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  1. #81
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    On why Jesus would not have chosen to write, I'd like to offer something for consideration:

    And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

    So I'd imagine we can agree it's reasonable to assume that IF Jesus existed and IF the stories are somewhat accurate (in recording that there was a Jesus and he was popular and followed by many) then this explains why he wouldn't write in the morning hours. He didn't because he spent it in morning prayer. During the day would be close to impossible since he was busy traveling and working (healing people, teaching, etc). And late in the evening appears to be close to impossible too since he often worked late into the evening every day and at point, was so busy and crowded that he and his disciples didn't even have enough room or time to eat.

    Now, every gospel account includes a reference to him reading, so it would be reasonable to assume that if he could read, then he could write. But he probably wouldn't have written because A: it was a time consuming task and B: because he didn't have the time available to do so. Even most of the educated, literate, prophets didn't do their own writing. Daniel didn't write (and appears to've been able to), instead he dictated his writing (but he also had quite a lot of time to do so). Paul's letters, at least a few, explicitly state that Paul is dictating his message to someone else who is writing, and Paul very clearly could write (since he wrote some letters himself). And those are only two major figures in the Bible.

    As for it being the most reliable method of recording information or would make the story more believable, I'd argue the opposite (on the latter point). Consider the possibility of Jesus writing. Now look at the four gospel accounts. I'd hazard a guess here that the majority of non-believers would argue, "Of COURSE those other four stories agree with his and exist! THey had his account to go off of, so they could make theirs agree with it and sound credible!" If we're being intellectually honest, I'm pretty sure that would be the prevailing argument against Christianity here...because a similar argument already exists along those lines.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  2. #82
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    On why Jesus would not have chosen to write, I'd like to offer something for consideration:

    And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

    So I'd imagine we can agree it's reasonable to assume that IF Jesus existed and IF the stories are somewhat accurate (in recording that there was a Jesus and he was popular and followed by many) then this explains why he wouldn't write in the morning hours. He didn't because he spent it in morning prayer. During the day would be close to impossible since he was busy traveling and working (healing people, teaching, etc). And late in the evening appears to be close to impossible too since he often worked late into the evening every day and at point, was so busy and crowded that he and his disciples didn't even have enough room or time to eat.
    Sorry, but the 'too busy' argument has already been used. It doesn't work because he is a deity who can perform miracles and have full knowledge of the best way to preserve his legacy. He most certainly could find the time - he wasn't busy every single day and even if he was, he could have had someone else scribe for him as he dictated. That there are no words directly from him is troubling for his existence.


    Now, every gospel account includes a reference to him reading, so it would be reasonable to assume that if he could read, then he could write. But he probably wouldn't have written because A: it was a time consuming task and B: because he didn't have the time available to do so. Even most of the educated, literate, prophets didn't do their own writing. Daniel didn't write (and appears to've been able to), instead he dictated his writing (but he also had quite a lot of time to do so). Paul's letters, at least a few, explicitly state that Paul is dictating his message to someone else who is writing, and Paul very clearly could write (since he wrote some letters himself). And those are only two major figures in the Bible.
    Right, and in dictating did Paul use first person or third person?

    As for it being the most reliable method of recording information or would make the story more believable, I'd argue the opposite (on the latter point). Consider the possibility of Jesus writing. Now look at the four gospel accounts. I'd hazard a guess here that the majority of non-believers would argue, "Of COURSE those other four stories agree with his and exist! THey had his account to go off of, so they could make theirs agree with it and sound credible!" If we're being intellectually honest, I'm pretty sure that would be the prevailing argument against Christianity here...because a similar argument already exists along those lines.
    Not at all, if Jesus wrote something, it would have changed everything - the four gospels would most certainly be placed in a different context. But maybe they wouldn't even be needed since we'd have the authoritative source of what Jesus is trying to say. Perhaps if Jesus existed only as a human and not a human/deity we wouldn't be having this debate at all!

  3. #83
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    As I pointed out earlier, we had already done that and moved on. All theists have been able to point out here is 'because God'. The point of his existence is also important not least because we actually have three possibilities there:

    1. He didn't exist and therefore couldn't have written anything - he was just a character of sorts.
    2. He did exist but was not literate - the Biblical quote shouldn't be taken as true because it isn't an independent history; the literacy claim is could be on the same level as the miracles claim. Plus the section was exposed as a fake.
    3. He did exist and was literate but 'because God'.

    We've explored the third possibility to its limits since 'because God' does that to discussions. Yes, he's (somehow) "too busy" or "didn't want to" or "other deities didn't" are perfectly valid responses but they are not explanatory responses and merely repeat the OP - we already know there are no direct works from Jesus, we want to know why!

    Jesus' literacy is also dependent upon the Bible, which we now know from Son's work is fraudulent, as is the Josephus reference exposed too as a fraud. And no one has linked that the 'historical Jesus' and the Biblical Jesus are one and the same anyway since no histories provide support for the miracles.

