Did Jesus Really Exist?

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by Liquidtruth, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. My contention is that no, he did not.

    The Existence of Jesus the Christ:

    1. http://www.atheists.org/christianity/didjesusexist.html
    2. http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/home.htm
    3. http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcno.htm
    4. http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm
    5. http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/marshall_gauvin/did_jesus_really_live.html
    I have heard many people claim that there are historical documents that prove that Jesus existed. I have yet to see them, and when ever asked, people rarely link to anything. I have seen people claim people wrote about him, but this was normally decades after his death. So, my question, did Jesus really exist, and if so, can anyone prove it (or at least show that it was likely)? And no, the Bible is not good evidence for anything.
  2. prove you exist and its not just someone imitating you.

    jesus did exist..... i doubt anyone will ever know exactly what he did or what he stood for.... but he was around.
  3. Prove I exist? I'm sitting here and typing to you right now. Sadly, I cannot prove someone is not imitating me.

    You seem quite sure he existed, yet you do not know what he did or what he stood for, but you are certain he was around? May I ask why and how that is?
  4. more or less, people dont believe jesus existed because they have issues with "Christians". ive heard of historic documentation that he lived, and it doesnt at all portray him as a savior. one story being that when a child, he threw a friend off the roof of a house and killed the boy. when asked why he killed his friend, he responded by saying he didnt kill the boy and followed by bringing the kid back to life.
    i never have liked most things christianity stands for. i would rather believe and be wrong than not believe and miss out on heaven.
  5. That is very interesting. You heard some documentation existed, so that alone convinced you he existed? I heard that lizard aliens rule the world, so it must be true! If you have links to this documentation, please feel free to share it. In fact, I am getting quite surprised at how difficult it is to find this information. If I asked you to prove that Caesar existed, it would not take you very long to show me page after page of historical documentation showing that he in fact did. When I ask about Jesus I get "Well, I heard some documents existed that proved he did, but I dunno having never seen them". For a man who could heal the sick, attach severed body parts with a touch, turn water into wine, walk on water, and raise the dead, I find that very odd. Very odd indeed.
  6. sorry, i left a few important things out.
    1. the christian church is more concerned with politics and money and raping babies. we dont know what he stood for, because people kind of change it around a little.

    2. people think of jesus the way he has been portrayed, once you get past the accepted christian image of him, he can make sense.

    more or less ,if christianity was corrupted over the years, we wouldnt have many reasons not to believe.
  7. I 100% do not believe that Jesus could do any of the miracles attributed to him. I am not discussing that. I am saying that Jesus Christ never existed, period, miracle version or otherwise.

    If people changed the Bible then you might as well throw it out, because it can not be trusted and it is not the word of God. Since God never came down to rectify the situation, I also have to conclude that, should he exist, he does not much care what the Bible says or doesn't say. :p
  8. i never met jesus, no one alive has. but at the same time, no one alive has met caesar or Abraham lincoln. all we have is words on paper saying they were there. same as jesus. if you dont believe in him in the smallest amount, then you should start questioning alot more historical figures and events.
  9. Why should I do that? You fail to see what I am talking about. 1) There are many historical documents, written by many people, that talk about Caeser. 2) There are no historical documents that I have seen that talk about Jesus Christ.

    Can you not see the difference between the two? One has a lot of supporting "evidence" the other has little to none. See my point? Or are we going to continue to run around in circles?
  10. my friend, we are and will be going in circles. let me just say im not a christian. i lived with not choosing a religion because they are all unproven. after learning a little philosohpy and seeing the world for what it is, i decided to accept every religion. i dont read the bible and i dont go to church,but what do i have to lose? if there isnt a jesus or muhammed or budha or ultimate creator, ill probably never know.
  11. it doesnt matter whether he existed or not, its the universal truths that come from his teachings that matter.

    personally i dont think he existed.
  12. Religion has little to do with it. This is not a question of religion, though it does have implications for some religions.

    You mean, common sense? :)

  13. Our main source of information about Jesus is the New Testament in the Bible. Is what the New Testament says about Jesus a true, accurate historical record with other sources? Because;

    The Roman historian Tacitus wrote his Annals of Imperial Rome in about 115 AD. We have one copy of the first six books in this series. It was copied in about 850 AD. Books 11 through 16 are available in a copy made about 1050 AD. Books 7 through 10 are lost. The Annals of Imperial Rome is considered by historians to be accurate.

