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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:25 pm  The Myth of Jesus? Or the Myth of the Mythical Jesus? Reply with quote

This is a big question of our times... Was Jesus a myth? Is it reasonable to believe Jesus never even existed?

You see how often people throw around cliche phrases like "the Bible is proof of Jesus, and comic books are proof of spider man", or "there is the same amount of proof of Jesus as there is for King Arthur."

It seems like a lot of us question if Jesus ever even existed.. This is such an important aspect of Christianity, because if Jesus never even existed, than Jesus was never Resurrected and Christianity is false testimony about God, and even the first disciples confessed that.

There can be a lot said on this subject, but I think all the evidence points to one thing, a historical Jesus... And when I say "all the evidence" I mean it...

Many people point non-biblical sources as to give evidence of a historical Jesus, and certainly there are many of them. But even more so, its not JUST these sources that point to a historical Jesus, it is ALL the sources point to a historical Jesus. There is NO source whatsoever, from any time period from the first century AD, when Jesus existed, all the way up to the 18th century, that will tell us Jesus never existed. The earliest sources we have that question if Jesus was a myth are just a few hundred years old.

"The beginnings of the formal denial of the existence of Jesus can be traced to late 18th-century France" (Wikipedia "Christ myth Theory")

"The idea that Jesus did not exist is a modern notion. It has no ancient precedents. It was made up in the eighteenth century. One might as well call it a modern myth, the myth of the mythical Jesus"
Bart Ehrman (agnostic Biblical scholar).

Scholars literally turned this idea upside-down and called the "mythical Jesus" a "modern myth". They are saying that if you believe Jesus is a myth, you believe a myth...

So what is the evidence Jesus existed?

I think the best evidence is the Bible itself, and its reliability. Take the biggest critics of a historical Jesus, like Dr. Carrier for example, and we have them confessing certain truths about Christianity. Like the existence of Paul, I have never seen anyone argue that Paul never existed, because we know he existed and we know he wrote the majority of the New Testament. For example we have archaeological evidence of Paul on trial, backing up exactly what is talked about in the Book of Acts.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphi_Inscription

No one thinks Paul never existed, not even biggest scholars that argue Jesus never existed, we all agree Paul existed. We also know that Paul knew the Disciples, I have never heard anyone say otherwise. Paul knew Peter, eyewitness and disciple of Jesus. Paul knew James, the brother of Jesus. Paul knew John. Likewise the first disciples are depicted in the book of Acts, and also the Gospels. We have Pauline epistles name dropping, and we have the letters written by Peter, James, and John. So we know that the first disciples were real. The evidence shows us that the people who walked with, talked with, and knew Jesus first hand actually existed. I have never seen anyone give a reasonable case against it, and I see no reason to believe these people didnt exist.

And these people knew others, like Saint Stephen, and Thomas the Apostle, Mark the Evangelist, Philip the Apostle, Jude the Apostle, Luke, etc... These people knew, first hand, the disciples... This is the history of Christianity... And likewise it just continued to spread, to people like Polycarp of Smyrna, Justin Martyr, Ptolemaeus and Lucius, Saint Pothinus, etc... We have the records from the earliest disciples all the way down to the first churches, and beyond. And even the biggest critics of Christianity, and a historical Jesus, has to admit that (at least some) of these people are historical... And there is no reason to believe that any of these people didnt exist...

Jesus was surrounded by historical people.

Even going backwards from Jesus we have historical people... As mentioned in the Gospels, King Herod, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, etc... In fact, people use to say the same about Pontius Pilate, that he never existed. That didnt last long, as we have found archaeological evidence of him. These people are historical, and even the BIGGEST critics have to admit it. Not to mention, all this was going on when the Jews were smack dab in the middle of written records.