    So we appear to be at where there is no support on Jesus' literacy, which deals with our second option (and my first response, I might add); and we are left the third choice to clean up -- that he didn't exist. Which is the OPs ultimate point if one reads between the lines: why didn't Harry Potter write anything first hand, he was literate and smart and could perform magic - there is no reason why his amazing rise to power, saving the world would have left no personal legacy or wisdom. The only answer to that is that Harry Potter doesn't exist.
    I'm ignoring this because it is off-topic. I'll re-post Dionysus' challenge to the OP:

    If by "Jesus should have written" you mean "it is necessarily the case that Jesus WOULD have written" and by "because" you mean "due to "X" causal effect", then I need you to demonstrate how "Due to the deserving nature of Jesus' story, it is necessarily the case that Jesus would have written" is a necessarily true claim. Likewise, I need you to demonstrate how "Jesus did not exist" is necessarily the antithesis to that claim. -Dionysus

    The argument at the center of this thread (i.e. the "topic" of the thread) hinges on the response to the above challenge--everything else is irrelevant at best or off-topic at worst.

  4. #84
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Not at all, if Jesus wrote something, it would have changed everything - the four gospels would most certainly be placed in a different context. But maybe they wouldn't even be needed since we'd have the authoritative source of what Jesus is trying to say.
    Quite so - but instead we have in the gospels four accounts that sometimes differ written by anonymous authors that never even met the JtC character. Doesn't seem a very efficient method for an omnimax deity to use in order to further his message of 'salvation' does it?
    Jesus is unbelievable!

  5. #85
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    No you haven't - you've made an unsupported statement that you later contradicted
    Not really.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I mean you haven't proven that any of the 'history' is talking about the same Jesus Christ who performed miracles. Until you can do this, you cannot make the claim that there are ANY historians that spoke that Jesus existed. For all we know, there could have been a man with the same name but didn't perform any miracles; in which case, you most certainly cannot connect the two.
    Well, historians don't simply agree that there was someone named Jesus at the time who simply existed.
    So, I'm not sure what distinction you are making that the consensus of history agrees with.

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    Either. It doesn't matter to me whether they are historians, butchers, bakers, or candle-stick makers. Just give me some contemporaneous sources that mention JtC....!

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    I mean that no verifiable evidence for JtC has ever been found.
    I don't understand the standard you are using to label something "verifiable evidence".
    I mean, with regards to history what kind of evidence is "verifiable"? And what are you even expecting? Again.. are you using Youtube kind of standard which is completly unreasonable, or are you using the standard used by historians (who hold that Jesus who was called the Christ existed).

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    They don't.
    Support
    Show what the consensus view on the existence of Jesus Is by historians.
    I have no reason to accept you word or your standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    What evidence?? You speak about this 'evidence' a lot but you have yet to produce it. Lets see it. I'm happy to concede the existence of JtC is you can produce verifiable evidence for him. I don't think you can.
    I must first understand what your standard of evidence is, before I can start to offer any.
    If you reject the Gospels ,as you have for unsound historical reasons, then there is no point in offering them.
    But that unsound reasoning applies to more than just the gospels (If I'm to assume you are consistent).

    So far though, your standard appears to be unreasonable and un-shared by historians..so I'm not really inclined to engage yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    Well you don't have to do you? You can actually shut me up and convert me to Christianity by providing verifiable evidence for your man-god. I'm not asking you to take my word for it. You could always research the subject yourself from sources other that Bible apologist web-sites.
    Interesting. If you have a math question, wouldn't you speak to a mathmatician. A science question, a scientist.
    Why when it comes to the bible not a bible scholar?

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    As previously stated, you are being disingenuous in saying that. Bible historians say that JtC existed. Serious historians that work with verifiable evidence rather than the Bible say no such thing.
    I offered evidence earlier in the thread that, that was not the case.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
    Quote Originally Posted by link
    There is near unanimity among scholars that Jesus existed historically
    Apparently they use the bible (all of them) to some extent. Which means your standard is not shared by them, and thus rejected as unreasonable and out of the mainstream.

    Quote Originally Posted by PLAD
    ...because my opinion is based on verifiable evidence and verifiable evidence will beat 'a desperate need to believe that something is true' any day of the week.
    see above evidence. You have painted a straw-man for the reasons and evidence historians use.

    And for all your objections to the sources squatch quotes, they are enough for historians to have an almost unanimous opinion.
    Seems to me you are again painting an unfair picture of the sources reliability, and what can honestly be learned from them.
    To serve man.

  6. #86
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I'm ignoring this because it is off-topic. I'll re-post Dionysus' challenge to the OP:
    If by "Jesus should have written" you mean "it is necessarily the case that Jesus WOULD have written" and by "because" you mean "due to "X" causal effect", then I need you to demonstrate how "Due to the deserving nature of Jesus' story, it is necessarily the case that Jesus would have written" is a necessarily true claim. Likewise, I need you to demonstrate how "Jesus did not exist" is necessarily the antithesis to that claim. -Dionysus

    The argument at the center of this thread (i.e. the "topic" of the thread) hinges on the response to the above challenge--everything else is irrelevant at best or off-topic at worst.
    We are currently answering:

    Likewise, I need you to demonstrate how "Jesus did not exist" is necessarily the antithesis to that claim.
    Thanks for participating.

    ---------- Post added at 09:49 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:48 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Not really.
    Yes you did - you said there was consensus and then you pointed out that it is only recently that people are disputing Jesus' existence.


