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Did Jesus Exist?


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Did Jesus exist? And if so, what is the non-religious historical evidence?

 

I find religious and non-religious people with vested interest insisting that Jesus existed but the evidence is slow in coming forth. An atheist produced one sentence from Pliny the younger. I think that sentence is ambiguous and would like to discuss these ambiguities, but he started describing my emotional condition and intellectual capacities in rather unflattering terms when I attempted this. When even atheists have so much vested in Jesus' existence, I don't know where to turn for an open discussion of the topic.

 

I know there are some ex-pastors/ministers/preachers on here. Surely somebody knows enough about these things and has searched them out to provide evidence either for or against the historical existence of Jesus. And hopefully they can provide their reason for believing as they do.

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The secular historical evidence is really skimpy and what little exists looks very questionable.

 

No historian who lived at the time of Jesus had anything to say about this alleged miracle worker.

 

A Christian friend of mine swears up and down he's seen an account by Philo but never has produced it and no other Christian apologist I've spoken with can verify that it exists.

 

Josephus mentions Jesus in the "golden paragraph" (the "Testimonium Flavium", Book 18, Chapter 3 of the Antiquities of the Jews). In fact, Josephus goes on in uncharacteristic hyperbole about the miracles, ressurection and fulfillment of prophecy. Josephus, however, was an orthodox Jew and remained so until the day he died. Further, the paragraph is never mentioned by Christian apologists until the 4th century.

 

Tacitus mentions "Christians" but not Jesus.

 

If there was a historical Jesus upon whom the legends were based, the real story is so lost in mythology that we'll likely never know the truth.

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There IS NO evidence that he existed, so there's not much to examine.

There are a few dubious references to a Jesus or Chrestus or JimBob, but nothing by anyone alive from 10-33AD. No physical evidence, no contemporary accounts, nothing written by Jesus himself-- and there's even good evidence that Nazereth didn't exist until a century or so later...

 

Here's a good place to start.

 

Philo, who DID live around that time and area, would have been a great source. Unfortunately, he doesn't appear to have heard of Jesus of the gospels.

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I can go either way on the subject of the historicity of Jesus. I think there are compelling reasons to see there being a non-historical person behind the evolution of the Christ story (see www.jesuspuzzle.com ), but at the same time I see reasons to believe someone existed that was the basis of the later stories built around this individual.

 

Those scant and dubious references of those around that time period are hardly compelling evidence for the historicity of the creature described in the later Gospels as walking on water and bringing zombies out for a stroll around Jerusalem after turning the sky black and shaking the foundations of the earth as he brought sinful man back to God through pouring his blood out all over the place to make God satisfied so he could now let man into his holy presence again. :scratch:

 

What to me is more compelling evidence of a historical human behind the later mythology are not those weak external references, but the nature of oral stories and traditions. Like archeology, you can peel back layer of story development to see certain common root themes behind them. Some kernel is there, but clearly the later stories are total embellishments. If the events really occurred in real history as they were recorded in the Gospels, it would be inconceivable those events and the world wide reputation of Jesus would have escaped the attention of everyone back then.

 

In either case, my disbelief in the Gospel accounts is unaffected by there having been an actual person who was later transformed into The Flying Messiah. It's a long way from some guy named Jesus, to "God the Son" who volunteered to shed his own blood to satisfy the vengeful appetites of some transformed ancient volcano deity.

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Josephus mentions Jesus in the "golden paragraph" (the "Testimonium Flavium", Book 18, Chapter 3 of the Antiquities of the Jews). In fact, Josephus goes on in uncharacteristic hyperbole about the miracles, ressurection and fulfillment of prophecy. Josephus, however, was an orthodox Jew and remained so until the day he died. Further, the paragraph is never mentioned by Christian apologists until the 4th century.

 

I came across this paragraph before I read any commentary on it and if I remember correctly, even then while I was still deep within the confines of Christianity with no more than a Grade 8 education in a Christian school, it seemed oddly out of context. I don't think any self-respecting thinker today, Christian or otherwise, tries to use that paragraph anymore. But that leaves only the vague references to Christians in Roman documents and the obvious fact of the religion's existence today.

 

If there was a historical Jesus upon whom the legends were based, the real story is so lost in mythology that we'll likely never know the truth.

 

I consider this the most likely case. I just felt cut from my moorings when an atheist argued otherwise with such passion.

