LogicalFallacy

Did Jesus Exist?

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And I'm not just meaning was the man Jesus actually the son of God. I'm asking was there ever a man to begin with?

 

I found this interesting article which while not in depth as Carrier or Price is still an great intro to the question.

 

https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/did-jesus-exist/

 

 

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I have been in the fictional Jesus camp for some time now. I've read a number of authors/scholars that both defend a historical Jesus and those that take the position there is insufficient evidence to support a historical Jesus. 

 

I personally think the evidence against a historical Jesus is more convincing that the evidence for such a person to have existed in the flesh. The answer to this question is usually based on emotion rather than evidence for most people. 

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I don't think we'll ever know for sure. For me, though, I'm a little skeptical that all those stories could be based on nothing. Especially when you consider that Paul's conversion and at least some form of Christian belief happened quite early (some would say within a few years of when Jesus was supposedly crucified). It just seems a bit far fetched that it suddenly sprung up out of nowhere and with no context at all. 

 

I also don't think that pointing out problems with the gospels disproves a historical Jesus entirely. It's possible that there really was someone back then that the stories were based on, and that over the decades the truth got all mixed up with legends. 

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8 minutes ago, Stargazer95 said:

I don't think we'll ever know for sure. For me, though, I'm a little skeptical that all those stories could be based on nothing. Especially when you consider that Paul's conversion and at least some form of Christian belief happened quite early (some would say within a few years of when Jesus was supposedly crucified). It just seems a bit far fetched that it suddenly sprung up out of nowhere and with no context at all. 

 

I also don't think that pointing out problems with the gospels disproves a historical Jesus entirely. It's possible that there really was someone back then that the stories were based on, and that over the decades the truth got all mixed up with legends. 

 

Well know for sure is an interesting phrase. Some people would argue you cannot know anything 'for sure'. We can have reasonable levels of confidence however, and with Jesus there just is not enough evidence to say I am reasonably confident he existed. There is better evidence for King David.

 

Do you think the Mormon's actually have golden plates, or Muhammed actually spoke to the angel Gabriel?

 

True, its entirely possible that the stories were based on someone. It's also entirely possible they were just made up while drawing in elements of pre existing writings and religions.

 

We don't sit here arguing that Zeus or Mithras was based on a real person yet we do with Jesus.

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32 minutes ago, Stargazer95 said:

I don't think we'll ever know for sure. For me, though, I'm a little skeptical that all those stories could be based on nothing. Especially when you consider that Paul's conversion and at least some form of Christian belief happened quite early (some would say within a few years of when Jesus was supposedly crucified). It just seems a bit far fetched that it suddenly sprung up out of nowhere and with no context at all. 

 

I also don't think that pointing out problems with the gospels disproves a historical Jesus entirely. It's possible that there really was someone back then that the stories were based on, and that over the decades the truth got all mixed up with legends. 

 

I've also looked at the evidence that questions whether Paul was a real person or a literary character. Further research has convinced me that it was likely that Simon Magus wrote the "Pauline" Epistles and Paul was the pen name he used. There is a school of thought that says "Paul's" Epistles were a second century writing. And that Simon Magus and Marcion were the authors. Marcion's Churches were certainly the most popular version of Christianity in the early part of the second century. 

 

Historians generally date the writing of the gospels somewhere between 90-125 CE. Their reasons for this date are easily found. It is good to keep in mind no one knows who "produced" the original gospel story. It was more than likely an oral story and continued to exists as oral tradition for unknown decades. Apologist date the authorship of the written gospels from 50-90 CE, so that they affirm traditional beliefs, but the evidence doesn't support their dating.

 

Aramaic  was the common language of Jesus and his followers, but the gospels are written in a scholarly form of Greek. That is strong evidence that his disciples didn't write it, probably because they were illiterate. It has been estimated that only 3% of the population at that time could both read and write and these were the elitist & Priest. 

 

Another thought. Jesus name was actually Joshua. The Jews believed their Messiah would be a reincarnated Joshua, and he would lead them to a military victory over Rome. I've become convinced the original gospel story was pure fiction, and the name Joshua was specifically chosen to give the appearance of a fulfilled prophecy. When examined rationally and logically nothing about the gospel story makes sense and it reads like it was intended to be understood as a myth, which I am convinced it is. Joshua, of course, became Jesus when the gospel story was written in Greek. 

 

You indicated that they gospel story seems far fetched and you're right, but keep in mind this was an oral story. And oral stories have a strong tendency to be fictional with mythical elements. Robin Hood, King Arthur, Hercules, etc. 

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In addition to Geezers points about Joshua (Or Yeshua in Hebrew) is that if what he says is correct, and it makes sense, it explains why, despite having quote Isaiah, they still chose a different name for the Messiah. I'll have to look into the original Hebrew, but in Greek and English it clearly says "His name shall be Emmanuel" … not Jesus/Joshua.

 

But when you look into Isaiah 7, and then at the Jesus story there is no way it's related.

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using bible to prove bible stories don’t make sense. 

