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Has Anyone Actually Found The Historical Jesus Of The Nt


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Hi All,

 

 

Six months ago I would not have been writing this. I was, to all intents and purposes, a fully-fledged, bible-believing Christian.

 

 

If I had come across this website I would have been sad and prayerful for all the 'lost souls' posting whose assured destiny was hell.

 

I became a born again Christian over 14 years ago and had not doubted the inerrancy of the bible nor my belief in Jesus Christ after my conversion.

 

My church life had not gone smoothly as I quickly discovered that most churches are mainly interested in worker bees with big pockets rather than the well being of the individual and difficult questions tend to be glossed over with the polish of someone running for political office.

 

As a result I was not a regular church attendee but was part of a local bible study group.

 

I received my wake up call in January during my daily bible reading whilst studying Timothy, in particular, 2 Timothy 3:16 - 'All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..'.

The internal thought conversation went a bit like this...

 

"hmmm I wonder what scripture Paul was referring to as I'm sure that the whole bible hadn't been written before Timothy"

 

"Well maybe it was just a general comment.."

 

"Must look at this in a bit more depth when I have time".

 

Bible closed and off to work however the thought just wouldn't leave me alone. By the time I had finished work I felt the need to do some self study.

 

Many of you will not be suprised at the journey I have been through over the last few months - reviewing the compilation of the bible, early church fathers, Christianity's resemblance to earlier pagan religions, interpolations into historical documents and discovering the differing view points of the early Christians.

 

Essentially doing all the 'due diligiance' about the religion that I would advise anyone to do who was considering a business proposal or investment. Let's be honest Christianity is an investment of your time, heart and money.

 

The aspect that suprised me most was the virtually total absence, if not complete absence, of any qualified historical data regarding the existance of the Jesus of the bible. Plenty of Jesus' mentioned but not THE Jesus.

 

The websites that had the greatest impact on me were http://rationalrevol...h_history.htm#1 and http://www.jesusneverexisted.com

 

I really wanted to dismiss the information that I was uncovering but after comparing the modern apologetics with the likes of Ken Humphreys, Bart Ehrmann, D M Murdock, G Massey etc etc - I realised that I was losing the battle and couldn't hold back the tide any longer.

 

The roller coaster of emotions is quite painful and have been quite angry that pastors, who have completed theological qualifications, can stand at the front of the congregation state that the bible is inerrant. Especially as trained pastors must know that there is such a derth of historical data

 

On the positive side I can now embrace people for what they are and no longer judge people basis on their religion or life choices.

 

Freedom of mind is a precious gift, which allows us to explore concepts and ideas untainted by pre constraining ideologies.

 

There is one question that I would like to throw open to all...has anyone actually found the historical Jesus?

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Hi wakeupcall! Wecome to EX-c ! My god, I felt so sad as I read your letter -I could have written it almost word for word....I was a true 'born again' for 30 years. Same thing started happening to me, except I actually started a lot of questions right away after I got 'saved' when I was 20. Of course - they told me just to have complete faith in the stories. I was known as 'the pastors worst nightmare'!! It was done in a joking manner, but I know he wanted to run when I made an appointment to come and talk to him!!

 

I wanted a relationship with jesus more than anything in the world. I continued to worship him, but at the same time I continued to ask a lot of questions (that were never answered to my satisfaction)............... so I stared on my own painful journey of learning some truths that I am still having a hard time with. (and I have been Deconverting for about 5 years) I guess I am still waiting for some miracle that will prove my mind wrong. so far - nothing!

 

I believed a lie for those 30 years and I still have not (as much as I have searched,) found the real, true historical Jesus. I don't think there was one and I am still very sad about that.

 

Stay with us - read all the testimonies - you will soon see that you are not alone my friend. Glad to have you with us!:grin:

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I've spent quite a bit of time, ok, wasted quite a bit of my time which I'll never get back mind you, searching for the historical Jeebus.

Basically. Nope. Nothing outside the Biblay in that time frame. All references to him are way after his death.

 

Must have been a pretty pathetic God, Son of God etc to have no impact on people during his life and death.

 

But don't worry, in 2000years, we'll have the Harry Potter religion, the Jedi religion and many others all making fantastical claims and people falling for it.

