The Instigator
VirBinarus
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
Jedd
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Jesus existed, and was the son of God.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
VirBinarus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/29/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 417 times Debate No: 87414
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

VirBinarus

Pro

Format: whatever you want...

Matthew 28:18 - "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.""

This debate will be about the validity of that claim.

Firstly, I want to establish that Jesus definitely existed. Ignoring the countless copies of the gospels that have been found from a time when many of the people who saw Jesus were alive, there were also two Roman historians who wrote about him, Josephus and Tacitus. The latter of which described Jesus in a negative light making it unlikely to be a forgery.

Secondly I want to show the validity of the New Testament using these principles:

1. Some of the new testament was written very soon after Jesus' death. For example Acts, which was written in 30AD.

2. Most of the New Testament (other than Paul's letters) was written or dictated by eye-witnesses who were around at the time of Jesus

3. The new testament comes from more than 2 independent sources. Many historical facts just have one.

4. The fact that the Gospels have similar important details, but tell different parts of the story with different significances, is evidence that they are independent sources, or at least some of them.

5. In many cases, the writers of these stories portray their own thoughts negatively. Under normal circumstances, people need a lot of evidence to do so, meaning that the disciples were completely sure of the events.

I look forward to debating with you.
Jedd

Con

I accept. Welcome Vir to his first debate!

Okay, but first, I'm going to say this debate is quite a hard one to debate. Jesus probably existed, but whether the revival took place or not is a different story. That brings us to whether He was the son of God. Which, as an atheist, I lack the belief of, effectively and unintentionally changing the topic to whether God exists. I'm not saying I want to change the topic, I'm just saying that if it comes the time where the existence of God has to be debated to proceed with the debate, it's not going to be irrelevant.

Evidence in the gospels or new testament or Paul's letters
Circular reasoning. Jesus was true because the gospels say so, the gospels were true because they were the word of God, God is true because the Bible says so, the Bible says Jesus was true... That's no better than me claiming I am the ruler of the universe because the book I wrote says so. You cannot use literature of Christ for evidence of Christ.

No.4, saying that because the Gospels have similar important details but tell different parts of the story is evidence that they are independent sources, I have to say that does not in any way make anything and independent source. Star Wars has so many episodes, they all tell the same story but of different parts and times. Does that mean evidence that Star Wars is real? As long as they are all intentional in creating the same story, in this case the same character, the evidence is in no way independent.

No. 5, people need a lot of evidence to do so, meaning that the disciples were completely sure of the events.
First, who do you mean by 'disciples'? And yes, people do need lots of evidence to do so. But in that time, people didn't know as much as us how our natural world works, meaning they would be far more susceptible to claims suggesting the supernatural controls such and such. Thus the mere certainty in the followers of Christ back then in their belief that a deity created everything was generally acceptable by the people. Furthermore, the promise of a higher being that loves you, and promises a land of eternal bliss and immortality for the soul was too much to pass for the people then. But now we know better. The disciples then, whoever you may mean, could have convinced the poeple with false knowledge or the promise of immortality, having nothing to do with evidence.

If any evidence could be accepted here, it would be historical evidence from a non-Christian biased source. There are lots of it, Pro bringing them up would mean I wouldn't be able to refute, as they are real, non-biased sceintific evidence. On the 'Son of God' part, it will be an interesting debate.

Good luck to Pro for the subsequent rounds.






Debate Round No. 1
VirBinarus

Pro

Evidence in the new testament
The Gospels, were not written by Jesus (unless of course you believe like I do that the Bible is inspired by God), but eye-witnesses at the time.
The Gospel according to Matthew - Commonly thought to have been written by Matthew, a tax collector, who later became a diciple of Jesus. Though scholars say that it may also have been based off Mark's Gospel.
The Gospel according to Mark - Written by John Mark, the earliest of the gospels. Thought to have been an interpreter of Peter - Cousin of Barnabas, who travelled with Paul on some of his journeys. Some say he was the young man in Mark 14:51-52, meaning he would have first hand experience of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Gospel according to Luke - Luke was a physician who was with Paul for parts of his other book "Acts", using we to describe actions in verses such as Acts 16:10-17
The Gospel according to John - Written by John, one of the disciples.

