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Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

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MrPeabody
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by MrPeabody » December 14th, 2017, 8:51 pm

I have found that Richard Carrier is the most careful and reliable of all the Christian myth scholars. He doesn't try to overreach to prove his case. Like the claim that Nazareth didn't exist during the time of Jesus, which was based on a speculative argument and not archeological evidence. Carrier is an atheist, but you also have the religious scholars like bishop "John Sprong" who believes Jesus existed but was an ordinary man and the scripture has meaningful truth only as a metaphor.




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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 14th, 2017, 10:37 pm

If anyone wants to hear the pro Christian side of the case, here is a Christian site that goes over the evidence that Jesus existed.

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/dai ... sus-exist/

I think it's good to hear from both sides before making up your mind. Also a true skeptic should apply critical thinking to all sides, including his own, not only to one side like these apologists on both sides are doing.

Wikipedia's entries on the Christ myth or historicity debate:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

And here are videos by Christian apologists such as Chris White that argue against the claim that the Jesus story was borrowed from Pagan myths. They claim at the end that this myth is being propagated by Luciferian groups such as the Gnostics, Theosophists and Freemasons, as well as Atheists. lol.

Chris White makes a good point at the beginning. If Jesus was a myth then how come the enemies of Christianity didn't claim that Jesus was a myth until the late 1700's during the Enlightenment Era? Why didn't they claim this earlier during the first 1700 years of Christianity if there was any doubt about his existence?



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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by MrPeabody » December 14th, 2017, 11:45 pm

Winston wrote:
December 14th, 2017, 10:37 pm
Chris White makes a good point at the beginning. If Jesus was a myth then how come the enemies of Christianity didn't claim that Jesus was a myth until the late 1700's during the Enlightenment Era? Why didn't they claim this earlier during the first 1700 years of Christianity if there was any doubt about his existence?
Is he kidding? Because people were being burned at the stake for less. And during early Christianity, the pagans wrote entire books complaining that Christianity was a fraud, but they were burned once the Christians got in power. In other words, burn all the evidence and then claim that nobody complained.

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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 15th, 2017, 12:46 am

MrPeabody wrote:
December 14th, 2017, 11:45 pm
Winston wrote:
December 14th, 2017, 10:37 pm
Chris White makes a good point at the beginning. If Jesus was a myth then how come the enemies of Christianity didn't claim that Jesus was a myth until the late 1700's during the Enlightenment Era? Why didn't they claim this earlier during the first 1700 years of Christianity if there was any doubt about his existence?
Is he kidding? Because people were being burned at the stake for less. And during early Christianity, the pagans wrote entire books complaining that Christianity was a fraud, but they were burned once the Christians got in power. In other words, burn all the evidence and then claim that nobody complained.
That's a good point. You mean like when they burned the library of Alexandria and stoned Hypatia to death? Why did they do that? To cover up the link between Paganism and Christianity? There's a movie about Hypatia called "Agora". Have you seen it? It's pretty good but it makes Christians look like bloodthirsty murderers and zombies, which is over the top. Here's the trailer for it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1186830/



Also, wasn't there a quote by Justinian Martyr, an early Church father, that the reason why Christianity resembles Pagan religions is because the devil went back in time and created copycat versions of Jesus to deceive everyone? I seen it quoted in Zeitgeist. That quote would seem to indicate that the early Church fathers acknowledged the parallels between Pagan religions and Christianity, and did not deny it, so they tried to explain it away with an unbelievable excuse.

