Friday, April 17, 2009

What proof is there Jesus Christ was even real?


Let me confront your belief system, by stating:

Jesus did not exist.

That’s right Xian, Jesus Christ did not exist.

Go ahead - prove me wrong!

What proof can you offer me that would make me believe Jesus of Nazareth was ‘a real person from history’ & not just someone from the pages of a book, I consider mostly fictional?

So let’s forget about Jesus as the messiah, being The Son of God etc, basically anything written in the gospels.

Those texts in The Bible were not eye-witness reports of Jesus anyway, composed anecdotally well after his supposed time on earth.

I am after ‘3rd party’ validation of his life.

So it's contemporary historical reports from neutral sources that talk of a Jesus of Nazareth, outside The Bible, I want.

I don’t think I’m asking for much here, given this is a major figure in history, and there’s over a billion people who support the proposition that not only he existed, but he was ‘the Son of God’.

Written stories must therefore abound, stories of his life and miracles must surely be part of regional folk-law?

Proving ‘Jesus Christ the historic figure’, should be an easy task.


A piece of piss.

So someone ‘of faith’ please give me evidence that a person we now call Jesus Christ existed and was not imaginary – without using scriptural references.



24 comments:

CindyK said...

1) Josephus a Jewish Scholar

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/humm/Topics/JewishJesus/josephus.html

2) Cornelius Tacitus' letter which the majority of scholars believe is authentic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Jesus


3) Pliny the Younger writing a letter to the Emperor about Early Christians singing songs to Christ.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/maps/primary/pliny.html

Your post is interesting to me because not many people actually deny the existence of Jesus. Those naysayers usually just deny that he was the Christ.

Interesting photo as your header. Yikes.

Canterbury Atheists said...

Nah Cindy, heard the one about Cornelius Tacitus's letter and it doesn't stand-up to scrutiny.

Its references to Jesus are 99% likely to have been added subsequently.

In other words the bit about Jesus was not written by the same scribe (even your link says the same)

Another obvious give-away these references to Jesus etc are false and introduced in this letter is the use of Christianos(for Christians) when the original author had been using the terms Chrestiani & Chrestians in other sections.

Christianos was not a part of the original writers known language.

There are references to Christians in the second ‘Pliny’ reference but - not one mention about anyone called Jesus.

So these are not convincing evidence and would not stand-up to any scrutiny.

More to the point, The Tacitus letter points to fraudulence.

So I stand-by my statement 'Jesus Christ did not exist' - till proved otherwise.

So I'm open to having my opinion changed, using references other than The Bible.

Thanks for your comments.

Paul.

PS: The photo is from the Kiwi film ‘Black Sheep’

Lucyna Maria said...

Even if someone gave you proof that could not be doubted, you wouldn't believe it anyway.

Pointless, really.

CindyK said...

M'Kay. :)

I'll never count sheep again, that's for sure. *wink*

Take care!

BeamStalk said...

Actually CA, I believe Jesus was a real person, just the stories in the Bible were made up well after he died (which is the case).

I actually use the Bible to prove this too. If Jesus was made up, why have the weird unconvincing story of dragging Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. You would just say he was born there from the start. This tells me that there had to be some reference for the people of the time, that they knew he was from Nazareth and not Bethlehem like the prophecies say. So you make up a weird involved story to get him there.

One of the stories I think is actually true, is Jesus and the money changers in the temple. Jesus is not painted in a real good light there. He literally goes out and makes a crude cat-o-nine tails and beats people with it. Not a story you want to really include for a prince of peace unless it was already widely known.

So I guess I side with Monty Python and "The Life of Brian". That there was a real man but people exaggerated stories about him and kept doing that until he was mythical.

Canterbury Atheists said...

LM – some people are just born sceptical, I am open-minded (more than you think)

I am highly sceptical, but open to persuasion.

My life-views have changed over the years and likely to still change.

If you can show me unprejudiced contemporary reports of a man called Jesus of Nazareth in historic records, outside scriptures – then I’m willing to say “I was wrong, Lucyna gave me convincing evidence and I now believe a person of this name was real”.

So my present position is “Jesus did not exist” and you have the unique opportunity to change this, simply by giving me facts/references.

Even the Bible references are dodgy, written well after the time and missing-out large tracts of his life.

What did Jesus get up to in his teens and twenties?

Did he repress his heavenly powers for twenty odd years and live in a remote cave?

Don’t you find it strange even The Bible doesn’t detail Jesus life in full, that these are the only reports that exist of him at the time?

