The Instigator
JackFritschy
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
gomergcc
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Jesus Never Existed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
JackFritschy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 496 times Debate No: 66037
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

JackFritschy

Con

First round is acceptance, I will argue for the existence of Jesus.
gomergcc

Pro

I will take the challange. This should be intresting.
Debate Round No. 1
JackFritschy

Con

My point in this debate was that Jesus was a real historical figure. The evidence for this is overwhelming. We have many accounts for the existence of Jesus outside the gospel accounts. The best source is Josephus, one of the most accurate and trustworthy sources of the time.

"Now there arose about this time a source of further trouble in one Jesus, a wise man who performed surprising works, a teacher of men who gladly welcome strange things. He led away many Jews, and also many of the Gentiles. He was the so-called Christ. When Pilate, acting on information supplied by the chief men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had attached themselves to him at first did not cease to cause trouble, and the tribe of Christians, which has taken this name from him, is not extinct even today."

Unfortunately, some christian scholars interpolated pro-christian language into the account. The passage above is the account with possible christian interpolations removed. Here are some more accounts of jesus.
Tacitus
"Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."
Lucain
"The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day"the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account".You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property." (Lucian, The Death of Peregrine. 11-13) This passage shows that Romans acknowledged Jesus as a man and not a myth.
Talmud
"Jesus practiced magic and led Israel astray" (b. Sanhedrin 43a; cf. t. Shabbat 11.15; b. Shabbat 104b)

"Rabbi Hisda (d. 309) said that Rabbi Jeremiah bar Abba said, "What is that which is written, "No evil will befall you, nor shall any plague come near your house"? (Psalm 91:10)" "No evil will befall you" (means) that evil dreams and evil thoughts will not tempt you; "nor shall any plague come near your house" (means) that you will not have a son or a disciple who burns his food like Jesus of Nazareth." (b. Sanhedrin 103a; cf. b. Berakhot 17b)

"Our rabbis have taught that Jesus had five disciples: Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah. They brought Matthai to (to trial). He said, "Must Matthai be killed? For it is written, "When (mathai) shall I come and appear before God?"" (Psalm 92:2) They said to him, "Yes Matthai must be killed, for it is written, "When (mathai) he dies his name will perish"" (Psalm 41:5). They brought Nakai. He said to them, "Must Nakai be killed? For it is written, "The innocent (naqi) and the righteous will not slay"" (Exodus 23:7). They said to him, "Yes, Nakai must be kille, for it is written, "In secret places he slays the innocent (naqi)"" (Psalm 10:8). (b. Sanhedrin 43a; the passage continues in a similar way for Nezer, Buni and Todah)
"It was taught: On the day before the Passover they hanged Jesus. A herald went before him for forty days (proclaiming), "He will be stoned, because he practiced magic and enticed Israel to go astray. Let anyone who knows anything in his favor come forward and plead for him." But nothing was found in his favor, and they hanged him on the day before the Passover. (b. Sanhedrin 43a)

How do you respond to these accounts of the life of Jesus? Don't forget that we have the Gospel accounts which have shown themselves to be very reliable.
gomergcc

Pro


It is general agreed upon that the death of Jesus was around 30 AD. There is no historical references to Jesus from this time period. Romans were know to keep many records and to this date there has been no Roman, Jewish, or Christian references to Jesus during his life or shortly after his death.



The earliest record of Jesus come from Acts written between 50 AD-62 AD depending on your source. Making the time the gospels were written between 50 AD-100 AD, again with some variance depending on ones source to as late as 120AD. This leaves a gap of at least 20 years between the crucifixion and any historical references.



The references my opponent as used are not from the time of Jesus.




* The reference of Josephus comes from “The Antiquities of the Jews” written in 93AD. Josephus was not born until 4 years after the crucifixion


* Lucian of Samosata lived from 115-200 A.D. So Lucian was not born until 95 years after the crucifixion.


* The reference of Tacitus comes from “Annals’ written in 116AD or 96 years after the crucifixion


* The references to Rabbi Hisda and Rabbi Jeremiah bar Abba comes from the Jewish Talmud written between 400-700 AD or 370 years after the crucifixion.




In order to show that Jesus was a real person we need a reference dated between around 5BC–AD33. This is just simply lacking at this time. While the evidence that there was Christians, as early as 50 AD, has plenty of references. This evidence can not show that Jesus was a real person only that there was people that believed he was.