I'm claiming that the goepels were not only true because they say so, but because
  1. There was no reason for a forgery
  2. A forgery on this scale would have been really hard to complete
  3. The Gospels were from eye-witness accounts.

No. 4
Yes, the Star Wars episodes have many different episodes, but they tell the same story of different times, but the four Gospels are all recording the same time. While there is a lot of overlap, which confirms that they are talking about the same person, there is also a lot of details that are found in only certain Gospels, making it unlikely that they were all forged together.

No. 5
By disciples, I am referring specifically to Peter and John, who were instrumental in writing the gospels, as mentioned above. They would have been absolutely sure about these details, and they are recorded as the same, even by different people. So they must have been convinced themselves.

And to the "more susceptible" argument: I'm sorry, but do you know how to fill 5000 men with just 5 loaves and 2 fish?

Evidence from outside the Bible
|"If any evidence could be accepted here, it would be historical evidence from a non-Christian biased source. There are lots of it, Pro |bringing them up would mean I wouldn't be able to refute, as they are real, non-biased sceintific evidence. On the 'Son of God'
| part, it will be an interesting debate."

As I said earlier, the two historians Josephus and Tacitus wrote on the existance of Jesus. Jesus's existance is much more certain to historians to other people at the time such as Caesar.

The Gospels can be used in this debate because it is historical evidence. There are lots of the gospels in archeological numbers.

Also Good luck to Con for the subsequent rounds
Jedd

Con

"The gospels was not written by Jesus himself, so it's most likely to be credible."
Just because there are many gospels saying the same thing doesn't mean it must be true as much as many fanfictions about Twilight doesn't mean vampires exist. It could be of many reasons, actually.
1)
The stories could be passed on. Like as Pro has said Peter, who travelled with Paul, could have received the stories from him, and Matthew's gospel could have been based off Mark's. And they could have passed the stories on too. And there you have it, many storybooks with the same stories.
2) Because of this particular motive of providing evidence, gospels could have been written. The dawn of Christ could have required more evidence, and the followers of Christ may have come up with their books that reflect one another just so you can now say that the numerous gospels are all about the same thing.
3) It could also be due to fame. How much fame and admiration could you have invoked if you said something like, "Uh, yeah, I saw the same thing too! I saw Jesus!"

Now, I don't mean these to be proven, but it has just as much probability for a reason that all those gospels are the same as "because Jesus was real." On Pro's 3 accounts stating the honesty of the gospels:

1) Some possible reasons for forgery have been stated above.
2) Not that hard, considering religious texts of other religions are easily spread as well.
3) Were they? Please present parts of gospels that were from eye-witness accounts.


No.4, "Star Wars have different episodes but they tell the same story of different times, but the gospels were recorded in the same time," in response to Star Wars having many episodes but it's still fiction.
I was just raising an example actually, in which case I have plenty of. Any fictious concept could have had numerous independent stories, other than the Twilight fanfiction mentioned above, there could be retellings of Terminator, The Matrix, and other concepts that mix and match that essentially still retain the core idea, just like the gospels could have been the fanfiction, Jesus the concept.

No. 5, "Peter and John, the disciples, 'would have been absolutely sure about these details, and they are recorded as the same, even by different people. So they must have been convinced themselves.'"
This point has been rebutted above. "They must have convinced themselves" demonstrates they didn't even know the creditibility of those claims but they decided to roll with it anyway. Just like how they "filled 5000 men with just 5 loaves and 2 fish."

And again, yes, I do believe a Jesus probably existed. What I don't believe, however, is the assumption that He is the son of God capable of ressurection and walking on water. Pro, do you believe he has magical powers?

