Theories against the Resurrection of Jesus Christ are incorrect
Debate Rounds (3)
I accept your terms (so long as I can check the sources of any article presented).
Here is my argument against the resurrection of Yeshua*.
1. Yeshua never existed and so resurrection is impossible. There is no historical evidence of the life of Yeshua until the writings of Tacitus who mentions a person who he refers to as Iesus (though to be the Latin of Jesus).
There were people who recorded all the cults practicing in the area at the time and none have any mention of Yeshua. Certainly the riot in the temple recorded in Mark 11:15"19 would not have gone down unrecorded (as it has).
2. The Romans would have been unlikely to allow the burial of Yeshua. In fact the roman's burnt the bodies of those crucified , this invalidates the story of the resurrection of Yeshua as he never would have been placed in a tomb.
* I use the Hebrew because I see it as authentic (I also think it sounds better).
"The bodies of the crucified Christians were displayed for six days and then burned so that the ashes might be scattered in the Rhone. Christian fellow-disciples complained, "We could not bury the bodies in the earth...neither did money or prayers move them, for in every possible way they kept guard as if the prevention of burial would give them great gain.""
Let's analyze your fist claim, that Jesus never existed, therefore his resurrection was impossible. You claim that there was no historical evidence of the life of Jesus until the writings of Tacitus, in his work Annals, which was written in around AD 116. However, around AD 93, Josephus, a Roman historian, in his work Antiquities of the Jews, mentions Jesus saying, "Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned... (1)." Also, you seem to claim that although Tacitus mentions Jesus, "Iesus" is only thought to be the Latin for Jesus and therefore he could be referring to a different person. Let's assume that "Iesus" was not actually Jesus but a different person. How, then, can you explain Tacitus's reference to Jesus in his Annals that says: "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..."(2)? This goes hand in hand with the biblical narrative of Jesus being sentenced to death ("extreme penalty") by Pontius Pilate. These two documents alone refute your argument that Jesus never existed. You must also realize that Tacitus was considered one of the greatest Roman historians ever! (3). Your claim also discounts the validity of early Christian sources that talked about Jesus. Regarding your claim about people who recorded all cults in the area at the time: you have not provided me with any source for which you can validate your statement.
As for your second argument that states that the Romans burnt victims of crucifixion and therefore he could not have been placed in the tomb, you must realize that the Biblical narrative has it that Pontius Pilate handed over Jesus to the Jews to be crucified (4). The Roman government was involved in the sentencing of Jesus and not the execution of him. But let's assume that the Roman government was indeed involved in the actual execution process of Jesus. Your source, which I believe to be legitimate, does indeed say that crucified Christians are to be burned. However, we must realize that the Jesus was a Jewish man and the Christian religion had not yet been founded. Your source claims that the Romans allowed crucified bodies to be given to those who requested it for burial, EXCEPT for those who were followers of the Christian RELIGION (5). The Christian religion had not yet gained widespread notoriety considering that the fundamental beliefs of the religion had not yet taken place!
I firmly believe that my above arguments are sufficient in refuting both of Con's arguments and I challenge him/her to come up with more.
(4) John 19:16
Josephus's work regarding Jesus is widely regarded to be a forgery by a member of the church possibly even after 900 AD, this is because a number of eminent Christians including but not limited to Justin Martyr, Anatolius and Photius (nearly 900 years after the death of Christ)  examined the works but failed to mention anything about the quote:
"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned..."
This should be enough to cast doubt on the authenticity of the mentioned passage.
"Also, you seem to claim that although Tacitus mentions Jesus, "Iesus" is only thought to be the Latin for Jesus and therefore he could be referring to a different person."
I am perfectly willing to grant Tacitus is referring to Yeshua. But even so you are talking about someone who was writing around 80 years after the death of Yeshua (by which time Christianity had taken hold), this would be the same as a person writing today talking about person who lived in the 1930's and hadn't been mentioned by historians before.
For what it's worth Iesus was a common enough name and I wouldn't be surprised if more than one person named Iesus was executed by the Romans.
Lack of Eye Witness Accounts
The two accounts you mention (regardless of their accuracy) were not written by people who would have been alive at that time   . If you claim that a historical figure existed you must back up your position with contemporary accounts. If a historian today claimed that a certain person not mentioned before died in WW2 (about the right time difference) they would be asked to provide citations from the time. If that same historian claimed that this person had a cultish following (while still not siting any previous accounts) they would be risking their credibility as an academic. But if this same person claimed that this same person was given to the Jews by the Germans for execution (I use this because of the oppression of the Jewish people by Pontius Pilate ) and then this same person rose from the dead three days later they would loose all reputation and possibly be asked about counseling.
You have provided two accounts (one seriously doubtful) from decades after the death of Yeshua that account to his existence and have not provided any evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus.
"Regarding your claim about people who recorded all cults in the area at the time: you have not provided me with any source for which you can validate your statement."