    Well, historians don't simply agree that there was someone named Jesus at the time who simply existed.
    So, I'm not sure what distinction you are making that the consensus of history agrees with.
    Well, if history has no consensus then you have no case! So I will take it then you have no proof outside of the Bible that Jesus existed?

  7. #87
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I mean you haven't proven that any of the 'history' is talking about the same Jesus Christ who performed miracles. Until you can do this, you cannot make the claim that there are ANY historians that spoke that Jesus existed. For all we know, there could have been a man with the same name but didn't perform any miracles; in which case, you most certainly cannot connect the two.
    Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18.

    Also, The Roman historian and senator Tacitus referred to Christ, his execution by Pontius Pilate and the existence of early Christians in Rome in his final work, Annals (written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44.

    Those are two historians
    Source, Wikipedia.
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    Quite so - but instead we have in the gospels four accounts that sometimes differ written by anonymous authors that never even met the JtC character. Doesn't seem a very efficient method for an omnimax deity to use in order to further his message of 'salvation' does it?
    Yeah, that's the problem with the Jesus story - on the one hand we're meant to feel terrible for him (e.g. the Passion) and then on the other he has powers that could mitigate any discomfort; plus he came back to life so his suffering was short-lived anyway. Somehow the guy that walked on water and raised the dead, couldn't find the time to dictate a few words of wisdom, leaving his entire legacy to the fraud that you and son have pointed out.

    ---------- Post added at 10:02 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:56 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18.

    Also, The Roman historian and senator Tacitus referred to Christ, his execution by Pontius Pilate and the existence of early Christians in Rome in his final work, Annals (written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44.

    Those are two historians
    Source, Wikipedia.
    Josephus has already been debunked by plad. And no-one here is doubting that Christians exist, only whether Jesus truly existed - the Tacitus source is entirely irrelevant!

  9. #89
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    JimJones, do you understand what necessarily true means?

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Josephus has already been debunked by plad. And no-one here is doubting that Christians exist, only whether Jesus truly existed - the Tacitus source is entirely irrelevant!
    Josephus debunked by plad? I'm not sure why Tacitus is irrelevant, but let's do Josephus first.
    Plad's work is not over, because I just got here.

    JJ, get this... the historicity of Jesus... the mere fact he existed enjoys a nearly universal agreement among historical-critical biblical scholarship.
    For some reason, you seem to favor some authors that go against the grain.

    You are severely wrong in claiming those historians claiming Jesus existed are religiously biased... historical-critical biblical scholarship is not particularly friendly to traditional Christianity.

    I Challenge to support a claim. you to demonstrate that historical-critical biblical scholarship is not in nearly consensus on the historicity of Jesus
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  12. #91
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    Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    Josephus debunked by plad? I'm not sure why Tacitus is irrelevant, but let's do Josephus first.
    Plad's work is not over, because I just got here.
    OK. J is faked per son's analysis and T was presented as proving Christians exist; the former means that the source is debunked and the latter means that T isn't relevant to the existence of Jesus.


    JJ, get this... the historicity of Jesus... the mere fact he existed enjoys a nearly universal agreement among historical-critical biblical scholarship.
    For some reason, you seem to favor some authors that go against the grain.
    As discussed with MT earlier, these newer ideas are shorn of the legal, religious, social and academic constraints that may have prevented people from speaking out earlier. There is no reason not to examine ideas just because they go against the grain. There is certainly no reason to believe in something if it isn't true or proven to be true. Especially, when you are taking about raising the dead and walking on water!

    As you point out yourself it nearly-universal agreement, which must mean there is doubt and that it is not certain of conclusive.

    You are severely wrong in claiming those historians claiming Jesus existed are religiously biased... historical-critical biblical scholarship is not particularly friendly to traditional Christianity.
    Then they must agree that the Biblical Jesus doesn't exist or they must have proof of the miracles. I have yet to see any proof here that has withstood any scrutiny. All I have seen are invalid sources - Josephus and the Q 'document'. It appears to be supposition on top of speculation on top of confirmation bias. Except that nothing regarding the miracles have been confirmed - I have no reason to believe that Jesus of the Bible ever existed.


    I Challenge to support a claim. you to demonstrate that historical-critical biblical scholarship is not in nearly consensus on the historicity of Jesus
    [/Quote]
    That's not my claim to support - it is the theists that are saying there is historical support for their human-deity.

    Posters here are relying on the appeal to authority, which as we know is fallacious, so that still leaves them with nothing. But again, it isn't up to me to support their case.

    I and the others here are just pointing out they don't have any non-Christian support. Most of them don't appear to be even valid sources - even the one that was supposed to prove his literacy! And I am certain none will mention the miracles, which immediately disqualifies them.

    So the Bible can't be trusted and the sources cannot be trusted so that leaves theists with nothing to support their positions and frankly, a great deal of skepticism on my part they ever had any. What they believe to be true boils down to 'because God' or Faith.

    I remain skeptical because the opposing position has not yet been supported. The default is not to believe in a human-deity.