I mean, I have never heard of anyone claime the Old Testament isnt historical, with respect to the nation of Israel. The Old Testament is the written records of the Israelite's. We have archaeological evidence of this kingdom, we even have evidence of Israelite's in Egypt all the way back to 1400BC. Backing up the very first book of the Bible, Genesis. We have verses in Genesis that mention real places, and real people, like the Pharaohs of Egypt for example. We have archaeological evidence of the twelve tribe of Israel going to the land Israel. We have evidence of their wars, the government, their laws, their kings, and their genealogy. It is clear that Israel kept some of the most detailed historical records in all of humanity, personally think if you want to study humanity itself, the best place to go is the Bible. Which isnt surprising because knowledge is said to begin with God. These are the best records of where our laws came from, where our history came from, and the likes.

So all the while, Jesus appears right smack in the middle of historical written record, and was surrounded by real people and places, and we dont have any early sources challenging the existence of Jesus.

It starts historical with the kingdom of Israelite's and there written record, included in the Old Testament, it continues on to the New Testament with people like King Herod, and the genealogy of King David, all the way down to Joseph and Mary. And places like Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Samaria, etc... The story continues with historical people like Nicodemus, and Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, etc.. And places like Corinth, Rome, Galilee, the Jordan River, etc... The disciples, like Peter, James, John, Simon, etc... And Jesus dies a historical death (according to every source we have), and is resurrected.. And the history continues on, to people like Paul, Saint Stephen, Aeneas, Luke, Jude, Mark, etc. And the Christian Church comes into existence.

Everything we know about this is historical, and the biggest critics of a historical Jesus have to admit it...

So given ALL this historical evidence, the people places and events around Jesus Christ, can anyone give an example of anyone of history (or mythology/fiction) who was surrounded by this magnitude of historical evidence who was in fact a myth, or fictional?

And if you believe Jesus never existed, can you give us any reasoning or evidence that led you to believe that? How can you reasonably believe Jesus never existed?
MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 61: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:37 pm
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Just a tip :

THIS is a personal attack :
"you are a liar"

But THIS is NOT a personal attack :
"you lied"

It's disappointing that so many people get that wrong.

Historia lied, right here, in writing.
There is no chance it was a mistake.

But Mithrae defended historia, and accused me of a personal attack !
Defending the lie, and attacking the person who pointed it out !
Wow.
Are personal relationships worth more than truth to you Mithrae ?

Are there no standards here at all ?

I am hoping that historia is having a good long think prior to returning to apologise for her grave mistake.

I hope historia won't disappoint me like Mithrae Sad


Kapyong

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 62: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:53 pm
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Re: The Myth of Jesus? Or the Myth of the Mythical Jesus?

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Kapyong wrote:


Mithrae gave no references which MUST be historical at all.
Just AMBIGUOUS statements which faithful believers faithfully believe.



Don't be silly. Everything Mithrae and I have said here is readily accepted by Jewish, atheist, and agnostic scholars, since obviously none of these points require a presupposition of Christian faith. So trying to dismiss these arguments out-of-hand as "faithful belief" is nothing more than empty rhetoric.

Kapyong wrote:


Thanks for agreeing with me -
Paul did NOT place Jesus Christ in history.



If by this you mean Paul doesn't relate a lot of biographical details about Jesus in his letters, then we completely agree. Of course, that isn't the question under consideration.

Kapyong wrote:


Enoch is a Jewish man in heaven - he is still subject to Mosaic Law, isn't he ?



According to Genesis, Enoch was not a Jew, and lived before the Mosaic covenant, of course, so the question is ill-founded.

Moreover, I'm not aware of any Second Temple Jewish literature that makes the claim Enoch is now under the Law in heaven, so we have no reason to suppose that ancient Jews believed this. In fact, scholars have long noted that the Enochic literature is surprisingly silent about the Mosaic Covenant.

Kapyong wrote:

historia wrote:


Paul says Jesus was born, died, and buried. He says he was killed by the Judeans. He also says Jesus had brothers, one of whom Paul himself personally met. These statements are best understood in their normal way. There is no justification for twisting them to mean something else.



So ?
The Gods did all that in heaven too.