So many people accept things without looking at the facts.

I’m just not one of them.

All the best.

Paul.

BeamStalk said...

CA, I agree if Jesus did even half of what the Bible said he did. Then we should be deluded with outside sources of his actions. Where are all these sources? Where are the written transcripts of the 500 witnesses Paul speaks of. Why did no one talk about the zombie uprising that happened during Jesus' death except for the author of Matthew. I guarantee that if anything even remotely like that happened today it would be all over every news source in the world.

BeamStalk said...

That should be deluged, not deluded. Kinda changes the whole meaning...

Lucyna Maria said...

Paul,

I'm sure people are born sceptical. However, saying you are "open-minded" and then asserting that Jesus did not exist, doesn't quite match up.

Any evidence, taken by itself, can be disputed. All the evidence needs to be taken into account, even the existence of the Gospels themselves.

Quite seriously, if you were making up a new religion, would you have your main guys shown to be cowards, traitors and idiots that needed to be set right by a very patient God? Surely they could have come across as more charismatic, more intelligent, more ready to lay down their lives rather than take off when it looked like death was imminent for their Lord and master. Instead it was the women who didn't run off.

Anyway, if you are as open-minded as you say you are, maybe read Case for Chris by Lee Strobel, who started off wanting to debunk Christianity and instead converted.

He not only goes through the evidence, he talks to the experts. Goes all out, basically.

Lucyna Maria said...

That should have been Case for Christ. Left off the t.

Canterbury Atheists said...

Gidday there LM,

I am asking you to consider why you believe, not just based on faith, but on fact.

I don’t hold The Bible in very high esteem as being a credible historic record.

None of it is first hand reports for starters, full of errors.

Stories of men-living-in-whales and talking-snakes, earth forming in six days are share fantasy.

The Gospels don’t mention two-thirds of Jesus life so they are hardly a great reference point for those, like you that do believe.

So why do you think there no record of a Jesus outside the scriptures?

The most logical conclusion one can make is: Jesus was fictional.

After-all with all the followers he had, the miracles etc there would be some record?

Right?

But there’s not on line any-where, it's all contained in this one book.

I stand by my statement.

Off to the pub.

Paul

Lucyna Maria said...

Paul,

I've been an atheist. Mainly because I didn't want to believe in God - not because I didn't. It was a deliberate turning away from God, and when I did it, I felt absolutely, totally free.

Atheism didn't last long for me, it was eventually replaced with looking for an explanation of why I felt there was something more to life than just this physical plane of existence.

So, why do I believe? I didn't expect to become a Catholic again. If you had told me that I would 10 years ago, I would have laughed.

The only concrete reason I can give for why I believe is because I've been outside of that and found there was nothing there. You spend long enough in the darkness, and eventually the invitation to come out overcomes all obstacles. Of course, the invitation has to come from God, and I can see looking back at the number of times I was offered a way back to Him that I rejected.

So, I don't believe in Jesus because of the Bible. I believe in Him because I was finally convinced the only institution on earth that was true was the Church, and if the Church said Jesus was real, then I would believe it.

If you are really looking for what is true in the world, that's where you'll eventually end up too. But first, all the interior blocks need to be removed.

And when I went back, that Saturday morning nearly 3 years ago, and did my first confession after 20 or so, afterwards my whole being was still for a couple of days, and I felt wet, like I had just emerged from a cool river. It was the weirdest sensation to be completely dry and feel wet. Never had anything like that beforehand or since.

Since then, I've experienced a few more supernatural events that I cannot explain.

There you go.

As to why the Gospels don't mention 2/3 of Jesus's life - it wasn't necessary. God, being so far beyond our intelligence that we cannot even imagine what that would be like, must have decided that only what was important enough to be recorded and copied by hand over the centuries was enough. Remember, no printers back then and Christian writings were often destroyed in purges. Far better to put in the absolute minimum, don't you think? And Jesus's public didn't start until he sanctified water by allowed John the Baptist to pour water over Him.

Why do I think there are scant records of Jesus outside the Scriptures - to the Romans, the Christians were a troublesome sect of Jews whose leader they had put to death, in an out of the way place far from Rome ie, not interesting enough to write about and by the time Christians were interesting, it was only because they were supplying the arenas with bloodsports.

Amazing Christianity survived, really. Almost like God was ensuring it would...

ImtheRabbit said...