Moreover, this claim contradicts a verse in the NT that says something like if the power of darkness had known that Christ would rise again and forgive sins and provide salvation for mankind, they would never have crucified him. So go figure.
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 15th, 2017, 1:39 am

MrPeabody wrote:
December 14th, 2017, 8:51 pm
I have found that Richard Carrier is the most careful and reliable of all the Christian myth scholars. He doesn't try to overreach to prove his case. Like the claim that Nazareth didn't exist during the time of Jesus, which was based on a speculative argument and not archeological evidence. Carrier is an atheist, but you also have the religious scholars like bishop "John Sprong" who believes Jesus existed but was an ordinary man and the scripture has meaningful truth only as a metaphor.
I listened to some of his interviews and lectures. I wasn't impressed by him. He's very arrogant and seems to have an agenda and strong bias. He's not just anti-Christian. He's anti everything that's beyond materialism. He's a fundamentalist on the other side of Christianity, what I call "Atheist fundamentalist". So the man has strong biases and beliefs that he claims are facts but ignores data that contradict it. For instance, Richard Carrier believes.

1. There is no supernatural or paranormal phenomena. It's all bunk. End of story. Only the material world exists. This is a fact.
2. There are no gods or deities.
3. There is no human soul or life after death.
4. There are no conspiracies. All conspiracies are theories only, not facts, and myths too. There are no conspiracy facts as Jim Marrs said, only conspiracy theories and myths. We know they are all false.
5. You cannot debate him unless you have a Ph. D from a good university. Otherwise you're not qualified to argue with him or disagree with him.
6. The above are all facts. Any data/evidence/proof to the contrary that suggest otherwise, is automatically dismissed and ignored as non-existent. End of story. Every rational person agrees with all these core truths of fundamentalist atheism.

You see that? Not only is he highly biased and closed minded and fundamentalist on the other side of religion, but he's very snobby and arrogant as well. He thinks having a Ph. D makes him a big shot and makes him right. Yet he forgets that many people with Ph. D's disagree with him on the above. Dr. Carrier may be an expert in Bible history and criticism, but he doesn't know crap about other stuff, yet he claims to know it all and that his positions are all unbiased proven facts. Etc. He must be very delusional.

At the end of one of his lectures, he even brings up Roswell and says "We know there was no flying saucer there. It was just sticks and tin foil" as though that were an established fact. How the hell does he know that? He's no expert on Roswell. He's just very anti-conspiracy and believes that no conspiracies are possible and that whatever the government says must be true. That's not the mark of an unbiased truth seeker who follows the evidence wherever it leads, as he falsely claims. I could easily debunk him on many issues like this. Yet he claims he is unbiased and all evidence-based. Go figure.

The nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman is the top authority on Roswell. Dr. Friedman has spent many years researching Roswell, going to Roswell, interviewing the witnesses before they passed on, etc. So he is clearly qualified to judge whether Roswell was true or not. And he says it's a 100 percent certainty that there was a cover up at Roswell. Friedman spent so many years on Roswell. Carrier has not. Yet Carrier knows everything. What's Carrier's evidence that Roswell was a myth? Simply because the government says so, therefore it's a fact, end of story for Carrier. Geez. That's not the kind of researcher I would respect or trust to weigh evidence objectively, because he's anything but objective, as demonstrated on his extreme dogmatic views about everything.

Carrier says he has a Ph. D in history, yet he even thinks America is a democracy, yet every intellectual and historian knows it is a republic, not a democracy. That is provable from the documents of the Founding Fathers and even in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. So much for his Ph. D. I guess you can have a Ph. D and be an asshole, jerk, arrogant, and wrong about many things. So what's the value of a Ph. D then?

Furthermore you can tell that Dr. Carrier is an extreme liberal and social justice warrior type too, which he admits to because he is very much on the left politically. You can tell in his photos that he's a leftist liberal and in fact he is.

He also has a big ego and gets into feuds even with other mythicists. He claims that he's the only credible mythicist and that you should only be listening to him if you want to find the truth about Jesus.

