The Instigator
RandomTruth
Pro (for)
Losing
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The Contender
WillRiley
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

There is no evidence to believe that Jesus Christ ever existed - Debate 2

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after 1 vote the winner is...
WillRiley
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,335 times Debate No: 68042
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (31)
Votes (1)

 

RandomTruth

Pro

V2
Starting another debate with a better opponent than the first.

Preamble

There is no reason to believe that the Jesus Christ of the Bible, virgin-born, miracle-worker, itinerant preacher and political & religious agitator, killed and resurrected and became a deity every existed.

Evidence 1: No Historical Record
The strongest evidence is that there is no actual indepedent corroborating evidence that such a man ever existed nor of his miraculous deeds. For a man of such great acts, some affecting thousands (e.g. the feeding of the 5,000, the rising of the dead) it is surprising that no record would remain of such deeds - none first-hand and certainly none second hand, especially considering there are many detailed records that exist of that time.

For the purposes of this debate, references to a 'historical Jesus' are invalid. Firstly, because we are discusing the existence of the religious figure and secondly because the term makes no sense.

Evidence 2: Jesus Christ is a religious invention
The only actual references we have are those found in the Bible, in particular the four Gospels. This Jesus Christ is a deity that performed miracles on this planet, a sort of avatar of the actual God - wholly God but also wholly human in that he was limited in his powers. His mission was to not only resolve the Jewish religion as a returning Messiah but also as a message to the rest of humanity that should they follow his Path, they too would have access to the Jewish deity on their death.

All this is, of course religious invention, with no bearing or evidence other than what a group of people, who call themselves Christians, choose to accept on faith is true. The Bible is replete with references to Jesus being a deity and having great powers - supernatural claims common for their time and largely unseen since: without evidence these events happened, one must conclude these are wholly religious inventions to impress believers.

Evidence 3: Jesus Christ only exists for Christians
Being a religious invention then, jesus Christ has to compete in the market-place of religious ideas and here his existence (and all the contingent claims that make Jesus, the Christ) is also disputed.

Beginning with Judaism, the original religious Jesus is the Messiah of, it's progenitor, there is enormous dispute as to whether he truly was that Messiah. Therefore, by definition Jesus Christ - the Messiash - does not exist according to Judaism. He was a fraud.

Then we have the cousin religion, Islam, who only accepts Jesus as a prophet and not the deity that claimed by Christians.

Within Christianity, the thousands of different denominations and cults should put at rest that there is any single definitive way to even worship - thus proving that religious claims are not even internally self-supporting and therefore unreliable historical documents to begin with.

Conclusion

With no historical record, where there should have been, it is impossible to conclude that Jesus Christ existed other than in the minds of Christians.
WillRiley

Con

Thank you for creating the interesting debate. During the course of this debate, I will attempt to show that Jesus Christ existed.
Arguments
In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman wrote, "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees". [1]

And, if you follow the link of where that quote is from, it is a book devoted to criticizing the bible and its authors. Even he agrees that, without a doubt, Jesus Christ did exist.

There are three mentions of Jesus in non-Christian sources which have been used in historical analyses of the existence of Jesus, two mentions in the works of 1st-century Roman historian Josephus and one mention in the works of the 2nd-century Roman historian Tactius. [2] [3]

According to New Testament scholar James Dunn, nearly all modern scholars consider the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion to be historically certain. [4]

Back to you Pro.

[1] http://books.google.com...
[2] Van Voorst (2000) pp. 39–53

[3] Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0-8054-4482-3 pages 431–436
[4] Jesus Remembered by James D. G. Dunn 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 page 339 states of baptism and crucifixion that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent".
Debate Round No. 1
RandomTruth

Pro

Thank you for accepting the debate.

I believe Erhman, being an atheist, is only interested in the existence of the man that could have been the originator of the religion of Christianity. This man is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible, virgin-born, miracle-worker and resurrected.

Josephus is under dispute and Tactius merely mentions the existence of Christians which is not under dispute.

As for Dunn, anyone could be crucified - in fact any man called Jesus could have been. The defining action of Jesus Christ is his resurrection, of which there is no record.
WillRiley

Con

Tacitus merely mentions the existence of Christians which is not under dispute.
False. The following are Tacitus writitngs on Jesus Christ. Tacitus, it is also important to note, refers to Jesus as Christ.


"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 Judæa, 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" [1] [2]

We are not debating whether or not Jesus worked miracles or rose from the dead. We are debating whether or not there is any historical evidence for Jesus. The defining trait of Christ is not the resurection. Christ is synonymous with Jesus of Nazereth, as according to these reliable sources. [3] [4]

I will now respond to your first round.

Evidence 1: No Historical Record

I have already proven this to be false.

Evidence 2: Jesus Christ is a religious invention

This is not evidence, just your flawed ideas.

Evidence 3: Jesus Christ only exists for Christians

Another claim of evidence where it is obviously not evidence.

Back to you Pro.


[1] translation from Latin by A. J. Church and W. J. Brodribb, 1876
[2] http://upload.wikimedia.org...
[3] Espin, Orlando (2007). n Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies. p. 231. ISBN 0-8146-5856-3.
[4] Prager, Edward (2005). A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations. p. 85. ISBN 0-521-82692-6.

Debate Round No. 2
RandomTruth

Pro

Tacitus
Your quote appears to only reference believers in Christ, not Christ himself. No one is disputing that Christians exist!

Evidence 1: No Historical Record
My points remain - you haven't shown any reference to Jesus Christ and his miracles. Without historical evidence of his miracles, you don't have a performer of miracles.