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Our house happens to need painting and a painter came by today to give us an estimate on the cost. I listened to part of the conversation my father was having with the guy and my eyes rolled when I heard him mention a bible study he was attending. Of course I know that bible studies are usually the furthest thing from that as possible. But it really struck me what a misnomer "bible study" really is, given the fact that it is impossible to actually study the bible and the facts surrounding it and continue to believe it at the same time.

 

If there was a real historical Jesus, little if anything can be known about him as he has been saddled with far too much absurd religious mythology for far too long.

 

Welcome to Ex-C! Glad you woke up. :)

 

Glory!

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Hi, wakeupcall, and welcome to ExC.

 

Yours was an interesting and thought provoking extimony.

 

Concerning the Pastors: Yes, indeed, those pastors with a graduate degree from a reputable theological seminary learned everything and more that you learned on your own. Now, those pastors who took a correspondence course and many with an undergraduate degree from a Bible college didn't necessarily learn all those things in depth. But those who are well educated know it all and conveniently fail to mention any of it to their flock. When I deconverted, I, too, felt anger towards those ministers who knew and withheld the information which casts serious doubt on the religion. I came to one of two conclusions about them. First, some number of them don't believe the supernatural part of the Bible is true (or at least have serious doubts themselves). Second, some number of them managed to graduate from their theological seminary in complete denial and their faith won over their reason. Faith is like that. It is like a fog through which reason and logic about the religion cannot penetrate until a chink develops in the faith.

 

As for the historical Jesus, if there was one he did not resemble the mythological Jesus of the gospels. This person, if there was a model on which the Jesus of the gospels was based, was not born of a virgin, performed no miracles, and did not rise from the dead to ascend into heaven. At most, he was some sort of itinerate preacher who had something of a following. But, I have seen no evidence that even this very human model ever existed (unless, and I find this thought interesting, the model was John the Baptist sans the mythological parts attributed to him in the bible. But I think there is reasonable evidence that John the Baptist did exist which is why I believe the gospel writers included him in their stories to give what they wrote some measure of credibility). But however you slice it, the Jesus of the gospels was a total fiction.

 

Anyway, glad you're here and look forward to hearing more from you.

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Welcome! As far as I have been able to tell, if Jesus existed at all, he was an early cult leader (there were LOTS of them, just as there are today). Cults always aggrandize their leaders, and the Jesus of the gospels seems to incorporate some myths from previous cults and tries to tie it all together with an alleged fulfillment of Jewish religion.

 

I think some pastors are woefully ignorant of actual history, or discount anything negative about Jesus as "blinded eyes" that can't see the truth. I know that when I encountered arguments against Christ when I was early in my Christian life, I chose to stop looking at them until I was "more mature in the faith". Thirty years later, I still hadn't gone back to look at them. This is part of the willful ignorance of a believer, because anything that threatens the faith feels like it threatens survival, and thus is quickly shut down.

 

You aren't at all alone. Please stick around and we'll be happy to assist any way we can.

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Guest ThereIsNoGod

Must have been a pretty pathetic God, Son of God etc to have no impact on people during his life and death.

 

Was Jesus a bit like Nick Drake? I'm trying to think of examples of people, particularly musicians, who only acheived popularity long after their deaths.

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Must have been a pretty pathetic God, Son of God etc to have no impact on people during his life and death.

 

Was Jesus a bit like Nick Drake? I'm trying to think of examples of people, particularly musicians, who only acheived popularity long after their deaths.

 

Elvis Presley is still popular 34 years after His alleged "death", but He is still Alive! Millions have seen Him at Wal-Mart and other holy places!

 

Glory!

 

:grin:

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Must have been a pretty pathetic God, Son of God etc to have no impact on people during his life and death.

 

Was Jesus a bit like Nick Drake? I'm trying to think of examples of people, particularly musicians, who only acheived popularity long after their deaths.

 

 

And if they were God's and they wrote no actual music themselves but was it simply attributed to them, then I'd say you had a valid point :D

 

 

 

 

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... Of course I know that bible studies are usually the furthest thing from that as possible. But it really struck me what a misnomer "bible study" really is, given the fact that it is impossible to actually study the bible and the facts surrounding it and continue to believe it at the same time. ...

 

Christian "bible study" typically consists of reading the same old text and hearing the same lying apologetics over and over and over and over and over, etc. That's not study; that's brainwashing reinforcement in a group setting. With them, it's all "(brain)wash and repeat" without any rinsing in between.

