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The Existence of Jesus Christ

Viper-King
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7/29/2012 1:08:17 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Romano-Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus said in The Antiquities of the Jews Book 18 Chapter 3 says "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,[9] those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day;[10] as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

This confirms the existence of Jesus and gives quite a description of him. Flavius himself says "He was [the] Christ." For a historian, I doubt that this was based on bias. This is a good description of him and matches the description in the Bible. It also gives useful information. In Book 20 Chapter 9, it talks about James, brother of Jesus, who was slain. Look at the reference: "brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James." This references Jesus as called Christ.

There are plenty of other credible sources such as Tacitus, Mara bar Sarapion, and Suetonius which clearly states the fact that Jesus Christ exists. What do you dispute about the existence of Jesus Christ? What part of his life do you disagree with? What do you believe about him?
stubs
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7/29/2012 1:18:05 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Many of Josephus' writings have been known to be added to later in history. Remember, Josephus was not a Christian so anytime "his writings" claim Jesus as actually being the messiah, were in all likelihood not actually written by him. Some people will then go on to say that we can't trust any of what Josephus said. I would not take it to that extreme because I think he does give some insight into the historical figure Jesus.
Viper-King
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7/29/2012 1:23:54 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 1:18:05 AM, stubs wrote:
Many of Josephus' writings have been known to be added to later in history. Remember, Josephus was not a Christian so anytime "his writings" claim Jesus as actually being the messiah, were in all likelihood not actually written by him. Some people will then go on to say that we can't trust any of what Josephus said. I would not take it to that extreme because I think he does give some insight into the historical figure Jesus.

What do you mean added to later by history? By whom? Flavius claimed Jesus was the Christ.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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7/29/2012 1:27:30 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yeah...hate to be the one to break this to you, but quite a bit of Josephus' Testimonium (sp) was forged, especially that bit about Christ. This has been a general consensus among biblical scholars since the late 1800s.

Some reasons:

" First because, although the church fathers were quite fond of quoting passages which supported Christianity, and though these early church fathers were quite familiar with the works of Josephus, not one of them quotes this passage in defense of Christianity until Eusebius does in the fourth century. We also know Eusebius to be the man who said that lying for the advancement of the church was quite acceptable. He was probably the one who inserted this suspect passage into Josephus' works. Origen, the famous early Christian apologist, even quotes from other parts of Josephus, but somehow neglects to quote our passage. Origen wrote his book Contra Celsus in about 220 A.D.

Secondly, the passage comes in the middle of a collection of stories about calamities- which have befallen the Jews. This would not be a calamity. Thirdly, the passage has Josephus, an Orthodox Jew, saying that Jesus was the Christ. That is a highly unlikely statement for him to have made. The whole passage reads as if it had been written by a Christian. Josephus is made to call the Christian religion "the truth." He would hardly have said that. Although Josephus reports the miracles of a number of other "prophets," he is silent about the miracles attributed to Jesus. Again, this makes no sense when compared to Josephus' known genuine writings. The last phrase in the quotation, ". .. subsists to this time," referring to the Christians, would not make any sense unless it were written quite some time after Jesus had died. Josephus, on the other hand, wrote the Antiquities in about 90 A.D"

http://www.infidels.org...

Next, there's lot of Christian phrases you wouldn't expect like "if it be lawful to call him a man.

Also, while Josephus only uses the greek word poietes to mean "poet" in this passage it refers to "doer" which was a common use of it during the time of suspected forgery.

What I consider a bit of a death blow though is another historian of Josephus' time who wrote of him:

Flavius Josephus, who wrote the "Antiquities of the Jews" in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. 5268 And the wonderful thing is, that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great;

http://st-takla.org...

If Josephus witnesses the miracles of Jesus and wrote about them, it's pretty hard to believe that he wouldn't have accepted Jesus as Christ.
Wnope
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7/29/2012 1:29:16 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'd like to note that I believe a man named Jesus who taught stuff existed, but not that he was the son of god or performed miracles or other such pieces of the myth (analogues of which can be found in many proximate cultures like Isis Cults).
stubs
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7/29/2012 1:29:36 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 1:23:54 AM, Viper-King wrote:
At 7/29/2012 1:18:05 AM, stubs wrote:
Many of Josephus' writings have been known to be added to later in history. Remember, Josephus was not a Christian so anytime "his writings" claim Jesus as actually being the messiah, were in all likelihood not actually written by him. Some people will then go on to say that we can't trust any of what Josephus said. I would not take it to that extreme because I think he does give some insight into the historical figure Jesus.