Evidence 2: Jesus Christ is a religious invention

> This is not evidence, just your flawed ideas.
This is not an argument - my points stand.

Evidence 3: Jesus Christ only exists for Christians

>Another claim of evidence where it is obviously not evidence.
Well, anyone that believes in Christ and all his acts in the Bible are by definition 'Christians'. Everyone else, of other religions or atheists, disbelieve.
WillRiley

Con

Tacitus
Your quote appears to only reference believers in Christ, not Christ himself. No one is disputing that Christians exist!

Try reading it again. It is obviously referring to Christ.

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

The following are the writings of Josephus, while under dispute, is still evidence.

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. [1]

My points remain - you haven't shown any reference to Jesus Christ and his miracles. Without historical evidence of his miracles, you don't have a performer of miracles

I don't need to prove that Jesus preformed miracles, only provide historical evidence that he existed, which I already have.

Well, anyone that believes in Christ and all his acts in the Bible are by definition 'Christians'. Everyone else, of other religions or atheists, disbelieve.


This is another false claim. As I have previously shown, almost every competent scholar of antiquity believes that Jesus existed (This includes scholars of all relgions). As for Jesus acts, Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet and and preformed miracles. [2]



[1]Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3
[2]Glassé, Cyril (2008). Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 270–271. ISBN 978-0-7425-6296-7.

Debate Round No. 3
RandomTruth

Pro

RandomTruth forfeited this round.
WillRiley

Con

I extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
RandomTruth

Pro

My apologies for missing round 4 but it appears that you continue to provide evidence for a wholly human preacher and none for a preacher with miracles. The larger quote is most definitely disputed and therefore rejected.

> I don't need to prove that Jesus preformed miracles, only provide historical evidence that he existed, which I already have.

Actually you do - the historical evidence you produced is either disputed nor does it show the existence of a person performing miracles. You have the evidence backwards: the Bible supports the historical man, but you cannot say the history supports the human-deity described in the Bible.


> This is another false claim. As I have previously shown, almost every competent scholar of antiquity believes that Jesus existed (This includes scholars of all relgions). As for Jesus acts, Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet and and preformed miracles. [2]

Whilst historians believe in the existence of a man, they most certainly do not universally believe the existence of the human-deity. Not even Muslims believe that he is a deity. Therefore, your rejection holds no merit.


Your entire case rests upon conflating a historical figure with the human-deity character in the Bible. Without corroborative proof of the miracles, you cannot say that human-deity ever existed. Since you have provided no proof that isn't already challenged elsewhere, my case that you have no evidence for Jesus Christ, miracle-maker, human-deity. Without evidence, you cannot say he ever existed.

Thank you for the discussion. Again, I apologize for skipping round 4.
WillRiley

Con

Here is what I said that is still unrefuted from round two.
"We are not debating whether or not Jesus worked miracles or rose from the dead. We are debating whether or not there is any historical evidence for Jesus. The defining trait of Christ is not the resurection. Christ is synonymous with Jesus of Nazereth, as according to these reliable sources."
See round two for the sources.

In round three, I said-

I don't need to prove that Jesus preformed miracles, only provide historical evidence that he existed, which I already have.
And you responded-

Actually you do - the historical evidence you produced is either disputed nor does it show the existence of a person performing miracles. You have the evidence backwards: the Bible supports the historical man, but you cannot say the history supports the human-deity described in the Bible.

I do not have to prove that the Jesus Christ of the bible existed. I do not have to use completly undisputed sources. I do not have to show Jesus was the son of God. I do not have to prove Jesus rose from the dead.

This is what we are debating- There is no evidence to believe that Jesus Christ ever existed
I have sucessfully shown this to be false. Thank you for the interesting and engaging debate.
Debate Round No. 5
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RandomTruth 1 year ago
RandomTruth
@WIllRiley: Accepted
@CainAbel: Why is 5 too much?
@Asburnu: Why are the miracles a tangent? Would Jesus Christ still be Christ without his resurrection? I think not!
Posted by Asburnu 1 year ago
Asburnu
Miracles are a tangent. If you stay on topic, the debate is only about him existing at all. Some of you are already Red Herring and Straw Manning this thing to death before it has even begun. Please focus and review http://www.csun.edu...
Posted by WillRiley 1 year ago
WillRiley
I can't accept, but if you make it so I can I will.
Posted by CainAbel 1 year ago
CainAbel
This is miserable, can't you go 3 rounds instead?
Posted by RobertSine 1 year ago
RobertSine
@RandomTruth

Killed and established a new law. I never said it was a reference to miracles or the resurrection. Those are your parameters? I doubt anyone contests that view, Christian or otherwise.
Posted by RandomTruth 1 year ago
RandomTruth
How is one being killed a reference to the miracles. Odd that your 'source' of Jesus Christ makes no mention of what makes him Christ to begin with - i.e. that he came back to life. Your source is rejected.
Posted by RobertSine 1 year ago
RobertSine
@RandomTruth

And you claimed that such a thing doesn't exist and that the whole point of your debate was to defend that idea.
Posted by RandomTruth 1 year ago
RandomTruth
@RobertSIne: And?
Posted by RobertSine 1 year ago
RobertSine
@ RandomTruth
Mara bar Serapion is historical.
Posted by RandomTruth 1 year ago
RandomTruth
@Beagle_hugs: Yes, but the miracle-worker is the claim that a full third of the planet believe in. You'd think there would be something solid to justify that belief. If there is nothing, then I'm good with that too but many Christians make the claim that Jesus Christ actually exist and that there is historical evidence for him that is independent of the Bible. This is not true. That is what I am debating.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
RandomTruthWillRileyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round, so conduct to Con. Only Con had sources, so sources to Con.