The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

There Is Substantial Evidence to Prove Jesus Existed

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/17/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 684 times Debate No: 59093
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




My position is that there is no substantial evidence to prove that Jesus actually existed.


Jesus: The central figure of Christianity.

Substantial: of ample or considerablea mount, quantity, size, etc.; of a corporeal or material nature; tangible; real.

Any evidence must coincide with the entirety of both definitions. Your evidence must pertain to Jesus, the central figure of Christianity, and must be considerable in amount while being tangible/real.

We are not debating whether a messiah-like figure existed, but rather whether or not the existence of Jesus, the historical figure as portrayed in biblical writings, can be proven.

Tautology will not be accepted as substantial.

"Jesus exists because the Bible says so" will not be accepted as substantial. This argument would also support the existence of Harry Potter, Scylla, the Balrog, etc.

Remember, that what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

If you have any concerns with the phrasing of the debate, please leave a comment. I do not want to have any confusion once the debate has started.

Debate structure:
1. Acceptance
2. Opening statements/arguments
3. Rebuttal to opponent's opening and an elaboration on main arguments
4. Rebuttal to opponent's main arguments
5. Closing statements/arguments
---Any concerns with the debate structure can be expressed in the comments. I am more than willing to restructure the debate if you have any concerns.


I am a Christian, and I generally believe that Jesus may have existed. I don't knkow for certain, but it seems good to give it a try. Good Luck!
Debate Round No. 1


"I generally believe that Jesus may have existed"

Jesus, or a messiah-like figure, very well may have existed. However, the evidence just is not there to prove that Jesus, the historical figure, who is referenced so often.

I'd like to start by presenting an interesting and compelling statement on the claims of the existence of Jesus, the historical figure:

No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings. (Jim Walker, "Did a Historical Jesus Exist?")

I'd like to argue the legitimacy of the Testimonium Flavianum, the earliest non-Christian writing that referenced Jesus, the historical figure.

The first non-Christian sources of the existence of Jesus appear in Testimonium Flavianum, a portion of Flavius Josephus's Antiquities. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that these writings are not entirely factual. Firstly, Josephus was born in 37 CE, which was well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Additionally, Antiquities was not written until 93-94 CE, which means it was written after the first gospels. Furthermore, and perhaps most convincingly, it is more than likely that the text was subject to Christian interpolation and forgery at the hands of Eusebius or others (Kennneth A. Olson, Eusebius and the Testimonium Flavianum. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 61 (2): 305, 1999).

I am excited to learn what my opponent has to offer as substantial evidence to prove the existence of historical Jesus.


qwertyman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I maintain my position.


qwertyman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I maintain my position.


qwertyman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


I maintain my position.

If pro forfeits again, points should go to me.


qwertyman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by GKING14 2 years ago
Con, you dirty dog.... You copy and pasted your arguments. Shame!
Posted by NathanDuclos 2 years ago
If con is reasonably well versed in the actual subject, it his to win or loose. very interested in pro's argument, sources and evidence. . .
Posted by mrPrime 2 years ago
you'll also have to define evidence. evidence is vague and often relative.
Posted by simsan 2 years ago
I think Con wants a debate with emphasis on whether a historical Jesus can be documented as actually having lived in the time frame typically suggested by Christianity. Something like 3 (+/-3 yrs) BC to 29 (+/- 2 yrs AD). In order to be documentation of "the historical Jesus", I guess Pro should offer convincing corroborating (non-biblical) evidence linking the earthly character to supposed aspects of the biblical Jesus' life. e.g. his birth, his death, his family, his ministry etc. If I understand Con correctly he is expecting evidence which may be reviewed with the scrutiny typically applied by historians, but he isn't asking for evidence of miracles or of Jesus' holy paternity.

I'm guessing this debate pretty much boils down to the reliability of the Testimonium Flavianum.

Looking forward to the debate. I'm with Con.
Posted by E_Pluribus_Unum 2 years ago
@ The Instigator/Con "Free_Th1nker" I am still up for this debate if (1) I can still argue that the Jesus myth is likely incorrect, (2) we have more than two days to make an argument, and (3) has the exact same layout as this one, other than having more time for our arguments our debate.
Posted by E_Pluribus_Unum 2 years ago
Does pro have to accept the Jesus portrayed in the Bible as exactly the one that existed, or could pro argue that the historical Jesus existed? I would accept this debate if I can argue that the Jesus myth is likely incorrect.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff