Did the historical Jesus exist?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by wil, Mar 30, 2015.

?

Click on what you believe to be true.

  1. He definitely existed.

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. He definitely existed just as the bible says.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. He might not have existed.

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  4. He definitely didn't exist.

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  5. IDK, but if he didn't exist it would not affect my belief.

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  6. If it is proven that he didn't exist, it pulls the rug out from under everything I believe.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. These articles pose interesting questions worth contemplating.

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  8. These articles have a preponderance of truth in them.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. These articles are convoluting the facts and making absurd connections.

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  10. These articles are utter BS.

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,041
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Thomas mentioned Bart D. Ehrman is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://www.amazon.com/Did-Jesus-Exist-Historical-Argument/dp/0062204602

    I've met him, saw him debate an Episcopalian Bishop...on stage, and then later in a late night discussion in a hotel lobby....interesting stuff.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,741
    Likes Received:
    2,125
    Then none of it is real. 'Ye are gods', 'the kingdom is within' ... all that's boloney.

    Sentimental tosh. An emotional arm-lock.

    There is no metaphor. A metaphor is a transfer of meaning ... but in this case there is nothing else, so it's something compared to nothing.

    Well obviously the metaphysics falls apart ... it's bad science, a flat-earth theory.

    Again, pretty sentimental and a rather maudlin mythology that seems to glorify suffering, then tags it with a happy ending ... then everyone dies.

    Yes. The point is, if he didn't exist ... what makes them viable?
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,741
    Likes Received:
    2,125
    Wil, this is all an advert for the 'Jesus Seminar' school of thought, so that initial 'most' is a gross exaggeration.

    It's big business in America, and it gets 'theology (so called) onto the NYT bestseller list ... but the rest of the world? We roll our eyes ...
     
  4. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    221
    Hi Wil,

    There's a possibility the James Ossuary is authentic. If so, it's evidence Jesus existed.
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,041
    Likes Received:
    2,060
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,041
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    there is a possibility he was real...

    there is a possibility that all the actions and words attributed to him are correct
     
  7. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    221
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,041
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Yes, I read the article the first time you posted it... Did you read the response on I posted? It points out how science was ignored...

    your article says "The court held only that the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the inscription was a forgery. But it surely did not find that the inscription was authentic."

    possibility is the key word in your discussion...the addition of 'slim' to that would not be inappropriate

    The big supporter of its truth is the guy that revealed it...the writer of your article...the one who stands to make the most money and fame off it, the one that wasted the courts time for seven years...

    "
    Prosecutors relied on a parade of archaeologists and other scholars. These men and women were accustomed to addressing respectful colleagues and students. They had no experience defending their conclusions against the highest-paid lawyers in Tel Aviv.

    Like scholars and scientists everywhere, their work doesn't reach a level of precision that can withstand legal cross-examination. They acknowledge doubts. Their opinions don't always agree in the particulars, even when they arrive at a consensus.

    And while the scientists for the state conducted their investigations and testified for free, the defense paid for-hire scientists, who were willing to say the objects at issue were entirely authentic.

    In the end, the judge explicitly declined to rule on the authenticity of the objects. "The prosecution failed to prove beyond all reasonable doubt what was stated in the indictment: that the ossuary is a forgery and that Mr. Golan or someone acting on his behalf forged it," the judge stated. "This is not to say that the inscription on the ossuary is true and authentic and was written 2,000 years ago.... [T]here is nothing in these findings which necessarily proves that the items were authentic."

    But that's a fine point. Supporters of the ossuary and the other objects that had been discredited by the state's investigation hailed the acquittal as a legal stamp of approval.

    The ossuary's loudest supporter is American lawyer and publisher Hershel Shanks, whose magazine Biblical Archaeology Review first revealed the object. Shanks has spent the last seven years attacking the "pack of scholars" at the Israel Antiquities Authority and one in particular, an archaeologist named Yuval Goren who found modern silicone glue in the carved ossuary inscription.

