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The Myth Of Jesus


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From http://www.religionisbullshit.org/2006/12/...-myth-of-jesus/:

 

Back in my fundie days, if I had been asked who Jesus was, I would have responded with confidence that, “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and my Savior”. Ask me that question now, and I will respond with confidence that, “Jesus is a myth. He never lived”. What accounts for such a radical shift in my beliefs about Jesus? Well, education and thought. Just today on the Panentheism Yahoo group, I had a conversation with a friend about Jesus, and I outlined my major reasons for believing Jesus to be nothing more than a myth. My reasons are as follows:

 

1. There is no contemporary mention of Jesus. Not a single contemporary ancient historian mentions a prophet or even just a man roaming the countryside preaching, teaching, working miracles, being crucified, and rising from the dead. There is no mention of Jesus - PERIOD.

 

2.The alleged mentions of Jesus that we do have from folks like Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Josephus, etc. can all be dismissed for a number of reasons, and they all lived decades after Jesus allegedly did. See http://nobeliefs.com/exist.htm.

 

3. There are no Roman records of Jesus or of him being crucified.

 

4. Jesus is an amalgamation of several ancient Pagan savior-gods.

 

I am in the process of reading “The Jesus Puzzle” by Earl Doherty. He makes a great case for the “Mythicist” view of Jesus in his book. I would also highly recommend the DVD documentary “The God Who Wasn’t There”. It also makes a very strong case for the mythical view of Jesus.

 

I used to argue with Mythicists that there was no good reason to write Jesus out of history. Now - after much education and thought - I find myself in agreement with these very folks! I see no good reason to believe that Jesus ever lived, yet I see several good reasons to believe that Jesus never lived in history.

 

I welcome your comments and thoughts, as these will no doubt allow me to expand on the thoughts I have expressed in this post. If you believe that I am wrong and that Jesus did live in history, please don’t just tell me that “You are wrong”. Outline your reasons for believing Jesus to be a historical person, and we can discuss it. I would love to do so! Glory!

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Jeff, the American pamphleteer Thomas Paine put your case pretty well when he stated in The Age Of Reason, that:

 

Jesus Christ wrote no account of himself, of his birth, parentage, or anything else. Not a line of what is called the New Testament is of his writing. The history of him is altogether the work of other people; and as to the account given of his resurrection and ascension, it was the necessary counterpart to the story of his birth. His historians, having brought him into the world in a supernatural manner, were obliged to take him out again in the same manner, or the first part of the story must have fallen to the ground.

 

The wretched contrivance with which this latter part is told, exceeds everything that went before it. The first part, that of the miraculous conception, was not a thing that admitted of publicity; and therefore the tellers of this part of the story had this advantage, that though they might not be credited, they could not be detected. They could not be expected to prove it, because it was not one of those things that admitted of proof, and it was impossible that the person of whom it was told could prove it himself.

 

But the resurrection of a dead person from the grave, and his ascension through the air, is a thing very different, as to the evidence it admits of, to the invisible conception of a child in the womb. The resurrection and ascension, supposing them to have taken place, admitted of public and ocular demonstration, like that of the ascension of a balloon, or the sun at noon day, to all Jerusalem at least. A thing which everybody is required to believe, requires that the proof and evidence of it should be equal to all, and universal; and as the public visibility of this last related act was the only evidence that could give sanction to the former part, the whole of it falls to the ground, because that evidence never was given. Instead of this, a small number of persons, not more than eight or nine, are introduced as proxies for the whole world, to say they saw it, and all the rest of the world are called upon to believe it. But it appears that Thomas did not believe the resurrection; and, as they say, would not believe without having ocular and manual demonstration himself. So neither will I; and the reason is equally as good for me, and for every other person, as for Thomas.

 

It is in vain to attempt to palliate or disguise this matter. The story, so far as relates to the supernatural part, has every mark of fraud and imposition stamped upon the face of it. Who were the authors of it is as impossible for us now to know, as it is for us to be assured that the books in which the account is related were written by the persons whose names they bear. The best surviving evidence we now have. respecting this affair is the Jews. They are regularly descended from the people who lived in the time this resurrection and ascension is said to have happened, and they say 'it is not true.' It has long appeared to me a strange inconsistency to cite the Jews as a proof of the truth of the story. It is just the same as if a man were to say, I will prove the truth of what I have told you, by producing the people who say it is false.

 

I think that says it all.