    We have nine Greek manuscripts of first century historian Josephus' work titled, "The Jewish War." These copies were made in the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries. They are considered by historians to be accurate.

    But i do not agree that we have no other historical records of jesus other than the New Testamament. One of the best known references to Jesus is in Josephus's history titled Antiquities.

    Other ancient writers who mention Christ are Cornelius Tacitus (AD 55-120), Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas (secretary to Emperor Hadrian (AD 117-138), and Pliny the Younger who was a Roman author and administrator.
  14. Goood thread:)

    LT, do you mind if act as devil's advocate and present opposing info from time to time? I have no agenda for either side, but see a few small errors in a couple of the sites.

    "....To say that Mark's account is "skimpy" is to understate the case. There really isn't much to the gospel of Mark, the birth legends, genealogies, and childhood wonders all being absent. Whereas the gospel of Luke takes up 43 pages in the New English Bible, the gospel of Mark occupies only 25 pages - a mere 58% as much material! Stories do indeed grow with the retelling...."

    The 'childhood wonders' have been known for some time to be just stories that were perhaps created as an honest work of fiction, not as a way of deceiving people. The clay sparrow, withered arm, etc are quite late additions, so the above is a bit decepetive.

    These sites are saying that everything rests on the fact that only Mark talked about Jesus, but what we also have to consider are the writings of Jesus brother, James. Much of which isn't in the bible. Supposedly he's a contempory of Jesus and texts like those below from the Nag Hammadi seem to be written by someone at least pretending to be him. It is a strange thing, that he and Mary Magdalene, who were in Jesus words the closest to him and received secret teachings, should both by completely ignored nowadays by the church? James was the first Bishop, but rarely is he given credit. Jesus said that anyone wanting to know what his message was should go to James first....

    Sorry, I digress. But to get rid of Jesus we have to show that James was a liar or didn't exist. Could be interesting.:)

    The text below is from the NH, and the whole thing is well worth a look, as it gives a completely different spin on what christianity is to Jesus, his idea of many heavens and demons. In other texts, as I'vbe said before, the phrases and names he uses in his description of the nature of god and reality are taken from the Jewish Kaballah, and some from early hindu writers. This is only the first part of it, the rest is worth a read. http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/1ja.html
    The (First) Apocalypse of James

    Translated by William R. Schoedel

    It is the Lord who spoke with me: "See now the completion of my redemption. I have given you a sign of these things, James, my brother. For not without reason have I called you my brother, although you are not my brother materially. And I am not ignorant concerning you; so that when I give you a sign - know and hear."
    "Nothing existed except Him-who-is. He is unnameable and ineffable. I myself am also unnameable, from Him-who-is, just as I have been given a number of names - two from Him-who-is. And I, I am before you. Since you have asked concerning femaleness, femaleness existed, but femaleness was not first. And it prepared for itself powers and gods. But it did not exist when I came forth, since I am an image of Him-who-is. But I have brought forth the image of him so that the sons of Him-who-is might know what things are theirs and what things are alien (to them). Behold, I shall reveal to you everything of this mystery. For they will seize me the day after tomorrow. But my redemption will be near."
    James said, "Rabbi, you have said, 'they will seize me.' But I, what can I do?" He said to me, "Fear not, James. You too will they seize. But leave Jerusalem. For it is she who always gives the cup of bitterness to the sons of light. She is a dwelling place of a great number of archons. But your redemption will be preserved from them. So that you may understand who they are and what kinds they are, you will [...]. And listen. They are not [...] but archons [...]. These twelve [...] down [...] archons [...] upon his own hebdomad."
    James said, "Rabbi, are there then twelve hebdomads and not seven as there are in the scriptures?" The Lord said, "James, he who spoke concerning this scripture had a limited understanding. I, however, shall reveal to you what has come forth from him who has no number. I shall give a sign concerning their number. As for what has come forth from him who has no measure, I shall give a sign concerning their measure"
    James said, "Rabbi, behold then, I have received their number. There are seventy-two measures!" The Lord said, "These are the seventy-two heavens, which are their subordinates. These are the powers of all their might; and they were established by them; and these are they who were distributed everywhere, existing under the authority of the twelve archons. The inferior power among them brought forth for itself angels and unnumbered hosts. Him-who-is, however, has been given [...] on account of [...] Him-who-is [...] they are unnumbered. If you want to give them a number now, you will not be able to do so until you cast away from your blind thought, this bond of flesh which encircles you. And then you will reach Him-who-is. And you will no longer be James; rather you are the One-who-is. And all those who are unnumbered will all have been named."
    <James said,>, "Rabbi, in what way shall I reach Him-who-is, since all these powers and these hosts are armed against me?" He said to me, "These powers are not armed against you specifically, but are armed against another. It is against me that they are armed. And they are armed with other powers. But they are armed against me in judgment. They did not give [...] to me in it [...] through them [...]. In this place [...] suffering, I shall [...]. He will [...] and I shall not rebuke them. But there shall be within me a silence and a hidden mystery. But I am fainthearted before their anger."

