do-the-leading-secular-historians-say-about-jesus

"some judgments are so probable as to be certain; for example, Jesus really existed, and he really was crucified, just as Julius Caesar really existed and was assassinated. ". We can in fact know as much about Jesus as we can about any figure in the ancient world."
-Marcus Borg, Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University, in The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions

"This view [that Jesus didn"t exist] is demonstrably false. It is fuelled by a regrettable form of atheist prejudice, which holds all the main primary sources, and Christian people, in contempt. ". Most of its proponents are also extraordinarily incompetent."
-Maurice Casey, Nottingham University, in Jesus of Nazareth

"I don"t think there"s any serious historian who doubts the existence of Jesus ". We have more evidence for Jesus than we have for almost anybody from his time period."
-Prof Bart Ehrman, University of North Carolina in an interview by The Infidel Guy

My opponent is rejecting the proffesional opinions of nearly all historians Secular or theistic. He must claim high ground on the topic over those who are experts in the field.

www.is-there-a-god.info/blog/belief/what-do-the-leading-secular-historians-say-about-jesus

*

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the largest Christian Church in Egypt and Northeast Africa.

The Church was established by Saint Mark, an apostle and evangelist, in the middle of the 1st century (approximately AD 42)

www.is-there-a-god.info/blog/belief/what-do-the-leading-secular-historians-say-about-jesus

*

-Nothing to the Contrary?

If Jesus really were a non-existent figure of history it would be expected that some anti-Christian group would have made this known at some point. In fact the most hostile group towards Jesus and early Christianity were the Jews, yet they affirmed Jesus" existence by trying to accuse the disciples of stealing Jesus" body from the tomb. We also find anti-Jesus material in the Jewish Talmud accusing him of treachery and leading Israel astray. Those that hated Christianity the most just had to discover that Jesus was a figment of the early Christians imagination and expose it, and that would be the end of Christianity, however, not once does this ever happen. Why did the Jews try to explain away Jesus" tomb if there was no Jesus in the first place?

*

Early Christians were dying for Christ like flies. Why? For what?

*

The creed of I Corinthians 15:3-5 is dated to within 18 months of Jesus' crucifixion.

*

Saul of Tarsus knew information about Jesus that were in the 4 gospels. His letters are from within a few years of Christ's life.

*

Secular history coincides with Biblical history.

Other secular historical figures are mentioned in the New Testament. Josephus also mentions these figures, including Jesus. So if a non-Christian mentioned them all, including Jesus, and the gospels mention them all, including Jesus, knowing the other 4 are 100% secularly historical, it serms faulty logic to then assess that Jesus is now fictional.

(Luke 3:1)
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar--when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene--

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

*

The New Testament even got the method of crucifixion right.

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org...

A discovery at Givat HaMivtar, Jerusalem in 1968 showed a man crucified in the manner Christ was depicted in the NT. His legs were found broken. The NT points out the oddity that Jesus did not have broken bones in his crucifixion.

Josephus mentioned there being thousands of Roman crucifixions. Those fighting with Spartacus were crucified by the Romans by the thousands.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...

*

Finally, if Jesus is not historical, then the NT nailed it by unprobable luck when it claimed the gospel would reach the whole world at a time when there would be a falling away from the faith, and it be overwhelmed by a religion specifically rejecting Jesus as the Son of God, who bow to a graven image, have a great prophet who renounced Jesus as the Son of God, and his followers behead Christians...

What are the odds? One in a trillion.
Debate Round No. 4
Murdoc

Con


Similar topics are an auto loss/dive but without clear definitions or rules I left myself an out. I’m convinced Pro lost most significantly due to dropping all arguments especially those related to nature of the debate. He stuck to a script without engaging at all. The historicity crowd wins on a technicality (that was my point) and Pro simply assumed this was what the debate was about. This debate was in no way about the existence of Jesus from my view. Pro did not challenge this.