Casey

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I personally have not checked out every text from the ancient days, and I certainly have no proof to tell you if references in some books are actually to Jesus or not. What I can say however, is that if God meant for Jesus to be believed so easily, then where would room for faith and testing fit in?

 

"This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' "

Zechariah 13:9

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So the reason that there is no evidence that Jesus ever even lived is because belief in Jesus is supposed to be hard? What kind of reasoning is that? Oh. Yeah. Fundie "reasoning". LOL :twitch:

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I personally have not checked out every text from the ancient days, and I certainly have no proof to tell you if references in some books are actually to Jesus or not. What I can say however, is that if God meant for Jesus to be believed so easily, then where would room for faith and testing fit in?

 

"This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' "

Zechariah 13:9

So, you're saying, "God loveth gullibility?" "God hateth the questioner?"

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Ah yes. We believe precisely because there is a lack of evidence. An affliction that is ancient.

 

From "Viruses of the Mind" by Dawkins: here

 

An extreme symptom of "mystery is a virtue'' infection is Tertullian's "Certum est quia impossibile est'' (It is certain because it is impossible''). That way madness lies. One is tempted to quote Lewis Carroll's White Queen, who, in response to Alice's ``One can't believe impossible things'' retorted ``I daresay you haven't had much practice... When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.''

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Actually the Bible reads that if you are not skeptical about what people tell you than you are foolish. Do you really believe you are just so smart compared to all the christians in the world and that everyone who believes in God is just gullible? How could millions of people live their lives passionately on the basis of blind belief? As for what I said earlier, God could easily just make everybody believe him and have everyone worship him. If he did do this, would we not all just be slaves and puppets? We are given freedom of choice so that God can test us, and in doing so seperate the world. You do not know how God has worked in my life, so unfortunately I cannot simply show you true life. But tell me this: If there was something you had to do to recieve eternal glory, joy, and richness in life, yet it took something really foolish-looking of you to do to everybody else, would you not try to share it, and would not people laugh at you and call you ignorant? Hopefully you can see where I am coming from even if you do not yet believe. Just ask yourself, what if somehow you were wrong, and the Bible was right?

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Actually the Bible reads that if you are not skeptical about what people tell you than you are foolish.

 

So we are not foolish after all for being skeptical towards the insanity of Xianity? Wonderful :)

 

Do you really believe you are just so smart compared to all the christians in the world and that everyone who believes in God is just gullible?

 

Much the same as you believe you're smarter than all the non-believers in the world, and that everyone who doesn't believe in God is following teachings of demons :rolleyes:

 

How could millions of people live their lives passionately on the basis of blind belief?

 

Millions of Germans did during Hitler's reign. Does that make Nazism correct? Millions also did it during the time of the Soviet Union. Does that make Communism correct? Millions of people believed the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it. Does that make it true, because millions believed in it?

 

I didn't think so. Widespread belief doesn't make for objective truth.

 

As for what I said earlier, God could easily just make everybody believe him and have everyone worship him. If he did do this, would we not all just be slaves and puppets?

 

Sure, but you'd have slaves anyway if you had to force their loyalty through threats. And if God is all about being glorified, ie, having his massive ego stroked, then why does he play games and not make us worship him?

 

(Because he doesn't exist.)

 

We are given freedom of choice so that God can test us, and in doing so seperate the world.

 

Sure. An all-knowing god has to test us. As if an all-knowing god doesn't already know how we'll turn out. Or are you saying God isn't all-knowing?

 

You do not know how God has worked in my life, so unfortunately I cannot simply show you true life. But tell me this: If there was something you had to do to recieve eternal glory, joy, and richness in life, yet it took something really foolish-looking of you to do to everybody else, would you not try to share it, and would not people laugh at you and call you ignorant?

 

Typical Xian persecution complex. We do not call you ignorant because you're trying to show us the way to eternal happiness, we are calling you ignorant because you are trying to get us to accept something that hasn't a shred of proof to back it up, and furthermore, something we've already rejected. Believe me, we know full well you don't have the truth.

 

Hopefully you can see where I am coming from even if you do not yet believe. Just ask yourself, what if somehow you were wrong, and the Bible was right?

 

I don't need to ask myself that because I can see that Xianity is false. Pascal's Wager is just an extension of the spiritual terrorism known as the doctrine of Hell and I have more dignity and wisdom than to submit to something out of fear.