Btw, here are some Christian scholars who have written articles to debunk Richard Carrier's claims about Jesus being a myth.

https://jamesbishopblog.com/2015/05/17/ ... -rebuttal/

https://ehrmanblog.org/fuller-reply-to-richard-carrier/

https://strangenotions.com/jesus-did-exist/
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 15th, 2017, 1:44 am

MrMan wrote:
December 12th, 2017, 1:13 pm
Why would the Talmud mention Jesus, even if in a negative light, if Jesus were not real? Why wouldn't they just say he never existed?
That's an interesting question. I'll have to look into that. But the Talmud mentions Jesus as "Yeshua", not Jesus. But the Pagan and Gnostic authors I think, denied that Jesus was a real historical person maybe. They were written in the early centuries too.
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 15th, 2017, 1:58 am

MrMan wrote:
December 12th, 2017, 2:47 am
Winston wrote:
December 8th, 2017, 5:35 pm
Btw did you all know that there was a Jewish historian named Philo of Alexandria who documented the history of Judea from 20 CE to 60 CE. Yet he never mentions one word about Jesus. Not one word. Why? Isnt that very odd? And isnt that very incriminating against a historical Jesus?
Have you read Josephus?
What about the Testimonium, found in all the manuscripts of Josephus?
“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man [if indeed one ought to call him a man.] For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. [He was the Christ.] When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. [On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him.] And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”
I took that from <https://carm.org/regarding-quotes-histo ... bout-jesus>. The article deals with claims of critics who say the quote is too pro-Jesus for Josephus to have written it, and claim it must be an insertion, even though the manuscripts of Josephus contain it. You can read the link.

I remember you saying you read a Josh McDowell book, and one of his books covers this topic.
Are you aware that most scholars believe that only part of that paragraph is authentic? Some of the sentences were added in later by the Church fathers. So the consensus is that the parts that you enclosed in brackets were insertions and forgeries. Such as [He was the Christ]. And the part about his resurrection. The earliest manuscripts of Josephus don't contain those parts.

However, you gotta remember that Josephus wrote that after 70 CE. He never met Jesus or knew him. It's not a firsthand account of Jesus.

Did you know that Josephus was captured by the Romans during the Jewish Wars? He was then adopted into the Flavian family when he proposed to Emperor Vespasian that he wanted to write propaganda about Vespasian being the Jewish messiah. The Emperor liked that idea and hired him to be their historian. So Josephus was employed by the Roman Caesars. This means he would write whatever they ordered him to write. He was their propagandist and was willing to try to make the Roman emperor into a Jewish messiah. He sold out, in other words.

Therefore, if Josephus wrote that paragraph about Jesus (without the parts in brackets), then it was approved by Roman authority. This supports the Caesar's Messiah theory by Joseph Atwill that says that the Romans invented Jesus. If the Romans didn't want Jesus and Christianity spreading around why would they have Josephus write that? And if the Roman invention of Jesus theory is true, then Josephus could have written that as part of the propaganda he was ordered to promote in order to pacify the Jews and prevent another rebellion.

Either way, why aren't there any records about Jesus from 1 to 33 CE? You didn't answer that question. A man who had a large following and did many miracles would surely get enough attention to have been written about. Yet no one wrote about Jesus until 70 CE. Why? That's too suspicious.

Let me ask you this: As to the gospel authors, why were they anonymous? Authors today usually give their full name and tell you about their background. An anonymous author is a red flag and suggests that the author has something to hide. Probably because if the author identified himself, it would destroy the credibility of the gospels, because they were not firsthand eyewitnesses. So they preferred to be anonymous. They were not stupid. They had a good reason to remain anonymous. Because they had something to hide of course. It's basic logic. 2+2=4.

Tell me this. How did the gospel authors know what Jesus and Satan said to each other in the wilderness if they weren't there? That can't be an eyewitness account. It's just a story. Created as a document of faith, not as a document of history.
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 17th, 2017, 9:06 am

Here is the full documentary "Caesars Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus". It presents Joseph Atwill's theory that the Roman Caesars invented Christianity to pacify the Jewish rebellions which were getting too costly and out of control for the Romans to deal with. The theory makes some sense and is supported by circumstantial evidence. Its also very fascinating and connects a lot of dots. See below.