"The Gospels can be used in this debate because it is historical evidence. There are lots of the gospels in archeological numbers."
I cannot make of any sense for the second sentence. As for the first, I see the only evidence given to fulfill the burden of proof that Jesus was the son of God was the gospels, perhaps. Now, what is the evidence that the gospels are true and credible?

This link is for why John's gospel, a "disciple's" gospel was not so trustworthy, but mostly it works for the others too.
http://www.manyprophetsonemessage.com...

Best of luck to Pro and have a nice day!

I love Avicii and Coldplay btw...






Debate Round No. 2
VirBinarus

Pro

"Uh, yeah, I saw the same thing too! I saw Jesus!"
more like
"Uh, yeah, I saw Jesus! I was a complete idiot, and didn't understand a word of what he said, so much that he got angry at me and called me "satan!""
That motive doesn't make sense, because in mark's gospel, Peter, who is thought to have dictated the gospel, is called "Satan" by Jesus. so "He look, the son of God came down and insulted me in the worst way possible" doesn't really have the same appeal.

The stories could be passed on
The people who wrote the gospels preached around the time and place of Jesus. If what they said didn't match up, they wouldn't have lasted long.

Pro, do you believe he has magical powers?
I don't like to use the term "magic" because that has connotations of witchcraft and wizzardry. Which is the power of evil spirits. God is the sustainer of the world, and Jesus is God, so everything that happens in science, God makes happen, so he could easily make science not do something instead.

Please present parts of gospels that were from eye-witness accounts.
Mark was written with Peter in the room, there's one.
Matthew was a disciple of Jesus.
Mark was there in Mark 14:51-52
James wrote letters in the NT

The website

2. Well, if that's the only story there are problems about validity with...
3. Jesus always knew that he was going to have to die.
4. They are the same. Whoever wrote that website was not very good at fitting them together.
1. Mary Goes (possibly another Mary)
2. They find the stone gone
3. They tell the disciples
4. They see Jesus
5. No answer yet.
6. He had a scribe
7. John could have added it to the end afterwards.
8. Or mabye it's the way John's chosen to record it.
9. Could be writing style.
10. But John does have the death and ressurection....

Again, Good luck for the next round!

| I love Avicii and Coldplay btw...
are they singer-songwriters?
Jedd

Con

"Uh, yeah, I saw the same thing too! I saw Jesus!"
I was implying that people could very well be likely to say they saw Jesus when in fact they didn't to get fame and followers. I did not understand your following "more like" sentence and the explanation.

The people who wrote the gospels preached around the time and place of Jesus. If what they said didn't match up, they wouldn't have lasted long.
Pro, you are missing the point. I'm saying the stories could have been passed on and that doesn't conclude the authenticity of its contents. What you're saying is if the stories didn't match up they wouldn't have been passed on. Have you read my evidence to support this claim? You stated it yourself. "The Gospel according to Mark - Written by John Mark, the earliest of the gospels. Thought to have been an interpreter of Peter - Cousin of Barnabas, who travelled with Paul on some of his journeys," and "The Gospel according to Matthew - Commonly thought to have been written by Matthew, a tax collector, who later became a diciple of Jesus. Though scholars say that it may also have been based off Mark's Gospel."-Pro, Round 2.

Nonetheless, it has been made a fair point that everyone writing the same thing doesn't make it true. As the Star Wars and Twilight examples have shown. A most concrete evidence is when it comes to magic, which brings us to the next point.

Do you believe he has magical powers?
"I don't like to use the term "magic" because that has connotations of witchcraft and wizzardry. Which is the power of evil spirits." Okay, so you do believe in magic then. You do believe witchcraft and wizzardry then. Is it taught in the gospels? Do you believe in Jesus walking on water? Some kind of potion that feeds 5000 men? Followers moving mountains? Resurrection after death? Just give a simple answer, please.

