I think the Jesus whose story is told in the bible didn’t exist. I don’t know whether the character was built on a real person[s]. If I was asked to make a case for Socrates, the base facts to begin with would have been the parents, when and where they lived and if possible a few of his contemporaries. We would name Crito, Xenophon, as his contemporaries, a birth place would be named, and so many other facts.
In an attempt to make a case for the existence of Jesus, apologists have resorted to make assertions about the resurrection that they think if are agreed on, would compel even the skeptic to change his mind on the historicity. This assertions come from WLC he of the DCT and the KCA.
Before you read the assertions, here is a piece that you should begin with. It sheds some light on the problem we will try to answer below.
The assertions are called facts and are as listed below.
- FACT #1: After his crucifixion, Jesus was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea.
- FACT #2: On the Sunday following the crucifixion, Jesus’ tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers.
- FACT #3: On multiple occasions and under various circumstances, different individuals and groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus alive from the dead.
- FACT #4: The original disciples believed that Jesus was risen from the dead despite their having every predisposition to the contrary.
Tell me, friends, who tells the life of a person they know based only on their deaths and the events that happened thereafter. These four above are not facts, they are assertions. The christian asserts that Jesus was buried and resurrected. It is not a fact. I wouldn’t even want to discuss whether he died on the cross or not and whether there is a tomb or not for this would lend credence to a legend. The issue that must first be settled is who were his parents, when and where was he born and who were his contemporaries if any.
On assertion number three, there is none, repeat none, skeptic who Jesus appeared to. Neither did this apparition appear to Pilate, to the Pharisees, to the gentiles. The people who claim to have seen him can all be said to be those who already believed such an event would occur. Besides, Paul whose writings as quoted as being aware of 500 witnesses didn’t see Jesus, if he existed. It can actually be said, whoever Paul is, he is the creator of this Jesus narrative.
Point 4, is confirmation bias. There is no proof of this. There is no record left by any of the supposed disciples telling us what happened. What we have are anonymous gospel accounts that tell the story.
The apologist tells us on point 3
The appearance traditions in the gospels provide multiple, independent attestation of these appearances. This is one of the most important marks of historicity. The appearance to Peter is independently attested by Luke, and the appearance to the Twelve by Luke and John. We also have independent witness to Galilean appearances in Mark, Matthew, and John, as well as to the women in Matthew and John.
This ignores the scholarship on the NT that shows that Mark was the first to be written and Mathew & Luke borrowed from it. It is no rocket science that they will have a similar story with a few additions like the different genealogy stories in Mathew and Luke. John’s gospel is written later in the day, it is only a credulous person who will take it as evidence on the matter.
Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time reading on the Jesus story knows that the Josephus text mentioning Zombie Jesus is most likely a forgery.
There is no reason to think that the early church would generate fictitious stories concerning the unbelief of Jesus’ family had they been faithful followers all along
is in need of demonstration. Eusebius? seems to have no qualms lying for Jesus. To claim they wouldn’t lie is to put them on a high pedestal without the slightest justification. There is no reason to believe they couldn’t lie. We have no reason to believe those who claim to have seen the golden plates Joseph Smith translated to the book of Mormons as saying the truth.
In conclusion, we find this comment
So I guess the problem here is that I’ve made a minimal facts case and cited historians across the ideological spectrum for the four facts – including people like Gerd Ludemann and Bart Ehrman! You’ve responded with your opinion, and cited no scholars to either refute the four facts, or to propose an alternative naturalistic explanation to the subset of minimal facts
ably demonstrates the thin case on which the assertions for Jesus lie so that it has been reduced to minimal
facts assertions that are themselves in need of demonstration. And why ignore the historicists who argue this fellow Jesus as portrayed in the bible did not exist? If my faith and life in the nether world depended on it, the case I would be making wouldn’t be based on minimal assertions. I would make a proper case.
And lastly, please, please Jesus apologists, read beyond William Craig and Strobel. Start by reading Celsus’ arguments against the Christians. I promise it will not kill you to read something different, maybe just enlighten you.
Circular reasoning at its finest. Surely the likes of Craig recognise the weakness of it all, but something stops them from ever admitting it.
I do ask myself if Craig and his clones believe the things they write or say?
Many historians (even skeptics like Michael Shermer) will probably admit they think it is likely there was a man named Jesus who existed around that time, preached and had disciples, likely running into trouble with the Romans. Of course, that says nothing about him being divine or related to God, there were many people fitting this description at the time (indeed, still are today).
The assertions you list are very close to the nicene creed and the very basics of Christianity. If you don’t believe those facts, especially that Jesus died and was resurrected, the entire game is up, you are no longer a Christian. So, you must believe them and defend them tooth and nail.
I’ve often wondered in what way people claim to know these things. Do they know them like they know they have head on their hair? It seems unlikely since they were never there to see anything with their own eyes. Do they know it like i know Brazil exists, while never seeing it myself having seen it on satellite pictures and many people including sailors having seen it? It doesn’t seem like it is either of these things.
It does raise a question though, to what degree should we trust the words of others or books? When i open up a biology book or architecture book, it tells me facts about cells, i could never test them for myself, i just believe them. Opening an architecture book, i trust in their word that steel is stronger or what brutalism is. Why should we trust these people and not the people of the bible? I don’t yet have a good answer for it (even though the bible is filled with ridiculous things like talking snakes that make this question unimportant).
What surprises me most is the reason most people believe in their own holy book, they wouldn’t dream applying to another. They seem to trust the word of the bible authors but think the word of the Quran authors are totally wrong, even though they are doing exactly the same thing.
