The Instigator
TheSquirrel
Con (against)
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The Contender
apologist
Pro (for)
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0 Points

Jesus as a Historical Figure (Part 2)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 819 times Debate No: 47944
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
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TheSquirrel

Con

Done this one before, but I still see people quoting the same, tired, useless arguments, so LET'S DO IT AGAIN! (Yeah!)

I find no good evidence for the actual historical existence of Jesus. Pro will have the burden of proof to provide evidence showing Jesus existed. I shall merely have to refute his evidence.

The bible may not be used as a source of evidence as it is not contemporary and is clearly biased on the subject of Jesus' existence (Contradictory accounts written well after Jesus' alleged death by unknown authors does not constitute good evidence).

Pro should use Round 1 to begin arguments.
apologist

Pro

Hello "the instigator" I gladly accept this debate. This Is my first debate so forgive my greenness!!!

"The bible may not be used as a source of evidence as it is not contemporary and is clearly biased on the subject of Jesus' existence (Contradictory accounts written well after Jesus' alleged death by unknown authors does not constitute good evidence)."

The bible IS the PRIMARY source of Jesus' existence (though there are secondary sources as well). It is as if there was a murder and there were 3 eyewitnesses(Billy, Bob, and Bill), then 20 minutes later 2 people passing by (Sam and Sandy) see the dead body as well. Soon after, a Crime scene investigator comes along and says "I cant interview Billy, Bob, and Bill because they were eyewitnesses!" This seems a bit absurd to me to neglect the primary sources, but never the less I will put forth evidence.

Before I state my case I must give an analogy. We all know of Hitler, most would agree he is evil, yet some may say he was good. Either way we know he existed. If there are contradictory accounts of Jesus this doesn't necessarily mean that he didn't exist or that the evidence in question isn't "good evidence". We need to look at the big picture and not small subjective details.

Below is my Evidence

First, the pagan writers. These men were antagonistic to Christianity, which, in effect, makes them good historical references because they have nothing to gain by admitting historical events that pertain to Christ or his followers.

1. Cornelius Tacitus 116AD the Annals book 15 ch44
"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 Jud"a, 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. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired."

Tacitus was known as the 'greatest historian' of ancient Rome, and it is surprising that we have an antagonistic pagan referencing Pontius Pilate crucifying Christ, which is separate attestation to the 4 Gospels (which I cant use as evidence....even though it is a historical document)

2. Suetonis 'Life of Claudius'
"As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus (another spelling of Christus), he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome"

This passage shows that Christians were making "disturbances", this doesn't show Jesus exists historically but it does confirm what Luke says in Acts 18:2 "There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,"

This also shows how reliable the New Testament is (this applies to Jesus too)

3.Mara Bar-Serapion sometime after AD 70
"What else can we say, when the wise are forcibly dragged off by tyrants, their wisdom is captured by insults, and their minds are oppressed and without defense? What advantage did the Athenians gain from murdering Socrates? Famine and plague came upon them as a punishment 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 their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea and the Jews, desolate and driven from their own kingdom, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates is not dead, because of Plato; neither is Pythagoras, because of the statue of Juno; nor is the wise king, because of the "new law" he laid down"

obviously Mara Bar-Serapion doesn't believe in Christ's Deity but he believed him to be a historical person like Socrates or Pythagoras

4. Jewish Writings
Jewish writings are unfriendly towards Jesus, If Jesus didn't exist how easy would it be for the Jews to just deny he ever existed. Yet the Jewish writings show independent attestation to Jesus existence!

In the Talmud we read "It has been taught: On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went out, in front of him, for forty days (saying): 'He is going to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf.' But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of Passover"

In the Gospels Jesus does miracles by God's power, yet in the Talmud they associate this with sorcery.

In another passage in the Talmud they refer to Jesus birth, not as a virgin birth but as a bastard child.
"I found a genealogical roll in Jerusalem wherein was recorded, such-an-one is a bastard of an adulteress"

Instead of denying his existence they deny the virgin birth, this is because he was definitely alive!!

5. Josephus
"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

6.Ignatius
"Jesus Christ who was of the race of David, who was the Son of Mary, who was truly born and ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of those in heaven and on earth and those under the earth; who moreover was truly raised form the dead, His Father having raised him, who in the like fashion will so raise us also who believe on him"

In conclusion I would like to say that It seems more plausible that Jesus existed than he didn't, unless of course the pagans and the Jews who were antagonistic to the Christian message all got together and made up a story saying he existed!!!!
Debate Round No. 1
TheSquirrel

Con

TheSquirrel forfeited this round.
apologist

Pro

apologist forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
TheSquirrel

Con

TheSquirrel forfeited this round.
apologist

Pro

apologist forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by unitedandy 3 years ago
unitedandy
Find it a bit strange for Con to want to debate the historical Jesus while ruling out much of the affirmative case a priori. If the biblical evidence is no good, by all means, shoot it down. To exclude it from the get-go is special pleading.
Posted by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
Psh. Hearsay and stuff his followers made up.
Posted by TheSquirrel 3 years ago
TheSquirrel
Except that we have CONTEMPORARY sources for all of these people.
Posted by Topkek 3 years ago
Topkek
Proving anyone existed 1000 or 2000 or how ever many years ago is next to impossible under your conditions. Did Socrates ever exist? Did Homer? Shakespeare? Pythagoras? We'll never actually know.
Posted by TheSquirrel 3 years ago
TheSquirrel
@zmikecuber I'm fairly certain he did. There are primary sources, like the Babylonian Royal Diary and certain administrative accounts. This plus the wealth of secondary sources (cities named after him, coinage bearing his figure and inscriptions of his name all dated to his time) are fairly good evidence.
These kinds of evidence are all missing in the case of Jesus. The first mention he gets are accounts by unknown authors well after his death which conflict with the history of the region and with each other.
Posted by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
That's why I call him Alexander the Great Hoax.
Posted by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
I don't believe Alexander the Great existed.
Posted by TheSquirrel 3 years ago
TheSquirrel
@Wylted Well it's not your debate (no offense, simply fact), and I'm sick of refuting the bible time and again because people lose their shirt over it, so I'm cutting out from the start.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
I enjoy debates like this I'll just keep my eyes peeled to see how it develops. I wish you took the part about the gospels out though, because no, good debater will accept this debate, with those terms.
Posted by TheSquirrel 3 years ago
TheSquirrel
@Wylted Actually we do have contemporary accounts for Alexander the Great. Not very many, but more than we have for Jesus.
There are also the historical and internal inconsistencies within the Gospels. Trust me, it's not good evidence.
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