Does anyone here believe that Jesus never existed?

by Newborn 70 Replies latest jw friends

  • whatistruth

    not the biblical jesus, i believe in the easter bunny santa clause and tooth fairy before that dude

  • OnTheWayOut

    Further, Paul is supposed to be the first writer of the life of Jesus, Paul writes before 70 C.E.

    Paul never mentions Mary, Joseph, Herod, John the Baptist, Pontious Pilot.
    Paul never mentions Bethlehem nor any miracles of Jesus nor Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.
    Paul doesn't mention Jesus' trial nor any Jewish mob against Jesus.
    Paul doesn't quote anything Jesus said, no wisdom or revolutionary advice.
    Paul doesn't mention a physical ministry that Jesus engaged in.

    Paul writes of the resurrection and assention of Jesus the same way Star Wars starts out with "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..."
    Paul wrote of a mythical mystical Jesus.

    Further than that, if Jesus appeared to Paul so that Paul would zealously serve The Lord, then Jesus can appear to any of us if he wants us to zealously serve The Lord. If someone wants to tell you that Jesus did appear to them, two things: 1. You won't believe it to be true as it is either delusion or lie. 2. Then Jesus can appear to you.

  • PSacramento

    Paul's letters were to established churches, they were not gospels, no reason for him to write about things is MAY have spoken to them in person.

    Some of those he wrote to were already in Christ before he was, I don't think we can view the lack of information in Paul's letters about Christ as indicative that Jesus was mythical, no more than we can view the Gospels because they speak of Jesus, as being proof he was what they say he was.

  • Pistoff

    Jesus death is referenced by Josephus, and a man of note named Jesus is referenced by 2 other credible sources, can't remember whoat the moment.

    It is credible to believe that Jesus lived and died; Jesus the Christ is a faith statement.

    The gospels and other writings in the NT are not histories, but highly theologized accounts by believers; they should not be taken literally, and probably were not meant to be taken literally.

    The beliefs about Jesus, the early, middle and current church were all built up in layers just like the accounts of Jesus were built up in layers; a good example is Paul's authentic writings in 1 Corinthians. Paul NEVER mentions Jesus' miracles or teachings, never. The miracle stories come later.

    This is a great topic; let's keep it going.

  • MissingLink
    Yes, there most probably was a Jesus, at least I'm 99.9% certain. The reason being that religions, like Christianity, are always founded by charismatic persons. I simply don't think it's possible for the early Christians to have invented Jesus. Exagerated and deified, yes. But they simply did not have the imagination to make him up from scratch.

    They didn't make him up from scratch, they copied him from older myths.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Pistoff: "Jesus death is referenced by Josephus, and a man of note named Jesus is referenced by 2 other credible sources, can't remember whoat the moment.

    Check these links:

    Frankly, we can only look to the NT or apocrypha for Jesus Christ. He isn't on the secular records.

    Farkel: "The only ones who recorded this huge miracle didn't bother to record it for 30 to 50 years AFTER it happened."

    Yep, perhaps Jesus' greatest miracle and only John mentions it, well after the fact. What, like everybody else had forgotten it? Not only do the other gospels not mention his resurrection, the others don't even mention his existance. Luke mentions Mary and Martha, but no Lazarus. Maybe he got DFd, but then was later reinstated?

  • The Oracle
    The Oracle

    the evidence in support of his existance is extremely weak.

    It's also very suspicious that many of the so-called activities of Jesus were very similar to the activities of other legendary characters that existed well before the days of Jesus. For example Dionysus from around 500 BC turned water in to wine.

    It's also quite the coincidence that Jesus ended up having so many other features of his life and death identical to several other messiah type characters who existed hundreds of years before him.

    For example, being born from a human mother but having a god as a father, having his birthplace marked by a star in the east, having 12 disciples, being put to death on a cross, remaining dead for 3 days before being resurrected. That is all just too suspicious for me. I find it very hard to believe that these characteristics and events associated with Jesus are a series of remarkable coincidences. It seems far more likely that writers borrowed these tidbits from accounts of other sons of god or messiahs whose legends existed long before the gospels were written.

    I am certainly open to consider the other possibility, but at this point logic dictates that it is highly unlikely all these things really happened to Jesus after they had been recorded previsouly and attributed to other characters who lived prior to Jesus.

    The Oralce

  • AllTimeJeff

    I think that a good, smart, and wise man who came to be known as Jesus got a lot of legends and superstitions attached to him after he died, whenever he died, however he died.

  • Leolaia
    I think that a good, smart, and wise man who came to be known as Jesus got a lot of legends and superstitions attached to him after he died, whenever he died, however he died.

