The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Jesus did not exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,385 times Debate No: 34956
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
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To clarifiy, I do not believe the Biblical Jesus existed. To accept the debate on the existence of Jesus, please agree on the following:

1. You are a faith alone (not works) based born again Christian
2. You believe the Bible is the word of God and that Jesus died for your sins
3. The Bible is inerrant or pretty close to inerrant
4. The Jesus of the New Testament was an historical figure

This debate is not about whether or not there is a god. It is only about the Jesus of the four Gospels. First round is for acceptance.


In spite of the highly misleading title, I will nonetheless take the (possibly suicidal) Con case for this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the debate. To make this less confusing, I will make my text in bold so please make yours the regular way.

Christians who have taken the time to research the historical Jesus have found that there are no artifacts, writings or anything related to Jesus that come from his life period which supposedly ended in 33 A.D. The four Gospels of the New Testament that record Jesus’s life were not written until approximately 50-90 A.D., depending on which historian you believe and you can believe there is a lot of disagreement on that subject alone. As for Jesus, imagine someone healing the sick, raising the dead, making blind men see, the lame walk and walking on water in your community. Now, imagine that he is killed and rises from the dead and floats up into the sky. Imagine that he does this to save mankind from Hell and no one thinks to record this on paper for an absolute minimum of 20 years and probably several decades longer (in the case of Jesus). To believe in the New Testament, this is what you must believe happened. The Gospels were written by unknown authors who supposedly “remembered” what he did decades later. Many Bibles label the Gospels by the names we have today as “the Gospel according to Matthew” but no one knows if anyone named Matthew wrote the Gospel attributed to him. Strangely, the first three similar Gospel books all basically record the same events and miracles but Jesus performed his ministry for over three years! Coincidences happen but three different authors recording almost exactly the same miracles is almost too perfect. Without some collaboration, why would they all record basically the same events? Out of 666 verses in the book of Mark (thought to be the oldest Gospel), about 600 of the verses appear in Matthew.

If the Gospels are really accounts from four different witnesses, one would think it an amazing coincidence to all record the same miracles and sayings from Jesus. There really is not a huge variety of miracles in the Gospels when one takes into account the idea that Jesus was here doing these miracles for three and a half long years. The miracles should have been in the tens or hundreds of thousands. This should be yet another red flag for the truth-minded observer. Some Christians could argue that the first century was a long time ago and many documents that may have been written about Jesus could have been lost and destroyed. This does not sound feasible alongside the belief that God is a God of miracles. Could God not preserve such important information complete with identification of the authors? We have no idea who wrote the Gospels we do have. Everything that has ever been written about Jesus surfaced after his life. If the Gospels portray an historical Jesus, then one feature that stands out beyond a doubt within the stories shows that people far and wide claimed to know Jesus:

"News about him spread all over Syria…Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him" (Matthew 4:24-25).

The Gospels mention countless times the great multitude that followed Jesus and crowds of people who congregated to hear him. So crowded had some of these gatherings grown that Luke 12:1 alleges that an "innumerable multitude of people... trode one upon another." Luke 5:15 says that there grew "a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear..." The persecution of Jesus in Jerusalem drew so much attention that all the chief priests and scribes, including the High Priest Caiaphas, not only knew about him but helped in his alleged crucifixion. (see Matthew 21:15-23, 26:3, Luke 19:47, 23:13). In the Bible, the multitude of people thought of Jesus, not just as a teacher and a miracle worker, but a prophet (see Matthew14:5). So there can be no mistake of his popularity among untold thousands of people as recorded in these Gospel books.

If the poor, rich and rulers knew about Jesus, who would not know about him? How could one not find out about some guy preaching with great authority on a countryside hill and making blind men see and deaf people hear? That would be huge news to the casual farmer! With this in mind, is it not a stretch of the imagination that no one else picked up a pen and wrote any of these Earth-shattering events down? There were writings preserved during this time and within a century of Jesus’s life by such writers as:


· Seneca

· Pliny Elder

· Arrian

· Petronius

· Dion Pruseus

· Paterculus

· Suetonius

· Juvenal

· Martial

· Tacitus

· Justus of Tiberius

· Apollonius

· Quintilian

· Lucanus

· Epictetus

· Hermogones Silius Italicus

· Statius

· Ptolemy

· Appian

· Phlegon

· Phæædrus

· Valerius Maximus

· Lucian

· Persius

· Plutarch

· Pliny Younger

· Pausanias

· Florus Lucius

· Quintius Curtius

· Aulus Gellius

· Dio Chrysostom

· Columella

· Valerius Flaccus

· Damis

· Favorinus

· Lysias

· Pomponius Mela

· Appion of Alexandria

These writers did not mention anything about Jesus, the Messiah, the God-man born of the virgin Mary who could walk on water and heal the sick and the most important figure in history. They did not write about his resurrection and other miracles! Notable is Pliny Elder who wrote about everything, especially mysterious, unexplained things that were reported in the first century and still no mention of Jesus at all. He did mention Christians a few times but that is it. It is not as if Jesus was hiding from anyone. Supposedly, great multitudes saw him on a regular basis and all who needed it were healed. Think; what news could possibly be bigger in your town than a God-man who walked on water and raised the dead? How could someone so popular and influential not be important enough to be mentioned by one writer in his own day? He should have been mentioned by every writer of his day!

All evidence of the historical Jesus is nothing more than hearsay. Courts of law do not allow hearsay as testimony because it is third party information. Hearsay cannot be trusted because it is impossible to know whether the person lied or got the evidence from an unreliable source. The unknown authors of the Gospels make no claim in the Gospels that they knew Jesus. We have none of the original manuscripts of the Gospels. Paul did not know the historical Jesus and he was the most influential writer in Christian history. The writer of the Gospel of Luke admitted he was not a witness:

"Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word" (Luke 1:1-2).

Here, in a nutshell, is the problem: Let's say that God really did come to Earth as a man and was named Jesus. Let's say that the entire New Testament is completely true. Why would a God that did what Jesus did who inspired the Bible stop there? Why is the Bible the only source for learning about this important character in history named Jesus? Wouldn't it make more sense for Jesus to tell everyone to write this down? If God really wanted everyone to believe in Jesus and to follow him, it stands to reason that everyone on Earth who ever lived would have easy access to a mountain of historical evidence about this Jesus so that they too could believe and be saved. Why is the Bible and its shaky origins the only book that can be trusted when it comes to an issue as important as our eternal destiny? It should not be up for debate. It should be more obvious than the sun in the sky.



jghughes forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Well, I was hoping for some kind of debate since that was the purpose here.


jghughes forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


jghughes forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Why bother to accept debate if you will not debate?


jghughes forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
Brett... do whatever you like, but this is a pretty weak resolution.
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
I'd recommend changing the topic to 'Jesus was not the Christ.'
Posted by brett.winstead 4 years ago
Inquire, if you do not believe 1 and 3, you are not a fundamentalist Christian. Siege, I am not worried about the other debaters or who "won." I know Christians all too well and do not expect any to vote for me to win regardless of the evidence. I already had one voter who voted against me on a Bible debate and he even admitted I won but he wanted Christianity to win so badly, he felt like he had to counter the other votes. After calling him on it, he changed his vote. Any reason why you do not accept the debate?
Posted by Siege 4 years ago
Larz, so I'm guessing your debate with Skeptics didn't change your opinion any? Haha
Posted by Siege 4 years ago
You should look at the other debates on this site which were done on this topic. No one in your position has won thus far, and I'd say you would be hard-pressed to be the first. However, I will look forward to this debate whenever it gets accepted.
Posted by InquireTruth 4 years ago
Why does one need to affirm the propositions you listed in order to debate you on this topic? I do not care about "1." and do not believe "3."
Posted by larztheloser 4 years ago
Pity about the criteria. I've done so many anti-Jesus-existing debates before that I've been looking for an excuse to devil's advocate on one for a while.
Posted by brett.winstead 4 years ago
I changed the criteria for this debate slightly.
Posted by brett.winstead 4 years ago
YYW, you said "Even still, you can't disprove Jesus's existence." Since this is basically trying to prove a negative, you are correct. There is no way I can prove reindeer cannot fly either. All we know is that every reindeer in existence does not fly.

With Jesus' existence, I am only trying to get into a debate that says that the Biblical Jesus, the one every Christian believes in, did not exist. I guess I will just leave it at that because I don't want this too complicated. I will debate that there is no logic to the idea that he existed due to lack of evidence so people believing in him are believing in a fantasy. If Jesus did not exist, all of Christianity falls and in a good debate, I would show that he did not. I wish someone would accept.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
Brett, you're not going to make much progress here. If you want to quibble over historical record, that can be done. One person will have one source, and you'll come up with some others. Even still, you can't disprove Jesus's existence. There is no accessible evidence accessible to mankind which could support your incredibly farfetched resolution.
No votes have been placed for this debate.