" Mainly because I didn't want to believe in God - not because I didn't. "

Well to go along with what the Christians say about atheists not really being Christians in the first place, you've basically admitted here that you were never an atheist to begin with.


If you didn’t WANT to believe in God, that means you still did believe, you just wanted more freedom. So when you say “I've been outside of that and found there was nothing there.” You aren’t being truthful since you never were really outside of it.

I could say I’m an atheist but in truth I’m still a bit of a deist. I have no problem believing that something, some kind of entity, may have started the big bang. I just don’t believe that entity has any power over what it created. Even then I’m not sure I really believe that either. I don’t have any feeling of being in the dark however. I think that because you never really stopped believing, that is why you felt you were in the dark. You still believed and so you felt guilty for your actions.

Canterbury Atheists said...

I would argue Christianity survived because of the vested interests of its administrators and main benefactors, exploiting the human fear of death, search for ‘what’s life about?’ and plain ignorance.

Coupled by complacent followers, who aren’t willing to examine the facts – like Jesus only exists in one book no where else?

Why he ceased to exist for two decades?

As a humanist I am happy you have found something you get ‘something out of’ there LM, but it doesn’t change my point of view.

Jesus of Nazareth, in all likelihood, is a fictional character.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Paul

Vagon said...

Just thought I'd put this in perspective. Here is a short list of Jewish and Pagan writers that were around during the time of Jesus.

Apart from the forged Tacitus writings, there is no mention of a holy Jesus Christ.

Apollonius
Appian
Arrian
Auls Gellius
Columella
Epictetus
Damis
Dio Chrysostom
Dion Pruseus
Favorinus
Florus Lucius
Hermogones
Italicus
Josephus
Justus of Tiberius
Juvenal
Lucanus
Lucian
Lysias
Martial
Paterculus
Quintilian
Quintius Curtius
Persius
Petronius
Phaedrus
Philo-Judaeus
Phlegon
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Younger
Plutarch
Pompon Mela
Ptolemy
Seneca
Silius
Statius
Suetonius
Tacitus
Theon of Smyran
Valerius Flaccus
Valerius Maximus

Makes you wonder.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Christians only resort to quoting text from the Bible when attempting to debunk this theory? There is no proof of Jesus Christ, there is no proof of God. There is no proof that anything in the bible even happened. Wake up christians. Religion is just a way to comfort yourself when faced with the timeless questions such as "why are we here"? and "what happens when we die"? It is merely a comfort. But hardly a comfort at all considering its all fake.

Anonymous said...

If you have ever driven across country ,at night while driving you cant see past 20 feet with head lights; However because you believe in the destination you continue to drive. Proving Jesus existed is almost like proving anyone from the past existed, you had to read about it first. But if you have ever believed in somthing so much its hard to convince you other wise. Belief is just that dont wear yourselves out trying to prove or unprove anything. Honestly believing in somthing is great believing in nothing well its whatever. Believers, believe non-believers dont. Athiest are believers, they believe that G-d does not exist. It's all based on life and life experiences. And as long as there is LIFE there is hope.

Anonymous said...

I think it is very hard to argue that christianity survived because of vested interests, I mean that is unsustainable.

You have got a small group of people who look to all the world like losers with no access to any decison making centre, Jewish or Roman, rejected by both as weirdos, regarded as irrelevant, with no access to significant amounts of money and subject to fairly fierce persecution in a hierarchical society.Their chief advocate, Paul, was an outcast from his own Jewish community and was put to death by Rome. These are not people of "vested interests". If Paul had wanted to make a successful career he would have continued to persecute christians, not join them. Ditto many other converts.

Moreover for this faith to spread as it did in the teeth of contempt and ridicule, without printing presses, e mail or anything else where journey times between major centres were counteed in weeks and travel was deeply hazardous, is a miracle in itself.

For its first 300 years christianity was the outsiders' religion and death was penalty for belief.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, to all those who don't believe in the Bible as truth, perhaps this is because of a lack of understanding... To all those who accuse the belief in Christ based on faith, I think you have just as much faith, if not more, that He doesn't exist- you must have, since just as there is no proof that he did exist, so there is no proof that he didn't, and no doubt you are in the middle of a battle, even on this page, with people who disagree with you. The anger and irritation brought through some of these writings seem unnecessary from people who are so sure of their belief. This message does not intend to throw anger at you for what you think, or try and change your mind, I have no deep intellectual insight onto the matter as you seem to have, I am not writing this to prove my own knowledge- but if you are as open minded as you claim to be consider this: Next time your life, or that of someone close to you, is in real danger of ending, and you start to pray without thinking, please stop for a split second in your desperation and consider what on Earth made you, Atheist, do that.

