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  1. #1
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    PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    What follows is a thread written by PIBS on another forum. There wasn't much opposition to it of any substance with the possible exception of F&N who took a stab at it. I'd like to see what folks like Clive, Apok, Kevin, etc have to say about it.

    A perfectly logical explanation for Jeezus, or religions in general.

    Like all good stories this starts with: A long time ago, far far away... there were people. These people had no form of writing per se, though could manage pictures and symbols. History to them was a matter of verbal story-telling and just like today children would be scared, smartened and kept in line with stories of bogeymen and other fairy tales, parables etc.

    Not knowing much about the workings of the world these peeps thought the word was flat and that the stars etc moved across the sky while the world stood still.

    Like any predator they came to learn of the migration of certain critturs and also, being omnivores, the growing seasons of plants and fruit. The advent of agriculture made knowing the time of year even more important. Time was a very special and important subject, crucial to survival. It wasn't a matter of turning up the heating or aircon, get the migration of herds wrong, plant crops too early or too late and you could starve to death.

    Nothing of course, is more precious than time. No wealth or other attribute gives you more than 24 hours a day and most get no more than XX years.

    So, time is precious and it's measurement is crucial.

    Times were harsh, a long winter could kill off half the tribe, while a long summer was like heaven. Every year a massive battle took place in the sky above. The mighty Sun would challange and beat back the forces of the evil darkness. Sadly, the evil darkness always won... or if you were an optimist, the good forces of the sun of god or the sun god or just god, whatever, would always triumpth.

    One thing the more savy noticed was there was a distinct pattern. The sun would differ at different times of the year, sometimes it was high in the heavens on it's throne, beating back the darkness for much of the day, other times it was weak and dying, with the dark encroaching into more and more of the day.

    They also noticed the moon, and how it grew full and other times empty. They would have noticed it also followed the female human menstrual (sp?) cycle of 28 days.

    They would also notice the stars and the 12 cycles of the moon, bascially what today we call months and the 12 signs of the Zodiac.

    Being able to accurately record these heavenly bodies was essential if one were to be a 'prophet' of when exactly things would happen, when to plant crops, cross the mountain to hunt the antelope or whatever and so on.

    So such things were dutifully recorded and the wisest and best of the recorders became prophets. To record them, scratched in the mud, committed to memory or illustrated in other ways was a help but ultimately everyone had to follow the tribe and it's timing, kids had to have stuff explained and the knowledge HAD to be passed on to future generations.

    So they told stories, just like the stories of Snow White or Father Christmas. The great, all-powerful sun, bringer of life, light and general goodness was the good guy, darkness the bad guy, fighting a never-ending battle in heaven.

    To flesh out such stories, making them easier to remember and vastly more entertaining, we did just as we do with puppies and even goldfish, we gave the various entities human characteristics, moods, motives, names and relationships with each other.

    The stories would be of how the sun was born, at the beginning of the year, among what today we'd call the sign of Virgo, would be baptised by the early spring rain, fight against the awful darkness, grow in strength but, horror, would be struck down again. Various nasty plots by the other heavenly bodies would be described, as each vied to be king of the sky but the one true sun would arise, despite their best efforts. Eventually, after much persecution, the sun was finally killed, hanging on the cross of the equinox.

    Imagine, if the sun never came back! Eeek!

    For 3 whole days the people would hold their breath, so's to speak, and hope, intensely, that it would regain it's rightful place in heaven, up high. Happily, after the 3rd day of the solstice the sun would rise from the dead and good would once more prevail over darkness.

    The various 'characters' of the story were indeed fleshed out and described as sentient beings. Some of the 'prophets' may have even believed it but only in the sense you'd believe in Father Christmas if no-one ever told you it was just a story, loosely based on that saint bloke.

    Over time these pre-historic legends became ever more fanciful and of course played their part as semi-bogeymen. The more 'holy' wise peeps would claim that only good behavior would ensure the return of the sun and summer and that their story must be believed and taught to kiddies everywhere, with strict ahderence to the customs, festivals and of course, specifically, timing.

    If you didn't have faith in the story or tried to change it, everyone could die. It was that important.

    Ensuring good behavior relied heavily on what salespeople call the '3rd party technique'. If I say "This computer is top-whiz!' it doesn't carry quite the same weight as saying "Someone really special and important, or at least some other 3rd party, sez this computer is top whiz! And I happen to agree with em!"

    So the sun-god would be credited with saying all sorts of things, performing all sorts of wonders and of course, those especially learned and 'holy' must always be obeyed. God sez so!

    Somewhere along the line these mythical creatures and people became described in such detail, said so much, that people would want proof, more detail in the history of these wonderful characters. While some religions would cheerfully admit they were fables and myths, others would hotly declare that yes, the sun really DID say such things, honest he did.

    How?

    Erm... well what happend was, he turned into human form, see?

    So what happened to the sun?

    Well it wasn't actually sungod himself, it was the sun of sun, see?

    So this sun of the sun, what was his story again?

    Well he was born of a virgin, fought against evil, told everyone to be very well behaved but was hung on a cross, died, then came back to life and ascended back to heaven...

    And this was...?

    Oh, about a hundred years ago or so, pretty recent but beyond living memory.

    So how do we know?

    Well he wrote this special book, or had it written, and there were eyewitnesses and everything.

    Tell me more?

    Well he had these 12 apostles, and the nasty King Whoever tried to have him killed but the wise men, led by the star/s, knew when and where he'd be born and took him gifts an stuff and.. well look, just read this book, alright? Learn every word, for this is special stuff, you MUST have belief in it or the thing wont work.

    And thus we have Jesus, Krishna, Bhudda and many other sun-gods born of virgins on the 25th december, dying for 3 days, coming back to life etc etc etc, all around the globe, all created pretty much independently and all claiming that THEIR version is the one true version.

    People even kill each other over this stuff.


    The ultimate reward for good faith? More time - you get to live even after you're dead.

    The ultimate punishment? You never get to die and sleep in peace but suffer the worse thing imaginable to such people - fire.

    Here I'm taking a wild guess but I wonder if the 'fire' of the sunset has anything to do with it 'going down to hell'?


    Anyway, that's your basic religious story. Same story, varying in detail but not in substance, all around the world.


    For more in-depth details, see:

    The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold - by Acharya S. A book that virtually proves that "Jesus Christ" is a mythical character.

    · Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled - by Acharya S. This 595-page follow-up book to The Christ Conspiracy backs up many of the contentions found therein and addresses criticisms thereof. With an additional 40 pages of illustrations!

    · The Jesus Mysteries - by Freke and Gandy, authors of the book by the same name, which agrees in many points with the info put forth in The Christ Conspiracy.

    · Christ a Fiction - by Robert Price, a dissenting member of the Jesus Seminar and ex-evangelist.

    · The Jesus Puzzle: Was There No Historical Jesus? - by Earl Doherty, historian and classical scholar.

    · Did Jesus Ever Exist or Is Christianity Founded Upon a Myth? - Excellent expose of the absurd arguments of Christian apologists

    · The Truth About Jesus - by Mangasarian, an ex-minister. Yet another nail in this rotting coffin.

    · Forgery in Christianity - by Joseph Wheless. A must-read to remove that murky film of brainwashing . . .

    · Christianism - Great quotes from such luminaries as Thomas Paine re the fictitious nature of the Bible, Jesus and Paul.

    · Origin of Freemasonry - by Thomas Paine. Another brilliant person reveals the origins of Christianity.

    · The Great Myth of the Sun-Gods - by Alvin Boyd Kuhn, PhD. Discusses the origins of the Jesus character. Kuhn is another highly skilled mythologist and scholar.