Caesars Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus (full documentary)



Note that this is probably one of those important documentaries you should see twice at least, because theres a lot of info in it to digest upon the first viewing.
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 19th, 2017, 10:47 am

Here is the Christian rebuttal to "Caesars Messiah" by Chris White. It's only 11 minutes.

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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 20th, 2017, 10:08 am

Hub page with links to articles rebutting the Christ myth theory on Tektonics, a Christian apologist site run by JP Holding. Here you can read the Christian rebuttal to this theory.

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexisthub.html
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by MrPeabody » December 20th, 2017, 7:59 pm

According to my research, the consensus is as follows:

Caesar's Messiah - no serious scholar believes this.

Christ Theory Myth - a small minority of scholars believe this.

Jesus existed but was a man and miracles were fiction - majority consensus among Bible scholars.

Richard Carrier is a serious Bible scholar and is pushing the "Christ Theory Myth". He acknowleges that the majority doesn't agree with him, but he believes he can submit enough proof to change the paradigm. The evidence for Jesus is extremely weak, so it is surprising that the majority are so convinced that he existed. It is also known that the Josephus quote was tampered with by the Christian historian Eusebius. Also, there are numerous fakes like the "Shroud of Turin". If it was so clear Jesus existed they woudn't need to constantly produce these fake proofs of existence.

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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Adama » December 20th, 2017, 10:03 pm

It's going to be a very sad surprise in the end for some.
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 21st, 2017, 11:26 am

If anyone wants to see both sides go at it, here are some public debates between scholars about whether Jesus existed or not.

Richard Carrier vs. William Lane Craig - Did Jesus rise from the dead?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCFuhlnsF9c (shorter version without Q&A from audience)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-nmvdfG4sg (longer version with Q&A from audience)

Robert Price vs. Bart Erhman - Did Jesus Exist?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzjYmpwbHEA

Richard Carrier vs. David Marshall - Is the Christian faith reasonable?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJs03HjDshs

Richard Carrier vs. Craig Evans - Did Jesus Exist?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLMSS_DMVK4

Richard Carrier vs. Trent Horn - Historicity of Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep-AN7U4OLg

William Lane Craig is considered the greatest Christian debater btw.

I actually knew David Marshall long ago. He was on my religion discussion list back in the late 1990's and early 2000's, which was done by emails. I should get in touch with him again. He's an expat who lived in Japan and a Seattle native, who is very pro-Christian and a philosopher who went to seminary school as well.
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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by MrPeabody » December 21st, 2017, 9:24 pm

It would be interested to find out what the current Muslim scholars believe. Mohammad believed that Jesus was a prophet but that he was never crucified. Where did Mohammad learn about Jesus? He traveled all over the Middle East as a trader, so he must have met some wise men in the know who told him about Jesus but couldn't say the truth to anyone because it was dangerous at that time.

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Re: Did Jesus Christ Exist? The issue of his historicity.

Post by Winston » December 22nd, 2017, 12:47 am

MrPeabody wrote:
December 20th, 2017, 7:59 pm
According to my research, the consensus is as follows:

Caesar's Messiah - no serious scholar believes this.

Christ Theory Myth - a small minority of scholars believe this.

Jesus existed but was a man and miracles were fiction - majority consensus among Bible scholars.

Richard Carrier is a serious Bible scholar and is pushing the "Christ Theory Myth". He acknowleges that the majority doesn't agree with him, but he believes he can submit enough proof to change the paradigm. The evidence for Jesus is extremely weak, so it is surprising that the majority are so convinced that he existed. It is also known that the Josephus quote was tampered with by the Christian historian Eusebius. Also, there are numerous fakes like the "Shroud of Turin". If it was so clear Jesus existed they woudn't need to constantly produce these fake proofs of existence.
Yes but scholars do not have a monopoly on truth. It doesn't mean much if no scholars believe in something. How many scholars do you think would dare say that 9/11 was an inside job, or that there was a big conspiracy and cover up in the JFK assassination? Very few. Yet those are proven and well established far beyond any reasonable doubt. Most scholars probably only know what they've been taught by their institution or university. It doesn't mean they are good critical thinkers or good at weighing evidence or that they can think outside the box or formulate new ideas and theories. There are many things we talk about on HA that scholars would not dare say either.