Debate Round No. 2
JackFritschy

Con

My opponent has claimed that to prove the existence of Jesus, I must find a source that mentions him from the time of his life. Well, all most all of our information about this period in time comes from historians. Historians wrote about what happened before them, not what was going on at present. Past that, most historians were romans and a lot more concerned about events going on in the heart of the empire rather then far away in Palestine. Josephus would have known if Jesus was some made-up myth as to state otherwise implies that he wrote totally accurate history other then the three passages mentioning Jesus, John the baptist, and James. By pro's erroneous logic, we can't be sure that anything Josephus's histories actually happened because it happened before he was born. Beyond that, any historian from any period cannot be trusted because that were writing about events in the past and thus could in no way record an accurate account. To claim this is truly ridiculous. More then this historians, we also have the gospel accounts, do we not. While Pro my call these "mythological," lets take a look at the opening to the Gospel of Luke.
"Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."
Does this sound like mythology??? No, it sounds like history. The author states that he is trying to make an account of the life of Jesus, and he believes he has thoroughly investigated this. Another reason why Luke is considered very accurate is that the author also wrote the Book of Acts. Luke clearly knows the geography of the region and the various customs and practices of the various cities.
My final argument will be one of practicality. Let's think about this. Christianity says Jesus is a historic figure and talks about his interactions with other historic figures we know about. Who would make up a religion that takes place in there time frame and makes easily disprovable claims? Who would convert to this religion? We know of an early church in Jerusalem, how would they have come to accept a religion that makes claims about a guy who never existed interacting with Ciaiphus and Pontus Pilate who we know exist!
gomergcc

Pro


My opponent fails to understand that it not just Romans in the heart of the Roman Empire that don't have any record of Jesus. Roman's in Palestine, including Ciaiphus and Pontus Pilate, have not left us with any reference to Jesus. We have not found anything from anyone during that time period. The earliest references to Jesus are Paul's letters the the churches.


“Josephus would have known if Jesus was some made-up myth as to state otherwise implies that he wrote totally accurate history other then the three passages mentioning Jesus, John the baptist, and James”


How would have Josephus known this? Josephus would had to rely on other peoples knowledge to events 70 years before his writings, about events before his birth. We know that the rest is historically accurate because it has been verified from other sources. The only other source is the Gospels. It is not normal archeology, or anthropology, to use one source to verify an account that verifies the original account. There is some debate as to if the relevant passages were added in the 4th century. That is a subject for another debate.


My opponent as failed to put them self in the mind set of historians and the general public during this time period. This is a time period when if someone told what happened 100 miles away you would take there word on it. That historians had very little to go on other then word of mouth, there was no archeology. There was libraries full of information but access was given to a privileged few. A time when not many people lived until 50. Finding someone that witnessed an event 30-40 years ago was no easy task. While it was done it was long and costly.


“By pro's erroneous logic, we can't be sure that anything Josephus's histories actually happened because it happened before he was born. Beyond that, any historian from any period cannot be trusted because that were writing about events in the past and thus could in no way record an accurate account”


This is how archeology and anthropology works. If the writer is writing on events before they are born or them selves could not have witness then they are checked for accuracy against writings from the time it happened or from people that could have witnessed the event. There is cases were physical evidence proves the writer correct. Plato wrote about the Trojan war. There was no other writing to back this up and so Plato's account was deemed inaccurate. The discovery of the city of Troy showed that Plato's account was accurate. The history books have been changed to reflect this.


How accurate the Gospels are outside of the account of Jesus is another debate outside the context of this one.


My op-pent as several times state that I am calling it mythology. I am not calling the bible or Jesus mythology. I am stating that the relevant data as not been discovered to date. There are many well trained, and educated, archaeologist and anthropologist looking for this missing data. Jesus may well prove to be a real historical person. This data may or may not show other accounts accurate. I hope that I have shown my evidence in a effective way that shows respect for the religious nature of this debate.


Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
Disappointed in Pro's arguments. This is one topic that I do like debating. I would love it if Con would accept my debate challenge to him on the same topic.
Posted by gomergcc 2 years ago
gomergcc
Consensus matters when trying to prove something. To prove something you most show that a consensus is wrong and why. I don't understand why someone would join a debate site if consensus does not matter to them. All we are doing on this site is using one consensus to show another consensus wrong. Then we vote on if they did that well and if there consensus changed our belief. Together by doing this we made all of us smarter, better able to understand what we believe and why. This battle of consensus has driven humanity since before recorded human history. It is one of the thing that make us unique on this planet. We are the only for of life that cares what is the consensus and is driven to prove it right or wrong. Consensus is one of the most important things in all of human history.
Posted by yoshidino 2 years ago
yoshidino
Who freaking cares about "consensus!?" (everybody, I know. It's stupid) It is possible for most people to be wrong. Majority opinion proves nothing. Many people will believe or not believe something simply because it's what everybody else believes.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
I'm interested to see how pro will argue against the scholarly consensus.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
JackFritschygomergccTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were very disappointing, especially the "have to be an eye-witness" part. Con did not have too bad of arguments and did counter some of Pro's, so Con wins by arguments.
Vote Placed by Jzyehoshua 1 year ago
Jzyehoshua
JackFritschygomergccTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively debunked Pro's argument in the final round by pointing out the ridiculousness of claiming historians are not credible unless addressing events they personally witnessed.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
JackFritschygomergccTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros Trojan war argument contradicted .his premise, so arguments to Con.