    · The Bible & Jesus Myth - American Atheists articles by Frank Zindler.

    · The Satanic Roots Of The Roman Catholic Church - How nice of Christian Jack Chick to verify the SOLAR CULT roots of Christianity!

    · The Myth of the Historical Jesus - by Hayyim ben Yehoshua. A Jewish perspective.

    · The Jesus of History - A Reply to Josh McDowell - by Gordon Stein. Stein expertly does away wth the purported passages in the works of historians such as Josephus, Suetonius and Tacitus so widely trumpeted by Christian apologists as evidence of Jesus's existence.

    · The Astrological Foundation of the Christ Myth - by Malik Jabbar. The Bible is Solar Mythology.

    · Did Jesus Christ Really Live? - by Marshall Gauvin. Good general overview.

    · Jesus: Fact or Fiction - Debunks apologists' spurious claims regarding historians.

    · Egyptian and Pagan Themes in Christian Tradition - Long overview of comparisons, with ancient texts and inscriptions.

    · Who is This King of Glory? - Alvin Boyd Kuhn reveals the Egyptian origins of Christianity and the fictional nature of Jesus Christ.

    · Astro-Theology: Retelling an Ancient Story by Jordan Maxwell.

    · The Winter Festival - Logos Christian Resource Pages admits the "Pagan" origins of Christmas: In pagan days, this birth of the sun-god was especially popular among the branch of the "mysteries" known as Mithraism. Concerning this we read: "The largest pagan religious cult which fostered the celebration of December 25th as a holiday throughout the Roman and Greek worlds was the pagan sun worship, Mithraism. Their winter festival was called 'the Nativity', the "nativity of the SUN". And not only was Mithra, the sun-god of Mithraism, said to be born at this time of the year, but Osiris, Horus, Hercules, Bacchus, Adonis, Jupiter, Tammuz, and other sun-gods were also supposedly born at what is today called the "Christmas" season, the winter solstice!

    · Worship of the Sun - From The Worship of Nature by J.G. Frazer. Outlines the prevalent "Pagan" sun-worship, including that of the Persian sun god Mithra, that eventually became Christianity.

    · The Historicity of Jesus FAQ - Debunks, once again, the spurious claims that the "historical Jesus" is found anywhere outside the New Testament. Apologists really need to give this up!

    · Josephus Unbound - Earl Doherty tackles the Testimonium Flavianum in this long article. It is unbelievable that Christian apologists continue to hold up this spurious passage, likely forged by Church historian Eusebius, but it's just about all they can hang their "historical Jesus" on. Enough already.

    · The Archko Volume Debunked - Christian apologist site admits the so-called Archko Volume is a "fabrication."

    · Did Jesus Ever Live? - Debunking by well-known Rationalist Joseph McCabe. Oddly and irrationally, after showing the story to be preposterous, McCabe eventually reveals himself to be an evemerist, i.e., someone who finds a "human" core somewhere under the numerous pagan mythological layers. His dating of the canonical texts is also off but represents the typical academic perspective.

    · The Rationalists Manual - by MD Aletheia. Loads more on the Pagan origins of Christ and Christianity.

    · The Great Deception - Excellent stuff debunking Christianity and the Bible.

    · Did Jesus Exist -- The Probing Mind - by Frank Zindler. Well-written overview of the arguments against a "historical Jesus." Regarding the spurious passage in Josephus, Zindler says: "As late as 891, Photius in his Bibliotheca explicitly states that Josephus makes no mention at all of Jesus' miracles and acts - indicating that the disputed passage was absent from his copy of Antiquities of the Jews. The question can probably be laid to rest by noting that as late as the sixteenth century, according to Rylands, a scholar named Vossius had a manuscript of Josephus from which the passage was wanting."

    · Did Jesus Ever Live? This one sounds like a synthesis of Doherty and Acharya S, although the author does not reference either. Great minds think alike . . .

    · Christianity is a Meme - "On a more personal level, religious conversion is known to alter the chemistry of the brain in many people. The high of the born-again Christian is a state of euphoria with addictive qualities. The Christianity Meme need only provide religious explanation for the high, like 'the love of God,' to create a strong infection."

    · Jesus: Pagan Christ or Jewish Messiah? - "Who created Jesus? And why?" (Haven't read this one, so I can't comment as to its conclusions.)

    · Dr. Alvin Boyd Kuhn - A comprehensive collections of the writings of this great mythicist.

    · The Christ Myth - by Ed Selby. Excellent overview from a Universalist Unitarian site.

    · The Diegesis - by Rev. Robert Taylor. Used to be online, but this book is well worth owning, as it was written by one of the most brilliant minds in history.

    · Gnostic and Historic Christianity - by Gerald Massey. A classic by one of the world's great mythicists.

    · Jesus the Myth - a short synopsis by a college student. A few inaccuracies, but not bad. His opponent certainly made some serious misstatements, such as that Thallus wrote about a strange darkness at the time of Jesus's death. Thallus did NOT in any way, shape or form mention Jesus. Such is a typical apologist tactic.

    · Jesus: History or Myth? - by an ex-Christian minister, obviously an honest man: "In all the years I was a Christian minister, I never preached a sermon about the evidence for a historic Jesus. . . . I am now convinced that the Jesus story is just a myth. . . . There were many crucified sun gods before Jesus. " Includes another thorough debunking of the purported extrabiblical references to Jesus.

    · THE TWELVE: FURTHER FICTIONS FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT - by Frank Zindler. Outlines other fictional characters in the New Testament, including the 12 disciples: "Among the many imaginary characters of the New Testament, perhaps the most blatantly obvious fictions are the Twelve Disciples. Of course, if Jesus was a sun-god (and who else is born on the winter solstice and worshiped on Sunday?), he would have needed twelve zodiacal accomplices, one for every month of the year, or one for every sign of the zodiac through which the sun’s chariot journeys."

    · Was Jesus Man or Myth? - by Richard Layton. A short, succint synopsis of the mythical aspects of the gospel fable.

    · Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth - by John Jackson. Another thorough researcher.

    · The Christ - by John Remsburg: "If Christ was not originally a solar god he wears today the livery of one. His mother, the Virgin, was the mother of the solar gods; his birthday, Christmas, is the birthday of all the gods of the sun; his Twelve Apostles correspond to the twelve signs of the Zodiac; according to the Gospels, at his crucifixion the sun was eclipsed, he expired toward sunset, and rose again with the sun; the day appointed for his worship, the Lord's day, is the dies solis, Sunday, of the sun worshipers; while the principal feasts observed in memory of him were once observed in honor of their goals. 'Every detail of the Sun myth,' says the noted astronomer, Richard A. Proctor, 'is worked into the record of the Galilean teacher.'"

    · The Christ - Remsburg expertly tackles the alleged nonbiblical evidence of Jesus's existence, such as the spurious Josephus passage, etc.

    · Sun Worship Images - Christian iconography revolves around the solar mythology.

    · Review of Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ - by Jeff Lowder. Debunks the latest attempts by apologists.

    · A Review of Strobel's The Case for Christ - by Earl Doherty. Ditto.

    · Phony Resumes - William Edelen takes on the "clown" Josh McDowell, author of the lame Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

    · Jesus: God, Man or Myth? - An excellent book by Herb Cutner, as reviewed by Acharya S.

    · First Century Historians Fail to Mention the Jesus of Christianity - Excerpts from JM Robertson and John Remsburg regarding Josephus, Tacitus and others.

    · The "Historical" Jesus? - by Acharya S. Excerpt from the forthcoming book Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled, demonstrating the late dating of the gospels and their absence from the writings of early church fathers, including Justin.

    · Do Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Enshrine The Image Of Christ? - By Richard Russell Cassaro. "For thousands of years before the rise of Christianity the Egyptians were in a quest to follow in the resurrection of a bearded man with long hair and acquire life after death!" CAVEAT: Cassaro's book is NOT recommended, however, since it claims that both Osiris and Jesus were "real people," albeit the same person, apparently. The point to posting the info on this page is to show that Jesus is a mythical rehash based in large part on Osiris, the Egyptian sun god, not a "real person."

    · The Cult of the Sun - Quotes from Christianism.com regarding the ancient astrotheology. "There is no difficulty in placing the worship of the sun god in the earliest times, when it slowly took on a natural pattern and form determined by observation of the solar cycle."

    · Tacitus and Bracciolini - Written in 1878 by JW Ross, an "excellent Latin scholar," who attempted to prove that Tacitus's Annals were forged.

    · The Christ Passage in Josephus - A critical essay by scholar Solomon Zeitlin on the "Testimonium Flavianum," which proves to be, once again, nothing but a forgery.



    Live links found here:

    http://www.truthbeknown.com/christcon.htm

    Some don't work anymore but enough there to blow away any remaining cobwebs.


    Face it, Jesus is fake.

    [-PIBS]

  2. #2
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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    Face it, Jesus is fake.
    [-PIBS]
    .. and people say I have too much time on my hands
    My point in replying is that it shouldn't matter if you don't believe in Jesus.

    I do not like watching evangelicals on TV and I don't like reading about Jesus bashing on ODN - especially by a Muslim named Pibs.

    No offense Zhav, but you spend way too much time trying to debunk religion (particularly Christianity).
    Last edited by Snoop; November 2nd, 2005 at 05:18 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    1) It's not my thread. I brought it here because where it was (no offense to F&N), there weren't harcore apologists like there are on ODN. I wanted to see their take on it.

    2) It DOES matter if you believe in Jesus as the reason that most Christians believe in Christ is that they hold that Jesus DID exist and DID do the things attributed to him in the bible. This is the basis of faith for many Christians.

    No opening argument or question for debate, except a quote from another person. Moved to Off Topic.
    Last edited by KevinBrowning; November 19th, 2005 at 10:11 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    I feel that so many people spend so much time debunking the existence of Jesus that it goes to say He must be real.

    It is interesting that Pibs aka Wiggly, a Muslim, has had a go at Him.
    In the Qu'ran, Allah is referred to as the Best of Decievers. In the Bible, Satan is referred to as the 'Great Deciever'. Could they be one and the same? In which case I can understand all the conspiracy stuff that seems to be thrown up along with rational investigation.

    Here are a couple of sites that look at Biblical and non-Biblical references and reasoning as to the existence of Jesus.

    http://www.sonic.net/sentinel/naij3.html
    http://www.rationalchristianity.net/jesus_extrabib.html
    Last edited by FruitandNut; November 2nd, 2005 at 07:53 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    perfectly logical explanation for Jeezus, or religions in general.
    I just read through the whole thing, and I can EASILY say that it is the MOST rediculous thing I have ever read.... 99.9% of Pibs "story" is either complete speculation and/or historically INACCURATE.

    Not knowing much about the workings of the world these peeps thought the word was flat and that the stars etc moved across the sky while the world stood still.
    I won't address most of this "story" because 90% of it does not even apply to the Christian religion let alone Jesus (notice the correct spelling). With that said though, the above CERTAINLY doesn't apply to the Christian religion because there are MANY verses in the Bible referring to the Earth as "round" or how the Earth is "suspended on nothing"...anyone who has read through at least the book of Job would know this, so I am assuming they are not addressing Christianity here.


    Erm... well what happend was, he turned into human form, see?

    So what happened to the sun?

    Well it wasn't actually sungod himself, it was the sun of sun, see?

    So this sun of the sun, what was his story again?

    They are referring to Jesus here???? Where is the evidence that this actually happened? Where is the evidence that people thought Jesus came from the sun God or that he was the son of the "sun god"...this is just silly and I HOPE they are joking....

    Well he was born of a virgin, fought against evil, told everyone to be very well behaved but was hung on a cross, died, then came back to life and ascended back to heaven...

    And this was...?

    Oh, about a hundred years ago or so, pretty recent but beyond living memory.
    And here is the "historically inaccurate" part. They are claiming here that 100 years after Jesus "supposedly" lived that people started telling the story of Jesus


    For starters, Matthew is widely believed to be the first written Gospel, the earliest quotation of Matthew(in an extrabiblical souce) is found in Ignatius who died around 115 A.D. Therefore, Matthew was in circulation well before Ignatius came on the scene. The various dates most widely held as possible writing dates of the Gospel are between A.D. 40 - 140. But Ignatius died around 115 A.D. and he quoted Matthew. Therefore Matthew had to be written before he died. Nevertheless, it is generally believed that Matthew was written before A.D. 70 and as early as A.D. 50

    Furthermore, you forget that Rome wanted to COMPLETELY destroy Christianity. Christians were punished by DEATH...if Jesus did not exist, all they had to do is make that claim...but they NEVER did, WHY???? Because there were literally 1,000's upon 1,000's who saw him alive.


    So how do we know?

    Well he wrote this special book, or had it written, and there were eyewitnesses and everything.
    This is a rather absurd straw man. "We know Jesus existed because he wrote a book", first of all, Jesus didn't write the gospels, second of all, the existence of Jesus has been corraborated by many extrabiblical sources

    Here is a quote by Jewish historian Flavious Josephus...
    "Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works--a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.

    "He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those who loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day" (Antiquities, XVIII, III).

    Although this passage has been contested because of the reference to Jesus being the Christ and rising from the dead, the fact of His existence is not in question.

    Josephus on John the Baptist
    Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise), thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him. (The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 5, Section 2)

    Flavius Josephus on James, brother of Jesus
    "Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done."

    Tacitus on Jesus and Christianity
    "But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.

    They got their name from Christ, who was executed by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. That checked the pernicious superstition for a short time, but it broke out afresh--not only in Judea, where the plague first arose, but in Rome itself, where all the horrible and shameful things in the world collect and find a home."
    (The Roman Annals 15.44 (c.115-117 C.E.))

    Lucian
    "The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. ... You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property."
    Lucian also reported that the Christians had "sacred writings" which were frequently read. When something affected them, "they spare no trouble, no expense."

    While Lucian might have spoken against the Christians you can clealry see that he doesn't deny the existence of Jesus or his disciples...

    Acts of Pontius Pilate, reports sent from Pilate to Tiberius, referred to by Justin Martyr
    "And the expression, 'They pierced my hands and my feet,' was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after he was crucified, they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen you can ascertain the 'Acts' of Pontius Pilate."
    Later Justin lists several healing miracles and asserts, "And that He did those things, you can learn from the Acts of Pontius Pilate."

    The Talmud
    "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!"

    This above came from my previous thread Did Jesus Really Exist?



    And thus we have Jesus, Krishna, Bhudda and many other sun-gods born of virgins on the 25th december, dying for 3 days, coming back to life etc etc etc, all around the globe, all created pretty much independently and all claiming that THEIR version is the one true version.
    What a giant straw man! Who said Jesus was born of a "sun God"...Jesus in the "son of God", not the "son of a sun God"....

    Did 2Pillars write this stuff?


    Anyway, that's your basic religious story. Same story, varying in detail but not in substance, all around the world.
    Anyways, that's your basic straw man...