Pagans may have believed similar things about the Roman gods. But Paul wasn't a pagan. So obviously this has no bearing on his theology.

Any Jew writing about a man who was born, crucified, and buried, had brothers, and was killed by Judeans, would universally be understood as referring to a person on the earth. That's obvious.

Had Paul wanted to say that all these things happened in the third heaven, or some such thing, it's exceedingly odd that he never actually says that. Barring such a statement, we have no good reason to read that into the text.

Kapyong wrote:


OMG -
Paul did NOT say Jesus had brothers - that is a FALSE STATEMENT.
Paul called someone the 'brother of the Lord' - that is NOT the same at all !
You deliberately made a false claim to support your faithful beliefs.
You lied.
Shame on you.



There's no need to get emotional about this, Kapyong.

Paul regularly refers to Jesus as Lord. James "the brother of the Lord," then, is clearly intended to mean the brother of Jesus. This is additionally confirmed by Josephus, who mentions James "the brother of Jesus called the Christ."

There is, by comparison, no evidence to support the ad hoc explanation that this is some kind of title.

Kapyong wrote:

historia wrote:


Your examples here are drawn from pagan Roman religion. Obviously, Paul was a Jew, so this pagan background information is irrelevant to understanding his thinking here.



WTF ?
Paul was writing to pagans - to Romans !



Paul's letters are all addressed to Christians, not pagans. We are, at any rate, concerned with Paul's beliefs, not his readers'.

Kapyong wrote:

historia wrote:


This is simply mistaken. The Greek Revelation of Moses (= Life of Adam) repeatedly mentions that there is a Paradise in the third heaven and a Paradise on earth. Adam's soul is taken up to the Paradise in the third heaven (ch. 37), but his body is buried in Paradise on earth.



It is not clear at all, but it certainly shows that a burial could be believed to be in heaven.



On the contrary, I just posted the relevant portion of the text above, which explicitly and unambiguously says Adam was buried in the earth. This is confirmed by any standard summary or commentary of the text. See, e.g., James Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, pg. 254.

Ignoring evidence that clearly contradicts your assertion and simply restating your original claim is not an argument.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 63: Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:54 pm
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Kapyong wrote:

Mithrae wrote:

...which still wouldn't explain 'made under the law'!


Nonsense.

Can YOU explain why YOU believe a heavenly being cannot be 'made under the law'?


This is almost as bad as thinking that Enoch was a Jew. Paul states his view very clearly that the Law was given specifically to Abraham's descendants to show transgressions until fulfillment of the promise; and later, even more explicitly, that the Law applies only to the circumcised, Jews (like Jesus) and their proselytes. If you bothered to read the stuff that you are trying to talk about, you'd know this already.

    Galatians 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. 19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. . . .

    4:1 Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. . . .

    5:2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.


##

Kapyong wrote:
Anything that could happen on Earth could happen in Heaven,
AND
even things impossible on Earth can happen in Heaven.

Heaven is a place with NO LIMITS as to what can happen there.


Essentially what it seems you're saying is that if Paul said Jesus died in Jerusalem, you would readily conclude that it was a heavenly Jerusalem.

After all, you have already decided that it was heavenly seed of David, a heavenly woman of whom he was born, heavenly bread and wine he shared before his heavenly betrayal, a heavenly way of 'making himself nothing' and a heavenly Roman-style execution.

Obviously if Paul wrote that Jesus stood before Pilate you'd decide that it was a heavenly Pilate too!

Kapyong wrote:

Historia and Mithrae and others insist that Paul refers to a historical Jesus, and cite phrases like 'seed of David' and 'born of woman' and 'the Lord's brother' (often falsified as 'brothers of Jesus'.) . . . .


But Paul never once gives a DATE for Jesus' birth or death or any event in his life,
Paul never once mentions any PLACE for Jesus birth etc.
Paul never once mentions any PERSON in connection with meeting Jesus.


This is a rather hollow claim when you've already acknowledged that you'll view every possible reference as a heavenly rather than historical possibility.