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  14. #92
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    There is no reason not to examine ideas just because they go against the grain.
    OK, but in doing so, you need to have the humility and realize that you are on thin ice and with very little support.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    There is certainly no reason to believe in something if it isn't true or proven to be true. Especially, when you are taking about raising the dead and walking on water!
    Reading this thread, you seem to be afflicted with the strange condition where you seem to think that admitting to a person called Jesus Christ actually existed and generated a cult following also means that you buy that he performed miracles. That is an issue you will need to take up with your therapist, but it's not my problem. Jesus being proved historical is in no way a win for theist, and admitting that much, is not a concession from non-believers either.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    As you point out yourself it nearly-universal agreement, which must mean there is doubt and that it is not certain of conclusive.
    This is just as ill advised a comment, then saying that evolution is "just a theory". Nearly-universal agreement means it's the scientific consensus and authoritative position.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    I have no reason to believe that Jesus of the Bible ever existed.
    I'm not arguing for the Bible Jesus. I'm arguing for the historical Jesus. No matter how hard you wish to bind them into inseparable issues, they are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    That's not my claim to support - it is the theists that are saying there is historical support for their human-deity.
    Can you point out where this occurs? If it's the case, I'll side with you. There is no historical support for Jesus the human-deity... your totally right
    There is however compelling support for the man to have existed... a man who has had human-deity qualities attributed to him post-posthumously.

    ---------- Post added at 08:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:47 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    The 'which one' question is extremely important. Saying that 'most historians don't deny that Jesus existed' is a bit disingenuous. Most historians will concede the possibility that an itinerant rebel rabbi named Yeshua could have existed but you will find very few serious historians that will concede the existence for Jesus The Christ - he of Bible fame. So it is important which 'Jesus' we are talking about because if you are claiming that most historians say that Jesus The Christ existed then I am going to call you on it. So which one are you referring to?
    False dilemma that excludes what most historians are actually saying. Most historians concede (not really a concession - where do you get this idea?) that an itinerant rebel rabbi named Yeshua existed AND that it's the same Jesus of Bible fame. That being said, it does not mean that any historian conclude that the Biblical narrative about Jesus is therefore true. They are totally separate matters.

    ---------- Post added at 08:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
    If you want to talk about contemporaneous writers - Jesus The Christ is absent the works of Josephus (other than by Christian interpolation) ... accounts have been examined and none of them adequately supports the existence of any Jesus The Christ.
    You are mistaken.

    While the full authenticity of Testimonium Flavianum - the passage where Josephus mentions Jesus - is very much in doubt and believed to be embellished, it remains that the most modern scholars believes that the original, unaltered version from Josephus did mention Jesus unambiguously. The scholarly discussion revolve around how he spoke of Jesus, not wither he did or not.

    Furhtermore, Josephus has two other passages which are not believed to be altered, and do mention John the Baptist and James the brother of Jesus.

    I think you put way to much stock on the mention "The Christ" then it's useful for the discussion. One does not need to mention The Christ per say when the entire context clearly ascertain which Jesus Josephus was writing about.

    Also, why do you discount Tacitus?
    Last edited by Vandaler; December 30th, 2014 at 06:52 PM.
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    OK, but in doing so, you need to have the humility and realize that you are on thin ice and with very little support.
    It isn't me that has little support - I challenge you to find support of Jesus' miracles outside of the Bible! I'm on the skeptical side here, remember - I disbelieve the theists position that Jesus Christ, their deity/human/deity, exists. Especially since they appear to have been shown untrue.

    Reading this thread, you seem to be afflicted with the strange condition where you seem to think that admitting to a person called Jesus Christ actually existed and generated a cult following also means that he performed miracles. That is an issue you will need to take up with your therapist, but it's not my problem. Jesus being proved historical is in no way a win for theist, and admitting that much, is not a concession from non-believers either.
    I'm not sure who or what you're talking about here but we are in a religion thread discussing the religious figure - the deity-human-deity Jesus Christ. This is the 'evidence' that the theists here have put forward for. Everything else is totally off topic but you're welcome to argue the existence of influential men if you like but that's not what theists are arguing for here! Though I am aware of the sort of 'wedge' argument approach, that's not what I'm debating.

    This is just as ill advised a comment, then saying that evolution is "just a theory". Nearly-universal agreement means it's the scientific consensus and authoritative position.
    I only point out that it is not unusual to have multiple points of view and not to dismiss something because it is a new approach or a new idea. I'm just not convinced there is universal or near consensus on the existence of Jesus Christ.


    I'm not arguing for the Bible Jesus. I'm arguing for the historical Jesus. No matter how hard you wish to bind them into inseparable issues, they are not.
    Considering this is a religion forum and a religion thread discussing the actual human-deity called Jesus Christ, I have no idea what you really mean by 'historical Jesus' - there's no such thing and the distinction is meaningless. As far as I know, there is really only one Jesus - the miracle worker.


    JJ: That's not my claim to support - it is the theists that are saying there is historical support for their human-deity.
    Can you point out where this occurs?
    You only have to read back to see the references to J & T & another level of invention I was previously unaware of, the so-called 'source' Q -- which is actually speculation.


    If it's the case, I'll side with you. There is no historical support for Jesus the human-deity... your totally right
    You might want to tell our theist friends about that - I don't know why they bring this stuff up either!

    There is however compelling support for the man to have existed... a man who has had human-deity qualities attributed to him post-posthumously.
    I'm sure there is evidence of some human preacher but what does that have to do with Jesus Christ? Are you now saying there was a Jew that convinced other Jews that he was their Messiah that didn't perform any miracles at all? He just convinced them with just his powers of persuasion?

