Can you prove Jesus existed outside of Bible (so called) evidence?

by punkofnice 78 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • CaptainSchmideo

    "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    Joseph Smith died for his crackpot beliefs and I'm sure some of his followers did too. Joseph Smith's example goes to show how one can believe one's own delusions so thoroughly.

    As for the message of Jesus, whether he really spoke the words of the gospel or not, you don't have to be religious to benefit or be inspired by them. Let me illustrate. I don't believe inReincarnation or nirvana, but I embrace some of the teachings of Buddhism because they're appealing on the basis of their humanity. Heck, I embrace the teachings of George Orwell and Alexander Solzhenitsyn too. Good teachings are good teachings. Whoever wrote the gospels had some positive ideas on forgiveness and charity, so whether you believe Jesus was divine or not, you can gain from the ideas credited to him.

  • WTWizard

    That thing they call Jesus? Nothing more than a fairy tale designed to siphon psychic power from Gentiles and direct it toward their enslavement. It was constructed from 18 pagan Gods that supposedly hung from a tree, which themselves were allegories referring to the sun. I actually have more respect for the sun than that thing they call Jesus.

    And yes, it is possible that someone named Jesus walked the area around 100 BCE through 100 CE. But is this person the same person that supposedly died for our sins? I do not believe that we are inherently sinners. Rather, human nature is defined as "sin" so "inherent sin" can be "proven". Then we have this jesus to "save" us from this "sin"--in the form of communism.

    Of course, while jesus is fiction, communism is not.

  • jhine


  • besty

    I asked Leolaia this question a while ago via PM: (she also went into some detail on the thread linked below) - skip to the last 4 words of her reply for the executive summary :-)

    Was just reading and wondered if you had made any posts on the historicity or otherwise of Jesus.

    Her reply:

    I don't think I have posted any detailed threads for or against the existence of a historical Jesus; I am somewhat agnostic on the subject, although I lean towards Wells' assessment (against the mythicists) that while the gospels are literary compositions with the bulk of their narrative content being "fiction" (informed to some extent by mythic tropes and to a greater extent through haggadaic OT exegesis), there probably was a historical figure named Jesus who was crucified in Jerusalem at the time of Pontius Pilate's tenure.

    The synoptic sayings tradition in particular cannot be reduced to the mythicist schemes (what does the ethical/moral teaching have to do with the Hellenistic "savior god" mysteries?) and Paul shows some close familiarity with this sayings tradition. I think the best explanation for this is that the teaching has nothing to do with the "gospel of the cross", preceding it as a reflection of the teaching of a historical Jesus and with the kergyma of Jesus as "savior" arising after his death (in part through an exegesis of the Suffering Servant songs in Deutero-Isaiah) as a rationalization of the unexpected execution of the apostles' teacher.

    The gospels (aside from the Gospel of Thomas) represent a latter stage when the teaching (variously interpreted and modified by the different evangelists) has combined with the "gospel of the cross", especially prominent in the western Pauline branch of Christianity (where the ethical teaching has receded dramatically in the face of the personal role of Jesus as Lord and savior). The Jewish-Christian branch in the east, particularly represented by Peter and James (and reflected in such first-century writings as MATTHEW and the DIDACHE and such second-century writings as the ASCENTS OF JAMES and the KERGYMA PETROU), continued to stress the moral/ethical teaching and its halakhic value. The early gnostic branch of the south (particularly in Samaria and Egypt, but also in Syria), on the other hand, made Jesus a Savior by virtue of his teaching, i.e. esoteric gnosis.

    I have some threads I have done in the past on the historicity of the gospel narratives (such as on the stories of Jesus' nativity, the 40-days temptation in the wilderness, the stories about Judas Iscariot, the trial scene with Pontius Pilate, etc.), but I'm not sure if that is what you meant. In short, the bulk of the stories are composed out of material from the OT, or turn parables (with their latent hyperbole) into miracle stories, or represent theological reworkings of possible historical stories. In general, the appearance seems to be that Jesus' later followers knew very little about Jesus' birth and childhood and very little about his trial and execution. This actually is to be expected since these followers were not around when Jesus was born and according to the gospels themselves, they all fled when Jesus was arrested. On the other hand, they seem to be very familiar with the teaching and that is what made the impression. What I should point out however is that I believe that many scholars' attempts to reconstruct who the historical Jesus "really was" and what he believed are illusory. Each scholar constructs a Jesus in his own image.

    I have my own thoughts on what might be more probable than other schemes (such as I favor a more apocalyptic Jesus than JD Crossan allows), but in the end it is all speculation.

  • designs

    Try asking a dozen christains what really happened in the kenosis and you get a dozen answers. Isn't that enlightening.

  • RubaDub

    Jesus is a greek name.

    EndofMysteries ...

    Please check your facts.

    I believe Jesus is a Puerto Rican name pronounced hey-ZEUS.

    Rub a Dub

  • Phizzy

    Thanks for posting Leo's view on the matter Besty, (complete with her usual Typos,bless her), it is good to have someone of her calibre to shape our opinions.

    As she says at the end though, it is all speculation.

  • RunAsFastAsYouCan

    Yes. The GB is a hologrom. The FDS is a virtual projection of all the systemic problems with this POS joke of a religion. Yes. It's all about marketing for the JW's. Yes it's all about ambient abuse from the jayholes. Believe what you want to believe. Think what you want to think. Go where you want to go. Do what you want to do. Don't worry about all the nonsense on this site or the nonsense at the kingdom hole. Don't worry about the jayholes and their viscious self serving tactics. This isn't about you. It's about the narcissistic supply for the clowns who have to keep this jayhole charade going. This site is just an incubator for the athiests (smitten jayholes) to tee off on you.

  • Comatose

    Ah... Narcissistic Supply. So it's you under a new name. Still annoying.

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