“Historical Figure”


I explained to Pro what I meant here. Any voters are free to decide but Pro did not contest that there should be a historical record to qualify. I went on to say that we have a fictional legendary account making it quite clear that he was not a historical figure.


He was free to contest this but he didn’t. He never even explained why he thought this was a debate about the existence of a rabbi named Jesus that; was the entire crux of his argument. He allowed me to frame the resolution as I saw fit without any protest.



TL;DR dropped argument summary:


Second hand testimony: Pro’s entire argument was based on this but…


Pro dropped this argument.


First hand accounts are always tricky. I pointed out that we have first hand accounts of alien abduction and they are in no way reliable. The few ancient references to Jesus that we do have are second hand. Pro pointed out that there are a few records of people years after Jesus’ supposed existence that said something like, “these people claim to have followed a guy named Jesus.”


That’s not a confirmation of existence (which is not relevant to this debate) and it certainly doesn’t establish any historical record for the life of Jesus.


Historical vs existence


Pro dropped this argument.


I argued that Jesus is better described as a legendary figure. Existence isn’t an issue. We don’t have a historical record about the life of Jesus. We can’t verify the nature of his teaching, where he grew up or anything relevant about his life.


The common definition for legendary, that I mentioned, specifically mentions that legendary stories are associated with a body of work that can’t be verified as accurate. They may be true, but, if so, we have no way to verify that the stories about Jesus were accurate.


The gospels (only record of Jesus) are based on hearsay


Con eventually responded here but simply asserted that the gospels are historical documents. He sites the Wikipedia page for the New Testament. The page in no way indicates that the gospels are historically accurate.



Problem of miracles


Pro dropped this argument.


I pointed out that not only do we not have a historical record of the life of Jesus but we have a record that defies all scientific laws. We have never observed anyone who has risen from the dead and this defies our most basic understanding of reality. The same goes for multiplying fish and bread or healing the blind and the deaf.


I was ready to look up a few case studies where this has been researched but the argument was not challenged and I would suggest that this is common knowledge not worth sourcing.



No contemporary historical documents even mention Jesus


Broken record: Pro dropped this argument


This builds on my objection that any reference to Jesus is second hand without an account from historians at the time. Pro asserted that the gospels were the accurate historical account that we have on hand. You can reference the biblical references I posted in this section.


There were 40 available historians who documented history in the exact location where Jesus existed. If he was a teacher of thousands, fish/bread multiplying zombies raised at his death, resurrected messiah you would expect one to at least mention him. An absence of an account here is incriminating and without it we can’t establish that Jesus was a historical figure.



The accounts of Jesus life are wildly different


Pro dropped


This just builds on my point that we have deceptive legendary accounts of the supposed life of Jesus. This points to the conclusion that he is more accurately described as a legendary figure vs historical.



Rebuttals:



Atheist historians assert that Jesus was a historical figure.


First, Pro references blogs and one commercial website to justify this point. Again, Pro did not challenge how I explained the basis of the resolution and these sites do not challenge it either. These websites simply defend the idea that there was likely a rabbi named Jesus in the first century. They do not present a historical account of his life.



Nothing to the Contrary?


Pro asserts that there was anti-Christian writing in the Talmud and that they accused them of stealing Jesus body from a tomb without any sourcing. Neither have anything to do with an accurate historical record and there is no way to verify if this is true without a source.



Early Christians were dying for Christ like flies. Why? For what?


No source so I can’t verify this. People who are different get murdered all the time for no other reason. Read the Old Testament for genocide references.



The creed of I Corinthians 15:3-5 is dated to within 18 months of Jesus' crucifixion.


No sourcing and I could find you a date for the entire book of Mormon, the Quran etc. This doesn’t relate to the resolution.



Secular history coincides with Biblical history.


I’m guessing you have heard of other legends taking place in history, historical fiction or the marvel universe. Just because you have a couple facts right does not mean the third is true. This does not add to the argument.



The New Testament even got the method of crucifixion right.


I need a third hand to help me face palm right now. The writers would obviously know how crucifixion worked.