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    It isn't me that has little support - I challenge you to find support of Jesus' miracles outside of the Bible.
    It's not what I'm claiming. There is no support for that.

    Are you now saying there was a Jew that convinced other Jews that he was their Messiah that didn't perform any miracles at all? He just convinced them with just his powers of persuasion?
    That's my guess yes - that he was at the very least very persuasive - It's a position that respect both my condition of being both a non-believer and also, shows my respect for the work of scholars that devote their entire lives into studying matters such as these.
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    It's not what I'm claiming. There is no support for that.
    My point exactly - which makes me wonder why it is only theists bringing it up! It's as if they want to prove that such a man existed and therefore ... **insert God of the Gaps argument** ... their Bible must be true!

    That's my guess yes - that he was at the very least very persuasive - It's a position that respect both my condition of being both a non-believer and also, shows my respect for the work of scholars that devote their entire lives into studying matters such as these.
    That's very unpersuasive considering that the religion of Christianity depends upon his sacrifice and rebirth. Without both, Christianity could not exist - there would be zero reason for Christians to follow the Bible at all if that sacrifice wasn't made for them. There are probably other origins for Christianity that don't have to rely on the existence of a Jesus (or a Christ) but I have enough trouble here with one version without adding to my troubles!

    Thanks for the chat though. I know you're not a theist so it's a little weird for you to try to pretend to be one in debating my position: Christians truly believe that the 'historical Jesus' and the Biblical one are the same person - your separation makes no sense in the context of their beliefs or the debate that's being had. The link between the two has zero evidence, as you know, and it is evidenced by the deafening silence when they are challenged to make such a link. To separate the two is to play into the weird mental gymnastics I have been pointing out where theists glue their religious beliefs on actual reality in order to give it credibility; they use double meanings for words (e.g. scholars being likely apologists than independent academics) or fail to clarify; or they attempt to make things more believable than they really are (see the poster who neglected to mention 'Q' is merely a hypothesis).

    So I hope my refusal to go down that road didn't come off as rude. I don't really get into religious debates much since they always end up in the same place - "because God" but this one has been interesting to see what is put forward as evidence and what withstands scrutiny.

  19. #96
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofnietzsche View Post
    This argument invokes the mental image of a red herring spooning with a straw man. According to the christians, no "great leader" throughout history even comes close to matching Christ. We're talking about the fate of our souls, here.
    What makes you reason that the ultimate fate of our souls relies on written words?

    Jesus, in his allegedly infinite wisdom, decided to have himself killed during the pre-youtube, pre-newpaper, pre-internet, pre-television, pre-radio, pre-light bulb, pre-historical-method time in history. Bronze Age Palestine, an era in which 10% of the population was literate.
    Do you honestly think mere words can enable you or for that matter anyone to realize enlightened wisdom and knowing a different reality?

    No wonder Christians preach the need for faith.
    Christians as well as atheists can prove the reality of Christ. Are you interested in the rigorous processes of that path in order to see if it's real or not real?

    I'm just honestly speaking the truth here. I think every mod and former mod on this site would agree with me that most of the Christians are just gonna keep on believing what they want to believe, irrespective what The Truth is.
    Son, the reality of Christ for many Christians is not just about blind belief – for many it’s about knowing. Atheists can also come to know Christ.

    Question: Are you implying with your OP that if there was a book authored by Jesus Christ, confirming that “My kingdom is not of this world” and "I AM an incarnation of the Son of God" – that this would be compelling evidence to non-believers? If so , why? Why would an atheist consider a book written thousands of years ago by a man who claims to be the Son of God? What solid evidence would you have that Jesus actually wrote the words that you are claiming he never wrote? And so what if he wrote them; why would this matter to an atheist?

    I feel obliged to kick in the metaphorical Gates of Heaven, and expose the so-called Son of God as a fake and phony fraud.
    Before you try to expose something as fake, you might want to consider carefully contemplating and defining the Son of God. I don’t think the reality of the Son of God can be proved by words or disproved by words. Also, the Bible does not aim to prove anything. Words alone cannot prove the Spirit (an aspect of the Son of God). However, we can experience the Spirit -- that's how we can prove the truth of the Son of God. The Bible gives us a process through stories of how we can do that.

    Now back to your objective; you can try to tell or argue or reason or jump up and down or whatever method you choose to use with Christians about their experience of the Son of God (Christ) in their life and tell them its not real because Jesus was a fake, but then that burden is on you to challenge and prove someone’s experience is fake.
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Thanks for the chat though. I know you're not a theist so it's a little weird for you to try to pretend to be one in debating my position: Christians truly believe that the 'historical Jesus' and the Biblical one are the same person - your separation makes no sense in the context of their beliefs or the debate that's being had.
    Actually, I think you are passing an occasion to agree on something with Theist, which, in my opinion, makes your stances unpersuasive and annoying to them. Why compare with Thor or Unicorns when you can compare to someone that really did exist but who has some attributes which you do not belive to be real and that no one can prove? We just don't have the same debate style.

