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Old 05-16-2004, 10:14 AM   #1
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"No historical evidence of Jesus"

I remember another thread a while back on this guy and his book.

From the Toronto Star:

The rest here

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Ever since the publication of The Pagan Christ, literalist clergy and others have been hammering away at the theme of the alleged historicity of the Gospels. Yet, Bible scholars today know that the Gospels never were historical biographies even though they may appear to be such.

Listen to the genius Dr. Albert Schweitzer, in his landmark book The Quest Of The Historical Jesus: "The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the Kingdom of God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, and died to give it its final consecration, never had any existence. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism and clothed by modern theology in a historical garb."
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Old 05-16-2004, 11:35 AM   #2
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Most historians, however, religious or not, believe that Jesus of Nazareth did, at the very least, exist. Mention of him is included in enough histories of the time that most can agree that such a person did indeed live and behave much in the way he is depicted in the Gospels.

I agree that much else is a matter of faith, but it was my understanding that there was little doubt that Jesus really did exist.
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Old 05-16-2004, 12:47 PM   #3
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Most historians do believe that Jesus existed. They disagree over just about everything else about him.
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Old 05-16-2004, 02:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
Mention of him is included in enough histories of the time that most can agree that such a person did indeed live and behave much in the way he is depicted in the Gospels.

actually, I think the bible is the only one that mentions him

not saying that I don't believe in him (or Him as nbcrusader would prefer)
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Old 05-16-2004, 03:07 PM   #5
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The way or methods used to discredit that Jesus existed could also be used to discredit the existence of other things from 2000 years ago. Dr. Albert Schweitzer seems to simply be interested in attacking and discrediting other peoples religion.
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Old 05-16-2004, 03:17 PM   #6
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Jesus' teachings, however they originated, are more important than if he existed or not.

(i write this having just left a service at St. A. P. Church)
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Old 05-16-2004, 03:26 PM   #7
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There was an interesting historican in Germany who claimed that 500 years of Mid-Ages history of europe didn't exist at all, they were just stories made up later so that the kings had historical reasons why this land belongs to them...
...well it was almost impossible to proof that man wrong
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Old 05-16-2004, 03:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
There was an interesting historican in Germany who claimed that 500 years of Mid-Ages history of europe didn't exist at all, they were just stories made up later so that the kings had historical reasons why this land belongs to them...
...well it was almost impossible to proof that man wrong
Good point Klaus.
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Old 05-16-2004, 04:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
actually, I think the bible is the only one that mentions him
didn't the jewish historian, josephus, mention jesus?
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Old 05-16-2004, 05:28 PM   #10
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In a history class we looked at a non-religious text that mentioned Jesus and I believe also mentioned that he had been captured and crucified.
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Old 05-16-2004, 07:17 PM   #11
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Well, there are two points brought up worth noting:

1) History isn't always what it seems. "The Renaissance" and the "Byzantine Empire" are both inventions; the former by 19th century humanists, who had an obsession with everything "Greco-Roman" and the latter by an 18th century French historian. The empire existed, yes, but it referred to itself as the "Roman Empire" or "Romania." In other words, there is a good portion of history that we take for granted that is really incorrect; but, because it was a long time ago, we really have no way of knowing one way or another, as part of the general public.

2) "Jesus' teachings, however they originated, are more important than if he existed or not." That was also the Gnostic POV, and there is a theory that Jesus was invented by early Gnostic Christians. Then, as Christianity expanded decades after Jesus lived, no one would really be the wiser; and that wouldn't have bothered the Gnostics. After all, whether He existed or not, to them, really didn't bother them.

(I don't particularly believe #2, but I thought I'd put the idea out there.)

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Old 05-16-2004, 08:50 PM   #12
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Damn. It looks like I screwed up when I claimed in my class on the Turks that the "Byzantine" Empire wasn't called that until the nineteenth century. Shame on me, sloppy research.
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Old 05-16-2004, 09:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
(i write this having just left a service at St. A. P. Church)
Then you saw my 3rd grade son!
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Old 05-17-2004, 04:12 AM   #14
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Further along in the article he mentions certain historical sources, but says they are questionable, if not bogus.

For example, he says that Josepus' reference was added to his histories by later Christian scribes. I do remember studying the authenticity of that text in university.

Melon, are there any Gnostic sources that pre-date the gospel of Matthew? Around 50-60 CE if memory serves? Or Paul's letters?

In response to the article, I would ask why on earth would historians of the empire care about a tiny sect of Judaism? They crucified thousands, why would they worry about one more?

If Jesus was an invention, what was to gain? And even if he was, his teachings still ring true.
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Old 05-18-2004, 11:48 AM   #15
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recieve his bible from Huffman.

Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


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