    You'll notice that Jesus talks about 'archons':

    Gnostic Archons
    In late antiquity some variants of Gnosticism used the term Archon to refer to several servants of the Demiurge, the "creator god", that stood between the human race and a transcendent God that could only be reached through gnosis. In this context they have the role of the angels and demons of the Old Testament.

  15. @g0pher - All of that is way after the fact. It would be like my great, great grandchild writing about Jesus and what he stood for and believed and did, without using any reference material. I would not take it seriously, no one should.

    @Melt - No I do not mind at all. Devil's Advocate is a role I myself enjoy. Information is information and if it helps or aids in the discussion it is most welcome. Now... Onwards to the reading! :)

  16. Though Our main source of information about Jesus is the New Testament in the Bible. we do have other historical records:

    We have nine Greek manuscripts of first century historian Josephus' work titled, "The Jewish War." These copies were made in the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries. They are considered by historians to be accurate.

    One of the best known references to Jesus is in Josephus's history titled Antiquities. (Flavius Josephus was born in AD 37 and died in AD 97).

    Other ancient writers who mention Christ are Cornelius Tacitus (AD 55-120), Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas (secretary to Emperor Hadrian (AD 117-138), and Pliny the Younger who was a Roman author and administrator.

    Writting in the year AD 221, Julius Africanus quotes from a history of the Eastern Mediterranean written in about AD 52 by Thallus. Julius Africanus writes concerning the time of Jesus' crucifixion::

    "On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun."*

    In addition, the writings of opponents of Christianty such as Jews and Gnostics, confirm that Jesus was a real person. If they could, the best alternative for Christianity's enemies would have been to say Jesus never lived. But the evidence was too real and fresh--there were people still alive who knew Jesus or the Apostles. Their only alternative was to accept Jesus, but change his message.

    The conclusion: the non-Christian writtings confirm that Jesus was a real person.
  17. Its not even a question "if" he existed. He did live. Historically it is very widely accepted by people of many different denominations. Not only Christians recognize the teachings of Jesus Christ, he's the most quoted prophet in the kuran. The question is, was he the son of God as he claimed he was? Do you personally believe in his teachings? These are the real questions of his existence. You say their are no historical documents that mention Jesus. What about the Kuran and Bible, these are historic documents with differing objectives yet they both recognize Jesus' existence. The historical teaching of pontious pilots reign and dealing with Jesus Christ? Even Jewish history accounts for his prescence. Your research is a bit bias to say the least. I would recommend you broaden your sources and at least try to gain some perspective other than that of the aetheist movement's.
  18. His existance is a historical fact. no ficticious individual could have made the historical impact he has made on mankind.
  19. All of that is after the fact. Do they quote documents they had that were from Jesus' time, or do they just read the NT and start making some historical documents up?

    Yes, and Zeus was talked about in books too. He did not exist.

    No, those are story books, mythologies, fiction.

    I was a Christian for many years, did not doubt the existence of Jesus for a good portion of my life.

    Give me links if you want me to "broaden" my horizons (yeah, my word).
  20. i wanna ask you a question LT. this is what put me over the top and made me believe what i do.

    what will you do if when you die, there is a jesus?

    how will you explain yourself and how do you think he will respond?

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