    It's like you fear giving an inch when in reality, your not conceding anything
    A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    Actually, I think you are passing an occasion to agree on something with Theist, which, in my opinion, makes your stances unpersuasive and annoying to them. Why compare with Thor or Unicorns when you can compare to someone that really did exist but who has some attributes which you do not belive to be real and that no one can prove? We just don't have the same debate style.
    Forget the Thor & Unicorns, that was an early argument regarding their impact on our culture. It's not meant to annoy - it is a device that shows common ground since nobody believes either exist.

    It's like you fear giving an inch when in reality, your not conceding anything
    That's not what I'm doing though. I am entirely arguing within their worldview which is that Jesus Christ (the one that did all the miracles) in fact exists and that his existence is independently supported in part by historical record. I could agree the historical record is true and that it does indeed support such a person but we have a few problems with that line of reasoning:

    1. Certain histories turn out not to be true - I can't take credit for that but it's son's & plad's work. So there are no facts to believe anyway.
    2. Q has been overstated as being a 'source' whereas it is merely speculation about a document that doesn't exist. So there is a blurring of actual fact and speculation.
    3. We have the muddling of whether scholars means biblical apologists or independent historians. So there is a blurring of completely biased scholars and historians who have no skin in the game.

    So, at the end of the day, I can't take the historical record as being true or reliable. That's not my fault, I'm not the one providing evidence that is so easily dismissed.

    Then we have the matter of the story of Jesus' literacy proven false, which means the Bible is rather unreliable too.

    And I did try to find common ground by asking whether:

    1. There were any historical records showing the miracles were true - there were none (of course!)
    2. How are these historical records linked with the Jesus in the Bible - no answer.

    So exactly how could I find common agreement with theists when their reasoning is based on forgeries and exaggerations AND they cannot provide a link between the real provable world and their religious figure? It's not me being the 'bad guy' here - I just want facts that are true and I want them linked to the religious figures theists are claiming to be also true. Why is that such a terrible thing to ask?

    I would give an inch if there were one to give, but here there really isn't and we've had all the ODN theists have their say and we have little but "because God" to show for it. Am I a terrible person to point out that the faithful should declare they believe their human-deity exists because they have faith?

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't understand the standard you are using to label something "verifiable evidence". I mean, with regards to history what kind of evidence is "verifiable"? And what are you even expecting?
    C'mon brother! You're not unintelligent. You don't need me to explain what the word 'verifiable' means.

    Again.. are you using Youtube kind of standard which is completly unreasonable, or are you using the standard used by historians (who hold that Jesus who was called the Christ existed).
    The standard used by historians who say that Jesus the Christ existed is the Bible so no, that is not the standard I'm using...and again for about the third time of asking, when you say 'most historians agree that Jesus existed', which Jesus are you referring to? We need to know. There are two and I suspect that you are confusing the two and also not understanding what is mean by the term 'historical Jesus'. Jet me try to explain the difference because I don't think you are getting it.

    Jesus 1. Jesus The Christ. A character found in the New Testament Gospel stories. He is alleged to be the son of a god who came to Earth for the benefit of man's salvation. He is alleged to have performed amazing miracles the like of which the world hadn't seen before of since. Executed by crucifixion but came back to life three days later. Now said to be residing in a place called 'Heaven'.

    Jesus 2. Yeshua ben Yosef - known today as 'the historical Jesus'. An itinerant rebel rabbi and political agitator who wandered around Palestine in the 1st century CE. An outspoken critic of the religious and political system of the day. Arrested (probably for sedition) tried, condemned to death and executed. It is thought by some today that his followers could have formed a sect that hugely exaggerated what he did and said, even turning him into a god. That sect eventually became the religion of Christianity.

    Now...assuming that you now understand the difference between the two characters here, let's look at what is meant by 'most historians think Jesus existed'.

    Most historians and even most people do not deny the possibility that Jesus 2 existed. Why wouldn't such a person have existed. There would undoubtedly be many such men in a land occupied by an invading army who were speaking out against occupation. I dare say many of they may have been called 'Yeshua too.

    The historians that say that Jesus 1 existed are invariably Bible scholars/historians and they say it because they are Christians in the first place and are looking for evidence to support their belief in Jesus The Christ. That is why they are Bible historians/scholars - because they believe that the Bible is true. I mean, why would any serious historian spend many years of hard study at university to get a degree in a subject that he doesn't believe in or have no interest in??

    I hope that clears things up and ends the confusion here. The 'Jesus' that we are referring to here is Jesus The Christ, son of the god Yahweh, miracle man who came back to life after execution. (which I write as JtC). So, when you say that most historians agree that Jesus existed, are you referring to Jesus 1 or Jesus 2?

    Support. Show what the consensus view on the existence of Jesus Is by historians.
    It is you that is making the claim so it for you to support the claim. Show that the 'most historians' that you speak of are not Christian Bible historians.

    I have no reason to accept you word or your standards.
    Somehow, I don't think you would accept ANY standard that conflicted with your Christian beliefs

    I must first understand what your standard of evidence is, before I can start to offer any.
    The standard of evidence we seek is verifiable - as it always should be in all matters. Verifiable evidence is evidence that is non-subjective, objective - undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena; capable of being tested by experiment or observation; confirmable, falsifiable; empirical; provable; demonstrable; testable; not romantic notions based on emotion but verifiable fact.