 

Thanks all of you for responding. I'm still at the stage where a bit of blasphemy feels really good so I read all of your posts with relish. And not just once.

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Thanks all of you for responding. I'm still at the stage where a bit of blasphemy feels really good so I read all of your posts with relish. And not just once.

Here's a term you might learn to appreciate, "Theraputic Blasphemy" It's about taking control back from the evil religious machine :grin:

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Thanks all of you for responding. I'm still at the stage where a bit of blasphemy feels really good so I read all of your posts with relish. And not just once.

Here's a term you might learn to appreciate, "Theraputic Blasphemy" It's about taking control back from the evil religious machine :grin:

 

I do. Thank you. :dumbo:

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Even if there were a non-miraculous, charismatic teacher/prophet/rabbi who inspired a major religion, I find it hard to believe not one record or notice of him was ever recorded.

It's not hard to imagine once you strip away all the Flying Messiah stuff, and you just have some rather unremarkable person who was just one of any number of uninteresting rabbis who never got mentioned either.

 

One possiblity I imagine is that if he existed, he more than likely never even considered himself to be some "Son of God", and if he did, then he likely was suffering from some form of delusional scizophrenia, had a small group of followers, never did anything remarkable, and was later transformed into the creation in the Gospels.

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All evidence is circumstantial and is only a strong indication that Jesus might have existed, but not convincingly enough to make me sure about it - a possible could have, but probably didn't. And regardless, we're only talking about a historical human Jesus, not a miracle working God-Son.

 

Only the Gospels (and the apocrypha) are so called eyewitness stories, but they come from very dubious sources, since the argument that the Gospels were written by true eyewitnesses is founded on hearsay. No contemporary collaborating evidence exists to show that the authors of the Gospels were real witnesses.

 

All other writings (Pliny, Josephus etc) are secondhand stories (The author of Gospel of Luke even admits it), and all of them are after Jesus "existence" and not during. Nothing is found that is contemporary. And it gets worse... the contemporary writers from the time of Jesus do *not* mention Jesus at all, even after being in Jerusalem and being interested in new religious ideas. My favorite: Philo from Alexandria. Read up on this guy, and then try to explain how it is possible that he completely missed Jesus and didn't write anything about him.

 

It's funny, when I read the beginning of Luke again, "1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, ", I was thinking how similar it sounds to Lemony Snicket and the Series of Unfortunate Events. Those stories must be true too since Lemony Snicket writes that he is investigates into the events of the Baudelaire children.

 

Here's an experiment I haven't done yet, ask a Christian if the Gospel of Luke is an eyewitness story, and then let them explain Luke 1:1-3.

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It's not hard to imagine once you strip away all the Flying Messiah stuff, and you just have some rather unremarkable person who was just one of any number of uninteresting rabbis who never got mentioned either.

Indeed. One historian friend of mine explained how the Jews at the time, under Roman occupation, were particularly desperate for any sign that their Messiah would soon come to take them to freedom. They had virtually a "Messiah of the month", sometimes of the week. A mortal Jesus rabbi would have been an insignificant Johnny-come-lately, just another Massiah-wannabe among many others.

 

Even the Gospels imply that Jesus was not well known. Judas had to kiss Jesus to show to the Pharasee guards who he was. A famous miracle worker should have been identifiable on sight, especially to those sent to arrest him. Pilate has no idea, by all four accounts, who this Jesus guy is and why the Pharasees are so upset. The crowds are always wowed by the miralces but then seems to forget all about them only to be amazed anew at the next round.

 

I find it completely believable that historians of the time wouldn't mention a mortal Jesus. "Oh, another supposed Messiah. I can throw a rock and hit several of them." Only a miracle working Jesus who heals countless and feeds thousands with magical food should have been noteworthy.

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Fritz Graf of Ohio State, an authority on Greco-Roman religion, in a review of a book on necromancy said that the ancient world was full of Pythagorean and "Orphic" and other kinds of "itinerant religious entrepreneurs." Plato for example depicts such a person in the character Euthyphro, who is attested as a real guy elsewhere and who may have written the Orphic religious commentary that survives in the papyrus found in Derveni, Greece. Euthyphro went around telling strange, unheard things about the gods as part of a sect of some kind. If Jesus existed, I think that's the best way to classify him, as an itinerant religious entrepreneur. Note that the group as seen in the gospels had a common bag of money - kept by guess who!?

