Was Jesus a real person?

by Coded Logic 21 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Finkelstein

    If the Jewish high priests at the time realized that god had sent the prophesied Messiah and the new Messianic age was to begin, you would think they would write about it and write about a lot, they didn't.

    From another perspective, why did these high priests upon Jesus's arrest let this sent by God Messiah easily be arrested and killed by the Romans rulers if they really thought he was their true Messiah.?

    You would assume that they would preconceive that God would punish them severely for doing so.

    The bricks as they say just don't line up.

    Most devout Christians today including the JWS aren't aware that the NT Gospels were written decades after Jesus Christ supposedly existed.

  • fulltimestudent
    FusionTheism9 hours ago
    The issue is, if we have no Roman documents in existence at all today that are dated to 29 to 33 AD, you cannot claim that Romans IGNORED Jesus since we have no knowledge about ANY documents during those years.

    Sorry, FT - that's a nonsense claim. Its doubtful that any undated (i.e. a document without an actual date, or referenced by a verifiable event) document from that era could be accurately dated to within a few years. Many documents do not have any information that enable clear dating and they have to be studied by paleographical techniques to give any indication of the period in which they were written.
    However there are many documents that are likely written in the first half of the first century CE.
    Some of these documents (as an example) likely belong to the first half of the first century. http://www.livescience.com/49489-oldest-known-gospel-mummy-mask.html
    Writing materials were not necessarily easy to obtain and re-use of previous documents were common (as that reference indicates)

    See also this publication: New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity. A Review of the Greek Inscriptions and Papyri published in 1979, by G.H.R. Horsley, and published by the Ancient History Documentary Research Centre of Macquarie University, Sydney. (1987).
    The likely reason for a lack of written mentions of Jesus, is that Jesus was only one of at least a few charismatic preachers in the rural areas of Galilee, and and up to the circumstances surrounding the the end of his life, there may have been no reason for any authority figure to write anything about him. There was really no reason for the Roman authorities to take any notice of Jesus.*
    As far as writings by Jesus are concerned, we have no evidence that he wrote anything. Does that mean he was illiterate? Possibly, though I suspect his trade as a carpenter likely called for at least a basic literacy. But again his preaching activity consisted of charismatic preaching, and while his parables reveal that he may have had social contacts with a wide range of social levels he was not a writer sending out tracts etc. That's one important difference between his organisation of his followers and the organisation of the the Dead Sea Sect, who were highly organised and dependent on written information concerning rules and beliefs.

    * There are three basic mentions of Jesus in early non-Christian sources. The Wikipedia entry on the Historicity of Jesus seems to cover them. However, both of the sources in which the mentions are made are 70 to 90 years later.

    There are three mentions of Jesus in non-Christian sources which have been used in historical analyses of the existence of Jesus.[19] Jesus is mentioned twice in the works of 1st-century Roman historian Josephus and once in the works of the 2nd-century Roman historian Tacitus.[19][20]
    Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20. The general scholarly view is that while the longer passage, known as the Testimonium Flavianum, is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian interpolation or forgery.[21][22] Of the other mention in Josephus, Josephus scholar Louis H. Feldman has stated that "few have doubted the genuineness" of Josephus' reference to Jesus in Antiquities 20, 9, 1 and it is only disputed by a small number of scholars.[23][24][25][26]
    Roman historian Tacitus referred to 'Christus' and his execution by Pontius Pilate in his Annals(written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44.[27] The very negative tone of Tacitus' comments on Christians make the passage extremely unlikely to have been forged by a Christian scribe.[28] The Tacitus reference is now widely accepted as an independent confirmation of Christ's crucifixion,[29]although some scholars question the authenticity of the passage on various different grounds.

    I do not have a problem with recognising a historical Jesus, but I do not see any evidence of or for his supernatural activity. The historical Jesus is like so many other humans claiming some special power, for example the Sakyamuni Buddha. Both have become "special" and "magical" in the eyes of their followers, but the powers of neither stand up to an independent assessment. Both were delusional, as we were when we became followers of Jesus in the WTB&TS.

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