I don’t have a good answer for this question at the moment
I really don’t know whether such a person lived or not. I don’t waste the time and energy trying to dispute his existence. It’s all irrelevant because the entire belief system is based on a fictional text and that seems to be the only source that is offered as proof.
Good post, my friend. I’m glad to see that you’ve overcome your lazy phase and are back to normal. Much love and naked hugs!
I promised the pope would do what popes do very soon 😛
Hugs and much love my friend
Jesus indeed, Let’s look at the NCSE project Steve? Was there a man named Jesus who got in trouble with the Romans… undoubtedly and to which I say ‘so what?’
The birth story of the miracle worker jesus is preposterous. There are no accounts of his life before 30 years of age which do not mimic that of previous gods.
Which historians were contemporary with Jesus and did not mention him? http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/jesus5.htm I offer this because I can find no other ready list… sigh, the preponderance of evidence says there is no Jesus miracle worker. If there were a miracle worker it would be expected that we’d see plenty of evidence of the miracles at the time of the miracles but this is not so. All the ‘evidence’ comes when there had been enough time to create a legend and not be able to check facts. There are no stories of those who hear d of the miracles and went in search of him or evidence as humans are wont to do.
All the evidence offered up for the Jesus story are without credibility, not least of which is a virgin birth during a mythical census to complete prophecy… incorrectly…
The incarnation of the omnipotent creator of the universe and his plan is to get martyred, and it was a plan for it is said he orchestrated it. He could have convinced royalty with miracles but saves them for ignorant peasants when no historians are hanging around. His only sacraments for his followers were death cult animism fetishes. In fact, he offered no new wisdom to the world for half his stories are echos of previous gods and the rest common sense or the teachings found elsewhere in the world previously.
It is in fact laughable…
Thanks for the link.
The Jesus story is laughable all the way down. No part of it even begins to make sense
The longer I think about it the less sense it makes.
That’s the really interesting part. You begin to scratch the surface and it all comes falling as a house of cards. Strange indeed! Very strange
My only explanation for ever believing was childhood indoctrination… I questioned then, just not hard enough
The same is true for me.. with the exception that I didn’t begin to question until so late
I am still working on the explanation for why people refuse to question… getting bits and pieces of it.. but it is slow with all that I have to do otherwise
Thanks Sonel for the link. Now what can I do without my dear googlist?
hahaha. My pleasure Mak.
Have a great day my friend. 😀
You too have a pleasant day
Thanks Mak. 😀
I assert that Little Red Riding-Hood was a real person, because the Sacred Grimm Brothers have written that she was eaten by a Evil Wolf, and was rescued from his stomach by a Hunter.
And you are right
“I think the Jesus whose story is told in the bible didn’t exist.”
I think the Atheists don’t have a list all person who lived in this world to check and verify therefrom that Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Socrates , Jesus existed or did not exist.
Do they have such a list? Please
I don’t get you. What do you mean?
This post is about Jesus, when and if I write about Socrates, you can raise this matter.
“I think the Jesus whose story is told in the bible didn’t exist.”
Paul carved out of thin air a fictional character and described that he died on the Cross; resurrected from the dead and ascended to the skies to sit on the right hand of God. Paul described such a man as god or son of god and named that character Jesus or Christ; surely such a person never existed; I agree with you.
“I think the Jesus whose story is told in the bible didn’t exist.”
For the real life accounts of Jesus son of Mary; one may like to read Quran, one may start with Chapter named Maryam/Merium/Mary”:
Jesus’ true teachings are also incorporated in Quran.
Paarsurrey, you seem to me, no pun intended, to have a serious comprehension problem. If the Jesus talked of in the bible is fictitious, the one in the Koran is more so!
” If the Jesus talked of in the bible is fictitious, the one in the Koran is more so!”
Please don’t mind; I don’t agree with you.
Quran does not copy anything from Bible; it is a misconception.
Muhammad got the accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings from the One-True-God directly by Word of Revelation; that is the reason as to why Quran gives accounts of life of real Jesus and does not present the mythical Jesus carved out of thin air by Paul.
I know it is difficult for you to understand it.
Hahaha! You are indeed in need of much help than I thought before.
It is not possible to dissuade you from the idea that the Koran is a work of man as you so believe it as revelation. Any debate with you therefore is a waste of precious time, time that could be spend having a beer or reading.
“On assertion number three, there is none, repeat none, skeptic who Jesus appeared to. Neither did this apparition appear to Pilate, to the Pharisees, to the gentiles.”
This is a cooked story made by Paul and the likes to support the fictional character he made.
All above are general statements; not a single one has been mentioned with name; the list of names who saw and their antecedents have not been given by Bible.
I agree with you here
Well well, we can agree once in a while
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I can’t help but mention the work of Joseph Campbell. Many YouTube video are out there, especially with Joseph Campbell Foundation.
Hero With a Thousand Faces is not exactly an easy read, but arguably one of the most important books of the 20th century. He makes an methodical and academic case for Jesus being purely fictional and identical to the hero in all myths. That hero is both not you and is you. Which is why these stories have such psychological punch.
Jesus is an allegory; he’s in some ways an Everyman.
Good post, thanks!
Thanks for your comment. I will look for the videos and maybe the book as well.
I truly believe that the whole story began with Constantine. It was designed to manage an unmanageable empire. There is no way that they gave up power to an emerging religion without being firmly in control. Putin’s Russia is a modern version of the same story.
there’s a point here
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