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All other writings (Pliny, Josephus etc) are secondhand stories

 

Getting real nit-picky here, but Pliny's statement was not "second-hand" in that he made no claims of a Messiah or Christ based on anybody else's ideas. As governor of a Roman province in which a lot of Christians lived, in about 111 CE, he was writing an official government letter to the Emperor Trajan, asking what to do about the problem of the Chrisitans. Here is the statement in which he "acknowledges" Christ:

 

the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god,

 

That quote is taken from from Pliny, Letters 10.96-97.

 

The key words are "as to a god." That is how he thinks of Christ, a figure of some sort whom Christians believe is a god. If he believed himself to be speaking of a historical figure I feel convinced he would have used the man's real name, i.e. Jesus of Nazareth, or the likes. Since he uses a Jewish title (and therefore totally contemptuous to him and Trajan) to refer to the figure who was being revered by the Christians "as a god," I think he was making a jest of the whole thing. He was, however, respectful of the Christians as human beings. His letter demonstrates humanitarianism to a level rarely seen in Christians then or now on in the interim. It's simply not a Christian trait to be so respectful of humans outside their realm of acceptable beliefs.

 

Point of this post: Pliny's reference to Christ was based on what people said about Christians, and what the Christians themselves said. He personally had some experience in dealing with Christians as a Roman governor. What Pliny's letter proves is that a sect called Christians existed at the time of writing, i.e. 111 CE, and that they were a headache for Roman governors.

 

It also proves that in his view the Christians believed and acted as if Christ were a god. There is nothing "second hand" about it. It comes from Pliny's heart and mind as a purely disciplinary problem on which he needed advice from his superior. The entire letter, plus Trajan's reply, appear at the link given.

 

Josephus's "Golden Paragraph" is believed by all thinkers I have come across to be an interpolation. That means, it was added by an editor or translator (most likely a Christian) of Josephus's work much later. Thus, if by "second hand" you mean "not an eye-witness," then you're right. Both these passages are not from eye-witnesses.

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I looked at a website yesterday that dealt with this and it had a very good article. You might consider reading it. It is quite long, though (about 32 pages, if printed out).

 

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

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  • 2 months later...

I find it completely believable that historians of the time wouldn't mention a mortal Jesus. "Oh, another supposed Messiah. I can throw a rock and hit several of them." Only a miracle working Jesus who heals countless and feeds thousands with magical food should have been noteworthy.

 

I second your first point: It is completely believeable that historians of the time would not mention a mortal Jesus.

 

I'm confused by your second point. Can you come at it again for me, please?

 

I guess I don't understand because in fact there was something noteworthy about Jesus; how many of us off the top of our heads can name other Messiahs from 1st century Palestine? Yes, there were others thought to be Messiah, but I don't know any of their names.

 

There was something noteworthy about Jesus or we wouldn't be debating 2000 years hence if he even existed, and there wouldn't be a forum in 2006 for those who followed him once and no longer do.

 

Maybe I'm missing something. That happens all the time.

 

-CC in MA

 

It's simply not a Christian trait to be so respectful of humans outside their realm of acceptable beliefs.

 

Imagine if the above quote were thusly:

 

"It's simply not a Jewish trait to be so respectful of humans outside their realm of acceptable belief."

 

or

 

"It's simply not an African-American trait to be so respectful of humans outside their real of acceptable belief."

 

or

 

"It's simply not a feminist trait to be so respectful of humans outside their realm of acceptable belief."

 

or

 

"It's simply not a gay trait to be so respectful of humans outside their realm of acceptable belief."

 

--CC in MA

 

 

Josephus's "Golden Paragraph" is believed by all thinkers I have come across to be an interpolation. That means, it was added by an editor or translator (most likely a Christian) of Josephus's work much later.

 

It seems to me quite correct to assert that Josephus's "Golden Paragraph" is an interpolation. Here are some reasons:

 

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html

 

-CC in MA

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Maybe there is only something noteworthy about Jesus because of 2000 years of roman church propaganda? Don,t forget....it was christianity that became politicized in the roman empire. If it was Mithraism that had won favour with Constantine and become the religion of the empire, then I expect we would have had all sorts of noteworthy things said about Mithras.

 

Also, the "pagan" historians would have said something about Jesus surely, if the sky had turned black, there was a mighty earthquake and the graves had popped open and the dead had come back to life at the crucifiction??

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Philo is eerily silent. Josephus is a later interpolation that does not fit well with the rest of the text. And most other references are either removed by time or reference Christians, not Jesus. This leaves no non-religious source materials to confirm the existence of the man.