    If you reject the Gospels ,as you have for unsound historical reasons, then there is no point in offering them.
    Of course the Gospels have to be rejected!! We don't even know who wrote them and you want to use them as evidence?? They are 'evidence' of course but not verifiable evidence. The gospel authors, whoever they were, were propagating religious beliefs not unbiased historical information. If you think that it's acceptable to use the Bible as evidence for JtC, do you also think it's acceptable to use the Bhagavad Gita as evidence for Dhritarashtra or Lord Krishna???

    But that unsound reasoning applies to more than just the gospels (If I'm to assume you are consistent).
    Unsound reasoning?? What - rejecting a self-promoting book to prove itself?

    So far though, your standard appears to be unreasonable and un-shared by historians..so I'm not really inclined to engage yet.
    So I'm unreasonable because I demand evidence that can be verified. I don't think so. After all, it's what you do in every other aspect of your everyday life other than when it comes to religion. If some dude came to your door and asked you for a large some of money and promised to invest it in scheme that would give you a ten-fold increase in your investment, would you just hand the money over - or would you be asking for some kind of verifiable evidence the the investment was kosher? Yet when I ask for verifiable evidence I'm being unreasonable!

    Interesting. If you have a math question, wouldn't you speak to a mathmatician. A science question, a scientist. Why when it comes to the bible not a bible scholar?
    Because mathematicians and scientists work with verifiable evidence that can be shown, by various methods, to be true. Bible scholars rely on a collection of stories called 'The Holy Bible' that have been proven to be little more than fable fiction and fraud - that's why.

    I offered evidence earlier in the thread that, that was not the case.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
    Explained above. You need to grasp what 'historians' the article is referring and what is meant by 'historical Jesus'

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Sorry, but the 'too busy' argument has already been used. It doesn't work because he is a deity who can perform miracles and have full knowledge of the best way to preserve his legacy. He most certainly could find the time - he wasn't busy every single day and even if he was, he could have had someone else scribe for him as he dictated. That there are no words directly from him is troubling for his existence.
    Incredible isn't it. The omnimax creator of the universe is unable to multi-task!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18.
    Anyone still using Josephus as evidence for Jesus has lost the plot.

    Also, The Roman historian and senator Tacitus referred to Christ, his execution by Pontius Pilate and the existence of early Christians in Rome in his final work, Annals
    Please go back to post #77 where both Josephus and Tacitus are discussed and debunked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    Josephus debunked by plad?
    It is generally accepted, even by theologians, that the passage in Antiquities is a Christian interpolation. If you go back to post #77 you will find the explanation why.

    I'm not sure why Tacitus is irrelevant, but let's do Josephus first.
    The criticism of Tacitus is explained in the same post in which I explain why Josephus is unreliable

    Plad's work is not over, because I just got here.
    I'm ready for you Tiger!

    ...the historicity of Jesus... the mere fact he existed enjoys a nearly universal agreement among historical-critical biblical scholarship.
    Amongst Bible scholars yes. But not amongst mainstream non-Biblical historians - presuming of course you are referring to JtC and by the use of the term 'historicity of Jesus', I suspect that you too do not understand the difference between the historical Jesus and Jesus The Christ.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; December 31st, 2014 at 05:15 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

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    Re: Jesus Should Have Written

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    Reading this thread, you seem to be afflicted with the strange condition where you seem to think that admitting to a person called Jesus Christ actually existed and generated a cult following also means that you buy that he performed miracles.
    If you admit that 'Jesus The Christ actually existed then you would have to buy that he performed miracles. That is why he is called 'Jesus The Christ' - because he was allegedly the son of a god who performed miracles and came back to life after being killed. Now if you are referring to Yeshua ben Yosef of 'the historical Jesus' fame then do not refer to that person as 'Jesus Christ'. You, like one or two others here, appear not to understand the difference between Jesus The Christ of Bible fame and the term 'historical Jesus'.

    Jesus being proved historical....
    Which 'Jesus' are you referring to - so that we can ascertain whether or not your claim of 'Jesus being proven historically' holds any water.

    I'm not arguing for the Bible Jesus.
    Well yes you are actually because you keep referring to 'Jesus Christ'. Jesus the Christ is the Jesus of the Bible.

    I'm arguing for the historical Jesus.
    Then stop referring to that character as Jesus Christ...and furthermore, the 'Jesus' that this thread is referring to is BibleJeus, Jesus the Christ, son of the god Yahweh, worker of amazing miracle who was killed and came back to life....and why he himself didn't write any of the Gospels in his own hand. The thread is not concerned with why an itinerant rebel rabbi and political activist called Jesus didn't write anything down

    No matter how hard you wish to bind them into inseparable issues, they are not.
    Wrong! They are entirely separate. Jesus The Christ of the Bible was alleged to be the son of a god who could perform astonishing miracles and resurrected after being executed. The Jesus that scholars refer to as the 'historical Jesus' was not a god, had no magical or divine qualities, did not perform any miracles, was executed and stayed dead and who's small band of followers grew over the following century or two into a religious sect that we now call Christians. THAT is the Jesus that most non-Biblical scholars and indeed most people have no problem in conceding as having probably existed.

    Jesus The Christ is NOT almost universally accepted by historians to have existed - only by Bible historians. The historical Jesus IS considered to have been a possibility.