Canterbury Atheists said...

Boy are you thick or what? I ask people to give me evidence Jesus existed without using The Bible and what do you do? Quote the friggin’ Bible!

Let’s get this straight the reason why I question Jesus existence is simple –lack of corroboration. No paintings, no statues, no writings of his, not one independent witness to all of these marvels going on. This is a so-called God-Man no one even knows what he looked like, his hair colour.

If this doesn’t strike you as funny – then that is because you are no a free-thinker like me = you do not look at the facts and made your own decision.

As to the proposition if I was dying I would pray to God to save me – well no! I have suffered a life threatening situation recently and I relied on the care of my specialist –who cured me.

If your God is so powerful every-time you get ill mate simply use superstitious prayer and forget medical intervention. This frees-up hospital beds for atheists and improves the the gene pool at the same-time as you all will live shorter lives.

PS: Next time leave your name

christina said...

Hi C A,

Don't even know if this post is still being visited but I just found the site and decided to comment.
Surely you must have realised by now that it is a pointless to extract evidence outside of the bible re the existence of jesus, as frankly there is n NO EVIDENCE!Furthermore I amon the same page as you but do not underestimate the power of religious delusion, and these people who you are conversing with are so caught up in same, that the whole discussion can merely go around in useless circles before ending in tears, (OF FRUSTRATION FOR YOU, MY FRIEND] For what it's worth I am open to the possibility of a life continuing after death of the physical body as it is logical to my thinking that we are all merely fundamental conscious awareness having an experience in these chemical spacesuits that we occupy for 100 years or so max, if lucky, [or not}, but please don't ask me to prove it to you as we can never ever know anything as such, and thats the only fact. I'm sure you'll agree.
Well done for being open minded here, but stop banging your head of the wall re others following suit.
Be well. Christina

DominickG said...

You're right

Jesus Christ did not exist as an historical person!

Be a christian anyway!

www.year-of-faith.us

Regards

DominickG

Anonymous said...

The entire bible and jesus story were taken from other older 'pagan' religion stories. Even the whole bethlehem mary and joseph story was taken from other stories:


India has a number of messengers who were divinely conceived and two of them bore the name “Chrishna” or “Chrishna the Saviour” (note the similarity with Christ). Now Chrishna was born of a chaste virgin called Devaki, Who on account of her purity was selected to become the mother of God.

Buddha was considered and believed by his followers to have been begotten of God and born of a virgin whose name was Maya. Long before the Christian era, we read of how the divine power called the” Holy Ghost” descended upon virgin Maya. In ancient Chinese version of the story, the holy ghost is called Shing-Shin.

The Siamese (Taiwan), had a God and saviour who was Virgin Born whom they called Codom. In this very ancient story, the beautiful Virgin had been informed in advance that she was to become the mother of a great messenger of God, and one day while in her usual period of meditation and prayer, she was impregnated by divine sun beams. When the boy was born, he grew up in a remarkable manner, became a protégé of wisdom and performed miracles.

When the first Jesuit priest visited china, they wrote in their reports at finding a heathen religion of that country, of a story of a redeeming saviour who was born of a Virgin and divinely conceived. The God was said to have been born 3468 B.C (before Christ), his name was Lao-Tsze and was said to have been born of a virgin black in complexion and as beautiful as a Jasper.

In Egypt, long before the Christian era, and before any of its doctrine was conceived, the Egyptian people had several messengers of God, who were conceived through Immaculate Conception. Horus was known to all of ancient Egypt as having been born of the virgin Isis and his conception and birth was considered one of the three great mysteries or mystical doctrines of the Egyptian religion. To then every incident in connection with the conception and birth of Horus was pictured, sculptured, adored and worshiped as the incidents of the conception and birth of Jesus is among the Christians today. Another Egyptian God called Ra was also conceived by a Virgin.

I think I should stop here, because if I decide to go on the examples would be too many. But I want to add that even, Plato who was born in Athens in 429 B.C. was believed by the populace to be a divine son of a pure virgin called Perictione.
It is recorded in the ancient record that the father of Plato who was known as Aris had been admonished in a spiritual dream to hold pure and sacred the person of his wife, until after the divine conception and birth of the child that is to come and that this child would be conceived by divine means.

Anonymous said...

Test your faith. Read entire link. You may never believe in God again.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAURq_ouYLc