"God is the sustainer of the world, and Jesus is God, so everything that happens in science, God makes happen, so he could easily make science not do something instead."
Ah, how nice. Science is based on questioning and critical thinking and disproving hypostheses with evidence and such until you get a theory (English-fact, science-theory) with countless independent evidence pointing in the same direction. No evidence for God's existence, however. Based on your quote, is God causing His own demise then?

Parts of gospels that were from eye-witness accounts.
In 1901, William Wrede challenged the historical reliability of the gospel, concluding especially that Mark portrays Jesus as secretive about his messianic identity because the historical Jesus had never claimed to be the Messiah.Form criticism later revealed that the narrative comprises fragments put in order by Mark, or by someone before him.

New Testament scholar Graham Stanton states that "the gospels are now widely considered to be a sub-set of the broad ancient literary genre of biographies."Charles H. Talbert agrees that the gospels should be grouped with the Graeco-Roman biographies, but adds that such biographies included an element of mythology, and that the synoptic gospels also included elements of mythology. E.P. Sanders states that “these Gospels were written with the intention of glorifying Jesus and are not strictly biographical in nature.” Ingrid Maisch and Anton Vögtle writing for Karl Rahner in his encyclopedia of theological terms indicate that the gospels were written primarily as theological, not historical items.Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis notes that "we must conclude, then, that the genre of the Gospel is not that of pure 'history'; but neither is it that of myth, fairy tale, or legend. In fact, 'gospel' constitutes a genre all its own, a surprising novelty in the literature of the ancient world."

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

Refutal to The website is to prove the accuracy of the gospels. Which has been attacked adequately to disprove. I shall not attempt to refute the refutals Pro has given for the website.

In Round 2, Pro seems to have been desperately trying to prove the accuracy of the gospels. I guess those stories and the Testaments are the only evidence to support Jesus being God, which are unsurprisigly Christian. Of course, the only people who are going to help you promote your business is your company itself. That's the gospels and Jesus, alright. You can write books exaggerating your products, you can have commercials featuring eye-witnesses (whether staged or not) but it all goes back to you promoting yourself. If not, you would simply disappear and go out of business.

So far, the points in Round 2 that are not even touched by Pro in Round 3:
-Just because there are many gospels saying the same thing doesn't mean it must be true as much as many fanfictions about Twilight doesn't mean vampires exist.
-Peter, who travelled with Paul, could have received the stories from him, and Matthew's gospel could have been based off Mark's. And they could have passed the stories on too. And there you have it, many storybooks with the same stories.
-Because of this particular motive of providing evidence, gospels could have been written. The dawn of Christ could have required more evidence, and the followers of Christ may have come up with their books that reflect one another just so you can now say that the numerous gospels are all about the same thing.
-reasons for forgery have been stated above.
-(A forgery on this scale would be too hard to complete) Not that hard, considering religious texts of other religions are easily spread as well.
-Any fictious concept could have had numerous independent stories, other than the Twilight fanfiction mentioned above, there could be retellings of Terminator, The Matrix, and other concepts that mix and match that essentially still retain the core idea, just like the gospels could have been the fanfiction, Jesus the idea.

My personal favourite:
Pro- "Peter and John, the disciples, 'would have been absolutely sure about these details, and they are recorded as the same, even by different people. So they must have been convinced themselves.'"
This point has been rebutted above. "They must have convinced themselves" demonstrates they didn't even know the creditibility of those claims but they decided to roll with it anyway. Just like how they "filled 5000 men with just 5 loaves and 2 fish."



This is one good debate, mate. Best of luck for the next round.

Avicii is a producer, Coldplay is a band, they make awesome music.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://www.youtube.com...





Debate Round No. 3
VirBinarus

Pro

Uh, yeah, I saw the same thing too! I saw Jesus!
In Mark 8:33, we see Jesus saying to Peter: "Get behind me satan!"