What do you mean added to later by history? By whom? Flavius claimed Jesus was the Christ.

If he actually claimed Jesus to be the Christ then he would have been Christian, but he wasn't. He was Jewish.
stubs
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7/29/2012 1:32:31 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 1:29:16 AM, Wnope wrote:
I'd like to note that I believe a man named Jesus who taught stuff existed, but not that he was the son of god or performed miracles or other such pieces of the myth (analogues of which can be found in many proximate cultures like Isis Cults).

So in the Lewis trillema do you take the option of lunatic, liar, lord? Well obviously you wouldn't say lord, so do you say lunatic or liar?
Wnope
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7/29/2012 1:49:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 1:32:31 AM, stubs wrote:
At 7/29/2012 1:29:16 AM, Wnope wrote:
I'd like to note that I believe a man named Jesus who taught stuff existed, but not that he was the son of god or performed miracles or other such pieces of the myth (analogues of which can be found in many proximate cultures like Isis Cults).

So in the Lewis trillema do you take the option of lunatic, liar, lord? Well obviously you wouldn't say lord, so do you say lunatic or liar?

Being a charismatic cult leader and sanity are mutually exclusive (see: David Koresh/Jim Jones). Same goes for being a liar and personally converting thousands to their cult (L. Ron Hubbard).

All I know about Jesus comes from a mythologized story first put on paper twenty years after the fact.

Think of the Kennedy assassination. Less than two years later, a good portion of America was willing to believe the mafia, FBI, white house, cubans, and three separate assassins coordinated to kill JFK. This was WITH VIDEO EVIDENCE and HUNDREDS OF EYE-WITNESSES STATEMENTS.

Now, imagine Christ's time. He dies. There is no video evidence, no means whatsoever of correcting any minor mistake in retelling (did I say he was shot twice? I meant four times...), and after that time you write down the account of the MOST FANATIC cult members you can find. Only now do Isis Cults, Pagan solstices, catholic churches, and all other such things come to muck-up whatever understanding of Jesus we might have had.

You can see why I find it hard to judge Christ's psychology from the Bible.

How people people knew Jesus personally and died for him? Ten?

Dozens of men, women, and children BURNED THEMSELVES TO DEATH after an armed standoff with tanks and snipers. All because they believed David Koresh's claims.

How many women killed themselves and their own children because they believed what Jesus was telling them? Mary Magdalene didn't even get scratched.

Was Koresh a liar or was he insane? Probably a bit of both. He still killed himself rather than give up his religious beliefs (which, coincidentally, would involve not going to jail).

Jesus didn't even technically kill himself. Someone else ratted him out, and Jesus went quietly.

Koresh took machine guns to the United States government and then poured the gasoline to burn himself alive.

So exactly how is the Trilemma a challenge for those against Jesus but not those against Koresh?
wiploc
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7/29/2012 8:25:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 1:29:36 AM, stubs wrote:

If he actually claimed Jesus to be the Christ then he would have been Christian, but he wasn't. He was Jewish.

That's right. If you accept the authority of Josephus, you should be a Jew, not a Christian.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/29/2012 8:59:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Every historical figure has myths around them, even modern ones. They say in North Korea for example that Kim Jong Ill threw pine cones and turned them into grenades. There is a strange patterns us humans have it seems of incorporating non-existent magic with regards to historical figures. Anyway, it may be true that Jesus existed, but any supernatural aspects associated with him are obviously exaggerated and made up. Obviously he couldn't turn water into wine and he wasn't the son of God. People believe this in faith, there is no rationality in believing any historical figure was supernatural. The same types of magical myths were said about Julius Ceaser as well, but of course we don't teach the myths as facts...
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/29/2012 9:01:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Jesus could have been an amazing man, and people may have actually believed he was the Son of God and died for this belief. This does nothing to credence the idea he actually was the son of God. Muslim extremists are willing to blow themselves up and die for their beliefs too, that doesn't mean they actually get virgins in heaven.
1dustpelt
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7/29/2012 11:03:19 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Most historians, atheist and Christian alike, believe Christ existed, however most of them do not believe he was God.
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Rational_Thinker9119
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7/29/2012 12:19:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 11:03:19 AM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Most historians, atheist and Christian alike, believe Christ existed, however most of them do not believe he was God.