So I wouldn't say that what most scholars say is an indication of truth. Truth is not determined by a consensus, democracy or majority. Truth is determined by evidence, data and probability. As Gandhi said: "Even if you're in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth." And Mark Twain said: "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

I've listened to Joseph Atwill on other stuff. He no doubt has a conspiratorial view of the world and is a truther no doubt. He sees the big picture and connects the dots in ways that you are not supposed to. And he is not afraid to follow the evidence to wherever it may lead. He may not be right about everything but he knows how conspiracies and elites work, and the way in which governments deceive people. He can think outside the box and that is not something that a doctorate degree or Ph D will give you.

In a sense that puts him above an ordinary scholar who got a doctorate just by memorizing stuff. Scholars are not necessarily critical thinkers who can think outside the box. So I wouldn't assume that a scholar is the highest authority or best researcher or greatest thinker. To appeal to academia as more credible is a form of the appeal to authority fallacy.

You cannot say that about someone like Richard Carrier on the other hand, because he believes that conspiracies don't even exist and that only government sources are accurate. So you see, when it comes to conspiracies or government lies and cover ups, Carrier is in denial and totally ignorance and thus a zero, even if he has several Ph D's and doctorate degrees. He's an atheist fundamentalist with fixed core beliefs such as "the supernatural cannot exist", "miracles cannot happen", "there are no conspiracies" etc. That destroys his credibility and objectivity right there, because there are tons of data and evidence that contradict such core beliefs, yet he denies them all without any research. That's clearly the mark of a man with a heavy bias and agenda. Not of a man who objectively seeks the truth. Generally, the truth does not lie with fundamentalists on either extreme - and that goes for Christians and Atheists - but somewhere in the middle, or between the middle and one extreme, as my Venetian friend told me.

In contrast, Joseph Atwill is not a fundamentalist with core fixed beliefs like Carrier is. Atwill is willing to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, and is not afraid to conclude a monstrous conspiracy if the evidence leads to it, unlike Carrier. In that sense I respect Atwill a lot more, even if he's less qualified academically than Carrier. His mind is far more free and objective and does not contain heavy biases like Carrier does. Carrier is also deceptive in that he claims to be an unbiased researcher, however he is clearly not. William Lane Craig, who debated Carrier, has many examples of how Carrier twists data to suit his agenda, hence he is heavily biased against Christianity for sure, which is evident from his lectures and debates as well. Atwill on the other hand, sounds a lot more neutral and unbiased. He is a real truth seeker.

However I do agree with Carrier that the evidence for a historical Jesus is weak. Hence it's a matter of faith whether you believe in it or not. But I disagree with Carrier's strong biases against everything paranormal and spiritual. He's a strict materialist and naturalist and dogmatic atheist like Richard Dawkins. That's another issue altogether that he is wrong on and does not take into account all the data on.

Btw, the reason why most scholars will not accept the Christ myth theory, I think, is because the powers that be find Christianity to be useful as a tool for social control still, even though it's declined in popularity. So they want to hang on to it still, rather than destroy it, because it may still come in handy later down the line. After all, it's proven to be an effective method of social control for over 1500 years, so they don't need to give it up just yet. It helps contain segments of the population who are slaves, to remain compliant and accept their conditions, as it did with black slaves before the Civil War, and pacify them, so they don't break out and rebel. So in that sense, Christianity is still useful to the elites. As Karl Marx said, "religion is the opiate of the masses". And such an opiate is of course useful and time tested to the powers that be. That's why they don't want to demolish Christianity yet. It's still one of the pacifist religions that helps contain the population, along with Atheism/Scientism, New Age, etc. They've got to get you into one of these traps so you don't think too much for yourself and become a true freethinker.

That's my take on it.
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