That is quite possibly the worst thing Jesus could have called him. Yet Peter wrote that down. The "I saw Jesus!" insentive argument doesn't hold up because of the bad light that that would have put the diciples in.

The people who wrote the gospels preached around the time and place of Jesus. If what they said didn't match up, they wouldn't have lasted long.

People passing it on from person to person wouldn't have happened because there would have been enough people who know that they are wrong.

is God causing His own demise then?

incomprehendable God. So incomprehendable answer. Yes and no.

"the gospels are now widely considered to be a sub-set of the broad ancient literary genre of biographies."
Yes... the gospels were biographies...

the only people who are going to help you promote your business is your company itself.
People generally don't get themselved crucified upside down for their business. And I still can't see how the disciples profited from it.

Just because there are many gospels saying the same thing doesn't mean it must be true as much as many fanfictions about Twilight doesn't mean vampires exist.

compared to other things we know about the that time, 4, or even 3, is loads.

Peter, who travelled with Paul, could have received the stories from him, and Matthew's gospel could have been based off Mark's. And they could have passed the stories on too. And there you have it, many storybooks with the same stories.
and John?

Because of this particular motive of providing evidence, gospels could have been written. The dawn of Christ could have required more evidence, and the followers of Christ may have come up with their books that reflect one another just so you can now say that the numerous gospels are all about the same thing.

If so, they would have done a better job.

reasons for forgery have been stated above.

I can't see any.

Any fictious concept could have had numerous independent stories, other than the Twilight fanfiction mentioned above, there could be retellings of Terminator, The Matrix, and other concepts that mix and match that essentially still retain the core idea, just like the gospels could have been the fanfiction, Jesus the idea.

Show me one other religion where the God sacrificed himself/his son for everyone.


I like tmbg

gr8 deb8 m8
Jedd

Con

Jedd forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
VirBinarus

Pro

VirBinarus forfeited this round.
Jedd

Con

Jedd forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SNP1 4 months ago
SNP1
@Vir

If you want to debate this again, I'm game.
Posted by Jedd 11 months ago
Jedd
DARN IT I MISSED IT
;_; Sorry
Posted by CaptainScarlet 12 months ago
CaptainScarlet
The general thrust of the pro side in these debates is to treat the new testament as some kind of sober, dispassionate history. We will probably never know who wrote these books nor what their motives were. But what we can say with some confidence is that they were Greek speakers who had access and exposure to a rich melting pot of mystery cults in the Mediterranean area. Funnily enough a majority of the myth themes from these mystery cults end up in Christianity.

Right from the get-go we should be a little concerned about treating it as sober history. Then when you actually look at the books:
1) Acts seems to be a hero tale of shipwrecks and jailbreaks
2) The epistles are talking of a celestial divine being only without referencing an actual physical human
3) The gospels starting with Mark - which is written as a good news story (plausibly only in metaphorical terms) - seem to want to trump each other for being more and more fabulous with time. There is no evidence to suggest these were written as history (although Luke rather desperately tries to convince his readership)
4) The dating of the gospels leads plenty of time for creation of mythology surrounding any figures in Palestine
5) The external corroboration is...best that can be said is that it is contested

What are we left with here?:

1) Man-god comes to earth, does fantastical things;
2) at the time no-one noticed historically,
3) 30 - 50 years after people to start writing stories about a celestial being by the same name;
4) 80 - 100 years later everyone remembered he was also an actual human; and
5) each subsequent story conveniently remembers more details about said human.

Of course it isn't impossible that a Jesus existed, we know its a popular name of the time. But how do you get from a Jesus to the Jesus, without making giant leaps in the historical method.
Posted by SNP1 12 months ago
SNP1
If you want a debate on Jesus' existence (without the "Son of God" part), I might debate you on it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 11 months ago
dsjpk5
VirBinarusJeddTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff more times, so conduct to Pro.