 

You can worship your devil out of trembling fear that you'll suffer for all time if you don't, but as for me, I will choose truth - and reject your sick-ass cult.

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Actually the Bible reads that if you are not skeptical about what people tell you than you are foolish.
The Bible also informs us that the earth is flat, donkeys and snakes can talk, unicorns and cockatrices actually exist, people can fly, and an Invisible Magically Undead Man lives in the Sky. That list just barely scratches the surface of the (hilarious) absurdities to be found in the bible, the alleged "word of god". Need I go on, or can you understand why I might just be skeptical when it comes to the fantastic claims made in your holy book? Why do you believe that the bible is the "word of god" - because someone told you it was so? Uh-huh, I thought so.

 

Do you really believe you are just so smart compared to all the christians in the world and that everyone who believes in God is just gullible?

 

We are generally much more informed than Christians generally are when it comes to the bible and the Christian religion, which is why we are no longer Christians. Chances are very good that I (and the rest of us here) know much more about your holy book and religion than you do. That's not meant as a statement of pride, but rather as a very probable statement of fact. Generally speaking, Christians tend to be either astonishingly ignorant of the facts concerning their own holy book and religion or deeply in denial of the same. If you want proof of that statement, read some Christian apologetics works. You will find that Christian apologists are in the business of denying facts and attempting to justify the absurd and improbable as somehow magically being "TRUE". Christian apologists make their living by telling Christians what they want to hear, not by telling them what is actually true.

 

I don't classify everyone who believes in god as necessarily being gullible. I think they just have not ever thought the issue through thoroughly and come to the realization of the fact that there is not the slightest bit of evidence that a god of any kind does actually exist. I am an atheist primarily for that very reason - there is no evidence for the actual existence of a god of any kind.

 

How could millions of people live their lives passionately on the basis of blind belief?
As Brother Varokhar pointed out, millions of people can and have lived their lives passionately on the basis of blind belief. Millions of Christians today lives their lives passionately based on blind belief in ancient myths, fables, and fairy tales. So do millions of Muslims. See this page:

 

http://www.godisimaginary.com/i7.htm

 

BREAK ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE! BREAK ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE! COME ON BABY, LIGHT MY FIRE!

 

Oh. Sorry. That was an unscheduled "Doors" break. Glory!

 

As for what I said earlier, God could easily just make everybody believe him and have everyone worship him. If he did do this, would we not all just be slaves and puppets?

 

God can't easily do anything, given the fact that he doesn't exist.

 

We are given freedom of choice so that God can test us, and in doing so seperate the world.
I could just as easily claim that we are given free will so that Zeus can test us and in doing so separate the world. In reality though, I think we have been given free will so that we can determine which cheeseburger tastes the best. In fact, I know that to be the case and the list has already been prepared! Glory! Here's the link:

 

http://men.style.com/gq/features/landing?id=content_2526

 

You do not know how God has worked in my life, so unfortunately I cannot simply show you true life.

 

Every True Believer believes that god has worked their lives, yet like you, they can't prove it or usually even intelligently articulate what god has allegedly done. Please explain the difference between "true" life and "false" life. Thanks.

 

If there was something you had to do to recieve eternal glory, joy, and richness in life, yet it took something really foolish-looking of you to do to everybody else, would you not try to share it, and would not people laugh at you and call you ignorant?
Why should god require me to make a fool of myself in order to receive eternal glory, joy, and richness in life? Is that how he gets his kicks? Why not instead ask me to be the best and most intelligent person that I can be? Wouldn't that be a much better basis for rewarding folks than acts of foolishness?

 

Hopefully you can see where I am coming from even if you do not yet believe.

 

Sure. I used to be a Christian. For most of us, it's not a matter of "yet to believe". It's a matter for us of "used to believe". You will find that many of us here who are atheists are ex-Christians as well.

 

Just ask yourself, what if somehow you were wrong, and the Bible was right?

 

I don't need to ask myself such a question because I am aware of the fact that the Bible is wrong, and it is wrong about many things.

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Actually the Bible reads that if you are not skeptical about what people tell you than you are foolish. Do you really believe you are just so smart compared to all the christians in the world and that everyone who believes in God is just gullible? How could millions of people live their lives passionately on the basis of blind belief?

 

Ok, well, then you won't mind if I'm skeptical of both you and the Bible then? I was skeptical of it, I studied it, I concluded it is wrong....could I have made a mistake? Sure, but unless I can see some clear evidence that I was wrong, I think I'll stick to my conclusion.