    Goren, a vice dean of the faculty of humanities at Tel Aviv University, is a mild-mannered expert in materials that ancient craftsmen used to make pottery and art. He testified that a simulated patina had been applied over the inscription, a substance containing powdered calcite and limestone, charcoal and corroded bronze particles and adhered with modern glue he dubbed "James Bond." That testimony was discredited partly because the test Goren carried out removed the substance from the surface of the box.

    [​IMG]
    Goren's findings were hardly the only evidence against Golan. Eventually an Israeli police officer tracked down an Egyptian who admitted having worked for Golan, creating objects that were meant to look ancient.

    The craftsman told police that he made objects under Golan's direction "with a hammer and chisel, following the sketch. He [Golan] printed out a sheet from the printer and gave it to me." Later the officer asked: "But it's clearly not ancient." The craftsman responded: "That's right, it's new." But thanks to the vicissitudes of Arab-Israeli relations, the Egyptian couldn't be forced to testify, so the interview couldn't be introduced in court."
     
  9. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Hellenist

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    2
    I did not say no professional historian ever questioned the historical reality of Jesus: I said that Grant made that claim. Can some-one point to such a historian?

    Bart Ehrman studied at a college training fundamentalist Protestant ministers, then (wanting a proper degree, as he put it) took one in English literature, and finally went on to take a PhD in New Testament studies. He never trained as a historian. David Fitzgerald is an atheist activist. He does have a BA in history, but he's not a professional academic: rather a professional axe-grinder.

    As for the question of what was said in Antiquity, Christian authors took pains to attempt to refute the criticims made by their Pagan critics: that's how we know what opponents like Celsus said. No Christian text from Roman times argues against the position that Jesus never existed. Obviously that isn't proof that no-one ever made that claim, but it does suggest that either it wasn't made or wasn't considered worth refuting.

    I'm not saying that the virgin birth and resurection are not mythical additions. There's no sign of anyone believing in the incarnation and virgin birth before the 2nd century: Paul believed that Jesus was the son of Joseph ("on the human level he was born of David’s stock"). Mark and Paul know of an empty tomb and the belief that it was due to a resurection, but the claim that the disciples saw a resurected Jesus walking, talking, and eating also dates fom the 2nd century.
     
  10. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    221
    Yes, I did. What science was ignored? You're going to have to point it out, because your article isn't very clear, stating "science lost," and then tells readers to follow the money trail instead of just stating what science was ignored. Terrible writing, I say. I was totally confused. He could have mentioned ways of authenticating it, using epigraphy or something. It does discuss ancient patina:

    "Goren, a vice dean of the faculty of humanities at Tel Aviv University, is a mild-mannered expert in materials that ancient craftsmen used to make pottery and art. He testified that a simulated patina had been applied over the inscription, a substance containing powdered calcite and limestone, charcoal and corroded bronze particles and adhered with modern glue he dubbed "James Bond." That testimony was discredited partly because the test Goren carried out removed the substance from the surface of the box."

    Your article doesn't say ancient patina was found, just that Goren's testimony was discredited. Why? Well, he gives part of the reason. In the article I linked to, showing Hershel Shanks viewpoint, it reads:

    "Finally, one member of the government’s team, a conservationist named Orna Cohen, found original ancient patina in the word “Jesus,” despite Professor Goren’s contention that it was a forgery covered with James Bond."

    In James Tabor's article, he concludes this evidence favors authenticity:

    "The case of the prosecution suffered a tremendous blow when it was shown by experts that although the ossuary inscription had been cleaned by its owner, there was nonetheless original, authentic patina in the grooves of the letters—showing it could not have been added later. The chief witness for the prosecution on the patina authenticity, once all the testimony was out, admitted under oath that this was the case. Based on all the trial evidence presented I think the case in favor of authenticity has become quite compelling."

    There's also more compelling evidence in point number 2 below. In page 69 of "Jerusalem Forgery Report" I read:

    1. The brown patina “varnish” (denoted the “real patina” by the “material committee”) can be found inside the letters--accreting gradationally into the inscription (see Figures 1a,b and 2). The patina can be observed on the surface of the ossuary continuing into the engraving. The engraving clearly does not cut the patina, a strong proof for authenticity. This phenomenon can be seen almost in every letter of the inscription.