 

using bible to disprove bible also don’t make sense. 

 

jesus or joshua is a common name. 

 

there was/is jesus/joshua 2500 years ago till even today. 

 

historical jesus sure have. 

jesus a teacher/preacher sure have

 

BIBLICAL JESUS very unlikely and cannot be bothered

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Unless it's just for entertainment value, the debate really doesn't interest me.  Even if there was definitive proof of a historical jesus, it wouldn't change the length of my commute, the length of my life, or the length of my cock.

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2 hours ago, pratt said:

using bible to disprove bible also don’t make sense. 

 

Not for disproving, but is handy for showing flawed logic and inconsistencies within the infallible word of God. Doesn't mean much to those who have seen through the crap, but can certainly help turn the lights on for someone still caught in the grasp of religion.

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I havnt seen any credible evidence of such a character existing

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From everything I've read, and based on deductions I've made from actual history (not the bible), I've concluded that there were apocalyptic preachers at the dawn of the first century (easy to demonstrate), and that there was an expectation that the religio-military hero "messiah" expected by a subset of the Jews was to be named Yahshua/Joshua ("Jesus" is such a corruption that it's laughable).

 

With all that said, the earliest artifacts relating to "Jesus" in Israel are all related to the religious figure, the Catholic Jesus, the savior-hero-god-man character; there are no artifacts, historical sites, etc pegged as describing or being connected to a different person. I hope what I'm saying makes sense - I'm fighting a cold.

In other words, what I posit is that nobody who knew a REAL, historical person named Yahshua (or whatever), attributed any supernatural or world-changing significance to that person, insofar as they never memorialized that person with shrines, plaques, etc (probably because Jewish people would have considered that close to idolatry, anyway). The "Jesus" that anyone can point to is memorialized by sites related to the bible stories; the bible stories weren't based on events, but the places mentioned in the stories have become significant BECAUSE of the stories - like a 1st-C. 221B Baker Street.

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BTW, Carrier is not presenting a position of the gospel story being created out of thin air. It's an entire hypothesis that pulls from the evidences of early christianity (Ascension of Isaiah is revealing) and what is known about their celestial beliefs. It's about beliefs about angels and demons and a hero figure son of god that took place up in the upper heavens as a mystical, gnostic type of drama. And how that was later passed up and replaced with literalistic orthodoxy and the proto Catholics. You have to study the content of the Doherty / Carrier hypothesis to understand where it's coming from. 

 

The old mystical informing the Pauline's, whoever wrote them. The gospels appear later after Paul, and not all at the same time. It only took one gospel story for all of the other gospel stories to copy and put their own twists on: 

 

Old celestial deity mythos (celestial) > Gnostic beliefs and letters (Paul, still celestial) > First Gospel (humanizing the celestial myth) > Bangwagon Gospels (mix of celestial and historical) > Proto Catholic Orthodoxy > The Dark Ages >  Enlightenment > Today 

 

It's not hard to see how it could have evolved through the Doherty / Carrier lens. 

 

 

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I lean toward fictional, though he could have been loosely based on a real person. A lot of myths start with some real person as a loose foundation at least.

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On 10/4/2018 at 4:00 PM, Stargazer95 said:

I don't think we'll ever know for sure. For me, though, I'm a little skeptical that all those stories could be based on nothing. Especially when you consider that Paul's conversion and at least some form of Christian belief happened quite early (some would say within a few years of when Jesus was supposedly crucified). It just seems a bit far fetched that it suddenly sprung up out of nowhere and with no context at all. 

 

I also don't think that pointing out problems with the gospels disproves a historical Jesus entirely. It's possible that there really was someone back then that the stories were based on, and that over the decades the truth got all mixed up with legends. 

 

 

But if you look more closely at Paul and the things he says, the way he writes, it never really seems like he knew anything about a specific historical person named Jesus. It's easy to assume that because of the way the books of the New Testament are ordered and organized. But the Pauline letters are the earliest dated documents. The mythology was all written down later and may have actually sprung up later. Paul may have been following somewhat more of a "gnostic" type christianity that modern Christians today wouldn't even recognize.

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On 10/4/2018 at 1:24 PM, Geezer said:

I have been in the fictional Jesus camp for some time now. I've read a number of authors/scholars that both defend a historical Jesus and those that take the position there is insufficient evidence to support a historical Jesus. 

 

I personally think the evidence against a historical Jesus is more convincing that the evidence for such a person to have existed in the flesh. The answer to this question is usually based on emotion rather than evidence for most people. 

 

I trend toward the "Christianity was originally intended as a Jewish version of the pagan mystery cults" that were popular in the mediterranean at that time. Jesus more follows the mythic archetype of the pagan dying/rising savior god than he does the Jewish template for the messiah. The only way that makes sense is if it was simply a pagan mystery system meant for a Jewish audience. The Jewish people were notorious for wandering from their god to follow various pagan customs (and who can blame them? I would WAY rather be doing all the pagan shit than obsessing about mixed fiber clothing and how shrimp makes god mad.)

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