 

However, the name was not uncommon around that time. And there were, according to a few Jewish sources, several men who claimed to be the Messiah around that time as well.

 

I speculate that the historical Jesus is actually an amalgamation of some of the teachings of men who claimed to be Messiah, a fantastic death story, rehashings of miracle stories (from within Judaism and outside influencing cultures), and the ages old god-man savior motif.

 

All of this came together at around the right time at the right place amongst the right people to form the seedlings for the monolithic beast we call Christianity to germinate, take root, and begin to grow.

 

But I do not see the entire story of Jesus being based on a single man.

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I find it completely believable that historians of the time wouldn't mention a mortal Jesus. "Oh, another supposed Messiah. I can throw a rock and hit several of them." Only a miracle working Jesus who heals countless and feeds thousands with magical food should have been noteworthy.

 

I second your first point: It is completely believeable that historians of the time would not mention a mortal Jesus.

 

I'm confused by your second point. Can you come at it again for me, please?

As I recall Philo mentioned lots of messiahs and was very detailed about the most mundane of matters in Jewish religion and politics. It’s pretty unbelievable that zombies roaming the streets of Jerusalem or crowds of thousands shouting Hosanna to the arriving king on a donkey would go unmentioned. If however, the miracles and the narrative were simply oral traditions and embelshiments of some religious guy with a tiny following who walked around being veiwed as the messiah, that might possibly get overlooked.

 

I guess I don't understand because in fact there was something noteworthy about Jesus; how many of us off the top of our heads can name other Messiahs from 1st century Palestine? Yes, there were others thought to be Messiah, but I don't know any of their names.

 

There was something noteworthy about Jesus or we wouldn't be debating 2000 years hence if he even existed, and there wouldn't be a forum in 2006 for those who followed him once and no longer do.

This is the “If there’s smoke, there’s fire” argument. It’s hardly a case for the validity of the narrative. This could be used to prove that Mother Mary in fact ascended to heaven and sits on the right hand of Jesus, since it is a long standing belief that many hold true and talk about within the Catholic tradition.

 

The interesting thing as I see it is that the true birth of Christianity happened around 200 A.D. as the chuch saw a need in the Roman Empire and filled it with themselves, becoming a social welfare program. This made it immensly popular, not because of the message of its god as there was plenty of that available in other religions, but that it met many of the social needs of the people in the empire. By the time the first real perscecutions in 249 - 250 AD that took place under Decius who saw them as a political threat, they were much too entrenched in every strata of Roman power to be eraticated. Constintinue being a political opportunist took advantage of this in a play for power and courted the Christian base with a vision of the cross in a great battle. Eventually as the Roman Empire began to crumble years later, it put itself into the body of the religious institution embraced under Constantine and it continues to this day in its influence over our way of life.

 

If anything, what is noteworthy is the power of the Roman Empire, not the vehicle of the particular religion they used to put their essence into in order to continue living after death.

 

I suppose someone could call that an activity of the Divine will, but then again that was the language of the empire itself too. :grin:

 

It's simply not a Christian trait to be so respectful of humans outside their realm of acceptable beliefs.

Imagine if the above quote were thusly:

 

"It's simply not a Jewish trait to be so respectful of humans outside their realm of acceptable belief."

 

or

<snip>

I think what Ruby is getting at has some kernel truth behind it. It is very common in ancient tribal myth systems to view outsiders as non-humans. This is why rules of morality listed in Leviticus do not apply to non-Hebrews, and you see genocide being ordered on the heals of the Law being delivered. This is seen in the world over in how those outside the tribe are not “true humans”. Ancient Native tribes often referred to themselves in the past as the “true humans”.

 

Adam and Eve were not the first human beings, but they were the mythical view of the first “true humans”. Where do you think Cain found his wife from?

 

I think understanding this tendency in us as humans to view differing cultures and beliefs as “outsiders” is a good thing to keep in check as we try to exist in a global society. It explains the acts of war and genocide we see routinely in the world. How many times do you here Christians claim against other Christians they are not "true Christians", or they view those outside the church as "the lost"? Same thing really. :(

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Also, the "pagan" historians would have said something about Jesus surely, if the sky had turned black, there was a mighty earthquake and the graves had popped open and the dead had come back to life at the crucifiction??

 

We don't know that the darkened sky and earthquake were more than local events, so perhaps these were not well known -- assuming they happened.

