Prove to me Jesus existed...............

by passive suicide 51 Replies latest jw friends

  • serotonin_wraith
    You might equally have asked us to prove that Julius Caesar existed without making any reference to works of antiquity...

    Coin of Julius Caesar found at Hamlin Lane allotments

    This silver denarius of Julius Caesar of 54-51 BC was dug up in Mr Webber’s allotment at Hamlin Lane in 1956. It was minted in Gaul, and shows (just visible) an elephant standing above the word CAESAR; the reverse shows the sacred implements used in sacrifice.

    Such coins were still in circulation in the mid and late first century, and are more likely to reflect activity at that time, rather than in Caesar’s time, when Britain was outside the Roman empire.

    Just google search Julius Caesar coin for plenty more.

  • Narkissos

    Hi Midget-Sasquatch, glad to see you here again!

    Cyrus and Narcissos have pointed out how there's evidence within the Gospels that can reasonably meet your criteria at least indirectly. It doesn't make sense that the Gospels would incorporate and then try to explain away unflattering "stories". Its more reasonable to accept that there actually were these historical memories or traditions circulating about (i.e. Jesus was baptized by John) and had to be counterde. Not direct evidence, I know. But I think its acceptable and strong enough to at least make the existence of a historical man called Jesus probable.

    Actually I was trying to show, for the sake of discussion, how Cyrus' points might also be understood from the perspective of literary historicisation of a mythical character... what made up a satisfying narrative line for Mark then becoming embarrassing from the different perspective of Matthew or John, and the resulting contradictions (or painful rationalisation) then offering the appearance of something like a "historical core".

    But of course you may well be right.

    The real issue, I think, is: when we do posit a historical Jesus we can say nothing or anything about him. Almost every single line in the Gospels can be explained as the result of either historical tradition or literary construction. It seems unlikely that everything belongs to only one category, but otoh what we choose to ascribe to either category is just that: an arbitrary choice (pardon the pleonasm).

  • greendawn

    What I know is that only a small percentage of historians agree with the view that Jesus never existed. Most do not doubt that he existed though of course they don't believe everything mentioned in the gospels about him.

    Also the way a Moslem would die for his religion is different they become martyrs by fighting wars and getting killed in them. That's what a Moslem martyr is. The christian martyr dies passively by refusing to give in to those demanding that he abandon his faith.

    I don't know how many Moslems would not recant their faith in the face of atrocious torture, intense persecution and death.

  • Narkissos


    My martyrs (witnesses!) are better than yours!?

    It is so little true that martyrs offer any support to the truth of a cause that I am inclined to deny that any martyr has ever had anything to do with the truth at all. In the very tone in which a martyr flings what he fancies to be true at the head of the world there appears so low a grade of intellectual honesty and such insensibility to the problem of "truth," that it is never necessary to refute him. Truth is not something that one man has and another man has not: at best, only peasants, or peasant apostles like Luther, can think of truth in any such way. One may rest assured that the greater the degree of a man's intellectual conscience the greater will be his modesty, his discretion, on this point. To know in five cases, and to refuse, with delicacy, to know anything further . . . "Truth," as the word is understood by every prophet, every sectarian, every free-thinker, every Socialist and every churchman, is simply a complete proof that not even a beginning has been made in the intellectual discipline and self-control that are necessary to the unearthing of even the smallest truth.--The deaths of the martyrs, it may be said in passing, have been misfortunes of history: they have misled . . . The conclusion that all idiots, women and plebeians come to, that there must be something in a cause for which any one goes to his death (or which, as under primitive Christianity, sets off epidemics of death-seeking)--this conclusion has been an unspeakable drag upon the testing of facts, upon the whole spirit of inquiry and investigation. The martyrs have damaged the truth. . . . Even to this day the crude fact of persecution is enough to give an honourable name to the most empty sort of sectarianism.--But why? Is the worth of a cause altered by the fact that some one had laid down his life for it?--An error that becomes honourable is simply an error that has acquired one seductive charm the more: do you suppose, Messrs. Theologians, that we shall give you the chance to be martyred for your lies?--One best disposes of a cause by respectfully putting it on ice--that is also the best way to dispose of theologians. . . . This was precisely the world-historical stupidity of all the persecutors: that they gave the appearance of honour to the cause they opposed--that they made it a present of the fascination of martyrdom. . . .Women are still on their knees before an error because they have been told that some one died on the cross for it. Is the cross, then, an argument?--But about all these things there is one, and one only, who has said what has been needed for thousands of years--Zarathustra.

    They made signs in blood along the way that they went, and their folly taught them that the truth is proved by blood.
    But blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth; blood poisoneth even the purest teaching and turneth it into madness and hatred in the heart.
    And when one goeth through fire for his teaching--what doth that prove? Verily, it is more when one's teaching cometh out of one's own burning.

    Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist.

    Back to the topic: as I believe the issue to be historically undecidable, a better question imho would be: (why) does it matter whether Jesus existed or not?

  • passive suicide
    passive suicide

    THANK YOU SEROTONIN!.My friggin point exactly.... Do I ask too much?

  • passive suicide
    passive suicide

    uhhhh Greensdawn...are you familiar with the Crusades?

  • passive suicide
    passive suicide

    Because. That is why. If he did not exist....without a doubt..........what do you think the world situation would be at this time.there would be half the wars....and that's just a start.if jesus didn't exist.....what about Mohammad or all the others?

  • Midget-Sasquatch

    Hi Narcissus,

    Thanks for the warm welcome and actually remembering me.

    what made up a satisfying narrative line for Mark then becoming embarrassing from the different perspective of Matthew or John, and the resulting contradictions (or painful rationalisation) then offering the appearance of something like a "historical core".

    Oh my, the incredible shrinking disciple of John! (I'm currently not ripping off Hanna Barbara characters for my avatar, so I'll just plagiarize book titles for responses.

    It's very difficult to distinguish history from historicized myth and thats why to be truly objective an open minded leaves one without anything solid. I do have an obvious bias though.

    And to your very thought provoking question on why does it matter whether Jesus existed or not:

    I've got to say that the Gospel stories (both canonical and non-canonical), are a huge draw for me because I learn something about myself from what I would like to have been real. And, if there were some inkling of "truth" to some portions of the story, there's a part of me that wants to know because it would then mean I know... almost... nothing.

  • passive suicide
    passive suicide

    Okay........I think someone needs ta checkout eastern mystysism on the back Isle please.

  • passive suicide
    passive suicide

    Just kidding by the way.

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