Sorry about that, this should be enough .
 http://www.tyndalehouse.com... (I don't agree with this account but if that's the date Christians will pick then ok)
 Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.85-89
 Jews, Christians and Jewish Christians In Antiquity, page 202 by James Carleton Paget
I would like to repeat the fact that I am only refuting Con's presented arguments against the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, I am not wholly proving the event.
Con claims that the text that I presented, authored by Josephus, was a forgery, and therefore could not serve as evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ and cited a source to back up his claim. However a closer look at his source reveals that it's goal is only to discount the validity of the Testimonium Flavianum, a reference to Jesus in Josephus's works that is widely held to be a forgery . However, the text that I presented was not part of the Testimonium Flavianum (Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities of the Jews), but instead was a part of Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities of the Jews, a portion widely held to be authentic by modern scholars. 
Con argues that because Tacitus's reference to Christ was written around 80 years after his [Christ's] death and his sources are not cited, his credibility is therefore doubtful. However, scholars argue that Tacitus most likely used sources that are now lost to us and that because of his position as a senator, he would have had access to official Roman documents. It is also considered to be highly uncharacteristic of Tacitus to obtain information for his historical documents from hearsay or gossip .
Con states again that Jesus must have been a common enough name that Tacitus could have been referring to a different Jesus. This claim is invalidated by the fact that Tacitus, in the text I presented, used the term "Christus", and not "Iesus." "Christus", is a Roman transliteration (or translation?) of the Greek word "Christ"s", itself a translation of the Hebrew word "Mā""aM17;", meaning "Messiah."  He says that this "Christus" was executed by Pontius PIlate. I challenge Con to cast reasonable doubt on the notion that there were many people called "Messiah" who were executed by Pontius Pilate.
Lack of Eyewitnesses
I'd like to refute Con's analogy to the absence of citations by Tacitus and Josephus to the absence of citations by a historian writing about a person who lived before WWII. It is reasonable to assume that we would still have documents preserved in mint condition that eyewitness a person living during WWII. Thus, if a historian does not have such documents, we can reasonably doubt this historian. However, we cannot assume such documents did not exist for Tacitus and Josephus considering that such documents would have been written almost 2000 years ago. Tacitus as a senator would have had access to official Roman documents.
People who Recorded the Cults
I took a look at the book and page you mentioned and couldn't find any reference to such a group of people who recorded all the cults in Judea at the time. The link to that page is below:
As for his argument on the bodies of Christians, I assume Con has either forgotten about it or has found it useless in light of my refutation.
No this works for both mentions of Yahshua, early Christian scholars scanned the works of Josephus many times, they tended to use his works for debates against pagans and would have loved a mention of Yahshua to use against the pagans, however vague.
Pro claims that Tacitus probably sourced his work from previous documents. Obviously this is possible but we still do not have the original documents, just because someone is held in high regard does not mean they do not have to cite sources.
Also saying that Tacitus could have got his information from "hearsay or gossip" doesn't help you in any way, decades old gossip will have moved far from the truth (a bit like a game of telephone).
Many "Messiah's" existed now and then, many people come to Jerusalem to proclaim themselves the Messiah, this is called the Jerusalem syndrome .
Lack of Eyewitnesses
It would also be reasonable to assume Tacitus had mint condition documents but still failed to mention them.
A person who never existed cannot be resurrected. The only evidence of the existence of Yahshua comes from (at least) second hand accounts that don't cite any source. This means we have no primary sources for the existence of Yahshua and conclude that evidence of his existence is lacking and therefore a negative is assumed.
Furthermore there is absolutely no evidence for the resurrection of Yahshua and we can conclude it didn't happen.
I urge you to vote Con.
Again, his above cited website only concerns itself with disproving the "Testimonium Flavianum", not the text that I presented. In fact, it states that Origen, a church father, referenced the text from Josephus that I presented.
Again, historians regard Tacitus as one of the greatest historians and it is considered highly uncharacteristic of him to get information from non-reputable sources. Con obviously neglects to realize just how well renowned Tacitus was as a historian.
I stated that Tacitus probably DID NOT get his information from "hearsay or gossip." Obviously Con thought I did.
Con's argument is completely unfounded and the source he provides talks nothing about said "Messiahs." His source talks about "Jerusalem syndrome" which has nothing to do with Messiahs or Jesus. Do a quick Ctrl-F search for the word "Messiah" or "Jesus" in his source and you will find nothing.
Con fails to cite the Gospels as a source.
Con also fails to realize that the point of this debate was to disprove the disproof of the Resurrection that he presented.
Thanks Con for a thoughtful debate.
I urge anyone viewing to vote Pro in light of the weak theories presented by Con.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sojourner 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to Pro for effectively rebutting all of Con's arguments. Con had BOP and it was not upheld in light of the refutation. Most effective was Pro's response addressing the Josephus forgery. Sources to Pro for being more targeted and effective.
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