    We know indeed of several historical figures of the first and second century AD Mediterranean who came to have similar stories attached to them, even within the lifetime of people who knew them. From an earlier post of mine on the subject:

    The emperor Vespasian was said to have healed a blind man in Alexandria by spitting into his eyes (compare Mark 7:33), as well as healing a man with a withered hand by touching it (cf. Mark 3:1-5, 5:25-34), as reported by Suetonius (Vespasian 8.7), Dio Cassius (Roman History 65.8), and Tacitus (Historia 4.81), the latter citing the reports of "eyewitnesses". There are many miraculous stories about the second-century AD rabbis in the Mishnah (completed c. AD 200), written within the lifetime of witnesses of the fourth, third, and possibly the second generation of the tannaim: (1) R Eliezer and R Aqiba b Joseph instantly filling a field with cucumbers and then gathering them all together with a single command (b. Sandedrin 68a; cf. m. Sanhedrin 7.11, y. Sanhedrin 7; 25d), (2) R Eliezer tearing a tree out of its place a hundred cubits by a single command and making water flow backwards (b. Bava Metzia 59b, y. Kil'ayim 3,1; 81c-d), (3) R Gamaliel II calming a storm at sea with a prayer (b. Bava Metzia 59b; cf. Mark 4:35-51), (4) R Joshua b Hananiah being challenged by Emperor Hadrian to prove to him the power of a lion, and after praying a lion roared and all the pregnant woman in Rome miscarried and the walls of Rome fell (b. Hullin 59b), (5) R Simeon b Yohai, who was "experienced in miracles," exorcizing a demon from the Emperor's daughter (b. Me'ilah 17a, b; cf. Luke 9:38-42), (6) R Judah h Nasi healing the dumb sons of R Yohanan b Gudgada by prayer (b. Hagigah 3a), (7) R Pinhas finding a lost pearl from a Saracean king swallowed inside a mouse who coughed it up (y. Demai 1; 22a; cf. Matthew 17:27), (8) Yosef Moqir Shabbat finding a lost jewel in a fish's mouth (b. Shabbat 119a; cf. Matthew 17:27), and even (9) R. Judah h Nasi raising the slave in the imperial household from the dead (b. 'Avodah Zarah 10b; cf. Leviticus Rabba 10.4). In addition to their miraculous nature, these stories give highly improbable representations of historical reality; there is no evidence that the walls of Rome fell in the reign of Hadrian, or that all the pregnant women of Rome miscarried at the same time, or that Emperor Septimius Severus or his son Caracalla witnessed a resurrection.

    R Yeshua b Yoseph as depicted in the gospels compares quite well with these "historical" rabbis.

  • Pistoff

    From Gregor:

    But then there comes along a young man with Bi-Polar disorder and the common religious fixation that often goes with it. Among all the rich Hebrew stories and traditions, he is fascinated by the prophecies of the old testament about a coming "savior" and embraces the idea that it is he. Many jews are drawn to his charisma and over the top self confidence. His dog and pony show, combined with the frustration and longing of so many jews for a Messiah to save them from their grim lot under the Roman Empire, gelled into a perfect storm that finally got the Jewish hierarchy concerned enough to have him dealt with.

    Or Jesus the man may have had some original ideas, a variation on the model of the Cynic sage. It is possible to separate the gloss laid over Jesus by his followers from what he may have originally said; see the work of the Jesus Seminar.

    Things probably original to Jesus and definitely at odds with mainstream thought of the day:

    --Pray for your enemies

    --Turn the other cheek

    --Ritual purity laws, not necessary

    --Family ties are not important compared to following Jesus

    --Possessions are not important

    These ideas were strongly counter to those of the day, even in the backwater of Galilee, and they formed a portion of the ethic attributed to Jesus and his followers.

    The miracles of Jesus, the birth and death narrative, these are laid over Jesus by those who came decades after him; it was an attempt, consciously or otherwise, to make sense of the death of someone they cared for.

    The life of Jesus was a loser, a non starter, unless it meant that (fill in the blank, he atoned for our sins, God intended it, it was prophesied, etc). This is a concept seen in all of the bible to that point: the past seen and interpreted, not as random events the israelites could not understand, but fit into a framework. The israelites, at least those responsible for scripture, could not accept that God was not alive and powerful, and they felt that they were his people; therefore, the bad things that happened to the nation had to be God punishing them. The past was fit to a theological mold; after Jesus death, that concept took over, the gospels containing references to vague scriptures that point to this or that, as evidence that God intended it to happen.

    Paul, the first writer about Jesus we have access to, does not care one iota about what Jesus taught or did, only that he died and God raised him up. Paul was at odds with the greater community of jewish followers of Jesus; there was a very real split among believers, not unlike the vast divisions today, seen in the other gospels not selected for the canon. To me, Paul brings to the Q community for the first time the cosmic view of Jesus, the figure in a battle between dark vs light, a concept probably borrowed or absorbed from other faiths of the day.

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