    Come on, not only does the person who wrote this not know anything about history, they obviously haven't read the Bible as many of the things they attribute to Christian claims, are claims that no Christian has ever made and are claims that aren't even in the Bible.

    There is nothing in Pibs "story" beyond historical inaccuracies and speculation.

    Try Again.
    Last edited by nanderson; November 2nd, 2005 at 09:08 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    For the most part, I'm going to let PIBs deal with refuting his own assertions. A few words on the so-called extra-biblical "sources" you've presented...

    Although this passage has been contested because of the reference to Jesus being the Christ and rising from the dead, the fact of His existence is not in question.
    That's a HUGE issue and not something you can quietly sweep under the rug. The first paragraph speaks in very general terms and DOESN'T speak of ANY of Jesus' alleged supernatural qualities. Remember, that it's not good enough to simply find someone who wrote about "John Doe" living circa 2000 years ago when you're alleging that John Doe could do things like walk on water / cure the blind / etc. The fact is that there were a lot of prophets and "holy men" running around: What's more plausible? That the laws of physics muted themselves or that Josephus was writing about some unremarkable guy who just happened to have the same name and the church added the second paragraph later? You tell me... And be sure to provide evidence.

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    A few words on the so-called extra-biblical "sources" you've presented...
    I have no idea why you quoted "sources" like that...historians view them as valid, why don't you?



    That's a HUGE issue and not something you can quietly sweep under the rug.
    No one is trying to "sweep" anything under the rug. That ONE Josephus passage has a FEW WORDS that are questionable (ie "he was the Christ"), besides a few words on that first paragraph the rest is NOT in quesiton. Also, there are other Josephus quotes where he talks about Jesus existing that I mentioned that are not in question at all.

    DOESN'T speak of ANY of Jesus' alleged supernatural qualities.
    I'm not claiming (nor have I ever) that Josephus proves Jesus was God's son, Josephus and others only prove that Jesus existed, Pibs "story" claimed that Jesus did not exist and that it could all have been made up...that has been thoroughly refuted.

    Josephus was writing about some unremarkable guy who just happened to have the same name and the church added the second paragraph later? You tell me... And be sure to provide evidence.
    Someone MAY have added the parts where it says "for he was the Christ", I don't know. But he was certainly talking about the Jesus of the Bible, are you denying this...historians agree on this and if you read the other Josephus quotes you would know this as well...


    Here is a non-biased source talking about that Josephus quote
    http://www.livius.org/jo-jz/josephus/josephus.htm

    Flavius Josephus on James, brother of Jesus
    "Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done."

    Josephus on John the Baptist
    Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise), thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him. (The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 5, Section 2)
    Last edited by nanderson; November 3rd, 2005 at 08:59 AM.
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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Zhav - It is easy for you, or indeed any of us, to pour scorn on any accounts from 2000 years ago. Indeed just how much do you believe in the accounts of what happened yesterday. You can claim to 'rationally' dismiss most things by applying 'rational' spin and interpretation.

    For instance, Pliny the Elder was a plagiarist, just how much of his accounts are based on heresay and how much in fact?

    "In comparing various authors with one another, I have discovered that some of the gravest and latest writers have transcribed, word for word, from former works, without making acknowledgement." - Pliny the Elder Historia Naturalis Darn it the guy did it himself!

    It is the collectivity of accounts and the persistence of Christianity and the 'perfection' of the examples set by 'Jesus' that has me coming to my own conclusion.

    If He never existed He would not leave a 'footprint' that is far bigger than 'Bigfoot', the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster combined.

    Often, as with modern subs chasing after other subs it is what does not appear to be there that leads one to the quarry.
    Last edited by FruitandNut; November 3rd, 2005 at 05:05 AM.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Emphasis mine:

    Quote Originally Posted by nanderson
    I just read through the whole thing, and I can EASILY say that it is the MOST rediculous thing I have ever read....
    Of all the words to misspell, this one?

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pibs
    . . .Jesus is fake.
    Surely you don't expect me to read something that begins by disrespectfully misspelling the Lord's name, and ends by denying his existence altogether? Christ lived. This is not even a matter of debate among qualified historians. Pibs needs to take an Intro to World History class.

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Pibs is an apologist of the Qu'ran and it is in 'Islam's interest' to rubbish and dominate all others - including agnostics and atheists!

    Allah AND Satan are the greatest of decievers it seems!
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    In answering the doubts as to the existence and reality of Jesus in history I can do no better than point you in the direction of James Hannan’s dissertation.

    Refuting the myth that Jesus never existed


    By James Hannan

    Introduction
    The thesis that Jesus never existed has hovered around the fringes of research into the New Testament for centuries but never been able to become an accepted theory. This is for good reason, as it is simply a bad hypothesis based on arguments from silence, special pleading and an awful lot of wishful thinking. It is ironic that atheists will buy into this idea and leave all their pretensions of critical thinking behind. (F&N’s highlighting for the benefit of Zhav.) I will adapt what has become popular usage and call people who deny Jesus' existence 'Jesus Mythologists'.

    A huge amount has been written on the web and elsewhere which you can find in the further reading section below. Not all Jesus Mythologists are lunatics and one at least, Earl Doherty, is extremely erudite and worth reading. Nevertheless, he is still wrong and, as I have seen myself, he reacts badly to those who demonstrate it. It is not my intention to study the minutiae of the argument but instead focus on three central points which are often brought up on discussion boards. These are the lack of secular references, the alleged similarities to paganism and the silence of Paul. Finally I want to bring all these together to show how ideas similar to those that deny Jesus' existence can be used on practically any ancient historical figure. With this in mind I set out to prove that Hannibal never existed.

    Roman Historians
    Occasionally people ask why there is no record of Jesus in Roman records. The answer is that there are no surviving Roman records because at that time the ‘Jesus event’ would have been viewed as highly parochial. Roman historians had little interest in the comings and goings of minor cults in the Empire, they were far more concerned about the machinations of Emperors and Kings. Jesus made a very small splash while he was alive and there was no reason for Roman historians to notice him.

    Once Christianity was established as a major cult in the Empire then Jesus became rather more interesting and he is mentioned by Tacitus in the early second century. However, Jesus Mythologists counter this by claiming that he could have got his information from Christians which means his evidence is not independent. So, we have a very convenient situation for the Jesus Mythologists. Until Christianity had spread no one except Christians would be interested in Jesus but all later records are ruled out of court as they are tainted by association with Christianity. (A kind of Catch 22) This sort of special pleading is one of the reasons that modern historians have no time for these theories as they are set up to be impossible to disprove. In fact, Christian evidence for a human Jesus who was crucified is trustworthy because it ran counter to the myths of the time and suggested that he had suffered a humiliating death. If they made it up and then suppressed the truth with clinical efficiency, why did they come up with a story which even the Christian apologist, Tertullian, admitted was absurd? It seems far more likely that they had a large number of historical facts that they had to rationalise into a religion rather than creating all these difficulties for themselves.

    Sometimes Jesus Mythologists will produce long lists of writers none of whom have the slightest reason to mention an obscure Jewish miracle worker and somehow think this strengthens their point. In fact, it has all the relevance of picking fifty books off your local library shelf and finding that none of them mention Carl Sagan. Does that mean he did not exist either? Jesus was not even a failed military leader of the kind that Romans might have noticed - especially if he had been defeated by someone famous.

    Josephus
    The only historian who we might expect to mention Jesus is Josephus, a Jew who wrote a history of his people up to 66AD, which is called 'Jewish Antiquities'. In fact, Josephus does mention Jesus twice and so Jesus Mythologists have to devote a lot of attention to attacking the relevant passages. Their job is made easier because Josephus, a Pharisee, probably felt nothing but contempt for Jesus which meant later Christians tried to 'correct' his negative wording.