But as noted numerous times already, Paul does provide specific historical attachments to Jesus on at least three occasions (even disregarding his descent from Abraham and David):
    1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? . . . . 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

    Galatians 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ . . . .
    18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

    1 Thessalonians 2:14 ...even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. . . .

No doubt you think that these were heavenly brothers of Jesus who later came down to earth, and heavenly Jews who killed him Rolling Eyes

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 64: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:15 pm
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Re: The Myth of Jesus? Or the Myth of the Mythical Jesus?

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[Replying to post 62 by historia]

Well, I hope you all know what you're talking about, because I can't relate it to the OP, or any reflection, pale or not, of reality.

Quote:
Don't be silly. Everything Mithrae and I have said here is readily accepted by Jewish, atheist, and agnostic scholars, since obviously none of these points require a presupposition of Christian faith.

Are these those same scholars that would be killed by the church for saying otherwise, or do you have something more than a blanket statement? Like a reference to these atheist and agnostic scholars.
Modern atheist and agnostic scholars ARE considerably less theistic than classic philosophers, I think...

For example (not a tangent,) I just learned most scholars view Moses as a myth...
Would those be similar scholars?
See Wiki: Moses

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 65: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:49 pm
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Kapyong wrote:

Willum - you don't seem able to read and comprehend properly.


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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 66: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:52 pm
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Kapyong wrote:

WTF


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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 67: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:26 pm
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Re: The Myth of Jesus? Or the Myth of the Mythical Jesus?

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[Replying to post 2 by Divine Insight]

Quote:
I see a major problem with this question that theists often fail to understand.

The first question should be, "What do you mean by Jesus?"

Are you talking about the character described in the Gospel rumors? If so, then it may very well be true that the Jesus described in the Gospel rumors never existed.

On other other hand if you are asking whether some historical person named Jesus existed who became the fodder for the Gospel rumors, then I would suggest that this is extremely likely. But this would then not be the same "Jesus" that is being described in the Gospel rumors.


I agree with this. In my mind there is little doubt someone started a movement which became problematic to the Roman rule and the Jewish organised religions.

Quote:
I don't deny that a rebel Jew who strongly disagreed with Orthodox Judaism may have publicly argued with, and insulted, the Jewish Priests, as the Gospel rumors claim. I don't deny that this may ultimately have led to his brutal death by an unofficial crucifixion called for by the Jewish Priests as the Gospel rumors claim. I don't even deny that there may have been confusion over what happened to the body of Jesus after this unofficial crucifixion causing rumors of a miraculous resurrection. I don't even personally deny that Jesus might have actually survived a botched unofficial crucifixion and lived to show his wounds to people after it was rumored that he had actually died and was risen from death.

All of that could easily be true. So I have no reason to deny any of it. I currently have no compelling reason to believe that any of it is necessarily true either. However, my position is that even if everything I described above could be verified to have actually happened, I would still have no reason to believe in the claims of the Gospel rumors.

In fact, I would actually be shocked if such rumors didn't evolve if everything I described above had actually happened. Even the Gospel rumors themselves have the Pharisees predicting that such rumors would be created by the followers of Jesus. Of course, we don't know if that is actually true. All we have to go by on that are the Gospel rumors themselves.


I think that these stories may have been included later on when Roman rule was in the stages of moving towards making Christianity the official religion. Perhaps some stories were created before this as a means of enticing individuals to support the movement and were simply embellished through the Roman propaganda machinery.

Nowadays they have become sacred truth. People who believe in these stories also often believe in a diabolical deception but never deem it necessary to include the likelihood of such deception being the reason for the existence of the stories which propel their own faith and reason for supporting such unsubstantiated hearsay.

Quote:
So for me, a far more telling question is to ask whether the overall story makes any sense in terms of this overall religion. And my answer to that is clearly, "No it does not".


That is why I reason the likelihood of diabolical source. It does not make sense in any other context.

The water simply does not mix with the oil.

The tree is known by the fruit...but one does have to examine the fruit...