 

Regarding the graves popping open and, as Antlerman put it in a later post, zombies walking around, that passage always caused me to wonder, too. What the heck?

 

Matthew 27.51-53 reads as follows (NRSV): "...the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many."

 

If this is so, if this happened, why does such a significant occurance appear only in Matthew? Why did Paul not mention this as one of his points when promoting the verifiability of the resurrection (I Cor. 15)?

 

The New World Translation (Jehovah's Witnesses) asserts that there was an earthquake, many graves were disturbed, bodies were thrown about, and it was living witnesses who entered the city to tell of the aftermath of the quake: "And the memorial tombs were opened and many bodies of the holy ones that had fallen asleep were thrown up and person coming out from among the memorial tombs after his being raised up entered into the holy city."

 

Interesting to think about.

 

-CC in MA

 

 

 

 

This is the “If there’s smoke, there’s fire” argument. It’s hardly a case for the validity of the narrative. This could be used to prove that Mother Mary in fact ascended to heaven and sits on the right hand of Jesus, since it is a long standing belief that many hold true and talk about within the Catholic tradition.

 

The interesting thing as I see it is that the true birth of Christianity happened around 200 A.D. as the chuch saw a need in the Roman Empire and filled it with themselves, becoming a social welfare program. This made it immensly popular, not because of the message of its god as there was plenty of that available in other religions, but that it met many of the social needs of the people in the empire. By the time the first real perscecutions in 249 - 250 AD that took place under Decius who saw them as a political threat, they were much too entrenched in every strata of Roman power to be eraticated. Constintinue being a political opportunist took advantage of this in a play for power and courted the Christian base with a vision of the cross in a great battle. Eventually as the Roman Empire began to crumble years later, it put itself into the body of the religious institution embraced under Constantine and it continues to this day in its influence over our way of life.

 

If anything, what is noteworthy is the power of the Roman Empire, not the vehicle of the particular religion they used to put their essence into in order to continue living after death.

 

I suppose someone could call that an activity of the Divine will, but then again that was the language of the empire itself too. :grin:

 

What are you saying? Mother Mary does not sit at her son's right hand, pestering him all day long with our requests? Never having been indoctrinated in the Catholic version of Christianity I can't imagine that either. But intercession of the saints does flow somewhat naturally from two doctrines: immortality of the soul and the teaching about being surrounded by "a great cloud of witnesses." Maybe petitions to deceased holy ones creates some energy we just don't know about. (I'm just speculating as I have never prayed to anyone other than the entity I address as "God" or "Father.")

 

You are right: The RCC is what remains of the Roman Empire.

 

-CC in MA

 

I think what Ruby is getting at has some kernel truth behind it. It is very common in ancient tribal myth systems to view outsiders as non-humans. This is why rules of morality listed in Leviticus do not apply to non-Hebrews, and you see genocide being ordered on the heals of the Law being delivered. This is seen in the world over in how those outside the tribe are not “true humans”. Ancient Native tribes often referred to themselves in the past as the “true humans”.

 

Adam and Eve were not the first human beings, but they were the mythical view of the first “true humans”. Where do you think Cain found his wife from?

 

I think understanding this tendency in us as humans to view differing cultures and beliefs as “outsiders” is a good thing to keep in check as we try to exist in a global society. It explains the acts of war and genocide we see routinely in the world. How many times do you here Christians claim against other Christians they are not "true Christians", or they view those outside the church as "the lost"? Same thing really. :(

 

Excellent points.

 

-CC in MA

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Did Jesus exist? And if so, what is the non-religious historical evidence?

 

I find religious and non-religious people with vested interest insisting that Jesus existed but the evidence is slow in coming forth. An atheist produced one sentence from Pliny the younger. I think that sentence is ambiguous and would like to discuss these ambiguities, but he started describing my emotional condition and intellectual capacities in rather unflattering terms when I attempted this. When even atheists have so much vested in Jesus' existence, I don't know where to turn for an open discussion of the topic.

 

I know there are some ex-pastors/ministers/preachers on here. Surely somebody knows enough about these things and has searched them out to provide evidence either for or against the historical existence of Jesus. And hopefully they can provide their reason for believing as they do.

 

My profound apologies to RubySera. In looking through the older threads, I thought this was a very fine one and I posted to it. I had pledged to RubySera that I would not respond to her posts because she is interested in hearing from ex-Christians. That is her right and I pledged not to respond to her since I am Christian. The fact that I responded to this thread, not really paying close enough attention to who originated it (it just dawned on me!), is my mistake.