A discovery at Givat HaMivtar, Jerusalem in 1968 showed a man crucified in the manner Christ was depicted in the NT.


The source here is an innately biased bible blog. The date is 1968, a couple thousand years after the legend began.



What are the odds? One in a trillion.


At this point… it’s difficult to know if Pro believes this himself or is just having a laugh. That the bible ‘predicted’ it would be popular and people would dislike or abuse them for being different is completely mundane. More important, it does not establish a historical record for Jesus to in any way support the resolution.



Sourcing


I use Wikipedia for broad widely established ideas. Pro used this site excessively along with blogs and religious sites. I think it’s fair to say that his sourcing was not adequate for several points.



-



Pro dropped virtually every argument I presented while I responded to the minutia of his assertions. I clarified and explained the resolution and Pro did not object in any way. He argued repeatedly simply for existence without explaining how this had anything to do with the debate. Even still, he was not able to counter my argument that second hand testimonies are not enough to establish existence.


brontoraptor

Pro

'Similar topics are an auto loss/dive but without clear definitions or rules I left myself an out."

This is what we call a retreat, which is fine by me. Con isn't as well established with me as many on this site. If he were, he'd know that I couldn't care less. If Con is in retreat, and I forced him there, I win in my own mind. Nothing else is relevant, thus I now sit a satisfied victor no matter the voting outcome. Con gave me all I wanted. His pure, unadultered submission. I'm good. I also used many, many other sources. Voters are welcome to look through the the sources and the context and validity. Con's own title is "historical". Since he's changing rules, so am I. Why? The outcome of this debate is meaningless white noise and as long as I have backed Con into a defenseless corner, my job here is done according to...myself. Thus, I will not forfeit the last round and will use it for my own morbid satisfaction.

*

"No sourcing and I could find you a date for the entire book of Mormon, the Quran etc. This doesn"t relate to the resolution."

It was sourced. Con missed it. And we know that Joseph Smith and Muhammed existed. My opponent has helped my case.

*

"I use Wikipedia for broad widely established ideas. Pro used this site excessively along with blogs and religious sites. I think it"s fair to say that his sourcing was not adequate for several points."

My wikipedia sourcing was to show #1, that these people did exist in history. Simple enough.

*

Con:

"I need a third hand to help me face palm right now. The writers would obviously know how crucifixion worked."

And whether a historical figure named Jesus Christ was crucified. They got other facts correct. Why would we now assume this was the only thing they got wrong. Besides, the Bible itself is a historical document. So are the Gnostic gospels. So is Josephus and the plethera of other non-Christian sources I referenced.

*

Con:
"I responded to the minutia of his assertions."

Con admits I brought forth a library's worth of points.

*

I now pose Con's own decleration. I clarified and explained the resolution in this last round, and Con did not object in any way. Thus, I am in the initial format that Con tried to manipulate in mid-debate. I changed the rules to "I can respond in the last round, and my burden of proof is simple to prove Jesus was known of by more than 1 person, making him historical, real, legendary, etc etc.

Con ran away. Con retreated and by his own assertion he "gave himself an out". This was in case Con got schooled at his own game. He did get schooled, He was splattered against the wall of retreat, and I received great pleasure in bending him over my knee and giving him the theological spanking that he deserved.

The end.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Murdoc 4 months ago
Murdoc
Caught me at a bad moment. I was curious to see the outcome and originally looking for an auto loss. Don't mention comments in your vote so as not to seem biased.
Posted by Masonh928 4 months ago
Masonh928
I'm not voting, but from the comments I would give Pro points, as con seems to be whining in the comments.
Posted by Murdoc 5 months ago
Murdoc
Also, I've been here a hell of a lot longer than you.
Posted by Murdoc 5 months ago
Murdoc
dammit Bronto! wtf. You just lost per the rules... scared?
Posted by Murdoc 5 months ago
Murdoc
For the record I agree that Jesus likely existed and I the core of my argument wasn't about that. I'm not convinced that we have any other reliable information about him.
No votes have been placed for this debate.