 

I guess that's why, when we were still christians and were becoming increasingly frustrated with the non-answers we were handed by other christians, so many of us went outside the mind-numbing "bible study" that we had been indoctrinated in and actually studied the bible and christianity — learning how and why they were created. And that, of course, led us to become EXchristians.

 

GLORY, indeed!

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...

Awesome post, loved it.

 

There is one question that I would like to throw open to all...has anyone actually found the historical Jesus?

Not yet.

 

Funny thing. When the Talpiot tomb was in the news, Christians refused to believe that the ossuary with Jesus on it could have been the same as the Christian Jesus (even though the names matched with all the other ossuaries). The counter argument for it to not be Jesus's was that the name "Jesus" was one of the most common names at that time... doesn't that make you think that there could have been a lot of mixups of which one/who the Jesus (or Jesus-es) they wrote about? Just imagine if hundred different people all around America today would start to write about some anonymous person named John Doe. How many stories would we get about this "John Doe"? Which one is true and historical?

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Thank you for your kind responses. Sorry I posted twice - currently using a mobile internet connection, which keeps dropping, so I wasn't sure if the first post had gone through.blush.gif

 

 

I am so glad that I found this site and I have found the kindness and support offered to posters heart warming.

 

The only conclusion I can come to regarding pastors not revealing the lack of information regarding the historical Jesus is MONEY.

 

If a pastor stands in front of his congregation and informs them that there is no real basis to Christianity the funds are going to dry up and hence his livelihood will go down the tube.

 

Who is going to continue to give 10% of their income to support a lie?

 

Churches make a lot of money out of their congregations, direct your eyes to Rome, and therefore the lie must be propagated for the sustainability of the 'church'.

 

Also Christianity is a very useful control method - it keeps people passive i.e. if a Christian is suffering physically, mentally, commercially or legally they are expected to endure and not make waves. 'God has a purpose for your suffering' is the normal response from fellow Christians.

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Interesting little snippet re the MONEY issue (and this only covers the USA)!!

 

 

"Because the churches are tax-exempt, the average citizen pays an additional $925.00 a year in taxes to support them."

 

"According to the Internal Revenue Service, church donations total over 19 BILLION dollars a year. "This does not include profits from businesses, stock holdings, bond holdings, retirement centers or lease back arrangements."

 

"The Mormon Church alone collects at least $4.3 billion a year from its members and another $400 million from its many business enterprises purchased with tax-exempt donated money. "

 

"The churches own 81 billion dollars' worth of tax-exempt real estate in Texas and $1.3 billion in Los Angeles county alone. Consider the prime real estate owned by them in New York City, Chicago, Boston, in every state - the amount involved is staggering."

 

"Every tax dollar that the church avoids paying, you as an individual tax payer must make up."

 

Growing in power and ownership, the xian churches own 20-25% of all the real estate in America.

-Taken from "The Book Your church Doesn't Want You To Read" - Tom C. Leedom, editor 1993

 

This was in 1993..

 

If this has been posted before I apologize.

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Hi!!

 

The only place i found him (yet) is Babylonian Talmud.

 

That person (if it's he of course, but looks alike, there is Maryam Magdalsomething there) has not much in common with christian Jesus, and is just a jewish heretic. And ooops, there is only one Maryam there :grin: the second one seems to be a creation of some translator.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus#The_Talmud

 

 

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wakeupcall,

 

If Jesus existed, then he did not die on the cross. He was crucified on a Friday afternoon. The Jewish Sabbath was coming, which meant nothing could be done at all. So he had to be taken down from the cross before sunset. He was on the cross for about six hours. It takes a lot longer, say, 48 hours, for someone to die by crucifixion. Jesus may have been unconscious. Pontius Pilate was against the crucifixion of Jesus at the outset. He probably arranged for a quick crucifixion, and a feigned burial.

 

Some say that Jesus left Israel and traveled to Kashmir, India, where his body is allegedly buried.

 

Check this out: The Tomb of Jesus

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Another path to look to is that even if there WAS a historical Jesus, did he fulfill the prophecies of the OT regarding the Messiah? Thats the path that I took. Turns out when christians say that Jesus fulfilled "thousands" of prophecies they are referring to obscure psalms that are worshipful taken out of context. Not only was the Jewish messiah not supposed to be divine, but he was supposed to conquer all of his enemies and set up a kingdom and be God's right hand man. I suggest you look into that a little more as a next step to your questioning.

 

Then look into the validity of the OT, it's also bullshit too, but its nice to find that all out in babysteps.