    Please people!! Can we be specific about WHICH Jesus we are speaking about. Just saying 'Jesus' is very confusing.

    False dilemma that excludes what most historians are actually saying. Most historians concede (not really a concession - where do you get this idea?) that an itinerant rebel rabbi named Yeshua existed AND that it's the same Jesus of Bible fame.
    No! You are not understanding what is meant by 'historical Jesus'

    That being said, it does not mean that any historian conclude that the Biblical narrative about Jesus is therefore true.
    You are totally confused aren't you. Why on Earth would historians agree that a man named Jesus existed who was the same man as the Jesus of the Bible and then say that he didn't have any of the attributes of BibleJesus. If historical Jesus could not perform magical miracles like the Jesus in the Bible; if he was not the son of a god; if he did not die and resurrect then he is not the same character as we find in the Bible is he? There is no comparison between the two so would they say that historical Jesus is the same person as Jesus The Christ??

    You are mistaken.
    I don't think so. Not unless you can explain why the TF did not appear in Antiquities until 300 years after Josephus had died; not unless you can explain why not one single father of the early Church mentions it, not even Origen who's main task was to scour the works of non-Christian writers looking for evidence for Jesus The Christ; not unless you can explain why it is clumsily inserted between two paragraphs that relate to each other whilst the TF has no relevance to those two paragraphs; not unless you can explain why, in the TF, Josephus refers to Jesus as 'Messiah' when Josephus was a Jew who would never have referred to anyone as 'Messiah' and not unless you can explain why Origen states that Josephus did not believe Jesus was the Messiah if Josephus did actually mention the Messiah.. Also, explain why in the works of Origen we find eleven references to Josephus but not a single reference to Josephus' having mentioned the name of Jesus or Jesus The Christ. Don't you find that strange?

    While the full authenticity of Testimonium Flavianum - the passage where Josephus mentions Jesus - is very much in doubt and believed to be embellished, it remains that the most modern scholars believes that the original, unaltered version from Josephus did mention Jesus unambiguously.
    Unfortunately for your claim, unambiguous evidence is not helpful. It has been tampered with and is therefore unsafe...and even if he did mention 'Jesus' in the original text, it is not sufficient to prove the existence of any Jesus. Josephus was not contemporaneous to the events, he has no first hand knowledge of the events or the characters portrayed in the Bible stories.

    The scholarly discussion revolve around how he spoke of Jesus, not wither he did or not.
    How does that prove existence?

    Furthermore, Josephus has two other passages which are not believed to be altered, and do mention John the Baptist and James the brother of Jesus.
    Wrong! The one is believed to be altered. The passage relating to James the brother of Jesus comes from a passage concerning Jesus, son of Damnaeus. You can see how a little Christian forgery of inserting the word 'Christ' into the passage would work for those trying to prove a 'Jesus The Christ.' Also, if you remove the Christian insertion of 'the one called called Christ' from the James passage, it still makes perfect sense.

    John the Baptist??? Well what does he have to do with the price of eggs?

    I think you put way to much stock on the mention "The Christ" then it's useful for the discussion. One does not need to mention The Christ per say when the entire context clearly ascertain which Jesus Josephus was writing about.
    Oh but we do my friend! It is IMMENSELY important to distinguish just which Jesus were are talking about here. Josephus for example referred to many different Jesus' (19 in all I think). That is why the Christian forgers found it so easy to make interpolations into his work. In his 'Antiquities', of the twenty-eight high priests who held office from the reign of Herod the Great to the fall of the Temple, no fewer than four bore the name Jesus and therefore, as priests, would have been referred to as 'Christ'. : Jesus ben Phiabi, Jesus ben Sec, Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel. Some others mentioned by Josephus were:

    Jesus ben Sirach. Credited with writing the Book of Sirach

    Jesus ben Pandira. A wonder-worker during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 BC), one of the most ruthless of the Maccabean kings. Imprudently, this Jesus launched into a career of end-time prophecy and agitation which upset the king. He met his own premature end-time by being hung on a tree – and on the eve of a Passover. Scholars have speculated this Jesus founded the Essene sect.

    Jesus ben Ananias. Beginning in 62AD, this Jesus had caused disquiet in Jerusalem with a non-stop doom-laden mantra of ‘Woe to the city’.

    Jesus ben Saphat. In the insurrection of 68AD that wrought havoc in Galilee, this Jesus had led the rebels in Tiberias ("the leader of a seditious tumult of mariners and poor people"

    Jesus ben Gamala. During 68/69 AD this Jesus was a leader of the ‘peace party’ in the civil war wrecking Judaea.

    Jesus ben Thebuth. A priest who, in the final capitulation of the upper city in 69AD, saved his own skin by surrendering the treasures of the Temple...

    BTW. Josephus also mentions Hercules far more times that he mentions Jesus Christ. Are we to assume that his mention of Hercules proves the existence of Hercules.

    Also, why do you discount Tacitus?
    I'd be grateful if you would go post #77 and look there. I'm not the quickest of typists and it will save me writing it out again.

    All Tacitus indicates is that, thirty years after the alleged events of the Gospels, he was recording the claim that someone who Christians called 'Christ' had been executed by Pilate.
    Last edited by pladecalvo; December 31st, 2014 at 05:10 AM.
    Jesus is unbelievable!

 

 
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