 

I apologize to you, RubySera, and ask that you please ignore my posts in this thread. I really, really do not mean to impose myself upon you. I hope you'll overlook my error. So sorry.

 

-CC in MA

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Personally, I'm going for no Jesus at all. Made up completely, from whole cloth.

 

Even if there were a non-miraculous, charismatic teacher/prophet/rabbi who inspired a major religion, I find it hard to believe not one record or notice of him was ever recorded.

 

 

That sums it up nicely :)

 

Only the Babble speaks of Jebus at all. Nothing else speaks of this alleged miracle worker, so there's no reason to suspend intelligence for "faith" and insist he existed.

 

No smoke means no fire.

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I guess I don't understand because in fact there was something noteworthy about Jesus; how many of us off the top of our heads can name other Messiahs from 1st century Palestine? Yes, there were others thought to be Messiah, but I don't know any of their names.

There was one named Judas. There was one known as "the man of Light." There was Jesus of the Samaritans. Those are off the top of my head. The most notable lies outside your arbitrary limit and that is Simon Bar-Kochba from the 2nd century. He was actually recognized as the Messiah by many and did what the Messiah was supposed to have done which was purge the land of foreign invaders. He was actually anointed by someone with the authority to do such a thing making him a Christ (in Greek). He was the "real deal." Up until he mutilated himself. Then he lost his backing. Then things fell apart and, of course, he was killed meaning he lost his title. He won't get a second chance. That's what death means in the Messiah challenge. A similar thing happened with Judas Maccabee but he was the 1st century BCE so he's also outside the arbitrary limit.

 

However, since the concept revolves around being anointed, the little act of anointing shown in the bible with the oil on jesus' feet by just some person doesn't cut it. He was never anointed. He wasn't the "christ" or the "messiah" since he wasn't anointed in accordance to the rules. The titles don't fit. Why don't I just take some oil and anoint myself and make myself a "christ?" I could by this definition but it wouldn't mean a thing. Why don't the Jews recognize this guy? Why should they is the real question.

 

mwc

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The New World Translation (Jehovah's Witnesses) asserts that there was an earthquake, many graves were disturbed, bodies were thrown about, and it was living witnesses who entered the city to tell of the aftermath of the quake: "And the memorial tombs were opened and many bodies of the holy ones that had fallen asleep were thrown up and person coming out from among the memorial tombs after his being raised up entered into the holy city."

This is about the worst translation you can get your hands on. You might as well just make stuff up instead of quoting from here and you'd probably do a lot better.

 

All this has to do with the Pharisees belief that the dead would be raised by their god. The Sadducees did not believe this and the text is simply a theological battle between the two. If the dead came back to life "we win" is what it says (that and G.Matthew had to squeeze every OT "prophesy" he could into the text as if he was trying to win some sort of competition). So, they came back to life proving their belief system right. That is the basis of the rabbinic belief system that is around today. Good for them. Their doctrine won out and now we can all believe in the supernatural (angels and miracles...since the Sadducees didn't buy into that stuff).

 

mwc

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I apologize to you, RubySera, and ask that you please ignore my posts in this thread.

 

Apology accepted, CC. I had forgotten about that pledge. I had not taken it very seriously to begin with. I did skip most of your posts here as I do elsewhere. I forget what our earlier exchange had been about but I was probably being a bit immature. Also, there is the ever-present temptation to take out one's wrath on any Christian as representative of the ones who caused so much harm.

 

That being said, I don't trust you in the least. You can respond to my posts if you like but you better be prepared for whatever you get in return. As I am sure you are aware, on this site you are in the minority whereas in real life (in the US, at least) Christians are in the majority.

 

Your reason for being here is pretty obvious. You meet all the standard criteria for evangelists. You do not appear to have any intentions whatsoever to learn from us or become one of the group. There are one or two Christians among us who do not seem like Christians, just like normal respectful thinking human beings.

 

Had that person not told another Christian that he/she was a Christian I would never have guessed it. That tells me that it is possible for a person to be a normal conversationalist without wearing religion on the shirt-sleeve.

 

I am glad this thread was reopened. It is a topic on which I would appreciate more discussion. It made sense that a new member would reopen an old thread because all of us do that when digging around in old stuff that was posted before we were here. No offense taken on that account.

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