    The majority opinion on Josephus is that the parts of the passage from book 18 of 'Jewish Antiquities' which are in italics below are the additions of a Christian scribe trying to make Jesus appear in a better light.

    Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
    Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 18, 3, 3

    To support this idea we can look at the works of the Christian father Origen who was writing in the mid-third century. This was while Christianity was still a minor cult with no power or influence. It was generally ignored by the authorities as long as it kept its head down. Therefore there is no way that Christians this early could have either ‘knobbled’ Josephus so that no un-doctored copies were available or got away with quoting something from Josephus that was not there. We have no reason to suppose that a bright chap like Origen would even have tried and so can be sure that the copy of Josephus he read and quoted from was un-amended by earlier Christians. We can be doubly sure of this because Origen flatly contradicts the modern version of Josephus where the Jewish historian is made to say Jesus was the Messiah. Origen makes clear he said no such thing.

    What use would the early fathers have had for a passage in Josephus saying Jesus was not the Messiah? An educated Jew saying this would not be helpful in an apologetic sense as it would demonstrate that the prophecies in the Old Testament were not nearly as clear cut as early Christians would have liked to have believed. And because no one ever challenged Jesus' existence, they never had reason to point to a critical Jewish source to prove he did. Hence Josephus was not quoted by the few earlier Christian writers.
    So what exactly did Origen say? Here are two passages which say basically the same thing and which reinforce each other:

    And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise, that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the "Antiquities of the Jews" in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. And the wonderful thing is, that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great; and he says that the people thought that they had suffered these things because of James.

    Origen - Matthew X, XVII
    For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless-being, although against his will, not far from the truth - that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ) - the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.

    Origen, - Against Celsus I, XLVII
    This tells us that the later passage about 'James, brother of Jesus called Christ' certainly existed in Josephus in Origen's time because he uses the phrase 'called Christ' twice. It cannot be a Christian interpolation as they called James either 'James the Just' or 'James the Brother of the Lord'. The reference to 'James, brother of Jesus called Christ' is still found in Antiquities 20 and this by itself torpedoes the idea that Jesus never existed. The fact idea that Christians were going around doctoring copies of Josephus while they were still a persecuted minority is just laughable. Origen also says that Josephus did not believe Jesus was the Messiah so our present day passage on Jesus in Antiquities 18 cannot have existed although the passing reference to Jesus in Antiquities 20 is further evidence that he was actually mentioned in less flattering terms. It should be pointed out that Origen himself reads too much into Josephus who does say the people thought the killing of James was wrong but does not go quite so far as to blame the entire Jewish War on the event.

    Pagan similarities
    Allegations that Christianity is an adaptation of a pagan religion have been around for ages. In the 19th century, Kersey Graves wrote his notorious The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours - a book so poor that even the Internet Infidels admit (in rather more diplomatic language) that it is a load of old cobblers. Just recently the tradition was carried on in The Jesus Mysteries by Peter Gandy and Timothy Freke. These two amateurs are equally willing to play fast and loose with the facts using carefully pruned quotations, mis-translation and anachronism to produce a woefully inaccurate picture.
    With this is in mind I present "Bede's Guide to the Production of a Best-seller that Undermines the Roots of Christianity". With this I can guarantee that you will be able to find all the parallels you like between paganism and Christianity or indeed, properly adapted, between any other two unrelated subjects that you care to name.

    The first thing to do is ensure you cast your net as widely as possible. So within Christianity you should include every cult, heresy and sect you can get your hands on. Gnosticism will be particularly helpful as they did indeed borrow large chunks of pagan thought which is partly why they were considered heretics in the first place. As for paganism, this can include just about everything. Freke and Gandy comb not only Greek cults (Oedipus) but also Egyptian (Horus and Osiris), Roman (Bacchus) and Persian (Mithras). Elsewhere you will find Celtic deities, Norse beserkers and Indian mystics pulled into the fray. Now, with this vast body of writing, finding parallels will not be too challenging provided you are willing to wade through it all.

    But don't restrict yourselves to pagan religions from before the time of Christ!
    Remember your methodology should be that Christians copied pagans and not the other way around. This is useful because you can now point to similarities between paganism and Christianity after the latter was already widespread. So if, like Freke and Gandy, you can find a picture showing Bacchus on a cross dating from two hundred years after Jesus was crucified you can still claim that the Christians copied the pagans and not the other way around.

    Language is important. Christian terms such as 'salvation', 'Eucharist', 'word made flesh' and 'lamb of god' are common currency today. Therefore when translating or paraphrasing pagan sources always use modern Christian language. Never mind that the ancient pagans would not have known what you were on about - you are not talking to them. In this way you can call a woman being raped by various kinds of wildlife a 'virgin birth', you can call having ones body parts stuck back together a 'resurrection' and you can call just about every Greek hero a 'son of god'. Also it is helpful to use King James Bible phrases and style when quoting pagan texts. It gives them some more gravitas.

    Do try to confuse liturgy and practice with history. For instance the mystery religions and Christianity were both underground movements so they had to operate in similar sorts of ways. Sacred meals and ritual washing are as old as religion itself so the Christianity using them as well as pagans is not surprising at all. Make it sound like a complete revelation.
    Say totally different things are in fact closely related. For instance, Mithras was sometimes represented by a bull. Say this is the same as Jesus being called the lamb of God (ignoring that one is a symbol of sexuality and strength and the other of innocence and humility).

    Compare the Mithric ritual of taking a shower in the warm blood of the aforementioned bull with Christian baptism with water. Claim that the thieves crucified with Jesus are the same as a pair of torch bearers that appear on some illustrations of Bacchus.

    For goodness sake do not mention the things that really made the pagan mysteries interesting. After all your work of showing that Jesus and Bacchus are one and the same, you will lose everything if you let on that Bacchus was the god of drunkenness and his worship involved getting plastered and having sex with anything in sight (goats being a particular favourite). In fact, keep sex out of it altogether. Yes, sex was the central feature of an awful lot of these pagan rituals but that is not the point your are trying to make.
    Avoid up to date scholarship which will probably pour cold water over your vaunted theories. You will find plenty of nineteenth and early twentieth century writers with a bone to pick that can support your wildest speculations. And do not worry if not everyone agrees with you - you can always dismiss the dissenters as apologists or as those unable to cope with your earth shattering ideas.

    Using this guide you should be able to produce as many parallels as you require to convince even the most blinkered of readers. As you can probably tell from the above I am not impressed by the pagan myth hypothesis. It is interesting to note that despite his vast amount of reading, hostility to orthodox Christianity and willingness to allege that most the New Testament is fictional, not even John Dominic Crossan has any time for the idea that Jesus was made up of pagan motifs. Nor indeed do the vast majority of liberal scholars - the pagan myth hypothesis is firmly outside the pale of scholarship and with good reason.