 

And why wouldn't people live passionately for false beliefs? People live passionately for all sorts of beliefs, and logically they cannot ALL be true, since many of their beliefs contradict each other....it stands to reason that lots of people live passionately, and are even martyred for beliefs that are absolutely false.

 

its not that people are gullible, group think is a powerful force though.

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Actually the Bible reads that if you are not skeptical about what people tell you than you are foolish.

Actually the bible says that you need to (essentially) filter everything through it. Compare all knowledge to it and discard what doesn't match the bible as false. Pretty self-reinforcing if you ask me but that's exactly what it's designed to be. So you're not to be skeptical of all things but just things that lie beyond the bible my good indoctrinated friend.

 

I would also watch throwing the "foolish" word around as it makes you in danger of hell. Filter that on through your bible and you will see that your master jesus tells you this (while he also calls people fools...ahh well...his superpowers can save him but you lack such).

 

mwc

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I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of Jesus as the Son of God, I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of God. Only God can take a hardened heart and give life, all I am trying to do is provide people with the word of God, as I believe I should be. You have the choice to either accept it or not, either way I will continue to provide the word.

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I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of Jesus as the Son of God, I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of God. Only God can take a hardened heart and give life, all I am trying to do is provide people with the word of God, as I believe I should be. You have the choice to either accept it or not, either way I will continue to provide the word.

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I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of Jesus as the Son of God, I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of God. Only God can take a hardened heart and give life, all I am trying to do is provide people with the word of God, as I believe I should be. You have the choice to either accept it or not, either way I will continue to provide the word.

Jesus isn't the only person the bible says is the son/s of God. The only thing that makes him the only son of God is the common interpretation of the bible. Many early Christian sects did not see him that way. What you are going off of is the understanding that won out through force.

 

Most people here won't appreciate you trying to spread the word here. We've heard that interpretation before.

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I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of Jesus as the Son of God
You cannot provide the slightest bit of evidence for the existence of Jesus as a human who actually ever lived. You certainly cannot provide any proof that he was the son of a god.

 

I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of God

 

You cannot provide ANY evidence that a god of any kind actually exists, much less proof.

 

Only God can take a hardened heart and give life
God is a myth. My heart is not hard, my mind is educated. Education is the natural enemy of religious belief.

 

all I am trying to do is provide people with the word of God

 

All you are succeeding in doing is providing us with your interpretation of your chosen religious mythology and your interpretation of your Book of Myths.

 

You have the choice to either accept it or not
I reject it because it is not true.

 

either way I will continue to provide the word.

 

You will no doubt continue to give your opinions about your myths. We will continue to offer you truth, facts, reason, rational thought, and common sense. It's up to you to either accept reality as it is or continue to reject it.

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You have the choice to either accept it or not, either way I will continue to provide the word.

 

And don't think for a second that we don't appreciate it. If you'd like to learn things that are a little out of your comfort zone, Here is a well-researched and comprehensive article about the jesus myth position, and the mountain of data that supports it.

 

Arguing for a historical jesus and that the gospels are based on actual events is becoming very difficult. The hurdles that must be cleared are getting higher and higher.

 

Unless of course, you are able to just take it by faith. In which case you shouldn't be under the illusion that you'll ever be able to convince anyone who's brain is still intact.

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I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of Jesus as the Son of God, I cannot provide any of you with full proof evidence of the existence of God. Only God can take a hardened heart and give life, all I am trying to do is provide people with the word of God, as I believe I should be. You have the choice to either accept it or not, either way I will continue to provide the word.

So let me see I am understanding you correctly. You are saying that anyone who is highly skeptical of wild claims of anonymous authors of a water-walking, flying messiah god/man are not believing because they have a "hard heart"? Is that what you believe?

 

Do you accept the Lord Krishna? No? Is it because the devil has hardened your heart against him?

 

Do you accept that I am God? No? Is it because the devil has hardned your heart against me?

 

Do you accept that earth is not 6000 years old, and is factually 4.5 billion years old? No? Is it because you have hardened your brain against reason? (well that one may be true)

 

Are you seeing a pattern here?

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Do you accept that I am God? No? Is it because the devil has hardned your heart against me?

I was about to accept you as God but then I noticed that your God is Pi. So I accept you as the Son of Pi. My heart is not hard but my arteries are Son of Pi. May your Father never repeat.

 

mwc

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