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 68: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:37 am
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Kapyong wrote:

Gday all,

Let's recap the main argument -

Historia and Mithrae and others insist that Paul refers to a historical Jesus, and cite phrases like 'seed of David' and 'born of woman' and 'the Lord's brother' (often falsified as 'brothers of Jesus'.)

As if such things can ONLY refer to an earthly Jesus.

But that belief is clearly and obviously wrong -

In ancient times the Gods in heaven were believed to do all sorts of things - included marriage, sex and children. Heaven was a fantastic place with stories and myths and legends about many gods and their activities.

Anything that could happen on Earth could happen in Heaven,
AND
even things impossible on Earth can happen in Heaven.

Heaven is a place with NO LIMITS as to what can happen there.
But Earth is limited by the laws of physics and biology etc.
E.g. - a resurrection can happen in Heaven, it cannot happen on Earth.

Heaven is UN- limited, but Earth is limited.

So historia's and Mithrae's argument is obviously false - when they claim Paul's cites can ONLY refer to earth - anything that can happen on Earth, and then some, can happen in Heaven.



This is a poor summary of the discussion.

If we want to understand Paul's statements about Jesus, we need to conduct a proper historical analysis of his writings and the religious context in which he lived, namely Second Temple Judaism.

Your own personal theological musings about what is or is not possible in heaven is completely irrelevant.

Kapyong wrote:


Consider the woman who gave birth among the stars while a dragon hunted her child - a story from the New Testament itself ! Did that birth have to happen on Earth ?



Tell us, then: What makes you think John is talking about a woman in heaven and not one on the earth?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 69: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:22 pm
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[Replying to post 44 by Mithrae]

I still must fall back on my claim:
1. You can produce no proof.
2. You can try to disprove word games. But this does not prove reality, it only might dis-prove word-games.
But word-games prove themselves by their existence.

So you wish to claim Deus is not Zeus and equivalently Zeus. You can't, they quite simply are, transformed by no more than dialect.
You wish to say Jesus does not, to the Greek and Latin world, sound like Hey Zeus. It is impossible, it simple does.
It doesn't really matter you contest what it means... It is what it sounds like to the educated world of ~200 BCE.

So as amusing as it is for you to ask for proof, then deny it, there is no scholar in the world who will write a treatise on a homophone. You ask a second grader to do that.

Or perhaps a Christian in denial.

3. Your discrediting of word-games, still has not produced any proof that what you belief is true.

So, on the side of truth: Word-games.
On your side: Nothing.

Word-games win over Christianity.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 70: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:46 pm
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Willum wrote:

[Replying to post 44 by Mithrae]

I still must fall back on my claim:
1. You can produce no proof.
2. You can try to disprove word games. But this does not prove reality, it only might dis-prove word-games.
But word-games prove themselves by their existence.


I don't know why you think your attempted word games prove anything. For most people, admitting that all you've got is word games pretty much proves how weak your position is.

Willum wrote:

So you wish to claim Deus is not Zeus and equivalently Zeus. You can't, they quite simply are, transformed by no more than dialect.


That is broadly correct, and no-one in this thread has ever said otherwise.

Willum wrote:

You wish to say Jesus does not, to the Greek and Latin world, sound like Hey Zeus. It is impossible, it simple does.


That is wildly incorrect, and has already been disproven several times. In Greek it is pronounced 'ee soos.' You are simply lying at this point.


Similarly dishonest is your refusal to acknowledge the brazen falsehood of your claim in post #35 that "Paul does not become Paulus. Peter is not Petreous":


Nor have you ever coherently addressed the fact that Jewish scholars translating the Septuagint rendered 'Joshua' (Yĕhowshuwa) as ᾿Ιησοῦς (Iēsous) long before Pompey's conquest of Judea.

There is no conspiracy by Romans to get Jews to say 'ee' to a mispronounced Greek god, only your own determination to see one regardless of how much wilful ignorance and dishonesty it takes.

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