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  • 1 month later...

There's no real reason to believe Jesus was historical. Just about everything attributed to Jesus had been attributed to previous saviour gods. Also, you'd think if Jesus was an historical character, there wouldn't be so much divergence amongst his early followers as to who he was, what he said, and when he lived.

 

Doesn't it seem suspicious nobody who knew Jesus thought to write something down during his lifetime? That everything we have was written by anonymous Greek-speaking scribes long after his death? That the gospels themselves contradict each other? That the church had to throw out many of the other gospels because of the lack of consistency?

 

Regardless, the fact remains that, if nothing else, the Jesus of the gospels is fictional.

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The only conclusion I can come to regarding pastors not revealing the lack of information regarding the historical Jesus is MONEY.

 

If a pastor stands in front of his congregation and informs them that there is no real basis to Christianity the funds are going to dry up and hence his livelihood will go down the tube.

 

Who is going to continue to give 10% of their income to support a lie.

 

 

I'm not sure you have that quite right.

 

If a pastor stands in front of his congregation and informs them that there is no real basis to Christianity, the congregation would likely fire him and hire a pastor who would tell them what they wanted to hear.

 

You might find this article interesting: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/Non-Believing-Clergy.pdf

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Doesn't it seem suspicious nobody who knew Jesus thought to write something down during his lifetime?

 

Well most written records from that time (and most history) didn't survive. There are decades of Roman history that are lost, and they kept written records like madmen.

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Doesn't it seem suspicious nobody who knew Jesus thought to write something down during his lifetime?

 

Well most written records from that time (and most history) didn't survive. There are decades of Roman history that are lost, and they kept written records like madmen.

 

Yeah. There's this little period called The Dark Ages that makes it tough to track everything down.

 

Very few Biblical figures can be verified. I think any rational mind understands these people are a mix of truth and legend. Whether or not the Jesus of the Bible existed, someone had to inspire the story. And even if he did exist during the time specified in the new testament, the myth has outgrown the man at this point.

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Very few Biblical figures can be verified. I think any rational mind understands these people are a mix of truth and legend. Whether or not the Jesus of the Bible existed, someone had to inspire the story. And even if he did exist during the time specified in the new testament, the myth has outgrown the man at this point.

 

Most likely he wasn't notable enough for much to have been recorded about him. Apocalyptic preacher roaming around the Jerusalem area? I bet they were a dime a dozen during that period in history.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Doesn't it seem suspicious nobody who knew Jesus thought to write something down during his lifetime?

 

Well most written records from that time (and most history) didn't survive. There are decades of Roman history that are lost, and they kept written records like madmen.

 

The first century was actually pretty well documented. There were many scholars writing things down. Also, you'd think if Jesus was such a huge figure, as the gospels make him out to be, that some record of him would survive. After all, a lot was written about Joseph Smith in his time, and not just by his followers.

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Doesn't it seem suspicious nobody who knew Jesus thought to write something down during his lifetime?

 

Well most written records from that time (and most history) didn't survive. There are decades of Roman history that are lost, and they kept written records like madmen.

 

The first century was actually pretty well documented. There were many scholars writing things down. Also, you'd think if Jesus was such a huge figure, as the gospels make him out to be, that some record of him would survive. After all, a lot was written about Joseph Smith in his time, and not just by his followers.

I think so too.

 

One of my "pet peeves", if we can call it such, is the pentecostal event in Jerusalem. Supposedly, these 500 disciples are filled with the holy spirit and magically are able to speak in all the different languages that existed at that time. Not only that, but the story explains that travelers and salesmen were in town from all the world, trading, selling, passing through. And they were amazed, and a whole truckload of them converted (2,000+?). Not one of them, even though handy in writing considering their craft, wrote anything home to wrote down their stories to tell their kids as far as we know. Sure, it's possible that only a few wrote and those letters and stories were lost. But this kind of things happened several times over, and no trace. City after city took the message about Jesus to heart, but didn't write anything that was salvaged. No one wrote about their actual experience. The only things that were saved were the "professional" letters from the religious leaders. We don't even have any letters or writings from people around the Christians. Just think about it, 2,000 people converted in one day after a miraculous event, and the other 500,000 people in the city just looked at it and said "whatever"? Really? Honestly, if the event really happened, I think "2,000" is a fisherman's tale, i.e. grossly overestimated, perhaps only 2 people were "amazed" that day.

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