    The Non - Silence of Paul
    The whole idea that Jesus did not exist started with the fact that Paul does not say very much about his life or ministry. It is instructive to first find out what he did say so here is a list. You can read the relevant snippet biblical text by holding your mouse over the red scripture references.
    Jesus was born in human fashion, as a Jew, and had a ministry to the Jews. (Galations 4:4)
    Jesus was referred to as "Son of God". (1 Cor. 1:9)
    Jesus was a direct descendent of King David. (Romans 1:3)
    Jesus prayed to God using the term "abba". (Galations 4:6)
    Jesus expressly forbid divorce. (1 Cor. 7:10)
    Jesus taught that "preachers" should be paid for their preaching. (1 Cor. 9:14)
    Jesus taught about the end-time. (1 Thess. 4:15)
    Paul refers to Peter by the name Cephas (rock), which was the name Jesus gave to him. (1 Cor. 3:22)
    Jesus had a brother named James. (Galations 1:19)
    Jesus initiated the Lord's supper and referred to the bread and the cup. (1 Cor. 11:23-25)
    Jesus was betrayed on the night of the Lord's Supper. (1 Cor. 11:23-25)
    Jesus' death was related to the Passover Celebration. (1 Cor. 5:7)
    The death of Jesus was at the hands of earthly rulers. (1 Cor. 2:8)
    Jesus underwent abuse and humiliation. (Romans 15:3)
    Jewish authorities were involved with Jesus' death. (1 Thess. 2:14-16)
    Jesus died by crucifixion. (2 Cor. 13:4 et al)
    Jesus was physically buried. (1 Cor. 15:4)

    It turns out that careful analysis of the letters shows that Paul was not actually all that silent at all.
    The first reaction to all this from the Jesus Mythologist is to dispute that Paul wrote very many of these letters. But actually seven of his letters are completely undisputed and all facts about Jesus' life shown above are from these. It is ironic that the pastoral epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, that liberals insist are late (and date from after the synoptic Gospels), contain practically no details about the life of Jesus at all.
    As there are still rather a lot of details about the historical Jesus in the undisputed letters, the Jesus Mythologist will use special pleading to try and explain them away. But as we can see, Paul is not attempting to tell Jesus' life story, he is just using the odd snippet about Jesus where it is helpful to illustrate his point. He knows that his readers are aware of what happened because all of his letters are to people who are already Christians. He is not trying to convert them and he is not engaged in apologetics.

    If we look at the letters of the early Christian fathers, they rarely have details about the life of Jesus except in passing because they know their readers are familiar with the Gospels. What we today call the Gospels had not, of course, been written down at the time that Paul was preaching but oral communication was considered to be more reliable than the written word at the time. When these people had heard about Jesus they did not need a revision primer when Paul wrote to them but specific advice about problems and controversies. Of course, none of this will convince the Jesus Mythologist who just cannot understand why Paul does not just repeat verbatim to his correspondents what he has already told them in person.
    Last edited by FruitandNut; November 4th, 2005 at 02:00 AM.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    James Hannan - Part Two.

    Did Hannibal really exist?
    I want to wrap up by showing how easy it is to produce a scenario where we can deny the historicity of a major public figure. When I published this spoof on the Secular Web's discussion board it was taken seriously even though with hindsight it seems ridiculous. The comments in italics are annotations to bring out points of similarity with the various Jesus Myth ideas in currency.
    I would invite any Jesus Mythologist to explain to me the substantial differences between their theory and the spurious one below.

    To ask whether or not the great Carthaginian general Hannibal every actually existed might seem rather pointless. An exercise for a student learning about the nature of historical evidence perhaps but not something any serious scholar would waste time on. But maybe we should not be too hasty in acquiescing with the opinion of establishment historians (in other words, there's a plot by academics stifling debate).

    In fact, although there is plenty of writing about Hannibal, none of it is contemporary and there is no archaeological evidence for him at all (not surprising given the Romans razed the city from whence he came). Furthermore he is not mentioned in any Carthaginian sources - incredible given he was supposed to be their greatest leader (there are no Carthaginian sources as the Romans burnt their city down)! We find when we actually try to pin him down he tends to recede further into the mists of time. His exploits, such as leading elephants over the Alps, are clearly legendary (the sceptic pretends to be incredulous but seems happy to buy his own amazing theory) and it is not hard to find a motive for the creation of this colourful character by Roman writers (as long we can invent a motive for fabrication we can assume that fabrication exists).

    Rome and Carthage were great trading rivals in the Western Mediterranean and it did not take them long to come to blows. Rome signed a peace treaty but, under the leadership of the elder Cato desperately wanted to rid itself permanently of the competition. (this is actually true and so helps to hide when we slip into fantasy) They needed an excuse and the idea they came up with was brilliant. Like all ancient civilisations, the Romans rewrote history as it suited them to demonstrate their own prowess. (a useful and exaggerated generalisation) Consequently we should not be surprised to find that they invented a great enemy from Carthage to demonstrate the threat still existed and justify a further war to wipe them out.

    The author of the fiction was Cato himself (we need someone to point the finger at and note how there is no distinction made between the background material above and theorising here) who we know wrote the earliest Roman History (true as well, actually). But it was intended simply as a justification for a further war with Carthage. It contained the details of Hannibal's alleged campaigns against the Romans including victories on Italian soil (it might well do but Cato's history has conveniently not survived). Cato brilliantly combined the truth with his own anti-Carthaginian propaganda with the intention of goading Rome into another wholly unjustified war with the old enemy (give the fabricator lots of credit for his invention). Once the war was over and Carthage razed to the ground, the Romans were able to ensure that only their version of history survived (this is important as it enables all other sources to be declared forgeries).

    Therefore the myth of the great Carthaginian war leader became fact and later Roman historians like the notoriously unreliable Livy (we have to denigrate counter sources) simply assumed Cato's fabrications were true (because the ancients were stupid and simply could not do any research themselves).

    Conclusion
    In history there is little that is certain but there is also a level of scepticism that makes the task of the historian impossible. Furthermore, the thesis that Jesus never existed requires selective scepticism about which sources are reliable and how others are interpreted. In the end, if Jesus did not exist, it makes Christianity a much more incredible phenomena than if he did.


    The New Testament contains twenty-seven separate documents which were written in the first century a.d. These writings contain the story of the life of Jesus and the beginnings of the Christian church from about 4 b.c. until the decade of the a.d. nineties.
    The facts were recorded by eyewitnesses, who gave firsthand testimony to what they had seen and heard. "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life" (I John 1:1, NASB).
    Moreover, the existence of Jesus is recorded by the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, who was born in a.d. 37, "Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.
    "He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those who loved him at the firs did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day" (Antiquities, XVIII, III).
    Although this passage has been contested because of the reference to Jesus being the Christ and rising from the dead, the fact of His existence is not in question.
    (F&N addendum - N.B. The text in italics was added by early Christians as they felt Josephus was over hostile and biased.)

    Cornelius Tacitus (a.d. 112), a Roman historian, writing about the reign of Nero, refers to Jesus Christ and the existence of Christians in Rome (Annals, XV, 44). Tacitus, elsewhere in his Histories, refers to Christianity when alluding to the burning of the temple of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. This has been preserved by Sulpicius Severus (Chronicles 30:6).
    There are other references to Jesus or His followers, such as the Roman historian, Seutonius (a.d. 120) in Life of Claudius, 25.4, and Lives of the Caesars, 26.2, and Pliny the younger (a.d. 112) in his Epistles, X. 96.

    This testimony, both Christian and non-Christian, is more than sufficient to lay to rest any idea that Jesus, in fact, never existed. In light of the evidence, it is absurd to hold such a view. We know more about the life of Jesus than just about any other figure in the ancient world. His birth, life, and death are revealed in much more detail than most ancient figures whose existence is taken for granted by historians.