This. Personally, I do not know whether Jesus existed or not, but as a historical figure I have no reason to seriously doubt he existed at one time. I just doubt the supernatural myths that get tagged along with him because so many historical figures have had similar supernatural myths attached to them. It seems like this is something he humans due to bulk someone up to be more worthy of praise.
phantom
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7/29/2012 1:04:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I don't know why so many people reject his existence. Most historians believe he existed. Not that he was divine or anything, just a moral teacher in my opinion.
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stubs
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7/29/2012 6:31:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 5:47:00 PM, Viper-King wrote:
How did Christians forge Josephus' documents?

Happens over time bro. Doesn't happen to all documents, but it does happen to ancient documents. And especially since we have few of Josephus' documents (as opposed to those of the New Testament) it's harder to be sure exactly what was written by him.
Stephen_Hawkins
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7/29/2012 7:07:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 11:03:19 AM, 1dustpelt wrote:
Most historians, atheist and Christian alike, believe Christ existed, however most of them do not believe he was God.

Most of it comes down to how you attach a person called Jesus with *the* Jesus Christ. If you mean a guy named Jesus, then yeah, I think he probably existed, seeing as it was a pretty popular name. A guy called Jesus currently exists: why not in the past?

I just refer to the Habermas study: ~70% of the people interviewed stated he, from the evidence, probably resurrected, of a sample where all but 4 or around 200 were Christian.
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tvellalott
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7/29/2012 7:46:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I've said this before and I'll say it again.

Whether or not Jesus existed does not affect my opinion on Christianity in the slightest. Why? Because all throughout history, from well before Jesus until now we have people claiming divine origin. They prove this, generally, with miracles.

Now, as an amateur magician I maintain that even if I don't know how something is done, I can be certain that it is not actual magic. It's a trick. I convinced my girlfriend I could read her mind the other night. I convinced her sister I could read palms and knew about her past, present and future.
I've seen magicians do un-fvcking-believable things and had no idea how they did it.

I also have mentally ill people in my family, particularly one of my older brothers who has a form of schitzophrenia which causes him to be highly dissociative with people as a group. He says things about the world and the Universe which I know he truly believes, but are absolutely batsh!t crazy.

Now, with my own experience, what do I think is more likely...

That Jesus was indeed the son of God, sent to spread the good (sic) word or that there is some other explanation, like his was mentally ill or just a charlatan?

Yeah.
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Wnope
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7/29/2012 7:59:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 5:47:00 PM, Viper-King wrote:
How did Christians forge Josephus' documents?

Well, what you gotta remember was for a long period of time the ONLY people who copied texts down were monks, scribes, or some other very localized and restricted class.

It wouldn't be even remotely like today where we have cross-references and multiple copies and access to earlier copies and so on and so on.

Consider how many books the Vatican has that no one outside the Vatican was allowed to read. That kind of censorship is not imaginable in today's world of publishers and printing presses.
Wnope
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7/29/2012 8:00:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 1:04:36 PM, phantom wrote:
I don't know why so many people reject his existence. Most historians believe he existed. Not that he was divine or anything, just a moral teacher in my opinion.

A lot of people take "miracle doing Jesus" and "no jesus" as a true dichotomy. That's the usual reason.
DATCMOTO
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7/30/2012 9:31:39 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/29/2012 1:08:17 AM, Viper-King wrote:
Romano-Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus said in The Antiquities of the Jews Book 18 Chapter 3 says "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross,[9] those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day;[10] as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

This confirms the existence of Jesus and gives quite a description of him. Flavius himself says "He was [the] Christ." For a historian, I doubt that this was based on bias. This is a good description of him and matches the description in the Bible. It also gives useful information. In Book 20 Chapter 9, it talks about James, brother of Jesus, who was slain. Look at the reference: "brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James." This references Jesus as called Christ.

There are plenty of other credible sources such as Tacitus, Mara bar Sarapion, and Suetonius which clearly states the fact that Jesus Christ exists. What do you dispute about the existence of Jesus Christ? What part of his life do you disagree with? What do you believe about him?

Belief in Jesus Christ MUST be a gift from Him Himself, and it accompanies the preaching of the foolish Gospel ONLY.
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