    2. Notice the few scratches/fine lineaments (Figures 1a,b and 2) on almost every letter probably caused by falling roof rock in the cave during the past 2,000 years. These scratches occur both on the surface of the ossuary, moving into the letter and scratching it in the same direction. This is, in our opinion, another strong piece of evidence for authenticity.

    Click above--on "Jerusalem Forgery Report"--to see pictures.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,041
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    I understand your faith and belief.... this feller is famous for marketing forgeries... It is the case of the climate scientists versus the deniers...
     
  12. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    221
    . . . So, Wil, what science was ignored again? At least climate scientists can back up their statements with scientific facts. Where are yours? Perhaps you falsely imagine yourself on the right side, eh?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,041
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    You are free to believe whatever you wish... the court could not say it was forgery beyond a reasonable doubt.. not authentic... just not a forgery beyond a reasonable doubt... so it is real? it has a slim possibility....
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    11,741
    Likes Received:
    2,125
    I think the general consensus among scholars today, that is global scholarship, and not just a few noisy North American academics, is that Jesus did exist. Why, even Einstein asserted that there is no question about that ...

    Having said that, 'The Quest for the Historical Jesus' has always been 'problematic' for obvious reasons. I think Albert Schweitzer did the right thing when he gave up on what is effectively a fruitless search because of the lack of 'evidence.'

    The latest incarnation of this fruitless endeavour, the Jesus Seminar is, I believe, a product of the 70's American counter-culture and on its last legs. Just reading the Opening Remarks on the Westar Institute website, with comments like "what we need is a new fiction" and "we need a new narrative of Jesus, a new gospel, if you will", pretty well establishes their objective. Not the historical Jesus at all, but 'a new fiction'.

    Is that credible? Of course, because "we now know that narrative accounts of ourselves, our nation, the Western tradition, and the history of the world, are fictions." All of them. Every word of history is made up.

    At which point, the logical progression of the argument says:
    If all history is fiction,
    Then historical fact is beyond our reach, therefore
    An 'historical Jesus' is impossible to ascertain.

    Which rather brings the quest to an end.

    But no. The so-called scholars of the Seminar have another idea:

    If all history is fiction, then we have a green light to invent our own history, 'a new fiction' or 'gospel' (same thing, they're both made up), and of course this history will reflect everything we think is right and good about our contemporary liberal, skeptical, American sensibilities ...
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,041
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    I always love the nuclear bomb approach.....

    Can you tell me where it is said 'all history is fiction', I mean I know much of history is fictionalized....it is based in some fact but embellished. Winners write the reports and all that...

    Take our gospels...compare the stories Easter morning....which one is correct? They all differ...were soldiers there or not? Was an angel inside the tomb or outside? How many angels were there? Can someone write the story that makes all the gospel accounts agree?
     
  16. Kathie Bondar

    Kathie Bondar Author of "Voices from the parallel universe"

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
  17. Kathie Bondar

    Kathie Bondar Author of "Voices from the parallel universe"

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am the kid who developed the method of telepathic communication, which will take you to the reincarnation cycles. Not only did Jesus exist, he was reborn approx. 900 years later as St. Francis of Assissi, the reborn again towards the end of the 20th century in war torn Croatia where at age seven he was stabbed to death by a priest.
     
  18. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    221
    It seems you're asking a different question now: "Is the Christ of faith also the Jesus of history?"
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,041
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    ruh roh

    Seems like that would have been part of the original question... (but in my mind at a minimum the biblical Jesus "of history" whether he existed or not is the story of understanding and letting out the Christ within.
     
  20. EdgyDolmen

    EdgyDolmen Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    79
    Regarding A. Einstein: Einstein himself stated that he did not believe in a personal God. ..."I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly." (Albert Einstein, The Human Side)

    Einstein was as Deist in the Spinoza camp. He did not believe in a personal God and believed that Jesus was merely a "great teacher".
     

Share This Page