    After examining the evidence about the life of Christ from contemporary sources apart from the New Testament, Roderic Dunkerley concluded, "In none of these various testimonies to the fact of Christ is there any slightest hint or idea that he was not a real historical person.
    "Indeed it has been argued—and I think very rightly—that myth theories of the beginnings of Christianity are modern speculative hypotheses motivated by unreasoning prejudice and dislike. ‘It would never enter anyone’s head,’ says Merezhovsky, ‘to ask whether Jesus had lived, unless before asking the question the mind had been darkened by the wish that he had not lived’" (Roderic Dunkerley, Beyond the Gospels, pp. 29, 30).
    Last edited by FruitandNut; November 4th, 2005 at 05:04 AM.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    The argument in support of Jesus' crucifixion and death will be in like vein, plus to argue the point that in the earliest references there were indeed 'witnesses' mentioned who could have been questioned. - I will make that plain very shortly.
    Last edited by FruitandNut; November 4th, 2005 at 04:24 AM.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    Surely you don't expect me to read something that begins by disrespectfully misspelling the Lord's name, and ends by denying his existence altogether? Christ lived. This is not even a matter of debate among qualified historians. Pibs needs to take an Intro to World History class.
    Appeal to authority.

    (I believe he existed, but the reason for this is not because "qualified historians" do so.)

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator.
    Appeal to authority.
    Appeal to authority is not necessarily a fallacy, and since historians have the expertise in the field that we are discussing, I would defer to their authority. However, Kevin didn't back up his claim that it isn't even a debate, so you could call him on that. Even better would be to find a historian that disputes the point, though you would have to make sure that it wasn't an extremist who disregards actual evidence.

    However since we can debate the quality of evidence without being historians, let us do that.
    孟柏民
    Formerly Neverending (for all you old-timers)

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator
    Appeal to authority.

    (I believe he existed, but the reason for this is not because "qualified historians" do
    so.)
    For God's sake, man. I said that no qualified historian disbelieves that Jesus existed. Not that you should believe it because they do. Read Fruit's article. Josephus, Origen, etc. etc. etc. It's all there. There should be no more question in a rational person's mind that Jesus of Nazareth existed than there should be that the Holocaust occurred.

    There's more evidence for Jesus' existence than there is for any number of historical figures. His influence on history is incomparable. We divide history into two parts, before and after him. He really is that important, you really do need to come to an honest conclusion why, and most obviously, he really did exist.

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    There's more evidence for Jesus' existence than there is for any number of historical figures. His influence on history is incomparable. We divide history into two parts, before and after him. He really is that important, you really do need to come to an honest conclusion why, and most obviously, he really did exist.
    With all due respect, you are taking your assertion too far. Religion can have a dizzying effect upon society, whether it is true or not. Take Islam and how it affects Islamic society. Just like Jesus for us, the founding of Islam divides their Calendar into two parts. Just stop and think for a moment: Why does our calendar revolve around Jesus? The answer is quite simple: It was developed by the Roman Catholic Church, still the dominant power in Europe at the time. To not mistake the ability to gain power with veracity. The rise of the West lent stregnth to the rise of Western religion. Otherwise Jesus would have had a much lesser effect upon society.
    孟柏民
    Formerly Neverending (for all you old-timers)

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning
    For God's sake, man. I said that no qualified historian disbelieves that Jesus existed. Not that you should believe it because they do. Read Fruit's article. Josephus, Origen, etc. etc. etc. It's all there. There should be no more question in a rational person's mind that Jesus of Nazareth existed than there should be that the Holocaust occurred.

    There's more evidence for Jesus' existence than there is for any number of historical figures. His influence on history is incomparable. We divide history into two parts, before and after him. He really is that important, you really do need to come to an honest conclusion why, and most obviously, he really did exist.
    You were using it as a method to prove to Pibs, or Zhav in this case, that Jesus was real, which is an appeal to authority. Even if you hadn't been doing this, the fact that no historian would deny his existence is absolutely irrelevant to anything.

    There you go again with a fallacy. Prejudicial language. In a "rational person's mind". Believing that Jesus does not exist does not make you "irrational". Someone who has never heard of Jesus is not irrational.

    Your argument is "he did exist 'cause there's proof out there and historians believe it and any rational person should realize that". Well, although I know that there is evidence for his existence, you haven't provided it here, but rather employed a number of fallacies. The fact that historians believe it and the fact that "rational people" know he existed are irrelevant.

    Star

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    Re: PIBS' transplanted Jesus thread

    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator
    You were using it as a method to prove to Pibs, or Zhav in this case, that Jesus was real, which is an appeal to authority. Even if you hadn't been doing this, the fact that no historian would deny his existence is absolutely irrelevant to anything.
    No I wasn't. My observing that no qualified historian disbelieves that Jesus existed is not an argument for Jesus having existed. It's a separate but related observation. What I really completely don't understand, though, is how you can say that this is "absolutely irrelevant to anything". Unless I'm mistaken, this thread is about whether Christ existed.

    There you go again with a fallacy. Prejudicial language. In a "rational person's mind". Believing that Jesus does not exist does not make you "irrational". Someone who has never heard of Jesus is not irrational.
    I think you need to be a bit less eager with charges of fallacies. "Prejudicial language" is not a logical fallacy. Having heard of the evidence for Jesus' existence, yet not believing he did, is indeed irrational. I made no mention of the few humans today who have never heard of him.

    Your argument is "he did exist 'cause there's proof out there and historians believe it and any rational person should realize that". Well, although I know that there is evidence for his existence, you haven't provided it here, but rather employed a number of fallacies. The fact that historians believe it and the fact that "rational people" know he existed are irrelevant.

    Star
    No, it's not irrelevant at all that all historians believe he existed. It's in fact exactly what we're talking about. But you're right, it's not an argument for his existence, and I've never presented it as one. I redirected you to F&N's evidence which he gave, and mentioned a couple of obvious extra-biblical sources such as Josephus. But if you really want me to present the evidence for Jesus' existence to you, I'll be glad to. I simply thought it was silly and unnecessary, given the fact that there is more evidence for Jesus of Nazareth having existed than practically any other historical figure. But I don't mind obliging just for the sake of argument, so here are just a few places, not counting the New Testament scriptures (which are perfectly valid historical sources) where you can find historical references to Jesus Christ:

    ''Ancient non-Christian sources:


    1) Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 AD), "the greatest historian" of ancient Rome:

    "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed."



    2) Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas, chief secretary of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD):

    "Because the Jews of Rome caused continous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Claudius] expelled them from the city."

    "After the great fire at Rome [during Nero's reign] ... Punishments were also inflicted on the Christians, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief."



    3) Flavius Josephus (37-97 AD), court historian for Emperor Vespasian:

    "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders." (Arabic translation)



    4) Julius Africanus, writing around 221 AD, found a reference in the writings of Thallus, who wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean around 52 AD, which dealt with the darkness that covered the land during Jesus' crucifixion:

    "Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun--unreasonably, as it seems to me." [A solar eclipse could not take place during a full moon, as was the case during Passover season.]



    5) Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor around 112 AD:

    "[The Christians] were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind." Pliny added that Christianity attracted persons of all societal ranks, all ages, both sexes, and from both the city and the country. Late in his letter to Emperor Trajan, Pliny refers to the teachings of Jesus and his followers as excessive and contagious superstition.



    6) Emperor Trajan, in reply to Pliny:

    "The method you have pursued, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those denounced to you as Christians is extremely proper. It is not possible to lay down any general rule which can be applied as the fixed standard in all cases of this nature. No search should be made for these people; when they are denounced and found guilty they must be punished; with the restriction, however, that when the party denies himself to be a Christian, and shall give proof that he is not (that is, by adoring our gods) he shall be pardoned on the ground of repentance, even though he may have formerly incurred suspicion. Informations without the accuser's name subscribed must not be admitted in evidence against anyone, as it is introducing a very dangerous precedent, and by no means agreeable to the spirit of the age."



    7) Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD), in a letter to Minucius Fundanus, the Asian proconsul:

    "I do not wish, therefore, that the matter should be passed by without examination, so that these men may neither be harassed, nor opportunity of malicious proceedings be offered to informers. If, therefore, the provincials can clearly evince their charges against the Christians, so as to answer before the tribunal, let them pursue this course only, but not by mere petitions, and mere outcries against the Christians. For it is far more proper, if anyone would bring an accusation, that you should examine it." Hadrian further explained that if Christians were found guilty they should be judged "according to the heinousness of the crime." If the accusers were only slandering the believers, then those who inaccurately made the charges were to be punished.



    8) The Jewish Talmud, compiled between 70 and 200 AD:

    "On the eve of the Passover Yeshua was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover."

    [Another early reference in the Talmud speaks of five of Jesus's disciples and recounts their standing before judges who make individual decisions about each one, deciding that they should be executed. However, no actual deaths are recorded.]



    9) Lucian, a second century Greek satirist:

    "The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. ... You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property." Lucian also reported that the Christians had "sacred writings" which were frequently read. When something affected them, "they spare no trouble, no expense."



    10) Mara Bar-Serapion, of Syria, writing between 70 and 200 AD from prison to motivate his son to emulate wise teachers of the past:

    "What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burying Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given."



    Gnostic sources:


    11) The Gospel of Truth, probably by Valentius, around 135-160 AD:

    "For when they had seen him and had heard him, he granted them to taste him and to smell him and to touch the beloved Son. When he had appeared instructing them about the Father. ... For he came by means of fleshly appearance." Other passages affirm that the Son of God came in the flesh and "the Word came into the midst. ... it became a body."

    "Jesus, was patient in accepting sufferings. . . since he knows that his death is life for many. . . . he was nailed to a tree; he published the edict of the Father on the cross. ... He draws himself down to death through life. ... eternal clothes him. Having stripped himself of the perishable rags, he put on imperishability, which no one can possibly take away from him."



    12) The Aprocryphon of John, probably by Saturninus, around 120-130 AD:

    "It happened one day when John, the brother of James,--who are the sons of Zebedee--went up and came to the temple, that a Pharisee named Arimanius approached him and said to him, `Where is your master whom you followed?' And he said to him, 'He has gone to the place from which he came.' The Pharisee said to him, 'This Nazarene deceived you with deception and filled your ears with lies and closed your hearts and turned you from the traditions of your fathers.'"



    13) The Gospel of Thomas, probably from 140-200 AD:

    Contain many references to and alleged quotations of Jesus.



    14) The Treatise On Resurrection, by uncertain author of the late second century, to Rheginos:

    "The Lord ... existed in flesh and ... revealed himself as Son of God ... Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the Pleroma might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of the Truth, before this structure of the cosmos had come into being."

    "For we have known the Son of Man, and we have believed that he rose from among the dead. This is he of whom we say, 'He became the destruction of death, as he is a great one in whom they believe.' Great are those who believe."

    "The Savior swallowed up death. ... He transformed himself into an imperishable Aeon and raised himself up, having swallowed the visible by the invisible, and he gave us the way of our immortality."

    "Do not think the resurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion, but it is truth. Indeed, it is more fitting to say that the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection which has come into being through our Lord the Savior, Jesus Christ."

    ". . . already you have the resurrection ... why not consider yourself as risen and already brought to this?" Rheginos was thus encouraged not to "continue as if you are to die."



    Lost works quoted in other sources:


    15) Acts of Pontius Pilate, reports sent from Pilate to Tiberius, referred to by Justin Martyr (150 AD):

    "And the expression, 'They pierced my hands and my feet,' was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after he was crucified, they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen you can ascertain the 'Acts' of Pontius Pilate." Later Justin lists several healing miracles and asserts, "And that He did those things, you can learn from the Acts of Pontius Pilate."



    16) Phlegon, born about 80 AD, as reported by Origen (185-254 AD), mentioned that Jesus made certain predictions which had been fulfilled.



    Ancient Christian sources (extra-biblical):


    17) Clement, elder of Rome, letter to the Corinthian church (95 AD):

    "The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order. Having therefore received a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come. So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their firstfruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons unto them that should believe."



    18) Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, letter to the Trallians (110-115 AD):

    "Jesus Christ who was of the race of David, who was the Son of Mary, who was truly born and ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of those in heaven and on earth and those under the earth; who moreover was truly raised from the dead, His Father having raised Him, who in the like fashion will so raise us also who believe on Him."



    19) Ignatius, letter to the Smyrneans (110-115 AD):

    "He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, but Son of God by the Divine will and power, truly born of a virgin and baptised by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch (of which fruit are we--that is, of his most blessed passion); that He might set up an ensign unto all ages through His resurrection."

    "For I know and believe that He was in the flesh even after the resurrection; and when He came to Peter and his company, He said to them, 'Lay hold and handle me, and see that I am not a demon without body.' And straightway they touched him, and they believed, being joined unto His flesh and His blood. Wherefore also they despised death, nay they were found superior to death. And after His resurrection He ate with them and drank with them."



    20) Ignatius, letter to the Magnesians (110-115 AD):

    "Be ye fully persuaded concerning the birth and the passion and the resurrection, which took place in the time of the governorship of Pontius Pilate; for these things were truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ our hope."



    21) Quadratus, to Emperor Hadrian about 125 AD:

    "The deeds of our Savior were always before you, for they were true miracles; those that were healed, those that were raised from the dead, who were seen, not only when healed and when raised, but were always present. They remained living a long time, not only while our Lord was on earth, but likewise when He had left the earth. So that some of them have also lived to our own times."



    22) (Pseudo-)Barnabas, written 130-138 AD:

    "He must needs be manifested in the flesh. ... He preached teaching Israel and performing so many wonders and miracles, and He loved them exceedingly. ... He chose His own apostles who were to proclaim His Gospel. ... But He Himself desired so to suffer; for it was necessary for Him to suffer on a tree."



    23) Justin Martyr, to Emperor Antoninus Pius about 150 AD:

    After referring to Jesus's birth of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem, and that His physical line of descent came through the tribe of Judah and the family of Jesse, Justin wrote, "Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea."

    "Accordingly, after He was crucified, even all His acquaintances forsook Him, having denied Him; and afterwards, when He had risen from the dead and appeared to them, and had taught them to read the prophecies in which all these things were foretold as coming to pass, and when they had seen Him ascending into heaven, and had believed, and had received power sent thence by Him upon them, and went to every race of men, they taught these things, and were called apostles."



    24) Justin Martyr, in Dialogue with Trypho, around 150 AD:

    "For at the time of His birth, Magi who came from Arabia worshipped Him, coming first to Herod, who then was sovereign in your land."

    "For when they crucified Him, driving in the nails, they pierced His hands and feet; and those who crucified Him parted His garments among themselves, each casting lots for what he chose to have, and receiving according to the decision of the lot."

    "Christ said amongst you that He would give the sign of Jonah, exhorting you to repent of your wicked deeds at least after He rose again from the dead ... yet you not only have not repented, after you learned that He rose from the dead, but, as I said before, you have sent chosen and ordained men throughout all the world to proclaim that 'a godless and lawless heresy had sprung from one Jesus, a Galilean deceiver, whom we crucified, but His disciples stole Him by night from the tomb, where He was laid when unfastened from the cross, and now deceive men by asserting that He has risen from the dead and ascended to heaven.'"

    "For indeed the Lord remained upon the tree almost until evening, and they buried Him at eventide; then on the third day He rose again."

    For more details of the historical and scientific evidence for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ:
    Habermas, Gary R. Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984.
    ''

 

 
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